I have a request.
Would you all stop being so darned crafty and posting about it on your blogs? I am feeling remarkably inadequate.
Of course it's my own fault for being such a slacker, but that's not the point!
I have worked out what my problem is. I am an ideas man (girl). I have an incredible imagination, and I have ideas flowing all the time - I just can't keep up with them.
Right now, I have a thing floating around in my head that involves a vintage teacup, silk flowers, strings of pearls, along with buttons and Plaster of Paris. I also have quilt designs in there, cushions, folders, jewellery designs, 101 business ideas, collages, bags and purses, teatowels, clothes etc, etc.
I either need a partner, or I need to be a designer rather than a maker. (I do have this grand plan of being Australia's answer to Cath Kidston and Rachel Ashwell!)
Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of one of the quilt tops I have been working on - I like it a lot and don't think I want to sell it! It needs to be finished (in burgundy backing and trim), but I think it looks good in my bedroom :) The other one is nearly done, but I'm going out for lunch today, so it will be Monday before I get back to it.
I also want to say a huge public thank you to the gorgeous Nicole for her exquisite painting she sent me. I have it in my bedroom where it brings a smile to my face every time I look at it. Thank you Nicole, I am so happy to count you as a friend :)
Hi all.I am still around and in one piece :) Just been a little busy...The girls survived their carnival quite well, but no trophies from this one. Miss Gabbie has a strained knee, so is resting it for a week on the advice of her physiotherapist. The Princess came out physically unscathed, but it was a shock to her system. This is her first year at representative level, and I have to say she did a beautiful job at goal shooter all day. They both played 7 games each, and I spent all day running between them! I came away very sunburnt...Unfortunately, there is a little girl in the Princess' team who is an absolute monster - I have never seen a 12 year old with an attitude like that. She stamps her feet, swears and all sorts of revolting behaviour - on court too! The Princess was ready to pull out of the team after witnessing it, but I (and many others) have spoken to the appropriate people, and it will get sorted out - if she doesn't stop, she's off the team. Our association prides itself on the behaviour of the girls when they are away at carnivals, and this child is truly awful, both on and off the court.So the season is in full swing again, and my girls between them are at training 3 nights a week, as well as playing Saturdays and carnivals. The Princess is also umpiring this year. I am coaching Miss Gabbie's Saturday team, and they are a great bunch of girls with a lot of heart. They won their game with only 5 players on court on the weekend, against a team of 9. I am very proud of them!As well as playing one day a week myself, I have been sewing a couple of quilts - unfinished projects from last year. I'm looking forward to getting them finished finally, but I think it will be another few days yet :)You will find me very quiet over the winter, as netball is about the only thing I have going on. It takes up an awful lot of my time, and already I'm looking forward to Summer so I can go to garage sales and markets again! LOLOh and no photos as I was halfway there when I realised I had forgotten the camera (my memory is not so good at 5am).
What a delightful week, thanks to the mail lady and some lovely, thoughtful friends :)
My first surprise was my Seasonal Care package from Thea - she thoroughly spoiled me! Lots of goodies, including the Simple Abundance Discovery Journal, some lip balm, a lavender drawer sachet (which is exactly what I use - same brand and all!), a scented melt for my burner (divine), some vintage doilies - lots and lots of goodies. Thank you so very much Thea, it was all scrumptious, and you got my taste perfectly :)
Then this morning the mail lady tooted at me and dropped a parcel at my letterbox again... The gorgeous Kali sent me a tea-for-one set from Laura Ashley!! It's pink with polkadots and roses - my favourite :) You're too sweet Kali, many, many thanks to you!So it went from being a frustrating, kind of horrible week, to just lovely! My mood has definitely lifted, despite my sewing machine still not doing what I want.Oh, and tomorrow, I am posting off Amy's Care package - a bit later than I anticipated, but hopefully it will reach NZ by the end of next week :) I won't be around much over the weekend - full of netball both days, so I hope you all have a good one, with lots of happy blessings for you...
