Monday, January 31, 2011

Looking through windows

A slow, quiet start to my day.
Today being a public holiday...well here in this town anyway, I watched the clouds move across the sky as I lazily stayed in bed and finished The Nice and The Good by Iris Murdoch. Beautifully written about human frailities, loves and losses, the self seeking part of us all with our egos and the huge inner world of thoughts and feelings.
It finishes with a happy ending ( I so love happy endings !) with a slight twist, and leaves me wanting to embark on another Iris Murdoch novel today, but which one I wonder ? She has written quite a few, and I already have a huge collection of summer reading to deliciously wade through.

Dreamily gazing at the light through the kitchen window as I think about the possibilties for today, and munch on toast with freshly made strawberry jam.

Glancing over to the table I see the quilt that I had pin basted on a productive Saturday morning, quilting...right on schedule, so definitely some quilting time today..... not too much though,

I am wanting to look through this pile of Kaffe Fassett fabrics by this window, to sort out the pieces for my applique quilt. We have our little stitching group meeting for the first time tonight this year, and I need to make some preparations for work on this...

My day is starting...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sunshine Pleasures

Freshly picked today, the smell of sunshine and warm, red tasty tomatoes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flowers for Sarah and Kevin

On New Years Day this year, I started cutting blocks for a quilt to celebrate Sarah and Kevin's wedding in March.
It is a Kaffe Fasset design, and very simple, alternating 9 patch blocks with a block the same size, and is a great way to showcase florals.

Sarah wanted a vintage chintzy look, and I had some Robyn Pandolph fabrics and some beautiful Japanese Yuwa fabrics in my cupboard just waiting to be used, so I was able to start straight away without having to hunt the shops for more.
I have almost finished the piecing of the quilt top and want to be able to start quilting it on the 1st February. I plan on giving myself a month to quilt it...hopefully.

I have added some crochet on some of the blocks and some beautiful handmade lace that I bought in Italy, and I couldn't resist this little piece that I found in Venice.

Perfect for these two love birds !

More on the quilt this space.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Well, it is 3/4's the way through January already, and I see that I have only written one post this year. I must get into the routine again of blogging more regularly, and using my camera more.

I have been home for a week from Auckland now, and thinking back to that special time there, I feel so fortunate to have started off the New Year with lots of music, wonderful friendships, fabulous food and some time out from Summer's busy schedule.

We are always very busy in these summer months looking after our accommodation business, and this year, lots of things have happened to create a little havoc....massive rainfall that caused slips and blocked the dam that produces the water for the water tank to the house, two lots of guests were without water for 48 hrs.The fridge decided to stop working and we needed to purchase a new one immediately. The washing machine appeared to fill all on it's own accord and caused a flood inside, and the security lock failed to function properly and needed replacing.

Next week, we are going to replace the water tank with another much larger one, and the process of doing that is certainly not going to be straightforward. Ah well, it's lucky Ian is very handy with hooking up water systems, I am sure he will figure out a way to do it.

Over Christmas I made up a large amount of my favourite muesli, and have since made some has been really popular, and fills you up to get you through until lunch or dinner !

Here is what I do

Fill a large roasting dish with jumbo rolled oats and a litre of freshly squeezed orange juice, and a couple of cups each of coconut and wheatgerm.

Bake in a moderate oven until oats are lightly brown and toasted, turning them over all the while until the orange juice is absorbed. ( you can add some honey to this if you wish.)

When cooled, I add chopped prunes, apricots, cranberries, dried blueberries, small pieces of dried pineapple, bananas, papaya, cherries, then brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, hazel nuts, sunflower seeds, yoghurt raisins.

In the morning serve with a large dollop of yoghurt and some fresh fruit.

Some sustenance for the day ahead.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Vivaldi in our Summer

A very happy New Year to all of you.

Isn't this just the best time of the year when plans and dreams are being made, and you are thinking that anything is possible in the next twelve months ahead. ?

My plans and dreams have all been about my violin lately. 2010 was very intense music making, with me having violin lessons each week with our concert leader and soloist John Thomson. So lots of practise for me each day and it has certainly been challenging fitting those extra hours in to a very busy work schedule. Yesterday I collected two CDs that were made taking the best out of our five concerts that our orchestra performed in 2010.

Wonderful evenings of magic created by a large group of our community who are like a second family to me now.
It has been so much fun. This year I miss our very first concert because it is the same day as our youngest daughter's wedding....26th March. But the silver lining in that particular cloud means that I will have more time to work on Sarah and Kevin's wedding quilt and a woven blanket that I should have finished for their engagement last year.

This last year I have been teaching piano and violin to Arlo and Keira ( Melissa and Tom's two children ). This has been a joy and a huge delight and privilege, and I am looking forward to their lessons starting again in February.

Next week I fly up to Auckland to take part in the Auckland String Quartet Summer School which I have been going to for over a decade now. A week of absolute bliss, combining music, friends, food, no housework or cooking and lots of laughter and playing a Vivaldi Concerto.

What more could I ask for in this first month of the year...I shall see you in this space when I return.
Here is some Vivaldi from my favourite performer to have you tapping your feet and dancing to Summer from Four Seasons.

I hope all your dreams and plans for 2011 come to fruition and health and happiness are yours to keep.