Wednesday, February 23, 2011

bean sneak

As the death toll from yesterday's earthquake in Christchurch it's hard to think about anything else. I can't believe that while I was sleeping snug in my bed there were people waiting to be rescued, stuck in the cold, damp dark night, I just doesn't seem real. The people of Christchurch are foremost in my mind today.

Thanks for all the great comments on my last post. I loved hearing what everyone was getting out of their gardens. I also had feelings of not planting enough in our garden this season, I haven't kept up planting lettuce of silverbeet nor have I planted enough beans for our little bean sneak. Miss E is often out at the bean vines picking any little beans that she can find and consuming them, right there on the spot! Sometimes she brings a little friend along to help (mr A however doesn't share the love of fresh beans and happily gives her all that he can find). Rain doesn't seem to hamper her enthusiasm either. While I love the fact she is so happy snacking away on fresh green beans ( I mean who wouldn't be?) I'm a little disappointed that no fresh beans make it into the kitchen for me to cook. I must remember to plant lots more next season.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I've been glued to the TV all afternoon, very teary. I can't believe what has happened to poor Christchurch. My heart goes out to everyone there and everyone who has family there. I wish there was something I could do. xxx

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Zero food miles here. Fresh figs warm from the sun, yum. Best part I seem to be the only one who loves them. I had them on a pizza last night and my family thought I was from another planet. What are you eating with zero food miles?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

a bit more

just a wee bit more yellow. The bumble bees are going crazy over our sunflowers and they seem to like this yellow plant too, miss E and I spotted it on a walk today. I do so love to watch the bumble bees doing their work.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I was recently gifted a large lot of vintage fabrics, in amongst them was the remains of a shirt with yellow roses on it. I sewed it together with some soft denim to make a couple of zip purses that I've listed in my etsy store. Then I made a little patch with a crochet edge, then I made a whole bunch of patches in all sorts of fabrics ! They were very addictive. I'm thinking of adding them to cushions, skirts and having some on hand to cover up holes and stains on clothes.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I've tried a couple of new recipes from blogland over the last few days. First up was this cake from the blog spinning a yarn. Super yum! I didn't have any sultanas so added diced apricots, I used a mixture of apple, carrot and zucchini. It was a big hit with all the family and I didn't bother with icing - even better. Definitely a recipe I'll be making again.

Then I tried some pretzels from the blog growing up. So yum and I was transported (memory-wise) to a cold German day buying one at a Christmas market, yum, yum, yum. Well worth the efforts and few steps involved. They too went over really well with the family and disappeared quickly.

Got any links for recipes you've tried and liked from blogland?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Ok, so it's not heaps of yellow in this sewing, but there is a squeeze of lemon in there. I made this tunic before Christmas, it didn't fit how I wanted despite doing a calico first. Needless to say I wasn't so happy and it sat in a crumpled heap for a few months. Then I decided to give it another chance, the fabric is striped linen that I picked up for $1.50 a metre, bargain. So with nothing to lose I cut the top part off and added some shirring to form a waistband. I'm really pleased with it now - phew! I snapped a quick pic of it on while I was in the garden, not the best photo or top to be wearing with it either. It's really comfy to wear and nice and cool in this hot and humid weather.

The black stripes are just some bias binding that I sewed on randomly, I just pretended that I was on project runway and tried to "make it work" - ok you are all laughing at me right now, but I'm ok with that.

Tomorrow some yellow(ish) food

Monday, February 7, 2011


It's going to be a week of yellow posts. I've noticed yellow popping up all around me lately. It's far from my favourite colour, being a redhead (or strawberry blonde) it isn't a colour that I'm attracted to. It's my husband's favourite colour and so I'm starting to warm to it a bit more.

So today, yellow from our garden! There are sunflowers, zucchini flowers and the little yellow ones pictured are from small watermelons. There seem to be loads of these black and yellow ladybugs too, I hope they are friendly!

Tomorrow a yellow sewing project.......

Thursday, February 3, 2011

family favourites

One of my goals for this year was to use some of the vast collection of recipe books that I have tucked away. I say tucked away because to be honest they are, and a bit like the clothes in my wardrobe I use the same ones over and over and forget totally about the other ones.

Part of my collection includes some of those great books that have been compiled by a school or kindergarten or similar group. They are filled with the best family recipes and often have names like "aunty linda's tea cake". Over the last few weeks I've been trying some of the recipes. What I've discovered is most often the recipes haven't been proof read, the instructions often say add this or that and this or that isn't even listed in the ingredients! So with a bit of frustration I've been whipping up all sorts of "family favourites".

One which caught my eye was a custard square recipe that is made out of Huntly and Palmers cream crackers, have you ever heard of it? I had tried them once before, a girl I used to work with bought them in for a shared plate one day. I thought they were delicious but never thought to get the recipe. So it's pretty basic, lay out the crackers in a square cake tin, I discovered that I don't have one and used a sponge roll tin instead. This wasn't totally ideal as the next part is to pour over the custard (made as per packet instructions plus an extra tablespoon of custard powder) and they slid apart a little bit and the custard part wasn't as tall as I'd hoped. Once you have a layer of custard over the crackers, add another layer and pop them in the fridge overnight. The crackers soften and form a pastry. Then you can add an icing, I made a vanilla one but chocolate with some coconut sprinkled on is another option. Cut into squares or fingers to serve. They disappeared pretty quickly here!

The one book that I like the most belonged to my grandma, it's from 1983, called family favourites and was compiled by the N.Z.M.K.S. - or the New Zealand Machine Knitters Society. Many of the recipes say how quick they are so you please your family while you knit. What a great idea.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

for treasure

It's been more than a year since I made some treasure bags , from the book Handmade home by Amanda Soule. While they are great they just don't suit our beach gathering style! Our trips to the beach lately have seen me at the water edge with a handful of shells/stones/driftwood from miss E, trying to get back to the treasure bags and watch the children in the water at the same time. It just wasn't working.(this is when my husband would laugh at me, a post about collecting shells from the beach!) Then I remembered I had a little bit of the insect mesh left over from the treasure bags and it was just the perfect size for what I had in mind. A little pouch with a long strap that I could sling across my body, a flap so no shells will escape as I get in and out of the water and chase kids along the beach (I attached a piece of Velcro to keep it closed).

It had it's first outing this week and I'm happy to report it works just how I imagined. It doesn't hold too many shells, but that is a good thing, how many shells do we actually need to bring home?