Garden

Tangerine crochet

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Tangerine crochet 4This week Ive been working away on a cardigan for Maia. I was going to save it for her birthday, but I’ve had to have her try it on numerous times to get the fit just right (its a modification of another pattern), so now she is monitoring my progress and (im)patiently waiting until its finished.

Tangerine crochet 2The color is gorgeous, not too girlie but still a lovely soft sherbert tangerine color, just right for summer and an almost-eight year old miss who has recently developed an aversion to pink. I guess the pink I had planned for the trim will have to stay in the draw!

TangerineThe rainbow in these shots comes from a crystal prism I have hanging in the dining room window, I hadn’t realised it was in the frame until the sun came out and I began taking photos.

It’s pretty though, don’t you think?

In my world

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Here’s a few random little snippets from my world recently…

We are now mid-spring here in New Zealand and the weather is warming up. My garden is growing at warp speed – more on that soon. Its a rare occasion to see Tui in my garden, but this week there were a couple sipping on flax flowers. Birds, you will note, are well outside my photographic expertise!Tui in flax flowers

Speaking of flowers, Carter expressed his inner floral artist at school for their gala event. He had such a proud Mummy! Here’s his sand saucer;Sand saucer

ButtonholeCarter buttonhole arrangement arrangement:

Miniature garden:Miniature dinosaur garden

And glitter jar/upside down jar arrangement:Carter glitter jar

Walking on the beach, with toes out – much more palatable now the weather is warming up, hmmm might need to dig out some nail polish!Walking on buckland beach

Drinking lots of smoothies… mostly berries, sometimes with greens, but always with added chia (don’t blend them)!Berry Chia Smoothies

Carter the spider: Crter in spd web sml

Maia doing her best impression of a sculpture: Maia statue auckland art gall sml

Tillandsias hanging in my window… the best low maintenance pot plants, driftwood and macrame optional!tillandsia

The building (and rebuilding) of fairy houses is in full swing:  Fairy house Oct 2014

As well as raising seeds and planting seedlings like crazy, I’m propagating a variety of plants… this is my kitchen windowsill, and I’m happy to report that every eastern and southern windowsill in our house is also home to a large number of small jars with lots of other potential plants for my garden! Propogating cuttings

Our crochet loving cat (actually I think its the wool he loves!)Catand crochet

Finally, here’s a shot of a little blue crochet (one of two projects) I have on the go… more on that soon :)Blue crochet

What’s happening in your world? xxxoooxxxx

Colourful…

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I had to stop when I rode past the gardens on my bike today… the flowers were just glorious!  Spring tulips 6 Spring tulips 5

They were an almost shocking contrast to the bare branches of the surrounding trees…

Spring tulips 4I love the color of spring :)Spring tulips 7

How Ive missed you red, pink, purple, yellow and orange…Spring tulips 3

Spring tulips 2

I must bring the children back for a photo on that park bench! Spring tulips

What’s blooming in your world? xx

Magnificent Magnolias

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The weather has warmed up considerably in the past few days, and with it so to has my enthusiasm for spending time out of doors.

There are signs of spring everywhere, but not least in the magnificent magnolias which are blooming in our street. My heart lifts every time I see them. Usually as I rush by, this way or that… to school, to work, to gym, to violin,  to swimming and (somewhat exhausted) home again.

Today I went out walking not once but twice – with my camera in tow – to enjoy the spring air and to photograph these amazing blooms to share with you.

In the morning…

Magnolia4 Magnolia2 MagnoliaMagnolia5And the evening…

As the sun set went down they seemed to get only more beautiful.Magnolia3Magnolia7Beautiful magnoliasThe evenings are getting longer, tonight it was just bright enough for a quick ‘scoot’ around the neighbourhood after dinner.

“Hurry up Mum!”,A quick scoot after dinner“No time for any more photos!” xx

Busy…

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There’s been a bit going on around here recently, here’s a few snaps of things from my world just now.

