Thursday 29 July 2010

my creative space...

Yes, there is still some creativity happening over my way. Just a little bit here & there. This card has taken me the good part of a week to construct. First I had to find all the things I needed, this took some time as the studio is still all higgledy piggle. Then cutting & rounding & glueing, oh my!
Now is is finished with words inside & will soon be on it's way to the sunshine state. A birthday card for my sister Melly. It was her birthday yesterday... better late than never, I guess. Happy birthday for yesterday Melly!
Pop over to Kirsty's for lots of inspiration.

Wednesday 28 July 2010

3 months...

The little man turned 3 months on saturday. Here he is in all his chubby glory. I mean, how big are those cheeks! Hefty, huh?
He really is such a dear little guy. His sense of humour is just too wicked & can not be stopped. Those hands are constantly reaching out for something to hold & the next step of course is to put whatever it is in his mouth. He loves his bunbun & his moose, as these are easy to grab & make a great rattly noise. Many books are being read, high on rotation is 'ten little fingers & ten little toes', 'the very hungry caterpillar', 'the wombat diaries' & 'the tale of peter rabbit'. I think he likes them. There's alot of drool, so I take this as enjoyment.
He's been a bit out of sorts these past few days with a cold & some early teeth starting to give a little grief. The mama & the papa are a bit out of sorts too. The lack of sleep has slowed all the cogs & not much is going on up here on the hill.
We were blessed with a whole week of sleeping through the night last week. But this week I've seen at least 4am every night. Sunday night I saw 3:30, 4:30, 5:30 & 6:30! Hence the train crash in my forehead.
Poor Baby Huckle, how terribly awful to feel so unwell & out of sorts. We're giving him lots & lots of cuddles & hoping that love will make him better.
I'm using the mantra 'this too shall pass' & knowing that tomorrow is a new day. Housework, crafting & anything else can always wait & somedays you just need to sit in front of the fire all day & do nothing but nap & care for the boy... I've had three of these days this week.
I'm trying not to get too frustrated about all the things that I could or should be doing, but everynow & then I get a little overwhelmed & catch myself out. So if you see me pulling my hair & looking a little stressed, just say "chillax Yule!" & I'll make sure I listen.

Monday 26 July 2010

a productive rambling monday...

I fell asleep on the couch this morning, for fourteen minutes. It felt like an eternity. After a broken nights sleep, I woke feeling like a train had crashed into my forehead. You know the spot, right between the eyebrows. So couch time made everything good again.
The boys were both asleep; so I stoked the fire, read some frankie & pottered about the kitchen. I baked apple & cranberry loaf,a loaf of bread & drank several cups of tea.

early morning dew atop the spider's home
I ate porridge for breakfast, cooked by me. This is a great accomplishment. Up until a few weeks ago, I'd never cooked porridge & that first attempt was absolutely disgraceful. So porridge is something I leave to the husband, unless of course I'm starving & can not wait. Then & only then, do I ever attempt to cook it myself. This morning's effort was pretty good, almost as good as Samuel's. I was quite chuffed.
As I enjoyed my porridge, I researched recipes. Some dear friends gifted me the '1080 recipes' cookbook for my birthday this year. Today I studied the rice section. Very inspiring.
I could take a hundred photos of these flowers, just stunning
Outside this morning, all there was to see was cloud. I love it when it's like this. We can usually see for miles & miles, so it's quite the novelty when you can't see past the fence twenty metres in front of you.
The ducks were amongst the fruit trees, foraging away. I hope they eat all the pear & cherry slug larvae for me. We only have five ducks now, after discovering the black duck was really a boy. Boy ducks are lovely... until they start to violently attack the chickens, in a "let's make duckens" kinda way. He was a bad, bad boy. Poor Ruby (Samuel's favourite chicken) was thrown against the wall, getting her leg caught in an engine fan (of all things to get caught in... really). That was the final straw & so the black boy duck has been shipped out. So now we have five lovely girl ducks, who hang out at the dam, forage in the garden & do laps around the house. Lovely.
five girl ducks, doing important ducky things
The rest of my day consisted of being mama to the Huckster, two more naps on the couch (so tired), a moroccan mezze plate for lunch (think dips, vegies, bread, olives), time in the studio tidying, a load of washing, alot of list writing (they keep me sane & relatively organised), chinese mushroom & tofu stew for dinner & reading the latest issue of country style magazine.
the first rose of the season
So now, I am ka-put. I have a few more things to finish before feeding my babe & nodding off to sleep.
Such a productive day.
I hope the start of your week has been wonderfully productive too.

