Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I should have finished ... but instead I started

Well I was away on my quilting retreat. Blissful five days. Ahhh......

I should have finished heaps of things. I did finish some but then got fed up with doing what I should do and not doing what I wanted to do.

So I started

A paper pieced really large star. I am thrilled with it. I got the idea from someone who blogged about an absolutely enormous star that completed made a huge quilt. This will have to have a lot of piecing around it. So you will see it over the next wee while as I go about finishing it.(Did I say that finish word??? Wow remarkable)

A new quilt for our bed. I was trying to make it "manly" so Aaron would be happy sleeping under it and so far he does not like it!!

A million half square triangles to iron and trim!!!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

a baking holiday

Well these holidays I have been concentrating on keeping the kids in the new routine of them both baking once a week and helping with making an evening meal.
Jakob has made white and milk chocolate cookies
I made meringues - all the time thinking of Kerryn

Eli made tan square

We had old fashioned doughnuts for afternoon tea one day

I have just finished the birthday cake
With the leftover eggs and the
abundance of lemons I made - Lemon curd

I link to these places

Friday, July 26, 2013

Boys Basketball Birthday Cake

basketball cake
The basketball cake

I have done it!!! Wow this is a lot of firsts for me. First time I have made buttercream icing. First time that I have used piping and chocolate for decoration and first time that I have tried to make a modern fondant cake.

I had gone to a cupcake icing class at the Make Cafe and loved it. But the buttercream icing was already made and it helped me feel confident with fondant for little things. But this was a big thing.

The cake vs the real ball

My friend Steff has been so incredibly helpful and if it was not for her I do not know how it would have turned out. She gave me a recipe for the icing and let me use her food colouring gels. Also gave me instruction on how to make the orange look dark enough for the right basketball colour. Also little tips on making grooves for the chocolate stripes. She gave me the confidence to go ahead and I have to say that it was heaps easier than I expected.

It is not perfect but I am thrilled!!

I have previously made cakes but just with normal icing or following my Mother-in-laws system of royal icing etc. So there has been aeroplane cakes, treasure chest cakes, lego cakes.

I link to these places.

Thursday, July 25, 2013


What do you get when you advertise a Lego collection and show? A - thousands of kids!! Lots of noise. Queues out the door to the carpark. Amazing!! Jakob was in a state of bliss as this was his one event that he wanted to attend at kidsfest. We spent 3.5 hours there and I am sure he would have spent longer if he could.
What Jakob made in the play area

The gun and silencer that Eli made

The play pit

Some of the amazing collections

Elves I am sure

Thankfully the boys have spent a lot of time outdoors too. They have climbed everything they could find these holidays.
A sch

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A chicken prison and a hut

Funny title huh. But I cannot think of any other way of describing my chicken run at the moment. Today has been the fifth time in about 6 weeks that I have put more work into the chook enclosure to try and keep the sparrows out.

We have never had any problem with sparrows but somehow this winter we have flocks of them and up to 60 sparrows in the chicken run getting their food. Not only is that expensive for us but I am worried about any disease they may pass as that many sparrows make a lot of poo!!!

They are horrendous pests. But so far today after all my hammering I have only seen two sparrows in the chook run. My work is not pretty!!! I have chicken netting over large netting with ties here and there and bird netting all over the top. So I wait to see how effective this has been........

While I was busy working on the chook run the boys spent ages making a "motel" on the deck. In the motel they had an infirmary and one bear had a sore head (ha ha ha) and the other a sore leg, all fixed with the ties from dressing gowns.

Now that the outside time is over I am sitting here eating scrummy old fashioned doughnuts.
the motel

The infirmary portion of the motel

The kitchen and second bedroom

My mothers doughnut recipe

I link to these places

Monday, July 22, 2013

A fantastic walk

We were lucky enough to be able to accompany Aaron on a work trip in the first week of the holidays. Destination Nelson.

One of the main reasons for going was to see my parents in Motueka. My mother has been very unwell over the last six months and it was great to see her getting better.

Eli had a cold so we did not want him going near my mother. The answer to that was to spend the day outside. So we walked around the estuary at Port Motueka. A gorgeous walk and really interesting. Just a slight deviation from the circuit is the lovely Toad Hall - a favourite eating spot for us. Fantastic for kids with all the outdoor play area.

