Sunday, September 28, 2008

To Market, To Market...

Just visited my two favourite ladies at the market and they have not let me down. I can't believe this amazing blue floral velvet and some of the same material I bought last week but in a different colourway! AND I have been hunting for some orange buttons ... et voila - there they were!! (and three red beehive-like buttons which didn't come up so well here!).
...and then- this apron! No more wiping me mitts on me pants.

To cap it all off it was hot chips with earl grey tea on a picnic blanket whilst watching the sheep dog trials with favourite friends. A Sunday for the books.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nuria Mora

I just was having a little look over at PoppyTalk . She always has some lovely stuff on her blog! Any ways she had this great post about Nuria Mora . I am in love with her work. Just beautiful. We have a very wonky half falling down (or up depending on whether your renovating glass is half full or empty) house- I would love a mural like these ones to add some sparkle! All the photos are from her website. Hope it's OK to put them here - I am a bit new to this blog thing - feel like the Uni referencing/ plagarism is relevant???

Postcard Warfare and Spoils of Market War (Part II)

I am engaged in a dangerous game of postcard warfare with Brooke. We worked together in Singapore many moons ago - in fact is was my first job out of Uni. We shared a mad Danish Boss who believed in keeping the air-con temperature in the office akin to a Danish winter (so we all packed socks and cardigans into our handbags to rug up at work - and then stripped off when we headed back into the tropics outside). Our Boss had many other 'quirks' including taking a little time out in meetings by sleeping on the floor (mid-sentence she'd get on down, laying prostrate to get a little shut eye) and an obsessive compulsion to rearrange your papers and books on your desk so they were all aligned - all while you were trying to work with them. So many more stories could be told ...all a little kooky with a capital 'K'. Anyways, Brooke, the girl from Seattle (and Eva from Cali-forn-i-a) joined the antipodean contingent and much fun was to be had. A decade later we are still in touch. She stayed with us in Sydney when we were there. Ever since she has been trying to get us to come Seattle - birthplace of grunge, Microsoft and Starbucks. Only recently did she step up the campaign. I like to call it Postcard Warfare. Every week or so for the past couple of months we have recieved a postcard showcasing the amazing natural beauty surrounding Seattle. Each postcard abruptly stops mid sentence so we have to wait for the next instalment...we would SO be on that plane jetting off to those foreign Seattle climes - just a little issue re:finance. Needless to say - it has definately created a little postbox joy around this house and some amazing daydreaming about when we finally get there - I promise we ARE coming Brooke. Don't you just love getting mail the old time snail way???
Now here is a bowl-o-market joy if I ever saw one. Responding to a tip off from fellow market attendee I was able to bathe in the beauty of vintage bias binding 100% cotton and oh so beautiful colours. Throw in a few metres of 70s fabric and I was in heaven That's the stuff the bowl is on!). A quick trip to my favourite stall to pick up some more buttons and ric rac it was home again, home again with a spring in my step. With heart pounding from coffee injection... I thought I would use everything I'd just bought and actually try out one of the patterns from my childhood which Loz had brought down on her last trip. The result...
Perfect throw back to the seventies hey??? It is supposed to be size one - but is still a little big on Edie - might have to fiddle and make another one!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Labels, Cake - the good things in life

These arrived yesterday...I was pretty excited. I have been pacing for a couple of weeks and sitting at the letterbox with doeful eyes as the postman arrives; only a small amount of pride stopping me from hanging on to his scooter begging him to take another look in his mailbag. I know, I know - a little sad. But they are here ... and the companion for the pink dress (photographed below) is all done. I've sewed on the labels to both dresses now and they will start their new life as sandgropers when I post them off to Perth on Monday. (Sorry about the bad photo - it is a bit rainy and overcast today so the flash was going bananas)

I have had a lovely day today. Mavis, my neighbour from three doors down is in her seventies. We always have a good chat on the street when we see each other. Yesterday she spied me with a bouquet of red gum I had relocated from the Uni carpark. She appeared late afternoon with a gorgeous posy of freishas from her garden just for me. So this afternoon I invited her around for afternoon tea. I cracked out the tea pot and made a Date and Ginger Slice and also my favourite Moist Coconut Cake. Mavis is ace. She has lived in our street for 48 years so she has a good story or three. I really love where I live.

