Monday, March 24, 2014

It might look like it but it is NOT a quail egg.

Look what I found in the chooks nest today. The cold weather has definitely affected one of the chooks!!!
The egg on the left is the normal size, the other two chooks have also gotten slightly shrunk eggs but the one on the left is about 1/4 the size of the others. It will be interesting to see if there is a yolk in it.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

It took a while but I have loved doing it.

Well after the last quilt for charity where crafting was a grind, I started this as something that I had wanted to do for a long long time. It is a paper pieced pattern that I got off the internet.
Patchwork, Quilting
I finished the piecing last weekend
then sandwiched it together and started quilting. I completed a little bit every night.
Finally finishing the quilting today. I am really thrilled with the pattern. I tried using loops around the edge for the first time and quilted a lot more closely than I normally do.
Trying to take a photo of it finished and on the bed when a slightly hyped up boy (typical of a Friday after school) jumps in the photo. It had been book week this week at school which ended in a character parade. Eli went as Goldilocks (he has a wig he bought two years ago that is attached to a hat and plaited as two pigtails) and won the prize for the best costume in his class. It takes a confident boy to carry that off!!!!
Instead of using a zip closing in the back I used domes so that it is easy on and off and easy to wash.
FairyFace Designs

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Anti Bullying song written and sung by a 14 yr old New Zealand girl

Nakita has been working on this for a couple of years. Researching by interviewing hundreds of school kids about their bullying experiences. Her voice is amazing. At the end of assembly last year at school she sang and I have not heard such an amazing live voice for a long time. She has such a bright future ahead of her.

Bullying is such a massive issue, it can destroy some kids lives forever, and it seems that although nearly every child has been bullied at some stage they still turn around and do it to others. This is such a powerful message. I think she should get onto Ellen, and Oprah etc!!! Nakita makes me feel proud to be a NZ'er.

I link to these places

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I am not a shoe shop

I feel as thought the last few days have been spent in the shoe shops. We have bought;
Slippers for Jakob

new sneakers which had to go back.

New school shoes

New sneakers for Jakob

Eli's feet have grown four sizes in the last 1.5 years!! Far out. Now he is finding shoes really hard to fit. After two sessions at the shoe shop (both lasting an hour - which is 3/4 hour too long in my opinion!!).

How does something so mundane take so much effort? We still have not gotten any sneakers for Eli and I am not prepared to step back into a shoe shop for ages.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

There seems to be a lot going on here.

I don't know about you but my home life seems to be like my craft life at the moment. A rather large number of projects on the go and nothing actually being completed. When they finally do it will all look amazing!!

And on top of this we still have to get carpet in the hall and bedroom and finish painting everything in the lounge.
Firewood being chopped and a grumpy Jakob stacking it.
A new woodsheet being built - The most solid ever.
A new garden and paths being marked out. Do you see the paint lines?
Eli getting stuck into making Donna Hay easy muffins.
The muffins out of the oven - red currant as the fruit.

Yummy muffins - from Donna Hay T.V programme

Into a bowl sieve together:
2.5 cups of self raising flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Into the well put
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup milk 
1 egg
mix the wet together in the bowl to ensure the egg is beaten and then mix all together. The mixture is quite stiff.
Add whatever fruit you want. 300g fresh or frozen fruit. Put into muffin tins (put the mixture over 12 muffin tins) and sprinkle the top with granulated sugar. 
Bake at 180 deg C for 30-35 minutes until the top is crunchy.

Friday, March 14, 2014

How frugal are you?

I am so frugal and find it such a waste to miss out on discounts or free things that it means my purse is stuffed full of loyalty cards. Why would I pay full price for gas bottles if a loyalty card means I get a discount every second time. I love coffee, why would I not want my sixth one to be free. Ditto for material!
Patchwork and Quilting
 Which gives the dilemma as to what to do with them all. Well my smart new purse was made with the intent to banish these cards elsewhere. Last week at my stitching group with Jane I finally finished the hand patched stretched hexagons. Today I sewed them into a mini wallet with a plastic insert. No more fishing through all the cards to find what I want. Now I just need to flip the clear plastic pages and I can spot the card I need quickly.
It does look a bit like a Mum and child wallet. But hey. When I finally finish my messenger bag it will all look snazzy. I love these Asian taupe materials.

