Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Out of action for a while :(



My laptop has exploded (or more correctly just stopped working).  So I'll be off air for a while.  Hopefully not that long as I have a new computer arriving in about a week or two.  So I'll leave you with some eye-candy from the farmer's market this weekend.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Emergency supplies


New Zealand is a hot bed of natural activity, from earthquakes to landslides to volcanoes to flooding.  Finally, I accumulated all the relevant emergency preparation stuff (minus a yet to be purchased radio and some sundries I need to add tomorrow) into a single accessible location and purchased appropriate plastic containers and a dry bag for my tent and camping equipment.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Library Magic


It seems I was behind the curve on the use of tin cans as vases - Country Living got there in Janruary this year.  Yup, I've been to the local library again.  I don't really like magazines unless there's something I love on every page - which to be honest is highly unlikely but the option of taking them out of the library and looking through them before I go to bed or while I have my breakfast and then returning them is great!



The covers are beautifully laid out and the colours are usually edible (maybe that's just me!).



The other benefit is that, though New Zealand seasons are in polar opposition to the Northern Hemisphere ones, I can choose the appropriate months for here even if they don't match up. :)



I was so taken with this beautiful gate - not quite appropriate for the street I live on at the moment, but wonderful inspiration to store up for the future perhaps! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Quilted Scarf


I started this scarf a few years ago - definitely a long ignored work in progress.  But its finally finished and I think it looks great.  The minor problem is that I have WAY too many scarves and I can't think of who to gift this to - luckily Christmas is coming up (ish) so I shouldn't have too much of a problem. :)  I got the silver material as a scrap bundle in Dublin and wanted to add some more material to make it longer than it would be on its own.  Its a fake suede but feels nice against my skin.  Its padded with some fleece-y cotton fabric - the same stuff from this scarf.


More Birthday Goodies



I am now the proud owner of a wood burning tool (that's the box in the background).  I don't think you can realise how happy that makes me - although BM is slightly worried about any wood he has around the place that I may decide to test my new toy on.  You know, like doors, floors, window frames and decks... :)  I only considered them for a minute, honest!

The purple thing in the front is a book light!  What a lovely idea!  And then there's glittery, shiny, bright beady things and a gold marker for cards and other creations.  It makes me so smiley - it has to be wrong to be this pleased with the contents of a kid's craft project (and yet my family know me so well!).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Birthday Goodies



My aunt sent me an exceeding large parcel for my birthday.  I was able to collect it on Saturday morning and managed to wait to open it over a cup of tea.  I didn't (as the pictures show) manage to not start into it before I took the photographs.  It was a lovely, lovely present and the large red box in the background contained a helium balloon which is currently gracing the back of one of the chairs in the kitchen.  I couldn't figure out what the large red box contained when I picked it up as it was SO SO light and I squealed with pleasure when the balloon rose out of the box.  I couldn't wait to show BM but unfortunately he had choosen that moment to come out of the shower and was standing behind me.  Ah well!  The food goodies were all contained in a bright red colander and I'm sure I'll think of my aunt every time I'll use it! :)



Monday, October 19, 2009

Baking Goodies



 
It was my birthday last Friday and I had a really lovely lovely day - in fact due to my relations in the Northern Hemisphere and some friends in the US, it went on for two days!  The tradition in New Zealand is to bring in cake for your office mates for your birthday.  I had planned on leaving work at a reasonable hour and getting home in time to buy baking trays and bake.  The best laid plans and all that...  I got home about two hours later than expected; partly due to work and partly due to just missing my train by two minutes and having to wait for the next one :(

I did manage to buy the baking trays but unfortunately didn't have enough time to bake that night or the next morning so had to buy the cake (iced banana cake, in case you wondered).  I bought silicon bun cases so I don't have to keep wasting the paper ones (and they were 30% off) and a silicon cake tin (is it still a tin??) and a metal cake tin where the end can be released.

