Saturday, March 28, 2009

Denim and Avocados

Gudrun here are some Avocado photos. The first is a small tree about 4 years old ( has a few fruit set ). Many we have are old and huge and have to have the tops pruned down and hollowed ( vased ) to let sunlight in. ( if the fruit is up too high we can't reach it ! ) The ground below is a carpet of dead leaves ( they like mulch ) and we put all the garden rubbish around them too as mulch. The photo with my hand in shows the size the next crop has got to already.....they are light green and very shiny. ( not many types of tree or plant bear more than one crop at a time ) The new leaves on them are red and copper coloured so make them a pleasant tree for a garden.
Sewing content: The big pile of denim fabric I have partially cutup ready for making circles for my quilt. Note the many shades of BLUE.
The other photo shows some of the 7"squares I have ready to trial for the centre of each block.Lots to do.
Do have a pleasant weekend - I don't fancy that snow some of you are still getting in the NH. ( enlarge photos by clicking on them )

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

UFO Weekend.

We had a very pleasant 2 days sewing. 7 ladies took a class by TS a very good tutor. One new lady began making her first quilt - she was lucky to get such good instruction right from the start. 7 or 8 others of us worked on UFOs.

I was mother or gopher so got less done than some but finished the purple fabric basket, then began joining the circles for my Mock Cathedral Windows quilt. The photos show how the back and the front ( with the curved flaps,) will look. I am doing lengthwise rows ( 11 circles ) as I don't know how wide it will finish - depends how much used denim I can find.
So far so good. I like the different shades of blue and even the odd spot where I have unpicked a dart.
Yesterday we had to take recycling to the transfer station in the truck so I went too and was able to stop in Greerton at 2 Op shops and came out with a load of denim skirts and jeans. SO lots of cutting to do and now I can continue when I get time. ( there are other such op shops in Tauranga still to suss out for more and I have asked the other P and Q ladies.)
*Gudrun I will take a close up photo of an Avocado tree with little fruit on and show you shortly *

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Positive.

***A fine day.*** Autumn Equinox.***** Avocado picking! *** As it is very late in the season for Avocados it is good for the trees to get them off so the small fruit which will be ready Nov / Dec onwards can have the nutrients and grow big.( there is quite a good crop of small, recently set fruit there for next season )

2 guys with hydraladas (cherry pickers )picked 3.5 bins of very big lovely fruit, which will get sold here in New Zealand. ( exporting has finished for this season ). We have been told to expect a very good price for them- which would be pleasing. Many of the fruit weighed more than 400 grams.( sorry you are too far away, most of you, to be able to share! )

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Baking Spicy Apple Loaves.

This morning yet again it rained between 7 and 8 am. So everything is wet out side. The hydraladdas to pick Avos have been waiting here 2 days now.Tomorrow maybe.

I spent the morning inside and baked Spicy Apple Loaves. Lovely smell of baking.( nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger cloves ....ahhh! ) The recipe is already here on my blog. ( you will have to look back to July 26 2006 to find it )( the link was too long to copy ).

Then I set about pulling out fabrics that might be good as feature fabrics in my cathedral window quilt. I'm making this for my eldest son and he likes blue ( with some purple and green ).All set to start this on Saturday.

Things have dried out now, I better get outside.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mixed Activities

Some fine days. Some like this morning, wet. Our hearts are in our mouths now every time it rains....what more might happen. Luckily so far nothing else.

I have been making lots of pumpkin soup and focaccia bread. We still have more pumpkins growing yet to be picked.

This afternoon and late yesterday I gardened - always lots needs doing. DH has been mowing all afternoon. I'm sure you can see my halo as I spent all morning filing and doing office work.

At the weekend I finished another tiny red fabric basket and at someone's suggestion I put longer handles on it lengthwise ( can be carried like a basket ) but I don't think it looks as cute then. I have cut out the other parts in purple to go with theses 2" squares I sewed together by hand. I am preparing the parts for several different projects as we have a UFO weekend this coming Sat and Sun.

Big jewelled bird is now ready for it's tail feathers. Also I am about to start the Mock Cathedral Windows quilt in denim. So that should keep me busy for the weekend. Some ladies in our group are going to do a quilt in a day. I WANT and need to finish things.

I took this photo of part of the slip / landslide up in the Quarry Park. This is near where it started from. The contents are now in our place, in the dam and creek.Things have dried out somewhat BUT it is still an incredible mess . ( I am sure mother Nature will eventually grass over some of it. )We haven't decided the best way to clear up....if at all.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Being Philosophical.

