Monday, 31 August 2009

Eating and spending, eating and spending...

We are back home again after an exciting week in Auckland. It was so fun - there was SO MUCH good food, including some giant steaks (Matt's was slow cooked for 24 hours before serving), some great Malaysian, and some epic Yum Cha. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera at hand to capture any of these moments....

..I did, however, have it nearby to snap a photo of the sparrows in St Kevin's arcade finishing off someone else's afternoon tea:

We did a lot of walking (I had forgotten how hilly Auckland is), and a fair amount of impulsive purchasing. There was an auction at Art and Object last week, and although we didn't bid, Matt and I were both very keen on pair of Ernest Race rockers. I popped in there on Wednesday to find that they hadn't sold at auction, so after a short time bargaining managed to buy them! They are lovely, but need reupholstering, no photos at hand, but got this one from (who distribute a reissue of the same chair):

Frustratingly, they won't arrive here for another two weeks or so, but maybe by then we'll have forgotten about them and it will be like a big surprise! Now we just need a house to put them in...

With all that excitement over, it's back to my life of (not very much anymore as I seem to have taken on far too many small projects) leisure.

Thanks Bro, for the place to crash.

(In case you're wondering, he's taking photos of his garden growing. Slowly).

Monday, 24 August 2009

Melbourne niceties

I picked up a few little lovelies while in Melbourne. Firstly, some fat squares of Japanese fabric from Kimono House:
I have a bit of a collection of kimono fabric, and think that now is the time for some sort of project....I'm thinking "quilt". Definitely. Don't hold your breath though, the last quilt I made took about 18 months to complete.

One of my all time favourite stores in Melbourne is Craft Victoria. I don't think I've ever passed by and not gone in and rarely would I leave empty handed. This time I picked up a very very cute "green apple" necklace made by Kearnsie.

Now it's off to Auckland for another hectic and social week. Am looking forward to it, but I'll probably be away from the blog for a week or so....'til then!

Saturday, 22 August 2009


I got back from Melbourne in the wee hours of this morning. It was a busy busy trip with kilometres of walking, piles of food (Spanish, Chinese and Balinese all in 3 days), and lots of Len Lye (there was an exhibition at ACMI which we attended twice). I have come back with a stinking cold, my nose is red and chapped and I am blowing mountains of snot out my nose.

The shops were crazy, so many, so lovely. My favourites (although I didn't purchase anything at either - largely as I was overwhelmed by the selection) were:

1. Bison (where Matt got me a herb pot last year)...

2. and Morris and Sons in Collins St. So much yarn, so many way I could choose!

I'm only back for 3 days then it's off to Auckland for more socialising and eating and drinking.... be gone damned head-cold!

ps for some good video foot age of Len and his kinetic sculptures, check out this youtube video.

Monday, 17 August 2009

The sewing project....

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was involved in a new sewing project. Well, it's all done now and I can proudly show some pics of my new cushion covers in situ.

They are sitting in C1 cafe in Christchurch, on what is a new bench seat. They look pretty good I think and their new owners seem very happy.

Ta da!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

J'aime les....

I have only recently accepted that my favourite flavour is almond. For a long while I have told myself it is chocolate, but no, I realise now that if faced with a chocolate-almond decision I will always swing towards almond.

So this morning when we visited the Christchurch Farmer's market at Riccarton Bush, I couldn't walk past the authentic wee delights of J'aime les macarons. These puppies are notoriously difficult to make, I have a couple of recipes but have not yet been brave enough to try them. When we were in Paris and Avignon, there were queues heading out the doors of the Laduree shops which were so long we were put off, and I am sorry to say I never ate a French macaron.

But very shortly I will have got as close as you can get in New Zealand - for afternoon tea we will share rose, raspberry and pistachio flavoured ones.


And just quickly, it seems the blossom is all out and about already - the photo below was snapped outside Matt's office.

Spring is just around the corner...I'm off to Melbourne next week and Auckland the week after, and when I am home again winter will be over - and not a moment too soon.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Last night I made a blackberry and apple pie for Matt's dessert, I got the recipe from a copy of Frankie magazine.

Given that only one quarter of it remains this morning, I'd say it was successful.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Unnecessary loaf?

I was a late starter to the cryptic crossword. I had always had a half-hearted attempt and usually managed to get the words which were anagrams, but all the others failed me.

Once someone had sat me down and gone through the general types of clues I was hooked. I've never managed to do more than about half of a whole crossword before though.

That is, until now.

Yesterday I finished my first cryptic crossword. What's more, it is eligible to enter the draw for a $30 book voucher!

Oh, and for lunch today I made a loaf of no-knead bread (get the title of this post now?).

I had to start it last night and bake it this morning and we just ate it for lunch. It was great - really crunchy crust but soft (and warm) in the middle.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Exciting maths newsflash

Earlier today it was 12:34:56 on 7/8/09.


Thursday, 6 August 2009

Garden goodness

It has been very strange here lately with regards to weather - suspiciously warm for days on end. The mud around the house has dried to something more akin to dirt, and I am totally up to date with the laundry.

Yesterday I dug up some young strawberry shoots form around the garden and replanted them, so hopefully we will have summer strawberries to munch on.

The garden is slightly confused about the current temperatures, and the fruit trees are all sprouting.

I even have some camellias out flowering now.

I am not convinced though. I think it is only a matter of time before winter evil returns. In the meantime however I am drinking my gin on the lawn.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Sons & co team building

Sons & co went on a 'team building' exercise yesterday at Mt Hutt:

Nice view eh?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Snippets of my weekend.

We have had about ten days now of reasonable weather - often cold, but little rain, and sometimes even balmy. We had a record day on Friday - 20 degrees! I'm not sure why it is, but Cantabrians are always obsessed with weather - something Matt and I noticed when we moved here from Melbourne, but it's something that we have now embraced also.

On Saturday afternoon, we all went for a walk (well, Pot didn't join us) on the farm, to make the most of the fading light.

Sunday I took Boo to Hagley park, and came across the Christchurch Irish Wolfhound walking group:

It's difficult to see but they made an impressive group - most of these dogs are about the same height as an adult's waist, or higher.

And finally, I am working on a sewing project which I am very excited about. It's not for me, and until it's done I'm not letting on exactly what it is, but here's a sneak preview: