Kainga, where Roses bloom, life is lived at a gentler pace.Living Simply, doing all those good things like stitching, gardening, cooking and reading.

Friday, April 30, 2010

OPAM finishes-One Project A Month.


Well the last couple of days have been spent finishing of some projects. The sewing machine worked overtime today doing the stippling on Friend-Sheep quilt. I will have to look out for a hanger for this quilt. I think I may hang it in the laundry. It will brighten the room up no end.
Yesterday I finished of this small quilt for the top of my washing machine. I added an extra block to each row so it would fit the top of the machine perfectly. I used some insul-bright wadding to it as I use the top of the machine to do ironing when I am sewing. The pattern is called "Washing Day" by Lyn Briggs.

Also in the "Washing Day" pattern is this cute one for a Hand Towel. I love the multi-coloured ric-rac. I was lucky enough to win the pattern from Lyn. Thanks Lyn.

Last week I challenged myself to finish this cross stitch by Friday, well Friday I had my sewing day so was unable to finish it. It was completed on Saturday evening. So I don't think that was to bad. Just have to look out for a frame for it. The OPAM challenge certainly keeps us motivated and on our toes. I hope you all have a great weekend.
Happy sewing.
Bev C

Monday, April 26, 2010

"Makes Me Happy Monday" Number 17 part b


Welcome back to part b of Mondays Make Me Happy posting. I have a few more garden photo's to share with you. This is the view part way up the driveway of "Sierra Verde" The shadows and shade provided by the trees is entrancing. Lots of deciduous trees like amber's ashes swamp cypress and evergreen trees are placed around the property.
I would love to take a dip in the pool. Can you imagine laying back here having a swim surrounded by all that greenery and privacy.

This photo shows a waterfall that flows from the pool. Water slides down the grey part of the wall and is recycled back into the pool. It was just stunning and very relaxing.
You can see to the right of the picture some rock retaining walls. There were several beds retained by this and a stunning set of steps to the main entrance.

This old barrow caught our eye in the driveway. I have know idea what its original job was but I am sure it got a work out.
After Ian and I finished our walk around the garden we decided it was lunch time. A look around Kalamunda didn't find what we were looking for so it was decided to go to the best place in the world!!!! We drove to Bickley to have lunch at Melville Rose Nursery.
This place has the best atmosphere and it was extremely busy being a beautiful Autumn day. Yes I did manage to purchase a few new rose bushes. More about them on another posting.After this we still had time to visit another nursery that has an open day about three times a year.

Thus we landed at Whistlepipe Gardens. This place has an amazing amount of plants in tube stock and bigger pots. I purchased a salvia that I was interested in getting. The photo above shows just part of the collection of Clematis that is for sale. Have a look at the gutter of the home,you can see what takes priority here. I hadn't been to Whistlepipe for a couple of years and the garden had grown so much. Last time the owner had recently re-done some of the garden. The difference was astounding. On leaving Whistlepipe we discovered a new garden centre we hadn't been to before. Yes I did make one purchase. A purple potato creeper. Then it was onto Bunnings and Better Pets and Gardens for a few more plants . Then onto home for tea kindly provided by Lucy. Thanks Lucy. So that was our day out in Kalamunda. We both loved our day out in lovely places plus the scenery is just beautiful throughout the hills area and we loved it even more because there was green in the paddocks. I would love a bit of rain, they keep on saying it is coming!!! Please click on the the photo's to get a better look at them and the link to the rose nursery.
Happy Monday.
Bev C

"Makes Me Happy Monday" number 17 part A


Happy Monday to you all. This weeks subject was an easy one to choose- Visiting Kalamunda. Kalamunda is a suburb in the Perth Hills. We have to travel about an hour and fifteen minutes to get there. I just love it. Lots of trees, space and wonderful buildings etc. Yesterday Ian and I set of to Kalamunda, first visiting the Kalamunda Farmers Markets. I purchased a corm of garlic to break up and plant out in the veggie garden. Then we went onto "Siera Verde" a beautiful home and garden in Kalamunda Road. I love driving along Kalamunda road looking at the beautiful gardens. The nuns even have there convent on this road. There home is stunning and I would love to visit them one day. "Sierra Verde" was open as part of the Open Garden Scheme.
This garden is lucky enough to have a spring fed stream running through it all year round. Gardeners heaven I say. We saw this tree that I haven't seen before, it had a lovely soft foliage like a fern.

