My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Prairie Points

Prairie points I doth love thee - I can't spell thee, but I still doth love thee.  You solve a plethora (such a cool word) of problems and you look just so darn cute.

Give it up for the prairie point, ladies and gents!  

Tweet top is finished, the back is almost finished and then it's basting, quilting and binding - let's call it halfway done.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spring on it's way.  The sheep are telling me.  They've had their lambs and they are shedding in a most dramatic and very unglamorous way.

Ratty looking aren't they?  That's one of our two ewes and her twin lambs.  We got Wiltshire sheep specifically so that we didn't have to shear them.  I don't spin or knit (maybe one day) and shearing just sounded like too much work for a couple of sheep.

They won't win any beauty contests but the lambs sure taste great with a bit of mint sauce.

I see willow buds!  And I'm trying to ignore it, but the damn gorse is flowering too.  A sure sign of warmer weather.

The ram is standing under one of their favourite rubbing trees.  Check out the snow drifts underneath and adorning the branches.

We had the most impressive thunderstorm last night.  It woke us all up at 2.30 am and I lay there knowing why ancient people believed in stories of Gods partying in the sky.  I can't remember last time I heard thunder that actually shook the house!  And it's raining again today - I think I'll stay inside and hang out in my warm and dry studio.  Happy Sunday to you.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


I'm not very well, and haven't been for a few days now.  The eyes have almost healed, still have a lump on my forehead - that's almost gone too, but what's bothering me is a nasty cold.  The kids and Hubby had it a week or two ago and I thought I escaped...ha!

So I'm hanging out at home and working on a couple of quilts that have deadlines.  The blue log cabin, and hopefully I'll be able to show you the completed top very soon and this bird one.  I'm showing just a couple of sneak peeks as it's kind of a commission and I don't want to spoil the surprise by too many WIP (work in progress) shots.

Hubby is slowly working on me with the house.  It's a complete dump and needs so much work, but in reality that's the best way to buy a house - it's much cheaper to put in your own elbow grease!  He's also talking me round by designing a second floor studio...oh the water views I'd have...yup, he's a pretty good sweet talker.  I'll keep you posted, but right now I think it's time for another lemon honey drink.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fabric dyeing a colour transition and big news

These are what I've been doing in my spare time recently - my play time!  I've been wanting to try this for a while and even just doing two has taught me lots.

These were all fat quarterish sized squares of plain white fabric.  I soaked them in a soda ash solution then wrung them out and crammed them into small plastic pottles and poured just enough dye over them to be able to squeeze it through.  It's called low-water immersion dyeing and gives quite a mottled effect.

I thought I'd show you a page from my dye workbook.  It's where I keep notes of all my techniques and recipes and samples so if I want to replicate something again, I have a record of how I went about it.  I think it's really pretty looking!  However the purple and green remind me a little of my eyes....

Oh yes, the bump got better but the eyes got worse.  Kinda scary looking!  (No laughing, Cat!)  I had to go to work today and lots of explaining had to be done!  I told one friend my botox went wrong ;)

Now, on to my impending changes that I hinted at.  Two major happenings - I am applying to study Art next year.  I'm comparing a couple of different courses that I'm interested in, but I'm definitely applying and I'm really excited!

The other thing is that we are trying to buy a new house.  Except that it doesn't really qualify as a house, I reckon it's a dump.  Hubby is desperately trying to make me see it's good points.  That's part of the driveway in the pic above.  There is no way you could get down it without a four-wheel drive and I wouldn't be brave enough to drive it even then.  The pic is of the good part, the other parts I was holding on too tight!  The couple of good things about it is that it's closer to town and it's water-front with a jetty.  Can you tell I'm not as enthused about it as Hubby?  I guess I can see the potential, it's not every day that waterfront property comes along in such bad nick that we could afford it.  But the amount of work to whip it into shape is daunting!  Wish me luck!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Camping at Lake Tarawera

Sometimes I leave it so long between blog posts, that I get a bit paralysed because there is SO much to post I don't know where to start!

So I'm just going to post a few pictures of our holiday.  We were meant to tag it on to the end of my Symposium trip but that didn't happen for a few reasons.  But after I was home a week, we left again.

This time it was off to Rotorua and camping on the side of Lake Tarawera, which is overlooked by Mount Tarawera.  It's a geothermal area and we were camping on Hot Water Beach, where hot water seeps up from the sand and runs in a stream from one area of the cliffs.  The ground was so warm it was like sleeping on an electric blanket!

Mount Tarawera in the background.  It's a volcano that erupted about 130 years ago, killing many people, burying a whole village and destroying the famous pink and white terraces.

In the mornings the steam coming from the far end of the beach was beautiful.  You couldn't really swim here as it was either too hot or too cold.

But round the corner there was a stream that had been dug out to form a hot pool - just like a spa only better!

This is back at the main dock.  Hubby had to make two trips, one with us and then one with the gear.

It was my daughter's sixth birthday while we were away so we took a trip up the gondola in Rotorua and down the luge - lots of fun.

We stopped in Tairua on the Coromandel on the way home as Hubby is involved in building a marina there.  Beautiful place and it has the best playground ever - according to the kids.

We've been home almost a week and there are potentially big changes happening in our lives.  More about that another time.  I'll just leave you with this picture of what I did to myself yesterday.  Check out the egg on my forehead.  Yup, call me egghead, I stood on a rake.  Today it looks better but I have a wee black eye.  Lesson learnt I hope.