Sunday, June 29, 2014

Started healthy but will it continue?....

Tomorrow I start my new job. This requires a lot more planning than my old job where I could just pop through the park from home. Now I have a 35 minute commute (on a bade day 1hr10min). So lunches must be done at night and ready just to take out of the fridge.

So today it is minted pea and feta salad. Home made pickled beetroot, one homemade yoyo and one bought biscuit, an apple and a green tea and Moroccan mint tea bag.

Here is hoping that I can keep this sort of meal going for at least 3 out of 4 days a week. Plus I have my breakfast ready, chopped apple, Greek yogurt, chopped fresh walnuts (from my father) and some bran cereal.

Friday, June 27, 2014

All snuggly for winter

Yeah, a finished item. This scarf is a angora rabbit wool scarf. The wool is so unbelievably soft. I am slowly using all the wool from a jersey I unpicked (see back here) from the Op Shop.
It had to be really really long to be able to double over and wear like this. But Aaron was clear that was how he wanted to wear a scarf and who am I but to oblige him? He has worn it every day since I finished blocking it. 

Over the years I have knitted Aaron heaps of jersey's etc so he did not need any more of those. But when I finished my snood just before winter both the boys and Aaron loved it. Hence the beginning of a scarf for Aaron - two months later and it is done.

The best photo of my gorgeous husband, was no good as he had his eyes shut. Not only do I want to show off the scarf but my gorgeous man as well!!!

Then last night I put the rest of the wool to use as Jakob wants a hat with ear flaps.

I link to these places and finish it up Friday with Crazy Mum Quilts.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I had no idea how easy they were (well that is if you remember to put all the ingredients in!!).

Recently I went to see my Dad as he was recovering from an Operation. While there I noticed a friand tin in the cupboards. My mother had thought it was a muffin tin. So she handed it over on the promise of Friands when they next visit.

I finally plucked the courage to make them. I had put it off as the ingredients are not cheap. The first batch I was too busy and after they came out of the oven and looked right etc, but did not taste as delicious as I thought they should, I found the melted butter in the microwave!!!

So second attempt  - much more successful. A total hit in our house. Everyone had two and wanted more.

I went through heaps of recipes that are on the internet and in the end this was what I did:

160g butter - melt in microwave

into bowl sift
1 3/4 cup icing sugar
3/4 cup flour

add in 1 cup Almond meal and stir well.

Fork beat 6 eggwhites until just fluffy and add 1 teaspoon vanilla paste.

use a pastry brush and the melted butter to grease the friand tin (or use a muffin tin or silicon), then use a little flour to dust the tins. I used a friand tin and a tupperware silicon muffin tin and greased and floured them both.

Add all the remaining butter into the mixture and stir well. It will be the consistency of a thick batter. Half fill 12 tins. If the mixture has not all been used then put more into each container. Do not make more than 12.

Bake 180 20-23minutes.
cool in tin for 5 minutes after taking them out of the oven.

I link to these places.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sausage making and a quilting frame

On the weekend we stayed overnight at my sisters place. Essentially to watch the All Blacks thrash Great Britain in rugby - yeah.

Being a bit of a wine and food buff family we did not want to drink and drive. On Sunday morning Anna and Mark got out the sausage making machine and made lamb and beef sausages with herbs and red wine. Yummy . Lunch was said sausages, mash and crunchy salad.

I was thrilled as I managed to work out how to string sausages like a butcher. I was really proud of my efforts.

Though it was just a tiny bit of help as the sausage making actually took a bit of time. I was the lady of leisure in the spa while they did the hard work.

On Friday I spent the day with Anna helping her put her quilt onto her brand new quilting frame. Very exciting. By the time we came back on Saturday night she was well underway on the quilt for the campervan.

I link to these places.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Low Volume quilt - for charity

Yay another quilt completed. My attempt at low volume quilting is not as low as some. But compared to my normal choice of heaps of colour, this is muted! Finally getting to try one of the style of quilts from a blogger I follow - Crazy mum quilts
Hope Homes International
I have been following Amy's quilting adventures on how to free motion quilt. This is challenging me but I am also finding that new patterns and ideas are not as hard as they look. So this months challenge was grid quilting.
I drew all the lines on the quilt with taylors chalk at 60o angles.
It took me a wee while to work out how to continuously quilt the pattern, so I used a rough piece of paper to practice in pen before getting the quilt near the machine. I think next time I would do the pattern smaller. I love it though.

