Sunday, August 05, 2012

Just a Little Crochet

 my Star Burst Baby Blanket is finally finished, it took a while but i found a tutorial that i liked, the Chain Seam & once started it only took two afternoons to complete. the pattern & a tutorial you can find here  in a previous post. i still love all of those sweet baby colours & will be using them again in another project.

this one i started ages ago & when i found the chain seam join i thought it was a good match for this one as well. it sat there with 30 squares for a long time, i did a few more to take it to 48, a long way off a single quilt as i first thought it was going to be. sometimes you just have to get things finished, mostly in my cast i was just sick of looking at it & wanted to be done with it.
so now its more for a cot or stroller or even for the couch on a chilly afternoon.

both of these have been listed at My photo share & at Baby & Kids under photos in the Hand Made Baby folder.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kitchen Chairs

on thursday after work i went to the Salvoes store to look for some baking dishes. for those who dont know what the Salvo Store is. no luck in the dish department but i did spy 6 kitchen chairs being unloaded from the truck. after enquiring if there was a table to match & the answer being no, i then asked about a price. with some negotiation as i had to have them delivered, [as some of you know i dont drive so big purchases have to have some extra thinking before i will consider buying them].
 i got them for $10 a chair plus $25 delivery, so a total of $85 & we now have 6 awesome new timber chairs.


these orange plastic chairs came from my father in laws, we have been using them for here since we moved in. i still like them as they are orange & made in Australia in the 70's so still pretty cool. they will be put to use when we have people over for dinner, oh & they are great for when your painting as they have been used for that for as long as i can remember.

some of you may remember the extension dinning table my son made for his year 12 wood last year & here it is with its 6 new chairs. it does seat 12 so i will be on the look out for more chairs.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Orange Cleaner

Orange Cleaner and Frozen Juice Bricks

we have 3 orange trees, two are young and have not produced fruit yet and the other is about 3 meters tall.
below is the last of the harvest about 6 or 7 kilos, they aren't large but they are very juicy and sweet. The tree is full with tiny green oranges just waiting to grow.

Orange Cleaner

first off get yourself a big jar or bottle, this one holds about 2 1/2 litres, i picked it up from the Salvos store for $2. wash your oranges to remove any dirt [if you are using purchased oranges scrub them to remove any wax].

 peel enough oranges to fill your jar with peels.

fill your jar with Vinegar so all is covered

place your jar out of direct light & mix or shake once a day for about 6 to 8 weeks. strain out all the peels.
you can use it earlier but the longer the better.

in a spray bottle mix 50/50 with water.
great for removing sticky labels, band-aid sticky, cleaning stove tops & range hoods & tiles

now we are left with naked oranges that you can juice.
if you still have a few with skin on you can zest them & store the zest in the freezer until needed.
some of the juice we drink but the rest is frozen into 1/2 cup bricks & stored in the freezer.
you can use them for cakes, biscuits or my favourite fruit smoothies.
just drop a brick or 2 into your blender & add 1 banana, handful of strawberries,1 Tbl honey & 1 cup yoghurt.
the combinations for smoothies are only limited to your imagination.

Orange you glad you popped by :o)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Spring Onions, Green Onions or Shallots
what ever you call them they are delicious & super easy to grow

i purchased these organic onions in a bunch, cut off the green tops to use & then planted the white part with the roots into the garden. pictured above is three weeks ago after i cut the tops off them, if you click on the picture you can see where i cut them. they have been in the garden for about 12 months. i just cut some when i need them & they regrow.

before the last cutting they had been left to grow & had become leggy, thick & dark green.
i washed & sliced them & filled up 2 drying trays.

i have an ezi dry dehydrator that i got for christmas a couple of years ago & i love it.
i never time how long it takes to dry stuff i just keep checking it till its done.

out of those two trays i got a large vegemite jar full [pretty well packed in].
you can use them in soups, casseroles, stews anything you need onions for really.
i have since used some in a dry mushroom soup base, that i will post about next time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Liquid Gold

The Honey Files

Raw Honey is a super food that not only tastes great but is also good for your health.
there are two types of honey, regular honey that has been heat treated that you get from the supermarket & raw honey that has not been heated. when honey is heated most of its beneficial properties are broken down & lost.

