Busy Bees

No day of rest for bees today. (or for people cooking plums!)
Another lovely summer day.

The sunflowers at the back veranda are such a cheerful addition to the area. The bees are also enjoying them

This fellow was easy to photograph as he was so laden with pollen, he was moving like molasses!

I went over to visit a friend today who just had major surgery. Was nice to pack a basket of fresh food to take over as a care package!

I’m not really a fan of eating beans (unless they are raw so I munch on them in the garden while I work) so its good to have friends to pass them on to. Why do I grow them? I just like having them in the garden. It seems incomplete without them!!!

Well… my hothouse whitefly population has reached biblical plague proportions, so I figured I HAD to get something done.
I made a spray – base mix of one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and a cup of oil. Then you add one teaspoon of that to a cup of water into a spray bottle. You need to keep shaking the bottle up as you use it to keep the oil mixed.

My initial observation is that it was very much doing its job. Less whitefly flying and lots just stuck to the leaves.
I’ll give the hothouse a good watering tomorrow and give it another dose tomorrow evening. I have high hopes. Getting tired of breathing them in!

My blanket-shawl is about 5 rows from being done. And while I am excited to finish it off, I got sidetracked with berets.
So I did two of those

You are actually meant to fold under by half the band and sew it in… and add elastic if necessary. But since I have a long face, if I perch something too high on my head I look reasonably ridiculous, so I liked leaving itthem as they were.

Anyway, I am a fan of making these berets as they are pretty quick to do and when you have a shorter attention span – its perfect! Plus perhaps a good thing to get a larger stock of for a market stall (if I ever get back to those!!!)

Hope your weekend was amazing

Cheers

 

 

 

Catching Up in the Kitchen

Hello! How was your weekend? All those in winter, I hope you are keeping warm enough with those insanely low temperatures. As for the rest of Australia that is baking – keep cool!

I made a bit of an effort to get on top of some of the fruit. Raspberries got made into jam. I also put some pulp in the dehydrator. I want to make it crispy dry then make raspberry chocolate. I am sad that its not ready yet because I am ready to eat it.

Cooked up the first bucket of plums. Tomorrow I will take out the pips and mooley it into pulp. Not sure if I will make jam straightaway or freeze it.

Some strawberries also got added into the dehydrator – I am quite attached to those – as well as the lemon peel.
Then a few trays of zucchinis to make chips!

They turned out quite well. I sprinkled some with cajun spice and some with garlic salt. I could have increased the amount of garlic salt but was a bit hesitant after the very salty cucumbers last time!! Will have to wait for the garden to produce more zucchinis before I can experiment further.

Oh – and here is a quick update photo on the blanket-sized shawl!

Hope your day was great!
Cheers!

Still Cooking, Still Planting

Hi there! Hot today! I worked up a bit of a sweat out there today!
Takes ages to pick the raspberries – can kiss a couple of hours goodbye doing that.
I pulled up the watermelon plants as they were doing nothing. I had two potted capsicums that needed a home as well as some thyme.

Everything got a good watering too. (Including me at times!)

Its nice to have fresh food on hand to put together a sandwich for lunch!
I moved a few more things through the dehydrator…

These cucumber slices were unsalted but I still don’t care for them as a chip, so into powder they go.

Then I really had to start making a dint in the raspberry population that is residing in the fridge, so made up 3lb’s worth into jam

I also finished off making the new batch of strawberry ice cream. While I was scraping out the mixture I was having a chuckle remembering on Christmas Day how I had to throw away Ruby’s spatula. I had bought her a new one when I was in Texas – and it was carefully put away while she continued to wear out the old one.
I swear she has probably had it from the 70’s!!
I asked Margie what she was waiting for?? Margie did the little eye roll and said she didn’t know. I translated that Ruby was being stubborn. Honestly… it was past worn out to the point it was shedding bits!!! So I marched into the lounge room and informed Ruby I was throwing it away and teased her a bit about how terrible it was. She laughed at me but went along with it so now the nice new one has been taken out of its packet and put into use. Margie wisely went and threw the old one in the outside bin so Ruby didn’t go and get it back again!!!

Oh – and here is an update photo of my behind the scenes crochet project that is steadily growing. By the time its done it will be like wearing a blanket!
Well… I am off to find some dessert, watch some telly and continue with the shawl.
Cheers!

