Wednesday, 28 October 2009

A Long Weekend and a Parcel

Look what arrived in my post box yesterday! Yes it's my new potting table cloth all the way from Claire's dining room table in England. How kind of her to send it all that way just so I could have a glam looking potting table. She also included some sweets for my sweeties! Yet another kind person doing her bit to recycle and make the world a friendlier place. Thank you so much Claire! (Sorry about the photo but the sun was so very, very bright that it was difficult to get a decent photo - makes a nice change though.)

Our big girls decided they were ready to go camping in the weekend. We had a three day weekend which is always nice. What do you think of their campsite?!! I did enjoy cropping all the mess out of the photo! If only cleaning up was always that easy. And for the first time they actually stayed in the tent all night. Well done girls.

My chefs in residence took over the kitchen on Saturday. They sure looked organised. They were making two different things at the same time. It's quite tricky to know what's going on sometimes. Of course Mama got the job of mopping the floor afterwards!

No. 2 made these very successful ginger cookies from Floss' recipe. They turned out fabulously and there are still some left which is nice.

No. 1 decided to cater for her sweet tooth really and truly with marshmallow - blue of all colours! Looks yummy doesn't it?
It's very melt in the mouth stuff and I have to say, I've had a few pieces myself. I guess it's worth a bit of mess.

I have so many projects on the go at present. Most are secret ones that I've nearly finished and am ready to bag and send out. I can't wait to clear the buffet of them. They do look pretty though. Wish I could post photos of them, but that would be telling!
I had to pop back to Spotlight to pick up a few more fabrics and notions this morning. All necessary of course! The two little girls both picked a fabric for a Christmas dress for themselves. Well OK, I picked No. 4's one, the pink paisley and then No. 3 decided to get a matching one but more of a patchwork look. I really don't do matching very well, but I guess they are sort of different.

And some Christmas fabrics for Christmas sewing -more presents! I've cut some things out already so see, it was needed.

No. 2 and I are off out this evening to watch the school production of Aslan the Lion King of Narnia. No. 1 is a singer in the show. It should be fun, these things always are.
Hope you are having a good week. I seem to have missed a good part of it due to the long weekend and busyness. I have some exciting gardening photos to show you next time. Oh golly, aren't you so excited by that?!! Right off for a cup of tea, please join me if you like.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Knickers On The Line - Come Have A Nosy!

Imagine this. You have a metre of your most favourite fabric that is slowly being used for small, special, projects. Then you see it in the cheapie fabric shop for merely a few coins a metre!! Imagine how excited I was. OK, it's just red gingham you say, but I haven't be able to find real 100% cotton gingham anywhere, for... well, never. Trust me it's exciting! I only bought a metre of it too. Not wanting to over do it of course.

I have been given this challenge from dearest Lululiz. I don't normally have time for such things but I've made an exception for this one as it's got good purpose.

So I'll attempt to answer the questions and show you some shots from yesterday for a bit of colour and to be a bit mean too. Marvelous stuff, in my opinion.
OK first question is: 6 names I go by - Sarah, Sar, Mummy, Mum, Mama, Mamma Mia (It's my all time fav movie) I watched it twice last night even!
2 - Three things I am wearing right now: jeans, what else?!!, aqua tee shirt, black scuffed shoes (Father would not be impressed!)

3 - Three things I want very badly at the moment: To have all my Christmas presents made, to have parcels wrapped and ready to send, for it to be the Summer holidays so my whole family including my husband is home for five/six glorious weeks.
4 - Three things I did last night: Watched Mamma Mia two times, started a present for one of my girls for Christmas (not telling you girls which one either!) made Weet-bix for my husband's dinner as he didn't get home until after 9am (he had to go away on a plane for the day and he's a fussy eater so didn't find anything worthy of eating whilst out) He's going to kill me for telling you he's fussy!!
5 - Two things I ate yesterday: Well it's pretty obvious from some of the photos I guess. Mine is the lovely plate of bacon and egg pie with the accompanying salad dressed with homemade vinaigrette and unfortunately bought tomato relish. Gluten free pastry of course and quite divine it was too. Three servings left over, one just eaten for lunch. Still divine.

6 - Two people you last talked to on the phone: Just had a phone call from my doctor to tell me I don't have arthritis in my right elbow/finger/thumb but I should have it xrayed anyway and have some iron tablets, and before that, my husband to see how my dental hygienist apt went this morning. Gosh there are no secrets around here are they? Why was it not a friend, or the library with another overdue book?!!

