Thursday, August 30, 2012

Blogger is not Playing Fair.

I am having trouble with blogger. At the moment I am using my laptop, which will let me type and upload photos . I have  been back through and deleted lots of photos and even some entire posts. All the photos I took yesterday at the Embroiderer's Guild Exhibition are on my PC which will no longer even sign me in to blogger. What is going on?
 It has to be a problem with that computer which is stranger still, cause I haven't changed anything on it This afternoon a wasp decided to sting me which has made my even more annoyed.
 I'll get back to normal blogging when I can.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gardening and Sewing.

A whole weekend without rain!
Here R is taking my wool packs full of weeds away to be put as mulch under the avocado trees. I toiled for 4 hours  both afternoons and got a lot done. I have never seen such vigorous Winter weeds ( from all that rain ). Shivery grass was the worst - it's roots had formed a white layer across the surface of the soil so it had to in some cases be removed in a layer. I can see where I have been but there is always more to do around here. We also sprayed out the shell paths and edges and over the banks both mornings. We just couldn't waste 2 full fine days. Today is dull and rain is expected but as yet it remains fine.
 My favourite photo from the weekend is the lichen on the viburnum tree outside our bedroom window. The branches on the northern side ( shadiest ) have the most.
 This same tree is getting it's new leaves and flower buds. I love how they unwrap!

Things I have been thinking about. 
*Along with Chooky blue and some others I have to say how I hate wasting time trying to get the word verification correct on the comments section of some of the blogs I like to read. If I try twice and it's not correct I dump my comment and leave. Some are just so hard to decipher.
 * I read with some dismay in the NZ Listener ( page 45 )  that many hand cleaners, soaps toothpastes have a chemical in them called triclosan. A study has found it interferes with muscle activity    by inhibiting the flow of calcium ions.  I went and looked and sure enough we have some liquid soap with it listed as an ingredient. Worse still our 2 toothpastes don't list the ingredients!
 Anyone else know anything about this?
 * Finally I have a quilting question. 
 I have been stitching in the ditch on the horizontal and vertical lines of my quilt. I have pressed the rows in opposite directions so they sit snuggly into each other. When I am going along the ditch ( on the downhill side - less layers ) am I supposed to jump the ditch at each intersection to stay on the downside or just continue on the same side of the ditch? What do you do please?
 if the intersection isn't 100% perfect the problem is tricky.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's Been One of THOSE Days.

Charles Raffill Magnolia.
The sun shone all day and it was fine right up till 7.29 this evening, ( when the heavens opened again )but it's been one of those days where every little thing that can go wrong does go wrong. Nothing major, just little annoying stuff.( I will spare you most of that detail ) except for the most annoying of all. We use free range eggs and I usually have a self imposed rule because of past experience, that I break all eggs into a cup just in case. Tonight I decided I would just make quiche for our dinner as it was getting late ; one with veges, cheese etc. I broke my own rule and was breaking the eggs straight into a large bowl ready to beat. the 4th egg was rotten......absolutely putrid and of course my reaction was a tad slow and a wee bit dribble out on top of the 3 good eggs.  That wasted 4 eggs down the toilet. ( the smell quite put me off my dinner and I love eggs. ) The use by date on the pack is 29th August.
       On the brighter side,we have been seeing some sun the last few days and we got our crucial spray on the kiwifruit blocks D and N ( thanks for your phone call -  you are so kind ). The tractor made big ruts in the ground as it was so water logged but he didn't actually get stuck. Today we had our GAP audit and the auditor had an auditor auditing silly is that all getting when the sun was shining we are stuck inside doing paper shuffling. Never mind we passed.( we have to do these audits to be allowed to export avocados. )( there is a kiwifruit one too! )
 Yesterday I got some lettuce seedling planted and the day before put in carrot and radish seed - no need to water. The days have been lovely when the shine does shine.... it is just that the rain is winning. Every time the sun dries things out the rain replenishes it.

    Some days I have fitted some quilting in . My little quilt top is slowly being quilted and is going very well so far. I  think I will have it ready in time. Let's hope tomorrow is a more productive and satisfactory day.
   Last night I finished a book I enjoyed." Pliny's Warning, " by Anne Maria Nicholson. It is a fictional story of Vulcanologists and has historical information in it, right back to Mt Vesuvius erupting in 70 AD. It even mentions White island in NZ..... which is kind of spooky as our volcanoes in NZ have been grumbling as I was reading this book. 
* Janice our kiwifruit should have Zespri stickers on them. Some of the fruit is class 2 and will have other stickers. if you see any write them down and tell me. You would have to see a whole tray full or box full to get our grower number.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Colours Look Better in the Sunlight.

