Monday, 27 July 2015

Busy, busy, busy.

I apologise for being so quiet lately, but I have been very busy.
Not always with my crafty endeavours.
I have dedicated quite a lot of time to another project, something that has come to me a little later in life than it does to most.....
I'm almost ready to reveal what that might be.
I've helped my beloved build a rather substantial workbench down in his man cave.
And here and there I was able to create a bag full of these pretties.
 Which, once they had been inspected.....
 I was able to begin turning into these.
Pretty flowers, which I will join together and make a beautiful flowers in snow blanket.
I have about sixty so far. I think I will need some more.
Hmm, what else has been happening?
The two baby girl blankets I made for a colleague were gifted last week, she was delighted and I received a lovely thank you hug.
The baby boy blanket will go into work to be gifted this week.
I didn't as yet bury the quilting threads in the produce quilt!
I will, I will.
Some time!
Over the weekend I was able to expand my culinary horizons again.
Tony and I have been given some Tahr meat.
It is an introduced species which is thriving here in NZ, so hunters are encouraged to take it.
I slow cooked a shoulder in my crock pot.
No picture, because, well there was nothing to see really, just a big lump of meat in a pot! LOL
I had been told that the meat is a little like lamb, so treated it as a such.
I added red wine, stock and some herbs to the pot and let it cook all day.
Wow. The meat was a little like lamb, but has a more delicate flavour.
There was virtually no fat in the pot, nothing to skim off for the roast veges.
We both very much enjoyed our meal and the small amount that is left will be made into a mild curry this evening.
It has to be mild, I don't want to drown out the flavour of the meat with an overly hot curry sauce.
Time to go.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Ta da!

A baby blanket for a colleague.
 Belle appeared in the room just in time! She stayed only long enough to help me spread the blanket on the floor, she inspected it while I got the camera ready.
Then deciding it was good enough for her she settled down as I was shutting off the camera. She is gone now, probably in bed!
Yesterday I finally managed to quilt the fruit n veg quilt, so I have threads to bury in that and I need to come up with a border treatment. Ill try to get that done today.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

I was quilting!!

Until the needle snapped!
I had more than needle issues here today.
It was the final straw!
Down tools, go do something else.
Only two layers for this one.
The pieced top and the lovely bright fleecy back I showed in my last post.
Hence nothing coming up from the batting roller on this image.

Monday, 13 July 2015

A little procrastination.....

Can go a long way!!
Today I was going to be working on the Eye spy quilt.
I have it all ready to quilt.
Look, here is the back.
It's still there waiting.
I did a lot of tidying up instead, here in my play room, it looks much tidier!
I even had a go in the garage!!
Just no quilting.
On another note.
Debs and I had a road trip on Saturday.
We went visiting quilty shops along the road aways.
 Sadly, the one particular shop that Debs wanted to visit was closed.
I see another road trip in our future!
We did however visit three other quilty shops and a yarn store!!
So you'll be wanting to see stash pictures?
I forgot to take a pic of my yarn stash, but if you look at the blue and cream blanket in my last post, you'll get the idea!
I couldn't leave these yummy fabrics behind.
 The Pin Tin in Geraldine had a cute table runner made up with these chocolaty delights.
And in the end of bolt bin, I came upon these two pieces.
 Next stop the yarn shop, lunch and the Bernina centre in Ashburton.
Lunch was yummy Debs and I both bought goodies in the yarn store, but not a penny was spent in the bernina shop!
Onwards to Annies Country Quilts on the outskirts of Ashburton in a district called Tinwald.
Love that shop.
Debbie and I both spent lots of money in there.
The fire was lit and the store was lovely and warm.
We took our time and browsed each and every corner.
It may look small on the outside, but once you enter it's like the Tardis, the place just keeps on going and going.
Who would have thought 4 small rooms could house so much treasure.
I picked up a quilt hanger, for the Christmas story quilt.
These pretty fabrics.
My photography does them no justice at all. They are soft and pretty and romantic and girly and, and, and!
I also picked up not one but three pattern books. Two by Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched and another Christmas quilt pattern booklet.
Tis the season by Natalie Bird.
Back to procrastinating!

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Back to the crafty stuff.

 So over the weekend, Debs and I also got a chance to catch up on each others crafty endeavours.
Debs has been slowly pecking away at her Christmas Story quilt and is almost caught up with me now. I have to say, she does have a much busier time of it than I do, she works 5 full days a week, unlike my three days and still has a young family so is busy with them a lot too, so her crafty time is somewhat less than mine.
That said, it is nice to share a project with her, I don't mind waiting for her to catch up with me.
 She has also been busy with her crochet hook and has made a start on a blanket for one of her daughters. Love the colours in this one. It is done in a V stitch. I did start one in cream, using the same stitch and we had a surprising moment when we realised that without consultation we were doing almost the same thing again!!
My cream version was boring though and I ripped it out!
Then I started this cream and blue version, in a different pattern.
I'm enjoying this pattern much more, as well as the colour changes there is more to do during the row, keeping it a little less boring.
My culinary endeavour today is nothing fancy.
A simple vegetable soup.
I just hoovered up all the left over veg from the bottom of the fridge and after a few minutes of chopping I plonked it all in a pan with some water.
Once I'm done here I'm off to stir it, then maybe it will be time to add the parsley.
I find that soups, especially veg soups don't look right without 'bits' floating about in them,
Maybe, just maybe, I'll get the borders onto the fruit 'n' veg quilt this afternoon!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Off to the gym.

I just had a whole week off work, I had loads of time accrued and needed to use some up, so I took the week off to recharge and relax.
So what did I achieve in my week off?
Not a huge amount to be honest.
I did plenty of stuff about the house, but crafty wise, I achieved very little.
I did some crochet, but ripped that out, then I started another crochet project and ripped that out too!
The third idea seems to be going well though, it may just get to continue!
More about that next time.
Why am I off to the gym?
Well as you know, we always get together with Debs, Lee and families over the weekend.
There is always plenty of great food and us girls have fun with old favourites and new dishes.
This week was a double wammy, we were all together at Debs place on Saturday, then on Sunday Debs and co came here for a roast of lamb.
It's Saturdays adventures I want to share today.
I've been going to make gnocchi for ages, and finally got around to it this week.
 OK, so they don't look quite as pretty as the ones in the book, but you get the idea.
 After I had boiled them I followed a recipe using white sauce, spinach and sun dried tomatoes.
Also in the above picture you see Debbies Sweet and sour veg, she cooked them in a roasting bag with the sauce. And at the top left, hot pork.
Like Debbie, I didn't stop at one dish, I also made a steamed pudding.
 Not the dessert kind though.
Steak and ale.
Lovely steak, mushrooms and a small bottle of beer were encased in suet pastry and the whole thing steamed for 4 hours.
I must have greased the bowl properly, cause it slid right out, no problem.
 It was lovely. I would definately do it again, but maybe on a smaller scale.
Even with 10 of us there are always left overs.
Debbie also made a bean casserole. A recipe she got from her sister in law.
Beans, bacon, mushrooms.
 Lee brought along a divine meatloaf and some oh so tasty stuffed potatoes, with cheese and onions.
They all disappeared quickly.
Lee also brought along dessert. Lovely light puffs of sweet pastry spread with cream and fruit and topped with more pastry and a dust of icing sugar.
The men brought along beer!