Saturday, June 30, 2012

what a week!

Last Sunday was spent packing up china etc, and taking pictures etc off the living room and kitchen walls as we had a painter coming to paint the bathroom and the ceilings in the hall, kitchen and living room.  The furniture was all pushed into the centre of the room and put in other rooms too, then covered.  Not at all a good look.  Monday dawned freezing cold, wet and with a severe weather warning, undaunted our painter arrived and got a lot of work done in the bathroom. Tuesday dawned bone chillingly cold,  is this a good time to mention that we were unable to light the fire as the kitchen living room was shrouded in taped down plastic from the ceiling to the floor!!!!! I came home from work early as the snow and hail was getting very deep in Invercargill, the painter was sure he would have the 2 coats of ceiling paint on and the plastic gone by evening....but due to the cold it hadn't dried and the next coat of paint would have to be applied Wed!!!!!  Man of the house had left for a meeting in a heated building with a roast meal provided.
 After shimmying on the floor to the fridge and opening the door enough to extract the pot of soup....  ( I am sure the air in the fridge felt warmer than the living room!!!) ....the tricky bit was then getting enough of a gap in the plastic to put the soup in the microwave...mission accomplished ... puffa jacket on and into bed, still pretty cold, hood on...that's better! hotty filled even better....lots of snow outside..usually this is fun!  Wed morning the lovely painter arived early and the final coat of paint put on... the fire was lit post haste and the day improved!!!

There are no snow photographs and there was no frolicking in the snow we were too busy thawing out and basking in the warmth of a cosy, if very messy, living room!!
I did feel a bit like the little person in the above picture...its from a lovely childrens book

In the midst of this challenging weather the Herb Society I belong to had its annual mid-winter dinner.  The theme was Italy as one of the members was to speak on her recent trip to that sunny clime. A friend and I were asked to do the display and table arrangements.As there isn't a lot around  in the garden at the moment and I have a large bay tree we decided to do lemons and Bay leaves.

The arrangements have come home and are quite cheery.

NB newly painted walls

I had some tiny terracotta pots and just surrounded a lemon with the bay leaves as tiny table decorations, with some slightly bigger pots interspersed.

Thursday I washed down the living room walls.

Friday 2 coats of paint on the living room walls.  ( same colour as before!)

Saturday washed all the china, polished the furniture, washed the floors and put everything back in their places....sigh...clean shiny and fresh!

Sunday  ....realax and make lemon cordial with some of the lemons from the  table arrangements that I havent got room for here.

This is a lovely refreshing drink, lovely cold in the summer with added water or lemonade, and lovely hot in the winter.

The recipe   LEMON CORDIAL

Mince 2 oranges and 2 lemons  ( in the food processor not too fine) skin and all!

Add 1 kg of sugar dissolved in 2 litres of boiling water.

add the minced up fruit to the sugar and water and leave overnight.

Strain through a sieve and add 30grms of citric acid.

Bottle.   You can put this in plastic bottles and freeze it if you wish.

I have a friend returning from an overseas trip this week so will make some for her and put it with a lemon and bay arrangement in a pot as a welcome home gift.

The only crafty activity I got up to this week was last Sunday night I made a magazine case - friends and I swap books and other bits and bobs, as friends do. A couple of years ago I made some bags, 2 of the same fabric for a couple of friends and myself.  We have one each and anything that is for the other goes into it and then we swap, much easier than having little piles of 'must remember to give so and so that' etc.  The scheme works well for us!!!  Anyway another friend and I swap just magazines so to keep favourite magazines from getting tatty in transit I made a case out of stash material.

Monday night at patchwork I sewed more 9 patch blocks. This week is last night of the term so hopefully will get more done. 

And now the sun is shining the house is tidy and I think some fresh air would be a fine idea.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

almost there

I am so pleased with myself!!  have been very industrious and hardworking..achieving sampler goals! and its almost finished...I ran out of cotton for the last of the strawberries, will pick some up in town tomorrow...not many stitches left to do!

