Friday, December 28, 2018

Another Christmas make - dress pattern weights

I previously made myself some pattern weights and was really pleased with them, so decided to make a set for my sister and niece for Christmas. I used an oil cloth again but this was a much heavier cloth and very stiff. It made it incredibly difficult to turn through.

Friday, December 14, 2018

The first of the season's raspberries

Picked today, the first real pick of about about 500 grams of raspberries. Oh so delicious. I was laughing at myself as I was picking. My picking style at the beginning of the season is not to miss a single one, checking every branch, being careful. As we're going away I feel that I am missing out on all my season's raspberries.

I have three varieties. Some get more bugs than others, which are always clean. So I pick with two bowls - one for eating and one for jam.

Everytime I drop one on the ground it is a lost opportunity and a scrabble to get it, normally by the end of the season I don't care !!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ceylon Curry Powder - home made

When I was in Australia with relatives I took photos of a few recipes from very old books. Back HERE I blogged about the hot chilli oil. Yesterday I made a curry powder that was simply titled Ceylon Curry Powder from a recipe book bought in Darjeeling. It makes a flavorsome and not overly hot curry. So now with two recipes from this book under my belt we are going to have some tasty dishes at our house.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

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 freak me out. Now on ten years and my young nephew is seriously into it and has slowly drawn my family back into the net too. Now they all play online together with their own servers. It's a great boys family thing with the two brothers and their offspring all getting involved again.
Creeper pattern
Anyway - forward to this Christmas and trying to be inspired for presents, I had the brilliant idea to make a Minecraft Creeper pillow. Super easy as it is a block based game and due to the wave of popularity 10 years ago there are a lot of Minecraft inspired patterns and ideas out there. So I made a 2 inch block pillow (total finish is 20 inch) stuffed with a gorgeous good quality feather pillow.

Linking to a new link up over at Wendy's Quilts and more.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Hot Chilli

I have been doing a bit of crafting for Christmas presents which will have to be posted about after Christmas. But one item I've made was meant to be for Aaron for Christmas but the reality is that the whole family will use it, so it's no longer a present.

When I was in Australia Barry gave me some recipes and one of them was for Chilli Oil. It was delicious. So I have come home and made it and it's the most luscious colour and boy does it have kick.

No licking these bowls! This is going to jazz up our plain pasta meals.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Dress Weights

Until recently I had only ever seen one person use dress weights and that was a professional dressmaker. Over the last few years I've notice more and more people using them and have finally twigged to it being a great idea. I hate (yes loathe, detest, can't stand) pining patterns and now I'm not going to have to do that any more.

I had some leftover oilcloth that has the world map on it. I made a 2 1/2 inch base and 60 degree triangles. An easy sew. I trialed using rice and pebbles and ended up with pebbles.

I'm one shorter than the pile here. My puppy got hold of one and chewed it to bits when I was at work today!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I killed the lawn

Last year I sprayed the lawn and we got rid of quite a lot of weeds and it was looking healthy for the first time since we moved in. This year, same spray.... but......I killed the lawn too! The new grass that had grown was a type the spray killed and I had no idea. Now we have no lawn, its actually died more since I took the photo!
I've finally purchased more railway sleepers to start working on the borders for the rest of the garden, you can see in the background. It will now match what Aaron has been doing for a vege garden.
I really like what he has done and the edge of our garden vs the start of the lawn has been very murky and hard to maintain. Yesterday we sweated and I dug in the beams and Aaron back filled them. We managed to do half before giving up. Today we just about finished. 

Is Blogging still a thing?

Well I have been absent for a bit, life has gotten in the way. It has left me blogging still a thing? I love reading other peoples blogs but I am getting really annoyed at Bloglovin and the inability to remove inappropriate sites from being a follower. Anyone else having issues with Russian sex sites masquerading as normal people ie Lousisa64257635. Bloglovin used to remove them when I complained, now they do nothing and there is not tool to remove them yourself.
If you don't use Bloglovin then do you get any traffic at all?
Keen to here everyone's opinion.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Great walking and amazing milestones.

Well two years from my operation I'm finally feeling fitter and more able. As a family we walked into the Hope/ Kiwi halfway hut and out two Sunday's ago. We didn't quite get to the hut but I did five hours of walking up and down dale and for the first time ever I was not stopping on every little slope!

On the way back from our lunch stop I was worried about how I'd go as there was a 172 metre climb first up. No one else even notices up's but I am very aware of every step that is higher than the previous one. I had one pole but borrowed Aaron's pair to try out. I am converted!!!! It was so much easier. I also kept saying "look at how well I'm doing and how I'm finding this ok". I find it really hard to explain to people just how incredibly amazing it feels to be able to actually walk for both a distance and one that is not flat. It blows my mind and I want everyone else to feel like that too. But unless you experience it! Everyone else just thinks its normal. 

