Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Some Sewing Time.

Cyclone Pam gave us 28 mls of rain, very little wind or damage. We were very fortunate, and the rain will help to make up for our deficit. It also allowed me time inside . First I did some tidying and organising in my sewing cupboard, then when I found the container which had these pieces in it - some sewing time.
 Back in 2007 when I had made my first bucket bag, from a pattern the Welch Quilter put on her blog, ( and it turned out well ) I  proceeded to make many more, both large and small. I showed others in our club how to make them as well. These were my demonstration parts which got used in 3 separate classes. I had told the parts one day you too will become a bag. Quite a wait! But yesterday was the day. The parts did become a bag.
 It turned out well. It has 2 inside pockets. Back then  ( 2007 - 2008 ) many of you blogging ladies made these bags. Joyce ( who has stopped blogging it seems ) made many, many bags. One of the ladies in my quilting group in Tauranga also got hooked on them and made lots and lots and lots.
 Their large capacity means they are good for shopping or carrying crafts.
My foraging in the sewing cupboard also produced my landscape wall hanging that was carefully folded away in there. I will finish it soon .
Last time I posted I said I was making roasted tomato relish.
 It turned out very tastily. It is a recipe for a patient person. ( allow 4 hours ) you don't have to stand over it; just do it in 3 stages.
 Lay the cut unpeeled toms cut side up in a lined roasting tray. ( 2 kgs ) Roast on a low heat for 1 hour. Sprinkle finely chopped onion over the top and roast for a second hour. Allow to cool then take the skins off.
 Put all the pulp and juice along with  white wine vinegar, paprika, sugar, a pinch of chilli , lemon juice and rind into a large pot and boil down for about 45 minutes. Till thick  Bottle in sterilised jars.
It has a depth of flavour that, roasting brings out.

 Currently showing at the Tauranga Art Gallery is an Exhibition called   Wildlife Photographer of the Year.  ( 50 amazing photographs from all around the world.) (94 % of them by males ? Why was that? ) It is very worth seeing if you get the chance. Entry is free - donations gladly accepted . 10 till 4.30 daily till 7th June.
 The Exhibition comes from the Natural History Museum in London in it's 50th year. ( 2014 ) It is only part of the original  Photographer of the Year collection.
Obviously no photographs were allowed to be taken so I took one of the sign outside. I came home with a post card of one of my favourites "Owlets United," by Sitara Karthikeyan from India. ( a stump with 5 spotted owls on it ) ( she is in the 11- 14 year old section. Google her name to see some of her work and the other photographers. )
 The rain has perked things up in the garden. Many plants have suffered from the dry even though I watered most places.

Monday, March 09, 2015

South Taranaki.

We travelled down to South Taranaki ( where we lived in the 1960 and 70s )( R lived there from the 1940s -70s ) to attend the 90th Birthday celebration of R's Godmother.
 On Friday we arrived in Hawera and had time to stretch our legs. We walked around King Edward park. I hadn't done that since our 2 boys were small, so quite a while ago.
 We thought it was a lovely park; very well maintained. 

 Lovely blue delphiniums.

 Of course this took R's eye.
 I preferred this fine example of a mature Cabbage tree.
and the old gates,
and this delicate lemon iris.
 The moon gate into the Chinese garden was padlocked so we could only peer through the bars.

 The following day of the party was fine but typically West Coast windy. ( Patea is often very windy ) Part way through the party, it did this.

 It had stopped by the time we had to leave. We were very hopeful that it was pouring down back home but found only 7mls in the rain gauge when we got back.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Red Sky.

This was the sky on Tuesday evening. If the saying is correct we obviously need to see the sky this colour in the morning to get any meaningful rain. 1.25 mls doesn't do it! 
 It made it damp enough that we went to the shed and shelled walnuts ( from last year...still not all shelled, tut tut. ) We needed some for in a gift basket we are making up to take to a Birthday party for a 90 year old on Saturday. For that we are travelling to South Taranaki, on Friday.
 Some things are finished or almost. My quilt shown in the previous post got a 5" plain white border added all round. I decided not to add a final border of the little coloured squares even though I had some ready. The plain white strip seemed to calm the whole quilt down ( as it is very bright and busy in my opinion ). It is going off to get quilted next week by Sandra at Wiseowl Quilting. She has a computerised long arm and does fabulous quilting.

 Also almost finished is the back door.
 It has to have the trim stained to match.
 We had the door man back to fix a few problems. The door is now shutting and staying shut although the handles are wobbly. I think the next step is to take them off and put glue under them and put them back on. 
 I am amazed at hot much there is to replacing a door. Days and days of work!
 The sound of the door closing is very different and will in time become familiar.
 I have been planting some new bulbs. The colour of those dark reds is amazing.

 In the orchard we have been battling on. The passion vine hoppers are still present despite my efforts with the hand held vacuum. I do not remember ever having so many fruit ruined with sooty mould. It is such a waste just throwing them on the ground ( yes, it is the only option available to us ).
 Tonight we are going out to the pack house dinner then tomorrow travelling down South so I think a few days diversion will do us both good.
 I will report back next week.