Tuesday, March 31, 2009

26 crafty reasons my day turned out ok

This gorgeous book arrived today, and it is every bit as lovely as I imagined it would be.

Meet me at Mike's book
Originally uploaded by Crafty Dogma

I can't wait to make a bunch of the projects, and to see what everyone else makes too!


Monday, March 30, 2009

Little things

There's no denying that the Boy and I are creature's of habit, and this weekend saw us happily settled back into one of our most very favourite - the Footy Season Saturday morning.

Its the little things that make our Saturdays so special - like waffles, and drinking our coffee from footy mugs, specially reserved for use only during the season.

I had a new one debut this week.
I've been waiting months to see if my coffee would taste sweeter from a premiership cup...

It does, you know. ;o)


(find out about more little things that matter, here)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

something new, something blue

I have another new toy in the sidebar there - a wist (WishlIST) gadget.

I often come across cool things online, only to go back and not be able to find them again - this should help me keep track of pretty things I dream of owning, or just love.

Like these Stelton vacuum jugs, which I see from time to time in magazines then forget where they come from.

Not a lot else going on here this weekend - well, nothing interesting ;o)
Lots of sport watching, and also some moving around of furniture - trying to get on top of things before the Easter long-weekend, when we're off to Melbourne.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

I've got my scarf, I've got my old coat

It's that special time of year again - the first footy game of season 09 bounced off tonight.

The game was super-over-hyped, and in that sense the way it played out was a bit of a disappointment (particularly for Tiger fans - or Ben Cousins fans - I'd say)

But chez Kuka we're just glad to have our favourite boys back on the telly.
And this year we're armed with a (not-so secret) weapon to help us get the maximum footy enjoyment out of the next 6 or so months =)


Monday, March 23, 2009


I just realised that I never shared my finished chili jelly - from last weekend.
Isn't it pretty there on the window sill, in the morning autumn light?

I have to say, the simmering and draining and overnight dripping, which I thought would be just too fussy, was the least difficult part.
What was really tricky, and demanded a LOT of patience, was the boiling off with the sugar - trying to get my jelly to gel.
I can't even count the number of time I plonked a spoonful of the bubbling liquid onto a saucer and into the freezer then examined it for any reason to expect that it was at setting point.

On seeing these the next morning I figured I should have kept it on the boil a little longer - it seemed to move a lot like liquid when I tilted the jar - but when I dug a spoon in it came out super gel-like =)

The other trickiest part was deciding how much chilli to use - the recipe says "about 15" with no indication at all as to what sort of chillies were used. Similarly, other recipes give a weight measurement, but without knowing what sort of chillies it isn't super helpful.
This tasted really quite spicy as a 'juice', but the addition of sugar and boiling down mellowed it out lots - I'd add more chilli next time.

I'd also halve the amount I made - that might make it easier for trial and error working out the flavours.

Let me know if you try it out! =)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

stitchy owls

We had a wonderful embroidery tea party with the Brown Owls today!
Here's my stitchy work in progress:

Wow! look at all those straight little backstitches!! hehe

Everyone brought along a plate of tea party goodies - of course I used this as an excuse to try my hand at some chocolate macarons:

mmmm they were delish - although perhaps you can see I had a little trouble with the filling. It's a chocolate ganache, but I just didn't give it enough time to set before I used it. The recipe is a definite winner though! I think I'll give them another shot later in the week - maybe with a passionfruit filling mmmmm


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

green bags are good for the environment

and fun for kitties!

(the guys have a new hobby! green bags!!)


Monday, March 16, 2009

peppermintly macaroned

As promised, my latest lovelies (which makes it sound like I've baked hundreds of batches - these are really only my second =))

Peppermint macarons with chocolate buttercream

I think these are pretty good - although I have actually never tasted macarons except for the ones I've baked myself!
So, all I know is that they should have those lovely lacey feet, a thin crispy shell and chewy insides - and these guys are three from three there. =)

I used this recipe here for the macaron shells, except I used peppermint essence in place of the lemon juice, and the chocolate buttercream recipe at the bottom of this page for the filling (well, it's based on that one =))

I think next I'll take on chocolate =)


Sunday, March 15, 2009

the weekend

We've had a gorgeous weekend here.

An incredibly quiet, normal, hanging about the house, doing the washing and watching re-runs of the Beverly Hillbillies and Law & Order kind of weekend. Bliss

It has been a very productive weekend in the kitchen which was also lovely - I find fussing about in the kitchen for an afternoon very relaxing.

The cupcakes there I made yesterday to take along to afternoon tea with a friend, and thought they looked so cute and cheerful stacked up like this that I just had to snap a shot.

Today I made this hearty chicken and vegetable soup - which was dinner tonight, lunch tomorrow and the rest will do us for another dinner sometime this week. It was really delicious and REALLY very hearty! I think it will be a favourite as we move into cooler weather.

I've also started a chilli apple jelly - there's one they sell at Food Lovers which we absolutely adore on cheese and cracker and I've been keen to give it a try myself for ages. I've boiled it all up and have the pulp straining overnight - tomorrow I'll add the sugar and bottle it =) I'm excited to see how it turns out.