Honey never goes bad it will last forever.
store honey in a cool dark cupboard [not in the cupboard next to the stove or oven]

Raw Honey Facts:
Energy Booster
Improves Immune System
Easily Digested
Vitamins & Minerals
Healing Powers

Some Health Benefits :

Weight Loss:
 1/2tsp ground Cinnamon
1tsp raw honey
1 cup of boiling water
pour water over cinnamon & leave to cool add honey
drink half before going to bed, refrigerate & drink the rest 1/2 an hour before breakfast
do not reheat.

cinnamon sprinkled over 2 tsp of honey before eating 

Bad Breath:
morning gargle with 1tsp honey with a sprinkle of cinnamon mixed in warm water

apply to burns, it cools & removes pain & bacteria can not live in honey

replace all sugar with honey

Food Preservative: 
replace sugar with honey in cakes & biscuits they will stay fresher longer
reduce liquids in mix by 1/5 to accommodate the honey [3/4cup of honey to every cup of sugar] & lower the temp when baking

1 dessert spoon of honey dissolved in half a glass of warm water at start of migraine & again in 20 mins if necessary.

there is some research that suggests that honey can be used for the following;
Colds, Arthritis, Stomach Cancer, Bone Cancer & Cholesterol just to name a few.
more research into the properties of honey could help a lot of people in the future. 

this is my bee box, my boys found it at the spring clean up a few years ago. it sits next to one of our blood plum trees. i love it because its a bee home & because its green. there are no bees in it as its way to close to the house. maybe one day we will keep bees.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hot water system

at the end of last year our hot water system gave up the ghost we had had it fixed once but it only lasted a few months before we were back to lovely cold showers....... in the above picture the tub was removed so in reality the space between the two is only a square & a half on the lino.

we have a very small laundry & it took up quite a chunk of room. i never posted about our laundry reno, it was the first room i did when we moved in. black & white check lino, grey walls & bright red custom built cupboards.

this is the new system & the best thing about it is, its now out side. bigger then the old one so lucky its not in the laundry, oh & nice hot showers is a bonus.

now we are going to redo the laundry, it will be made bigger by extending into the garage but more on that when the time comes.

here is a bit more about our new system

Did you know solar heat is actually available in two ways?
The first way is from radiation (direct sunshine) but the second way is as convection (from air)!
Did you know solar heat is actually available in two ways?
The first way is from radiation (direct sunshine) but the second way is as convection (from air)!

Siddons Solarstream heat pumps have a super efficient design that extracts solar heat from the air.

It works night and day even at low temperatures to -5°C. The result is year round hot water always there for you when you need it.

there is also a Government rebate

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Shopping bag

anyone who lives in the mountains will tell you we have had a very wet summer, more cloud & rain than sunshine. it has been disastrous for our veggie garden with little or no sun. my tomatoes haven't even flowered yet, broccoli went to seed with no heads forming & everything else is stunted & small.
on the up side i do love rainy weather so i decided to make an all weather bag. about 7 years ago i purchased an end of roll piece of oil cloth & it has been moved from one surface to another just waiting to become a beautiful red spotty bag. so late yesterday afternoon i sat down to make one. well instead of it taking about an hour to make it turned in a few hours when i say a few i mean 4 1/2 hours.

i have to say this is the worst material i have ever worked with, the wrong side slides around every where & the outside sticks. i tried the painters tape on the bottom of my foot but that just rolled off in the first few stitches. but i was not going to give up, i have been wanting this bag for a long time so i persevered  & now i have a lovely red spotty bag that can get wet when it rains. 

i lined it with a plain red fabric & if you look closely you can see how bad my stitching is. i wont be in a hurry to use the rest of the oil cloth. i was thinking about recovering my computer chair with it but i think ill have to think about it for quite a while before attempting another sewing expedition with that fabric.
i pretty much used this shopping bag tutorial, i just made it a bit smaller.

i am linking here

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Crochet Baby Blanket 
part 1 & 2

some of you may have seen these over on my Flickr account, i think these are called starburst but i could be wrong the tutorial i used was very easy until the last round with the join as you go so i will be joining a different way as i could not find another tutorial for it.

