Luging

It was the boys’ turn to claim their Christmas adventure today, so Dad offered to drive us up to Queenstown.  Queenstown is *the* place to be for New Year’s, so the town was totally packed (yeah, probably should have thought of that before we picked today to go up there…), and we had to queue for about an hour just to get tickets for the gondola.  Then at the top, there was another queue for the chair-lift which takes you even further up the hill to the start of the luge track.  It was another stinking hot day, so I was very glad I’d remembered a hat and sunscreen for a change, with all that waiting round in the hot sun!

I’d bought us a family pass, which got all four of us up the gondola, plus five tickets for the luge (we could have bought a slightly more expensive pass with a lot more tickets, but when they told us at the ticket office that the queue at the top was about 30 minutes, it didn’t seem worth it, given that we’d probably only have time for a couple of goes).  Dad didn’t want to go on the luge himself, so I said I’d go on the luge with the boys for their first run, then they could use the remaining two tickets to try the faster track (they make you go on the slower track your first time down, to make sure you know how to control the carts) on their own.

I gave Dad my camera to hold while the boys and I were on the luge, so of course he took photos:


Chair-lift to the top (despite appearances, you don’t actually scrape your feet along the ground – the chairs are a very long way up, but the angle of the hill from where Dad was standing makes it look low)


Nephew #1 and I “racing” (about 30 seconds after this he passed me, and I didn’t catch up again until the bottom of the hill. Probably because I kept using the brakes round the corners…)


On the fast track (and desperately hoping Brother and SIL don’t see this and notice that he forgot to do up his helmet – I really was looking after them, honestly!)


I think they enjoyed their day 🙂


This is why you should never leave your camera with your parent: they take photos of you being silly!


Obligatory beauty shot of the view over Queenstown and Lake Wakitipu.


On the gondola back down again.

By the time they’d had their second go, it was well past lunchtime, so we decided to go back down the hill to Queenstown and try out the famous Ferg Burgers (supposedly the best burgers in NZ).  Of course, being famous means they’re also incredibly popular, so it was back to standing in a queue again – another 30 minutes just to get to the counter to order, and then, because they cook everything to order, 20 minutes while our burgers were prepared.  Nephew #2 got sick of waiting about half way down the queue, and opted to go round the corner to McDonalds, but Nephew #1 and I stuck it out, and the burgers were definitely worth the wait.  Even if it did mean we finally had our lunch at about 3 pm.

New Year’s Eve tonight, but I don’t think we’ll be doing anything special.  Anyway, after all those queues today (there was even a queue to get home: there’d been an accident just before Lake Hayes, and the queue of traffic was backed up nearly all the way to the airport turn-off, so we were crawling along for ages until we got past the accident spot), I think I’d rather just have an early night than go find another crowd to stand in!

Bread, peas, and sparkles

For Christmas, instead of giving Niece and Nephews more stuff, I decided to take the opportunity of being down here to give them something more intangible instead. So I made them each a certificate promising them a day doing whatever activity they wanted with me (as well as a little cash to go towards it if it was an activity that cost money). Niece’s choice was to have a shopping day (she’s 6, so still at the obsessed with pink and traditional gender roles stage, despite all my attempts to inculcate her with feminist ideas…), so yesterday we roped in Mum as a chauffeur, and headed off to what counts as really cool and exciting shops when you’re 6 and have an entire $20 note clutched in your hand: the $2 Shop, and the Warehouse (for the Americans, that’s kind of our equivalent to Walmart, but much smaller).

We spent (what felt like) many hours browsing all things pretty and sparkling in both shops (yeah, I’m not good at shopping, but I put on a brave face ;-)), with a few impromptu maths lessons on what “20% off” means, before Niece finally settled on a My Little Pony figure, and was very happy with her purchase. Then I used the excuse of wanting to go and visit a particular gift shop (well, it was partly true, because they sell really cool Christmas decorations, and I did end up buying a couple for next year’s tree) to get us out to Clyde, where there just happens to be a raspberry farm that does afternoon teas. So we had great big bowls of icecream and raspberries sitting under a tree in their garden, which I think is how all shopping expeditions should conclude 🙂

Niece reported herself very happy with her shopping day, so Christmas gift #1 successfully executed. The boys have opted for going on the luge in Queenstown, so I think we’re going to go up there tomorrow. It’s a tough life being a cool aunty… 🙂

