Thursday, 31 October 2013

October Christmas Ornament

Time to check in with the Christmas Ornament SAL hosted by Silver Lotus.
Stitched in July (yes I like to be prepared), this ornament is one purloined by the HD3QBEM and destined to be sent to one of the grandchildren at Christmas.   She chooses and it will therefore remain a mystery to me who eventually receives but I certainly experienced this emotion when stitching and finishing this one.   Yes!!!! Satisfied and Joyful.

Monday, 28 October 2013

60 Weeks until ..... Number 9

This week's recipe is Fish Curry Bake

1 cup of long grain rice - rinsed and cooked
30g butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all these together and press into a greased oven proof dish

Spread one 375g can of well drained Tuna in Spring Water over the rice mixture.

40g butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 and  1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 heaped teaspoons mayonnaise

In a pan, melt the butter add the flour and curry powder.  Add the milk little by little stirring well to make a thick curry sauce.   Add the lemon juice and mayonnaise and mix very well.

Pour the curry sauce over the layered rice and tuna.
Cover with grated cheese and season with freshly ground black pepper.

Bake 30 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius

Enjoy.   The HD3QBEM did!

Labour Day

Today is Labour Day and thus a public holiday in New Zealand.
And, fifty nine years ago my mother laboured and produced .... me!
And wasn't my Grandfather super proud.   As my Uncle reminded me (publicly on Facebook), there was great rejoicing in the clan to have a little girl arrive,  after my Grandmother produced six male children!
So today, the HD3QBEM and I are celebrating her cleverness ;-)

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Back home again

We have just this afternoon arrived home from a brief visit to Napier for my nephew's wedding.   Five hours driving each way means both I and the HD3QBEM are rather weary.
The weather was fantastic - hot and sunny and perfectly suitable for an outdoors wedding.  Actually despite sunscreen I got a little burnt sitting in the sun waiting for the bride who was fashionably late!
The table markers were specially labelled bottles of wine.  Of course!   The reception was at a winery so what else.
The bride had chosen a colour scheme of black and white with touches of pink - even on the cake!
But yours truly wore black and white and blue!   And in this photo taken in the barrel room I can show off both my new dress and my kyphotic spine!
Tomorrow is Labour Day holiday here in New Zealand and I hope to get all items on my list of chores crossed off before going back to work on Tuesday.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

60 Weeks Until ..... number 8

This week's new recipe is Moist Date and Almond Loaf.

I had reservations about this as it had no sugar in it but the end result is very delicious.

4 eggs
1 cup of fresh dates, pitted
1/4 cup of oil
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius
Add eggs, dates, oil, baking soda and vinegar to the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
Place the ground almonds in a bowl and then fold in the wet mixture until well combined.
Spoon into the prepared loaf tin and decorate with pine nuts
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.

Serve to your dependent (or independent) adult (or children) and bask in the praises heaped on your head!!

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Chores, grocery shopping and workshop - all complete!

I rose early today as I was determined to get my car cleaned and to lay the sprinkler hose in my vegetable garden.   Knowing that both of these tasks would probably result in rain, so rendering them unnecessary, I nevertheless persisted and accomplished both before breakfast!   Then it was a quick trip to the grocery store before spending the afternoon at Embroiderers' Guild.
Today at Guild it was "Workshop Day" with each different table having a different project.   Most were for Christmas and featured jolly red Santas.
I chose to do the felt covered tape measure and had my first close encounter with the Colonial Knot.   We did not get along and parted company quite quickly, with me deciding to practise in the quiet of my own home.
Instead I decided on Lazy Daisy Stitch which went smoothly.   Once the decorated side was completed the two felt circles were whipped together, remembering to insert the tape measure at the crucial point.   The "pull" is a tassel of the same floss used for the embroidery and the whipped stitch join is covered with a fancy black braid which is oversewn on.  
All completed and perhaps unlikely to be replicated without some adjustments.   Instead of merely using an educated guess to sight the circle of flowers, I think using tailors chalk to actually draw the circle and space the flowers evenly would be better.   Also, more uniform way to stitch the leaves would be an improvement. I think some more of the small pearl beads, perhaps in a ring between the button and the flowers?   I have black felt, another tape measure, floss, pearl beds and am only lacking the impetus.

Monday, 14 October 2013

60 Weeks Until .... Number 7

This week's new recipe is Coffee Fudge Cake.    Just ask the HD3QBEM about this!  She who doesn't drink coffee (or tea for that matter) loves this cake.
Here's the recipe if you want to try some for yourself.

185g Butter
1 Cup Sugar
1 Dessertspoon Instant Coffee
1 Egg
1 Teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 ½ packets of vanilla digestive biscuits = 380grams (Graham crackers for those in the States)

Crush the biscuits very very finely.
Melt the butter, sugar and instant coffee together.   Add the beaten egg and vanilla essence.
Blend well together and pour over the biscuit crumbs.
Press into a slice tin (20cm x 26 cm)and chill well in the refrigerator (at least 24 hours)
Ice with coffee icing when cold.

