Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reading Pleasure.

I haven't talked about books and reading for a while possibly because it is a while since I have been enthusiastic about what I am reading.
"Life of Pi," by Yann Martel is giving me lots of laughs and keeping my interest. Most of you probably read it a couple of years ago but it only turned up in my to read pile yesterday.
I may have mentioned I record all the books I read ( have done since 1981) in a notebook, which has proved an invaluable record on numerous occasions....when discussing something with someone or talking about books of course, or settling an argument discussion. DH is almost competitive about the number of books he manages to read...... he rereads some too, which I find strange as there are always so many new books I want to read. ( usually only when I find him gnawing on the book shelves saying " I've nothing to read! ") Once when this happened I call from another room, "Well just go the the second shelf from the top and take the 4th book from the right and read that!" It turned out to be the Handbook for the Landrover; which he dutifully sat and read being able to see the funny side of the situation.
I am almost back to normal today ( as normal as I get anyway! ) having had a very red itchy face after my visit to the Dentist on Thursday. I think I must be allergic to latex gloves, as it was all along my jaw, up my checks and around my mouth. Friday I was burning up and looked a sight. I know it felt worse than it looked but it is an annoying addition to my already highly stressful times with the Dentist that I will need to address on future visits.
The weekend is turning into a quite productive one for getting jobs done. (As it is School Hols in NZ ) we are having visitors coming to stay tomorrow so that set up much cleaning, mowing tidying of know things that could normally wait but would be better dealt with before guests.( who I wasn't expecting till they rang on Friday and said they were arriving! ) Despite that we did manage to sit up and watch a late game of NZ playing Portugal in the Rugby World Cup and I had a sleep in after that and have been reading and doing the little bit of quilting on what better be the final set of table mats ( see photo - isn't the backing fabric yummy? )for a while ( But I have to have some hand sewing ! ) Some baking would probably be in order will be Orange and Date Muffins as the oranges are just becoming ripe and juicy and I love to cook using our own home grown fruit and nuts.
Thanks for the kind comment about the garden - I haven't finished with that subject yet ( a bit like the garden itself - never finished - a work in progress that rarely reaches completion ).
I better get back to it I guess. I hope your weekend is going well in all other parts of the world....I'll pop by your blogs to check!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

You Know those Olives Stuffed with Pimentos.....

Well that's what my back tooth now looks like....not olive green you understand but it certainly looks stuffed with something ( a dressing cover ) the colour of these words!
Yes, the day has improved greatly and I am now un- numb again. It could have been worse - I survived and behaved reasonably well and only levitated once (beside trembling a lot.) Kind dentist man put a temp pollifiller in the second broken tooth and said it was even more in need of saving than # 1 tooth. That will be $370 please.
Right; on to something pleasant now.

2 of today's photos show the inside and outside of my latest Hexagon creation. A needle case. Using a 5" hexagon I made it by the same method as before( in the quilts ), and sewed the 2 together along just one side to form the spine. Then I cut out 2 side by side felt hexagons with a joining strip between them. I machine stitched the felt to the covers and attached a dome for closure and I have a wee gift for someone. Do you see that wicker basket - its almost as old as me. I got it one Christmas when I was a wee girl and still have it. I keep all my old sewing bits and pieces like hooks and domes and old bias tape and things I rarely use any more in it.
Lastly something else in the garden that looks bright and the bees love. It is a small Rata's related to the New Zealand Pohutukawa( Christmas tree ) same family in fact.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yes There's More.

So sorry if you were waiting for me friends - life suddenly got in the way....I wasn't here , but now I am, so let's continue our walk in the garden. ( Thanks for your kind comments )

We have plenty of space around us and when I was 12 years younger ( and had just finished working off the property ) I decided to expand the garden; which was fine for a while; a real challenge. We did the Garden Art Fest where your garden is open to the public for a week in 2000 and 2002. We had lots of lovely folk through but oh the work involved......been there done that - I want to move on....then quilting happened and now I want to spendall some of my time elsewhere SEWING; creating of a different kind.