Less Weeding

Friday rolls around again!
That seemed fast!
Anyway, I took it a bit easy on the weeding front. I did have a nice time picking and eating raspberries though…
And look! The first cucumber!! That went into the salad tonight which was nice.
The herbs went into the lasagne I made for dinner. Along with some of the lovely fresh garlic.

Check out my Shinkansen Shawl progress:

Crocheted at 300km/hr on the Bullet Train!! (Shinkansen)
Oh those trains are a dream to ride on! But we did have a couple of long stretches so I am glad I had brought along some yarn and a hook.
It hasn’t got too far to go before its done.

But of course – I got a bit distracted with a new pattern I found on Youtube. So I have been getting into that of an evening.

Its fun to do something different. The hardest part is finding the right coloured yarns to work into it – it is taking more than I thought so I couldn’t just stick with the first three colours.
As you can see its quite long. Once I have it wide enough it will really be snug to wrap around the shoulders!

Anyway… short and sweet
Hope everyone has a super weekend planned!

Cheers!

A New Lid.

We were low on firewood again, so Cousin Jeff (still with broken leg) arranged a drop off for us yesterday! I got half stacked before dark which was good – as it rained for most of today so at least a good portion of it is under cover!

I still knit or crochet in the evenings when watching something on telly. All very cosy with husband, cat & fire.
I knitted my Dad a beanie – I wasn’t sure if the colour was ok for him, but I sent him a photo and got a thumbs up. Hopefully it fits!

I used hand spun & dyed wool that I sometimes buy locally. Its beautiful to knit with.
I love wearing beanies, so I thought it was time to actually make myself something (for a change!) So I got all the scrap bits of the nice wool and got knitting. I really wanted a slouchy beanie… so I made it quite long.

It was pretty funny as it didn’t so much as ‘slouch’ as stick straight up!!!
So I didn’t close the top and dragged my ponytail through it.

That’s me! All style!

I must say it is delightfully warm and cosy!

Now I can get back onto my gloves and shawls!

Oh – I did make some hot sauce today. I can’t tell you how it tastes. I am sure my tastebuds will return to normal by tomorrow!
I will take a bottle down to Cousin Jeff who says he likes nuclear-level chilli, so we shall see …

Hope your day was great too!
Cheers!

Lessons

This afternoon Fiona dropped in for our much talked about crochet lessons. (We talk about it when we hike!) Another cousin, Phil, also dropped in, so there was a good deal of chatting, a few cuppas and luckily I had just baked a tea cake! All very social!
We eventually got on to the crochet – Fiona did really well. Its a matter of getting all your fingers in the right places as well as learning the stitches… tension will come with practice.
We got far enough through the lesson that she could see how the pattern was working (We were doing one of the granny squares that you keep adding and adding to until you have a knee rug (or a bed spread if you are REALLY keen!))

This morning I finished off the ceremony part of the wedding photos:

Sneak Peek

Next lot of photos to post process are the family shots… and there was a LOT of family, so that might take until Christmas (Just kidding – hopefully)

I have got to get these done so I can play with my travel photos!!!

Cheers

A non-incognito photo of Fiona having a fun afternoon hanging out with the Millars!

What’s on my Needles?

Gloomy days seem nicer in front of the fire with my crochet hook or knitting needles… today was one of those days.
Its currently pouring so there is a good chance tomorrow might fall along the same lines!
I have a number of partly finished jobs on the go!

I had forgotten I had started this one!

This was the one I was doing at the airports and on the aeroplanes between here and Texas – still haven’t gotten back to it!

New yarn so I had to start it to see what it looked like!

Plus some cosy-cuffs

I finished the mate to the colourful one tonight… but they all need sewing up.
I think I have that black & colourful one sold to a friend. Better get stitching soon!
Hope everyone has had a peaceful day

Cheers

Mum – Don’t Read This Post (Yet)

Hello! Doesn’t this look like great weather? Funny – it went through stages of perfect sun and skies, then in typical Tassie fashion, poured!
Not a great day for getting into gardening, but enough dry spots to get out and do a few things… Like take Pip for a wheelbarrow ride

Seriously – the best 15 minutes wasted of the day!
Apparently this new wheelbarrow doesn’t hold the terrors of the old one! (Which he wouldn’t go near if it was in motion!) We went all around the yard and when I stopped he thought he was going to settle in for a snooze!

