Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Cats on a shelf

In my craft room I have three cats, not living breathing cats but decorator cats from Heartwood creek.  These three cats are my patchwork cats, "Abraham" who is tall and proud, is a ginger star block cat, "Abigail" is well fed, a nine patch block cat and "Felicity" has an hour glass block in green and white.   They are the only cats I own now, but, before I moved house I had a beautiful grey and white male cat named "Jazz".    A friend found this gorgeous cat as a small kitten, he was born under a relatives house and along with his brothers and sisters were to be handed over to the cat rescue.     When my friends partner arrived with a big cardboard box and we saw the little fluffy bundle inside it was love at first sight, he reminded me so much of the cat we had years before, in fact almost identical.     Jazz was a wonderful cat right from the start, he would stand by the door when he wanted to go outside and then rattle the screen door when he wanted to come back inside.      In the morning he would gently touch my face to wake me, obviously to hurry and feed him.     He spent most of the afternoon under the lavender bush having a nap, when it rained he would stretch out along the back of a lounge chair and look out the window, over the years he amused us in more ways than I can tell you, he was a part of the family.    He was with us for eleven years before he went missing, just disapeared one afternoon while I was packing to move.    After considerable searching and notes left in the local shops I had to leave without him, my neighbours reasuring me if he turned up they would notify me.    It has now been over fours years and I have not adopted another cat, I believe it would be difficult to find such another amazing cat to replace him with.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Flowers for me!

I've been feeling tired and generally unwell today, so when my daughter rang I took the opportunity and asked  if she would buy some dog food from the supermarket for me.  When she came by to drop off the dog food she had a large bunch of flowers in her arms.  My daughters fiancee had just purchased them for me because I was not feeling well, I was pleasantly surprised, she mentioned he was waiting in the car, they were on their way to do some shopping.  I went outside and  gave him a kiss and a big thankyou.  I love flowers so this is a nice surprise, and I feel a little better because of them.

A sweet treat

This afternoon I had a sweet craving, this is a little unusual because I do not really like sweet things, I prefer savoury, chips, dips, nuts, cheese anything salty, crunchy.   While staying with my son and his family, my daughter-in-law, who is a big cheese fan, actually I think she would agree if I said a cheese addict hee hee, she loves all soft cheeses and like me has just discovered a taste for blue cheeses, not a strong cheese, after all we have just started to enjoy the merits of blue cheese.    I have had a little craving for this particular blue cheese since I came home,  and I am going to have to ask her the brand.   Anyway back on the sweet track, I had nothing in the house to satisfy this need, I was going to have to bake something.    I have a recipe that has been used a lot in my family, Chocolate, Mocha, Walnut slice, quick check in the pantry, only powdered cocoa, no worries I had everything else.  I will just have to have the patience to wait for this to bake and cool down before I can have a slice.  Once cooled I spread some icing over the top and before it was set had to have a sample.  The rest of this is going to my son and grandsons, just in case I decide to finish it off.

Chocolate, Mocha, Walnut slice

1 cup chopped walnuts
125gm butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 Tbls instant coffee ( I had  Moccona Hazelnut instant I used)
1 egg lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup choc bits ( or 1 tablespoon powdered cocoa)

Preheat oven to 160c Line a lamington slice tin with baking paper

Melt chocolate bits and butter, add coffee (if using the powdered cocoa stir the choc and coffee with a tablespoon of hot water then add to the butter mix).  Pour into a bowl with sugar, egg, vanilla.  Sift flour, add walnuts and flour, mix till combined, spread onto tray and bake for 30 mins. Leave in tin to cool and then ice or spread with chocolate.  Great with a coffee

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Leannes House, Block nine

Look what I have in my embroidery hoop, block nine of  "Leannes House", the last block before I sew them together and start quilting this quilt.  This quilt has been a marathon in the making, I started this almost six years ago, since then my health, moving house and life has gotten in the way of completing this quilt.  After finding this in the cupboard, when I needed some hand work to do, I have been slowly piecing and embroidering the last five blocks needed to complete the top.  I just can't wait to show off the completed quilt, hopefully not to far in the future.  I now have four quilt tops waiting to be quilted and finished, this year I will start, first will be my sisters fairy quilt and then the boys quilts.

