Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Books To Inspire

I found this book at our local library recently.  Some are very pod like in their design, ie lots of curves.  All from the 1960-1970's.

This looks like the inside of someone's intestines!

These would fit right in at our place.

The colour is the same as our internal pod walls.  They were amazing designs for their time.  The engineering requirements to bend that wood was also ahead of its time.  Love, love those curves.

Even the textile designs were imaginative.  The mixture of shapes and colours goes so well together.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

At The Market

We went to Riccarton Market on Sunday.  Ella and Ben love the old classic comics.  You remember?  The Mandy's, Judy, Bunty, Beano, Dandy, Whizzer and Chips.  Heres a few of the other treasures we picked up.

Some cotton doilies.  The oval one is my favourite.  I'm planning some craft projects with these.

Ella found an old fashioned handbag and matching purse.  1960's I think.

Some pillowcases destined to be dresses for Laura and a vintage sheet, maybe a skirt for Ella.

Love this print and the colours.

A book for Ben.  My kids love the old annuals.  And a(nother) tin for me.

Riccarton Market is also a great place to buy reasonably priced veggie plants, herbs and shrubs.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Louie

Before his haircut....................

...............and after.  Laura thinks he looks like a skinned rat!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Blue Skies


We're almost into Summer here in the Southern Hemisphere.  Which means the light is changing and becoming harsher.  I love the cloud formations in these photos and the intensity of the blue.


Theres also lots of blue happening in the garden.
Lavender almost ready to be picked for drying.

Ceonothus.  The honeybees love this.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Thrifty Finds Thursday

When I'm looking at thrift shops at clothing its the fabric that attracts my attention.  I often buy something not necessarily to wear but to cut up for other projects.  I'm always looking for natural fabrics, linen, silk and cotton.  This shirt is silk and linen and I love the shell buttons and the flowers with buttons in the middle.

Its a navy blue colour.  Although I brought this thinking I would cut it up I think I'll wear it instead.

I found another shirt today 100% linen.  Its getting more and more difficult to find 100% natural fibres.  Lots of linen clothing has a combination of linen and cotton.  I'm going to try stamping and dyeing the fabric and make it into something else.  I might use the front to make a cushion backing for Ella's patchwork cushion cover.  The detail along the bottom and the shell buttons are really nice.

I've been looking for cups to make some candles for xmas presents and came across these.  Made in Australia.  You already know how much I love anything round, oval and curved.

 Stoneware cups made in Japan.  I like the earthy colours of these.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

This is the beginnings of a present for someone special.  I can't say too much because she is an avid reader of this blog.  This started its life as a damask linen table napkin.  But I have plans for it to be something completely different.

I've stamped this with normal stamp ink and heat set it with the iron.  I think it should be pretty permanent because it won't be getting washed.

I've covered the stamps I changed my mind on with fabric.  The 'sew pretty' was stitched with blue crochet cotton which gives it a nice ridged feel to it.  The recipient is a beekeper and has a garden of her very own.  Theres a few buttons and some sewing to do.  Its going to be a cover for something but I won't say what yet.  I'm hoping to get it finished by xmas.  I love giving handmade.  And I love personalising it for each special person.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Birds Eye View

Welcome to our home.
This photo was taken on the hills across the valley.  We don't often get this view because our driveway is from the other side.  I often forget that it looks different from other people's houses.  To us its just home.

 
When we bought this property 14 years ago there was one pod here, the one on the left of this picture.  We have a friend that use to live in Kaikoura and he knew a person that was selling their white Futuro house, so we bought it.  There were only about 15 ever made in New Zealand.  A couple have gone to Australia.  It took a weekend to unbolt the 8 roof sections and 8 floor sections.  However it took several months to put it all back together.  We have had so many, many adventures with councils, neighbours along the way.   Its always interesting giving our address to people.  My husband describes it to people as a 'spaceship house'.  I prefer to call it the round white house.  No we're not into science fiction and no we're not star trek fans.   We just fell in love with all things round and oval.

Thanks for stopping by, I always love to read your comments.

Monday, 21 November 2011

This Week In The Garden

This resides in Laura's garden.  He's a gnome reading a book.  Quite appropriate for a book loving family!

