Monthly Archives: January 2014

Grow your Blog 2014


Welcome to my little corner of the web. thank you for taking the time to visit from the Grow your Blog event hosted by 2 bags full blog

I am Rach, a mid 40’s New Zealander, freshly back in my home country after most of my adult life living in London, UK.

this blog charts my journey to put down roots and find a way of life that suits my values and beliefs in life. this is tending more towards a simpler way of life, more like that of our grandmothers and great grandmothers. my ultimate goal would be to live completely off grid, being as self reliant as possible. for now, that is just a dream i work towards every day – learning to make things, grow food, cook from scratch, be less reliant of electricity and mass produced items.

Some of the things i post about currently are –

my home town of Christchurch New Zealand, and its recovery from a major earthquake 3 years ago.



my love of cats and my secret desire to be a crazy cat lady one day. this fellow below adopted our family, a victim of the quakes we think, in so far as we believe his owners up and left. he’s incredibly lovable!.


my crafting pursuits. i made this blanket over about a 6 month period a year ago. i’m about to start a new crochet blanket. i also cross stitch and am doing a monthly Project Life spread starting this year.



I love history, statues, travelling, reading. bits of these things crop up from time to time on the blog. Below is the architect of the Royal Courts of Justice, in London.


and i love vintage. i always have a nosey in the charity shops when i can, as well as ebay (the NZ version is trade me ), and garage sales here in NZ. my greatest score –  a wonderful sideboard the owner believed no one would want so listed it on freecycle in London. i did, and i brought it back to NZ!.


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when i have contributions, i participate in a few blog link ups –

Slow Living Essentials

Op Shop Show Off

prior to this blog i had one over at blogger, which was giving me grief, so i started this one. however i have kept that one as it has all my blogs i like to follow. i love to spend a rainy weekend or evening blog hopping round the net, finding new blogs that share the same interests as me. if you’re interested in seeing some of the blogs i follow, pop over to my old blog and scroll down – i think i’ve got about 50 on the list at the moment!.

so, thats me!. i hope some of you might visit again and watch the crafting and home making unfold as i resettle in the city of my birth.


**thank you for any comments you wish to leave. i am out of the country, but hope to be able to monitor comments and reply as needed.



signing out for 2.5wks!


i’m off to the sun of the Gold Coast of Australia, to see my niece start school – woohoo – sun, warmth, swimming pool and niece!. cant wait.

so before i go an update on the neighbourhood, since i’m taking it with me. i’m making steady progress on the top row. i’m hoping to get this right hand portion, and the house in the middle completed in OZ.


i also experimented with a hexagon pattern in a solid colour with a view to doing this for my up coming blanket. not sure what i think yet. when i get back i’ll do a couple more and then make the final decision.



i have one post scheduled to go out on the 25th as part of a blog event i’ve signed up for. not tried scheduling posts before so it should be fun seeing if it all goes smoothly!.

i wont be posting over the next few weeks, but will check on comments and respond as required.

have fun in whatever you’re up to!.

tongue in cheek post!!.


down here in New Zealand, miles away from anywhere else, we have some strange confusions in the animal kingdom…….

last night i photographed the resident ginger furbaby hatching some dirt in a plant pot =

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this morning when i looked out the window, this is what i saw……..


furbaby hatched a black kitty, lol!!.

now, in all seriousness!, the black kitty is a neighbourhood cat who likes to visit for a few biscuits. hes very timid, and our cat tolerates him nicely – theres no rude words between them, and this morning there was a rubbing of noses. probably cos Sid (our cat) was unimpressed black kitty was in his plant pot!.

please forgive my attempts at humour!.



with no plans for the day, i decided to complete the first of the 12 Xmas ornaments i plan to stitch this year. i choose some backing fabric from the small pile i brought back from the UK and hand stitched the front and back together. i have a few IKEA cushions which i use the stuffing for these types of projects – far cheaper than a bag of filling fibres!. then i added a ribbon and buttons to finish off the piece. i’m pretty happy with ornament one. hopefully by ornament 12, things might be a little fancier!.

again, this is the Little House Needleworks Xmas freebie, found on their blog, rather than their website.

