Wednesday 31 July 2013

A Productive Day


Not having my sewing machine means that I am not getting distracted from other household jobs that need to be done.  This morning I spent three very productive hours in the garden, weeding, digging in compost,
planting  a couple of daphne plants and cutting back old plants to make way for the spring growth.  I still have another large garden to do.

The afternoon was spent in the kitchen getting dinner prepared - tonight is Spicy Sausage, leek and bean hotpot.  I also used up some of the Rhubarb I picked this morning and made a Rhubarb Coconut Cake.

I think I might sit down shortly, put my feet up and do some knitting, while Miss B and Mr J are doing their homework.

What have you been doing today?

Tuesday 30 July 2013


Delicate and pink - the first blooms on a Kalanchoe grown from a cutting I received a year ago.
A change from winter comfort food -  fresh salad comprised of smoked chicken, mesculun, gold kiwifruit, tamarillo and cheese for lunch today - with a new magazine too.
Tonights dinner in the crockpot - Beef Tagine - smells divine too.
There will not be any sewing here for about 10 days - which could be a good thing when you look at the pile of books that was waiting for me to collect from the library today

Sunday 28 July 2013


The last day of holidays before the school term starts tomorrow,  so a pretty relaxing weekend was had at home.

Om Friday night I made the dough for Chelsea Bun Brioche which we had for breakfast on Saturday Morning.  They were meant to be iced as well, but we were getting too hungry to wait for that. They were eaten warm from the oven and were very yummy.  I  will definitely make these again.

I managed to get a little sewing done - these strips will evenually be part of the new cushions I am making for my bed.

Miss B and Mr J had fun freezing coloured water in balloons, peeling of the balloon and then smashing them into pieces on the driveway.

What better way to keep Mr J occupied on a fine Sunday afternoon - give him an old lawn mower to dismantle.  Lots of bolts, tools, dirt and noise - a young boy's dream come true.  There certainly wasn't much left once he had finished.

Friday 26 July 2013

Ruby Revealed




Almost two years after receiving a layer cake of Bonnie & Camille's Ruby fabric, I have finished my quilt.
It is made up of 36 nine patch blocks.  The white sashing and fabric in the blocks is a vintage cotton sheet.
As I can not get a walking foot to fit my machine,I had problems trying to machine quilt the centre panel of  the quilt.  After unpicking a couple of attempts I eventually decided to hand quilt each block.  The border however was machine quilted in rows approximately 1 1/2 inches apart
I used a polyester batting to save money - however I don't think I enjoyed sewing that as much as cotton or bamboo batting.  The backing is a Prints Charming print on cotton poplin - that too may have caused some of my problems because it seems to be slipperier than quilting cotton.
Now that it is finished I am enjoying seeing it on my bed with the cushion I made. I may make another couple of cushions to replace the old ones I was previously using.

**The first of my Q3 Finish-A-Long projects to be completed.***

Thursday 25 July 2013

From the Kitchen

There have been lots of yummy treats coming out of the kitchen these school holidays.  First up is a family favourite - Cinnamon Roll Cake.  I cook this in a roasting dish lined with baking paper, and  have  cut down the amount of  butter in the cinnamon topping to 1/2 cup.  I also omit the icing/glaze - I think it is sweet enough without it.  Delicious fresh from the oven.

Last week when my mum came to stay, she gave me a cook book that I used to love looking through when I was younger.  Today I made an Araby Spice Cake from it.  I guess in this day - the name is not very PC, however the cake is really delicious with its cinnamon mocha icing. I have found lots of similar recipes on the internet, but most have lemon and shortening in, which mine doesn't.  If anyone would like the recipe I used, please let me know and I will email it to you.

Finally muffins to freeze away for school lunches - Banana Chocolate Chip and Apple and Sultana.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Wednesday WIP

Yes,  the end of my Ruby Nine-Patch quilt is in sight.  Yesterday I finished quilting the border and attached the binding.  One side has been hand stitched down - three to go over the next few nights.  All going well I will be able to take some photos on a fine dry day this weekend and show it off next week.  What is next on the quilt list - one for my son made of recycled shirts - I have roughly about 18 months to get this done before he turns 11. I think there may be a couple of small projects  just for fun for me to do before I attempt this though.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday 22 July 2013


I have been:

Enjoying the splash of colour these flowers are giving my house on a grey winter's day

Reading this great book about England, France, and the people leading up to the battle of Hastings in 1066.
I have read a lot of royal  historical fiction based on events, kings and queens after this time, but never any about William and Harold. So it is very interesting and a new period in history for me to learn about.

Starting to machine quilt the border on my Ruby Quilt. The hand quilting has been done on all 36 blocks. I will be so glad when this is bound, finished and in use.

What are you doing today?

Friday 19 July 2013

Holiday Fun

There have not been any crafty sewing projects done this week.  Mr J is back from his break with his grandparents in Cambridge and my mum has come to stay with us for a few days.  Today we went Ten Pin Bowling and then on to Inflatable World where Miss B and Mr J ran, climbed, battered, fell and thoroughly exhausted them selves.

We have also had a trip to the Auckland Botanic Gardens to see what is in bloom there at present.  A great space for Miss B and Mr J to run around in, while mum and I walked at leisure and saw a new garden sculpture made from garden spades and lots of lovely scented early spring flowers. Tomorrow mum and I have a child free day hitting the shops.

Have a fabulous weekend - whatever you are up to.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Seeing Rainbows

Miss B and I went to Westfield Manukau to spend her hard earned money at Smiggle.  I let her have a treat for lunch from Kiwiyo - underneath all the colourful sugary toppings was actually frozen vanilla yoghurt and mango sorbet.

At the shopping centre is a fabulous stained glass window designed in 1976 by New Zealand artist Shona McFarlane .  It depicts  rainbows over the Manukau Harbour and landscape.  It is one of my favourite things to look at there - especially when the sun is shining through it.

Sunday 14 July 2013


This weekend is the beginning of the school holidays in New Zealand.  The Scout and Mr J are in Cambridge helping my father in law move hay.  Miss B and I spent Saturday with her Scout Troop doing a sausage sizzle to help fund raise for the Scout Jamboree  in Fielding at the end of the year. Luckily the day was beautiful and fine.

I have a fabulous pile of new library books to work my way through - currently I am reading Almost Amish, all about simplifying and slowing down your life.  Very thought provoking.

I have been the lucky recipient of lots of lemons and grapefruit, so on Sunday I made a up some Lemon Curd and then tried a new recipe for the grapefruit - Ginger Grapefruit Curd. The ginger taste isn't as strong as I thought it would be, possibly because I used crushed fresh ginger from a jar.  Miss B and I still enjoyed it on toast with a cup of tea for lunch.

Some sewing got done too.  A little purse which will attach to your key ring.  Great for when you don't want to take a full wallet or bag with you.  It will fit a drivers license and small amount of cash in it.