Update and New Beginnings

How do I write down an update to sum up my life right now? I have tried four times and deleted all of them. Its a bit hard really. So I’ll begin it by bullet pointing.

  • New baby, Xanthe Kylie Louise Hills. Arrived 22nd November 2016. Born at home, no complications. She is incredibly delicious. Gets nibbled every day and keeps me awake at night. Quinn the son has started school (WHAT?!) in April. Love him, he is hilarious and growing up so quickly. Quite hard work at times but thats to be expected with all the changes.
  • Kylie, my love, rock and local funny man is also a zombie tired wreck who is ever hopeful he might get some… sleep at some point in his future.. possibly not in the next few months!
  • Cara – My little sister who was in an awful car accident 18th October 2015. She is in a Christchurch care and rehab facility. She is awake but needs 24 hour care, rest and gentle rehab. This is going to be a very long journey, for her, for her family and friends. We have small signs of her being still with us, but its cloudy in there and beyond hard to try and get out. We do whatever we can to help. Head injuries suck. Head injuries that would kill most people suck even more. Keep her in your thoughts and send whatever get well vibes you can.
  • Creative stuff. I painted a few pictures before I hit huge pregnant. Loved it. I have started a crochet blanket for Xanthe’s big bed. Always knitting, always sketching.
  • Food and Health. Things are tracking really well now. I have worked hard to find out what my body thrives on food wise and have been feeling the healthiest I have been in years, even when growing a baby and having no sleep. Shows how bad I got before i took back some control.
  • Garden, ticking along, quite neglected at present. With all the time spent breastfeeding I have used that time to read books and listen to podcasts, mostly about gardening and permaculture. I have been SO inspired, hoping to apply said inspiration and get in the garden soon. Many new layouts have been sketched, methods to make new beds researched… trying to get Kylie enthused to help also a daily activity… he helps, but usually to keep me happy… which I guess works well enough, I just need some other garden geeks to chew their ears off instead of Kylie!
  • I would like to be filling up this blog more. I have an itch to write, take pictures and create a space to catalogue exploits and ideas, even if largely unread… I know my family and friends read 😀

I’ll leave with some random piccies I have been taking recently. Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

Margaret Mahy Family Playground

Xanthe Hills 6.5 months

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.


Cara, me. 2004

As some of you will already know my sister was involved in a serious car accident in the US last month. I am finding myself finally able to breath as the flights to bring her home are booked. Now I feel like I can maybe write about this, a bit. You can find a description of the accident I wrote on the Give a Little page setup.

The last month has been the closest to hell I have had to experience so far in my life, I hope to never have to again. Reality is though, we all have to go through things like this at some point. Being far away and her being so ill has been so ridiculously hard. I remind myself every day that she hasn’t died and she is stable and recovering. Due to her head injury we still don’t know if we will ever get ‘her’ back. However, she is a little bit responsive and is more so each day, little arm movements, kicks, her pupils dilate and her eyes occasionally follow you around the room. For each day she adds to her list of abilities is a step in the right direction, something I continuously remind myself of when I start down the overthinking spiral of “what if’s”. One thing I know is she sure as hell would not give up on me, so I won’t her. I also know, she is stubborn and if she can recover, if anyone can, its her. She is one hard nut to crack.

Cara will be home on Wednesday, I will finally get to hold her hand and resist squashing her in a huge hug (still very much recovering, squeezing hug not so good). Finally, finally be there to help her when she needs it.

I have set-up a site to combine everything in one space that’s going on in “Campaign Cara-Joy“… the fundraising, the social network, the donation pages and more. So if your interested its all there.

Baby Quinn

Baby Quinn Hills 6

Its been a very long time since I have had anything to say here. I guess with baby making and working hard to get all the important stuff done before the arrival of the little guy I might have had the time but certainly not the brain power! Infact I am posting now to see if I can kick back some brain power. Because I am currently OBSESSED with my wee guy. I felt it happen too. I still had my facilities even after he was born, but in the last three weeks all I can now think about is Quinn Quinn Quinn. Talk about some funky amazing hormones to make sure this guy thrives. When he is napping elsewhere but on me in the Moby wrap (where he is snoring right now) I just collapse on the sofa and watch TV! This is my attempt to kick start myself back into brain use, through blogging. I can perhaps fill you in on all the things I have been making in the last few months… which is MANY, mostly of the baby persuasion! First though here are some piccies of the coolest thing I have ever made. EVER (thats the baby). After this I will try to refrain from too many baby photos…

Some knitwear I made a wee while ago:
Baby Quinn Hills 13

Bright eyes:
Baby Quinn Hills 5

Auntie Cara:
Baby Quinn Hills 2

Sporting a muma made bib
Baby Quinn Hills 17

Sweet baby face
Baby Quinn Hills 15

Read all about it!

