Saturday, October 26, 2013

Thermomix - Day 1

Ta-da! I have a Thermomix!

Last week I finally ordered a Thermomix and last night my lovely TM consultant delivered it. It is freakin awesome!

So I've been cooking. All in the TM of course.

There is Vegetable Stock.

We made this last night as part of the run down on how to use the machine.

Then this morning I started with shortcrust pastry.

And some Strawberry Sorbet

Then bread rolls

I did slightly burn the rolls but only because I went one step too far with the multitasking and fed Baby Berry whilst they were in the oven.
Chicken soup

Lemon Meringue Pie

This is what the pastry was for.
 And finally Chicken and Cashews with Coconut Satay Sauce and Coconut Rice

Recipe from Quirky Cooking here

I could not be happier. The TM really has done everything it says it can and there is absolutely no way I could have achieved all that in a day without using the TM. The other thing we noticed was that the kitchen stayed reasonably clean. I am what you could only describe as a messy cook (unfortunately the TM could not help there. It did have a few drips and spills on it) and usually I seem to explode in the kitchen. Our kitchen is quite small and gets messy quickly but not today!
I can't wait to start again tomorrow!

And here it is resting ahead of another day tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Machine Quilting!

This week is going to be full of machine quilting as I have a deadline for finishing a quilt.

I spent a lot of yesterday quilting and have finished all the stabilising quilting on the quilt. Now it's time for the fun part - the decorative quilting. Don't you just love it when the pile of safety pins starts to really grow? You reach a point and think yep, I'm getting there.

So, what are your sewing goals this week?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Preparing for a Party

We are in party mode this week!

Miss Berry will be 6 and we are having a carnival themed party this weekend. I must say I am enjoying all the preparation - perhaps that's because I am ignoring the weather forecast. Yes, it's going to rain on the day.

But enough doom and gloom.

How about some party hats to brighten the day.

And just in case there was any confusion, some signs for the food. I'm trying not to offer too much food because I've found the kids don't eat much. So I'm doing the standard party pies, sausage rolls, fairy bread for lunch and some popcorn and fairy floss. They will end up taking a lot of lollies home from the piƱata and pass the parcel.

I'll post details of the cake next week but I am also making some cup cakes for the mums and dads so why not continue the theme with these toppers?

I am super happy with how the party bags have turned out. Especially the flowers made from lolly pops.

I've put in them some bubbles, an eraser, the lolly pop, some party mix lollies and a friendship bracelet kit. It's a very simple kit for the girls to make a friendship bracelet out of yarn. I'll post more about them as well as instructions after the party.

Wish me well and fingers crossed for a dry day in Sydney tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Spring is Here!

Even though it is officially a few days into Spring, here in Sydney we have had beautiful weather for a couple of weeks now. One of my favourites things to do at this time of the year is to lay out a picnic blanket and soak up some much needed sun and peruse some beautiful magazines.

Homespun has always been a favourite of mine. It has a lovely mix of sewing projects that suit those of us that struggle to keep with only one type of craft. It's probably been well over a year since I've picked up a Homespun and I still love it.
Mollie Makes is a new one for me. It too has lovely projects. The only problem I have with it is that it's not Australian. There are so many beautiful mags from the UK and I seem to love them all, but I much prefer to see a beautiful Australian mag. Because then I am then usually supporting Australian businesses and craftspeople.

Baby Berry seems to like Homespun too. Perhaps I will have another sewer in the family? Luckily I took the pics of the mags before he got to them because he ended up chewing the corner off.

Whilst it was drying I managed to get a couple of rows of my latest knitting project done. I am finally making something for me after a winter of knitting for the kids. I'm making me a vest in Bendigo Woollen Mills Harvest in Calico. Here is the pattern here.

I may get it finished by Autumn but I can't guarantee anything.

Especially because when I was buying my magazines look what else I got. No, not the baby but some more beautiful fabric! I think I might use this for a quilt for Baby Berry (his first).

 BTW - none of this is a sponsored rave. I just like pretty things. Especially if they are also shiny.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Starting a Nine Patch Quilt

So I've begun a what I hope will be a beautiful quilt this weekend. And look at my mountain of chain piecing.

It is so much quicker to chain piece and do all the same steps of every block at once. The problem is that it can get boring and can take a while before you see real progress. The up side is after all that work you all of a sudden have a bunch of blocks finished. Awesome.

And yet I still jump ahead and make a few blocks to get a feel of how the fabrics will look in the quilt.

Sadly, (or not) this baby will be leaving home in a few weeks so I must keep on task and get this quilt finished quickly.

But don't you think the fabrics are delicious? I love red and aqua.

All the prints are lovely together.

And I love the odd quirky colours like this orange and green which will help bring the quilt to life. I've always though a really good quilt needs to have a couple of fabrics that you just aren't sure about. If everything is super blendy and matchy then the quilt can be a bit boring.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crocheting a Cosy

There is something delightfully cheerful about crochet. It always makes me smile - all the different colours thrown together.

