Monday, June 27, 2011

Monster Mummy Bag

As many Mummies would know - A good Mummy is a well prepared Mummy.  Which translates to mean that you have to have an enormous bag packed with everything you could possibly need, for any situation that could possibly arise.   I recently made a new Monster Mummy Bag that lives in the car.

It is a great big sack and has lots of  POCKETS (there can never be too many pockets.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

My New Brooch

My Brooch swap Brooch arrived in the mail and I think it's just smashing.  A very cute crochet square, channeling the inner Granny for me.  It has gone straight onto my parker vest just in time to be worn during the cool weather.  My swapee notes that she has only just learnt to crochet.  I must say her tension is very good - listen to me, doesn't that sound deceptively as if I know what I am talking about!
So cute, love the colours too.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Free Lovely Things

How Beautiful is this frame-able  Monogram.  I did it free, on line at the most stunning site.  Here is the link The Wedding Chicks.  They have all sorts of stationary and invite sets.  Some of the most beautiful are free.  You just enter in your info and then print, how good is that!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chalky Toes

Little scribbles by little people.
A favourite past time at our house is chalk drawings.  It started with little scribbles over the driveway and has led to all sorts of craziness.  Including a Mr Daddy led chalking of the house, our neighbors were dismayed at his property devaluing behavior.
Mr Daddy's work - which didn't wash off with the rain and is still there a year later!
Bigger People's work
This afternoon all the neighborhood kids congregated on  the drive way and went to town.  They were planning to colour the whole driveway but managed to get one car space done before it got dark.  I admire their ambition.
There was chalk dust every where and beautiful rainbow footprints, proof that they had run through the house.  Straight to the bath for everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

It's Not Every Day You Turn Four

Master B has just turned four which means cake time at our house.  The girls had all sorts of elaborate plans for what cake he might like.  As he is now four, Master B had his own very clear vision - He would like to decorate his own cake with lots of lollies.  After much air punching from Mummy all was organized,
1. Simple butter cake
2. Butter cream icing
3. Bowls of lollies
5. Clean hands
6. On your marks, get set, go!

This is what he made and loved every minute of it.
Master B also had a little morning tea with some kindy friends and this is the cake we made for that.
I am loving keeping it simple.  Master B wanted Blue and Green, I just couldn't bring myself to put in anymore food colouring that this so it is a bit on the pastel side.  I don't think any of the children minded.  There was half left when Mr Daddy got home, can you believe he picked off and ate all the freckles.  How naughty is that!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Garden Days

A couple of months ago I plucked up enough courage to plant my potted bamboo directly into the garden!!! Yes it is a non clumping variety but I am skeptical as to how non-clumping bamboo can be. I rescued a near dead bamboo plant from a closing down nursery a couple of years ago (It was the only way bamboo would be in my price range.)  It had been doing quite well in a pot and even been divided up a few times but has never been spectacular.  For years I have dreamt of my own Bamboo Grove and of an endless supply garden stakes.   So I finally did it, I divided up my plant again and put half in the ground gave some to a friend and kept a bit in the pot.
I am delighted with the results, you would never know they are the same plant.  The plant in the ground has quadrupled in size and is so healthy.  But most excitingly the new shoots are magnificent.   Can you see the huge new shoot (also bit scary in a triffid kind of way?) 
One of the veggie patches on a good day with no dog or chicken damage.

Fresh shoots on the Malabar Spinach, they taste like peas when young.  They are not usually this pink but when photographed in the evening light it seems they are.  This is the pic I used in my blog banner.
Marigolds and Ornamental Kale taken in the same evening light.  I had planted the Kale to use as a cut flower but it is just so stunning in the garden I haven't been able to cut any yet.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Brooch Ahoy

My Nautical fabric arrived with not a minute to spare and it was exactly what I was hoping it would be.  It was just so lovely that I hung it on the fridge so I could keep looking at it while I made dinner.  The next day the kids were bundled off to school and I dashed straight to my sewing space.

This is what I made...

The first two attempts were just not quite right but the third was exactly what I was looking for so here is the final choice.
                        My favorite, I hope my swap-ee thinks so too.
It is now in the safe hands of Australia post, making it's way to the UK.  Pity it is going by air I think by sea would have been more fitting.  

Thank-you Ms Flowerpress for organizing the swap I really enjoyed the challenge.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Double Choc Chip Biccies

These are everyones favorite biscuits we make this biccies about once a week even though they only last a couple of days before they are completely devoured.  I have played with the sugar ratios and have been able to bring it right down.  Not that makes them healthy but at least I know what's in them and can spell the ingredients!

 Everyone’s  Favorite Choc Chip Biccies
(I usually double as there are never enough)

125g butter
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ cup dark choc chips
1 ½ cup self raising flour

Soften butter in microwave and mix well with sugar,
Add egg and vanilla and mix,
Add Cocoa powder and flour then choc chips mixing well.
Roll into small balls or spoon with teaspoon onto baking paper covered trays. 
Bake in 180 oven for 15 mins or until biccie slides when pushed gently.
Allow to cool then eat – yum!

Lucky they are baked at a very high temperature as each cookie is well and truly handled to make sure everyone gets a go before cooking.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cake Up

We take birthday cakes very seriously at our house.  Many months of research and development are spent pouring over the Woman's' Weekly birthday cake books.   For many years our books have been a favorite bedtime story.  Birthday cakes have become a family affair with everyone including Mr Daddy contributing and helping on the day.   Sometimes the team approach works well, sometimes it just leads to Mummy having a breakdown.

