Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year.

2009 is going to be an interesting year in many ways. I look forward to sharing it with you ALL!
Best Wishes to: Molly; Meggie; Joyce; Loulee; Helena; Gudrun; Sheila; Soozii; Kirsten; Tracey; Andrea; Deb; Lynda; Shirley; Janice; Helen; Dale; Laurie; Ayumi; Cher; Shasta; Joleo; Sarah& Lisa; Chookyblue; Alice; Paula; Valeri; Julz; Isabelle; Sally; Jane; Nellie; Anne ; Tazzie; Barbara ;Alice; Judy; Helen ; Leanne; Nic; Harmany; Yankee ;Holly; Julie; Suzi-k; Judy ;Brenda; Dianna; Rose Marie ;Mags; Nicola; Jane; Francoise ;Fiona; Vera; Frieda; and Jorja's Nana.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Lovely Time to...

Yes, the final letters of my banner got stitched and were hung up by 11.45pm on Christmas Eve.( they turned out well )

Lovely Time to be lazy; to read; play games of Scrabble while we eat meals at the big bench on bar stools; to start my next quilt! ( or if you are DH; tidy your shed; put a new work top on your work bench; do things? ( lots of hammering ) in your clean work space - I love it when he has a project on cause we have time out so I can sew or blog or walk or garden or read )

* NEW Project ( QUILT ).* Some time ago DH said he would like a quilt with a large jewelled bird ( taken from the cover of a Wilbur Smith Book called "The Seventh Scroll." ). I have never made him a quilt of his own..... I had collected suitable fabric at the merchants malls at the exhibitions I went to in 2008. The 3rd photo shows the 7 colours for the jewels, lying on a gold fabric which will be the background, then the whole big stylized bird will be put on a back ground - he wants black but we will see when the bird is finished how it looks.

So far I have enlarged the outline shape onto a paper pattern: drawn it lightly on the back of the fabric; ironed on "Appi-kay Wonder" to the back of an A4 size piece of each jewel fabric; and drawn and cut out some of the feather shapes for the wings.
( this is a teach yourself how to do this project! )( do you do these? ) ( good way to learn - I hope ) So far, so good.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24

It's 24 th December.

That means yesterday was our 41st Wedding Anniversary.....and we were so busy it was 10.30 am even before I remembered. I don't know if the other half would have remembered it all if I hadn't mentioned it. ( it often happens because of the busy time of year ) We got 35 mls of rain overnight , so gratefully received here....... also means I got the day inside! Of course I've been cleaning..... But this afternoon I sat and sewed bindings on the last 4 letters of my Happy Christmas banner. I hope to do the hand sewing on them tonight. I strung the finished ones up already to see how they look.The tree got decorated and we have had the lights on a couple of evenings.

Lovely things.

* my friend Sheila found me some tiny craft pegs I had been looking for and came around really early today so I could use them to hang my letters.

*Younger Son ( in UK ) remembered us and sent me a lovely voucher for patchwork goodies and DH a voucher for a meal at his favourite restaurant ( that means I get to go too! )

* Lovely letters and cards from friends and family.

* I have been enjoying your beautiful Christmas blogs.

* the 1st Pohutkawa tree has faded with the rain BUT the second big one is now out!

*Altho friends asked us out tonight we are staying in cause the roads are just too silly and I can't have anything to drink if I'm the driver. ( we have plenty to do here anyway )
* Thanks to all you dear people who reply personally to comments I leave - I really don't expect you to do that.

FINALLY I do hope you are all enjoying the Festive Season.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Types of Christmas Tree.

This lovely big Pohutukawa ( NZ native Christmas tree ) is flowering by our driveway and is making the best display of several we have out at the moment. ( we have planted lots on the property over the years )

Christmas is not far away and I am trying to keep positive, but it's a bit hard. To say it will be very low key around here is an understatment. We are working long and hard in the orchard and there is lots to get done.

I am pleased with the quilted letters I have got completed for my banner but I doubt it will be ready for this Feastive Season - won't matter I'll just work on it during next year and make lots of letters.