I am…

Loving my new project (more on that soon!)…Crochet Reading, a lot… winter really is the time for reading. Ive recently read this, and this and this…. I’d recommend them all :)

Admiring this orchid because it just keeps on blooming and blooming…orchid in bloom Smiling. Don’t you love birthday cards? (yes, last week I celebrated another year passing…)Birthday cards Baking, like reading, is something that seems to happen more when its cold (the oven warms up the house, the smell warms up the soul!), brownies… and slices for lunchboxes, try this one (pic below) or this one. Yum!Baking Enjoying this amazing bromeliad… it has the most beautiful flower don’t you think? Just one of the many signs that spring is on her way!Bormelid in flower Wearing my green shawl, yes I have been wearing it (and loving it!)…Crochet sidewalk shawl Reminded that although spring is nearly here, winter hasn’t quite let go her grip yet… we’ve had so many frosts the garden is looking very sad. I’ve also had to resort to planting seedlings inside cut off milk bottle to stop the chickens scratching them up and/or eating completely!

Traveling… is a necessity of my job and there has been a fair bit of flying of late. At least the weather has been gorgeous, so the flights have been full of spectacular sights…

Travelling down the north island Grateful that my Mum can come and help out on those hectic days when I have to be away…  it makes life so much easier when Nana comes and does all the school (and trampoline and swimming…) pick ups and drop offs, the children love it and I really appreciate one less thing to worry about.

Arranging my new printers tray, which has become home to an eclectic miniature collection… each day the children find something more to add to it.Printers tray collection Cherishing my girl and this now toothless grin – the big new tooth is growing in so that smile is never going to be the same again! Maia lost her toothTime seems to be passing by so quickly just now, I can barely keep up!

I wonder what you are loving, baking, crocheting, arranging, reading, wearing, enjoying, thinking, smiling about and doing?

Lots of love, Janette xox

Snippets

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Its been very busy around here, and quite some time since there’s been an update. So here you go:

The big news is that Carter broke his arm… a first for our family. Here he is the day he broke it:Carter the day he broke his armAnd exactly one week later with his new glow in the dark(!) cast. It hasn’t slowed him down much!Carter's broken armIt’s always fun to visit the zoo…

Maia and Carter at the zooEspecially when we saw these guys there:

MeercatsThe first autumn leaves are falling – which are beautiful, but make me a little bit sad all the same…LeafThe garden has been plentiful – especially in the grape department.

Grapes2Maybe too plentiful, because the wasps are feasting if we are not fast enough! Wasps eating our grapesIm loving this new clip….lazy wrap bunAnd planting cyclamens like they are going out of fashion…CyclaminsDid you see the lunar eclipse? Here’s what it looked like from our place, the small dot out to the side is Mars! The children were very excited :)

Lunar eclipseWe baked…

Easter cookiesand decorated Easter cookies, using this recipe:Easte cookie decorating 2

We visited the beach over Easter… and Maia and Carter love spending time with their cousins:Kids at the beach Easter 2014And eating lots of chocolate of course! Here’s what Easter Bunny brought this year, we have a tradition that he always brings a book, but this year he also (very wisely) brought a new toothbrush and tooth paste – what a smart bunny! Easter bunny basket 2014They just keep on smiling… Maia and Carter tree smallWhat’s happening in your part of the world?

In the garden

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How has your week panned out? It’s been a lovely week here, the weather holds. It’s still nice and warm, and although rain was forecast this weekend, it has not arrived. School and after school activities are now in full swing, and the pace of life has picked up to match, as have I – needs must.

Today I’m going to share a little more of my garden, but Ill be back in a day or two with some crafty progress and other happenings from around the place.

My vege garden has found a new lease of life, consistent watering and the continuing long hot summer has given it a second wind. We have water restrictions so I’m getting up at 6am every second day and turning on the sprinkler for an hour or two.  I’ve got another round of summer crops in, the tomatoes, courgettes and cucumbers are still going strong and many autumn crops are beginning to take off too.

