Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Block six and seven of nine

I finished the sixth block at the Gathering and the seventh block last night.

TWO more to go - WOo HOo. Do you hear me loud and clear!

Seriously I am counting down now. Starting to feel a little fed up with the tiny work and huge amount of stitching. But I will persist! I really want to get on to a new project.

Monday, September 29, 2008

For my Angel Swapie

Everything for this Angel is done !

Here is some of the goodies I am mailing to her. JUST in case she has spotted my blog I thought I keep the rest under wraps for her own surprise. I was going to send it in two lots but now I am sending it all at once. Just going to get something about where I live and make a card. At least I have finished the goodies. It was on my mind - so I am relieved. No more swaps for a while till I feel caught up with my humongous quilting/stitching pile and scrapping.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I won a giveaway!

I won this giveaway run my Kris at Life at Rosemary Hill who has celebrated hitting way beyound 200 post! I sure hope I get there one day. Kirs is an amazing woman - she is a mother of EIGHT children. We have emailed each other over the last few months and her blogship has been so warm. Infact it is Kris who comes up with the various versions of the 5 minute cakes I have posted about. I have been meaning to try the lemon version she has suggested. Will let you know when we have had a go.

When I saw this bag on her blog I thought 'well you have got to be in it to win it' and then when I saw I had won it I was doing the happy dance. Do you have a happy dance. MIne involves the hands (kinda like the wiggles) and hips (side to side) and maybe even a little jump (all together well coordinated).

Not only did I get this georgeous hand stitched/quilted bag. Kris also added some Christmas yummy fabric and and and LOOK some quilt blocks! I have plans for one of them - it will be for the quilt that you all have seen me work on.

When she arrived she was TWICE as big as I thought she was - I have to find something else for it keep.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. I know I am part of the This is... posts but it is about "Show off time" and I just dont like to show off so will skip it this week.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Bag!

Look what arrived today ALL the way from Canada (one of my favourite countires). I have discovered who my bag lady is!

It was Alison from My LIttle Stitching Corner.

Isn't it HUGE. I think it will be PERFECT to store our winter quilts in over summer. The colours are GEORGEOUS and the fabrics are luscious. IT is so big my eight year old sat himself in it!

Thank you Alison!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Make your own pin heads tutorial

Thank you to Jo from Jo in Tas who helped me with this...

You will need:
x1 piece of clear shrinky (plastic that shrinks with heat
Black pen
Piece of paper
Coloued pencils
Heat gun (or use an oven or a toaster)

Print or draw out your pin head design on the paper. This one is at least 1.5 inches wide. Sand your shrinky so it is scratched in all directions on one side. Place the scratched shrinky over the design and re-draw the image on the scratched side.

Then colour in the image using good colouring pencils. Colour on the sanded side.

Cut out the image and stick a needle through the image so the scratched side is facing down.

Then heat the image with a heat gun. They will shrink lots - down by 3/4 at least. Try to heat evenly both sides. It will - if heated long enough - flatten itself. If you dont have a heat gun you can have the toaster on and heat your shrinky over it. Another method is to stick it in a very warm oven. What ever method you use - careful not to burn your fingers - using tweezers/plyers to hold needle might help.

Ta da! Pin to your pin cushion. If they are just going to be display then you are finished - if you wish to use them on fabric you will need to seal the scratched/coloured side to stop any of the colour rubbing in to the fabric.

We also made one side ways - but you then dont get much needle to use despite the purpose to do this!

Then Jo got playing - I think these are so cute!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fizzy Bath Bombs

My son decided we needed to find a better fizzer bath bomb recipe. He googled it and found this recipe.

This is how it goes as described by my son...

Mum we need...

1 1/2 cups of Barcode Soda (Bicarb)
1/2 cup Cirus Acid (Citric)
2 teaspoons of Sweet Almond Oil - you got that mum!
Essential Oil (or fragrances) - Mum I want us to do Lemon - you have lemon?
Food colouring - no mum we wont use that stuff.

