Saturday, July 30, 2011

Multiple Personalities

What a great day! Yesterday I had a crazy anxious day because I had to go for the second IPL zapping treatment on my face. I have an unusual form of rosacea on my cheeks which has been slowly developing over the past few years. It has got to the point in one big patch where it is beginning to be difficult to cover with makeup, and as it seems to be progressive, it was time for action. Action means Intense Pulse Light treatment which, unfortunately in my case, really really hurts. Fortunately for the second treatment I had local anaesthetic, which reduced the pain to a tolerable level (i.e. I didn't cry and shake in terror whenever the nurse came near me). I would be quite happy to go for another round, should it be required. The dermatologist said I would probably need maintenance zap sessions every now and again due to the progressive nature of my condition. This morning my face looked and felt puffy. Not pretty at all. A good excuse for crafting all day!

Look what arrived!!!!! The Book Depository is the best place I've seen on the net for buying books at a great price. You get free postage all the way from England. The exchange rate at the moment works out well for us.
I've got to the stage where I want to try a few tricky things, and since my other two Stitch 'n Bitch books are my knitting information bibles, I thought this would have great instructions for cool fancy stuff. And it does! There are some gorgeous patterns too.

I have to say I can't work myself out when it comes to my tastes in fabrics. Multiple personalities may be the diagnosis. On Thursday I was invited by Fenella from Stitch to come and learn how to create a stack and slash quilt. I had the BEST time hanging out in the shop classroom, checking out what everyone was buying, sewing and generally having fun with Fenella, her wee girl and other crafty people. This was the completely insane result- the Jeweled Rainforest quilt.
It was all based around this Kaffe Fassett fabric that I have had for years and treasured. I've used another colourway in the Happy Holidays quilt border. Fenella loves to choose collections of fabrics and we had lots of fun putting these together. Believe it or not a great deal of consideration went into this group of fabrics.
I wasn't shy with the border on this one either - Glory Rose is glorious indeed! I put this on today.
I always feel I must apologize for my taste in what I consider to be gloriously bright fabrics. I am totally aware that many people wouldn't understand the attraction or the combinations. Well I'm not going to apologize. If you're not keen, try personality number two.

Tanya Whelan's Delilah collection jelly roll which I turned into this quilt panel this afternoon.

Not a very good photo, but you'll see it again once I've decided what to do about the border. It is about the size of a single bed quilt. The Jeweled Rainforest quilt is also that size as I find it easier to handle for machine quilting, and more affordable to create, than bigger quilts. Of course if someone wanted to purchase one for an extraordinary amount of money I would have to oblige.

I've been thinking about that- selling my craft creations. Like lots of blogging ladies, I've been thinking forward and backwards because I'll be reaching the somewhat terrifying age of 40 in a couple of weeks. It seems to be a big step for many of us. Suddenly it seems like I have to be all mature and grown up. I haven't had children and it seems like the door on that phase of life is closing. That's not really a problem because I came to terms with that a while ago (apart from the occasional teary outburst when I see my darling niece or nephew). Actually thinking back, I can do a lot of stuff I couldn't do at 30:

  • Make quilts.
  • Embroider.
  • Ride a horse with an element of style.
  • Knit and crochet.
  • Drive my car wherever I want (I had a driving phobia).
  • Play the 'cello.
  • Blog.
  • Not worry too much about what people think.
I'm sure there's plenty of other stuff. What would I like to be able to do at 50 that I can't do now? Something to think about. Actually I'd love to be crafting full time and selling my creations. I had no idea I'd be doing all of those things I listed above, so who knows what I'll be up to in another 10 years.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh so pretty!