7 - Two things to do tomorrow: Gosh this is such a nosy questionnaire? Bet I don't get any takers on this one! Anyway, it's a long weekend here so probably some gardening, and hopefully some more sewing with my lovely red gingham.

8 - Three favourite beverages: Give me a Fijian cocktail any day!! Thick (rice milk) milkshakes, and certainly not a favourite, but I drink it anyway, cups of tea. Need one now actually.

So if you fancy having all your personal stuff aired for all to see, grab the questionnaire and go for it! And good luck to you.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A Proud Moment...or two

Look at my babies!! Aren't they just the cutest little things out? They are my baby peas and every single seed has popped out of the soil this week. I planted about 40 or 50! Just as well we like peas. Of course they are the best fresh from the garden.

And in here I've just planted a few hundred seeds of...

Carrots and Onions. Hoping the cats won't dig this lot up like last time. I might have to keep watch.

Remember these beetroots?

I had a bit of a dig this afternoon and discovered that only one was ready, but isn't it a fine specimen? I only have four, pathetic I know! I pulled a couple out that weren't ready by a long shot so I've replanted them. Stupid idea? Oh well if they don't recover I'll just cook them up in a couple of day. I must buy some more plants this week.

And lookie, lookie! Does this not look very fine indeed? The colour is amazing and the taste - way better than the bought variety. I just boiled it up with water, vinegar, sugar and a tad of salt. I think I'll go out and buy some ready grown ones and bottle them up. It's so much fun. I'm going to place it on the table tonight and see if my dear husband notices it's special.

I finished my little Tilda slippers last night. Two pairs for my two little girls at Christmas. Two down, goodness knows how many more handcrafted gifts to go! But it's a start isn't it?
And speaking of beetroot...

here's me sporting my new Michela dress which is beetroot red. Oh what a bummer, my head got cut off! Don't you hate it when that happens? Hee he! I am smiling though. But why am I holding my daughter's homework?
I wonder how you make dye from beetroot? Don't suppose you could use the vinegar water for it could you? Anybody know?

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding

OK people, since no one seems to be interested in my pay it forward (Boo Hoo!) I thought maybe I should show you what you would receive. This is a very festive pin cushion. I found the recipe, as they call it on the Moda Bake Shop blog. It's just a little gift and that's all you will need to send on. Even something bought would be just fine. It's the thought that counts remember!

So if you are interested in participating now please let me know. Thanks ladies!

Now I've had a request for the Self-Saucing Chocolate Pudding. It's truly scrumptious. Here goes:

In a LARGE casserole dish (trust me you don't want this bubbling over into the bottom of your oven, believe me I've been there!) place these ingredients:

1 cup flour (gluten free flour fine)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup sugar
2T cocoa
1/2 cup milk (dairy free milk fine too)
2T melted butter (margarine fine)

Combine these ingredients with a wooden spoon until nice and smooth. Flatten out in dish.

In another jug place:

3/4 cup sugar
2T cocoa
1 and 3/4 cups boiling water

stir until sugar dissolved. Gently pour this liquid into the casserole. I use a spoon as I am pouring so the cake part doesn't get disturbed.

Bake in oven at 180 for about 1/2 hour or so. It looks like a cake when cooked with all the sauce bubbling up the sides. Under the pudding is all saucy and lovely. Serve with ice cream. Makes enough for six people.

Look what's growing in our garden like a weed at the moment...

Makes a nice change from real weeds. Oh and the fragrance is heavenly!! Real old fashioned smell. You just can't beat it.

I've just cut two pairs of slippers for the little girls Christmas presents. These have proved to be very popular with the youngest one. Hers have now worn through with so much wear. It will be summer when they receive them but I'm sure they will wear them anyway. Children do strange things sometimes.

Well I'm off to sew them up. Looking forward to it.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Markets, Boot Sales and Parties

How much gingham can a little girl wear? Clearly not enough!

My mother, who incidentally has just got a work computer and is now able to read my blog which she has heard so much about (everyone say a big 'Hi' to my mother!), has just had a big clean out and discovered some of my long lost treasures. These are among them. I made these egg cup covers when I was probably 12 years old. The wool ties were just awful so they have now been replaced with snazzy ribbons and braids. The first two are vintage, yes my mother's. Golly I hope people don't call my things vintage when I'm older. Talk about aging!

