Thursday, 22 November 2012


Now I know this isn't really a garden blog, but I hope any quilty followers will forgive a brief diversion.

Louise is doing regular posts about her zucchini and I thought it might encourage ours to grow if I joined in! Now I don't think it's healthy to compare courgettes, but I must say that I can't believe how big and flowery your zucchini is Louise!

I have put in 4 courgette plants and am mildly surprised that they all seem to have not only survived but to be growing reasonably. Some even have some flower buds- I think that's them in the middle? A couple of them are beginning to look quite rangy. You can't tell here, but I dutifully planted them on a mound according to the label, but since we mulched the birds rummage about and I think have reduced the mound a bit. But I don't mind if they eat any snails and slugs the blitzem hasn't got to. I hope birds don't eat blitzem...?!

You can see our embarrassingly hopeless beetroot in the background and really our winter veges were altogether fairly hopeless. I don't know if we planted too late or what, but nothing much did that well. I'm going to pull out the leeks soon which are about the size of  spring onions and now have flowerheads! We did use a few of the celery stalks but they were really thin. Even the rainbow chard didn't really grow well- I thought that was supposed to be failsafe?!

 I have a feeling that 4 plants will take over our patch, but I wasn't optimistic of success and I can always move one or two into a pot. Can I? Should I? Will that work? Just to have it trailing down the side?
Given that this is my first ever time of growing them I feel it's a little premature to be posting recipes for my crop, but as soon as I see a baby I'll share a recipe- how about that?

This is to prove that our cucumber recovered from being eaten by snails. I have never seemn a snail or a slug in the garden, so I don't know where they hide in the day, but I should've heeded my gardening friend's advice more expeditiously, you were right Liz! One has been eaten never to be recovered, but one seems to be doing OK. But I digress from courgettes now.

 I am starting to believe we will have edible tomatoes. This is a cherry variety. I have seven plants, only 5 staked so far. The 2 littlest are to the left and right of the last one on the right. I hope I haven't planted them too close together? This is a nice warm wall and I thought maybe their leaves might shade each other's tomatoes?  Or maybe I should move the two smallest somewhere else? Advice please experts...

We went for mainly the garden centre man's recommendations- Mighty Red; but also one cherry tomato and one Tommy Toe I think it's called.

This is a promising looking mighty red-green so far...

So I'll link up with Louise and hope for her Garden Glut!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Study Break

I have an exam this week and it's not as though it's been wall to wall study, but somehow I haven't done any fun sewing in ages, so I decided not to study today.

This wasn't a project I'd exactly planned on doing, but figured I'd better do something with my sewing time today other than rearrange piles of fabric in pleasing combinations!

This stack (above) is going to be table runner and so is this lot (below) if I ever get brave enough to cut that piece of Wrenly...

If I ruin it I'll just have to try to buy some more!

I cut and sewed strips of grey green and red, but somehow I didn't manage to cut it today, so it's going to have to wait until after the exam now!

Linking up with Kirsty again.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Blog Tag

Thanks to Carla for tagging me!

A great to chance to get to know some new bloggers. It's been great to find lots of new people via the Bloggers Quilt Festival recently.

Here are the rules:

  • every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
  • the person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer them
  • ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you're going to tag (the people you tag should have less than 200 followers)  
  • mention the blog that tagged you, but don't tag them back.

11 Things about me:

1. I'm not too good at these things about me! I don't know if others struggle a bit with how to be really be themselves in a public forum?

2. I'm sometimes indecisive- I think?...

3. I'm exactly between E and I on Myers Briggs

4. I lived in England until I was 10

5. I consider myself a NZer

6. This is my second stint living in Australia

7. I love my work as a counsellor- helping people to make sense of their lives and find better ways to live and grow.

8. I used to be a high school English teacher, now I prefer to save my teenage energy for my own 3 teenagers

9. I love the great outdoors-Beautiful wild and desolate places refresh me

 10. I once had to urgently kick a goat out of a toilet on an Indian train in order to make use of the facilities-such as they were! (No time for photos!)

11. I do better with deadlines

I've been asked:

1. My favourite city to visit- Well there are so many the world over that I'd like to explore and so many I've loved, but an easy place for me to get to, and one I do enjoy for a break and to spend time with friends there is Melbourne.

2. My music taste is pretty eclectic! My kids always roll their eyes when I answer these type of questions with "it depends on my mood" -but that could mean Ella Fitzgerald or Chet Baker on a Friday night chill out time through Reggae/Dub like UB40 or Fat Freddy's Drop, Alternative Rock that my son's introducing us to, or the whole spectrum of Classical. When no-one's home I'll often put on Liszt or Chopin

3 My favourite place to link up is hard to say since I'm fairly new to all this, but I do often link to My Creative Space which I enjoy.