This recipe was given to me by a gorgeous woman I worked with some 6 years ago. It is so easy to make and completely delicious. You can replace the lemon juice with lime if you prefer.

Date and Ginger Slice with Lemon Icing

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup dates

1/2 cup chopped preserved ginger

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup self raising flour

1 egg

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease lamington tray. Melt butter and sugar in a pan, allow to cool then add all other ingredients. Mix well. Pour into tray and bake 30 minutes until golden.


2 cups icing sugar

zest of one lemon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons softened butter

Mix all well until light and fluffy. Spread over slice and cut into fingers.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Drink to the Pink

This little guy is heading to Perth... It is for a little girl who likes pink. It has a travelling companion for her little sister but I am just finishing sewing on the straps... oh and making a matching rosette brooch. (they can be unpinned when you stick them in the wash!)

It is a different colour version of this dress. I am also doing it in a beautiful brown fabric. I just started on the brown dresses as I have been neck high in aprons. I have finished 10 of the suckers! My vision is going blurry . I am just waiting for some little 'loz and dinny' sew on labels to arrive so I can complete them! So hopefully I will be able to show you the fuits of my labour in a couple of days.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chutney Clubs and Grafitti

I'm joining a Chutney Club - such a fabulous idea ... I think I'll make a quince paste which is just delicious with cheese - not exactly a chutney but I've been given the green light. Dunc is actually the preserve maker in the family but I have promised myself I will not cheat and outsource to him! Maybe I will have a go at Dinny's tomato relish - I've been threatening for yonks. Check it out. I think you should join too!

There is a bit of a graffiti blitz going on in my city ... so I thought I better get a quick snap of this guy before he gets obliterated... I'm not a fan of tagging but I love a bit of cheeky guerilla embellishment in an otherwise unloved spot.

He looks as if he has had a very big night to me! Thank you unidentified artist - I think he's lovely.

I've just had my sister down. We literally dropped Grandma Loz off at the airport and collected Aunty Simmy (Well coordinated family!) She bought me this gorgeous deco light fitting for my birthday - I LOVE it. It now has pride of place in our otherwise unrenovated lounge room.

We had such a lovely couple of days (I say lovely alot, don't I) - now Edie is having withdrawals - 7 consecutive days of a granddaughter/ niece love fest and I all of a sudden seem a little lax on the attention scale. So lousy Mummy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Could the real Loz please stand up!

Loz came to visit this week - she goes back to Melbourne tomorrow. Edie has had lots of fun hanging out with Grandma Loz - they cooked the bolognaise sauce together. Loz couldn't believe that a 15 month old would stand on a chair concentrating for an hour. I have loved having my Mum down. We don't stop talking... and she pins ruffles onto my dresses - one of my least favourite jobs. She's like that, Loz.
See if you can see Duncan and I in the next shot - he is the one doing the move from Staying Alive to get Edie to look at the camera and not at the food - a tough call! Loz 'acquired' the blossom in the green bottle on the table on her walk with Edie - see it's not my fault that I gather flowers on my walks - it's genetic.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Spring Chicken and Mushrooms

We have some new arrivals in the family - six wee chicks - which we hope are chickens (but a couple, we suspect, may be roosters). Edie is intrigued by them, but a little unsure. Dunc built an awesome temporary 'hutch' out of cardboard for the little cuties. With our fruit trees blossoming, the chicks chirping and the lovely warm days we are having - I feel like I could stand in a clam shell, fashion my hair like Venus and be a pin up for Spring. It all got me in the mood to tackle a new apron ... it was on order with a couple of requests for green polka dots with pink. It was stumping me until I received a little inspiration via this gorgeous japanese mushroom fabric. I did a bit of a happy dance when I saw the result ... what do you think?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cooking up an Apron

I finished this apron a few weeks ago ... Edie is at the stage now where she likes to stand on a chair next to me while I cook (and while Dunc does the dishes). I have very fond memories of cooking with my Mum! Edie is quite small for 15 months - so the apron is designed for 1- 3 year olds. You fold it over at the waist before you tie it to shorten it a little if desired. It has ties at the neck and waist so it is fully adjustable - oh, and reversible. I have some 'boyish' material on order too for all those little male chefs! I am working on some badges to go on the aprons ...but those are a surprise - stay tuned.