Wednesday, December 18, 2013

We Love You Nigella!

Planning got underway in earnest this week for the Gays & Strays Christmas 2013 at chateaux MacBuscke.  So the inevitable phone call from Mr. Nick (Gay husband) of "What have you got arranged for the menu my dear?" this week forced me to pull finger beyond the ham that one of the other guests is to bring.
Monkfish wrapped in Prosciutto
Relaxed casual Christmas dining is certainly not our style, so of course some more dedicated thought was needed to go into what we are doing.  Inspiration took the guise 'Viva Nigella Italia' . Mr. Nick has a new job with an Italian Premium Ice Cream & Gelato company & was supplying frozen confections & I have been so appalled at the dirty tricks Charles Saatchi has been playing on his delicious ex-wife Nigella Lawson, who I just adore, I felt the need to support our sexy sister & do Nigella this Christmas!
This has made the dessert short list
This has been made easier by the fact my lovely mother in law gave me Nigellissma last year for Christmas.  So a coffee & scan through this lovely book & I am now feel very zen about festive preparations.  Fresh lemony seafood with capers, herbs, freshness for the starters, the Ham with sides from the book, fresh Summer berries & Italian Gelato for puds & oozing stinky Gorgonzola to finish - sorted!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel.

The stunning sunset left after days of rain - breathtaking.
Today is 11/12/13 - a smart set of numbers.  It's just 14 days until the fat bloke in the red suit shows up and 21 days until we meet 2014.  For me I can't wait.  I'm not usually superstitious but 2013 has been a pig of a year for family MacBuscke.  It has been a year where we have seemed to lurch from loss, disaster, shock, stress, back to loss all with little recovery time in between.  So I have decided to look towards that light at the end of the tunnel and make sure I embrace and enjoy all the good things that have transpired & about to transpire.
My Bro's front yarn - just picture our tent right there...
This Summer marks the first year that I am having a significant amount of time off - 20 entire days.  I have books selected, knitting sorted and am really looking forward to getting Louis & Hugo reconnected with their cousins & extended family.  As you can see from my brothers front yard, where we will be spending some time, the surroundings just scream 'unwind woman!'

How can you just NOT fall in love with this face!
It will also be Renly's first family holiday.  After Max's passing I had a hole in my heart you could have driven a Mack truck through.  The Big dog left a big hole.  However his regal highness Lord Renly Baratheon has been working diligently into securing himself in our affections - he's succeeded.  What he lacks in Max's stature, he certainly makes up for in personality.
Just Hangin' and Fangin'
His kennel name was 'Bubbles' & that very much describes his personality.  He fits right into the testosterone charged nature of our household & the boys just adore him - Thank you Renly for always making me smile, even when you're pissed me off (like just prior to this picture being taken, he was caught out digging up my veg patch - this is him sucking up!).
Like any brothers they have highs and low - but this just sums up what they mean to each other.
Speaking of the boys', they are so amped for the holiday season.  Hugo has revised his Christmas 'sleeps' countdown to include a 'Visiting Nina' (my brothers daughter) sleeps countdown, a school holidays sleeps countdown & is fervent working on his 'play over' calender with all this friends.
Hugo dressed & ready for a school theme day
It's been a big year for Hugo - he started Port Ahuriri school & has just taken it to it like a duck to water - he LOVES it.  He's our social butterfly, I can see our house becoming the centre of all boys' social activities - he takes after his Uncles that's for sure!
Louis gets huge pleasure in showing off his work
Louis year has somewhat mirrored mine - but like me, he too is seeing some light at the end of his tunnel.  After his Autism diagnosis, and all the change & treatment associated with that, for the first time Louis is able to get some real clarity around the things he loves.  He's quite the class clown, always making his classmates laugh with his character voices & has developed a real talent for drawing and art.  I am now so much more confident for what the future holds for Louis - especially when I seen him smile.
A glimpse at what my immediate future holds....
As for Dr. Phil & I - relaxation is going to be the first priority.  We are looking forward to having family & our cherished collection of gays & Strays for Christmas Day the recharging the exhausted batteries & having some time to regroup before all the changes planned for 2014.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Christmas Countdown

The first big thunderstorm of the season reflected by mood as the impending Christmas season.
 You know Christmas is imminent when your 5 year old is starting to count sleeps & your 7 year old, with help from his Nana, make up a Christmas countdown calender to cross off the days until the big day!
Nana Lyn dusted off my tree & beautifully decorated it.
I was not emotionally prepared for it!  I chastised my local pharmacy for playing Christmas music in the first week of November, but here I am a few weeks later with the tree up at home, cards ordered & the first of the shopping under my belt.  I am been dragged into the festivities whether I liked it or not.