Sift Barcode Soda and Cirus acid together.

In a separate bowl put 1/2 cup of this mixture into it. Then add 1/2 teaspoon of Sweet Almond Oil and 7 drops of lemon oil.

Quickly mix and the pack tightly into a mould. IT appears VERY dry and you do wonder if it is going to work (trust me it does)

Repeat unti finished.

Let them set in moulds for 24 - 36 hrs. Then carefully remove them and wa la!

Then have fun with them - they don't last long but they sure do fizz lots - boys are happy - mum is happy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On my desk

At the moment - working through this bag for my angel swappie. The design is published in last months magazine - the Leanne House one. I have finished needle turning the butterfly and now need to actually put the bag together. What stops me is ironing, food shopping, work, walking the dogs, watching a CD about a product, reading work emails, doing Michael's books (this is BIG) etc. I wish for a FULL day to do what I want when I want - but I must not complain. I better get back to it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lemon and Yoghurt Cake

I am typing this one handed because I had to have a piece. This is just so scrummy and QUICK.

Moist and tasty.

(Off to get another piece)

1 3/4 caster sugar
2 eggs
1 cup rice bran oil
1 cup yoghurt
grated rind of two lemons
2 cups self - raising flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
icing sugar
thick cream (well this makes the cake 'bad for you')

Preheat oven to 160 - 180 C. Grease a 20 cm round cake pan and add baking paper if you want.

Whisk sugar, eggs, oil, yoghurt and lemon rind. Fold flour and 1/2 tsp salt, then stir in lemon juice.

Pour into pan and bake for 45 min, until skewer comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 min before you tun it out to cool. Serve with icing sugar and cream.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chocolate Orange 5 Minute Cake

Remember I had a 5 Minute Chocolate Mud Cake post?

Since then Kris from Life at Rosemary Hill daughter has had a fiddle and come up with this new scrummy version.

The same recepie but instead you use orange juice instead of milk and grate some organge rind in it. It was DELICIOUS. Any one prepared to try making a lemon version?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This is... What I want to be when I grow up and WINNER of 50th post!

Thank you to Bug and Pop who is in the mist of packing house who chose this weeks "This is...." theme cohosted by http://handmaiden.typepad.com/handmaiden/ on behalf of Three Buttons..

I really never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember wanting to be a Nurse, Doctor and many more but what I most wanted to be was my mum and that is what I am (my version of my mum!). Though I would prefer to be a SAHM but I think it might make me a bit stir crazy. My life as a mum is different to what my mums had and I have to work hard at readjusting my expectations of what my mum did to what I can do. Even though I wanted to be a mum I also was driven to be successful and to make a difference out there in the big wide world and not just at home...

Okay Jo was going to do this with me but we kinda got distracted. So here I am with my kind hubby who has been volunterred into the position of drawing the winner -

Debbie (dont have link for you Debbie!) wins first prize and sherri (from A Quilting Life wins Second. Please girls email me with your snail mail to claim your prize...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Quilted Crow Gathering and Scrap NIght

Today I attended the Quilted Crow Christmas Gathering. Was so nice to catch up with Christine and show off our stitchery we both did. I just love how different we each finished ours.

It was also so nice to meet more Tasmanian Bloggers hiding out there! I know crap photo but this is us all - maybe they will have a better shot!

There is Jo from Jo in Tas, Christine from Auntie Quaint Quilts, Helen from Helen's Hugs, Cathy from Highlander Quilt, 'Lizzie' from Lizzie's Page, Alexandra-Kathleen from Stitchin School Girl and Fiona from My Beautiful Girls. Also Christine's Sister (aka my lurking stalker) was taking this picture who has a blog with only three post and I cannot find it...(UPDATE found Kathy's Blog called Harmony Junkie>)

Just to say it was a brilliant day.

