Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Monday, 31 August 2015

a few books then...

I'm now on antibiotics and steroids. The child who has had nearly a week off school is back (and on antibiotics too) and I got home to find another child fast asleep at 4.30pm (and still sleeping at 7pm). I took myself off to do some retail therapy for 15 minutes before arriving home...

This is one day's worth of returns... this is why I am not keen on missing a day of school. I have student librarians, but if they are not chased up by anyone (or teacher has them doing research etc0, then it all piles up for me to attend to when I return....

This will be doubled in size tomorrow too. I issue around 1-2000 books a month. It IS fabulous!
Thankfully the BNZ bank is closing for the day on Wednesday and i get a few helpers... they will be shelving all afternoon :)

Sunday, 30 August 2015

slow day

Apparently New Zealand just stopped as they announced the All Blacks rugby team for the Rugby World Cup. Not in this house. We hate it. There. Don't care. I'd like Australia to win.
We have far more important things to worry about like low wages, 30% of children in poverty, 20%  being failed in the NZ school system. But I'll just keep on banging my head against a brick wall...

Slow day here - wet and cold. Essay slowly moving forward. More letters written (August/September might be the month where I break my own record for volumes written and posted!)

Knitting moving along slowly. Loving my new stitch markers.Scrumptious morning tea from Mustard Kitchen.

 Cleaning and clearing out a bedroom while child down at the snow. (he won't miss anything!)

And that was the excitement of the day. About as exciting as that rugby team announcement!

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Snail Mail love with Swap-bot

A month ago I joined up with Swap-bot.  It is basically swapping all manner of things all around the world. I have mainly joined with up the postcard and stationery/notecard swaps. A few touristy ones too. It has been fab getting little things in the post from all around the world.
The rating system can be a bit pedantic; lots of people seem to not trust "newbies", so it can be hard to find the first few swaps to join in to get your ratings to be able to be trusted... it can drive you a bit dippy and there are lots of bloody fussy people out there. Even for a postcard.
hey - you CAN trust me - i follow through on everything and everybody (particularly students at school - you promise anything to a kid - you follow through!)
It is fascinating reading profiles of likes/dislikes and what people want (many ask for everything! Like make up/ clothing/food stuff etc) - I kinds get the impression you can buy anything and everything especially in USA on whatever theme, whether bizarre or not! has been 20 years since I've been to USA (and since I never shopped until I had children basically), but I think I'd get an eye - opener going into the dollar stores over there (and probably even in England too! I never shopped there either when I lived there! Exception books! That is all we bought back on our trip 6 years ago too. Boy I'd be hitting up stationery and craft and op shops over there now!)
I've posted 16 letters/packages this week! (lots of penfriend letters in there too). Long may snail mail continue!  These are the things I have received in the past 2 or so weeks.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Seasons Swap partners

I'm still sick and will take another day off school - coughing with your ribs hurting is not fun! It twas another day of APA referencing a thesis... I am exhausted and will miss the school board meeting tonight which is not great...

Without much adieu - the seasons swap partners. Please do get in contact with me about anything around the swap - my brain is not functioning 100%! (odd number of partners, so I have two again :) - had better get cracking then!)

Kimberley and Melanie

Cat and Penny

Dotty's Daughter and Ellie Foster

Diane Crewe and Glenda (

Kaisievic and KnitBakeCultivate

KimM and Tracy

Deb Baker and kimberley

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Back soon with Swap Partners

I spent today at work, working on APA referencing for my deputy principal's thesis. Due in on Friday.
Not at all my favourite thing to do and I am certain tomorrow will be spent this way too.

I've my own essay to write, switching back to referencing using Chicago.

So at the moment I have no brain. I've had a day sick off school too, then (as I do not read my cell phone/take phone calls at school during the day), missed 2 phone calls from 2 different schools, telling me I had two sick children. Oh dear. Luckily the husband takes notice of his phone....

I sat by the fire last night and cast on another Ramona. Below is my first one.. next one I'm knitting a size up. Still pleased with my first one though.

I'll be back in the next couple of days with swap partners. School board meeting tomorrow night; packing for snow camp over weekend and boys have 15 minutes at home after school on Friday before they need to be at snow camp drop off.
I'm not surprised that I am sick... day off school makes for a massive backlog... still to catch up!

Saturday, 22 August 2015

12 days

This is the 12 days to knit and $22.50 worth of wool, cardigan. It is a Ramona and knitted in Spotlight's 4 seasons pure 100% Australian 8ply wool. I need to find some buttons and probably give it a bit of a block, but am pretty pleased with it.
The pattern did call for 10ply, but I'm a loose knitter and also went down two needle sizes... I just might have to cast on another one. I will sew some buttons on (that might take weeks if I do not have any here as a button shop is 20 or so minutes drive away and I am far too lazy at the moment!)

I am also very stuffed up with a cold, cold and wheezy and the husband said I snored all night long - ha!

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


Well I must say life does not feel very exciting lately. I think this wet, colder than normal winter has slowed me down and left me with not much motivation for much - at all.

The excitement of the day was the bargains at the supermarket - I work in one of the poorest suburbs in all of NZ and can tell you right now, that this really is the place to do your supermarket shopping. Guaranteed you may not be able to get all the brands you get in the central city suburbs and everything seems to come in larger sizes and the meat cuts are just different to what I normally get and also the specials are even cheaper than the same supermarket in the city for the same item on special at both places. After school today I got free range chickens, Twinings tea/teabags (and a variety), Finish tabs, dishwash cleaner, decent coffee beans all at 50% off or more. Big brands like these sell few in the no-frills suburb, so I always do well.