I didn't know if we would bother with a Christmas tree this year but then persuaded R to help me find one ( or 3 ) today. (It is supposed to rain at the weekend so get it done in the fine before then.) We always try and cut a part of a shelter belt tree or similar but ended up this time with 3 branches pruned from a native Rimu in the garden,. ( it needed them off anyway ) Looking at the photo you can barely tell it is 3 branches tied together. It has ended up quite a reasonable shape and has a clean conifer type smell. I will try and get it decorated later tonight.

So we have a tree. I have made a cake. I sent all the cards and letters and the few parcels I do send. We are a very small family so not a lot is involved. We will probably be seeing one son and partner after Christmas some time and the other one is in London so that's a bit far to come.( so it's just us! )
We are having some friends over for dinner tomorrow night and have been sent a couple of other invitations to meals in the next week so that may cheer me up.
Loulee sent me a Christmas joke that made me smile so I thought I might tell a simple one too.
The teacher looked at all the drawings the children had made of a Christmas scene. Billy had drawn a manger and put Mary and Joseph beside baby Jesus. There were 3 wise men and some animals and shepherds all gathered about. To one side stood a very rotund man, that puzzled the teacher." Who is this person?" she asked.
" Oh, that's Round John Virgin, " said Billy
( you need to know the words to the carol Silent night, to get this joke.) I used to have an illustration to go with this but can't find it now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

An Inch of Rain.

Treats from the garden that is so grateful for an inch of much needed rain.

Busy doesn't seem an adequate word at the moment!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Kiwifruit Work.


This week we have been working hard at thinning the newly formed Kiwifruit. Pollination is over and the bees go home tonight. This work will go on for several weeks( in fact right up till harvest next May ). It is very, very warm sweaty and itchy work cause the dropping petals and stamens go down my neck. We are trying to remove any mis - shapen fruit; which is difficult when they are so small - but we don't want the vines putting nutrients into fruit that will later be rejected, so we start straight in. Here are some photo of what the fruit look like just formed.
In the 2nd photo you can see one fruit which is too wide and needs to be pulled off - only round normal kiwifruit shaped fruit are allowed. NO hearts, fans or hairy.......... I won't say what.
The 2 last photos are of fruit I carried home and put on the bench to photograph so you could better see the silly shapes.
Gudrun, a Feijoa is a fruit we have in NZ - it has smooth green skin and is a long oval shape with white juicy flesh. I will try and remember to show you one when they are ripe next year.
Hi Georganna and Tom, How nice to hear from you. Thanks for that info in the comments section - I will do more research.
Have a happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Fruity Things.

I ended the previous post saying I was off to pick the strawberries. Here they are with the biggest and smallest ones on top. For just a few plants they are rewarding me well.

We had a tiny fall of rain overnight which is just what I hoped( more would have been good but ) as I wanted to do other things today ( other than orchard work that is ).I was up early and had a large quiche for later in the day made before breakfast. Straight after breakfast I completed stage one of Christmas cake making. I got ready a double mixture ( because of my tin size ) and it's now cooling before adding the rest of the ingredients, then slow cooking. Over the years I have used many different recipes but the one ( quite simple - with home grown freshly squeezed orange juice in it )I like best now, I have made for the last few years and it is liked even by folk who say they don't like fruit cake. By making the double mixture I am able to fill my big tin and then put what is left into either a loaf tin or muffin pans for giving or pre Christmas cutting. ( if anyone wants the recipe I could write it out here for you ).
The other photo I had forgotten to show was of the goodies I purchased at Calico Christmas.( a lovely calendar; a Children's book I knew about - made from a quilt and tells the German folk tale; a couple of fat quarters and a wee bundle of matching squares of butterfly fabrics and contrasts put out by "Me and MY Sister." ( future project - hey it has pink in it - little girlie colours)

I haven't taken the little Kiwifruit photos yet but thought you might like to see Feijoa flowers. I don't think they are grown in many other countries but any Kiwis or those who have visited here might know and like them. ( you either love or hate them) YUM! (it always surprises me how alike Feijoa and Pohutukawa flowers and leaves are....could they possibly be distantly related ? )

Tonight is the AGM of my P and Q Group, so it's going to be a busy day.