Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas Wishes


I am going to be having a little break from my blog over Christmas and New Year.  Thank you to all my readers who have shared my first few months with me.

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas and New Year with family and friends.

Merry Christmas
Julie

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Scenes from my Week






From the sewing Room:
  •  badges getting sewn on scarves for the Scout Jamboree which starts on December 27, still waiting for another 40-50 scarves to arrive though - nothing like working under pressure
From the garden
  • one of my favourite cannas in flower
From the letter box
  • a job offer, from that interview I had about a month ago, which I have accepted - it is only a casual job with our local libraries, so hopefully I still get time to cook, garden and craft.
  • happy mail in the form of a decoration sent to me from a friend
From the Christmas preparations:
  • gift wrapping before the Miss B and Mr J finished school yesterday - so now it is officially summer holidays
From the kitchen
  • using up some of my zucchini glut to make a Chocolate Zucchini cake from this recipe


Friday, 13 December 2013

Scenes from my Week






From the kitchen:
  • Honey Rice bubble slice - recipe here
  • Lemon and Raspberry loaf
  • Christmas fruit mince meringues - this weekend we are having an early Christmas with my husband's family - this is my dessert contribution
From the Christmas Decorating:
  • my lovely new table topper, made by my sister for our Christmas swap, topped with my favourite bowl, filled with Agapanthus
 From the reading pile:
  • The Art Forger by BA Shapiro - and interesting read based on a true  ( and still unsolved) story of stolen paintings from the Gardner Museum, but using a fictional piece of art by Degas
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Morning at the Museum



 








This morning I had an outing to the Auckland Museum.  Currently they are showing an exhibition from the V & A Museum called Selling Dreams - 100 years of fashion photography.  Lots of beautiful, mainly black and white photographs from the early 1900's through to modern day.

I also wandered down to Wintergardens,  to see the Corpse flower, unfortunately (or fortunately - cos it wasn't smelly anymore) it was starting to die off - it was still pretty large though. There were still lots of other lovely and some very unusual flowers and displays to see in the gardens.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

How does my garden grow?




The lovely warm weather we have been having is doing wonders for my vegetable and fruit plants
  • we share a grapevine with my neighbour - it is absolutely laden with bunches of tiny grapes.  Last year the birds got to them before we did - so I must get a net for them this year.  They are sweet and juicy and taste like grapes I remember from my childhood.
  • the passionfruit plant is now starting to get lots of small fruit on it - can't wait till they are ready to use - I think it is usually around the end of March they start dropping off.
  • my Sweet 100 cherry tomato now has some tomatoes appearing too.
  • another handful of beans was picked today and there are three more zucchini to be picked too.
  • more lettuce plants and some radish seeds have been planted too.

Does anyone watch The Edible Garden with Alys Fowler on Choice TV on Friday nights - it is quite inspiring as to what she grows in her garden.  She has a couple of books published too, which I am waiting to get from my library.

How is your vegetable garden growing?
What are your most successful crops so far?
Have you tried some new vegetables this year?

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Weekending







It is starting to look like Christmas in my kitchen
  • the making and sampling of double chocolate peppermint bark
  • rhubarb cordial for a refreshing summer drink
Outside, New Zealand's Christmas tree - the Pohutukawa is starting to flower.

What are you making/baking for Christmas?


Friday, 6 December 2013

Scenes from my Week



 




From my bedside table:
  • a pile of books waiting to be read and a beautiful blue hydrangea bloom
From the Weetbix Kids Tryathalon
  •  standing in the rain, watching Mr J in the running leg - he's the one with the orange swim cap still on
From our Christmas preparations
  • my fabric wreath - made a couple of years ago  - I don't have a nice front door to hang it on, so it hangs over my sideboard attached to a mirror
  • Miss B and Mr J decorating the tree - no theme, just lots of interesting decorations that have stories and meaning to us all
  • some of the fabulous treats from my sister in our Christmas swap - she made the beautiful bag you can just see too.
From the vegetable garden:
  • my zucchini plant in bloom - I picked my first zucchini off it last night
Have a fabulous weekend.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Wednesday WIP



A very short and sweet WIP post today.
  • A pretty apron for my sister-in-law as a housewarming/Christmas gift - I just have to get some more cream cotton to finish it off.
  • The project that is taking up lots of time - pinning and then sewing 72 badges onto shirts for the upcoming scout jamboree, which is happening just after Christmas.  I still have 72 badges to sew on the scarves when they get delivered too.
At least once these are done I can get back to my quilt ,maybe some little dumpling pouches and possibly a skirt or top for me.


Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Weekending







Fine weather and the whole family at home for the official start of New Zealand's summer.
  • Pottering around in the vegetable garden, I picked my first handful of green beans - my favourite variety,  that I grow each year is Shiny Fardenlosa
  • Warmer evenings are leading to more lighter salad type meals -couscous with broad beans and my freshly picked beans, carrot salad, tomatoes and pita breads
  • Baking sweet treats for school lunchboxes - a new caramel slice recipe with chopped hazelnuts.
  • Christmas card making (lots of pinspired ideas here)
  • A sewing finish of sorts - 80 four patch blocks have been sewn up for this quilt in progress
What did you do this weekend?
Have you started to decorate forChristmas yet?

Friday, 29 November 2013

Christmas Stockings






For the last couple of years my sister Janine (who lives in Australia) and I have done a Christmas Swap.  We have always tried to make at least some of the swap consist of handmade items, something edible, Christmas fabric, a decoration and a Christmas themed magazine.  This year we had  'The Twelve Days of Christmas' as our theme, with the provisio that gift number 1 had to be a handmade stocking, and the other 11 small gifts would be numbered and be able to fit in the stocking.  Most of the gifts do. We were also meant to start this on December 1, but last night we decided to open the stockings - those boxes of wrapped goodies were to tempting.

The top stocking is the one I made my sister, from Jingle fabrics by Ann Kelle.  The beautiful red and white stocking is the one my sister made me.  Funnily enough,  unbeknown to each of us, we both used the same stocking tutorial from Imagine Gnats.

So the next few days will be very exciting as we get to open some special little gifts from each other.

What do you do with your family in the lead up to Christmas?


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