Isn't this plant in a pot amazing. All the roots are all tangled together.

This is part of the pond area at the bottom of the garden. Koi swim happily around here.
The different levels of the trees provide a wonderful canopy above.

We fell in love with the tree ferns here. The drop in temperature was a marked difference.
There were plenty of visitors to the garden but as the garden was spread out you didn't notice the amount of people. As my blog only allows five photo's I will be back later on in the day with part b of my posting. I will let you know where else we went to. Right now we have to get ready to travel back to the city for morning tea. Ainsley is down at her new home,just for the weekend and she has baked a cake for us. Catch you all later. Enjoy your day. If you live in Australia have a fantastic Anzac Day Monday Holiday.
Happy Monday.
Bev C

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Zucchini Pickles Recipe,Mail and Male Stitching Challenge.


Yesterday I decided to make some zucchini pickles with that giant one we had grown. Like all good cooking shows you can see jar of pickles I made previously!!!! I picked some small capsicum from our bushes growing in the garden and used them in the recipe. I use the recipe from a book I purchased in New Zealand years ago. This is a great book because it tells you how and when to grow things then gives recipes for the produce.

Zucchini Pickle.

1kg zucchini
4 large onions
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1/2 cup salt
2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup water
2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon celery seed

Chop unpeeled zucchini finely. Peel and chop the onions. Remove the seeds from the peppers and chop the flesh. Combine the vegetables in a large bowl. Sprinkle the salt over the surface and cover with water. Leave for 2 hours. Drain. Rinse thoroughly with cold water and drain again.
In a preserving pan boil the sugar,vinegar,water turmeric and celery seed for 3 minutes. Add the vegetables and cook for 15 minutes. Spoon into hot dry jars and seal.

Now when I have made this I couldn't find celery seeds so I just used a combination herbs and spice mix that I have. It has black peppercorns and other green stuff in it!!! This adds some more flavour. You could chop up whatever herbs you have on hand.

I was lucky enough to be a winner at Jacquelynne's Blog in the Easter Giveaway.
All this lovely material arrived along with the most precious pin. Thank you Jacquelynne. To enter this competition we had to write about someone who has inspired us. I wrote about my year five teacher Mrs Gibson. We used to do embroidery while the boys were outside doing sport. Mrs Gibson had the kindest heart.

Now this months stitching challenge with Anita was to make something for a male. Have you noticed there are very few things in the craft magazines for males. Even with quilts we are a bit restricted. I knew I had to make David something for this project. So when Heidi showed this tutorial for a curling wand/straightener I knew that this would be the perfect project. David has a habit of leaving his hair straightener on the bathroom cupboard and leaving a heat mark. I made it up with some of the material from the Beach Quilt . It has some insul-bright inside it. I changed the dimensions of the material to suit the hair straightener and added some quilting to it. David was really pleased with it and is using it so that is a bonus.
I have nearly finished the cross stitch I have been working on and I am challenging myself to have it finished by this Friday. I hope you are all doing something you love, if not get straight onto it!!!!
Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Makes Me Happy Monday" number sixteen.


Welcome to week 16. I hope everyone is having a Happy Monday. This week I am very happy to show you our Olive crop at Kainga for this season. Yes you may laugh at the big amount of olives. Last year I think we had about three olives. Each year will be bigger and better,considering we really don't water this tree. It relies on natural rainfall and that has been very scarce around here. Ian and I picked these olives yesterday. Anyone driving by would have thought are they doing some ancient voodoo thingy. We were walking round and round the tree looking up through the branches for olives. Several had dropped to the ground which were useless and the birds had taken a nip out of a couple. A couple of years ago we went to a garden in the Open Garden Scheme that had a olive orchard. We were given a recipe that we have used in the past when I have got olives from elsewhere. The couple who had the open garden were originally from Jordan and it has been a recipe that has been used in there family for sometime.