each colour combination is in stacks of 10.

the last round turned it into a square

last round in one chain space [corner] 4 ch [= 1 dc], 1 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2dc, 2 ch
next chain space is a corner 2 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space is a corner 2 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space is last corner 2 dc, 2 ch, 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch
next chain space 2 dc, 2 ch slip stitch in top of 4 ch to finish off the round

Monday, February 06, 2012


January went in the blink of an eye & February is starting its second week.
they say the older you get the quicker the year flies by & its true. when your a kid every day is an exciting adventure, always something new to learn, friends to play with & its all about you. when you have your kids its still an exciting adventure, they bring back all of your childhood memories. you get to play every day & watch your child learn, grow & have fun. now im at the stage where my boys are now men & they come & go as they please with no time for mum. now my kid adventure is over i feel like im bogged down in the everyday, busy but not doing much at all & those are the days that fly by & you don't even notice. 

January had one memorable day for me & that was my birthday. they say 40 is the new 30, i don't even know what that means. people ask how do you feel being 40, the same as i did yesterday & they day before. i always thought 40 was the cut off date, as soon as you reach it your old. do i still believe this yes & no. i see the laugh lines & the white hair sneaking its way in, the veins in my legs & the tuck-shop arms, all those things mean im getting older. but the thing is i don't feel old but at the same time my youth whizzed by so quickly i don't know how i got here to this 40, half a life time. now i guess its time for a new exciting adventure to begin, i wonder what it will be......

i got 2 lots of flowers this year, the purple ones the boys got me & A had this flower hamper sent. who doesn't love flowers & sweets.  my best birthdays were when the boys were young, home made gifts & cards breakfast in bed who could wish for more.
this year i didn't want any gifts all i wanted was a game day. no tv & no computers.

these are some of the games we played, it was loud & fun. one of the best birthdays i have had in a long time.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tree to Table

theses green beauties came from one of our plum trees down in the chook yard. thought we would give ripening them inside a go as the birds are very greedy & don't like to leave us any.

wiped them all with a damp Flannel cloth & then placed them into paper bags to ripen. about 3 weeks later they were nice & ripe, ready to eat. after 2 weeks check them every day until they are ready.

Plum Upside Down Cake

50g Butter
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
125g Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Almond meal
1 1/2 cups SR Flour
Plums [i used about 13 or 14 it will depend on the size of your pan]

Grease your pan & line with paper on the bottom [no need to do the sides]
Melt the 50g of Butter & pour over the lined bottom
Sprinkle the Brown Sugar over the melted butter set aside

Beat 125g Butter, Sugar & Vanilla until pale & creamy [or not so pale if you have fresh free range eggs]
Add Eggs & beat well
Fold in the Flour & Almond meal

Halve your plums & remove the seed, place skin side down on top of the brown sugar until the bottom is covered
Spoon mixture over the Plums & smooth with the back of your spoon
Bake 40 to 45 mins
Stand cake in tin for 10 mins before turning out
The paper should be left in the bottom of the pan when the cake comes out
Serve hot or cold with Cream or Ice Cream or on its own with a dusting of Icing Sugar

Green Shake Combos all with spinach

Banana & Strawberry
Banana & Rockmelon
Banana & Pineapple
Raspberry & Strawberry
Banana &; Blueberry
Orange & Pineapple


1cup Sugar
4 Egg Yolks
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
1pk Cream Cheese
1 3/4 cups Cream
1 Tbl Coffee
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 pk Lady Finger Biscuits
1 cup Dark Chocolate chopped

Beat Sugar, Egg Yolks & Vanilla for about 1 min.
Add Cheese & mix until smooth.
Place in the fridge for about 1 hour

Whip your cream & then fold into your Cream Cheese
Place back into the fridge for 1 hour
Add Coffee to the Hot Water & leave to cool in a bowl

Dip Lady Fingers into the coffee one at a time [don't leave in the coffee or they will fall apart]
Place a row of fingers in the bottom of your chosen dish
Sprinkle Chocolate over the fingers then spoon a layer of Cheese mix over that
Continue until your are left with the Cheese mix at the top of the bowl add the last of the Chocolate
Place back into the fridge until needed
Best made one or two days before served

i usually make this in a glass trifle bowl but we were taking it to a BBQ so i made it in a glass dish with a lid, much easier for travelling.

