Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Darling Buds of September.

A snap shot in time, of a painting in progress. Alas I am not the artist, just the gardener.
Whose magnolia burst into bud this week, with the first flowers of spring.

To become the beginnings of a painting, that may or may not see the light of day.

Depending upon the whim of the artist and weather she is satisfied with the end result.

It may languish under the bed for years, to be dug out when next moving house, or in a spring cleaning episode.

Or it may be framed and hung on a wall somewhere, where I will remember that they were once the first magnolias in my spring garden, one September, many years ago.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crochet was cool, even in 1972!

Weren't we groovy chics way back then? I am the one in the pink dress. Very unfeminine haircuts were imposed upon us by the bowl cut brigade and we all had to look the same as our brothers! No Mum I do not believe it was fashionable even in 1972!
However, I had a very fashionable Auntie Doreen in 1972. We still talk about those white boots.
I remember them vividly, and some equally fantastic hot pants. Meanwhile I had the obligatory tartan kilt and twin set. And this fantastic crocheted number made by my Auntie Doreen. My sister had one the same, as you can see. They did that sort of thing in 1972.
It's Christmas Day in Eltham. The wind was obviously blowing - as usual. The spring equinox is an absolute myth in Taranaki. It's actually the spring/summer/beginning of autumn equinox here. I remember hail one Christmas too, but that was in 1975...
I am grateful for technology, such as the ability to scan images from 1972. When it works it's marvellous. Often it will not! Such as today when I had such lovely new photos of the crochet going on in my neck of the woods. Several gremlins of a technological nature then beset me. The Magpie Cat sat on my computer chair and I could not gain access, and as if that weren't enough, the camera decided that my memory card had not been initialised. Load of codswallop, but I cannot convince it otherwise, so you now have a slightly modified blog post about crochet, with photos I had already.

Some of Grandma's crocheted stuff that I have out every day because I love it and marvel at the skill. Something I shall never attain, because life is too short to go beyond granny squares when one's mother has such faultless crochet genes and can do all the tricky stuff for you! To make up for those dreadful haircuts we had in 1972!

Grandma and me, and Jo in 1970 in Grandma's garden at Euroa in Victoria.

Yay for granny squares. Are you impressed by the skill of these particular Granny squares?
Do I have the crochet gene do you think, or did I have a minor mutation in one of the protein chains that means I cannot progress further? That's different to having a mutation in casting on chains. I often get those. Most unfortunate!

I go round to my Mum's house and pinch crocheted flowers and pretend that I made them, and embellish things with them, taking full credit.

Some of the tricky stuff that I can't do.

This is one of her little experiments with skirts for Crinoline Ladies. For it is considered most unseemly for Crinoline Ladies not have skirts!

My life has become a garden of stolen crocheted flowers at the moment. Because there aren't any in my real garden, except for a lonely fresia and a few magnolia buds.
I found the most amazing book of knitted and crocheted flowers at Poppies on Friday, and I have been dying to show it to you, but it'll have to wait till I can sort out the gremlins. Manged to sort out the Magpie cat and she's now snoring under the chair instead of on top.
Spring is on it's way to the Southern hemisphere Blog Chics, and not a moment too soon!
Have a lovely week.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I was doing the ironing the other day, when I was rather taken with the vignette on the laundry window sill.

So I stopped in the middle of it all and wandered round the house with my camera, looking for vignettes to capture.

In the bathroom, cos you rarely see vignettes of people's bathrooms on the blogs.

These bags hang on a shaker rail along one wall in my bathroom.

My favourite Matt photo.

Camelias and Crinoline Ladies on my apple green cupboard. That's all I have in the agrden at the moment. Except there are a few things starting to poke through the mud. I can't wait for my garden to burst back into life again. I'm so sick of dead sticks and mush. Roll on spring time blog chics.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sweet Vi-o-lets.

If I had known how invasive they would become, I don't think I'd ever have planted them. But they are sweet and endearing at this time of year, even as I'm ripping great clumps of them out!

I chanced upon the loveliest online shop the other day called Cottage Violets. It has the most gorgeous collection of violet inspired vintage lovelies. Do have a look!

This image is courtesy of lunagirl images.

The violets at my front gate are the first signs of approaching spring here, and a reminder that I have to get weeding, feeding and mulching.

I still rely on my winter pansies for my main purple fix!

I picked a tiny bunch of violets for the photos, and hunted for a vase tiny enough to display them.


I found a lovely recipe for violet jam on one of the blogs one day. Alas I cannot remember exactly who to attribute it to, but I think it might have been Soule Mama, who is a very reliable source of such lovely ideas.

Anyway, I haven't tried it, but it sounds delicious.

Violet Jam
1 packed cup violet blossoms

1 cup water

juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup honey


Blend violets. 1/2 of the water and lemon juice. Heat remaining water and honey in a saucepan. When warm, add pectin and stir until mixed well. Add pectin/honey mix to blender. Blend again until smooth.Place in jars immediately to set. Can be frozen according to the author.

The only thing that puts me off is collecting a cup of packed violet blossoms. I'd have to take a packed lunch in red spotted hanky and be gone for the whole day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Nesting Season.

When the weather is yuk, the Magpie Cat and I get the nesting instinct.

I make a nest on the couch with a quilt, but first I had to finish the quilt.

Remember the raggy ballerina quilt I've been making for ages? I blogged about it here.
Well I decided to finish it today, as I couldn't do the garden. Too wet. Too much mud.
Nesting seemed a much better idea. So I made some stuff for the tins for this week. Jo Seagar of course. Her sultana loaf and her raspberry and chocolate brownie. But I didn't have any raspberries so i just left them out. It is still very yummy. I tried a corner to make sure!!!

Then I leave them for Hubby to eat and carry on with my polystyrene crackers and apples LOL.

So I tipped out all my doilie scraps and got down to work.

And the Magpie Cat made a nest in the doilies, as they do.

Then I made my nest, complete with Country Living, the devine July issue, and a lovely cup for my coffee. The cup and saucer belonged to my Grandma Ida.

Then I folded it up and put it on the pile of bedding in the ballerina bedroom.

And The Magpie Cat made another nest in the knitting.

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