Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tussie Mussies

A couple of friends needed a little cheering up this past week, so a bit of Tussie Mussie making was required! Tussie Mussies (or victorian posies) are usually made with the smaller garden flowers and herbs,put together in a tight bunch, rotating it as you go so it ends up round,then to finish it off it has a circlet of leaves, I love them, and even in the darkest, shortest days of winter, little treasures can be found, enough for a Tussie.
This weeks ones weren't really small and there were some rain marked flowers popped in, but the fragrance was lovely.
Its traditional to include herbs as in times long past ladies carried these little herbal nosegays to ward off illnesses and to disguise unpleasant odours whilst out and about!
lambs ear makes a lovely edging,

alpine strawberry leaves are also good, they are such a fresh bright green, sometimes I like to put the tussies in a vintage cup as part of the gift, in this case it was a pretty little creamy jug.

The lovely Mary Rose has been showing off and demanding attention drawing notice to herself through the window,
Art class last week, more flowers! water colour daisies, lots of learning happening...sooooooooo tired when I get home from this 'leisure' class!
..........so to revive oneself after class and some grocery shopping, some chirpy asters for the house!

We had a night at the crib, Saturday was grey and overcast but good for a walk on the North Beach where you can look over to Riverton

our wee house is almost at the point, in the distant cloudbank Stewart Island hides...
The North Beach has lots of areas of thick shells, and that delicious smell of the sea!
No photos from Sunday, the sun came out and I was much too busy bodyboarding  not another soul in the bay...bliss!
No work tomorrow, the weather forecast is for rain and southerlies but I am still optimistically hoping for a day in the garden.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

a diary...

I have always thought it would be great to keep a diary and even started a few over the years, a few weeks of faithfully writing and then it would be forgotten.  I have been enjoying having a blog as its similar to having a diary, recording the everyday happenings in life,  but with photo's which is a real bonus.
This week Tuesday was Valentines Day, the busiest day in a florist's year....and it really was! Lots of bouquets, this year a trend towards mixed bouquets rather than just red roses. A lot of white and green bouquets too...we like to add little touches, hearts, diamante pins and extravagant wrap...and watch them leave the shop to make others smile!  Its tiring though! so a little quiet needleworking..the finishing stitches into my latest Blackbird design stitchery..think this may end up as the centre of a cushion.
The next cross stitch project is also a Blackbird design but this time its roses.
Friday we had a day trip to Dunedin to pick up a barbeque the man of the house purchased on Trade Me for the caravan. I got to do some shopping, first stop a lovely wee second hand shop in Caversham where we got a cute blue enamel teapot in excellent order and a blue enamel pot that will be good for flowers or plants...as we had forgotten to take the kettle for picnics , little blue teapot came in very handy on the way home in the evening for a lakeside picnic at Lake Waihola

so did the very chirpy thrifted tablecloth...but that is getting ahead of myself.  After browsing through a few secondhand shops I had a few treasures, some old books (its an addiction)
some flannelette pillowcases in a pretty blue with dandelion clocks on them, an old embroidered tablecloth and some doilies

and this very pretty jug from  a cute wee shop, can't wait til my Mary Rose flowers again to fill it

at the moment she resides in the spare room amongst some other rosie friends.
A cute wee plate with Lilacs took my eye as I was sure there was a jug at home the same, haven't found the jug ...yet!... but did buy, (its new), a plate rack.

Miss Blue Teapot has a temporary home on the kitchen  bench with her friend Mr pot, she is really destined for a nomadic life of adventure but in the meantime she is snuggled up in a teacosy knitted for a friend. I made a few of these little cosies for Christmas presents but this one is still waiting to be delivered probably as a birthday gift now, as do these coathangers . The cosies and coathanger covers were such fun to do, definitely going to be more makings of these!

the colours aren't quite accurate, but they are bright and cheery, the pattern for the hangers was from a Japanese chrochet book.
Flowers in the porch on Grandma's old china cabinet this week are Pot Marjoram , definitely getting a very autumnal feel in the mornings and evenings and the autumn flowers are appearing.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

camping close to home.....

Last week flew past at an alarming speed, the art class I go to began for the year and it was so much fun catching up with all the ladies that I hadn't seen since before Christmas which seems so long ago.
An afternoon of card making  in my little hut was quite productive and a great way to relax, I especially like decorating envelopes, its not exacting and they look so cheery when they are put out in the letterbox for our mailman to pick up and send off.
I finished off the rocking chair by glueing on the 'gimp' which covered all the staples, it looks a lot better than when I bought it,
a wee bit wrinkly..but still comfy and it rocks!
Did a little gardening, my smoke bush is looking very pretty at the moment,

the path leading to the pond is a cool , green arch of leaves lovely to walk down on a warm sunny day,

We squeezed in a bit of caravaning at the weekend ...not too far from home....just down the paddock amongst our Hazelnut trees...