This place is in danger of becoming a cooking and recipe blog! Not this week, if I can help it :)
So today I found out that I am "technologically challenged". I downloaded some gorgeous embroidery designs from CD onto the computer (designs like these), and then tried to send them to my sewing machine (it connects to the PC, but it doesn't cook dinner!). I managed to get half of them over there then got some error message saying something about something not being registered...afraid I have noooo idea what that means! Anyone out there ever do anything like this? And before you ask, yes I did read the manual! It didn't have much to say at all. I shall read everything I can tomorrow, because I really want to embroider some handtowels!Apart from some choice phrases filling the air in my home, nothing much else happened today :)The girls have their first Representative netball carnival of the season on Sunday - that means an early morning wake-up at 5am and not home until about 6pm. My weekend sleep-ins are officially over :( Anyway, hopefully they will both do well, and I will post some photos for you on Monday - trust me, by July you will be sick of hearing about and seeing netball carnivals, and I will be sick of talking about them!Hope you are all having a lovely week, being creative and busy...
This is especially for Jellyhead who asked for another sweet treat!I was going to post a recipe for the loveliest, foolproof banana cake, but as the price of bananas is about to go throught the roof, thanks to Cyclone Larry, I changed my mind. Here instead, is a recipe for Ginger Crunch. Now I'm not a particularly big fan of ginger myself, but this really is a delicious treat to have with yur mid-morning coffee or tea! No picture as I'm too lazy to actually make it right now :)Ginger Crunch125g (4oz) butter125g (4oz) sugar200g (7oz)flour1 teaspoon ground ginger1 teaspoon baking powderCream butter and sugar, add sifted dry ingredients. Knead well and press in to a shallow, greased tin. Bake 20 - 25 minutes at 190 degrees celcius. Meanwhile, melt together in a saucepan:4 tablespoons butter1/2 cup icing sugar1 tablespoon golden syrup2 teaspoons ground gingerPour over cake while cake is still hot, and cut into squares before it gets cold.
This was something I threw together with stuff I had in the fridge and it turned out rather yum. Made from turkey mince and sausage meat, mixed together with a couple of generous squirts of barbecue sauce and a big fat dollop of sour cream, along with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Aaah, but that's not all. After slopping half of it into the tin, I raided the fridge for stuff to stuff it with. I ended up with roasted capsicum, sundried tomatoes and whole-grain mustard.
With the rest of the meat mixture on top, with a handful of grated cheese, and breadcrumbs (and more cayenne), and off it went into the oven.
4 out of 5 rated it very good :) So that makes it a 4* recipe in this household - not quite famous, but pretty close...
In an effort to uncover a little more of my Authentic Self, I tried an exercise last night. Just before bed, when I was pleasantly drowsy. It's a list of words I like - either the sound of the word or the associations I have with it. I like it so much I am going to do a scrapbooking / journalling thing with it. So here, just for you, are my favourite words...Cozy Comforting Homemade Handmade Pretty Beautiful Serene Puttery Peaceful Wonder Organic Caring Loving Homely Dreamy Floaty Sweet Scented Encircle Homegrown Fresh Dainty Floral English Cottage Rose Daphne Rain Gerbera Snuggly Stars Moon Unicorn Lush French Kitchen Vintage Fabric Bohemian Lavender Charming Toile Sweet-Pea Sparkles Whitewashed Flutter Swirly Airy Simplicity Spirit Universe Gratitude Polkadots Calm Fey Listen Breathe Be Paris Castle Soft Silk Enchanted Romantic Create Imagination Whisper Free Tiptoe Flowing Sleepy Refresh Open Books Senses Crystals Pastel Energise Lightly Orange-blossom Magic Delicate Intimate Candlelight Clean Bathe Delight Gentle Inspiration Angels Childlike Touch Daydream Centred Prayer Faith Hope Smile Contented Home Sacred Aware Believe Celtic Nature Immerse Play Mama Gaia Complete Nurturing Lemon Country Living Still Thought Blue Plenty Abundance Diffused Gather Family Ancestry Thankful Bless Forgiveness Accept Pearl Heritage Lotus Pure
Well today I have spent a bit of time on super decluttering my sewing room, or more accurately my fabric stash.
