Monday, July 28, 2008

sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't

i've just made my bi-annual batch of crappy cupcakes to be taken off to school tomorrow, where hopefully they will not cause an outbreak of food poisoning in fin's classmates. Isn't it a strange concept that anyone can make a batch of cupcakes and send them in to school for their kids birthday, without the parents of the other unsuspecting victims knowing what their children are consuming?
I'm pretty certain that the ones I have made are safe, because I din't let willow stick the beater back in the mix after he'd been licking it. I also know that they taste pretty good, because I use the same packet vanilla cake mix every time I make them. Once you're on a good thing you should stick with it, right. It's just that they don't look too good. I've never had much luck with cupcakes, probably because I can never be bothered going to much trouble with them, because there's always the birthday cake to make as well. My cupcakes, without fail, always spill out the sides of the patty pans while they are cooking and end up being one big flat cake that I then have to cut into shapes that vaguely resemble cupcakes, albeit flat, rectangular cupcakes. And you know how you're supposed to use an eye-dropper for the food colouring? Well, I can never be botherd with that, and end up with smurf-coloured frosting instead of the delicate shade of baby blue that I originally had in mind. And by the way, eating the left-over frosting does result in a dull headache, and also a strange gritty feeling at the back of the throat.
It's not all bad, though. The other day I managed to make up a really good recipe for pear muffins, which came about after I got half way through a recipe only to realise that I was missing some key ingredients. Yes, I am a person who starts mixing before I have fully read the recipe.

pear and oat crumble muffins (or "not the pear crumble I was originally going to make")

1 cup white plain flour, 1 cup wholemeal plain flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 2 handfuls rolled oats, 75g brown sugar, 4 Tblsp. softened butter, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup milk, 2 Tblsp. sour cream, 3 very ripe pears, diced

crumble: 1/4 cup oats, 2 Tblsp. brown sugar, 1 Tblsp. plain flour, 1 Tblsp. butter, pinch of cinnamon

Mix flours, baking powder, sugar and oats. Rub the butter into the flour mix, add eggs, milk and sour cream, stir to combine. Mix in the pears. Pour into a greased muffin tray. Combine crumble ingredients, sprinkle over the top, and bake in a moderate oven for I think about 25 mins. By this stage I had improvised so much that I wasn't really going to worry about checking the time. Eat them hot, straight from the oven. They are good. Very good.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

button swapping across the universe...

sorry, but that was the best title I could come up with. Pretty bad, I know, but that was the first thing that popped into my head, and now that really stupid song is stuck in my head. Thank god for jack johnson in the background.
Last week, this wonderful package turned up from erica, all the way from vancouver. I feel so lucky to have received such a beautiful gift. She was so sweet to make a little shirt for the jasper, and also included some fabric from her travels to ghana. It's all just great, and I hope that she likes what I have sent her. I'm so glad that I joined in on this little swap, it was fun and friendly and well, different, and I like different. Thanks erica, and thanks ella, for organising it. i made this book bag the other day, a birthday gift for arran's lovely cousin, jenny. I made it especially for her, but after she opened it, willow announced that I "took it from my shop", which of course, made everyone laugh so much that I was unable to make it known that I had, in fact, made it especially for her, so jen, if you're reading this, it was always for you! I've decided to just do the book bags this way now, fully lined, and with a little pocket inside. They are much better this way, and I get to mix and match fabrics too. The website is currently being updated, there will be product pages arriving shortly, so stay tuned.

Friday, July 18, 2008


a few weeks ago, I decided I didn't have enough to do already, and got myself involved in ella's button swap. It took me a little longer than expected to get this one together, but today it is finally wrapped and ready to be posted off to erica in vancouver. No pics until it arrives. Here's a clue:
do you see those little bear faces peeking out from that parcel up there? They would be my moo cards. I am totally loving moo! I ordered them and had them arrive from london in one week! Now, I am not someone who enjoys fiddling around on the computer making my own cards and printing them out only to realise that I have not aligned them properly, so when I realised that moo was so cheap ($20 for 100 cards), I decided that from now on, I will leave that kind of thing to the professionals, and I will stick to what I know best. they are so cute! Now I'm thinking that I also need some stickers and postcards too...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


today was all sunshiney and lovely, so I bundled up the boys, packed a picnic afternoon tea and off we went to the park. It had suddenly occurred to me that we really haven't "done" anything these school holidays, and they are almost over. There's been lots of pottering about the house, I have somehow managed to incite in fin a spring-cleaning frenzy which has resulted in a huge pen and texta cull (because textas and pens that don't work really aren't of any use to anyone) and also a lego sort-out, which is a tedious job involving the sorting of thousands of tiny pieces into tiny compartmented containers. Apparently, he has inherited his mother's craziness for sorting and re-sorting. I am the kind of person who decides to re-write my recipe book every couple of years, just because I don't like the way the old one looks. Of course, this job never gets finished, and as a result, I have (ahem) several cookbooks with a handful of recipes in each. The other problem I have is that I am never entirely happy with my own handwriting, because I simply don't do it enough these days. When I was at school, and later at tafe, I had really neat handwriting. Rhododendron is one of my favourite words to write, it always turns out lovely and neat. Maybe I should practice again. I love reading old handwriting, and I think it's a shame that people aren't encouraged to take care with their writing these days. Where was I?oh yeah, it was good to get out and do this. The sunshine felt so good on our skin. What is it with winter and sickness? We had more last week, this time involving vomit rather than snot, which resulted in us cancelling our mid-holiday trip to manly for a good friend's birthday. There's no birthday gift quite like a good stomach bug. All is well again now, and we'll go in a few weeks time, to celebrate a certain young man's eighth birthday. Eight? Crikey.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

six months

this little man is six months old today. How did that happen? He must have known today was special, because he was awake every hour last night in anticipation, and at 5am he decided he could wait no longer, it was time to get up and party. Yeah, I always like a party at 5am. Especially the kind where the dad turns on the all the lights in the house and wakes up the other party animals, and then goes off to work and leaves me with it. Hmmn.
Anyway, for some reason, I took it upon myself to go to kmart today, for a birthday gift for a fellow lego fan. That would be the kmart with the mega toy sale that started at midnight last night, which somehow had escaped my attention. Who the hell wants to go to kmart at midnight (or any time for that matter?) Apparently lots of people, because I hear there was a three hour queue for the layby. Now, I would rather pay the extra and not have to stand around in kmart for three hours. In fact, I would probably be willing to pay more than have to endure that.
Since I was there anyway, I decided I might get a little happy six month birthday gift for the jasper, since most of his toys are hand me downs from his brothers, but everything was plastic and pretty revolting, so I just got him some fancy shmancy "from six months" organic oats from coles instead. I think he was pleased with this choice, as he ate a whole bowl for afternoonsies.who needs plastic crap, when you could have a belly full of apples and oats? (I'm sure there's plenty of horses out there who would agree).