Cyclone Gita dress

When I heard the first warning about Cyclone Gita I mentally made a list of things I had to do:

  • emergency supplies
  • kit for the animals if we have to evacuate
  • pack a bag
  • charge phones and iPads
  • water
  • food supplies
  • secure everything
  • prepare bedrooms just in case we have to make room for people evacuated from their homes (when we lived in SA the town was snowed in one winter and my husband brought 3 random families home who needed a warm bed)

But I also wondered about the house:

  • should I clean? If we get storm damage random people will have to do things in the house and I wouldn’t want them to go home and tell their families and friends how untidy I am
  • will cleaning be a waste of time? If we do have storm damage the house is going to be a mess anyway…….so why waste time to clean it

Also had other random, selfish thoughts:

  • do I have enough books on my iPad
  • do I even have a normal, physical book to read if I cannot charge my iPad
  • is there enough chocolate in the house
  • where is the best place to hide if the wind is strong, or not to hear the thunder – I am soooo scared of thunder it is not even funny

So what did I do during the storm? I smocked! I call this my Cyclone Gita dress



Cyclone Gita

The storm moved over New Zealand, causing less damage than expected, but also causing less damage where it was expected.We were lucky at our house as we were protected by the mountain just behind the house. If the wind changed direction it would have been a different story. But it didn’t

Properties in less sheltered areas were hammered, with a camper van blown over (with 4 people in it – luckily they only had minor injuries).

But the storm moved over NZ much higher than originally expected, with Nelson, Kaikoura and Wellington being hit directly – and not the West Coast as predicted

Funny how it suddenly became freezing cold. A couple of weeks ago I felt as if I was melting, last night it was lovely and cool when I went to bed. Perfect!

Here we go again …….cyclone watch

Cyclone Gita is on the way to New Zealand – and heading straight for the West Coast where we live. We had a terrible storm some weeks ago and it is said that this one will be much worse, with very strong wind and lots of rain

Of course my main concern is my cats and the dog. I have made sure to buy enough food for them, as well as putting water everywhere as all three drink quite a lot. I have also packed a backpack with emergency supplies for them, and their carriers are ready with their harnesses and leashes if we have to evacuate. I am sorry, there is no way I will leave without the animals

For the humans in the house I also have the emergency supplies close-by and made sure we have packed bags, with important documents and cash available. Torches, candles and so on are on stand by. All loose items outside have been secured or put away, the cars have petrol. Windows have been secured

Are we ready? I don’t think you can ever be really prepared for such a storm, but we have done what we could. It is now a waiting game, the next few days are going to be wild and stormy

Let’s talk market stalls

At the beginning of the year I placed having a market stall on my list of things I want to do in 2018. It is February and I am very thankful I can tick it off………..and never do it again

Yes, it was fun. Yes, we met and talked to people the whole day. We had ice cream and milk shake and other drinks.

I struggled with pricing, and then decided not to mark stuff too expensive, but I wasn’t willing just to give it away either. This morning Mollie helped me sort pricing out


Then packed up, ready to go


Our little stall looked lovely.


Lots of people looked at everything, not a lot bought much. As a matter of fact – I just made enough to pay my part of the stall for the day ($10), with a few dollars to spare. The good news is that all the stalls were not successful and didn’t sell much at all, except for the food and drink trucks


  • Market stall – tick
  • Fun – tick
  • Rich – nope
  • Do it again – nope
  • Good experience – tick

The list I made for 2018:


  • Have a market stall at least once. Sell dolls clothes
  • Weekly cleaning plan so that I don’t have to go in overdrive during weekends and clean like crazy. Do it ‘gently’………not getting far with this one yet
  • Finish the few sewing things that is half-done, or so close to being finished………working on this
  • Improve my photography skills and participate in the Dogwood 2018 challenge. I joined the FB group and already planned the photo for week 1. But this is going to be hard as I have serious commitment problems …………struggling
  • Smocking – yes, yes, yes! …………all the time
  • Join the Rotary club. A friend, who is a member, invited me. I think I want to do this as I will meet new people, do some voluntary work. And get out of the house at least once a week. (Which is actually huge for me as I am a real home-body/hermit and can easily just stay home every single day) …………… not yet
  • Finish this 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle I started a few days ago (a present from my youngest). It is very, very difficult and at the rate I am building at the moment it is going to take the whole year. I find myself staring at the pieces for hours at a time, hoping the one I want will just catch my eye. It doesn’t work that way……but I still stare
  • Brush the cats on a more regular basis. They love it, and they love it when I spend time with them in the catio
  • Ride my bike more than 3 times in 2018. Easy target? As if. I was so motivated this year but find excuses without much thinking …………once already. I suppose that is progress
  • Travel. This year I want to visit my daughter in Canada for a few weeks, and explore during the week when she is at work. Also visit my son in Hong Kong again, or meet him somewhere I haven’t been yet …………planning the trip to Canada at the moment
  • Seriously plan the trip to Antarctica – I dream of visiting Antarctica and have been dreaming about this for a long time
  • Research sleeping and try to find a way to sleep better. Not write a blog post at 3:18 am or buy fabric online …………..this is still a bit of a problem…….not sleeping…….blogging in the middle of the night………..buying fabric online
  • Buy less fabric, use what I have!!!!!! ……… glad I never committed to this 🙂
  • Enjoy life, be grateful, have fun. Stop being so serious about everything. Stop being upset when the kids do not reply to my txt messages, although I know they are glued to their phones 24/7 …………working on this and not doing too bad
  • Do the Autumn colours trip here in New Zealand which I have been planning for years, but every year something happen and I don’t do it. [2018 – new puppy. 2017 – sick. 2016 – sick. 2015 – Canada. 2014 – India. 2013 – plan to do Autumn colours trip to the south in 2014]  – just saw this one……….won’t happen this year as we have a new puppy arriving the end of February. I’ll still be toilet training the little bundle and it will be too small too leave in a kennel

Dress request

I love it when my children ask me to make dresses for pregnant friends and workmates. My eldest son asked for a teal dress for a girl who works with him. She expects a little girl in a couple of weeks. I finished the whole set today and will be sending it to him by courier. Hope he is happy and I hope the new mum likes the dress


The market stall is happening this coming Sunday. I plan to embroider some dish towels tomorrow and then I am done for the stall. Just have to put a prize on everything and make sure everything looks neat and tidy. Knowing myself I should just skip the pricing bit……..I am not good at selling stuff

Storms, repairs and dresses

We had huge storms here in New Zealand. Lots of rain and flooding, with very strong winds. In town we had lots of damage, with roofs off and trees down. At our home we thought we got of lightly with only the fig tree ripped from the ground. But when I went to bed a few night ago I could hear knocking every time the wind blew. I first blamed the cats and went to check what they were up to. Just imagine my shock when I saw the whole frame moving away from the house by about 5 cm – I could see the lawn outside the house. And this is a huge frame with windows, about 3m high and 7 m long. We stabilised it by putting heavy stuff against the frame on the outside to try and stop the wind lifting it. I think it would have eventually be blown out, which would have meant thousands of dollars damage, as it is so big. We also had some guttering coming off on the other side of the house

The builders came today and knocked the frame back into position and securing it, They also fixed the guttering

Of course the fig tree could not be ‘fixed’ and we lost the tree and all the fruit. Which is sad because we planted the tree 20 years ago when we came to NZ

Lesson learnt: if there was a big storm, check the house thoroughly for damage!!!!!!

This weekend we are off to Tauranga for the baptism of our friends’ baby girl. I have packed 2 little dresses and some socks and so on as a present for the little girl


I also made another dress and absolutely love it