Saturday 24 July 2010

a country loaf...

A few lovely folk have asked about the bread I bake.
Each day you can find me prepping the dough or baking a loaf. It's a constant in my day to day routine. I stopped buying bread from the supermarket quite some time ago. I just couldn't justify paying so much for something I knew could be made better & cheaper at home. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a gorgeous sourdough from the bakery... but down our way no such place exists. So homemade bread it is.
I've played around with lots of flours, messed with ratios & added other ingredients, such as grains. But let's not get too carried away just yet. This recipe is my basic recipe, the one I make when I can't be bothered experimenting. The one I know that will turn out great everytime. It's a variation of the many you'll find around the internet traps.
Dough just mixed, ready to rise.

Kitty's Country Loaf
1 1/2 cups plain bakers flour
(bakers flour has higher gluten, making it chewier. But regular flour works well too)

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp instant yeast

1 1/3 cups water

Mix dry ingredients together, then stir in water

Finish off mixing with a wet hand to combine

Cover & leave for 10 hours or more

Heat oven to 250 degrees celcius & place a lidded cast iron pot in to heat

While pot is heating, form dough into loaf shape pulling in top edges to create cracks

Spread some fine polenta or wheatgerm over the centre of a clean tea towel & place dough top side down

Loosely wrap in towel & place in a bowl, leaving to rise for at least half an hour

Flip dough into pot, pop the lid on & bake for 30 minutes

Then take off the lid & continue to bake uncovered for another 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how dark & crusty you like it

Try & restrain yourself from cutting into it right away, let it cool first. Otherwise it will go doughy.
It really is so easy to make, it just requires a little foresight. I make the dough in the afternoon & bake it the next morning. One loaf lasts about two days in our house & I keep it in a tupperware container. On the second day it gets quite dense & heavy, so we toast it & it's still delicious.
The finished loaf (old picture, I couldn't wait til the morning to photograph the new loaf)
Let me know if you play around with this recipe & make something wonderful. I'd love some bread inspiration.

Thursday 22 July 2010

my creative space...

Is an absolute mess! Please excuse my untidiness, but I thought honesty is the best policy.
I've been getting out there a few hours each day while the wee Huckle sleeps.
I'm so amazed at how much space I have, now I can fit heaps more crafty things in.
I've got a huge table for bookbinding, a bench for cutting fabric, a sewing desk & shelves to boot.
I'm also acquiring an old industrial singer from Samuel's grandma, because a) I have the space & b) I'll be able to sew leather & hessian & all sorts of heavy fabrics. Very happy.
There is one small thing that I'm not entirely happy with. Since having lots more shelving for my fabric storage... my fabric stash looks terribly small! This is one thing that I'll definitely have to remedy.
Hopefully by this time next week, I'll be able to show you something creative made in my creative space. Wouldn't that be good.
You know where to go for more great spaces...

Wednesday 21 July 2010

do you know nana midge?...

Nana Midge knitted Huckle a lovely cardigan, with matching mittens & booties. Isn't she sweet.
Only problem is... I've got absolutely no idea who Nana Midge is!
The parcel was sent from Queensland & I'm very certain I'm not related to this person. I've asked the husband & he hasn't the faintest idea either. But it was addressed to Huckle & it turned up in our letterbox; one can only assume that this person knows us, therefore we should know them... shouldn't we?
How very curious. Maybe Nana Midge is a code name. If you know who Nana Midge is, will you please enlighten us. We'd like to write a thankyou card, but how do you thank someone when you don't know who they are?

Monday 19 July 2010

bye bye melly...