The Scrap Night girls have been meeting up here for one and half years now. The group started out as a heap of scrap girls. Then quickly some of them became stampers/scrappers. As the year has progressed stitching girls have started to join us.

I always tell them they are here to rebalance the estrogen and progesterone in my all boy house.

We always have such a good night. We have all shared our lives. What is most important we all support and care for each other. I just love this bunch of girls and the gaps between each scrap night always seems a long time.

I better get off and get the place ready for them!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I got a parcel and soap making!

First....the parcel from CurlyPops.

Cam and many others put their names in for the Jamone Quilting Foot swap. Cam won. This was what Cam sent me. I am so in love with the bag and the fabric. Feeling terribly spoilt here. I have visions of using these fabrics on a design I have here. Very exciting. Think I might get addicted to these swaps!

We cut up the soap we had made from scratch (oils, caustic soda, bess wax etc). As you can see it is layered. One layer is Beeswax, Honey and Oatmeal Scrub then Honey Blossom under. We made the first layer last week and then this week poured the second and let it harden slightly before we cut it up today. Now it needs to rest for 4 weeks to neutralize. We also made Olive oil soap and after much cursing and carry on managed to get it out of the plastic pipe (anyone know a better way to do circular soap?). This afternoon we plan to make garden soap and shampoo soap.

We are so productive we also made deodorant. The recipe for this is at Towards Sustainability blog. This is a great inspiring blog - go have a look. We also made her dishwashing powder today.

uhhhh I love holidays!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lip Lotion

This was seriously so easy and my lips are loving it. Check the recipe out here

Now we are going to label them. OH I love holidays.

Dont forget to put your name in for the 50th Post Blog giveaway finishes tomorrow night. Winner will be announced tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On my desk

The desk is looking a lot better this week.

Here is one of the goodies I am making for my Angel Swapie. She has been such a delight to email and watch her blog. Some of you might recognize the pattern from Pretty Little Pincushions. I just have to sew the base up and then she is finished.

Do you like the bees pin heads? Again the idea was from Pretty Little Pincushions. I since have made some strawberries ones (seen in the background) for Annie at Hatched and Patched because she and Natalie Bird from The Birdhouse are coming down to The Quilted Crows gathering this Saturday. I have asked Annie a favour and if she can fill it I promised strawberries with sugar on top. I think she will like these - much easier to freight!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Home Made Hand Butter and Face Cream Review

My hands are still very much in love with Hand Butter. Yes I admit it is a little hard (well actually not a little) maybe more oil will solve that? It all melts beautifully in your hands.

Hand Butter

1/4 cup (59 mls) cocoa butter
1/4 cup (59 mls) beeswax (I melted 59 g)
2 Tbsp (30 mls) safflower oil (I used almond oil)
4 to 6 drops of fruity essential oil (I did not use)

Warm coco butter and beeswax in a (stainless steel or glass) pot until they're melted. Add the safflower oil and remove the mixture from the heat. Add essential oil now, if you wish. Using a whisk, beat the mixture until it's cool enough to go in the container. While it's warm quickly pour the butter in a decorative container that offers easy access to your fingers and wait to cool before covering.

Shelf life is 6 mths or more.

I tried the Natural Homemade Cold cream on my face and it was beautiful. You need so little and it spreads far. I am sure it makes me look [wink wink] 10 years younger.

Face Cream

1/2 cup (118 ml) sweet almond oil
5 Tbsp (74 ml) water or rose water (use rose water if you can smells so nice)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) melted beeswax (30 g melted)
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) borax (this helps bind the formula)

Put the wax and oil into a (stainless steel or glass) pot and stir over low heat until they are melted together with an even consistency. In a separate saucepan on a low/medium setting, gently heat the rose water and stir in the borax until completely dissolved; then remove it from heat. While beating vigorously (using a whisk), add the water/borax mixture a little at a time to the blend of wax and oil until all the water has been added. Remove the mixture from the heat and continue to beat until cool and creamy in texture. Pour the finished cream into a decorative container and wait to cool before covering.

