01 September 2014


So, here I was thinking I'd write about the crochet blanket I made.... but it turns out I already did.

Warning:  This is a 'moan', please don't read on if you'd like to have a lovely day.

I'm not really with it these days, I'm not sure what to write about, what to share, what is too much and what is so far from the truth it's a lie.

Yesterday I had a lovely day.  Church was a combined service with three or four other churches from around Te Anau - the whole room was packed, the atmosphere was thick with joyfulness.  My boy was SO well behaved.  I was on cloud nine most of the day.  Work in the evening went quickly and it was fun.

Today, I feel like a heavy cloud has come over me, like a slow fog in the morning, but thicker and thicker all day until evening.  Every question I'm asked I find my answer quickly turns out to be negative and my thoughts run into a dark place where I'm bitter and sad and miserable and I can't move out of the darkness that is clawing at my inner being.

"How was your weekend?"  The first thing I thought of was the fact that it was yet another weekend away from my husband.  Another few days of not finding out what's happening along the lines of us getting together again.

How much longer should we wait until we give it up, pack in this dream that has turned into a nightmare, and leave it for good?

"How was your weekend?"  I thought about the question and my thoughtless answer, and realized I was shocked at my response.  I had mumbled something about "sick of waiting...tired of not knowing."  The real answer, should have been along the lines of, "Well, actually, I had a great weekend."  The truth.  Instead, how I was feeling right then and there came up.  In hindsight, I should have apologized to my co-worker for my negativity.  She was probably feeling sorry for asking.  How rude was I?  She'll probably never ask me how my weekend was ever again.  Shame on me.

We're in limbo.  Vertigo.  My family is in limbo.  Miles and miles and miles apart, waiting for something that just doesn't seem to be happening.  We can't see it happening.  You know, I'm going to jinx it by saying something stupid like, "I bet we'll hear from them in a few days and I'll be a different person."

Or not.

Or will we?

Or won't we?

I'm so tired of this.  We are so tired of this.


21 August 2014

Dum de doooo....

Still waiting for the next letter.


In the mean time I made a baby blanket!  I found some beautiful linen yarn in an Etsy shop called Linen Spirit, in Lithuania.  Alla kindly put together a special listing for me, with the right ply and the right colours and the right quantity that I was after.

As soon as it arrived I was in (linen-yarny-goodness) heaven.  Instead of crocheting the 4ply yarn with a small hook, I decided to crochet two balls together and use my 4mm Susan Bates crochet hook.  I picked a retro-circles crochet pattern and added a couple of extra 'rounds' to make the squares bigger.

I knew before I started that linen shrinks quite a lot when it's first washed, so I made the edge wider and measured the finished blanket before I washed it, just to see how much it was going to shrink.

Before washing: 75 x 90cm.  After washing (and drying in the dryer to make it really-really shrink):  63 x 82(ish)cm.  Wowzers.  More than I was expecting, but very good to know!

The photo above is a close-up of it before it was washed.  It didn't lay flat, every. single. circle. stuck up like a boob.  If it were a woven fabric, I'd call it an open-weave and a little stiff, like a heavy drill.  I was a little worried it was going to stay like that.

But.  Oh, but.  A man at Harald's Fabric Shop in Christchurch once told me that the more you wash linen, the softer it gets.

He was right.

Post-washing:  All of the circles laid flat - without ironing or blocking.  It was no longer an open-weave, all the crocheting was settled and snug with the next loop.  It had such beautiful drape to it, like a soft and heavy fabric.  The green was still a lush vibrant green, the colours didn't bleed or soak into anything else that went through the wash.

I decided that I absolutely love linen yarn and the way it just 'is'.

The peach linen yarn I used on the back of my hoodie is from the same shop, Linen Spirit, and came in the same package.

As soon as it was done, I packaged this 'baby-blanket-made-with-love' up and sent it through to the UK, where it was warmly received not even a week later.



08 August 2014

July's Journal 2014

Gouache paint, fine brushes, moleskine journal, waterproof pens, colour pencils.

I've been busy crocheting and doing commission pieces!  Feeling so blessed to be able to play with paints in the evenings - be it ever so rare these days of late.