How to pickle your own olives.
You can cure olives at any stage.

1. Either prick several times with a fork,make 2 small slits on the skin with a sharp knife,de-pip using a commercial de-piper,or bruise by bashing with a rolling pin. I always use a fork. This step will allow the water and salt to penetrate the fruit,thereby drawing out the bitterness. It also takes the place of caustic soda solution used in commercial processing of olives.

2. Toss immediately into a bucket of clean water and leave covered. Change the water daily for three to four days.

3. Dissolve 1/2 cup of salt for every 10 cups of water. Soak olives in this solution with a lid on,making sure the olives are submerged.

4. Pour liquid off each day and replace with fresh salt water. Repeat this for approx. 10-12 days. Taste for readiness. When bitterness is nearly gone,olives are ready for their final salting.

5. Make up a solution of fresh salty water at the rate of 1 cup salt to 10 cups water. Dissolve and bring to boil and allow to cool. Place olives into bottles and pour cooled sat-water over them,making sure the olives are completely submerged.

6. Top up bottles with 1cm of olive oil to stop air getting into the fruit and seal the lids on. Store the olive jars in a cool dark place.

7. Enjoy!!!!

Ian picked this zucchini on Saturday. I was planning on keeping it growing to see how big it got. Guess who is doing some cooking this week and maybe some more zucchini pickles are on the cards. It weights between 4 and 5 kilos. Last year we were battling to get any zucchini plants growing and this year it has been a feast.

Happy Monday to you all.

Bev C

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happening at Kainga.


I hope you are all enjoying the weekend. We have been blessed with beautiful weather. Last night I managed to get a start on the cross stitch which I did in the Friday Night Sew-In. I had to redo some, it is amazing that one stitch out of place can mess things around!!! It took me about half an hour last night to sort out the colours and hem the edge of the aida cloth. I wish that the cloth came edged and the colours sorted.I managed to get some more done this afternoon. On the front of the packet it says "Delightfully Quick "N" Easy" I hope this is true.
Thank you to those who hopped over to the quilting gallery blog and voted for my quilt entered called" Scrap Happy". It is not to late to vote . Voting closes 11.59pm Sunday.

This morning I went to Garden Club at 10.00am. It was great to meet up with everyone again. I came home hoping to have some peace and quite. No such luck. The farmer across the road got out his rock picking up machinery. If you click on the photo you will see it clearer. Gee it is a noisy machine. The good thing is he must be going to put in a crop this year,we won't have motorbikes and quad bikes screaming around the paddock for hours on end. Fingers crossed anyway.

Last Sunday Ian and I went to the Autumn Garden Show in the city. I took my camera but did the same trick as I did last year. I tried to take pictures but a light was showing up. When I got home to put the couple that we took on the computer I worked out why it wasn't working. In my bag the button that changes it to Movie had moved. I only had useless movies on the camera. Anyway while at the show I was able to purchase a few plants. I fell in love with this one called "Elsie Hirt".
Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
Bev C

Friday, April 16, 2010

Quillting Contest and Friday Night Sew In.


Over the weekend it would be great if you go to the Quilting Gallery and put in a vote for my "Scrap Happy" quilt. I finished this quilt in August 2007. I used a pattern I obtained on the net but changed it a little. In the original pattern the scraps were the same size. I thought the way to go was to use up what I had on hand. Thus my scraps range in size.

The quilt measure 63 3/4 inches across and 86 1/2 inches long.
There are many special pieces of material used in this quilt including this piece I love. One of my children, I can't remember which ,made a cut out of a Christmas Stocking many years ago. This scrap had remained in my stash of Christmas fabrics. When making this quilt I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use it up.
I have used scraps leftover from 21st Birthday quilts,my children's clothes the blue material I used in a shirt for David when he was much younger. There is even some material from a skirt my Mother made for me when I was about 14. I used some calico for the backing and had it machine quilted using a variegated thread.
This quilt has a special place in our home here at Kainga and stays on the bed in the guest bedroom. Lots of people have slept under this quilt made with love.
As tonight is Friday Night Sew In I will be doing some cross stitch. I have been out all day having lunch and haven't had time to prepare something. I found a lovely Spring themed cross stitch which I will get a start on.
Have fun.
Bev C

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Friend-Sheep" completed and a quilting contest.


