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!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Holiday Roundup

So I haven't burnt the dinner, overflowed the bath or left the kids behind at the shops for a while (I've never actually done the last one, just fantasised about it).  I figure I'm over my jetlag.  And I worked a night shift on Thursday night and managed to not drop any babies, even a slippery new born one!  I'm patting myself on the back.

The reason I'm supposedly jetlagged is because I flew to Brisbane and stayed for two weeks to help my brother and beautiful sister-in-law, as they were having their second child.  Their first boy is only 22 months old and they had only just moved to Australia a few months ago, so they haven't really established support networks yet.  And I had an ulterior motive - I wanted to be the first Aunty to hold the baby!

The quilt I was hurrying to finish before I left was for the new baby and I did manage to get it all done bar the label.  I'm glad I didn't do the label as they decide to swap the order of her names after the first day or two!  I used a light cotton batting as I thought they might get more use out of it that way, Brisbane is rather warm most of the year.

I had more of a holiday than I thought I'd get.  The toddler was almost angelic and easily amused by playing outside.  I was a bit leary of all the insects and I thought I saw a snake once, but it turned out to be a big brown lizard instead!

My sister and my self holding the angelic toddler.
My sister flew up from Sydney for a few nights and my Dad, Stepmum and baby brother visited a couple of times - they live about an hour and half away from Brisbane.  I got to explore the local walkways and parks.  We visited Southbank where they have created an artificial beach next to the river.  It also has a great area full of fountains for kids.  I explored a few shops and ate more than a few goodies!

During my stay I managed to get down to Sydney for a night to see a friend.  She is a brave and beautiful young woman who is battling cancer.  It was good to share a hug.  I was really impressed with the public transport in both Brisbane and Sydney.  I was able to make my way there and back totally unaided.  Easy and efficient.

I took hand sewing in case I needed something to do and I got a bit done here and there.  I used up some paper pieced squares I had leftover from another project and sewed them up into some little pincushions.  I also hand stitched a curtain for my brother and SIL - I'm pretty good at hand sewing a blind hem now ;).

My brother even kindly took me to a quilting store, but I only bought a half metre of a red batik.  I was a little overwhelmed by the selection and had visions of not being able to stop once I started.  Then I found a place called simply 'The Fabric Store' in Fortitude Valley.  It was filled with the most beautiful silks and linens and I took away a lovely piece of indigo coloured, striped linen.  We also visited Ikea.  I've wanted to for ages to find out what it's all about, but we don't have one in NZ. Wow - what an experience!  It's huge and very cleverly set out.  I was especially impressed by their clever designs for storage.  And I couldn't resist a lovely heavy cotton fabric - I took three out of the four colour ways available!

I was glad to be heading home after two weeks.  My brother kindly woke me up at 4.30am when I missed my alarm, I had the quickest shower I've ever had and didn't miss my taxi.  Thanks bro - lucky their wee babe decided she needed a feed just at the right time!

The travel home was uneventful, just long and boring.  I was positive I was going to be in for an excess baggage charge but according to the scales I was lighter than when I left NZ.  My kids gave me the biggest hug and then demanded to know what I'd brought back for them.  Hubby was also very glad to see me - he's told me next time we'll have to get a nanny!  It's nice to be appreciated.

And to finish up, here's a pic of  what my house looked like the night I came home.  It took me about three days to get it in order.  It was an impressive mess!


  1. Sounds like you had a nice time away. Maybe next time a house keeper could go with the nanny!

  2. Aww, looks like fun was had! Beautiful pictures and wow, that IS an awesome mess, they did well, lol

  3. Now that's what I call a mess!! Not quite up to what I came home to with a new bub about 15 years back - that was epic and took months to clear up - but a jolly good effort by all. I do hope they helped to clean up :)


  4. Brilliant that you were able to go over to help - and have some newborn cuddles (of the family kind). Nice to be appreciated by those you left behind! HOpe you have a nice Mothers' Day.

  5. Just a few questions, now, when you fantasise about leaving your kids at the shop - do you do it on purpose or by accident? Was the nephew really angelic or are you being sarcastic? Do they weigh you as well as your luggage when you travel - so is it possible you actually lost weight? And just be thankful there is still a house standing - mess, family and all!


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