Wednesday, 29 February 2012

More from Taupo

One of the highlights for me today was visiting the Lava Glass gallery.....and also a first for me to be bringing home a piece of art work. Lynden Over is a New Zealand glass artist (and sorry I can't put a link to his website...I will do that tomorrow as it is so worth visiting), - anyway Lynden recreates incredible glass art layer by layer and each piece reflects the geographical landscape of New Zealand. I have found a piece from his Volcanic series 'Huka Falls' that will sit pride of place in the centre of our dark dining table. It reflects the colours and movement that we saw at Huka falls today - and the icing on the cake was being able to see Lynden at work and also scoring a photo of him holding our piece - wow! I will put links on the blog tomorrow - you must visit

This afternoon we had a last visit to the Cleverhands quilt shop and caught up with Maria and her William Morris inspired work.....just beautiful. Enjoy and thank you Maria for letting me share it.....

And a look at the Thermal power plant that we also visited today with Sue. Thankyou so very much Sue for completing our visit to this region of New Zealand.
 Quite surreal to see the steam coming out of the ground
 And what a stunning sunflower...not sure I have seen this colour before

Enjoy your week wherever you are

Our first week in New Zealand

We arrived in Auckland to rain, rain and more no photos I am afraid! We travelled 5 hours south and arrived in beautiful Taupo.....a place for extreme sports and this coming weekend the NZ Ironman.....sadly we are not very athletic so here are some images of our adventure.....

 The reason we are here is as guests of three quilt shops....the first being Cleverhands of Taupo. Di has been a wonderful hostess and the card and flowers greeted us at our motel and the little t-shirt a gift for our new little grand baby! Sadly I got no photos of the 19 enthusiastic sewers in the workshop...sorry girls!

There are hydrangeas growing everywhere and check out the blue!!

You can have a go at the 'hole in one challenge' out to the great lake!

Cleverhands shop above and Di, myself and Jo having a well earned drink after the 2 day workshop
One of the students - Sue, offered to take us sightseeing today. We started at the river floodgates...the power of the water as the gates opened cannot be described......

 Above is before the Aratiatia Dam gates are opened and below within a few seconds

 The water spewing out is indescribable. Then we went on to Huka falls (pronounced "hooker" which is one of the many words we Australians have trouble with!!) This is some of the charm I found on our walk to the falls.....

And then  it started!!!!!!! WOW........

And No...we didn't venture onto the jet boat. We thought about it but were told the tummy does turn a little. More blogging tonight....beautiful quilts and my piece of Huka that I am taking home....stay tuned

Saturday, 18 February 2012


Thankyou all for your text messages, phone calls, emails and blog messages. We are so very lucky - the wonder of it all..............

I am so caught up in it all that I completely forgot one of the December angels....she was delivering me some replaced quilt sorry Dani X

Friday, 17 February 2012

Loss and New Life

Today has been one of extreme emotions. It started as a very sad day as we said farewell to Wal Taylor...another of the elite Pathfinder Force. Wal was an absolute gentleman and I had the privilege and honour of sharing many Pathfinder Force lunches with him and the other wonderful Pathfinders here at home. Wal has now joined my Dad and it is a reminder that we must keep their heroism and memories alive.

A few days ago Emily started to feel decidely uncomfortable and her blood pressure was continuing to rise - so yesterday she was admitted to hospital to REST.

Just before the funeral I received a message from Emily to say that there were plans in place for her later today! With mixed emotion and flowing tears I could not help but feel the sense of loss and new life at the same time. So tonight at 6.24pm we welcomed Beau Lawrence Benham. A month early but a healthy 6lbs 7ozs....
Dad and Mum tired and pensive

 The proudest Dad, Mum and Auntie Sophie
And a great honour for Pop...Larry whose real name is Lawrence. Thankyou Emily and Brett for our first wonderful grandchild! (and we got to experience this amazing event before we leave for New Zealand on Tuesday morning...thanks little Beau for coming early) XX

Friday, 10 February 2012

William Morris - of course!

There are 4 parts and it will take 30 minutes.....a good snapshot though

Quilts for charity

Well it has been a little too long since I posted....but I have really been VERY busy! New class designs and stitching lost samples have taken up most of my time and then Jason Yenter put me on the spot a couple of weeks ago for another new range of fabrics to be designed by the end of this month - phew! (It is hard saying No to such a nice guy like Jason and the boys at Lloyd Curzons as well!)

In between all of this I have just had four quilts valued by our Quilters' Guild of SA Valuation panel as shortly they are to be donated to various charities....yes I am giving them all away!! I have a pile that just live in the dark, so at least this way they will be enjoyed by some lucky people and with funds going to needy causes. All four quilts feature in both of my books, so stay tuned for details on how you could be a lucky owner! These are the four quilts......(some will be for sale on e-bay)

 Floral Fantasy
 Morning Glory
William Morris & Friends

On the home front:
It is only a week and a bit before we travel to New Zealand for classes and sadly this new grandbub will probably arrive within a week of us leaving! So very quickly I need to learn how to use facetime on my new little Apple mac!

Emily and Brett finally received the baby quilt and canvas applique blocks for the nursery....they were pretty chuffed I think!

 Friends came to visit and what a beast of a machine.....mmmmmm
 These English friends have a giggle at my obsession with PG tips teabags. There is nothing that can compare and I am grateful to my hairdresser's English apprentice who put us on to them. So to continue this English obsession this visiting friend bought me some more 'Must have English additions' as a housewarming gift......thankyou X
 My William Morris rose has a new home and it is loving it!
The other roses are doing well too.....

And why does everything come in a flat pack these days???!!! We did finally put it together with a lot of huffing and is my new drafting table for all these drawings I seem to be accumulating!

Before I finish I must share two more stories (guess this is what happens when you don't blog for a while!). Doris sent me photos of her Dresden plate blocks that she has pieced by precise and what an amazing way of using the new fabrics - I am sure this border print would look effective in kaleidoscope blocks as well.
From this ......
to this........

And finally - Waverley Patchworkers asked me some time ago if they could use one of my designs for their raffle quilt....and WOW - Linda Steele sent me the photo below. The colours are sensational and the quilting just amazing! Well done to you all and hope it raises lots of $$$$. The quilting was done by Desley of Addicted to Quilts where you can see some close-up images of the quilt.
Have a good week wherever you are X