Monday, 31 May 2010

Our Inaugural Knitting Weekend

the knitting girls

A little over a year ago saw the humble beginnings our our knitting group. A group of women who knew of each other in real life, and got to know each other a little better through our respective blogs. In the beginning we formed a group, with the idea of meeting once a week for six weeks and learning how to knit better. Each week one of us hosted the group at our house, and we brought in our resident expert (our Mum!) to assist with any technical difficulties.

What our little knitting group has become has been a complete surprise to me. I never realised how much I needed such a beautiful group of women in my life, women who laugh with me, cry with me, listen to me, share with me, talk over the top of me, tell me to shut-up once in a while, inspire me, amaze me, and share this journey through life that we are all on. This group of ladies has been a revelation to me.

getting busy creating

So, a while back we came up with the idea of going on a 'knitting weekend' to Bendigo. We all wanted to visit the mill up there, and life is so busy with smalls that a day trip is difficult, so instead we booked a gorgeous house and made a weekend of it.

Funnily enough our 'knitting' weekend seemed to consist of more sewing that knitting, but the company was excellent, the food exquisite {which is what happens when each person only has to cook one meal and has time to do it well!} We enjoyed a gorgeous (faux) vegetarian lasagna, smoked chicken paninis, a succulent roast lamb followed by a lemon meringue cheesecake, and a cooked breakfast on Sunday morning; and that's not even mentioning all the wine and nibblies throughout the weekend.

dinner

the best 'vegetarian' lasagna dessert

and of course our inaugural knitting weekend wouldn't be complete without a trip to the mill...

lots of yarn

Thank you girls for an amazing weekend, who knew that we would make such a great group... I am so looking forward to doing this again {just as soon as we can all get another 'leave pass'}

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

chasing rainbows

pilfering my supplies

for entertainment purposes

I've been trying to get some sewing done, a little bit here and there. To make it easier I have my box of supplies sitting open on the desk, my sewing machine set up, and the iron on and ready to go {it beeps after 15 minutes of inactivity, thus reminding me to come and do a little bit more}. We stayed home this afternoon, as Daisy is still recovering from a bout of tonsilities, and I was very impressed by the imaginative {and co-operative} play that my sewing box provided. Hours of fun for the whole family.

rainbow bunting

I'm slowly making the bunting, rainbow colours of course, for Mia's upcoming birthday. So I was delighted to discover these rainbows through-out the house this afternoon.

catching rainbows


a rainbow on the rainbow

hiding from the rainbow

Saturday, 22 May 2010

A's drawings

he can write his name!





Thomas

Monster Traced Hand

Smiley

A selection from the last day or so.

He is completely self lead. He tells me about his pictures. The stories are often colourful, and noisy. There are a lot of pictures that growl, or fly around the room.

He is writing his name on everything. In all sorts of order. Sometimes he misses letters. Sometimes he gets them all. It's an amazing process to watch.

He often includes his number - 4.

I am enjoying this journey.

Friday, 21 May 2010

the week that was!

monster

a tidbit :: there has been a lot, and I do mean a LOT, or drawing and colouring going on around here. this morning Angus came up to see me while I was putting away laundry. After he told me about his 'monster' he places the picture over his face and growls saying "run away, run away". "Sorry kiddo" I tell him, "I'm not scared of monsters". He takes the picture down and says "No, you shit monsters into the water", "Sorry?", "No mummy, you shit the monsters into the water!"... I can't help myself, "do you mean shit? or shift?" him, looking sheepish, "um, shift"...

Thanks Kel! ... for 'rainbows' first birthday

a gift :: lots of time has been spent thinking about and planning for Mia Rainbow's first birthday, a rainbow party of course. I saw a candle like this on Kelly's sons birthday cake and couldn't help but ask her where she got it from... lucky, lucky me, she so generously sent me one for Mia's birthday cake. Thank you so much Kel!

she cut her fringe with my embroidery scissors

a change :: her first 'self' haircut! In hindsight, she has actually done quite a nice job, we didn't even trim it afterwards, this is it. I found her sitting quietly with my embroidery scissors, lucky for her my Mum was here {because it happened later on a particularly rough day}, so she was sent quickly {and loudly} over to Nanna to relinquish my embroidery scissors. It could have been worse, but wasn't... we're quite used to the new fringe already.

hooping in the kitchen while waiting for dinner to cook

a new hobby :: a hula hoop, just my size, and made by me. I love it! and spend much time standing in the middle of the kitchen practicing while I'm waiting for dinner to cook.