The rhubarb is flourishing this season.  I put a large spadeful of chicken poo and straw under this one in Spring when we cleaned out the chicken house.

We have 11 apple trees in our garden.  Some of them Heritage varieties.  Most have a good fruit set this year.  There are so many bumble bees in the garden this year, its thanks to their pollination abilities.  I hardly ever see our honeybees on flowers in the garden.  They do like the thyme flowers though.  I wonder if we will get honey flavoured with thyme this year?  Thyme oil is good to deter varroa mites and I'm sure boosts the bees immune systems.

Sage looks so beautiful in flower.  I'll cut this back after flowering otherwise the whole plant dies back.  The bumble bees just adore Sage.  Ella has been busy drying herbs for bath bags for Xmas presents.

The Feijoa tree is about to burst into blossom.  Theres Granny Bonnets, Hostas and Wallflowers growing underneath. 

The Hostas look amazing this year, hardly any snail damage so far.  I think the snails have been eating the peas instead!

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

A House With A History

When we bought this property we found out that the owners wife was an author.  I took this as another 'sign' that this property was just meant to be ours. She wrote a book about the adventures of moving a Futuro house here, making it a home for her and her husband and building the amazing garden.  Its called:   He Was There too  .  There is a lovely photo on the front cover of the futuro house and their garden. She was also a travel writer and the book recounts her amazing journeys on ships to far off countries.  It is a lovely read.  She has written many other books as well, under the pen name Rosaline Redwood.  Although I would have loved to have spoken to her, she died shortly after we bought this house.  Its lovely knowing the history of our place, that it has its own story.  We're grateful to her and her husband for creating such an amazing property.  They had amazing vision and design ideas. 



We have the most amazingly beautiful view.



  Even the curtains have pictures of boats and ships on them, reflecting her life long adventures of travelling and writing about those travels in her her fiction and non fiction books.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Thrifty Finds Thursday

I love, love vintage tablecloths.

Large patchwork cushion covers.

And an old tin.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Pin Cushion In A Tea Cup

Ella made this recently for her older step sister's birthday. 

A pin cushion made from an old tea cup.  There are heaps of tutorials on the internet if you're interested.  Just a few things we found out along the way:
1    Start with a larger circle of fabric than you think you need ( its easier to cut down a larger one than make a smaller one bigger!)  We used a small dinner plate.
2    Use crochet thread to sew a running stitch an inch from the edge, we used sewing cotton initially and it broke as we pulled it to gather the circle into a pouch.
3    Choose a cup with a straight edge at the lip because its hard to get rid of that gap between the edge of the  fabric and the edge of the cup.   
4    We stuffed this with wool but you could use polyfil or whatever you have, maybe adding a sprinkling of lavender would be nice.
5    We hot glue gunned the fabric to the inside of the cup.  Start deeper than you think you need to go and use a very small amount.  The glue can travel up the side of the cup as you push back the cushion part.  Covering the edge of the fabric or cup edge at the end will cover up any of these details.
6    Hot glue the ric rac about an inch at a time along the rim, again you only need a very thin line of glue.  Overlap ends and you're done!


Happy Birthday Rach!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

In The Glasshouse

 
 Each Spring we plant tomatoes, a tradition that started with my father many years ago.  Every year on Labour Day (last Monday in October) for as long as I can remember, my father would bring home from the city a large flat box with tomato plants about a foot high.  Every year the same variety (money maker) on the exact same day, without fail.  I remember the smell of the plants when a hand brushed their leaves or stems, the stain that does not easily come off your hands and the smell and quiet, humid  atmosphere of planting time inside my father's glasshouse.  It was his quiet meditation.  For my father had a precise routine (as he did for most things in his life) as to the planting of HIS tomato plants and the layout inside HIS glasshouse.  My Mother was never allowed to plant cucumbers or flowers or orchids.
It was a glasshouse that he had built himself.  Being an engineer by study and an inventor by practice it was designed to gather and hold as much of the suns heat as possible.  Concrete block along the back wall and glass along the front.
My father didn't like my constant talking and questions when he was in the garden, so when I was with him planting tomatoes or onions outside I just observed his procedures, sometimes helped and tried not to ask too many questions.  And each season as I plant our family's tomato plants I am transported back to those times when Dad explained how and why to plant them up to their bottom leaf in order to stabilise them.  Dig a watering channel in front of the plants because tomatoes don't like getting their leaves wet.  How to tie them up as they grow taller so the stem grows upright and their fruit is kept off the ground.  How to take off their side shoots. 
 All of this comes back to me each season, each time I step into our glasshouse. I think of those quiet times where silence tells its own story.  I remember those times with my father and  I am grateful.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Weird And Wonderful Things

