Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekend in Review 6

Okay so my weekend was busy and it was almost a week away. So what went on last weekend - I'm having trouble remembering and need to refer to my diary.

I want to say nothing on Friday night, but somehow I'm not sure this was the case.  No maybe it was - I remember watching Silent Witness.  Yes that's right!  I did a bit of running around after work and then watched tv.  I was knitting my socks.  Knitting my socks has highlighted that my eyesight is changing.  I can't wear my glasses and see to knit clearly, I need to have them off, but then I need them on to see the TV.  Best get to the optician soon!  I just love these little reminders of aging.  I'm a 19 year old at heart, so it kinda takes me by surprise when I realise I'm doing something like reading menus from a great distance, just like my mama and gran used to do!  Bless!

Saturday I had some girlfriends round for a Nutrimetics fabulous facial party.  It was a hoot!  We had so much fun, sitting round with our bowls and mirrors and being taken through a facial.  All helped along with champagne and nibbles.  Trying lots of lotions and potions.  We were also treated to a hand spa.  We all giggled like schoolgirls - it was a great afternoon.

Saturday night was off to a fun quiz night fundraiser for the rowing team at Penrhos College.  I came away $100 richer, winning one of the raffles.  Perfect timing, as I'd treated myself to some books on-line, which I will share with you when they arrive.

Sunday I headed off to Perth Upmarket for a little looksee.  It's been a couple of years since I had my bag stall.  It has really grown and there is some fabulous gear.  It's great to see how creative people are.  Then my friend and I went for coffee and brekky at Halo on Angelo Street in South Perth.  The scrambled eggs were absolutely YUM!  Treat yourself if you're in the area.

Sunday arvo was spent at home.  By then I was coming down with this lousy head cold.  So I just kept myself topped up with hot lemon and honey drinks.

My latest read has been "The Lavender Keeper" by Fiona McIntosh.  I picked it up due to its lavender title.  I would like to see the lavender fields of Provence - it's one of my bucket list items. And I just made my first visit to Provence (albeit for one day!) last year. Also, it's set in WWII which is another one of my favourite eras to read about.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It's not in the same literary class as "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" but an easy enjoyable romantic fiction read if that's your thing. Done and dusted in a few nights of bed time reading.

I didn't realise it has a sequel, so I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Socks on the needles

I'm doing it!  I've actually got around to starting my first every pair of knitted socks.  It's slow progress.  Tiny needles and stitches.  A big change from my big needled felted bags that have been my mainstay for the last few years of knitting.  I'm following the Cat Bordhi method.  I don't know that I'm 100% right, but it's a learning exercise this foray into the world of hand knitted socks!  There's a couple of little mistakes in the ribbing, but rather than unpick and fix - they won't matter for wearing -  I think it will be a good reference point for my second and future pairs... I'll be able to see my evolution from novice to expert :) 

I'm in trepidation of the heel instructions!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekend in Review 5

A weekend plagued by headaches, that pounded away making me feel pretty lousy.  It's a regular once-a-month thing these days.  Pills help lots but it puts me in a bit of a fog.  Right now I can't even remember what I did on the weekend.

The one thing of note was that I finished "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" by David Wroblewski.  I really enjoyed the book.  It was different and beautifully written.  A story about a mute boy and his dogs.  I found the ending unexpected.  I gather that the ending of the book has been the source of debate which I found some notes about online. I was curious to find out what others thought of the book.  It's been around since 2008 so there's quite a bit on the web about it.  Read here if you're interested

I just discovered that it is the National Year of Reading here in Australia and it's almost half way through. (Must have had my nose buried in a book!) I worry constanTly that my girls don't read nearly enough. I have grown up in a family where everyone reads/trades/discusses/gives/is surrounded books. They inhabit desks, bedside and coffee tables, and shelves everywhere.  But my girls are that next generation caught up in all things digital and rarely pick up a book on a rainy afternoon.... I try to ease my concern by telling myself that they are busy teenagers with a wide range of interests.  They will come back to books and reading in the future and it is in their genes.  Their home environment exposes them to books.  They see me reading fingers crossed osmosis is at work.  Because I cannot imagine a life without books.  Or does the future hold a life without books for future generations to come?

