Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekend Walking: Around the Bays

So this weekends walk was something a little bit different to what I usually do - I took part in the 6.5km Around the Bays walk with my friend Nankz. It's an annual even in the city, you get to wear a number and every thing.

I usually only do the walk, some people run the 6.5km and some people chose to do a longer run (Rich did the 10km run).
Here's the scene as we tried to get close to the starting line - people everywhere! It was so packed.
 Almost through the starting "gate" - it took a while!
There's not much more to say about this walk, I've done it so many times before, but usually I only see one or two others walking once I get out of the city (not thousands).

Also any one spot the photo below with the guy dressed as a knight? Maybe I should go in costume next year - although a knight isn't really my first choice for a summers day. Rich told me someone was doing the 12km run dressed as a prawn!

Hope you guys all had a wonderful weekend xoxox

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Craftster Swap: Affirmation Swap - What I recieved

There was a time, many years back when I was more into general "crafting" and less into sewing and I used to take part in about a million swaps on Craftster.

Perhaps you've never heard of Craftster and the craft swaps they run before, but the premise is pretty simple - someone comes up with a theme for a swap (it could be almost anything you can imagine) and then people sign up to join in. The sign up period stops at a certain time, the organiser of the swap assigns partners and you have a period of time to craft some items and send out to your partner. It's a lot of fun and in the past I got a little addicted to these swaps - doing up to five at a time (the maximum you can do via craftster) which was WAY too much.

I decided I wanted to get back into swaps again this year, but take it easy and only really do one at a time - so in January I signed up for my first swap which was an "Affirmation Swap" - seemed like a good way to start the year. I can't share what I made yet as my partner hasn't recieved her package. But my package arrived yesterday in the mail - so I thought I'd share it with you guys.

Obviously the best part of taking part in swap is when you first open the box and see all the treasures inside.
The handmade item I received were these two really fun hoops with embroidery - "You Rule" and "You Rock". I think I need to start a wall for all the fun hoops I have made and received.
I also received these stickers - I really, really love stickers and these are kind of perfect for the "Top Five" journal I am trying to keep this year.
I also got a whole bunch of tea to try, I don't even remember telling my swap partner I love tea - but I do!I drank a lot of tea on my trip to the USA last year (obviously) but I didn't try this brand. I had a English Breakfast Tea after work yesterday and it was pretty good.
Finally, all of the other treats! My partner sent me some valentines treats as it was around valentines day she sent the package. The heart shape wand is filled with reeces pieces, I also got some junior mints and girl scout cookies.
So there you go - my first swap package of 2014! I really want to show you all what I made, because I'm pretty proud of it, but that will have to wait until it arrives in its new home. Have a lovely weekend xoxo

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kapiti Tram Museum

It's been a while since I've blogged, mostly because I got sick. What I thought was just a day or two of feeling bleh turned into a full blown virus of nastiness (I mean seriously, who gets a nasty virus in SUMMER!). I was sick at home, not doing anything apart from maybe watching the occasional movie for FIVE DAYS! I never, ever get sick for that long, I even took THREE whole days off work - I NEVER take that long off work and to be honest with you all - I'm still not 100% - I am ALMOST there, but I still feel exhausted at the end of the day. Being sick is pretty much the worst.

However, I did manage to escape my house for a while last weekend - Rich, Nankz and I went to the Kapiti Tram Museum. I know, its super geeky and I don't care.
I have wanted to go to this museum for pretty much as long as I've lived in Wellington - I've always loved Trams and I wish they were still part of our city. When we first arrive a Tram was due to leave so we jumped right on board for a ride.

The tram runs every half an hour, so we decided to get off at the "final" (or only) stop and check out the beach at Kapiti - you'd be silly not to really, its so beautiful!

After a bit of a walk, the tram was back and it was time to head back and check out the museum. I just have to say this though - the volunteers that drive the trams are amazing. I learnt so much about trams from them! The tram we rode was built in 1923 right here in Wellington - how cool is that? They are currently working on a much older tram which was originally constructed in 1904, they will run both the trams but the 1904 tram will be for special occasions. I also have to say the inside of the trams was so beautiful - look at all that wood.

When we arrived back at the "station" it was time to check out the museum - which is pretty small, but really well laid out and with really good information about the history of trams in Wellington (the trams went into retirement in the 1960s).

They had a tram on display that was used in Peter Jackson's King Kong (it was actually a tram from Brisbane that was altered to look like a New York Street Car) as well as an old cable car that had been put into retirement.

You were able to watch old footage of trams inside one of the trams (makes sense right) and they also had a video playing on loop which outlined the history of trams in Wellington.

They also had some old advertising at the museum - this was my favourite. If this was a print I'd frame it for the apartment.
So if you've got $10 burning a hole in your pocket and you're looking for something to do in Kapiti, you should totally check out the museum. I had a fun day out, unfortunately on Sunday I was totally exhausted (I guess my body still hasn't sorted out this virus) but it was totally worth it!

Here's hoping this will be the week I make a full recovery!

Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Monthly Stitch: Miss Bossy Patterns

One of my "things to do in 2014" was to undertake at least six monthly stitch challenges. I'm not sure if I've blogged much about it before, but the monthly stitch is a collective organised by three of my Wellington Sewing Blogger Network friends - Kat, Mel and Juliet. The collective is an ongoing sew-a-long with a new challenge each month and the challenge for March is Miss Bossy Patterns.
The theme does seem a little confusing to start with - but let me explain more! Miss Bossy Patterns is about making a pattern from your pattern stash which is brand new (to you at least, it can be vintage or second hand) but you have never made. Sounds easy right?

This is where the "Bossy" part comes in - you have to ask your blog readers to chose which pattern to make (by giving them a choice of three patterns). So have a look and let me know which you would like to see me stitch up during the month of March.

Pattern One - Sew Liberated - The Ashland Dress

I bought this pattern long ago, before I thought I had the skills to make this dress. It was kind of a pattern to "work towards". I am pretty confident I can now make it, but I just haven't "gotten around to it yet". 

I really love this dress - it looks really comfortable and I love the neckline and there are some great versions of this dress around the internet. I love this grey version worn with a shirt underneath (it changes the look of the dress altogether) and these two versions made by Meg McElwee who is the designer of Sew Liberated Patterns. I just think the styling of her patterns is so beautiful. I also would love to make the Brynna Dress, School House Tunic, Sunday Picnic Blouse and strangely enough the Bohemian Carpet Bag (I know - me wanting to make non clothing items!).

So if you'd like to see me sewing up my own version of the Ashland Dress (does anyone else say Aslan in their head? Like as in from Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe? No? Just me?) then just let me know in the comments below!

Pattern Two -Made by Rae - Washi Dress

I have seen about a million versions of the washi dress and ALL of them look amazing - look here, here and here for a few versions of the dress. The designer Rae (obviously that's her name, give the name of the pattern company!) has even created a washi expansion pack so you can add a bow, sleeves or peter pan collar to your dress. I know, loads of you are like "but I can make those alterations myself" yeah I could more than likely too if I tried, but I'd just rather have someone else do it for me and spend more time sewing and less time mucking about trying to draft pattern pieces.

I bought this pattern not only because I thought it was adorable, but also because the designer Rae seems like a really nice person (is that a weird reason - I mean if the pattern wasn't my thing I wouldn't buy it, but the fact she is nice makes me want to give her my money more). I've followed her blog Made by Rae FOREVER and I also love her Ruby Dress pattern - but I HATE sticking PDF patterns together, so I will wait until it becomes a printable pattern before buying it (hopefully it does become a printable pattern).

 If you'd like to see me sew up my own version of the washi dress pattern, just comment below and let me know. 

Pattern Three - Christine Haynes Patterns - Emery

So if you've been following this blog for a while, you will know that Christine Haynes is pretty much my sewing idol when it come to indie patterns. When I was first learning to sew, I learned about a million things from her book Simple and Chic Sewing and I recently made my squirrel print dress from Christine's Derby Dress pattern.

There are so many beautiful versions of the Emery dress out there, for just a few examples look here, here and here. I don't really have much more to say about this one except I love Christine's Patterns and this kind of pattern is basically why I wanted to sew. So why haven't I made it yet? I have no idea! But in my defense I haven't owned this pattern long, I only bought it at the start of this year (when I bought a pattern to buy Rich a shirt). So it hasn't been lying around unused for too long. 

If you'd like to see me make up my own version of the Emery - let me know in the comments below.

So that's all about my March sewing challenge, let me know what you want to see - an Ashland, Washi or a Emery. Hope you all had a great weekend (I've been sick ALL weekend - its the WORST - obviously I'm not resentful about it). 

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Waitangi Day Hike - Colonial Knob

As I mentioned previously, Rich and I decided to spend our day off on Waitangi Day hiking. We decided to hike up Colonial Knob and just so you know I totally didn't make that name up - here's the sign to prove it!
The first part of the hike was the hardest, we did a loop track so we hiked up from near Porirua Station and then ended up near Kenepuru Station. For the first part of the hike there were a lot of bridges and a LOT of stairs. So many stairs!

 I found this on one of the bridges on the climb up - I thought it was kind of cute.
 Coming out of the first part of a LONG and steep climb - blue skies!

We reached the top of the first major incline and then it was time to walk to the top of the knob - fortunately you walk along the ridge line for a while and the view is beautiful and the climb isn't too steep.
 Although it was SUPER windy - but that's nothing unusual for us!

 These photos were taken from the summit of the knob! We think - the signage was really bad, usually on walks like this there is a sign telling you that you have reached the summit. But nothing here, from the description in our book it made sense that this was the highest point!

 After a rest it was time to complete the rest of the loop track - taking in more views and hang out with a whole bunch of bees and butterflies along the way.

I hope you guys are all having a great weekend - I have managed to pick up a rather nasty cold (great) so I'm having a quiet one!