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