Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wednesday's Hot+Not

It's Wednesday and time again for Loobylu's Hot+Not list.
Play along with us if you are not already, its good fun!
I am really enjoying reading other people Hots and I am relating heavily to their Nots!

HOT -

My Husqvarna 2000 Sewing machine, it's an oldie but a goodie! You can lower the gears so it sews through extra thick folded fabric or even leather.
This is really a great feature.
Also I now know how to loosen the tension on the foot for free hand sewing. Yay! After seeing Gina's Pear napkins, I've been thinking I might have a go with some tea towels?

Backyard chooks - I love our chooks so much, they give us beautiful little eggs and they are they cutest creature to watch. I talk to mine.
If you are thinking of getting some chooks yourself but are not sure how well they will work in your yard why not rent them...if you are in Melbourne, Deb at book a chook rents houses and chooks. I get our pretty Pekin Bantams here.

My old ted and our
Stereograph viewer - Ted was a present 42 years ago, he's old but hot.
The Stereograph viewer is a wonderful old curiosity. When you look through the view finder at the two, almost identical 2 dimensional pictures, your brain reads this visual information and sees one 3 dimensional image. For more information on Stereograph here.


Steriograph viewer and my old teddy

NOT -

String - Or lack of it! I Can't find the right string for the legs on my birds - Spotlight have stopped selling the old string/cord I once used. I'd like a natural color that is twisted neatly, like this, if anyone knows of such a thing in Melbourne I would be eternally grateful if you let me know.

Kids Lunch Boxes...they are never big enough. I have looked at so many and none seem to have enough room for all the bits! Also drink bottles, I was amazed when I borrowed on of my kids drink bottle one day and nearly sucked my nose inside out.

Busy Doctors - These days you just about need to make an appointment 1-2 weeks in advance of even getting sick, if you want to get in to see your doctor.

Home grown Bantam eggs, herbs and lemons

Have a good end to your week! Chele x

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Quick take photo it is tidy!

This is a highly unusual photograph, look at those books going from tallest to shortest, this is not real life!
The rest of my house has gone into shock!
If you layed eyes on the rest of my house, you would too.
But I will save that for HALLOWEEN, Cue Spooky woooo wooo sound

Maeve's shelves are tidy - quick photo!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Last minute card

We have been to a Kids Disco Birthday Party and my ears are still ringing. Not from the music but, from the 20-odd children yelling and having a really groovy time...way too much sugar. But Great Fun.

Grooved up with Glitter

I made this card for the Birthday Girl. I cut it out of a book I found in an op shop for 50c and stuck with double sided tape onto a piece of card stock.
The Illustrations by Karel Franta - they are all really fun but this one was my favorite and seemed appropriate. I added glitter and we were ready to boogie.
I always find myself short of gift cards when I need them, so I have started a pile of thifted books especially for this emergency.
A lot cheaper and nicer that the expensive bought ones I think.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hot + Not

Hot

Liana Kabel's upcycled plastic fantastic jewelry! The Kewpie doll necklace is so cute and I would love some of those Knitting needle bracelets!! I found the link at Thea's lovely blog

Shop and Cook tours - They have tour choices - Lebanon to Morocco, Spanish, All Asian, Italian, Queen Victoria Market and Seafood - I have been hoping to do something like this. They also have some courses for the kids - great to see.
(found thanks to Jetsetting Joyce)
Also hot is having Kurmacome to your house for a cook-a-thon.

Little Match Box House From Coloured Buttons. I love this house, it is so cute, great for party favours. I am thinking of skewing this slightly and making some Halloween trinkets. Maybe coffin necklaces with a skeleton inside?

Not Hot

Motivational Posters Not the keep calm and carry on type, I quite like them, they are more like gentle encouragement posters! The ones that really get to me are the really serious ones, you know where someone is climbing the most impossibly high jagged cliff with words like...'You just need to believe in yourself' printed boldly underneath. I think it is great to be positive but it's unnatural all of the time. Is anyone really like that or are they just great actors? Obviously they would only have a HOT list...

