Monday 25 February 2019

Busy Sunday Morning.

Although the weather has had a negative impact on our efforts in the garden this year, some things have still managed to grow well. One of those was onions. Tony wanted to give them a go and we planted quite a few. A couple of weeks ago he decided after much googling that it was time to dig them up. They needed to lie in the sunshine to dry out. But, as the weather is not to be trusted this year we decided to lie them in the glass porch to dry. 
Our very own onions. I started using them in the Kitchen almost right away.
I chopped and fried some yesterday. 
Shame we don't have smellovision!! I love the smell of frying onions.
 I cheated for Saturdays dinner and bought a roast chicken from the hot deli at the supermarket. Then in the morning I cooked up the carcass and made chicken soup. Some of my fried onions went into that, along with a home grown carrot and a couple of Father in Laws home grown spuds and a handful of frozen corn. 
 Yum, we ate it for lunch along with home made bread rolls.
The remainder of the fried onions went onto my rustic tomato tart.
A layer of rich buttery, cheesy pastry is covered in onions and herbs, which is then topped with a variety of thickly sliced tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, some Parmesan cheese and baked in a hot oven.
Having prepped the tart in the morning while doing other chores in the kitchen and around the house, I was able to spend the entire afternoon curled up in my chair with my stitching.
I completed two more stitched panels on block two.
This little basil panel didn't take long
 The blue birds were fun to stitch and I did take short breaks to pop the tart into the oven and to eat some of it, before finishing later in the evening.
 That just leaves one small panel left to stitch.
Maybe I will get this block completed before the end of the month.
Must move, I have things to do, before going into work.

Friday 22 February 2019

How Time flies!

This month certainly is flying by.
I don't think I'll be able to complete the stitchery part of this block by the end of the month. 
 I didn't get all of the stitching time I had hoped to this week. Tuesday was one of 'those' days. You know the ones? If it can go wrong it will sort of days.
A twenty minute appointment turned into 45 mins and a recall later in the day.
Meanwhile the bread dough was rising out of the pan and was romping off over the work top!! LOL
Before I knew it, the day had flown by and I hadn't even picked up a needle.
So I made the most of Wednesday. I did nothing but sit and stitch. It was a wonderfully relaxing day and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I completed the main panel and the flower beneath it.
I'm hoping to make a start on the remaining three today, before going into work later this morning.
And to end on a big note. Five years ago this week I arrived here in New Zealand with Tony and Joe. Our long journey was over and it was time to settle in and make a new life.
and this second link is a look back at 
There are people and places that I miss. I would dearly love to hold my grand children and be able to spend time with them in person rather than over the internet. But I love my life here and have settled in well I think. Joe is happy too. 

Monday 18 February 2019

Kitchen goings on!

I've had a busy few days with extra shifts and swapped shifts and very little time to sit and sew. Which of course means there is not much progress made on any of my projects. However in between shifts I have been very busy in the kitchen. My favourite recipe for tomato chutney has you leave chopped tomatoes and onions overnight after sprinkling them with salt.
So Saturday evenings task was to prepare 6 kilograms of tomatoes and 4 kilograms of onions!
Then on Sunday morning before starting an extra shift at 12.30, I added 12 chilli peppers and six capsicums, sugar and vinegar and turned it all into 22 jars of pickles.
Before I left to go to work I set up the bread maker on a dough cycle and asked Tony to finish off making burger buns to have with dinner.
I think he did alright. Yes I know, they are all different shapes and sizes, but they were light and fluffy and a great size to hold one of his home made burgers.
We had stopped using our bread maker for a while and only recently started again. Typically we only use the dough cycle and once that is done one of us forms a loaf shape or pops it into a tin and bakes it in the oven. That way we get a much better shaped loaf and there is no hole where the mixing paddle would be if we allowed the machine to bake it.  
Once our dinner was eaten and we had cleaned up, we went out to the garden for a look around and of course visited the green house.
We brought in another large bowl of fruit and our first ripe chilli pepper!!
There are many more out there, but they are still all green, hopefully more will ripen soon.
I won't have time to stitch today, but I have two days off this week, so hopefully I'll be able to make up for missing out recently.
Time to be domestic, before heading into work.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

A little stitching.

