My middle girl Elle turned 13 last Wednesday and we didn't really have big plans for her big day. It was a normal school day and a normal work day. But I like it to make birthdays special days for my girls. You are young once and that's the time you still enjoy your birthday (that's my opinion). So I organized a surprise high tea for her after school. I had a busy day baking in the kitchen, what I really enjoyed. Nice music on , maybe a bit louder than normal and a great smell of nice fresh muffins, cakes and scones. I invited some friends of her and their mums and some neighbours. And Andre took some hours of work so he could join us as well. When she came home we had a big table full of nice food and it was a really big surprise, when she saw all her friend and other visitors she was absolutly stunned. We all had great fun and nobody was in a hurry to go home. It was a fantastic afternoon.
We gave her a sewing machine for her birthday so she can be a crafty girl like her mum. She is always busy with crafty things and I always promoted it because I like it. I made a nice cover for her sewing machine in purple her favorite colour and gave her a big box with all sewing materials and nice gadgets.
We had a crafty weekend. On Sunday it was raining the whole day and we really enjoyed it. It reminds us of the long dark days before Christmas in Holland when everybody is busy making presents and decorating the Christmas tree. We where thinking of putting the Christmas tree on, but we didn't do it.
My middle girl Elle who is turning 13 in 2 days was busy beading and making jewellery what she want to sell on Etsy in the future. I was on the same table sewing a little bag for my MP3 player. It was always flying around in my big bag and I didn't like it. So we were busy but happy. And I made some pencil cases for my Etsy shop. I made the long ones that you can fill and roll up. I like them and they are very handy as well. I made a couple so we have always a nice present to give away when there is a birthday party coming up.
And last but not least I spot a great book at the library; Crafty Girls' Road Trip, by Ann Packer. It list treasure troves of materials and inspiration for embroiderers, patchworkers, knitters, spinners and other crafty girls, PLUS coffee stops to fuel your journey and somewhere to lay your head. We are going away to the South Island in the next school holiday so I think I might need this book. So if you are living in NZ and going on a trip this will be a handy book to take. I'll take it!
I'm proud of myself because I finished my socks. My first pair of socks ! I never knitted socks before and I didn't know I could do it. But here they are. It is much easier then I thought. I made them out of a great yarn, 80% wool so they will keep me warm this winter.
It's addictive. I bought more wool in different colours so I will be busy this winter. I like it, to have something to do when we are watching TV, for me it is waist of time just sitting and doing nothing. So I'm happy with my new wool and show you when my next pair of socks are finished.
I felt a bit guilty, because my little girl Lieke has been asking me a few days in a row to bake something with her. But I was to busy painting my furniture. So we did it this evening strait after dinner. She made the choice; double chocolate muffin. And I think that's a really good choice. We put some homemade plum jam in the middle that makes it nice and sweet. While I was doing the dishes, she was cleaning the bowl and spoon (the best part of course). And then she decided to taste the muffin strait away, because that was the most important lesson she learnt out of her cooking book. And to be honest I think she is quite right! So I'm in a rush now otherwise there is no double chocolate muffin left for me. They smell delicious so I like to try one myself. And I think they look nice on my new enamel plate from the op-shop. That was my best buy today on the way to school,to pick up the girls.
First I like to thank you all for the great comments and nice e-mails that I received from you. It makes me so happy and gives me spirit to write new posts and make new photos. I had a busy time this weekend. I decided to paint the kitchen table, site table and a handful little items white, so that was and still is my job these days. I paint everything white and for the finishing touch I sand it. My husband thinks I'm crazy but it gives a nice old effect. But I love painting, it is so relaxing and when I see the result it makes me smile. One of my girls joint me and she is painting her bed white (pink isn't cool anymore if you are turning 13). So we spend almost a whole weekend in the garage painting.
And another exciting thing is that I opened my own on-line shop. I made a handful of great bags. I'm selling them on Etsy. I'm very exited about it. I always dreamed about my own shop, but with 3 girls and a busy working husband that was not working. But here is my chance and I hope it will work well.
I'm just a started quilter and I'm very happy to see my quilting pile growing. I love fabrics and have worked my whole life with it. As a small girl I was always busy with little bits and pieces. In the Netherlands I worked in a nice shop where they sold fabrics and all you need to be creative. I spend more money there than I earned. But it was great fun. And now in New-Zealand I joined a quilting group. It is nice to meet new people and I still love working with fabrics. So my first quilt is made over here. It is the creme and purple one. I made a log cabin quilt because we are living in a log cabin house, That one is not on the picture, I send it to my mum in The Netherlands for Christmas. And of course she loves it too! Then I made a pink quilt out off old sheets and pillow cases from the op-shop. More than 2000 squares. It's addictive, the whole quilting bee in looking in op-shops now for the best bargains. The last quilt I made is in Cath Kidston style. Bright pink and red and a lot off off-white. I love that quilt and I like to snuggle under it when we are watching a movie. ( by the way, yesterday we watched "the Holiday" with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet in it, I loved it).
And now I'm still working on the quilt for the guestroom. I'll show you when it's finished. My next project is already finished in my head. I like to make a family quilt with pictures from the girls in it. Like in the movie Stepmom (also a great movie).
You see I'm never bored. We are having a Art Trail in November and I'm making bags, bags, bags and more bags to show and sell. I'm thinking of having an on-line shop so I can sell them to everybody who likes them.
I know how to knit, but knitting socks is new for me. My grandma always knitted our socks and I really like to learn it. So my dear neighbour gave me a wonderful book on how to knit socks. And she gave me some sock-knitting lessons too.
Fab feet & cosy toes , 25 designs for knitted socks by Anna Tillman is a helpful book with great ideas.
I always have really cold feet so I can't wait till my socks are finished (It will make my husband happy as well). My little girl ordered the one with the penguins from the front cover. I think they are sweet.
What can you do with 200 Kg. of feijoas, believe me it is a lot ! We have a big feijoa tree in our garden and it had heaps of feijoas. The kids sold a lot in there little stall on the roadside and I made a lot of jams, chutneys and feijoa crumble. To us is the feijoa new, we don't have them in The Netherlands. And it is hard to say how they taste. The taste is a bit like a pear.
I made feijoa jam and feijoa apricot jam. And the chutney is so yummy, I love it! My freezer is full with feijoa crumble. I put them in little ramekins, easy to use and always a nice dessert with some custard or vanilla ice cream.
My little girl told me that we can be the bear family, because we preserve food for the winter. Isn't she a qute girl.
If you still have some leftover feijoas in your garden, here is the recipe for nice feijoa crumble.
1 Kg. feijoas chopped with skin 1/2 cup dried apricot in pieces 1/2 cup raisins 1/2 cup suger some lemon rind and juice
Put everything in a big pot and simmer till soft. Place in a ovenproof dish.
To make the crumble:
1 cup flour 1/2 cup brown soft sugar 50 gram butter
Put in the oven for 1/2 hour on 200 degrees Celcius. Enjoy the lovely crumble.
This is the first time that I write in my blog. I am Jacoline, me and my family emigrated to New Zealand from The Netherlands 3 years ago. I can tell you, we went through some hard times in those 3 years, but we found our dream.
We bought a lovely home close to the beach. I spend a lot of time in our garden which has a lot of fruit trees, a nice vegetable garden and great flowers.
I love to shop in secondhand shops and garages sales are the best invention ever. My days are filled with craft, cooking , baking and of course my 3 girls. I try to have a beachwalk every day and on wednesday I join the quilt club.
We are still busy with rebuiling the house to make it a great home. We like traveling and like to discover our new country. I keep you updated with new stories, recipes, ideas and pictures every week.