I finished sewing the 2 inch square blocks to the Friend-Sheep wall hanging this morning. Yesterday I raided my scrap bag to find the material,gosh no wonder we are in love with those 5inch charm squares. Cutting the two inch squares took quite a while. Mind you if I had just used a couple of strips of material that would have been far quicker,but the theme for this year at Kainga it to use it up. I only made one real alteration to one of the blocks. The July block was celebrating the 4th of July but I decided to make it a bit more Aussie. Thanks to fellow blogger Dzintra who helped out with the "Christmas in July" theme. I hope to get to the shops this afternoon to get some wadding. Then the fun part of quilting starts.
The other week at Good Sammy's I saw some new tea towels and decided to jazz it up a bit with some applique. Doesn't it match my milk jug.

I have gone way out of my comfort zone and entered a quilt in the "Weekly Themed Quilt Contest" over at Quilting Gallery. I will let you know tomorrow which quilt I have entered and the voting details. Wish me luck.
Happy days.
Bev C

Monday, April 12, 2010

"Makes Me Happy Monday" Number Fifteen.


Monday is washing day. Aren't you glad that you no longer have to do the washing like Sunbonnet Sue here in the red work stitchery. My washing machine is doing its job as I type. That would be enough to make me happy
this Monday. Onto the real reason for this weeks dose of happiness. Last week while doing some dangerous housework. Yes dangerous. I was on top of a stepladder on our dining table trying to clean the ceiling fans in the family room. Lucy was still asleep. I won't let you know the time but it was in the morning and it is school holidays so that is OK. I had cleaned one of the fan blades and was beginning to realise how stupid it was to be doing this. What would happen if I fell etc. Luckily I heard the postie's bike and went to inspect what he had dropped off. I had received a small parcel from my dear blogging friend Bobbie Lynn . I received the most beautiful handmade Easter card and some tags. I am in awe of these. I have made a few tags but procrastination sets in and I spend too much time working out what to do. These tags are just so beautiful and I feel very blessed. Thank you so much Bobbie Lynn. You must do yourself a favour and have a look at the lovely photo's Bobbie Lynn has on her blog.

So to Bobbie Lynn and all those special people who come to visit Kainga Happenings here is a small vase of "Radio Times" a David Austen rose and some carnations just for you to enjoy.The perfume of "Radio Times" is described as a wonderfully rich old rose fragrance.
I hope everyone has a "Happy Monday". After lunch I am meeting up with Anita for a cuppa.
Happy Monday.
Bev C

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Week One of the School Holidays.


We have just finished the first week of the school holidays. Lots of lazing around doing very little.Though Lucy and I have been out for Brunch and Afternoon Tea. The perfect way to spend our time. David was home from Uni for a few days and managed to use up our monthly usage and it slows down afterwards so we decided to have a break from the Internet. I have been doing a little work. I have one more of the Friend-Sheep blocks to go. I changed the background fabric on November's block. I was hunting through my fabrics to look for the pumpkin fabric and it took so long to find it that I decided that it needed to take centre place. The sheep is in the patch of pumpkins rather than a few pumpkins being beside the fence. I didn't have pumpkins growing so I took the photo in the broccoli patch.
Yesterday I got not one but two phone calls about a garage sale that had lots of craft supplies. The owners of the property used to have a craft shop. There were stacks of supplies to choose from. I even met one of the ladies who goes to sewing who got some lovely material and bags of buttons. I managed to restrain myself I picked up a Handmade magazine a quilting pattern that has some patches to use in the pattern as well as two packets of heart buttons one in cream and the other a light blue. Total cost $4.00. Anita went to the sale as well. Anita has some pictures on her blog of the house it was at. Uralia House was was once a maternity hospital. I was born there as well as my siblings . It is now a private home,though there is a Bed and Breakfast out the back which is done up with all sorts of antique items. The owner also restores furniture and I can tell you he does such a wonderful job. Mum got some furniture restored by him and gave it to Ainsley and Julian for there wedding present a few years back.