My sister has flown away home, it was really great to have her & her boy visit. There was lots of laughs & lots of teasing & lots of cuddles for Huckle.
There was lots of good food too. I love having visitors, I get to cook all sorts of yummy things. I made pumpkin risotto, chocolate pudding, roast lamb, scarecrow pie, apple crumble, pea soup, milo biscuits, bread... I think that was all. Guess what's for dinner tonight? Leftovers! Yum.
I made her a hat too, the one on her head. I don't think she'll have much use for it up in brisbane town. She'll just have to visit us more often.
Her boy Zan also fixed my computer. So very good of him. I'm so happy to have ol' Tom-puter well again. Thanks Zan.
Not much else happening today. Tomorrow I think I'll potter about in the studio. Til then...

Saturday 17 July 2010

washin & a foldin...

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post! Your words of encouragement make me want to spend all day in there organising & rearranging. That will have to wait until at least tuesday though.
My lovely sister is visiting from the sunshine state (queensland that is... where the eternal sun shineth down), so I'm hanging out with her & her boy. Last night we played cranium, such a funny game & quick (unlike a four hour long game of trivial pursuit). I got to act out JFK & sculpt a dummy, don't get to do that everyday.
The visitors are out being tourists, so I'm catching up on some washing. I've been scoring well at the oppies lately, these three are just a small sample of the stash. The cute creature sheet on top is actually one of two that I found, very happy.
I have vague plans swimming around my little head for my vintage sheet collection, they will slowly come to fruition. Until then you'll find me hunched over the linen shelves at vinnies, adding to my pile.
Hope your weekend is happy & sunny.

Thursday 15 July 2010

my creative space...

My new creative space, that is. Doesn't look like much chop now, just wait until I set everything up.
It's a whopping 4.5m by 6m with a kitchenette & a toilet, so I can be out here all day. There's room for a playpen for Huckle & there's heating too. It's separate from the house, so I can feel like I'm getting out... even if it is just across the drive.
So very excited I am. My own little (big!) space.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

winter blooms...

I'm doing my darndest not to think about how cold it is at the moment.
Winter is winter, it will always be & every year it will come round again.
I've made a pact with myself to enjoy it for all it's beauty. Get out into the paddocks with the wellies, run around with the dogs & do a spot of gardening every now & then.
I remember hearing somewhere that there's no such thing as bad weather... just bad clothes. I totally agree with this statement, it's just taking a while to change my ways.
Here's proof that I've been getting out & enjoying winter. These blooms are blooming right now in my garden.
I hope your garden is blooming too.
In the words of the great Peter Cundall... "Blooming Marvelous".

Tuesday 13 July 2010

getting back to it...

Not much going on around these parts today. We had an overnight stay in melbourne on the weekend, so yesterday was all about the sleep. There's always so much to do whenever we go up town & by the end of our stay we were just exhausted. Today is feeling like a little more will be done.
I've been fiddling around with the manual settings on my camera lately. I learnt it all when I was younger, but haven't retained any of it. So it's been decided that I shall re-learn all of the bizzo that makes photography interesting.
These were taken on another early morning walk in my wellies. Both of these photos are of the same thing. Every leaf had a drop of dew upon it & the rising sun lit them all up like fairy lights.Pretty, huh.
Must toddle off now. I've got oppy linens to wash, bread to bake, a lounge to tidy, tea to drink & a fire to admire. All while the little Huckle is counting sheep. See you.

Friday 9 July 2010

I'm a lumberjack & I'm ok...

Another beanie making sucess.
Introducing... the lumberjack.
He cuts down trees, he eats his lunch & he goes to the lavatory. On wednesdays he goes shopping & has buttered scones for tea.
Well ok, maybe not this lumberjack. The darling husband works very hard providing our firewood & I'm very grateful for it. It's not that I haven't tried to help... let's just say I'm not heading to the woodchopping finals at the royal show.
Have you ever watched the woodchopping? My mum used to make us have our lunch in the woodchopping arena whenever we went to the Ekka (that's brisbane slang for the royal show). She loved it & now I do too.
This beanie is worked with two strands of bendigo highlands in single crochet. Nice & thick for keeping warm.
Now I just need to knock one up for me.

