Saturday, April 30, 2011

Today is..


Admiring pretty new blooms in the garden.


Looking forward to picking our very first lemon. 22 isn't bad for a first fruiting!


Working on the machine and with a needle for a certain swap.


Love my bias binding maker!

I'm also quite excited that we're traipsing out to the country on Monday to view some properties. The weather is fabulous here today - I hope the sun is shining wherever you are.

God bless and keep smiling!



Friday, April 29, 2011

Blood Money

 Order Blood Money Film

I watched this documentary with my husband lastnight. Wow! It was excellent. Narrated by Martin Luther King's niece, Dr. Alveda King, it takes you through the many historical and present day facets of the business of abortion. Although it is an American production it is totally relevant to any country that allows abortion.

There is so much information in this documentary but I found particularly the testimonies of a former abortion clinic owner and a former abortionist just so shocking and saddening. It also covers the very interesting facts about the specific targeting of African Americans. I wish everyone could see this movie. It's available on the Blood Money website and in Australia from various sources. 


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rip or snip?

Hi all! I'm back from a wonderful Easter with a little gripe. Now, perhaps I'm a little bit precious when it comes to fabric but considering I don't buy beautiful new fabric all that often maybe I'm justified.
I hate it when the sales assistant rips the fabric instead of cutting! There, I've said it - I positively cringe when I see my newly purchased fabric being torn.


Grrrr!

How messy is that?!
 
Most of my internet purchases have arrived perfectly cut, folded, pressed and packaged - even tied with ribbon sometimes - love it!

What do you think? Does ripping stretch or otherwise damage the fabric in anyway? Have you ever asked a sales person not to rip?

BTW, these fabrics are part of my design for Vic's cushion swap - more details later!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Happy Easter! + a lot of baking and a little crafting

I've been busy preparing for Easter this week, so don't have a lot to show for myself. The kitchen has been constantly occupied, preparing tasty treats for Easter Sunday as well as our regular meals.


     These buns are awaiting their piped crosses.




And because I've been in the kitchen so much my craft time has been very limited, so I've been making smallish embellishments that will come in handy sometime.


I'm thinking brooches, hair ties, quilt attachments?

The children and I are going to try this tutorial for dyed eggs this year - they look great!

I'll be having a little blog break over Easter so I hope you all have a joyous and peaceful Easter. See you soon and God bless you all.




Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Teapot


I like teapots. I like them for their aesthetic and practical applications. When my mother died I received a small teapot of hers which set me on the path of freshly brewed tea. Unfortunately that teapot that gave me many years of piping hot cuppas was accidentally broken recently and I've been on the search for a replacement ever since.


All images courtesy of wikimedia commons

There are 2 problems : price and function. Either they are too pricey or they leak, clog, or do something else that is really annoying.

Maojian.jpg

                                  
If you have any teapot recommendations please do enlighten me, I can't take the teabags much longer!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

AQC wishlist

Quilting: From Little Things...



Sarah Fielke's new book










You Sew Girl   Nikki's new book



Cretacolor AquaStic Water Soluble Oil Pastels - 10 pc





I was really taken with the work that Kim Bradley does with Cretacolor pastels - just beautiful. The pastels, however, are very expensive!










I had set myself a budget but ended up spending very little as the miser in me tends to kick in and disallow frivolous or impulsive purchases. Some of the above may be attainable sometime. I did buy a little purse kit from Nikki's stall, a few more buttons to add to the collection I'm saving for my girl's treasure boxes and a little bit of fabric to make the purse. So now I have money left over to buy some nice batting for the Maisy quilt, which is coming along quite nicely thank you!

Happy and holy Palm Sunday to you all, I'm looking forward to a great Holy week.



In support of Nikki M



Disappointing isn't it? People steal things all the time but this is pretty personal. This bag was designed and handmade by a talented artist. It has sentimental value. Perhaps the person who took it will have a change of heart and pop it in the post back to it's owner? I hope so.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Winner


Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
14
Timestamp: 2011-04-16 10:46:16 UTC



Blogger m.e (Cathie) said...

definitely very nice of you! love the "bloggy gift karma"
Congrats to you Cathie, I'll be in touch!

Today is a good day!

Sometimes it can feel that the happy days are few and far between but when they happen it's a wonderful thing!

