31 January 2010

Peeling away the layers

The foot stool in our lounge was looking a little tired, grubby and drooping. Now usually I just remove the old outer cover and staple a new one in its place. This time when stripping off the old cover I found that the foam on the inside had started to disintegrate. It was time to just go for it and strip the whole lot back to the bare wood. A very messy job. While I was peeling back the layers it was like peeling back layers of my memory. The stool originally belonged to my parents, I can't remember how I ended up with it. I think I remember playing on it when I was little. Turning it upside down and pretending it was a boat. I know all my children did that.
I replaced the foam with a cut up babies cot mattress, that has been hanging around for a long time. Then covered the foam with a plain white cover. It looks like a new stool already.
Then put the new top cover on and stapled it down well. The cats like to pull themselves around the floor under it so the cover needs to be very firmly attached. I was really pleased with the result.
Ranna the cat seems to be pleased with the result too.

When is a beetroot not a beetroot.....

The answer is.... when its a chioggia. This weeks lovely bunch of beetroot turned out to be a lovely bunch of chioggia beetroot. I did not notice until I had cooked them.
I love the colour of them, especially the stripey rings.
I added spring onions, salt, pepper, olive oil and a tiny amount of red wine vinegar. Yum, yum, yum. Not as good as normal beetroot, but almost.
After leaving them to soak up the flavours for a couple of hours, they changed colour to this lovely pink.

Mis-measurement and a Small Confession

I bought a couple of doors recently from Trade Me (New Zealand's version of Ebay), very very cheaply thankfully. Unfortunately, I did not get my measurements quite right. Width wise they are perfect, but as you can see from the photo, I forgot to double check the height, hmm not much you can do there. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who when we got the doors home and put them where they are meant to be, he just laughed his head off. Now for the confession time. Its actually not just a couple of doors.
There are this pair of french doors, which will one day be installed in the study.
A couple of frames that came with the doors. And another door that is too tall!
This pair of doors that are hiding in the sewing room hidden by the laundry pile.
This one that is right size but needs to be stripped, re-glazed and installed in the kitchen. It also really needs a new handle.
This pair of small glass doors, which seemed like a good idea at the time. I could go on and on and on. All together I have 11 doors, only 7 of which actually fit. It is a standing joke in my family that I measure after I place the winning bid in the auctions. It is also a standing joke that I keep buying doors. My idea for the unfitting doors is to contact the local recycling yard and see if he will swap them for some that do fit. If not I guess we will have to resell them on Trade Me.
Not content with doors I also have a four door cupboard that will have a paint makeover, new handles and end up in the sewing room. A couple of sets of shelves that came out of the bathroom when we renovated, also waiting for a paint makeover.
And finally a desk I picked up for $20. This also needs a makeover. There is just never enough time.

The Visitor Returns

Our visiting hen has returned again, for another visit. Not really supriseing when she gets hand fed in our garden. We found out who her owners are, she belongs to a family who live at the other side of the creek. She usually lives wild in their paddock.

25 January 2010

Sometimes you just need to look up.....

Yesterday, after eating my beetroot sandwich (excitieing life I lead), we went throught to Napier. Peter and my youngest went to see a movie and I went for a swim. My swim was a lot shorter than the movie, obviously. So while I waited I sat in the park, read a book and watched the world go by. This picture is the view above me as I sat and chilled out.

Sometimes you just need a beetroot sandwich.

Yesterday I bought a bunch of beautiful beetroots at the farmers market. As soon as I got home I popped them into the pot and cooked them. I really needed a beetroot sandwich for lunch. I don't know why, somtimes you just do.

21 January 2010

Another Interesting Visitor

This evening we had a visit from a hen. Or should I say the guinea pigs had a visit from a hen. She was a very, very pretty hen.
Peter tried to persuade her to stay by giving her the guinea pigs food. Which she found very acceptable. She had a walk around the hutch trying to get in, while Terry and Ray bounced up and down squeaking at her.
Then lay down for a nice little sleep, before disappearing off where she had come from. Unfortunatly she did not leave us any eggs.

20 January 2010


When I am wandering around my garden I like nothing better than to be able to graze as I go. Its one of those good things about summer. Picking plums straight from the tree.
And yes it did taste as good as it looked.

Today's Daisies #96

Today's daisies from the beach beside Napier. We rushed there to go to the movies to see Avatar. Unfortunatly the cinema was fully booked. We were a bit amazed, a Wednesday afternoon, about a month after the movie came out and still fully booked. We were forced to do a little walk along the walkway. Not too far, just far enough to find some daisies.

One of my favourite smells ,,,,,,

I love the smell of sweet peas. Need I say more.

18 January 2010

Just when you would rather not .....

