Sunday, May 31, 2009

not so Sunny day

I was granted my wish - today turned out suitably gloomy.
I spent the day hanging washing INSIDE and moving furniture around.
I'm ALMOST done, but not enough to share pictures of my NEW IMPROVED crafty digs, so instead, here's Jinx helping me with the washing.



They are just so helpful!!

xo

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Football. A winter sport.

Today was the first of two AFL games that will be played at Manuka Oval in Canberra this season.



Western Bulldogs vs. Sydeny Swans.
Doggies won, in what was mostly a one-sided affair.



And whilst it got a little heated on the ground at times, out in the stands it was COLD!

I'm hoping for a similarly gloomy day tomorrow - perfect for pottering around inside, doing some tidying, watching Martha and maybe even a re-organisation of the spare room =)

xoxo

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tucked up in bed

Since picking up season five of NCIS on DVD I've developed a new evening ritual.



Whenever I get the chance I slip off to bed an hour early, cross stitch in one hand and milo with marshmallows in the other, snuggle in and watch an episode at a time.



It's just the perfect way to unwind!
(and whilst I managed to snap shots of the guys sitting nicely up there, you know it usually looks more like this - Just a blur of fur. And some wrestling.)



xo

(find out what everyone else is doing in bed here)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

remembering risotto

We're risotto-ing tonight.



When I lived as a student in the Netherlands, rice was soooo cheap, and over winter buying a kilo bag of mixed frozen vegies was the easiest way to save me from an all potato and carrot diet - and these two very student accessible ingredients lent themselves perfectly to many risottoey meals.

The crazy Italian guy living with us, Luca, had been given a crash cooking course by his Mamma in a few Italian essentials before heading out into the world to fend (cook) for himself for the first time. He told me one time that over-cooking the garlic at the very start is a mortal sin when it comes to risotto. I remember that every time I pull out the aborio =)

xo

find out what everyone else remembers here

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

mmmmore mmmmuffins

This weekend I made apricot, almond & oat muffins =)



It's a Rosemary Stanton recipe, and much more filling (in a porridgey oaty wholemealy stick-to-your-ribs kind of way) compared to some of the others I've tried.

Although they're a little heavy, they are delicious zapped for about 20 seconds in the microwave right before eating.

And they taste like breakfast =)

xo

Monday, May 25, 2009

Paris: made by hand

I first came across this beautiful book cover an interview with author Pia Jane Bijkerk was featured on the (also gorgeous!) blog, decor8.



I know one shouldn't judge a book by its cover but, despite having seen just a few other pictures, this one is right at the top of the list of things I'm lusting after =)!

xo

Pia (who grew up in Sydney) blogs here

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Pinned


Taa daa! my pincushion from yesterday's Brown Owls meet.

As you can see I went with the bottlecap pincushion - I was just too blown away by all the gorgeous ones that I saw on flickr to go with something else! =)

I was going for 'cupcake' here, and whilst this guy is pretty cute, I'm not loving the white 'icing' and button on top - I think he'd look better nakey.
It was really easy to make though, and just the perfect one afternoon project - I had it all done except for the ric-rac - within our 2 hours or so (with lots of chatting, tea and snacking in between =))

And I don't think I'll be able to resist whipping up a few more! =)

xo

Saturday, May 23, 2009

sparkly dragonflies

I haven't cupcaked in what feels like aaaaaaaaaaaaages, and when I saw these cute dragonfly cupcakes in my Cupcakes by Colour book I just couldn't resist making a batch to take along to Brown Owls this afternoon (more on that tomorrow!)

and yes, I did pick out individual bits of shreddded coconut for the antennae - as amusing as that apparently is ;o) in fact I even tried to match them by size


The cakes are chocolate peppermint - the quick-mix recipe also from the Cupcakes by Colour book - but I wasn't quite happy with how they turned out. Can anyone recommend an excellent chocolate cupcake recipe??

xo

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cushy

Tonight I'm trying to get myself organised for our next Brown Owls meeting - on Saturday - since tomorrow night we're off to the theatre, and since we all know how Saturday morning can get away from one! This month we're hand-stitching pincushions.
So I sat down to print out a pattern and instructions, and to get my fabric together, but the thing is that now I've started looking around I can't just can't decide what to make!

Check out some of my favourites from flickr:
1.Pin Cushion, 2. Red delicious pincushion, 3. Forget-Me-Not pincushion,
4. There they are again, 5. Hedgehog pincushion, 6. Bottle Cap Pincushion #171


At first I was convinced I wanted to make a pear.
Then I saw how cute the hedgie is, and found a free pattern for those gorgeous square Heather Bailey ones, with ribbons and buttons!!!
And those tiny little guys! You know, they're made from plastic bottle tops!!

Maybe I'll make myself a little kit for each, and just decide on the day =)

xo

even more pincushions here

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

mmmmmmuffins

Mornings that I've been running too late for breakfast at home we've been popping into the cafe near work to pick up a muffin (for me) and a coffee (for him).
Although their muffins aren't too bad, the chef seems to enjoy experimenting with the muffins flavours - mostly by adding banana to any tried and true flavour combo.
This makes me a bit nervous, since any labelling mix up that saw me biting into a muffin stuffed to its top with banana could really ruin my day. (Seriously. Just having written the word twice is about as much as I can take)

So, I've been doing a little muffin experimenting of my own.



