The prize

Woo hooooo it arrived! Karen has got her mystery prize from my giveaway so I can show it off now.

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It’s this b.e.a.utiful keyring!

The fish hook in traditional Maori culture represents strength, good luck, and safety when travelling across water.

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Look at that paua shell detail

I picked it up as soon as I saw it, I just knew it was meant for the giveaway prize. I like giving useful things so they don’t just end up sitting on a shelf gathering dust – and useful as well as gorgeous is an added bonus!

So congratulations again to Karen, I hope you get many years of use out of it 🙂

Hannah

xXx

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Giveaway winner

I honestly didn’t forget that I was supposed to announce the winner of my giveaway at the end of February. Honest. But I did forget that the 28th was the day before I travelled back home and that packing is really quite stressful.

Then everything was a mad whirlwind that is only just starting to settle down now. One thing I can say for jetlag – I’ve never got to sleep so quickly in my life, it’s magic!

I’ve decided I’m still not going to reveal what the prize is (I just love surprising people too much!) until the winner receives it, but I will give you a hint. It’s something useful as well as beautiful, and it contains a bit of paua shell.

Paua shell
Aren’t they gorgeous

 

So I’ve totted up everyone who liked and commented on the post and there are 13 entrants, my favourite number 😀 I plugged them in to random.org and let it do its random thing.

And now, the moment you’ve all probably forgotten about because it’s taken me so long to sort my life out: the giveaway winner is…

 

 

 

Karen of Nothing But Knit!

 

Congratulations!! Drop me a message with your address and I’ll get your prize sent out to you this weekend 🙂

 

Sorry to everyone who didn’t win, but there will be more giveaways in the future so there will be more chances for sure.

Thanks for playing!

Hannah

xXx

New Zealand round-up

I’ve tried not to be too quiet over the last couple of weeks, but I was rather busy being on my travels! This is going to be a loooong post with very little crafting involved, so feel free to skim read/just look at the pictures/come back tomorrow when I get back to crochet.

Here we go!

Before I even got to New Zealand, I had a 10-hour stopover in Sydney. Luckily, you need a visa to be in the country more than 8 hours so I was allowed to leave the airport and got to spend a lot of that time outside.

Having come from snow and single digit temperatures in Scotland, I actually enjoyed the feeling of heat hitting me like a toasty wall. My plan had been to find a café not far from the airport and go there for some coffee and food, but it was just too gorgeous to be inside so I found a pretty bench by the river, slapped on some sun cream and sat in the sun.

Then it was off to Christchurch. I landed just before a tropical storm, and kiwis don’t seem to have the Scottish attitude to rain (if you only go out when the rain stops, you’ll never go out) so my first couple of days were spent getting over the travel, catching up with my Aunty, and getting to know the fiancé and his children.

When the skies cleared I went out for a run

We went for a drive to Akaroa, a harbour town across the mountains. I took over 100 photos of the scenery along the way.

Akaroa is gorgeous, as well as boasting not one, but two fudge shops, and a yarn shop!

On the way home we called at Birdling’s Flat, where a shelf at the end of the beach makes the sea boom like thunder as it throws up enormous waves. It’s amazing, but it does remind me why I’m terrified of the sea.

Next day we had lunch at the Botanic Gardens

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and I went for a wander around the city centre. There is art everywhere in the centre, from graffiti-style paintings

 

To serious monuments

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To funny little pieces of indeterminate use

It’s a square sheep. Of course…

 

I saw the Cardboard Cathedral, the ‘spire’, and New Regent Street, before making my way home for a girls night in.

Saturday was the big day, the whole reason I was in New Zealand; my Aunty’s wedding. It was a lovely sunny day with a breeze so it never got too hot, everyone looked beautiful, and it was just the most lovely, relaxed, enjoyable wedding I’ve ever been to.

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This is my favourite photo of the whole day

 

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And this is my second favourite 😉

 

 

Of course I cried all the way through the ceremony, I am so like my mother. But I learned the trick long ago of not putting any make up under my eyes so I managed to avoid the panda look.

The next day a few people came over for a barbecue and we sat in the sunshine chatting for hours and hours.

Then late afternoon we went for a wee trip to New Brighton.

