Tag Archives: homemaking

a little bit giddy with excitement!.



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I’ve got my first piece of furniture that I can paint – eventually!!.

I was dropping off some of my mothers things at a local charity store and it turned out to be more a home ware store, so I decided to have a quick nosey, while my mother sat in the car outside!!. Most of the furniture was MDF type stuff, but sitting there amongst it all was this little beauty. Solid wood, dovetail joints, 1940’s or 50’s, and half the price of all the cheaply made stuff. So I brought it!. It started out life as a dressing table as you can see where the uprights the held the mirror was – nothing some sanding and paint wont hide.

I will paint it, but not for a while. I’m thinking some funky colour and sat between two armchairs in the living room. Or a soft colour and used as a bedside table. Time will tell!. BTW, the front isn’t as mottled as the photos suggest, I think it was just the lighting in the room at the time I took the photos.

For now, it’ll hold my wool and material stash!.

**Dont forget the cross stitch give away mentioned in the previous post. It’s open to anyone and the closing date is next tuesday morning NZ time, mon evening UK time.



wait for one, two come along…..bit like London buses!


on my last trip to Riccarton Market, i spied a blue Ball mason jar from America. Pinterest and blogland is awash with them in various art and craft projects, and i rather fancied one myself. so i was thrilled to spot one. however it was a little more than i was wanting to pay, so i walked away and continued my trip the market.

but i kept thinking about it, and didnt spot anything else to fire my imagination, so i went back for it. i converted the $ to £ and realised it wasnt that bad a price to pay ( i still have to work in £ to decide if i’m getting a bargin or not!). i brought it!. then on the last aisle before i left i spied another one!. my heart raced a little cos the stall was full of people and i wanted it!!. i got it. it is smaller and cheaper than the first and i thought i should have just waited til i had been round the whole market, cos then i could have just got this one.

once at home and a little research later i’m thrilled i brought the bigger one first, or i would have missed out on a gem!.


the one of the left is a modern version brought out to commemorate 100yrs of Ball jars, or something along those lines.

the one of the right was manufactured between 1910 and 1923!. i did some research into the jars, and found you can tell the age by the way the Ball is scripted on the jar ( website i used). i also read there are alot of fakes coming out of China and the best way to tell a fake is by weight – the fakes are light to pick up like the new modern jars. my jar is quite heavy, so i’m pretty sure its genuine. i love the shape, the colour and the fact its old!. it has one chip on one of the rings of the screw threads at the top and i’m curious as to how such a thing made its way to NZ. has it been here for 100 yrs, or did someone buy it on a trip to the USA and then decided they didnt want it anymore!. i’m pleased they didnt, i’ll love it and it will do double duty as a thing of beauty and a vase!.

the small one will go away in a cupboard and be used for its intended purpose!.

i’m sharing with like minded folk over at the Op Shop Show Off on Blackbird has Spoken

continued progress on the neighbourhood.


this year was a quiet Christmas so it gave me lots of stitching time – when i wasn’t raiding the library!.

i have got all of the bottom row completed now and should be on track to achieve my goal of finishing the bottom portion of the project by the end of the year!. All that’s left is the leaves and flowers on the vine border and the wording. i’ve decided not to try and change the spelling of the word neighbourhood. its part and parcel of buying an American designed chart.


in other news, i have unwrapped my sideboard and brought it into the house. for now its in a corner of my parents living room.


meanwhile, the rest of the things i sent from the UK is still packed in the garage. i say one of my goals is to have all my belongings under one roof. it is now, so i’ll amend my goal to have everything i own unpacked under one roof!!.



i hope to have a project life post in the next couple of days. the title page is slowing coming together!.

i’m loving the local library!. i go to a suburban branch and its got loads of books that appeal to me. its so much better than the borough branches i had in the UK. the stock here is up to date and there is a good variety. i’ve been going every few days and have spent valuable stitching time reading or looking at pretty pictures!.

i hope the festive season is being good to everyone and Santa brought you something you wanted!.

Russian Fudge


well….has it really been 2 months since i last posted!. so much for getting things done and having lots of things to show for it!. not much has been accomplished!.

this morning i made a batch of Russian Fudge from a recipe on the Baking Makes things Better blog 

I dont recall ever making it before so quite possibly this was the first time!. and for my sins in making a sugary treat, i got burnt!. (so much for going sugar free!)

its lovely and smooth, although, now i am eating some, the taste could be improved – not sure what the issue is, but its not quite that russian fudge taste.

heres a couple of photos of making and end result!.





and finally, the end result…


Half a jar of Gumption!.


Today i had a play with the gumption i made yesterday. I found the recipe of the down to earth forum.

i made up a half portion – 1/2c baking soda, 1/2t glycerin, 1/2-1 t dishwashing liquid, 1/2t essential oil (eucalyptus or tea tree)

you may need to add a touch of extra cold water – very small amounts as you want a soft paste not a liquid. I thought i had added to much essential oil (eucalyptus) as the smell was very strong yesterday, but opening the jar this morning and it wasnt so bad.

I decided to test it on this –

as i dont have a dishwasher i have to handwash them so the draining board is always dull!. so i trialled half the board first –

and you can see how clean its looking!. then i carried on and finished the rest of the sink –

it didnt quite shift some of the more stubborn limescale marks, so i did replay some gumption to those, and left it for a little bit longer. it has helped.

I certainly enjoyed using it and would use it again – very easy and quick to make and use. now all i need to do is find a bulk supply of baking soda!.

pottering at kitchen


today has been a making day, pottering around the kitchen cooking and concocting!.

I made soup ….

i made up the recipe myself, featuring kumara, squash and carrot. its ok, but then i’m not a soup person, but hoping to change that thru the winter!.

then i made gumption

its a cleaner – i’ve only tested a small area today, but will do a proper test tomorrow.

and finally tonight for dinner

pea and ham risotto – yummy, with smoked lardons!.

2 things for the kitchen, and 1 for the suitcase


Now that the seasons are changing, its time to think about stews, casseroles and soups!.  i decided that i would treat myself to 2 new kitchen applicances to aid this – a slow cooker and a stick blender!. Image


As i type, the slow cooker is doing its thing with a casserole based on the Edmonds Cookbook basic recipe – very handily, the info book the cooker came with has a page on converting regular recipes, so fingers crossed, about 6pm tonight, i will have casserole and mash for tea – yum!.

I have plans to make soup later this week, I’m going to try a roast kumara, butternut squash and carrot soup. I don’t have a recipe, i’m just going to play and see how it goes!. then i’ll get to play with the stick blender!.

while in the supermarket, i also brought this…..


it’s not Christmas without Quality Street!. i’m going to tip the contents into the suitcase to take home, although, seeing as how they have shrunk the tin, i may need to get another one!.