Louis contribution to Nan's tree decorations.
It's so funny growing with two boys and watching their gift wishes evolve & change.  Hugo over the past week has gone from Beyblades ( I NEED El Drago Mummy!) to lusting after the new X-Box One (in your dreams Tiger!!), whilst Louis is heart broken that his pathological need for Lego can not been met instantly, like now, c'mon Mummy - Pleeeeeasssseee!
Don't let that angelic face fool you - Hugo is deadly serious when it comes to his Christmas wish list!
With so much going on, knitting has been limited, my Leftie is getting close to completion and I have been getting some very nice spinning done.  I have purchased Martina Behm Brickless to use on the Mother Pearl hand spun I have been working on, plus I have my sights set on my holiday knitting, 2014 is a Knit Dr. Phil a jumper year.....
Martina Behm's Brickless is lined up for this hand spinning.
So how am I planning  to survive the rush?  I have been taking care of the needs of Dr. Phil & myself today - those two cases of white from Advintage should be here in the morning!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Surviving School Holidays

Great view from a great room - Air on Broardbeach.
When you have two boys now at school, surviving school holidays become imperative!  This year has been a dog, with the family seemingly lurching from one crisis to another, so this Spring school holidays we made a point of booking a holiday to make the most of the weeks worth of accommodation we won on the Gold Coast.
Only in Australia! Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

It was glorious weather, golden sands and vibrant theme parks (of which we did 3 in 3 days).  All the boys' (Dr. Phil included) loved it.  So here's a wee pictorial essay of the trip if you fancy a trip to the Gold Coast.
Lorakeet feeding at Currumbin

Getting up close with the locals!

Dr Phil & Hugo test a coaster at Movie World

Hugo made sure he came dressed for the day!

The boys just loved their 'Dino time' at Sea World

It just wouldn't be an Aussie holiday without the 'Koala' pic!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Keeping up with the Macdonald boys.

A Boy & his Dog.  the bond between these two is very special.
Boys are full on.  Anyone who has boys will tell you that the 'Y' chromosome sometimes should be translated to the 'Why oh why' chromosome!  For the Macdonald boys it is all about counting down until the school holidays, they're tired, cranky and needing a break.

Louis gives Renly a lesson in Multitasking.
So that's when you need to take comforts where you can find them.  For me that's knitting a few rows, Louis likes to escape into the iPad & Hugo relaxes through his stomach.  It's these quiet times I like to cherish because as the weather improves, the energy levels will start to ramp up again as the countdown to the end of year begins.  I almost choked on my breakfast this morning when Hugo asked me 'How many sleeps until Santa' - What SANTA!!!  Let's just get through these school holidays first mate!

Hugo enjoying  his Sunday afternoon Ice Cream breaks!

On the needles....
Little Vine - My last 'Show' project.
I am in the final throws of getting my A&P Show entries for the HB 150 year anniversary show.  It will be fun this year, 'Poppa Buscke' is one of the wool judges and will be here for the event, so something to really enjoy as a family.  I have also had a chance to get a few design ideas out onto the needles, then it will be back to the wheel to get a few more skeins spun up for knitting next Winter.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Making the boat go faster....

Team NZ on San Francisco bay
 It's fair to say that New Zealand is gripped by Americas Cup Fever.  Across this very nation people are late to work & children are being dropped off 'just in time' to school as kiwi's struggle to tear themselves away from their TV screens as we absorb the gripping coverage coming out from San Francisco.

Renly cheering on Team NZ during this mornings racing
Because of the time delay we are cheering Team NZ on whilst chomping our WeetBix & slurping our Nespresso (OK -  maybe that's just my house), but regardless of whether you like yachting or not - this is gripping stuff.  Modern graphics & on board cameras make you thrust us in the middle of the racing like you have never seen before - which to my mind is a great thing, because as a kiwi taxpayer, I own a small chunk of that boat - so why not be proud?

Those famous Red socks
I was living in Auckland when the late, great Sir Peter Blake won the cup for NZ.  It was Mothers day.  Back then you had Sir Pete's steely determined look at the helm & those famous red socks.  We all had them - Auckland was awash with red.  Today the only evidence of that is the red sail sported by Emirates Team NZ, so I reckon we all need to don a little bit of 'Red' - for our boys out there on the water, just even if it's just to say quietly to ourselves - good on you blokes, make that boat go faster.

The Cousin Phil B rocking the Cabana
On a totally unrelated matter - but the picture fits with my Red theme - I finally went to see my cousin Phil's band play when they hit town last Friday night.  Last time I saw the Datsuns was about 12 years ago at the Kings Arms, it was time to revisit the cuz at Napier's famous Cabana bar.  It was a family outing with my brother down from Gisborne & I have to say a thoroughly good night out - oh & Phil, thank you SO MUCH for the ear plugs!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Embrace your inner SABLE!

