Monday, 14 August 2017


 Lambing has begun, we have a set of twins so far who are doing extremely well. They have plenty of pine trees to shelter under to keep out of the heavy rain we have been having ALL winter. - I'm so ready for spring!

I love lambing time and watching the lambs little tails wag while they feed, then comes the fun stage of frolicking lambs when they play. No doubt this week will bring them some new lambs to play with.

 It is our first time since we have lived here that we are having to get in feed for the sheep due to the wet winter we have. The top paddock is closed off as just a mud paddock.

We have never had this much water in our paddocks - The middle paddock has  two ponds caused by the rain, and are nearly meeting. The wet ground is dealing to the animals hooves too. We hate seeing them with sore feet.

 The girls are not too sure of their new tucker... but we also do not want them to eat too much until after they have birthed. Very thankful our wood shed is topped full of hay - being all ready for when the lambs arrive and when the mums will need the extra feed


 A job that has been on the must do list for a while was completed this weekend. A gate and fence just off the cattery. This is probably going to be our new area where we feed the sheep.

Louie was a great help checking the hole depth for the fence posts.

As for me, I stayed inside nice and warm and dry. I finally got around to making some alphabet templates. It's been 6 months into my gap year and I'm feeling well rested and ready for creating...Adrenal fatigue  has not been fun, nor was influenza B!

I've begun unpicking a crochet blanket I started - it seems to be a bit of a stop start year...I love the pattern but honestly the thought of sewing in all threads had put me off this project.

I started a baby blanket with the wool... But have unpicked this too as the cast on was far too tight.I was in denial... so did quite a bit of progress before I frogged it.

Much happier with this blanket. Went up to a size seven crochet hook to cast on and casted on a lot looser. (I'm using a size 4.5 for body of blanket). Also changed the colour pattern as I worked out I was going to run out of coloured yarn. So three rows of white and one row of colour. I can pick up more white at local yarn shop.... but it is nearly twice the price to buying local compared to on line. $8.54 on line and $15.00 in local shop.

The blanket is based on Granny Stripes by Lucy at Attic24

Linking up with Pumpkin Sunrise 's Weekends

You can find me hanging out mainly on Instagram The photo/video is also posted to Facebook,
To follow the Farm Stay for Cats photos - feel free to join Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats Facebook Group.

PS the Cattery will be closed from 23rd August until 28th August.

Monday, 24 July 2017


James didn't want a fuss for his 21st. But we decided a little something was required.

We successfully planned a surprise luncheon at our place for 30 people.

However James came down with the flu - (this winter there has been a lot of nasty bugs going around). Sunday morning I asked how he was feeling and if he was up to some visitors. I then had to let the cat out of the bag and say 30 people were turning up at 11.30am.

He just was not up to it and we got busy cancelling the party.

Brent delivered cake and food to his friends, some of his friends called in and helped take food off my hands. We have cold meat (I had cooked lamb, chicken and corned beef) for days. We don't eat corned beef so I'll drop that off today.

The grog in the fridge will keep and he will need a hand drinking it so something will have to be planned when he is feeling better .... somehow I do not think I can pull off another surprise.

Brent asked James if he had any idea/hint of the party. He had none at all. and commented he thought my deep cleaning of the house was just a phase. LOL.

Linking up to PumpkinSunrise

Saturday, 15 July 2017


 Two fires roaring to heat the old villa, coats hanging over railing to dry - it is winter here in New Zealand

 Snow on the Tararuas  today

Kingston Tunic 

Gosh it was May since I last blogged and 5 months into my gap year.... I can't honestly say what I've been up to.... Looking after family (and I'm thrilled to say some fab progress has been happening!), decluttering and selling my homeschooling books and study books... still more to sort through.

Oh I got a new car - which is called Kenny G or Kimmie but in reality is called the dober van as it carries Louie the Doberman around.

Louie has been quite a problem. First off I am a cat person not a dog person. But Louie is sooo needy. He barks if left alone. And frankly I've been really struggling with such a velcro dog. We had a dog behaviourist out and she helped. A few new things have been put in place and I am coping a little better with him. Louie and I are trying to bond  - ok I am trying to bond better with Louie, Louie just wants to be with me ALL the time. Something I am not used to from a dog. I'm even now training Louie for competitions.... Bit of a laugh as I have never done anything like it before in my life, I'm pleased to say - Louie and I were not the worst at the seminar we went to. But we are the bottom of the class that we attend each week. We are working hard to get into a higher level of  a training group.