This time with the left over Egg Whites i made single serve mini Pavlova's

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Green Breakfast

im trying something new this year to get healthy & stay healthy.
they say you should eat green vegetables for breakfast well im not too keen on having steamed broccoli for breakfast so my solution to a green breakfast is this beautiful green shake.

Green Shake

1 frozen Banana [or fresh]
4 Strawberries
2 handfuls of spinach
1 1/2 cups water
blend until smooth, if its too thick for you add a bit more water.
it tastes great :o)

and to go with my green shake 2 organic eggs from my chooks lightly scrambled [nothing added] seasoned with pepper & celtic sea salt. you could also add parsley or chives but i didnt want to go down the back in the rain again to pick some.

this is not a diet, its a life style

it was a very big drink so i didnt have my organic green tea until about 1/2 an hour later.



4 Egg Whites {left over from the custard]
1tsp Vanilla
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Beat eggs, vanilla & cream of tartar until soft peeks form.
slowly add in sugar, beat until stiff peaks form.

line a tray with either baking paper or brown paper, use a small dab of mix to each corner so the paper stays flat while cooking.
spoon mix onto your tray in any form you like, above it did 2 rectangles.
oven 150 Celsius [300F] for 30 minutes
turn off the oven & leave in there for a few hours [door closed]
when i make these i make them late in the afternoon & leave them in the oven over night.
i usually make two or three because i like to layer them with cream in between.
i did not have any fresh fruit so i used fruit that i froze last year.
Passionfruit, Strawberries & Raspberries
defrosted before adding to the pav, you get lots of runny juice its very delicious

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Pie & Custard

a handful of this

plus a few of these

makes this

Rhubarb from the garden & few green apples from the tree makes a wonderful Apple & Rhubarb Pie with some home made Custard.
i stewed the Apples & Rhubarb separate, then mixed them together & poured it into the pie crust.

Home-made Custard

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1tsp Vanilla 
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar

  • Combine milk and cream in a small pot & add vanilla [if using vanilla bean split bean lengthways & scrape seeds into milk & drop in the bean] 

  • Cook slowly on medium heat until hot but not boiling.

  • Whisk egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a glass bowl.

  • Remove vanilla beans from milk mixture. 

  • Pour hot milk mixture over egg yolk mixture & whisk 

  • Pour into a medium pot & cook on low, stirring constantly for about 10 mins or until thick & will coat the back of a spoon. 
  • Do not allow custard to boil, as it might curdle.

i hate it when you have a recipe that calls for either just the whites or just the yolks. when this happens i always have a companion recipe to use the left over egg. in this case it is Meringue/ Pavlova. i will post that recipe tomorrow. 

Friday, January 06, 2012

Fruit & Visitors

we have four orange trees, the oranges here are from the orange tree at the top of the orchid, they have thin skin that is easy to peel & oh so sweet. lots of tiny seeds but you don't really notice them when you eat them. the colour is not a trick of the camera they really are this dark orange colour, i have never seen a bought orange this colour [not including blood oranges].

for anyone who does not know what this is, its a Blue Tongue Lizard.

when frightened they hiss & puff themselves up big to scare off who ever comes near.
we have 3 of these, two that live down the side & the other one lives out the front.

Miss Sally Girl does not like them in her yard & will bark at them until they go where she cant see them.
the only reason she is lying down here is because i told her too, but as soon as i go inside she will be at the barking again.

we have tried putting them over the fence next door but they just climb back over again. this one is the small one the other is quite a bit bigger. when Sally Girl fist found it we didnt know what it was at first cause it was in the bushes & when it kind of jumped up & out i first thought it was a snake but thank goodness it wasn't or it would have bitten my Sally Girl. snakes are the only thing i am frightened of & im always on the look out. for anyone who does not live in Australia we have the most poisonous snakes in the word oh & spiders.