My little two year old and I were invited to a party on Sunday afternoon. The other three went to the movie 'Up' with Daddy. I had completely forgotten about it until Saturday when I received a text message. What on earth do you make a three year old boy at the last minute? Remember I wasn't able to buy anything.

A monster of course!! Out of a tea towel I had which was still new. The 'E' on it's bottom is the initial of the birthday boy. Good fun to make, will have to make some more I think. Another page for the '100 Uses Of A Tea Towel book'.

Well three of the girls and I attended our first ever boot sale on Saturday. My mother was there selling the family heirlooms. I took back a few doilies I thought might be useful. Maybe for adorning an apron?
We picked up this game which is a take on Scrabble...

And look at these divine broiderie anglaise laces! Metres of some of them and all for only $1.50. Bargain I say. I'm thinking nighties. For all of us!! Well maybe not Daddy.

A sweet basket that I've been looking for, for a Christmas project...

And we had yet another party on Saturday afternoon. A McDonald's afternoon tea and play. My aunt was having a birthday this time. I made her an apron just like the one I made for myself last week.
The girls looked dirty after all that playground playing and ice cream, so we whisked them home for a bath with the promise that we would have a pyjama party afterwards. How else would you get them all showered and bathed at 4.30???

Curry and rice followed by self-saucing chocolate pudding. It was served with ice cream and melting marshmellows. Yummy! All eaten at the coffee table with candles, even Mummy and Daddy wore their PJ's. It was very good fun.

Some before and after shots of my front entrance way. I managed to pick up some red Salvia's at the boot sale at only $3 for 12 plants. Plenty for this area. With a few white Petunias in the pot, I'm hoping that by Christmas it will provide a festive welcoming for our guests. Well, that's if the jolly neighbourhood cats will stop digging them up!!

And there was a little friend to help me. She made sure that everything was really wet. Really wet.

I made a dressing for my salad today. I haven't done that since I went to a cooking for singles course many years ago. Actually I remember that, because that's the recipe I used! Tasty too.
The salad I picked up at Market Day on Saturday, after the boot sale, during dance class.

My little girls have had busy mornings so we came home after lunch and made pink playdough. Very girly and pretty. I'm sure the big girls will also spend some time with it after school. One is never too old to play with dough.

It's so lovely and squishy!

They've been making cupcakes with it and having a lovely time.
Well now I guess it's time to hang out the sheets or they will never get dry. I have to make the most of any dry times we get. The rain just seems to come so suddenly and I really don't like wet washing! I'll see you all a bit later on. Have a good day!

Friday, 16 October 2009

I Love Blogland!!!

My day started with this...

Look at the lettuce leaf! It was requested. Seaweed sheets, home baked bread, cucumber, crackers and a biscuit. I love using these Tupperware lunch boxes as you don't use wrappers of any sort. Very friendly they are!

I made myself an apron, I've never worn one before. Horrors! The fabric is a lovely Amy Butler print named Nigella. Do you think it will improve my cooking? Hubby says the fabric isn't centred, but I had to cut it this way to get two out of the same fabric. I kind of see his point now! Oh well.

And what about these knee patches!! Pink felt hearts are a winner. Please feel free to have a squish of those rather delicious legs. We do!!

When one of the big girls passes a spelling level test they get a gift. Usually it's been a new book (bought on big sale!) or a $5 book token. They love it and I think it's a good gift as you can't read too many book can you? It also motivates them to do better. Anyway, as I am now on "The Challenge" I need to replace this type of gift with a homemade surprise. So I told No. 2 that I would make her a gift last night.
She received two little flower brooches this morning in her all-time favourite fabric. She loves them and was very happy and excited. They only took about half an hour to complete and were quite fun to make as well. I found the idea here.
I promised some garden shots when we had better weather. Well that day has come already! Yes there is still a sun people!! Here we have broccoli, beetroot and celery...
Some spinach and lettuce...

And the intention here is for the peas, butter beans and Sweet 100 tomato to grow up the fence and attach themselves to the mesh. Lets hope they follow that plan. We also have several capsicums as the big girls eat them like apples. Red, orange, yellow and purple. Not see purple before!

And mint like you've never seen! I would love to make mint jelly but will have to hunt out a recipe for it. I'm sure I have one somewhere.

