Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Creative Space - Passion pour les fleurs

I seem to be a little addicted of late to making these little beauties - and I can't seem t stop. These are not the first ones I have made, but they are the first I am showing you (more later, I promise!) They are just so much fun, and quick enough to whip up. :) These ones will be on their way to my SIL for her birthday (as soon as I finish weaving in the ends!)

Keep your eye out for a book binding tutorial soon...
(Ok, Well I will TRY to get it good enough to post.)

Love S xox

More creative goodness...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scents of Autumn

Why is it that we associate certain aromas with particular things... like summer and fresh cut grass or watermelon, or freezing cold temps with wood smoke (from the fire) or hot chocolate? A favourite perfume and a time in your life (that would be Fire and Ice cool  and Eau de Eden while I was at Uni, and the Beverly Hills 90210 fragrance from early high school). For me Autumn conjures thoughts and memories of the scent of leaves falling (and leaf fights! JOY) and apples - mostly ones that are being made into pie or crumble.

So today was one of those days where I was having the aroma match the season. I stewed up some apple and turned it into crumble. I love the golden brown crispness of the crumble topping, the cinnamon, and the fresh tartness of the apple. They just seem to go together like a hand in a glove.

What are your favourite scents? What do they remind you of?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Creative Space - Binding Books

Remember the paper that Jellyfish and I made here? Well, I've been wanting to try my hand at book binding for a while now, so when I started thinking about what to do with some of the paper that we made - the thought emerged - Book binding! I asked J if he wanted me to make some into a book, and told him that he could add other pages if he liked. The answer was affirmative. Here is the result.

 The cover was a scrap of cardboard from my teaching days... we were rummaging through a pile of card when J pounced on this one.

Here it is - my first go at book binding. I just used some fine crochet thread that I had kicking around, but if you think you might really get into this kind of thing, I would advise using waxed thread, as what I had started knotting up a lot towards the end.

For more creativeness you know where to go.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Weekend WIP Wind-up

On Thursday I found out that friends of ours had just had a baby girl, so I was keen to whip up another baby hat (seen here and here) with this pattern. Unfortunately, I didn't have any yarn that excited me to use for a baby girl, so I had to wait. Friday came, and I wandered into Hornsby Wool & Craft Nook where I pounced on a ball of  yarn that looked good enough to eat - and filled all the categories of a) soft, b) non-itchy wool and c) non-wishywashy baby colour. I don't mind a few pastels, but you kinda have to get it just right for it to work.

After a little hooky each evening, I finished it Sunday night. I am L-O-V-I-N-G this yarn! (I mean, till now, the most pleasurable yarn I had worked with was Jo Sharp's Silkroad Aran, which I whipped up a scarf and neckie out of in the colourway Casket - now discontinued).

I did make a couple of alterations to the pattern. I had to add a couple of extra rows to make it long enough as the yarn was a lighter gauge than the pattern called for. Then I fiddled with the flower. This one doesn't have the second row of petals, just longer sections of chain to make the centre pop a little. I think I like it better. The Mr. certainly does! (A nod of approval on something that I have made from him really says something!)

Yarn: Sublime baby cashmere merino silk dk in the Jammy colourway.

Snug as a Bug PJ's
The second thing that I finished was the PJ's for Jellyfish. He has even worn them to bed and is totally chuffed with them (as am I - I mean, I SEWED some clothing!!!). He keeps telling daddy that "Mummy made these for me from my fabric" (Translates as he was given several to choose from, and that is the one that he wanted). Yes, little Mr. 3 loves talking about fabric, yarn and such. The other day I heard him talking to himself and it went something like this...
"Chain four. Then slip the stitch. Now single crochet, half double crochet the next three stitches..." My goodness! I nearly choked. Either I talk when I'm counting stitches, or he has seen me checking out You Tube for ideas one too many times! LOL
Here they are...

Do these make anyone else want to don a pair and head for bed with a good book?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Paper making with Jellyfish

Jellyfish and I decided to give paper making a go yesterday afternoon using an old frame that I had made up when I was doing Visual Arts electives at Uni. It's a bit warped, but to his 3 year old mind it served the purpose just fine.

