July 18, 2010

Christmas in July and some Blog Keeping

First of all thanks so much for the overwhelming wishes for our 37th Anniversary. Both Mr Notjustnat and I really appreciated your kind words. Christmas in July is truly Australian because it was so cold outside here in July in comparison to Christmas in December. This is only the second meeting of our sewing basket group, and only Lynda and I were available that day. We had a great day catching up, stitching a little, but mainly eating and talking! We exchanged little Christmas gifts too. 
Look what Lynda made for me! A bath towel with a personalised monogram in an Asian font. Lynda de-constructed her kimono and used the fabric to applique the fonts. Apart from the towel Lynda gave me a whole sleeve from the kimono as well. I'm so lucky to have a friend like you Lynda. I love it thank you!
Lynda was working on her hexagon quilt and I was putting the binding on my Christmas quilt that should be finished by Christmas in December haha! 
Country Winter Soup that I want to share the recipe with you. It's one of my favorite soup recipes for winter days:

Serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots, cut into large chunks
200g/7oz turnips, cut into large chunks
175g/6oz swede, cut into large chunks
400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1tsp dried mixed herbs
1tsp dried oregano
50g/2oz dried peppers, washed  and thinly sliced (optional).
1.5 liters/6 cups vegetable stock
50g/2oz small macaroni
400g/14oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve.
1 - Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook over low heat for about 5 mins. until softened. Add the fresh vegetable, canned tomatoes, tomato puree, dried herbs and dried peppers, if using. Stir in salt and pepper to taste. 
2 - Pour in the stock  and bring to the boil. Sire well cover, lower the heat and simmer for 45 mins or until vegetable cooked and soften, stirring occasionally. 
3 - Add the pasta and bring to the boil, stirring. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is only just al dente; about 5 mins
4 - Stir in the beans. Heat through for 2-3 mins, then remove from the heat and sitr in the parsley. Taste that soup for seasoning. Serve hot with grated Parmesan cheese.  

We served it with Mr Notjustnat's homemade bread. It was delicious!
In the last few months I have been racking my brain on how to moon dye fabric. I have seen many people using them in Jude's online workshop. I can easily buy them from the Shiborigirl, but I know how to dye and have more than enough dye powder to use up. The original moon dyed fabrics use indigo dye and I now have a kit ready to be use, that is another story to be told later. In my last visit to Reverse Art Truck I found the plastic disks that are perfect for the dyeing process and today was a the day for me to try this. I'm so excited at how they turned out. Let's just say, I'm over the moon with the results! The above moon pieces were dyed using Procion dye powder in indigo colour. 
I'm taking another online workshop 'Patchwork Beasts' with Spiritcloth. The class started on July 15. When I signed up for this class I knew what I wanted to make. I wanted to make an alphabet quilt for my DGC so I started piecing the alphabets using Tanya's instruction. I did some of this piecing last year so that part was easy. In this workshop I want to make the beasts to go with the alphabet. My first one is cat for 'C'.

These are some of the felt cakes made in Kit's workshop at Etsy in New York. Kit is now back in Sydney and she posted the PDF pattern for them on her blog. You can also  see some photos of the craft scene in the big Apple!


Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Hey Nat...Happy Christmas in July to you too!!! What a wonderful towel Lynda has given you...love that Japanes font on it...Keep eating that lovely soup...I find them warm and nourishing in this cold (coastal) weather...Have a great week...Dzintra♥x

Needled Mom said...

I love your beautiful towel!!! You are lucky to have such a wonderful friend.

Nedra said...

As you are cold in Australia, we are sweltering in the heat of Southern Utah.
Beautiful hand dyes! I used to dye wool a lot, and it's really a fun process, isn't it?

Simone de Klerk said...

Lovely towel, Nat. Lucky you and so you! It was wonderful to see all those lovely cakes on Kit's blog! So many different people coming together.

Melinda Cornish said...

Wow! you have been busy....I love the towel an the soup looks yummy......Sometimes I even eat soup on hot days.....

Kaite said...

hi Nat, the moons worked well, very clever idea; love your angel cat for DGC, you always make something useful and happy; and kit's cakes look very yummy, she's very creative and clever - she takes after you, haha. k.

Sue-Anne said...

Merry Christmas! I love your towel, what a great idea. You have been busy and your dyeing looks fantastic. I think I may have to try that soup recipe, sounds yummy!

Terry said...

Nat a wonderful post. You have been busy.
The towel is so you. Horray for friends.
Soup and company while stitching Sisters are good.
Kit's blog is zingy her work is vibrant and so is she.
Glad Mr Notso is making bread.
Cat is cute and moon's WOW

Have a great week Terry

Ivory Spring said...

Happy Belated Anniversary, Natima! I am glad you had a good celebration.

The bath towel is adorable - love the Asian font.

And you have been busy with your projects... :) Somehow, I just know you can't sit still... :)

QuiltSue said...

happy Christmas Nat.

Valentina said...

Nat: happy Christmas in July!
I love your towel, what a thoughtful gift, and I love your granny-squares sweater! I can't believe you are so cold when we are in the midst of unbearable heat...
I suppose we just make the best of it! and you certainly seem to!

Kathie said...

love those felt cakes, very cute!
oh Nat I love that towel, how creative using letters in an Asian font.
and of course love the red :)

Lis said...

Happy Christmas Nat! I love the moon dyeing, share share!! I'm saving your soup recipe for our winter - I think it would be a bit much when it's 27C as it is at the moment - summer is back, hooray! We're living on salads and fluids...might even lose some weight :)

Janet said...

What a lovely post. I love your towel and your alphabet blocks are really cute.In fact, I love everything here, lol. I think the soup recipe looks delicious.

Clarity said...

Nat, what a sweet gift from the deconstructed Kimono. Really like the moon fabric best of all, I don't know how you got it without much bleeding.

Thanks for the warming recipe, XX.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said...

Yummy recipe and such a great bath towel! Your beast is very cute!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the soup recipe, I made it today and it is so good, now if only I had a bread recipe ;)

Astrid said...

Happy Christmas in July!
Love the towel, such a great idea by your friend! The cat is so cute and I love the blue hand dyes. I'm not a big fan of soups, but I will definitely try this one. I like soups with lots of ingredients on a chilly day. And those yummy felt cakes! :)

leilani said...

What is a "swede"?

ParisMaddy said...

Your Blog is always a warm and lovely place to visit. The soup looks delicious.

Your blue hand work is simply stunning---xoxo

How lucky it would be to live near you---awesome towel and gifts you got.

jude said...

great moons, very nice, and so nice to have you in another workshop....

Bron said...

hi Nat, not too sure how you achieved it but I love the moon circles. They look beautiful.
Also happy anniversary! wow 37 years.Its really nice to see all those lovely pics.

missing you both
love bron.

Micki said...

What a lovely towel you received! I will have to try that soup...It is a great comfort food!

Lee Prairie Designs said...

Love your blog found it through another. I will make your soup recipe when it cools down here in Des Moines, Iowa USA!!! Thanks for sharing your beautiful work. Carolyn

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