Pixie Post

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Too Many Books

There are too many books in this house. I don't know what to do with them. I don't know how to whittle them down.
There are boy books, cute little kids books, vintage books I had when I was a kid and some of my brothers ones too, old university texts...plays and poetry and things which I have loved dearly in the past, trashy chick lit which I devour these days in a night or two, books I've bought to read on planes, and magazines...quilt magazines, interiors magazines that I try not to buy any more............and some (not many) treasured art/quilt/interiors books which are the easy ones to keep.

What am I going to do with them all? What do you do? Edit? Buy another bookshelf? Sell them? Chuck them out? Fill up the basement some more??

What do you do with all the books???

Oh I should explain, I'm trying to expose some walls so I can paint them. But they're covered with books that no-one looks at or particularly wants any more. What am I going to do with them?


The Bathroom

Ladies (and the increasingly rare gentlemen), I give you, 99% complete, the bathroom, chez Pixie.



I wanted a calm neutral space, and I was thinking of those beautiful Aussie hotel bathrooms that were a big part of my working life in the last 5 years. It feels big and bright and just right!

Oh, well, maybe only 90 percent complete. It needs a little more paint, you can see that on the apron of the bath and above the vanity the tiles are missing, and there's the small matter of some towel rails and some cupboard handles. But now there are vinyl tiles on the floor and I'm very pleased with them. They're temporary....for maybe a year or so, while my bedroom next door is completed and then the lovely timber floors can be polished.


We went for a little holiday, me and the boys, for a few nights, to Raumati, about an hour up the coast. There's nothing better than walking by the sea at sunset, with a couple of boys to chat with.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to Eddie

Edward is 12! He requested Marble Cake for his birthday cake, and cottage pie, (or shepherds pie) with loads of mashed potato on top for his birthday dinner. Then he took some of his birthday money and bought neopolitan icecream and rented Pixar's Wall-e to watch. Can't convince the boy to have a birthday party with actual friends coming to hang out. He's not interested.

The cake recipe is from Ladies a Plate. A wee gem of a baking book, full of the recipes my mum used to make in baking marathons, and more. They're the kinds of recipes that include the ingredients you have in the cupboard. Butter, sugar, flour, eggs, some spice, some coconut, some nuts or cocoa. No fancy specialist store shopping required. The book has little snippets of history, from old fund-raising recipe books, and they're all photographed beautifully on old china and embroidered linens. I bake a lot these days, so there are treats around that don't have loads of 'e' numbers. I think it's best that they understand how many cups of sugar and great loads of butter they're gobbling up when they demolish cake and icecream.
Hmm, Jane would love this one. Maybe I'll send her a link.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Look, there I go!

Great pictures by the Dominion Post
2.8 k in choppy conditions, under a sunny sky. Great fun. Let's not talk about my time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


The neighbours pear tree is looking good. I like pears, do you?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


  • listened (at 6am) to that Obama guy making speeches. He done good.
  • there was a powercut. no power to run lifts or open security doors at work. lots of loitering in the lobby going on this morning.
  • had inspirational meeting with medicos who would like to see less people doing crazy things that cause irreprable harm.
  • read a lot. a lot.
  • went for a lunchtime walk. Found some gorgeous $4 per metre fabric. I'm gonna give this jacket a whirl. I will not be beaten by this sewing to fit thing!
  • made bacon and tomato pasta for dinner - boys ate it. Success!
  • made roast vege salad for work lunches
  • made caramel square - to spoil boys. I've had my one piece. No more for me.
  • made bran/blueberry muffins for the good of my, ahem, system. Boys won't eat them. I'll freeze them, take them to work, one by one, for lunch.
  • the Handyman put on his new clothes, carried his Mum's casket, said some words for her in a church. He sent me a text when it was over. I won't see him for another month. sigh.
  • skipped swimming training. Big race on Saturday in Wellington. I have low expectations for a fast swim, but I'm going to have fun.
  • Kitty caught a rat. Big handsome rat. Thanks kitty.
  • Poneke said what I was thinking. PR overkill. Stop it now Air NZ.
  • Oh, and there was that Obama guy. Watched some coverage with the boys. Talked about how they'd remember this when they were old men. Talked about Michelle's dress too, and the momentary abscences of bullet proof glass.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sewing Lesson No. 1

I made a top today.
It's from a Burda World of Fashion Magazine. That's 7-2008 (108) to be precise. Burda says "This tunic falls comfortably over the hips thanks to its slight A-line shape. A curvy yoke and inverted centre front pleat add couture details".

Mine looks quite a lot like theirs, I was glad I found some similar fabric in a sale. Of course, I will look just like their model when I wear mine.
There are a whole lot more to see over at Pattern Review.

I like the curvy yoke. I thought I did a pretty good job of it, I only had to unpick it once. The whole thing went together really well, though I didn't follow Burda's instructions much.
It's a great top, it would be perfect for work over the next couple of months.
There's just one problem.

It's too small.

Friday, January 16, 2009

stripes or plaid

Stripes or plaid, that's the colour week theme of the day.

This is the china I grew up with. Tam 'O Shanter, by Roydon. I think there are very few pieces remaining at the oldies house. I should retrieve them. I like it. It has lovely curvey green tea cups.

These are the stripey floorboards in my bedroom. Beautiful. They've been covered in carpet for the life of the house. One day, hopefully this year, I'll get them polished.