On the way back from Clyde, we spotted a roadside stand selling fresh peas, so we stopped off and bought a bag for dinner, and I spent the remainder of the afternoon sitting on Mum’s porch shelling peas while Niece cooled off playing in the sprinklers. Obligatory envy-inducing photo (especially for those freezing in northern climes):

And just to add to the Instagram-esque food photos, I taught Mum to make foccacia, so we decided it was worthy of an artfully-posed photograph:

Tagged

As predicted, I spent most of yesterday mucking around in Mum’s craft room – she has so many fun toys to play with!  My plan originally was just to make a few little simple gift tags (because we’re having our Christmas tonight, with Brother and family, now that they’re back from Middlemarch, and I’d forgotten to label any of my gifts), but of course, being me, I got a bit over-ambitious, and the simple little gift tags turned into major productions.  I had fun though 🙂

I’ve blurred the names out in my photos, but you can still get the general idea (just ignore the fact they’re not at all matched to the wrapping paper…)


(With a family full of deer-hunters, I couldn’t resist the “Rudolph as venison” joke 🙂 )


(Not very Christmassy, but perfect for Niece, whose ideal fashion statement would be pink camo)

Butcher’s

Yesterday was another day packed with activities.  I went up to visit Dad in the morning, and he suggested we take a drive out to Butcher’s Dam, a scenic spot just down the road from Alexandra.  DOC have put in walking tracks around the Dam (which apparently was originally built as a reservoir to provide water for Alexandra), so we went for a wander, and of course I took lots of photos:


Viper’s Bugloss (otherwise known as “that @#$% blue spikey flower”), which grows wild around most of Central, and is much hated by anyone who’s had the misfortune to walk through a patch of it and get the tiny spines embedded in their skin. It’s quite pretty close up, though 🙂

It also, very rarely, comes in pink:

Afterwards, we went back to Alexandra so I could check out the Rotary booksale.  I resisted the temptation to load up on books for bookcrossing (they were a bit pricey for that, anyway), but I did get one or two (or five) I wanted to read, so counted it as a success.

Dad was supposed to playing in a golf match after lunch, but someone pulled out so it fell through.  He was still keen to have a practice round though, so I offered to caddy for him (well, push the trolley, anyway – although I have played golf a few times, and know quite a bit about it from watching Dad play, I definitely don’t know enough to select clubs or otherwise do proper caddying!), so we had a very pleasant walk around the golf course together.  We ended up only doing 13 holes, because by that time it was getting so hot as to be unpleasant, but that’s still quite a few kilometres, so between that and the walk round the Dam in the morning, I definitely felt like I got some good exercise yesterday!  (And got a bit of sunburn – I was for once sensible enough to wear a hat, but didn’t think about sunscreen until it was way too late…)

Today’s supposed to be even hotter, so staying inside might be in order, so as not to exacerbate yesterday’s sunburn.  I think I feel Mum’s craft room calling to me…

Gin, alpacas and flying lessons – so how was your Christmas?

I’m down in Alexandra for a few days visiting Mum, but we decided to postpone Christmas celebrations until Brother and family get back from SIL’s parents in Middlemarch.  So today was pretty much an ordinary day.  Except that we decided to go over to Lauder to visit my uncle, which rapidly turned it into a very un-ordinary day.

Lauder is a very small town (if you can call a couple of houses and a pub a town) a very long way from anywhere, and if you go even further into the middle of nowhere from there, you get to where Uncle lives in a tiny stone cottage in the middle of farmland at the end of a long dirt road.  It’s a very isolated but beautiful and peaceful spot, and suits him perfectly – living in a town would be way too conventional for him.

First order of business when we got out there was to admire his still, where he’s been distilling gin (it’s ok, distilling spirits is legal in NZ, as long as you don’t sell the product).  It’s a really interesting process – the still actually produces almost pure alcohol (90%!!!), which gets filtered and “polished”, then watered back down with distilled water until it’s at an alcohol level that won’t actually kill you, then finally flavours are added to turn it into gin.  The crazy thing is he isn’t actually much of a drinker himself, he just enjoys the science of distilling.  So most of his end product is given away to friends and family.  He experiments with other types of spirits as well (we tasted the frangelico and the cherry brandy, but I’m not really a drinker either, so a very small sip of each was enough for me).

