An autumn walk

For  those of you that have been following for a while you will know that we live in Hamilton, New Zealand, very close to some spectacular gardens, maybe even best gardens in the world! This afternoon we took a family walk through them, and in the fading  afternoon light I took these photos – which I thought I’d share with you…

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 2 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 3

Do children always have such boundless energy?

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 6 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 4

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 5 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 7 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 9 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 10

I love this photo, but for the leaves, the fish could be swimming in the sky!

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 11

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 8Hamilton Gardens April 2015 12

Maybe that should be verdant autumn…Hamilton Gardens April 2015 13

Lots of fun with looooog shadows…

Hamilton Gardens April 2015 14 Hamilton Gardens April 2015 15Autumn really is a lovely time of year – the nights are cool but the days are bright and warm. The leaves are changing colour, but there is still so much in bloom. What’s your favourite season? What’s the weather like where you are? J xoxox

 

Rag Quilt

Yesterday I made a rag quilt for Maia… Rag quilt 2Actually it would be more accurate to say that I sewed it together yesterday. I cut out the squares some time ago but lost interest over the summer in sewing it all together (how unlike me!). So in a marathon effort that even gave me a leave pass from making dinner (excellent ploy to remember for future – sorry I cant tonight I’m up to my eyeballs in sewing which I promised Maia I’d finish today) my most excellent helper and I sewed a gazillion squares – first together (batting sandwiched between slightly larger layers of cotton and flannelette) with big crisscrosses, then in rows and finally all the rows together to form a quite lovely pink and purple, flannel backed raggy quilt.Rag quilt

The beauty of this type of quilt is in the imperfectness of it. I promise you there is not a perfectly uniform square in it, and the rows? They don’t exactly line up. I’m ok with that. I know there are some accomplished quilters out there (Nola I’m looking at you) that will not love this quilt. But I’m going with that its supposed to be rustic (can a quilt be rustic?) and of course if it was all perfect it wouldn’t be gorgeous and raggy!

Today its been through the wash, and flapped on the line in the cool autumn breeze for most of the morning, before heading into the dryer for a spin. Out it came, all fluffy soft and frayed and wonderfully snuggly, just asking to be crawled under and read to. Fortunately I know just the girl for such a quilt :)

Rag quiltI think this type of quilt is perfect for beginners (like me), and for those that are not that keen on getting everything perfect (truthfully I’d rather poke a needle in my eye than spend days lining up a gazillion squares and then trying to sew them all together neatly –  I can only imagine how much unpicking that would have involved).  Speaking of which I broke three needles in the one afternoon I was making this. One went through my finger so we can’t really blame that on the layers of quilt – this was slightly traumatic for both me and the 8 year old, but the other two were through pushing them and the machine too hard. If I was to attempt this again (which I may), I would buy some stronger (heavier?) needles.

Construction was pretty simple. I got the idea off the interweb, where there are some particularly helpful people who have made many of these quilts and put together lovely tutorials – like this one, this one and this one.

Aside from the cutting and sewing, a few hours last night was spent snipping all the edges to help them fray. My thumb is going to take some time to recover from all the exercise!Rag quilt 6So that’s that, would I recommend it? Yes? Will I make another??? Hmmmmmmm, we’ll see.

The weather has cooled down significantly here this week, and with it the light is fading, so I took the quilt outdoors to get some photos… supposedly just with Maia and her new quilt…

Rag quilt 5But someone else wanted in on the photo shoot :)

Rag quilt 4And now he wants in on a quilt too… PLEEEEAAAASSSSSEEEEE Mummy!

When I sat down at the computer tonight to send this I found a couple of other posts which I had begun which I haven’t got around to posting, so all going well I will get those finished and you will hear from me again soon, but until then I hope you are having a wonderful week friends!

J xoxoxo

Saturday morning

Navy crochetA wander in the garden, a little crochet and a cup of tea… is there a better recipe for a Saturday morning? I think not!

Navy crochet 4I was asked yesterday what I was going to be doing this weekend… and I’ll admit I felt a little apprehensive about admitting my lack of grand plans. But the truth is I relish weekends just now because I feel like the weeks are passing by in a blur… school, work, after school activities, and even birthdays (Carter has turned 6, 6! How can my baby already be 6?).

