29 September 2014

Visa News

It's such a long and complicated process, this immigration visa for the USA.  We finally got the 'letter-we-were-waiting-for' a week or two ago.  It had a certain number that we needed to send to the US Consulate General in Auckland, NZ, in order for them to request our case be forwarded to them direct.

That happened.  Then, remarkably shortly later we had an email from them (US Consulate General in New Zealand) giving Roy and I a list of things to do for the next stage.  Roy and I both have to gather a bunch of different papers together and post them to Auckland.  Roy's papers are done, the ones I'm sending can't go just yet as some personal information has to be requested formally and that takes a little bit of time to get done.

Once I have all the paperwork I'll send it to Auckland and then... then they will get back to me with a date for an interview (YES!!!!) and they'll tell me where to go to get an official medical done before the interview.

AND then (said just like on Dude Where's My Car), once the medical is done, and the interview is done, we'll hopefully actually have visas and we'll be able to book flights and, and, and then!!!!!

SO, potentially, in a matter of weeks, like, maybe, dare I say it, 6ish weeks, we might, maybe, almost be in the US, or we'll at least know something awesome.

But, in the mean-time, I'm going to choose joy, and sing, and praise the Lord, because He is good.

After I had written that way-too-intense blog post a couple of posts ago I began to change my tune.  On purpose.  I woke up a day or two later with a new attitude.  We got ourselves into this, we believe it's God's plan for us, we're going to do this and finish it!

I want to say a huge thank you to all my friends, the ones who commented here, the ones who didn't, the ones who prayed, the ones who still are praying, the ones who sent good thoughts my way, the ones who emailed or sent a card, the ones who I've never met in person.  I have felt so encouraged and uplifted by you all and I thank God for your support.

This visa story is far from over, but however longer it takes, we'll get through it.  We'll do this.  Even when I'm having a mad, mid-cycle, moody day (yes I did just say that) I'm not giving up.  We are in this and we are doing this.  "We," being Roy and I, and our Little Lion.

I've been really getting into drawing and painting and art and such - if you follow me on instagram you'll see much of what I've been up to lately.  I've had commissioned art opportunities (plural = happy dance) which I'll be sharing with you soon.  I haven't been very busy, but I've been busy.  The kind of busy that involves filling my days with things I enjoy, and things that challenge me, and things that help others - the best kind.

Thank you for all of your amazing support and happy words!  Watch this space, it's growing and it's changing.


26 September 2014

More Patience

September isn't over, yet, so I can't (won't) show off my journal!  Patience, my dears.

What I can show off is a cute necklace I made with my peach linen yarn and some pretty fresh-water pearls.  It's just long enough to be able to 'go around twice' if I want a layered look.

What do you think?  Good enough to sell?  Or, more importantly, good enough that people might like to purchase a necklace?


15 September 2014


I've been filling up my little moleskine journal lately with SO much prettiness that I just want to show you!  But... I have to be patient and show you in October in my 'September's Journal 2014' post.

But, also, because a lot of my patience has been stretched so thin right now (about me), I'm going to leave you with this...


08 September 2014

Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord when it comes out easy
Praise the Lord on top of the world
Praise the Lord ‘cause in every moment Jesus Christ is Lord
Even in the middle of the joys of life
There is always grace enough today to
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Won’t you praise the Lord?
Praise the Lord with the world on your shoulders
Praise the Lord when it seems too hard
Praise the Lord ‘cause in every moment Jesus Christ is Lord
Even in the middle of the long, dark night
There is always grace enough today to
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Won’t you praise the Lord?
Praise the Lord if you can sing it at the top of your lungs
Praise the Lord like every moment is a song to be sung
Praise the Lord: though it might take blood, sweat and tears in your eyes
There is grace for today so praise the Lord
There is grace for today so praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord
Won’t you praise the Lord?
There is grace for today so praise the Lord

03 September 2014

August's Journal 2014

I discovered Inktense pencils last month - which I'm loving by the way.  They work just like watercolour pencils - except they're brighter and they are waterproof once dry.  Very cool.

I still love gouache though...

And, a very special mention to my son, who did this.  Actually, he did the coral/blue/purple.  I did the rest (green).

Don't you love it when your hair runs through your wet paint?  All that hard work... sigh.  I'm happy with the border, but not the script style.  It's not uniform, but I do love the 'love'.

And lastly, I pulled out a very special black watercolour tube.

I love rediscovering art supplies in my stash.

Next up, a much more 'up-beat' post than the last one.  I promise.


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.