 Then the next weekend Aaron and I went to Akaroa for the day and we walked up Onawe Peninsular. The last time we did this with the boys (about four years ago) I just about passed out several times and was really ill as I just could not manage the hill. But I STROLLED up it! All these achievements only two years after looking the last photo in intensive care, having been told I would have only lived another six months maximum. Incredible.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Two years in the making

Two years ago I started stitching with no end in mind. I was in to have a heart valve replacement and needed to have something to do that took no concentration whatsoever. So a running stitch project that was gorgeous to look at was just the thing. Almost two years to the day of the operation I finished and turned it into a bag for winter. 
It is the most densely stitched item I have ever made. But I have fallen in love with running stitch and handwork again. It's made of left over bits of blanket that had been dyed and left over bits of velvet that Jane from Stash Palace gave me. The embroidery is all sorts of thread and thread types, mainly bought from Jane too.
The inside of the bag has a magnetic clasp and a carabiner for attaching my keys, as I'm always losing them in amongst everything else. Two insert pockets and one side elasticated pocket for my phone. I'm really thrilled with it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

A super interesting weekend.

Well we went out to our friends and ended up having the privilege of butchering our own lamb and getting it into the cuts we would use and honoring the lamb by utilising as much of it as we could. I cannot bring myself to use the lungs or heart and the heads went to the dogs.
The meat is so dark and incredibly tender. The lambs just walked into the coral, no baaaaing, the dog very quiet behind them. It was an amazing process and I do believe that if you're going to eat meat you need to know where it has come from, how it is treated and do the best you can. 

Sunday, September 9, 2018

While Aaron is away, Karen does play

Et Voila! A neat brick edge to the garden. Not quite completed I have to say as just past the bucket there is about 2 foot that needs to be bricked. But it was 6.30pm, I was finishing in the dark, it starting raining and being winter it was downright cold! Anyway, I have been meaning, like many other things, to get this done for a quite a while now. Aaron has spent a lot of time ever since we moved 3 1/2 year ago, block laying paths and using railway sleepers to create and edge garden beds. The path is gorgeous but as you can see from the photo below, all the dirt and therefore weeds kept skidding down onto it.  Aaron was in Rotorua with Eli for his 13th birthday so I used the time at home to start this and get a couple of other things completed.
When we arrived to our new home there were some bricks around and I have picked up a few more since. These are a hollow brick which means the edge is not so attractive, but I am into free and upcycling so I use what we have. At our old place I got pretty handy with a trowel and mortar but the lack of practise in between shows, this job is no where near as tidy!!. But it's done, or rather started as I have to finish that row and then do the other side. To do that I have to pinch bricks from the other side of the house, which means new edging there, which means completing one job just creates another!!!

I've added my latest photo of Pepper and me. She is soooooo cute!!! We all fight over who gets to cuddle her.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Upcycled jersey to dog bed

Both my son and I had been noticing Pins and articles on using old jersey's or jeans to make dog beds. I was in the local Charity Shop and a gorgeous alpaca jersey, in lovely condition, was just $2. with no one to give it to I also bought two old pillow inners for 50 cents each. Pepper has grown out of her temporary puppy bed, no longer needs to be in plastic for those puppy mistakes, so I went home to make her a new bed.
In her too small bed
Two pillow, jersey and Pepper
Before I started she was already lying all over the jersey and playing with the pillows. No sewing machine required just a needle and some upholstery thread. I stuffed a pillow in with no alteration, to the body of the jersey, and stitched the end closed. I undid the other pillow (or rather I came into the lounge to find Pepper doing it for me) and used it to stuff the arms and neck. Sew the holes closed and a few stitches to hold it all together. Completed in front of the TV that night.
As soon as I put the finished item on the floor she was in it. A very happy dog.
Linking to these places.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Bow tie making

Aaron and I are booked to attend Post Modern Jukebox again this year. Last year lots of people whent dressed according to theme and whilst I made a bit of an attempt Aaron did not. This year he wants to go looking the part. He purchased the shirt, trousers and neon pink braces and asked me to make a bow tie to go with it.
We had a vast selection of materials out of my patchwork material stash and Aaron chose this batik. I 
used a pattern I had made boys waistcoats and bow ties from, for my sisters wedding. In the pattern the bows were the same size but I was never happy with that look. So the back bow is about 4mm larger all around than the front. With a good interfacing it sits well. I pulled apart a bow tie from the Charity shop and used it's bits and pieces for the back neck slide. 
Really pleased with the result.
 Here he is rocking the outfit at a charity dinner we went to recently.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Knitted headband and rose

Dredging through all my craft projects to try and get stuff finished! I had forgotten about this headband. My husband and I tramped in winter and I needed something to keep my ears warm. I find a hat too hot tramping. So I started to knit this when I got back. Then I stopped. The knitting had finished but I found it yesterday, not sewn up. I wanted to put a rose or flower on the side but after a couple of attempts I gave up.
My sister came over for a couple of hours with her knitting. Reinspired to finish I found a Youtube video on how to crotchet a flower. Such good instruction. I made a flower in a jiffy, sewed the band and tried it on. No pattern used and am happy with it. 
A couple of notes on the side. Aaron and I took a walk up the Warfedale Track on Sunday. Four hours of very easy terrain and I was beyond jiggered. Aaron said that I was walking but getting nowhere! Goodness it takes a lot to get fitness back. The puppy is still the cutest thing in our house.

late at night all wanting to get in.

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....