31 October 2012

Just Joey....

'Just Joey' is the most beautiful rose...

(photo courtesy of Abril es Bella Photography)

I have never been a fan of orange toned flowers, but this is stunning, and has made me look at other roses in this peachy sweet tone for Mia Bella Gardens.

This week has been crazy busy for various reasons, so not much has been done in setting up the new craft room, today that is what I'll be working on...
Mia Bella Gardens is looking spectacular so I'll also be
taking some new photos to share with my blog friends.
Have a fabulous day, and I'll catch you in post tomorrow.

29 October 2012

Pink & Pretty!

If someone asked me what my favourite colour was, I would have great difficulty in choosing just one...
Colour is life and I adore all colour. 
Today is 'Pink' day -
so here is a little bit of pretty in pink.

Stick Insect...

The stick insect is New Zealands largest insect,
of which  there are 21 different species.
We often come across them in Mia Bella Gardens
 and this one in the photo is tiny...
New Zealand’s largest stick insect is the bristly stick insect (Argosarchus horridus). Adult females such as the one climbing on this little girl in the attached photo have bodies up to 14 centimetres long (or 20 centimetres with their forelegs stretched in front of them).

Grey or brown, bristly stick insects are notable for the little spines on the thorax and abdomen. Although they might appear monstrous, like all the New Zealand species they are harmless vegetarians.

28 October 2012

Handmade Heart...

Easy to make....fabric heart....
Cut a heart shape in felt and matching one in fabric. On a small rectangle of aida cloth write word in pencil, handstitch using embroidery thread.
 Your word of choice could be... baby, joy, dream, heart or whatever takes your fancy.
Sew aida onto fabric heart.
Sew fabric heart to felt heart leaving a gap for stuffing. Stuff with filler, and stitch hole. Fray edges a bit if you like.
Attach ribbon and embelishments.
Fab gifts and fun to make. 

27 October 2012

Passion flower...

photo via Abril es Bella Photography

An intense orange red, passion flower blooms attract butterflies,
and the bees love them too.
This is a tropical variety of passionflower vine.

Fabric Ribbon...


Dress up a whitewashed wooden box with fabric ribbon.
Easy to make, just fray edges of a strip of your favourite fabric (Just make sure it is  long enough to go around the box and allow for a bow).
Once frayed, put around the box and tie a bow at the front.

26 October 2012

Dahlia...

What more can I say except - simply stunning!

24 October 2012

Pretty Tiled Tin Bucket...

We have just retiled our fireplace hearth with these gorgeous tiles and I had some left...But what to do with them?  
On my foraging expedition at 'Bed Bath and Beyond' (I so love their sales table!) I came across these fab tin buckets.  Bonus is they are already painted, so I got this ecru coloured one (and a bright red one to be saved for a Christmas project). 
The Soaking word is not required, so this is where the tiles come to play...
All I did was cut a strip of tiles wide enough to cover the soaking word and used tile fix to stick it to the bucket.
Measure from the top rim so the tiles are evenly spaced...I used a hair dryer to help the drying process (otherwise the tiles tend to slip downwards).

Leave 24 hours, and grout.
Pop in a lovely potted crysanthumum...and there you have it!

23 October 2012

Heucherella...

 There's nothing like a bit of stunning foilage in the garden.
This is Heucherella 'Golden Zebra'...

And if you adore Lime green as I do...
meet Heucherella 'Lime Maramalade'.

22 October 2012

The Crown!

 Bed Bath and Beyond has become my favourite store...
I have always wanted a crown...
I have no idea why, 
I just think they are so cool...
and look what I found!

 Fabulous spinal detail...

 In fact gorgeous detail everywhere...
then I worked out, 
if you separate the two pieces, 
you can have a metal basket, 
and a crown...
two for the price of one. 
And the price was sale at $15.99! 
WOW!

Ah but what to put inside the crown...
I don't need another candle 
so I went to Farmers and bought this jar ($2.99), 
which of course could hold a wee posy of flowers 
or just look lovely as it is.

21 October 2012

Camelia bud...

Lovely creamy white camellia bud...

20 October 2012

Bird House Gourd...

When the rats decided my gourds were delicious, a lot ended up a bit holey!
So I used the ones with bird sized holes to make birdhouses. 
First I painted the inside of the gourd white, then the outside a lovely yellow.
I love butterflies, so there was no question what to decorate the outside with...a pretty blue butterfly on a leafy branch.

19 October 2012

Banksian Rose...

What a stunner...
I never prune this rose so that the canes grow up through the cherry tree and camelias.
A perfect picture against the pink of the other flowers.  
This is a Bansksian Rose in double white - 'Alba Plena'.

18 October 2012

Morning Star...

The prettiest little star flowers....
and would you believe growing in the top of a large rock.
All I did was get the chisel and hammer out,
 and chipped away at the rock until there was a small pot size indent. 
'Morning Star' is a Rhodohypoxis....
and has been happily growing in the rock for the past two years!

17 October 2012

Joy Cushion...