It was a bit windy.

Then we had a quieter day at home to recover, which Whisky the dog enjoyed very much. Fun story – I went to visit my Aunty 4 years ago and Whisky decided I belonged to him; he followed me everywhere I went, and jumped up and barked at anyone who tried to touch me (a bit of an issue when you like hugs as much as I do). I thought 4 years was a long time for a dog and he would probably have forgotten me, but I was so wrong! I had two shadows the whole time I was there.

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My second shadow

 

That’s the best picture I could get, because he was never far away enough to photograph him properly!

The next day was a bit of an experience. I never do very well on buses, and at 30 years old I really should know better by now, but in a moment of madness I tried to get a bus to the art gallery. It didn’t take the route I was expecting at all, but instead of getting off when it turned into an area I didn’t recognise, I sat there hoping it would turn back and start heading where I wanted to go. You can guess how that turned out. When I finally gave up and got off, it took me around 45 minutes to walk to the gallery.

It was worth the walk though, I do love me some art and I even got to join in with a piece!

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Plus they had an excellent café.

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Then (deep breath) I had to get the bus home again. Long story short; I took a wrong turning, ended up walking for over an hour through streets I’d never seen before, and I actually cried when I finally saw the bus stop I needed.

When I finally made it home and collapsed into a chair, Fitbit told me I’d walked 7.3 miles and taken over 17,000 steps. I slept well that night.

My last day in Christchurch came around far too fast. For my last trip, my Aunty took me to Halswell Quarry Park for a last bit of Hobbiton lookalike scenery and sunshine. We did the gentle walk so my poor knackered legs didn’t fall off.

And finished it all off with an amazing iced coffee and a slice of cake.

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Now I’m back and I have to say it’s surprising how quickly you can get used to the heat. We’re dealing with the tail end of the Beast from the East in Scotland and I just cannot get warm, despite being pretty hardy before I left! It is good to be home though. Much as I love NZ, this is where I belong. Three feet of snow and all.

Hannah

xXx

18 for 2018 February review

So I meant to post this before I headed back from NZ, but I was just so busy having fun that it didn’t happen! Then came 40+ hours of travelling. Let’s not talk about that. So now I’m back on UK soil let’s have a look at my 18 for 2018 goals

 

1 New blog followed per week – 4/4 (yearly total 9/9)

Done, done, done! Mainly crochet, but I’ve also found some amazing Zentangle blogs.

 

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month – 2/2 (4/4)

Still going with Tunisian crochet! This time I learned the purl stitch and how to Tunisian in the round, finally making use of that double-ended hook!

 

3 Instagram posts per week – 12/12 (26/26)

I’m actually surprised I managed to meet this one, considering I posted very little when I was in NZ.  But meet it I did so onwards and upwards!

 

4 Exercise sessions per week – 16/16 (32/34)

It seemed rather optimistic packing my running gear, but I actually went for a run while I was away! There was also LOTS of walking so I’ve had a pretty active month 🙂

 

5 Blog posts written per week – 20/20 (39/40)

A confession for this one: for the first couple of weeks of February I only wrote two or three posts. The other 14-15 were zentangle posts that I wrote during my looooong stopovers in Sydney/Melbourne airport.  So I met my goal, but it didn’t really help with building a habit.

 

6 Patterns written up – 0.5/6 (0.5/6)

I was hoping to work on this during a stopover, but sadly it didn’t happen.

 

7 Rooms in my flat sorted – 0.5/7 (0.5/7)

Still plugging away at my box room, and I also had a sort out of my books and DVDs.

 

8 Minutes of writing per day

Getting better at tracking this one, but still not perfect.

 

9 pm bed time – 7/28 (31/59)

Yeah, not even a little bit. For 6 days of this month I was so busy crossing time zones I had no idea when 9pm even was. Then for half the month I was staying with a family friend and they do not sleep early. So no.

 

10% of wages saved – 0/10

Well.

After having paid quite a bit of money to get to NZ, the clutch died on my car. Then the following week my MOT was due, and you bet that hunk of junk didn’t pass first time.  And then I was on holiday, where you have to spend money to get places and do things.

So my saving for February is a big nada.