Just when you would rather not have your photo taken ...... out runs a man with a camera. Now take a good look at the picture above of a women gardening, in the rain and mud, with a broken big toe, moving stuff she asked the man to move three weeks ago. Then take a look at the picture below of a man gardening, sitting in the sun with his cup of tea.
Actually this is not really true. He has just spent a hard morning sanding the rest of the front of the house ready for painting and deserved his seat in the sun with his cup of tea. I am just being cruel to him, because he took pictures of me in the rain.

Lisa's Quilt - Getting it together

The fairies have been placed on their blocks. I used some fancy quilting stiches from my lovely sewing machine to go around the edges. The rows have been stiched together. Hopefully it will be finished this week, or maybe next week, or the one after that.

A Prickly Visitor

Mr or Mrs Hedgehog snuffling under the bamboo.

17 January 2010

The Girlie Pigs (and Caramello)'s Big Day Out

The girlie guinea pigs had a big day out in the hedge this week.  One evening I went to feed them.  Hmm, I thought,  where are they and wandered off, wondering what was rustling the hedge.  Later on I took them a lettuce and found that the girls and Caramello were outside their run trying to get in to eat their evening meal.   They had all escaped  and had a day out in the hedge.  There then ensued a bit of a kerfuffle to persuade them to return to their nice run.  This involved some more lettuce, a brick to hold up the edge of the run,  supervision by Buffy the cat and a trip to see the boy pigs in their run.  Needless to say, I did put a seperator in the boy's run so that the two groups could just look at each other through the chicken wire.  When I say look, I mean shouting from the boy pigs and cowering from the girl pigs.  Once the girls run was repaired they were able to return home again.  Poor Terry has been shouting for them ever since.  Everytime I pass his hutch he breaks our in a chorus of eee-eee-eee.  Which I take to mean, "Where are those girls, bring back those girls right now, I want girls."  Poor Terry, he looks so determined to find all those guinea pig girls.  All I have to say is  -  No Chance.

Today's Daisies #95

Today's rather wet daisy.

16 January 2010

Guard Cat - Ranna

Our cat Ranna has taken upon herself the role of guard cat. Whenever something is going on she is there to check it all out. If the fire alarm goes off, when we are cooking, she runs in checks each room and then stands meowing under the fire alarm. If we ignore it she comes to tell us and runs back and forward until we pay attention.

A New Year Challenge

I was hunting through my stash of fabric for some Sunflower fabric for Keriann a couple of days ago.

The stash is made up off three large baskets of fat quarters.
A cupboard of my desk full of larger lumps of fabric.
One large chest full of fabric.
Another basket full of fat quarters.
And finally a random pile of red and white fabrics I used for my christmas bunting.

It dawned on me that I maybe have too much fabric. Will I ever make use of it all? While discussing this with Keriann, she suggested a challenge. Seeing how long we could last without buying any fabric this year. A very good idea I think. Can I manage to do it. So far we are 16 days into the new year and I have not bought a single speck of fabric. I think I can perhaps last till at least February. But I would like to make a quilt for my eldest son sometime soon and I know there is nothing in my stash that would suit him. Perhaps I should aim for, not buying random fabric without purpose, just because it looks nice. But buying fabric for a specific project will be ok , I would not want my son to get cold down in Christchurch.

Today's Daisies #94

I took a few pictures of daisies yesterday this is my favourite. I love the colour red at the moment and this flower just seemed to be standing our ready for me to take a snap.

11 January 2010

If we are talking Evil Plant Forests top of the list has got to be .......

Bamboo. It starts as a tiny little thing peeking out from the grass on my lawn. That does not look to bad you think. Keep in mind that this is 8ft and a trench away from the original hedge of bamboo that my nextdoor neighbours planted.
I can still hear murmurs of "well bamboo hedges do look quite pretty in the sun shine". Do not be fooled by its good looks. Keep also in your mind that I have been poisoning and hacking away at this hedge for the past three and half years. To no avail, it still looks very healthy and vigorous.
There is also a large stand of Bamboo down at the creek. Towards the end of last year I spent one whole day chopping and managed to clear only one metre of the evil stuff. I don't want to use poison on it so close to the creek.
This bambo has never been trimmed and is as tall as a two storey house, blocks out all light and is only kept at bay by the creek. And it is even trying to jump over that. That is why Bamboo has got to be in my opinion the evil plant. Fennel is just a pretty baby compared with it.

One of the good things about guinea pigs is they love to eat bamboo shoots. So the ones in my lawn get eaten up fast and I don't have to worry about them yet.

Please let me know if you know how to get rid of it. The only way we have found so far is with a digger. Unfortunatly my neightbour won't let me use one for his hedge and we can't get one down to the creek.
Or if you know of a couple of homeless Panda's I know somewhere they could live.
And if you know of a worse plant I would love to here about it.


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