Kainga, where Roses bloom, life is lived at a gentler pace.Living Simply, doing all those good things like stitching, gardening, cooking and reading.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tea Towel Sewing Challenge


Last night while blog surfing I came across the tea towel challenge that Jenny is having during January. I always have some tea towels on hand in my sewing cupboard ready to machine embroider or decorate with applique.
The challenge was to make something that is useful out of a tea towel. I managed to get two things out of the one towel. I made up a teddy bear that I will use near my sewing machine to put pins in. With the leftovers I sewed up the two sides that weren't sewn and I now have another dishcloth. If I made the teddy bear again I think I would iron some sort of stabiliser on to the towel as it tended to fray a bit. Thanks for the challenge Jenny,nothing like a challenge to get the brain ticking over. If I had bought the material it would have cost a lot more than the purchase price of the tea towel. Now I will be looking at tea towels in a different light.
Happy sewing
Bev C

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Grow your own "and some finished items for January.


I have been enjoying the tennis and cricket on TV. Hasn't it been great. I just love that French commentator. I have managed to get a little sewing done in between.
The other day I got a lovely email from Nate and Annie asking if I would join in Grow Your Own
I had previously done this posting about the zucchinis and the recipes I made with them. If you are interested in growing and cooking this is a great site. Please do yourself a favour and visit the blog
This morning I unpicked all the quilting I had done on the table runner except for the three daisy's in the middle. I am glad I did spend the time undoing it because I wasn't pleased with the previous quilting. Now it is finished and ready for the label to be sewn on. I am joining in next months Friday Night Sew In and can't wait. It is a great way to get an extra project done each month.

Today I posted the Hexagon Bag to Chris. I had some material left over and made something else. The above photo is a sneak peek of it. There has to be some surprises Chris. I will show a photo next week when the parcel arrives.

Yesterday I found this little piece of teapot material so decided to make another Mug Holder Bag. Now I have to work on my "Row Block of the Month". I have found a lovely chook pattern and I am enjoying finding different coloured material for the chooks. I hope everyone is enjoying the last week of the school holidays.
Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Makes Me Happy Monday" Number 4 and a Award.


Happy Monday to you all. For this week "Makes Me Happy Monday" I have chosen a quilt I made called "Scrap Happy" I made this quilt from all those little bits I had left over from projects and used black homespun for the centre blocks and triangles and border. It certainly makes me happy when I know that this quilt is basically made up of leftovers. Lots of happy memories coming through when I look at some of the material I used. I have some from a skirt when I was very very young,there is a piece of Christmas material that one of my children used a gold pen and wrote Merry Christmas on it when they were younger.Pieces of scraps from Ainsley and Bonnie's 21st Birthday quilts. I didn't keep to a uniform size for the scraps,after all it is a scrap quilt.

I finished the quilt in August 2007. It has a home on the bed in the spare bedroom. When I got it quilted I chose multi coloured thread to quilt it. The quilting pattern shows up a bit more if you use multi coloured thread. So this quilt really makes "Me Happy" when I see it. I made the quilt from this pattern .
Now onto an award that I was given last week. Paula kindly gave this to me and I have to pass it onto 7 people. As with all awards there are several things which must be done. So here goes.
1. I have to thank Paula,thanks heaps Paula, it is extra special to receive it from you.
2. I have to Paste the award on my blog. Done. That was easy!!!
3. I have to Link the person who nominated me. Done. Make sure you check out Paula's blog.
4. Tell 7 interesting things about yourself. It is below,please read them.
5. Nominate 7 blogs. Again,keep on reading below.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs,Will do that,make sure you visit them.
Now for the 7 facts about myself.
1. I would rather buy patchwork material and garden items than shop for clothes and shoes.
2. I grew up on a sheep/wheat farm at Jennacubbine.
3. I love to walk everyday but was bitten by a dog late last year. I am waiting for those neighbours to shift before I start walking again. In the mean time I am swimming every day.
4. I won medals for athletics when I was much younger.
5. I don't eat red meat.
6. Licorice is my favourite lolly. Daryl Lee would have to have the best flavours of licorice.
7. I am number 7 of 8 children.

