Sunday, December 29, 2013

Almost 2014

Can you believe 2014 is just around the corner? It only seems like yesterday that I was talking about 2013 being a brand new year! I'm determined to start the new year with an amazing new project in mind ... and I think I've found a contender!

This past week I worked a couple of days in the store at Hettie's Patch, and one of the sweet ladies that came in purchased a book that I hadn't seen before. Before I left the shop for the day, I knew I had to purchase a copy for myself!

The book is called Primarly Quilts, and it's by a lovely Australian lady named Di Ford. I've admired so many of her quilts, and I just knew this book would be right up my alley. I love everthing in it, but I particularly have my eye on this one:

It's called 'Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited'. Ohhh my word, I am in lust! I can definitely see this project in my future. Also in my future, a good deal of scouting around looking for the perfect fabrics for broderie perse. Fabric shopping ... I CAN DO IT!!

On a completely different note, I had a message from Nan V. asking a question regarding the Anzac Biscuit recipe I posted a little while back. I wasn't able to respond directly as Nan's profile is set to no reply, but I didn't want to leave her question unanswered. Her question was whether I used sweetened or unsweetened coconut in the biscuits. I have used unsweetened coconut - I don't imagine it would be a problem to use sweetened, but if you do, definitely reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe, as they're quite sweet already. Hope this helps Nan - thank you for your message.

I hope to check in again before we click over to 2014, let's see if I can manage it. Chatter soon! xox

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve ...

This has been a busy week, I do love the festive season - the shopping, decorating and socialising really are all such fun.

This Saturday just gone was my turn to host the lovely quilting ladies that make up the 'Not the Farmers Wife' group. It's always so nice to catch up with them all, and the day just flies without fail. I remembered to take a couple of pictures, but not many - apologies ladies for the quality of the pics ...

Here we have Kay, Claire, Loz, Shay and Val.

Too many lovely ladies to fit in one picture, so here we have Shay, Val, Tess, Lorraine and Denise.

As you can see, we had plenty to eat - there was always lots of chatter, and the girls managed to convince me to change out the quilt display in the background there. Check in with Loz for pictures, cuz I was way too slack with the picture taking. Thank you all for visiting girls, it was super fun, look forward to seeing you next year! xox

And I promised I'd share a picture of my completed gingerbread house ... Marty took some cute pictures for me to send into the gingerbread house competition at our local Ikea:

I always have fun playing with gingerbread - for this one we were limited to use Ikea's gingerbread house and pick and mix lollies. For fun I lit it up from inside and made trees for the yard. Lucky me, I got a call on Friday to let me know I was one of three gift hamper winners, Yay!!

The hamper is amazing, so much fun stuff. We're going to have fun cracking into it tomorrow.

Well, that's it from me for now. We have a full house tomorrow for Christmas, so it will be busy busy busy. I hope all my dear friends have a wonderful Christmas, and a super happy New Year. Chatter soon! xox

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kitcheny ...

Yesterday my lovely hubby did something for me that I have wanted for the longest time. He installed a new kichen sink for me. Ohhh happy days!

I had a long look thru my archives to find a picture of what it was like before - because in my excitement I forgot to take a quality 'before' picture for you all. Sadly this grainy phone camera picture was all I could come up with:

From this distance it doesn't look too terrible, but let me fill you in ... the corotone sink was almost twenty years old, and had all sorts of scratches and gouges in it - especially in the bowls. The scratched areas get terribly stained, and it didn't seem to matter what I did - I just couldn't get it clean enough to make me happy. And I can't even tell you how frustrating it was not to have a drainer on the left side of the sink. Last on my list of grievances was the tiny second sink bowl. It was way too small to be useful in any way.

Interestingly, it all bothered Marty way more than me, so a few weeks ago, he asked me to begin looking for the new sink. I knew what I wanted - our last home had a double bowl, double drainer stainless steel sink, and I made it my mission to find one. They're not as common as I thought, and really pricey - but I got one delivered last week, and yesterday was the day for installation.

It took Marty most of the day - and I'm so appreciative. I made myself scarce while he was cutting a bigger hole in the bench - so nervous - but he's a magician, and it all worked out really well. Voila, here it is, complete with new tapware.

I think it's kinda fun that something so simple as a new sink has me so blissed out ... I keep wandering into the kitchen to gaze at it :-)

And today has me working in the kitchen, this time playing with gingerbread. I'm putting an Ikea gingerbread creation together, right now I'm waiting for icing to dry.

I'll check back in with you all later so you can see what I've come up with ... this is a work in progress, and evolving all the time! Chatter soon xox

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Simple Tree Skirt Pattern

A HUGE thank you to all the lovely people who have ordered my Simple Tree Skirt Pattern over the past couple of weeks. There have been so many orders I've been really thrilled (and a little overwhelmed). Because I'm not super tech-savvy, when an order is placed on my website, I manually send the pdf out to my customers, which is great, but not super if someone wants to get sewing immediately.

I just learned that Etsy have an auto download for patterns now, so I've put my pattern over there for those of you looking to do a little power-sewing in the lead up to Christmas. You'll find the link over in my side-bar.