Of course the garden doesn't go away; it still needs care...and that's ME. ( yes just me ) It doesn't go away ( I don't want it to but ) but now I haven't as much time or energy so some parts get much less care.

I know, I will just show you the tidy parts. Up the driveway where you last looked is okay and around the house is neat and bright; its' my steps and tracks down to the dam ( pond ) that are a bit unkempt. ( we are talking seriously big area here )

Today's photos are of my favourite daffodil and a blaze of purple colour. Then if you'd like to come inside I'll show you what I see out my windows . 2 are out the kitchen window as I stand at the sink( see the herb garden just out there ), oops and that's all my work gloves on the clothes line. The other pic is from the lounge, looking out through the grape vine which is just sprouting; out to the front lawn.
Well perhaps more another day, don't want you getting bored.

I'm not sure if I told you but I love jokes. A friend just sent me a wee story this morning, I'll share it as its brief........

A Fairy Tale.
One day a long, long time ago, there was a woman who surprisingly didn't whine, nag or bitch. But this was a long, long time ago.....and it was just ONE day. THE END.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Come On Then.

Come on then Sheila and anyone else who wants a stroll.
Our gateway and mailbox is beyond the curve in the drive, where the Awanui Flowering Cherries are out. Usually I take their photo so all 4 trees are showing but then it would just look like last years photo! If you happen to be working here you may sit at that table under the tree in the foreground, to eat your lunch or have a rest and a cuppa. Just beside it is one of my favourite Camellias with a perfect white flower and very green shiny leaves.
The drive curves slowly on towards the house. On your left is a garden bed with all this colour. On your right is a tall retaining wall with Flax bushes and Rosemary hanging down. This colourful garden bed is where several trees were removed last year and now the light just pours in. Lots of pale pink and white azaleas, 2 red Rubicon Rhododendrons; bulbs; Cineraria, and Day Lilies grow here. The tree at the top is a Port Wine Magnolia - you know the one that in the evening reminds you of childhood cause it smells like juicy fruit chewing gum.
In the photo with the red rhodo you can see the cherry trees over the top in the distance, so you realise how the drive curves round. Gosh we are only just reaching the house. You better come back later so I can show you whats out in that garden. ( Don't forget all the photos are clickable to enlarge ) Yes, you may pick some flowers I do all the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Look What R made FOR ME.

A couple of weeks ago I said, "I'd like to grow some strawberries this summer."

"In my herb garden would be a good place for a few plants." Still no, "Don't waste your time," from DH, so I ventured further. "The Birds would probably get them all.....I wonder if you might be able to make me a lift off frame for over the top?" "Okay,that shouldn't be too hard. "
So I quickly clear one segment of my lovely herb garden pulling out a woody sage plant( I have another ) and weed it all ready for new plants.

Quite by chance because he is on light duties following minor surgery DH had some spare time - Lucky me! He made the frame which looked rather coffin like to start with then today while I went to the supermarket he bought the bird netting .The garden centre that used to be in the city has moved out to between us and the city so we now drive past it all the time - very convenient ! On the way home we stopped for seeds and my Strawberry plants. 6 big beauties in a carrier for "Opening Specials" price. Thank you again; just how many I need!
(Pajero variety, no choice there) The plants are in flower already so I should get some crop quite soon. The frame is light and easy for me to lift off. So I am happy with that.
Spring winds are buffeting us today but things are flowering, so I'll take you for a walk tomorrow if you'd care to come.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Finishing Stuff.

