Thursday, November 29, 2007

and onto the next phase...

after much careful consideration, I have decided to close down the little shop. I really have given this a lot of thought, and up until recently, had planned to stay, but in light of some recent dodgy activity in the neighbourhood, and the fact that I am feeling pretty exhausted at the moment, it seems like the logical thing to do. I'm feeling a little sad about letting go of my little dream, but at least I now know that it's not impossible to make these things happen, and that I can certainly do it again in the future, (maybe next time I'll try not to fall pregnant!) I just want to take this opportunity to say thankyou to all the lovely people that I've met over the past year, for making this journey of mine more pleasant. I will still be working from home next year, selling on etsy and maybe even doing some local market stalls, and hazyjane products will still be available at jasmine greens and my messy room. The shop will be open until the week after christmas, so please drop in and say hi, and if you like you can add your name to my emailing list, so that I can keep you posted on what's new in hazyjane land next year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"mum, come and look at my machine"

muffin success

it seems that my luck is running at the moment, yesterday I made muffins and they rose! I have never made muffins which have risen...they usually turn out to be flat little chewy pieces of cardboard, and so I gave up making them. But, yesterday I decided to have another go, and success was had, at last. They are choc chip (maybe it was the fact that I used the last of my green and black's that made them so good), and the recipe is from "kid's baking".

Monday, November 26, 2007

new toy

I am very excited to introduce you to my new best friend...

I know that most people who have "real jobs" which involve them having to leave the house each day and do actual work on one these things would probably be laughing at my joy right now, but I am a fickle creature, who likes "little" things, and I am so darn excited by this new toy that arrived on my lap a couple of days ago. I no longer have to wait patiently for my turn on the big computer while mr. northernsky tells the world about his latest surfing or skating adventure, or while fin looks up how much star wars lego is going for on ebay at any given moment, or while willow yells at me that the computer isn't letting him win. No, I can just wander off into some quiet little corner with my cup of tea and blog away to my hearts' content. Ah, happy days! See, I told you I'd be back with something more positive, just as soon as it turned up.

Friday, November 23, 2007

10 things I dislike about pregnancy

1. cramping calf muscles...I don't remember ever having this happen in my previous pregnancies, but I swear it's one of the most scarily-painful things I've ever felt, and it makes me wish I'd kept doing yoga rather than being too lazy. I'll just hobble around all day now until the feeling comes back in my legs.
2. stomach muscle stitches from side-sleeping
3. going to the toilet no less than six times a night
4. being able to only have one (small) glass of wine instead of three (or four)
5. cramping calf muscles...oh, I already said that one. Still can't feel my legs.
6. having people ask me how long I have to go, and when I tell them, seeing the look of shock that it's not in two days time. One lovely lady declared that I must be "ready to pop" the other day, such a nice way to describe it.
7. dropping almost anything I try to pick up...lucky I don't have another baby in the house.
8. not being able to reach the floor to pick up dropped item...that's where my little helpers come in handy
9. having to sit down and have a little rest after only a brief exertion of energy, like doing the dishes
10. carrying around an extra 14kg (yes, that's right, I have a heavy placenta, it has an extra lobe) with me everywhere I makes my feet hurt

sorry for the negativity today, I've had a particularly uncomfortable night. I'll be back with some more positive stuff later.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the hydrangea that refused to go

the hydrangea at the front of our house is really doing it's thing at the moment. Every year, it seems to get better and better, and I must admit that it is one of the only plants in our garden that I prune properly, at the correct time, so it doesn't grow too leggy, and for maximum blooms. It seems to be working. I get a great feeling of anticipation when I see those little buds appear, and I love to watch them grow (so quickly) into the amazing purple and blue heads that they become. I'm not into mucking around with the pH to change the colours, I like to just let them do their own thing and even though they are quite pale and not at all what "proper gardeners" would consider good colours, I love them in all their pastel glory. I especially like it when they take on a bit more of a rusty hue, and go all purple and brown, very vintage looking. I have the utmost respect for the particular plant that these flowers are picked from, it being the hydrangea bush that refused to die. When we decided to build our front verandah a few years ago, we reluctantly had to lose a few azaleas, and half of the most wonderful nandina forest that I have ever seen, and the hydrangea was also marked for demolition. We got my late dad on the job, because if there was anyone who would persist until the job was done, it was him, and persist he did, for about half a day, before admitting defeat. It seems that this hydrangea was destined to stay, and as it turned out, it frames the front steps beautifully, and we are so grateful now that it was unable to be removed. And, of course, it always makes me think of him when I look at it.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

little oven

the other day, I had an urge to do some woodworking, so I made this... Willow, of course, wants to know why we can't actually cook things in there, and fin declared it "100% better than a bought one!"

