Sunday, January 31, 2010

Butterflies and Kingfishers.

Oh, you should have been here half an hour ago we were having freshly made date scones for morning tea ( at the computer ) ( no crumbs in the keyboard )! Next time perhaps.
It is raining and raining so we are very pleased.
This misdirected young Kingfisher tried to fly through the ranch slider and had a sore head for a while. Luckily he has flown away since. ( he is possibly one of a young family who hatched in a hole in the bank  directly behind the vege garden. )( Lots of birds fly into our glass - I thought that only happened if it was really clean .)

I worked on this Red Admiral Butterfly motif for the felt ball last night. It is smaller than it looks here and still has to have details added once on the ball. I made a cricket bat and ball too, but I think it could be mistaken for a bottle of wine!
Yesterday I made a big batch of Chutney to use some of the excess courgettes and beans and tomatoes.

As the rain keeps sweeping across in heavy showers I think any garden activities will have to wait. I have been wet already today so will now try and stay dry and perhaps get my requirements ready for a class on 20th Feb with Mary Transom. She is coming to 20 of our group for the day. The class is Agapanthus ( that weed! ) but most of us want the technique rather than the suject matter.( the photos are on her site on the right hand side if you wish to see some of her wall hangings )
I might even get some other sewing done, but will need the lights on it is that dim.   BOP ( Bay of Plenty ) never does anything by halves hence the name - today it is rain - heavy rain. 

*Molly your clutch ball looks great - very bright.
* Thimbleanna, I'm so glad you now know I am a Kiwi not an Australian ( giggle ). We are similar but not interchangeable.
* Good, today I have time to look at everyone's blogs.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fresh !

Walk from vege garden to kitchen...15 seconds. Open Microwave ...put corn in....zap for 2 mins...unwrap skin,  take out on plate and eat. All of 5 minutes to harvest prepare and eat. Yeah I love that!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Here's Where.

I do like your Comments - 
 I read them and I hope to answer any questions. So Gudrun this is for you.
I think you know that New Zealand has 3 main Islands: North, South and smaller Stewart Island. I live in the North Island which has the much greater population of the 2 bigger islands. I have scanned a map of the North Island  and the arrow shows Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty. I live about 14 kilometers from Tauranga.
To all my friends in the northern hemisphere I hope your weather is warming up a bit. Today where I am it is just pleasant - not too hot ( like yesterday ) as there is overhead cloud.
Yesterday I made a good start on my big weeding effort but it was so hot. Today I started before breakfast and did 2 hours then - much more sensible idea. I
am still not finished but R has already taken 3 full woolpacks of weeds away to put as mulch under young avocado trees. I'll do some more later.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


A couple of days with drizzly rain have meant we have done some other than Kiwifruit things ( Yipeee ) We have shelled more stored walnuts. Roger is doing a 3rd batch of pesto this morning. This is the picking the leaves off the basil plant stage. That will be my perfume ( stronge ) today - it really clings.

In 2006 I read "The Lovely Bones," by Alice Sebold and loved it. Yesterday we went to the Movie and loved it.  Directed by Peter Jackson, from a screen play written by Fran Walsh, Phillipa Boyens and Peter Jackson; based on the book. It got some poor reviews - I'm giving it a GOOD one. The special effects were so good.
The felt ball now has a Kiwifruit and a capital A. The baby I am going to give it to was born last weekend named Alex Peter in North London to a Kiwi Dad an English Mum.
This weekend top priority for me is weeding ( on a large scale ) the garden along the driveway right out to the front gate. It didn't get sprayed as it usually does and now some weeds are taller than me with seed heads. So quite a challenge; but I do have plants in there that need rescuing and space to grow.
Meanwhile in other parts of the garden things are doing well.

This is my little extra vege garden. R built up the side so the dirt doesn't dry out and fall out of the little bed and this is the result. A row of Freezer Slim green beans and a row of Cavolo Nero and carrots just up.