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my parents are addicted to cheese scones, so i tried a new recipe on them today. this is from Brett McGregor’s first cookbook, and they were very well received, and preferred over the other recipe i had been using. my father has requested a batch be made on Wednesday and put in the freezer for him to enjoy while mum and i are in Australia!.


anyone making anything fun or exciting this weekend?

down on the farm!


today i popped an hour inland to one of my longest friends new home and farm. She and her family have 12 acres with a fabulous view of the Southern Alps that form the backbone of the South Island of NZ.

it was interesting for me to visualise 12 acres since my dream is to have a wee farm somewhere. here are a few snaps from the day.

the view – its going to me majestic when they are covered in snow.


her one year old pet Kuni Kuni pig called Phoebe!. she thought my shoe and foot might make a good feed and tried for a nibble!.


a good kiwi farm with resident pet sheep!.


my friend and her family are horsey people, having 8 in total. i could have spent ages photographing them, they are such splendid animals.

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and there you have it – a wee trip to the farm!.

there’s cricket on, it must be stitching time!.


yesterday i managed to finish all the stitching on the 7 pines LHN freebie, so all that’s left now is to back it and make it into a little hanging ornament. i probably won’t do this til after my upcoming trip to OZ.


today i’m doing my best to cheer on the English cricket team, and cos i’m a female, i’m multitasking!. i picked up the neighbourhood and begun working on the top third. inspector furbaby had to check progress as well!.


i stitched a chook!.



on the crochet front. i have an idea for the blanket in my head, but i need to research more on Pinterest so see my idea in the flesh so to speak!. i know i have pinned a version of what i’m thinking, so will go look and make a decision, so i can think about making a start.

in other news, i had a walk round the central city on friday, and took a few photos. i’m unsure about posting them/doing a post. not sure if people are interested or curious about the devastation the feb 2011 earthquake cause.

gearing up for a crafty year!


i’m beginning to get into gear with this years crafty plans.

yesterday i took mum to Lincraft, a large Aussie (i think) craft store with bits and bobs for most crafty pastimes. i was kinda hoping they might have some PL stuff given its popularity nowadays, and just when i was about to give up i found a stand. i was after page protectors, and managed to get what i wanted. i just got one pack of 12 for now – which should be plenty given i am only aiming for a monthly spread. they were a lot cheaper than the recognised brands and seem ok to me. i havent had to cut any cards to fit. i didnt get an album as i have an empty AC album in my boxes which i hope these page protectors fit – another reason i only got one pack!. i’m recording things each day in the diary, indicating if i took a photo to go with it. i’ve set up a folder for PL photos on my laptop, and so far i’m sticking to the plan. when i take photos off the camera, i process the ones for the blog, and shift the ones for PL.

so here is the title page now in its page and tucked back in the packaging for safe keeping.


across the way from Lincraft was a yarn store, so i also popped in there and spied these 5 colours side by side and it hit me straight away that these colours should be for my next crochet blanket. so i brought 2 of each colour other than white, which i got 3 of as i plan on having white as the outer edge or joining colour so will need more. i checked with the sales assistant and its a brand they always have so i can stock up easily when i need to once the blanket progresses. i think i have finalised the pattern, and because i’m only using those 5 colours, it will be a square or hexagon rather than a stripe or wave. i’ll do that next time!!.


i have also begun the stitching on the first months xmas ornament. i’m planing on stitching one ornament a month so i can one day have a dedicated xstitch tree.

this is a freebie from Diane of Little House Needleworks. i only have a few snowflakes and flurries to do and its finished.  then it will need to be made up into an ornament to hang from a tree. its such a cutie.



i havent done any stitching on the neighbourhood so far this year, but hopefully i’ll get back into it at the weekend. i’m heading to Australia for 2  1/2wks and will be taking it with me so i’m hoping i can get a good chunk done there between dips in the pool!!.

so, there you have it – the plans for the year on the craft front. wonder how long i’ll keep it going!!.