Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Painting the Roses Red.

We're painting the roses red.

Painting the roses red.

Not blue, not green, not aqua marine.

Not cookies and cream.

It's actually lemon sorbet.

After a very vigourous afternoon pruning roses, trees and hydrangeas, "she who is proficient at separating eggs" enjoyed a spot of lemon sorbet at the new local gelato shop.

The Magpie Cat was thinking that spring must have come a bit early this year, going by the size of the snails round here.

Sweet violets beside the gate post.

I just said, "if you help me prune the roses and the hydrangeas I'll be finished quickly and we shall promenade to the gelato shop."

After hearing a run down of the main points of pruning to an outside bud etc, she chose to prune the hydrangeas and the virgillia tree! Wise decision.

The other Magpie Cat sat sage like and gave good advise. That's sage like as in the Dali Lama, not in the sense of a garden herb. You can see how context could be a problem here.

A small collection of pansies in my favourite colour, and a crocheted brooch made with help of Catherine at An Angel In The Garden.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Crinoline Ladies.

I've always been fascinated by Crinoline Ladies in all their permutations. My Grandma Ida crocheted beautiful tea throws with Crinoline Ladies at the corners. Those are my first Crinoline memories. I had one of Ida's tea throws for years, until it finally wore out.
This beautiful tablecloth came from the Antique Shop in Eltham.

This vase was a junk shop find. So long ago I can't even remember where. I think it was local.
My daphne has flowered and I have lots of it in the house at the moment. Smelling so lovely. Kind of lemony. Am managing to find a few scraggly blooms to go with it to fill a jug.

Little half doll Crinoline Lady at my Mum's house. Hand crocheted dress of course.

I found this little treasure at the Ashburton Antiques and Crafts centre. Her neck had been broken, so she was mine for six dollars. I never mention it, and neither does she, so it never bothers either of us.

My Crinoline Lady pinni. Made by my Mum as a reference to one her mother made for her in the 1940s. Thankfully she has not presented me with a pair of flour bag knickers to go with it!

Monday, July 19, 2010

The view from my front gate.

This was the view from my front gate last week when we had all those amazing frosts.
You can ski on Mt Taranaki, but it's a bit of a hike to get to the ski field, and you have to take your lunch! It seems to be more popular with snow boarders than skiers.

Went to Taupo to deliver yet another hilux. Always seem to be delivering a hilux somewhere.
It's very handy for Hubby to have me as a kept woman sometimes. He can say how about delivering a hilux on Tuesday? And of course I just cease all operations with the crafting and go.
This time we went together, which was quite romantic. You know how I know that it wasn't just business? Because he stopped on the side of the road for me to take this photo of lake Taupo glistening in the winter sun. Blokes who drive a hilux are not well known for stopping for photos of lakes LOL!

But then it was back to business down the Parapara (State Highway 4 blog chics. Yes sometimes you must stop for ferrel goats to pass on State Highways in New Zealand)!
They are so cute at twighlight. How the little ones go for an evening walk with their mothers, probably foraging for gorse on the roadside or something. They are very road savy though.

And of course sheep... photos taken going slow enough in a hilux so that they didn't blur.
You don't really try to go slow in your hilux down the Parapara, but sometimes you just have to, for ferrel goats as mentioned, and Japanese import Hondas in front of you. People who drive imported Hondas down the Parapara obviously are not people who make a habbit of such things, therefore they slow down for bends that say 60k, or 35k. People in hiluxs do not, given the choice.

And I've started some new knitting. Ferrel goats you ask? No... sheep!

From this pattern by Zoe Mellor.

Although, as you can see from the book the publishers were not strong on their animal husbandry, because the animal in the photo shoot looks suspiciously like a goat to me!
But I could be quite wrong of course. They do have very unusual looking breeds of sheep in Blighty, if you believe what you see on Jimmy's Farm, and Escape to the Country.
Here we just have strictly utilitarian sheep. They breed them with two legs on one side shorter than the two on the other side, so it's easier to walk up hills. When you're going down hills it's a bit trickier, but they just go backwards. They're very used to it!

I bought this wonderful book the other day. Did I tell you how I was cutting down on buying books?
It's just so gorgeous, and I just want to make everything in it. Been experimenting with bits of left over shabby chic bits and pieces.

This is another photo from the book. The mix and match thing is just mesmerising, and I love the way she gives such concise instructions with mostly diagrams. Woohoo, a girl after my own heart!

This is my experiment with my shabby chic bits and pieces.

Not sure weather I am mad on it. Probably look better in brights.

This is the back, which I like better than the front.

I'm painting things today blog chics, dressed in all my finery. Old baggy jeans from my fat days, two sweatshirts and woolly socks to keep out the cold. But the sun is shining, so all is right with the world. Show you what I've been painting next time. If it turns out alright. If it doesn't I'll just say I haven't finished because I was delivering a hilux!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Icicles and aprons - and what to do with your plastic geraniums.

This morning we awoke to the most amazing frost. It's the most complete freeze that I can remember in thirteen years of living here.

The bird bath was completely frozen over.

So was the Magpie Cat's water.

But there are a few signs that spring is on it's way.

So I have been making aprons and bags.

I just used my lovely Cath Kidston apron as a template, and made the apron up from bits of vintage fabric leftovers, and a few bits of an old tablecloth.

I put a couple of Emily's (Ravenhill) little puffy flowers on it where the straps attach.

And I finally got round to making this Cath Kidston bag pattern that came with the February Issue of Australian Country Style. This is one of my favourite mags. In fact, most month it's between that and NZ House and Garden. I love Victoria too, but it doesn't come very often, and there's not as much in it as Country Style. I used to love British Country Living, and still often buy it, but it's only got two houses featured now, and a lot of Welsh cooking. The July Issue with the afternoon tea party on the cover is lovely though, and I did buy that one.
I also love British Country Homes. It's got more stuff in it than Country Living.
Did I mention that I was trying to cut down on magazines blog chics?

This was the feature on the Cath Kidston bag. The instructions were pretty clear, and it wasn't difficult, but if you haven't sewed before you should definitely read all the instructions through first, then begin, and take your time. The diagrams were especially helpful. Again, I reckon they put in far too many steps, making it sound as though it is more complicated than it actually is.
I find this with a lot of sewing patterns. That's why I usually abandon them and just follow my instinct. Sometimes this necessitates getting out the Funnell kitchen knife to fix things, but never the hack saw!!!

I used some lovely old Sanderson fabric that I've made so many things from. I managed to get a complete bedspread and curtains from the local Sallies shop ages ago. I've just used it and used it. Unfortunately this was the last of it.

Also, this is another thing to do with plastic geraniums blog chics!
Use them in a bag photo shoot of course!

Spot the Granny Square blanket?
The day has turned out to be sunny and clear, but the frost lay about till lunch time.
I have some fantastic photos of the mountain which I can see as if it were right in front of me when I walk up my street.
But I forgot to include them in my post, and cannot work out how to insert photos in my blog posts where I want them; after the event.
So I will include them in the next one. No idea what that will be about. But I have started applying for JOBS blog chics.

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