Monday 29 January 2018

Still in the garden.

Tony and I spent just a short time out in the garden yesterday. The flower beds are a mess and desperately need our attention, but it is just too hot to work out there at the moment. NZ is experiencing some very warm weather, which I am enjoying, but it is still too hot to work out of doors. Our veg beds are very tidy, we lavish attention on them and of course we are well rewarded.
We managed to spend just ten minutes in our green house and came away with all of these beautiful tomatoes.
Once I saw how many there were I made the decision to pick some capsicum and chilli too.
Once we got back out into the relatively cool air! (Well it was cool compared to the 40++ we had experienced in the green house.) We turned out attention to the veg beds. I found three courgettes on their way to marrowdom and a handful of beans. 
We also cleaned out the last of the beetroots and I pulled some red onions, but somehow, we don't have a picture of those. And because we have eaten them, there isn't going to be a picture. LOL
So yesterday, once we had retreated indoors we set about making courgette relish. One of those marrow wannabees became eight jars of relish along with a capsicum and some onions.
After leaving the tomatoes and some onions in brine overnight, my job today is to make Possum's Pickles. A delightfully moreish chutney recipe given to me by a friends mum.
It takes two hours to cook, so I'm tied to the house for a while.
Maybe I'll finish a second wee baby sweater. It only needs the rib adding to the neck edge, then I can sew it up. 

Wednesday 24 January 2018

And in the garden...

We have been having some scorchingly beautiful weather here in Timaru.
The garden has been busy growing.
Do you remember, way back in October, I showed a bag of Dahlia tubers that I had purchased?
Well, they all went into a narrow strip of garden along the back wall of the house. There was already a thriving colony of dahlias in situ, so I knew they would be just fine.
And now I see my reward. The big bush of red Dahlias was the original and all around it are new additions, some moved from another bed but most come from my bag of tubers.
The earwigs that usually inhabit these beautiful flowers seem to be busy elsewhere this year, so I have been enjoying them as cut flowers indoors too.
 Such beautiful flowers. 
 Not all of them started to flower yet, I wonder what other colours I'll get?
Elsewhere in the garden, my rose bush is looking resplendent.
I've taken many of its flowers indoors too. 
The garden centre had a special on fuchsias, so I bought a couple.
One I popped into a shady spot, where another is already growing. So I know it will be fine.
I think his bigger friend could do with a chop.
Not anytime soon though. The bees love to come and visit the fuchsia and just across the path is my squash patch, and I need the bees to visit those too.
 Mind you, I think the squash are trying to escape, look, they made it through the gate!!
They are at the top end of a long thin bed. This used to be all over grown with shrubs. Many were removed as soon as we moved in, the last two came out late last year, to make way for more veg and some herbs.
 Across the path and tucked in behind the porch we have a second bed of brassicas. With cabbage, cauli and broccoli all tucked in beside some courgette. I popped a net over them in an effort to keep the butterflies off.
There is so much more happening, but I think I'll rest here for now. The hot days mean we are spending time outside just resting and enjoying the warm air. This chap came to visit me. He is quite a big fellow, about the size of my thumb and he stayed around for quite some time.
Now I know who has been eating the leaves on my lemon tree!

I have a huge bowl of tomatoes, so my job today is......

Tomato sauce.

And Claire and Debs are coming to play.

Sunday 21 January 2018

A post with crafty content.