Best kept in the refrigerator but take note it doesn't last long in this house ;-)

Sunday, 13 October 2013

From Jewellery Box to Jewellery Bag

Back in April 2012 I started stitching what supposedly destined to become a Jewellery Box.  This was an SAL with Judy O'Dell on her Just a Thought forum.   No pictures were supplied -  this was totally a mystery but a box with a jewellery pouch and roll and ..... were promised so full of enthusiasm I put needle to linen.
The front and back were duly stitched.   Charts were provided for the sides and the lid but when I realised that there were thousands if not tens of thousands of small gold beads to be sewn in each space of the green grid, I turned green!   Besides which there was kilometres of ruched green silk ribbon to sew around the central cartouche and around the edge of the lid!  At this point interest began to wane.  
Then Judy said she was not going on with the project so none of the "internal pieces" would be forthcoming.   At this point my interest level vanished.    But what to do with the front and the back?
Well if not a Jewellery Box then how about a Jewellery Bag?   After all, I had promised my Mikimoto Pearls a new home.  
And eighteen months after the first stitch, voila!   The bag  complete with flannel padding,  linen lining and zipper closure.
I am soooo pleased to have this finished.   Two more WIP's to complete before Christmas and nothing new.   I have promised myself a new start on Boxing Day, 26th December, when the HD3QBEM and I leave for a well earned holiday.   Will my self control hold out?   Watch this space.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

A visit to The Ribbon Rose

Today I took myself off to my LNS to spend my voucher.  
Look at what I got....
Oops sorry.   Those are my new funky gym shoes but not from the LNS;-)   No Shoe Science down the road took measurements, filmed me walking, analysed my gait, relieved me of money and these are so light and colourful they sure cheer me up.
The Ribbon Rose is full full full of stock.   Luscious threads, heaps of fabric, patchwork supplies, knitting wool, beads by the tonne, ribbons by the kilometre and even an area with comfortable chairs and supplies to have a cup of tea.   So what did I buy?
These...A knitting pattern for the HD3QBEM, a Glory Bee Stitchers Rule chart for me and some Silken Threads floss.
And I finished the small ornament
The Suffolk Puff Christmas Tree needs some handsewing tonight and it too is complete.  
But before that I am busily completing the Jewellery Box which will not be a box.   Back in August I promised to show you what I was going to do with the two stitched pieces and today I finally took action.   Hopefully tonight, while watching an ancient James Bond movie I will finally finish this.  
Can you tell?   I am determined to get my WIPs all finished by the end of this year - and not to start anything more until I go on holiday on 26 December.   Well, a girl can dream can't she.

Friday, 11 October 2013

This was a bit of a worry

To find this in front of me was rather a worry
But in actual fact it was supposed to be a "funny" advertisement for a slatted blind cleaning service!!
Tonight is made for sitting indoors - it is a howling gale outside and thunder and lightning are predicted.   Fine by me, as I have a hem stitch border to finish and lots of Christmas Presents to stitch at the foot of my Suffolk Puff Tree.   It would be good to get both those items crossed off the list.
As usual, my weekend list is long and involves some chores on behalf of the HD3QBEM but one joy and delight is to go to my LNS and spend a gift voucher.   I'll let you know what I decide on.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

60 Weeks until .... number 6

This week we tried Slow Cooked Mediterranean Style Lamb - just at the right time as we have an unseasonal cold southerly over us at present.
New Zealand lamb cooked this way is definitely to be repeated at our house. 
Now apart from eating I have been stitching too.
This  - A Fisherton De La Mere page for my NMMSAL
and this - I have covered the name as it will be a gift.
and this - which will become a gift too when finished.   All the little gifts at the foot of the tree need to be aligned properly and sewn on.   Hopefully I will get the proportion of tree trunk correct ;-)  Then I need a binding and hangers.   Will I really get this done in three weeks?  I sure hope so.
Nothing is completely finished but at last progress is being made.
So after the dinner dishes it is back to the needle.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Embroiderers' Guild regional meeting

Today started early!   I left home at 6:30am to travel to Coromandel Town where a regional meeting of the Embroiderers' Guilds was being held.   These days are such fun.   You get to see what others have stitched, what others are currently stitching and sometimes, if you are lucky, you get to hear what they are planning to stitch.   As a bonus you come home chock full of inspiration and ideas.   Well, at least, I do.
This regional day was no exception.   Close up photos of the work of others is rather frowned on (I do wonder why?)  but this is a shot of part of the table displays of work from each of the eleven guilds.
I do so enjoy seeing what others have made.   I filled a couple of pages of my little notebook with one or two ideas - even a sketch and I really cannot draw.   Not even a straight line ;-)
Some clever planning on the part of the host Guild meant that their annual exhibition was also on display at the cute little house which doubles as the Arts Centre for the small town.   The exhibition was fantastic.   I was sooooooooo frustrated that I couldn't photograph the pieces I liked best.   Again here's a general shot.   Look at all the people bent over peering at the work.   I was one of those!
The two items on the pillar in the foreground were the raffle prizes - Embroidery and Gourmet - I wonder if one of my tickets will be drawn?
While listening to the speaker ( self confessed bead-aholic) and the beautiful singing of the invited musical group I managed to make a start on a small Quaker Christmas Stocking.   This is a scrap of 28 count raw linen and my favourite DMC 115.
If I can manage to stay awake long enough I will watch Phryne Fisher before bed.  Hope you all have a fine, warm and enjoyable weekend like me.