We have to move on and take this blow in our stride - we don't have an option.The mud is drying out and the stream has found a new course and settled back to a more normal flow.
The tree on the angle in the photo is the only one we have spent time on. We have managed to pull it back upright and stake it is a Forest Pansy ( Cercis cadanensis ) ( cost NZ $75 in 2002 ). It is planted to commemorate my school friend Eleanor who died of cancer that year. This tree is upstream of the dam in the gully where the flood rushed past.
On Monday we got a Dingo in to dig a trench for the water pipe out to the front gate and by Tuesday we had connected to the Council water supply. Eventually we hope to reinstate the pipeline we lost up the bush as the catchment dam there is undamaged. ( But things will have to dry and stabilize first ).
Thanks all for your concern. Thimbleanna, I'm not an Aussie! I am a Kiwi and live in New Zealand.
Needless to say not much sewing time, but I have P and Q Group tomorrow.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Day After the Flood.

Things look a little different this morning - not better just different. The water level has gone down and the stream is now cutting it's way through the debris to the small spillway which allows it to run under the bridge.

We still have a track down the hill across the bridge and up the other side - this leads to our 2 Avocado blocks and one Kiwifruit block and a bush area.We will need to get some truck loads of metal ( gravel / stones ) to lay either side of the bridge where the water washed some away. But for now at least we have access. Our pipeline to our water supply has gone! DH went up there this morning to look, and says it is fixable when things dry out. An area about the size of 2 football fields has slipped down the gully - and most of it is now in what used to be our pond.( this is all going to be expensive! )
You remember the photo a few posts ago of me sitting on my red seat - if you kept going behind that tree down a steep bank to the bottom of the valley, that is where the stream is that fed into the pond.
Now today's photos: 2 at the end show the pond / dam a few years ago when we had an open garden. You can see people coming down to the waters edge at the top end of the clear blue water.( that is looking from the bridge across the water )
The other (top )photos show it today - the brown dirty mess.( all 4 photo taken from about the same spot ,can you recognise it? )

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Extreme Flooding.

9" of rain since it started this time.That's on top of the
7" last weekend.
We used to have a dam ( big pond / little lake ) ........not any more. We now have a gully full of debris, mostly washed down from the Quarry Park behind us.( they did BIG earth works recently!!! )

Blogger is being strange - but I will try and get photos up to show. ( some before some now )
Heavy rain and thunder has just started again after fine all day.
We had to hire a digger to try and clear our bridge and save the dam / bank/ crossing, he came promptly and has left the digger here in case we need more done. We are so grateful.

We have lost so many native trees.......the saddest one is the one we planted at the millennium - a Kawaka ( libocedrus plumosa ).

Kauris, Rimus, Kowhai ...lots more all gone. In there place we have mud, rocks, old tree stumps, whole dead trees. More photos tomorrow , I'm pretty upset right now.

Note: our house and kiwifruit vines etc are not hurt. We are safe.

What a hell of a day. ( the night was plain scary; we could hear trees crashing and rocks rolling and smell earth so strongly - no wonder!)

Friday, March 06, 2009

March Mist.

It's very wet today. Overnight we had 3.5 inches of rain. ( actually we didn't really need more rain yet, but it will size up our Kiwifruit ).

The photos show what I can see out my windows; red leaves on the Viburnum ( Viburnum plicatum tomentosa ) out the bedroom window - it's a lovely small tree and the first by far with Autumn colours.
From the window in this room, the office, I can look down the gravel driveway and see puddles. See how low the cloud is almost blocking out the trees in the Quarry Park behind us.
Yesterday when we heard the weather forecast we spent some time picking beans and what may be the last of the tomatoes, put the picked pumpkins in the outside shower for safe keeping and battened down the hatches!. Last night it was very windy then the rain set in, now mid morning it is just damp and drizzly with odd heavy showers.
We have been giving pumpkins away as some were starting to rot where they were sitting ( should have had boards under them ). We grew 3 types ( crown; butternut and buttercup )and have more than 70! Some are still on the vines and not needing to be picked yet.The tomatoes did their thing early and are looking really tatty now but we have picked 53 kilos from them. ( that's a lot ! )
So it's an inside day ! I love that.( Even if it means some housework ) I have computer time and ironing and cooking and reading and just maybe some sewing. The Big bird's feather coverage is growing every evening. I have cut his tail feathers ready.
The 3rd photo show our new kettle, lovely brushed stainless to match the rest of the kitchen and very modern compared with the old one that just died. It can be set to heat to different temperatures and even to keep it hot after reaching that temp.It is strange how appliances all get sick or die at a similar time. The fridge is now back home with a new thermostat and no longer leaving puddles.
^ In answer to your questions.I have only been a quilter for 5 years, and only a member of my P and Q group for 3 and a bit. Before that I made felt embroidered balls as baby toys.I have knitted since age 6 and sewed from very early too. I remember school sewing class at primary age , making a tray cloth from seersucker with embroidered coloured leaves I traced around from our Liquid Amber tree ( maple leaf shape ). We also made a smocked babies dress all by hand. Of course as a teenager I spent hours making dresses with yards of material in the skirt. I enjoyed dress making a high school - was never the very best one at it but fairly good - not like one poor girl who unpicked so many times there was just a hole left in her fabric - she was a bookworm and didn't want to be there. In 1986 I do remember sewing the backdrop for the stage in our local hall for a school production my younger son was in - maybe that was my first landscape was huge.