Over the Easter break Ian with a little help from me managed to get our third raised veggie bed made. We used tin and pine logs to make the side. Two compost bins full of lovely compost are underneath the veggie mix we got from the garden supply. We have planted two sorts of Broccoli Cauliflowers Chinese cabbage Broad Beans etc. In a few weeks I will show another photo showing the growth of the veggies.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to trim back a lavender bush we had growing out the front. It was a cutting I got from my Aunt just after we shifted here. Well after trimming it back a bit I decided it was time for it to come out. Would you believe this photo above is the wheelbarrow and trailer full of the lavender just from the one plant. The base and roots of the plant are still to be pulled out. I now have a massive area to full in. I couldn't believe that it was just the one plant. I have a few more of them to take out as well. I think it is time for a change. So be warned when people offer you plants!!!
Enjoy your weekend.
Bev C

Monday, April 5, 2010

"Makes Me Happy Monday" number 14.


Happy Easter Monday to you all. This week I wanted to show you my collection of framed prints and photographs of New Norcia. With it being Easter Monday I thought this was a very appropriate subject to choose for today's posting. New Norica is the only completely run Monastic town in Australia. A couple of hours drive from here. This is the first photo I had framed. There is something completely inspiring about this photo entitled "The olive harvest,New Norcia" I often just stand in front of it and just look at it. It is that kind of photo.
I got this photo early last year of the monks walking along the paddock with the buildings in the background.

I just love these little bright fun prints by Nat Poli. This one is called "Taking time out for nature..."

This one is called "Feasting Monks-Cheers"
New Norcia has an amazing history and you can certainly spend all day there. It has the most amazing art gallery which I can spend hours in. You can stay at New Norcia for a retreat and do the things the monks do. Getting up early for mass is one of them. The school my children used to attend had there Year 10 retreat there. They always came back inspired. You can buy lots of products in the shop including monk shoes,olives,olive oil wine and a great variety of religious products. The Hotel serves wonderful lunch and you have to try some of the bread with the olive oil. Delicious. There is a cemetery to wander around and a machinery display which holds a lot of items they used to use.I would urge you to do a search on New Norcia through your favourite search engine especially the images. Please click onto the photo's to see the detail in them especially the first one.
Happy Easter Monday to you all.
Bev C

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Stitching.


With the couple of days we have over Easter I have made the most of my time. I have even done this months "Stitching Challenge" I have with Anita. This is a record for me. This month we had to make something for a male. I used some of the fabric left over from the border of my Beach quilt. I will reveal what it was at the end of the month. I made something for David, he has taken it with him today. He said it was cool so I guess I chose the right fabric. It is something he can definitely use. Actually it is very useful for either a male or female.
Ian drilled a hole for my cross stitch to hang up amongst my other cross stitch samplers in the family room. No our family room is not on a lean,just my picture taking. I am so glad I got the man to re-do it. There was such a wide bump in it that Ayers Rock could have fit under there!!!

Applique is one of my most favourite ways to keep busy. I have done the first 6 months of "Friendsheep" the "Sheep-of-the-Month" block that Paula designed. I have to do some embroidery on some of the blocks but I will do this at the end. I used my cream homespun for the blocks and raided my scrap-bag for the pieces.

I even used up some pink flannelet for Miss January. I hope to get one or two more done over the Easter break.
We have had a busy start to the break with Ainsley and Julian getting the keys to there new home. They were allowed to shift in before the settlement date. Ian and David spent yesterday morning helping them unpack and take the furniture they needed up to the rooms on the top floor. They came home very weary. Today we have been making another raised veggie bed. Hopefully the sides will go on tomorrow then I can start planting out the seedlings I bought on Thursday.
Enjoy the rest of your Easter Holiday.
Happy Easter.
Bev C