We had a great day and nearly five hours outdoors walking, eating and exploring.
The first one up a tree.
The first find. A bird nest up the tree

Grandparents and grandchildren

My father makes amazing walking sticks

Another find on the path - a caterpillar (magpie butterfly) 

The very pregnant pigs just lay in the sun


A pose from the boys.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lucky Me

Last month I joined in a link up with Tartankiwi in a winter link up for Matariki.
The awesome thing is that just for linking up I won a gift. It arrived in the post yesterday.
The prize was donated by Nin who made the gorgeous handwarmers (which Jakob promptly claimed) and pin cushion (Eli said he needs it now he is sewing) and I got to keep the magazine. I will enjoy that on our holiday travels.
Nin is a very busy lady doing Sailor Spy and Make life beautiful
Thanks so much for the gift.

Monday, July 15, 2013

A purse that turns into a bag

Need to use it - just unzip it
Ready to pop into a bag when shopping

Now this is an idea that I have been wanting to try for ages. Somehow from start to finish this took me three weeks. Pure procrastination (and the first time I put the zip in it was the wrong way around!!).

I found the idea and amazing tutorial here. Sew Mama Sew is a blog I follow. Though in the tutorial the bag was lined, I would love to line it but I fail to see how it would fit when zipped up. So I used the top stripe to make a neat inside finish and cover the seams.

This is made from two women's shirts - a 100% cotton stripe shirt and a 100% linen shirt (picked up in a "fill a bag for $5). The zips are also recycled from articles I have picked up.

I now have a list of how I would change it in the future.
1) put a tab and D ring on so that I could attach my keys and use it by itself.
2) make the bottom of the bag a bit more square which may give it a better look when zipped up
3) the second had zip is hard to zip up. Aaron suggested using a chunkier zip and maybe not sewing so close to the zip. I think he is right.

Open it up and it is ready to use.
I link to these places


 Winter is well and truly upon us. For Mothers Day I was given a long arm pruner. Eli was the one who worked out how to use it. It was so much easier as a two man job and a million times better than trying to struggle with a ladder as we have previously.

Eli was super helpful as he was a bit bored outside and has been really enjoying using my various gadgets. He is thrilled with the sewing machine and spent 2 hours with me doing the pruning. I am loving working with him.
Even though it is winter we have still been getting some walks in. My Mother in law came with us on a Sunday afternoon walk. We went around the reopened (post earthquake fixed) Godley Heads Track. The bad winter weather had wrecked havoc with the $0.5million upgrade but it was still a good 8km walk. ( I only did about 6km of it as it was not such a good day for me).

There were some seriously big mud slides that were quite dangerous as it was just cliff on the other side. Eli lost his shoe in the mud. 

Walking in Hanmer Springs - we had a great day and walked around Dog Stream - 5km for the day 
We made the most of the cooler weather to do a 5km walk around the headland at Kaikoura. I was not sure how I would go, but once at the top I felt ok, so kept going and managed to make it around. Aaron needed more exercise so he ran back and collected the car and came and picked us up on the other side.

I love the family time, even with the grumbles sometimes. We have been telling the boys not to grumble that they have to look at it as keeping mum healthy and well. I can't walk well in the summer with my heart now but winter walking has been a bonus so we have been doing as much as we can.

Hope you are all finding the good in these cold winter days.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

14th Anniversary

Fred the Clydesdale
Aaron and I have just come back from a weekend celebrating our 14th Wedding Anniversary. We had a whole weekend away at the Heritage at Hanmer Springs. I was given a pamper voucher for some work I had done, so we used that and added another day.

The Heritage Hanmer Springs
The weather was  fantastic, the massage sublime, the mulled wine at the restaurant in the hotel was so awesome that we had it both nights. Sigh - we did not get snowed in!
A cute buggy styled on the Amish.

We are older and wiser (well I was already old and wise when I married Aaron!! - Aaron has finally aged a bit!!) and I still love him to bits. (thought I also loved Fred the clydesdale that we went in a buggy ride with).

My hunky spunky husband

Having a winter wedding was amazing - we got married on the wettest day in Christchurch in 25 years. But it has meant some gorgeous winter anniversaries.

Thanks to all the relatives who looked after the dog and the kids. Now back to reality.

Our family - 14 years post marraige
The awesome tramping we do as a family

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....