I suppose it makes sense for people who live in two round houses to own a hovercraft as well, don't you think?

This is Floyd.  Named after the band Pink Floyd.  Tony has owned this for at least 20 years.  Its an ongoing work in progress to get it going and keep it going.  Wouldn't it be a hoot to drive onto the beach from the sea, straight onto the road and home again without having to get out!  Only problem is the last time he did this it conked out on the beach and he couldn't get it going!  Its heavy and awkward and I could just imagine the 'joy' of getting it home.  Tony has always been interested in hovercrafts from childhood and when he came across this as an adult, he couldn't resist buying it.  Too much watching of Thunderbirds I say.
And then there is the old citroens he loves to collect.................

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Our View

These were taken at dusk.  We always look over to the valley and marvel how they are still basked in sunshine late in the day when we are not!  But we do have great, wonderous views which we are grateful for.  Yes that is a beehive you can see.  Its a bait hive waiting to catch a swarm, hopefully from someone else's hives and not mine!

I love the sculptural qualities of the pods.  From the hills across the way our home looks like its just landed on the side of a hill.  I must get some photos next time I go.

When we first moved here 14 years ago, I use to stand at the oval windows and marvel at the magical, sparkliness of the night time view.

A full moon view.

And during daylight, the valley and hills across the way and the blue, blue sea.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Magic Of Mulch

We are fast approaching Summer here in New Zealand which means hot days, lots of watering and lots of weeding UNLESS of course you use mulch.  Around our garden we use lucerne mulch on the veggie gardens and bark chip on the paths.  I've figured out over the years that if I don't mulch bare ground nature will cover it in her own version - weeds.  Some people use pea straw but farmers spray their pea crops with herbicide prior to harvesting so the dried foliage still contains herbicide.  I garden organically so I use lucerne.  Its a deep rooted plant which brings nutrients up from the subsoil.  As it rots down it adds nutrients to the soil, thereby feeding the tree at the same time as stopping weeds taking nutrients from the tree.  I use lucerne because I learnt about No-Dig Gardening by Esther Deans several years back and since then have always used it.

This is the orchard area.  I've used about 2 bales around each tree.  I love lucerne because its possible to just peel off a thick wad from the bale and place it down over any weeds, overlapping each successive piece as I go.  Easy, clean and quick.  Overlapping ensures no weeds will grow through the joins.  If you use thin layers expect the weeds to grow through more quickly.  You can put layers of newspaper down first before the lucerne but you don't need too.  (thats Comfrey growing under the tree)  I wont need to mulch this area until Spring next year.  I usually add a bag of horse poo around the base of the tree before I put the lucerne down.

The bark is great at keeping couch grass at bay and the rest of the weeds in the paths to a minimum.

 The other great thing about mulch is the water conservation properties.  Water is locked into the soil for longer which  means less watering.  We are on water restrictions here because of the damage done to water storage facilities during the earthquake, so at our house we are into water collection BIG TIME.  Every bucket we own is outside and we also collect rainwater from the roof in 2 large 1000 litre tanks.

 Because I've run out of lucerne and cheap lucerne mulch can be hard to find, I decided to use coffee sacks.  I lay about 2 per tree, overlapped and wet them until saturated.  You could use more, but make sure the ground underneath the sacks is saturated first otherwise you will lock out the moisture instead of in.  I've put weights on them in case the wind blows them apart.  I try to mulch before the middle/end of Spring while the Winter rain moisture is still in the soil.  I like to mulch in Spring once the soil temperatures have increased and before it gets too dry.  Always make sure the soil is well watered before you put mulch down.

Happy Gardening!
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