We had a trip 'home' to the Taieri this week, the man of the house had a shoulder operation.  He is feeling really good and relatively pain free! great!
One of the things I have missed the most since moving here to Southland is the view of the Maungatua's a range of big hills at the end of the Taieri Plains  that were always changing. cloud coming in, snow on the tops, the colours etc, the first glimpse of them always gives me a funny feeling in my chest.

clouds rolling in

We had the whole day free before the anaesthetists  appointment so first stop was Caversham where one of my favourite second hand shops is.  Bills Antiques.  The last couple of trips to Dunedin I had looked at a picture in his window...this time it came home with me.  I love her, she is a Pears Soap print and I think there is a real bohemian, gypsy feel to the print.

She needs a new frame I think.

Next stop the south end of Princess Street in Dunedin itself.  Strolled over to a second hand shop a few steps up Carroll St..... and in the window a book I have tried to obtain for years, I first fell in love with this book when I got it out of the library, and got it out of the library, and got it out of the library...if you know what I mean! Then I put my name down with them in case they should ever want to withdraw it....and there it was, not priced as yet. Should have saved hopping up and down small squeaking excited behaviour until it had been, but at $12 its still a snip!! 

...turning out to be a very good day indeed!

Over the road to Halfpenny 's  and a dear wee Carlton Foxglove set for a very reasonable sum, no chips and even the little mustard spoon, I have a small collection of this Carlton ware that comes out in the spring, it looks so fresh and I adore Foxgloves.

...turning out to be a very very good day in fact!

Almost next door to this shop was another and the name has slipped my mind, in the enticing window this pretty tapestry cushion...perfect for adding some colour and warmth to the spare bedroom.

...wonderful day!
It makes going to work so worth while to have a wee shopping expedition like this !!!!   ( note to self: remember this tomorrow morning early, in the frost and dark and cold shop!!! lol)

I had time early in the week to try out some new  craft supplies.  It is a 2 pot resin I had sent away for and some moulds.  I love them but I haven't  quite perfected the method yet, think it might take more mixing at the pre-pouring stage.  Its quick though, no lengthy unpicking required if a mistake is made. It turns out looking like Ivory and the detail is incredible.  I think they will be lovely attached to cards and parcels, they will be lovely made into jewelry too.

A few more hours in every day and a couple more days in the week would be most helpful for getting time to do more crafting.

To cheer up the convalescent  a large pot of vege soup has been on the simmer, and some of his favourite home made savouries.
These are really tasty and very quick to make, especially if you cheat a bit like I do and buy the pre-rolled pastry.  They are great for using up leftovers too.

Pinwheel Savouries

in a bowl beat an egg, add finely chopped onion, bacon, grated cheese, mashed potatoe, left over peas, carrots, corn, etc, ( you can add red peppers, mushrooms, anything really that you like)

salt and pepper to taste.

Unroll the pastry and stretch it out a bit, spread with the filling mix. Roll up width ways to make a long sausage, then cut into slices, put onto a greased baking tray or onto a tray with baking paper, and cook until golden at about 200 deg C

These freeze really well too and are a good standby to have in the freezer.


NB cool slightly on a cake rack when you take them out of the oven to avoid soggy bottoms!

This week promises to be good, a painter is coming to  paint the bathroom, the thought of being tidy and having everthing back in its place hopefully by next weekend is such a cheery thought.

early morning bird gossips!
pretty sky this morning.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The sampler...

I set myself a goal for this week, some letters or words everyday to be stitched on the sampler!  and most days I did at least get a few stitches in...Wednesday, my day off, I sat down and stitched away, three and a half pleased...smoothed it out and admiring.....Oh no!!!!!! very first letter I had put another loop on the n to make it m!!! amomg!   (LOL spell check just underlined this word for me...wish I had that on my embroidery!)  It took an hour and a half to unpick it....sigh!
I have this little hanger on my light stand and it really said it all!

And now the wording is finished....onwards and upwards, the end is in sight!  Yay!

After a prolonged stitching session on Friday night, decided a 'quick make' fix was required !!
I love to recycle, upcycle or make do and mend...I find this very rewarding....anyway , because I have quite a few( this is understated actually!) thrifted doilies , I decided to make some bathmats from some towels that no longer look their best.  My washing machine has hate sessions sometimes on towels and trys to rag them to pieces out of sheer spite.

