Saturday, 19 July 2008

Do a little dance...

I had been a little worried about the amount of money I had managed to put aside for our little holiday. As you know I am not particularly good with paperwork and bills etc. This has turned out to be a good thing in a way because I just did last year's tax and was hoping that the cheque would come through on time for us to use it in Melbourne. The accountant was sure it would take 2 weeks at most. On Wednesday I popped into his office to find out what was happening (It was almost 3 weeks by this stage.) His secretary said she would chase it up for me. She rang back later and it had been issued that day and would be in the next day. Phew! this meant that I didn't have to watch every penny every day while we were there.

I went in the next day to collect the cheque so I could deposit it into the bank so it would clear quickly. All the while stressing hoping that the full amount the accountant estimated would be correct.

"The cheque is not the same as the estimate.."the secretary started
"oh no" I thought, my fears were correct.
"It is a bit more." she continued

"Great!" Not only was it a little more it was double what I was expecting!!! and I was happy with the amount I was expecting! "Fantastic! Now My kids and I can have a great holiday!"

And I danced a little dance of joy right there in the office. ACTUALLY danced not on the inside like any sane normal person but a jaunty little jig. As I got into my car I had one of those moments where I realised I had danced "out loud" and not kept it in my head. (Reading One Little Acorn's post about dancing bought this back to me.) Now I've shared it with all of you!

Anyway now I have had a bonus and I bought Bantam Boy and myself a new suitcase each.
Both were on special but mine was a super bargain. $50 for the suitcase and $35 for the matching hand luggage bag!

This one is mine.There seems to be a theme happening here- with red being a strong feature at the moment. (BB went for plain black)

However my new coat is purple- although it looks grey in this picture


close up red cape
Originally uploaded by dette.k
done! I added a crocheted edging and made a crocheted flower pin to hold it together. I love the way it feels to wear now and I love the way this photo turned out too.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Are we there yet again?

Here's my shawl. I'm really happy with the way it drapes around the neckline.

I love the colour and the weight of it but...

I'm not happy with the front as yet! I will have to play with the draping and positions of the buttons to get it right. And perhaps I will add the crocheted edging after all.

Are we there yet?

I have been knitting, knitting, knitting almost non stop! and I'm almost there!

This is the view I have had for most of the week and a half I've been knitting non stop! Although that is not entirely true. I have made a lined purple jacket which I will photograph when I get new batteries for my camera. I also had lunch with the book club girls- Though I've hardly read a book in ages! I've watched several movies though as it is much easier to do that than read while you knit.

See my new red shoes. I LOVE red shoes and have done since I was a little girl when I fell in love with the story of the red dancing shoes. On reflection I don't know why because it is quite tragic really as she dances herself to death. Maybe that is exactly why I loved it - she died dancing!

I am much happier now I have some nice shoes to wear on my holiday and some thermal singlets Oh and I made a pair of soft, stretchy, black,wide leg, wool pants too! ( I really must learn to ban myself from blogging when racked with hormonally induced magnification of my self esteem issues!)

I also stopped for afternoon tea with some of the girls from the school I used to work at.

I made an Apple and Rhubarb Crumble Cake.

I used the basic vanilla cake base from this cake but added 3/4 of a cup of milk rather than 1/2 a cup to make a less dense cake. I topped the batter with about 1 and 1/2 cups of stewed apple and rhubarb and topped with a crumble mixture
2 tble spns raw sugar
3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour
1tspn (or a good shake) of ground cinnamon
60g of butter
1/2 cup of chopped almonds

Rub butter flour and sugar together. Add almonds sprinkle over cake mixture. Bake about 50 mins in moderate oven until golden and skewer comes out clean.

Enjoy with organic clotted cream!

I also made Caramelized Onion and Fetta Tarts
These are so easy and very yummy! (Don't let on how easy they are as people think you are very clever!)

Caramelized Onions
3 or 4 spanish onions sliced
a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to cover the base of a frying pan
about 2 tble spoons of brown sugar
a good splash of balsamic vinegar
a good pinch of sea salt

Gently fry the onions in the olive oil as they start to go translucent add the sugar and balsamic vinegar continue to cook until they are soft well coated. Add salt.
At this point you will need to taste the mixture to see if more sugar or vinegar is required to get the balance right.

Caramelized onions
puff pastry sheets
your favourite fetta (or blue cheese for a yummy variation.)
chopped rosemary

Cut pastry into squares and pop into patty pan or muffin tins.
Top with onion mixture, crumble over cheese and sprinkle with chopped rosemary. Bake in a hot oven until pastry is crisp and golden.

Back to my knitting, this is it so far. It is as long as I am and I am 175cm tall. I've got half a ball of wool left to go. Plus one left to add some crocheted edging but am unsure if I will add it or not at this stage. I am rather enamored with the lovely long lines created by the plain knitting.

Must dash into Freo soon to buy wool for Chicky Babe's scarf that she has requested for the trip to match her hat. She also wants a dress made for the yr 10 dinner dance that will be 2 nights after we get back from Melbourne so I best do it before I go!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Unnecessary Angst

Earlier this morning I spoke to a friend on the phone she reminded me that Melbourne is also home to Kath and Kim, and that although there are indeed many funky fashionable people there are many ugg booted bogans there too so I should not fret. I feel somewhat relieved but am still fretting about the cold. Back to the lined jacket making and knitting!!!

