Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas sewing..still!

As predicted I am still in the Christmas sewing frenzy and buoyed on by the excitement of a Christmas gone all to quickly I am still living it posthumously so to speak. The santa doorstop was one of three unfinshed ones given to me by a good friend who hadnt finished them. I just love the style and have now completed two of them although I m sure they are a bit distant from the original pattern..which I dont have. The three cushions i sewed up from my favourite quilting book of Cheri Safiotes that i get out every year around this time. Im pleased with the way they turned out especially the snowman. Im now working on her designs for next Christmas....

We absolutely forgo any boxing day sales each year instead we go out to Waimarama beach. I got horribly sunburnt. I thought Id be safe partially covered up by something I was sewing(!) but no my legs were lobster styled by that night. Will i never learn. i hang aroudn with this family who NEVER get sunurnt so Im getting forgetful of the sun and its damage! However I left the next morning to go to the Spotlight sale with my gift voucher from GHIU (He also gave me a one to the quilting shop...I was SOOO happy!). I planned on buying some cut price scrapping papers and some panels for Christmas Id been after. I managed to do both but sadly used more than i intended!! Not helped by taking my spenda holic daughter Alex with me! Anyway I bought a apron panel and have prettied it up with lace and bells and stars. (probably cant see it in the photo!) Its intended as an over the top job for the recipient. I have also bought a apron panel in another style as yet uncut. The place mats I have almost finished all bar the binding. All the panels were half price..9$ each. If they are still around when they raise the discount on these I may buy some more. I have used up all my spare wadding bits and pieces on the table mats..And I have hand sewn everything as my machine was having its yearly clean and service...I have enjoyed it while I was doing it but I am more than eady to return to my machine now!

Just before Christmas I found this great site for great free sewing tutorials and I will be following this very carefully for more next Christmas season gift goodies. I have bought two sets of three Christmas teatowels (75% off!) to make the teatowell aprons. Now all I need is to actually make them!! This is on top of the new pattern I just bought to make a Christmas quilt for my good friend after the quilt I made her this year went down so well!! The thing is I know this Christmas everything sewing phase will pass me buy and i'll be back to selfishly sewing for myself again!

Christmas day was just fantastic. We had a few moments with poor old Mum_ her altziemers id sometimes more severe than the moderate amount it is mostly, but all in all I enjoyed having her for the day. I took lots of photos on my undigital SLR because I love the quality and am sick of the blurry photos my small digital gives me! If I could afford it id bu y a digital SLR but priorities are priorities!

Im gradually putting down the decorations. I couldnt bear to ring them all down at once. Too depressing an end to my favourite season!

We are asking around for any farmers who might be able to sell off some land to us reasonably. We feel quite possitive about this. We want to put an old home on the land and surprisingly we are feeling quite positive about this all turning out!! Sort of in the same way I felt in my gut when i envisioned getting a job as a teachers aide, despite the job situation, no experience etc. I hope Im right!! Certainly this is probaly the only way we will be ale to afford our country idyll.

Right now Im attempting to clean up the house. Christmas in summer always means food going off fast and this time it was someone who put a lamb shank under something in the kitchen, Once I identified the smell I threw it out, but yuk the rot and the maggots! I should have just followed the flies in the kitchen instead of zapping them!

A happy hot day to you in your corner of the world (even if it is inside infront of the fire!)

Love Cherry

Friday, December 18, 2009

The first kill

The view from our deck

After a lot of thumping around last night I found the ginga monster with his first kill..a wee mouse. It was dead and was he enjoying the moment. he was purring so loudly and usually growls when he eats meat but he didnt mind me coming in close to take photos and taking him away at all. Its a milestone in the kittens life. We always could see he was going to be a hunter.

Today he is linig up birds and going in for the leap. Talk about growing up fast. he still is too cute when asleep though...

Seven days til Christmas...

My first ever Xmas quilt present cunningly wrapped back side up andtied with swome of the faric..the label is there to instead of a Christmas label.

See! There is only seven days...

My letter published to NZ gardener this month resulted in this small spruce that I shall be decorating with decs each Xmas...Hmm too many baubles??

Santa abseiling up the side of the house. i bought him in perfect condition from the Cranford Hospice op Shop but didnt want to put him out too early fior fear of sun fading. However its NZ its summer and its going to happen anyway!

