Sunday 26 February 2017

A finish, a start and ......

Today has been another busy day in the kitchen. Mr Heron dared to suggest that as it was our day off work, he would be sitting in his little room doing some modeling. He suggested that I might like to spend time in my little room too, doing some of my thing.
Lovely idea, but....
I pointed out that I needed to do something with 6 - 7 kilo of tomatoes and that the spring onions needed picking and sorting out too, oh and then there is the laundry and the ironing to do, not to mention....
He stopped me there and offered to help.
He did the laundry and the ironing while I got on with the produce side of things.
From top to bottom in the first picture you see Tomato soup. Spring onion and potato soup, with home made veggie stock. And last but not least tomato sauce.
All cooling and waiting to go in to the freezer.
I finally got to sit down after 3pm.
He took breaks.
Any whooo, that done, it's time for the crafty stuff.
I really don't have the energy to even potter in my wee room, so crochet it is.
A finish! This wee blanket is just the right size to fit on a crib or bassinet, or maybe even a pram.
The yarn is made from recycled denim. I had some fun trying to fill the valleys and square things off a bit, but got there in the end.
There is still about  a ball and a half of the yarn left, but I didn't want to make this any bigger. So back into the cupboard they went to await inspiration.
Next up!
Out came a big paper bag of assorted yarns. Which I separated into sort of light and dark values.
here is a better look at the darker values in the bottom of the bag.
My photography really doesn't do them any justice.
This really is a mixed bag of yarn. There is some wool, some man made fibers. There is all manner of weights from very fine, which I will double up, to bulky weight. There is a mix of my own left overs and some which I purchased from the Sally shop along the road, where I evenfound quite a few skeins of tapestry yarn to add to the mix! 
Also in the bag were six granny squares which I had made previously, before losing interest.
After a bit of pondering, googling and pinteresting I decided to join the squares and work rows of colour, sort of alternating between light and dark yarns.
I considered rows of granny stripes but wanted to do something a bit different, so opted for these thin rows.
I don't like it!
Those thin little rows of colour don't look right.
They are too thin next to the lovely bright granny squares.
I do like the granny squares.
Such lovely cosy looking mixes of colour.
So today, now that I finally have some time for crafting...
I shall be un crocheting!!
The stripes have to go!
Maybe I'll stick to squares?
We're going away for a few days next week and a bag of  goodies for making squares will be easier to transport that a great big half made stripey blanket!!
I'm off to start ripping!

Monday 20 February 2017

Kitchen Endeavors.

Well, it's been quite a busy week. I really didn't do any crafting. I didn't even lift my hook.
I did manage to start a couple of skirts for myself yesterday, but they stalled when I found I had no elastic!
Of course I have been busy in the kitchen.
I emptied the tomato bowl.
By making a BIG pan of pasta sauce for the freezer. 
When I'm ready to use it, all I need do is defrost it and add to meat.
Then I visited the green house!!
I've made a few batches! And need to make more today.
I must have made just the right amount last year, as we only just used the very last tub from the freezer just after Christmas, just as the tomatoes were starting to ripen in the green house. 
We still have many jars of pickles and chutneys left over from last year, so I don't want to make too many of those this year. However, one particular kind I have already made a start on is Quickles.
Pickled cucumber and red onion.
I only made one batch last year and they were soooooo good, I plan to make more this year.
I just love the bright jewel tones as they go into the jars. As they await their turn in the pantry that lovely colour fades, but the flavours all mix and mingle making the most beautiful condiment.
And lastly, I made these lovely carrot cake balls from one of my Revive Cafe recipe books. All raw nutritious ingredients. A little less cinnamon next time I think, but another
Maybe today I'll get a chance to do something crafty?

Monday 13 February 2017

A bit 'o' this and a bit 'o' that.

It's been a busy week, lots has happened, and some of it was even notable!!
A package sent from my son Jiffy Jonathan turned up. My Christmas gift was enclosed! LOL
Two large cuts of Manx tartans.
I shall have a long think about what to make with those.
I mentioned previously about the local supermarkets recent gardening promotion. Each time I shopped I was handed a few of these wee boxes, according to how big my grocery bill was.
A lot of what is growing in my garden this summer is thanks to New World Little Garden.
Well the other day I planted some more lettuce and some more broccoli.
I was amazed at how quickly they germinated and yesterday I took a photo, to show you what comes in the wee box. 
What a difference a day makes! 
The picture below was taken today, probably less than 24 hours later!
They are growing fast. It will be time to pot them on in a few days!
On a crafty note, my mission to use up scraps and left overs is progressing.
If I keep going the way I am, this wee blanket will end up long and thin.
Might have a rethink.
Mr Heron is feeling somewhat under the weather today, so decided to take a day off work.
We decided that it would be nice to celebrate Valentines today as we are together, rather than tomorrow when one or both of us will be back at work.
I had a word with cupid and mentioned that rather than flowers, he might like to get me that latest book in a series I have discovered here in NZ.
The author is the owner of two very successful healthy, clean eating establishments in Auckland.
While Tony and I don't subscribe 100% to his dietary principles, I do enjoy his recipe books and use many of the recipes.
his one has more sweet treats than previous books. That one at the top of the front cover looks particularly yummy.
For him, I was equally romantic and purchased a few little items he wanted for in his crafty den. And a pair of good sharp scissors, to stop him pinching er borrowing mine!
Speaking of my Hunney.
It's not just stitchy crafting that is creatively messy!!
Would you look at his table.
All that mess to create this tiny wee aircraft!!
Here is is, all finished!
A Focke Wulf
Of course you all know, a finish means a start.
He may be too ill to go to work, but as I type he is perched in his den, reading the instructions for the next one. a MkIX Spitfire!!
I'm off to drool over my new book and see if I need to add anything to the grocery list.

