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Showing posts from May, 2013

Boys zip front jersey - Merino

Well this year I am on fire as a mum!! I have actually made both the boys a new merino jersey for the year before winter is out. Wow normally I am sewing in September and spring has sprung. But this flush of very cold weather got me enthused. As much as I love knitting the boys wont wear knitted jersey's anymore as they are "itchy". I do have to agree BUT since discovering that I sew Merino OK (about 3 years ago) I can now make them good wool tops for very little $. This was made from two women's Op Shop (Thrift Shop) jerseys - cost of $7.50. The zips cost me $7.80 - so really for $15 they have a really well sewn, will hold together through rough wear and lots of washes, good warm Merino top. I have learnt that I need to go for the heavier merino and therefore it needs to be good brands as the cheaper brands lightweight jersey's just stretch and go a bit wonky.

I have had the jersey for Eli cut out for ages but have been trying to finish older stashed things. In…

Cold night

Tonight (and today) has been cold. Sleet, rain, wind and snow - it is all happening here.

Aaron has been doing a lot of work lately. Did three hours last night finishing at about 2am, then today was over an hour later home than usual. When he rang to say he would be home in about 40 minutes I set up some comfort time for him.

We have bath candles but I also lit all the dining room candles and put them in the bathroom too.

We love Living Light candles and they burn for mega hours!
The bubbles are from Lush.  I think I might sew!!!

A new quilt is on my bed

Well finally last night I finished the quilt. This was a long time in the making as it languished under my desk for almost a year. Does that happen to you? You almost finish and then for some reason get disillusioned or dissatisfied with it.

But now I am in love love with it. The pattern is so easy to do and when I did it I put a pile of tips on my blog - check out here how easy it is.

I link up to Finish it up Friday - over at Crazy Mum quilts. I love it because it pushes me to finish things. Well I had hoped to link this up as a finish last friday but in my late night haste some things went wrong!!!


I quilted this quilt over two nights - till about midnight. The main quilt I just did a very large stipple pattern. But my "piece de resistance", for which I am so proud, is the gorgeous scallop which I free-motion quilted around the edge. I am so so happy with it and it turned out so much better than I hoped. I have been trying not to do the same stipple on everything. But mo…

Jamie Oliver 15 minute meals - Kedgeree

Now I love Kedgeree, I think it is fantastic for breakfast lunch or tea. I got hooked on it when living in England.

As I have been doing some recipes from Jamie Oliver 15 minute meals - using the TV program, this was on my list. Last night it was what we had for Saturday night dinner. The only difference to his recipe was that I had to (as usual) get my veges and herbs from the garden and I cooked my own rice (in the rice cooker beforehand).

Now I have to say that it really took less than 15 minutes. I managed to also make self saucing chocolate pudding for dessert. All in about 20 minutes.

BUT - and here it comes. His 15 minute meals are starting to taste the same. He uses lots of chilli, lots of coriander and this tasted very like the chicken and cous cous meal. The boys were ho hum about it and I actually have decided that my Cordon Bleu recipe is a whole lot better and not really any more time consuming.

So - I do love that I can make really quick healthy meals using Jamie Oliver…

Quiet Sunday

For some reason I did not sleep last night (well I got about 3 hours sleep), so we are having a quiet Sunday. Aaron is at church as he is singing today. The boys and I are home.
Washing is in the machine and I am about to go back to bed.

The boys are enjoying last nights self saucing chocolate pudding for breakfast
A bit of archaeology is going on - finding dinosaur bones.
The sun is shining. It should be a lovely autumn day.

Organise my pantry, a 45 minute job - NOT

Well a while ago my friend Steff said that she finally got around to sorting her pantry out. "It only took 45 minutes, so I don't know why I didn't do it earlier" said she. So heartened by this I approached my pantry with great optimism.

Over the last 6 months I have been acquiring old Tupperware  I had a lot of glass jars but being round they just took up too much room. I have gotten tupperware from many sources - garage sales, op shops, trademe etc. Usually I try for the 50 cent bargains but sometimes have paid up to $3 a piece if it has been exactly what I wanted.

(Don't tell Aaron but now I NEED to get more - you can see that the pantry is not completely sorted yet!).

Well I started at 2.30pm, was I finished by 3.30pm - NO. Went to a work meeting, came back and started again - was I finished in an hour - NO. Went to prayer group at church and came home at 9pm and started again. Am I finished (now 10.15pm) - NO!!!!!




















So the top part of my pantry is almost all s…

My go to quilting carry all

I have had a bag of Selveges hanging around for ages. I cut them off as they are good to show people how to colour blend. But I also love the funk of selvedge items. When I go out and about quilting I always dump everything into the bag that has the big mat in it. Now all is in order (except I have realised that I do not have a measuring tape in that lot) and I can just pick it up and go.