The BBC They sit on great shows like Grim Tales and The Goodies!
Do they know that it's selfish of them? It is like they are the big kid with the soccer ball and although they are not playing with it they will not let anyone else have a turn. And its not like they do not release shows, flooding the world with The Bill and other such abysmal viewing.
I want them to release The Goodies + Grim Tales right now, or else I am going to petition them. You heard! Be warned BBC! Right On!

Manuals - All manuals seem to be written with the intention of confusing the reader – not enlightening them about the particular product. And I hate having to refer to any of them. Now I have to read my camera's manual because the settings seem to have changed. My photos do not seem as good, I have tried to ignore this but it is too annoying. The dreaded manual is 190+ pages. Oh no!

Pins and Needles Getting a numb bum from sitting at the computer way too long, I NEED a laptop so I can get more comfy.

Everyone else's Hot+Not Wednesday here at Loobylu

Posh Nosh

Posh Nosh (with Richard E Grant) is back on the telly.
This gourmet cooking couple really take 'food snob' to a whole new level...I love their inappropriate terminology!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Have a lovely weekend xx

Apple Blossom

Whats Hot and Whats Not

I've been enjoying reading Claire's What’s Hot + What’s Not Wednesdays over at Loobylu. It's a good meme, I thought I might join in too, just for a giggle!
Note I am posting my first Hot + Not on a Friday!!
Outrageous!

Hot

Libraries! - Pretty general, but they are the best! To be able to order online and have books sent from all over Victoria, for free!!! I love the feeling of walking out with a stack of lovely books! Sort of feels like stealing...insert poor impersonation of a villains laugh here.
This book is my favorite right now - Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Companion With loads of inspired recipes like this Baby Beetroot salad with Spinach, Crisp Ginger and Curry-flavoured Dressing. YUM.
Stephanie sujests the CRISP GINGER can be scattered over other vegetables...mmmmmmm!

Water Play - Fiann is having a lovely time measuring, mixing and washing in water for, what seems like hours...any activity that engroses your youngster this well is definatley Hot! So while he is having a great old time I can try to get my 'to do' list smaller! In actual fact, that is not true at all...my list remains while I sit in front of the computer pondering Hot and Not. Good fun!

oct09 103

This book - Drawing for the Artistically Undiscovered We got this for Maeve for her birthday...I am thinking of photo copying pages for me to have a go too! It is an inspirational book, encouraging kids to not be too critical of their own drawings and run free on the pages! I wonder if there is a flickr pool for this book with peoples work on?


'The Kills' - Their music, lyrics and style is fun and pretty cool. They are by no means a mainstream band... I like that a lot! Mainstream music as a general rule annoys me, its lyrics seem really banal. Not that this is high brow!!



Not

Leaking porches - there is heaps of rain falling this spring and our veranda is 'springing' leaks!

Molding Pumpkins - Our lovely Pumpkins we grew have been sitting around my home looking wonderfully decorative for months now. We did cook a couple up but they tasted REALLY awful and bland, no matter, they looked gorgeous! Maybe they were not ripe when I picked them. Anyway, I was going to try cooking another, but I still don't know they would be any more edible. Also I thought I could carve for Halloween. Now I see most of them are starting to go off...bum.

Feeling disorganised - I try not to think about this too much as it sends me into a panic. I usually deal with this feeling by doing something crafty...delay the inevitable and around we go again.
My organisation at the moment is to be laughed at! I guess once both my children are at school I might find it easier to get things sorted. But I do suspect I am just an "all over the place" kind of girl.

Blocked Toilet... Hmm I just discovered my son has nearly overflowed the toilet by putting 1/2 a roll of loo paper in it! This kind of 'water Play' is NOT HOT!!!!

Playing next week, I hope! Bye!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Curried Sausages (not too stodgy, not too posh)

We have been really lucky this year and have had heaps of precious rain falling in the Yarra Valley. Unfortunately, water storage around Australia is still pretty dire, but for now I am just thankful our huge water tank is full and wishing we had more tanks!
As well as wet it’s also been unbelievably cold here, really freezing. It’s perfect “Pot o stew” kind of weather! So I have been thinking comfort food and what I could make for dinner and also squirrel away a decent stash in the freezer.
I remember my lovely Nan used to make Curried Sausages when I was a young girl and I really loved them then...these days they are a little bit too stodgy for me, but the basic concept was appealing enough to pep it up into a healthier version. I looked at several recipes on the net, then I took what I liked from them and added my own spin.
Anyway, I think it has turned out a winner, but, more importantly, my kids think it’s great stuff too. Pheww! That’s a relief because I made the most enormous pot of it!
This is a rough guide on how I made it…detailed enough to follow I hope. It’s ‘Honkey white boy style’ – not your authentic curry but it is really really very yummy!
If anyone out there makes this I would love to hear how it went.