Bathmat Tutorial
  I fold the towel in half whizz down the 3 open sides with the sewing machine on a slightly longer than normal stitch length, leaving a gap to turn it through. Turn it through and stitch opening closed.  Find a doily you like and sew it on, you can go round and round, across or both, depending on your mood!  Then when this is done sew about 5cms in from the edges all round to make a border.  You can of course use a new bathmat...but this doesn't count as upcycling! no points awarded!

blue mat is a purchased bath mat with attached doily the white one is a recycled towel

It feels special getting out of the bath or shower and standing on these.....

there has to be a blue and white one!

Because we are in the bathroom this the best view of it this week...

...and where you ask is the vexatious builder..well we haven't seen him for 2 weeks!!! but he has explained this , he's been a bit busy and wait for week is going fishing for the WEEK!

However there was a very happy lunchtime when I raced round to the local Restore and found these!!!!

(can you really have too many doilies?)
Also in this great find a pair of pretty vintage sheets with the pillowcases that Thrifty Fox will love, a cute teatowel edged with crochet and this divine pillowcase,

it has very fine crochet and little buttons that have tin on the back and the tops covered with very fine linen

isn't it beautiful.

And last but not least this cute old jigsaw puzzle complete with very busy elves, and a Teach a Tot ( I had this as a little girl and loved it , I like the expression on the little girls face on the box, and the fact that one of the pictures to make a word with is DONKEY!

Its always good to have a lunch break like that!
Another exciting find was in the garden yesterday some very, very early Matchheads decided to surprise me.

"Whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silence icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet moon".                        Samuel Taylor-Coleridge

                                                           diamonds on silken webs

 winter kale

The house smells of woodsmoke, apples and cones soaked in essential oils, its warm and cosy much to like about winter.

It was so good this week to have a needlework gift framed and posted off to Thrifty fox.

I am really pleased with the way it turned out.  And he is a foxy fox! when selecting the mount and frame the framer said he thought it matched the  CAT  really well!!!  I had to point out "that is so NOT a cat!!! it's a FOX  !!!"  LOL

Found these words this week, it's an old Irish blessing and lovely I think

May you always be blessed with walls for the wind
a roof for the rain 
a warm cup of tea by the fire
laughter to cheer you
those you love near you
and all that your heart might desire.  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

cold weather crafting

The snow has melted
sparkling drops were glinting on the trees
it was so beautiful.  The weather continues to be stormy....I love it!
I love winter!!!
I love crackling fires, woollen rugs, cosy slippers, winter clothes, hats, scarves, winter skies, winter seas, winter trees, winter food, frosty mornings, ice on puddles, bracing walks, lots of reading, hot soup,  winter crafting!!!
I have quite a few UFO's and a rather large stash of wool and fabric, I am looking forward to getting into some of this over the winter.  I have found rather a larger pile of unfinished projects than I had thought existed!!!  one of these is a sampler started a few years ago, I got heaps done and then came to the wording which is one thread over one thread...and became worried that I wasn't getting it right filed it...and have put it off until now! what a good feeling it is getting it done, I have set myself a few words each day and its taking shape.  ( I have to wear my new glasses with my old glasses over the top and sit under strong light to see what I'm doing!! LOL not the sort of stitching to do in public)  Now I see the birds on top of the trees aren't very clear so may pull that bit out and darken them...

Yesterday I made a couple of bags for friends who are sheep farmers and love all thing sheepy.  Unfortunately the fabric is new and not from the stash , but the lining is....

The crochet flowers keep coming, stitched some onto gloves and like it!

Also this weekend, did lots of fabric cutting, I finally have all the pieces cut ready to start sewing.  Its going to be a queen size bed quilt, with large plain squares, some 9 patch squares and some 4 patch squares.  (all from the stash)

 Can't wait to get sewing.

There is a big pot of homemade Pumpkin soup heating for lunch, the fire is on, its cold outside but the sun is shining through the windows, it's Sunday afternoon....bliss.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


I love snow.......

my little card making hut

icy road

warm water and hay delivery!

The snow has frozen so not suitable for snowman making...which is a shame so will settle for this....

Will make some vege soup, and a big casserole for tea ...maybe get the sewing machine some knitting....  and stay snug .