Dinner tonight

Every Thurdsay my local supermarket has a  market day, where they have some great discounts on chosen items throughout the store.   A couple of weeks ago I picked up a 2 kilogram bag of Steggles fresh chicken drumsticks for $4.99 after counting them I found twenty two large legs, very happy with this bargain.  I removed and chopped the chicken from six legs, then put this and the seperated  legs into small freezer bags to freeze.  I have used some of the chopped chicken in the past week for fried rice and thought I would do the same tonight.   Instead I took two drunsticks, marinated them in Teriyaki sauce, cooked them in the oven, then cooked some brown rice with vegetables.  It doesn't look so yummy but it tasted delicious

Saturday, 20 April 2013

A prize in the mail

Daisies at Dusk from Country Hart Designs.                                                                      Daisies from my garden                       
Last week I entered a competition to name a new quilt, I've only ever won one thing in my life, and so I was very excited to find the name I had chosen for this quilt WON.  Yaaaa.  I was staying with my son at the time and he just doesn't get the excitement felt by a quilter, over a pattern or fabric, so I had no-one to share this momentous occasion with haa haa,   I did text a couple of friends but that did not give me the satisfaction I needed on this occasion.    In appreciation for choosing the name for this quilt I will receive the pattern,  I love it, the colours and of course because it is of daisies, I have loved daisies for years, even after my dad called them weeds,  weeds, how could something so beautiful be called a weed.  The quilt is from a shop in South Australia called "Country Hart Designs"  and the name of this quilt is "Daisies at Dusk" the fabrics used are from the new collection "Wildflower wood"  by Lynette Anderson Designs from Australia. 

Friday, 19 April 2013

First chill of winter

The heating has just been turned on for the first time this year.  I arrived home from interstate in the early hours to find the house was cold from being locked up.   The sun came out for a few hours today but the wind was blowing from the south and was very chilly.   The snowfields are reporting they have had a few inches over night, with the season not due to start for another few weeks this could be a cold winter.  We had a wonderful summer, although at times it was very hot I still prefer Spring and Summer to the cold and grey days of Winter.
Since arriving home I have been relaxing, about all I have done is catch up on my mail, spent an hour with my daughter and grandson when they came over and put some meat and vegetables in the slowcooker for dinner tonight.    The time spent with my eldest son and his family was wonderful, he is almost finished with the combined radiation chemo treatment,  he has been marking the dates off on a chalk board and can't wait for it to be over.     We are positive that after the next round of chemotherapy  he will be cancer free and will not have to undergo any further treatment.  My grandson was home on school holidays, I got to spend a lot of time playing games, reading, doing puzzles and colouring books with him.  Unfortunately the baby was unwell with a chest infection, a bit grizzly and not feeling well.  The week flew by, and before I realised, it was time to pack my case and board the plane for home. 

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Playdough for lunch?

One of my grandsons had a sleepover last night, after breakfast I brought out the playdough to keep him amused, just so I could get some washing and cleaning done.     I was amused to find that he had made playdough pies on plates for us for lunch, it has been awhile since I had to pretend to eat some playdough. My two daughters were always playing pretend and I was often involved with their play.     I suppose because I was also a female I found this a lot more enjoyable than playing pretend fights, lego, or cars with my sons.     On a few occasions that I joined in with their play I was physically hurt.     Like the time I was helping to build a tree house, I kept asking them to be careful so they didn't fall from the tree.    Guess who fell from the tree flat on her back?  yes that would be me.    At first everyone, including me were shocked, and then the laughing started oh yeah, they laughed at their mum laying sprawled on the dirt.   I wasn't seroiusly hurt but that was the end of my help.    
While I sat and played with Connor today he talked non stop about anything and everything.   I have just realised that much hasn't changed, but maybe because I'm older I find their constant chatter more tiring, or maybe I have just forgotten.    While out shopping  I found these little pots of playdough at KMart for just 50c a pot, a great find for a grandma looking for something to add to her box of things needed to amuse the grandkids. 
Unfortunately I can't show you the photo I took of Connor with his creations, it was on my phone and I can't upload it to my computer .

