Friday, 12 September 2014

Violet Jelly & the Journey of the Piano Keys

I am so grateful to be living in this amazing time in history.
To be able to learn & connect, to encourage & be encouraged, support & be supported; share inspiration & friendship across borders, barriers, nations & provinces. We are no longer confined to friendships & connections that we make in the villages, towns or cities in which we live. We can freely cross borders of time & space to live more openly, broadly, even deeply than ever connection; while still maintaining our own rhythms of daily life.
When I opened the unexpected parcel that I found in my letterbox last week, my heart melted & tears streamed down my face.    
 I had waited my whole life long for those of my past to "see" me, to tell me I was at least ok, but that time never came & never will. Yet here in my arms was a fresh proof; the gift that carried a thousand affirmations in one, from a dear heart to mine. I am seen. I will be ok. I am so grateful!
 Memories... new memories I have softly laid down in a bed of kindness & care.
 I am so glad that you have traveled with me, my friends, as I have journeyed through the hard things & the "Lucy" moments.
 The best & most beautiful things in the world are indeed felt with the heart. Thank you dearest Julie for your loving stitches of kindness. How glad I am to be able to visit Threadbear Cottage & your Threadbear Life at any time of the day or night to have a catch up, find endless inspiration & entertaining kitten antics. 
 The days have been endlessly dull for ages now, which is a little perturbing. 
 I think that that may be why, although we can see the signs of emerging Spring, it doesn't really feel like Spring; just yet. This is a lovely place to walk down by the Karamu Stream. Getting out & about in the country side always helps to lift your spirits when the times are a little odd.
There are moments of some sunshine.
Coriander does so love the cooler weather though.
 As does the floral marvel of radicchio. Such a beautiful could almost wear it.
A little muddly potager
 down in the back corner of the garden.
 Just over from the bluebells..
 and the brand new of the raspberry canes. Green arises from "dead" sticks.
 A new white dove descended in to the Fairy Garden last week.
 My most exciting triumph in ages....finally figuring out how to make a truly effective, non-toxic weed killer!! And so simple!! A tablespoon of nasty table salt, a big squirt of dish washing liquid & fill up the bottle with white vinegar. That's it. 
 And it really works.
 Cath Kidston has a theme of clocks going on at the moment. Aren't these little cruets cute.
 I just love my Trade Me "work"...sending things like violets, fabric & Cath Kidston wallpaper all over the countryside. We have so many lovely people living in our land. I like to wrap things nicely with ribbons & handwritten cards, but these old piano keys were a tad tricky on that count. They arrived with David a few years ago when he returned home from Greymouth. I listed them for a dollar as I couldn't bear to throw them away & a very interesting arty lady bought them locally. She very kindly deposited $ a "token of her delight". They have gone off to be shared with four other arty ladies & so their journey is complete. As it happens the piano itself was gifted to a kindergarten in Canterbury in the 1960's, later it was sold to a family, who eventually moved & couldn't take it with them...David fancied ownership & consequently hauled it over the Southern Alps where it resided with him for quite sometime. Heavy & cumbersome at the time of his leaving it then appears to have met it's demise, yet not quite fully caste off, the keys journeyed north with the intention of becoming an art installation...which, indeed, has now been fulfilled. 
How extravagant to pick a whole bowl of violets!!
 If you pour boiling water over them 
 & leave them to steep for an hour or two
 strain, add honey, lemon juice, gelatine & a tiny splash of rose water you end up with the most divine jelly. You can find the recipe here.
 We ate it for breakfast with rhubarb & kefir cream & a little fresh coconut grated over the top.
And so are these gorgeous grape hyacinths & bluebells.
I wish you all fragrance, good friendship, some jelly & a very happy week!
Much love
Catherine x0x0x


  1. Hello Catherine,

    As soon as I saw the Lucy present I knew it was from Julie. Just such a lovely gift. I love the look of the Violet Jelly, it must have tasted divine. Great idea with the weed killer. I have little weeds and unwanted plants coming up in the paving and usually just use the left over boiling water from the kettle.
    Lots of lovely photo's of your garden. Enjoy it.

    Happy days.

  2. Aw, you are so dear, so responsive to loving actions. It's refreshing! I love your Lucy gift!
    That jelly looks delish!
    I made plum jam and it turned out a bit soupy. I think I need a lot more practice at jam/jelly making.
    It's till summer here but it snowed today! Of course it didn't stick, but we are known here for our wacky weather. It'll be hot again on Sunday. Weird, huh?
    I love reading about your Trade Me pursuits! So exciting!
    Sending heaps of love your way, GK!

  3. Your posts always make me want to jump up & come right over with some flowers from my garden & some sweet bread to share with tea.

    I haven't seen Threadbare Life but I will be checking it out. What a beautiful sweet gift.

    I'm also saving the weed killer to try in my garden & the violet jam recipe to try in my kitchen. :o) Thank you!

  4. Violet jelly how fabulous!! Good friend Julie, there with a warm hottie just when you needed it. Your garden is looking very spring!

  5. Thanks for sharing your weed killer, I am going to make some. I also think I might just have to try your jelly too, looks absolutely divine. Love the colour in your garden.

  6. What a lovely post Catherine. So pleased my gift arrived so unexpectedly & touched just the right spots. I am sure you will get lots of use from it next winter. I shall be making up your weedkiller recipe tomorrow, thanks so much for sharing it. AND trying the violet jelly too, I have enough violets in my garden to give it a go. I did laugh at you with your vegetable corsage - love the picture of you standing in your kitchen laughing. I loved the story of the piano keys journey ... that was wonderful. Hope you have a lovely week my friend, your garden is bursting into life as spring creeps upon us - at last I say. Julie x0x0x

  7. Such a lovely post, I so agree with you about the way that we can connect with kindred spirits through our blogs, no longer restricted to our locality and I completely understand how your emotions welled up when you received your parcel - I feel like that too sometimes. Your radicchio flower brooch is such a wonderful picture of yourself I hope you keep it and frame it! Reading about the violets tugged my emotions as my grandmother only wore purple coloured clothes and violet perfume, I didn't know you could make jelly from them. I wasn't allowed to pick the flowers though as granny thought they had fairies inside that would die if brought indoors. Just that small moment reading your post brought me to a happy memory of someone I loved and still miss! Betty x

  8. Your violet jelly looks divine. So love your gift from Julie, it is beautiful.Shirley


  9. Hello Dear Catherine, what a beautiful gift and a sweet friend to send it. All your pictures are wonderful, and the violet jelly looks delicious and very pretty. I love bluebells and to see them happily flowering in your garden makes my heart smile. We are just coming into the autumn in the UK so it will be a while before the bluebell's flower here, but in the meantime I can enjoy them whenever I want just by calling in at your blog.
    I agree with you about making friends and connections throughout the world. I’ve met many lovely people (including you), and it has really enriched my life.
    Happy Spring, with love and hugs, Barbara.

  10. Gosh, that violet jelly is the most amazing jelly I have EVER seen! I haven't heard of doing that before, but now I know just what to do! Thanks for sharing, Lisa x


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