Saturday, October 29, 2011

Grandmother's Rose Garden Tea Cosy

To brighten any table, will fit a 6-8cup teapot.  Complete with base frill!  Simply Gorgeous :-) $38.00 including postage anywhere in NZ.

Updated: now sold!

A Sunny A&P Show day

Today is the day of Amberley's A&P Show.  I have never entered anything into a show, but I could have put the leeks in for judging if I had thought hard enough about it.  They are ginormous great leeks.

The sun is shining, its about 20C and the whole world feels summery.

All the roses are  starting to think about blossoming, the flag irises are budding, the wildflowers are blooming and my vege garden is growing.

Tomatoes, yes!
Corgettes, yes!
Peas, yes!
Carrots sprouting up from seed, yes!

All over my kitchen window sill (much to the dislike of my sister) I have little pottles of sprouting seeds.  Finally the basil looks like it will survive and actually thrive, the beans that Montana-Rose shelled for me have put up enormous muscly looking tall shoots, and capsicums are coming up too.

It's spring in abundance ;-)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sunflower Tea Cosy

Here is my latest fad!  tea cosies galore...this one I am so proud of, a wonderful sunflower to beautify any table!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Latest Batch of Soap

Here is my latest batch, which I have tried to dye purple, to varied effect, as the photo shows.

125g Caustic Soda , dissolved in 335ml water
270g Coconut Oil
70g Olive Oil
570g Lard, saved from our cooking
25ml fragrance (in this case, Lavender)

I processed it last night and cut it today, and although it looks pretty now, I know that by the time it has "cured" (in about 6 weeks) it will have faded off considerably.  Goodness knows what it will look like once it is ready.  Already the fragrance is fading..ggrr

Monday, October 17, 2011

Proud Mummy Moment

Montana-Rose achieves a Silver Medal with the British Ballet Organisation for her dance yesterday.  Her best results 8/10 for spatial awareness, and 8/10 for entertainment value.  Miss Gooch, Director of BBO NZ, said "Danced with complete freedom.  Good timing and attention to the story. Well done"  awwww...

Aaarggh, a Ben 10 tattoo discovered on her arm moments before going on!  hairspray and a lot of scrubbing later.....

Figs! Inside V Outside

The little fig in a bucket,  given to me for my birthday by my sister, has 4 figs growing on it.  Despite having a few limbs accidentally lopped off during our house move, it has flourished on a window sill

Our previous home, blessed with the ugliest of conservatories you ever saw, sheltered the wee fig tree from the  elements, providing it with an early spring and summer.

What a contrast with the ginormous fig tree which fills a corner of the house garden here at our new home.  It is only just coming out of bud, with doublets of leaves and small marble sized figs forming on the ends of its bare branches.

I have been assured that the figs on the outside tree will not come to fruition.  Apparently it doesn't get hot enough  for long enough to ripen any fruit without putting plastic bags over all the fruit to hasten the process.  We shall see, I am pretty hopeful, why else would previous owners grow it if it didn't produce fruit?

I love figs...try cutting a cross in the top, pulling them open into a star shape, brush with a honey, grill till browned and softened, serve with vanilla icecream and warmed honey with a bit of vanilla in it- devine!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The "after" picture

Here is the photo (at last) of what I achieved on Sunday.  You can see the two rows where potatoes have gone in.  

The weeds are like a mat, you almost "roll" them up!
(Evening in the Garden of Eden - Amberley)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

October and it must be planting time

Mother Nature has not forgotten to let us know that she has not quite finished with colder weather yet.  Just to prove it, yesterday HAIL and today a frost.  Still, I braved the morning cold, and set out mit gumboots to conquer the garden.

Here is a shot of what it looked like before I started today.  The cleared off bit is what Albie and I did a week ago, which took us a whole morning.

I managed to clear two large rows and plant 26 seed potatoes (Jersey Benne).  We also unearthed some more spring onions, and leeks which the previous people had planted.  It's starting to look like it should do, a proper Mr McGregor's garden.

A row of carrots went in, and Hamish very kindly put plastic  around the rest of the fencing,( and tidied up the fences I had already done, apparently they didn't meet his strict quality control).  Our chooks, not content with the 12 acres to roam, got into the garden through the fence the other day and ate 6 small cauliflower seedings, hence the drastic plastic measure.

Montana-Rose helped me to plant some lettuces also, and had fun hunting for more beans.  There  are a whole heap of dried beans on dead vines against the fence, and she has been podding them for me.  I have no idea what variety they are, but am placing my bets on scarlet runner beans.  Time will tell, as I plant to pot some up and see what comes up.

In the afternoon I finished sewing M-Rose's latest dress..