This is a cat b'day cake made to an allergy free recipe using safe decorations.   The chocolate icing is made from golden syrup which was really tricky to work with. 
The pink Dolly Vardon always a favorite. 
This is supposed to be a lollie pop.  I think the concept and the Tim Tams worked the best. 
A fairy cup cake garden, the sticks took longer to make than the cakes!
Every year Master B wants this one.  Mr Daddy made the tree, nice touch isn't it, I love the Tic Tac teeth.
We found these icing creatures years ago and the girls just love them, we reuse them often.  I know that sounds gross but they store well and it's so easy to make a little cake landscape for them to live in.
I love these star punches on florist wire.  A great activity for the girls to do while I iced the cake.  I think they add that special birthday magic to any cake that is looking a bit flat. 
I love this Dino landscape it was really fun and easy to make and lent itself well to everyone helping.  It has iced cupcakes to make the mountain and waterfall with lashings of parsley provide the magic. 
Piggy cup cakes made for school, (you can't see their detail very well from this pic.)  We had a lovely little Sweat Shop going in the kitchen for these.   Mr Daddy was the Marshmallow Task Master and the children earnt their keep decorating.
This is a "Mummy Melt Down Cake" with too many helpers, I had to walk away.  They all loved it and thought it was their best ever!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Brooching Along

As it is well and truly winter now, it is brooch season and I am having a ball.  However I am suck on my Brooch Swap brooch, fancy that!   My Swap-ee suggested she may like a nautical theme, which is a huge challenge to my floral aesthetic.  This what I have for nautical, but I don't love it.  I have ordered some fabric from etsy weeks ago but it is still not here....
My 2011 brooch project that is rocking along.  Partly because this year I am using a glue gun as well a  a needle and thread, love it.


I am very excited to be doing The Flower Press Brooch Swap this is my first swap and its what really got me up and blogging.  I am a big fan of the humble brooch for some reason winter is when I brooch.  ( It's probably because thats when the brooch friendly clothing of dark colours and jumpers come out.)  Here are some snaps of some previous years brooches.
These are three 2010 brooches I made to embellish bags.  Love a bit of flare on a bag and I always put a pin on the back just incase I want it on my jumper instead.
 The brooches on their respective bags.

These are also 2010's made to match two of my favorite skirts.  The mustard one is  my favorite of all time, I can't go past a yellow/grey combination.
I don't have any pics of 2009 must have been a mild winter.

2008 was the winter of crochet, this is the year I learnt to crochet.  You can see the evolution in my skills as I step up to roses, they were my favorite.  I have a jar full of my practise, practise, practises.

My jar of crocheted flowers.  Affectionately know as Crochet Flower Jam. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Joy of Giving a Home Made Gift

The girls and I love to visit Saffron Craig's Blog, Saffron is an Australian fabric designer.  The girls like the blog as it has pics of other children on it and I like it because I love her fabrics.   We were very excited to see her new range of Softies and thoroughly enjoyed the video tutorial that we watched about 12 times.   As it was coming up to Master B's birthday Miss M thought we should make him the dog softies.  
Miss M cut them out and I sewed them together for her to stuff.    We ran out of our usual fluffy stuffing then remembered we had some mirco bead stuffing that we could use.  If you have ever used micro beads they are a nightmare, tiny polystyrene beanbag balls with a mind of their own.  However I am amazed at how well we managed to contain them.
It was also Miss M's idea to make a little quilt for them with the fabric off cuts.  She had a play with the design layout, and included the text, which I think is a nice touch.  As Miss S is learning to read she has especially enjoyed reading the phrases on the fabric, thanks to Ms Saffron for that extra bit of magic.  Mr Daddy did warn us that is was all very girly but we don't mind.  I know Miss M is actually making this for herself.  Master B will enjoying playing with his big sisters and the puppies when the plastic sheen  of his other gifts has died down. 
 What did Master B think when he opened his gift on the day "Oh that's just sewn" and moved straight onto the next gift, both the girls pounced on it.  Oh well.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pie Glorious Pie

Grandmas pumpkin patch went crazy this year and she has pumpkins galore, which is very lucky for us.   I often find a bag of peeled and cut up pumpkin just waiting to be cooked on my kitchen bench when Grandma has been for a visit.  Today I also happen to have a few eggs in the fridge and a sage bush that has gone crazy.  Doesn't that sound like I need to make quiche?

I remember the first time a made a quiche in year eight home economics it was the most painful process.   I can't believe how complex that teacher made a very simple recipe, she nearly ruined a beautiful future love affair for me.  It so easy and versatile for what ever you have that needs to be used up. (I use ready made pastry which I guess does speed the process up considerably.)

Pumpkin Sage and Fetta Quiche

150 g bacon cooked and chopped
4 eggs
150ml of cream
¾ cup of crumbled fetta
1 onion
1 handful of fresh sage
1 cup of cooked pumpkin (steamed is fine)
1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry.

Caramelize onions and sage and allow to cool, cook bacon.
Grease pie/flan dish and line with pastry.  Trim pastry edges or fold over into the centre of the dish to make extra thick pastry sides.
Spread cooled bacon and onion over the bottom of the dish. 
Layer pumpkin and fetta over bacon and onion.
Wisk eggs and cream well with a fork then pour over ingredients in the dish. Decorate top with fresh sage leaves.
Cook in 200°C oven for 15 mins then turn down to 150 and cook for another 15 to 20 mins.  Or until top is golden, and the centre is set (doesn’t look like jelly when wobbled.)
Serve hot or warm with a salad.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Chicken In The House!!!

This is Pauline, aptly named for her redneck.
Chicken in the house alert, she's going straight for my presser foot!   The feathered girls love to sneak into the house if they find a door left open.  Luckily Miss S was there to take some pics, find it hilarious, and escort Pauline the chook back out again.