Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I wanted to make it so you can click to enlarge the picture...but don't know how, sorry! It is basically talking about a local group knitting for Operation Cover Up, as you can see by the photo.
The start of a strip on the blanket!
It is really quite a simple, straight forward project. I stick with the basics in both crochet and knitting and like to choose a contrasting colour for the crochet to make it stand out. So far, I've put together one strip (8 squares). I worked out that I have 13 strips to do, if you count doing the strips then putting the strips together into the blanket. So I've still a fair bit of work left to do. I might get a little more done today, and I'm hoping that on a visit to my in-laws this week I'll be able to do a bit more (more hands for holding baby = more free time for Mummy! Hehe).
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I dried some apples this week. Sadly, they are not from my parent's trees. I completely forgot to have a go with the Golden Delicious during their season. I'm somewhat disappointed as it would have been interesting to see just what they taste like dried. But then we did have an awful lot of other things going on at the time, so I guess I shouldn't be feeling either surprised or disappointed. I will try and remember to do it next season.
They are amazingly simple to do. Simply wash, quarter, then slice apples into thin slices (as evenly as possible - mine always tend to vary a bit but the more even the better for even drying!). Lay them on the trays of the Ezidri, making sure that none of the slices overlap. Turn it on. Smell the divine scent of cooking apple all day or all night long. Drool. After about 10 hours turn it off and have a peek to see if they are done. A taste test now is absolutely essential! I am not kidding - there needs to be no squishy liquid in the slices so they will store well. Usually apples take around 10-12 hours to dry. Another of my favourites, ripe plantain bananas, would take 12-14 hours. Because of the long drying time it helps to be prepared and plan when to have the drier on. The first batch I did went in around 8pm, and came out around 6am when I got up to feed Munchkin. The second went in around 8am, and came out around dinner time...I just make sure when I am preparing them that I will be around to keep checking them for a few hours when I think they should be ready.
I just love dried fruit. It's lovely to have that sweet hit with it actually containing some nutritional value, unlike with lollies (candy) and the like. I also find dried fruit to be an energy packed snack, lasting me well, particularly for its volume and weight. I can understand why it is a common choice among trampers (hikers)...lightweight and full of goodness. I just might try drying some other fruits next summer. Strawberries and raspberries could perhaps be interesting. Then there's the pears if we get a good crop. Yum.
What's your favourite dried fruit?
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
So here's one from Free Rice this morning:
BANE = RUIN
According to thefreedictionary.com BANE is:
A cause of fatal injury or ruin!
Or, alternatively, and less scary:
A source of persistent annoyance or frustration
I had no idea that the first and original use of this word refers to death and destruction! Isn't it facinating how words take on new life in their everyday use?! I often find myself using a nice, big, juicy word only to have Boyo ask me what on earth it means. Then I have to stop and think, and try to come up with alternatives...frequently struggling to put into words just what I think the word means. Or, as in this case, realising that I am using a word in one context, when it can be used in several. Quite often our every day conversations give meanings to words that the dictionary doesn't necessarily agree with. I often use words based on where I have read them used, without actually knowing their full and proper definition. I'm finding Free Rice facinating in showing me just what some of these words can mean.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
56 squares in total. 4,480 rows. 179,200 stitches. Around $180NZ worth of wool. 1 year's worth of tv adverts, random moments snatched here and there, and contemplation time.
Now I just need to crochet all the squares together. I'm not quite sure when I'll get to that...there hasn't exactly been much free time lately (I'm even reduced to typing this one handed while the other is holding the baby!). I do at least have until August to get the blanket ready for shipping in this year's batch. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy the feeling of satisfaction in reaching the milestone of 56 squares all finished.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Anyway, today is not Monday. I might not be very clued up at present, but I do know that. Today is Friday. But hey, why should that stop us?!? Today we are having a Meatless Friday. I have a big pot of vegetable soup simmering away on the stove. It contains leek, potato, onion, garlic, carrot, kumara, celery, silverbeet, and some fresh thyme, rosemary and marjoram. Smells good. With it, we will also have some boiled eggs and toast.
Done. One meatless meal coming right up.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
I noticed it when I visited Mum and Dad's on the weekend. Originally this was the stump of a nashi tree that sadly had to be taken out because it was blocking most of the sun to part of my parent's house. The stump has sat there for a few years, looking pretty unremarkable. I hardly even noticed it, other than wishing it wasn't sticking up in the middle of the lawn! In the last few months though, a miracle has quietly been taking place. This old tree stump has been transformed into something artistic and beautiful. Now I know that the fungus that has decided to grow here is simply living its life and probably not trying to be artistic at all, but just look at the colours and patterns it has created. I just love the swirls! God's handiwork is amazing! I am just in awe that something functional (a dead old tree stump being recycled by a fungus) has also been designed to look so incredible.