Store in a cool place - may need occasional stirring. Shelf life is 6 - 8 months.

Monday, September 15, 2008


We used to live in Nigeria and this was one of the recepies which have followed us ever since. i used all organice produce to make this double batch. I also add olive oil (though not stated to!) at the end as it is always very thick. So simple and so good.

1 can chick peas (or you can pre soak overnight and then boil to tender)
1 cup tahina
Juice of three large lemons (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 clove garlic crushed (I always use a whole big one!)
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Puree chickpeas, tahina, lemon juice, salt and garlic. Garnish with papricka and parsley.

Serve with pitta bread which has been cut up and placed in oven till crispy (you can spray pitta bead with olive oil and season with lemon pepper - YUMMMMMMM prior to crisping)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This is ... what I do with a spare 10 minutes

This theme REALLY got me thinking. What do I actually do when I have 10 free minutes. SO sad actually - I find something to do or I start something else that needs to be done or I leave home early to do something on the way or I check out that something blog that I want to read.

Rather sad I think.

So this is what I should ACTUALLY be doing. Much better for my soul and mind.

No excuse.

Thank you to Hoppo Bumpo who chose this weeks theme co hosted by Handmaiden who is filling in for Three Buttons.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

She is framed

Remember this all stitched and not framed? My neighbour kindly made me the frame and I am so pleased. He could not understand why I wanted some old wood then new fancy edges special wood. LOL I am so pleased with her. Now just need to find the right spot...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Belated 50th post

Isn't it when you hit post 50 th streamers come out of your screen and loud music sings out of the speakers? Can you believe it amongst all the chaos post number 50 just happened and I was oblivious - is this a sin of blog land? Here is a belated 50th post celebration (am I forgiven now?). Just leave a note by the 19th of September and you will go in the draw for these goodies to be delivered to you. There is a Blue Willow Cottage Felt Follies Table Runner pattern, a Brenda Ryan Thimblestitch Briar Rose Design and a 6x6 Accordion Album for first prize then runner up will have this cute Stamp It Up stamp.

Good Luck!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We have been productive today

It is holidays here so we have kept ourselves very busy. Even I was impressed with how much we have done...

Hand Butter - My hands SANG when I applied some at the finish!
Face cream - all organic and will try tomorrow am - watch this space for review!
Bubble Bath - not just for children you know!

Bath bombs - these moisterize your skin beautifully - Son 9 does not think it fizzes enough - anyone have a good recepie for bath bombs that fizz lots?

We even had fun labeling.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On my desk

A Wednesday post run my Kristy at Kootoyoo. I know I have put all the participants in shame. My desk is a shambles. This I promise is NOT the usual. We are at the moment moving the craft/office area to another room. Problem. Other room is not complete. Problem. I am not patient. Result. Mess and chaos. I assure you in at least a fortnight it will look much better. Hopefully by next Wednesday I will be put right!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Yea I know - a total sucker when it comes to taking the children to the movies. It is holiday time here and we all went to see WALL E. Over all I enjoyed it - though there was moments of stretch and suttle lesson to be learned. Some times I just want to go to a movie and be taken away to another place...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Block number five

I am over half way now! This is block number five of nine from my 'There's No Place Like Home' from Daisies and Dragonflies quilt... I just cannot wait to see it all together.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This is....my favourite band of all times


Well for short period when I was about 9 - 11. Menudo (1980's) is a band that never was! they stood out for me as the band I got kinda crazy about. DON'T LAUGH! I did not have any memorabilia nor do I still have any of their music...

They were prepubecent boys who were kicked out as soon as their voices broke and replaced! SO I am guessing they were least 15 or younger. I remember going to the one and only concert in the Philippines (were we lived at the time) and my mum coming. I was sitting watching them - feeling so stupid with these screaming girls all around me - it was hard to hear them. I also remember begging my mum to ask them to come to my birthday party. SIGH what was I thinking!

