Thursday, October 16, 2014

Much to be thankful for

Yesterday afternoon, as I walked to the bottom end of our property to let the hens out for a run, I just had to stop and take in the view.

It was a beautiful spring day, the weather is beginning to warm but it was not too hot.

Lots of fresh blossoms around bringing a smattering of colour to our surroundings.

The peacefulness of the rich blue of the Waikato River, Lake Taupo in the distance on the left and the snow capped mountains on the far right.

When we moved here nearly five years ago, there was four of us and three cats.  Linda and I have since had to say goodbye to two of our much loved family members, Mum and Glynn and everyone's friend, Linda's cat, Kaiser. In spite of the 'cycle of life' playing a big part in our lives, we still have much to be thankful for in what we are able to do, for our family that remains, for our circle of friends and for our wonderful, peaceful surroundings.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

What in the world?

Yes, what in the world is going on here?

I had a special request to make two baby quilts.

Between the four parents there's four different nationalities so I was asked to incorporate something that alluded to this in the quilts.

I managed to find a fabric with an overall design representing children from all around the world in national costume.

With a little bit of fussy cutting it has been fun to watch these stars come to fruition surrounded by little children.

Still a work in progress, there is more to report on this before I am done.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Small scrappy projects

I do love playing with fabric scraps so when Linda needed to stock up on her supply of business card holders I was only too pleased to take up the challenge.

It makes a nice change from making larger quilt tops.

I am enjoying the opportunity to mix and match scrappy strips in our fabric stash to make bright and cheery card holders.

If you are interested in creating some of these yourself the following tutorial will give you the guidelines:-

The link says to use interfacing but I have left that step out.

A close up so you can see how the holders look inside and out.

It is nice to take the opportunity to use variegated thread for the top stitching.

If you or your friends have a favourite coffee shop you may like to make some as loyalty card holders with appropriately themed fabric.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Crazy quilting delights

Yesterday Linda and I shared on our blogs about a visit from a group of ladies from Tokoroa.

I said there would be some more regarding crazy quilting and here it is.

One of the group, Rayna, excels in crazy quilting and this is just a little of what she has created along the way.

Isn't this framed purse just delightful?

What we did not know until Wednesday is that Rayna is an accomplished bear maker and has taught, made and sold teddy bears overseas.

One of the items she brought was a crazy quilt memory book she had made of the teddy bears.

So inspirational to be able to have and hold these beautiful items at our place.

Thank you ladies for giving us such a lovely day.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

A delightful visit

Have you ever thought it might be fun to try your hand at dyeing lace, or ribbon or motifs?

Yesterday we had a delightful visit from a group of ladies we know who live in Tokoroa.

They meet at home and share all sorts of craft activities together but more especially patchwork and quilting.

They have been to visit before to share our common interest in crazy quilting.

Part of our shared interest is dyeing bits and pieces and so I asked them if they would be interested in participating in this with me when they came to visit.
Some of them had already done this sort of thing but we did have one lady who hadn't so this was of real interest to her.

These Ozecraft dyes are fun and easy to use.

If you have reason to be in Taupo and would like a demonstration you would be most welcome - individuals or groups up to six people.

We are happy to provide morning or afternoon tea.

You can contact me at for further information.

The ladies had some lovely show and tell.  If you like to head on over to Linda's blog she is sharing some of their quilted show and tell and tomorrow I will share some of the crazy quilting show and tell.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The little things in life............

Yesterday Linda and I had a very pleasant day out.

In the morning we went to a regional quilters' gathering in Rotorua followed by lunch and a browse in some shops in the downtown area.

One of the shops just happened to be an op shop (thrift store) where I spied these lovely little doilies featuring crinoline ladies.

Not that we really need to add to our doily collection but these were far too nice to leave behind. The ribbon bows have been done in the tiniest satin stitch and the crocheted border is in pristine condition.

Just a little thing in life but something just a bit special to have at our place.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Something a bit different in our lives

In January of this year Linda and I made a decision to change the way we eat.

Encouraged by our brother we read It Starts With Food and decided to follow their concepts, based on the Paleo lifestyle, for 30 days.

The main changes for us was giving up sugar and all wheat products.

We haven't looked back.  We feel heaps better, sleep better, more alert and, as a bonus, we have both lost weight.

The only wheat based food we have now is a home made pizza once a month that Linda makes for us.
I was most surprised that the transition has gone so well.  Always been a bread lover but was aware it was causing digestive issues which have now disappeared completely.

Recently I found a recipe for bread that is wheat free and works for me.  If you would like to try a break from wheat but still want a 'bread' in you life you may like to give this a go:-

Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius.

Grease or line a loaf tin with baking paper.

Place the following dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:-

75gm psyllium husks
40gm flax seed
75gm rice flour
2tspn baking powder
1tspn baking soda
1tspn salt

In another mixing bowl add:-

75gm melted butter
1/2 cup milk
4 eggs

Mix wet ingredients and add to the dry, mix well and place in baking tin.

You may like to sprinkle on top of the loaf a mix of 20gm sunflower seeds and 20gm pumpkin seeds.

Bake in preheated oven for 55mins.

Cool and enjoy eating.

Bread stores well in pantry for at least 5 days.

NB.  You can mix the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds into the batter if you prefer but the baking soda may turn the seeds green (as I found) so I now put them on top instead.