Yes, I have been finishing things in my cupboard; but first have a look at my Spider's web. The Orb Web spider who built this is a resident around here. It's web is easily seen in the early morning with the sun behind it and drops of dew adding sparkle; it's right outside the dining room ranch slider slung between Kingianum orchids which grow on the side of a now sawn off Ponga Fern trunk. I might try and get a photo of the won't be as dramatic as the spider at Molly Bawn's place - hers is something else!
As I am doing a demonstration at our group soon on all the uses for Quilt as You Go Hexagons, I put together some little tiny ones I made with Christmas type fabric and have sewn them on to a length of gold and green ribbon as a hanger decoration type thing. (I still have to put a pin of some type at the top. )
Lurking in my cupboard unused was a large square of Chenille I made. After we had a demo on how it was done I made this sample and hadn't made it into anything. It could have been a bag or cushion but I made it into a big zip lock bag ( material instead of plastic ) for carrying sewing stuff. It has some pockets inside and a zip across the top. I realise one with a zipper around 3 side to open out flat would have been ideal but at the weekend when I was making this I didn't have a zipper on hand that size - so used what I had. I put a name label on the outside back and will carry my current project in it. In the close up photo I scrunched the fabric up so you can see how it is made. 4 layers of fabric different colours all sewn down in narrow rows then the 3 top layers cut. These should rough up with use or I could brush them or wash them to make that fluffy chenille look.
As things are still very damp outside I am off to Spring clean the Office drawers that are getting over full.....Oh what fun.
The very bad news is another tooth has broken off ( what is going on ? ), so that will mean even more visits to the Dentist. My next appointment is not till Thursday morning, next week, so I hope it doesn't start aching.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Photographic Fabric

Temptation in any colour or size you like!
2 of the photos show parts of the fabric on display in the Traders Mall. Rainbows of colour...just yummy.( awful paint chipped old stand but wonderful fabric ).
The other 2 pics are what I purchased. A beautiful Laurel Burch book I had never seen before ( I think it's new out ). It's a picture book for girls of any age! I love her style and can easily recognise it.( I used a piece of that sea horse fabric on the cover of the book in my I Spy and several others of hers )
The other is the fabric I got. My stash had very little blue /navy in it and I want to make a bag for a gift in those colours. So 3 bigger lengths at the top and the rest fat quarters. The bright red poppies is so me and I have inspected it several times before and decided I really needed a piece in my cupboard. It would even look good framed and hung on the wall.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Quilt Exhibition Photos - 5

Thanks Meggie for directing some new blog friends here to view the quilts. I'm glad to meet new bloggers and quilters from all over the world. The purple quilt shown here was really a much more beautiful shade of mauve and purple than the photo shows. Certainly you will see from all these photos there was a huge variety of types of quilt, colour ways and approaches to traditional blocks.
Today I went to the Dentist! That's no light undertaking for me....for those of you who read Meggie's account of her recent visit you have the scene set already for how I feel. I would much rather have major surgery than visit the Dentist. Lets just say that some bad experiences have coloured my thinking. Months ago half my back bottom molar broke away right down to gum level....there was no pain - I think it was all filling. Once since then when I had sinus and hayfever problems it and several other teeth gave me heaps for about 3 days, but then all settled back down again. Unfotunately when I decided I had the time and money to be able to go and get it seen to I had to wait 5 weeks to get an that doesn't do my nerves and state of mind any good...every time my tongue ferrets around the ragged tooth and every time I clean my teeth I have an attach of the gitters. But today finally arrived ( luckily I was very well distracted with my busy few days with the Exhibition) and I duely got seen to.
The receptionist was lovely( no blue rinse) the nurse was lovely and the dentist is a dear so polite & kind - a South African with beautiful manners. So what's your problem you ask. Well the tooth and the procedure and all that awful stuff.
We will try and save the tooth - you need it. If it was to be removed an oral surgeon would have to do it. OK . So today was step 1 in saving the tooth. It has temporary polyfiller in it now.( or similar ) that was $160. I then had to make 3 more appointments at precise intervals to do a root canal then have a cerec crown fitted.( that will be in November, so I have plenty of opportunity to think ahead!!!) Anyway I survived and today was a breeze compared with what I was expecting. Next time won't be so .......... I better stop buying fabric and start saving all my pocket money to give to the nice dentist man! ( maybe he'd take a quilt instead? )

