Monday, April 27, 2015

Make the Most of a Fine Day.

It's a very wet day here for our Monday holiday in NZ. I am glad I made the most of a fine day on Saturday when I walked up and over the Quarry Track and visited some of the garden sites along the way.
 A newish peaceful reflective place.
 The succulent bank.
 The Bonsai Corner.
 I looked down on our orchard below - ( slightly right of the middle - trimmed hedges and flat kiwifruit blocks.)
 From a different viewpoint our house is visible in the trees.

 I met a Monarch butterfly, ( one of many ) 
 on a very bright single dahlia and I said very nicely...."Would you please spread your wings."
 And it did.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

100 Years.

25th April 2015.

  ANZAC Poppies.      Papaver Rhoeas.                Flanders poppy.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

ANZAC poppies, biscuits and clean fruit.

 This is the handmade Flanders ( ANZAC ) poppy I made.  Last time at P and Q,  M showed us how. I was doing something else that day and made mine later.
 It has 4 layers of different man made fabrics that get their edges curled when it is held near a candle.The leaf is green felt and the centre a button.
 This Friday  24th we have a an Anzac biscuit making contest at P and Q. ( not a sewing activity really ) Anzac is the following day 25th April and marks 100 years. I made a trial batch and they all got eaten so I repeated the same recipe yesterday ready for Friday. The latest news about ANZAC biscuits is they were probably not the rolled oats type biscuits but rather a plain ginger nut.  Mine has rolled oats.
I said I would show how I was managing to clean some of the biggest Kiwifruit that had slight sooty mould marks on them. They have to be held very gently so they don't come off in ones hand ( picking )  and are sprayed with a food grade CP clean liquid ( designed as a clean up spray just before picking time ) and brushed with a tooth brush or rubbed with a wet cloth glove.
 The slight black mark before.
 and after.
 It is important to look right around the fruit. It's no use cleaning one side if there is still a mark somewhere else on it, that would reject it.
Another example.
 There are still 100s of fruit needing this treatment but it takes time so I will just do the biggest and as many as I can between now and picking time which is probably only a couple of weeks away.
 Thank you all very much for your useful comments. Raewyn and Linda  linked me to several useful NZ wool supply sites. It was much appreciated.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


 We usually get interesting skies in the evening, but this was early morning. We did get some rain from it.
 One has to be quick as it didn't last long.

 We have been working hard on our kiwifruit crop. The latest thing I have been doing is using a toothbrush and squirty bottle of CP Clean ( an allowable cleanup product usually sprayed on just before picking )  to scrub off small spots of sooty mould or water stain on great big fruit....rather than pick them and drop them too the ground. It is so time consuming but feels better than the waste.
 I will take some before and after photos today to show what it does.
 The last 2 days have been exceptionally cold for this time of the year so I have ended up with almost numb hands after several hours working at this. ( other southern parts of the country have been having early snow ).
 At the weekend my patchwork friend D came for a visit with her husband who thinks this  is the only way to travel. He has owned and worked with bikes all his life. She is very brave in my opinion, but has been doing this most of her married life. ( not for me! )

 Lately I have been knitting most evenings.  I can knit and watch TV much easier than I can sew and watch TV. I knitted a small garment in Bamboo ( never used it before ) and did not like the feel of it while knitting or the end result. ( I won't be using it again )
 Much more to my liking was this soft fine warm thread. Zealana AIR , lace weight. it is 40% cashmere wool; 40% brushtail possum fur and 20% mulberry silk.
 I have now finished these wee booties and like them very much. What I wanted to mention about this really was I always knit both together. If it is sleeves or feet or any part or of a garment that needs to be exactly the same as a second part. Apparently not everyone does this???
That way the 2 part always turns out identical. No need to count rows or take notes .
 For a country that still has lots of sheep, Wool is now expensive and quite a lot is imported from Australia. ( most of our woollen mills have closed down ) I am going out of my way to source NZ fibres.
 Some I have found on line will be purchased that way . Really though I still like to see the colour and feel the thread in person.
If any of you have recently used any good fine wool based thread, that you loved working with I would be interested to hear please. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Quilts & Poppies.

Today I have been into the city to my P & Q group. I hadn't been for a month missing last time being away in Taranaki. I took my blue bucket bag I finished a while ago for "Show and Tell." Here are some other items members had finished.
 This small quilt was made by 6 ladies and put together by R to make a lovely lap quilt.
 C was sewing a hanging sleeve on this large colourful quilt she completed.
She had also finished this work basket. It has 2 lift up lids and compartments inside.

E made this ANZAC themed table centre in honour of her late brother.

 Many ladies took home kits ( in container below ) to make large wearable Flanders poppies in time for ANZC day on the 25th April. We all made donations to give to the local RSA.
 M had kindly prepared the kits for us and showed us how they are put together. The layers of satin , net  and organza  are held in the candle flames to slightly melt the edges of the fabrics and stop them from fraying. They  have a black button in the centre and some black fringed stuff for the stamens. The leaf behind is made from green felt. A brooch pin is sewn of glued to the back. If I get mine done I will show you a close up of it.
 For those of you who don't live in New Zealand or Australia it will be 100 years on the 25th of April since our combined forces ( Anzacs ) landed on the beach at Gallipoli.( WW 1 )
 In my NZ Gardener magazine which arrived yesterday there was a free packet of Flanders poppies seed ( papaver rhoeas ), that they want gardeners to plant on ANZAC day, to commemorate 100 years since the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli. 

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
 Between the crosses row on row. ( John McCrae 1872 - 1918 )

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Pt. 2

 Yes another bridge. What a beauty! On Sunday we drove to the  83 metre long Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, R then took the car back while son and DIL and I walked back along the Coastal Walkway in New Plymouth. This is the mid section of the walkway 5.6 kms. We all took photos on the bridge and from every angle.
 The young plants of NZ flax  (Phormium tenax )  ( Maori name Harakeke )looked very attractive beside the walkway.
 Where the Waiwhakaiho River meets the sea.

 Looking back at the bridge.( which is reminiscent of a breaking wave or whale skeleton ), I noticed it looks very different from every angle. Great design!
 Although I have picked out photos mainly with no one in them, the path was quite busy. Walkers ,mobility scooters, bikes which scare me if the come up behind me quietly at speed cause I sometimes meander, skate boards and runners all going both ways and sharing the path.  So single file was safest.
Looking along the coast to the city where we ended up.
 A most enjoyable walk that I would recommend. I would like to do the other 2 parts either side some other time.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Trip Away Pt 1.

Yesterday we arrived home from a trip away for 4.5 days. We travelled down to New Plymouth in Taranaki to be at a Family Reunion. 154 attended ,52 from our branch of the family. Included were 8 branches of the family and some from UK and USA. It was enjoyed by all. While in New Plymouth we went to Pukekura Park.
Pukekura park began in 1876. I will show you the parts I liked.
 2 red bridges if you look deeply into the photo. This is Poet's bridge . Poet was a racehorse and his owner gave money from his winnings to build the bridge.
 There are many walkways in and around the lakes and bush. There are gardens of many sorts ( rhododendrons and azaleas. )

 Reflections in the lake.
The fernery is amazing.

 Begonias and Coleus and other house plants.

 Coins and gold fish.
 By one of the walking tracks was a lovely waterfall.
 On the sports ground a cricket match was in progress.

 Massed displays near the tea house.
 It is a vast beautiful park and I have only covered some parts of it here. A real assets to the city.