Orange and poppyseed is one of my very absolute favourite muffin flavours (and, actually, one missing from our local muffiny place), so last weekend I pulled out my beloved Essential Baking Cookbook and whipped up these babies. The recipe, interestingly, uses orange marmalade in the place of juice - which might just be an excellent excuse to make a batch of marmalade. Warm marmalade is also brushed over the top of the muffins when they're just fresh out of the oven to give them a delicious sticky glaze.



These guys freeze really well, so we had a couple of days worth fresh, and froze the rest. In the past few weeks I've also made a batch of chocolate chip and a batch of blueberry, so I can just grab whatever takes my fancy from the freezer on the way out the door =)

I'll be looking to expand my repertoire, does anyone have a favourite muffin recipe to share? I'd love to try them out!

xo

Monday, May 18, 2009

back on track

The other week, when I was showing off about having some craft to, well, show off, Emma's eagle eye spied some cross stitch.

Remember this?

eeeek, I can hardly look at it!

For all the painful details go here, but suffice to say that I got the count part of the counted cross stitch just a leeeetle bit wrong - and that engine is sitting about 15 stitches higher that he should be.

Take a look at him now!

the colours are better in the first shot


That little engine has been completely unpicked and restitched!
And then some!
And all to perfection, even if I do say so myself ;o)

I took this pic a little while ago, and I'm even further along now - and can't wait to see it all finished up!

xo

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Autumny goodness

By mid-May in Canberra that feeling starts to creep up on you that there won't be too many more "outside friendly" weekends for the season, so today was all about taking advantage of the gorgeous autumny weather - it was still and sunshiney and (relatively) warm.

The kitties love spending time in the garden room on the weekends, and this morning, with the sun streaming in, it was warmer than inside the house - perfect for Sunday breakfasting.



Then it was gardeny time. I put in some bulbs - dutch irises and ranunculus (and,wow, don't those bulbs look weird? Also, a quick google now reveals I put mine all in upside down. Whoops) - fed my strawberries, cauliflower and broccoli, and gave my Olive some attention.

ooh I grew an olive on my tree! (yes, just one)


I love Canberra's autumn colours, and we have some impressive ones right here in our garden at the moment:



The perfect way to spend a Sunday, don't you think?

xo

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I don't think you're ready for this jelly

After doing an exceptional (even if I do say so myself) job of cleaning the bathroom this afternoon a treat was in order, and soft cheese with my favourite crackers and some homemade jelly was just the thing.

I scored the gorgeous red jelly in a swap with a friend - a jar of my chilli jelly (which is there on the right) for some of her quince jelly.
yummmmmm =)

Thanks for all the boot love last week - I still can't believe that after spending so much time searching high and low all over the internets for boots, I found the perfect pair right here in Canberra!!
I've been getting lots of wear out of them (super comfy) and am loving playing with the patterned tights too =)

xo

Thursday, May 07, 2009

too big for your boots?

I could not tell you how many hours I have spent over the past 10 years looking for a pair of boots that would zip up over my, erm, shapely calves.

I was right about to order some from the UK when I came across a shot of the gorgeous Lillipilli in her ace red boots.
Knowing she was in Melbourne, I figured at least where ever she got her boots from shipped to Australia.
I followed the link to discover that not only is Boots for Broads based in Australia, they are right here in Canberra!

I had my measurements taken the very next day, and just a few weeks later, TAADAA!


My very own, custom made to measure, lovely coomfy boots, which zipped ALL THE WAY UP on the very first try!

If you're in Canberra, the girls are at the Old Bus Depot Markets on the first Sunday of each month - go see them and they'll take your measurements for you!
Otherwise, pop over to the website and follow their instructions to order your very own boots =) Both Elizabeth and Janice are lovely to deal with - so if you have any problems/questions don't be scared to email them =)

So now my only boot-lema is should I go for flats or a heel for the brown pair I'm dying to order?

xo

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

snap? happy!

As I mentioned the other day, my replacement camera arrived last week =)
I went with a Canon PowerShot.

I haven't had a chance to use the (20x!!) zoom yet, but have had a play with the macro and super macro settings.

Remember my blurry red and white blob mushroom brooch?



Take another look:



Still not perfect (this was taken in artificial light, and I am still having some trouble with the extra shadow that the camera itself throws) - but much better, don't you think?

xo

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Hello there!

Hola kukas!!!

I'd say I've been super busy here but that isn't quite exactly true.
It's really more the about the computer situation - we have it set up in the study which has been a leeetle bit on the coldish side, especially evenings after work!Plus, sharing is hard! And when I do sit down here there is often downloading of various podcasts going on, which makes everything a bit slow... patience might be a virtue, but not necessarily one of mine! =)

My birthday was last weekend, and it looked a bit like this (very cool, non?), and like this:



and also this:



The cupcake is from the lovely Cherry Seed, right here in Canberra, and was DELISH!
They bake just a few yummy flavours at a time, right there on site! We shared chocolate with coconut buttercream, chocolate with chocolate buttercream, vanilla with chocolate buttercream and vanilla with vanilla buttercream (pictured there), and each flavour was as gorgeous as the next!

My brand NEW camera arrived this week!! I'll tell you more about it soon, but in the meantime I'll just say you can expect to see more of these guys =)











I have some crafty stuff to tell you about soon too!
See:










xo