The sun doth shine.

The tired grouchiness of a certain 5 year old that made yesterday so awful is gone and has been replaced with smiles and good cheer. Pheeeeewwww!

The little one is having a long sleep to respite from her teething troubles.

Before husband left for work we teamed up so that most of the housework is done and I can have some relaxation ie. stitching time this afternoon. Hooray for good, selfless men!


Something about sticking my hands into a beautiful piece of soft and sticky dough makes me happy.


I've baked fruit bread and pikelets for the Lord's Day and roasted a fresh batch of coffee beans.


I'm looking forward to the Quilt Convention tomorrow. I've saved my pennies and set myself a budget. It's so long since I bought some nice new fabric, so that's a priority!

I hope you're having a good day too.

I'll be back later to draw the giveaway, good luck!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

My history with cinnamon scrolls is not very inspiring - often trying and constantly failing. Always too dry! For the sake of the children I went on an extensive search for a recipe that would produce moist scrolls. And found it!


Now, these scrolls are super unhealthy with a large butter content, but considering I will make them as a treat for the children (and the occasional nibble for myself!) I think it's acceptable. The beauty of this recipe is the caramel sauce the dough sits in to bake. When they're done baking you flip the scroll.....


and it looks like this! These are best eaten warm from the oven or re - warm them later.
I know you want to try these for yourself, so the recipe is here. Enjoy!

Quilts and sugar paste


Not much doing here creatively. The Maisy quilt saga continues with me making use of my seam ripper and pulling all my work to pieces because I didn't like the "busy-ness" of my fabric choices. Now I'm playing safe with white sashing. Much better.


I'm focusing on indulging in another of my passions - baking and cake decorating. Perfect weather now that it's cooler and I like having the oven on.

I'm experimenting with sugar paste and am quite taken with Mich Turner's work, so lets see what I can do with Easter just around the corner.

Don't forget to enter the "Pay it forward giveaway" which ends Saturday.

Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pay it forward giveaway


I have been very blessed as a blogger to receive gifts and giveaways from others but I don't always end up using everything and thought it a good time to "pay it forward". So, for this giveaway I have some books:
1. Toys to sew
2. Knitty Gritty Knits
3. Teddy Bear Redwork

and some patterns:
1. Goodies and Baddies - Jodie Carleton
2. Summer Fling - Make it Perfect
3. Sleep Well - Favorite Things

Just leave a comment to enter. Sorry - Australian residents only for this one!
I'll draw on Saturday evening.
Good luck!




Monday, April 11, 2011

Saint Gemma Galgani

Today is the feast day of Saint Gemma Galgani. As one of our girls is named after her we had a little tea party to celebrate.


Not suprisingly, her favourite colour is pink! In addition to the pink cupcakes we had strawberry milkshakes.


I made little sugar frosted flowers out of fresh geraniums and discovered that a geranium in the bud stage looks marvellously like a miniature rose bud!

Hope you're having a great day whatever you're doing. God bless.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

Be kind always

One of my mother's favourite sayings (I'm sure we're all familiar with this one) was "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all". I couldn't agree more. It doesn't take much effort to keep your mouth closed rather than ruining someone's day (and may be even more).

I'm writing this in support of Tracy. Tracy has a wonderfully large family and is a talented sewer, quilter, knitter and spinner to name a few things. She spends a lot of time sharing her own patterns and tutorials and if you visit her blog you can see what I mean, she is very generous.

Lately some bloggers have left unkind and negative comments on Tracy's blog, specifically about her patterns and fabric choices. Now, one of the great wonders of God is that He created us all different with individual tastes. He didn't give us these differences in order to judge one another but in order to appreciate one another!

What I'm asking today is that we all be a little kinder. We don't have to be fake or over the top, just kind.
Happiness can be spread so easily, but so can hate.

Blessings and happy faces to you all!

Friday, April 8, 2011

What are you going to do when you grow up?



                                                                                                Image source

This question has been playing on my mind a little lately. You see, I'll be 35 this year and still haven't decided on the right "thing" for me. When I say "thing" I'm referring to some sort of a career or occupation other than being a wife and mother.

