Monday, May 31, 2010

Some progress

I have started crocheting another blanket. Thanks to Sue ( Mrs Twins) for finding this pattern, you can find it here. I had to take the photo with a flash as it was getting dark and the colours looked weird without the flash. It probably would have been better if I waited until the morning, but I am impatient and wanted to post about it tonight.  I have made a couple of re-dos as the pattern is not exactly great and is weird in places. If you are a competent crocheter it is fine, but I would stay away from it if you are only just starting. 

This is hopefully what it will look like when it is finished, although I am using a different colour palette.

I have also been sewing and actually pieced together most of my next quilt top.This is as far as I was able to get with it. I have had to order fabric for the borders, and they probably won't arrive for another 10 days or so.  It is Breath of Avignon by American Jane.
I am a teensy weensy bit annoyed with those two, blue with green, centre blocks.  I spent ages on the lay out trying not to let that happen. I have checked back through the photos I took and it is exactly how I had it laid out. It just shows you how you think you have it looking perfect and bam, you don't. I am not annoyed enough to unpick it as I am sure it won't  be so obvious when the borders are on. Fingers crossed!  I am still trying to come up with a name for this one.

Another photo of the view, this was taken early on Saturday morning, just before the rain set in.

This is what I found when I came home later.

On my bed, messed up my cushions, hmmmmmmmmmm. Mr Innocent.

Blogger is playing up again, this time it is messing with the font.  The font size keeps on changing and won't let me change it back, aaarggghhhhh!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mail (the "love fest" continues)

This week had been very uneventful until I received my mail on Thursday.  Then woo hoo, three parcels arrive in my letter box, how lucky am I.

The first was a very unexpected but much appreciated one. Mrs P took pity on me, as apparently I live at the a*#! end of the universe, where many culinary delights from South Australia are hard to come by non existent here.  I had never heard of these items before reading about them recently.

I apologise for the photo, it is not the best, it was taken late at night and in a hurry (before I ate all the chocolate!!)

Nostimini is a secret Mediterranean blend of herbs and spices, sounds like a European KFC, doesn't it. It is made by a company in South Australia. It sounds fabulous and I was looking forward to cooking with it on Friday night, but it didn't eventuate thanks to my social outing for Friday lunch, and the glasses of wine. The Nostimini website says it arouses the senses, I'm looking forward to that, just hope it doesn't happen in public. 

Mrs P also sent some Fruchocs, yummm,  they have almost disappeared already.

These fabulous gifts were lovingly wrapped in metres of bubble wrap, see picture below.  It  took me two days a very long time to unwrap and I wasn't sure I would ever find what was in the parcel.

The bubble wrap was indeed another gift from Mrs P, for use in a top secret project.  I can't go into detail right now, but I will definitely reveal it in the not too distant future.

The other two parcels were from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Some Bar Harbor charm packs and yardage. These are for a table runner which is number 3496 on my list of things to make.

Some Leanika for another project I haven't started, and at this rate never will.

A couple of charm packs of white Bella solids. I haven't decided what I am going to do with these, but I love 5" squares as it means less cutting.

I'm not too sure about the next one, as it is supposed to be Batik Vanilla Latte, it doesn't look remotely vanilla or latte to me, what do you think?

I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do with it, there are some nice colours in the mix....but it's not what I thought it was going to be. This is the one small downside of ordering from overseas, if you haven't seen it "in the flesh", touched it and fondled it, it can be a not very nice surprise when it arrives. I'll add it to my fabric stash and look at it occasionally, until inspiration strikes.

Please please keep on reminding me to stop ordering jelly rolls or strips. I don't know why I keep on doing it, but I have to stop. I have **** jelly rolls and I have only cut into one so far, and used the total of one strip.  I am going to take an oath now. 

" I promise to not buy a jelly roll or equivalent from other companies for the next 12 months." 

My fingers are not crossed behind my back while I say that.

P.S. I know I have now referred to Mrs P in three posts in a row. Mrs P is wonderful, a real gem, and we have a great friendship that started through blogging.  I promise though that this blog won't turn into a Mrs P fan club, sorry Mrs P. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

Follow up to slack tea - Vegemite iSnack 2.0 sketch on ROVE

As much as I detest Vegemite this is funny and thanks to Mrs P for showing me this, I missed it first time 'round.

Slack Tea

In honour of the great blog  Quilting in my Pyjamas,  I have dedicated tonight's evening meal to Mrs P.

I am having a very quiet Friday night at home as I have no social life, well actually I went out for lunch to the Noosa Yacht Club and had a lovely lunch and a couple of wines with a girlfriend.

Originally I was going to cook up a storm, involving chicken and a new secret ingredient which fell into my hands yesterday. (All will be revealed in a later post.) However, I didn't go to the supermarket, because of lunch and the couple of wines, so I had to shelve that plan. Next plan was to get take away, but the effort involved in driving 20 mins there to pick it up and then drive 20 mins home was just too much.  So in the great tradition of Slack Tea Thursday, instigated by the marvellous Mrs P, I present the following.

This is Turkish Pide bread slathered with lashings of yummy New Zealand butter and something that looks a bit like Vegemite, doesn't it, but this is edible unlike that disgusting road tar. It is actually this:

A new and IMPROVED version of Vegemite, yes Mrs P, IMPROVED!!!

The sensible people at Kraft obviously decided that those of us with discerning tastebuds would prefer something edible instead of being forced to eat road tar. So this was invented.

It is actually Vegemite but has been watered down mixed with cream cheese, so it has a much milder taste and is far more palatable.

Now we can send this to unsuspecting friends overseas and they won't feel as is they have been poisoned.  The only problem with this version, is because it has cream cheese in it once it has been opened it has to be refrigerated.  Vegemite is so toxic it will live forever un-refrigerated.

This was followed by:

A bag two Fruchocs, a delectable chocolate confection from South Australia. These were giant ones, almost golf ball size, they make them big down there!

So thank you Mrs P for making slack tea a new tradition and for introducing me to Fruchocs, I might have to put in a standing order.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Because I don't have enough projects already..........

Another purchase

Some beautiful projects to create.

And another one.

Lovely photos of quilts, beautiful fabrics, yumm.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Another crafty day

I have been busy but not an awful lot to show for it.
I have lots and lots of fabric that I have purchased in the last few months, and I have been having lots of trouble trying to decide which project to tackle first.  I have finished machine quilting the Japanese fabric quilt, but still need to do a little bit of hand embroidery and hand quilting before I reveal it.

I chose to make this quilt next as I needed something that was easy, straightforward and hopefully foolproof, otherwise I could feel my quilting mojo going down the proverbial drain. The pattern I used is Lazy Daisy with Rosie by Penny H Designs, at  Patchwork Angel.

Firstly this

became this,

and finally this.

These are the first few of 35 squares. I still have about 25 to go.

I am trying to figure out how on earth I am going to make myself a design wall, so that I can play around with the design. The squares will be 9"x 9" and with 35 of them it will be quite big, too big to lay it out on the floor and have the cats playing with it.  The only wall that has easy access is right outside the bathroom and toilet.  I am not sure whether I want my quilt pieces to hang there, it is a narrow hallway too, so people will quite possibly brush up against it. All the other walls either have large windows or furniture placed in front of them. So I have my thinking cap on.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend breakfast

Sometimes I feel like something a little different for breakfast, and I don't want to go to too much effort, and involve too many skills and ingredients. This fits the bill perfectly.  This is flexible and you can add more or less as you like.

Bacon and Egg Tortilla 

Ingredients for 1

2 rashers of short cut bacon, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tortilla
smidgin of butter.

I use 2 non stick fry pans. In a small fry pan cook bacon.  Heat a larger fry pan, I use one that just fits the tortilla, when hot add tortilla and heat. Warm both sides.

Remove tortilla, and place on plate.
Grease pan with butter and then add beaten egg. The aim is to make a basic omelette. If using only one egg, it is quite thin and delicate.  Cook egg. remove from pan and place on tortilla.
Add cooked bacon to tortilla and egg.

Roll up, and enjoy. 

Of course, you can always use 2 eggs, more bacon, make more than one.  

Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday flowers

On my dining table, some Kalanchoes

I found these at the supermarket, they must have been in for Mother's Day.
I haven't seen hyacinths for ages. I love their perfume.

A new poinsettia, 50% of the proceeds goes towards a Breast Cancer charity. 
I just love the colour of this one

Just because I love lillies.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni

We often have vegetarian meals here, and I always try to cook healthy options, regularly using Weight Watchers recipes. This one has been adapted from WW Family Faves Cook Book,  Ricotta and Spinach Pasta Shells.
Not the best photo, as I almost forgot, and once it is served on the plate it isn't photogenic.

This is a generous serve for 2 people


cannelloni shells
1/3 cup shallots diced
1 clove garlic, minced
english spinach
225g ricotta, I use the brand, Pantalica, smooth light ( I highly recommend this particular one as it is really creamy and very smooth, and doesn't have that icky texture of some of the other ricottas)
1 cup bottled tomato pasta sauce
1/4 cup plus another 1/2 cup stock ( I use chicken stock, which technically isn't vegetarian)
provolone or mozzarella cheese thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Heat a pan and add 1/4 cup of stock, cook the shallots until soft, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Make sure most of the stock has evaporated. Chop spinach and add to onion and cook until just wilted. There should be very little, if any, liquid in the pan.
Combine spinach and onion mixture with ricotta in a bowl. Place it in a plastic bag and snip off the corner so that you can pipe into the cannelloni tubes. Fill the cannelloni with the mixture. This amount filled 8 tubes.
Place the cannelloni in a greased shallow ovenproof dish. In a pan combine the pasta sauce and stock. Bring to the boil. Pour the sauce over the cannelloni, cover and bake for 30 mins. Remove cover and place cheese over the cannelloni and cook for a further 5 minutes until melted and bubbling.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Me + Exercise is not a good equation

Do you remember this life changing..... disastrous...... little incident with exercise a couple of weeks ago  here. You might need to read this first, before you read further.

So, after THE unfortunate incident I took it upon myself to continue exercising, by walking on the treadmill in the safety of my own home. It was enjoyable to be able to walk for 30 mins without falling over, tripping up, being savaged by wild beasts or injuring myself. This has been a nice, safe form of exercise for me.
Until Monday morning.  

Unfortunately my treadmill died a very quick and unexpected death................while I was on it.  It could have had disastrous consequences, fortunately for me, I was not running.  I think I would have ended up going through the wall like a bullet, as it stopped instantly, without warning.     The only unusual sign, that things may have been not quite right, was, the electronic read out told me after 10 mins of walking, I had burned 350 calories, woo hoo, and I had covered 6 1/2 miles, wow! I was in the middle of celebrating this awesome achievement when it died.

I am now going to attempt to go walking outside, in the sunshine, with awesome views and hope like heck I don't fall over again. I haven't been able to find a sumo costume so, please keep your fingers crossed for me that I stay upright. BTW I am still waiting for my bubble wrap helmet, Mrs P.

I am also not taking Mr Innocent out for a walk either.

Now that I think I may have found my crafting mojo, I don't want to be savaged again by this gigantic fierce hound.  

Poor boy. 


Finally finished this throw, each square is 4" and it is 10 squares x 11 squares.
I was going to make it bigger, but it doesn't get very cold here and it is more than big enough for a lap size throw. 
It is acrylic, which normally I wouldn't use, but I loved these colours and couldn't get them in either wool or cotton. 
It is the first time I have made something in acrylic and it was surprisingly nice to crochet with. I hope it stands the test of time. 

Another thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, look how dark it turned!  These were taken just after 4pm and it doesn't normally get dark until just before 6pm.
If you click on the last photo, you can actually see the rain drops, they were huge.

Mother's Day flowers

These are the beautiful flowers my "angel" gave me for Mother's Day.

And the "angel" on her birthday which was on Mother's Day this year.

I was really lucky to get this shot, she is not so keen on being "nice" for a photo.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Recipe Heaven

I just found a fabulous website,    Tastespotting. You just have to go visit it, it is where people put fabulous photos of food and a link back to the original recipe. Here are just two recipes from this website.  Darn it, I didn't need to find more things to while away my day on the internet!!!!

Chocolate Chip Oreo Cookies

Find them here: thewoodenspoon

Hello Kitty Oreos

Find them here: justjenn

These are for you Mrs P.

A couple more photos.

If I ever finish anything remotely crafty I will be doing a happy skippy dance, however it may be a very long time. I just can't get into the groove, although I did start quilting the Japanese quilt this week. I spent one afternoon, when I had the urge to, I had an  - I am going to start it even if it kills me - feeling.  I am about half way through and only quilting straight wonky lines!!!  I have also been helping the angel/bitchypoo with her art project, so although I have actually been doing some crafty stuff, no photos or updates to show you. For now, you can check out the native birds that feed in the bottle brush ( that is the name of the tree) an Australian native, called that because the flowers look like a bottle brush. This tree is only a few metres/yards from the verandah, and the same height. That is one of the things I love about this house. 

The bird is a Rainbow Lorikeet. Looks pretty but has an ear piercing screech, which isn't particularly pleasant in the early hours of the morning.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Sunset after a storm.

The only thing exciting around here was a thunderstorm a couple of evenings ago. We have hardly had any storms this summer and it has been weeks since the last one. Normally we get them almost every afternoon, in late Jan and Feb.

These photos were taken from the verandah just after the storm passed, it was just on sunset.