Tuesday, March 30, 2010

scenes from a fortnight

as usual, I must apologise for my extended absence. We've been busy, spending lots of time in the garden, making new friends.
enjoying yummies from jasmine greens. Gabby's grapes are the best.
wallpapering! Yes, my first attempt at wallpapering. We have this funny little "wall" which we built in our living room, which houses cd's on the other side and kind of creates a little corner for the telly, and it just needed "something" on the plain side. The other day it just came to me (I have my moments) that wallpaper would be just the thing. I bought this very nice piece from the lovley grevillea vintage (picked up a sweet piece of fabric while I was there too!). I knew nothing about wallpapering, but google's good for that. Let me just say, if this wall had been any bigger than 1m x 1m, we would not be talking about this right now. All's well that ends well, though, and I'm very happy with my new little flowery wall.
rippling. Ok, so it's still a little hot for crochet, but it is autumn, right? Loving this project.
and making lovelies for my new shop! I'm having lots of fun with these sweet little dresses, and aren't self-cover buttons just the funnest thing? If I had a little girl, this is just the sort of thing she would be wearing. (sigh).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

super boy

this boy turned seven last week. This boy who never ceases to entertain us with his random comments and funny antics. This boy who still loves to wear the clothes his mamma makes for him and who loves nothing better than to snuggle.
This boy "needed" nothing for his birthday, because he already has everything he needs right there in his sweet little head. I bought him a watch, because you know, he's a big boy now. He chooses to leave that watch on my bedside table so that I can use it. He was slightly more impressed with the keyboard grips I also bought him for his scooter (the only way to travel). Last night he declared that life is much better with keyboard grips.
At about 9pm on the eve of his birthday, it finally occurred to me that what he could really use was a new cape, so I made him one. He likes it. It seems to fly better than his old one. I had to pass judgement that the other morning as he flew past me on the little step into our back room. "Did it fly right up that time, mum?". "Um, yes".
Ah willow, don't change, stay just the way you are. Life is much better with you around.

Monday, March 8, 2010


well, it wouldn't have been much of a holiday without a bit of op shopping somewhere along the line. I managed one trip to the nearest place of thriftiness, ie. in the next town, only to find that my most beloved of all op shops, the one where I have in the past found some of my most treasured treasures, the oppiest of all op shops, was indeed devoid of all goodness. It was full of crap. Now, I'm just going to let that slide. In my mind, it was just having a bad day, and when next I return, it will once again be brimming with good stuff just waiting to be picked up by the likes of me. So across the road I hopped, to the other, lesser op shop, the one that never really has much at all, and managed to at least score a couple of scraps of fabric, in pink and red, which as it happens are in rather short supply in my shed, so that was a good outcome I guess.so off we went home then, feeling just a little dejected (can you imagine the disappointment of the children at having no vintage treasures to share the back seat with them?), and we're driving back through the streets of my little home town, when all of a sudden I spy a roadside chuck out (er, council pick up). I can spot one of those a mile off. Actually, my husband is even better than me, but he was busy negotiating a winding road with oncoming traffic at the time.
Now this chuck out consisted mainly of furniture, and if I'd have been lucky enough to have had a trailer attached to the back of the car, then some very appealing orange vinyl chairs would certainly have made the journey home with us. But, as I was limited to small items that could be squeezed in amongst children and scooters and suitcases, this rosy tin was the only thing that I managed to salvage. and, I can honestly say that I would have been happy with that, because that really is the rosiest of tins. And, to top it off, it's a "willow" tin too, which are our favourite type of tins. But the story doesn't end there. As I'm perusing this chuck out, making sure I haven't missed anything, I happen to notice the occupant of the (very gorgeous original 50"s green fibro) house looking at me through the window, and then I'm thinking "oh, great, she's going to tell me this isn't a chuck out after all and I have to put back that sweet little rosy tin", when instead, she says "um, there's more stuff inside, if you're interested". Like I wouldn't be? Who the heck wouldn't be interested in the contents of a very gorgeous little fibro shack that looks like it hasn't been changed in last 60 years?so, off I trot down the front path, and through the loveliest of front doors, with the highest of hopes, only to find that the place had already been ransacked by other opportunists who obviously had some prior knowledge of the loot that lay waiting that day, and all I managed to find were a few plates and a little kettle for the cubby.
but then, as I'm leaving, I almost trip over a big pile of linen in the middle of loungeroom. Yes, my friends, linen. And there, in that pile of linen, I spied the tiniest peek of chenille. "Um", I uttered, in a tiny little voice, "are you getting rid of that too?", for surely no-one in their right mind gets rid of chenille. "Yes", they said, "everything".
So that, dear friends, is how I came to be the proud owner of a pair of matching totally groovy chenille bedspreads that day. Oh, and a pretty rad little cushion too. And if I were a braver mamma, and perhaps one with the type of children who regularly grace the pages of my favourite magazines, the type of children who can be trusted with such things as white chenille bedpsreads, then those bedspreads would surely be covering my childrens' beds and making them look totally cool right now. But, they are not. The type of children I have are a two year old with a texta fetish, an almost seven year old who can't help but make a mess wherever he goes, and a 9.5 year old who is frequently covered in weepy scabs, so I'm afraid white chenille is out of the question right now. For now, they will be stashed in my linen cupboard, along with my original pink ballerina version I had when I was three, waiting for the day when they can come out of hiding again.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


we're back from our little trip, and feeling all the better for having gone. And just made it with the weather, it seems. We enjoyed four glorious days of sunshine and crystal-clear water...oh, how I miss that water.

some of my favourite places in the whole world. I think this is the most I've appreciated going home to this magical place, ever.
we came back with firm plans in our hearts and minds to make this a regular thing. Our official family holiday. Can't wait till next time.
for now, though, it's headfirst into autumn. The weather broke on our last night and we're now enjoying some cooler days and nights. Yesterday I relished the opportunity to get back in the kitchen. Although the fish and chips were fantastic, some homecooking was sorely needed. Carrot cake and pea and ham soup were the perfect start to the new season, and a good chance to use the christmas ham bone (don't worry, it was frozen). So, today, a recipe, since it's been a while.
My extremely very good carrot cake.
100g brown sugar, 175ml vege oil, 2 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/4 cup sour cream*, 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated, 1.5 cups plain flour, 3 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt, zest from 1 orange, 1/2 cup chopped pecans
beat sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until creamy. Stir in sour cream, add carrot. Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon & salt into large bowl, stir in oil mix. Stir in nuts and zest (reserve a little zest for icing). Pour into greased round pan, bake approx. 45 mins at 175c.
*I use either sour cream, plain yoghurt or vanilla yoghurt, whatever I happen to have in the fridge. They all work well.
orange glaze: sift 1 cup icing sugar into small bowl, stir in juice from 1 orange gradually until smooth and runny (you won't need all the juice). Stir in reserved zest, pour over cool cake.