Friday, October 28, 2011

Fantastic food while camping - dinner

A posh chicken rice risotto 

We have this on rainy days as it is nice and warming and it doesn't matter if the gas is warming the caravan during the cooking.

Take all the left over veges that you have in your caravan or tent 
Enough rice for the people you are cooking for. ( I used two bags of rice for four people)
Some oil 
A packet of green thai curry paste.
1 tin of coconut cream.
I packet of chicken drums or whatever you managed to pick up last time you went into town.

Method - Put a non stick frypan or large pot onto your cooker. Place the chicken in and brown. As the chicken is browning cut up an onion and put it in too. Once browned add 2 tablespoons oil and the green curry paste. Let the paste cook for a minute. Add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Add the amount of rice you need. Stir well and start adding veges as you chop them up. Once all the veges are in (do lots) then add the tin of coconut cream (or milk) and another cup of water. Let it simmer while you watch a DVD with the kids. Keep cooking until the rice is done and make sure that the chicken is cooked through to the bone. Add more water if needed. Serve in a bowl with rice and vege on the bottom and a drumstick per person on the top.

Vege selection - use anything that is looking like it will not last too much longer as well as what you have fresh
Rice - I keep the boil in the bag only in the caravan as it is tidy in a box and it makes no mess when cooking (which is a big deal when camping - the easier the better)
Oil - I have rice bran oil as it is square and so easy to store in the caravan or your food box and it has a high burn point so will do for everything you need when camping.
Thai green curry paste - I love the Asian Home Gourmet brand as they are very authentic. Also camping they are the right portion size so there is no waste or no bottles etc that you have open that could go off in the summer heat. This is quite spicy for kids. You could use red curry paste which is much milder if you wanted.

The new FINISHED Quilt

Well, earlier this year I took the process challenge.(thought I have not been able to attach the button to my blog). As part of this I have been teaching a beginners quilting class). I started this quilt as I was looking at various blogs and people talking about "strings" of material. So I made some. Then some more, as they were so quick I got addicted and made more!! (see previous blog).
While I have been teaching beginners quilting I have been finishing this quilt. Pining it together etc. Now they all want to do one like this too. Which would be great fun.
photo 1 - quilting the strings
Anyway. I quilted the strings with a synthetic quilting multicoloured thread using a heart and swirl pattern. (see photo 1). I wanted to do a specific centre in each plain block so cut a shape from freezer paper (see photo 2) and when I stitched around it I added a wee twirl at each centre. Freezer paper was really handy for this as it meant each centre was pretty much the same (which is difficult for me on my domestic machine).

This is the only quilt that I have made that did not have a specific destination in mind. I just loved making it.
photo 2 - freezer paper template
photo 3 - the quilted result after removal of freezer paper

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yes we all watched the Rugby World cup final

Stephen, Aaron, Jakob, Eli, Friend, Jess
What a tense game!!!

Teddy Bear made from a fat quarter of material

I made this pattern specifically to give as presents for baby showers or new born. Because it was for littlies I could not put on buttons etc so instead of doing easy jointed legs and arms I had to sew them. It was not the easiest to put the head onto the body as arms and legs get in the road. But in the end it worked out. I still can't decide whether to go to the trouble of drafting a proper pattern up to sell or not.
Anyway this wee teddy went to Steff at her baby shower on Sunday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Upcycling an old step stool

The before picture

Ta Dah, the finished look
Well I feel that I am getting better at my upholstery. This stool has been the best finish yet. I was particularly proud of the fact that I managed to get a binding around the edge of the stool seat. I also don't like the way that upholsterer's just staple underneath. Even though the round head tacks look glitzy I think they are better than a furniture staple.
after, underneath

Monday, October 17, 2011

School holidays hut making

Jakob and Eli spent the sunny afternoon outside. Primarily making a hut. Take all the stools and chairs out of the house, all the quilts off the bed and you have a hut. Then start picking herbs and making drinks. I do have to say that the mint, lemon, honey, sugar and water drink worked quite well and was tasty enough to drink.

Backing Black

Eli getting wiped out
First day of the school holidays saw us go into Christchurch to the Telecom sponsored "Backing Black" activities. We got there at 12 noon and the boys got all blacks balloons and rub on tattoos. They played hard. The blow up obstacle courses and wipe out balls were great fun. It slowly got windier and windier and at 2pm they closed it down as the blow up things were lifting off the ground. But we had already had a great time.
This was Jakobs favourite
The boys after their first race
Jakob could not get his rugby ball through the gap - but he did get himself through that one!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another finished upcycled quilt

Eli modeling the quilt.
Yes I do seem to have a never ending supply of old PJ's. It is so cheap to pick up odd tops etc at 50 cents each that it makes a quilt very cheap. This was experimenting with using a batting which was free from a furniture removalist. But it is very stiff. This quilt is made for our new car. (check out the blog in May). Completed using the "quilt as you go" technique.

Perfect Fresia's

This year my fresia's have finally flowered. The last to do so was this gorgeous white one.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kapahaka festival

Jakob on the far right and Liam third boy from the right.

Yes. That time of the year again. Kapahaka. My camera just does not take pictures well in dark auditoriums.But here are a few of the very hard working kids. Talei and Madysen can be seen (sorry Dawn, they are blurry). Eli's only photos that came out OK were the practice before hand in the classroom. Jakob and his best friend Liam are easily spotted in the older kids performance. Well done to all.
All the new entrant, yr 1 and 2 kids practising being "scary" for their haka.
This big group was only the Wheki Syndicate kids!!
Talei on the far right and Madysen is the third girl on the left

80 candles make the fire alarm go off

All the amazing candles - 80!!!

Setting off the smoke alarm

The campervan crew

Only Duncan missing - he was in England
My father had his 80th birthday in September. As many of us as could hopped on planes, got in cars or campervans and went up. The official party was in the morning, then a casual family day was had. In the evening Dad was presented with his 2nd birthday cake of the day. But so many candles that we set the smoke alarm off even before they started being blown out.

Montana-Rose was 6

Eli and Jorja playing - I really liked this photo of them

Mark supervising the shaky logs (and making it harder!)

Of course a cake. A pair of ballet slippers. Well done Anna

Up cycle a T-shirt into a party dress

This up-cycling project was slightly more extravagant than usual. I got the T-shirt free from an St Vincent de Paul op shop as it had a stain down the front. Thankfully a little sunlight soap, a wash and line dry later, it was all clean. I purchased quite a lot of good quality washable tulle and could not resist the pink sequin as I could see that it would go so well with the shirt. The underskirt was an off cut or lining that was on the sale / get rid of table at Fabric Vision. The sequin band around the hips was from the Salvation Army Op shop in Northlands for $1.

The result was a niece so happy with her 6th birthday present that she went and got out of her party dress and put my creation on. Thankfully it was hard wearing - I had not anticipated it being dragged in the dust on the first wearing!!!

Huge Snails

As previously blogged about - we give the boys extra money for snails and slugs found in the garden. A very organic form of pest destruction. Today it rained and on their way in from school they found this enormous snail by the gate.

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....