Here are some garden shots taken over the last week…

Leeks, interspersed with coriander, silverbeet and zinnias:Garden feb 2014A second crop of potatoes… hope there are lot’s of lovely taters under those leafy heads! Garden feb 2014 potatoes

A golden courgette flower:

Corgette flowerBee on the wing, they love these borage flowers:

Bee and borageCinnamon basil, the first time Ive grown this variety, it seems to be very abundant… must make pesto this week before the basil all turns the corner:

Cinnamon BasilA drooping sunflower head in the late afternoon sun. If you’ve figured out an easy way to harvest the seeds please let me know:

Dead sunflowerThe second crop of raspberries, even better than the first!

Raspberries ripeningMarigolds, basil and tomatoes, wonderful companions, all have thrived this summer:

Marigolds tomatoes and basilDill seed heads… one of two herbs I never plant but always have in abundance due to self seeding (or lazy gardening!) – the other is coriander:

Dill flowersI think they are so beautiful too…Dill seed head 2

We’ve an awesome crop of golden queen peaches this year – YUM:

Golden queen peachesFinally the perfect antidote to these hot afternoons… a little sprinkler action:

In the sprinklerWhat’s been happening in your neck of the woods? Do tell… Jxx

Heavenly hydrangeas

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After a somewhat sedate start to the new year, things really have picked up to the point that I now feel like I am constantly running to keep up. From early morning till (sticky hot!) evening, life is more than a little chaotic and I feel like I’m racing from one task to another… there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day! I took a few minutes this afternoon to ‘just breathe’, and wandered around the garden taking photos – while the children were playing under the sprinkler!

I couldn’t resist sharing these hydrangeas with you…

Hydrangeas Hydrangeas Hydrangeas HydrangeasThey are, of course, past their best. In a day or two the petals will start to brown and curl… but for today I feel happier that I took a few moments and I reveled in their beauty.

So do tell, how is the new year treating you? Has 2014 hit it’s stride and racing along at your place too? I’d love to hear! Janette xx

This and that

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Here are some photos from the last few days, it’s a bit of a random update I’m afraid. The weather has been so nice and we have been so busy I haven’t been spending any time near a computer. Grapes 2014The children painting, and (in the foreground) our stupendous grape crop. We are patiently waiting for them to ripen… the color is just starting to turn so they shouldn’t be far off.

Rose and grapesThe last of the summer roses, Ill be sad to see them go. Roses in swan vaseI will dead head the bush this weekend, but I don’t think it will bloom again before autumn sets in.

Crochet throwAfter a week trawling wool shops (both online and around town), I’ve finally purchased the yarn to complete this cheery throw. I love the bright circles, and spent a long time trying to decide what order to place them in so the colors are balanced. I think I’ve settled on what’s shown in the pic above.Carter, Maia and their new pjsIm still sewing up a storm, including these new PJ shorts for Maia and Carter. Carter is so not into having his photo taken right now… shame, I love taking photos of them! This was the best of a bad bunch: PJ CollageBilly the cat playing with the crochet mouse family (ok maybe not playing, more tolerating Carter annoying his nap time). Billy cat and crochet miceA poppy head (random :) )Poppy seedThese guys are growing up so quickly… and they are so cute, but it’s a battle of wills right now. They are convinced the best place to hang out is on our deck. Unfortunately we don’t agree with them…Chicks Feb 2014Eating so many cucumbers I may well start to look like one…Apple cucumberStill waiting for my tomatoes to ripen, they were planted a little late this year and so the wait seems extra long!

Ripening tomatoesWhile the heat lovers (like grapes and tomatoes) are thriving, the flower garden is looking far from its best… although these dying hydrangea blooms are still quite beautiful. Dying hydrangeaHow’s your week going? Jxox

Cheep cheeps

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Chickens Jan 2014We have extended the chicken family and now there are six pekin bantams…I’d like to introduce Myrtle, Sonny Bill, Cheepie, Blossom, Sun, Cloudy :)

This week I’ve been doing a bit of sewing, more pillowcases for the children (simply so I can get the Christmas ones off the beds!) New pillowcases 2

Getting a sensible photo of Carter is almost impossible right now.New pillowcasesYes they chose their own fabrics. I also made Maia’s headband, Im thinking of posting a tutorial for these shortly. DIY headbandsAnd yesterday I whipped up one of these bags, love the pattern and tutorial… I can see myself making lots more of these. Reversible bag free patternWhat projects are you working on this week?

