Saturday, March 26, 2011

Grandma's Tablecloth.

Murhpy's Law implies that if there are really good quality curtains in the house you move into, then you are probably going to hate them with a passion.
Such has turned out to be the case here.
So in order to fit within my re-decoration budget which is nil, I decided to use my embroidered tablecloth collection to make curtains. I wonder what Grandma would think.
The one on the left includes a tablecloth she embroidered.
I am pretty pleased with the way the way they turned out. I think they suit the house.
Just need a few more to do the other window. Good old Trade Me should do the trick.

That's Grandma's tablecloth with the red poppies. It is particularly lovely.
I didn't know my Grandma very well. I only met her three times.
She died when I was in my early twenties, so I actually have quite few bits and pieces that belonged to her.
All my Grandmothers were accomplished handcrafters, but my Grandma Auss was the most accomplished. Especially at embroidery.
I think she would have approved of the "make do and mend" aspect of my new curtains.

Meanwhile I have been enjoying hanging my washing on the line in the meadow.
Climbing through the fence (having first established that it was not electrified) is part of the fun.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Buttered Paws Not Required:an evidence based conclusion.

We have finally moved in! Six blokes, several trailers, trucks with lifty things on the back and vans, utes and a honda accord was all it took.
My hubby was brought up in the"sitting on the concrete will give you piles" tradition, and he is firmly of the belief that you must butter the cat's paws when you move them.
I have to concede there is some logic to this, in that it might induce them to groom.
However, the chics make the cat rules in this household, so no paws have ever actually been buttered, and now I can present my evidence based conclusion that it is just not necessary!
I rest my case.
The tail cat moved in and made herself right at home.

The kitchen is still huge because my new table hasn't arrived yet.

The Magpie Cat decided that she needed to be carried up the stairs.
She achieved this by yowling very loudly at the bottom till we came and carried her up.
I guess if you haven't had stairs before, you might expect that your people would carry you up,
or install a small chair lift or something.
What actually happened is that everyone got busy and ignored her and she had climbed the stairs by herself by the second day.

View of the garden from the upstairs window.

Forgot to fix the exposure on this one.

Not a scerrick of butter on the Tail Cat's paws.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

There's a Mouse in my House!

Indeed more than one.
I found them while I was tidying up my endless boxes and baskets of sewing stuff.
I have only very vague recollections of doing them,
But I suspect it was over the many hours spent in hospitals with Callum,
when one day pretty much merged into the next and I was very grateful to have cross stitch to occupy me.
That was in the days before I could afford to make quilts.
In fact my first quilts, and some of my favourites still to this day, were made from scraps of material from Sarah's dresses and scraps from things my Mum had made for us.
Each scrap tells a story.

I remember when I made this one.
I was expecting Callum, and I made it for him, not knowing if he was going to survive.
I had it framed, but it was done very badly, so I took it apart a few years ago and used the frame for something else and kept the cross stitch with the others.

The mice are all from the same cross stitch book. I found a half finished one too, which i will endeavour to finish eventually!
Never thought this would happen, but have to confess I can't see the colours very well at night now, which makes me lose momentum with cross stitch these days.

I also found Mrs Tiggywinkle at the bottom of the pile.
She was very delicate and difficult to do. The detail is so fine.
I can't use the 18ct anymore, because I just can't see well enough.
My daughter does it beautifully, and so quickly, and laughs at me for my bumbling about eyesight, the way I used to when I thought that would never happen to me.

Gosh I did that ten years ago!
Mrs Tiggy is one of my favourite people.
She's an ironing freak, just like me!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jo and Annabel come to dinner.

Way back in June I blogged about my girl's weekend at Jo Seager's Cook School in Oxford.
Then I came home and talked about it to anyone who would listen, and promised a Jo Seager dinner party.
Well I've finally done it! But I had to invite Annabel (Langbein) along too because she has such lovely photography in her cook book, and I just make her flat bread recipe ALL the time.
It's great to have with hummus with drinks before dinner.

These are my most photogenic deserts. Lemon roulade, lemon possett (in Grandad Darcey's best crystal glasses), and mint truffles.

This is Annabel's bread with hummus and my fav, blue cheese. No -one else likes it, so there's plenty for me!

Coriander chicken and basmati rice.

Close up of the deserts, which I am slightly biased towards!!!

Dinner parties are not really my thing, that's partly why it's taken me so long to get around to it. I feel slightly self conscious about it, because i remember my Grandma Ida's in the 1970s, which were truly stupendous, and my Mum's with the baked lemon trout and pineapple pudding (not sure if they appeared on the same menu??)
And I worry that my lemon roulade might be quite tame in comparison.
Certainly coriander chicken would have been laughed out of town in the 1970s!

But Jo and Annabel are the new Doris and Audrey in my book.
Both glamorous in their own way.
Both icons of New Zealand culinary culture.
History will prove me to be right, I am sure.

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