The snow has been melting away today. Miss Dog enjoyed a romp on the front lawn.
I love the way her ears flap when she runs.
Yesterday I made this drawstring bag for my darling wee niece, Lucy. She will be two years old shortly.
I used giant ric-rac and a very cute fabric with wee raccoons and birdies. I was pleased because I very neatly zigzagged around the appliqued letters without going off course at all.
I've been working on this little vest for my nephew Henry. It is made of fabulously soft wool- a merino blend.
Today I went for a visit to my favourite quilt shop, Stitch. I LOVE visiting Stitch. There are beautiful fabrics, yarns, books and bits and pieces, plus they run great classes. While I was there I mentioned to Fenella, who owns the business, that I never got a chance to do the stack and slash class because of school, so she suggested I could go in tomorrow and she would tutor me through making a stack and slash quilt top. Now that's an opportunity I couldn't pass up! Last week I saw the divine new Tanya Whelan Delilah range and decided that I had to make a quilt out of these. Today I decided to get a jelly roll as I've never used one before.
I've never seen a jelly roll that I loved with a passion before. I started working on joining the strips this afternoon. I'm using Jane Brocket's Candy/Ice-cream quilt as the inspiration. More in my next post.
Today I had two helpers. Mr Ginger Jasper under my sewing desk. Note the fixed stare...
Miss Dog looking back from her quilt, her expression slightly worried. Mr Jasper is a powerful force, with a very foul mouth and sharp, sharp claws.

He doesn't have to use them, she knows.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Snow Day

It hardly ever snows here, so when it does we get rather excited!
Snow dog.
Miss Dog loved playing in the snow. When I felt her paws once we came inside they were still warm. Mine were not.
Very chilly.
I had to dig for celery so that I could make soup.
Meet Raoul, the local snowman. He happens to be the tallest snowman I have ever seen. Johnny can take a large amount of credit for his existence.
No need for a carrot nose.

While all that was going on I made lunch. Soup and sun dried tomato, rosemary and garlic foccacia bread.
To make this all you need is some warm water, oil (preferably olive), a dessertspoon of granulated yeast, a dessertspoon of sugar, flavourings (optional), salt and some flour. Put your yeast, sugar and about 2 cups of warm water in a big bowl. Put in a warm spot, covered with a tea towel. Go and do something. I tried to work out why my sewing machine keeps snapping the top thread. Once your yeast is frothy in the water, add enough high grade flour to make a dough. Add a good slosh of olive oil, and your flavourings. In my case 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary and the remains of a jar of sundried tomatoes (about 4, well chopped). Oh, and about a dessertspoon of salt - don't be shy about adding salt to your bread dough, it is horrid without. Knead. Get the heel of your hand and push into the dough sort of smearing it away from you. I'll have to write a tutorial on kneading technique as I've learned some new tricks. Keep working the dough, pushing into it and folding it onto itself repeatedly until the dough feels elastic and smooth, and bounces back. Make into a ball and pop back into your bowl and rest, covered, in a warm place until double the size. Then flip it out onto the work surface and squash it, then shape and put onto a tray. Press your fingers into it to make little dips. Sprinkle lightly with salt and oil, and I put little sprigs of rosemary into the top. Very pretty. Wait until it is nice and fat again than put into a preheated oven at about 220 degrees C. until golden and makes a hollow sound when you tap it.

I must say, I am very relaxed about quantities when making bread and just follow the basic principles and ingredients provided in a Jamie Oliver recipe that I used to follow years ago. It always turns out great. You can get very fancy and develop the flavour of your bread by working with it over a longer period, but I have The River Cottage Bread Book to follow for anything beyond the basics. Johnny was exceedingly pleased to munch on this after all of his hard work bringing Raoul to life.

I've had a big play with the format of my blog. It is tricky getting everything as you want them, and some things just don't work as I hope at all. Never mind. I hope you will enjoy some of my projects and garden treasures appearing down the sides, plus my gorgeous animal family. XXX

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Holiday update

Just a note to let you know what I've been up to. Yesterday I had a brilliant day out and about with Kim. We found some lovely things and I have got some ideas for my next quilt project. I'm working on the border of my very bright quilt and won't start anything new until I've got that sorted. I got some wool from Stitch to do Henry's second (bigger) vest. I must send him the first one. Lucy's little green hat is finished. The top turned out really good, but the border flips up. Not sure if it will fit, but I followed the pattern. I cast on for the ribbing of the vest last night. It didn't say to use smaller needles for the ribbing, but I did because I've had nothing but trouble with flip-ups.