However, the purpose of me being outside with the wheelbarrow was to stock up the wood at the back door – so eventually I had to evict him and get on with my work

Then a few minutes to appreciate some autumn flowers

I got back down into town to post a couple of things – notably my Mothers slightly late b’day present that I finished off.

She did tell me not to post it and just give it to her in November when we meet and go to Japan – but I am all excited I finished it and its too difficult to wait that long. So I accidentally put it in the post. In a few days I will get a phone call with a small lecture about not taking notice of my Mum 😀

It took me a while to find the colour wool I wanted. Mum had asked for something with pink in it, but it was hard to find anything that was not ‘teenage girl’ pink. I think this is rather lovely – Hopefully I have chosen right!

I started this one with no good reason – and I KNOW I am going to regret the ambitious colour changes. Its going to take an eon to sew in all the threads!!!

Other things I have been working on are face washers. I plan to take them to Texas as presents. I just have to weave in the ends and they are done. A friend is doing me another two.  I figured Texas was too hot to knit my friends scarves, gloves and beanies, so face washers are useful. Its just the time it takes to do these!!! Forever!!! (Small needles and thin cotton!)

There is a big yarn sale on at a local shop – just acrylic, but its a nice soft one. I couldn’t resist getting some new colours!! Just making some cozy cuffs! The one pictured above is nearly finished as of tonight. They grow a lot more quickly than the face washers!
Most of these projects are worked on in the evenings when Jeff and I have finished dinner and are watching a movie. (Got to multi-task!)

Hope your day is fabulous!

Cheers

 

 

Bunnies

Hello!
It rained and rained and poured and was generally soggy today.
So I got to and finished a bunny I had been (very slowly) working on for our Canberra neighbours daughter. (Best neighbours ever – even though we have all moved since our Canberra days we class each other as ‘neighbour’ 🙂

Thought I would give you a quick rundown on how to make a knitted bunny.
First – knit a square. You choose size & colour etc

Outline of where your running stitch goes

Using wool of the same colour (cream colour used above so it stood out for the photo) tie off one end at the midpoint of one of the sides of the square and tack a triangle. (Just big running stitches)

Pull the thread tight and the square will bunch up to start forming the head and ears

Bit messy but you can sort of see the shape

Stuff the head full of stuffing and sew the head hole closed

Starting to look bunny-like

Sew down back and bottom until small gap left

Stuff the body full and then sew up remaining hole. I don’t follow the seam for the last bit – I flatten it out as shown below so the bunny front sits better.

I then tidy up loose threads, sew the ears into a better position if they are weird, pop on a tail and embroider some eyes (and in todays case weird whiskers)
And a ribbon

 

He kinda looks like he has a mono brow… !!

Anyway, they are really easy and pretty quick. When I learned to do them I couldn’t stop and there was a bunny explosion at Norwich House.
I haven’t done lots for a while because I got obsessed with shawls and facewashers and they take so much longer.
Here are a few of my past bunnies that have since gone off to other homes (mostly kids at Jeff’s hospital)
Cheers!

Alpaca bunny

This lot were made out of pure wool – merino or alpaca – handspun and dyed. I made them for a friends new baby in Japan. They were having their last meal before their flight.

Bon voyage! (Even a stowaway!)

Cuddly armful

 

 

Still Cooking…

Beetroot patterns

Hello! Midweek already…
Most of my day was taken up with finishing some things in the kitchen.
The three beetroots that I pulled up the other day got chopped and pickled. I have really been enjoying it in my salads. Plus I have a buyer for a jar 🙂

I also de-pipped and pulped the last of the plums. Then, because I was on a roll I decided to make that lot straight up into a batch of plum sauce. It turned out really well and I didn’t even have to thicken it!

I got a bit over-zealous and also made up our favourite Japanese dish, koroke (mashed potato & mince made into a patty and fried) and teriyaki chicken. (You know, because I hadn’t stood up in the kitchen long enough already today)
Still… it was a good dinner and lots of leftovers so I might do a day of nothing tomorrow 🙂

Also managed to tuck the tails in on my latest lot of granny squares – a more somber arrangement of colours but I like them too !

Its only 9.30pm and I am DONE for the day! (Even the last of the dishes have been sorted!) Wow… I may get an early nights sleep tonight!

Cheers!