Visa update:  we got a letter, we were expecting it to tell us more than (paraphrase), "wait for another letter in the next 30 days."



04 August 2014


Our applications or petitions to apply for visas have been APPROVED!  Now, this is how I feel:

Now, we're waiting on a letter that will tell us what to do next....


That is all.


27 July 2014

June's Journal 2014

I tell a lie, this one was in May.

But the rest are from June...

And a teaser from July...


19 July 2014


Isaiah 61:1-3
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
Because the Lord has anointed me
to preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
Ant the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Psalm 103:1
With all my heart I praise the Lord,
and with all that I am I
praise his holy name!

To get away from this heaviness, I shall praise His holy name.
Cloaked in happiness and joyful words, the load is lighter and the sun is warmer.


15 July 2014


Here goes, I'll give you a little bit of a low-down.

For anyone who is new here in my little bloggy space (welcome!), here's an illustration of my life right now.

I am Holly, I'm 29 years old, married to an amazing man with whom I have a 3 year old son.  We are New Zealanders, well my husband is a New Zealand and a US citizen.  We are "in-the-process" of immigrating to the US.  My husband went over to the US in March in search of employment while my son and I wait here in New Zealand for our immigration visas to come through.  The idea was that we would be apart from each other for two to three months, visas would come through and we'd be over there before July 4th (which I was SO looking forward to experiencing) and especially, we'd be together for our boy's 3rd birthday party.

That was all about plan C or D in the alphabet of ideas.

Since we've been making plans, I think we've learned that it is sometimes best to not even make a plan - lest we get our hopes up and have to make yet another new plan.

So far, it's the 15th of July.  My husband and I have spent our 5th wedding anniversary apart.  We've spent our son's 3rd birthday party apart.  We've spent hours on Skype.  We've spent hours on frustrating, lagging Skype.  We've spent our nights apart.  It has been no less than 3 months and 21 days and we are still waiting for some kind of word.

My husband has heard that we 'should' hear from them in the next month.  I know this is good news.  This is reason to be happy.  Rejoice.

But, honestly, I am struggling.  I've held on for so long, my grip is weakening.  I never for a second anticipated the wait would be this long - and it's only going to be longer, at least a month after we officially hear from the visa-place will we, maybe, be able to see each other in 'real life' again.  I'm not getting enough sleep, I had a dizzy episode at work and had to come home, after only being there for about half an hour.

It's not just me struggling, my husband is too.  I'm not sure exactly how our boy is coping, but he truly seems to be going 'ok'.

A week or two ago I made a set of binoculars out of a cardboard roll, cello-tape and string.  I even said, "You might be able to see Daddy with these."  I felt my heart break when he ran to the window and looked through the new binoculars, only to show me his most confused and sad face when he couldn't actually see Daddy.  Oops.  He understands the word 'pretend' so I should have explained that a little better beforehand.

Heart.  Broken.

I'm not exactly sure how to put into words what I feel.  It's such a weird place to be in, almost grieving, almost ecstatic, almost glad, almost hopeful, in despair.

Honestly... I am discouraged.  I don't know a heavier word to put beside that awful word 'discouraged' because it's too light.  It's not simply that I've had something sad happen, or not happen and I'm wallowing in self-pity.  It's more of an emotionally-exhausted, silently-screaming, incapasitatingly-confusing situation.  Some days I can't get anything done, and I don't know why.  Other days I somehow manager to get so much done, and wonder how I did it - worrying that the next day I'll be expected to perform the same.

Over-thinking, under-thinking, forgetting, managing, just.  I have had my up days.  I have had my down days.  I'm quite finished with this unknowing.  It's actually really, really hard.

Right now, I'm holding on to the hope that we will hear in the next month.  I just don't want it to go on for any longer than that.  Please.

This certainly was not in any of our plans.


PS  I miss blogging.  I feel like I've neglected this space, a place where I enjoy showing off my fun stuff, not my sad stuff, so please look forward to hearing great and awesome and fantastic news in the next month!

PPS  I just need cuddles.

PPPS  Next time (thank God, there won't be a next time), we would definitely do this a different way around.