Be they flowers or fabric a little bit of natural light ( from the sun! YES ! ) lifts the colour to another level.
 The fact that I saw the sun this morning led me to risk putting a huge load of bath towels on the clothes line...they might get dry but clouds are building. I also went around the garden seeing what was opening in the sunlight.
Bees from hives stored across the road from us ( I suppose ) were in my herb garden pushing each other out of the way to get at the flowers on Mizuma that had been left and is going to seed. I counted 23. ( that's great we do so need their help )
 While I was there I searched for a caterpillar I knew must be hiding. Last evening when I went for mint for the potatoes I found a very chewed stalk and knew that someone else was enjoying the fresh new Spring growth. It was getting dark so I didn't search then but remembered this morning to hunt for the culprit. Sure enough I found a big fat green caterpillar. I put him on the lawn and applied my foot. Mrs. Blackbird or Thrush will find it later and say, "Thanks very much".......that's how it happens around here ( sorry Isabelle ) But that too is part of the cycle of life.
 Although Kangaroo paw are Australian ( and I therefore thought they liked it dry )  they seem to be thriving with all the wet.
 Now this is just a simple single flowered geranium in a pot but I love it's delicate simplicity.....My favourite colour for geraniums, but I also like crimson red ones . ( less so orangey red or cerise ) I noticed lovely potted ones at the turn around point in the walking race at the Olympics.. They seem to be a favourite plant to grow in the UK.( and do well there )
Also looking pure except for splatters of soil on the leaves was this clump of 3 white hyacinths.
Lemon and yellow and mauve freesias are now flowering but it is too early for my really perfumed cream Burtoni .
 This lemon one is growing up through white flower carpet rose bush and the stem is 18inches long!
 The photo at the top shows I have been sewing together the strips of half square triangle for my little charity quilt. It is now going to be 12 rows wide ) Yesterday afternoon I detoured into the city to buy some really thin batting for it.  As the quilt is going to a very hot country it needs to be as light and easily washable as possible - so needs very thin batting.
 I got some reduced price backing for it too and some other fabric for making sales table aprons if I get around to it. While there I met  3 other ladies from my P and Q group ( funny that that we are all drawn to the same shop when they have things reduced in price. ) they were mostly buying stuffing for the clutch balls they took home to finish. Yeah It worked. There are now ladies making some charity items that never offered before. That pleases me and shares the workload.
 Jennifer have you seen the Saffron Craig fabric line called Wombat Wonderland? I am sure you will need some of that.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


They aren't all finished yet but here are some of the colourful clutch balls for Ruel Foundation that the ladies stitched on Friday. A dozen almost complete and more in the pipeline.All the precut packs I had made and the ones D and I cut last week got snatched our cunning plan worked. Supply all the parts and the stuffing and a little instruction and to work they went.
 It is very wet here today ( 4 inches over night and still raining ) so I am glad I got some sun on Friday on my way home from P and Q group. 
The Carmichael Reserve is at Bethlehem and not out of my way. I can hurry around the walk in 20 minutes ( plus photo time. ) Yesterday was also fine but I knew rain was on it's way so I worked feverishly all afternoon in the garden. By 5 pm my back said," hey I'm tired, better stop now." So I did just a little more and finished the job feeling very pleased with my effort.
 Today I have all the half square triangles I have been working on spread across the floor to decide on placement. I may decide to do one more row. I will piece all the strips together before I decide. It may end up looking too long and not wide enough. I have added enough brights that the few uglies are hardly noticed. I am rushing through this little quilt because someone( at P and Q )  decided we wanted a small display of our charity work at our coming up Exhibition and we have already distributed all the finished charity quilts..... so guess who is making another one.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Mainly Work.

Firstly Thanks Sooziii for your concern over our safety. Apart from what we saw on the TV News and on line and on web cams we wouldn't have known Mt. Tongariro was erupting. An interesting little happening for most of us but very disruptive and work producing for those close by, who have to clean thick ash of roofs and vehicles and garden. Rain probably washed the pasture clean. ( or will do in time ) Also work for DOC who have to check all the tracks and huts. Some damage was done that will need repair.

 Here this week we have had this big beast mulching up all the shelter trimmings.
 It was too dangerous and  difficult to get close while it was working. It has done a great job.

