Thursday, 29 September 2011

It's Link Love time again

Source: via Chantal on Pinterest

I once made the excuse, back in the day, that I couldn't possibly go out with a guy (who I obviously had no interest in seeing) because it was 'my birthday week'.
Ever since then my good friend Ladle and I love to laugh about it being our birthday week....or sometimes even month... as a way of avoiding uncomfortable social requests.
This possibly isn't funny to anyone but us. I can't tell you the amount of time we've spent laughing about it. Making up ridiculous voices and saying 'oh no, I'm sorry I couldn't possibly, it's my birthday week.'
It still makes me laugh, even just typing it.

This little story isn't really going anywhere....except to say it's 'my birthday week'! So, in honor of all the completely stupid things that make me laugh, here's a list of links I'm loving lately:

the above birthday wreath made by Itz Fitz. It's available over at her Etsy shop.

My Scandinavian Retreat found via Ladle's Pinterest . Boy oh boy, totally dreamy interiors.

this sneak peak over at Design Sponge of Elizabeth Dunker's country house.

Darrah Parker's Slow down: Your September Slices of Life photos.

new blog friends here & here.

Rick Mereki and his Wonderlust series.... phew, he's it's damn hot!

these gorgeous camera bags. I think I'd like one.

the lovely photos over at Closet Visit.

the idea of these little cards making travel, with kids, a total breeze.

and lastly, all the goodness over at A Cup of Jo.

Adios. I'm signing off for the rest of the week....need I say why?!
See you on Monday.
Happy grand final weekend.
Hip, hip hooray. xox

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Baking Success

Yippee! It worked. After a quick consultation with Bruise Mouse this morning, before I popped the loaves into the oven, they baked perfectly. I'm so pleased.
We've already downed a loaf & the L.F. has gone to work this morning with a lovely packed lunch....freshly baked bread & lettuce from the garden...were among the goodness.
I followed the recipe from yesterday's post although I used rye and spelt flour for these little babies. All the flour used was organic, even for the starter. So, I'm happy to say they're completely organic loaves. They taste great too. It was well worth the time & patience required to produce them.

Here's to a happy future of bread making in our home. x

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Bread making 101

I'm trying my hand at making sourdough bread. Encouraged by Bruise Mouse at Living a Little Greener and CHFG I've spent the last 8 mornings weighing flour and water out to add to a fermenting gloop....more precisely know as a sourdough starter. After 8 days my starter seemed prime for baking.....

I'm not sure why.... because I was making a starter so that I could make my own bread but this 'readiness' caused a bit of panic....Heck, what was I to do with the gloop now?

After a mad scramble to find a recipe that would suit a newbie like me I discovered this recipe over at Wild Yeast. My head is now swimming with thoughts of creating a steam oven, folding, baking stones and proving. They're all totally new concepts to me.
I'm up to the 2.5 hours of fermenting with a fold at 1hr. The fold was successful and I have roughly half an hour before any further action is required. I'm just hoping the faint outline of a sad face I can see in the dough above can be turned into a smile. The smile of successful bread making.

PS. Don't ask about the dress....I did start. There was a lot of puckering and after tearing my hair in frustration I've put it aside..... until later tonight.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Crafty Monday Call out

A couple of photos from our weekend adventure to the coast. I love being welcomed by these quilts on the bed at my Dad's place. They're quilts I've made over the years. They seem to hold so many memories and stories. They are like old friends.

Now for a little call out to all you crafty ladies (& fellas) out there. The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project are looking for crafty types to volunteer hand made goodies for their upcoming Exhibition and Fete. It's to be held at The Kilbride Centre in Albert Park on October 8th. So there's just enough time to get those knitting needles clicking, sewing machines purring or jams on the stove top in preparation for this great cause.
Take a peek at the amazing work they do & check out their August Newsletter for further details on how you can contribute your craftiness to this project.

While on the subject of local organisations doing fantastic work on a community level... if you haven't herd about The St Kilda Mum's and their wonderful re-homing of baby goods to the families in need. I highly recommend you check them out. 'Like' their Facebook page to be kept informed of how you can clear out all those unused baby clothes, baths, prams, cots etc lurking around & pass them onto those in need. It's run completely by volunteers and the work they do is incredible.


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Good Morning

Greetings from down on the coast. Z & I are visiting my Dad and we woke up... rather this incredible sunrise.
Hope you are enjoying your weekend. X

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hold me close

Do you think I could possibly wear this 'Hold me Close Heating Pad Cover' to the wedding? I've managed to whip it up instead of the dress. Granted, it's been on my to-do list for some time but really....right now!? I have 2 hours to make a start on the dress before Z needs to be picked up. Why am I so terrified of silk?