Abbey has got me organised on a  Facebook Group where I now upload videos daily of the cats staying at Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats  instead of blogging. It is so much easier - and my videoing is getting better. Feel free to join the group if you would like to follow the cats that stay. Feel free to share with your friends if they are looking for a cattery. (many thanks to the lovely people who have been telling their friends about us)

Not much gardening has been done... but come spring time that will change. There are little hints of spring daily in the garden which bring me great joy.

I've been enjoying knitting, listening to audio books, going to movies and watching some fab shows on TV - rather decadent lifestyle aye,

I'm hooked on the TV show Good behavior - it has Lady Mary from Downton Abbey and she is soo good! I find I can't knit and watch it - as there are so many surprises. It's a little shocking (I get shocked easily) but terribly good. We get it in New Zealand on Neon. Have you seen it?

I enjoyed Wonder on audio and very much looking forward to it coming out at the movies - they have the characters perfect. A wonderful book for children to read!

I'm currently listening to Bear Town (same author as A Man called Ove). It is touching on some tough topics, but so far tastefully written. I've not finished it yet, but so far I would have made it a book that was to be read and studied in homeschooling (senior years)

I'll try and get back into blogging...

I've been pretty good at putting a photo a day up on Instagram - which is a bit of a sneek peek into my days.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cottage Tails Podcast - Episode one

I so enjoy other people's Podcasts/Vlogs and often watch them while folding the washing, ironing, or sitting down after lunch with a cuppa while I do some knitting.

SO I've decided to have a go....

I hope you enjoy it with a cuppa or while doing the ironing... 

Let me know what you think and if you want another.
If you did enjoy it, give it a thumbs up and click subscribe.

Show Notes 

  • Cup - Emma Bridgewater   Purchased from John Lewis. This was a Mother's Day gift and imported into New Zealand. We so need a supplier in New Zealand! 

  • Planting by the Moon - in the Southern Hemisphere, garlic is best planted from the Full Moon to Waxing Moon. On Friday is the New Moon so I'm going to wait until June this year to plant my garlic. Traditionally garlic is planted on the Shortest Day and harvested on the Longest Day. Usually I plant my garlic in May ---- so we will see what kind of harvest I get this year.
  • Bach remedy
- Mimulus. Mimulus is used for known fear. Eg my fear of earthquakes (gosh I hate them), or any other fear you can label eg fear of flying, dogs etc.....

-Rock Rose is the remedy to reach for for absolute terror. Eg if lots of aftershocks happen Rock Rose can help assist keep a person scared of earthquakes calmer.


The projects can be found on my Ravelry Page

Hat-  Pattern is Treehouse Hat ,
         Wool is Brooklyn Tweed Shelter colour Tent. 
          Purchased (gift) from Holland Road Yarns 

Shawl - Pattern is Pure Joy 
             Wool is 100% lambs wool hand dyed by Ruataniwhadye Studio
             One skein purchased direct from dyer and other skein from Holland Road Yarns (gift)

Cardi - Pattern is Georgetown Cardi
            Wool is NZ = 45% polwarth, 45% alpaca, 10% possum  by Outlaw Yarn in their Bohemia                    worsted - Royal colour.
             Purchased from Holland Road Yarns 

Jumper - Pattern Kingston Tunic
              Wool - organic 100% merino 10 Ply in Chocolate
               Purchased from Briar Patch 
  • Listening on Audio

which is coming out as a movie.

Huge love and  thanks to Abbey, our daughter for helping me with all the techno stuff .

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

A rather random blog update

 Brent on one of the Sunday drives with the hot rod club. I didn't go as he has yet to put windows in the doors so a tad chilly zooming along the highway at this time of the year - I'm a bit soft aye!
He only has the windows to go in, locks on the doors and something for the speedo to go.
 Marty - following along in his car (sorry forget what type)
 I spy Marty's and Brent's car/truck amongst the other cars that turned up

 Today I begin the cast off of the Pure Joy shawl - it has been an enjoyable knit. I'm looking forward to wearing it... it is COLD and Wet here.

Gosh I LOVED Britt-Marie was Here, It even made me reorganise my cutlery draw. Have you read/listened to it?

 The last of the nuts are near - walnuts have finished and now the almonds.

 Mack and Stella at the beach on Mother's Day

Louie has another Doggie Diploma - he has passed grade two. (But he still barks - oh he is ever so naughty at this... and shreds his bedding).

I'm so out of routine with blogging... I think it is because I use my phone for a camera and upload a photo to Instagram and Facebook each day.