I hope you have learnt something about me. Now I wish to nominate the following 7 people for "Beautiful Blogger Award"
I enjoyed reading the comments you all left on last Monday's posting about the fridge light. It seems I have a husband that sounds very familiar to you all. Thanks for visiting and I hope you all have a very "Happy Monday."
Happy days.
Bev C

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hexagon bag finished,"Washing Day" and some recipes.


Not much sewing has been done here this week but I did manage to get the hexagon bag together. I decided to use some rattan handles. I put these on this morning. I hand sewed it all together. Sewing with black thread on black material is something I will give a miss for a while. I will be posting the bag to you Chris early next week. Look out for the parcel.

The other week I was lucky enough to win one of Lyn's newer patterns. This is called "Washing Day" and there are three items to make,peg apron,Hand/Tea Towel and a Small Quilt to pretty up the top of your washing machine. Lyn also included a tea towel and the most beautiful ric-rac. I just love the ric-rac. Thanks Lyn.

I have been picking lots of zucchini from the garden. I have found two recipes that use zucchini. These vegetables seem to grow right before your eyes.

Zucchini Fritters with Minted Yoghurt

400 grams grated zucchini
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions

2 tsp garlic,crushed

1 cup mozzarella cheese,cut into small dice

2 eggs

1/4 cup parsley finely chopped

1/4 cup basil shredded

1/4 cup mint shredded

1/3 cup flour

salt and black pepper

olive oil for frying

1 cup natural pot set yoghurt

1/2 cup mint shredded

In a bowl combine the zuchini,spring onions,garlic cheese,eggs,herbs flour and seasoning and stir together until mixed. Heat oil in shallow pan put small dollops of the mix into hot oil. Cook on a moderate heat until golden brown on one side. Turn to other side and repeat.

Combine the mint and yoghurt and dollop onto the cooked fritter. Enjoy.

When I made this I adjusted the recipe as I didn't have all the herbs so used dried mint and being a lover of garlic I used a few cloves chopped up and I had only cheddar cheese. I didn't have spring onions so finely chopped about a quarter of an onion.It all worked out though.

My other recipe I have is for a cake. Lucy found this recipe in her journal from her trip to New Zealand last year. Chris made this cake while we were there for my Mum's Birthday. It is just so lovely and moist.

Spiced Courgette Chocolate Cake.

250 grams unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

1/2 cup light olive oil

2 eggs

2 3/4 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa

2 tsp Chinese five spice or used mix spice

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 courgettes trimmed and grated (1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup unsweetened plain yoghurt

Chocolate Glaze

200 grams dark chocolate

3/4 cup cream

1. Beat the butter,sugar and oil together until thick and creamy. Beat in the eggs.

2. Sift the flour,cocoa,baking powder,Chines five spice or mixed spice, baking soda and salt into the creamed mixture and fold in the courgettes.

3. Turn into a well-greased and paper lined 23cm round cake tin. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until cooked. Cool before pouring over the chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze.

Melt together the chocolate and cream in a microwave on high power for 2 minutes or until the chocolate has almost melted. Stir until smooth.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend,we will be having a swim as I think the temperature is going to climb up a few degrees. Hopefully nothing like the couple of 47 degrees days we had earlier on in the week.

Happy Days.

Bev C

Monday, January 18, 2010

"Makes Me Happy" Number 3.


Well we are into week three of what "Makes Me Happy" I can probably say that no-one else will have the same topic as me this week. I have been waiting years for a light bulb and its holder to be replaced in our fridge. And I mean years!!!! Last week Ian finally did the job. I took out the plastic casing that surrounds the bulb a few weeks ago and left it on top of the fridge. I said this used to work years ago surely it must work again!!!!

Now I don't have to say why are you turning on the kitchen light just to see into the fridge. Miracles do happen.

Happy days.

Bev C

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shells and results from Friday Night Sew-In.


I hope everyone is enjoying the start of the weekend. No sewing done today,a bit of shopping and doing things around the house. I had to share this photo my sister Chris sent me recently (thanks Chris). These shells were collected at Te Ari Beach in New Zealand by her friends Kei and Lisa. There were holes in the middle of each shell and Chris made these. Modern Art at its best.
Last night for the Sew-In I managed to get the table runner nearly together. I still have to put the binding on. I usually use spray glue to put the three layers together but I have run out of this so this time I used safety pins. Not quite as happy with the result. I may undo some of the outside quilting and use spray glue.