These are the low growing freezer slim beans with white flowers that I pick one day and on the alternate day I pick these Scarlet Runners up in the main garden.

While I was going to take these photos some bright wee things called to me.

Wee low orange Zinnias

and Scabiosa Midnite.  I'm
off to weed now, while it's not too hot.
Thanks for your comments and glad you found my blog D and N in Alberta.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2 More Motifs.

Everything is very wet again this morning but only 1 mil in the rain gauge. Still that makes it too wet to work under the vines. Later perhaps.
2 more motifs have been sewn on the ball, but I see that seam stitching is still showing on the sheep one so I will do another round of chain stitch.

Last evening friends came over for a rabbit shoot and dinner. T has a silencer on his gun and was able to get 3 rabbits. We had been saving them for him to have a go at as he lives in an urban setting and doesn't get the same chance as country folk. We know there are plenty more for R to still get because yesterday morning when we got up there were 5 on the lawns around the house - that's getting rather cheeky.
Leanne you'll appreciate this. For dinner we were able to use our own lettuce, mizuna, red onion and rocket in a salad; freshly dug potatoes, just picked green beans and tomatoes,  and our own avocados. Even some of my strawberries in the dessert. ( we had to use bought meat, prawns and dairy products ) It was delicious.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Many Beautiful Quilts.

We had a little more rain overnight! The vege plants love it!

This morning I drove the 24 kms to see the Katikati Kwilters' Exhibition. So many beautiful quilts from just a small group of about 25 ladies. They have a show every 2 years. I took some photos but have learned not to take too many; just the ones I really like for a reason or ones where there is a technique I want to find out about and try. I remebered to take a few notes this time too. here are just a few.
I loved the crisp white ( which looks grey here )and quite an unusual colour combination. This quilt by Jillian Royackers got my viewer's choice vote.

The colours in this bargello by Ella Forno were stunning.

Meggie I took this one for you. Do you recall seeing the same pattern at another show I went to ( you liked the stitcheries of Mrs. Mouse doing housework )This is by Sherry Lord.

This cushion was in the Challenge section. They had to use the pale white blue fabric. It didn't win but I liked it best.

The guest exhibitor was Lois Wine who is from Tirau ( see her shop website on my side bar ). I had seen her Firemen quilt ( after 9/11) at a Hamilton Show so didn't photograph it again. Instead I took these 2 of her work.


Rather stunning work eh?

 I aslso liked this bag by Ann Barker ( a Nai-Sa-bag pattern ).

And more black and gold by Jillian Royackers.

( all enlarge with clicking )
Well done Katikati ladies!
Last evening I got out the fabric I was thinking of making a pastel butterfly quilt from. It is just a small charm pack. BUT it is the 2nd time I have had it on the table and I still don't like how it goes together. Loulee has used the same fabrics. She started making blocks before she came to NZ. She took all the blue fabrics out. That idea still didn't help me I know that if I don't like how the fabrics look before sewing I will certainly not like the quilt SO for the time being they have gone back in the cupboard with 2 options left to me. Either; they just become stash which is fine ; or I have to find other darker fabric to put with it . Umm.....I will continue to think on that one.
Meanwhile I will just work on the felt ball and my table runner.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I had the Day off !

Today was my P and Q Group's annual picnic, at Kulim Park in Tauranga. It is right beside the harbour but as the sea lettuce is quite smelly we sat back under the Pohutukawa trees for some shade. Most of the day was cloudy which stopped it being too hot. Ladies came and went and generally enjoyed a catch up chat; some did some sewing and everyone did some eating ( picnicing ). Here is what we could see from where we were sitting.
Note the lack of green grass. Also if you look closely there is a large cruise ship at the wharf. The Mt. ( Mauao ) is hiding behind the left hand tree.

Marie was working on a lovely quilt with aqua tones.
 Behind that green hedge is the railway line and 4 large trains went by while we were there. They shook the ground and were very loud!. ( the photo quality is marred by the dappled shade )
Later I went for a long walk  (in the heat ) with Dorothy who also likes walking. We saw this along the way.

Mt. Maunganui ( Mauao ). A little futher on we had to stop and wait at the flashing lights for this train.

It was long and carrying this load.

 After that I went for a cup of coffee and to the supermarket and got home just before 6 pm. It was still very hot at that stage.  28 dgrees C. SO not a kiwfruit all day - that makes a nice change.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Motif.

Yesterday was a  little cooler and the everything  seemed refreshed with the rain. We did a long day's work and  achieved more then our goals.
Last evening I sewed the first motif on the yellow pentagon on the felt ball. Here it is sitting in the workbox where I keep my felt work seperate from my quilting projects. It is a much loved box ( contact covered carton ) that is just right for the job with carry handles.

For some reason I had one of my tossing and turning nights, ( like you Lou ) and after a hot drink and much planning in my head ( probably the cause ) ( or was I too tired )I drifted off and woke knowing I would be tired today. Still that's no excuse I better get out there.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It Rained!

At 4pm we got rained off. Yes rain! Only 8mm but together with another 8mm we had at 4.30 am on Monday morning, it has settled the dust and washed in the fertilizer. We need more but are grateful for any.( it has just started again as I'm typing!!! Yeah )
     Here is a photo of the orchard floor when we have done our thining. ( taking off the small and mis-shapen kiwifruit ) One has to step very carefully. This shows why it is taking one person between 20 minutes  and  half an hour to complete one vine.

This is how my hair looks after having 2 coloured foils put in. Similar to once before but more of it.

Here is the next photo of work on the felt ball.

A row of chain stitch around each pentagon in a different colour covers the seam stitches. Further rows of decoration may be added as with the maroon pent. Then I will add the motif. If you enlarge the photo you can see how the red chain stitch is over the top of the seam stitches.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bright Busy Sunday.

Another warm clear day. I started it with a walk right up in the Quarry Park behind us. Here is how the Bay of Plenty looked early this morning. ( note the dry paddocks )
Our property is right in the middle of this photo. Look for the trimmed shelter trees. One kiwifruit block can be seen from here. Mt Maunganui on the horizon.

The lookout in the Quarry Park.

 Here is the completely stuffed and sewn up ball # 18  ready to be embroidered. I have started that yesterday. I will show progress as I go.I picked these as they were blocking a path (the  heads are so heavy they lean forward )They are sitting happily on the fire as we are not needing that at the moment!  Now look closer aren't they beautiful!

( click to go closer still )
Leanne this is specially for you. Basil !

This morning R made the first batch of Pesto for the season from some of these plants.  I helped pick off the leaves but he did the rest. We freeze it. ( Recipe = basil, parmesan cheese, garlic, walnuts and a little oil )

It made this much.


We are having visitors for dinner tonight so I better get onto some jobs. Still no rain!
( Very sorry you are having no luck with your tomatoes Meg. )

Friday, January 08, 2010

Busy Season For Us.

  We are making slow progress with our kiwifruit thining. Day after day there is so much to do. WE really, really need RAIN. The lawn is going brown in parts and the vege garden is needing constant watering as are any new plantings.WE know other parts of the world would be loving the warm sunny often windy days instead of the snow or floods some are getting. TOO much of any one thing is not good!
The only spare time I am getting is after dark . So I am doing something pretty easy - for me anyway as I have made 17 of these already. Felt Embroidered babies balls. If you don't know what I mean my very early blogs back in April 2006 showed the finished results.
Before I took up quilting this was the handwork I was doing. I have a record of the balls I made and who they were given to, as well as photos of most of them.
   I already had the parts prepared from back then. !2 different coloured identical pentagons reinforced with iron on backing. These are stitched together using blanket stitch with a knot to keep the stitches tensioned. Here it is inside out, with most of the seams finished. Some have to be left open to get the inner ( stuffing) in.
At this stage it is turned to the right side out.

