Sunday, January 30, 2011

These things make me a happy girl....

Over Christmas I went on a manic scrapping adventure. I scrapped heaps of past Christmases and made it all into an exclusive album. I COULDNT WAIT for Christmas photos to be dveloped so i could scrap them. I bought heaps of gorgeous Christmas papers and stickers and embellishments. Ans then it happened. I LOST mr scrapping MoJo!!! So when this course came up to do a big canvas that I had signed up and paid a deposit on came up i wouldnt have bothered going..escept Id already paid $30.00 towards it. But during the course of the morning the strangest thing came to me..inspiration!! I knew it would. Good old scrapping classes. below is the finished project. It makes me very happy and now lives on the wall in the living room. i was especially glad to put up some new photos as I seem to only have baby photos up.

 And preserving has been so much more fun now i pretty them up with farics and string.. And I cleared a lovely spot where I had the old microwave to store them.
I started back at my School today and the girls start at theirs tomorrow. The holidays ARE over after all
 - sigh-

Happy Schooldays
Love Cherryx

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Tax Man cometh....

It all began about two weeks ago..I received a tax form dating back to 2005 when i was on the Kindergarten board. I had only gone to one meeting for which I received about $70.00 before I resigned. I was told at the time that I could claim back the tax on this, but as I resigned after only one meeting and as a mum at home not working I never received tax forms ever. usually I would recieve my tax letter back saying I was owed thirty cenets or some such. So tax was never a big deal. In 2005 we started receiving tax credits under the working for families scheme. Anyway two weeks or so ago I received this form and it basically said that I would be owed a tax credit for that withholding tax of the kindy thing blady blady blah, and so i ticked the boxes and signed away and never gave it another thought..until today....SO apparently because I never filed a tax return in 2005 They never did my tax refund/pay back. Now they have ...and they found that they had over paid me by 400 odd dollars which i owed..they also discovered that because of this they had worked out that for that same year GHIU now owed 400 odd. NOW here is the zinger, they have also charged interest for all those years we didnt know we owed (and neither did they becasue theyve only just worked this out) that between us we owe another $1000 in interest. try explaining my side of the story to the tax man...I dare you... I just ended up teary eyed saying things like "I dont understand' over and over.. Then the ghiu had his turn and he boldly took the phone and spoke what he saw as grossly unfair with a look of confidence in his eyes before he too eventually just lost the will to live and gave up.. Anyway long and short is that they are putting us on to the SPecial unit (!) to see if they can do something about the interest. If they cant Im going to see our local MP!!! So all in all not the most positive of days and we feel as if we should just dig a great hole and jump into it-
So what to do when you are financially depressed ?              A)Cheer oneself up by making a union jack cushion from your scraps . Tutorial here
 B) Send the children out to see spare eggs and spare garlic..
Put a number of handmade quilts at cheap prices on Trade Me  and
read positive and inspiring messages from such frugal and good sites such as here
and here
And not to forget this most favourite of cheerful and lovely sites here.
And Pray.Lots.And dont think to hard about other soon to be whopping bills to pay. Because. It. All. will. sort. itself. out.
Wishing you all a happy night

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grateful for

A short while ago I was lolling about in the pool in this beautiful hot day and it was bliss...I would really have liked to take a photo of the view of the cool blue water with my tippytoes floating upwards but it is dangerous to take a camera into the pool and besides who could be bothered?! So instead i came in cooled down and refreshed grabbed a popsical and snapped this photo from my computer area window (which also happens to be the bedroom). yes life is good and i am very very grateful.

With love
Cheerily Cherry

Keeping summer in the pantry

I was just saying that it really feels like summer once the preserving has egun. I dont even like Gherkins, but this year the thought of bottling something i have organically (well, to the best of my ability)fills me with joy. Most times I have to buy the fruits when they are cheapest and then preserve them, but I had hoped growing gherkins was obtainable. And so after a daft batch of too early gherkins fizzled in a jar I then waited for some more to grow WAY bigger and today got a half decent jar, which i have pickled with my own garlic no less!!And so I present the finished item:
I just have to say that it is both a joy and a pain that more people are doing this for themselves. This is because it is FABTASTIC that everyone is going back to growing and preserving their own, the planet has so much hope now...but two of our biggest supermarkets didnt have white vinegar!! Also agee tops and accessories can be hard to come buy if you leave it til the last moment. I was okay I bought spiced vinegar for my picklesw but i am out of White..

