Lazing about in boats

A very brief pop in to say – hello! I have been having a most fun-filled and brilliant but busy time. One of the nicest moments of the whirlwind of the past few weeks is having Jeanne and her mom to visit. I miss them very much and feel that we should have tried harder to kidnap them but here are a few photos of our Canterbury river trip. :)















Best in Show

This was my entry for Best Repurposed Tea Cup. I was so pleased with finding this vintage WI tea cup. I donated it to the silent auction and kind of wish I’d found my own WI tea cup but I was thrilled to be able to help my WI.

I also entered the Most Outrageous Vegetable. I kind of saw a friendly camel! Maybe…. !!

Our president created this incredible basket of vegetables.

M made a repurposed tea cup bird feeder.

Another of the repurposed tea cups – a floral display.

I also entered ‘Best Shop Bought Cheat’ and won a prize for my Pepperidge Farm cookies :)

We were all very keen to win this wonderful cup!

This carrot won the cup!!

Prize Crochet

Our Women’s Institute was having a ‘Best In Show’ competition this month and I made some rosettes to award to the winners of the categories.








Sushi Night!

Look away now, Jeanne! :)

I’ve been a bit stressed of late so haven’t been updating my blog but now things are a little less stressed, I’m catching up :)

We’ve had a Japanese student to stay for the past couple of weeks and one of our duties as hosts is to give them dinner so to make her feel at home, we did sushi one night. I also saw some very delicious looking sushi on 2paw’s blog.

This is pao’s effort before he rolled it.

I like cucumber in mine and this cucumber was grown by a friend by mine. It was more like a pickling cucumber but quite tasty in my sushi.

pao was very serious about his sushi.

Didn’t he roll well?

They didn’t turn out too badly, did they?

These were my efforts :)

I tried a Japanese food called natto . It is an acquired taste!!

We had a really fun evening with our new Japanese friend. :)

Caturday: Handsome and Prissy

I was happy to meet my handsome friend Tigger again the other week.

He is rather dashing.

He is rather nice. I do like a ginger cat.

Just a few steps away, I bumped into this prissy ginger madam standing my a tree and looking like she owned the place.

She did rather make me smile :)

All scone!

I’ve been feeling a bit poorly of late – very tired, virally, not in such good shape so pao has very kindly been cooking a bit more. On Sunday, we saw some photos of a very lovely looking set of scones at someone’s house and he was up and in the kitchen making them. Very light and fluffy and tasty they were, too! In case you are wondering, here is the recipe!

Tamyra gives her approval.

Pizza night

I love pizza and when I saw a recipe in a checkout magazine for homemade pizza, I thought it was a nice idea. pao made the dough with my KitchenAid mixer and these huge dough balls awaited me when I got home this evening.

Yes, yes, I know it is supposed to be round….

A bit of defrosted Dorot sauce for the base meant I was good to go for a quick dinner.

A little mozzarella and some anchovies – ten minutes in the oven and dinner is served! Perfetto!! :)

New pad

pao has very kindly spent some days off fixing up my office and it is almost done now.

It has already had a feline stamp of approval. Sirius had been round earlier.

Apologies for the baldness of Tamyra – she is fretting a little. Lots of upheaval with moving things round is not her favourite activity.

I have a lovely collection of vintage embroidery – complete and incomplete. I asked for a cream colour on the walls so I could add the colour with accessories.

I think Tamyra approves!!

Ring, ring

pao and I don’t like to give each other chocolate for Easter. For one thing, we love us some really decent chocolate at almost any other time of the year (check out Madame Oiseau as a point of reference) and we love giving each other much more memorable gifts for Easter. One year, I received all the yarn for a cardigan; this year was a ring-making lesson with Canterbury Ringmaking.

So the very lovely Guy Meurice turned up to our house with all of his kit this evening to help me with my lovely gift. This tiny piece of silver wire was going to be a ring.

He very kindly allowed me to make a ring with a stone which is what I’ve secretly been hankering for ever since I saw someone else’s on his Facebook page. Normally, you get to make a beautiful silver band on his workshops but he gave me some extra time and the materials for this moss agate ring.

Sirius was naturally at his most helpful. We had to shut him out when we were soldering as I was afraid he’d get himself singed or set on fire.

First step was to bend the ring into a ring shape and file the cut bits so they fit together. I was thrilled that my ring was starting to take shape. A bit of soldering and curing in some acid meant my ring was a ring!

Using a mandrel and a leather hammer, I was able to shape and stretch my ring a little to fit my big tree trunk fingers (I’m a size Q, don’t you know? [thought you ought to know if you're ever inclined to make me a ring]).

More soldering to get the setting onto the ring. A useful tip from Guy was that we put the setting on the opposite side to the open edge.

Guy brought a polishing machine and once the soldering was done, I got to polish my ring (no sniggering, pao).

Tamyra slept through the whole process until the polishing part and then she was very interested in what was going on.

We then put the stone in the ring and basically pushed the silver until it held the stone in place – quite a process. Guy was very kind and helped me do this as it would have taken me an age to do. Et voila, a beautiful ring!

Thank you very much, Guy, for teaching me (he is a very kind and patient teacher) and to pao for giving me this wonderful gift. I can’t stop looking at my finger and admiring the ring I made :) Hurrah!!

Wedding preparations

pao and I spent part of today helping a friend set up her daughter’s wedding venue – a beautiful old barn near us. There was an old merry go round there and we had a great time looking at it :)

Beautiful old organ one end

Beautiful old organ one end

Another the other end of the barn

Another the other end of the barn

pao perfecting his pom pom

pao perfecting his pom pom

IMG_0283 1

IMG_0286 1

IMG_0289 1

IMG_0294 1

IMG_0300 1

Beautiful countryside backdrop

Beautiful countryside backdrop

Lots and lots of ribbon

Lots and lots of ribbon

pao riding his horse

pao riding his horse

The carousel was decorated with some beautiful paintings

The carousel was decorated with some beautiful paintings

IMG_0317 1

This parrot is so pretty

This parrot is so pretty

There were several curious dogs

There were several curious dogs

This is the carousel

This is the carousel

mumblings from the beleagured mrspao