We have presents piling up under the tree and in this very old wood box..a relic from my childhood..as well as under the tree. These are the pressies for our friends and family mostly. I made the elf stockings four or so years ago . I still like them but if i was to do it again I would definately prim them up. I LLOOVVEE primitive ut can only get away with so much here , so i subtly ut gradually introduce it around the place when huy doesnt notice. (Hubby is a modern minimalist kind of guy at heart!)

School has finished and sleep ins and late nights are the order of the day!!Yah! I have finished my quilt for a friend..the first ever ive made for a Christmas present. I have bought for asoultely everyone except the kitten who I know Georgia will be begging me to buy a mouse or two toys for his stocking (He hasnt actually got a stocking yet! There are so many projects i want to finish up before Christmas so i may have to use something else for the small ginga monster!
It has turned very hot again today. GHIU went diving yesterday but the crays were too small just free diving and so he bought home some paua instead. He monces this and makes a delicious paua fritter. Good Kaimoana from out shores..free to all..just dont rape the seabeds!

I got such a fright today I opened up my stored Xmas cake and pudding and they both had small traces of mould happening!! EEEkk I cut it off and now have stored the pudding in the freezer and the cake has had its nutty topping put on and Im just hoping for the best..it was a very moist cake (still is).
Tonight we are going to the Opera Houise to watch a freee show. Amahl and the The Wisemen. The opera house is having a lot of these free events, but this is the first one weve managed to see. They also have a Christmas tree grotto with all proceeds towards the Cranford hospice (One of most favourite charities) but I have to say the trees which were decorated y local businesses werent very impressive (Or stink as my students would say!)
I am so enjoying looking at all the Christmas blogs but it takes forever for pictures to load on dial up so Im looking forward to this time next year when i hope we will be having broadband! It is soo soo hot here and when i look at the blogs in America with the snow and flurries it actually cools me down.
I experience oth cold and hot Christmases and they both appeal. I guess I would have to love hot ones because it involves all my young memories and the sunmmer traditions that go with it. Strawberries, pavlova, Mum spraying pinecones and toi toi for the Christmas decorations. Swimming, sunburn and School holidays. The again when i lived in London my most favourite Christmas memory is buying roasting chestnuts outside of a ig London shop in the middle of a crowded London street, with snow flurrying around me. Post card stuff!!!
have a happpy run up to Christmas wherever you are.
love Cherry

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas presents

Wow..not many days to go is there.I wish I had all the hours in the world to work on my gifts ond read all the lovely blogs around. I love

Christmas so much..and Im so tired. The reason for that is staying up late every night to finish off various projects i have as gifts. First a lap Christmas quilt Im quilting for a dear friend. Im at the quilting stage and as Im hand quilting it, well its a panic as to wehter it will be ready byChristmas day. As a fellow quilter though Im sre she will understand if I just show her the unfinshed gift...

I also intercepted that with a break to make a small cushion from a favourite Cheri Safiote book from the lirary. Why i cant be in this sew something Christmas mood all year i dont know ecause it would sure help me at this time of year when I need to concentrate on other things!

I then stopped that to make two decoration cats. one for moi and one for a friend as a gift. These are quite quick to put together but still I was in bed at two this morning having mostly completed them..Is it any wonder the house is a bomb site!

After a very stressful shopping day with my Mum (in a wonkly wheelchair) in the 30 odd degree heat, in the crowded shops, with Mum barking out orders, getting stressed, upset and confused over her shopping. Watching people uy asolute rubish in their efforts to buy something for everyone, which Im sure most of will end up at some point in 2010 in the local landfill, i stopped y my magazine store and literally fell upon the latest edition of my most favourite maagazine "grass roots" I actually felt more sane just holding the copy and when i got home reading it. Article after article of making your own gifts, lving simply and stresslessly. GHunting gathering. Gently respecting paptuanuku (mother earth) Complete.Utter.Bliss.

Our garden continues to bless us. Lots of strawberries, peas (frozen for Xmas day) daily lettuce for tea. Apricots just coming into readiness and picked my me before the brds swarm in. My boysenberry bush fruiting even though it is in its original balck polythene bag awaiting the farm.

I go now to try and bring some order to this house. the school holidays are three days away! I MUST have everything in order by then. It is suicide on my sanity to take them up town at this time of year. I can not think of anything worse!

Im going to sit here with my cup of tea and my infernally slow computer and enjoy some blogs now.