I then turned to making a double batch of ice cream with the abundance of eggs we have. All the girls are laying at full strength although a couple of my old girls have begun the moult...this is very exciting for us as last year they didnt go through the moult...small things... Anyway the ice cream is an adult ice cream although Alex didnt have a scoop of it. It is made with Baileys. It was a beautiful creamy and proffessional (As Georgia called it) but very rich. To get throug it we may have to use the six jars of strawberry jam I (stupidly) made with half the sugar as sauce...Must.Not.Waste..
 The mistake bathc of Jam/sauce in the pantry, I made another two batches and then came over all domestic goddess(Something I attain to) and put pretty pink material(which is the backing to my pink quilt) and made little covers. So pretty next to the stewed plums and new wine glasses. Then GHIU put his ginger beer rustically next to it all.!  But the promise of ginger beer is exciting. Im glad he did it as I couldnt be bothered..He is always after the perfect ginger beer and this one came from the same book that the Gherkins and The baileys ice cream came from (which is Honegrown #no 2  if your interested)
The humidity today is dreadful, there has been light showers, and humidity so thick its a bit like walking around in a steamy shower (well thats what it feels like anyway) The rest of Nz is going to be having a few storms and heavy rain warnings, but it seems other than the odd saving grace of a strong breeze we are missing out on the drama. HOWEVER we didnt escape the drama of an earthquake. 5.5 so not a tiny one!! It is earthquake weather after all.!
Happy shaking
Love Cherry

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Mr Jingles AKA squeak and Stuart Little AKA Steve..

Once the ghiu caught these rather overexcited pair we realised that they actually wont take off and prefer to stay close by. Since this photo They have become really tame and Squeak especially has mastered a little trick for our Cirque due Mousee show. They are so cute and apart from sonstantly having to drag The Ginga away as he tapped and played with the cage all night really havent been any trouble. The do pong though and are very unforgiving with potty time when I seem to handle them. Bless.
I finished my pink quilt for our bed this winter tonight. I will buy some of the same type backing to border the quilt so that it becomes reversible also I dont think the width is really there right at the moment. It makes a huge difference having the sewing machine upstairs with me. Where once I could only hand sew upstairs now I can be social and sew up a storm. Im not sure how to quilt this one i was thinking some sort of circle way... Might have to seek some professional advice on this one.
have a good night. The GHIU is off for two weeks after tomorrow..Hurray, days at the beach and at Splash planet and at Ocean Spa I think!!!

Happy holidays
Love Cherry

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Onwards go I crafting

I have been busy the last few days making up cute little stockings that will hang across the fireplace at Xmas with lollies and canes etc inside. These little advent stockings have yet to be paired up with the wool that will suspend them but I have laid them out to give a brief look at how they should somewhat look. Remember to check out to see the original. I tried to keep as much to Cherrys as close as possible as I just wanted to covet hers the moment they appeared in the Home and Antiques magazine (Britain)

Arnt they cute?!

Then absolutely itching for yet more Christmas crafts I pulled together this felt ornament from a photo in another magazine. So much fun to make up. Id like to make another for each of my girls. They have their own colllections of decorations that I have bought, made or they have chosen for themselves. Earlier I  tried to buy things that represented them, like their years in ballet..each year Id find little ballerinas in whatever their Christmas production colours would be that year. This year I managed to find a owl for Owl mad georgia and a reinder for Alex plus I made them a felt owl each as well.

The big (small) news is that against all the best commom sense in the world the girls took ownership of two pet baby mice the other day. The babies are not anywhere as tame as we were led to believe infact they are very frisky, shy, down right wild as field mice!!! This is generally a big worry as the girls try to catch them and the odd time succeed to hold a very Houdini type creature. The girls want so desparately to hold them, its no good telling them to take their time....So two wild mice, two over excited girls, three cats and one dog. What could possibly go worng??   Already the cats have been enjoying the new cat television..
The GHIU reluctantly came on board with this whole idea..I think he was out numbered and he knew it. Poor man in a girls house!!

Have a happy night and enjoy your pets!

Love Cherry

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pulling myself up again...

The infamous quilt
Yesterday was a great day until just a couple of really nasty people managed to destroy that. Im talking real low lifes. Worse..they bought out the worst in me . I momentarily stepped out of myself and saw the screaming banshee i had become in that moment..not pretty! Talk about feel appalling. I wont go into any details except to say that i was seriously wronged and it really challenged my belief in the human race. But only temporarily. Because I came home to hugs and kisses from my gorgeous girls and support from the GHIU.  After a while i dragged my knuckles off the ground and made some stewed plums wed been given. Felt better..
Then I sewed..the one therapy foolproof for my soul . Later that night I was actually able to watch "Sons" sew and have a laugh with the gorgeous hubby in Uniform. I still today feel headachy and depressed though, I guess some things take longer to get over than others.

