Saturday, October 28, 2017

Driftwood blouse

Well it has been a long time coming. Photos are not great as my camera is broken and only the selfie side works. Next time I will make this shirt a couple of inches longer. I cut it lower than the midline on the pattern but doesn't seem to be quite enough. However this material cost me $12 from The Fabric Store at The Tannery and I have heaps left over. A lovely cotton lawn. So great as a trial. I also used self binding but did not make it bias - next time it needs to be bias for the neckline.

I cut the driftwood blouse out about two months ago and parked it as it was just difficult. I love the patterns from Twig and Tale - the wool boots I make is another of their patterns. But this pattern is so large that when printed on a home printer all the A4 pages had to be taped together. When printing none of the notations ie "front", "back" etc print so trying to figure out what was what drove me nuts. Also the A4 pages had no numbering so working out how the pattern fitted took me all of one night. This put me off and the cut out material has sat in my sewing room for about two months.

It was a quick sew but somehow some of the pieces did not align well, even though I was anal about seam allowance etc. Thrilled to have finished it and will try again with my "better" material now that I have worked out the kinks in the sewing.

Spring is definitely heading into summer, the rhododendrons are just about finished and poppies, peonies and roses are starting to come out. These are some mutated poppies from my garden, they all just cross fertilised and now I am getting wonderful colour array.

Linking to these places

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Making Hard Candy - Acid Drops

When I was a teenager my mother found a recipe for old fashioned acid drops. This makes a hard boiled lolly (candy) that you have to pull and twist the old fashioned way when cooling them.
Eli and I made them but the Candy syrup is super hot to handle so when it came time to shape them, the rush is on. We all pitched in to get it cooled and rolled as it is easy for it to set and then you break shards off, which is not nice to suck.
We had a day in Christchurch wandering around the botanic gardens and took the opportunity to wander the city as well. We went to the Earthquake memorial, which was very moving. 
Stopping by the cathedral just shows how quickly nature takes over. 6 years on from the earthquake and the paving is gone and trees abound.

A few fun photos later. We recreated some of our wedding photos. Twenty years and a few kilos later does not make the poses very easy!!! In our wedding photo the cathedral spire shows, but the city is a very different place since then.

In town there is a space invaders game that you have to physically wrangle. Great fun. The screen is on the wall of the building and the boys are manipulating the game from this platform. I had a go and won my game too!!!.

Here is the acid drop recipe if you want it. I have no idea where my mother got it from.
2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Heat gently until sugar is dissolved then bring to a constant simmer. Do not boil hard. It took about 20 minutes to just start becoming a pale yellow colour. It should be sort of holding together.

Take pan off the heat and add:
3 drops lemon essence
Take great care and pour onto a well oiled slab. I oiled a roasting dish, other times I have used a oiled baking tray or an oiled stainless steel bench top will do. While it is hot it was easy to do it in a large back dish as it could not run away on me.

Keep moving the sticky mess from the outside into the middle, sort of like folding - do it with an ordinary metal eating knife. Sprinkle
2 teaspoons tartaric acid over and it will slowly mix in using this folding technique.

My mother's recipe says to roll it into rolls, cut with a knife and then roll into balls with your hand. But it took quite a while of folding before it was set enough to consider doing anything. Then we found just pulling a chunk off and folding it until it was cool or solid enough to put in balls worked for us. We chucked them onto a dish that was covered with about 1cm icing (confectioners) sugar.

They were yum!!! It might be our home made Christmas present this 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....