I know that I said I cleared out a lot with the fabric swap thingy, and I did. But not enough...
So I listed lots of fabric in my eBay store - if you want to know how much fabric one addict has, go and take a look :) To be honest, that is not the half of it, so I'll be doing more come Monday.
And in a couple of weeks, I'll have some extra money - and I'll try really, really hard not to spend it on more fabrics *sheepish grin*
But never say never...
Is it better to learn how to do something you aren't that interested in (if you need it to be done), or do you think we should focus on our strengths and find help with the things we're not so good at?Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffins2 1/4 cups self raising flour, sifted1/2 cup caster sugar100g butter, melted and cooled2/3 cup milk2 eggs, lightly beaten1 teaspoon vanilla essence150g fresh or frozen blueberries (I always use fresh)60g cream cheese, cut into cubes (I use the spreadable stuff and dollops of it!)1 1/2 tablespoons blueberry jamPreheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prepare a 12 hole muffin pan.Combine flour and sugar in a bowl and make a well in the centre.Whisk butter milk, eggs and vanilla together. Pour into well. Add blueberries and mix until just combined.Half fill muffin holes with mix. Put a blob (or cube) of cream cheese and 1/2 a teaspoon of jam on each muffin. Cover with mix.Bake for 15 - 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Turn out onto your prettiest plate, make a pot of Earl Grey tea and enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea!
There hasn't been a lot going on here the last few days - just me doing domestic stuff.
Cooking, sewing, gardening etc.
I got into the vege patch this afternoon - 4 wheelbarrow loads of weeds later it's looking decidedly better! I haven't done anything with it since last winter. Oh the shame...
I finished a UFO today as well. A bag for my mum. Only she came over and I forgot to take a photo before I gave it to her :( Sorry.
I also made some Blueberry and Cream Cheese Muffins this afternoon - would you like the recipe? They're almost as good as the choccy ones!
Other than that, just the usual goings on - laundry, netball, laundry...oh and netball. Did I mention laundry?
Hopefully something a little more interesting will occur soon, else I'll have to resort to writing about the odd things that flit through my head at any given time :)
I am contemplating homeschooling Harry Bear next year.
Now let me just say, that I'm not unhappy with the schools my kids go to - but H isn't doing that great in the school system. The girls are both fairly academic and doing very well. The principal of our school is fantastic. But they just don't have the resources to give H the time and individual attention he needs. This year he is doing better because he has a great teacher and he likes her - but who is to say what happens next year?
Anyway, I have started researching homeschooling in Australia, and specifically, Queensland. I have to say that the Education Department makes it as hard and as daunting as possible, I get the feeling the government isn't really too supportive of it.
I like the idea of H being able to work at his own pace, and study the things that interest him (as well as the basic subjects of course). I like that the whole environment becomes a "classroom". That everyday things become areas of learning in so many different ways.
I don't want H to be one of those kids that slips through the system. By the time he goes to high school, it will be too late. So I'd like to help him now, before he hates learning (and he's not far off now).
Of course if the girls want to homeschool as well, I will do it for them, but they like the social aspect of school, so I can't imagine they'd be too keen :)
I want to give my son every opportunity to be the best person he can be, and I think that homeschooling will give him those opportunities.
Go The Cowboys!!
Yes, it's footy season again. This year I have switched allegiance to the North Queensland Cowboys. And just as well too - they won today with a score of 36 - 4 against the Brisbane Broncos (my former favourite team).