from viewpoint

the view

a discovery :: I 'found' this little place while out and about {on my own} last weekend. A good cup of tea, a book, and a stunning view, all while sitting on the veranda, with the supplied crochet granny blanket wrapped over my knee. I'll be running away to here as required!

good things in my garden

why you shouldn't transplant carrot seedlings
beetroot, carrot and apple juice

a good thing :: my garden that is, it's incredibly soothing for me, and right now I really do need that. I have many things that are going on with me right now, and none that I feel comfortable writing about. Let's just say that I'm a little raw right now... so for me my garden is so wonderful, happy little bugs {and icky ones that are just right for squishing}, some produce that while quite edible, has provided some important lessons, and a concoction, juices right from the garden to help with my current lergy.

and that my friends is the week that was {well a smidge of it anyway}

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Rhubarb Pie

ready for the oven

I got myself a taste for rhubarb, I don't actually know a lot about the stuff, and I don't think that I have actually tried it before, but after reading about it, and coming across this recipe for country rhubarb cake {which has been sitting in my sidebar calling out to me for a few weeks now} I finally made it to the market to get myself some.

The market itself was quite an adventure, Cam headed over to Adelaide a couple of weekends ago and left me and the kids home to fend for ourselves. Now usually I wouldn't be so game to take all three kids to our local community market, on my own, but with such incentive as "well their might be some Rhubarb there, and I can't face the thought of all being cooped up in the house for three whole days" off we all went, bright eyed and bushy tailed at eight o'clock in the morning.

Being there so early meant that parking was a breeze, and with Mia strapped in the pram {a very rare occurance as she is usually strapped to me in the ergo} and the other two on foot, off we went for a rather chilly walk along the river to the market. There was running, and laughter and one teensy little stack, and lots of dogs {which to one Daisy child, was VERY exciting}. We not only made it to the market, but I also found a couple of notes {of the money variety} in my rain-coat pocket, {an added bonus since when I arrived at the market I realised that I didn't have a brass-razoo on me} and sure enough about half way around the market I came across a little stall where a man was selling home grown rhubarb.

The trip to the market went well, and the trip to the play-ground also well, the bakery was ok {going a little pear shaped when the kids realised that we didn't have enough money to buy an icing bun, only boring old rolls}, and the walk back to the car was fraught, culminating into one grumpy boy trailing about 20 feet behind giving what-for to the rest of us, and ended on the low note of jamming everyone very crankily back in the car with mutters of "why-oh-why-do-I-always-manage-to-stay-five-minutes-too-long!!!"

Now, of course, back to the Rhubarb.

filling

When I got home, and everyone was fed and happy once more, I spent some time trawling around on the internet. I found many, many delicious looking rhubarb dishes, and very briefly even entertained the idea of making them all. But, when it all came down to it the country rhubarb cake was exactly what I wanted to try.

So the rhubarb sat on my bench while I amassed the other ingredients... and days passed while I forgot to grab just one more thing from the shops... and then a few more days passed while I gee'd myself up to get started. Then finally on Saturday night, while Cam was wrangling with kids and home made fish-n'-chips, I retreated to the relative safety of the kitchen, and the job of making pastry, by hand, with real butter and no food processor {something that I haven't done in I can't remember how long} and it was nice. I did have a mild panic attack when I cut into the Rhubarb and realised that it was quite big, and quite woody, and that I would have to slice it extra-extra-thin, but even that ended up being quite cathartic, as it took me a long time and saved me from the shenanigans that were occurring at the dinner table.

After reading the post that accompanied the recipe I was ready to handle a sticky pastry dough, but also pleasantly surprised when nothing of the sort happened to my pastry. I may have mucked up the measurements when I converted the recipe to metric, or maybe it was because my ingredients were all fridge cold, but my pastry was firm and easy to work with. I did take on board the advice to mix the sliced rhubarb and sugar in a bowl prior to tipping it into the base, and I don't know if that made any difference, but once the pie was made and cooked {on 140°c instead of 170°c because my fan forced oven is too HOT!} it was easily the most sublime pie that I have tasted in a long, long while; so good that it barely even needed the accompanying cream.

late night rhubarb pie

So, of course you can find the recipe here, but if you aren't inclined to convert the recipe to metric {or just in case I did muck up the changes} here is the version that I used ::

Country Rhubarb Cake
Serves 8

3 cups all-purpose flour, more for work surface
¼ teaspoon salt
1 to 1¼ cup raw sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
125 grams butter, cut into pieces (mine was straight from the fridge)
2 eggs
½ cup full cream milk
680 grams (I only had 500 grams) rhubarb, thinly sliced
Thick cream for serving

1. Heat oven the 170° celcius. In a bowl, sift flour, salt, 3 tablespoons sugar and the baking powder together. With fingers, rub in butter until mixture is sandy. Beat 1 egg and add to flour mixture. Add milk and blend , then turn out onto a floured surface and knead briefly until the dough comes together. It will be quite stiff and {allegedly} sticky. Divide in two. Roll out each piece to fit into a 9 inch {oops, not metric!} round baking dish. Line bottom of pan with one round, pinching together any tears.

