Sleepout floor and fit out

It’s been a while since I last did some flooring works, but the result doesn’t look that bad. :)

Dark oak laminate flooring.

A curious visitor.

Floor made by Kaindl, 20km from where we lived in Austria. It’s a small world. :)

Measuring the battens to hide the plywood gaps.

Final cleaning.

Keen helpers who can’t wait to get their room back.

Ready to move in! (even without the cladding on)


The taste of Europe

Austrian: Schweinsbraten with Sauerkraut, Kroketten and Salzburger Stiegl Bier

Baking day: Krustiges Bauernbrot (crusty farmer bread)

Baking day: Roggen Sauerteig (rye sourdough)

Baking day: Roggen/Vollkorn Mischbrot (rye/wholemeal)

Baking day: Türkisches Weißbrot (Turkish white with black cumin/nigella seeds)

Baking day: French baguette

Italian: Prosciutto (Parma ham), super thinly sliced

Pizza dinner: Before…

…and after 10 min in the oven at 270°C.


Sleepout roof and walls

Not much progress with the sleepout lately, as we’ve been busy planting trees again.

April: The roof is on!

May: No more rain inside, with the (ugly) RAB boards on and the windows in.

(Peeking around the corner.)

June: My favorite job #1: Getting the soffit boards up.

My favorite job #2: Putting itchy pink batts overhead.

Yay, even more pink batts!

My favorite job #3: Holding up ply boards and nailing upside down.

Meanwhile in the garage: Lazy tools lying around.

No more visible pink batts!

July: Premiere for my new angle grinder: Window flashings.

Heaps of battens waiting to be painted.


More painting…

Even more painting…

Yeah, still painting… don’t ask…

Look, there are some new houses in the neighborhood (just for reference)!


Sewing Machine Day

It’s not the 13th of June but we’re not in the US, so I figured I can have my National Sewing Machine Day whenever I like! Here you go, my friend, enjoy your cleansing wellness day. May your bobbin winder wind and your fast forward mode not make the table dance again :)


Night shades of blue

It’s July 3rd, 2017 and while I’m busily painting my sleepout soffits white (what a horrible job), Eva develops a passion for denim and transforms a number of old jeans into pillows with beautiful motives in blue. I even got my own one with my name on! Very cool. :)

Just after dinner (pumpkin schnitzel) I’ve received a friend request on Facebook from a local artist who I met earlier this year, Nick Duval-Smith. He also recently got one of our Oamaru limestone blocks to make castings for his bronze works. So I confirmed his friend request and started digging through his impressive works of art, curious and nosy as I am. When I scrolled through some of his acrylic ink paintings, Eva was just passing by and had a quick look at my screen:

“He painted what I sewed today!” she said.

“What are the odds?!”

Here is proof of a “total collective conscious moment”, as Nick described the situation:

Nick’s mountains at night acrylic ink painting.

Eva’s mountains at night denim pillow.

Just to be clear, Eva has never seen Nick’s painting before. But even the location of the full moon matches, as well as the clouds and the mountains in layers of blue shades.

What the …?

Here are some more of Eva’s recent pillow projects:

Zig zag pattern

With my name on the back side

Verena’s very own pillow

All together

Latest additions to the set: Tui (Mum has the bird) and some random new couch-face. Welcome to the family!


On the paddock

Winter’s back, but it’s just another sunny day with smoke over the valley.

This is the right reception for the person that brings the food!

The kids call this one Coco.

I call it Sheep.

Staring in disbelief about the naming.

Really should put this as new Facebook profile, says everything.


Aurora Australis

Finally! After so many missed opportunities in the past, we ultimately got our own Aurora Australis pictures from our hilltop! Yay! :)

Update June 1st, 2017:

Our weekly free Tasman Leader newspaper used my picture on their cover page. That was unexpected! :)


Happy Birthday!

Heute kann es regnen,
stürmen oder schneien,
denn du strahlst ja selber
wie der Sonnenschein.
Heut ist dein Geburtstag,
darum feiern wir,
alle deine Freunde
freuen sich mit dir

Wie schön dass du geboren bist,
wir hätten dich sonst sehr vermisst.
wie schön dass wir beisammen sind,
wir gratulieren dir, Geburtstagskind!

Unsere guten Wünsche
haben ihren Grund:
bitte bleib noch lange
glücklich und gesund.
Dich so froh zu sehen,
ist was uns gefällt,
Tränen gibt es schon
genug auf dieser Welt.

Wie schön dass du geboren bist,
wir hätten dich sonst sehr vermisst.
wie schön dass wir beisammen sind,
wir gratulieren dir, Geburtstagskind!

Montag, Dienstag, Mittwoch,
das ist ganz egal,
Dein Geburtstag kommt im Jahr
doch nur einmal.
Darum lass uns feiern,
dass die Schwarte kracht,
Heute wird getanzt,
gesungen und gelacht.

Wie schön dass du geboren bist,
wir hätten dich sonst sehr vermisst.
wie schön dass wir beisammen sind,
wir gratulieren dir, Geburtstagskind!


Autumn Holidays 2017: Palmerston N. – Masterton


Autumn Holidays 2017: The changing face of Taranaki

From New Plymouth via Opunake and Hawera to Palmerston North.