This is a newsy post. As some of you already know because you’re in Christchurch or you read it on the news. We had another pretty decent aftershock (or two) yesterday. The first one had me sitting there holding my screen waiting for it to get worse. It didn’t, power stayed on and I went back to work. Second one had me under the desk in seconds cup of tea in hand and sloshed all over the floor. Power did go off that time (back on before nightfall – thank you Orion!)! That was the difference really. In a measly .5 difference on the Richter scale the bookshelves get messed up and things fall off shelves.

Thankfully our neighborhood is on the flat and to the side in what seems like a little island sanctuary to me right now and we have had no damage. No breakages even. I went though the house after the smaller 5.5 one just to check and pushed things to the back of shelves and put a few things away…. which probably stopped the few breakages we may have had in the 6.0. Go across a by two blocks and there the liquefaction starts! Some people homes were thrown around worse or much like the the February one. Its crazy to me how it changes so drastically from house to house. Yay for no deaths or serious injuries! I have already mourned the loss of buildings and how the city was and continue to look forward to the future with anticipation and curiosity on how everything will look in 15 years!

Second item of news is a temporary relocation for me. My partner Kylie is having to work from Te Awamutu in the next three months and I have decided to join him – with cats. I have the luxury of just needing an internet connection and my laptop to earn some money. So I may as well follow him instead of miss him! Have a break from my beloved shaky town and explore the north island. Which I have not done that well yet. So pretty excited! Just letting you all know this is not holiday and I will be working as per usual. Just from a different spot for a little while. Continue to bring forth the work

Stay safe and look after your loved ones!

Moved and almost open for business

South library
Sunny Library – where i am posting from.

Despite the earthquake interrupting some upcoming jobs I seem to of been kept rather busy. Moving house can do that to a person. Also due to the wonderfully timed quake I was way too busy to do lots of pre-packing as I had originally planned – there also being a box shortage (as you can imagine when a large amount of houses in our injured city are left to dangerous to live in) i just had to make do with what we could get – which in the end was plenty, two sets of friends had boxes from moving to Christchurch from overseas and when the word went out we had boxes turn up on our doorstep quite regularly! The packing happened in fits and starts in the week preceding and on the day of the move.

It was a rather exciting full on day of two cars with two trailers, large amounts of helpful hands there to clear the house and much “drop ins” to have a look. I was perpetually packing up the kitchen and then unpacking the kitchen as the rest of the crew emptied our house and probably saw far too much personal items of mine that i hadn’t had time to pack. It was awfully embarrassing when we realized how much stuff we had, when normally as we packed we would have done a great sort out, the sort out is now happening as we unpack.. which is good and therapeutic sometimes (i liked throwing out some more old uni work), but this does nothing for the (mostly mine) reputations as a pack rats has already been fully established. However the packing was done by very forgiving and helpful friends, they seemed to still like me after it all, so can’t be too bad. Afterwards we hosted a large bbq and some nice beers on our new slightly rotten deck and after throwing all boxes from lounge to hallway/bedrooms and wherever else they fit… we could actually sit (and as it turns out sleep!) in our lounge quite comfortably.

As I type I can still see all the boxes left to unpack and all the clutter thats spread out in the rooms we have managed to furnish and get up and running. One more room is left to set up furniture in, then its the unpacking of the boxes in all the corners and garage.

I have not been so much on my feet since the waitressing days and by the end of the day I am even too tired to read, i just lying there decompressing my brain in silence and thinking about our new little house.

For myself I am excited and since we have no internet (will be posting this at the local library) I am not seeing our bank balance become affected by the large loan! I do have internet on my phone, its not too desperate times, since there is so much to do I am ok for the time being. We have tried to get connected but there seems to be a fault with our lines. Funny that.

As i write this (i copied and pasted in the library) I am sitting facing our new backyard and deck with my old bucket garden taking to the new deck nicely, as the new conservatory fills with its sunshine… which it gets practically ALL DAY. Its north facing baby. This place has a very small veggie plot, (soon to be enlarged) and one shared apple tree.

The earthquake has caused some damage. The roof has holes and there are cracks here and there, but we got off very lightly and had zero liquefaction, our foundations are mostly fine. I am feeling extremely blessed at the moment. Insurance is sorting out the the roof, the cracks and even a new paint job on the outside of the house (paints cracked off!) so this designer gets to choose some paint colours. The big grin is currently spreading across my face….  all of this is covered by EQC! We will be getting the contractors to fix other parts of the house at the same time – since its the right time. Which will cost us, we will stick to the essential for waterproofing and conserving, as much as we would love to add in much more extra things, these can wait for when the mortgage has been whittled down quite a bit more and it makes more financial sense. Lets just say we are not banking on our plot of land selling to finance a few improvements any time soon!