Today I had my riding lesson. Sam was in a very lazy mood, but as usual, he had an element of the drama queen about him and did a massive shy. Celine's back was turned and she didn't see. He did it again a bit later and she saw that. We worked on "haunches in" and "haunches out" which I was not too good at. He didn't want to canter for me but we struggled on and did a bit, while he waved his head about and kept doing his mega fast trot in protest. In the end Celine had a go because I didn't want to end the lesson without him having a good canter. He was just being naughty but I had reached the wobbly leg stage and felt that I wasn't giving him clear enough instructions. I got a bit frustrated with myself, but when I think that I was really scared of trotting earlier in the year, I'm doing ok getting a bit of cantering going. It does feel lovely when he finally canters. Much smoother than trotting. I'm supposed to have a lesson again on Saturday and Celine is going to e-mail me a dressage test to learn. She is going to leave me to tack up, mount up, warm up, then I will do my test and she will judge it. I hope the weather is good, and that Mr Sam is in a good mood too. He'd rather blob in the paddock with intermittent grooming sessions and forehead rubs.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today I decided to pop out to Celine's to do some gardening for her. The Scarlett Oak Equestrian Centre opens in August so I'm keen to make sure the gardens look pretty and bright by then. Actually it opens just after my birthday. I told Johnny and Celine that I want to have a horsey birthday this year. I can't quite believe that I am going to be 40. 40 is apparently the new 30. Who cares anyway, I'm having more fun in life than I've had my entire adult life.

Now I'm grownup I'm determined to master this knitting lark. Poor wee Lucy and Henry, my little guinea piglets. I should have a better idea whether this hat is only fit for Gollum after some shaping tonight. If all goes well, Lucy should be getting a pretty green hat for her birthday. I guess we could call it an egg collection bag if it all goes horribly wrong.
I love this book of patterns. I couldn't resist buying it after getting it out of the library. It has some really cute toy patterns too.

Johnny spent the day at school sorting out computer issues. I was glad that I decided to head out to Celine's. Oh I forgot to say that I helped Celine move her new horse jumps down into the derby arena. We slung some across the back of the quad bike and moved them down from the main house area into the riding school area. I held them on with my sturdy backside (I knew it would come in useful one day). She has some gorgeous pink and white striped jump poles. My steering is going to have to be spot on if I'm in the big arena otherwise Sam and I are going to be unexpectedly learning to showjump.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to be helping my friend Kim to go shopping for fabric for a baby quilt she wants to make. Not sure how that will go because she isn't sure what she wants and doesn't sew or have a machine. I could whip one up for her, but she wants to do it for her baby. She is due in September and looks so lovely pregnant, as some people manage to do. I'm taking her to Stitch. Of course I'm very pleased about that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Keeping busy

The morning started rather dreary, but the sun eventually overcame the misty cloud and we had a beautiful day. Miss Dog and I started with a bit of exercise. I need to strengthen my legs so that mounting up on a very large horse is less of an effort, and so that I have lots more stamina when doing rising trot. We visited the nature reserve and Miss Dog hovered around while I did step-ups (grunting and straining) onto the picnic bench seat, and threw in some sort of press up things and squats. Then we jogged around in the lake area (currently dry). My happy companion was delighted to weave and prance along beside me. No one was there to see us enjoying the morning, thankfully, as I'm a bit self-conscious about my efforts to get fitter.

Don't you hate it when you are keen to get outside into the garden, but some part of the house needs urgent attention! The kitchen needed a good going over, which I did with a high degree of impatience. Then I headed outside to do some gardening.