Thank you to Curlypops who chose this weeks personally embarrassing theme for me to start with which is co hosted by Sharon who is filling in for Angela while she gallivants around Europe.

Now stop laughing!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Another parcel!

Yes I got another parcel - feeling terribly spoilt. This one is from Helena from Syverkstan. A copy of her very first to be famous pattern : ). I hope at least by next year I will start on this pattern. I have JUST the fabrics for it - but I think I will need to buy more - SHAME!!!!

Helena has recently opened her own studio and is doing great stuff there. As a celebration for her first design and opening she shared five copies with people from all over the world on blog land (very generous) and I was on of the lucky girls. She says I encouraged her to go English on her site - which I am so pleased because now I can watch her journey...

Thank you Helena!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Buttons and more buttons!

I worked in Dover this week which is a 1.5 hrs drive down from Hobart. The drive was beautiful - the land is so lush at the moment. On the way back I went too Huonville Vinnie's (op) shop to see if they had any buttons. They asked me what "colour would you like?". I was presented with a HUGE box of beautiful buttons most of them colour sorted - button heaven! Now I have built up a decent collection of buttons I need to use them! Um Maybe I should make something for my Angel Swap partner - any ideas anyone? She is already getting a bag - so that idea is out....

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Scrumptious Lamp Stew with Spring Vegetables

This is a Gordon ###### Ramsey recipe. It was so delicious and so easy I had to share with you all. I have tweaked a few things...

Serves 4. Prep 30 min, Cook 50 min.

12 baby carrots, 12 baby turnips, 12 baby leeks, 80g frozen peas (much better frozen ones), 12 small eschalots, 700 g lamb fillets (I used a slightly cheaper meat and removed the fat.), 2 tbsp olive oil, 300 ml light red wine (ahhhh that was why it was so good lol), 300 ml chicken stock, 50g cold butter, 3tsp regular castor sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.

1. Trim and clean all veg.. Boil a large saucepan of water. Working with each veg separately cook turnips for 3 min then drain. Cook carrots for 4 min then drain. Cook leeks for 5 min then drain. Cook peas for 1 min then drain. Cook onions for 8 - 10 min then drain. Put veg. aside.

2. Season the sliced lamb fillets with salt and pepper. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in heavy based frypan. Fry the lamb fillet 2 - 3 min both side (till starting to brown both sides). Put meat and juices in a colander over a bowl (need to collect the juices). Put aside in warm place covered in foil.

3. Place pan back on heat and tip in the wine. Boil vigorously till it becomes a sticky syrup, then pour 200ml of the chicken stock and any lamb juices from the bowl. Boil down until reduced by half, then whisk in butter. Pour the sauce into a small bowl.

4. Heat remaining oil and add turnips and onions. Sizzle until starting to brown, then sprinkle over the sugar and pinch of salt. Cook, shaking the pan constantly until the veg caramelize. Add carrots, leeks and balsamic vinegar, bubble briefly, then add the remaining stock. Bring to boil, add the peas, then boil for a few minutes until the liquid nearly evaporates. Turn off the heat.

5. Serve lamb with vegetables and hot sauce poured over the top. Delicious!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Lost and not found

Look what I saw with the melons when I was at the supermarket today. Doesn't this little friend look so scared. Dare I bring him home to cheer him up just incase his big friend came looking for him.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The bag is revealed!

I reveal the bag I made... I know it is a poor photo - but it decided to rain this am when I had a moment to take a photo before I sent it off - reluctantly. Both sides of the bag is the same. Now you can see where the sneak peaks were done! This morning my hubby was trying to convince me to keep her and 'whip up' something more simple!

I nearly had a fit when I had all four parcels of hand made goodies to be sent overseas tallied up! My dearest Angel Swap Partner is going to have to wait for two parcels rather than three....