Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Very Talented Artist.

At Tauranga Patchwork and Quilter's Group on Friday one of our newer members Lois Parish-Evans showed and told us of her," ART QUILT JOURNEY."

 We have these talks from time to time; it is like a one person Show and Tell.
 We do not have a very suitable display space and had 49 ladies crammed into our room so my photos are not wonderful.
 If you have the time go to Lois's Website and look at the photos there. Look under Portfolio - Art Quilts to see her 2010 commission of 4 very large wall hangings she made for the Newcastle Calvary Mater Hospital Chapel. ( Australia ) You can also access Lois's Blog from the site.
 Here M is helping her show us the cloak that went over the Wedding dress she entered in the Wedding section of the World of Wearable Arts.(WOW )
 This Kangaroo paw inspired piece has just returned home to her after travelling the world.( see her blog ) 
 On a wall hanging of Australian flowers this orchid is a thread painting.
 This sea wall hanging has raw edge quilted applique; painting; coloured pencil work and thread painting. 
 Personally I was very impressed with her art work- the sketches and designs that happened before any fabric came into play.
Please go to her website and read her story and see her lifetime of creative work.
  As a group we are very lucky to have such a talented person in our midst. Australia has not lost her completely she has an exhibition happening there later this year - see her site.
 Thanks Lois!

 Yesterday we ate the first corncobs for the season. Delicious. As Grandson was not here to help me I had to pick and eat the few ripe strawberries. They are just finishing for the Summer . Tomatoes ( large and small ) , courgettes, beans and  aubergine  are all producing well.The corn and capsicum are just starting. My chillies are beginning to turn from green to red.
 All the glorious rain gave growing things a boost .

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Plenty of Much Needed Rain.

 When the bird bath in the garden fills and overflows with rain it saves us a job.
 Over the last 3 days and nights we have had 5.5" of much needed rain. Now as the sun is back out it is a bit sauna like as it evaporates off again.

 Son and DIL and Grandson have been to visit for 2 nights. His Dad pulled him around the garden on the old red trolley and they see all sorts.
 Luckily son pulled his phone out for this next shot when a Monarch butterfly landed on the bent over by the rain, head of the tiger lily.
 Grandson takes a keen interest in birds, butterflies and bees. Bee now being one of his first words.along with ball so "B" must be an easy sound to make. 

 The only sewing I have done in the last few days was adding a lower case "e" to my quilted letter collection.

 I happen to think ( as a ex teacher ) that a little person should learn to recognise his name ( when a bit older ) and write his name using a capital at the beginning and lower case letters for the rest.  I will continue to make more indestructible 6" fabric letter for play at a later stage.
 I have quite a bag full already which spell Happy Christmas and several other words.

Now I'm off for a walk in the sunshine.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Summer is Here.

Finally hotter days have arrived. Over our long weekend I spent hours tending young plants in the garden keeping the water up to them and delighting in the growth.
This is the first of 4 little tomato plants  I grew from the New World give away last year. I first showed photos of "my little garden , "pots back on a blog on September 14th.
 Usually we grow our tomatoes from bought plants - and R has done that again this year in the fenced garden but has encountered rot problems. These wee plants of mine ( now 5' tall )  are in the vege garden beside the house and are looking bonny. This is the first truss ( of many ) to start to ripen. I do hope they taste good. - I'll let you know. Many of the other little plants/ pots are long since consumed . Every single one performed - that is amazing.

 In other parts of the flower garden there are some bright spots. Look at the face of this dahlia called Arabian Nights - it's close to black and velvety.
 A group of yellow gerbras are feeling the heat.and the hosta which prefers shade has sunburn but it still grows happily.
 On Monday which was a holiday here ,I was determined to have some time out so I spent all afternoon sitting outside in the shade of the gazebo and the mighty oak tree. 
A cooling breeze wafted through from time to time. I wasn't just sitting there sewing hexagons I was watering the garden at the same time. I devised a timing  system. Each time I got to a mitred corner I hopped up and moved the hose along. 4 hexagons with 6 corners each meant I covered quite a bit of ground literally! 

 On Saturday evening I went to the 80th Birthday dinner of one of my older quilting Buddies. Her family ( from Whangerei ) had got this cake made and iced with a quilting theme. A bit bright but quite clever. Very nice chocolate mud cake inside.

 While on food . Chooky Blue here is the recipe  as I 1st received it.
( I couldn't make your email work ) 

 You should be able to Rt. click on it and send it to your device. Use it as a starting point. I did it frying the spice and curry at the beginning which is how I normally would do it. and didn't bother with the milk.
 Now a bit of a rave.
 I had to get myself a new indoor watering can as I gave my old blue plastic one to grandson because he loved it so..
 I couldn't get one the same as they had sold out ( but I will when they get some more ) as this one IS NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE!
It is called A gardener's Delight ( not this gardener ). made for Bell and Curfew in UK but manufactured in China.
 Care instructions say keep out of sunlight - done that. Empty when not in use - well I tried but the stupid design means the lip of the long spout  which sticks out inside the can prevents the last of the water from being able to get out of the can. Even when it is tipped upside down and shaken it is quite difficult. It is supposed to be kept dry inside to prevent rusting! 
 Already after 1 month 's use the green powder coating is cracking.
 What a BAD design. NOT fit for purpose in my opinion. I would warn anyone else against purchasing one. I shall also be passing on my concern to the local Palmers where I bought it. It wasn't cheap! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Eating Our vegetables.