I interrupt colour week to show you some new Vogue patterns. I ought to stitch me up a work wardrobe...they're "easy pieces" after all.

and how beautiful is this jacket?

Must sew. Must sew. Must stop dreaming and actually sew.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The piggy bank from the kitchen windowsill

The pink flamingo from the garden.
Everyone should have one.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I went to swimming training tonite. Swam laps, in lanes, between lane ropes....yellow. We did some work with flippers....yellow. The lights on the board are yellow. There are hundreds of stadium style spectator seats....yellow. The lifegaurd seats.....yellow. The camera was in the car, so I could take some yellow pictures on my way home.
Here they are!

No Parking

The supermarket. (The light's green Pixie, put the camera down!)

The bus depot is a great building. Almost all the buses these days are yellow. Can you read that one? "Go in drag to the sevens". Only in Wellington! That's the rugby sevens, a mad dress-up party day.

This is my tree, from my bedroom window. I love my yellow tree.

Ahh, and the Bay, looking south. Yellow is everywhere. I took all these pictures on my way home from the pool tonite. I'm a lucky Pixie!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Pixie: Is beetroot purple?
Jack: More kindof red.Pixie: What about blueberries? They're kindof purple aren't they?
Jack: Think about it. They're not called purple berries are they?

Pixie: I know! The amethyst, that's purple. And it comes in its own lovely purple box.
Jack: Riiiiiiigggggghhhhtttttt.

Please blame blogger for the lack of purple. It is purple. and the table, that's table coloured, not yellow, until it met blogger that is.

Purple was mad difficult around this house. There is no purple. Think I'll have to get some.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's colour week over at Curious Bird.
Todays colour is blue.

Here's some blue for you, another detail from my new quilt. I think it's called Wave.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Keeping busy

  • Swimming hard, in the pool and the sea. My goggles leaked today, so I spent an hour in the harbour with my eye bathed in sea water. It's still swollen. It will recover eventually I guess. Oh, that would be my new prescription goggles, the ones that cost a lot. Sigh. It was beautiful though, the water is warm. Well, comparatively. In a wetsuit that is. The lighthouse doesn't seem so far away these days. The Wellington ocean race is on the 24th.
  • The Handyman's mum is dying, he thinks. He is surrounded by, and grateful for, his grown up daughters and his ex-wife, but battling with his sister. It's hard to hear the sadness in his voice.
  • I've been quilt-making. Hmm...this is the right side of the quilt caught up on the back of another part of the quilt accidentally. I hate making those kind of avoidable mistakes. Doh!
Look at this! The walking foot exploded across the room. Luckily I found that screw and it all went back together again just fine. Lucky too that I wear glasses because a piece of the needle bounced off them. Dangerous sport, quilt making. It's a day for eyes, obviously.

What would we do without these gizmos? There have been about 2 million ends to pull through and tie off.....
But look...here's a sneak preview. This is my entry for the national quilt symposium 2009. It's finished now, and I think it's fantastic. It looks great on the fresh painted white wall in my hall.

Here's a detail shot. That colour is lavander in real life, not pink.

I'm sooooo pleased with it. I've had it in my head for a year or so, and now it is real. I discovered ages ago that if I make quilts like this to please myself, they generally find favour with someone else too, and I've been lucky to have many accepted for previous symposium exhibitions. I thought, for an hour or two, of putting it up for sale, but I decided I like it too much and I don't want to part with it. Entries close on Wednesday, and for once, I won't be sewing mine urgently the day before.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

....and merry christmas too!

It's been very quiet here, just me and the boys. Some other families to visit, but mostly just me at home doing things, and them not getting out of bed til the afternoon.
I've been tiling....or trying to, it isn't going well, tiles are much harder to cut than fabric. The bathroom is close to being finished. So much painting has been going on, but it's lovely. So fresh and clean and bright! There are handles to hang and towel rails and things.....and a couple of coats of paint on the scotia, but it will be finished next week. I'll show you then, promise!

I've been sewing, my entry for the Wellington Quilt Symposium. It's due on 14 January. It wasn't going well either, made two rejects, but I'm onto a good thing now....I'm in love with it, the top is 3/4 done. I'll show you that next week too.
and go and see Helen and cheer her on! Go H, we can do it, we can enter at least!

I'm going to Christchurch today for some quality time with the Handyman. I'm taking some tiles for him to cut. He sure knows the way to my heart!!

I'm looking forward to announcements from Wanda and from Kirsty (who has the best blog name!).

Then it's off the plane and back to work on the 5th. It's going to be a huge work year, and I'm excited!

2009 will see me still painting! The boys rooms first, and as soon as I can, my bedroom will be plastered so I can paint it. Then maybe the kitchen. Only I think I probably need a break from painting, so maybe it will just get a good spring clean.

I'm going to sew more clothes in 2009. Lots more clothes. becos I'd rather spend my money on paint of course! (yeah, right!)

I'm going to be swimming more, back to my dedicated 3-4 times a week, and I'm going to beat that 1 hour barrier for the 2.8k ocean swim. (Though the next race is 24 Jan, so I'm not sure how I'm going to fit that training in......might have to try early mornings or something!). I'm going to take my (heart) medication, religiously. Raising my glass each morning to a friend who has had a minor, but scary, bleed in her brain. (She's going to be fine). and I'm going to eat better. Toast is not dinner.

2009 will be the year of the garden. It's a large wilderness at the moment, and the summer growth is threatening to overwhelm me. It will be conquered this year. When I'm not painting that is........

What you got planned?