I'll save the garden pictures for another day!
My first picture today is my latest cross stitch project. This is the L&L freebie I mentioned recently. It was just a white blob at the time. Now it looks like a few white petals, but I assure you it is the dress of a tiny angel. I plan to work on her a little more today, once I am done on the laptop.
 In the mail this week, I received this little lap stand. I've had the hoop part for some years now, it came with a table clamp and was gifted to me. I never really did get comfortable using the table clamp, but thought I could give this set up a go. The wee kidney shaped base goes under your leg and the height and angle of the hoop can be adjusted to suit. I'll give it a go soon, maybe on my next project. The fabric for my wee angel is too small for that hoop.
 On Wednesday, Debbie, Claire and I got together for the day. We were all at Debbie's place and I needed something portable to take along. I made a start on this cute wee sweater for my soon to be grandson. It really didn't take long to make. 0-3 Month size doesn't. LOL
 I've made a start on another one, and as we're planning to get together again real soon, I'll save it for the next girls day.
It doesn't show up too well in this photo, but the yarn matches my knit pro needles beautifully.
In other news, Jenny and Robin came to visit us on their grand tour of the South Island. Jenny had suggested a get together over a cuppa, but we invited them here to our home for a BBQ meal. It was lovely to meet them both, especially Jenny. We have been reading each others blogs for a few years and we felt like we sort of knew each other already. You can read more about our meeting over on Jenny's blog. She took a few photos throughout the evening. I took only one of Jenny and Robin, but didn't check it, and someone has their mouth open, so I won't share. LOL When ever I see it though, it will bring back memories of a lovely evening.
I have to say, I've met quite a few bloggers now, all very clever and crafty ladies, and all lovely people. We are a nice crowd aren't we?
Right, time to sew, or the weekend will be over and I'll have nothing to show for it but a bowl of homemade falafal. I had a busy morning in the kitchen.

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Meanwhile in the garden..

Things are going very well out in the garden, and as it's a wet day, I have time to show off some pictures.
 The green house is looking lush. and the fruits are starting to ripen.
 It's always so exciting when I start to see little hints of red amid all that green.
 Time too have a tidy up and cut back some of the bigger leaves and allow the sunlight to work it's magic.
 Of course, it's not just the tomatoes that are ripening, on the left you see a candy cane capsicum and on the right a yellow chilli! Hmm, The capsicum cam off a broken branch so had to come in. The yellow chilli we thought was ripe and i popped it into a bowl until I was ready to use it and was amazed when two days later it was that bright red colour.
 Below you can see one of the candy cane capsicum that was able to ripen. If I leave them too long they lose their stripes and go red all over.
 Not the best picture, I was trying to show how some of them appear green to start with and others appear with yellow stripes.
 The yellow chillies are prolific!  These are still a little green, but if I leave them, they will go red. 
My normal capsicum are making fruit too, this was the first one to ripen.
 Outside of the green house things are growing well too. I have two beautiful big cauliflowers.
 I already picked two big broccoli heads and there is more to come.
 Yellow and green beans are doing well and my courgette plants are offering one or two fruits a week.
 There is more, so much more, but as I believe I mentioned recently, I'm out of practice and forget to take my camera along.
Well, now you have seen what has been keeping me away from my sewing.
That said, it's a rainy day. Comfy seat here I come. I plan to cross stitch for most of what is left of the day. Then maybe I'll have some stitching to show off next time.

Monday 8 January 2018

I'm still catching up on Christmas.

Like many crafters I love to swap Christmas ornaments with friends and gift many to other friends and family. Today you get to see what I was lucky enough to receive this/last year! 
This beautifully beaded red bauble was gifted to me by Claire. So pretty.
Also in the picture you can see two of my cross stitched Santas and a SSCS from Christmas past.
 In this next picture is a candle ornament I stitched, there were three of them, but two went to new homes. At the top you can also see the ornament I made from an old card I had stitched for Mum.
 Debbie made me not one but two ornaments! The first is this cute sweater and on either side of it is another of my santas and a crazy quilted ornament made by Pam Kellogg. The green one with the stitched snowflake was another SSCS. 
 This beautiful blue and silver bauble is the second ornament made by Debbie. 
 I was lucky enough to receive a whole package of goodies from the lovely Janice. She made and gifted to me all of the goodies you see below. A cute table runner and ham bag, a wee pocket to keep my hankies in and the cutest little red hexie ornament for my tree.
On the whole I'm happy to say that I was the very lucky recipient of some beautiful new ornaments and some very lovely and thoughtful gifts for Christmas 2017.
Thank you.
And now, my first finish for 2018.
Another Lavender and Lace freebie. This chart was released in 2005. 
She is in my wee room, waiting patiently for me to turn her into an ornament/
I might get to that today.
Of course I have a new start, but at the moment it is just a white blob!!
I'll show her off once she has grown a little.
I've also been out in the garden with my camera and will show those pictures another time too.