A year of mending

Yes I've been missing in action and gone awol for some time off this blog.

After the last post I decided to try wordpress as it had a better modern layout but that never went far as life turned upside down!

To cut a long story short, take a year and remove time for:
  • in a child's ENT surgery,
  • 3 months of gastro issues resulting in an acute gall bladder removal and complications in hospital resulting in a 10 day stay then a many weeks recovery,
  • several months of sweats, migraines and  severe neuropathy in my hands  which was debilitating and ruled out sewing (resisted meds to solve symptoms and personally investigated causes and now gluten free 3 month - all symptoms gone! GP agrees)
  • wider family stuff
But largely as this lovely lady, My Nana, May, finally  fought too many sickness  in 2016 with her ailments as you do when you are in your 90's and steadily declined in her health which meant most months/school holidays I spent 7 hours driving to be with her and nursed her with family at the end over 3 weeks. That was the easy part. The sense of loss was immense and 6 months later I no longer go to the phone to ring her when I am excited about something !

May Isabella Wilson Prestney (nee Johnstone),
W.R.N.Z.N.S 411 WREN. Passed away on Prestney Pikelet Sunday, 9 October 2016; aged 91 years


She was a WRN (known as Wrens), in the woman royal navy, and we laugh as she hated water! She served in Wellington as a cook at the naval base. She made things out of nothing like most of our fore mothers in the war.

 She used to attend fashion shows in Wellington in the 50's-70's and then go home and the next day come out in a replica haute couture outfit before they had even hit the exclusive shops. I remember playing in those frocks! She made these for me (I'm on right) and I cringed at the homemade undies in the 70's as we could not afford shop bought ones (tho now homemade underwear is very chic!)

She was my inspiration for a selected World of Wearable art (2006) show, called Pioneer Iron Maiden - she managed and worked on 2 big sheep stations with my Late Poppa and I imagined her whipping up a haute couture outfit for a country dance using corrugated iron, a sheep's head corsage, a bit of fern with the huntaway herding dog in the kennel out the back!  - you know our fore mother who can make anything out of nothing ( a meal with meagre supplies, clothes out of flour bags, furniture out of packing cases etc.)

I have several old eiderdowns (she plucked, washed and dried countless ducks during duck shooting season) and made us all eiderdowns- which sit in the cupboard waiting for me to get to get recovered.

She died on Pikelet Sunday- we had a family tradition- she made pikelets on Sunday. I wrote a story for my children on this and self publishes a few copies  - backgrounds using some of my favourite fabrics!




 She'd say get on, start sewing, when is that deadline?....so sew I will, cobwebs dusted, sewing roomed cleaned and symposium deadlines loom and projects for gifts await!