A couple of weeks ago, this little guy sweetly stared his way into my heart. Meet Peter Parker, the newest member of my family.

Parker was adopted via NKLA (No Kill LA), an organization that partners with many local rescues with the aim of reducing the number of animals put down each year in greater Los Angeles simply because they have no home.

This sweet little guy was found at a local shelter where he was being held as evidence in trial. When the trial was over, he was released to the care of Henry's Hope Foundation.  He owes his name, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the fosters who took him under their wing until he was ready for adoption.

I'd been planning to adopt a dog for quite some time, but I never expected to find a pooch as special as he is.

Three months later, my boxes arrived in Los Angeles. My sewing machine presented a bit worse for wear. Her frame is now warped. She wobbles a lot. I sewed with her anyway. I added some backs to these cushions I started in Wellington.

...picking up where I left off, like no time has passed.

I've have long been a fan of the Googie architectural style and the signs from that period that dot the skyline in Southern California. You can imagine my delight when across the street atomic ovals and rectangles called out about yardage, cottons and silks. In its heyday, I would have loved House of a Thousand Fabrics. Today we're left with deteriorating signs, remnants of shop long-closed.

North America was calling, so I packed up my house and took the biggest risk of my life. I've left New Zealand without a job, without a home base and without a solid plan. I put faith in myself that it will work out, shipped my boxes to North America and hopped on a plane in December.

I'm in the US now, with the aim to make a new home either here in the US or in Canada. In the mean time, I'm enjoying everything this beautiful country has to offer. I started on the rails.

Two weeks ago, I took a ferry ride from Wellington to Picton and then a train from Picton to Christchurch. As the photos waited on my memory card, I was mentally writing a blog post. That blog post was to tell you what an amazing journey it was and that you must come over and experience the open air train car.

This isn't that post.

Four nights ago, we were roused from our sleep by a prolonged shudder. I knew instantly what was happening and I knew it was big.

I had never been to a broken city before.

With its abandoned buildings and piles of bricks, Christchurch was confronting. It had been five years since the major quake that shook their buildings and liquified their soil. I'm not sure what I expected. It wasn't this. The city centre still mostly vacant. Lots where buildings stood reduced to rubble. Yellow tape howled about asbestos.

small circles, big smiles. simple felt crafting.

Using up more stray blocks. These were sample for an online tutorial. I merged them for a cushion.

Like many folks, I've amassed a large stack of stray quilt blocks. Some were destined for unfinished quilts, others were just test blocks - trying out new templates and patterns. As I often do, I handed lots off to charity groups to use in their projects. This weekend, I whittled down the pile a little bit further and made some potholders.

For some, I used pre-made binding from Japan. For others, I made binding out of Cotton & Steel.

Weekend sewing. I've been making an effort to deplete my sewing stash - threads, zippers, fabric that lingers. Along with potholders from left over quilt blocks and the start of a quilt, I knocked out these two cushions over the last two weekends. Mindless mega-thin line quilting was exactly the sort of relaxation that weekends call for. Netflix was my companion.

happy crafting, amy badskirt.