Sunday, February 2, 2014

The long lovely summer!

My weekend activities have taken  advantage of all the things I love about our summer. January was a month in the usual Perth Western Australian style -mostly hot, sometimes hotter. We have a 'Mediterranean style" climate with a summer drought, so we can put away our winter clothes and enjoy summer right through from December to late March.
Yesterday  I sat on the patio with a cup of chamomile and peppermint tea and read two books I got from a charity  shop in Mandura.  DH and I took a long train ride down there on Saturday.  He gets most of his rides free as he has a "Seniors Card" (for the over 60s who work part time) and so it makes it  a relaxed day out.  We had lunch on the foreshore and a walk.

The Save the Children Fund bookshop had a great Slow Cooker book for $2 -which has great ideas for using the slow cooker IN SUMMER -as it does not heat up your whole house the way an oven would. I am now making a soup -not normally something I would do in summer, but my office is air-conditioned to CHILLY so taking soup for lunch is quite acceptable. I will freeze small portions.

 There was another book I came home with though -a book about quilting -for just $3 it is full of inspiration. It is called "Listen with your Eyes" buy Jan T Urquhart, an Australian quilter in love with scrappy quilts.

Being inspired of course I have been quilting -because that is a great thing to do when it is too hot to go outside. These pinwheel blocks below are made by the "Disappearing Pinwheel" method which was shown on YouTube by the Missouri Quilt Company. I went through my scrap box and cut up scraps into usable sizes -and found enough 10" pieces to put this together in a pinkish colour. My stash only had a couple of possibles for the sashing so I used what I had -a navy blue with red flowers. I think this burst of colour  is helping to take the quilt out of what might have been (for me) a very predicable pink and white event.

The new book is giving me the idea of surrounding the main blocks with a border made up of scrappy flying geese. I will check my supplies and see what I have to use at home.

For many years I have enjoyed the Radio National program of World Music called "The Daily Planet" and I often quilt whilst listening to it online. It makes me happy! There is nothing quite like jazz from Cuba or Malawi to sew by on  a summer evening.

The garden is surviving the summer quite well, although we have lots of extra shadecloth which gets draped over things on days over 40 degrees C.

 This is one of 5 pumpkins which are growing on the one plant which self-seeded in the back yard. I love volunteers! These are the first pumpkins we have had which have 'set' -I am thinking that bringing lavenders, rosemary and pelargoniums into the vegetable garden is paying off.

 I have an aim of being self-sufficient in salad vegetables, so I am trying to plant more seeds every weekend. Some have come up well and others have not, but I just keep trying to improve my technique.

The cumquats are flowering - a lovely citrus smell which is keeping the bees happy.

On Friday wWe celebrated Chinese New Year with friends. I was born in the Year of the Horse so I expect lots of good fortune this year! LOL

So this has been a great weekend and typical of summer. Lots more of it to come -some of our hottest days are late February and March.

How did you spend the weekend?

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