I've just returned home from Spotlight ( a big sewing/craft supermarket for those not familiar) It has moved from Fremantle to the suburbs not far from me so it is still relatively convenient and it is closer to Textile traders so it is easy to visit one store then the other. However in the move it has seemed to loose some of its charm and variety. It has become bigger and cleaner but a bit more plastic somehow. Then today they had a young fellow with a most irritating voice, loudly spruking the storewide bargains at 3 to 4 minute intervals.


Ahhhhh!!! I couldn't wait to get out of there. I felt like I was in a $2 shop from the late 80's or 90's when shouting at potential customers seemed to be all the rage. I actually made a complaint. (I'm becoming a grumpy old woman!)I don't know if other people object to it but it didn't make me feel like rushing over to check out what was walking out the door at only $189 and given time to browse unassaulted I often discover all those useless bargains and usually leave the shop having spent far more than I intended. Unfortunately I think I have to go back because I don't think I got enough ribbon for the embroidery I want to put onto my evening coat!

I'll wait until Monday when it is quiet!

Not clarice cliff tea cup & not tuesday...

This tea cup is not, although it does remind me of one, a Clarice Cliff. I love it none the less.

This is a new dress shirt that I made ready for my trip to Melbourne. The design on it also reminds me of a Clarice Cliff design. I love it, Chicky babe hates it! I am madly sewing and knitting in preparation for my trip in a week and a half!!! I have made a pair of wool wide leg pants, this top and have cut out a green velvety fabric to make an evening coat and have some purple stretch crushed velvet for a coat. I found some stretch lining too so it should be comfortable for traveling about. My knitting is about 3/4 done and is nearly as long as I am tall. I suddenly realized how ill prepared I am for cold weather.

I am also worried about the 'groovyness' of my wardrobe, having been told that Melbourne is 'the' place for art and fashion!!! I feel a little like the above teacup trying to fake a style and am a little worried I wont be quite right. I don't know why it is bothering me so much, I only know 2 people there anyway and I'm sure they won't worry about what I'm wearing!! I guess I feel a bit of a novice when it comes to this traveling caper and don't want to appear too green. Also I don't know how cold cold is in Melbourne it looks freezing watching the news reports of the temperatures!

Hmmm! This is a very flattering angle on which to take photos of myself. I must make sure I flirt only with very tall men in future! and make sure photos are taken from above at all times.

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Time flies!!!

Gosh it's now july! And just a little under two weeks since I have made a post. It's been pretty busy round here coming up to the end of term. Not just for me but for my kids too. There in lies the blogging problem, They have been madly finishing off assignments and checking their homework using MSN (or so they tell me!) The upshot has been that the computer has been pretty much monopolized and otherwise available at particularly unreasonable hours.

Bantam Boy is off to Sydney on Monday with the team for a fencing competition. He will be with a group with the coach but not with his Mum! I know logically that he is fine, he's almost an adult etc etc.... but it is remarkably hard to let them go without a pang of nostalgia and a dash of worry!

I've been knitting furiously making him a scarf to wear in Sydney and for Melbourne. It is only about two weeks until we all go on our holiday. It means I will have this two week school holiday break and then another 7 days off school. I am really looking forward to it now. There appears to be so much in the way of art to see and we are going to catch up with friends to go and play in the snow!!! ( I think I may have said this already!)

I have decided to make myself a 'shawl' or 'capelet?' anyway one of the ladies at work had a big rectangular wrap that had a zip half at each end, it closed in the front and was a bit like a poncho I suppose. So I was inspired to have a go at making something similar however I wanted mine to have buttons and be more like a shawly kind of number. It is in plain old stocking stitch. With the vvvvv pattern on one side and the bumpy pattern on the reverse. It will button so that the shawl drapes showing the contrast of textures between the two, well that's my plan. I made BB's scarf in a chocolaty brown rib stitch. I am really happy with the final product I really love the textures of those plain stitches but boy, they are both very boring to knit. Thank goodness I can knit and not look at the work as I go and have kept my brain amused with some DVD's and a bit of crappy TV. What a shame you can't knit and blog simultaneously!

I also spent a bit of time working on my Babette blanket squares. I worked out an arrangement that is pretty much rectangular.

I've taken a picture with my hand in the shot to give some sense of scale.

If I repeat this 4 times I'll have a rug that is about 90cm by about 120cm maybe a tad bigger if I crochet a slightly thicker boarder around it.

I'm a little unhappy with the quality of these pictures, the focus seems a little off.

I found this message on my fridge the other day. I first thought it meant that home was a sanctuary then I worried that one of them was seeking sanctuary. It turned out that one of Chicky babes friends left it. She is a bit like an adopted daughter round here and she calls me her third mum. ( she has a step mum here and a biological mum in another state.) I like that she feels comfortable in my home. It is indeed a sanctuary. Phew! I am a very fortunate mother really as my kids have lovely friends.

Speaking of which there are 6 teenagers here again for a sleep over. The usual sleep over crowd. I was pushed out of my own lounge room earlier so the mattresses could be thrown on the floor and movies watched. It is strangely quiet and has been for a while ........


Usually I am begging them to keep the noise down at 3am! They must have been tired, see it has been a busy week or two!