Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Amelia's quilt....

 My eldest daughter Amelia turned 18 last month and since it's been a few years since I've made a quilt for her I decided an 18th birthday was special enough to make her one. This year has been a big year for both her and I as she moved out of home and into a Halls of residence in Wellington. She is doing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Victoria University majoring in Film and Theatre. It was so very hard to leave her in Wellington once I had helped move her in but it has been so very rewarding to see her grow and mature into an independent young adult. She loves her new life down in Wellington as a student and loves what she is studying. She has a sign on her bedroom door at home that reads "Sorry out living the dream" and that is exactly what she is doing. I am so very proud of who she is becoming and what she is achieving so far. I can remember when she was just a few weeks old, pushing her along the road and commenting to someone who had stopped to admire her that I couldn't wait to see what and who she was going to grow into. I was eager to see the future her but also enjoying that first time motherhood period. 

When we were choosing items for her new room she had a definite colour scheme in mind of tuquiose, aqua, green. Once all her room was dressed with all her new things it looked fresh and modern which helped me choose a fresh, simple and modern quilt design. It had to be fairly simple as I didn't leave myself much time to complete it.

 All of the prints are from my stash of fabrics so the only purchase was some more solid grey print and the aqua and white spot for the backing.
I gave myself added pressure by being determined to hand-quilt it but I just love the look of a hand-quilted quilt.

 It should keep her nice and warm in Wellington's slightly cooler temperatures with it's inner layer of wool/polyester batting.

And of course a quilt isn't complete without a label. "Inez and James" is my new Etsy shop.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Simply hand-stitched.....

These 3 hand-stitched cushion covers have been freshly added to my new shop/label "Inez & James" which is all about simplicity, those all important small details, vibrant colours and quality fabrics.

 The charcoal grey cushion has 5 hand-stitched sets of 3 decreasing circles in different shades of Perle cotton. I seem to have a thing with circles at the moment as they are appearing frequently in my work.

  The aqua cushion has this playful "noughts and cross's " design that I think would look good anywhere but may be particular suitable for a child's room...

I think the green one is my favourite just because I love this shade of green. It has 6 simple star designs in 6 different shades of the Perle cotton. All 3 cushions are made with quality 'shot cotton' that has a beautiful vibrant deep colour and a almost natural linen look to the weave.

 These are my new labels which are hand-stamped with specialised textile ink for longevity. 
 All 3 have a generous envelope back enclosure and are finished with a 1/4 inch edging. You can purchase them here or customise your own by switching around the colours and designs. Oh and more designs and colours to come :-)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Good things take time....

So about a year ago I sold these chairs to a lady in Auckland who was redecorating her house and was hoping to have it featured in the "Your home and garden" magazine. Since I hadn't heard back from her regarding the magazine feature and it had been so long ago I had kind of given up on it ever happening let alone a picture of my chairs being included. About a month ago though I received a brief email from her asking for my business details and this month my chairs have been included as part of the feature of her redecorated home.
Sorry about the quality of the photo but here are my chairs looking very at home in their new owners house don't you think ;-) It's a very cool feeling to have something that I spent hours creating be featured in a beautiful magazine like this....

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Making tomato sauce



I think I mentioned here before that I had planted twice as many tomato plants as I normally do because I planned on making tomato sauce. Over the weekend I picked a bucketful of tomatoes (approx. 6 kgs) and on Monday I made what I think will be a years supply of tomato sauce for us since Amelia is off to university in a couple of weeks which leaves just Caitlin and I. Might have to give some away....along with some fresh tomatoes as there are still many more tomatoes to ripen and pick. The recipe I used is an old recipe given to me by a friend but can also be found in the Aunt Daisy cookbook.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Paper patchwork.....

 
 A couple of months ago my china cabinet got water damaged from a burst water pipe. I've had a few burst water pipes in the last year or so but this one was quite spectacular in that it was coming out of the wall in a fountain across the room. Unfortunately this china cabinet was directly underneath it....
On the plus side of this unfortunate incident was that I had always intended to  remove the ugly old wallpaper that graced its interior but just hadn't been able to prioritise it to the top of my 'to do' list. Every time I opened it I was greeted with a grandmotherly musty smell. I dragged it out onto my deck so I could make the removal job of the old paper a bit more pleasant by doing it in the sun. It took quite a few hours to scrape off the layers of paper as I discovered the top layer was covering 2 more layers of ugly old wallpaper.