There was a break-in at the house at the end of the street yesterday. Broad daylight.I saw the "perps" and I feel awful I didn't call the police - it was fairly obvious they were up to no good. I first noticed them while I was on the phone, driving very slowly up and down the street (we live in a cul-de-sac) a couple of times. I saw them drive out and thought they had gone. I went into my sewing room at the back of the house. A while later, I was in the bedroom again, and saw three young boys walking down towards the end of the street - at that point I did wonder if I should call the police, but they were clean cut and not acting furtive at all. I took note of what they were wearing and went back to work.That afternoon, I found out about what happened. I went down to talk to the police and to tell them what I had seen. Fortunately, these guys were pretty stupid. They knocked on two doors and when opened, concocted some story about a lost dog. One of te neighbours saw them leave and followed them to the park around the corner, where he found them screwing their license plates back onto their car - of course he noted the number. The police took all the details, and hopefully, have got these nasty people, and recovered the kids toys etc that they took.The woman who lives there is a single mum with two of the loveliest kids. She owns the house and works hard to send her kids to a good school and provide for them. It riles me so much that these scum think they deserve to have anything they want without working, and they don't care who suffers, as long as the world gives them what they think they are owed. I could rant about that for hours...The upshot is that Sweetie now agrees with me that he should not leave his keys in his (expensive) ute overnight, and his shed and tool trailer should probably be locked too! this is such a quiet area, and nothing like this has happened before, and he is complacent. Was complacent.Horrible reflection on the society we live in today.
I got the most exquisite parcel in the mail yesterday. It came all the way from NY, from the delightful Dawn.Look at this! The gorgeous CD is a magnet and I love it to bits.Inside the wrapping was this lovely collection - two of the sweetest drawstring bags (with pockets on the inside!), 2 cards of vintage(?) buttons, a stunning lace-edged hankie and a purse organiser (which I think is a rather fantastic idea). And you should have seen the envelope! I'm keeping that too, it is amazing...A big, big thank you Dawn, you made my day :)
You are all probably completely sick of hearing about these aprons by now! *lol*
Just thought I would let you know that you can see some of them here! I'll be adding more over the next few days too...
I have just returned from a quick trip to spotlight this morning - I needed some binding for the aprons. My $10 purchase turned into a $40 one!
But I did get some cute trims (I am almost as obsessed with trims as I am with fabric!) . The ribbon at the front is a velvet floral, don't know what I will use it for yet, but I had to have it :)Off to finishe those aprons now....toodles!!
A funny day today...my schedule went out the window, but it's ok, I can be flexible. Better that than breaking huh?After reading one of the books dear Alice sent me, I woke up extremely motivated, and by 7am, I was cutting out aprons. 11 of them all up, to be sold over the weekend. They are all hemmed and just need pockets and trims which is tomorrows job. I spoke to a friend this morning, who has the most beautiful soul. She really is a gentle, lovely person. Unfortunately, I found out this morning she is having a rotten week. I found a little book on one of my excursions a while back, and picked it up, not really knowing what to do with it. It's a little book of 'feel good' for women. This afternoon I packaged it up along with a cinnamon candle and gave it to her daughter to pass on to her. I hope it helps to know her friends are thinking of her and love her very much :)Apart from that, I just sewed and ironed seams all day - at 4pm the dishes were still in the sink! However, I am creating success for myself, and thinking BIG at the moment, and it won't hurt anyone if the dishes don't get done for a few hours!I hope you are all well and having/had a lovely happy day.
Because it's Thursday and we should celebrate for no reason, I have decided to let you in on a little secret. Triple Chocolate Muffins.These are the best choc muffins you will ever taste - I promise. So here is the recipe for you, use it wisely :)3 cups plain flour 3 tblsp cocoa
1 tblsp baking powder 1.5 cups brown sugar
2/3 cup dark chocolate melts 120g melted butter
2/3 cup milk chocolate melts 1.25 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 160 degrees (that's celsius!)
Grease muffin tin
Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder, add brown sugar and melts and mix well.
Add melted butter, milk and eggs and mix well.
3/4 fill muffin tins and bake for 20 mins.