Navy crochet 5It’s a welcome relief to have no deadlines to meet, no school bells to beat and no alarms to snooze. Even if it is only for two days…

Navy crochet 2And I am pleased to report that my top – in stylish navy, don’t you agree –  has grown, to more than double the size pictured here… one side is now complete and the next has began. Bliss!Navy crochet 6

What do you have planned this weekend? J – xox

Pancake squares

Pancakes are a Saturday morning tradition in our house, and for those days when I can’t be bothered standing in front of the stove flipping pancakes, I whip up a batch of super easy pancake squares. These are simply a modified pancake batter cooked in the oven (all at once in a tin). To eat you just remove them from the pan, slice and serve… Easy! Pancake squares 2

Because we have a plentiful supply of raspberries at present we are really enjoying raspberries in our pancake squares. But the pancakes don’t have to have fruit – they are perfectly delicious without – and you don’t have to be limited to raspberries, through the winter we enjoy frozen blueberry or grated apple, or feijoa pancakes… all equally YUM YUM YUM! Pancake squares What could be easier, or more delicious?

Easy Oaty Pancake Squares

Heat oven to 180 C. In a medium bowl mix together well:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar

Add:

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 50g melted butter

Stir through approx 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit (eg raspberries, blueberries, grated apple) – if using.

Pour into a lined baking dish and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until lightly golden. Test with a toothpick to ensure it’s cooked through.

Remove, slice into squares and enjoy topped with a little maple syrup and fresh fruit :)

D is for Dishcloth…

Crochet dishcloths  free pattern I Do Declare, a Darling crochet Dishcloth is Definitely going to transform your Dreary Dish washing….  Delivering you and your Dishes from Dirty and Dull  to  Divine!

Crochet dishcloths  free patternI Dare you to find someone who Doesn’t Deserve a Delectable Dishcloth aDorning their kitchen, Dashing Duty into Delight.

Crochet dishcloths  free patternAnd Don’t despair, you can soon have a Dozen of these Decidedly Delightful Dishcloths too!

Delightful Dishcloths

Using a 5mm hook and worsted weight cotton, chain any multiple of 2 stitches + 2… I used 30.

  • Row 1: Work 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook, *ch 1, skip next ch, sc in next ch; rep from * to end.
  • Row 2 – 30: Chain 1, turn. Sc in the first space, *ch1, sc in the next space* rep from * to *  across. Remember to chain one at the end of each row and turn. Continue working in rows until your square looks square! Fasten off and join a new color.
  • Round one of edging: Repeat pattern, working AROUND the outside of your work (That’s sc in the chain 1 spaces, ch1) and work sc ch1 sc at each corner. Join with a ss to finish the round.
  • Round 2: sc in each stitch around putting 2 sc’s in each corner space. Fasten off and weave in all ends.

If this was in any way confusing, you can watch a video to see how to do this stitch in  more detail here (the pattern sc, ch 1 creates woven stitch – a very useful stitch pattern to have in your crochet repertoire! )

J xx

I am…

In my world right now I am: ConeflowerGardening… making the most of the summer that has officially extended into Autumn. These echinacea have been a feast for my eyes all summer long!

Coneflower 2Giving up in the battle to eat all the zucchini. My family now flat out refuses to eat anything containing zucchini – but as their palates are not yet refined enough to  detected it grated, it’s surreptitiously making its way into all manner of meals undetected heh heh heh. Question, at what point does a zucchini officially become marrow?? These: Marrows.

Marrows 2Potting? Potterying?? *Making* a whole menagerie of clay animals! Loving getting my hands dirty each week at a hand building pottery class I’m taking this term…

This is Petunia. If you follow my face book page you’ve probably seen quite a lot of her!

Pottery pigTie Dying… Deciding to tie dye with two children = reckless… There was dye, it was EVERYWHERE. Some even made it onto items of clothing.

Tie dying I have to admit that for the most part, the results (on the clothes) were fabulous. The same can’t be said for my hands… That black thumb lasted for days! Tie dying 2Crocheting… a little easy sweet crochet in sherbert cotton. More on that soon!

Crochet in cottonEating this  taste sensation! My current favourite toast topping? Natural peanut butter, banana and chia seeds. Once made it doesn’t last long! For the most part no body in my close vicinity shares my love of peanut butter creations… Do you?

output_NkY7fFWishing that summer could last forever, but knowing that as the nights begin to close in that its going to be gone soon… So Ill leave you with this gorgeous monarch one of many loving it up at our place right now before summer slips away.

Monarch on dahliaSo now I’d like to know, what are you…

Making

Giving up (it is Lent after all)

Crocheting

Eating

Wishing

Doing?

xoxo – J