But, this has helped me realise how privileged I am. I know there are many, many people in the world who can’t even afford tickets to New Zealand, and here I was able to buy the tickets, fix and MOT my car, and still have some spending money left over. Even though I’m not ‘rich’ by Western standards, I know I’m one of the very lucky few in this world who hardly ever have to worry about being able to afford the basic necessities.  I need to remember and appreciate that more often.

 

11 Items listed in my shop – 0/11

Nah.

 

12 Hand-written letters – 3/12

I managed to get one written before I left for hols, and I sent a couple from my travels!

 

13 New recipes tried – 3/13

Things have been tight money-wise this month, so I haven’t been able to go and buy specific ingredients for new recipes. Hopefully next month will be a lot less expensive and I’ll be able to shop for what I want instead of whatever the supermarket has reduced.

 

14 Meet ups with friends – 3/14

I’ve been out for drinks with a friend, and oh yeah I flew to New Zealand for a wedding!

 

15 Birthdays on time – 4/15

My brother’s card arrived bang on his birthday, I’m so proud!

This is usually the point in the year when I give up on being on time for people’s birthdays because I’ve already missed so many (a lot of my loved ones were Winter babies!), but this year I’m feeling good and I’m determined to keep up with this.

 

16 Christmas cards made – 0/16

Still none so far.

 

17 Birthday cards made – 2/17

The only birthday this month was my brother’s, which I bought a card for, so nothing new to add on this one.

 

18 Items decluttered – 1/18

It hurt me to do it, but I’ve thrown away my old pair of converse trainers. There were holes in the soles, frayed ends on the laces, and my right little toe poked out of the side where the canvas had worn away.  I should have binned them a long time ago, but I do so love my converse.

Next up will be taking out the books and DVDs I no longer want.

 

Lesson learned this month: international travel can interrupt the best-planned goals, but that’s totally okay.  Also, always have a stash of money ready for when the car goes wrong. Again.

I need to pull my finger out and get on track with more of these in March. Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 28.02.18

Current WIP count: 6

I’m going to apologise right now for today’s WIP photo, it is actually awful, but I will try to make up for it with some gorgeous NZ photos as well!

I’ve been chugging away with my chevron blanket, getting a few rows in on the bus and over a cup of tea. Now the pattern is becoming more obvious

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I really should get some of those ends sorted, shouldn’t I?

Now, to New Zealand! Yesterday I went to the art gallery in the city.

And in the art gallery, I found a crochet piece.

It’s the moon, made from crocheted ‘craters’ made by members of the public!! And it’s an ongoing project, so they had hooks and yarn sitting there for anyone who fancied making their own!

Of course I couldn’t resist.

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My crochet crater

I handed it in, and at some point my crater will be added to the piece. I can’t believe I’m going to be part of a work of art!

Then I went sightseeing:

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I begin my flight home obscenely early on Thursday morning, and I’ll do a full NZ debrief when I get back. Be prepared for an overload of utterly gorgeous photos.

So that’s been my crochet week, how’s everyone else doing? Got some WIPs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Giveaway time!

Today is my one year blogiversary, yaaaay! Gosh that went quickly. I’ve loved every post, every comment I’ve received, and every friend I’ve made so far. Here’s to many more years, posts, and especially friends.

I’m going to do a giveaway to celebrate, and I bet you want to know what the prize is, don’t you?

Well… I actually don’t know yet!  I’m about to go on my travels to New Zealand, and while I’m there I’ll be keeping my eyes open for something lovely to get as a prize.  Remembering all the beautiful things I saw last time, I think I’ll struggle to decide on just one thing!

So if you want to enter my Mystery Blogiversary Giveaway, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Live on the Earth (yep, anywhere as long as you have a postal address)
  2. Like this post
  3. Leave a comment telling me where in the world you would visit, if money were no object
  4. Do steps 1-3 by February 27th

That’s two weeks for you guys to enter and for me to find something I know you’ll love. Everyone who enters will be assigned a number, then on the 28th I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner and announce them right here.

Eeeeh I’m excited already.

Thank you everyone for welcoming me into the crafty blogging family, and good luck to you!

Hannah

xXx