Then we went out into the garden to visit the menagerie.  Last time I was out there he had a flock of chickens to keep him company, which have since been joined by a duck (it was two ducks, but unfortunately a feral cat killed one recently) and two alpacas:

After the alpacas had been fed a few apples, Uncle asked me if I’d like to try flying one of his model planes.  I expected a little toy plane, but it turned out to have a 2m wingspan!  We walked up the hill above his cottage, where he’d mown a landing strip in the neighbouring farm’s paddock, and after a *very* brief lesson on how the controls work, he sent the plane up to a reasonable altitude, then handed control over to me.  Not quite as dangerous as it sounds, because he had two remote control box things (technical term), which were connected by wireless so he could instantly turn off my controller and take over on his if anything went wrong.  Which it did many many times – it was a lot harder than it looked, so most of my attempts ended up with the plane either in a stall or nosediving towards the ground.  But eventually I did manage to achieve a few seconds of reasonably level flight, which I was quite proud of 🙂

I decided to leave the flying to the expert though, and swapped the controller for my camera to attempt to take photos as it flew overhead:

Not such a great photo of the plane, but I included this one because you can kind of see Uncle’s cottage, nestled down among those trees at the bottom of the hill (and just because it shows off the gorgeous landscape around his place):

I did get to spend a bit of time with Niece and Nephew #2 yesterday, before they left for Middlemarch (Nephew #1 was already down there, working on the farm).  They came up to Queenstown with Dad to meet me off the plane, so we got some icecreams, then stopped off in Cromwell to play on the flying fox at the playground.

Nephew even convinced me to have a go on the flying fox – I’m afraid my attempt wasn’t quite as elegant as Niece’s, but it did provide much entertainment, especially at the sight of me trying to figure out how to get off it again once I got to the bottom!

When we got to Alexandra, Niece and Nephew came with me to Mum’s place while they waited for Brother and SIL to finish packing. For some reason, we ended up playing a game of charades, which was quite challenging given that, being only 6, Niece’s reading and watching tastes don’t exactly overlap with Mum’s or mine, so thinking up clues that she’d recognise was pretty difficult (plus she was working entirely under her own set of rules…).  But we had a lot of fun anyway, and it kept the kids well entertained until it was time to go 🙂

So that was my Christmas Eve and Christmas – not exactly the traditional way to spend it, but definitely not boring!  Hope you’re all having/had an equally entertaining and enjoyable day.

No spoilers!

So. The new Star Wars movie came out last week.  The film I’ve been waiting for forever (I’d almost say since 1983, except back then I was waiting for Episode I.  And yeah, we all know what happened there.)  And I didn’t go and see it.  Not because I was scared it wouldn’t be good (though there was a bit of that), but because Mum had told me she’d bought tickets for me and brother and family to go and see it together after Christmas, so I wasn’t to go and see it myself.

Sorry Mum, I tried, but too many people have seen it now, so the spoiler risk was getting way too high for comfort.  So tonight I defied parental instruction and went to the movies.  And it was good.  A bit of fan service, but not so much as to be annoying, the surprises were big and reasonably surprising (I guessed one of them was coming about 10 minutes before it happened, but I didn’t think I could be right, so in a way it was still a surprise – SO glad I managed to avoid the spoilers on that one though!!!), and the overall feel was… not exactly right, but right enough.  It feels disloyal to George Lucas to say so (and I was one of those die-hard fans who really really tried to see the good in Episodes I-III), but I think handing it over to Disney was the best move he could have made.  This may not be the movie he would have made, but it’s definitely a Star Wars movie.

There’s not much more I can say without spoiling it (though there’s so much more I WANT to say!!! That scene!  Where the thing happens!  And then that other thing!  And that guy who does the thing! And that place! And, and, and!), but I know I definitely want to see it again – and then go back to being a 14-year-old again and spend the rest of the night dissecting every detail with my little brother 🙂

(P.S. Today’s Ctrl-Alt-Del comic sums it up pretty well)

(P.P.S. It is stinking hot. It got to 35 degrees today, and even now, after 10 pm, it’s still 23. To think only a few days ago it was hailing!)

Party party party

Down to the last few days of work before the Christmas break, and I’m seriously feeling in need of a holiday. What with boss still being away on parental leave, and several big deadlines falling in December, work hasn’t had the usual end-of-year wind-down this year – we’ve just been in full-on busy mode trying to get everything done. Oh well, only three more days until the university shuts down for Christmas, and then I get a couple of weeks off.

