If I had to pick just one image that says “New Zealand Summer,” the above picture would be it. There is nothing in the world that brings instant summer holiday vibes into my life like seeing the blazing red flowers of the Pohutukawa tree with a bright blue sky in the background. Legend has it, that if the Pohutukawa flowers before Christmas Day we are in for a hot summer. This year they flowered at the beginning of December…. and what a summer we are having. Today, not so great, but there is a cyclone warning out, but the last couple of months have been utter bliss and it feels as though winter will never exist again.
There have been summers where I remember the Pohutukawa didn’t flower until after Christmas Day and it really wasn’t a lovely summer, but we’re making up for it this year for sure.
I took these pictures a few weeks ago… the trees have lost their red flowers now, but looking at them as I upload them is making me feel all good inside again! Pohutukawas are mainly coastal trees but also grow around some lakes too…. I didn’t know until just now, that they’re being decimated by possums, like so much of our native bush *insert sad face here* but the Department of Conservation is well onto that sort of business and preserving our native bush….
You can see all of that yellow pollen on the ends of the stamens there… KB is allergic to pollen, I’m not, but when the Pohutukawa is flowering and I get a big whiff of that sweet, cloying scent, I just want to go and have a big sleep…. No wonder poor KB is such a mess at this time of year!
A few weeks ago, rememer I was decluttering? I decluttered my stash and sorted it out and it was lovely, I also pulled out the summer garden granny square cushion fronts I had hooked together and then hidden away, and decided that because it was the new year, I really needed to do something with them.
These summer garden granny squares have become an epic saga…. If you remember, I began my blog with the intention of posting my progress through the blanket I was making… I gave up after 52 squares… then months ago I hooked them into one cushion which I LOVED and is still one of my favourite cushions ever. Then, one afternoon I hooked the rest into two cushion covers and left them half-made, oh and a few even went into Raymond’s birthday blanket too…..
The epic journey has come to and end…. One afternoon in my holidays, I just did it! I hooked two big squares for the backs, then made them into cushions, and now I have a set of three!
Even though I have been avoiding these squares for months, hiding them in a bag in my stash, when they are a complete cushion, I just love them! They are so happy and colourful, all of those beautiful dancing colours surrounded by the natural, undyed wool…..
I felt a little smug when I was working on these cushions…. you see…. I found a few balls of nasty acrylic in my messy stash that I decluttered. (Sorry, blatant yarn snobbery happening here, but you’ll understand why soon enough…) I decided to use that to back the cushions, as it was only $2 per ball and I only needed half a ball per back. “Gosh” I thought smugly….” thats a great way to use up my acrylic and save some money on the cushions”… they cost about $2o-30 each to make, so cost cutting can be nice!
Smug smug smug smug smug smug…..
Until the terrible ache set in… a raw, burning ache in my wrists and shoulders…..
“What’s happening to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee???” I cried to KB…. This is unnatural! KB thought for a moment and then asked if I’d been using acrylic lately, because on the few occasions I’ve used acrylic, I end up in pain afterwards… she is sooooooooo observant….. well, maybe I just complain a lot so she HAS to notice things like that….
And it dawned on me… the acrylic had caused the pain, and I got quite annoyed at that and no longer felt smug…. then cleaned out my stash…. anything that had even a percentage of acrylic in it went to the op shop….
Do you have unusual reactions to seemingly innocent yarn??
Despite the pain and the annoyance at having to take a craft break, I still loooooove these cushions and love that they all match and look beautiful on my day bed! And the summer garden granny square chapter is closed! Thank you lovely Lucy once again, for the pattern!
Well… I’m off to brave the misty rain and head to the library to get some essays written… I just can’t do it at home because there is just too much wool here for me to concentrate on anything except fun, makey-things…..
I hope you’re having a lovely day! Wishing you lots of blessings!
Love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX