Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I've been bitten by the craft bug!!!

I have always admired people who work with a needle. There are so many lovely things to make.... but who's got the time to do it...? Isn't it something grandma does because she has nothing else to do!  It's also much easier, quicker and usually cheaper to pop out to the shops and just buy it. Time to weigh it all Up! It's just like growing your own veges really, handmade  is so much better for you. It makes you happy and it makes you appreciate life more.Who doesn't appreciate the time and effort a loved one has put into creating something uniquely just for you. Crafting is a way to portray and communicate feelings and emotions.  I find it challenging, therapeutic and very fulfilling.... all this said, apart from dabbling as a child, my first experience and an ongoing project so far is sewing 125 felt pockets for my children's new Christmas advent calenders.

THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU to my beloved cousin ,  you are such an inspiration and I thank you immensely for my new found appreciation for "Craft".  My cousin (I will call her Mrs Moo) has inspired me throughout my life with her creativity, open-mindedness, persistence, direction and her deep generosity.  She is a better than brilliant cook, a talented designer, and an extraordinary mum.  PLUS she writes a really Great Blog!!! Thank you for always being there.....

When Mrs Moo turned up with this rabbit/dolly for my Annabel for her 4th birthday I was so touched.  I couldn't believe that she was sewing in her spare time, as I entered her world and explored her passions I suddenly realised how achievable and gratifying it was to DO IT  YOURSELF!!!  I started asking myself, why don't I just make that? What a door that opened...lists and lists of things I can make in my sparetime!!??!!??!!??!!??.....................!!??

I attended a craft night last week with her local craft group, WOW, something different...it wasn't a bunch of granny's sitting down knitting and drinking tea but in fact a group of rather trendy and clever  mums and like minded friends, knitting, sewing dollies, cutting out  patterns, more knitting, making paper flowers, and me stitching my felt pockets...and of course, there was drinking tea. One of the other crafters asked us if our whole family was crafty?   Ooohh...I'm not crafty, I thought to myself, but as we reflected back on our childhood and our mothers and our grandmother, yeah.....it's in our blood.
So off I went to Playgroup this week, with my craft basket in hand and taught all the mums to make a very simple stuffed felt Christmas bauble.They thought I'd gone nuts (we usually do kids collage, finger painting and playdough). But soon they were into it... while the children were happily decorating and eating freshly made gingerbread -thanks to one of the other talented mums, they were off stitching and stuffing and glueing and dabbing, smiling away and how proud they all were of their designs and stitches.... and I bet they hang them on the Christmas tree every year and think back to the day that they were made..........with love.

Looks like there is going to be lots of fun Crafting done in our house from now on...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birthday Wishes

Today we are celebrating my eldest daughters 11th birthday.
It wasn't party year this year but she still managed to talk me into a
two friend sleepover...
With hubby still away and Sam off with his Poppy for the weekend, it was a
 "Girls Night In"
Twister, Nachos, DVD's and Chocolate! 
Jessica's birthday has always been an extra special day for me, she shares her birthday with my Nana.
My dear Nan's passed away now but I know she is here with us today, as she is everyday....
Happy birthday to these very special ladies in my life.  XO

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Whats been happening in my Garden this week...

 The last of my Gooseberries are finally ripening up, I have had so many bugs in these babies we've not been able to enjoy many this season.

Some of my Parsley is starting to seed but it is just as luscious as ever....

 Rocket  - this has taken off and growing full speed ahead
(is this why they call it rocket?)
I'm sure It only sprouted up about 2 weeks ago...
This will spice up my salads, baby rocket ready to pick and eat tonight!

Cucumbers are flowering and climbing up to visit my Capsicums

Should have another bunch of ripe raspberries by the end of this week.
Did you notice...we have six more.
I'll just have to share mine with hubby...

Dill is growing particularly well and will make a nice garnish and sauce with our prawns on our
Christmas Lunch Table.

Coriander not doing so well....maybe it doesn't like living next to the dills....??

I have thinned out and replanted  some of my  tomato seedlings, and this time I have fenced them off with chicken wire stop the  chooks digging and scratching them up again...Tomato plants are popping up everywhere at the moment, I should try and just leave them grow as they are instead of moving them, they never survive once I've unsettled there roots....

And finally, I have collected a bunch of nasturtium seeds from under the old bushes, they get pretty scraggly after a while and need a good tidy up so I'll be pulling these out next week and planting a few new ones around the place.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Look who popped out to say hello this morning...

My speckled hen has babies....I've only seen this one so far. She is sitting on about 6 - 8 eggs so I can't wait to meet the others, it's just like having your own bub, its so exciting to see what they all look like, especially as these eggs would be quite a mixture from several of my hens.

Look at dad, eagerly pacing the coop.....waiting for the next arrival....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Buy an Orange Tree"

So hubby says to me "buy an orange tree, we'll plant it down the back". 
"Okay darl" I said, little does he know my plans are for an entire citrus orchard 'down the back'.
Today I came home with a Lime tree, Lemon, Kumquat, Tangelo, Blood Orange and of course an

It's raining here today so the ground should be perfect for an easy dig. I'll put it on hubby's list of things to do when he gets home....
Nothing like the taste of freshly picked home grown, juicy oranges, We already have an orange tree and two mandarin trees in our house yard, we  get plenty of fruit from these, but there is always room for more...it's nice to bag them up and send home with friends and family. 
And then there's always 'Marmelade'  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ripe Raspberries

I didn't know you could grow raspberries in Queensland, I always thought they were grown in cooler climates, so when I saw a Raspberry plant at my local nursery I had to have it.  To my surprise it flowered within a couple of weeks.
Our First Ripe Raspberry, believe it or not, this was divided into six so that we could all enjoy our first berry.

The next week there were plenty for everyone to taste

Oops . . . And then there were none . . .
What I learned todayKeep the gate closed on the Vege Patch

744 km away

Dad and daughter are off on the road today, It's harvest time down in Tooraweenah and Pop needs some helpers.
It's Annabel's first time away from me, I am going to miss her dearly, I'm nervous for her but I know she is in good company with her dad.  They will be creating their own special memories together.
After lots of mummy cuddles a few tears were shed last night and the bags were almost unpacked but with a new lease of life this morning it was in the car, kisses goodbye and off with dad on a big adventure. Dad you'll be missed as always, it's not often we are away from each other and I count down the days until your safe return.
X0X0X0X0X0 (big kisses & hugs from all of us)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Crafty or Crazy??

So here is the start of my Christmas Craft, not something I usually do, but thanks to all the inspirational crafters out there in blogland I am now ready with needle in hand to create my own handmade memories for my children, It's even rewarding already to think about how much effort I will be putting into this.It does mean so much more to give a present when you know how much you've  put into making it, as is receiving such a gift generously made with Love... Blood, Sweat and Tears....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kids in the Kitchen

We often do a big bake at our house at least once a fortnight so I have home baked treats for the kids lunchboxes, midnight snacks for dad and sweet indulgences for me and the little ones. 
Oh what fun, Annabel learned how to crack an egg, 
Elli taught teddy how to cook 
and Miss Madeline  discovered  how much fun it was to lick the bowl...
Today we made:
Walnut and date slice - for dad
1 1/4 cup sr flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chopped dates                           
1/2 cup walnuts      
125 gm butter
1 egg
Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well
Melt butter, beat egg well then add both to the dry ingredients
Mix well together and press into a greased slice tin
Bake in Moderate oven until golden brown
When cold cut into squares

Chocolate Slice - for  the kids
This is one of those old time favourite slices my mum used to make when I was little, it does not last very long in my house.
1 cup sr flour
2 heaped tabs cocoa
pinch salt
1/2 cup coconut
3/4 cup sugar
125gm butter
1 egg

Sift flour, salt and cocoa into bowl
Add sugar and coconut and mix well
Stir in melted butter and beaten egg
Mix together well
Press into greased slice tin
Bake in moderate oven for approx 25 mins
Cool completely and ice with chocolate icing
(2 tab cocoa, 1 cup icing sugar, 1 tab butter, 1 drop hot water - mix well together, spread over slice)
Sprinkle with coconut
Cut into squares

Sultana Scones - for mum
2 cups sr flour
pinch salt
2 tabs butter
1/2 cup sultanas
2 tabs sugar
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Sift flour and salt into a bowl then add the sugar
Run in butter with finger tips
Add sultanas
Make a well in the centre and add beaten egg and milk
Mix into a moist dough
Turn onto floured bench. press out with hand and cut into scones
Place on greased and floured tray
Bake in Moderate Oven until brown about 15 mins
Serve cold with butter or jam and cream
*This recipe can also be used with kids cookie/playdough cutters for a FUN morning tea
*Dont forget to double all the recipes

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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