Wednesday, December 31, 2014

...And again. Happy New years eve everyone!

Our New Years Eve walk around the estuary in Motueka. Gorgeous sunset at 9pm. Great way to see the year out. Looking forward to 2015

Friday, December 26, 2014

Home made smoked salmon

Oh my,  what an amazing Christmas lunch we had.  I have never smoked anything before and yet decided that was going to be lunch.  Camping in a place where there were only 6 other people.  Bliss.  We and the salmon got smoked but it was so good I smoked the other half too. So 1.8kg of amazing sugar coated smoked salmon was made. Oh now I know I need a smoker. Waiting for the hoards of campers who will invariably arrive in the next couple of days.  Enjoying it in the meantime.
Not the best photo of me, but look at the Salmon and the empty campground. It filled up after that but it was lovely on Christmas day.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Annabel Langbein's Walnut salad

Annabel Langbein
Yes I have been watching the Free Range Cook. Made her walnut salad which was really yummy. "Tickled" the first of the new potatoes to see what they were like. Delicious healthy lunch for Aaron and Me.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Brocoliflower and a garden update

Was absolutely thrilled with my brocoliflower this year. Other years it has bolted and gone to seed as do most my brassicas. But this year it is a ripper!! Huge, it has feed us for three meals so far and those were generous. 
A year ago I said that we were going to redo the garden. Well Aaron has done all the paved paths but I am still finishing the brickwork (probably still will be doing it by this time next year!!) 
Wow the photo below is what it looked like just as we started.
This photo is what it looked like part way through.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Some very girly sewing

I don't normally get to do girly girly sewing. Not in a house full of boys. But at work everyone dresses in costume in the last couple of days before Christmas. It is the busiest time of the year and by the 23rd all are tired. So I decided to be the fairy on the Christmas tree. I bought a remnant satin for only $4 from Fabric Vision. Then a little bit of cheap tulle and some glitter tulle on top. Voila a Fairy skirt. Only 1.5 hours to whip it up (gathering the tulle was the longest part).

To go with it I have a string of Xmas lights but I have to wear my steel caps and hi viz vest. Will post a photo when it happens. Aaron says he is going to borrow the skirt to hand out goodies for at his work. I will have to get a photo of that too.

Linking to these places and finish it up friday.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Lemon Pepper beer battered fish and chips

Amazing, gorgeous, dinner. Used Monkfish and it was oh so tasty. Home made is the way to go!!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Gee - what did I do?

Yes, I get distracted when using my scraps. I started another project. But sensibly I kept this to large cushion size. I was looking for handwork to take in the caravan, now we are in camping season. I don't think it is my thing but I should learn not to judge an unfinished project.

Using freezer paper for my templates and needleturn applique for the motifs. Will have to wait and see where to from here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Goodness gracious I started another project

This was meant to be a zipped bag. But no - I kept going. Now everytime I find a scrap of material, on the floor or cut off my current project, I start making another random block. When it is big enough I add it on. It is about 1m wide by 60cm high. This will take ages to potter on and do. But it is something where I can sit at the sewing machine for half an hour and feel that I have done something.

I link to these place

Monday, December 1, 2014


Yum, picked fresh from the garden, tasting sumptuous, enough for dessert for us all. Large!! Loving this time of year

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Rediscovering Crotchet

When I was just a little girl my mother taught me and my sisters to crotchet. We learnt the tradition peggy squares and thought that was it. 
Now I know there is so much more but I still do not do it. As my boys no longer want knitted jerseys etc I was riffling through all my left over wool and thought - Ah ha. Why not start yet another project!!! (I am soo good at the starting bit) 
But I want to be modern. So after a bit of looking at pin boards etc I decided to do a cross between a old fashioned peggy square (the two middle rows) and a more modern colour block (all the other rows). It is so much easier to crotchet when watching t.v than following some of my knitting patterns or trying to hand stitch. So am loving not being idle while watching Tele these days. Not too sure how long it will last. But fun while it does.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Amazing, easy Cheesy Garlicky bread

Going around Facebook at the moment is a post on cheesy garlic bread. How simple I thought. But then I needed to NZ -a-fy the recipe. As the cheese they recommended is expensive and the whole thing was not quite to my taste.

Cheesy garlicky bread.
1 big vienna style loaf - cut it into thick 2inch (5cm) slices but on an angle not straight. Turn the loaf and cut it into 2inch thick slices the opposite way - DO NOT cut through the bottom crust.
Grate 1 cup of standard cheddar cheese and open the cuts and sprinkle the cheese in.
melt 1/2 cup butter and grate in 4-5 garlic cloves then drizzle this all over the bread, some into the gaps and some on top.

Put into the oven in a dish covered in tin foil on 180oC for 15 mins. Take the foil off the top and bake another 10-15 mins.

Eat while hot!!! - yummy

I made it on Saturday night and it was wolfed down before dinner.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What to do to finish it off?

patchwork star

When I was on my quilting retreat in August I made the centre star. When I came home I squared the corners up and then it sat in a funk. How to finish it, what to do? I am trying to finish things at the moment, but what with work and being hit by a vicious cold I have done nothing for the last few weeks. 

I decided just to get on with it, not be precious about it and so I put the grey border on. I have three more little strip borders (some of that black with white dot) to put on and then I am going to try quilting it as a spiral. I see lots of people out in blog world doing that. So whether I like it or not at the end I am not sure but at least I will have a plan!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The quilts have made it to Africa

Yay - finally all the quilts that I parceled up have gotten to the orphanage just outside El Dorat in Kenya. The older girls have started choosing their quilts and they have named them "forever quilts" as this is the first thing they have to keep forever, even when they leave to study or get married.
Charity quilting
Getting them to Kenya was expensive and rather stressful as the Kenyan border kept them in holding for two weeks and we were very concerned about the spiraling cost. 
When shipping them I almost gave up as but thanks to everyone who prayed and helped. Now the look on these faces makes my heart sing. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New pouch pattern - tested and featured

Yes, I can finally tell you all about it. I was a pattern tester for Svetlana over at s.o.t.a.k. I love her blog and style so when she asked for testers I put my hand up.
It is a very easy to make pattern. I loved how well the zips went in and how finished they were.