The makings of a hearty stew

(not too stodgy, not too posh) Curried Sausages
Serves a huge number of people!

4 tbls olive oil
1 tbls black mustard seeds
3 onions
2+ cloves of garlic
2 carrots
1 turnip
¼ bunch of celery throw in some leaves too
¾ cup red lentils
½ cup puy lentils (French lentils)
8 thick sausages (I used pork & apple snags but you could use any that you like)
5 medium potatoes (cubed 3cm ‘ish’)
½ little cabbage (shredded then chopped)
½ cup sultanas
½ bunch of flat leaf parsley
½ bunch of coriander
1-2 tbls vegetable or chicken stock (to taste)
1-2 tbls curry powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil, stand back and fry black mustard seeds until they pop, add the fine diced onion and cook slow until nice and soft. I always take my time to do this as crunchy onions are no good in a soft squidgy stew.
Add garlic, fry 3 minutes. Add curry powder and ground turmeric. Sniff when it gets frying – turmeric has the best smell when frying!!
Dice carrot, turnip and celery – I cut these 1cm or even smaller, so it’s more likely the kids will eat. Throw these in with onions and cook for about 5 mins?
Wash and drain the lentils and add these to the pot too – stir until covered in oil and cover well with water. The lentils just add substance and are not necessary – it just makes the meal healthier and stretches it out further.
While this is going on, place sausages in water – prick a few times and just bring to the boil and turn down. Simmer now for 8-10 mins. You can peel them if you want to, depends on the snag. Slice the sausages as you like – thinner slices go further!
Add your cubed potatoes to the veggie mix. Waxy potatoes are good because they will hold together if the lentils are taking their time to cook.
At this stage, I also add the sultanas (so they have time to puff up), and the parsley and coriander (I use all the stalks and wanted them to soften) and the cabbage.
Add stock, salt, pepper and top up with water (you want it to look like it might be a soup at this stage)
Cook for a further 10 minutes or so…taste frequently and season more + more + more if needed.
When potato and puy lentils are cooked, mix water and corn flour together and stir into the stew. This should thicken up nicely.
The ingredients and their quantities could be varied easily in this recipe. Don’t be scared to omit lentils or carrots for example (I actually hate cooked carrots but don’t mind them ‘in things’) One thing I think I will do next time is add more sultanas…Mmmmmmmm! P.S. serve with some potato mash or rice. We had ours with a potato pumpkin mash...Mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Curried Sausages

Monday, October 12, 2009

The endless birthday party

Maeve on her 7th Birthday

Over the last week we celebrated our daughter Maeve's 7th Birthday! I simply cannot believe it. She has really grown up so much since starting school last year and now -in just a couple of weeks (it will seem) she will be starting grade 2! Maybe one day a Physicist will discover that, actually, once we hit 35-40 that time does indeed move much quicker for us.
Our celebrations have lasted days, with a day at the orchard, visiting family and the biggest and 'funnest' being a party extravaganza! Our local indoor pool caters for children's party's. Too easy!

Pool Party Blur!!

Maeve's fabric dolls house

I have been making a fabric dolls house using the pattern from UK lass in US as a guide and was pretty pleased with how it came out, although the inside walls are a little baggy saggy and I think I might of over tizzed just a tad. Maeve loves it though so I was very pleased.

Maeve's fabric dolls house

Maeve's fabric dolls house

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Orchard bliss

Orchard Trail

I have very few words at the moment so I am just sharing a photo of some of my favorite people in one of my favorite places. Recouping soon I hope.
Below is a photo taken of Maeve's dolls house half finished. I will post a photo of finished house when I take one. xx chele

The unfinished dolls house