Plus when I have thought ok I'll blog today the weather is nice and I've been getting outside early in my garden.

Brent  brought me some cocoa husks to mulch the rose garden, as I thought I wanted them. Oh my goodness when first put on it smelt like I was in a chocolate factory. I could have rolled in it. But I do not think I will use it again, as it rots down it goes mouldy and does not look very pretty. The photo is of it just put on.

Totally enjoying having the time to make some tinctures up. I'm setting up my apothecary - one step to getting into business.

I keep getting emails when will I be open - I knew after the workload from study I was a tad burnt out and felt I needed to have 3 months before I thought of setting up shop.(three months has gone GASP) A friend said she thought I would need 6 months and Brent said take a gap year. So a year off it is.

For Mother's Day I picked Trolls to watch on DVD. My adult children and their dad rolled their eyes at my choice. But we all laughed and really enjoyed it. Totally worth getting out for an easy watch. I'm such a big kid!

Monday, 1 May 2017


I must say.. I am LOVING not spending so much time in front of a computer. Studying sitting for nearly four years does that. Friday the weather was fine so I rushed through my morning chores and zoomed outside without doing a blog post. I hope you do not mind the randomness of blogging that I'm currently doing.

Here is my weekend (linking up with Pumpkin Sunrise

Saturday was the Kapiti Quilt exhibition. 

 This was the winning quilt called Stars of Endurance by Allison Paris and quilted by Sue Burnett. The pattern was by Judy Martin called Coopertown Stars. I can see why it won.

 This scrappy quilt was not in the competition but out hanging in the foyer. It is one I wish to make. Scrap quilts are my favourite.

 A barn quilt - also one I wish to make ... one day! I'm so sorry I did not get the name of the person who made the quilt I was yacking to a friend and forgot.

 Birds of a Feather Flock together made by Dorothy Devane. She has used all Liberty fabrics. SWOON.

 Dandelions by Sandra Killin
 from a herbalist point of view the leaf is an impostor and not a dandelion leaf, one can't help notice things like this. But when I get my clinic rooms I sure want this on the wall.

 I was thrilled to see Lori Holts fabric in real life. I didn't buy any as just a tad too bright for quilts I am making to go in our 1900 villa. But I love her patterns and follow her blog Bee in My Bonnet.

 Embroidery which I was soo tempted to impulse buy. But you could only get as a quilt block of the month. The cool colours are not me so I would want to do it in warmer colours.
Here is the pattern  that you can buy on Etzy.... I am so so tempted to get it. As if I need another project on the go....

I was hoping a vendor would be selling some Liberty fabrics but none were. I did buy two fat quarters and a new cutting mat. I am looking forward to wet winter days being inside quilting this year.

I was a tad thrown when a lady at the quilt show said to me "Oh you are Cottage Tails". I wasn't expecting it and still get surprised when people recognise me from the blog. Sorry I did not talk long to you - it was terribly busy and I'm not one for crowds. But thank you for saying hello.

As it was a wet Saturday we got out some movies. Ballerina which I believe is also called Leap in other countries was wonderful - a kids movie but oh super sweet to sit and knit with on a cold wet day in front of the fire 5/5

In the evening as a family we watched The Founder. Excellent movie... Not that I eat Mcdonalds but after watching this you would never support the Mcdonald Corporation again. It is all about being driven by profit.... 5/5

Brent took me for a ride in the Pickup truck to the garden shops. Kapiti Nursery has the friendliest cat.
While Brent was picking his natives I played with the cat... The cat was soo friendly that I wondered if he/she would like a trolley ride. And it did! I suppose when you are in your 50's you are not meant to play like this but..... no one was watching me push the cat around the nursery in the trolley.

Brent had to hold the Kowhai tree as the cat was bunting it soo hard. We had to ask the cat off before it saw Louie on the back of the truck.

I'm all set for another week in the garden with more pea straw as mulch. I'm trying to win the war on  kikuyu grass...that has invaded my herb and vegetable gardens, PESKY PESKY stuff.

Sunday night we watched another movie, Hacksaw Ridge. I am pleased I did not see it at the movies as rather graphic with war scenes. Watching it at home meant I could look at my knitting through those parts. A wonderful true story worth watching - but if like me sensitive you may also struggle "seeing" it.

Right the sun it out - got to get cracking and get my chores done so I can get in the garden.

I'll try and post on Friday - but until then I am posting daily photos/videos on Instagram.