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Using things up!

Well us crafters, we're not wasteful are we?
So I've been using things up.
Way back in 2013 I made a king size crochet blanket using blue and cream yarns. It started out with a bunch of granny squares. But I changed my mind and found that I had made too many and stashed them away, for another time/project. The yarn was a wool/acrylic blend. Something I haven't seen here in NZ. Mind you, I didn't look very hard! (Why would I with all of this 100% wool yarn available?)
Anyway, there was just enough of it left to make up this wee blanket. It's a good size to snuggle on the sofa, or maybe pop onto a toddler bed. I slightly misjudged how much yarn was left and ended up with one cream panel wider than the other! 
Which seriously messes with my OCD!
Even more than the tippy squares!
But I will live with it.
I have no particular use in mind for this one yet, so it will go in the 'someday' pile and find a new home, when ever that day is.
Of course a finish means a start.
The next little collection of yarn is from another huge project, which I finished back in September 2012.  It was my first major crochet project and I loved it. I still do, in fact, it's on our bed right now.
Of course there were left overs and they were saved up for later use.
This yarn is recycled denim cotton.
There is only a small amount left, but again, hopefully enough to make a wee baby sized blanket, just enough to pop over some small person in a pram or bassinet.
We'll see.
It too will go into the 'some day' pile!
I made a start over the weekend.
Just a simple granny ripple.
Loving it.
And from left overs, to a glut!
Our tomatoes have gone mad.
We're not exactly having salad weather every day and the super cheesy crust on my tomato tart isn't good for our waistlines, so I better find another way to get through all of this fruit!
What you see below is just one days worth! There will be the same again later today!
Time to start making and freezing tomato sauces.
I made so much last year, we only just used up the last pot!
I have used it up in spag bol, lasagna, chicken and pasta bakes! You name it, we cooked and ate it.
I even thickened some up a lot more, and used it on pizzas. 
If anybody wants me today, I'll be somewhere between the stove and my crochet? Cross stitch? Sewing room? 
Hmmm, I wonder where my muse will take me?
What ever you're doing, have fun today.

Sunday 5 February 2017

It's the little things.

So, I mentioned previously that I had made myself a hot baggie to sit under my sore ankle.
I had filled it with rice, but it didn't seem to hold the heat very well.
I decided to try again using barley.
I had this wee lamb case that came holding a old style hot water bottle and made my barley bag so that it would fit in place of the water bottle. Much safer.
And yes, the barley holds heat better than rice.
Earlier that same day my colleague was telling about her sore back, she had pulled a muscle while busy in the garden. I could see by the way she was moving that she was still pretty uncomfortable.
So I decided to make one for her too.
I gave it to her the next day, she was very touched that I should think of her and make something to help.  I do hope she found a way to get it to sit against her poor back once she got home. Sometimes it's the little things that can make a big difference.

I have one or two other small items I plan to make in the near future. It's been so long since I spent any time in my wee room, I have enjoyed making these little items.
I'm nearing another crochet finish, just the border to go, so maybe pictures of that next time.
And finally last nights tea.
Home grown coleslaw.
I finally pulled one of my cabbages.
There are/were only two.
After I had pulled it I discovered that cabbage, like the fennel would have re-sprouted had I left the roots in the ground! I wish I had known. I'll try it with the second one when I am ready for it.
I have to say, I'm really enjoying having a garden, growing my own food and all of this wonderful stuff I'm learning. 

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Hmm, sideways pictures!

Sorry, I took these pictures on my notebook and forgot to turn them around before uploading them to blogger!! Too late now.
So first an update on St Basil's.
Still going slowly, this is the tallest spire, I have started to back stitch it and want to get that completed before moving on to another section. There is a huge amount of back stitch to do, so the thought of leaving it all until the end ......Ugh!
I've also been busy with one or two other things of a crafty nature. I hurt my ankle and not being a fan of ice decided I needed a hot pack, so set to and made myself a wheat bag, that took far longer then it should have. There were sewing machine issues.
A few frustrated tears.
A wonderful lovely engineer who came to my rescue.
He fixed things up temporarily and ordered a new part.
Then suggested that it's time for a new machine as he bought that one over ten years ago and it was a pretty cheap model.
I'll have to nurse along and make do with what I have have for now, then maybe my birthday in August, or maybe Christmas, we didn't decide yet......
I knew there was a reason I married him!
In other crafts, my sister in law back on the Isle of Man asked for a ponytail or messy bun hat. So out came the crochet hook and said hat was made and mailed within two days.
Sorry no pic, I couldn't find a teddy bear with a messy bun to model it for me! LOL
(Actually I'm so out of practice at blogging that I forgot!)
When I was showing off all my veggies, I promised more floral pictures.
Look, my lillies are flowering. There are only three at the moment, but I'm told that they are sulking because I moved them and more will come next year.
I do hope so, they are beautiful.
Back to the veggies.
Remember I read that if I leave my fennel roots in the ground they would sprout again?
It worked! Look, teeny, tiny fennel growing from the roots of their big brother.
So pleased with that!
The weather here in Timaru has been a bit hit and miss this summer. There have been quite a few cool wet days.
Yesterday was however a hit.
It was very warm.
If you turn your head sideways to look at my sideways photography, you'll see 32 degrees C (About 90 F)
Outside, in the shade of the deck!
Even Belle was hanging out in front of the AC unit!!
If I want to do anything crafty with my day off, I'd better get on and do the domestic stuff, then I can relax and have fun.
First stop, the bread machine, second stop, the supermarket.
Have a great day.