 I have had a collection of Amy Butler prints for a while now waiting for a perfect project to show them off on although I did use a few on this table here last year. I cut out the paper squares and pasted them on all in one evening. So much more pleasurable than scraping off the old paper.


I'm so very pleased with how this cabinet looks now. It really has given it a new lease of life with its modern vintage look.
Oh and it smells so much nicer now :-)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Abundance.....







  Summer seems to have finally arrived in my part of the world and my garden is looking very lush and almost jungle like especially around my veggie patch. The potato plants are now too heavy to keep upright and are covered with flowers so freshly dug spuds will be on our menu in just a couple of weeks. The self seeded pumpkins have taken over the spaces in between a couple of the raised beds and if all the flowers turn into pumpkins I shall hopefully have enough to give away to friends and neighbours. 
 The tomato plants are laden with ripening tomatoes with more flowers still being produced. Looking forward to an abundant crop so I can make my own tomato sauce!
 Have just harvested my first crop of beetroot ever. 

 I grow strawberries every year and have previously bought new plants every 2 years which the 'experts' suggest you do. This year being on a limited budget I decided to ignore that expert advice and just take the runners off my old plants and re-plant them in as many pots as I could find along with a few mixed in with my raised herb garden. I used mostly purchased compost to plant them in and have fed them regularly with some strawberry food leftover from previous years. All that work of dividing and re-planting is now paying off as each plant is laden with fruit and every day there is a small handful of good sized berries ready to pick and eat :-)

 When the weathers good I often spend a couple of hours in my garden on a Sunday afternoon. Its a nice time to spend alone lost in my own thoughts although I'm often not quite on my own as Leo likes to follow me around resting in the shade where he can. 
And when its just too hot outside he puts himself to bed.....yes that would be my bed in exactly the spot where I sleep with his head resting on my pj's because I hadn't quite got around to making my bed that day....

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A little like Christmas....


 Our tree is up and decorated with some favourite decorations along with some handmade wreaths around the house. Our little street is looking like a disco with a few of the houses going slightly overboard with outdoor Christmas lights bringing a steady stream of cars crawling up our street.

 Somehow even though we are surrounded by festive Christmas lights and our house is suitably decorated we are somehow not feeling very festive this year. My eldest daughter Amelia commented that I hadn't done any Christmas baking like I normally do each year. So in an effort to make at least my daughters feel a little more festive, yesterday afternoon we decided to make some chocolate peppermint bark. It's an easy recipe to make just a bit of waiting time for each layer to set before adding the next. We started melting chocolate then realised we didn't have any candy canes. A quick trip to the supermarket revealed that they were all sold out so we decided to improvise and make do with what we did have and we came up with triple chocolate peppermint and pistachio bark.

 Not much of a recipe to share but here it is:
  1. Melt 200 gms white chocolate with 1/2 tsp peppermint essence and 20 gms kremelta (vegetable shortening) and spread onto base of a lined sponge roll tin. Place in freezer to set.
  2. Melt 200 gms milk chocolate with 1/2 tsp peppermint essence and 20 gms kremelta and spread onto set white chocolate layer then sprinkle with chopped pistachios. Place in freezer to set.
  3. Melt 100 gms dark chocolate with 1/4 tsp peppermint and 10 gms of kremelta and spread over second layer. Melt 100 gms white chocolate with 1/4 tsp peppermint essence and 10 gms of kremelta and place on dark chocolate then using a skewer marble the two layers together. Finally sprinkle with more chopped pistachios.

Another recipe I usually make each Christmas are these fresh ginger biscuits which I made this afternoon using a variety of Christmas themed cookie cutters. This recipe makes a lot so they are good for giving away ;-)
  • 375g softened butter
  • 1 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • grated rind of 2 lemons or oranges
  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tblsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 ground cloves
  1. Beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy. Beat in the egg, grated rind and fresh ginger.
  2. Sift together all dry ingredients and stir into creamed mixture until well combined.
  3. Roll out the dough to 0.5mm thick and cut out shapes using various cookie cutters.
  4. Bake at 180C for 10-12 mins. Cool before storing in an airtight tin.


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