Sunday, 21 July 2013

Another amazing weekend

This has been an amazing weekend!  Firstly, I have become a great Aunt again, and my sister is a Nana for the second time.   My sisters son and daughter-in-law have welcomed another baby boy into this world, on the same day as  my grandson Connors 9th birthday.    This little boy will make seven  great grandsons for my dad, I might add poor old dad had four daughters, no sons, I'm sure he would have loved a son.   We have a mix of twelve girls and boys in the second generation but this new generation has been all boys.   We are know taking bets on who we think will have the baby girl and break this run of boys.       

 My quilting group held a midnight madness sewing and quilting evening on Saturday, we arrived in dribs and drabs from 2-3pm and were supposed to finish at midnight, but some of us including me gave in and packed up early.    We left nine intrepid ladies to sew, I'm not sure if they made the distance.    It was 10-30pm when I gave in and decided to head on home to my bed, only when I did go to bed I couldn't sleep, too much to think about,  it was close to two before I finally dozed off.     It was a fun night, lots of sewing, talking and laughing, not to forget the amount of food, snacks, and lollies we indulged.      My supposed weight loss has just hit another snag, I did eat way to much, and to top it off  this afternoon I had birthday cake as well.    The weather turned bitterly cold on Friday, my girlfriend who lives about forty kilometres away, woke up to snow on the ground, and as it hardly ever snows where she lives it must have been very cold overnight.     We had some great rainfall, so much that the parkland across from my house now has a lake.     This afternoon I attended a jewelery party, there were some beautiful pieces but, I was very good and only purchased a pair of earings.    I have a family wedding to attend in September and these will be perfect with my silver bracelet.    I have some soup simmering on the stove for dinner, I'll watch some television and then I am having an early night.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

What! no bread

This morning I woke later than usual, around nine, came down to the kitchen grabbed the toaster, put the kettle on and reached for the bread, ohhhh only a crust left in the packet.    Of course I have no one to blame but myself,  why did I put the pack  back in the cupboard, I don't think I'll dwell on that to long,  I might think I'm going mad, ha ha.     Next thought was to make a loaf of bread but that would take far to long, I decided to make a pita.    I love home-made pitas, so easy and quick to make, I don't know why any one would buy them.    It was only after I had the last one in the pan I thought of the photo opportunity, I'll give you my recipe anyway.    I searched the fridge and the only thing to put on these, tomatoe, canned tuna and cheese, I did make a garlic dressing to go with this and I placed it back on the hot pan to toast it and to melt the cheese.    After I had eaten one, which was definately enough I kept looking at the other one.     I've wrapped it up and put it out of sight or I will eat it.     I really do need to do some shopping but not today, I plan on sitting and sewing this afternoon.

This recipe makes two or more depending the size you want:
3/4 cup of plain flour
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp olive oil
Enough hot tap water to bring it to a soft dough.

Mix all the ingredients together, knead for a few minutes, seperate the dough to form two balls and let sit for about 10minutes.  Roll them until they are a thin circle or close enough to a circle, place into a dry pan on a medium hot heat.  You will see them bubble up, leave for a minute or two and flip, repeat on the other side, check they don't burn.  It took me several attempts to get these just right, and just like pancakes the first one is not always successful.  Depending on your stove it may take several attempts to make these successfully.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Christmas in July

table set for lunch
Yesterday was one of those amazing days you have with friends, we celebrated Christmas in July, something I have never done before.     It was a fantastic day full of laughs and of course Christmas food, decorations and presents.     I have decided that I love Christmas in July, a day spent with the friends I do not see over Christmas in December.      As I've mentioned before we have been friends for a long time but all live quite a distance apart, and thankyou to Facebook we have been reunited and now get together every few months.    Yesterday was spent on the coast with Sharren and Steve, our hosts for the day,  they live in an amazing place with the beach just a couple of blocks away.     They also have a wonderful garden complete with Australian plants, with fruit trees, vegetables and chickens.    Steve had roasted a piece of pork on the Bbque, it was melt in your mouth yummy, we also had roast vegetables taken from their garden, gravy and apple sauce.    My sister had brought a plum pudding and an another friend had made a trifle.    We had christmas crackers with  party hats and awful jokes, and  little fruit mince tarts,  then after lunch with very full stomachs it was time to open the gifts, we had set a limit of $10 on each gift so it would be a token gift perfect for the day.     My friend decided to have some fun and make this steal a gift, in other words the person following the one to receive a gift would be able to steal that gift away, if it was something they wanted.    Everyone was laughing so much there were tears and at one point  I was worried I would have to change my underwear.    My friend was impressed with the little quilt I had made for her, I have a photo of her holding it, and of course her permission to show it.     I cannot wait for the next Christmas in July.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Something small to quilt is finished