I LOVE Christmas, and I am starting to think about what creations need creating for this years display...
Not sure where I first saw this cushion idea, (may have been on pinterest)...
but here is my version...
I love how this cushion fits into the red and white colour scheme of my sitting room. You could use a red cushion with white felt if you prefer.

I went to 'Bed Bath and Beyond' and bought an off white cushion (sale price $8), and some red felt from the fabric store (cost $2). The word joy letter template is off the web.
 
Cut out the template letters.  Pin to felt, cut out felt letters.

Lay out double sided fusing, and draw around the outline of the letters using pencil. Do an mirror image of the J. 
Use a hot iron to bond fusing to the felt letters. Trim edges.

Peel off the backing paper from the double sided fusing... Remove cushion inner from cushion and place felt letters in the centre overlapping the letters slightly.  Hot iron and fuse in place.

Top stitch with white cotton (red if your felt is white) around the letters using a sewing machine. Embellish (sequins, buttons, etc if you desire), but I chose to leave mine plain.
And there you have it...a joyous Christmas cushion, that's quick and easy to make.



Joy word template

16 October 2012

Look At This!

I could not believe it when I saw this...
a self-seeded camelia in the garden that is about only a metre high, but the left side has varigated flowers, and the flowers on the right side are solid colour.
It is like a line has been drawn up the middle of the shrub with diffferent colours on each side.
I think I'll leave it be and see what it does as the tree matures...

15 October 2012

The Best Gerbera...

Shocking pink in colour, 
this gerbera has been in Mia Bella Gardens for about ten years. 
It flowers from early spring to early winter, 
and is great for picking.
I have bought many modern gerbera varieties over time,
 and all seem to be susceptible to mildew disease. 
Actually, I hate to think how many I have managed to kill!  
None have ever compared to this 'nameless' shocking pink gerbera, 
which has never had a day of mildew disease in it's life. 

13 October 2012

Aqua Blue Beaded Gourd...

 I went through my gourd growing stage a few years back...
Amazing plants to grow, but  you do need a huge amount of room if you grow more than one plant. 
We had gourds coming out our ears! 

  
Every shed roof at Mia Bella Gardens had gourds on top drying...
even the trampoline was covered in drying gourds...
 Friends and family got decorated gourd gifts, people found out we grew them and wanted them for their own crafts or cultural uses.
 A lot got given away, and then the corn field was harvested, and the hungry rats decided they were delicious too...
so that was the end of the gourd growing era. 
I may try again sometime, maybe just one plant on a trellis....


This gourd was painted a lovely aqua colour, and decorated with beads and cord.

12 October 2012

French Lemon Tart...

It all started with a bowl of lemons...
And a camera...
and as I was creating fabulous lemon styled photos to share with you I thought...
Garden flowers in the photo would be lovely...
And French Country style flower top bottles...
Flowers picked fresh from Mia Bella Gardens...
 A bowl of lemons, a camera and a few flowers soon became...
A pastry rolling session...and then...
French Lemon Tart.... Decadent and delicious....


French Lemon Tart...
Base:
1 Packet of sweet pastry - rolled to fit a flan dish , press up sides, and prick all over with a fork. (Bake blind with beans if you like, but I never do, once it is cooked, I just trim the sides if and push sides back in place if they collapse a bit.)
Bake in hot 200 celsius oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Filling:
In a bowl, beat 5 eggs and 1/2 cup caster sugar.
When frothy add 3/4 cup of liquid cream. Mix and then add 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Pour into hot base and return to oven, lower temperature of oven to 180 celsius. 
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the filling is cooked. 
When cold sprinkle icing sugar over top.

                   Easy to make, and delicious to eat....ENJOY!


Printable recipe here:

Ella...



Ella is a mixed breed moggy....we are sure she has British Blue in her as she has a big round face and tiny ears.  She's just like a big teddy and has the most stunning green eyes.
She is best friends with Tucker dog...they do everything together.
Very cute to see them sleep together at night, and sunbathe on the driveway on hot days.
Ella smooches Tucker too. 

Dendrobium Orchid...

A cute wee orchid 
with the most powerful perfume you have ever smelt.
This is 'Dendrobium Delicatum'.

10 October 2012

Geranium

Wow, what a beautiful geranium. 
Soft whitish pink outer petals with a shocking pink centre.
In my moment of gardeners madness 
I bought four geraniums from the garden centre....
with absolutely no idea where they would go in the garden.
Mia bella Gardens is 'chocka block' so I have to say it took a few days, 
and a few pots brought out of the storeshed to find homes for them all. 
This geranium is 'Zonal Geranium' - Flower Fairy White splash.

9 October 2012

Jade...



My name is Jade.  I am an Indian Ringneck Parrot.
My favourite thing to do is tease the dogs.  I whistle to them to come...
I wolf whistle too. 
I can meow like a cat, say hello, how are you...

I live on my own as I don't really like the girls, they stress me out, then I sulk and I won't talk.   So I am really happy on my own, because I get all the treats and lots of delicious food.