On KAL’s and Snails and Beach Walks

The second post on the Washington Meet-Up is still in the works – there seems to be too much else going on to actually sit down and finish it……….. but I will, I know you are dying to hear more!

But I did get this Lace Leaf KAL project finished.  The second colour arrived and is the perfect complement – what do you think?   I’m really pleased with this scarf, it’s knitted in bamboo cotton yarn and made to be part of an ensemble for my YD.  This means I’ve also successfully completed my first KAL albeit a little late!

Pink Lace Leaf1  6May


I knitted it a little smaller than the pattern called for as I wanted it to be just a scarf rather than a shawl – and oh, the fabric is so soft and gentle.  I love knitting with bamboo yarn!!

Pink Lace Leaf 3 6 May

Pink Lace Leaf 5 7 May

I’ve also finished my lady snail painting – meet Ms Snail:

Ms Snail

Ms Snail is about to begin a journey, via snail mail, to Claudia in the UK for her 365 Days of Snails.  Follow the link if you are intrigued and have an artistic snail to share.  I found it quite interesting making this painting – I ended up feeling slightly kinder to the snails who inhabit my Boston Ivy and Jasmine vines…………

I’ve also assisting my YD in setting up her first ever blog.  An aspiring photographer and our official photographer here in Contented Land, she has bitten the bullet and decided to join in the fun at WordPress.  It’s a work in progress, but there is already two photo posts published.  If you are at all interested, pop over to ‘Let’s See What I Can See’ and see what you think about what she is seeing!

Yesterday Siddy went to the beach on a gloriously warm and sunny May day – here are some shots taken by our official photographer

Siddy with sand on his nose

Siddy with sand on his nose



What a difference a week can make, we are totally enjoying some unusually placed hot summer weather here, the weather gods appear to be a little discombobulated…….  I’m sure they will work it out soon, in the meantime Siddy and I are chasing seagulls, sniffing the sea air and wandering along the sandy shore.  Happy Days!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!

Another Week – Another Update!

Good heavens!  It’s the 1st of May already – the year is racing away on me again!

I’ve got a post half written telling you all about the next part of the trip – but life and playing in my art room is getting in the way of my completing it ……..

Thank you for all your supportive words and shared stories around my hearing loss.  It’s not 100% cured yet but is showing definite signs of improvement – an old, old friend from long, long ago read the last post and got on his white horse and galloped to my rescue.  He is a homeopath in Germany these day [if you are there and need one just let me know, I can recommend him thoroughly] His suggested remedy appears to be working, I’m maybe only a foot or so under water now.  On the chiropractic side my body has never felt more well oiled and smooth working  –  I’m very fond of my chiropractor too, even though he does inflict severe pain whilst aligning the bits!

Thanks Alexander, thanks Tat!!  ❤

I’m painting – I did this one as my response to a Life-Book lesson published two weeks back with a most talented lady named Jenny Lee Wentworth.  Her approach quite delighted me and I want to do more work with her in the future.  I watched her lesson and a few days later sat down and started work without referring back.  I still have to go back and see how far off the mark I was.  Pretty far I think – but I liked the freedom it offered, even if I did come back into my own way of doing things really strongly…..  This was a lesson in coming to form through layers of colour – no outlining or sketching involved.  I am wanting to get to a closer resemblance of real people rather than this semi whimsical style – maybe I’m half way in that process………….

opyright Pauline King 2015

Copyright Pauline King 2015

This painting is about half finished

Half completed  'Ms Snail'

Half completed ‘Ms Snail’

As you can see, it’s sitting firmly in its ‘ugly stage’ in this photo.  You may be relieved to know she is already looking better, but has a ways to go still.  It’s destined for the UK if I like where it gets to by the end – if not it will just get painted over and I’ll start again.

In really exciting news, I got suddenly and most surprisingly presented with a new phone by my YD a couple of days ago.  It’s a Samsung Android, the one-before-the-very-latest version.  Now I’m a modern woman ……….  No more getting into scrapes whilst travelling and having no ability to contact my friends without it being a very long convoluted process involving texts being sent half way round the globe and back again – you know the story……..  I can do it myself now.

If I ever go anywhere ever again…….

It is not the latest super dooper-cooks your breakfast kind of smart phone, but it is an extremely clever and on-to-it kind of smart phone and is probably capable of doing way more than I shall ever require it to do – and it takes really nice photos.

Here’s Siddy peering into it – probably ascertaining if it is edible ….

Siddy King 30 4 15

Siddy King 30 4 15

Look at those eye lashes!   And another one

Siddy 30 4

this is his really serious ‘Whatyadoin’ Mumma?’ face.

Now I might actually get around to taking photos for the blog instead of getting where I’m going and saying “Blast, I forgot the camera again!”

If you are up with the play – and why shouldn’t you be? – you may remember I’m knitting a lovely pinkish lacyish shawl with a KAL [Knit-A-Long] group.  I mucked it up a bit when I had to frog a row – then two – and oh dear, three ……  I’d decided to gussy it up a bit by adding in a deeper pink for contrast along the edging and was undoing a row.  Sigh! Now I am waiting for that other colour to arrive.  In the meantime I got all carried away with myself and decided to use the Indian Silk on this pattern too…..  This is where that is up to.  It’s like knitting with a strand of cotton and will take, I am told reliably by Claire who knows about these things, double the amount of 8 row repeats to get a decent sized wrap out of……  but it will be so pretty and light and airy and just a little bit blingy too …..  I just might be spending the entire winter knitting it!


Here’s a tiny shot of the detail – just casually snapped with my new phone you understand…………

IndianSilk detail

And that’s kind of where we are at this week folks – it’s cold and dreary and already winter here in the far south of New Zealand.  Orlando is sporting a magnificent thick white undercoat which I take to mean it’s going to be a cold one!  When he comes down to ground level I’ll try and capture a shot of him showing his new winter coat ……

tiggie2 nov14

And here’s a little bit more of a Siddy-fix for those who love him

Until then – thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!



Friday Thoughts

I have been having trouble with my hearing.  I think six times up and down in planes in a ten day period was a bit much for my delicate Eustachian tubes and they have become resolutely and immovably blocked.  I have done steams, nasal sprays, ear sprays, all the exercises and then some, hung myself upside down and hummed loudly – you name it, we’ve attempted it!

As I hit the ten day mark and if anything the hearing loss is worsening, I am resorting to chiropractic care to try and get everything moving again.  This is a man I have an enormous respect for and his ability with understanding the body and what happens when it is even slightly out of whack is quite amazing.  My body is apparently quite a lot out of whack!  Time will tell if he has success.

In the meantime I am gaining a whole new respect for and understanding of, what being ‘hearing impaired’ is like.  I used to think a slight loss of hearing maybe wasn’t such a very bad thing, given the inordinate amount of noise in our daily lives – which just goes to show that I equated deafness with silence.

This world is not silent!  It is accompanied by an on-going high pitched hum that only I can hear.  It is like listening to people talk while six feet under water.  There is a ring of exhaustion around my head from having to listen carefully and work through the constant high pitched hum.  I am aware of the space between my ears in a new and quite unpleasant way.  There is a weight in my ears I never knew was there.  I can hear my bones creak and crack, every swallow made in my throat. the sound of myself chewing food.  I hear the throb of blood moving through my head that keeps pace with the beat of my heart.  I am forced into a noisy, internal world that is quite solitary.

I noticed today that I was relieved I met no-one on my morning walk with Siddy.  The intensity required to conduct a simple exchange of pleasantries is getting too much for me.  I understand now why some people just give up on the polite, phatic exchange and opt for avoidance of others.

How many ways can you say ‘I’m sorry, can you repeat that?’ in any conversation without driving the other person bonkers.  Lip reading is an art I am quickly learning and guessing what is said also forms part of it.

It’s not a pleasant world to be trapped in!  And as there is always a silver lining to every experience we have, mine is that I shall have much more understanding and empathy for the deaf and hearing impaired from this point on.

My enforced solitude means I am making good progress on my Lace Leaf KAL which is over on Mollie and Claire and I am up to date I think – these photos were taken a few days ago.

KAL2 15 4

I am knitting with a bamboo yarn that is deliciously soft and silky.  The Indian Silk yarn didn’t suit this pattern so I am saving it for something else.

KAL1 15 4

I love the pretty leaves and now I know where I am by sight in the eight row repeat pattern things are moving along quite smoothly.  Though I have just spotted there is a mistake in the centre leaf on the left side…………  I am not frogging again.  I have frogged at least three times back to the beginning and any imperfections can now stay in place!

I want to show you my beautiful sea dragon, Arthur.  He arrived soon after I returned home from my American Interlude.  He comes from Wales and was made especially for me by the divine Dr. Snail of Happiness fame.  These are her photos and you may admire her pristine work and delicate finishing touches all you wish and if you want to see more, go here.

The photos on the dark background are true to colour, the last two shots give you some idea of the detail that has gone into this magnificent beast.  Just look at those cute webbed feet – I am a little in love!

dragon2 dragon1 cropped

dragon13 dragon12

And for those of you who love him – here is the first photo taken of a happy and exhausted puppy the day his mumma came home to him

17 4 asleep 1

I must remember to take my camera on our walk tomorrow – the weather is beautiful and autumn is at her best.  I love having the images of spring still in my head and knowing that we live in harmony – autumn really does reflect on the youthful vibrancy of spring, only in an older, wiser more muted version of what once was.   It is quite lovely!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!