The cake was a great success in work.  It seems to have collected in its mist and then feed a small army.  So for next year, I'll have the equipment and hopefully have perfected the recipe!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Elephants


I gave this critter to a friend for her new baby and as its finally on its way to its new home, I thought it might be a good idea to post about it!  Its once again from the same PJs as the owl and the cat warmer.  I drew out an outline of elephant on the fabric and cut it out - I added in extra material underneath to make it 3D! 



The underneath bit I drew around the lower half of the elephants and doubled it over before cutting it out.






The ears were handstitched on and the whole thing was stuffed.  I hope they like it. :)



 

Cross stitching cards



It was my Grandmother's birthday again this month - to be quite expected when you see this post! :)
She's a huge fan of handmade so I sent her off this card.  I think it was a small kit that I bought at some stage but I finished it a while ago so I can't remember - it definitely wasn't a card kit as I used my own card and envelope. 

I couldn't help taking a photograph of all the stamps when I had them spread out on my desk. 


Saturday, October 17, 2009

just desserts



I probably shouldn't admit it but I made this last weekend for friends when they came to dinner.  It was the first time I made it and can't quite get my head around how impressive it looked, easy it was to make and yummy it turned out!  Puff pastry, jam, orange zest and pears.  Yum!

 
 

Farmers' Flowers

BM bought these at the farmers' market this morning, unfortunately the ones from last week were covered in aphids or greenflies as I would call them :(



I think they got contaminated from a rose I brought in from our garden. :(

Ah well!  The new ones are wonderful colours and I'm stealing all of them for the windowsill in my craft room as BM leaves tomorrow for a week so I don't have to share! :)  I also brought in some other flowers from our garden and hopefully won't have the same problem. 



Friday, October 16, 2009

sheeps

Its that time of year again, when I have to start thinking about sending presents home.  I bought these bubble bath packs at Martha's Pantry.  So in continuation of my farming theme...  Here are my sheeps... :)  Now the interesting thing here is for my relations who actually read this to guess who these are for :p  Only three months to wait!



I'm a farmer, I have a farm



I can't begin to describe just how funny and fun I think these are.  I saw these on NOTCOT at some stage and was very very tempted to buy them.  So when I saw them at MOCA, I just had to get some.  They have a shop on Etsy but I can't seem to load the page at the moment (it should be at this link but googling City Farm & Etsy will find them too).  I wore them out last weekend and they weren't as bothersome to wear as I expected.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

HOT chocolate



We had friends over for dinner last weekend and they were kind enough to bring this delectable delight with them when they came.  Unfortunately I was too impatient to unwrap it so there's no before pix but it was beautifully wrapped in shiny red paper tied up in a red ribbon with flowers from their garden garnishing the top.  :)  Thanks guys!  Its much appreciated.

Rusty Brown


This yarn seems a bit scratchier than the last ball but the colours are nice together and it should brighten the blanket up a bit - the last few colours were very pale.  I'm looking forward to working with blues and aquas again as I prefer looking at those colours.  Much more yummy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Wool Collection


When I was home this year, my mother gave me this ikea storage hanger to use for my wool collection.  I didn't think it would get so stuffed so quickly.  It has a few balls of yarn I acquired for certain ideas and didn't follow through on - mainly because I probably bought the wrong sized wool for what I wanted to make when I started to crochet again.  But its also got a lot of what I like to term 'fru fru' balls for card making.  It takes a LOT of cards to use up fluffy wool.  :)

(As you can tell my flurry housemate thought my photo taking session was a hunting training session and I didn't manage to get one photo without him!)

And on to the next one


I just finished the brown stripe and unfortunately the lovely burgandy red I bought in Spotlight doesn't really suit.  So I've skipped to the next colour in line and when I've finished a row or so, will reveal that instead.  Its such a pity as I really like the red and am not too fond of the rusty brown I'm working with now.  I figure its about half way done and I'll be lucky to use it as a summer picnic blanket after all. :(  Though the bright side is that it won't be grass stained and I'll be able to snuggle under it for a winter.