 I have just been into the garden and come back with all these.
 I will be making more of this. Courgette soup. Before you screw up your nose; it was delicious - not insipid as you might imagine.
 It has curry and spices in it .

 In the kiwifruit orchard we are busy tying up bunches of fruit and taking off the rejects. In the  top left is one to come off . It is too narrow - not round enough.
 Plenty of work to fill my afternoons.
 This morning 4 people from the pack house have been here collecting leaves to put under the microscope to check for minute scale. As they were leaving a sprayer arrived to spray foliar fish fert onto the vines.
 Last week when I didn't blog at all our second avocado was happening....with good results.

My vase of weeds. All these plants are considered weeds on this property. ( either they spread and seed down too much or like the agapanthus  harbour pests and have invasive roots.)
 I know in some countries they are hard to grow but not in NZ.

There are plenty of bees and bumble bees  around finding all the summer flowers.

 At the weekend I quilted some of my hexagons. I have a pile that need ends trimming off but will save that job for Friday. We have our P and Q group picnic that day

Monday, January 16, 2017

A Good Read.

Yesterday I finished reading "Scarlet and Magenta," by Lindsey Dawson. A thoroughly good read.
 Part of it's fascination for me was the setting for the first part of the story. Tauranga in 1886.
 I won't be able to walk along Willow Street or up the rise in Wharf Street or along the Strand without thinking about what it might have been like in the late 1800s.
 I don't think I would have made a very seemly Victorian Lady........too many strong opinions of my own! If you google Lindsey's name you can see the other books she has written. Her name will be familiar to NZ  TV viewers  and magazine readers .
 I have spent some time cutting and pinning pebble fabric hexagons for the bottom of my quilt in progress.
 I want to form a garden path along the bottom edge.
 This morning I have been making strawberry conserve . I like strawberries raw but R won't eat them like that, so as I have picked lots in the last couple of days, I cooked some with minimal addition of sugar and he will eat them that way.
 I never did get the bird protective frame I asked for over the blueberries. Instead I draped and pegged flexible netting over most plants. The size is poor compared with bought blueberries but I know they needed more water ( which I have to cart in ) . Still there are lots more colouring up and I will not waste them. A possum has been avoiding the trap and has eaten every single apple;  6 ripening plums and lots of nashi. The crops were light to start with so it is very disappointing. It's a long way from the house so I wouldn't hear a possum. I'll ask for the trap to be reset  The only alternative is to pick fruit before it is properly ripe.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

8 Days of January Gone.

If I haven't already greeted You, " I hope 2017 is a Good Year for You All."
 These lovely fresh green peas missed Christmas but are ready this last week. R is doing all the picking as I have strained my back ( lifting Grandson).
 We both worked together on the podding
 and blanching and freezing.
 This lot are now in small meal sized bags in the freezer.

 Over the last few weeks 2 Blackbirds built a very untidy nest in the grape vine, right outside the lounge window. 

We have been able to observe the comings and goings of the parents feeding just one greedy fledgling.

( It wasn't really that way up )
 Yesterday the young bird was sitting on a wire just above the nest so must be almost ready to take it's first flight.

Back in the vege garden we are now getting the first ripe tomatoes, cucumbers and lots of courgettes .
 For lunch yesterday I made Courgette fritters. ( I love all sorts of  fritters )

 The oil needs to be quite hot and the mixture is best with lots of rough poking out bits that crisp up.
 I adapted another recipe. The quantities don't have to be exact.

 In a large bowl grate 4 medium sized courgettes. 
3/4 cup of tasty cheese grated
 1/2 cup of instant polenta.
 1 teaspoon of cumin seed.
 1 tsp of ground cumin.
 1 tsp of smokey paprika.
 2     large eggs.
 Salt and pepper to taste.
 Fry till golden and crisp on the outside.
 ( spices may be altered to taste - more is best )

Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Last Day of the Year.

 I ( We ) was kindly given some flowers that I was able to select myself. I really love flowers so that was a treat. I chose frilly Lisianthus and 3 types of Carnations - my favourites.
 Big apricot ones,lime green ones and pink and white.ones
 The lisianthus buds are lime green and turn apricot and pink when they open.
 Yesterday was very warm. Warm enough for little Grandson to play in a few inches of sun warmed water in the paddling pool. He loved it.
 He really likes water play of any sort. Cans and hoses in particular. 
 Quilters do you notice the resemblance to Sun Bonnet Sue?
I hope all is well with my blog friends. I have not been spending much time catching up on your activities.