After this extremely long winded blog post I have a few last last things to leave you with. One – thank god for friends!, thanks to the gravel soil our house sits on and thank you everyone I know and love are safe and well. And second this may be one of the last personal blog posts on this blog, I am working on a new place for my personal writing so i really can keep this one for work nattering only. With the quieter month for paid work I have been working on this sites re-design and the new personal blog… soon to be uncovered!

Hope this post finds you well and happy. Stay safe and always, always have a plan B… that has plenty of water and canned food somewhere to snatch and grab… xxxx

Earthquaking almost two weeks on

I am looking out the dining room window at the freshly rained on houses around us that are now bathing in the morning sunlight. A cat on my lap and my newest knitted sweater on I am quite comforted that the seasons continue and life feels to be moving forward again. On my side of the city we have everything, running water, electricity and sewage! We are still boiling everything we drink and flushing sparingly but having these things we are used to has helped me let go of a lot of stress. Although not the guilt.

The guilt will go when everyone else in Christchurch has all the need to move on as well. The reality is there will be people with nowhere else to go living in houses that drafty, surrounded and sitting in silt and damp. With no water, or sewage. Fortunately the power people have been amazing at restoring power to much of the city already. I hope the water people can move as efficiently in the next week. Then there are those scrambling trying to find somewhere to live after loosing their homes.

I am still very much overwhelmed by whats happened and the job we now have ahead of us but I keep focusing on what I need to do right now. One of those is move into the new house – first as a rental because the banks (to add to everything else) have frozen all lending. Even though we have a contract saying we will get the money. Plus full insurance. Hopefully very soon the fact we still have jobs and the house is fine means the bank will go back to being helpful. Or we may just be out of a home, although I am trying not to think about that!

Today I work  and call the carpet cleaners to come in the clean the carpets ready for the new tenants in the place we are living in right now. Keeping moving and buying things in Chch will mean that it bounces back much faster.

Righto then – time to work!

Yarn Bombing in Christchurch

Christchurch has been through a bit in the last few months. Never before have I seen so yarn bombing around, its probably related to the big old shake. Its almost like crafter/knitters/artists are wrapping the city up to comfort it. I find myself loving it and admiring it.

Yarn Bombing in ChristchurchYarn Bombing in Christchurch

Yarn Bombing in ChristchurchYarn Bombing in Christchurch

I do see some thrifted items in there – but to be honest I felt myself unwilling to part with even my yarn odds and ends to comfort something that doesn’t feel the cold quite like I do. Doesn’t stop me loving it though.

There are a few items worth mentioning that are a direct and nice result from the Earthquake.

There is an exhibition going on at the Christchurch Art Gallery directly aimed at us to help rebuild Christchurch how we want it. I am rather keen that what replaces our oldest buildings should be beautiful in their own right. We need to think about it and have our say. The Before and After website also has dates for public discussions on the rebuild… think I might go. I love my little ChCh.

I saw this article on Design Daily about putting temporary parks and green spaces throughout Christchurch in the empty lots buildings used to be. Might head over to the next session on planting… love a spot of gardening. You know what my dream is right? Community vegetable/food gardens… if we find a space that’s not so “temporary” creating a kick ass community garden in Central Christchurch. How amazing would that be?

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone! I hope you all had a fun Christmas and New Years. We had Christmas at ours this year so I was running around non-stop until Christmas and then followed up with a relaxed few days off. I am going to take a small break from the blog to get some other work done this month. I have one big re-design to do on a e-commerce site – that needs most of my time and attention, followed by tweaks on alot of client work. So I am unable to accept new clients work until the end of February at this stage. Which is good right!? Although I have so little time to start it, I am determined to finish the re-design for this site and a new blog for all my crafting adventures at some point! If any of my existing existing clients need things doing then do let me know – I am here to support you guys. Just not able to support new clients at present. So stay tuned in – I will be posting quick updates on my facebook page. Have a great January!

Earthquake update

Hey ya’all! Just wanted to let all of those know a wee update on the situation here in my now rather messy home town. We all survived and are all mostly in agreement that we have all just had the scariest moment in our lives. I am thankfully in a part of town that looks as if nothing has happened. Besides a few brick fences and chimneys we are all ok!

While weathering aftershocks and still being unable to think about little else I have started the office clean up and have been in touch with most of my clients who are affected by the quake. Some more than others. I just want all of you to know that all servers and sites I have checked and even the Christchurch ones seem to be working well! I can do little to help but offer to put up some status updates on your websites free of charge. If I have not already been in touch with you about this let me know!

Win a Handbag with Floozy!

harveys seatbelt handbagHello! Just briefly dropping to let you know that one of my favorite clients, Floozy are running a competition to win a Harvey’s seatbelt handbag. I have one and love it! Its a good size, its indestructible and O so sexy. All you have to do is drop by the blog and comment on why you would like one… mmmm thats not the hard huh? I would comment.. but i have one already and think other people deserve it more.. so comment! Let me know if you win!