Thursday, 30 October 2014

The builder and the beekeeper

To say that I am married to a man of many talents and fabulous qualities is an understatement, he continues to amaze me with his abilities and achievements.  The studio is now finished with the completion of the awning and balustrade.  A few little bits and pieces may be added such as base boards to cover the side but other than that, it's finished.

The bee hive was opened again on the weekend to see what was happening and the second story will most likely be added this weekend to allow for growth of the hive.  It all depends whether the conditions are right for opening the hive, preferably on fine day with no wind.  Here is hubby attending to the hive.  I took these photos without my protective suit on from about 1.5 metres away.  The bees are very placid, not bothered by me at all.  If I was assisting I would have been suited up.

To finish this post, here are some roses from the garden.  I love roses.

Anne xx

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A yummy treat

Sometimes I want a sweet treat to have with my cuppa, just a little morsel that isn't necessarily chocolate.  When I came across the following recipe on a 600g packet of Trident dates, I thought I'd give them a go and they taste delicious.

Date and Almond Balls

3 cups coarsely chopped dates
3 teaspoons finely grated orange rind
2/3 cup blanched almonds, toatsted (about 120g)
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1.  Place all ingredients, except coconut, in large bowl, mix to combine.  Using a food processor, process mixture in batches until a paste forms (small almond pieces will still be visible).  Lightly wet hands, roll mixture into balls about 1 tablespoon in size.
2.  Roll balls in coconut.  Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 30 balls.

I put the recipe into a recipe calculator and each ball has about 52 calories.

Anne  xx

Friday, 24 October 2014

In the garden and doodling

Hello, today has been another glorious spring day and early this morning I took heaps of photos of what is flowering in the garden at the moment.  I am also overjoyed that both my bush/dwarf beans and climbing beans have germinated and are bursting out of the soil.  Because I have so many photos, I've put some into collage form to make it easier than scrolling on forever through this post.  Flowers first.

While snapping photos, I saw this bee drinking nectar from Ajuga flowers.

I love this next photo, so happy with how it turned out

These are the bush or dwarf beans.  The fuzzy bit in the photo is the netting we have in place to protect the plants.  Unfortunately it doesn't stop the slugs and snails.

Climbing beans.
So in amongst the gardening the last few days, I've been popping up to the studio for an hour here, half an our there and had some fun doodling with pen and water colour pencils.  Some of these little doodles might make it onto a card.  I've not done this type of sketching for some time and feeling rather rusty.

I could have reduced the size of these images so you can't see all the rough bits and mistakes but I'm really not bothered.  The yellow flowers in the white jug with the blue pattern is my favourite.  Lots of improving to do.

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Anne  xx

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Hello, spring is definitely here and this dwarf eucalyptus tree on the boundary of our neighbour's property is flowering beautifully.  The bees love it.

More work has been done on the canopy for the studio.  A little more to do and then it will be finished.  A balustrade is being built too.

And just because I've been thinking about our Europe holiday from 2012 a lot recently, here are two photos taken in Provence.  Such wonderful memories.

We've enjoyed a wonderful day of sunshine and warmth today.  I hope the weather is treating you well wherever you are.

Anne xx

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Home grown beetroot

Beautiful home grown beetroot picked and washed.

Baked in the oven after being tossed in olive oil, seasoned with salt and flavoured with home grown thyme.

Ready to eat after removing the skins.  Served with cauliflower au gratin, home grown carrots, potato wedges and green beans.

Deliciously sweet.

Anne xx