I spent ages trying to centre my material but still did not get it totally right.

When open it looks like this. Each pocket is seperate though.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

White wisteria

Gracing our covered verandah. Growing strong, flowering well. I just love it. Looks like summer snow.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Refashion - linen top for me

I have been stashing this long sleeved 100% linen shirt for ages intending to make a summer top. I had wanted a wee capped sleeve but the armholes on these shirts are huge. When sewing under the arms it was still too big for a sleeve and I even had to put a little facing in to make it decent.
The linen shirt I started with
So I took the main collar off as it was really large and on a summer day when the back of my neck is sunburnt I like my collar to stand up. Using some cute patchwork material I made a much smaller version.
upcycled, recycled, refashioned
The side view - with a high low bottom

Fixed the arm holes and took the arms off altogether. One arm ended up being the binding for the armholes. I was going to use my quilting material but could not bring myself to cut through my metre of fabric to make a bias strip!! So I did a square cut and put it around the bottom, after I had changed the shirt tails to a high / low look. A bit of a cheat really.

I link to these places.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Perfect iced coffee

iced coffee
Put ice in the glass you want to use. Make a double espresso shot. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Put the espresso over the ice and immediately start pouring in trim milk to suit (my bottle is quarter pint or 150ml). 
All ready to go. I love this in the summer on the deck. I am not fond of the iced coffees with all the cream and icecream and this just keeps it simple.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

First outdoor swim of the summer

We went camping for the long weekend and the weather one day was amazing. We all jumped in the river for the first swim of the summer.  
It surprised us as it was not the biting cold we were expecting. Gorgeous
We also went on a walk and to a beach I had never been too. Fossil beach.
I was a bit worried standing at the top of the cliff that I would not get back up but I did OK. It helped that the day was cool. 
Climbing up the cliffs to find the fossils. Fossilised shells, crabs etc. Amazing. I was not prepared to go up the cliff so pottered on the beach.

Monday, November 3, 2014

A bit of doggy competition

We had Meisha, Aaron's parents dog to stay. It created a bit of doggy competition. Where one went the other had to go!!!

Annabel Langbein - Domino Potatoes

Domino Potatoes
This was my attempt at Annabel's Domino Potatoes. I have never had a flop from her recipes but these did not go brown and crispy at all. Was disappointed. I think because they did not brown up they tasted a bit buttery for me too.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Annabel Langbein - Rhubarb tart

Rhubarb tart
Eli and I have been watching the latest series of Annabel Langbein - Free range through the Seasons.  She had made an amazingly easy pastry case and then just stood up fruit in it. If you wanted this could be sugar free but would be very tart. Just change the fruit.

She served it with Orange scented cream which was a mixture of yogurt and sour cream, but I just made it with normal cream. The pastry held together but had texture and then melted in your mouth.

Annabel Langbein Fruit Tart
Pastry  - into a kitchen whiz put 
1 3/4 cup plain flour
200g chilled diced butter 
whiz until it looks like bread crumb and then add
1/2 cup sour cream.
whiz until it combines. Put it on the bench and bring all the pastry together. Wrap in cling film and put in fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Cut pastry into 8 pieces. Roll each out on floured board and then turn it in all the way around to make an edge. Place your fruit in the middle and sprinkle on 1 tablespoon sugar per tart.

Bake at 180 for 20 minutes (I had to bake it about 30 minutes to get colour and make sure it was cooked)

Orange Cream
Whip 150ml of cream which has the fine zest of 1/2 orange and 3 tablespoons sugar.


Thursday, October 30, 2014

A bit of late night secret sewing

Last week Svetlana from s.o.t.a.k. advertised for pattern testers for her first ever pattern. I quickly put my hand up as I have been following her blog for a long time and love her aesthetics.

Last night I was busy cutting cutting and being very careful to follow the instructions and make sure that I did not race ahead as I normally do!!

I was very pedantic about pre cutting everything and within an hour I was whizzing along. It's looking gorgeous but can't show you anymore until Svetlana has published it all on her blog. Another 30 minutes will have it all done.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Drama in our house

getting loaded into the ambulance

Well we had loads of drama last friday night. Jakob came home from school having had an accident at the gymnasium. He had hurt his back (and was treated at the time) and travelling on the school bus had him in agony. I was concerned so took him to the Dr only to be told he needed to be treated as a spinal patient and the ambulance got called.

Goodness me. So off we went to A&E and had back xrays. Thankfully he only had severe bruising to his spine. So a quiet weekend. He is getting better.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Minky dressing gown for my son

Recently Eli and I had a mum and son day. When we were in one of the shops we spied the most amazing soft cuddly minky fabric. Eli had been wanting a soft dressing gown so we bought it home and whipped it up. It was really quick to make as I used satin bias binding that was premade to finish the edges and I did not line the collar area.
dressing gown

One of the many poses

I had an adult dressing gown pattern but it was far to large, so I used the general gist of the pattern and drafted my own. All things considering I am quite happy with it. The photos are not the best as Eli insisted on giving me all his modelling poses!!!

I link to these places
The satin bias used for edging.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Birthday afternoon tea.

Oh yes, gorgeous fresh strawberries covered in glossy delicious dark chocolate. Tasted as good as they look.

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....