When I was little I wanted to be a hairdresser (feel free to roll your eyes) but the novelty of that idea didn't last. When I completed high school I was strongly encouraged (pushed) to go to university. Unfortunately my scores were not high enough to go into my 2 choices of either Psychology or Nursing so I ended up in a course I loathed and subsequently quit. I've quit a lot of things since then and find it very difficult to stay with one thing.

I realise that as my children grow older I need to be able to have some sort of an income. And I do relish the idea of one day having a bit of extra money. The thought of working in the types of jobs I did pre - babies does not thrill me in the slightest. I no longer want to work just for money - I want the fulfillment that comes from using your skills and talents to support yourself. I want to be excellent rather than mediocre.

So here's a bit of fun.

When I grow up I'm going to live in the country in a grand and beautiful old home. I will offer classes from my home in various arts including embroidery, cake decorating, bread and patisseries. My husband will not need to work as we have a collection of sought after farm animals and are proficient in their husbandry. Our children are all happy and superbly educated (ahem!) Sounds good hey?

So how about you? Have you decided what you want to be when you grow up yet?




Thursday, April 7, 2011

Roasted Pumpkin Soup


We have a beautiful harvest of various types of pumpkins this year so I've been making soup. Here is my recipe that has evolved over years of soup making! It is simple and makes a big batch.

2.8 kg pumpkin
3 potatoes (medium)
1 leek
2 onions
garlic cloves to taste (as a guide use 4ish)
2 smoked bacon bones
5 - 8 cups chicken stock

Weigh out about 1.8 kg of the pumpkin and chop into large pieces (leave skin on). Put into a roasting dish and into the oven at 180 degrees (C) for approximately 40 minutes, turning once.

Meanwhile, chop your onions and fry in a stock pot in a little olive oil and butter. Add chopped leek and garlic and stir until sweating. Throw in the chopped and peeled potato and raw, peeled pumpkin. Now remove the skin from your roasted pieces and put them in the pot too.

Add the bacon bones, stock and season to your preference with salt and pepper. The stock should be about level with the vegetables for a nice thick soup.

Allow to simmer until vegetables are very soft. Turn off and leave until the soup is warm but not boiling hot! Puree in a food processor. Serve with a dob of cream and extra pepper if you wish.




Did I mention it's perfect with homemade bread hot from the oven?

My Creative Space


Our pumpkin harvest for this year. Some seeds were from the Lost Seed, some were saved from last year and others were given to us by other gardeners, so we have a good variety. The aroma of pumpkin soup is wafting through the house as we speak. 


Here are the linen/cotton napkins I mentioned in a previous post for the purposes of hand printing experimentation. 


A little messy, but not too bad!


This piece of robinia took ages to cut out as a stencil and I don't think the results were worth it. Maybe I just need more cutting practice.

Head over to Kirsty's for more Creative Spaces.



Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hand printing


I've been wanting to try screen printing for an awfully long time but haven't due to the cost of setting up. Last year I was really inspired after reading Lena Corwin's Printing by Hand and decided to give freezer paper a try. I didn't get far. I think my designs were to intricate for a beginner and my head wasn't in the right place.


Enter the new year and my new sense of trying to fulfill my creative inspirations! I've been very busy drawing designs, cutting (love you Xacto knife!) and experimenting with printing. I've been collecting a lot of folliage from the garden and various trees to take impressions from.


I bought some linen and will see what I can come up with!


There is something so special about hand printed fabric, don't you think?


And I completed my first ever cross stitch! It has now joined the pile of other stitcheries that live in hope of being framed one day.

Happy, sunshiney, creative day to you all!



Saturday, April 2, 2011

Few or many?



I'm so grateful for my children, all 4 of them. I would be grateful for more too - there is simply nothing more important, challenging, joyful and priveleged as raising children.

You know there's a but coming. Sometimes when I see what other parents of smaller families are able to provide for their children it leaves me wondering. Would my children be happier with their own playroom? Their own bedrooms? Brand new clothes instead of second hand or op shopped? Fancier foods? The list could go on.

But then I remember what my children have taught me about life and about them. That they need love. Lots of it. Attention, lots of that too. Positive interaction. And God takes care of the rest, so that we always have what we need but not always what we want.

The fact that the children are constantly asking me when their next sibling might appear and that they are all each other's best friends confirms that a large family is a good thing for us and that our children do not want for anything.

Thanks be to God.