We made a cozy fire, unfolded our new camping table...

and got down to the serious business of unwinding and tea and coffee drinking...

a bit of late evening stitching ..in a glamorous outfit, and apart from some nosey and  noisy neighbours the night went well.....
and apart from a visit from a 'hissy'  possum ...the neighbours deciding to do some night shooting...the smoke alarm shrieking at  an obscene hour...
it felt all too soon that we had to pack up and head up to the house.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Waitangi Day weekend

Oh the bliss of a long weekend...we headed off to the crib on Friday night and although the weather wasn't wonderful I managed to get a swim when the tide was right., we also went on a 2hr coastal walk so exercise was achieved!!   What was wonderful ,was discovering a large 'fairy ring' of mushrooms on our lawn which made for a tasty meal.  Reading and stitching always a good way to unwind and  it's guilt free at the beach. 
there are a few shells scattered about this cottage

 a few sea urchins and some starfish...

a refurbished model yacht made by the man of the house when he was a boy...

I like the way seaweed dries....

when we bought the cottage I wished for some "sea" pictures, and because we were being thrifty I put together these collages and set them in thrifted frames.  The images are from old Boys Own books which I copied ,then shellacked to age them...
this one which is above the fireplace has my favourite poem by John Masefield included in it.  " I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky...

Home again and off in the caravan , still coastal....down the southern scenic route to destination unknown. Pulled in at Weirs Beach with some  experienced camping friends in their caravan, its a Freedom Camping site, Loo and water tank..all the luxuries. A very peaceful little spot at the edge of a sheltered estuary and a short walk to the beach. As we had packed the Christmas flounder net, we tried our luck and caught a few.

A night snap shot of our cosy wee mobile home, my camera isn't designed for night photo's but I like this one, the moon and stars were so bright it was almost light, really beautiful.

"and a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking"...more John Masefield, it wasn't really dawn!but  it was morning and it was misty
once the mist cleared our friends took us fishing off the rocks at a lovely wee cove just south of Curio Bay,

the sun was warm and the colours intense

some bodyboarding and a swim at Porpoise Bay (where the Hector Dolphins come in to feed and ride the waves) finished off the afternoon beautifully.
Good company, good food, magnificent scenery ..............a perfect long weekend.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

blown into February...

we got blown into the week with really high winds, tearing the leaves off the trees and breaking branches, destroying little homes...I found some little birds nests  on the lawn, beautifully crafted using locally sourced materials! wool, moss, cobwebs, seedheads, donkey tail hair,feathers and grass.  The skill and care in making these snug wee nurserys amazes me. 2 of the nests are tiny and and had little eggs in them, I wonder what sort of bird built them, also found some mud lined ones that are much larger.

The weather then settled down thankfully, and we were able to get out and enjoy being in the garden. Our vege garden has done us proud this year. We have been harvesting and enjoying potatoes, cauliflowers, broccoli,cabbage, carrots, radishes, lettuces, peas, and broad beans.In the tunnelhouse, tomatoes, courgettes, lettuces, cucumber and basil! And this week I preserved the row of beetroot , made some Rhubarb Fizz, and dug and dried the garlic...its all go here in the squirrel department. It really is satisfying to see our homegrown produce stored away for the winter, and its fun to do especially when you have a lucky day and all the jars seal!

the makings of Rhubarb drink.
A little crafting happened this week too.  I wanted to give a gift to a special friend so have been working on an altered book, it has been fun to do.

there was some selecting of papers and pictures, cutting and glueing, then a little stitching and embellishing,
then parcelled up and sent off to its new home.
A few months ago in Dunedin an old brown and tatty rocking chair was purchased, at last it has been given some TLC, a fresh coat of paint to cover up the dingy brown, and a new cover. An upholsterer would not be impressed I know, but  it will be Ok for us. Lots of staples were hurt in the covering of this chair, all it needs now is the gimp(trim to cover the staples) and it will be finished. I love that gimp word!

A bit of thrifting was done last week at Bluff  a reproduction jug in lovely colours and only $15, just right for the tiger lilies that are flowering in the garden at the mo...
also got an old galvanised bucket, I love them for some strange reason.
It was a long weekend so we went off adventuring in the new to us caravan but will blog about that another day because as usual it has got very late at night and bed is beckoning.