I've been trying to be the bargain queen lately, even getting "free" petrol with points saved from my visa card. And trying not to buy stuff - um - wool and books the exception. And trying to finish projects and use stuff from my stash - on the whole.

This arrived as a surprise package today at school -

Um and then I really splurged on the most decent quality handbag I have ever owned. I have always wanted a bag and shoes from Minnie Cooper and when I found out they were closing down, I ran in. I have held off for years because of the prices... Their shoes and bags are New Zealand made and are quality and investment items that will last for decades. Yes I splurged but the bag is for life! And I like to support NZ made as much as I can. I feel I now have a real grown up bag too. I now want a pair of shoes or two.... (luckily I have had a decent pay rise/ new grading at school too).

We've had a birthday for a 17 year old - so low key that maybe 5 extended family members remembered - oh well. Can go both ways I guess! Such a cuisy kid - we have had zero teenage dramas over the years. The 11 year old gives him a run for his money already... ha!
And that is it really - keeping warm, baking, cooking roast dinners, out with the principal to a poverty/education talk that rocked and had us both wandering where we are going in NZ - he told me we need to get our students politicised!! , attempting essay research (sigh) and way too much knitting!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

knitting/ sock giveaway winner!

I have been knitting A LOT these past few weeks. At morning tea and lunch at school too. People love "our" corner of the staff room, as 4 knitters congregate every day and ooh and aah over wool and knitting - I love it! We are, apparently, very calming. The students love watching me in the library at lunchtime too. We need to get a club going...

I'm knitting a "Ramona" at the moment - wool snaffled up at Spotlight 2 weekends ago (4 seasons pure 8ply wool - 100% Australian wool at a bargain $2.50 a ball!!)and I am (scarily) well on my way with it - one more sleeve to finish, front bands and neck and I'm done... (I know the pattern says worsted/10ply - I always take a gamble!)

I've knitted 3 scarfs - two Pimpernel Shawlettes - one for my cousin -

and one for me -
(the above wool is NZ but came from a dear friend in Sweden!). And a checkboard scarf for me knitted in Cascade 220 I bought in Wellington. (this blue and the one of the Ramona cardigan is my favourite colour at the moment!).

I, most certainly, am all about colour this year! We have had a rather old winter, so it is knitted things for me every day! My cousin and I are now going to knit each other a funky tea cosie... I still have to find a funky pattern!

And the winner of my sock giveaway is Jo - get in touch Jo, and I'll send them on your way!

With all of this knitting, I am neglecting an essay and my garden... What is everyone doing craft wise at the moment?

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

A Seasons Swap

It is cold, cold, cold. I need something to cheer my winter days up, so here is another swap.
It is winter here; summer in the Northern Hemisphere (although some have told me it really does not look/feel like it).
So this is a "seasons' swap. You can pick a season and fill a litre/take away container with items pertaining to the chosen season. (could ask your swap partner which is there favourite season).
One item has to be something hand made.

Some ideas -

Winter- a new mug, tea/hot chocolate, knit a mug cosie/hat/scarf, sew a mug rug, winter-ish fabric, DMC threads, buttons, sweet items to sweeten up a day, little stationery kit, a ball of wool, favourite soup/stew recipe

Summer - make a mug rug, dishcloth,sun hat, buttons, DMC threads, summer fabric, something for the beach, items in summery colours, salad recipe

Autumn - items in autumn colours, Halloween-ish things (if partner celebrates), make a mug rug, mug cosie, tea cosie, a ball of wool

Spring - fabric, other sewing bits and bobs, DMC threads, herbal teas, flower themed things, new hand cream, soap, seed packets (check customs - a big no-no to be sent to NZ and probably Australia too), cotton (to either knit or sew with)

The idea is to get to know your partner a bit and tailor something to their interests/hobbies. Anything goes really. You do not need to spend a lot of money - think of colours around a season perhaps.

Open worldwide. Please leave a comment below if interested. I will close comments/sign ups on August 25; have partners up just after and all items need to be in the post by September 30. That should give everyone plenty of time. It will be up to you to contact your partner

Please make sure that people can contact you - non-bloggers are able to participate - just let me know your e-mail address. Have fun!

Monday, 10 August 2015

City and Sea

Saturday saw us on the other side of the city at a soccer game. While the practice at 8am went on, we ran down to a beach and did a big walk before the game started an hour later.
I love these pics taken from the car while driving back over the harbour bridge.
Tonight is freezing, with so much hail it looks like snow and heavy driving rain and incredible thunder.  I'm sitting in bed knitting and have been bought a huge cup of soup. One kid has tonsilitis. I may have a VERY rare day off school to look after him tomorrow.

** I cancelled the swap, as I decided it possibly was a bit lame**. Thinking of another one - I do like my country swap, so possibly may do that one again.

Stay warm! (oh for a summer - anywhere!)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

My Dishcloth Swap Goodies

It is cold and wet again - I've come home and sat on the couch under the heat pump, knitted a few rows and thought about Joan of Arc for my essay...

I love what Teresa and Maria sent me for my dishcloth swap.

Firstly from Teresa -

This crochet dishcloth must be one of the most amazing I have ever seen and owned. Not quite sure I really can wish my dishes with it. Love the cookie stamp and star ice cube tray too - such a pretty pink. Chocolate is a winner in this house.

This parcel arrived from Maria in Wales yesterday -

Lots of gorgeous goodies in bright paper. Drinking tea and baking are two of my favourite things. Especially love the little chalkboard teapot. The house mug rug is adorable and so clever. The clotted cream fudge will go down a treat here too. The bright measuring spoons will make finding them in my utensil drawer a lot easier too! Two of the postcards have recipes on and I'll try both of them.

Thank you so much Teresa and Maria for a great swap.

Jo has blogged too about what her and Glenda swapped too.