Monday, 29 November 2010

cover job

cover job

For the last few years I've been contemplating replacing my ironing board cover... my old cover was (a) ugly (b) stained and (c) ugly... a few weeks ago, Daisy provided some gentle persuasion when she cut the string that tightens the fabric over the 'board' and ever since it's been rather awkward trying to iron anything. Last week I even set up a beach towel topped with a linen tea-towel on top of it to enable me to do a spot of ironing.

This afternoon I needed to iron something and I decided I would just jump right on in and make a new cover... from go-to-woah it took me maybe ten minutes. Seriously, two years of contemplation (and an ugly cover), 5 seconds to decided to cut into my gorgeous japanese fabric, 10 minutes to cut it out, sew it up and chuck it on.

Wanna know how I did it?

one :: I took off my old cover and {since the cord was already cut} lay the flat piece of fabric on top of my new piece of fabric and pinned it into place

two :: cut the new fabric around the old cover {which I was using as a pattern}

three :: got a ball of cotton string {just the household stuff} and my over-locker and while I over-locked around the edge of the new fabric, I fed the string in the edge {trickiest bit being not cutting the string with the over-locker knife}

four :: placed the fabric on top of my ironing board, pulled the string until the fabric gathered and 'held on tight', tied the string in a knot and cut the ends off.

voilá ~ my new ironing board cover, made out of a yummy fabric that I can now look at and enjoy all the time!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

this week :: in the garden

barefoot gardening

I've found myself out in the garden a lot this past week. On Monday, while cutting back and starting to remove my broad beans, I discovered that the soil was so, so dry. That may explain why my beans were looking so sad; so I vowed to find the time to get out into to the garden and give it some loving.

bed 2 getting some loving

On Tuesday I raced around getting sheep manure, compost {my next batch is not quite ready} and lucern. Then while Mia was asleep I removed the rest of the beans, and sectioned off one plant, so that it can fully mature and provide me with some seed to store for next years crop... unfortunately while hammering in a stake with the back of the axe, I missed and copped myself a beauty in the back of my hand. Well that put stop to anymore gardening that day!

On Wednesday, with my hand back in action, I dug over the top 10-20cm of bed 2, and incorporated the sheep manure and lucern. I'll turn it in a week, then probably spread 10cm of compost and plant it out in a couple of weeks.

circa 17 October 2010
taken 17 October 2010 varieties can be seen here

bounty

circa 3 October 2010 sneaky strawberries
taken 3 October 2010 :: now massively overgrown and fruiting

On Thursday I found the time to enjoy some of the fruits of my labours, and we enjoyed quite a few strawberries directly from the garden, and then I decimated my little spinach plants for a spinach and gorgonzola risotto for dinner.

bed 1 :: tomato, onion, rocket, spinach & lettuce

Friday saw me showing off my {very impressive} spanish onions to a friend, planting some more spinach seed {because five plants just isn't going to be enough} and taking on board the suggestion that I may need to pinch out my tomato plants {already} and tying said plants higher up their stakes.

tomato plant

pinchings

Then today, I felt the draw of the damp grass and headed out bare foot {my favourite} to pinch out my tomato plants, spy on my strawberries progress, and {re}plant some capsicum seeds, which will be living on the kitchen window sill in the hope that capsicum seedling mark II will be more successful that my first effort a month ago.

capsicum seeds, take 2

So now you tell me, what's happening in your garden?

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

thinking it through

hanging out

With only one month of shopping to go, I've been putting some thought into Christmas presents for this year... while I do love Christmas, I tend to love the gathering of family, and the eating of food. I'm much more ambivalent about the gifts, although I did love the excitement of the presents as a child and appreciate that a lot of the magic of Christmas for my kids is about finding all those toys presents under the tree in the morning.

So I've found myself really thinking about what I want to get for my kids this year; they have beautiful quality toys {dollhouses, farmhouses, train sets, car garages, blocks and books} that are all still going strong, and I really don't want to fill up their stockings with some plastic-fantastic things that are going to be broken in five minutes flat, I also don't want to spend a fortune on toys just for the sake of it, and I can appreciate that while my kids are sorely in need of summer clothes and shoes, that would be pretty boring for them come Christmas morning.