Now I have to say that I am quite overcome with the generosity in Blogland once again. Really and truly. Last night I received three separate offers from kind people.
Pomona has offered to send me some pretty tea towels and in return I will be gifting her one of my recycled jeans bags. When on "The Challenge" one needs to have people like this looking out for one another.
Claire mentioned that she was just about to take her old oilcloth off the dining table and would I like it for my potting table? Would I ever!! It's a very pretty sage green with white polka dots. Just perfect thank you. Oh I will be fancy after all!!
And Joan has offered me a gift subscription to Country Living magazine!!! Imagine! It's something the magazine offered her as a gift for a friend. Gosh yes, I'll be your friend Joan. What a kind thought.
So you see, the world really does have many lovely people in it after all. We generally only hear about the bad bits on the news. I'm quite shocked at how all the generosity this week has had quite an impact on how I feel about the world. Lets keep it up, little things do make a big difference.
I think I've written quite enough already, but I just want to say I have signed up for a PIF (that's pay it forward) from Michela, and I am looking for three participants. I will send you a small handcrafted gift and in return you send out three gifts to other people. Sounds nice and definitely in the theme of things. I'm thinking mine will have a Christmas theme. Interested? Let me know and if I have too many people I will draw them out of a hat. Thanks!!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Another Parcel and a Bit Of Pottering

Oh my goodness me!!! Look what Michela insisted on sending me. A pair of her old worn jeans. What was she thinking you're wondering? I mean look at the state of them!!! Now really, I just got so excited about them that I cut them up before photographing them for you. How silly is that?

See here is the evidence. She wanted me to be able to make some more of my bags so she offered to send me some she no longer needed. How very generous is that? And look, that's just what I'm doing with them. Looking good!

Of course I said no at first as the cost of sending them would be way too high. But Michela is rather insisting and said she would throw in a dress she didn't wear and a magazine. Well I could hardly turn her down again now could I? And look, she sent delicious chocolates too. Excuse me? Are you suggesting that these could be empty boxes? Well you'll never know will you? He he!

And goodness what fabulous bedtime reading this is going to be. I love this mag and have just started getting them out from the local library. But to have my own copy is another story!! I can even cut pictures out of it if I want to.

And look at the dress she sent. Never worn. Claims it didn't fit her bust which she swears is similar to a surfboard! I'm thinking now that perhaps I am more like a baking tray, as it fits me like it's been made to measure.
Gosh the compliments I received yesterday. I wore it over a top and jeans and it looked gooood! I thoroughly enjoyed telling people that it was sent from a good friend in Venice. Oh the groans and disappointment in their faces. It was too good.
Aren't I so lucky? What a lovely person Michela is to send me all this and wanting nothing in return. You would be mistaken in thinking it was a swap parcel. There are truly some wonderful people lurking in blogland. Thank you so very much Michela!!!

And look at my baby with her new hair clips Jo sent her. Aren't they just the cutest?

I had been admiring a table, quite an uninspiring one to many really. It was down the road from here outside someones house. I had stopped to look at it quite a number of times I suppose. Well all my girls knew which one I wanted so you could probably say I was obsessing over it really. OK I admit it, I was totally in L.O.V.E. with it!!!

So as one does, I sent the dear husband out straight after work to collect it. Gosh I didn't think it was quite so big, whoops. He wasn't terribly impressed with having to get it and how it looked. But he know how to make a girl happy and shut one up too I guess. Oh look at my wonderful people mover. It still excites me to own one. It's truly the bestest car in the world, even if it does resemble a tip inside.

So what do you think of my new potting table? Hey, not bad for nothing is it? Picture a few nails on the fence to hand a few tools. A few decorative pots to look like it's being used. Lucky for that high fence we have as I would have looked quite suspicious with the camera hanging out the loo window! It's one of those with a security catch too.

And what about a nice plastic table cloth to cover the top. Yes this would be ideal and no not too bright at all. Unfortunately if I want something similar to this I would have to fork out some serious dollars. Now that would no impress Tif (The Challenge maker) would it? No it would not. I'm thinking I will have to look around and see if I can find something cheaper, or free even.

I've gotten quite serious in the garden over the weekend and extended my small patches considerably. I will have to wait until the jolly rain stops to show you what I've been up to.
Well now, I might just go and see what the littlest madam is up to. I can't hear water so it's probably OK. Have a good day/evening or whatever you are at.
Bye for now, Sarah xxx