Today has been a miserable, cloudy, windy, rainy day. So what else to do but make a cosy for my Kindle. Even in the poor light it is a happy little thing.

What's even better is it is all from my yarn stash (which never seems to diminish sadly). 

Happy Days!

And here is my little photo bomber. Not quite sure which one is cuter.

Monday, July 8, 2013

It Must Run in the Family

Wow. Talk about busy. Little Master Berry is almost 6 months old and an absolute delight. But with three young children I (actually we) are stretched to our limit. My hat goes off to patents with 4, 5, 6+ children. I honestly don't know how they manage.

I've been doing a bit of sewing and knitting when I get the chance and dreaming of big plans for next year but more on that later.

In the mean time I have budding sewer. Miss Berry has been showing interest so it's time for her to begin her hopefully lifelong love affair with fabric.

An Elna mini. It is seriously the cutest thing ever.

How lucky is she?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Look what I made!

Our new addition is 4 weeks old now.
Master Berry #2 is doing very well and keeping us busy with lots of cuddles.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Down in the Garden - BOM plodding along

Back in 2009 I started Leanne Beasley's Down in the Garden Block of the Month (BOM). I love this quilt. The embroidery, the fabrics, the colours, the theme - everything.

But to be honest, the amount of work is massive! Or perhaps I am just a super slow embroiderer but each block takes me around a month of solid stitching every night and my attention span just does not last that long.

The first three blocks did get finished on time and I optimistically embroidered a date on one block:

But then Master Berry came along and life got on the way and the blocks remained untouched on the shelf until I finally picked it back up a couple of months ago and finished the centre block.

Well, I say finished but as I was taking some photos (and yes it was night so bear with me here) I spotted these flowers I missed:

Damn. I hate that. And I was ready to pack it safely away with the other completed blocks.

But I am happy to say that I quickly stitched them and almost as quickly finished the next block.

I haven't started on the next one yet and I am going to hold off for a while as I want to start a couple of small Christmas projects and if I don't start now they won't be done in time. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Buy Nothing New Round Up

We have all been really sick with colds, throat and ear infections this month so it has been pretty easy to stay away from the shops and buy nothing new.

Except for this...
Sewing For Boys, 24 Projects to Create a Handmade Wardrobe by Shelly Figueroa and Karen LePage

I saw this in my local patchwork shop window and could not help myself. The projects look really easy and simple but have that lovely handmade look about them that you will never get from store bought clothing.

These are called treasure pocket pants. Just imagine the gorgeous fabrics you could use.

Otherwise, our month went by without any purchasing. We didn't need to buy anything though so I can't give you any insight into how we scoured our local area for second hand items. And we (especially me) have been so sick that we didn't really venture out all that much and so haven't been tempted by the shops. I find that is my weakness - all the beautiful things available for the house and the kids. I am the main spender in the house so with me being out of action, we didn't buy anything except groceries, doctors bills and medicines.

I love these hats. It is the first thing I plan on making from the book.

Monday, October 8, 2012

October 2012 is Buy Nothing New Month

I know its the 8th October but I have decided to pledge to buy nothing new for the rest of October.

Christmas is not far now and I know I will be throwing myself into the usual frantic consumerism that Christmas usually entails. I think spending (pun intended) the next 3 weeks not buying anything new will help to put November and December in perspective. The amount of money we spend as a household on things we really don't need it crazy and frankly a little obscene. And I've been trying to limit our spending anyway to keep our budget under control. It will be interesting to see how we go.

A couple of guidelines for the month:

  • Food, Medicines, Bills, Hygiene Products are all OK. ie, any essential items (a new pair of shoes are NOT an essential item no matter how I try to spin it).
  • Second hand, swapping, freebies are the preferred method of acquiring things.
  • Unnecessary wastage is also to be avoided in the name of the game. I will aim to use all the food in the fridge before buying more (for example).
If you are interested in joining Buy Nothing New Month you can pledge here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

20 Days to Organise & Clean your home Challenge – Round Up

The Organised Housewife's 20 Days to organise and clean your home challenge is over. I can't believe the 20 days went so quickly.

Unfortunately I didn't finish all the tasks from the challenge but I have them all printed out and in my folder so I can continue them over the next month.

My house is improving and I think the challenge is a big part of that. I began a daily and weekly cleaning routine about a month before the challenge started and I have kept it up. The challenge helped cement the routine. I must admit there is still a fair bit of clutter but under it there is a clean house (with snippets of organisation).

The one thing I absolutely loved was the daily tasks printable.

This is the day 1 printable. I've linked to Katrina's blog post for that day.

I am a list girl and having this each day made me all tingly. I think I'll continue something similar from now on.

So, a big thank you to The Organised Housewife for helping me to get my house in order. I really enjoyed the challenge and look forward to being part of it again next year.
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