Last week, before my family arrived to stay with me I quickly cut and sewed the pieces together for a gift I plan on giving to the hostess of our Christmas in July.    Now, I knew I wouldn't be able to sew any of this while the kids were around so I was getting a bit nervous that it would not be finished on time.     This afternoon after I had my bi- annual breast screen x-ray, and did some shopping  I  decided to come straight home.      I took my sewing machine from the cupboard and sat until I had quilted this little quilt,  I had decided not to do too much, and am pleased with the way it has turned out.  I have just finished the binding and am really happy.       This is the perfect centre piece for either a round or square table.    I have to thank Julie from The Crafty Quilter for sharing her pattern on Pinterest, you can find the pattern here  I just hope my friend loves it.  I'm thinking of sewing one for myself now.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Beautiful sunset

I have kept very busy today, you see, my son and his young family left this morning to fly back to their interstate home.   These past five days have just gone by far to quickly, it has been so good to have them here, tiring yes, but good.   My son is still receiving chemotherapy and tires easily but, they have managed to fill their time here catching up with family and friends and were able to watch his football team play and win last Friday night.   Shortly after I waved them off this morning I walked inside and thought I could be upset or get busy, so I decided to strip all the beds, remove the towels from the bathroom, get everything washed and out on the line to hopefully dry in the sun.    The floors have been vacummed and mopped, the toys are packed away until next time and now I'm wondering what will I do.    Thankfully I will be spending the day with my quilting group tomorrow,  I will have lots to talk about and I won't have to be here alone missing them.    Late this afternoon while taking the last few things from the line I noticed the sky, a beautiful pink and grey, this means another very cold and frosty  night but a beautiful sunny day tomorrow.  Once again we haven't had the expected rain, I have been watering plants out in the garden, hopefully we will get some rain before the winter is over.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Baking for the weekend

With my son and his family staying over the weekend I have the perfect excuse to turn on the oven and bake. With two little boys here, and their cousins calling in over the weekend to visit them, I think the perfect thing to bake will be cookies.  I decided to cut the dough into stars, when they cooled I then drizzled them with chocolate.   Of course I need something for the adults to have with a cuppa as well, I decided  a rich chocolate brownie would be yummy as well as some jam drops, I have baked jam drops before and you can find the recipe here I have been taste testing all afternoon and have decided the brownies are the most decadent I have ever baked, so yummy.     I'm just hoping my daughter will bring the orange and rhubarb cake that she baked for afternoon tea a couple of weeks ago, it was really good.    So if you are looking for something to do with all the rhubarb you have growing I think you should bake her orange and rhubarb cake which you can find here, she is a wonderful baker and has some yummy things on her blog.

1 cup (250g) butter, melted and cooled
 3 eggs
 1 1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 cup (220g) sugar
1 cup (230g) firmly packed soft brown sugar
3/4 cup (90g) cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsps baking powder

In a large bowl, combine butter, eggs and vanilla.  Combine flours, sugars, cocoa and baking powder; gradually add to the butter mixture.  Stir until combined but do not overmix.
Spread mixture into a greased, or line with baking paper 33cm x 23cm baking tin.  Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes or until skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean.  cool in tin for 10mins and then on a wire rack.   I used chocolate cream cheese frosting and grated milk chocolate for the topping.

Brownies,  Jam drops and  Butter cookie stars

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Something small to quilt

Pattern- Winter seeds by the Crafty Quilter
I know I said my aim this year was to finish all my UFI's, not to start a new project, not to buy more fabric, I know I said that but...... I have.   My group of old friends have decided to hold a Christmas in July lunch next weekend, which I'm really looking forward to,  I don't see this group often because we live quite a distance apart.   It has been thanks to the internet that we have been able to keep in touch, and so, organise these get togethers every three or four months.   I was thinking about the small gift I have been asked to bring, after all what is Christmas without a gift, when I thought, why don't I make a small quilt for the host as well.   I had a look through my patterns for a table runner or something I could sew for a centre piece,   when I found this pattern on Pinterest here this is just perfect,  because the fabrics used are a new release I have improvised, this is what I came up with.  Instead of machine stitching the leaves I decided to hand piece them,   I think it looks good, now to quilt it before my son and his family arrive.

Winter sunshine

Taking advantage of the winter sunshine today, I have spent some time outside tidying  the back patio.    The dogs kennel and their day bed is in this area and it becomes a bit of a mess, what with dog hair, and the bits and pieces Tyler drags into his bed to chew on.    After a quick pick up and a sweep it looks so much neater, for how long I can only guess.    In this area I have a pine unit on the wall, this was taken from the old house and now houses plants and a few bits and pieces.    It has been a beautiful winters day and I,ve enjoyed being outside in the sun,  it is lovely but we need more rain, the garden is very dry.    My eldest son and family are flying down from Sydney this weekend to spend some time with us, and of course, take in an AFL  football game while here.  He is currently taking the next round of chemotherapy and has felt well enough to go back to work a few days a week     I'm looking forward to seeing them, and so I will be breaking my baking hiatus to bake some cookies and slice to have on hand for them.    I have also arranged a family dinner on Sunday night, I've just been sifting  through my new slow cooker recipe book, something easy to put in the cooker and leave sounds like a good plan.