I planted some mixed blue polyanthus plants in the pair of pots by the front door. We've had these pots for years and years and I still love them. Before placing the pots back in their rightful place I decided that the front door needed a good clean because it was covered in liquifaction dust. When the big earthquakes struck silt was forced upwards out of the earth by the tonne into the worst damaged areas of Christchurch. It was over a metre deep in some areas, completely surrounding people's houses. As it has dried it has formed a fine dust that has spread around in strong winds. Massive amounts have been dumped in piles and I'm sure that is still becoming airborne. Anyway, it gets everywhere. I could even see it on the leaves of plants in the garden.

We are right in the middle of winter here. We really do have lovely mild winters compared to many parts of the world. The garden keeps providing me with entertainment. I'm looking forward to seeing this seedling hellebore flower for the first time.
They are so dainty and elegant.
Strangely there are a few brave roses appearing from time to time. This is Grace which I would highly recommend as it is always flowering.
White daphnes are much easier to come by now. My one flowers before the pink one. It has the same divine fragrance.
Oooh look- another brave rose, Pat Austin. Such a disappointing, floppy bush which I can't seem to shape into a vigorous specimen, but a beautiful colour. The winter version is not the rich apricot shade of the summer flowers.
Yesterday when we had lunch at Celine's house, her lovely mummy was chatting to me about French food. She finds it so disappointing that we seem to export the best of New Zealand produce. I would agree with that. She also says that it seems that we don't make the most of simple, wonderful ingredients, making too much use of foods with additives and preservatives. We certainly have moved away from simple cooking from scratch as life has become busier. I believe that we do have wonderful ingredients here, and we just need to take the time to make the most of them. Madame Falletta told me how she makes her super simple potato gratin, and her eyes sparkled as she talked about how delicious it is. I decided to give it a go.

Rub a cut garlic clove around the base of your dish to begin with. This imparts a very subtle garlic flavour. Layer thinly sliced potatoes, adding a fine sprinkle of salt and pepper between the layers. Pour over fresh cream. I used a small bottle and it bubbled up vigorously (actually right over the top causing billows of smoke from burning cream in the bottom of the oven - so make sure that your dish is deeper than my flan dish).
After about 30 mins I saw the top was browning so I turned the heat down from 180 degrees C to 160 (fanbake) and popped some foil over the dish. I put the dish onto the baking tray to stop any more puffs of smoke coming from the oven.
It looked like this after about 45 mins. The potatoes were soft.
Then I sprinkled some parmesan on the top (freshly grated- don't use that powdery stuff) and cooked it for about 10 minutes more with the foil off.

Oh so good! Super simple and absolutely delicious. The potatoes go all melty and soft with the cream baked right into them. Now my eyes are sparkling when I write about it. Admittedly not an every day dish, but compare what you are eating to premade potato bake sauces and powdered bases. Give it a try.

I was chatting to the Crafty Neighbour about my knitting. She thinks I should keep on going even though it looks big because when she made hats for her daughter they ended up too small. I shall keep on going shortly.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Knitting Update

Well, I cast on the 80 stitches, then moss stitched 2 rows, and I'm up to row 8 of the stocking stitch. The moss stitch edge is merrily flicking up (merde again), and with each row the hat looks wider and wider. I really should knit a swatch, but who can be bothered when making a small hat. Or maybe a large hat.

Beautiful Sunday

We had the most beautiful, sunny day today. Even better because I got to ride my darling boy Sam and I don't have to go to school tomorrow. Unfortunately I don't have any photos because the camera needed charging. Grrr! Sam hurt his leg recently so he is just getting back into work and is a bit stiff on the right rein still. I did a bit of cantering today, but then some cross country jumps were delivered, and Sam loves to look at unusual happenings with a suspicious eye. I didn't want a spook at high speed. Johnny got to see me canter, which was cool. We had lunch with Celine, her friend and her gorgeous mummy, then did some painting to help out. The arena is looking stunning with white rail fences. The jumps have arrived too, and some are already painted in the classic striped pattern. Celine is super excited about her new three-berth horse float. It is so flash you could live in it! I'm going to have several rides over the holidays because I really want to get my cantering under control. I'm going to give Celine a hand in the garden too. I've got a few jobs I want to do for her. She isn't a gardener. She has a long strip that used to be a vege patch, and I'd love to make an allotment there.