Super happy that this is another quilt for Hope Homes International.
continuous line quilting

Linking to these places
Amy's Free Motion Monday Quilting Adventures

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Calm after the storm

Oh my goodness. Today everyone was home!!. We were waiting at the bus stop for school when we were advised it was closed due to flooding. Aaron worked from home and I had a day off interviews etc. But it took till about 1pm for our house to settle and then I had to pop over to work.
We jokingly called this Longsilver Lake - taken outside work. Thankfully none of the guys blew their motors this time. Last time two of the apprentices tried to drive through and bust their vehicles. 
This was Little Longsilver - the water in the actual shed area.
I walked the boys and Morris in the rain to the Library and we got the next lot of books. Boys dry and settled down to reading. 
Aaron working in the bedroom - had a bit of a laugh here as I had to take a second photo to give him time to suck his tummy in!! Great being an IT geek - means if you have Wifi you can work anywhere.
I managed to get my quilt onto the floor and started pining it all together.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bad bad bad....but oh soooo good

I watch all the Rachel Allen cooking shows on T.V. When I saw her make this chocolate mousse cake it looked so easy. I love a good brownie etc so gave it a go.

Wow - simple, four ingredients, 20 minute cook time and the best chocolate slice or brownie you could ever want. Not too sweet - very little sugar compared to brownies. Amazing texture, rich but not wet.

So click on the link and make it yourself. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Quilt top and binding done

finished quilt
On Thursday i sewed together all the strips that I had blogged about doing. But when I did the quilt just was not quite big enough. So last night I put a cute little pop of colour border (only 1/2" finished) and then a bigger border on.

Being inspired and not yet too sleepy to turn the sewing machine off, I got stuck in and made the binding too. One of the bloggers I follow is Crazy mum quilts and she had a quilt very similar to this in her book.

Yay for a finish - linked to these places.

Today I finished coating the bathroom shelves, so they will be able to get put in and the bathroom will be done. Phew......

ps - this is another quilt for the Orphanage - Hope Homes International

Friday, June 6, 2014

Yum, I like that ...

declared the boys as they got stuck into chocolate from Finland. I tried to snap a photo of it in their hand but it got to the mouth too quickly. They were very disappointed when I only let them share one bar.
chocolate into mouth really quickly!!
A while ago I found a blog run by Tiina from Finland. She makes amazing zip pouches and her quilting is very different to mine and I love it. So I started to follow her blog. I was her 80th follower. To celebrate that she sent me this parcel full of bits of material and chocolate bars. WOW.
I know immediately what I will do with the Mickey Mouse. My niece and nephew are going to Disneyland in two weeks. So I am going to be inspired by Tiina and make them a zip pouch with things to do when they are driving their parent crazy on the plane. (trust me they will as they are 3 &1!!! - brave parents).
The red and black fabric is special to Finland. It is the signature print of the Finnish Quilting Association.

Thank you Tiina.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

What I am working on.. a low volume quilt

Well having come home from Rarotonga I felt the need to get behind the sewing machine. The only thing was my concentration was not too good.
So I pulled out some of my scraps that I had cut about 6 months ago. I had tried to tidy up my fabric haul so I went through my scraps and cut 6.5 inch strips or 4.5inch squares. It dealt with the scraps really well. At the time I was channeling low volume quilting.

So this is my attempt at a very simple low volume quilt. All the strips are sewn and now just need a few hours to get it all together (without the help of Morris!!!).

I link to these places.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The last of the Feijoa's

Not wanting to waste this glorious fruit we generally scoff all the big fresh ones as soon as they fall from the trees. Two trees only just keeps up with our demand during the season. This year the last lot fell just before we headed off to Rarotonga. I love preserved Feijoa's but felt like something a bit different so used preserved ginger in with my syrup.

Here we have some sumptuous Feijoa and Ginger fruit. Once it was all bottled there was about 1.5 cups of liquid left. So I scooped the flesh out of the tiny fruit that were left, added a cup of sugar and made some Feijoa and Ginger Jam.

I link to these places

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Using Men's Business Shirts

Anyone who knows me knows that I collect fabric. Well a long time ago I realised that a man's business shirt has a lot of fabric in it and so I started collecting 100% cotton or linen ones. I have made many things from french inspired cushion covers to aprons.

This time I made a nightie. This is a pattern that I use a lot as it is simple, comfy and reasonably decent if someone knocks on the door. The bias binding that I posted about the other day was for specifically for this.

the shirts - total cost $3

I needed a new nightie and got inspired when Miriam posted about her dress made from two different men's shirts. So behind the machine I whipped this up just in time to take to Rarotonga. The pink shirt was a bit more see through than I realised at first, so it is completely lined with the pink check shirt.
The labels.

Just for a bit of fun I put all the labels from the shirts onto the back of the skirt.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The morning after....

Rarotongan Resort and Spa
Got back from doing this.....
paddle boarding
I even managed to do it!!

In wonderful Rarotonga to...... 
Doing this at 5.30am!!! (internal timeclock a bit out of sinc) at home. Brrrrr -3.8 C this morning. Fire pumping as hard to deal with after a week at 26 C!!

Minecraft Pillow

Minecraft is now almost a retro game!! When my kids were little we all used to play it as a family and the Zombies and Creepers used to fre...