Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mad or superwoman

I just can't decide what I was the other morning. But by the time the kids left for school I had made a batch of Louise Cake and a batch of Hokey Pokey biscuits!!

I had a comment on my blog recently from a lady whose blog title is "Supermum no cape", What a great title.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been a bit stressed and not keeping up with some stuff - one of which was baking for lunches. So I either don't do it or go over the top at the moment!!!

Anyway - why has no one told me about Hokey Pokey biscuits before? They are so amazingly super easy and super fast to make. This is a fantastic recipe for the busy household.

From the Edmonds cook book

Hokey Pokey biscuits (taste a little like the inside of crunchy bars)
125g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon golden syrup
1 Tablespoon milk
Put all these into a pot. Heat until butter is melted and mixture nearly boiling, stirring constantly. Take off the heat and sift into pot
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda.
Stir well. Put teaspoon sized dollops onto a lined tray. Flatten slightly depending on how thin or thick you like your biscuits (I did not flatten much). Bake 180o C for 15 - 20 mins or until golden brown. (I cooked 18 mins)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Grande Finale

I can finally say those words "it is finished". I have been trying to put this on my blog as a finish for the last two weeks. That is how long it has taken me (with a bit of camping in between) to get all the quilting done.

In my blog here - I explain how this was made from 8 businessman shirts all from Op Shops (Charity Shops). Even I doubted what a quilt would look like just from second hand shirts. I am absolutely thrilled.

I have never made a quilt before that is just block colour and I am very taken with it. Two nights ago when I was auditioning fabric for the binding I had patterned greens, multicolour and stripe material. Aaron did not like any of them and pointed out that introducing a pattern when all the rest was plain did not seem right. So I used the trimmings of the 100% cotton sheet from Ezibuy that is the backing, and had just enough to make a good solid binding.

I quilted this using freehand quilting but in straight lines, to give a bit more of an organic look to the quilt, rather than using my walking foot. Each cross is quilted in an appropriate colour quilting thread. Each cross had the quilting in the opposite direction to any crosses surrounding it.


This quilt has been made for Jakob to go with his newly decorated room. It looks amazing in there and is even big enough to fit on the pull out sofa when guests come. It is big enough for my bed and I want it!!!

When taking the photos Eli helped and at the end Jakob told me to take a photo of Eli too so he did not miss out. I love his compassion.

Linking to FNSI - finally!!! and other parties here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Funny but Fantastic

As you know from my last blog post, we went to Oamaru for the long weekend. We are calling this the PPP weekend (a bit crude but - Piss Poor Planning). This is not about forgetting things, or breaking stuff etc, this is about going for an event without checking whether it is actually on!!

Yes that is right folks - we went for a Victorian Festival that is held every year. So off we trotted, absolutely sure that the last time we found out about it, it was on the way home from my sisters place on Labour Weekend. NOOOOOO. The Victorian Festival is on Show Weekend!!!

So guess where we are regoing in three weeks time? Yes - to a Victorian Weekend in Oamaru. Well actually we are going to stay with my sister in Dunedin and then head back with them in tow. And yes we will be making a booking for Annies Victorian Tea Rooms for lunch.

Eli on the Penny Farthing

Jakob rode the Penny Farthing really well

In spite of our PPP we had an awesome weekend and are likely to put Oamaru on our destination list again. The Botanical Gardens are amazing and the kids play area was enjoyed by us all as well. Great time walking around the sea and wharf areas, lots to do, excellent swimming pool. The boys had a fantastic time on the Penny Farthings

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Victorian afternoon tea

Waitresses clearing the table - cake trolley on the left
What a fabulous and funny weekend we have had - more of that on a later blogpost. I am currently printing like mad, a pile of work stuff, before heading out to the office at the shed. So while I am doing that here is a quick glimpse at the most amazing find in Oamaru.
Aaron had just done the wrong thing with his plate (must teach  some manners)
We went to Oamaru for the historic centre which we have gone to before and was great fun. On the corner of the Victorian prescient we found a new tearooms which has only been open just over a year. Annies Victorian Tea Rooms. Opening Day newspaper article . It is 1 Tees St, Oamaru. I cannot give you a website as she does not have one but there are also articles about her in the Historic Places Trust website.

