Sunday, March 16, 2008

Pickin' and Preservin'

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to pick some apples - they were on a property that had been semi-commercial, an horticultural teaching place (but no longer), but the trees had not been sprayed or pruned for 2 years. So I managed to get five 10 litre buckets - mostly medium size - apples. This week I have been peelin', stewin' and dehydratin' apples and baking spicy apple flans
Today I went and picked my tree clean - this is the result!
The birds have had a great time and now I've left them nothing on the tree :-) So I guess I'll be peelin', stewin' and dehydratin' apples this week! You can tell that these are real apples because if you look closely you will see leaves still attached and dinkum bird poop!
I wanted to plant an orchard on our lifestyle block, because I loved the idea of going out under the trees to pick and eat fresh fruit - yep! like that happens often - there are more birds out in the country than in town and they get first dibbs! Ah well, still love the lifestyle though!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Collaborative Art Journal - Phase 3

I have just finished working on Faye's Collaborative Art Journal. Her choice of colour is Orange - such a vibrant colour and I decided to go all out and do 4 pages.
Page 1 is a gate, made from disposable bamboo chopsticks, that opens into a mysterious world of orange. - fabric, feathers, paint and embossing powder - see this photo:

I decided to make like a 36 patch and put 'findings' into each of the squares, so there are beads, Fanta can teartabs, an inchie (from the Rose City Quilter's swap), marigold seeds, buttons, seashells and ribbons.

Pages 3 & 4 are part of the orange garden - Faye won't have to water, weed or care for this one! I made a daisy from the Fanta can, stitching around the outside petals with the sewing machine, then hand stitching the center piece. The poppies I had wanted to try out after reading a book with the flowers cut out and just center stitched.

The 4th page has a terracotta paving pathway with lots of different flowers - some made from ribbon, others are French Knots and others are Suffolk Puffs. I hadn't done very much work like this so it is all a relatively new experience.

So much fun!
Now onto some other quilting that needs to be finished!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A Few Days Down South

Last week, Rebecca and I had Grabaseats to Dunedin for a few days - a great chance to visit places we hadn't seen for a while. I booked a motel which was a the top end of George St - near student accommodation and this is what I saw when I went to get our room key - just in case it got too noisy with the student "O Week" celebrations.

We visited Oamaru, which is about 1.5 hours north, and has beautiful 'Oamaru' stone buildings - a white stone that is used for carving in sculptures.
Here are some of the buildings:
this is the Basilica

here is one of the banks.On the journey back to Dunedin, we called in to Moeraki Boulders.
Here is a boulder still in the cliff:
Rebecca sitting on a small boulder

and just look at the shapes that make up these amazing stones!

Lunch was at Fleur's in the fishing village of Moeraki - here is THE BEST EVER seafood chowder!

Then a visit out to the lighthouse to bring back old memories.
The next day we had booked a tour of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory (no photos allowed inside) but we did have a little bag of goodies and of course spent money in the shop afterwards. The weather was showery but after a lovely Japanese lunch we went for a drive out to Portobello to visit the Happy Hens factory

and then called into Larnach Castle for afternoon tea (this is New Zealand's only true castle and was once owned by my great, great great-aunt Laura and her husband).