Allow to cool 10 mins before turning out.I usually make a triple batch of these and will often make the mini muffins - perfect for lunchboxes. They freeze beautifully. And if you heat them up in the microwave for a few seconds so all the chocolate melts, you will be in seventh heaven!
A fun morning this morning. After giving the cottage a quick spritz, I got stuck into making some little treasures for Amy, my partner for the Seasonal Swap :) and also some goodies for a certain Vintage Housekeeper whose birthday is coming up very soon!
I have been mixing and cutting and pasting and picking out fabrics and embroidering (on the machine of course!), and having a ball! I love to get messy...oops, I mean creative *lol*
The mail lady brought me a lovely surprise from Alice - some books (from her own collection) to help me with my business venture. Thank you Alice, they are very much appreciated and you are a true gem. I have also posted some photos on flikr of some of the things I made last year - the link is at the bottom of the sidebar...
All in all, a lovely day so far, but now I think I had better go and clean up the mess I have made from one end of the cottage to the other!
Accept the lesson.
When things don't go our way, something more important to the growth of our soul is in the works.
This gorgeous painting - yes painting - is by Joanne Licsko an incredibly talented artist.
Geez, I'm so cranky with myself!I went and had a lay down for half an hour this afternoon, and then got up to do my cutting out. But I was sooo tired and sore that I couldn't focus properly, so I gave up before I made a huge mistake and stuffed up some perfectly lovely fabric. I went back to my cozy bed and lay back down.But all the while I was laying there, I was upset that I wasn't doing the work I had planned to do. And then it hit me.I make things because I enjoy making them. I don't want to feel pressured about it, or feel like I have to do it, because I need to make some money this week. That just takes all the enjoyment out of it for me.So I got to thinking a little bit more, and I think I may go back to what I was doing up until Christmas - fabric. I adore fabric, and I love scouring the world (on the net!) looking for gorgeous fabrics to share with Australian quilters (and others from around the world too). From that, I can expand into lots of different ventures, such as block of the month, a fabric club and other neat little ideas I have had this afternoon.I need to start slowly and build it up, but I had some success selling fabric sets on ebay, and I think an online version of fabric heaven would suit me down to the ground!So what do you think?
Oh, I hurt. Yes, after five long months of doing no form of exercise whatsoever, I stepped onto a netball court this morning.Oh boy, I'll be glad when my fitness level gets up a bit! I just want to sit and blob for the rest of the day, but no such luck - I have too much to do around here :(By next week, I'll just be over all the stiffness and soreness, and I'll have to go out and do it all again *lol* They made me play centre, you see. For those of you who don't know, that is the position for mugs, that has to run from one end of the court to the other continuously...hopefully I did such a lousy job at it they won't make me play there again!I'm going to go and have a wee rest before I stuck into cutting out fabrics - if I'm not back within a day or so, you'll know I'm in bed!!Edited: I forgot to say that all the fabric parcels have been posted off this morning!
I had a great day today! I tweaked my schedule on the weekend, so I would have some time to work in the afternoons. So today was the first day. I cleaned the cottage from top to bottom this morning, then cleared my cutting table......so I now have a clear space to work from (just don't look at the floor!). I have fabrics and patterns all ready to be cut out tomorrow, and sewn up on Wednesday and Thursday. A few aprons and bags, some pillowcases and cushions.I have made it so I have time for everything I enjoy doing - netball, meditation etc. I have my hour of personal time each morning, and even the grocery shopping has a time and space! And I get to work for three and a half hours every afternoon - I feel really good about that :)Dinners are prepared at lunchtime, so when I'm taking the girls to training, I don't have to rush around like a headless chook, the housework gets done three days a week, and I have completely unscheduled weekends - at least until netball gets into full swing. So, all in all, a very productive day for me :) Hope you had a great day too!
It's a rainy, windy, grey day here today. I love it!A perfect day for staying inside, all cozy and snuggly. I have read the Sunday paper, drank numerous cups of Earl Grey, baked bread and knitted :)The dryer is going, and between that and the oven, it is lovely inside the cottage. Don't you love Sundays?