Tea for me
This is a true Victorian Tea Rooms. We just happened upon it by fantastic design. Everything about it is authentic. They all wear the old uniforms, even the cooks in the kitchen whom you do not see. They cut the bread at the table if you order bread, butter and jam. If you order cake then the trolley is brought to your table and you select the cake, it is cut in front of you and served up with cream and berries if you wish. Even the boys icecream sundaes arrived in china cups, homemade (and gorgeous) icecream. We all had tea and took a while there. It was so fantastic that we went back the next day for lunch (Sunday) and on that day to cap it all off there was a man tinkling the ivories in the corner.

They also follow etiquette of the time. The boys and I went in first while Aaron was at a bookstore, he had said to order for him. The waitress would not take an order for a Gentleman " as without the gentleman being present as it does not pay to order as you may order something that the gentleman does not really like".
This is the place to take your mother, your grandmother, your sister..... Having said that the boys and Aaron really enjoyed it too. It slowed you down for a while and made you appreciate the little things. Fantastic.

Next time we go back we are going to go in period costume.
Cutting the bread for bread, butter and jam for Eli
A happy Jakob
Serving the cake up
Jakob having to select a cake

Friday, October 19, 2012

Working frantically but still not finished

Well I started trying to finish this quilt last friday for "finish it friday" over at Crazy Mum Quilts. But this has been finish it up Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday (Tues and Wed I just was over it), then yesterday and all my spare time today.
But it is still not finished. Off to pack for the weekend, this will just have to remain my current major unfinished project. It is the quilt for Jakob's room (which is also not quite finished - have the shelving to sort).

i link to these parties

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Ultimatum

The mounting tower of stuff.
I have known for years that it would eventually happen - The Ultimatum - "Sort your craft stuff out!!"
Now I constantly sort, resort, reorganise all my craft stuff in the house. I try to finish projects, put it in sensible order and eliminate.

So confession time - elimination has just been to put it in the garage. It is a mess, I acknowledge it. But some is ready for sale so a bit will go. But I have been warned, if it is not sorted within a month then HE will sort it. ARGGGGGHHHH. What does an IT person know would be important to me or how to organise it. So now after years of procrastinating I am going to have to do it.

On Sunday I did an hour and managed to organise all the preserving and jam jars, the shelves that have cooking stuff on them and I cleared a whole half shelf space for Aaron to put stuff on. I also cleared another shelf for his stuff. But the big pile, the mission, is still to come.
Some of the stuff for sale made and boxed.

A few before shots for you.

Linked to the sunshine project

Friday, October 12, 2012

Back to School and Birthday Baking

After a busy two weeks of school holidays I thought I better fill the tins ready for making school lunches on Sunday night (it is usually the last thing I want to do on Sunday night and so if there is no baking then often no sweet thing for the lunch box).

This baking may look a little bizarre as it ended up experimental flavour wise. I made a coffee cake for Aaron's Birthday Cake. Very successful as usual, a batch and a half of afgans and a double batch of yoyo biscuits. (the yoyo's are yet uniced). Once all had cooled I set about icing the cake. Coffee icing - pretty standard- but I made way tooooooo much coffee icing.

That is when experimenting came in. First we tried a bit of yoyo with coffee icing, it was ok but drowned that lovely subtle custard flavour. Then the light bulb moment - coffee icing on afghans - it is a moccachino!!! Coffee and chocolate always go well. So another round of trying and we were all happy.