Janette df

Sunny thoughts

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Thanks for all of the kind thoughts and wishes sent my way in the past 24 hours, it really means a lot to me, I appreciate you taking the time to let me know you were thinking of me and my Mabel.

It’s the eve of Christmas eve and today has been a pretty hectic day. I’ve only just arrived home from my last outing of the day (9pm), officially checking off my last pre-Christmas chore  – grocery shopping. Seems I wasn’t the only one trying to get my last minute Christmas shop out of the way (so I can avoid the shops altogether tomorrow) as the supermarket was mad. Half the city must have had the same idea.

Ive just popped some (more) Christmas cookies in the oven (today’s final task), so while I’m waiting for them to bake Ill post a few pic’s from today and a few more of earlier in the week.Cookies

My that oven IS dirty (its ok, I’d notice it to) try focus on the cute Christmasy tea towels!

The tree is up, the presents are finally all wrapped and waiting…

TreeI love that we get to enjoy Christmas in the sun, but to be honest its almost a drought already so a few minutes of rain (strictly for the garden) wouldn’t go amiss!

I dug up a bucket of spuds for Christmas dinner, not quite the tiny new taters I had in mind, but we had some for dinner tonight (along with the very first sweet corn of the season) and they are very tasty. PotatoesThe garden is looking good, along with the potatoes so far it’s also been a good season for raspberries…RaspberriesAnd we are going to have bumper crops both of grapes and passionfruit later in the summer…GrapesI picked this posy of sweet peas and pink geraniums to give to our neighbors this evening. I wish I could share the scent with you…. its so sweet and summery.Sweet peasThe hydrangeas are also heavenly this year… even the bees agree with me! BumblebeeNow for a few more holiday pics…

MT Drury 2photo The weather was exceptional… sunny and warm, although a little windy. This panoramic of the Mt Maunganui main beach will display at full size if you click on it: Mt Drury2013The children had a ball; fishing, swimming, scootering, playing, sand castle building – we were on the go from dawn till dusk (literally, they were up at 6am) each day.half way down the mtphotoSo how’s Christmas shaping up for you, I’d love to know… is it summery or wintery? Are you all ready and waiting, or do you still have a long list of tasks to complete before you can relax? J xox

PS. Ive just taken the cookies out and sampled them (tasty!) Ive promised the children they can sandwich them together with peppermint cream tomorrow morning :)

 

Spring

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It seems like life to have picked up the pace a notch or three recently… here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to the past week or so.

Enjoying being outside:Spring in our yardMaking lots of these:Rainbow bands bracelets 3 maia and rainbow bandsWatching the bees hard at work:Bee in the borageCrocheting (starting a lot, finishing a little): Doily 100Loving the ripe juicy sweetness of spring strawberries: Strawberries in a chipEnjoying foxgloves in my vege garden: FoxglovesWaiting patiently for my potatoes to be ready:Potatoes gardenSmelling this gorgeous geranium every time I brush past:Geranium pinkEating lots of lovely light meals now the weather is warmer:Veges and dipMarveling at the eggs that fell when a blackbird nest blew out of the tree in our yard:Blackbird eggMore crocheting (I must confess that while I’m quite fond of these wee mice, my children inform me they look like goblin mice. Thanks guys, tell me what you really think why don’t ya):Crochet mice in a tea cupLoving self seeded aquilegias:Aquilegia purplePlanting (well need to get planting) these verbena:VerbenaFeeling more than a little bit tired, and glad tomorrow is Friday! How is your week going? x Janette

Gardening

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It’s been a while since I’ve shared a garden update, now seems like a good time because everything is stirring from the winter slumber (including me).Garden Sept 13 10This winter I all but turned my back on our garden, and despite the mistreatment, it still provided plenty.