In the centre I machine embroidered three of these little daisy designs. These are from the Brother card Number 22 which has a great range of designs.I see 145 people joined in,I call that a resounding success.
This month I am trying not to purchase any quilting/craft supplies. Using up what I have on hand.After all there is a room full of supplies in the sewing room. I am in the process of making a very small list of what I need and will get this next month.
Tomorrow is Anita's Birthday,go and wish her a Happy Day. Today she is resting getting ready to use all her energy to blow out the candles!!!!
Happy days.
Bev C

Friday, January 15, 2010

Charity blocks and some Friday Night Sewing.


Yesterday I received my material from Simone to make up two blocks for a charity quilt. I was given the task of making two blocks for boys. For the block on the left (Courtyard Square) I was given the centre piece and the blue/yellow material used in the flying geese. For the one on the right (Around the Rosie) I was given the centre piece and the green/blue stripe for triangle squares. Most of my material is very feminine but I did manage to find enough boyish colours. I even managed to get a Beagle in there. Simone has a beagle so I thought this was very appropriate. They have just been posted and will be winging there way back home to Simone.
Tonight I will be involved in the Friday Night Sew-In. I have plans to use the first pattern which has the checked border. I have chosen the brown print to go into the centre.
I would like to thank Anita who was kind enough to be my photographer today. I lent my battery charger to Ainsley and Julian who are still on there cruise.
I will be back tomorrow hopefully with a nearly finished table runner. Enjoy your evening.
Happy days.
Bev C

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Love Is" is finished and a wonderful parcel arrives.


Today I finished my first project for the year. "Love Is" was made completely from scraps. The final measurements are 45 inches by 65 inches. It will be a great quilt to snuggle under come wintertime. This quilt remained on my sewing table all last year. There is something about the start of a new year to get you motivated. I stitched in the ditch on the squares and around the edge of the cats and girls. I used a blue floral print for the backing which I had in my sewing room stash.
Yesterday I received my parcel from Heidi. It was my prize for being the winner of December's Friday Night Sew-In. I was overwhelmed with what I got,lots of lovely material and a Purple Thang and the most beautiful card which shows three friends stitching. The Purple Thang is a smart little tool that helps you turn out corners and holds things while you sew,it has many uses. I can assure you this will be used quite a bit in my sewing room. There are 89 people signed up so far for this month maybe you will be number 90.If you join in you will be sewing knitting or whatever you choose with people all over the world,how cool is that.
Tomorrow I will have to see what I will be doing on Friday night. I have a few UFOs that need doing but I am thinking of making a table runner.
Happy sewing.
Bev C

Monday, January 11, 2010

"Makes Me Happy" Number 1 and 2.


This is the first of my "Makes Me Happy" postings for the year. Last week Paula started this on her blog and invited everyone to participate. We do a posting each Monday about something that makes us Happy. By the end of the year we will have 52 things that we can look back on and see what "Makes Me Happy". As my roses are suffering from the recent heat I decided to show you my Rose Books. These really make me happy. I buy a book if I think it will have some relevant information and sometimes "just because I have to have it."
I have mainly books that are from Australian authors but I do have some English New Zealand and American Authors as well. A couple of the books I have bought from the sales that the State Library holds in town here every two years.

These are two books I read over and over again. I love old fashioned roses. They are so much tougher than some of the modern roses. Plus they have such interesting names and history. I particularly like the Australian Roses book as it shows roses that have been developed in Australia.

I love Susan Irvine books. When you read these books you feel as if you are in the garden with her.

A couple of years back we went for a holiday in Tasmania. As Susan lives in Tasmania I decided to see her home and garden. I looked her address up in the white pages and there it was. We drove to where her home was and it was exactly as she described in her books. I was only able to take pictures from the roadside but I was extremely happy to just do that.
My number two item for "Makes Me Happy" is something that we had to endure here in this state for the past three summers. Yes you guessed it we don't have daylight savings this summer. We had a three year trial then a referendum and it was voted out. This makes me extremely happy.
I know I will have some fun with these postings,thinking of 52 different things that "Makes Me Happy." Maybe you want to join in as well,I hope you do.
Happy days.
Bev C

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lucy's Sewing Machine and Love is progress.


