Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My tomatoes can see clearly now

Well two weeks ago I blogged about sewing while a storm raged. That storm trashed the glasshouse. Hmm.. what to do?
1. Listen to my Father in Law
2. Follow his instructions
3. Try to enlist his help
4. Buy all the bits
5. Make a date with said FIN

So this morning I did not go to work. After being depressed yet again with what is happening with the America's cup - if there was no time limit we would have already won!! My FIL came over and we set too.

I did have a lot of a dark cellular type plastic up in places originally. This is what came from the person whom we bought it off. Now what I did not realise was that this storm was a blessing in disguise.

We have used corrigated polythene for all the areas that required replacing. My FIL and I are blown away with what a difference that has made. Glued and screwed, pushed and cut, in it went and the glasshouse is so light!!

Wow I am now going to win the family tomato competitions!!!

The dark stuff you see still on the door was all along the side and also in one of the front panels. Now clear and beautiful.

I link to these places.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Who's that sitting on my quilt?

The newly finished quilt
Yes I am channeling the three bears. Last night I did it. Yes I finished my quilt for the second time!! Oh I am so so pleased that I redid the binding. I used a mottled grey that I bought at Fabric Vision. It is the exact colour I had in mind, but not having any in my stash and wanting to use my stash I tried something else. Never again. Next time I will go with my gut feeling.

I finished it last night and threw it on the sofa to photograph this morning. When I woke this morning there was no Morris on our bed. I commented to Aaron that it must be summery and warm for Morris not to sleep at our feet, BUT NO..... he was snuggled into my new quilt on the sofa!!!!!

I link to these places and am thrilled to link this to Crazy Mum Quilts - finish it up friday.

The new grey binding.

The previous mottled binding

Friday, September 20, 2013

Well Hmph

Just because I could not sleep in my bed last night, (Way too much coughing so vacated to the couch so that everyone else could sleep) does not mean that Morris gets my side of the bed. In the morning I looked in and this is what I saw... and head on my pillow even!!!
 Being rather tired from a very disturbed night, and the feeling tense because we lost a race in the America's Cup, the boys were late to school. Once they had gone I realised that Eli had left behind something he needed today. So off to school and a wee sidetrack visit to the Charity Barn in Rangiora - gave me this...
Oh I love retro, and in our family having breakfast in bed is seen as a real treat and special, so when I saw this butlers tray I could not resist.

Yes I did previously find on at the same place, so now Aaron and I can sit in bed like the King and Queen (hopefully the boys will cotton on to bringing us breakfast). But NOT tomorrow, no more nail biting stuff watching the America's Cup race. Go Team NZ.

I link to some of these place - especially here

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oh so delicious - Poached Salmon

I am channeling spring!! Actually I was looking at my SIL facebook page about her going's on. She wrote the book Coromandel Flavour and when we stayed with her two Christmases ago we had deconstructed Salad Nicoise for Xmas lunch. (not sure if I have spelt that right). So thinking of her and the fact that I was going to have fish for dinner inspired this.

A yummy - almost summer - evening meal.

Poached Salmon
I put a side of salmon covered in water in a tray big enough for it.
Added - 3 bay leaves, 12 peppercorns, and a sliced lemon. Baked in the oven 20 minutes.

Boiled Nadine potatoes and finished them with mint. Steamed greens (a mixture of garden leeks and broccoli with shop bought beans) and made Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals cous cous salad.

Went to make some tar-tare sauce but had no gerkins so just put chives and coriander in.

What a fantastic meal

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I thought I had a finished quilt to show off..... but now I have a Work In Progress (WIP) only.

Yes here is the picture of my lovely finished quilt. This could be called the procrastination quilt as after years I finally put the blocks together and pinned it out for quilting. Then it has sat again as how do you quilt it when there is so much handstitching and machine applique. Trying to work out a pattern just about did my head in.

So I finally stitched in the ditch. Then I auditioned bindings and opted for the best of the lot. It was not what I had in mind, but I could not find any dark grey in my stash, so in my attempt not to buy more fabric I used a stash material. Oh dear I just don't like it.