And a lot of tomatoes!
But first the stitching. Yesterday I finally found time to make a start on the stitchery part of this months 'Down in the Garden' block. This one is going to take a while I think. I managed to spend most of yesterday working on it and will hopefully find some more time today. 
As I mentioned in my last post, I have extra shifts at work and have swapped my late shift on Friday for an early, so all of that impacts on my sewing time. But I'll pick away when I can.
And now the tomatoes. After the cold wet spring which seemed set to continue all summer too, we have finally been getting some warmer weather here in Timaru! 
The hours of sunshine and warm temperatures have had great effect in the green house.
Look at all these tiny beauties. This variety of tomato is called sweet bite. And they live up to their name. Yum. Each fruit is just a little larger than a marble.
This yellow one is an heirloom variety of tomato. We have no idea what it's proper name is as it came in a bag of mixed seed. We just call it the 'yellow one'. LOL
They are very sweet too, though not as prolific as the sweet bites.
And as you can see below, the good old money maker vines are doing great too. (Please excuse the lunch dishes).
 Now we just need the chilli peppers to catch up. I need a dozen of them to make tomato chutney.
 Outside, the lemon tree has flowered and started to make more fruit.
 And the lime is a little further ahead and seems to have quite a lot of fruit.
Limes are currently selling here for $65 a kilo!!
Maybe I should hide my wee tree!
Last night Tony and I booked tickets to fly to Sydney in October. We're off to Bathurst. 
Tony said something about a big car race???? LOL
For me it's all about getting to visit my friend Jannimary, I'll also get to meet the lovely Chookyblue and visit Anni Downs store Hatched and Patched, and hopefully meet that very clever lady too. 
One other thing on my wish list is to visit Parkes and see The Dish. Have you seen the movie? It's getting to be an oldie now, but it's still very much a goodie. 
Right, I have the first of my extra shifts today, so I'm off to be domestic and hopefully make time to sew before I go in. 

Friday 8 February 2019

Three project updates!

As you know, I didn't get my slow stitching Sunday.
That had to wait until Wednesday. Yes, I know, Tuesday is also my day off work but, as Tony had some hours owing to him at work, he took Tuesday as a day off and we went out for the day. We drove to Ashburton, just an hour up the road. We had lunch and a look around the town and shops. Sorry, no pics. There are, as you know stitchy shops in Ashburton, but I opted not to visit them, I'll save that for a day out with the girls.
Wednesday was Waitangi Day, so Tony had another day off. We spent the day quietly at home, doing our own things.
In the morning I prepared Block Two of 'Down in the Garden'. 
The instructions in block two had me fussy cutting the yellow feature fabric for the whole quilt top. So that is done. Then as I was constructing the block I discovered that I had made a mistake while cutting the quilters muslin last month and my piece for this month was too small!! Uh oh!
There were two pieces required the same size, the other one is also too small!
Fortunately I had an off cut that I could trim to size, but will need to purchase more before I get to the next butterfly block. (There were a few choice words!!!)
So after that wee drama the block is now all ready for me to commence the embroidery. There is more stitching to do on this block than there was in January, so I had better make a start soon. Tony happened to come into my room as I was tracing the designs and noted that life would be easier with a light box. He asked how much of this sort of work I do...?
So I showed him the next seven blocks and one or two other projects I plan to look at ......(I didn't mention when.....)
Before we sat down to lunch, he showed me a light box he had ordered for me!
What a sweetie.
After lunch and the morning dramas with fabric I really didn't feel like starting the embroidery so  I sat down with Spring Queen instead. M'Lady has grown.
And finally has an arm.
I'm hoping to sit with her for an hour before work today. But first I have things to do. 
And the third of the updates is my brothers blanket. It has also grown a little.
I sit in the evenings and hook away while we watch some tv. It's easy mindless stuff to do.
If I want to play with M'Lady, I had better move and do some domestics!
I have more extra shifts coming up so the slower crafty pace looks set to continue.

Monday 4 February 2019

Block one done.

And it was finished before the end of January, even though I didn't start until mid way through the month.
I'm rather happy with the first block of Down in the Garden.
I'll be making a start on block two this week hopefully.
I was hoping to have another slow stitching Sunday yesterday, but sadly that didn't happen.
NZ is finally having some very warm and beautiful weather and our green house is producing more tomatoes than we can keep up with, so I spent some of yesterday in the kitchen. I made a huge pan of tomato soup for the freezer. A friend had given me a big bag of apples, and some apple crumbles joined the soups in the freezer.
We had a roast chicken the other day, so stock was made and chicken soup also went into the freezer.
Two loads of laundry were washed, pegged out, brought in, ironed and put away.
Then I went in to work for an extra half shift. 4-8pm.
I'm off to work for my normal shift today, but that's not until 10.30, so I'm hoping to get to sit and stitch on my Queen for a while this morning.
But first I have a pattern to find.....
I know I have it stashed somewhere!