I link to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts. and March Finishes

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A most reluctant finish

Well this quilt has finally been finished! It has been a quilt I would call SIGH if I named quilts. I have sighed the whole time making it. The patchwork I blogged about back here. It is donated cut blocks which I only had to add a few more in. Donated flannelette backing which is original from the 70's.
Hope Homes International

But how I struggled with this quilt. I had to push myself to sew it, push myself to sandwich it and the quilting of it was procrastinated about for ages and ages. I feel that this is the worst quilting I have done in a long time. There are material puckers, it is only straight lines, it looks like the first quilt I have ever made. But no matter what I did to try and fix it, it just wasn't working. So I closed my eyes (figuratively) and just got on with it.
The flannelette back
I know why it was such an issue;

  1. I like to start things and not necessarily finish them as I want to get onto the next idea.
  2. I found this utterly boring, not my style of patchwork and quilting at all
  3. I was unhappy with my finish on it.
But the good thing is that it is now another finished quilt for the Orphans at Hope Homes International, so I spent all my time sewing talking to myself ("any child will be thrilled with this, they will not look at how well it is completed, they will appreciate that someone has done something for them) etc etc

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Wild Blackberries as a gravy base

A couple of weekends ago we spent time at our friends second home on some land in the middle of nowhere. All the blackberries were ripe and so the boys and Aaron came home from a walk and swim very proudly bearing a bag of blackberries.

 Well yesterday there were still some remnants in the fridge. I made a pork roast with free range pork from my sisters farmlet. In the bottom of the dish I put a finely chopped onion, a finely chopped apple and the remainder of the blackberries. When I took the pork out to rest I put all the juices, onion, apple and berries through a sieve, pressed quite hard. Then into that liquid I mixed 1 Tablespoon of cornflour. It was deep red and delicious.

Having fun at the river just before picking blackberries.
I forgot to take an after photo but it was AMAZING. Quite subtle but fruity and it got he thumbs up from us all.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ruby red rich roast quince

Straight out from the oven. Delicious with whipped cream. One of the upsides of the foul weather is it blew all the quinces from the tree so I don't have to try to pick them off the high branches.
If you roast them the skins just peel off and the core pops out. Oh so easy.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A dedicated follower of fashion

Well not really. But last winter and through our summer all the crafty bloggers seem to be making cowls instead of scarves. A good idea I thought. Last night I finished it and just in time for this foul weather today. I wore it to my stitching group this morning and it looks like the trend may be passing on!!!

This is made from the recycled angora (goat) wool that I posted about unpicking etc here. I only started this when we were camping at Molesworth Station three weeks ago. I looked in my knitting stitching book and found a stitch they called twisted fisherman's. It is soooooo easy. It is just knit stitch but every second row you knit into the current stitch and the one below. So fantastic for watching TV and knitting.
Me wearing it as a hood and scarf at stitching this morning.
Aaron and Eli love this too so I have started knitting Aaron a scarf using the same stitch and the same wool. What an awesome upcycling project. One jersey and this is the fourth knitted item from it and I still have more wool.
A close up of the twisted fisherman's knit
I link to these places.
and March Finishes

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Learning to iron

Now for some of you learning to iron may not be that thrilling! But I am super thrilled as my 8 year old has started to learn how to do the household ironing and has been asking to do more.
Here he is with all his beautifully ironed and folded washing

He was bored last weekend and offered to do a job (so he must have been seriously bored!!). I was changing the beds and had no pillowcases in the cupboard so I set him up with a pile of 20 pillowcases. Showed him one, assisted with one and then watched one. 20 minutes later he said it was a bit tedious ironing without music or something and as I usually watch TV while ironing we turned that on.

The bonus is that now when he is wanting to get some extra screen time he offers to do the ironing and has been disappointed that there is none... yay....yipee.....soon I will move him onto doing shirts!!!

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....