Happy holidays to you


Monday, December 7, 2009

The first Jam of Christmas..and other things

Yes Christmas in hastings has caught up to me! I realised this when the famous reindeer and sleigh that have been a part of hutchinsons furniture went up. Small things like this often make me realise with a start that TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!! I start decoraating so early that I always feel I have bucket loads of time up my sleeve!
On Wednesday i am shopping for a 99.00 Gazebo from the jolly festive red warehouse so that we can all enjoy our Christmas day outside (weather permitting..and who knows with t his years funny old weather pattern?)

I am also going to start buying the Christmas food on Wednesday (which as you may have guessed is Pay day!!) This year I am going to buy Organic free range chickens (in lieu of our own future Christmas offerings) I hate the way Chickens are battery farmed and we no longer buy chickens like we once did . As a side note i have een watching the Good Life from the seventies and as well as laughing a lot have just realised with our warped sense of humour and earthy aspiration that we are the NZ equivalent to Tom and barbara Good!!! Now just need the land (which they didnt have by the way)
We have chosen and put up our Christmas tree. it is gorgeous. Just lovely. Everyone is complaining about the lack of baubles etc to "fill up" the tree. i may have chucked then on purpose...er I mean BY ACCIDENT..as i thought they were cheap and nasty. Any thoughts though of buying some "lovely" balls or to start a collection were eaten up today with the sad realisation that I have been spending way to much (as evidenced y a meager bank balance) and the certainty that next week signals my last pay packet for SIX WEEKS!!!! Eeeek
I havent got any photos of the tree yet as im not so organised and Alex had the camera and all I got were close ups of trees(not ours!) and numerous ones of Georgia with faces like these!! I will say that the tree picking and lolly giving ceremnony afterwards from the owners is as part of our tradition at Christmas as Christmas cake!

But a few days ago I askede GHIU to bring me home a small number of apricots (because in napier there are some good orchards) I say small because it was unorganised and I knew I only had a few bottles clean with lids etc. Also time wise I hadnt made plans to spend it in the kitchen. So my GHIU arrives home that night with 15 kilos..... After fervent supply fetchinf, dishwashing I made these few jars. I was watcing the Christmas epiode of Emmerdale while i stoned and weighed the next lot (for the freezer for when the time is right) and the first 3kgs burned on the bottom...teach me for all the wrong priorites... luckily I saved the batch by skimming off the top 2 kgs and all was not lost. im looking forward to making the next lot now and in fact have found a whole batch of jam recipes etc in the latest Gardener (look out for my letter...skite skite) and have really got the bug. in fact after all the rain things are blooming out in the garden including my boysenberry which I held grim hopes for as it is staying in its black baggie until moving day. The day I eat that first boysenberry will be great indeed. Honestly just little things but sometimes i feel like the big pioneer homesteader!!!
Happy harvesting wherever you dwell.
love Cherry

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas cooking

And so it begins. The annual Christmas food fest. i always get so keen to cook special biscuits and cakes this time of year. I thought id test these out to see how they would be for Christmas gifts. these ones are off to the GHIU work. I got all the recipes from the Australiam Womans weekly..the one with gorgeous Jop Seagar on the cover. There such marvellous ideas in there that I had to buy the magazine. i dont usually buy magazines ut this one seemed to call out to me. I also had my letter published in the NZ gardenr this month. Yah!!! A gardening voucher for Christmas for me. I really want to treat myself to an outdoor Ornamental Christmas tree this year. Ill use this voucher towards one! I cant have an outdoor party without a outdoor tree.!

Isnt he gorgeous. Symba (Or the ginga monster as GHIU calls hime) Is just so kissable and cuddliable...even with a touch of ringworm...I was a vet nurse for three years and am immune to ringworm fortunately...

Ten gorgeous years with the "gorgeous hubby in uniform" he had to leave early this morning for a job and wont be back until tomorrow. As he left at 4 he said" Thankds for ten lovely years" Awwwww.. These flowers arrived at work on Friday.

Tomorrow afternoon when we get GHIU back we will go down to our favourite Christmas tree farm and earmark our tree. Video camera and camera ready for this tradition. Despite the decorations and cooking I still wasnt feeling very festive. ut tonight we made a trip to town and bought the Best Christmas cd ever..something I have been wanting for ages. I played it and then I was immediately in the Christmas mood ..Hurray.
Happy se3asonal preparations to you all. I am so enjoying the Christmasy blog all over the place!!
Love Cherry

Monday, November 16, 2009

welcome to my christmas house..