And finally I've been baking more macarons.
Green pepperminty ones with chocolatey buttercream filling - I'll shoot and share tomorrow =)


Saturday, March 14, 2009


I was all excited and ready to get to stitching tonight on a couple of patterns I bought from the Floss Box yesterday, but look! - I'm missing the screw from my embroidery hoop =( bum

Since I don't have anything craft progressy to share, I thought I'd join in with this very unfortunate little meme I've seen around a few places lately.
You just google “unfortunately, yourname” and see what comes up! Here are my five favourites:

Unfortunately Kuka said the angle that the tanker was position in made it impossible to pump the 9200 gallons of propane out

unfortunately Bronwyn spent the first 5-6 hours running up and down the stairs (we were on the top floor) to get the bathroom on time

unfortunately Bronwyn came down with a fever too

Unfortunately Bronwyn missed out by 7 cms

Unfortunately, Bronwyn is still in the "can I really approach that whip if it's laying on the ground?" stage


Friday, March 13, 2009

oh! Bento!

When I was at school lunch was usually a vegemite sandwich. Sometimes we'd mix it up a bit with peanut butter or, if we were super lucky a lunch order from the canteen!

Can you imagine what it must be like to open your lunch box to one of these fancy lunches??

1. first Rilakkuma bento !, 2. Bento 01/27/09, 3. Bento #30: Bear obento, 4. Elephant pancakes!, 5. Stuffed animals bento, 6. Bento #10, 7. Bento 02/26/09, 8. Pink bunny bento, 9. Zebra Onigiri Bento, 10. Bento 2/25/09, 11. 2/7 Bento #63, 12. Goldfish bento, 13. Happy Chinese New Year 4707, 14. Blushing Bear Bento, 15. Noah's Bento, 16. Breakfast Bento 2

These japanese inspired bentos are not only lots of fun - they're a real art form!! You can see heaps more - for kids and adults - at flickr =)
(some are really amaing - look at these and these!)


see what other peeps have to say about school lunches here

Thursday, March 12, 2009

rock band...

Still blurred...
Originally uploaded by brittneyindie
I haven't memed for quite some time - so when I saw Potty Mouth Mama was starting her own rock band a week or so ago I just couldn't resist!!

So, introducing my brand new rocking band...
List of Asteroids!!

That's the cover of our very first album -
"The second most boring thing is honesty"
- tres rock, non?

Wanna start your own rock band??

Here are the rules. Rules? This is rock - there are no rules!!! ;o)

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”or click this. The FIRST random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"or click this. The last FOUR or FIVE words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”or click this. THIRD picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Like a bird

Studio Mela: "So Very Happy"

Things that are making me happy today...

  • happening across the entire Arrested Development for a VERY BARGAIN PRICE at Fishpond today (there are 2 copies headed our way)

  • plotting a project for our Brown Owls Very Stitchy Tea-Party next weekend (and planning a delicious bakey plate to take along)

  • working with nice people who are happy to deliver my favourite lunch right to my desk when I'm too busy to go out myself

  • watching the actual for real BBC Ready Steady Cook when I get home

  • dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets with dinner (well, they didn't have any potato smiles at the supermarket)

  • watching ice-hockey with the Boy, cheering like crazy for opposite teams, even though we have mostly no idea what's going on (we're training for the Winter Olympics)

  • kittens sleeping on my lap szr54a5555555555 (and walking across my laptop bhhbhb)

  • a cup of tea and my stitching

There are always lots of things at Etsy that make me happy too! Like the super cute "So Very Happy" print up there from Studio Mela. So, I've added a little widgie to my sidebar there so that you can see my latest Etsy favourites. Maybe they'll make you happy as well!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

still here, still baking

Yup, we're still here - and there has been some baking happening.

Actually, it seems I may have a new bakey 'thing'

(ok, obsession if you must...)

But they're so cute and colourful - who could resist??

These guys are by no means perfect (see, they aren't supposed to have nipples!), but were my first shot at what has been aptly described as a most "Persnickety Cookie", so I was quite pleased with them =)

Expect to see more in the not too distant future ;o)


Sunday, March 01, 2009

Show time!

I had such a lovely afternoon at the show today!!!

We saw lots of crafty goodies - and a number of prize ribbons won by some of my very clever friends!

After ooohing and aaahing over gorgeous knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, beading and more in the craft pavilion, we moved on to the food.
I love the baking at the show!
We used to enter - pikelets and chocolate chip cookies, decorated Marie biscuits, chocolate crackles and cinnamon tea cakes - and it was so nice to have a look at those things today =)

It was also a lot of fun to check out the vegies - seeing all that home grown produce has me all inspired to work harder with my vegies for next season.

After the craft and the baking next stop was the animals!
We sat and watched the pony clubbers for a while (more memories!)

And arrived at the main pavilion just in time for the Grand Parade!

Champion cattle

Champion kiddies

We played the laughing clowns and then bought show bags - mmm Bertie Beetle!

And, whilst we went on 'all the rides' figuratively speaking, we certainly did not go on ALL the RIDES! - some of those rides are completely nuts!

Hope you had a lovely fun weekend too - maybe even with ponies!