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!
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!
What’s happening in your world? xxxoooxxxx
They were an almost shocking contrast to the bare branches of the surrounding trees…
What’s blooming in your world? xx
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…
As the sun set went down they seemed to get only more beautiful.The evenings are getting longer, tonight it was just bright enough for a quick ‘scoot’ around the neighbourhood after dinner.
There’s been a bit going on around here recently, here’s a few snaps of things from my world just now.
♥ Admiring this orchid because it just keeps on blooming and blooming…♥ Smiling. Don’t you love birthday cards? (yes, last week I celebrated another year passing…)♥ 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!♥ 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!♥ Wearing my green shawl, yes I have been wearing it (and loving it!)…♥ 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…
♥ 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.♥ 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! Time 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
It was bitterly cold here this morning… Everything glistened in the early morning light under a thick coating of ice, so I couldn’t resist braving the cold with my camera. We are heading for another one tonight -4 C which is VERY chilly for us! But I love this weather, the days that follow a good frost are so clear. What’s it like where you are? xox
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:And exactly one week later with his new glow in the dark(!) cast. It hasn’t slowed him down much!It’s always fun to visit the zoo…
Maybe too plentiful, because the wasps are feasting if we are not fast enough! Im loving this new clip….And planting cyclamens like they are going out of fashion…Did 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 :)
and decorated Easter cookies, using this recipe:
We visited the beach over Easter… and Maia and Carter love spending time with their cousins:And 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! They just keep on smiling… What’s happening in your part of the world?
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…
A golden courgette flower:
We’ve an awesome crop of golden queen peaches this year – YUM:
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…
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
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. The 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.
After 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.Im 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: Billy the cat playing with the crochet mouse family (ok maybe not playing, more tolerating Carter annoying his nap time). A poppy head (random :) )These 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…Eating so many cucumbers I may well start to look like one…Still waiting for my tomatoes to ripen, they were planted a little late this year and so the wait seems extra long!
While 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. How’s your week going? Jxox
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!)
Getting a sensible photo of Carter is almost impossible right now.Yes they chose their own fabrics. I also made Maia’s headband, Im thinking of posting a tutorial for these shortly. And yesterday I whipped up one of these bags, love the pattern and tutorial… I can see myself making lots more of these. What projects are you working on this week?
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.
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…
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. The garden is looking good, along with the potatoes so far it’s also been a good season for raspberries…And we are going to have bumper crops both of grapes and passionfruit later in the summer…I 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.The hydrangeas are also heavenly this year… even the bees agree with me! Now for a few more holiday pics…
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: The 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.So 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 :)
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:Making lots of these: Watching the bees hard at work:Crocheting (starting a lot, finishing a little): Loving the ripe juicy sweetness of spring strawberries: Enjoying foxgloves in my vege garden: Waiting patiently for my potatoes to be ready:Smelling this gorgeous geranium every time I brush past:Eating lots of lovely light meals now the weather is warmer:Marveling at the eggs that fell when a blackbird nest blew out of the tree in our yard:More 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):Loving self seeded aquilegias:Planting (well need to get planting) these verbena:Feeling more than a little bit tired, and glad tomorrow is Friday! How is your week going? x Janette
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).This winter I all but turned my back on our garden, and despite the mistreatment, it still provided plenty.
One 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.This 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? We 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?!These 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.My 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).Borage 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.I’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. I’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
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. 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!I 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!!Maia’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?Some 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!!). Carter has just got a spinning top which he is loving. So simple, but so much fun.What to do with all those empty jars?
Fill 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! Fresh plum jam and homemade yoghurt. Is there anything nicer?Finally check these crochet cats out. They are made using my Caity Cat crochet pattern… aren’t they just awesome?
Ok that’s all for now, back soon, hopefully with a finished project to show! Have a happy week! Love Janette xx
Sorry for the silence, there’s been a lot going on here which has kept me away from home and the computer. I thought Id share today with you… from morning till night. A quiet Sunday, the last day of the school holidays before the new term.
:A cup of green tea and a new yellow begonia:
:after breakfast, a family bike ride::essential supplies::some of us chose to read, and eat our morning tea::in the beautiful sunshine::some of us built dinosaur houses::some of us took photos::the boys went to a birthday party, and the girls spent some quality time baking something special to have for dessert::lemon meringue pie is one of my favorite desserts, and a good use of plenty of lemons::here’s something of a family tradition. When my Nana had any pastry left over, when she was baking a pie crust, she always made little jam tarts. Waste not, want not! My Mum did it, and now I do it. Just push small pieces of dough into mini cupcake pans, add a dollop of jam, and a small piece of pastry on top:
:there really is not much better than a sweet raspberry tart straight from the oven!::a wander around the garden, my first daffodil is almost out: :and the first small bloom of Daphne: :we are blessed with winter bounty right outside the door. Some cabbage: :and cavelo nero, together with broccoli and plenty of herbs are keeping us going through winter: :not to mention, plentiful citrus:
:a spot of reading::beautiful early cheer, brought by a friend to brighten my day::make your own pizza for dinner::so delicious straight from the oven::in goes dessert:: out comes dessert::better be quick, its going, going… gone!::turns out mabel our favorite chicken, loves pizza as much as we do::the day is done::and now, I’m going to watch a little tv in front of the fire and then early to bed::How was your weekend? xx :