Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Potted Summer Flowers

I had to show you this lovely little array of summer flowers which I planted as seedlings just before Christmas. They sit on the steps of the deck and are looking fabulous at the moment. The 2 hanging baskets are hoya and I have just planted them up and hung them there this weekend.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Painting on Fabric

Today was a beautiful sunny, hot and wind-free day and we don't get many of those in the Manawatu! So I decided to try painting on fabric. The paint I used is Pebeo Setacolor transparent. This paint allows you to put 'things' on top of the painted fabric so designs can be made.
Here is what I did today on a piece of calico (muslin) and the smaller piece of linen, using liquid amber leaves which I pressed the day before.This is the end result about 2 hours later. The paint looks darker because the photo was taken inside after taking the leaves off.

I don't know how I'll use the fabric yet, but it would be great to use it in one of the Collaborative Art Journals, somehow.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Piece for the Sewing Collection

Look what arrived in the mail this morning. I bought it off TradeMe, a New Zealand auction site.
I think it's a little sewing box, it only measures 1.5 inches high (including the 'knob') and across. The knob looks like a mending mushroom which is why I think it's a sewing box. It's made from bakelite and is in such good condition, it must have been sitting in a china cabinet all these years. On the base it has 'German' imprinted.
It's so dainty!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Collaborative Art Journal

I have gathered together a few arty friends and we are starting on a journey making a collaborative art journal for each other. We have chosen a colour or theme and mine is brown.

Here is the front cover with embossing on velvet.

Inside the front cover:

Title page (so to speak):

Inside back cover with needle felting on handmade wet felt:

And the back cover. I so loved the magnolia leaf I found, the colour was absolutely perfect.
I am really looking forward to the challenge of trying something new in everyone's journal. Whether it's working with paper or textiles, there are so many ideas and tools to work with.
Bring it on!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Vegetable Garden Revisited

At the end of December I took this photo of the vegetable garden. You wouldn't believe it, but there are edged gardens in there. One has asparagus and one has potatoes - the others are full of weeds.
My "have to" job for the summer was to cut back the grass. Even the chooks had to tread a path to get a garden to scratch, dust bathe and fertilize in. You can see some of them here:
Today, after approximately 8 hours of mowing with our DR Trimmer, I have finally cut back all the grass, and this is what I had hiding there.
At the end of the gardens you can see Ginger (our cow) - she has been helping me dispose of the long cut grass. Tonight we dismantled the wooden edging for some rethinking and replanning on this area. More photos on that when that is done.

Monday, January 14, 2008

An Update

OK it's time to set the record straight! People have been saying that I'm now a lady of leisure because I'm not in paid employment! Wouldn't that be something, just to lie around reading great books, eating all kinds of sweetmeats, pastries and fruit or whatever takes your fancy.
But no, I haven't blogged for 10 days because I've been busy with all kinds of things. Alas, nothing is finished yet for the photos.
Still the front door got repainted. It was looking dull and uninviting, but now is a shiny dark Karaka Green. Even the inside has had a coat of paint, and today I need to go to the paint shop to get some more Orange Scent, because we have never painted the interior of the front door! I have also stripped the dark varnish off an old 3 shelf bookcase, which is ideal for DVDs, and given that an undercoat and one top coat Orange Scent. This is so it kind of fades into the background - we don't really need another piece of furniture in the lounge that makes a "Here I am" statement - it will be too much mish-mash.
I have finished stripping the varnish off the dining room buffet and given every piece a thorough sanding. I need to stain it next before re-varnishing, but I'm a bit nervous about the staining because it has to be the correct darkness.
So, photos will be up soon when they are finished.
I have also spent 4.5 hours quilting a friend's quilt for them and 6 hours mowing the grass where the vegetable garden is supposed to be. You will be amazed when you see the before and after photos, but don't hold your breath, that's a "Have To" job which I try to do a little of each day!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Tomato and Mozzarella Tart

Derrick has been reading THE cookbook again! And well he should, because after the success of the lemon bars, it's time to try something else. This time the Tomato and Mozzarella Tart for tea. He didn't try making his own flaky pastry (and who can blame him?) but with bought sheets of pastry and following the instructions to the letter, this was the end result. Not only does the tart look fantastic, it passed the soggy base test (i.e. it didn't have one) and it tasted divine as well. There was enough pastry left over to make a smaller tart with the addition of Christmas ham - so we have lunch for tomorrow already sorted.
Isn't he doing so well with the cooking?