Stocking advent from

When life hands you lemons.....
Far above you can see the finished swastika, Gestapo, Flyboy scrap quilt. I hadnt really wanted to finish it when I saw the shape it was taking..when The GHIU pointed out that I was infact stitching swastikas. I couldnt believe I hadnt seen it... But recently I pulled it out again and looked up on the internet and infact the block was used long before nazis took it up, and it was a sign of good luck. As someone pointed out 12 years of use by one evil lot of entities shouldnt consign it to the hated bin..but its hard to go past the fact that what it stood by in WW2 will shape it forever.  About half the people I show it todont actually see the swastikas in this quilt by the way.
Im now looking forward to finishing my gorgeous stocking advent and also trying my hand at copying some gorgeous felt decorations i saw in a magazine and then I will continue on with my pink quilt, which will replace the blue one I won from Wallace cottons a few years back. It has never sat comfortably with me since I saw the program on tv documenting what goes on in the sewing work houses in India. Wallace Cotton has the most beautiful quilts made there and ive never known what sort of ethical conditions lie behind their works. I hope it was made ethically. I alwyas support any organisation that supports there local community overseas in inpoverished conditions.
On that note we had great fun choosing our Christmas gifts for Oxfam this year. We ended up donating, school books and pencils and chooks and feed.  This was by far the best thing weve donw in years. In the past i had great joy knitting for orphans in Romania, sending new books and pencils to Africa . But this is something that the kids decided on and became part of.
Have a great day
Love Cherry

Monday, January 10, 2011

Lack of inspirational MOJO

prim ducks
 Where Oh where is my energy? Yesterday i was full of inspiration and decorating joy. Keen to sew and to clean and to organise. The vacuum came out and most of the dirty washing...but today..nothing. Im also really lethargic. So to compensate Im looking through this website of Cherry Menlove. I discovered when i got a magazine..the Christmas edition of Homes and Antiques from the library. I actually almost didnt get it because i had a huge fine from when i lost and then found some books and was feeling very mean and penny pinching..thanks goodness i decided to spend the $2.10 for this new magazine loan, because in it was Cherry menloves house all decorated up for Christmas. I was absolutley inspired and it was pure eye candy for my house of my dreams heart!! I went to her website to see if i could get a closer picture of her handmade advent calender and there amongst other gorgeous tutorials was a whole tutorial. I could have cried!!! So today in amongst the lethary i rode into town with my girls and we stopped off at Spotlight to uy the pink, blue and white felt required.  The lady asked what i was doing with the felt aqnd when i told her she burst out laughing and the other shop assistants all had a gawp at me. it is nothing new for me to continue with the Christmas theme until sometime in march and I usually keep Christmas crafting until Christmas is just a wee memory. She thought I was very organised...I said that this will be my third advent. The first one was a cross stitch number, the second my Kaisercraft scrapbooked one and now this. It is so gorgeous..See for yourself at her site under My Crafts.
I actually was given a quilted heart kit to make a Christmas wreath that is finished off with beads and gold cord, and I made it but didnt think to take a photo of it...Oh well youll just have to wait until next Christmas!
I have my delicious bacon and egg pie in the oven. I got the recipe from GrassRoots and it has masses of eggs bacon and cheese, surrounded by a puff pastry..even the girls like it! Thanks goodness I had this up my sleeve my energy levels are such that KFC might have been the deal (although my budget does not like tthis does my chicken loving heart, something that i struggle with everytime I take a drive through the colonels takeaway.

Happ crafting

MeMes Quilts

Monday, January 3, 2011

This is how we do it in NZ

I know that quite a few of the blogs I read are in America and the UK and I see all the snow and all the frozen lands there..but this is how we spend Christmas and the New year in NZ.!!
As I write it is midnight the only time to do anything other than swim is at is too hot. I am sunburnt on the back of my legs...silly me. The girls and th GHIU are all a nice brown colour!
Tonight we went to the river and the GHIU set up a fire where we cooked susuages and roasted marshmallows. The girls swam around and as the sun went down the little trout began to jump. it was great!

I am busy trying to finish patching my Flyaby quilt, my machine is now upstairs where I usually hand sew. This is to give me more time to actually finish off these UFOs this year.  We'll see.
It is late so nighty night
Love Cherry