Last night we watched Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part One, in preparation for viewing Part Two over the holidays. I was busy working on a cute little hat for our niece, Lucy, in a pretty green. It has a fancy scalloped edge and I did my best to follow the instructions while I watched the movie. I started with 97 stitches, and was supposed to end up with 80 by the end of row 4, but curses, I only had about 65. Merde (as we would say at Celine's place). I have another idea. I might knit the hat from row 4 up with a couple of moss stitch rows to get the edge to sit down, then crochet a contrasting edging in pink. Most of the hat is stocking stitch, but it is the fancy lace edging that has me beaten with its yo, tbl, rep, etc etc. I do love to knit little people clothes! Lucy's birthday is coming up and I'd like to have something I made to send her. I'll have another go today.

Don't worry Ryan, we haven't forgotten your birthday. You won't be getting a slightly wonky knitted sweater either. We started sketching out some ideas for our Garage Band music competition this morning. I nearly cried with laughter over some of the stuff we came up with. Very naughty. I love a good laugh.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Yay! It is the first day of the holidays. I guess non-teachers think we have hoards of holidays, and we do compared to other people. I would justify having holidays by the sheer exhaustion we feel week after week. I was trying to work out why teaching is so exhausting. For me, as a special needs teacher, it is kind of like acting without a script all day long, reacting to a whole lot of unpredictable characters. We have a bit of a guide to how the day will go (our planning), but the moods and reactions of the students and other staff determines the decisions I make throughout the day. If you aren't on form for the day things can be a real struggle. We do play a game and spend lots of time manipulating the behaviour of our students with difficult behaviours to get the best out of them. Fortunately the more experienced you are the more easily you can do this.

I'm quite pleased I have resisted the urge to have a nap today. I got out for a lovely walk with Miss Dog this morning. Johnny lit the fire so we will be cosy tonight.

Here is Henry's little vest ready to be blocked. I have to wet it with a mild soap then rinse it out. Then I roll it in a towel and finally lay it out and pull it gently into the optimal shape flat on another towel. Apparently it will magically stay in the shape once it dries. As I didn't have a pattern, or any skill beyond knit and purl, I learnt a bit on the way. One thing I realized is that the ribbed band at the bottom should have been done on smaller needles to stop it folding up. I also discovered that I love the puzzle of knitting on double pointed needles.

Did you know I absolutely love primrose patterned china? I have a wee collection and am keen to add to it. Unfortunately there seem to be very few different patterns, and some of them are horrid colours. I like the pretty primrose yellow ones. We got some museum wax to stick the china to the shelves so that I can think about displaying some of it. Right now we are still experiencing earthquakes and there is still the chance of another big one. Pause for a sigh...
Onto a couple of Johnny's latest favourite things. Oddfellows made like the old fashioned smokers lollies.
And his I-Pad. Very cool.
Tomorrow we are going out to Scarlett Oak Equestian for my riding lesson, then we are going to help out with some jobs around the place. I really admire Celine for her independence and determination to get her riding school and bed and breakfast going, but it is a lot of work for one young woman. I'm sure it will be fun helping out. Johnny is coming too. I want him to get some photos of me riding, so that I can study them and work on my position. I hope it will be fine because it is quite a while since Sam and I had a date because of the weather and other stuff. He'll be getting lots of carrots tomorrow. Horse kisses XXXX

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Sad, sad, sad that I haven't had any horsey contact this weekend. But I dressed Ruby up in the ribbon I was given because Frank, who I helped to groom last weekend, won his dressage event. His mum sent it home with Johnny for me. My first dressage ribbon, and I didn't even have to ride a horse.