I used the same material for the lining that I used for my travelling iron. Nothing like a matching set! This was almost finished a week ago and it has taken me that long to get the last bits done. I link to these places





Wow look at my $5 chair

On Saturday after rugby I stopped at the Op Shop (charity shop) in Rangiora called "The free shop". I got a  linen jacket (which you may see later in spring - I have thoughts in my head about remodelling it for my cousin and great friend - Kerryn - wedding) and I got a chair for $5. There were three of the chairs there, but the others had big cracks or bits missing or were wobbly. I can't fix those things, I can only titivate stuff. So I picked one that was solid and could see the potential.

Around our dining table we have an eclectic mix of chairs. One is an original chair from the Earnslaw steam ship. (I worked on that boat years ago, as hostess, kitchen hand and in the school holidays I dressed as a dragon and did kids entertainment). One is a very expensive handmade, turns into kitchen stepladder, chair from a maker up near Motueka where my parents live. The one I am sitting on while typing I got from the dump shop for $2 and is bog standard, find it everywhere in N…

The last of the preserving.

Oh my goodness, this year has been so productive with such a hot summer, that for the first time ever I got fed up with preserving. I got that way at the end of March. Normally I am still keen but now it is becoming a chore. Though I do know that we will all enjoy the gorgeous chutneys and jams etc throughout the year. And they are spectacular gifts.

So we are in the midst of the Feijoa season her in the South Island. Ohh I do love them. One of my favourite fruit. So last night I bottled some and somehow my thumbs and fingers went seriously black. Never had that before! The leftover syrup that I cooked the fruit in I have put in a bottle as put a bit of vodka and some lemonade and what a drink you have!!!!

I have a few more to preserve, will get on with one lot of roast feijoa chutney (from my sister in laws book) and will make some Feijoachello (my recipe I made up if you want to try it - follow the link on the word).

Here is a bit of information - Did you know that Feijoas in some p…

Cuddles (or not!) for Mothers Day

My Mothers Day was a lovely, albeit busy, one. The day started with someone packing a sad first thing in the morning, sigh, welcome to the reality of being a Mother. But all slowly came right.
I had extra cuddles in bed. My nephew was with us and he spent the morning in bed sharing my breakfast and chattering to me and giving me cuddles. I loved it. Eli and Jakob are deciding they are too old to cuddle but by the end of the day I was getting appreciation and hugs from them, I loved it. My boys (with the help of Aaron) made me fruit and feijoa juice and then bacon and eggs for breakfast. It was great.

We went to Church and it was amazing, they kept the service short so that you could go and spend time with your families. But they put cafe tables in, tablecloths, flowers, chandeliers, fairy lights - it was gorgeous. The men did everything. They gave table service from a menu of drinks, they took creche and Sunday school. The Sunday school kids had a video done on things about their mums…

I've been goldmining

Well to be real, I have been in the creek at school trying to find salted "gold (Lead covered in gold nail polish). Jakob has been completing a module on gold mining in NZ. They have looked at the hard life that it was, who made money (if any), how terribly the Chinese miners were treated. Living conditions etc.

So today was the big wrap up. Everyone was to wear costume and spend the day as a miner. Jakob was the banker so got paid a wage. Some miners found no gold, some lots. They learnt how damper used to be made with hops and then one of the very energetic mums cooked damper for them all (2 classes of kids) so they could taste that old fashioned flavor. The policeman was busy putting people in jail for claim hoping.

All in all it was fantastic. Lots of little bits of reality - Kids cold from the wet water, kids not wanting to stop mining because they had not yet found some, some segregated off and had to be on the other bank as they were Chinese. Jakob's school has done Ve…

Travelling Iron case

Last year I found a Russel Hobbs travelling iron at a second hand store. We tested it in store and it worked well, even the steam function operated as it should. So for a princely sum of $6 I bought it. Ever since I have been worried about travelling with it if it had not cooled down completely.

On one of our trips south I found some heat resistant fabric at Annie's Country Quilt Store in Ashburton. Then I found some gorgeous material at Sew Pretty online store.

So last night I finally got around to starting and finishing a case to keep the iron in which also substitutes as an ironing board when I am travelling. It has thick cotton batting in the middle, heat resistant fabric on the inside and gorgeous sewing themed material on the outside. Finished with a covered button.

At the back of the photos you will see some sewing of selvedges I have been doing today. This is going to be a companion that will hold my rulers and cutters etc when I go out and about. Just finished putting th…

Climbing mountains

One of the huge bonuses of going on an Autumn holiday was completely unforeseen. I walked heaps and the most amazing gift of the whole holiday for me was being able to walk for much longer periods of time, with a mountain top experience.

I climbed Key Summit. I did it in quicker time than the DOC sign though not as quickly as I used to. When I got to the top I just could not stop smiling. The boys and Aaron were so surprised and it was fantastic to be on the top of a mountain as a family.

The weather was clear but cold. The cold really really helped me. My heart is so poked that I cannot walk and get hot or puff. I have not been able to go uphil for a long time. But because it was cold my blood vessels stayed restricted which helped to alleviate some symptoms.

I started the walk intended to just do the first 10-15 minutes with the guys until I had to start puffing. So then I stopped and they went on. I was heading to the car to do some knitting. But I was feeling OK and not puffing o…