More photos from my seasonal abode...yes I know its still only November!!!!

Still havent finished my front door. Hmm ....
A collection of stockings. Three for the cats(decoartions only..they are closed over!) and then Alex and Georgias cross stitched ones.

TRaditional Christmas wall hanging alongside Maori weapon of the day!

Christmas wishes to you all

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Its Christmas!!!!!!

Yes...In the house Christmas decs have been going up. Theres some old favourites and some new ones...The table runner Im not so keen on but it is dione and that is that!

Little Symba has been very sick and hosptalised. he was so sick i feared it was curtains fior him. But finally he came right and came home :) Now he is a lovekly but expensive little kitten:} This is a short blog i am so enjoying the Christmas blogs going up all over the place.
I an writing this while watching The tudors so I am much distracted. My book of the moment is Voyager by Diana Gabalden. i seem to be living in the past at the moment.
Happy decorating

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meet Symba....

Halloween...Im so glad our combined halloween Guy Fawkes party is done!! Having been so anxious aout it and committing to it and a Christmas party I really felt over burdeoned. But now I can see the way clear throught to Christmas! We had good weather for our party and lots of children who spent the whole time ruining their scary faces by swimming in the pool for ages.!!

As soon as night fell we bought out the fireworks and concluded with the tradtional Seal scarer...Our neighbours must love us!!

And so to the news: Last week Georgias beautiful cat Sarah dissappeared. We did all the ususal searches and garge checking, road side checking etc. I had had some concerns of a possible Early sign of kidney problems but scared at the thought of something happening to her and Georgias reaction,I hadnt taken her to the vet..plus IF their was anything it was early early days. She was slees, stealthy and very happy. maybe she really was sick and just left to die. ot maybe someone has been poisoning the pigeons..we saw two dead fat ones in the village just a couple of weeks ago..and she ate one. Pigeons were her favourite prey..She was the supreme hunter!! Anyway georgia was distraught and we said she could get a kitten straight away. The first ad we found was a week later and this little six week long haired tom ahs been in our life ever since. he hadnt been handled much but 12 hours later of two girls fighting a crying and laughing and holding him so much that i feared his leg muscles would atrophy took care of that!! hes just fitted in here so well and has taken to sleeping under the blankets with georgia just as Sarag did. He also extremely gutsy and has so far taken on both our other cts plus our great big lab...could thisd be a tom cat thing?!

I leave you with the photos.
The day after Our halloween party the decorations came down and the Christmas decs went up..well just some of them. I think Im still a bit jaded after the Halloween decorating/ partying. Surprising for me Im just taking it slowly this time!!!

Take care and love to your and your pussy cats!
Love Cherry

Monday, October 26, 2009

A quilting surprise

First of all you know its Christmas approaching around here when i start to produce Christmas quilting and crafting materials. With that in mind i could not get my mind away from the fact that I wanted a Christmas runner in bright materials and that I should use a fairly straightforward pattern I had using four traditional blocks. I spent ages in Spotlight tossing up between a stack of blue Christmas colourway fat quarters and a stack of green. These stacks are new to Spotlight and really nice. I picked the green on the recommendation of my children and the fact that it is my favourite colour and that it has gingerread men on it. But now im thinking (constantly) that i should have ought the blue. As I was meant to have spent nothing and these cost 25.00 Im not going to turn around and yu the blue AS WELL! Im not keen on the two blocks i completed while watching a thriller on tv last night, but am keen to do the rest to see how they go.

Then there was this little Christmas surprise. I CANNOT elieve how well this little table covering came up once binded in plaid and stipple quilted. I love it so much that ive put it up now. This was such an insipid and boring piece that i held no hope for it at all. Just shows how wrong you can be!
After two days of the girls swimming in the pool, today it is cold and wet and rainy, grey and bleak. Its a strange october!!
Happy Christmas crafting!
Love Cherry

Friday, October 23, 2009



Christmas is coming. Two projects thats I am working on is this (very cheap on sale) panel from Spotlight. It will be once i have stippled it a small table covering for my coffee table upstairs. Today I am boiling my first (Hopefully there will be more) Christmas pudding. I cant leave the house til 4.30!!! Its sucking up a lot of water.

