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Riding the Rimutaka Cycle Trail – Day two

Last week I told you all about day one of my awfully big bike ride: as much of the Rimutaka Cycle Trail as I could manage in 24 hours.  And I promised you pictures, which the absence of rain made possible.

The morning of December 31 dawned nice and early. At least I presume it did, it usually does at this time of year. And I’m usually still asleep when it does.  I had every intention of getting up early and setting off somewhere between 9 and 10 am, but in all truthfulness, it was the first night we’d spent in our own bed in a week, and it was rather lovely to not wake up in one of our mothers’ spare single beds or on the single mattress on the floor beside it!  In the end, I started pedalling away from Maymorn station at 10:58 am.

Maymorn to the car park at the start of the Rimutaka Incline.
Maymorn to the car park at the start of the Rimutaka Incline.

I’d had some misgivings about the first section of the second part of the trail. Continue reading Riding the Rimutaka Cycle Trail – Day two

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Riding the Rimutaka Cycle Trail – Day one

A couple of years ago to took up cycling (again) as a form of rehabilitation. When I started my year of productive non-employment in mid-2011, one of the things I wanted to do was get myself back into shape. The means of doing this that I’d chosen was the Couch to 5 km programme from Cool Running. 4 weeks into that however, and I discovered that my ankle injury from late 2010 wasn’t going to let me do it. Months of physio, sports medicine, injections and other interventions later, it was clear that I needed to keep my ankle moving, and cycling seemed to help rather than aggravate it. By the start of last year I’d seen one of my friends increasing posts on the cycling she was doing, and felt pretty inspired by it.  By that point, I’d already achieved my initial goal of cycling into Wellington (20km) a few times.

My bicycle
This is my bike. It is pretty, and it is comfortable.

I started to look for some challenges to keep me going (cycling there and back wasn’t providing enough of its own incentive). I decided to sign up for the GrapeRide, but I was realistic about what I could achieve in 3 months, and went for the 42km option.  At that point I also decided that by the end of the year, I’d be capable of cycling 100km in a day.  Now, as we know, I didn’t quite make the GrapeRide, but it certainly gave me motivation to keep going on my bigger goal – and I still plan to sign up for the 101km version this year. I also decided somewhere along the way that I was going to earn my new bike – putting a dollar into the budget for every kilometre I cycled. I can’t quite remember when I made that decision, but I tracked 1022 km of cycling in 2013 (I suspect there may have been a few unrecorded trips), so that’s my budget.

Now: did I do it? Did I cycle 100km in a day in 2013. Well, yes and no. Continue reading Riding the Rimutaka Cycle Trail – Day one

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Resolutions and Objectives

Here we are, the start of 2014, and the time of year when people talk about their New Years Resolutions.

I’ve never really been the sort of person to make them. When I was younger, I was pretty much of the attitude “Well, I could make some, but I’m never going to stick to them, so why bother?” As I got a bit older, it was more “Why set an arbitrary date to turn your life around?  If something needs fixing, start working on it when you recognise it.”

I never really considered myself to be a goal-setting kind of person either – I think because of the fact that when I was a teenager, my friends were setting themselves resolutions, and even goals throughout the school year, but I wasn’t. So it was a bit of a surprise recently when I met a friend of a friend, who had earlier that evening also met my husband.  When she twigged the relationship (he wasn’t present), suddenly she was telling me how awesome and inspiring she thought I was, based on how Ryan had described me to her.  Apparently I’m a closet goal-setter after all! Continue reading Resolutions and Objectives

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A list for Monday

It’s Monday, 10 days before Christmas, and I finally feel like I have a little chance to breathe after the madness of Christmas markets and extra busy days at the shop.

Apparently Indigo has a sweet tooth
Apparently Indigo has a sweet tooth


I’d love to spend the day lazing around in my pyjamas, and being amused by the neighbourhood cats, however, there are a number of things I have to do today, so here’s a little list:

Things I HAVE to do today:

  • Wash fabric, let it dry, cut out and get started stitching up a bespoke satchel that is needed before Christmas
  • Make some more wallets
  • Make some more visual diaries
  • Do the weekly sales report for the shop
  • Get a massage (that one is locked in)

Things I really Want to do today:

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Make myself some shorts (I have none, and it’s starting to be so summery)
  • Make myself a new dress for Christmas Day
  • Catch up with friends for a drink (unlikely to happen, as the timing for my massage would mean two trips into Wellington)

I wonder how many from both lists I can fit into today…

What is your day looking like?


P.S. Fabric of the Week will be back in the New Year.  I’ve been so busy making stuff for markets that I’ve been using too many different fabrics to mention.


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Friday Night Makes

I’ve been working on building my business for a few years now. I’m pretty good at getting on bursts of sewing when there is a deadline – especially if there’s a market looming, but I was starting to get to the point where I was feeling overwhelmed with making things for others, and never making anything for myself. This was enhanced by the fact that I was working in the shop every Saturday, and so never really felt like I’d had a proper weekend.

Tamarillo Daquiri
Tamarillo Daiquiri – Lampshade from Zamm Lights

So for the last 6 weeks or so, I’ve been dedicating my Friday nights to making something for myself.  Continue reading Friday Night Makes

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It’s that time of year when I suddenly realise that another year has whistled past, and I do a mental stocktake of what I’ve been doing, and whether I’m making best use of my years.

Kaka on the Roof
Image used with permission.

One of the things that has been on my mind recently is whether I’m really doing the best I can be with letting my readers know what I do.  In some ways I’m inherently quite a private person, and yet I still manage to feel like I’m rather verbose (I’ve tweeted over 8,000 times.  Have I really had 8,000 interesting things to say in 140 characters or fewer?).  I’m pretty sure I’ve had my blog longer than I’ve been on twitter, and yet there are only 43 posts.  I’ve just counted back, and I did actually manage to blog 10 times in the last year, which is probably some sort of record for me, especially seeing as most of those posts were in the last 6 months…

I’ve been wondering though, is the content that I’m creating actually interesting? Is it engaging? Do people want to see more of it, or should I hang up my blogging hat and concentrate my efforts somewhere else?  If I do continue, should I stay focused on the business side of things (the things I make to sell, and where you can buy them), or should I bring in a more diverse range of content? Prompting this line of thinking is the thought that I’ve tried to keep personal makes and professional ones somewhat separate, and ended up not really blogging very often at all.  A few years ago I tried to found a group wardrobe makeover blog called handmakemeover (I still love the name!). I had 3 other interested writers, but somehow it all just fizzled out.  I’ve made a few posts on it, but I’m wondering if it’s just plain silly to try and maintain 2 separate blogs (3, if you count the one for Made It, which we’ll be relaunching soon).

Seatoun beach
Wearing clothes I’ve made myself makes me happy. Image used with permission.

So tell me, Dear Reader, would you be interested in reading about my personal sewing too? And maybe the odd adventure in cooking (including teaching my 22-year-old neice who lives on the other side of the world to cook via the internet)?  I have a slew of personal projects that I’ve stitched up and not gotten around to blogging about on handmakemeover, although I have been live-tweeting my Friday Night Makes recently.

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(It is probably fair to say that my husband takes much better pictures than I do!)

Oh, and one final question. Should I post more pictures of my cat?

My name is Hobbes and I approve this chair.
Hobbes reclaiming his chair after I reupholstered it.