I have read before of people binding their quilts and then unpicking and putting on a new binding and at the time thought they were daft in the head. I would NEVER do that....... sigh....... last night I unpicked the binding!!!!!

So here it is finally ready to bind. Hopefully it wont sit in the never never pile again.
I link this up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and other places here.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Poo and Pine Cones - every girls dream

Well it goes a long way with me. Pine cones to start those fires that keep me warm in the winter or in the hot tub, and some cow poo that will settle down in the compost and end up in the garden growing my summer food.

Today I collected bags of both stuff.

This blog post could have been titled "the Big Clean Up" - but that is too boring a title. We all went out to my sisters farm as the big storm last week took down 20 macrocapa trees alone their fence line. And they were let off lightly compared to some. Driving past peoples blocks of trees that is their retirement fund and seeing them smashed to the ground is pretty sad.

Anyway out we went with chainsaws and gloves. There are going to be many weekends of chainsawing and wood stacking going on there. The bonus being that there is firewood now for the next 10 years (I kid you not).

Anyway a lovely day out, very satisfying seeing the area that we cleaned up. Piles of wood, the kids had fun... all in all a great Saturday.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A new ironing board cover

my gorgeous new ironing board
A while ago there was a swap for ironing board covers. At the time I thought that I should have participated but I just had too many things going on.
the manky old worn out board
In the weekend I was ironing (no not household stuff - that never happens- it was crafty things) and my iron kept going in the holes on my cover. I looked at several of the ironing board covers that people had made and I thought of using my random sewing from the other day. When thinking about the practicality of it I realised that something with lots of seams could end up making my ironing bumpy.
I also realised that it gets a bit of a workout so I would need a heavier weight of fabric. I knew just what to get as I had seen it in The Make Cafe. So I went online to order and got a bonus free shipping!!! yay
The little embellishing
So 1/2 metre of Dandelion in Storm and half a metre of a matching drill in Slate was ordered. It arrived yesterday (wow super fast only one day). It arrived beautifully bundled up with yellow ribbon. I immediately realised that would make a great accent and in my stash I had some wide yellow bias binding and some smaller yellow, just enough for an accent and around the edges. I hunted around and found the measure ribbon that I had bought for only $0.60 per metre on trade me.
Even the underside is neat and matching!!
So during a stormy stormy night last night I re padded my ironing board, sewed and new cover and put it on. All the while thinking the power may go out at any moment.

I link to these places

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Upside down propagating

Most definitely growing

My sister and I have this thing about propagating plants. She swears she cannot do it. I can't see why not.

When I prune etc I just stick some in the ground and next spring they are ready to plant. But my sister swears that nothing she puts in the ground lives. So I often propagate things for her.

No doubt about it being upside down.
Though even I am a bit stunned by this. I have realised that I propagated the gooseberry but put the twig in upside down. Now all the rules about propagating plants are that if you take a trimming you must ensure that you keep it the right way up or not roots etc with grow.

Well this gooseberry is defnitely upside down. I had been looking at it wondering why it looked wrong, then i twigged! It should have been the other way up. As you can see from the branch that is pointing down instead of up and all the buds are pointing down etc.

But blow me down, it is still growing. So I have had to blog about it and skite a bit to my sister.

I link to these places.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A cuddle and a hot soak

Our weekend was filled with little children. Two to be precise. Mieke and Alex came to stay. Lovely to have little ones who like to snuggle. Our own boys were so good with them.
They loved "the big bath"!

A bit of TV before bed time.

Random Sewing

Last night I was super tired and could not really concentrate. I had a broken sleep the night before as I was looking after my 1 year old nephew. But it was only 8pm and too early for bed so I turned the sewing machine on and looked at my scraps.

Now my scraps are not organised, they are not colour coordinated, they are not in neat squares or strips. I have been ready so many people's blogs lately that have such tidy scrap piles. Not me!!!

I keep making things from my scrap bags but they don't seem to reduce, so I thought "right I will just start sewing some together" So I did. I found it really weird not having a definite pattern to think about and trying to jigsaw the pieces together. But I think this may be the beginning of a new quilt.