Just a quick glimpse of the stash currently residing on my coffee table.
I just wanted to make a quick post about embracing your inner hoarder.  I have seen a number of after KAN 'guilty over stash blowout' posts & wanted to say to all of you out there who are dedicated SABLE's (Sable is an acronym for Stash Accumulated Beyond Life Expectancy) - fear NOT.  I am the ultimate SABLE, I have enough yarn to last many lifetimes, I even got a job working in the industry so I could have access to an online store that, in my warped mind, is an extension to my already obese stash.  Embrace the stash & love your inner SABLE!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Searching for Spring

How can you not LOVE this face!
It has been a huge sense of relief seeing the signs of Spring.  It tells me I have survived another Knit August Nights, and a weird seasonal clock ticks over in your psyche telling you that sunshine, flowers, barbeques and all the things we love are just around the corner.

It's tough being the best looking bulldog in the world
Renly has well and truly cemented himself in the household - his easy going nature and absolute love of the boys (especially Louis) has been a joy.  It also has helped temper what has arguably been the most difficult first half of the year that the MacBuscke clan has faced.

My little bit of luxury & tranquility over the Winter
In times of stress knitting, for me, becomes a sanctuary.  I have been quite amazed at the prolific amount of knitting I have done this Winter - even for me!  As always I am on the hunt for a new 'project obsession', and currently I am giving my first triangular shawl a whirl.  It's amazing I know that I haven't gone down this path before, especially in light of the number of bespoke yarns I own in 'shawl-able' quantities, but I am here now.
Yes I do actually knit in the car when waiting for the boys.
I have started with a very simple design just to cut my teeth & I have must say I am really enjoying it.  It has become my 'Knit when collecting the boys from school' project & I love the way it grows so quickly & it will grown even more when it is blocked.  So I need to stay focused now & get completed alongside Hugo's vest for next year (especially as I have intentions of entering both into the A&P show), but I am already eyeing up skeins in my newly acquired KAN stash for the next project....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's in the KAN

The KAN Registration essentials: Coffee, Sugar, Knitting & Ravelry Badges!

Wow!  Where does the weekend go?  It has been a whirlwind weekend, but a HUGE amount of FUN, largely due to the dedicated bunch on KAN-nannites who make the retreat their own. Dave & his team at East Pier were stellar as always - keeping the coffee, wine, beer & food rolling all weekend as needles flew, yarn stitched and fibre spun.  Of course the weather was perfect, again, so exploring Ahuriri & Napier was a joy.
The yarn shone, just like the Ahuriri weather.
Mark this date in your calendars:  KAN:V will be August 29th - 31st 2014. In the meantime enjoy a few images from this years event.

Getting Fresh with Freeforn Knitting
It wasn't all just fun - serious learning took place!
Dee & Frances (seated) - the Founders of the KAN Yarn Appreciation Society
I just love getting inspired by all the yarn, color & texture.
Modular Colour.
And of course much of this fibre found it's way home!
Colour Lust
Did I mention the shopping? the public market on Sunday saw unprecedented numbers.
Katharine from 2 Minute Needles struggling to keep her table stocked.
And the singing......
Mamma Mia was never the same again.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Knit Calm before the KAN Storm

Renly looking resplendent in his Winter jumper

I can't believe KAN starts this week!
I have record numbers this year and a wonderful mix of returning KAN-nannites and newbies about to have their first KAN experience.
The Skeinz shop looks amazing, it's just groaning with yarn, colour, fibre and lusciousness.

Hugo modelling Uncle Nicks beanie
To keep me focussed I have been finishing up a number of projects.  I completed a cabled beanie for my 'Gay Husband'(long story) - which he dubs the 'Tea Cosy', made is the same uber soft Merino Possum I did Phils Struan in.

Louis lovely teacher Janine with her new cowl.

As part of the school collection I have completed an Ever After Cowl for Hugo's teacher, Louis teacher has a long cowl using a variation of the Back to School Scarf in the rich, soft and uncious Moody HuesMerino/Alpaca/Possum and I have just to sew up and block some Ever After Gauntlets for Louis TA.

The Ever After Cowl for Hugo's teacher.
I also couldn't help cast on a vest for Hugo called Kingfisher, using the most amazing random colourway (also called Kingfisher) in the Naked Skeinz 10ply base which was random dyed to add a punch of colour to our Winter collection.  I am intending this to be my 'KAN knitting', but I have also been eyeing up Martina Behm's Leftie... so if you come to KAN you might see me working on both!

If you want to follow whats happening at KAN, start following my Instagram profile (buscke), I will be taking a series of images using this medium for CFW & Skeinz social media.