Garden Sept 13One advantage of neglect is that there are always plenty of self sown seedlings popping up. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve brought a lettuce plant, but we always have an abundance of Marvel of four seasons (the reddish one) and Buttercrunch. Not to mention miners lettuce which grows all winter in almost weed like proportions.Garden Sept 13 2This artichoke made a delicious addition to our dinner last night, and was enjoyed by all, steamed and dipped in lemony butter. Don’t you agree that the first of the season always tastes best? Garden Sept 13 5We have three main beds, last week I dug one over with plenty of compost in preparation for planting early potatoes. I know, two spades, impressive huh?!Garden Sept 13 4These are ‘Rocket’ seed potatoes, I got them in yesterday and I’m hoping they will be ready by Christmas! I realise this might be a little ambitious. I chit them in egg cartons, this protects the delicate shoots and then makes transferring them to the garden easy.Garden Sept 13 7My best girl Mabel kept a watchful eye and snapped up any worms silly enough to linger near the surface. She’s a pretty bantam with a big personality, she will be five years old next month, so she’s really part of the family. Whenever I’m in the garden she’s always at my side (and sometimes, on my shoulder).Garden Sept 13 8Borage is such a wonderful companion plant in the early spring, it brings in lots of bees, and despite its prickliness I think it’s quite beautiful.Garden Sept 13 9I’m waiting in anticipation for the broad beans to pod up. Not only because I can’t wait to eat them, but also because I need this garden free so I can get my tomatoes in. I won’t plant so many this year, honest. Garden Sept 13 6I’ve been blown away by the huge response to my little giveaway! I’ve loved reading all the wonderful comments, they make me smile (and some even made me laugh). You still have time to enter if you haven’t already.

Enjoy your weekend, the school term finished on Friday so we are away for a few days in Whangamata staying at a friend’s beach bach. I don’t think it will be warm enough for swimming, but we should get in some nice long walks on the beach. xox J

Snippets

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I thought I’d share some photos from the last few days…

Spring has indeed graced us with her presence… today we’ve had sun, rain, wind, and weather so hot Ive had to strip off, only to find it so cool a few minutes later I’m reaching for my sweater! On the bright side, this blossom on our Golden Queen peach tree is breathtaking.Peach blossom2 For my birthday I received a cake pop baking pan so the children and I took it for a test run. Before this weekend we’d never had cake pops, but I’m sure we will be having them again soon!cake pops CollageI seemed to spend a lot of time in the kitchen over the last two days. These two shots are of my kitchen windowsill, and just outside my ‘pet’ dragonfly. The stock and freesias smell lovely!!Kitchen windowsillKitchen windowsill 2Maia’s class topic for the term is ‘pay it forward’ so they are decorating bags which they will fill with games and activities they’ve made themselves and will give to Starship children’s hospital. Guess who spent the weekend cutting and sewing 25 bags?Book Bags 1Some children watch TV… here are mine watching ‘muffin TV’! They’re not so patiently waiting for strawberry muffins to cook for dessert.  We used this recipe (I’d recommend you try it!!).Watching muffin tv Carter has just got a spinning top which he is loving. So simple, but so much fun.Carters spinning topWhat to do with all those empty jars?

DSC_0147Fill them with orange, lemon and ginger marmalade and plum jam (the plums were frozen last summer). I’m sure Ill be making these yummy treats again soon now my marmalade stock is replenished!Marmalade and Jam Fresh plum jam and homemade yoghurt. Is there anything nicer?yoghurt and jamFinally check these crochet cats out. They are made using my Caity Cat crochet pattern… aren’t they just awesome?

These ones are from Just made with love:resizer-nl4ec3990cbc09932And these ones are from Stip & HAAK:

IMG_0011I love LOVE love them! I think they are better than the original!

Ok that’s all for now, back soon, hopefully with a finished project to show! Have a happy week! Love Janette xx