And at least there’s been plenty of distraction in the form of many many Christmas parties (one of the perils of working in a large organisation, especially when you’re connected with multiple departments), including two I hosted myself this weekend. First was the CEISMIC team party on Friday night (which grew a bit larger than expected, because we decided to invite a few students and volunteers who are working in our office over the summer – it was a bit of a squeeze fitting everyone into my little lounge, but luckily students are happy to sit on the floor :-)), then on Saturday night what was technically the Bookcrossing Christmas Party, although in reality it has evolved over the years into mostly just I invite a few friends round, whether bookcrossers or not (though I still also open the invitation up to bookcrossing meetup regulars).

Both parties went very well, despite nearly running out of cutlery on Friday night (note for next year: actually count up how many people have been invited before agreeing when someone says, “We really should invite X too”), and failing to provide vegetarian food for the Harvestbirds on Saturday (dinner was pot luck, and in a bid not to over-cater as I usually end up doing, I decided I’d only make nibbles and a dessert, and trust to luck for the mains – which worked to the extent that we ended up with the right *amount* of food, it was just that it was all meat-based. Oops – probably should have been a bit more organised and actually told people what to bring. Of course, they were very gracious about it though, and just filled up on the bread and dips).

Definitely the least stressful party organising I’ve done in ages – I’ve been so busy I didn’t have time to go over the top in preparation, so it was just a matter of making sure the house was clean and doing the minimum possible food preparation (ok, so I did make bread both days, but that’s easy – most of it is just sitting around waiting for the yeast to do its magic), then deciding that anything that wasn’t done obviously wasn’t important 🙂 Having the two parties back to back like that helped too, because most of the preparation I’d done for the first party carried over to the next night – all I needed to do was a quick vacuuming of crumbs from the lounge and whip up another batch of bread, and I was ready to go. I even managed to recycle some of the leftover food 🙂

Which meant that I had time on Saturday to go to the Art Gallery opening! The Christchurch Art Gallery has been closed since February 2011 – at first because they were using it as the Civil Defence headquarters while they were still doing search and rescue after the earthquakes, and then because they discovered damage to the building that needed to be brought back up to code before any other galleries or museums would lend them any exhibitions. So it’s been a long time since we’ve had an art gallery, but they finally re-opened to the public on Saturday morning. Harvestbird and I managed to get there in time to be in the queue to be first through the doors, and it was a very exciting moment. There were no speeches or anything, just lots of happy staff with huge smiles to finally be able to welcome visitors back into their gallery, and lots of happy people pleased to be back.

Like so many things in post-earthquake Christchurch, it’s hard to describe just how amazing it felt to go back into the Art Gallery after all this time. It’s like another little piece of normality being restored to our still-broken city, and oh so exciting. From the looks on the faces around us, everyone was feeling the same way. So many smiling faces (and the odd tear), so many people rushing up to an old favourite exclaiming, “Oh, I remember this one!” We spent so long just drinking in the first couple of rooms that we weren’t able to get around the whole gallery (the guides giving tours were having the same problem – we joined a tour, and about half way round the guide suddenly realised she’d been so enthusiastically telling us everything about everything that she was way behind schedule, so had to race us round the rest of the tour). I had to keep telling myself that this wasn’t my only chance to see the gallery, that I would be able to go back many times and see the rest – they’re not going to suddenly close it down again! I think we’re a little *too* used to impermanence in this city now…

After all that socialising, I had a nice quiet day yesterday, and managed to finish binding all my Christmas quilt projects:

I feel quite productive looking at the finished pile!

(lumpy) White (almost) Christmas

December weather is notoriously changeable in Christchurch, but it’s been outdoing itself this year – the temperature has been going from high 20s to just above freezing and back again in the space of a few days, and yesterday we had two huge storms, with thunder and hail and all sorts of drama.

The first storm was incredibly loud – there was a clap of thunder right over the house that was one of the loudest I’ve ever heard (and which terrified poor Parsnips, who dashed into the tiny space behind my desk and refused to come out for an hour), followed by huge hailstones (well, marble-sized, anyway), which were falling at an angle, so made the most incredible racket hitting the corrugated iron fence that runs along my driveway. With the size of them, I didn’t want to go out and take photos while they were falling, and they melted pretty fast, so I didn’t get any decent photos, but I did capture a small drift developing against the fence (ignore the unmown grass…)

The second storm, an hour or two later, wasn’t as impressive, but it still dumped quite a lot of hail (and re-terrorised poor Parsnips, who was just starting to cautiously emerge from her hiding spot).