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Rain and Platypus

What a difference a day can make, yesterday was sunshine,  this morning is cloudy with rain.  To add some sunshine to this day I'm taking two of my little men out to lunch and the oldest (grandson) of these two to see the movie "The Croods".  I've heard this is really funny and suitable for an eight year old.
 Last night with nothing to do, well almost nothing, I decided to cut into the fantastic platypus fabric I bought a couple of weeks ago. I'm always on the look out for Aussie themed fabric.  This will become another quilt for "Aussie heroes", our men and women serving overseas.  I wanted something fast and easy, something I could accomplish in one night, I almost had the top complete before I was so tired I decided to call it a night.  The pattern is one from Missouri Star quilt company by those 3 Dudes, it one of those patterns that can be arranged to gain several different designs, after playing around with the blocks on my design wall, actually the floor, and that is why my back and knees are sore this morning, I've decided on this pattern.   I have one grandson staying overnight so I will be packing this away.  What do you think, the yellow check really pops, is it too much, should I cut another couple of blocks to replace them?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Mens PJ's

I just have to tell what I bought, a pair of mens pj's for myself.  These are soft, very soft interlock pj's and they are so comfortable I just love them.  I wear them about the house all the time, of course being mens I had to turn the hem over, but I have to do that with womens pants anyway,  I'm short so everything has to be hemmed.   Let me tell you that the best thing is the price, under $10, I can't remember exactly but I think they were only $8 and they come in base colours of grey, navy and black, who cares, much cheaper than a pair of womens pj's.   I don't usually shop in the mens wear department but my eldest son, who was in hospital at the time needed more pj's and asked us to buy these for him, one look was all it took for me to want them.
If your interested in a pair or two you can find them in KMart, and once again I don't get paid to tell you what I like.  I've had my flu injection,  now it's coffee time.

Autumn sunshine

Here where I live we are having the most amazing Autumn sunshine, the past few days have been wonderful.  I spent yesterday in the garden doing those last minute things to prepare for winter. I cleaned up the last of the herbs, swept paths and layed down new mulch.     This morning I attended my quilting group, I have to say that it was very crowded and noisy, so many women came along to this mornings meeting.   It was great to see some old faces and catch up with what has been happening with them and their families.   Oh, and I did re sew that block and I'm now stitching the embroidery onto it.    This afternoon I'm off to the doctors to have my annual flu injection, something I don't like but a must at my age.    Then I'm having coffee and a snack outside in the sun, to enjoy what is left of this beautiful weather before it becomes wet and gloomy.
Beautiful Petunias

Friday, 5 April 2013

Frustrating mistake

I found the pattern instructions that went missing, they were under my cutting board, how and when they were put there I don't know.    I spent the night stitching the pieces that make this block,  even started to stitch some embroidery before I decided to pack it away and go off to bed.    This morning as I spread it out on the table to have a look I realised it seemed a little larger than the other blocks.  How frustating to find it is 16 1/2" x 16 1/2", why oh why?  It seems I did'nt exchange the foot on my machine, so now I am unpicking all of the pieces that make up this block to stitch it over again.   I don't think this block wants to be finished.  But I will finish it tomorrow,  I want to have the last block, cut and ready to sew on Monday.   Tonight I'm going to have a girls night out, dinner and a movie.
Block eight " Leannes House"  by Leanne Beasley

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Lost instructions

Do I need to finish my craft room? the answer would be a definite yes, you see I have lost two pages of the instruction sheets to block eight of the quilt I'm currently finishing.  I had everything set up on the kitchen table, I'm sure they were there then, I had to pack everything away when I had some of the family over for dinner.  I awoke this morning with the intention of sewing but, I have been searching through everything since then and so not a stitch has been done.  I think I am going mad, where on earth could they be?  I am going to ring a friend lol, no really, I know she has this pattern, I'm going to have to borrow her pattern to finish this block. 
I had them on the table when I traced the design onto to the backing fabric with my light box, I have since appliqued and embroidered the small stitcheries and now need the instuctions for the assembly.  I guess I will be visiting  a friend today instead of sewing.