Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summertime....

G'day all!

I am being a very bad blogger.  Sorry!  This summer seems to be quite busy.  The garage project continues - it got massive again, the garden project continues, work continues, knitting and quilting continue...


Guess where?

Last week I was talking to a friend about dating.  I don't think I ever really dated anyone.  I got to know them a bit before going out with them.  I met all of my boyfriends through uni.

Daw, pretty!

I guess I was lucky - being a geek girl meant that I had quite a number of boys to choose from.  I say girls because even though we thought were were all grown up, we weren't.  We had a lot of learning to do.  So did the boys for that matter.  Some of the girls went through the boys like a rash.  Some of the girls developed harems of boys all fluttering around them, desperate to be noticed and to be the boy she'd take home that night or not kick out of the shared house that night...  And then there were girls like me who were totally amazed that boys would even look at them.  What on earth did they see in me?  I was boring and not particularly pretty - as one of my friends put it, we were attractive in an unusual way.  High school had been pretty rough as I was not interested in boys, well not most of the boys on offer there, and umm was quite sturdy of build shall we say.  I must admit that it never occurred to me to pursue other girls and it still doesn't.


Love this place

Anyway, at least for a while, there was always someone interested in me that I was interested in too.  I never knew why or what anyone would see in me but apparently they found some value.  It surprises me that I'm married - like why would anyone put up with me and my vagaries?  My interest in cooking and cleaning mirror each other.  I like to knit and quilt and garden and drive places and take pictures much more than housework.  I only cook because I don't want to starve.  I forget things.  I'm nearly always late - as my mum used to say, I'll be late to my own funeral.  It's a perpetual surprise that people seem to like me.  I know my perception of myself is not how others see me - how could it be?  Everyone sees things differently.

Many greens

Speaking of liking quilting more than housework, I participated in the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Petal Pushers challenge.  (what a mouthful!)  We get given a little bundle of fabric and have to make something quilted out of it.  There are prizes given at the end of the challenge to the winners - in this case Michael Miller fabric delivered once a month for a year!

As you can imagine, the challenge was rather popular.

I looked at my fabric and decided I wanted to do wonky bulls eyes.  So I cut the fabric and sewed it and was amazed that it went together relatively easily.  Then I realised with a border around them, the three wonky bulls eyes would make nice new cushion covers.

My cushion covers

This of course meant getting online and buying more fabric because I didn't have enough in stash and my local quilt shops don't stock any of the lines that I needed.

Retro!  Cool for cats.

Which then meant I had a really cool idea for the back of the cushions.


Wonky cats

In my usual style, I really like the back more than I like the front.  Typical!

Anyway, I won't win because you should see some of the totally amazing entries.  There are some very very talented and clever quilters out there.  (Speaking of which, pop over to my friend Dana's blog and check out her new book :-)

Top left clockwise: boysenberries, marionberries,
strawberries, boysenberries, loganberries.  Nom!

Since it is summertime, it is also jam making time.  I've been going bonkers making jam.  I missed out on getting any of the yummy little blackcaps that I love so very very much - did you know that they are native raspberries?  There's a west coast species and and east coast species.  I am so getting some for the garden.  They are sooooo yummy!  Small, seedy and blackcurranty.  Anyway, I've got boysenberry, strawberry, marionberry and loganberry.  Loganberries are weird - they are sorta fizzy on the tongue.  I've got one plant in the back yard but it got brutalised recently during an incident with the deck (I should log all of this in the house blog, eh?).  My plant did fruit quite well for a first year plant and the berries were sweet but fizzy.  They make absolutely amazing jam.  I do add sugar to my jam (and pectin so that I don't have to boil the heck out of it) - about a cup of sugar for each cup of fruit.  I thought boysenberry jam was my favourite but I have to say that loganberries are pushing to the front.

Umm, loganberry?  Boysenberry? jam in progress

The strawberry jam tried to escape!
It nearly boiled over.

And my beloved tayberries?  I have some frozen, I wanted to go a-picking but couldn't get coordinated enough to get out the house in time.  I will make jam from some of the frozen ones.

I've been knitting too.  I finished the top that I started on the London trip.  Can't remember if I showed it off or not - I doubt it as I didn't have pics of it.  Here's a quick shot I took tonight.

London Calling.  On ravelry too.

It is quite flattering, non?  The angle makes me look super curvy.  It is knitted in a cotton/silk/nylon blend.  The pattern is called Gemini and you'll find it in Knitty.  It was an easy knit and only took as long as it did because I got fussy about the raglan sleeves and then ended up just making them little puffy sleeves - the original yarn was a lot more drapey than what I used and the sleeves draped nicely in the original but in mine they just stuck out stupidly.  Little puffy sleeves look better!

I knitted some stuff for a friend's kid and sent it off.  I was amazed.  Last time I sent stuff to Australia, it took two weeks.  This parcel I sent to NZ and it was there five days later!  They liked it, so hopefully it is working well for them and not shrinking or going weird or anything.  I used superwash wool.  I may be mad but I'm not totally stupid.  I'd share a pic or two but they are way back in the phone list and I'm feeling too lazy to scroll all that way back.  (All the pics I'm sharing with you are taken on the phone.)

A month between tomato
plantings makes a difference!

The garden is flourishing.  I am having to water it quite a bit because we've only had about 10mm of rain since the start of June and not much in May either.   The dry season started early this year.

I have yet another favourite
flower.  This made my car
the prettiest in the world!

I'm also planting in a fit of madness.  I love the wild colours that you can get echinaceas in, so a heap of them are going in.

A little slice of garden.

The plants that went in earlier in the year are flourishing.  The sunflowers have been growing like the clappers and are starting to head up.  I need to do a garden post because there is soooo much happening in it.


Boat sheds.

The weather has mostly, not entirely, been amazing.  It cooled off last week.  I know that saying 28C is hot is funny, especially given where I come from, but it is hot here, and it is often associated with a lot more humidity than I'm used to.  After all, the Sound is less than a kilometre away.


Yacht at sunset

We discovered a new place for sunsets too.  So pretty along the shipping canal on a good sunset night!

Low light and the graininess looks like a painting.
I've been thinking I'm quite often tired at the moment and I'm starting to get an idea of why.... LOL  But it is summer and you have to take advantage of it as much as you can cos soon enough it will be manky winter again.

anon!