Here is some that we set out to dry. I will post the finished pictures of the dry paper when we get enough sunshine to take a decent photo.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Creative Space - Snug as a Bug PJ's

This week my creative space has been about teeny tiny bits of hooky and a spot of sewing.

This is what I hope to finish today. Some Snug as a Bug PJ's in a summer cotton for Jellyfish. The pattern and fabric are the ones I showed you here. Just some pressing, sewing the waist band, elastic, a little neatening of the legs and hemming and were done! Waaahooo! My first item of clothing. I don't know why I've been putting it off... it didn't take that long to put together (once the kids were FINALLY asleep anyway!).

I did have to add extra fabric for the waistband - but that is because when I bought the fabric on holidays in QLD, I didn't know how much I would need, and the way it was cut was... a little wonky. :) So a slight fiddle with the pattern, and off we go!

For more creativity - go here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tiny Granny Squares

Well, here is the result of my experiment with embroidery floss and a very small crochet hook.

My first ever granny squares, and they are rather tiny!

The black beaded one is about 2cm in diameter, and the bronze one is about 2.5cm or 1".
I actually started the idea with beading wire, but I couldn't get it to bend enough to crochet with. (Has anyone else tried this? And if you did, were you successful?)
Now I need to figure out which way I am going to use them ;)
I have a couple of ideas... any suggestions?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hooking Floss

I'm experimenting with embroidery floss and a very small hook...

Come back later to see how it all turns out!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Today's Lunch

Today for lunch I made savoury muffins with a "recipe" that I got from my MIL. It tends to change each time either of us make it, but the standard for me is listed below.

Sun dried Tomato & Olive Muffins

1 1/2 cups Self Raising flour
1/2 cup oil (I use the flavoured oil off the sun dried tomatoes)
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp dried basil (you can use fresh if you like)
1 small onion finely chopped
3/4 cup grated cheese
          Additives - Sun dried tomato, chopped small
                         - 1/2 cup Olives, chopped small
                         - 1/2 red capsicum (Roast this, peel and chop)
                         - 1 Tbs finely chopped chives or chalotts

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. (or about 170 deg C fan forced). Cook onion in the microwave till just done (add a little water to it so it doesn't dry out - you will need to drain this before you add it to the mix).
2. Mix SR flour, oil, milk, egg and basil together. Add onion, cheese, olives and sundried tomatoes (or what ever combination of the additives you like) and mix till combined.
3. Spoon into muffin cases in a muffin tray (Saves you having to prize them out of the tin, and they look prettier).
4. Bake for 20 - 25 mins or till golden brown.

As you can imagine, they didn't last very long! Little Clam (who is now 16 months old) decided that Mummy didn't need to take any more pictures (note the fingers pulling the plate of yummy-ness away)...  but he DID need to eat one!

S xxx

P.S. If you give them a go, let me know how you do (or if my instructions are a bit hazy).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Cretive Space - Swe(e)d-hearts

Finally finished this...

A crochet phone sock complete with a (kind of) Swedish heart cross stitched on it and eyelets. It took me forever to hook the i-cord!!! (And I do mean forever!)

Also is the first ever Swedish heart that I hooked up. Both are on their way to Alicia of Posie Gets Cozy. Hers is the first blog I EVER read (way back in 2007), and even though our styles are different, I do love looking at her gorgeous work. She had a birthday earlier this year, so being that Andy gave her an IPhone, I just had to hook her up a little gift... just a shame it's taken me so darned long!!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Potato Wedges & Avocado Dip

I don't know about you - but sometimes I find it near impossible to take good photos of food... this is one of those times (so was last nights dinner - but that is a whole other story!).

Tonight I made Potato Wedges with Avocado Dip - from scratch. It didn't take too long, and the end result was rather tasty. I took it out of the oven a little before it got to the totally crispy browned stage, mainly because the little people in the house were hungry and needed their dinner (Mental note: start dinner earlier). I have made This several times before, and it ALWAYS gets eaten without there being anything left on the plate.

Here is the recipe...