So all set for the birthday tomorrow and all ready for the school routine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ambitious Plans

The first complete purse
I still have not learnt the plan great achievements! My plan for the school holidays was to finish all the christmas presents for the females. So far I have only stitched 4, sewn the edges of three and finished one completely. I am using my book "the bag making bible" to learn to do zips and fully lined purses. So Amiria's is finished but the rest are not. Ah sigh.

Part completion of others

The shelving I have installed in Eli's cupboard
I had also planned to finish Eli and Jakob rooms by getting all the shelving done and toys sorted. I have started by getting shelving up into the top of Eli's cupboard, which took me a lot longer than I thought it would and I was super careful about where to put screws as there is plumbing behind the walls. But the rest is another unfinished item. Lots to do, Lots to do.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Baking and a busy day

Dairy, Egg and Gluten free rice bubble biscuits
Well today first thing I made rice bubble biscuit. This needed to be gluten free and dairy free, as Mieke is intolerant of both. So I adapted the recipe to suit. I have no idea when I first got this recipe or from who as it has been around since before I was a child.

Rice bubble cake
4 Cups Rice bubbles (make sure they are a brand that are gluten free - I used Kelloggs) into a big bowl.
then into a pot put
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
I love ginger gems
3 1/2 oz diary free spread - i used Olivio as it is made from olive oil (watch out as some still have dairy in them)
4 Tablespoons sugar
melt all together and then bubble at low heat stirring until the colour darkens and the mixture thickens. Pour into rice bubbles, mix together quickly as it sets fast. Put into a lined tin, press down firmly with wet hands and cut. (it is very hard to cut it once it is set). I keep it in the fridge until eaten.

Then we went outside and Eli mowed the lawn for the first time ever! Wow at 7years old. He was dead keen and did an amazing job. So Aaron dug all the compost out and we put it all around the garden. I weeded all the strawberries and pottered like that. The weather was gorgeous but then it went very strange and blew and rained. So inside we came and I made some old fashioned Ginger Gems. I just used the recipe from the Edmonds Cookbook. After a lovely afternoon tea Mieke and Alex came to stay for the night. So all is on!!! Aaron has both the kids on his knee reading to them at the moment. I have dinner ready, Mieke has had two pieces of her rice bubble cake and the boys are watching Chip and Dale.
Aaron loves having babies in the house

The kids watching Chip and Dale

Friday, October 5, 2012

What I am stitching

Well it is that time of year again - yes 10 weeks to Christmas (or something close like that). So the Christmas present making needs to be in full force. So while I was up in Wellington with Kerryn I started the stitching for everyone's presents.

Here are the photos of where I have gotten to. I did a few error's - I did the wrong spelling for one niece so have to redo that. I also got some of the names not quite symmetrical so am having to sort that out. But not a bad result for a weekend away.

Of course my recycling ethos is working here. All the threads are ones I have hanging around, some from old projects, some given to me. The buttons are off shirts I have recycled into other objects and the material is 100% linen from two shirts I bought at the Op Shop.

 Linking to these parties.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wow, I went to W.O.W

Outside the theatre
Yes my last blog was about leaving, this one is about how wonderful it was. The World of Wearable Arts was an amazing show. Not only did they do a two hour spectacular but they had entertainment prior to the show. An amazing Jazz band playing the whole time, various character circling and mingling. It was all I thought it would be and more. I was thrilled that Kerryn was with me.
Our front row seats

I matched the gorgeous men!!

When we got there we were shocked with our seats. I had booked the second tier back to economise a bit, But there was no first tier - we literally were the second from the front row. It made for spectacular viewing and meant we got to see all the garments really well.

We were not allowed to take photos during the show, so what you see is only the prelude.

One of the many Aliens

This Alien told me she would like to be the queen
On Friday night we went out to Dinner and it was fabulous. I forgot to take photos of other plates of food but the one of the entre tapas just gives you an idea.
Tapas on Friday night

A gorgeous break in Rarotonga

Woo hoo, A holiday with no kids for 11 days. Bliss, relaxing and warm! BTW it was an early 20th wedding anniversary present to ourselves....