Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday Snippets

I've been loving the slightly warmer weather this week accompanied by the aroma of barbecued meals and the green haze of shooting leaves and plants.  This week, I've been embracing the new so here's some of what's been happening.

A sample of a block for the new Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild Bee - Bee Bold, Bee Brave, Bee Helpful:

My new summer drink - Campari and Blood Orange:

Another new America's Test Kitchen recipe - stir fried tofu with bok choy and ginger sauce:

And yet another new lamp - Stos's birthday present that he's already picked up:

Happy Sunday.  Thanks once again to Tinnie Girl for hosting.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Summertime (well, not quite) and the living is easy

After a few stumbling starts, spring is really here. Yesterday was a glorious sunny day, a shrub that had five leaves when I checked last weekend now has fifty and while eating lunch on the deck, we were serenaded by the firing of lawn mowers.  I came out of the gym at lunchtime the other day and smelt the aroma of grilled  sausages coming from the park and am now looking forward to a barbecue for dinner tonight.

While summer is my favourite season, spring is full of growth, colour and promise of the long days, outdoor entertaining and warm weather to come.  It's the formal end of the winter blues that hit once daylight savings end in March.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Ride 'em Cowboy

The second Wonky Star and Cowboy quilt is progressing nicely.  I think I'm on track for the delivery date of first week of October as the hand quilting is going better than expected, partly because I am trying the more customary practice of 'rocking' the needle through the quilt and picking up more than one stitch at a time.  The result is faster and more even than sewing with a 'running stitch' style.  I really do like the chunky look of the Perle 8 cotton and there's more incentive to do this now I know it isn't going to take forever like the first Wonky Star Quilt did.
I'm quite happy with the back as well.  This colour family is not one that comes to me naturally so I was scratching my head on what to put on the back.  However, a rummage around Spotlight resulted in finding a jungle print that is really cute.
The brown strip is just to make the back up the required width; I wish I had more time to do more interesting piecing, but I've only got a couple of weeks to finish this.

For more creativity, head over Kootooyoo's group of crafty folk.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cookbook love

Any of my friends who are remotely interested in food have heard about my latest obsession - America's Test Kitchen and Cooks' Illustrated.  Starting with receipt of the ATK 2012 cookbook for my birthday, 3 or 4 sneaky purchases along the way and discovery of the podcast, I am completely hooked on this group and the charismatic founder Christopher Kimball.  What I love about the ATK recipes is that each recipe includes the accompanying food science, describing how the recipe works and how their version stands up against others.

One current favourite is the Light and Healthy Cookbook, which takes various standard recipes and lowers the fat content, explaining the process along the way.  I've made a few dishes out of this book but one that is definitely a keeper is the Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli.  Sounds boring but has a really great taste with the addition of sundried tomatoes and the use of finely chopped anchovies in the sauce (I didn't tell Stos about this until after we had eaten).

So if you haven't checked out America's Test Kitchen, get onto this group ASAP.  I would have to say that this is the closest to idiot proof cooking that I have ever seen.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Snippets

During the week that was:

Enjoying the lighter mornings

Took time to savour the simple things in life

Spied some pockets of colour

Tried a new craft with an old friend (but will stick with sewing!)

And was back on the lemongrass and ginger tea again!
Check out what others were up to over here.

Friday, September 7, 2012


After making gifts for baby boys, it's nice to be able to able to turn to something girlie.  I'm a bit over cowboys!  With my sister heading overseas shortly to visit a new mother in the extended family, I wanted to make something quick and pretty.  I've been really been inspired by the Housetop quilts of the Gee's Bend quilters and this style ticks the boxes for both easy and effective.

(image via the Purl Bee)

The other criteria was that I had to make it out of fabric on hand because of the time constraints and the fact that I am starting to build up a bit of a stash and should do something with it!  So using some cute fairy fabric given to me by Bronwyn as a base and other bits and pieces that I had, I came up with this:

I'm really happy with the outcome - not too sugary sweet, despite the fairy print.  And it incorporates my favourite aquas.  For the binding, I may need to break my own rule and buy a little something more; perhaps in a mauve.  I'll give that some thought while I'm basting the second cowboy quilt.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More lamps

I am in love with the latest acquisition - a 1950's anodised Daydream lamp that Chris spotted in a second hand shop.  It is so little and cute, you just want to pick up and cuddle it.  It was originally destined for the man cave but I have insisted that it live upstairs where I can look at it lovingly everyday.
I an starting to wonder if we have a lamp addiction....

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sunday Snippets

A bit late this week - we've had a bit of catching up to do after a weekend away with a special friend celebrating a special birthday.

 We contemplated spring;
 Braved the cold and the wet to have a drink with a cousin;
 Fulfilled a long held ambition;
  Hit party mode;
  Ate party food;
 Decided that not much has changed in 30 odd years.
I hope everyone else spent their weekend with their favourite peeps.
To find out, head over to here.