With the announcement of 2000 or so jobs to be cut from a newspaper printing house on the east coast.  It's a constantly changing world where the only thing certain is change as the saying goes.

I'm so glad wonderful artists captured reading.  Imagine people viewing this painting in generations to come. The description will have to explain what the subject is holding and why!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I love donkeys

You may remember me waxing lyrical about donkeys in a previous post when I bumped into one on Mallorca last year, but just in case you're a new reader/visitor and don't know ........ I lurve donkeys. 

So this dress brought a smile to my dial when I stumbled upon it on the Anthropologie website..

Now I don't want to own it - it wouldn't suit me - I couldn't carry it off and do the donkeys justice.  But I am really excited by it.  There are obviously other people out there that share my love and appreciation for these gorgeous stubbon creatures, cousin to the glorious horse.  Now I did know that there are like minded souls who share my love, but to think to take it to this level?  A chic silk shift!  Fantastico!  Bravo!

I'm pretty certain all the elegance of the garment would be lost if I was to wear it (I would just look like Major Frumptown),  but if I did adorn my body with it ... I think high heeled brown boots and a scarf tied at the neck may well complete the look.

I'm going to google donkey fabric and see what I find.......

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Weekend in Review 4

I feel as though the weekend was really very uninspiring.  It just seemed to pass in a blur and I don't have any real enthusiasm for recording it.

I baked on Sunday morning for a birthday afternoon tea for my besties birthday.  I made gluten free butter kisses

and a gluten free chocolate caramel slice.  All very yummy.  I also made osso buco and an interesting Persian lamb and rhubarb stew for evening meals.

I managed a grand total of possibly 10 treble crochets on my rug!  And I did did about 4 strips on one Russian doll quilt. 

The washing machine has broken down. As has the printer and the screen/monitor.  Part of the back fence has blown over in the massive storm we had here on Sunday. The wind also dislodged a couple of pickets off the front picket fence!  I managed to get grease and petrol all over my favourite red winter coat on its very first outing after the dry-cleaners so it's back at the dry cleaners!

I'm on anti-biotics again!  And now being treated for fibromyalgia.

Oh dear woe is me....I think I better eat some worms!  :))

Friday, June 08, 2012

Weekend in Review 3

Ooops it's Friday and I haven't done my weekend in review post, although I've posted about a couple of things I did. My weekend was very very quiet. I blobbed in front of telly on Friday night.  Saturday morning did a few chores before heading out on my "Artist's Date".  I've read the book by Julie Cameron, The Artist's Way and try to incorporate random artist dates into my life.  I love that book and it sits beside my bed, so everynow and again I flick through it and re-acquaint myself with it. So with the prospect of a long weekend and time on my hands I decided to have an artist's date. I headed to Calico and Ivy to soak up some inspiration.  In particular I wanted to buy sock yarn and needles so I can learn to knit socks. 

The yarn for sale is heaven.  The colours are heaven.  I was in heaven.  My mind started jumping all over the place with projects I want to make.  It almost became stressful.  I had to take big deep breaths! I was there for ages fondly the yarns, flicking through books, looking at fabric, drooling over the Liberty bolts. Eventually... mission accomplished very satisfactorily!

Here are the socks I'm about to embark on!

Next weekend job was to buy myself some jeans.  With the weather turning, and not a pair in my wardrobe, I need to rectify this.  Again mission successfully completed - 2 pairs purchased - a dark dark navy pair and a red pair!  Thumbs up from everyone at home.

I also splurged on a wooden sign for the kitchen.  Very fun!

Sunday was spent doing chores and sewing my Russian Doll quilt - see earlier post.  Evenings were spent crocheted my wavy edging on my rug.  Almost finished - one and a bit sides to go.

