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Making Hard Candy - Acid Drops

When I was a teenager my mother found a recipe for old fashioned acid drops. This makes a hard boiled lolly (candy) that you have to pull and twist the old fashioned way when cooling them. Eli and I made them but the Candy syrup is super hot to handle so when it came time to shape them, the rush is on. We all pitched in to get it cooled and rolled as it is easy for it to set and then you break shards off, which is not nice to suck. We had a day in Christchurch wandering around the botanic gardens and took the opportunity to wander the city as well. We went to the Earthquake memorial, which was very moving.  Stopping by the cathedral just shows how quickly nature takes over. 6 years on from the earthquake and the paving is gone and trees abound.
A few fun photos later. We recreated some of our wedding photos. Twenty years and a few kilos later does not make the poses very easy!!! In our wedding photo the cathedral spire shows, but the city is a very different place since then.
In town…
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Scraps make another cushion

About seven weeks ago I thought that I should whip up a cushion and use the last of the scraps I had which were already cut in strips. I follow a blog by Tiina called Tilkunviilaaja. She is in Scandinavia - I am hoping she will leave a comment as I cannot remember the country. However we met via an International swap in the quilting world. Anyway, I digress. She was doing uneven lopsided blocks for one of the many bags she makes and it inspired me to do another cushion using that technique. It should have been a quick job. But I got very bogged down in my study as I have had to do two assignments in formats that I had never used before. When I am a bit stressed I get very demotivated in the craft area as everything just seems like work. So instead of an overnight finish and a post on my blog, it has taken me seven weeks. Finished now and residing in the school library. My current assignment is the last for this semester and then I have another cushion inner to cover and some gardenin…

Gorgeous embroidery heart

When I was away at my quilting retreat I was lucky to be given a free project. Jane Van Keulen from Stash Palace goes to the same retreat. She gave us all a wee kit to make a gorgeous Christmas ornament (or just a beautiful thing to put on a door nob or whatever). She is the most amazing embroiderer and uses a lot of wool, which she dyes. This is wool and velvet. I managed to get it finished while I was at retreat and then fished through all my bits and started another one. It is so good having a quick project to finish. I thought it was a good travelling project.
I did all my wool blanket dying at Jane's place. She is so inspiring. Linking up to these places.

A Man Bag

Last year I made Eli a man bag (which is just a plan cross body bag) which he uses a lot when we travel. But all his electronics go in it and I did not do any padding at all. That has worried me and I have been thinking of an upgrade ever since. So this time I made a bag with a bit more pizzazz. But me being me, a bit gung ho, I just looked at Eli's old one and guessed.

As I was away when I was making it I could not refer back and I made it a bit too long. However there is batting in all layers and so much better for electronics. It is also lined with Diary of a wimpy kid fabric and has proper backpack webbing and clasps for all the closures and straps. I do now need to make another one as Jakob took this one. Fair play, as I had not made him a bag before and he was using an old swimming bag.

Linking to these places.

Wherefore art thou quilt?

I finally finished a quilt and it disappeared. Only to be found on a certain young boys bed! He is Mr Snaffoo. Everytime I make something he wants it. Which is a fabulous recognition of the love and value he places on items people make.
Voila here it is in all the unmade bed glory. It seems that one of Eli's love languages is to do things for him. Make special food, make his bed (cause he hates doing it). He is also like me, a doer and maker of things, so he appreciates all effort. I started this quilt a couple of years ago, for the big king bed in the caravan. The quilt we had there was just a bit too small. All the quilts have been made using my ethos of recycling again. They are all PJ's from the Op Shop (Charity Shop). Things like "fill a bag for $5" or 50 cent racks. 
I have made a lot of PJ quilts for us and to give away, some for the charity - Hope Homes International - that I support. But also for nieces and nephews. They are warm, fluffly, wash well and don&…

Panforte

Oh I love this. Last night I made Panforte with almonds, roasted hazelnuts and cashews. It is so so delicious.  I had never really understood the deal with Panforte. When I was recovering from my heart surgery my sister came to help for a week. While she was here Aaron and I took her to a new coffee shop in town - the Mediterranean Food Company in Rangiora . I had to walk lots to recover but time not distance wise. So we would do a short walk, stop for coffee and then a short walk back.
They often had Panforte and one day they had two, a spice one and a chocolate one. We bought one of each to try. Oh, we fell in love with the spiced version. So my sister came home, searched the net for recipes, then made some. It was just as fantastic. This is the first time I made it and I love it.

I have not put the recipe here as I don't know whose she used and I would want to attribute it. But just search the internet and you will find heaps. Annabel Langbein has a pretty good one that uses c…

Cushions

When I was on my quilting retreat recently I wanted to try some new blocks. But then I don't want a lot of random blocks hanging around so I have decided that the best way to use them is turn them into cushions. The block is a Missouri Start Quilt Company block called Pecking Order. I watched this video to learn how to do it. This cushion I have given to the school library. They have a gorgeous library pit for reading and relaxing but it needs some jazzing up. So I have been giving them new cushions as I try new blocks. 
This cushion cover has a  grey based front with Kaffe Fassett material and the back is the below photo. Totally reversed with the bright material being the background.  My friend from England - Kris, sent me this material one time and I had not used it. I love it and am going to make more of both colourways. I have decided to send her this cushion cover as a thank you.

I have also been using the opportunity to practise some new quilting. I have been scouring pint…