Sunday, January 31, 2010


My mother taught me never to publicly speak about religion, politics or sex. However we all know I'm an inveterate rule breaker. (so nah nah neh nah nah Mum) This week I'm going to touch on resurrection, which is I feel, an appropriate Sunday post.  Later in the week, if I have enough guts and am in the mood to shock your socks off, I have a post lined up about sex.

Last July a very much loved and important member of our family died...Oh how we missed  the warm caring comfort of our loved one.

That's right folks- our tumble dryer kicked the bucket. Still spinning but no hot air...spinning doesn't help the clothes dry folks. If it did, my washing line would be a tumble dryer and this post wouldn't need to be written.

It's been sitting up there on the wall in the laundry ever since. We managed to survive last winter without it. