Monthly Archives: January 2012

Two small flowers

You may remember my post about allowing my brain to get to work on the crochet flower pattern while I went out into the garden. Well here is the result. A small crocheted flower, made out of embroidery thread, for a wee knitted tunic.

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I have since made a second crocheted flower as “neurons that fire together wire together” meaning that the more we practice a skill, the stronger the connections in our brains and the easier (in theory) things become. My second one is a little different to the first one so I have not polished my skills on this pattern yet.

The other small flower is on the Fuchsia procumbens, a native plant to New Zealand. I have this low growing pretty plant growing in a mass under the Melia tree.
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The flowers came out in December and are delicate red and yellow. In autumn large pink/red berries form on the plant. It is an evergreen with pretty round green leaves.

The people who owned this house before us were very keen gardeners and planted some unusual specimens. I think this is one of those.

New Zealand Christmas trees

The Pohutukawa is known as the New Zealand Christmas tree because it flowers around Christmas time and it has bright red flowers against green foliage.

There are various comments made about the flowering period. It is said that if the Pohutukawa flower early then it means a long, hot summer.

This year the Pohutukawa in my area are flowering abundantly right now. Everywhere I look there are trees bursting with red flowers, while some have a pink toning and yet others flower with yellow flowers. It is the brilliant red ones that are so striking.

Pohutukawa trees grow particularly well in New Zealand, especially near beaches but also in urban gardens, parks and road sides. Our native birds love the nectar in the flowers, the honey bees adore them and I learnt last night that Monarch butterflies feast on these flowers. Nature meets many needs at the same time putting on a magnificent display for us to enjoy.

On Saturday I took some photos of Pohutukawa. I hope you enjoy them.

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Growth opportunities in 2012 e-book

I have a special gift offer for you today. It is a free e-book “Opportunities for personal growth – Grow and Flourish in 2012”

My friend and colleague Marian Kerr has collated, edited and published this e-book. No easy task to encourage and cajole contributors to meet mid December deadlines and then to put the e-book together in time for the early new year.

Around 15 different writers, coaches, leaders, educators have contributed their thoughts and wisdom on personal growth and ways to facilitate this. I hope you will enjoy the e-book and feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think would enjoy it or benefit from it. There is no cost or charge attached to it. It is simply a gift.

For those of you who have been following my blog ( and thank you for doing that!) you may read my pieces and think “this is familiar”. You would be correct. With a family wedding on 24th December I had no spare time to write fresh material on personal growth so Marian edited some blog posts of mine as my contribution. I think she has done a great job on them.

If you would like a copy of the e-book emailed to you please contact me: qdeckchapman at clear dot net dot nz

I will also post information about the e-book on the “New” page on my blog.

Grow well!!

Hearts hit home

I was so touched by this post by Ruth in Christchurch that I am reposting it here on my blog ( with Ruth’s agreement). Evie Harris deserves a huge pat on the back for convening such a caring and creative project.

Please click on the link to see the photos and just how many hearts were stitched by people from all over the world. In a world where we hear so much bad news this exhibition warms the heart and reminds us of the goodness of people and how something as ordinary as stitching fabric can display such emotion and care. Please encourage others to look at this amazing exhibition via Ruth’s blog.

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Hearts for Christchurch, an exhibition at the Canterbury Museum, moved me to tears. There are more than 4,000 stitched hearts which have been sent from all over the world to show that people care about us. The project was convened by Evie Harris in Napier, and people were asked to send two heart shapes, sewn together, stuffed or not, embellished, embroidered, quilted, plain or fancy, felt or fabric. The hearts were sorted by colour, and will hang in the Museum Visitors’ Lounge until 22 February.

Hearts for Christchurch, More hearts for Christchurch and more…….

Some sent quilts:
This one reads: “Our hearts wrapped in tears for you on butterflies wings of hope”

What an absolutely beautiful idea this was!

“So many people sent a heart.
I’m deeply touched by this stitched art.”

Posted in Central Christchurch, Earthquake | 4 Comments »

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Sometimes you just have to do something different

My goal yesterday morning was to crochet a small flower embellishment for a wee tunic I had knitted.

I have to confess to putting this seemingly small task off for a number of months now.

But the garment needs to be completed and with the weather looking cloudy and windy I gathered the resources I needed.

My skills with a crochet hook are pretty minimal but the pattern told me “easy”, “simple to make”, “basic” and so I told myself I could do this.

Hmmm 2 hours later my fingers and thumbs were in a muddle, the number of “undoings” was mounting, as was my frustration level.

Right I thought I’ve given this a good go, I’ll go and do something completely different and come back to the crochet later.

The garden work eased my frustration and allowed my brain circuits to focus on weeds but to keep processing what I’d learnt in the morning.

Once back to my crochet project my good old brain suggested I try something new with the crochet hook and suddenly I could see progress and something appearing in my hands that resembled the picture in the pattern. I perservered, reread the instructions, tweaked my approach and voila I had done it!

It really does pay to change pace, environment or activity when things don’t go well or the ideas dry up. All the while trusting that our clever brains are still working on the problem. Then return to the task with freshness and (hopefully) success.