Thursday, February 26, 2009

Too wit too wooo

Well done Pip at Meet Me at Mikes for attracting 149 members to Brown Owls Melbourne.
100 turned up for the meet and greet at Dantes this week - a wonderful response. It was mostly a gals only gig ....(Pip's partner Cam and her two gorgeous boys were the only lads in the room!)
No craft at this meeting ... but some dinner, drinks and lots of chatting to folk, who like me, read about Brown Owls online and thought it wouldn't hurt to hang out with crafty types. Hi to Nicole, Nycole, Imogen and Sophie who I chatted to for a while.
Lots of us brought craft items - wool, needles, pins, scissors, fabric, knitting needles etc - and piled them on the donation tables. We helped make up packs that will be sent to neighbourhood houses in the fire affected areas so families who have lot everything can get a little comfort from some crafty loveliness.
Pics originally posted at Brown Owls

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Say gidday

I got a real thrill today when I logged on and found a comment on my blog!

Thanks Tinnie Girl for popping by and saying gidday.

I often go visiting other blogs and only very recently have been - well - brave enough/bold enough to leave a comment. My favourite blogs are crafty ones and I'm in awe of how productive and creative these crafty ladies are.

Tinnie girl commented on how much she loved the food on my blog. There's certainly been more food than craft lately. My fingers are itching to get into a new project or at least finish off the ones I've got ... but it's been a strange 12 months.

For the last year we've been renting a little house while our family home is renovated. (Check out the progress on my other blog The House That Ben Built) ... and a lot of my craft bibs and bobs are packed away in storage. Opening those boxes is going to be like Christmas.

I'm so looking forward to meeting lots of crafty types and making new friends at Brown Owls this week. There are heaps of people going and from the looks of it, a lot of newbies like me.
See you on Tuesday! I'll be brave and say gidday.

Party On!

OMG we are all utterly exhausted tonight after a day of partying!
Turning 9 is a very big deal.
The girls were up early to decorate the official party car.
We packed up our goodies and our gals and headed to the park, toot toot tooting the horn along the way. The little girls waved and cheered and mostly the folks waved back, smiled and tooted. Even those uber cool types gave us a wry smile.
The girls played in the park, posed for pics and ran all over the place in search of the treasure. The laughing, the joy, the fun.
Party snacks for hungry gals. Yum!
Then back home for birthday cake.

Happy birthdday my gorgeous girl. You bring us so much joy xxx

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Party Plans 2

Ok .... here's the check list

Chicken and asparagus risotto cooked

Risotto eaten by everyone - including Georgia!

Girls in the bath

Bottle for Georgia


Gotta love that!

Now onto the party prep.

Party bags packed

Snack bags prettied up

Treasure sourced
(thanks for going to the supermarket darling And grabbing that bottle of wine)

Treasure Hunt clues dreamed up (thanks again darling)

All organised!
Cuppa tea time.

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Party Plans

Miss 8 is just about 9. The big day is just two sleeps away. Tomorrow we're celebrating with some little friends.... in quite an old fashioned way.

I asked Eliza what she'd like to do for her birthday this year ... and after some thought (and running through the myriad of party options available these days) .... she said "birthday cake and party games at the park."


So tonight ... after the girls are in bed (Eliza has her cousins Zoe - 6 and Georgia - 7 months here for a sleepover ... which is all part of the party build up )... so after dinner - which reminds me I need to get the risotto started .... so after dinner .... and bathing the girls, and feeding the baby and giving her a bedtime bottle ... and setting up the portacot...... and reading stories ......and ....and .......and ...... (I think I'll be having a little glass of wine somewhere amongst all that) ....
So after the girls are in bed ...

  • I need to wrap the parcel for Pass The Parcel
  • Memo to self - fish the newspaper out of the recycling bin so I can wrap the parcel
  • Write clues for the treasure hunt
  • Gawd ... what's the treasure going to be??
  • Might have to dash to the supermarket for that one!
  • Pack the party bags, which the girls decorated this afternoon
  • Do something creative to pretty up the lunch bags which will have party snacks for the park
  • Cut up crepe paper into streamers to decorate the 'party car' tomorrow... I mean the party girl has gotta travel in style
  • I also need to write one of my famous lists ... so I remember to pack everything we need to take to the park

Gotta dash now! I just checked the list my sister left ... and Georgia's due for a bottle now ...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A late summer lunch

We celebrated a double family birthday with a late summer lunch. We joined James' parents at Bittern Cottage on the Mornington Peninsular and toasted James and Eliza - father and daughter.

The cottage run by Jenny and Noel Burrows is reminiscent of tiny family restaurants in France where the menu of the day depends on what's in season and fresh from the garden.

Today the late summer menu began with a savoury plate - delightful pickled cherries, homemade terrine, spiced carrot, grilled zucchini and a slice of potato fritata with romesco sauce.

Roasted duck followed with morello cherries and new potatoes and beans.

A serve of salad, then French cheese ...

We finished with a plate of summer ice cream - lemon, strawberry and mango.

A perfect summer feast.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Loved Up

Happy Valentines Day
Hug your loved ones tight

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crafters Unite


Crafty types across the blogosphere have big big hearts.
Loads of folks are crafting away and putting their goodies up for auction with all money going to the Bushfire Appeal.
Thanks to Silly Gilly for creating this button.
Click on it to see the handmade loveliness up for auction ... and bid big.