4. I think time and money aren't really the issue with stopping my crafting-not that they're limitless in any way-! But in fact being creative isn't ever easy and even if those things were limitless I'm sure I'd somehow find another procrastinatory excuse. I need to make time and choose to spend it (and $) in ways that are significant, because otherwise it's frittered or squandered.

5. Tools/toys/machines- I have no idea what I'd buy-well actually lately since making a triangle quilt, I've thought that a die cutter like Go Cutter or Sissix might be handy!

6. I don't really watch TV- the occasional doco on SBS

7. My best bargain find is the one I'm going to trip over next week!

8. In NZ my favourite season in my hometown down South is winter which is quite cold but generally clear and crisp.

This is from a particularly snowy year

Here in Australia my favourite season's probably early Autumn which is lovely and warm and sunny.

9. I can't say I've ever succeeded with gardening- I never seem to get past the weeding stage and plant my veges too late, but I'm tending tomatoes and courgettes lovingly this year and hoping for the best..! So I don't really like to garden, but I'd like to like to...!

10. I was inspired to start blogging to be a bit accountable (mainly to myself) to being more creatively active. I'd been reading so many inspiring sewing blogs and was starting to feel that I was living vicariously on other people's creativity. I wrote a bit more about why I started blogging here.

Reading back over these answers I see that I haven't really been definitive about any of them, so you see that's something else about me!

My questions for you are:

  1. What is one of the best places you've been to?
  2. Where would you like to travel to, even if not possible at the moment?
  3. What's the best thing you've made?
  4. What do your family/friends think about your blogging?
  5. What else do you like to do in your spare time other than make stuff?
  6. What's the last good book you read?
  7. What's on your "to read" list?
  8. What's your real job?
  9. Would you choose it again? Why or why not?
  10. How many places (different towns) have you lived in since you were born?
  11. If you weren't living where you are, where would you live?

I'm tagging:

Knotted Cotton
Bespoke Bites
Garden Glut
Fabric Engineer
Blackbird has Spoken
Jegs Pieces
Quilting at Square One
Sunshine and Paradise

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Exciting! I've been nominated in the top 5  in the Favourite Quilt photographer category in the Bloggers Quilt Festival!

You could hop over by clicking this link and vote for your favourites in each category.

Voting is easy, no registration needed, just click on the star below the one you like best. If you click on the picture that'll give you the opportunity for a closer look at each entry. You have until Friday to vote I think.

Monday, 5 November 2012


A few new delights arrived this week, mostly with a view to the text fabric based cross quilt I'm planning. they were bought with a 25% off deal which made it excellent value. 1/2 Yard of each...

Clockwise from 12 o'clock there's Riley Blake Superstar Cheery Circle in Blue; Tim and Beck Bungle Jungle Crossword in Grey; Riley Blake Polka Dot words in Red; Moda Sewing Guide in Concrete, Cream and Black and Cream and Apple; Michael Miller Pencil check in Navy; Moda tiny Houndstooth in Aqua; Jay McCarroll Center (sic) City Boston in Midtown and Jay Mc Carroll's Center City Los Angeles in Uptown

And a bit of a close up so you can see the indeed tiny houndstooth!

Linking up with Fiona at Finding Fifth.

Thursday, 1 November 2012


Recently we had the pleasure of having the youngest son of some friends to stay for a couple of weeks, while his parents finished their holiday in Europe. He's 12 and a great mate of our 13 year old. They are regular visitors at each other's homes and as parents we have many values in common, so it was easy and fun.

While the others followed sporting pursuits- you know-visiting Lord's Cricket Ground and watching Chelsea play soccer(!), I don't think Julie minded having a day to herself in London! She visited some famous places too and brought me back a treat!

 I haven't come up with a worthy plan yet, but I'll let you know when I do.

I have a couple of shot cottons which I'm thinking might combine well to highlight some or all of these beauties. (Should've given them a quick iron tho'!)

The other gift I've received lately is a wonderful belated birthday gift from my Best Beloved. I confess to dropping some pretty heavy hints on this one a while ago, when I saw this featured on some design blog somewhere (though I can't quite remember where). It wasn't quite ready in time for my birthday and they didn't ship outside the States, but luckily Peter has some work colleagues who kindly shipped it for him.

It's a beautiful limited edition wooden scrabble set whose tiles use many different typographies.

The six pieces of the board click together with recessed magnets and slide away into their own little chest, with a larger drawer below for the letters and metal racks, when not in use.

Makes the pleasure of playing a game even greater!
Designed by Andrew Capener

Random bee and flower shot! Aren't euphorbias amazing?

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