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

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"Leaping into Cross Stitch and some pets at Kainga."


This is my first ever post on a leap year day. So this month with the extra day I was able to finish my first Cross Stitch Christmas Tree Ornament. Pretty excited about this finish for OPAM (One Project a Month) I hope to do some more like this.

 The pattern is a freebie available from Helga's blog.

I was hoping to get a picture of Clyde for Tuesday's Treasures.

I had to wake the poor boy up. Asleep on top of my chair as per usual. We all love Clyde and want to come back as him in the next life. Sleeping all day. Though I could easily give the mice eating a miss.

We have a pet outside too.

I hope I didn't scare you.

Here it is from the other side.

It is that time of the year when the Golden Orb spiders are out. There web is golden and it is built like a fortress.

Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Seriously, it is a Happy Monday."

Hello and a super Happy Monday to you.

Wow doesn't the weather being cooler make you happy. It certainly does for me. I feel as if I can get things done. We have been super busy here at Kainga.
Planting perenials, a Raspberry Bush,restoring some old chairs, reading lots and lots,brick paving ,baking bread and cakes etc just to name a few.

Last Friday we had our first monthly sewing day for the year. I started a new project. I found a packet of 144 of these bright squares brand new never been opened in Good Sammys the week prior for a few dollars. I will show more when it is finished. Getting a bargain and a day with like minded people makes me happy.

I didn't do a posting last Monday because quite simply I had the house to myself. The first time in months so spent the day cross stitching and reading. A computer free day which was so relaxing. I was planning to post about the cross stitch pattern I received from The Prairie Grove Peddler and the lovely pink box Lucy made for me while she was in New Zealand many years ago. So it is being showcased today. Lucy with the help of her Aunty Chris decorated the box and filled it will shells they found on the beach and inside as well was some Bath Bombs. You can see I kept one,the little pink one at the front.

Bath Bombs.

1.5 cups bicarb soda
half cup citric acid
1 tspt lavender oil
4 tsp almond oil
food colouring
dried flower petals,can use fresh lavender and rose petals.

Combine the 2 dry ingredients, add oils and colouring. Add the flowers. Mix with your fingers into the shapes you want. Wrap in cling wrap. Leave them for a day in the cling wraps, then for another day with the wrap removed.

Place in bath and sit back and relax.

I had a walk around the garden this morning and picked some roses. They smell divine. I have missed the perfume of roses. Look what will be waiting for Ian when he gets home from work today. A Banana cake. I haven't cooked one of these at all last year because of the high cost of bananas. So with them in plentiful supply and very reasonably priced. I even managed to pick them up for 99 cents a kilo the other Sunday in our local supermarket.

I found this recipe in the Bream Bay cook book.

Banana Cake.

2 cups sugar
8 ozs butter (250g)
2 cups hot water
Melt together and cool.
Mash 2 to 3 bananas.
Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons baking soda.
Mix together and add to above.
Beat in 2 eggs.
Add 4 cups flour and 4 teasppons baking powder.

Put mix into greased 9 inch round tin.
Bake 160 degrees C, for 50 minutes.

Now I found out after pouring in the mix that my tin was slighly smaller so added the left over mix into 7 muffin tins so I basically got two cakes for the price of one. We will eat the cake now and the muffins can go in the freezer for later on in the week.

The bell has just gone of on the oven. Buns made with Chia seeds and Quinoa Grain. Later on today I plan to make some Pumpkin soup. We were given a pumpkin on Friday. I will be trying a new recipe,the one that is in this weeks Seven Days tv magazine. You roast the pumpkin  garlic etc in the oven then blend them together. It sounds yummy and will be the perfect accompiant to the buns.

I am pretty exicited to be having a go at something new this week. I have been to the Chemist to order some Alum for the project. Of course the staff didn't know what I was talking about so I asked them to ask the Chemist. The one that is not a local didn't have a clue to what I was talking about. Luckily the hometown Chemist knew straight away what it was. Fingers crossed the Alum will be here in a few days.

Happy Monday
Bev C

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Alphabet Cross Stitch Cushion."


I spent some time in the sewing room this morning making up this "Alphabet Cross Stitch Cushion."

"Alphabet Cross Stitch Cushion."

I did the cross stitch earlier on this week and had plans to turn it into a little mini cushion for display. After I had added the first border I changed my mind and found some more material to make it bigger. It ends up being just over 16 inches square.  I used some of the buttons Lisa had sent me from New Zealand last year. They matched in perfectly. I used DMC 3726 for the cross stitch on some 14 count cream Aida that I had bought from Good Sammy's. I used some Cream Osnaburg material for the backing.
I only made one change to the cross stitch pattern. I didn't like how the letter "G" was stitched so changed that to suit me.

The pattern is a freebie available from Cathy's blog.

Happy days.
Bev C

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"Fir Tree Sampler."


I hope you are having a great weekend. Friday was a good day as  I finished the cross stitch sampler I have been working on. It has been quite a journey.