Thursday 8 July 2010


For those of you suffering from Huckle withdrawal symptoms (that is his Nana & Auntie Melly). I have for you his latest mug shot.
The little hoodlum has been very cute lately.
He is such a chatterbox & always has a story to tell, especially during feeds.
We often have stare-offs too, where he stares at me until I smile & then he smiles back & laughs his head off. I try my hardest to keep a straight face while he's feeding, but I can't help smiling at him... he's just too cute.
His favourite sounds to make are mmmmbaaa, aaooooa & mmaaaaam. (Use your imagination here folks.)
He's worked out how to use his hands. Not only are they good for holding a favourite toy... they're also great for pulling mama's hair, ears, eyelids & nostrils. Also very good for shoving into the mouth, when going to sleep.

Every morning I prop him up on the pillows, while I get dressed. He sits there watching, smiling away. This is great, because it gets me out of my "I can't believe I am up this early, I'm not a morning person, the sun isn't even up yet, why can't I go back to sleep, aaaargh!" mood. (Did you get all that?).
This little man is the light of our lives. Everyday there is more love to give. Truly divine.

Wednesday 7 July 2010

two dogs, one stick...

My computer is seriously giving me the shits. I've finally given up on the damn thing & I've been trying to rescue files off it. Now it's completely cracked it & has decided it doesn't know how to burn cd's or drag folders or recognise hard drives or anything really.
So now I'm coming to terms with the fact that I have wasted a whole day over the blasted thing & I'm mucking around with images instead.
Here's two dogs fighting over a stick, or should I say branch. It was about 2.5 metres long! With leaves & all.
This is as deep as I'm going to get today. Thought provoking stuff, huh?
I think I'll carry my sorry butt off to bed now. No moping tomorrow... I promise.
Thanks to the Samuel for having a computer that works like a computer should.

Monday 5 July 2010

a hunting I shall go...

In my new hunters, that is! Woohoo!
I'm a happy Kitty in the hills today. I am yet to take them off, they are so very comfy. If you've been contemplating Hunters... contemplate no longer. They are so good.
Little Arthur thinks so too. In fact, I think he is quite jealous.
Note: They had run out of red!!! So I had to settle for green. I think I'll have to pre-order the red for the next shipment. Until then, I shall potter about the garden in green.

Sunday 4 July 2010

vintage fabric...

Look what I pulled out of the box at vinnies! Isn't it cute.
It was in the form of a very daggy bassinet cover, with lots of lace & gathers. It was quite horrendous actually.
I snipped away & rescued these cute little critters. All up, there's about 3m by 30cm.
Can you tell me something... what are they meant to be?
Squirrels or chipmunks?
Now my head is filling with ideas to use the fabric. So many ideas! All being recorded into the visual diary of course. My memory is shocking at the moment!

Saturday 3 July 2010

slow saturday...

Feeling a little run down today.
Just a bit tired & have a sore throat.
Drinking lots of honey lemon tea.
Smelling the beautiful jonquils we picked on the roadside.
Dreaming up a cute design I can embroider with my 50c perle threads. Father in law is visiting from qld today.
Meeting Huckle for the first time.
I'm sure they'll become firm friends.

Friday 2 July 2010

wool & warmth...

I'm a big fan of Bendigo Woollen Mills. Order online, free postage, quick delivery, 200gm balls, gorgeous colours, huge range... need I say more.
These beauties arrived yesterday. They're from the highlands range, which is quite a good name I think. Because it's bloody cold in the highlands & it's bloody cold here too.
This lovely yarn shall soon become a lumberjack beanie for Samuel & a chunky scarf or cowl for me. Crocheted of course. If I were to knit, they wouldn't be finished til next winter! This shall keep me entertained for the weekend. If you're looking for me, I'll be in my usual spot. On the couch, in front of the fire, tea cup & hook in hand.
I hope your weekend is equally lovely.

Thursday 1 July 2010

my creative space...

I've been collecting vintage buttons for a while now, but I have an awful trouble using them. Instead, I have made a vintage button sampler. I've sewn them onto a piece of linen & now I shall find a shadowbox frame to display them in.
I'm gradually moving all my crafty things into a huge studio & this will hang upon the wall in there. I can't wait to have my new space, the plan is slowly forming in my head as to where everything is going to go. So very exciting.
In my other creative space, aka: the kitchen, I whipped up these chewy coconut cakes for mother's group. Quick & delicious & very moreish.