The Heating Pad Cover is from the book Denyse Schmidt Quilts, 30 colorful Quilt & Patchwork Projects. I'd like to make one of her fabulous quilts next... but not before I finish the dress. I promise.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

distractions & pretty things

I have this dream about bunk beds and a country house.
I've tried to convince my dad to build an extra room onto his house (he lives on the coast) and make it into a bunk room ..... but for some reason he's not buying my dream, so I continue to dream.
I came across this image last night, while procrastinating, over at The House that AM Built. I spent so much time looking at pretty images that I haven't made a start on the dress.
Damn you pretty things, you lured me form my plans yet again.

Thankfully A-M had also posted this....

You've gotta love a second chance. So, tomorrow I sew!

While speaking of second chances.....I am onto Day 3 of making a sourdough starter. After my failed attempt last time around (I completely forgot about it for 2 days)I've been re-inspired by City Hippy Farm Girl, who makes it look so easy. Here's hoping, if I'm not somehow distracted, I'll be ready to make my own bread by the end of the week.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Yay to Papa Play Days

The weekend was a wonderful mix of play and productivity. The boy's played while I managed to grab some precious time to sew.
Z & the L.F. hung out. Made a truck out of recycled boxes an some colourful bottle tops, took a long ride along the beach down to Sandringham for a Dixie Bell ice-cream and dip their toes in the water (brrrr). Sped to the local shops on Z's super fast scooter and played rough... all while I finished off the Amy Butler Anna Tunic top I was making.
I've had this pattern sitting aside since a trip we did to Newcastle a while back. I'd grabbed a copy from the funny little quilting store next door to Rolador and it's sat in my to-do pile until now.
It turned out quite well.... I do have some reservations about the pattern. The arm holes are tiny! Thankfully I'd read this somewhere before sewing the fabric pieces together and cut extra room around the arm holes. It's still quite tight for me. I like room under my arms to breathe. The front isn't sitting perfectly ...possibly that's because of my pleating.... or maybe it was designed for flat chested ladies... either way, I think a couple of darts may help the issue. I'll snap a photo soon so you can see for yourself.
I'm now onto the Miz Mozelle dress above. This one is to be sewn in silk. Mmmm, tricky.... I'm thinking. The fabric pieces are ready to go. I just needed to get a size 70 needle for my machine for the finer fabric. In the meantime, I've been researching all sorts of tips and tricks to help me with sewing in silk. I'll definitely use french seams for the raw edges. My favourite tip so far is to sew the pieces between two layers of toilet paper or tissue paper to stop the fabric from slipping. Fingers crossed.
I'll make a start tonight. xx

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The Sunday Service

While quietly cutting out the pattern for this dress, which I'm making for an upcoming wedding, I was listening to the above TED talk....until the skin on my head started to crawl and I had to put down all my tools and watch. What an incredible woman Joan Halifax is. Those eyes! Her beauty shines through, completely.
Couldn't help but share. xx

Friday, 16 September 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (started by Soule Mama).
A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. One I'm so very grateful for.

The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

- Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way.

Have a delightful weekend. xox

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Days like these

The sun is shinning, I've been jogging, washing's on, a pattern is ready to be cut out and whipped together, I have some unexpected free time and this album is blaring from the computer. It's an album that always brings a smile to my face.
I love days like these.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

who's that knockin' in the new green skirt

Here's a few shots (Z, who's 3, took the top one) of my new green skirt which I finished last night. I made it using Simplicity pattern 2656. I love the shape, colour and the fact that it has extra deep pockets, lined using a contrasting print. There will definitely be more of these to come. I think I'd like a denim one next.

The toy was found! Hooray!!! She now lives with a lovely 18th month old girl who has apparently taken to carrying her everywhere and making clucking noises. What a perfect find. Happy, happy people. xox

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Toy Society Drop

This morning at 6.30am I did my first toy drop for The Toy Society. The Toy Society is a world-wide collective of toy makers – of varying skill levels– who make toys and leave them as gifts for perfect strangers.
Hopefully somebody will discover this sweet chick and make it a part of their home.

When I went past at 9.30am, on the way for my morning coffee, it was still there. Fingers crossed it's found it's way into a pair of warm little hands by now.

I first heard about The Toy Society 3 years ago when I was living in Sydney and fortunate enough to meet with a number of crafty Sydney bloggers for dinner, on occasion. Being a new mum, in a new city, with a 4 month old baby I was a little well.... quite overwhelmed. I was totally in awe of these incredibly productive and prolific crafters (Floating World, Tuttie Fruttie, My Art is my Outlet, Taylor Street, Sadie and name a few). One of these ladies was the founder of The Toy Society and I just loved the idea pf making something handmade and leaving it for a perfect stranger, no questions asked.