There was lots of counting and counting again. I ended up un-picking some of it as well. The blue stitching was taken out under the alphabet. The pattern was at fault,with the ends having a different number of spaces at either side it was annoying me. So un-picking was the way to go. Another thing I found out was that the new threads I bought to finish the flowers were so different from the colours I had already stitching. To alleviate this I un-picked the same amount of flowers in the bottom left hand side to correspond with the top right hand side.

I started stitching the side border and found out I was one row out. I had left out three small stitches in each flower stem in the ones under the trees. I also worked out that there border wasn't even. You may think by this time I would have put this back into the sewing room cupboard. Never fear I was determined to finish it.

So I downloaded some graph paper and had a play around and changed the border.

Looking back I probably could have done two of these samplers in the same amount of time but I wanted to accept the challenge I set myself last month and try cross stitching on linen.

Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, February 13, 2012

"$1.00 makes for a Happy Monday."


Happy Monday to you. Yesterday Ian and I had a day out visiting markets at Mundaring and Midland. We picked up this Italian Cucumber from one of the stall holders at the Farmers Markets in Midland. Total cost for this 1.1 kilo cucumber---$1.00.

Italian Cucumber.

We quite often get our vegies from the same stall holder, a elderly Italian gentleman. He has varieties that aren't available commercially. I can assure you this cucumber was so fresh and crunchy.

So today I got organised to do something with this cucumber.

Cutting the Cucumber.
I found a recipe in the CWA (Country Women's Association) Classic cookbook which Lucy gave to me for Christmas. I had to double the quantities because of the size of the cucumber. I put the seeds in the blue bowl, will be saving these to plant some more.

Cooking the Onion and Cucumber mix in the pan with the vinegar solution.
The kitchen was soon was smelling of vinegar and onion.

5 jars of Spicy Pickled Cucumbers
Spicy Pickled Cucumbers

2 medium sized continental cucumbers (about 650 g total weight)
1 onion,thinly sliced
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 small fresh red chilli,finely chopped
185 g sugar
1 teaspoon tumeric
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Slice unpeeled cucumbers thinly, put in a bowl with the sliced onion,sprinkle salt and add water to cover well.
Leave to stand for 2 hours, then drain well.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a pan,bring to boil, then removed from heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Return to heat, bring back to boil and add drained cucumber and onion, turning gently to coat. Cover, and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Leave mixture to cool until tepid, then bottle and seal.

Allow  3 weeks for flavours to develop. Store in a cool dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Makes 4 cups.

Now I didn't have chilli so I added some mustard seeds and for the cloves of garlic I have bucket loads of the large garlic  I think people call Elephant garlic so there is quite a bit more garlic in our jars.

So today I am happy that $1.00 makes 5 jars of Spicy Pickled Cucumbers.

Other things that make for a Happy Monday are.

I have the new threads I needed for my cross stitch. Called into Spotlight yesterday while we were in Midland.

On our walk this afternoon we saw a  long neck turtle sunning itself on a branch of a tree in the local river.

Having Sunday  lunch with Ian in our favourite cafe in Mundaring .

A special thank you to all those special bloggers who offered to get the threads I needed for my cross stitch. May you all have a wonderful week which involves no un-picking!!! Unlike mine.

Happy Monday everyone.
Bev C

Friday, February 10, 2012

"I keep on running out of thread and a Ottobre magazine win."


I can't believe that I have run out of a thread on this cross stitch kit I am working on. Last week I had none of one of the blue threads left. There was quite a bit of this colour that was needed. I sent of a couple of emails to shops in Perth. I did get a reply from one of them and the other I still haven't heard from. Luckily earlier on this week I had to go to Midland (180km round trip) so I called into Spotlight and picked up what I needed. They are Anchor threads which aren't available in the craft shop here in town. Now I have run out of one of the threads for the flowers. I think this time I will wait until I finish it to see what happens with the rest of the threads.

The missing flowers are in the top right hand corner. I now only have the border to stitch. There have been a few discrepancies between the chart and the finished picture. So I have had to make a few changes to make sure everything is symmetrical. I'm used to counting across the threads now and enjoying it. I'm enjoying it so much I have a few more kits ready to stitch after finishing this sampler.

I was lucky enough to win a subscription to Ottobre Magazine for our local library. I had to say why I liked my local library.

Thank you so much Lisa for giving this subscription away.

I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend.

Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, February 6, 2012

"Of to the good old USA."


A Happy Monday to you. Today we are so proud and happy to say that Bonnie is on her way to the USA. We saw her of at the airport last night, to catch a flight to Sydney. From there she will fly to Los Angeles and then fly onto New York. On Wednesday she will be watching Mary Poppins on Broadway. How exciting is that. Bonnie has booked into lots of tourist destinations along the way, it was certainly great fun checking out what she will be doing whilst away. Enjoy your tour Bonnie catch you again at the end of March.

I am very happy to say that I now own something made by Tina Lumsden. My sister Chris sent a parcel last week and these gorgeous bags were in the parcel.

Tina's screen printed designs are just so beautiful. Tina also has a range of linen which is so beautiful, made from cotton. Tina also has a newsletter which you can sign up for to keep up to date with things to do with her business.
Whatever you do make sure you do it with a smile.

Happy Monday.
Bev C