Thursday, March 29, 2012

Woodturning class II: Eggcup

Because every home should have one.
Here's ours:


















And here it is holding one our large chook eggs just to prove it really does work.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Big Necklace

Once upon a time we stayed in a grimy student flat above a shop on East Main Street in a little place called Kutztown, Pennsylvania (don't ask).


















 The dark, gloomy shop sold mostly odds and sods. Among the oddments were some large glass beads of (for me) unknown origin. I bought every one available - all seven of them. Being so large and heavy it was never obvious what to do with them, so they've just hung around in a jar ever since. 
Fast forward to late last year when a bag of wooden beads came into our possession. Among them were about 9 large red wooden beads of the right heft and proportions to go nicely with the glass beads languishing on the study shelf. The beads were only stained and were too washed out to make much a statement about anything. A few coats of enamel model paint cured that, then it was onto some cord with some silver necklace ends and a clasp and viola! The Big Necklace. This baby weighs 304 grams so will need someone with some heft of their own to wear it.

First woodturning class

Sometimes you realise life is short, and it's time to do some of the stuff you always wanted to do. One such thing is woodwork, something women never got a chance to do when I was at school. The girls were marched off to sewing and cooking, all the better to make us happy homemakers.
We have a local woodturning club so last night it was off to see them. I had visions of beautiful salad bowls and arty goblets. But no. Little wee spinning tops or, as I call them, toggles.
They might look like not much but I have plans for them. Watch this space.
 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

New baby chickens (Yay!)

Our flock of four red shavers having been reduced to two - one a victim of that great urban murderer the motorcar, another having succumbed to a mysterious chicken ailment - we decided to replenish with some heritage chooks that are less susceptible to disease. The red shavers are good layers but they lay so much in their first year they literally wear themselves out. The heritage breeds are less genetically modified so generally live healthier, happier lives.
The problem is chickens really are the new black, and getting any chook apart from a misrepresented shaver off TradeMe can be quite difficult. The breeders have waiting lists and the whole process is made messier by old fashioned genetics: any given clutch has an average 50% strike rate for hens. Most people want hens because they lay eggs, and urban chook fanciers aren't allowed to keep roosters.
Anyway, we finally got ours, and here they are. They're all about 12 weeks old.
First up, my fave, a blue australorp. She's a bit delicate (a pronounced limp in one leg), is very quiet, but she has the sweetest face. (PS She weighs 596 grams)
 













Here she is with her black australorp sister poking around for worms.














The breeder ran out of australorps and I've reached a point in my life where I'm not prepared to die in a ditch over chickens so we tackled some wyandottes instead. Here's a gold-laced wyandotte. She's a bossy wee thing, this one.

















And last but not least, an assertive silver-laced wyandotte who is already strutting around like she owns the chicken run.














We'll post some more photos when they're a bit older.
All these young ladies came from Heritage Poultry up in Puhoi.
Cameron's very helpful and the chooks are well cared for so if you want some heritage chickens this is a good place to start.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hang on, already

So, waiting world, I understand you're waiting for a post. It's not that Spider and I have nothing to say; on the contrary there's so much happening it's hard to know where to start. The Ports of Auckland dispute, along with the cop-out by Auckland's Obama-lite mayor; Treasury's complete inability to read the economic writing on the wall, even though it's in letters a foot high; Auckland's public transport plans being shunted to one side in favour of a motorway no one except the trucking industry wants; the leaked Cabinet paper revealing the government still has no clue that New Zealand is facing a demographic crisis and plans to import rich elderly immigrants. And Spider's ongoing dispute with the Church Street Geman Shepherd. The list goes on. Stay tuned.
 (Picture London Evening Standard)