The Fair at Neudorf vineyard yesterday.The setting was beautiful for wine drinking, listening to jazz and shopping for Christmas. I hear it was very expensive to get in but at least the money is going toward child cancer.
I LOVE Owen Bartlett pottery!!!! I can't afford it though. Kids to go to camp, birthdays, Christmas etc. One day though I shall have the spotty jug my heart desires. (Green below)

These country ladies took my fancy too. Not to buy, I'm one of these fair shoppers that goes around and says to myself "that's a good idea, I could make one of those" and never get around to it.
My bags looked better displayed at home, I can't quite get my stall to come together at the moment.


West Coast Real Estate

Beautiful one bedroom house, beachfront property, native timber throughout, secluded spot with awesome views.

" Skatey boy" loved the coast with his Dad, hut building and train spotting, it couldn't get better than that for him really.



L has taken "skatey boy" for a jaunt down the west coast to visit rellies and friends so I'm without my camera for a few days. Household dynamic will be a bit different with two away, I'm looking forward to making sushi, hummus, salad etc with the meat eaters away. The teen arrived back from camp with renewed appreciation for my cooking "YAY" he said he got very bored with all the processed food they took. DOUBLE YAY.I found a new to me blog today, check out Helen's writings and craftings. And surely everyone has discovered the Sew Mama Sew handmade holiday's ideas already? Time to start making some pressies.



Look away if you don't like rats! A couple of years ago "skatey boy" was asked what he wanted for his birthday. Axolotls is the answer he gave me and "NO WAY" was my swift reply, have you seen these dreadful creatures? I saw one as a kid and had nightmares about them for years, "absolutely anything except an axolotl" I foolishly said. "OK then rats" Oh dear I did say anything else didn't I? Damn it! Surprisingly though they've quite grown on me, I wouldn't hold them but I do enjoy bringing them in things to eat from the garden. Ralph became a $130 rat last week, I knew I should have stuck to my plan of being a vet. He's recovering well from having a lump removed from his face, I know it is extravagant to spend that much on a pet rat but I couldn't break my kid's heart.

The last few weeks have been full on, I spring cleaned the house and had a garage sale on Saturday it didn't really go to plan though as the "red head" spent most of Friday night screaming, revealing at about 3 in the morning that his ear hurt. Suffering from sleep deprivation I decided to go ahead with the garage sale anyway as I couldn't stand the boxes of stuff around for another week. It went OK but I didn't set things out as nicely as I could have and packed up in a hurry to get the "red head" to the duty Dr. Ouch there goes half the profit. I'm glad the week's over, the "teen" goes to school camp tomorrow so I get three days break from being "so mean". His friends have been making some really stupid decisions lately and getting into trouble it's only been sheer luck that T has been away on the weekend's that they've got into mischief, so I have said they can come here and hang out instead of him going with them. Mean Eh!? I've always trusted him but that pack mentality is pretty strong, I'd rather know what he/they are up to at present. I hope I'm doing the right thing, L and I aren't quite in agreement about how to deal with it all but are just trying to keep him safe and out of trouble. I hope they're too worn out from kayaking and tramping to do anything silly at camp.

Absolutely no sewing or knitting happening in these parts, a wee bit of gardening. I have harvested the first zucchini from the garden and am using my spare moments to get little things like tying up tomatoes, mounding up potatoes, weeding and watering done in the garden. L's clothes drying rack is getting put to use to dry flowers for the garlic plaits. I think it will look cool as it fills up and will be great because I won't have to wobble on a stool when I hang things up.


Calendula cream 1

I'm pleased that a few friends are going to try the Halloween spider biscuits. Could you tell that the spider body is a raisin? I'm searching for Christmas edible ideas now for our Playcentre Christmas baking stall. Let me know if you all see any quick sure selling ideas, I'm thinking good old shortbread, truffles, gingerbread men and the like.

Somewhere in blogland late one night I saw the suggestion to do entirely handmade Christmas gifts. I wouldn't be at all popular with my kids if I included them but for friends and family it would be do -able. Basil in the garden will be ready for pesto. Herbal ointment for others.On a dry day pick a loosely packed jar full of herb flowers, petals or leaves. Calendula is a great one to start with as it is a good all round skin healer and is very gentle. Comfrey leaves could also be chopped, but because they are quite moist can often promote mould. Lavender flowers are good, strip them off the stalk. Others I use are yarrow, chamomile, elderflower, rosemary, st john's wort, native manuka and kawa kawa. I'm not a qualified herbalist so will not recommend certain herbs for certain ailments but there are many books you can get from the library and make creams for eczema, dry skin, cuts, scrapes, bites, hemorrhoids,massage etc.

Here I'll show the method, it's called cold maceration. Once you've packed the dry petals cover them in oil of your choice (not nasty old salad and cooking oil made in china) I have used olive, almond and grape seed all of which have their own healing qualities and little odour. Avocado would probably be lovely too. Use a skewer to get all the air bubbles out by going down the side of the jar and squeezing the petals back a bit, you might see if you look closely in the picture. Do this until you can't see any more bubbles rising, it's really important as the air promotes mould. Fill the jar right to the top and put a lid on. Set aside in a dark place for four to six weeks. The oils or constituents in the plant that are soluble in oil will be absorbed into your carrier oil. Start with a wee jar first so if you do get some mould growth you don't have to chuck away heaps. My teacher would check hers weekly and just scrape off any mould growing, you could do that if any occurs but the perfectionist in me couldn't cope with that. Another thing to remember when gathering herbs for medicine is to be in a serene or appropriate state of mind. Don't do it when you're stressed or angry as these energy's may be imparted onto your medicine. Sing, smile, pray, visualise, meditate or whatever is appropriate to you.

Next step in six weeks you'll need some natural beeswax, try the beekeeper at the local farmers market or the health food shop. Alternatively you could use the oil as is for massage etc or in aqueous cream but I'll go into that further later.


All Hallow's Eve

Not really a Kiwi traditionBut I quite like scaring them. I was going to do skeletal gingerbread men but ran out of time.
Spider biscuits provoked a good reaction anyway.