The unfortunate thing about it all, is that I started this to start using up my stash of yarn and have managed to 'waste' three balls that won't make the cut.  So I'm almost up to the five balls I started the blanket to get rid of in the first place.  And that doesn't include the leftovers bits.  I also need to stop thinking about the next blanket I want to make.  Something with bright colours and a white base to use as a bedspread.  Summery and bright to liven up a room and make me smile - not a tall order at all!  Though if I'm using it on a bed, it'll have to be a more natural breathable yarn than my current acrylic stuff.  Something cottony or wooly, I think.  I suppose I could start a Wooleater blanket ala Sarah London. Yum!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Inspired


Following my outing last weekend to Martha's Pantry, I was inspired on my way home to wander into a second hand shop to buy a tea set.  I'm beginning to get a tad worried about me but tea does taste finer in fine china (really, work with me here!!).

Monday, October 12, 2009

High Tea at Martha's Pantry



Last weekend, I met up with two of my friends for High Tea at Martha's Pantry on Cuba Street.  Lovely delectable delights.   I've past this teashop on my walk into town many many times when I lived in Aro Valley and filed it away as somewhere to go but didn't get around to going until now.  Minnetheminks mentioned it on her blog and I followed her links and had to go.  They even catered for my vegan and vegetarian friends and we all got some loveliness to suit our tastes!



And for such loveliness, I had to wear my hat.  I didn't quite manage the rest of the 'polite ladies' ensemble I would have liked but the hat did make an impression of gentile luncheon. :)


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Summer flowers


This weekend from our local farmers market, I was presented with these. :)

In all there multicoloured bright gloriousness :)

Aren't libraries great?


The New Zealand libraries are great.  They lend out a great selection of magazines, games, books, CDs and DVDs (and I'm probably missing something off the list).  I took a wander to my local library last weekend and got three issues of Country Living.  They lead me to this (image courtesy of cardboard safari)




Something similar may be gracing my brother's wall after Christmas this year! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Teatime


Another second hand store find - this time a teapot and cup for work.  It feels a little like the finer things club on the office.  I'll admit I'm only steps away from bringing in a table cloth.  I already crochet at lunch sometimes. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wrapping


 
Other uses for buttons - for a friend's birthday.  I love using up scraps of wool though!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Banana Bread

I'm sitting in my office/craft room (that '/' sounds like a 'slash' in my head in case you wondered how to pronounce it!) fantasizing about banana bread waiting for dinner to cook.  Thankfully I'm not cooking dinner and BM is slaving away making pasta.


Yummy homemade fresh pasta.  Though it still has a while to go before I can hungrily consume it so I'm thinking strange thoughts about the banana bread I made last night.  I don't seem to have perfected the recipe yet. It took nine minutes longer than suggested to bake, didn't really rise and was still a bit more doughy than expected in the middle.  I'm not saying it wasn't tasty though (which is why I haven't a picture of the whole pan!).  Any suggestions as to where I might be going wrong?

The humble ingredients




The combined ingredients in the baking tray




The finished loaf
 
A slice of life
 


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Veggie Garden Part 3 - the lettuce edition


Well here it is!  In all its waterlogged glory.  We have had serious downpours today.  Ick!  But that hopefully means these little beauties will start settling in so they can grow big and strong, so I can come along and eat them - doesn't seem fair really.
I planted a ton of lettuce - 6 rocket and then a mixed pot so we should have some interesting varieties.  And mixed in a few marigolds to keep those pesty bugs away.
 
 
This is a trio of tomatoes - and that's it!  You've seen the veggie garden beginning, I really hope to get lots of grub from this and fresh fresh salad in long summer days that seem just so far away on a cold, wet, windy  night in Middle Earth.  :)