Johnny hasn't been well today, so I was flying solo most of the day. I got out into the garden and planted the baby onions that I bought last weekend. I did heaps of washing and a bit of tidying up. There was time for a look at my favourite magazine.
The cover is so pretty this month. It is a little odd reading all about summer in the middle of winter, but it makes me think of glorious roses and lush vege patches. There is a lovely article about a farm which is set up for visits by people with special needs. They spend days there mixing with animals and gardening. I'd love run a farm like that I can't see how that would ever happen. Any ideas?

I spent a bit of time working on my Happy Holidays quilt.
I've been plodding back and forward with my meandering lines of stitches. You can't race with the walking foot on my machine. It says so in the book.
I can't wait to snuggle under it in the evenings.

Speaking of snuggling, Henry will soon be proudly wearing his new vest. Look! Double pointed needles, no patterns, and no instructions! Guess what? I actually managed to create a presentable neck band!!!!! We can only hope his noggin will fit through the neck hole, and that the body is long enough to reach down to his waist. If not, it'll be vest number 2 for Henry.

Hopefully by the time we get Ryan's birthday present organised, Henry's vest will be ready to post too. Happy birthday Ryan!

I'm so looking forward to the holidays. Crafting every day. Hopefully plenty of horse time. Late nights and sleep-ins. Gardening and planning. Walks in the sun. Curling up by the fire. Only five days of school to get through.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


We hunted and gathered this morning. Well, we went to City Firewood and got a small load of wood. I've been cold for the last week, even with the heat pumps going. The fire is cheerful and toasty. I have to say I'm a little anxious about earthquakes and the fire, but we can't live our lives waiting for another big one. There have been a few rumbles today, but it has generally been ominously quiet over the past week. After September last year I just started feeling like life was moving on when the February one struck. It feels the same now.
We haven't got a woodshed yet, so we get wood in small quantities that we can stack in a corner of the garage. Satisfyingly simple to do, and only takes a little bit of time, unlike huge loads delivered by truck.
This afternoon I got to work on the gaudy and extremely jolly Happy Holidays quilt. I'm quilting it in long wavy lines, like wandering through the flowers. Very simple to do as time is of the essence- I really want to snuggle up under this one to keep warm. The colours just make me feel warm. I know it isn't everyone's cup of tea, but it is an experiment in colour.
I am sad because I can't ride this weekend again. Celine is really busy with setting up the riding school and bed and breakfast. I'm a bit lucky because she hasn't officially opened, so I get her to myself when she is available. Hopefully I'll get several rides over the holidays. Celine is going to start the landscaping next week, so I could give her a hand. The holidays start the week after next. Not before time either. So much crafting and gardening to do.

Right, I'm off to work on Henry's little vest. It is a bit of a learning curve because I'm doing it entirely without a pattern, and haven't made anything more challenging than hats and scarves. I've had a few muck ups and I really have no idea how to do the wee ribbed edges on the neck and armholes. Trial and error. I have to say, when it comes to crafting I usually assume I can do something until I have tried and discovered that, in fact, I suck. That might explain the unfinished projects lurking all over the place around here. Actually I feel the same way about cooking. I haven't even tried to do fancy cooking, because I'm not really interested in it (too much cleaning up), but in my own mind I could cook anything I set my mind to, providing I had a good, clear recipe. Hmmm, this theory has not been tested. It won't be tonight anyway, I've got a lovely warm fire to sit next to.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I've had a bit of a blog break for a while. We had visitors on and off over almost a month, then the long school term and cold weather got to me. Luckily we are past the shortest day and I'm looking forward to spring.
Jasper is loving life around here, and even slipped past Miss Dog when she was in my workroom, to come inside. It took him two goes. The first try he chickened out and slunk away, but then the lure of inside drew him in, and he braved the short dash past her. Miss Dog knows he is not to be toyed with, and leaves him alone. He hasn't realized that she is actually frightened of his talons.
I am so delighted with his slow and steady attitude to life, his loud purr and his funny little voice, which is a surprise considering his size. I've had Siamese cats for so long, and they have loud, expressive voices. It seems a little sad, but I am so pleased to be able to give an elderly cat a wonderful life in his last years, that I'm wondering if adopting a succession of large elderly gentlemen would be the way to go. The Cat's Protection League often have elderly cats that are hard to rehome. Jasper prefers to be part of a one cat family. He would be highly offended if I was to bring another feline into the family, and in spite of his advanced age, would probably beat the crap out of it. Then he would pull all of the fur out of his sides and start pissing inside again in protest. I would feel terribly guilty and Johnny would be furious with cat piddle stink.