Potato Wedges

6 - 8 medium/large potatoes
1 - 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil.
1.5 teaspoons Season All

1. Pre- heat oven to 240 deg C (220 deg C fan forced. Peel 6 - 8 medium/large potatoes. Cut them into wedges, and steam till they are JUST cooked. (I use the pressure cooker to steam mine as it is faster).
2. Place 3/4 tsp of Season All in a large Freezer Bag with 1 Tbs of Olive Oil. Mix. Add half the amount of potato.
3. Twist bag shut (so the oil won't leak out) and gently roll the bag around in your hands till the potatoes are covered with salt/oil mix.
4. Pour out and arrange on baking paper on an oven tray.
5. Add remaining oil, season all, and potatoes and repeat steps 3 and 4.
6. Cook till potatoes are crispy medium-light brown. (approx 25 mins)

While wedges are cooking, make Avocado Cream.

Avocado Dip

1 medium sized ripe avocado.
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 - 3 Tbs sour cream
salt to taste (optional)

Place all ingredients in container suitable for mixing with a Bamix food  or place in food processor. Blend well.
Serve in a bowl and add as desired to personal plates with sweet chilli sauce.

A similar recipe can be found in  the Healthy Fast Food  (1995) recipe book by Sanitarium Health Food Company.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Red lentil and Brown Rice Patties with Coconut Mint Sauce

I tried out a new recipe the other day that Mr. Kelp found somewhere or other.
We had them for dinner, and I have to say that it's not half bad... pretty darn good actually!

I used brown rice instead of red Bhutanese rice as that is what I had on hand - and it worked just fine.
As a note for ease of running a house with two smalls and getting the patties to stick together better (and more quickly), I found that if I cooked all the ingredients at night and popped it in the fridge (I LOVE Pyrex!), I could make them up the next day as needed.

I have to say that the mint sauce really makes them "sing".

Get the recipe here.

If you make them - I'd love to know what you think :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Frozen Rubble and I-cord

I've been meaning to share this one with you all summer... and now Autumn has arrived! Oh well. It's just a little something I threw together one day. I sometimes eat cereal for dessert (Or dinner if I am being REALLY lazy!)... anyway, on this particular day in late spring I decided that I wanted Rice Bubbles, only I didn't really want to have them with milk. Being that it was a particularly warm evening, I wanted something cold. Enter the ice cream... and a few moments later "Frozen Rubble" as Jellyfish has named it, was born.
Now I know that you may have come across other similar recipes with more ingredients (I googled it back in January) - but I like it's simplicity.
Please note in the background what I SHOULD have been eating!
1. Pour the amount of Rice Bubble that you want into your bowl.
2. Shave off thin layers of good quality vanilla ice cream (They work in better) and lay them on the Rice Bubbles.
3. Gently (so you don't crush them) squish the ice cream into the Rice Bubbles.
4. Sit down and enjoy!

And on the crafting front...

Working on the i-cord. This is painstakingly slow. I think if I were to use i-cord in something again, I would just cheat and buy it! Stay tuned to see how it ends up...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Creative Space - Dreams do Come True

 I finally took the plunge and bought myself a pattern book. Remember here where I was all excited about this book...

My Grandma gave me birthday money last year, so I allocated some of it to the Purchase of Toni Cowards Make It Perfect. Well the other day I had one of those moments when you just know it is time to do whatever it is that you have been putting off... wandered into my local Borders, and ordered it. It arrived on Tuesday. Then while I was looking through it yesterday, I had one of those "Aha" moments and ran and got my delicious fabric that I bought while holidaying with friends in Scarborough. Both of the striped ones are sheeting that I bought at a local fabric shop up there, and the 80's patterned fabric is actual vintage 80's fabric that I was gifted. Now all I need to do it go and get some solids to go with them...

Any suggestions as to what I should make first? And fabric suggestions?

For more creative juice, head over to Koo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Garland love

I fell in love with the idea of stringing up some hearts when I saw the little hearts that Christie was working on, so I set about making some of my own. They are quite quick to make, and the bit that takes the longest is chaining them all together (that is where James Bond came in the other day).
So here it is - my heart garland (Sorry about the picture quality - it's a really gray day today).

The pattern is from A foothill home companion, but I couldn't actually find the tutorial there, so I used the one at Design Sponge where Molly Dunham the author of A foothill home companion was featured.

For anyone who is of the yarn-ish kind, the hearts were made from Palette Collection in pink snow. and the joining garland yarn was Panda Regal 4 ply cotton (the same as the bikini top).