Beauty is all around us. Even annoying old tree stumps sticking out of lawns have their merits. We simply need to stop, open the eyes of our souls, and really see the beauty that surrounds us every day.
Have you seen something beautiful today? Why not take a moment to stop and drink it in before carrying on with your day.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
My Little Tuperer!
As you can see, he does look like he's in a cocoon, especially with the wrap being green. I wonder what sort of butterfly you are going to be, my green boy?!
All wrapped up and ready to go!
Munchkin went to church for the first time on Sunday, cosily cocooned in the wrap. He is currently snoozing on me while I type this. I suspect that the wrap will be a common feature of our early mornings so that he can have some quality time and physical contact, but I can do at least a small amount of study and other little tasks before Boyo is up and around to join in with baby duties.
Isn't it amazing what a simple piece of fabric can be used for?
Monday, June 14, 2010
These are an example of frugality for you...
We had no curtains in the kitchen area of our open-plan living space in the unit we rent, which meant the nice warm air produced by the heat pump was escaping far too easily. The solution? Some new curtains!
One set of our new kitchen curtains.
These are made with discount fabric (I forget whether it was $3 or $4 a metre) that I bought to make a wrap to carry Munchkin. As I only needed 400mm width of the 5metres of fabric, I had lots left over. So my mother-in-law whipped up these simple curtains on her last day helping us out after Munchkin's birth. She and Boyo headed out and got some curtain wire and hooks, for the grand total of under $4, and he put them up. They are not the smartest, heaviest, or most well-wearing curtains you'll ever see but they definitely do the job we need them to do. And they cost next door to nothing, used a resource that I already had available, and help us conserve power. Thanks to my mother-in-law, this project was conceived, executed, and completed in a matter of days...something quite remarkable in a household with a newborn and recovering Mum! Grin. I am, naturally, quite chuffed.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
For the cards, my amazing Mother-in-law kindly stamped up some little jackets and teddy bears for us, seeing as I'd not managed to organise anything before he was born and my focus since then has been on recovering from the birth and looking after Munchkin. All I have to do is put the little cut-outs onto cards. Here are my efforts thus far. I don't seem to get much free time to put towards it between feeding Munchkin, feeding myself, and things like washing, dishes, etc (and just as an aside, Boyo has been doing most of that household stuff to help me recover so it's not like I've had much to do really! But then looking after a newborn and oneself shouldn't really be classed as 'not much' as it is more than enough to keep oneself rather well occupied!). I think I will need to make at least 30 of these little cards so the project should keep me busy for some time yet.
Card making - one of my creative 'loves!'
Even though these are a bit rushed and simpler than I would like in my attempts to make sure they get done, I have still been enjoying the creative process. I hope you've found time to be creative lately too. Amy
Friday, June 11, 2010
Literally. I spend over 7 hours each day just feeding Munchkin. And that's not including all the extra cuddles, baths, washing, cleaning, feeding myself, sterilising bottles, etc...
This is definitely a full-time job! It is relentless and never ending. Last night I had a good sleep. Or rather, sleeps. We slept from 9 till 11, then from 12:30 till 3, then 4 ish till 6. Then I even got an extra half an hour or so snuggled up in bed after the morning feed. Bliss!!! I think it must have been at least double what I had the night before. This morning I actually feel sane.
Time for Munchkin to eat again.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
On a suggestion from my mum last night, I hereby begin with:
My life has changed forever. I am now at the beck and call of another person for the rest of my days...
Munchkin was born on Friday, 21 May 2010 at 1:18am. He is a gorgeous little boy, with long limbs, brown hair and serious grey/blue eyes that watch everything (when he is awake at any rate!). When I look at him, I am so amazed that he fit! No wonder my ribcage was being crushed. His father is very proud of his 52cm length at birth - in the 85th percentile for boys, so Boyo informs me.
He is currently having his first go in my wrap as I sit and write this. At 2 and a half weeks old, our lives consist of feeding, sleeping, nappy changes, feeding, sleeping, nappy changes, feeding, sleeping, cuddles, feeding, sleeping, bath and more feeding and sleeping and nappy changes.
It has been a long road, and not an easy one for either of us but we are making it.