The inner, which is wound to make it really firm is inserted. 2 metal bottle tops with a rattle / bell ( so it can be heard ) are in the middle with strips of batting wound around and secured with wool so it doesn't unwind.

It is a tight fit. (on purpose so it will have some bounce )

Now I have to close it from the outside. I hope to get that done before bed tonight.( this final closing is the trickiest part) I use big tacking stitches to lace it then remove them once the the proper stitches are done. I will show more as I get it made.
I wonder if you ever made a ball Helena after I sent you the instructions?
Thinking of all my friends who are being snowed upon! Stay safe . Stay warm.
Pam I have a spare lemon or 2 you may have.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

One Little Project Complete.

Yesterday afternoon was mine! I sorted  my new buttons and now have them all in colour family jars. ( pearl; white; black; brown; yellow; blue; green; red; black and white and just a few orange. ) I tidied my  sewing cupboard which had had a few things just popped away quickly - that didn't take long. My machine is now back on the big bench and I used it to complete my first little project for the year. It's another ( 2nd ) sky blue cushion for on the couches along with assorted others; mainly yellow. It looks fine on either the blue or black couch.The black leather needed a light bright touch.
It's a lovely fabric and I just did large swirls on the quilting loosly following the pattern on the fabric.. It only has thin batting on the top side. I don't much care for zips so like the others I have made I use a deep envelope flap, that overlaps by about 5 inches, that way the inner is still able to be removed for washing or changing around. It is sewn close to the outside edge then again half an inch in - what do you call that edging part????  Makes them look more finished  anyway in my opinion.

R spent quite a few hours in the heat working at tidying the vegetable garden; pulling out the row of peas and planting onion seeds on a tape; weeding the sweet corn and generally
maintaining. The tomatoes are getting large but are still green. The climbing beans have lovely red flowers but as yet no beans set. My runner beans in the far triangle are beginning to flower too. The corn is only as high as a cows eye - no elephants here-but looking good. White butterfies are about and have already hatched some caterpillars to chew my cavolo nero - I squashed 7 large and numerous small so hope I got them all.The vege growing area is quite spread out now. Big tubs up the back by the garden shed with broccoli and courgettes; pumpkins and potatoes on the mulch pile down between block 2A and the hedge; my small triangle down towards Block 2B with beans and cavolo nero and the main garden with tomatoes; climbing beans, corn; red onions; silverbeet; heaps of basil for pesto; capsicum; courgettes and Spring onions. Of course there are lettuces and mizuna and herbs and strawbs in my herb garden right by the house.
    Even with all that only about half of the food on our dinner plates last night were grown by us. ( potatoes; courgettes; red onion; silverbeet and peas.) ( the meat; carrot; tomatoes and pumpkin were all store bought) It was yummy anyway. How is your year progressing?

D and N in Lethbridge Canada, if you happen to have found your way in here I hope you enjoy reading back for 4 years of posts ( giggle ).

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Progresssion of Time.

Happy New Year.
Calendars, clocks and watches measure time accurately (mostly ). More so than hour glasses or sundials. It is only the mind ( my mind ) that recalls it differently. Some things seem like only yesterday - Y2K - others seem ages ago.  Seasons, tides and phases of the moon change without prompting. Day and night just like breathing happen rhythmically.
We change and evolve and grow, usually imperceptibly but sometimes suddenly - we call those times " Life Changing Experiences."
Often " Life Changing Experiences," are births, deaths and marriages. Sometimes accidents or good fortune. Sometimes they are more subtle and sneak up like things we do; no less life altering just more gradual. In the last 10 years for me those changes have been the computer more particulary the Internet and Patchwork and Quilting. I really feel I have been enjoying those 2 parts of my life for a lot longer than that. Wow! But they certainly have both changed my life for the better. I get great pleasure from both, so would hate to be without them. I wonder what changes the next 10 years will bring? I have some ideas what they might be. But that's another post.
NO I don't make New year resolutions I'll just stick to my lists as that works for me.