It has been a beautiful day today. I started doing some winter clean up jobs in the back yard. The ground was crunchy with frost and Miss Dog's turds were frozen so were pleasingly easy to pick up in my pooper scooper.
Miss Dog found a disgusting piece of one of her rawhide chews and was happy to show me.
Then she invited me to chase her. Our hearts weren't really in it, so the game didn't last long.
Some of the vege beds are empty. My celery has some disgusting disease, which does not please me at all. Apparently celery is one of the most highly sprayed vegetables, and I can see why. I'm still getting enough off my plants for soup. My bargain bin leeks are sooooo slooooow. The slugs have got almost all of the cabbages I've tried to grow. Slimy bastards. Yes they do deserve that title. Slugs are no good for anything. I can't even harvest them to eat. I'm sure they'd be like eating dirt flavoured bogeys. Oh my stomach churns at the thought. Bogeys are one thing that gross me out.
Pretty garlic chive seed heads.
I got these onion seedlings to have a head start on spring plantings. They were sitting on the bench and all I could think of was that song "Islands in the sun" but I was singing "Onions in the Sun." Yes I'm a dork.
On the table currently I have my prettiest tablecloth. I LOVE it! Anemone damask. It is a little too small for the table, but I'd never hold that against it.
I've been knitting up a storm. Well, attempting to make a little vest for dear wee Henry. Look out Lucy, you might be next! I have no pattern, and have never shaped anything complicated or created a cuff or neck band. I am frustrated that I get too tired to knit in the evenings after school.
Today I made Johnny's new I-Pad (a late birthday present) a pouch so he can hang it next to the bed. It is like teddy bear- he can't be away from it at night. I'm very fond of I-Pads because I use them at school for communication. Today I was trying to be a bit naughty when Johnny was asleep on the couch. I set it up to record and snuck up to record him snoring, but when I pushed the record button a loud tick tock sound of a metronome came out of it and woke him up. All I recorded was him mumbling as he woke up and me cackling and saying "damn it."
Cute fabric, don't you think? I let him choose it from my Kaffe Fassett stash.
I must finish off these wee vintage hearts.

I've got a casserole simmering quietly in the slow cooker. I am determined to use the slow cooker more.

I haven't had a horse ride this weekend because Sam is lame. We went out to Emily Butcher's place yesterday and helped her mum get some horses ready for an event today. I learned about plaiting and shampooing plus brushed out tails until they were lovely and smooth. I don't even mind picking up horse poo when they drop one in the stable yard. I especially enjoyed spending time with Frank, who has a wonderful gentle air about him (even though he has his moments). Some horses give off very peaceful vibes, and others have an anxious air about them that I find less easy to be around. Sometimes some gentle strokes and conversation will calm a stressed horse, and that is lovely to see too. Hopefully Sam will be back in action next weekend. I think he has been doing a bit much jumping than he is used to, and has probably strained something. He is being rested for a few days.

Well, I hope that makes up for a bit of an absence. I am sad that the weekend is almost over because it has been lovely to see the sun and to get outside for a decent length of time. You'll hear from me again soon. XXX