It's taken a considerable amount of downtime and a name change to find my feet and develop some momentum with crafting, blogging...& let's face it, at times, my role in mothering. This week, for me, has been about stepping back into the past and realising just how grateful I am to be right here in the present.

It's feels kind of timely that I offer this wee chick out to the unknown in deep gratitude. xox

Monday, 12 September 2011

Slow text for a slow Monday

Feeling a little slow today. Here are some photos from my Slow Text project to kick start the week.
1. A letter I wrote to the Easter Bunny as a little girl.
2. A Buddhist mantra I have written in my kitchen.
3. Coffee at Mart, Albert Park.
4. Dirty car.... never fails to make me laugh.

Friday, 9 September 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (started by Soule Mama).
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment. A simple, special moment. One I'm so very grateful for.

Happy weekend everyone. xox

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Mistaking the garden hose for a snake

On Monday nights my good friend, A, and I go to the Tara Institute to cast some light on the week ahead and reset out minds to a more peaceful place.
We always come home a little lighter and take something from the night to make us laugh (or at least.... a little gentler & kinder on ourselves & others) in times of complete & utter frustration each week. This week it was the Buddhist fable about mistaking the garden hose for a snake.

Watching the news this morning, something I rarely do, I heard myself say 'Oh dear, they've clearly mistaken the garden hose for a snake.' What trouble we get ourselves into by perceiving a situation to be other than it really is.
Have you ever bludgeoned a garden hose with your pick axe, mistaking it for a snake? I know I have....well, metaphorically (incase you're imagining me out in the garden with my organic insect repellant and a pick axe...).

This sweet chappy was made for Z from all the woollen scraps left in my mum's knitting bag after she passed away. He's a jolly little friend who ties up all the loose ends and hangs on the chair in Z's bedroom. He's testimony to the fact that it's all a matter of perception... not all garden hoses are snakes and not all snakes are out to get us. oxo

this post is dedicated to my dear friends A & M. May you never mistake a garden hose for a snake ever again. love xox

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

We have a hungry little caterpillar living in our vegie patch. He's chewed threw our spinach, chard, celeric & kale.....& it's only Wednesday!

Z & I have just made up some all purpose insect repellant using the recipe below, which we found over here. We had all the ingredients stashed in the panrty already. Don't you just love that! No last minute dash to the shops. I wish dinner was that easy.
It's steeping now, while Z takes a nap. I'll let you know later in the week how it goes. Hopefully we save our hungry little caterpillar from one huge belly ache....and save our plants too.

All purpose insect repellant:
1 head of garlic
1 small onion
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 liter water
1 tbsp liquid soap (biodegradable)

Chop garlic & onion. Add, with cayenne pepper, to the water & mix.
Let steep for 1 hour.
Strain & then add liquid soap.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Use as a spray, as needed.

ps. check out The Very Hungry Caterpillar screen savers over here. Cute. x

Monday, 5 September 2011

Bring on the night lights

We spent the good part of 1.5 hours on Friday night stuck in traffic. After an unsuccessful attempt to cross town on Punt Rd (yes, please build this tunnel!) we wove our way through to St Kilda Rd.... hoping, ever so unrealistically... that the flow of traffic would sweep us to our destination in a heart beat.
This, needless to say, didn't happen. But I did enjoy watching the sun fade and the night lights take on an ethereal quality as we inched past the Art Centre and over the bridge towards St Paul's Cathedral.
I discovered the Sweet Honey Murcott yesterday, via my Slow Text project and realised I never read the signs in the fruit shop. To me the Sweet Honey Murcott was just another mandarin... Would he taste sweeter now that I knew?
I was instantly transported back here... to year 12 VCE (heaven forbid)....

What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title.

and then here and here to Masaru Emoto's water experiments. Surely 'mandarin' & 'sweet honey murcott' would produce 2 very different looking crystals...would they not?

So many questions, so many answers. I hope you find the right answers to your questions this week? If not, just look again....& laugh xox

Friday, 2 September 2011

{this moment}

A Friday ritual (started by Soule Mama).
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special moment. A moment I'm so very grateful for.

Have a beautiful weekend. x

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Clare Bowditch & Lanie Lane

I had the pleasure of seeing these two amazing ladies, Clare Bowditch & Lannie Lane, at The Thornbury Theartre a few weeks back. It was pure, I thought I'd share the joy with you.

I was also fortunate enough to see Clare in Tales from the Life of Eva Cassidy recently. She was incredible. I cried from the moment I sat down...this may have had something to do with it too (it was the first song played and also one of the songs we played at my mum's funeral. I'd rushed like crazy to get there so fell into my seat...and momentarily, into a heap). It's a pretty special song for a lot of people, all for different reasons. Music is amazing the way it transports people. Is there a song that gets you, every time?



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