2. Mix rubarb and sugar in a bowl, then cover dough with rhubarb mixture. Place second pastry round on top and pinch edges together. Pinch together any holes. Add pretty pastry decorations to the top if desired. Beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water and brush it on dough.

3. Place baking sheet in oven to catch drips, and place the baking dish on it. Bake until crust is golden {I baked for 1 hour, and placed some foil over the top at about the ½ hour mark as my crust was browning up too fast}. Serve warm, with thick cream with each serving.

Monday, 10 May 2010

slightly delayed

hand felted

The up side to having a blog is that I have a record of when certain things have occurred. The down side to having a blog is that I have a record of when certain things have occurred!

In recent months my Mum has been asking whether she could have her felt bag back, the one that I made her a while back. The one that got popped away in a box when we moved from Helm Street to Field Avenue, and never got unpacked again. The one that I gave her for her birthday a few years ago, that she then wanted lined, so returned to me for a quick patch of lining. The one that I couldn't remember, for love nor money, where I had put.

So on Saturday I went for a little look through my craft cupboard, and sure enough, right on top in the first box that I opened was her little felt bag. Once the kids were tucked into bed on Saturday night, I cut into the gorgeous fabric from a thrifted dress {the style was never going to do me any favours, but I did like the fabric} and had soon stitched the lining in.

lined

Now it's back with it's rightful owner.

Happy Mother's Day Mum! {Sorry that it took so long...}

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Mum's Day

Mothers Day

Happy Mother's day to all of those hard-working Mother's in my life... I hope that you have a lovely day, maybe a sleep in, a nice breakfast, and perhaps a present?!?

So far I've had a little sleep in, heart shaped pancakes cooked for me, a slice of pie {!} and a new electric kettle {no more dangerous leaking one to make my tea habit an extreme sport}... we're off to lunch with my MIL then hopefully I'll catch my Mum later today so that I can gift her with a little surpise that I finished off last night.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

All About Daisy...

All About Daisy...

It's that time of year again when the three-year-old in the family needs their special page put together for kinder; we did this last year for Angus and although at the time it was a bit of a palaver, I really did enjoy getting the 'kinder book' for a weekend, and looking through the pages that the other children had put together.

as the adventurer

It is also a really nice way to remind oneself to stop and really appreciate the finer qualities in their child, something that is easy to forget when wrangling with a three-year-old! I had such a nice time sorting through the photos of Daisy from the past few months, and remembering the fun that we've had in that time. I also found myself looking through her baby photos {for another kinder project, which turned out as a case of mistaken identity; when I got to kinder this morning I discovered that I actually needed a baby photo for Angus, not Daisy} and remembering what a beautiful baby she was, and how she has become the little girl that she is today.

as the student

Now other than my blog, I'm not really one for keeping mementos of my children's childhoods, I do keep a tub full of artwork, and a little box with things from when they were born, and of course approximately three-gazillion digital photo files on my hard-drive; so doing this page is the perfect excuse to actually get some photos printed, something that I just never do, and write a little comment about each photo.

as the gardener

and then at the end of the year, once the book has done all of it's rounds, our Daisy page will find it's way back to us. I remember getting Angus' back last year, and putting it lovingly away, ready to pull out and look at when they are much bigger...

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

just telling you

cheeky

Do you want to know how fried I am?... deciding that I needed a quick pep-me-up cuppa, I started to pour my hot water into my cup when I realised that I had put one tea bag, two sugars and two teaspoons of hot chocolate powder in my cup! The tea bag was quickly removed and now I have a hot chocolate to get me through until dinner.

I tell you, these 5am starts are killer!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

first kiss

my first kiss

I got my first kiss today!

I was kissing Mia on the cheek and she turned her face towards mine and lay her open mouth on mine. Her very first kiss. It was brilliant, and I very nearly felt myself melt into a puddle on the floor.