The storms must have been moving pretty fast, too, because I got an email from Mum at about half past 10 saying they’d just had thunder and hail in Alexandra, and it hit Christchurch less than three hours later. It’s roughly 320 km as the crow flies from Alexandra to Christchurch, so assuming it was the same storm, that means the front must have been travelling at around 100 km/h. Pretty impressive!


Somewhere over the last couple of weeks I did get around to putting up my Christmas tree, but I forgot to take photos at the time. So, to rectify that:

We’ve put our Christmas “tree” up at work, too – or at least decorated our door. There’s photos on our blog.

On Friday evening, Lytteltonwitch and I went out to Shands Road to see the lights. The Press had been making a big deal of the lights, saying they were completely redesigned from last year, but it turned out there were only a few small changes here and there. I was glad I hadn’t bothered to take my camera this time, because the photos would have all looked the same as last year’s. It was still interesting though, because we went out a little earlier this year, so got there while it was still light enough to see the structures holding up the lights, so it was cool to see how it was all done (and had the bonus that it was still early enough to get a park quite near the lights – last year we had to walk for miles!). Plus it was worth the entry fee just to see Lytteltonwitch, who claims to love spiders, be scared out of her skin by a mechanical spider that jumped out at her from one of the displays (for some unknown reason they always have a Halloween-themed display in amongst the Christmas lights, even though it doesn’t open until December, well after Halloween), while I was completely unfazed by it – though her scream did make me jump! I don’t think we’ll bother going back again next year though.


Christmas-present spoilers again – all that bad weather at the weekend meant I made good progress through my production line of mini-quilts.

Finished binding these two:

And quilted the other stars (though didn’t quite finish putting the binding on):

I’m pretty pleased with how the quilting went on this one – I found a new Christmassy design to try, and, after a bit of practice, managed to get it flowing reasonably well. Here’s a close-up of the back so you can see the quilting a bit better:

While I was googling Christmassy FMQ designs, I was distracted by another project I spotted on this blog – some very clever trees made from half-square triangles. So of course I had to give it a go. And then make a second one, just to perfect the technique (and also because I still needed a couple of presents for work team members). They’re less fiddly to make than they look, so I managed to get them both sewn and quilted on Sunday, so I just need to finish off the binding, and they’ll be done too.

Resurrecting a lost art (that probably should have stayed lost)

At Toastmasters last night, the Table Topics (impromptu speaking segment) were themed around awful and awkward Christmas gifts, and the difficulty of pretending to be grateful for them.  Much hilarity ensued, with the result that it was decided that at our end of year Christmas party next week, our Secret Santa game (where everyone brings a wrapped gift, which all go in a pile so nobody knows who gave what, then everyone either picks a present to unwrap or “steals” a present from somebody who’s already opened theirs) should be similarly themed – that everyone should bring along a dreadful or embarrassing gift. But under $5.

I was brainstorming ideas with my colleagues at lunch today, and we agreed that the most awful present anyone could give you would be a tin of foot odour powder.  I thought that was possibly a little *too* awful (and probably over the $5 limit), but it reminded me of Christmas parties in the tiny town we lived in when I was a very small child, where Father Christmas would be in attendance and hand each child a small gift, probably donated by the CWI ladies (Country Women’s Institute, who were *huge* in that town).  For some reason, one of the most popular* gifts was a bar of soap wrapped in a face cloth, artistically folded into the shape of a swan or some other whimsical creature.

*Popular only in terms of the number given out – its popularity among the kids who received one was probably somewhat different. I can’t actually remember if I ever received one myself, but I can imagine the disappointment if you thought you were getting a toy from Santa, and ended up with soap!

Anyway, inspired by this vague memory, I decided to have a go at recreating this not exactly terrible, but still so terribly disappointing, present.  So I stopped off at the supermarket to acquire a cheap face cloth and even cheaper bar of soap, found some googly eyes in my craft stash, and set to work on my artistic masterpiece.  I was hampered somewhat by the fact that I couldn’t really remember much about what they looked like, or how they were constructed, so my swan turned out looking more like a deformed Loch Ness monster crossed with a peacock:

But I reckon I totally nailed the whole “a present you’d struggle to be grateful for” thing!