Oh boy. They grow up so fast don't they?
My phone rang tonight. My phone never rings after 8pm on a Saturday night. It was a boy. Asking for Miss*Gabbie.
My baby has her first boyfriend! Now what do I do?
Actually, I was giggling, because Miss*Gabbie is five feet, eleven inches tall. This boy would be lucky if he's 5'6" *LOL* Talk about Kidman - Cruise!!
Miss*Gabbie is 14 going on 19, and 'the boy' is 16 - he has left school and works at the local supermarket. He seems like a nice boy (although for a while there I was worried I had a teenage stalker! Heehee), but we will just have to wait and see...
Thank you for your kind thoughts, I am feeling ok today, except for a bit of a headache.
I have so many thoughts whirling around in my head at the moment, I don't really know where to start! But I wanted to tell you how I feel about this beautiful blogging circle :)
Each and every one of you ladies I have met since being here, are a joy to have in my life. I sometimes (often) wish that I could pop in for a cuppa and a chat in real life. I think that I am a truer person here than in my real world, and I am accepted wholeheartedly - with all the ups and downs. There aren't too many in my life that know as much about my feelings and inner thoughts than you do! I am honoured to be a part of it, and I feel blessed that I have found you all.
So this is a big thank you for being so wonderful...
Now, on to a debate that is raging through the blogoshpere in various different forms. That of being a Stay at Home Mum, otherwise known as a housewife, homemaker, and keeper of the family. Actually, you know, I think I'll not offer my opinion today -I have many, many thoughts on this world we live in, and I have too much in my head to get it all out in a logical manner.
I have been very emotional the last few days - crying at the drop of a hat and that sort of thing. I'm not unhappy at all, just finding it hard to be in a world that clashes with my values so badly.
Aaargh - I just can't find the right words today, it's too frustrating for me, so I'm going to leave it, and maybe I can come back later and get it all down.
Big hugs to everyone who drops by :)
I think I am coming down with something. Yuk. I blame the children myself.So I had an "I feel VERY sorry for myself" day today. I lay down this afternoon to rest and woke up two hours later!!! Not really like me, so that is why I have decided I may be getting sick - well, that and the horrible, achey (how do you spell that?) feeling.I'm having an early night tonight, and hopefully it will come to nothing, because tomorrow I have things I want to say!
...to all the ladies involved in the fabric swap. Due to circumstances beyond my control (that is, we didn't get paid this week), I haven't been able to post your parcels yet. I'm so sorry - they are all in the car ready to go, and as soon as we DO get paid, my first trip will be to the Post Office!
As much as I love you all, and want to get them out to you, feeding the hungry hordes (the family!) has to be my first priority *lol*
I had a breakthrough last night at meditation.Despite not wanting to go, and being antsy and fidgety all the way through, I made a discovery about myself. Well actually, I knew it anyway, but I vocalised it, and that can make all the difference...The reason I don't have a business up and running, selling the things I love to make and create, is because I have a fear of failing. Well, more a fear that people won't like what I do. It's like I need external validation. In fact, I just love being at the sewing machine and making things for people, but I tend not to sell them, because if they're a gift, the recipient will love it, but oh my! If they have to pay for it, will it be good enough?So I'm going to work on that, because I really want to be Australia's answer to Cath Kidston!When I have my personal hour every morning, I will pray and meditate, so I can get over this block that my ego has planted in front of my dream. I have more than enough in the way of creativity and imagination. I love the process of creating, but I just have that little voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough. I wonder - is it a fear of failure or a fear of success? Either way, I will face my fears and be a huge success!
Ladies, the fabric swap/giveaway is now closed. I have finally made a sizeable dent in the stash, and now, I am itching to get into the fabric I have left and make some things!
Hope you all love your parcels and I am looking forward to seeing all the gorgeous things you make on your blogs!