Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Trying new thing

While Aaron is walking the Te Araroa Trail the boys and I are cooking our evening meal together each night. We're also trying different recipes. We all love some of the recipes that Chelsea Winter has in her cookbooks. On her website there are some free recipes and we tried the Coconut poached Thai chicken salad.

The scent from the chicken poaching was amazing! Chelsea says to throw away the poaching liquid but it would make an amazing base for a noodle soup or coconut cream curry. Wow I was so impressed.

We all loved this meal. It made enough for us to have leftovers for my lunch at work... even better.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A bit of clearing and recycling

 I have first world problems in my garden. Blackbirds and Thrush's...grrrr. They get into the undergrowth, scruffle around and flick all the bark and dirt onto drives and paths. Drives me nuts.
 I've been meaning to fix it for ages. So I spent a hot Saturday and part of Sunday cleaning up and putting in some serious edging. I thought it was going to be a 30 minute job, but it took 3 hours.
A bit of trimming of trees and bushes as well as wedding and moving some things were required.
Finally all cleaned. This is only part of the drive but it was all the wood that I had. 
Aaron has been making new garden edging and paths, using railway sleepers. He had pulled the old (though reasonably substantial) edging out a few months ago. It was sitting just waiting for me to use it. I'm thrilled with the result of both projects.
Sunday afternoon I had my reward. A gorgeous afternoon at the river with my boys, my sister and brother in law and their kids, not to forget Auntie Colleen. Great swimming hole and gorgeous BBQ dinner together.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Block Swap

I'm currently doing a block swap with an 800 member facebook group called Kiwiquilters. I'm doing it because the requirements are super easy - about an hour a month. I am responsible for the first block for group 2. I chose a pattern that had good online instructions for everyone and I like the effect.
I decided to do a couple of blocks too. There are 14 in the group and no matter how you do the math that doesn't make a set of even rows. The person whose month it is chooses the block, a colour scheme and posts it. You make one block. So many other swaps you need to do a block for every person every month and I just can't cope with that kind of commitment. 
But I think a block a month will keep me interested in the sewing machine and I'll enjoy being challenged by other peoples colour and block choices. I have kept all the cut off corners which were sewn at the time. I just can't throw out anything. 

Linking to these places and Crazy Mum Quilts.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Trim and keep it light

Those are the two things that Aaron was told to do when packing for the Te Araroa Trail. So we took that to mean everything and the second to last day we trimmed him all over.

Last night photos, He even took the beard off.
He says no cutting anything until he's finished in 3 months time, hell look like Morris by then!!!

As soon as Aaron was gone we got the cutters on Morris too. With this incredibly hot summer he was just a bit unhappy. A pile of hair later. The before shots on the left and the afters on the right.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Favourite recipe

You can tell a favourite recipe by the stains on the paper!! Lemon honey - delicious. The lemons this year are juicy, plentiful and huge. I'm thinking of making lemon meringue pie ice cream - ie Lemon honey, meringue pieces mixed into an ice cream base. MMMmmmm.

I'm playing around with my blog look again. The view I changed to I find very difficult to edit and lots of space between lines etc. So back to a more original view. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Up-cycled blanket into boots

In the last week we had family to stay, which is lovely, but the circumstances were heart rending. Our gorgeous cousin had passed away doing what he loved. Another cousin Kerryn and her family stayed with us for some of the time. They came from Brisbane to the coldest wettest week we had had all summer. You can imagine that it was a shock to have 17 degree C days when you have come from days in their 40's. Poor Kerryn's feet were cold. She was using a wheat pack on them. So I whipped out the left over woollen blankets I dyed, got her to select her colour. Found some left over minky material for the inside, some bits of leather for the soles and did some sewing from one of my favourite Twig and Tale patterns.
I was really pleased with being able to keep the stitched edge of the blanket as the top of the boot but made a bit of an error when doing the soles. I put the inside suede of the leather on the outside. That was a bit to do with brain fade over this time. I offered to unpick but Kerryn thought the suede would slip less than the smooth leather, so we left it as is.
Linking to these pages and Twig and Tale, whose pattern this is.  

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Appreciating the little things

 Over the last week I have been trying to appreciate the simple little things and the pleasure I get in the moment.

New Egyptian towel. 
A family walk


I cleaned the hot tub out before all the rain. I did not use it heated but have been using it as a cool pool to dip in on the hot summer days. Loving it more than I expected to.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Memories of my cousin

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor and water

Devastated today that such a bright young spark with a future has passed away. When he was young we had him for weekends, when he got older my boys looked up to him with awe. He changed from a young 'un that we felt responsible for to a mate of my husband. Words cannot describe the desolation we feel. Remembering him for all his awesomeness.
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing, mountain, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: 1 person, standing, child, tree, outdoor, nature and waterImage may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting

Saturday, January 6, 2018

A bit of quilting

This quilt has been sitting on the floor waiting to be quilted for so long. I have been watching a lot of videos from "The Midnight Quilter" - Angela. It is inspiring me to just try more patterns. I always thought quilting was too slow so have stuck to stipple quilting (which I still will when I want a fast finish). This quilt is anything but fast!! The stars were rejects from a quilt I made Jakob when he was two and a half (he's now 14).
The original quilt Jakob gifted to the charity we support - Hope Homes International and I was going to gift this one to them too. It is really fitting that I am now trying to finish this for Jakob's 15th birthday in a month. The blocks languished for about 7 years, then got put together, then sat another 2 years before I started doing extra and bordering it. When I was pining it out about 8 months ago Jakob told me that it was his most favourite quilt I had made. So what was stars for his first quilt, now become stars for a teenage quilt. Funny how things work out.

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....