A lovely walk down to the river on Sunday evening.  I'm so lucky to live so close to the beautiful Swan River.  As I approached the foreshore I could hear bagpipes.  I discovered it was coming from a small glen :).  A piper and drummer were practicing.  How special was that.  I stayed within earshot for the entirety of my walk.  It was very special.  I grew up learning Scottish dancing and listening to pipe band records with my Scottish grandfather.  I love the bagpipes, pipe bands.  The sound of them transports me to other times and places.

Monday was lost in running the girls around, chores and cooking.  I did squeeze in an hour of sewing, but that was it.

Foodwise I cooked a delicious chorizo and bean soup (thanks Bill Granger), a lamb and lentil stew, some delicious bacon, pea and parmesan mini quichey muffiny things and the dismal failure of a cake!

And that was my long weekend.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Russian Doll Blocks

I've sewn the solid colour border around all 25 blocks now and am starting on the the outer strips to build up the block. 

I'm not sure I have enough of the Russian Doll fabric to go round every block.  If I do I will ahve to eek it out by joining bits.  I have lots of plain fabric so I'll be using it to build up the blocks. They are all a bit wonky!

I haven't quite worked out in my mind yet how I'm going to bring it all together.  I just want to do the fabric justice with my quilt and not be disappointed in the end result.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Epic baking fail....aka lemon brick cake

You know that saying "When all else fails bake a cake"........well what happens when the cake fails? 

My Sunday baking was a Lemon Drizzle Cake - a gluten free version.  All mixed in a food processor, whacked in the tin and the oven - easy peasy. 

First sign of impending disaster was that the mixture curdled in the food processor.  Mmmmm I stood and looked and considered I add more flour?  No I think I'll soldier on being my first attempt at the recipe.  Put it in the silicone loaf pan and slid it into the oven.  Watching it carefully as my oven is awful.  I really must get someone out to look at it.  It was browning up very quickly but sloppy as all get out.  The butter was bubbling all around it.  Was that the silicone baking tin?  (It's not a tin, but what else do you call them?)  I bought it recently as I needed a loaf pan of a certain size.  Don't know why, I don't like using silicone.  I went against my better judgement and got talked into it by the shop assistant and I needed one to make my gluten free bread and it was all they had.  (Still haven't made the bread!). Anyway I think I'll donate it and get myself a tin tin...

I tested the cake and the top half was sloppy and the bottom solid.  I thought "oh no' it's burning on the bottom.  But perservered until the top was the tested properly. So finally I pulled it out and drizzled the drizzle over it and left it to cool completely in the pan.

It didn't look too bad when I turned it out....

The top half was we nibbled away at that...real cake desperados that we are!

and played and sculpted it....

It looks like a barge or oil tanker, don't you think?  Although this one would sink without a trace.  The bottom half was just a solid slab - reminiscent of the concrete slab out extension is built upon.

So all was not lost completely... we managed to have some fun with it.  I'm wondering whether to try again, but not use the food processor and make it by steps, that is, cream the butter and sugar add an egg and then the rice flour etc etc. That way I can keep an eye on it, oh and use one of my trusted cake tins, not the new fangled silicone. 
so all is not lost when the cake fails too! 

Monday, June 04, 2012

Russian Doll Quilt

Guess who's come out to play this long weekend?

They've been hiding away for eons, waiting patiently for another outing and finally the day arrived. They've had a wonderful time out in the sunshine.  Deciding who to sit next to and what colour they'd like to be dressed in! Still lots more play time required before it's a finished quilt top.

I love the plain borders - my first foray into using plains in a quilt.  Every block is a different size, as the centre doll was fussy cut from the fabric, so I have to work out a way to make every finished block the same size.  Some of the blocks are very wobbly too, so will need to be squared up. All in all it's a very "organic" quilt, growing at its own pace, no strict conditions attached. It's full of home grown goodness and really really good soul food.