Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Some Sewing Time.

Cyclone Pam gave us 28 mls of rain, very little wind or damage. We were very fortunate, and the rain will help to make up for our deficit. It also allowed me time inside . First I did some tidying and organising in my sewing cupboard, then when I found the container which had these pieces in it - some sewing time.
 Back in 2007 when I had made my first bucket bag, from a pattern the Welch Quilter put on her blog, ( and it turned out well ) I  proceeded to make many more, both large and small. I showed others in our club how to make them as well. These were my demonstration parts which got used in 3 separate classes. I had told the parts one day you too will become a bag. Quite a wait! But yesterday was the day. The parts did become a bag.
 It turned out well. It has 2 inside pockets. Back then  ( 2007 - 2008 ) many of you blogging ladies made these bags. Joyce ( who has stopped blogging it seems ) made many, many bags. One of the ladies in my quilting group in Tauranga also got hooked on them and made lots and lots and lots.
 Their large capacity means they are good for shopping or carrying crafts.
My foraging in the sewing cupboard also produced my landscape wall hanging that was carefully folded away in there. I will finish it soon .
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Last time I posted I said I was making roasted tomato relish.
 It turned out very tastily. It is a recipe for a patient person. ( allow 4 hours ) you don't have to stand over it; just do it in 3 stages.
 Lay the cut unpeeled toms cut side up in a lined roasting tray. ( 2 kgs ) Roast on a low heat for 1 hour. Sprinkle finely chopped onion over the top and roast for a second hour. Allow to cool then take the skins off.
 Put all the pulp and juice along with  white wine vinegar, paprika, sugar, a pinch of chilli , lemon juice and rind into a large pot and boil down for about 45 minutes. Till thick  Bottle in sterilised jars.
It has a depth of flavour that, roasting brings out.
*****

 Currently showing at the Tauranga Art Gallery is an Exhibition called   Wildlife Photographer of the Year.  ( 50 amazing photographs from all around the world.) (94 % of them by males ? Why was that? ) It is very worth seeing if you get the chance. Entry is free - donations gladly accepted . 10 till 4.30 daily till 7th June.
 The Exhibition comes from the Natural History Museum in London in it's 50th year. ( 2014 ) It is only part of the original  Photographer of the Year collection.
Obviously no photographs were allowed to be taken so I took one of the sign outside. I came home with a post card of one of my favourites "Owlets United," by Sitara Karthikeyan from India. ( a stump with 5 spotted owls on it ) ( she is in the 11- 14 year old section. Google her name to see some of her work and the other photographers. )
*****
 The rain has perked things up in the garden. Many plants have suffered from the dry even though I watered most places.


Monday, March 09, 2015

South Taranaki.

We travelled down to South Taranaki ( where we lived in the 1960 and 70s )( R lived there from the 1940s -70s ) to attend the 90th Birthday celebration of R's Godmother.
 On Friday we arrived in Hawera and had time to stretch our legs. We walked around King Edward park. I hadn't done that since our 2 boys were small, so quite a while ago.
 We thought it was a lovely park; very well maintained. 




 Lovely blue delphiniums.

 Of course this took R's eye.
 I preferred this fine example of a mature Cabbage tree.
and the old gates,
and this delicate lemon iris.
 The moon gate into the Chinese garden was padlocked so we could only peer through the bars.

 The following day of the party was fine but typically West Coast windy. ( Patea is often very windy ) Part way through the party, it did this.

 It had stopped by the time we had to leave. We were very hopeful that it was pouring down back home but found only 7mls in the rain gauge when we got back.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Red Sky.

This was the sky on Tuesday evening. If the saying is correct we obviously need to see the sky this colour in the morning to get any meaningful rain. 1.25 mls doesn't do it! 
 It made it damp enough that we went to the shed and shelled walnuts ( from last year...still not all shelled, tut tut. ) We needed some for in a gift basket we are making up to take to a Birthday party for a 90 year old on Saturday. For that we are travelling to South Taranaki, on Friday.
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 Some things are finished or almost. My quilt shown in the previous post got a 5" plain white border added all round. I decided not to add a final border of the little coloured squares even though I had some ready. The plain white strip seemed to calm the whole quilt down ( as it is very bright and busy in my opinion ). It is going off to get quilted next week by Sandra at Wiseowl Quilting. She has a computerised long arm and does fabulous quilting.

 Also almost finished is the back door.
 It has to have the trim stained to match.
 We had the door man back to fix a few problems. The door is now shutting and staying shut although the handles are wobbly. I think the next step is to take them off and put glue under them and put them back on. 
 I am amazed at hot much there is to replacing a door. Days and days of work!
 The sound of the door closing is very different and will in time become familiar.
 I have been planting some new bulbs. The colour of those dark reds is amazing.

 In the orchard we have been battling on. The passion vine hoppers are still present despite my efforts with the hand held vacuum. I do not remember ever having so many fruit ruined with sooty mould. It is such a waste just throwing them on the ground ( yes, it is the only option available to us ).
 Tonight we are going out to the pack house dinner then tomorrow travelling down South so I think a few days diversion will do us both good.
 I will report back next week.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Quilt Progress.