Production line

(Warning to family-type people who read this blog: there are Christmas-present spoilers below.  If you don’t want the surprise ruined, stop reading now.  Alternatively, if anything really catches your eye, let me know and I’ll make sure that one’s your present 🙂 )

January and the start of my masters is looming large, so I’m trying to fit as much as I can into the rest of this year, before I have to be head down over the books again.  Of course, my list of things to do (urgent) is much longer than the time remaining, but I’m making pretty good progress.  Last weekend I decided Saturday needed to be a “buy all the things” day, so I planned out an over-ambitious route to various corners of the city to tick off some of the retail-based to dos on my list. And ended up walking most of it.

That wasn’t the original plan – I was going to walk as far as Hands, then catch a bus from there into town, walk from there over to a place on Fitzgerald Ave, then catch a bus to Riccarton, and finally bus home.  But I spent too long in Hands (a common problem), so just missed the bus into town.  And it turns out they’ve changed the timetable so that bus only runs once an hour at weekends now.  So I decided I might as well walk into town (probably a stupid decision, given how hot a day it was, but the alternative was sitting at the bus stop for an hour (or going back to Hands… but that could have got expensive!)).  And from there I still had to walk over to Fitzgerald Ave of course (which is only a few blocks more, but walking through the dusty wasteland of the central city it feels much longer), and then I discovered the shop didn’t have what I wanted anyway, so I had to go to another place on Memorial Ave (another several blocks across the wasteland in the other direction), then back to the bus exchange – I’d love to have had one of those step trackers on to find out just how far I walked in total  (Actually, I just looked on Google maps – it adds up to a bit over 11 km!!!  No wonder I was feeling tired!)

I didn’t quite get all the shopping done I’d planned (clothes shopping got struck off the list due to feeling too hot and dusty to try anything on… or possibly just because clothes shopping is my least favourite variety of shopping, so it’s easy to find an excuse to put it off – I’m sure the clothes I bought years ago will do me for another season, won’t they?), but I did manage all the important stuff at least.

Which left Sunday free to spend working my way through the pile of sewing projects I’ve got on the go (most of which will end up as Christmas presents, so look away now, Mum (yeah, I know you won’t…)).  I had quite a quilting production line going: I managed to get most of the patchwork bits done, quilted all but one of them, and even did the binding on one (the rest might be sitting in front of the TV in the evening jobs).

My “failed” first attempt at a star. Now that it’s all quilted and bound, I’m much happier with it – the wonkiness and missing points are much less noticeable (though I still know they’re there). I was really pleased with my free-motion quilting – I felt like I was finally getting a feel for the right speed to use, so it flowed quite nicely, and the tangled Christmas lights effect I was going for came out really well.

I did the same FMQ design on my better stars – a wee bit trickier on this bigger size, but I think it looks really good. The centre star looks like it’s missing a set of points, but that’s just because the fabric is a bit too similar in shade to the background, so it got a bit lost when I quilted it. I actually quite like the effect though. Obviously, this one is still in the “needs binding” pile.

Another one that needs binding. This is the reject bird that I’d planned to put on the back of my ‘Birds in Flight’ quilt (which is also in the to do pile, but will probably sit there quite a bit longer – it’s so huge that I’m totally intimidated by the idea of quilting it. I probably should just give in and pay someone to do it), but that I got the colour progression back to front on. It was sitting there looking sad and unloved, so I decided to turn it into something. I’m really pleased with how the FMQ came out on this – I wanted it to have the feel of air currents swirling around the flying bird, and I think I achieved that. I probably should have done something different on the bird itself, and just had the currents around it, but it’s such an intricate shape that sounded to complicated, so I just went with the all-over swirliness. Let’s just pretend that it’s a depiction of air as a three-dimensional space, so some of the air is between us and the bird… yeah, that works 🙂

And more stars. I’m not obsessed with this pattern, honestly, it’s just that I keep getting it almost but not quite right, so I have to have another go to see if I can do it better. I haven’t got as far as quilting this one, but it’s basted (that’s what all the safety pins are for), so all ready to go as soon as I decide whether to go for the tangled lights design again or to try something different.

The other projects I wanted to get done before the end of the year are all still in the rough-sketch-in-a-notebook stage (or the even earlier vague-idea-in-the-back-of-my-mind stage), so whether I get them done is pretty doubtful. So many ideas, so little time…