Friday 27 September 2013

Packed and Ready to Go

The essentials are packed - books, handcraft supplies for Miss B and me, and hiking boots.  We are off tonight for a four day weekend in Kinloch on the northern bay of Lake Taupo.  Some hiking is planned - weather permitting, some rest and relaxation and all going well a day full of interesting activities on Monday for Miss B and Mr J (no doubt The Scout and I will enjoy them too).

Have a fabulous weekend and enjoy the start of the school holidays if you're in New Zealand.
Back  here on Wednesday.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Today I ...



  • have been baking - a new recipe - Butter Crumb Ginger Cake
  • blanket stitching felt edges, sometimes with beads and sewing on stars
  • hand stitching tiny green stitches around a smaller tree
  • making plans for a long weekend away - school finishes for two weeks holiday on Friday, so The Scout has taken Monday and Tuesday off  work and we are going away. (Expect photos next week)
  • have been thinking about my vegetable garden and planning what I will grow this year.  I will have to sow some  bean and beetroot seeds next week for Labour weekend planting.
  • am very pleased too see that my aquilegia seeds are finally sprouting - they can be transplanted into my garden soon.
  • was keeping my fingers crossed for Team New Zealand in their America's Cup races, it is nail biting, stomach churning, agonisingly stressful watching these races. The last race is tomorrow!

Sunday 22 September 2013


It was just me and the cat at home this weekend - Miss B was at the Chess Nationals in Mt Maunganui. The Scout and Mr J were at a  cub/scout camp ( which got flooded a little with all the rain). So what did I do this weekend:
  • After a lie in with a good book, there was a leisurely breakfast - my roasted rhubarb on yoghurt, and lemon curd on toast.
  • Some fancy tassel making from a kit my sister gave me a couple of years ago.  It uses hand dyed velvet ribbon and chiffon, silk threads and very tiny seed beads, a little singeing with a candle flame - the result a beautiful gift tassel.
  • Took part in a fundraising trivia night at a  local school - our team came third - it was a fun night.
  • Browsed through a  pile of beautiful inspirational craft and interior books 
  • A little Sunday stitching in the sun - finding crafty creative things to do while my sewing machine is out of action. Is it too early to think about Christmas?
What did you do this weekend?
What have you got planned for the coming week ?

Wednesday 18 September 2013


Scenes from my week:
  • spinach and feta open pie - made with the last of my perpetual spinach from the vegetable garden
  • the twenty scout badges I am embroidering the year on, for those scouts who completed the winter camp a couple of weeks ago
  • the sewing which won't be getting done for a while - as my machine has broken again.
  • some little fabric stamps I made and turned into Christmas tags
  • a beautiful new book to drool over, I wish I had a garden full of flowers to pick and put in my house.

What have you been cooking, creating or reading this week?
Can you recommend a sewing machine brand/model that isn't too pricey - that will do the basics, has a walking foot and be able to handle some quilting and sewing through thick layers?

Tuesday 17 September 2013

A Needlebook

As I mentioned  in my previous post, I have joined the Sweet & Simply Scrappy Swap Group on Flickr. This round we have to make a needlebook for our partners.  This is my finished creation.   Various scraps of pink, minty green and purple, some florals, dots, lace and vintage embroidery. On the left are three little pockets, which can hold a small pair of scissors, or a reel of thread. The middle  has three pages of beautiful wool felt for various needles and there is a zippered pouch on the right.  It all folds up and ties with a bow.  I am so pleased with how this has turned out and hope that my partner loves it.

Sunday 15 September 2013


Lots of reading (see previous post), lots of time in the kitchen and lots of sewing
  • playing around with scraps and paper piceing, my triangles are so much more accurate this way
  • honey and orange roasted rhubarb from my garden
  • making my special  herb coating for slow roasted pork - it contains garlic, fennel seed, chili flakes, salt, oregano and freshly chopped rosemary, rubbed all over then slowly roasted for 3-4 hours
  • brown sugar rhubarb brioche for breakfast on Sunday
  • some quilt as you go and vintage embroidery for the needlebook I am making my partner in the Simple & Sweet Scrappy Swap
What did you do this weekend?

Friday 13 September 2013

This is why I love my Library

A wonderful pile of  new fiction  from some of my favourite authors on my bedside table, I'm just finishing rereading Prodigal Summer, and then I can start on these. All sorts of crafty, quilting ,stitching and cooking goodness on my coffee table.  I have just signed up for a couple of swaps through Flickr, one of which is a Christmas Table runner, so I am especially pleased to have Simply Modern Christmas on hand for some inspiration.  Also very interested to read Kate's book Vantastic, inspired by her familiy's caravan trip around Australia.

There are about 55 libraries in the Auckland area,  which I am able to access for books to be sent to my local library.  I make the most of this, at any time I usually have about 20 books on request, and between all four of us in my family we must have at least 30 books out at any one time.  I often see books recommended on blogs, so will suggest the library purchases them if they aren't in their system - this means I am first to get them when they do.  I love being the first to read a book.

Do you use your local library?
What are your favourite types of books to get out?

Have a great weekend.

Thursday 12 September 2013


For me, from The Scout, A stem/spike of beautiful  lime green orchids.

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Today ...

I have:
  • Been caught in the rain once on my morning walk (it has since turned into the most beautiful mild spring day).
  • made my favourite bread again , I added half a cup of linseeds to it cos I didn't have enough sunflower seeds. 
  • made a birthday card for my sister-in-law, which will be posted off today.
  • started reading Blackberry Wine by Joanne Harris.
  • enjoyed seeing the sheets flapping in the wind and sun.
  • been eating roast beef and bread and butter pickle on my freshly baked bread.
  • found signs of spring in my garden - the brightly coloured Bilbergia flowers and the tiny delicate mauve flowers of the Cercis (or Forest Pansy) tree.

What have you been making, baking, creating today?
What signs of spring or autumn have you found in your gardens?

Sunday 8 September 2013


My pile of goodies purchased at the Hamilton Craft & Quilt Fair, where I was able to finally meet my Flickr friend Rachel.  I bought some lovely fabrics and wool felt squares.  The little owl charms will be used on something for Miss B.
The first broadbeans from my vegetable garden.
Mr J cooking pancakes for his and Miss B's lunch - to be eaten with lemon juice and brown sugar.
Tiny orchid flowers from a plant that my late Gran gave me.  It hasn't flowered for the last couple of years, so I was pleasantly surprised to see flowers this year.  The flowers wouldn't be much bigger than my thumbnail.
A little bit of sewing and handstitching.

Thursday 5 September 2013


Browsing cook books and food blogs is something I enjoy. I love reading the little anecdotes that are written with the recipes, I love the appetising and beautiful photos. Interesting recipes to try are pinned or bookmarked.  Today was cold, wet and windy, so spending some time in a warm kitchen  felt like a good idea.  Browsing my pinterest boards I came across this recipe for Oaty Chocolate Fudge Slice.  I had all the ingredients on hand. so gave it a go.  It looks pretty good, so I am looking forward to having this with a cup of tea after school today.
Creamy curried lentil and pumpkin soup with pita bread for dinner tonight.  I have made this before and from memory, I  need to halve the amount of chili powder required - it was a little too spicy for my kids. Still hearty and warming - which is what we need with this cool weather.

Food blogs - some old favourites and new finds that I enjoy are:
What have you made from recipes you have pinned?
Do you have any favourite food blogs or cook books?