The strawberries are popping up little white flowers that will become fruit. These and my peas I have popping up everywhere. What ideally I want is to have enough of both for Christmas..well the peas certainly but Ive never had the timing right for strawberries yet. I was telling Mum the mad dash around the strawberry farms on Christmas eve has become a tradition ever since my Uncle finished his strawberry farm four years back!
And so this labour weekend (Thursday to Monday off!!) and hubby has the pool cleaned and ready to go. Its still freezing..does that deter the kids? No!


This is my primitive cat I made a while back who is currently sharing its second Halloween with us. It will go on the door soon except that I am still taking all the old paint off the door. Actually as half finished and rough as it is it will look the part for Halloween.
Im off to finish the table cloth. I have a million "wants" in my head right now to do. A Christmas tale runner and a unseasonal but "Must do it" urge to sew a russian Babusca doll. My fingers are a mess and its quite painful to sew. really must learn how to quilt with a thimble but I feel so uncomfortable.
happy Quilting
Love Crafty Cherry

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

happy house haunting

Much to the excitement of the girls I have begun to decorate the house (or the parts of it that will be used) for our annual (bi-annual?!) halloween
party. As we are fast approaching summer here the party will be mostly outside so I will decorate that closer to the time. Ive had fun prowling over martha Stewarts web page. She has daily Halloween advice and a squillion ideas over at her Halloween central site!! Unfortunately being on dial up means we are so ssslllooowwwww and things take forever to come up in order to print off so I will only be skimming the service there. As we are having our Halloween party the weekend after halloween in order to enjoy a double celeration (celebration? Is this the right word for Guy Fawkes ???!) that means that I can go into Spotlight and buy lots of on sale merchandise (if theres much left!) I have many ideas and inspiration up my sleeve ut it means Ill be busy in the two days running up to it. I hope I can pull it all off!
On the crafty front I have quilted and put binding on my Civil War quilt. Ill post a pic next time. ONE DOWN...three to go..Im working on quilting a small table covering. Its a "cheat" quilt, one that I bought on sale and that was small enough to use my walking foot on some of. I need to move forward on this one with Christmas fast approaching. I also have begun work on my sheep wall hanging. Just doing some applique at the minute. I want real type country fabrics from a real quilt shop so wont be able to buy cheap from SPotlight on this occassion. hence I am buying bits and peices over a period of time. Saying that I did actually manage to buy two country fabrics from Spotlight. But they were almost at a normal quilt shop price and it IS rare to find such fabric at Spotlight.
We are on a long weekend this week. Friday is Hawkes Bay Anniversary Monday is Laour day. I thought GREAT! Then rethought that when I remembered I dont get paid!!!
GHIU is cleaning out the pool as we speak. It will be too cold for a few weeks yet (The water, not the temperature) but it has to be done for Halloween (of course..just incase any one feels up to some swimming).
Ill sign off for now.
Happy Halloween in progress to you all especiall in Amercia where I bet you are having the king of preparations that I so love!
Yours in stitches

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

my unfortunate blogging holiday...

Well i didnt mean to take a break But first the internet refused to go for a week then we took a up one day and back the next trip to Taupo for a birthday...and got snowed in for three days!!!! In spring!! It was a freak snowstorm and the worst in 25 years!! Fortunately we left a bit late otherwise we would have been trapped on the road with 100 other people in need of rescuing!!
And do you know there I was safely and warmly ensconced in a bach with my family andnot a thing to quilt in sight!! Oh THAT was painful!!
Before I left I finally finished my Christmas Mystery quilt. And with that finihsed I joined a quilting group who meet in a hundred something most gorgeous cottage to quilt and talk. I hurridly basted and samwhiched up my Civil War quilt and so that is my project of current.

A close up...can you see the stippling. What a pain I find the edges of the quilt to do!!

And its beginning to feel a bit CHristmas with this the traditional christmas cake baked and beautifully moist. This is my Granmothers recipe faithfully reproduced by all her offspring. Now i dont like Fruit cake but its one of those traditions that I couldnt do without, and I can be proud of this one...it may be the best one yet. I have it wrapped up to age before the ig day but I am unsure of the icing technique just yet.
Im looking forward to reading all the blogs after my enforced intenet break. And I have 180 e mail to trawl through.....
Love and happy stitching