Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A bit of yummy bread making

I had a little bit of time to think about cooking as we came home from holiday early at Christmas. So I pulled out my bread book. First I made Ciabatta. This is rising before heading into the oven. Not as good as it normally is, maybe because the yeast was expired in 2009!!! But I did test it first and it frothed etc as it should. So being a bit disappointed I then heading for a no fail recipe.  
I followed the recipe to the letter and made gorgeous Chelsea Buns. The filling looked fabulous and this was the look prior to rising.
Oh my goodness what a success!! Tasty tasty, with soft bread and a delicious mixed spice and fruit filling. The glaze was meant to be made with orange water but as I did not have any I substituted rose water and it worked really well.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Arthur's Pass

 My sister was with us for a couple of days as they wanted to do Cave Stream near Castle Hill in Arthur's Pass. We ended up having a big day doing Cave Stream, The waterfall track at Arthur's Pass the the limestone rocks.

Definitely and amazing place to stay

When you have just crossed the stream to go to the waterfall track in the Arthur's Pass township, if you turn back, you see this amazing stone hut tucked in the bush. I so want to stay there!!!!
After the second bridge the boys decided to scramble rather than take the track - always up for a bit of adventuring. 
Unfortunately this was the only striding out I did! My blood pressure was low and I was dizzy and could not sort it out so I had to wander around the village, do my knitting etc. 
I took a lot of photos of the old old cute houses that are around. 
Gearing up to do Cave Stream.
The intrepid cavers ready to go.
Starting to emerge from the cave 1 hour later. Kids first. 
Adults last. Have to say when I saw the kids coming out I was a bit worried about the adults fitting through the ledge!!!
Of to the boulders. This was one walk I could slowly do.

Great day out. Lovely to have family staying over the holiday time.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Rethinking means a finished item

In September last year I realised that small projects get finished. This gives me great satisfaction. So I finished a couple of small projects and then got stuck. I had two panels all quilted and ready to go. I was intending to make a zip pouch but the blocks were too big. I just could not resolve my dilemma so parked them.
I had been inspired by Tiina in Finland who makes a lot of small pouches, that are immaculately quilted. 
scrappy patchwork
So I was posting about all the things I needed to finish and realised that I just had to suck it up and cut the blocks down. Once I had made that decision then it was easy to get it all sewn together and finished.
wide mouth zip pouch.

I link to these place and also to 2016 FAL

Monday, January 11, 2016

Joining the 2016 Finish-A-Long

2016 FAL

I have so many things that I have started and not finished in the last few years that when Fluffy Sheep Quilting decided, with the assistance of others, to host a finishing year - I had to join in,

I started taking photographs yesterday and just found more and more projects - sigh!! So I have tried to be realistic about what my get finished for the first quarter and here they are.
I have a scrap quilt that I have been making for ages. Here are some of the randomly sewn pieces I have yet to join on. This will be for the orphanage at Hope Homes International.  
This quilt has been sitting here for ages, all ready to quilt but a wee bit stuck on how to do it. So it got parked. Time to un-park it! 
I started this over two years ago. A quilt made from old pajamas. It was meant to be finished for the caravan for this season. But camping season is half way through and I have still not gotten it done. It is also sitting on the floor of my sewing room, so needs to be done and out of the way. 
I finished my first hat upcycled from linen shirts. I enthusiastically cut the next one out, but that is it. Again with summer half over it needs to be worn and used. 
Loving making a traditional quilt from new materials. But don't want it to become yet another parked project, so it is on the list.
These shirts are meant to be turned into a colour block shift dress. I have had them selected and sitting on my "to do" shelf for three years!!! Have drafted the pattern, need to sew.
Finally I have two quilted blocks I was going to make into zip purses. But the proportion is wrong. Need to fix it and get it done!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A bit of holiday magic

 Family Christmas Day 
New Years Eve with Friends 
Lots of riverbed walking to fantastic swimming holes 
Sleeping after swimming
Still have screens to play on when in the caravan. 
The boys always gravitate to the dogs 

Chickens wild at the river 
Another Christmas Day photo

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Home-made Raspberry Jam and scones.

Home made raspberry jam - made on the day the raspberries were picked. So fresh, red and delicious. We came home from camping early, as did a lot of people in New Zealand, due to bad weather. I rushed to pick the berries so they would not rot from the rain. My recipe is so quick and easy. In the jars and finished within 15 minutes.

Then the next day after church I made a batch of scones and we had the luscious jam with scones and cream. Delicious.

Monday, January 4, 2016

My four favourite holiday shots so far.

Jakob at the river with the camera set only to recognise bright green.
Eli in absolute hysterics as he learns how to hypnotise a chicken. 
Me at the river. If you look closely you will see I am laughing. 
My three best men. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A quilt as you go bin for my sewing space

scrap quilting, scrap patchwork
So yet again I started a new project. I wanted something small that I could actually finish!! As that 
has not been my forte at all lately.
In my new house my sewing space is still incredibly disorganised. I have made a cutting table, of which I am very proud, that has been a life changer with being able to just do a bit of sewing anytime I want. This photo shows the messy corner. The shoe box is my rubbish bin and it needed to go!! The pile on the left is three unfinished items.
I took out my scrap bag that is strips only 
Sorted the colours and materials I wanted 
I then found a left over piece of batting and some fusible reinforcing and commenced sewing the strips on. 
Once it was all sewn I decided that even though I had completed it as quilt-as-you-go, it just did not have a good visual effect.  
So I completed half inch spaced quilting.

I then sewed it all together and it was way way too big. I nearly parked it to be another unfinished project. But as I read Anna's post at Noodlehead (about picking up abandoned projects that were not quite right) I decided to fix it. I am thrilled with the finish and have a gorgeous rubbish bin in my sewing space.

Not a bad start to the New Year.

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....