Sunset on a devastating week

This surely has been the longest week in history.
Every day seems like it's lasted for 60 hours.

I've listened to the radio every night into the wee small hours. Listening as fire raged through tiny towns in Victoria. Listening as people's lives were utterly destroyed. Listening as the death toll climbed higher and higher. It's 181 ...

The fires are still burning in some areas. It came within metres of homes in Healesville today. Here in the city we experienced a blazing sunset this evening. A firey ball in a smokey sky.
I snapped these pics about 7.30 on my way home.

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Home baked treats

The team at our office turned on a treat today. Home baked cakes, scones, friands, muffins, cupcakes, slice, point sandwiches, chocolate ripple cake and more!

For a minimum $5 donation, staff filled their plates and enjoyed the most wonderful morning tea.

All the money raised is going to the bush fire relief fund.

More than a $1000 was raised in our office alone.
A truly delicious result.
Thanks to everyone who baked
and everyone who ate!
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

Victoria's Darkest Day

Our hearts to out to the people in regional Victoria who have suffered incredible losses in the bushfires.
It is surely Victoria's darkest day; a tragedy on a scale we have never known before.
The searing heat and tinder dry conditions sparked devastating firestorms across the state.

As I type this, the death toll stands at 66 and is expected to exceed 100, whole townships have been obliterated and more than 700 family homes destroyed.

Ironically there was rain today.
I think the sky was crying.
We were.

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Colours For Our House

It's been a pleasure to choose the colours for our new house ... and incredibly easy. James and I have not disagreed on any selections. We are remarkably together on every decision.

We're chosen carpet, tiles and paint colours for doors, walls, ceilings, skirting and architraves. We've selected beautiful French limestone for bench tops and the vanities, some lovely bathroom tiles as well as the timber and blue grey limestone for the floors. And a splash of colour in the upholstery.

The palate is elegant and subtly dramatic; a mixture of soft greys and neutrals against strong elements like the timber.
Eliza says she's finally getting excited about the house.
She can start top see what it might look like. She LOVES the Porters Paint pale pink teamed with eggshell white which will be painted in wide stripes on a feature wall in her bedroom.
Yes, were all started to get excited.
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Friday, February 6, 2009


I'm a wee bit tired of hearing about Kevin's big package.
It's a 42 billion dollar package.
Commentators are calling it Kevin's stimulus package...
Makes me feel a bit wobbly.

Kevin's package is big .... but not as large as the one big O wants to thrust on the US.
He's got a trillion dollar one.

Boys and their packages ..... they can't stop comparing them!

The sort of packages I like are brown paper ones, tied up with string.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A litte bit excited

I'm feeling a shiver (dare I mention that word when we reached another exhausting 33 degrees today) ....
So like I was saying ....
I'm feeling a little wave of excitement.
I'm a signed up member of Brown Owls a crafty group for grown ups offering inspiration and conversation.
I like it already!
I heard about it on one of my favourite super cool blogs Meet Me At Mikes .
The first get together is a meet and greet in Fitzroy later this month.
I'm looking forward to meeting other crafty gals ... and learning lots!
It will be a great way to get some actual time for projects .... at least once a month.
Who knows, I might even finish one or two!
(Darling Georgia, I haven't forgotten about your quilt little one)

Thrifting Gold

I love trawling through Op shops, I LOVE a bargain and and I heart old recipe books.
Sometimes the planets align and you strike gold on all three levels.

I was in Brisbane a few weeks ago and one hot and humid Saturday I spent a wonderful couple of hours rummaging through a number of op shops and vintage shops in Paddington.

Look what I found!


The Children's Picture Cookbook is classic!
Included are recipes for orangeade, taffy and lemon delicious pudding, ginger snaps and more.
I love the colours and the illustrations.
Probably from the 50's or 60's I'd say ... and in pretty good condition.
A steal at $2...

And I couldn't resist this little paperback. A book of recipes compiled by mothers and friends of the Wangaratta Boy Scots, dated 1963 - the year I was born.

A lot of the recipes have ticks beside them .... obviously well loved family faves like rolled oats fingers, Churchill Slice and savoury mince. The Chow Mein recipe is kitchily retro.
I'm going to try a few out, when we move back to our house and I have an oven that works.

Will probably give the Chow Mein a miss..

It's the best 50c I've spent in a long time...
I mean what else can you buy for so little that gives so much pleasure ... and feed your family as well.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009

In a pickle

Home Made Pickled Onions

1kg pickling onions

1/2 cup salt

4 cups white vinegar

2 tablespoons mustard seeds

1 tablespoon peppercorn

1 cup caster sugar

2 bayleaves + extra for the bottles

Placed the onions in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to stand for 5 mins then drain and refresh in cold water. Peel the onions and place in a bowl with the salt. Pour cold water to cover the onions and set aside for 24 hours.

Drain onions and pat dry. Place the vinegar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, sugar and bayleaves in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Divide the onions between 2 x 1 litre sterilised jars (or more smaller jars) . Carefully pour over the vinegar mixture ensuring the onions are completely covered. Add a single bayleaf to each jar. Just poke it down the side.

Seal and store in a cool dark place for at least a week. Use within two months.

Fix yourself a platter with a sharp vintage cheese, crusty bread, pickled onions and some home made relish (if you've got it), pour a beer or glass of wine and lunch is served.

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