I had thought of sewing these together and making a ironing board cover BUT then I thought what happens to my ironing with all those bumpy seams?? So that idea got canned.

I link to these places

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A doing day

Today was a day to get things done. I intended to work most of today but the weather got in the way, so I work tomorrow and today I tried to do those things that have been hanging around.
First I went to aquacise with Dawn, it was pretty full on. Then I ...

Put Rimu door knobs on the hall cupboard doors. (Saved from when I redecorated Eli's bedroom)

Then I made a pile of crystalised orange peel. Yummy in Xmas fruit mince and hot cross buns. I don't approve of all the imported fruit and veges we have. We can grow our own, we should be supporting NZ growers. So I only every buy oranges when the NZ ones are in the shops. My mother gave me $10 for my birthday specifically for NZ oranges as she knows I love them. So when eating them I kept all the peel in the freezer and today I preserved them.

It is not quite spring and so fruit has not yet come on but we have run out of berry jams. I had some blackcurrants in the freezer, so I pulled them out and made 7 pots of yummy jam.

I then pulled down the Roman Blinds that I had made for our room as they were mouldy and yucky (that is what not having double glazing will give you). So I painted these wood mouldings as the new curtain rails will go on these and then they will be screwed to the walls. I undercoated, then I did two top coats. By the time I go to bed tonight I will have the new curtain rails up.

I completely dismantled the blinds and kept all the bits for some time when I decide to make others.

In amongst all that I did the usual - two loads of washing out on the line and in, mopped the floors, dealt with the kids, did dinner and lit the hot tub............ off for a soak now.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A finish and a WIP

All embroidered and embellished
On Tuesday I spent the day in the company of Jane Van Keulen - textile artist, and lots of other ladies. Jane comes to Kaiapoi twice a month and takes a day of stitching.

This was the first time I had juggled my work schedule to attend and I managed to finish a dove for the xmas tree and start a pig.

The back of the dove

The dove I first covered in white silk. This was then satin stitched around all the edge to hold it onto the pattern last. Then the embellishing starting. Silver thread is couched, sequins and beads attached and a little bit of stitching.

Both these projects are patterned and designed by Jane and the fabrics and threads are dyed by her. I loved having time out during the day to stitch and chat.

I do not need to start any other new projects but all of Jane's work just inspired me so much, I want to do a million things!!

I link to these places 

The start of my pig stitchery

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Baking with the boys - Rice bubble cake

A wee while ago I blogged about baking with the boys and how I am teaching them to follow a recipe. I had set the target of each of them baking once a week to help to make sweet things for their school lunches, but it is working much better at once a fortnight.
Stirring the rice bubbles together
biscuits for school lunches
In the fridge ready for school lunches

Tonight was Eli's baking time. I had told Rachel at church that this recipe only takes 5 minutes to do. Well it took 7 and that was with Eli doing it.

We had a very busy day with Father's Day. A Fantastic service at church where all the men had a paintball competition with a big bulls eye out the front of the church. Then we spent most of the afternoon at Freeman's in Lyttleton listening to live Jazz - a favourite thing to do.

When we got home Eli still had to do his baking, he put it off this afternoon. So Aaron is on the XBox, Jakob is relaxing in a bubble bath and Eli baked. I think Eli likes baking as he really likes licking the bowls and pots!!
Scraping out the bowl
 Rice Bubble cake  (I originally got the recipe off my friend Delwyn years ago, but it is around everywhere)
8 Cups of rice bubbles
7oz butter
8 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons honey (we use Dirk's Kaiapoi honey)

Put the rice bubbles in a big bowl. Put all the other ingredients in a pot on low on the stove. Let it melt and the sugar dissolve, turn it up a fraction until bubbling. Stir every 30 seconds and watch it bubble and turn golden brown.

Pour mixture into rice bubble and mix really well. Tip into a lined tin (I use an old fashioned sponge roll tin but if your tin is square it will just make the biscuit a bit thicker at the end). Press it really really hard into the tin (TIP - dampen the ends of your fingers before doing this and then it wont stick to you). Cut immediately and put in fridge to set (30 minutes). Store in the fridge and enjoy.

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....