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Quilt Exhibition Photos - 4

It all came down quicker than it went up - just as well as we were all exhausted. We think we had a very successful show. 2 ladies sold quilts ( one was the bargello shown here ) and the folk demonstrating the expensive long arm quilter made a large sale too so they were rapt.
The rain that threatened most of the day was just starting to fall as we drove out the gate for home, so luckily the quilts and merchants goods didn't get wet.
The gollies and the big green NZ fabric quilt were 2 popular choices with viewers. The fawn old looking quilt was made from all recycled woollen blankets. The small quilt on the easel was log cabin houses - very effective.
I still have some more photos of our raffles and what I purchased so keep watching.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Quilt Exhibition photos - 3

There were 92 quilts or wall hangings; the bag display and the fabric challenge which had 6 entries. That's the top photo. The winner is on the right - it is a bag in the shape of a bodice of a dress.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Quilt Exhibition Photos - 2

It's all going well so far. We have had lots of visitors who all seem to enjoy it. More pics to come tomorrow.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Quilt Exhibition Photos 1.

Very rushed photos taken after we hung all the quilts. The creams have all come out fawn, unfortunately. ( all quilts belong to members of the Tauranga Patchwork Group ) One pic shows the quilt frame with velcro strip.
Lots more photos to come over the next few days so keep looking. All photos enlarge if you click on them for a closer look.
I'm shattered so off to bed now....3 more busy days to go.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Preparation for Quilt Exhibition.

Fine weather over the weekend and yesterday had me outside doing kiwifruit work and gardening; weeding a long shell path by hand cause the weeds had got too high to control any other way. So my eyes are sore ( I react to something in the garden and pollen ) and my hands don't look like a ladies hands should look - yes , I do wear gloves-but that's nothing new, they will recover. I was going flat out cause this week is going to be a busy one!

The group I belong to ( Tauranga Patchwork and Quilters ) is holding it's Annual Exhibition this Fri, Sat and Sun at the local Race Course. Thursday we spend all day hanging the quilts and doing the displays. The group owns it's own wooden frames for the quilts which have strips of the loopy side of velcro across the top. We have to present our quilts with a row of the fluffy side of velcro across the top. In the photo you can see the back of my blue quilt ready to go....... it's a good idea as the strips are just pinned to the quilt top ( no hanging sleeves required ) and that way can be taken off and reused. I had to make some new strips as well to have enough for the 3 quilts I am exhibiting . Our display this year is BAGS, BAGS and more I have 2 for that. ( we are going to cordon them off so they don't go walk about on someone's arm ).
As well we have to provide finger food to serve with cuppas for all the helpers and stall holders. I have made shortbread fingers and fruit balls so far. I will take some photos on Thursday if I get time and show you how it all looks. ( and of the show itself of course! ) Our venue is basic in some ways but very roomy and affordable. It is in 2 main halls connected by a passageway. Quilt Exhibition in the biggest and Traders' Mall in the other. So there will be time for retail therapy! Over the 3 days we divide the jobs up in 2 hour stints and take turns at being on the door, selling raffles, wearing white gloves or being a gopher. Although we have a lot of members not all are good at helping ( fairly typical ) so the committee ( I'm one of them ) will be busy! I'm not complaining I enjoy working with the other ladies. It's fun and very rewarding to see it all being looked at and enjoyed.
I have got a few more table mats finished in the evenings but have run out of cotton batting for them - I don't think wool or poly is suitable. ( they have to be washable and heat proof. )
Some replies to comments; Yes Sheila I do read instructions and can read instructions. ( I even read them on new appliances and the like of my quirks....a good one I think. )
Yes, I did have a template for the table mats.( they need to be accurate ) I have a set of plastic ones I bought, 16 in all but they only go up in half inch sizes to 8 inches. I made the larger one by lying an ordinary ruler against each side and tracing in on to stiff card board. But for anyone making their own; because a hexagon has 6 sides it is very easy to make accurately by drawing a circle ( 360 degrees and divide it by 6 using a compass ) You make a pattern like a daisy flower with 6 petals - put a line where it crosses the circle and you have your 6 hexagon points.

If you see smoke on the horizon it will just be me over the next little while - going like the clappers!( on my broomstick! )