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. :)

c1

c2

c3

c4

c5

c6

c7

c8

c9

c10

c11

c12

c13

c14

Best in Show

bis1
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.

bis2
I also entered the Most Outrageous Vegetable. I kind of saw a friendly camel! Maybe…. !!

bis3
Our president created this incredible basket of vegetables.

bis4
M made a repurposed tea cup bird feeder.

bis5
Another of the repurposed tea cups – a floral display.

bis6
I also entered ‘Best Shop Bought Cheat’ and won a prize for my Pepperidge Farm cookies :)

bis7
We were all very keen to win this wonderful cup!

bis8
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.

rosette1

rosette2

rosette3

rosette4

rosette5

rosette6

rosette7

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 :)

sushi1
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.

sushi2
This is pao’s effort before he rolled it.

sushi3
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.

sushi4
pao was very serious about his sushi.

sushi5
Didn’t he roll well?

sushi6
They didn’t turn out too badly, did they?

sushi7
These were my efforts :)

sushi8
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

cat1
I was happy to meet my handsome friend Tigger again the other week.

cat2
He is rather dashing.

cat3
He is rather nice. I do like a ginger cat.

cat4
Just a few steps away, I bumped into this prissy ginger madam standing my a tree and looking like she owned the place.

cat5
She did rather make me smile :)

All scone!

scones
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!

yum
Tamyra gives her approval.

Pizza night

pizza1
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.

pizza2
Yes, yes, I know it is supposed to be round….

pizza3
A bit of defrosted Dorot sauce for the base meant I was good to go for a quick dinner.

pizza4
A little mozzarella and some anchovies – ten minutes in the oven and dinner is served! Perfetto!! :)

New pad

office1
pao has very kindly spent some days off fixing up my office and it is almost done now.

office2
It has already had a feline stamp of approval. Sirius had been round earlier.

office3
Apologies for the baldness of Tamyra – she is fretting a little. Lots of upheaval with moving things round is not her favourite activity.

office4
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.

office5
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.

ring1
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.

ring2
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.

ring3
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.

ring4
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!

ring5
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]).

ring6
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.

ring7
Guy brought a polishing machine and once the soldering was done, I got to polish my ring (no sniggering, pao).

ring8
Tamyra slept through the whole process until the polishing part and then she was very interested in what was going on.

ring9
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