Dec 26, 2012

A very Berry Xmas to you!

Our garden is full of flashy red pohutukawa flowers, and very busy tuis, bellbirds and silvereyes, all having their seasonal feast.
 Our Christmas today was at my brothers' house, not far away.

This is the dessert table, what a summery spread!
Our sis-in-law is such a good hostess, she makes the most wonderful traditional concoctions.

A marvelous trifle with alcohol drenched cake, custard and many different berries. Boysenberry jelly and my contribution were organic Dawson cherries.

A summer bread pudding with boysenberries and cream, beautifully presented.

Oh we all ate too much, especially after the prawn cocktails; roasted new potatoes, kumara and pumpkin; pasta salad; chicken and b.b.q.-ed scallops, and b.b.q.-ed lamb chops with rosemary and mint; and the first sweet corn of the season...
Luckily there was a big break between the 2 courses, and some vigorous games of outdoor ping-pong.

We had expected a proper rainy day, as had been forecasted, due to a nasty cyclone passing New Zealand. And it was a bit moist in the night, but it got quite hot and muggy today, and all doors and windows were open. We all sat outside on the deck, and this was our view:
(Of course I didn't put the new house being built right next to the fence in this picture...)

The light was gorgeous when the sun started setting this evening, and made the landscape look like an old painting.

What a lovely relaxed day we have all had!
I hope you had the same, wherever in the world you are.
Merry Xmas to you all!

Dec 13, 2012

Open door...

Heart of a pink lotus.
(I love my camera..)
 We are in need of this Bali lotus tranquility.
 We have had a weird week; my husband was made redundant last Friday. This came as a surprise, as he thought that he would surely get one of the new positions at his work after all the team leader and supervisor positions were made "disestablished".
But, no...
As if a light radiated from within this lotus flower.
We have a breathing space, due to his redundancy money. He has worked there, with a few years break, since he was 19. So a surreal feeling for him at age 47...
Now what?
Well, he knows all about gardening and dealing with staff, paperwork, machinery, grass, trees, sportsfields, dealing with the public, traffic, planning and designing, not to mention his botanical knowledge.
Plan B has sprung into action: Gardening as his own business.
 The pamphlets are looking good, ready for dropping into the right letter boxes; he bought a small truck yesterday, which today was getting an enormous clean; he has been talking to a lot of people; and tomorrow he'll be doing 2 gardening jobs already.

Breath-taking beauty rising from the mud.
We really believe that when 1 door closes, another door opens. Or a window or 2.
 But you have to make yourself go through it. You can't quite see if there is a deep step behind it or if you have to leap, or a soft cushion to land on.
But sitting on the doorstep, looking back and wringing your hands doesn't work either.

Bikeride in the local vicinity.
So moping was not an option he decided.
Sunday was beautiful weather. We grabbed our bikes and headed to our towns' lovely bike-tracks.
Discovered some new areas we hadn't yet been to before.
And grabbed a coffee and a muffin, closer to home.

Hawkes' Bay looking northwest.
Oh, we do live in an awesome landscape, if I may say so, in a completely biased sort of way.

Bird estuary.
You can tell it has been good weather lately, the hills are drying out and becoming yellow.

Looking homewards across the silty pond.

Our house is close to that big pinetree on top, middle-left.
We do hope we can keep on living here, we are getting attached to our house now!

Dec 9, 2012

And speaking of Hobbits...

My Halfling Home all finished.

At last I finished something I started quite a while ago, my hobbit hole had been languishing in a corner for ages. 
Much sculpting was done on the corners to look like a tree-root system. I think it worked very well. The difficult part was the front panel, it had to be fitted onto the front of the Home, yet needed to look like it had grown there. Then a hole needed to be cut behind it, big enough for a child to be able to put their hands inside the play-house.
And that was the point where I got stuck for a while. I couldn't vision it, and I was afraid I would ruin it. Since the whole thing was just an idea in my head, I did not of course have any instructions or a pattern.
Coming in for a cup of tea?
 I rang the bell, and look who opened the door!
Of course designing the wee Halflings was the best fun ever, and I had actually already cut out all their little clothes before I saw the Movie Hobbits last week.
A view from the back of the halfling home.
This is the back of the Halfling Home, it has 4 windows in all. 
That's the boy and girl of the family, they're very friendly!
Unlike my "Bush Babies" their hair was done with a variegated boucle yarn, instead of Mohair curls.
Meet the whole family.
 And meet Mum and Baby Halfling too. Lots of greens and yellows, cause hobbits like those colours.

The Halfling family off on a Tookish adventure.
Here they all are, probably going to see the wood-elves. They are wearing their warm travel cloaks, which close with a little hook and eye.

Opening the round front door with its' brass knob.
The size of this Play-house is a bit deceptive in this picture, I actually need 2 hands to hold it up, although it is very light-weight.
Halfling Home with the front panel opened.
The front panel closes with small strips of velcro fastener. Light comes in through the windows, which i love.
Dana the cat frightening the hobbit children!
 She just had to be nosey and she would have gone right inside to curl up; nice and warm in cosy woolen felt! But luckily the little girl hobbit shooed her away...
And yes, this glorious Halfling home, with the dolls will be for sale very soon! I will notify you when I will list it.
Please leave me a comment to tell me what you think of this, I shall try and respond to all comments!