Sunday, November 18, 2007

sunday at home

today was one of those gloriously warm days , not uncomfortably warm, but just right for dragging a chair out under the silky oak tree, bringing along my little case of sewing stuff, and spending some much-needed time outdoors, whilst the men of the house entertained themselves with skateboard ramp renovation and sandcastle construction. Well, that was until the little men realised that I was enjoying a little bit of time alone and decided to come and say hello and have a rummage through my thread tin. Can't say I blame them, really, it looks pretty yummy. I like the idea of taking otherwise "inside" jobs outdoors, it somehow makes them seem more pleasant in the warmer months, although I do enjoy (immensely) sewing by the fire in the winter, with a glass of merlot for company.
That large round orange thing that's taking up most of the photo would be my 33 week belly, very much out there, as it really has nowhere else to go on my 5'2" frame. And just in case you're wondering what that bit of white fluff is that you can just see poking out from under my feet, that's sally-mally, sneakily digging a hole underneath my chair.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

afternoon at the beach

and a good time was had by all

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


finally, after a busy weekend, farewelling some dear friends who are leaving us for sunny queensland, and having some other dear friends stay over, I had time today to take it a bit easy and spend some much needed time at home with my little companion. We even managed to do some baking, which I'm trying to get around to at least once a week now, the only problem being agreeing with said companion on what to bake. I had explicit instructions to make chocolate cake (we discussed it all the way to school and back when dropping off fin), but managed to divert his attention for long enough when we got home to go ahead and start on a carrot cake (I like to pretend that's a healthy alternative). By the time he realised what was going on, I had the carrots grated and the fun underway, and he was happy to join in with the mixing...and tasting. Not wanting to actually go out and buy the ingredients I didn't have (this was actually meant to be a carrot cake with pineapple and pecans), I decided to do a little improvising, so I thought I might share my recipe, since it turned out really good, although it appears that willow prefers raw cake mix to the cooked version. Oh well, you can't please everyone.
Carrot and Apple Cake
2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
2 apples, peeled and grated
1/3 cup vege. oil (because that's all I had)
1/2 cup melted butter (that's the part that had me most concerned about whether improvising was such a great idea)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups caster sugar (not so healthy after all)
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking powder
Combine oil, cooled butter, eggs, vanilla, carrot, apple and sugar in a large bowl. Sift in flour, cinnamon and baking powder. Stir until combined.
Pour mixture into prepared pan, ( I used a 15 x 27 cm loaf pan, which was perfect, but of course, being the naturally gifted cook that I am, I knew it would be), bake at 175 degrees c for about an hour. When cool, spread with cream cheese frosting. For this I used about 100g cream cheese, 1 cup icing sugar, the zest of half a lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

to halloween or not to halloween

I nearly wasn't going to write about halloween, because it just kind of came and went and I forgot about it, but after just having a look at soulemama's blog, I got all inspired, and remembered this funny photo that I took of the boys as we were leaving to go "ticka treating". They dressed up as vampires, obviously, although willow's effort was a little more bohemian than scary...he decided that it had to be that shirt for full effect. We do tend to do the halloween thing every year, because, let's face it, it's fun, and we like fun. I hear so many people grumbling about how it's american and how we should be celebrating our own traditions, and that's all good and well, but we celebrate christmas don't we, and I don't think it has a whole lot to do with religion. Fair enough, maybe it's about time we did start some of our own celebrations, something a little more kid-friendly than getting pissed and playing cricket on a 40 degree day, and I do agree that it's a shame that these things have become so commercialised, but I don't think that you need to buy into all that in order to participate. What's wrong with letting the kids get dressed up and having a bag of lollies on standby for the other kids that come knocking on the door? We ended up visiting about five of our neighbours and the kids came home with a handful of lollies, 20c and an apple each. And, the best part was, the first thing they ate was the apple, because it was a special halloween apple! The world is a serious enough place already, and any excuse for a little bit of fun and creativity (and a walk as well) is always welcome around here. Oh, but I do really think that there should be an age limit on this kind of activity, it's one thing having a cute 5 and 7 year old knocking on your door, but when you see a 14 year old girl in a pink fairy costume walking down the street, hurling abuse at her "friend" who's at the other end of street, well, that's a differnet story altogether.