Friday, September 26, 2014

Thai chili beef salad

Getting down to the last of the beef. Wanted to do something different. This gorgeous dinner was from all the bits we had hanging around.

Made a salad base with iceburg lettuce, shaved carrot, shaved cucumber, coriander, spring onions then added thinly sliced fast seared beef which had been marinaded in lemongrass, fresh ginger, garlic and fresh ginger.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I am a starter

Yes I confess, I start gazillions of projects and heaps of them do not get finished. That is why I end up with "orphan quilts". All those blocks started with the intent of trying something new, being enthused and then either not liking the result, finding it boring, or surprise surprise - finding a new cool project to do!! My starting and not finishing has gotten worse since going back to work fulltime. I want to do inspiring stuff only.

This is some of what I have started in the last two weeks.
 Started this project to use the scraps from the projects below.
 Started this and decided to make it into a cushion cover. I might?????? be able to finish smaller projects.
Could not decide whether the low volume above or this bright look was the best. So did both!!!

patchwork and quilting
Yes I am getting on with this. But still don't know what to do with it. Any ideas?

And I helped Eli to start a project of his own.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gorgeous Angora Rabbit wool

The Angora rabbit wool jersey which I got from the Op Shop, unpicked and re-balled three years ago has finally all been used up.

Well my finishing of things is not legendary. It is well and truely spring and I have finally finished a winter woolly hat for Jakob. He even went on a school ski trip and I could not get it done. So we are now ready for next winter.

The jersey has done well. It had enough wool to make me a cowl, Aaron a scarf , a couple of new born baby hats and now this hat for Jakob.

Linking to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reverse bricking

For those of you who are crafters', have you heard the term "reverse stitching"? There is no "unpicking" in my world, it is all stitching no matter what the direction.
The path and garden beds slowly being constructed
Well the landscape gardening we are doing has suffered from some "reverse bricking". I have been teaching myself to be a brickie (I will never make any money from it as a profession as it takes me over an hour to do about 16 bricks!!). Anyway, I have been merrily bricking the surrounds to the new garden bed. (sometimes not so merrily). While Aaron was in Australia for work I thought I would crack on with it.
Just a little fix to do after the reverse bricking.
Sigh, when he came back he pointed out the some of the brick was in the wrong place. So out with the chisel and we peeled away four bricks and there is only one hole to fill, which will be easy.

We have also redesigned the path, so part of the first section of bricking I ever did is going to have to come under the chisel for a bit of "reverse bricking". I got very frustrated with pulling down what took so much effort to put up. But hey - the altered layout will be heaps better.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

I'm with Aaron

Yes we are a crazy family. The idea of these T-Shirts came from a photo I saw of an older couple on a cruise liner. So for Fathers Day we printed these all off and presented them to Aaron. We then wore them all to church and to the Market in the afternoon.

Aaron said it was really weird when people he did not know said "Hi Aaron". We got lots of laughs and look forward to wearing them camping etc.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Loom band craziness

Has it hit your place? I think we must be on the tail end of it as all the items are now at least half the price of what they were. So the other weekend the boys bought a loom and bands for the princely sum of $3. It has certainly given more than that in entertainment value.

Note the finished shirt on the left

The little shirt in Eli's palm took forever to get right. Three goes with me helping and more than that before my assistance was requested. It is great to see his tenacity in wanting to get it right. He has been following YouTube videos for instructions.

Linking to these places

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What I am working on

At the moment I am working on foundation piecing. I am loving it. Amazing sharp points, easy to do little pieces and looking bright. I saw it on a blog, which then referenced you to the pattern.
Patchwork, Quilting

This has been designed by Janice at Better Off Thread - Linked here to her tutorial etc for this block.
I was going to do an entire circle but then I have the begining of so many quilts that have no ending somehow. So I thought that a cushion or pillow will be better. I am also trying to do smaller blocks because spring is here and there is soooo much to do outside. Trying to fit that all in with working fulltime and presto, not a lot of sewing gets done. But in the meantime I am just getting a thrill from doing the blocks.

Linking to these places.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

We get there step by step

Slowly being built
For a long time we have been slowly sorting out the living areas in our house. We opened up from the kitchen to the laundry and that created light but also cold. So tomorrow double glazed doors and windows arrive to fix that problem.
The mess in the lounge
Now I am sanding and sealing
Today our odd job builder has been in putting shelved in an alcove in the laundry. These have been built from recycled Rimu, the same planks that were used to replace our kitchen floor. One shelf has been made using the tiny bit of Rimu that Aaron managed to rescue from his old family home before it was torn down after the earthquakes. So progress is slowly happening to ensure the front end  of the house is all livable while we complete an extension on the back end of the house.

In the meantime everything from there is strewn all over the living room. This is just the beginning. Once this is done then we are back in the kitchen taking out cupboards and putting in extraction fans.

Do we ever finish fixing up our houses?.... and you should see outside. We are still in a huge mess where we are bricking and tiling in the garden.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

For the man who has everything - Give Florentines

Florentine, Belgium biscuit
Well my father in law had his birthday and I am stuck with what to give him. He is really helpful here around the place. Most recently he has been chopping all the firewood that Aaron collects and he has fixed my front door (which was sticking badly - but is no more!!).

The other day when they popped over he eyed up the YoYo's that I had made and snaffled a couple. So a ha, I thought. Homemade biscuits. So I made some yoyo's, Belgium slice, Afghans and then tried a new recipe - Florentines. (I use the Edmonds recipe for Yoyo's and Afghans but do not cook them as long as they recommend - only 12 minutes in the oven is all you need)

The recipe for Florentines I got while watching a recent programme of the Australian House and Garden. Love that programme. It is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but they are super yummy.

180g bran flakes (I used cornies from Kellogs)
150g pistachio nut (not salted)
150g flaked almonds
80g chopped almonds (I had some and added some unsalted cashews to bring up the weight)
100g glace cherries (I did not have any so did not use them but upped the quantity of the other fruit)
60g glace ginger
50g cranberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 a nutmeg ground (grated)
1 395g tin of sweetened condensed milk.

Stir all together. Put onto baking paper and bake at 180oC for 10 minutes (seriously that is all you need) Cool and then melt some dark chocolate and spread it on the bottoms of the florentines. 

I had a bit of a problem putting the mixture onto the baking paper. So I used a round cookie cutter on the tray. Put in two spoons of the mixture. Pushed it down with my spoon. Then removed the cutter and that worked really well.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

Refashion a business man's shirt - sewing for me

From this
To this

I really liked the material that this shirt was made from. 100% organic cotton and it has a natural look and image to it. I should have taken a close up of it to really show. Anyway. There was enough material in it to make a little cap sleeve top for me. I actually used a pattern this time (very unlike me!). I have decided that the front looks OK but I do not like the back, it is all puffy and doesn't drape. So I am going to try putting the pattern on the bias and see how it goes as I think that will give it a lot more shape. As Gilli pointed out - it could do with being longer, but because it was a refashion I did not have enough material to do that.

Linking to these places.

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....