 Today I finished working in block 3 kiwifruit, so came home a bit early. There was some sunshine too which I lapped up as there hasn't been a lot here lately.
 When it was wet we both went into the shed and completed shelling all the walnuts I collected and dried early. This is the final bag full. We store them in the freezer where they remain fresh and free flow for ages.
Quilting. I needed some stuffing for 6 clutch balls, I cut out the fabric parts for and  ladies are going to make tomorrow, so I unpicked and un stuffed/de stuffed ( is there a correct term?)( reverse stuffing perhaps ) a fabric Christmas tree I made a couple of years ago and never liked much. It had a surprising amount in it. ( recycling)
 I have also been into the parts department and sorted some left over half square triangles and cut and and sewn quite a few more to make a worthwhile number... to start  making my next Charity quilt. Some of the fabric in the left over lot were very uninteresting colours and designs so I have pulled some light brights to give it a lift. Photos when I have really  accomplished  something.
 Olympics.    There is still plenty to watch. There were some unexpected medals and some of our competitors  who must be really disappointed. (I don't think the media should predict wins before they happen.)  My Aussie friends your medal table result has really improved, that must make you happy.
 Last night we also saw some good results for the Canadians -  D and N are you watching?

 We are proud to hear that NZ has now, over many years, earned 100 Olympic medals although the first 3 ever were won as part of an Australasian team. So we will celebrate when we get to 103 as well!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Celebrating Kiwi !

Oh what a great weekend to be a Kiwi!

So much winning, all at once is quite amazing. With just a population of 4.5 million people, and not large amounts of funding our team at the Olympics has exceeded all my expectations.( and I think there might be more to come ) We are sitting well up the medal table.
 To top it off the BOP/ Waikato Chiefs won the super rugby final against the South African Sharks 37 - 6. ( a good result eh Dale? ) I spent a lot of time over the weekend watching our Olympic competitors and those from other countries and loved it. I think UK has done very well too, with so many spectators cheering them on. Thanks for cheering for us when you din't have any of your own competing at the time. Unfortunately there was a down side to the weekend with 2 Kiwi soldiers being killed in Afghanistan.
 I have been sewing things kiwi.   I finished quilting my first set ( I think there will be more ) of coasters featuring NZ fabrics.

 From the top left they feature a Kea;  Stitchbirds;  NZ flax; NZ Kiwifruit; Kiwi and a Kaka.
 The rain has gone for now, so back to work.
* Thanks Carole I now understand what a Zine is.
* Thanks for your email Janice. Yes, you are right we don't get hard frost like you get and that is why we are able to grow sub tropicals like avocado.
* Isabelle I hope you are coping, my thoughts are with you.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Small Projects.

5 mug rugs finished for our sales table at our Exhibition which is in September .
Firstly Thank you to Katney and Jennifer for your comments. Since I last posted I have been back into past years of my blog and removed photos that were not crucial to the meaning of the blog. I am now compressing all photo to take up less space - it does compromise the quality but that's what has to happen if I am to continue putting photos on my blog ( every post needs I photo I think) I won't be putting up many video clips either. If I run out of allotted space again I will do the same again. I wish I had realised this was likely to happen much sooner, but then it is always easy to be wise after the event.
 The weather here has been wet, wet, wet. Only occasional kiwifruit work has been happening during fine spells. Lots of small sewing / quilting projects have been happening.
I am now starting to put together sets of coasters using heatproof insul - bright batting, and featuring New Zealand fabrics.These will be some of my hand sewing  ( and pinning ) while watching the Olympics.
 Last night was great viewing. Well done to those 2 young South Island Kiwis - Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan who won GOLD in the double sculls.  In NZ many of us are sports crazy....I was interested to read in a list in the Listener that before the current games started NZ ranked 10th in the world for numbers of Olympic medals won per head of population.

Yesterday my friend D who is recovering from her cancer treatment really well, needed some company and so arrived out here with her sewing and fabric and had me cutting out parts for clutch balls, all afternoon. We are making them into kits to handout at meetings to get members to sew and stuff . There is more chance they will make them if we present them with everything they will need to make a ball.  Ruel Foundation can take as many as we can make. I still have lots of cut around ( from fussy cutting eye spy quilts ) childrens' fabrics  that I am donating to the cause. Each ball takes quite a bit of fabric because it is not flat but many sided  - has depth where little fingers can clutch - hence the name.
 D also had with her a little dress she had made . She belongs to a group of ex Girl Guides and they are all making pillow case dresses for a project called     Dress a girl Around the World. The website has patterns and videos if you are interested. The idea of using a pillow case was to save cost I presume - but it does not necessarily make a  pretty dress - unless it is a pretty patterned pillowcase. A small length of print fabric works just as well.