I've also put my Sewing Machine Mat pattern there, as I've had lots of interest in that one too - maybe people are working on Kris Kringle pressies?? Happy sewing my friends! :-)

Monday, December 09, 2013

ANZAC Biscuits

Finally I remembered to take a nicer picture of the Anzac Biscuits that I've been making lately. They are my hubby's very favourite thing, and he loves it that I try to keep some on hand at all times. This is a very traditional recipe, given to me by my sweet friend Norma.

Anzac Biscuits:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.

One cup of coconut
One cup of plain flour
One cup of sugar
One cup of rolled oats
Quarter teaspoon of salt

Mix together the above ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

115 grams of butter
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Melt the above ingredients in a pyrex jug. One minute in the microwave should do it :-)

1 teaspoon of bicarb soda
2 tablespoons of boiling water

Mix the two above ingredients together in a small bowl, and then add to the melted butter mix. It will foam up nicely.

Add the melted butter mix to the dry ingredients and combine well. Roll into small balls and bake for 12-15 minutes. I place 12 per tray, and leave room between the biscuits for spreading. This recipe makes approximately 24 biscuits.

This is the recipe exactly as Norma gave it to me. I have made a few small changes to suit me (and my pesky oven). I set my oven to 160 degrees celsius as it seems to always run hot and burn things - but play with your oven and see what results you get. Also, hubby prefers cookies that are a little more crunchy than chewy, so I actually bake them for 18 minutes. Generally I add a little more butter to the mixture - not much - but I usually use between 120 and 130 grams. Just depends on how accurate I care to be when I'm chopping up the butter. And lastly, a couple of times I've forgotten to add the salt, but I don't think it really matters as I usually only have salted butter in the house - all balances out.

If you make them, let me know how you go, have fun!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Binding, check!

In stolen moments during the week, I was able to stitch the binding in place on Tilly's quilt. It's awfully cute, and I'm still in absolute love with the quilting pattern Lizzy used.

On the back of the quilt, just for fun I used a cute fabric from my stash. It doesn't really match the front of the quilt at all, but I do love a little whimsy. All that remains of the piggy fabric now are the off-cuts from the backing, so I'll cut the bits down and get them into the scrap boxes asap. You'll be seeing little white and brown piggies in scrap quilts of the future :-)

This quilt was made entirely from fabrics I've had on hand for a little while. It almost feels like a free quilt when you don't have to head to the store for any of the elements of the quilt - and believe me, that doesn't happen too often for me!

Thursday after work, I had to head to the store for a few bits and pieces for the guild meeting on Thursday evening. As is my habit, I headed into one of my favourite discount stores ... they often have Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, and I always seem to sniff them out ... but this time they had the most adorable Nutcracker people as well, so I had to bring one home with me ...

This time I got the one at the back on the right with the red crown. He's super glittery, love it! I'm getting quite a collection of them now ... but let's face it ... a girl can never have too many!

Chatter soon :-)

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Checking in ...

Once again, it has been way too long since I've spent any quality time with my blog. It's not that nothing is happening here ... it just seems all so uninteresting... you know, get up, run around after kids, do chores ... maybe a tiny bit of sewing ... head to bed, then rinse and repeat. Having said that, fun things are happening, and often, but part of it is I'm just too darn flaky to take pictures - and having a teenager has taught me that if it's not in pictures (and preferably captured in a selfie) well, it probably didn't happen ...

Moving on ...

I did manage to take a picture of the Moda Bake-Shop project I put together to help out my sweet friend Lizzy. She has quilted it for me, and I'm delighted with the result!

Lizzy used a panto called Will o'the Wisp - isn't it pretty? Over the next week or so I'll get the binding ready and stitch it in place. I have a busy week coming, so I know time will be scarce. This quilt is destined for our cousin Lucy who has had a baby girl - she is named Tilly, isn't it a sweet name?

And on the weekend I quickly put together a couple of the Spiderweb placemats as gifts for Camo's two teachers. I can't believe that after today there are only five days of school left for him this year? It has gone so fast!!

I was so surprised to find that I don't really have a lot of Christmas fabric in my stash any more. I don't know what I've done with it. I either tossed it in a Feng-Shui attack or I've hidden it so well that I no longer have any clue where it is.

The Spiderweb mats are fun to put together, if you feel like you could use a few leading up to Xmas, I put a little tutorial HERE, so get busy and make some - they're super fast.

While I was quilting on the mats on Saturday, I had a moment of horror. My new Bernie disgraced herself in the most awful way. There was noise and a fracas in the bobbin region - accompanied by metal shavings and thread all over the place - no one likes that kind of quilting disturbance! Bernie II was quickly supplanted for her older relative Bernie I, and 9am Monday morning I was on Otto's doorstep with the offender in tow.

Well, let me tell you that Otto is nothing less than a God, by 9.40 the same morning he texted me to let me know that Bernie II was ready to be collected. I don't know exactly what happened, but something got chewed up and spat out. Let's just hope my girl behaves herself for a good long time now. Thank you for the rescue Otto!!


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