So what to do?

preparing for christmas

I remembered that I had this raw door waiting patiently in the cupboard, ready for transforming into a fairy door. So I've decided to paint it up and have it installed on Christmas morning {hopefully with a family of fairies all ready to take up residence...} so hopefully that will create some magic... I'm thinking a new hairbrush for Daisy {and a new year's resolution for me to brush her hair more that once a week, I know. I know!}, a new lego kit {or two} for Angus because he loves it and is good at it, and maybe a table and chair for Mia because she is so into scribbling drawing right now.

So I keep reminding myself, I still have a month to go... so I am sure that a few more appropriate and thoughtful gift ideas will occur to me if the coming weeks; and if not then hopefully they will appreciate the few things that they do find under the tree.

Monday, 22 November 2010

the party scene

first birthday cake

sublime decorations

the finishing touch

passing the parcel

hunting treasure

party fun

Julia's baby girl turned 1 last week, and over the weekend we were lucky enough to attend her very first birthday party... once my eldest came out of his shell, we were all able to enjoy an excellent afternoon.

Now don't get me wrong, I am not at all judgemental about how people choose to decorate their houses for a party {or not, as the case may be} but I couldn't help but be totally awestruck at the beautiful decorating that my friend had done to her home {on top of inviting so many people into it!} there were tissue pom-poms suspended around the ceilings, together with little paper garlands, the dessert table was so stunning that every parent was actively directing their child away from it {so that it would stay looking so gorgeous for just a little longer!} there were tasty morsels set up on another table outside, with strategic seating nearby to entice the adults present, and there was cheerful, hand-made bunting everywhere... her house looked so amazing!*

On top of that, my friend was the perfect party host ~ re-introducing those who hadn't met for a long time, making sure that everybody was well assimilated, fed and had drink in hand; hosting the party games; giving lots of affection and cuddles to the {estimated} 24 children that were tearing around her {immaculate} house; making small talk with every friend {and partner} that was there... it was beautiful to watch.

So thank you Julia for providing the highlight of our weekend, my kids had a blast {and you made it so easy to entice them out of the door with the party bags} and I had such a nice afternoon. You did a gorgeous job, and your babies 1st birthday was perfect.

Happy Birthday Issy!!

* I know that the hosts sister was taking lots of photos, so hopefully, fingers crossed, Jules will put together a beautiful blog post soon {although I will totally understand if she needs to lie down and sleep for a week first...}

Sunday, 21 November 2010

What I've been working on...

jely : BUTTON

I've been busy, busy... sewing, photographing, and putting together my little web site. Now I thought that it would be nice to share with those of you who are still popping on by this space... click the picture above if you would like to have a look see {I hope that you like it}

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Garden to Table

Broad bean & Bacon risotto

Our garden is producing lots {and lots} of broad beans right now; and as previously mentioned, I did rustle up some yummy recipes to try. So far we've eaten quite a lot of our beans and i'm no where near sick of them... it may be due to all of the different meals that you can create.

The Risotto above was tonights dinner, and it tasted just as good as it looked, and included both broad beans and sage from the garden.

Broad Bean Bruschetta

Cam made us this gorgeous bruschetta for lunch one weekend, and it was a veritable delight of flavours. The broad beans, tomato salsa, pancetta & parmesan. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Broad Bean FalafelBroad Bean Falafel Wraps

This mish-mash above is, in fact, broad bean falafel; admittedly not all that great to look at, but when wrapped up with some greek style yogurt, diced tomato & cucumber, and some store bought salsa {or my Mum's magic tomato sauce ~ which unfortunately we have run out of} is the perfect 'Friday Night Take-away Equivalent'. As an added bonus, the falafel is freezable, so it's a good way to hold some {broad beans} over.


We've also been enjoying the beans raw, tossed in salads, and steamed alongside our standard 'three-veg'... so now that I've discovered that I do actually like broad beans, they have become so much more that the 'green manure' crop that they were originally intended for.

So tell me, how do you eat your broad beans? ... is there more fabulous recipes that I should be trying while I have the chance?