 Drizzly rain ( not nearly enough ) on Monday early so I got sewing time. I now have got the outside row of  little squares on and am ready to add white borders.
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Today is the day the  old back door  is out  and the new door is being put in. So far so good I think. 
( Lots of banging, sawing, chiselling and mess ) Of course it is not straight forward  but R and the builder bloke are nutting it out . Photos when complete.
*****
 I had a lovely time at my friend's birthday dinner, last Thursady. Under the table where I was sitting was Guide dog  Charlie.
 Seen here looking out to memorial Park, when he went for some air.
He is on holiday with his "foster parents," as his blind Dad and Mum ( not blind )  are away in Wellington at a Bowls Tournament. By coincidence I happen to know both his parents and have worked with his Dad when he was still partially sighted. He was strapping kiwifruit pallets then, in a packhouse where I used to audit.  His Mum was on the Office staff at Zespri when I was there as field staff. They own and work a Kiwifruit Orchard and he is able to do a surprising amount of kiwifruit work just by feel. They also pack their Kiwifruit at the same packhouse we do and as it happens I will be seeing them soon. I will be able to report that Charlie was quite happy and very, very well behaved when he went out to Dinner. His blind Dad also sails.
 Photo, Memorial Park  in Tauranga at dusk. 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Fruit Getting Spoilt.

 We still have had no decent rain and pests like Passion vine hoppers are thriving.They excrete honeydew seen here as wet sticky blobs. Sooty mould then grows on the honeydew. Nothing will get it off and it makes the fruit into rejects.( the fruit in the photo (click to enlarge )  are the correct shape etc and I pulled them off just one plant. There is very little we are allowed to do ( that is effective ). We had a pyGanic spray  a few days ago and then a lactic acid ( clean up spray ) to see if any of the honeydew would wash off. ....not really ) Today we got a new heavyduty dust buster and I am doing the edges of blocks with that. It does suck them up but the battery soon runs down and it takes lots of time and patience. But I have to try something.
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 I am still picking this many every second day. R is picking loads of big red tomatoes too. We have cucumbers and courgettes and lettuce still doing well. I have let the broccoli got to seed - too many pests on it. It is attracting white butterflies.
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 Over the weekend my sister and partner were here. They can't walk far so we went driving all around the neighbourhood. We were taken by surprise how much new development there was. Here are some sights we saw.
 A new pontoon in the inner harbour where folk were fishing.
 The Mt. is in the distance.
 Here are some attractively coloured hydrangeas being grown under shade cover for the export market.
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This is lying in the carport till next Wednesday when a builder is going to take out the old door and frame and put this new one in.  Our new backdoor, with some blue glass.



 I am having the afternoon off as I am going to a friend's Birthday Party at 6 pm  and it's VERY hot and I usually work till 5.50 each evening. The boss ( me ) said it was  okay.




Monday, February 09, 2015

The View From The Mt.

 Yesterday morning Son and R walked around the Mt. Dear Daughter in Law indulged me and went up the Mt. with me.( she can do it easily ) It is probably 10 years since I had done that climb and found it really hard going. Several times I had to stop for a rest I am ashamed to tell. BUT I got there. It took 50 minutes up and 20 down. It was an amazingly clear blue sky and already hot by 9.30.
 This shows other climbers looking out at the view. 3 cruise ships in the harbour below.
 For those of you unfamiliar with Mount Maunganui ( Maori name Mauao )( 761 ft or 232 metres high )there is  an old dormant volcanic cone at the end of a narrow strip of land and has ocean sea on one side ( top left in photo ) and inner harbour port on the right.
 I thought I was quite a good walker, but  up steep steps I struggled. Probably we should have taken the longer road track which is further but less steep just an incline all the way.( Council vehicles, ambulances etc. use it )
 Fortunately my knees were okay coming down the steps and I didn't slip. Other young fit people running full tilt dowwwwwwwwnward past me was the scariest part.
 There were all shapes and sizes and ages doing the climb. One dad had a babe in a backpack. Well done that man. Lots of locals do that climb every day. Some really fit folk run up.
 From now on my exercising will include more climbing.  

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

3 Good Things.

Over the last 3 days we have had a little much needed rain, mainly during the night. We also got our Avocados picked. 15.5 bins. The second pick for the season . That's it for this season.( 45.5 bins all together ) Next round will be in November 2015.( that fruit is already set and just tiny at the moment ).
 On Sunday I snuck away for a couple of hours up to Katipatch Garden Party and Quilt Hanging. The weather was cloudy( quite a relief after all the sunny days )  and a bit dodgy but they got away with it.






 Quilts were put up quickly after a shower and most weren't named. This was hand quilted. That's a fantail.




Quilts were hung against the shed; in the shed on the washing lines and in one room. Why not?

 There were stalls and refreshments.The garden is lovely. Mr. B has all manner of fruit trees and  a vege patch.( avocados;blueberries ; strawberries passionfruit ;apples; pears and currants.)
 If you are in the area Katipatch is well worth the visit. You can also order on line. Carol and her helpers are all lovely knowledgeable ladies.