Well the last couple of days have been fairly hot here. We are expecting 41 degrees Celsius today so I expect it to be a few degrees above that. I have spent a fair bit of time indoors watching DVDs. I have watched Beautiful Kate,Balibo Fve,Funny People and the Taking of Pelham 123. I have also read a book by Michael Jacobson called "Windmill Hill" which was a great read. It is about a man called Blink Johns and what happens when he is kidnapped from his nursing home by his grandson. The story is based in Tasmania. It was the type of book that you couldn't put down and wanted to keep on reading. This little Singer Sewing Machine belongs to Lucy. It originally belonged to my Aunty Lucy who Lucy is named after. Mum passed it on to Lucy a few years back. I want to know what sort of machine needles you use in it. If anyone knows if the basic Singer needles are OK could they let me know. I think it does a little chain stitch. I don't want to try it without really knowing for sure.

I would also be interested to know if the base was originally like this or was the padding put on after purchase to protect the table. I think as a child it had a clamp to hold it to the table but not sure on this.
On the sewing front I have appliqued the hearts and cats and have ironed on the girls on the Love is quilt and have started appliqueing them. Hopefully over the weekend I will get this done.
Last year I joined in the OPAM Challenge and managed to finish 65 projects. I sent an email of yesterday to join in again,hopefully I got in. This year they have cut the numbers of people able to join in to 150. If I didn't get in I think I will still post my finishes in my sidebar. Any motivation is helpful. Anita and I have decided to do a "Row Block of the Month". Once again we can choose how big we want it to be and what sewing style. Our first row has the theme of "Chooks." There is talk about donating our quilts to charity when we finish them. On Monday please call back to my blog to see the start of some "Happy" postings. I hope you all enjoy the weekend and manage to do something you love.
Happy days.

Bev C
p.s. I was lucky enough to get in the OPAM Challenge.Yay!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Love is" and having a Cuppa and Jam Drops.


I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable new year. I didn't stay up to see the new year in. It was going to happen whether I stayed up or not. Ainsley and Julian came down for the long weekend so a few BBQ's were held. Yesterday Lucy and I went with them to Victoria Quay in Fremantle to wave them of. They are now on a cruise on the Pacific Sun one of the P&O cruise ships. Today they have reached the site of HMAS Sydney. The cruise is for just over two weeks. Simone kindly sent me a little Christmas gift and amongst them were some delicious tea bags. I made some jam drop biscuits this morning picked my favourite rose "Heritage" and had a cuppa. The tea was called "Winter Glow" made by Pickwick. The smell of spices like cloves and cinnamon and orange peel abounded. Just beautiful Simone,thank you.
The recipe for Jam Drops is:

125 grams butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease oven trays. Cream butter and sugar,add the two eggs and beat well. Mix in the 2 cups of self-raising flour. Make into stiff balls the size of a walnut. Place on oven trays. Make a hole in the top of the biscuit and fill this with jam. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

I have found that it is easier to put the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Place the bowl in the sink and pour some hot water around the bowl , this gently softens the butter and makes it much easier to mix. You can then do something else while the butter is softening.

I pulled out this UFO a few days ago. It is a quilt by The Chook Shed called "Love is" I started work on this a few years back. I had started
joining up the blocks and it wasn't working out. I had failed to cut the blocks to size. It is all working out now. Last night I had finished appliqueing the hearts. These were all cut out so it was done fairly quickly. Today I will do the cats and the girls. Last night I also went through my patterns and books to find a pattern for the Black and White stitching challenge. I found what I was looking for so will be busy stitching that this month. Hopefully I will get most if not all of it finished.
Lucy and I were talking yesterday about New Year's Resolutions. I really don't make them but hopefully I will get a few UFOs done. Have you got a New Years Resolutions and do you keep them? I would love to hear about it.
Happy New Year.
Bev C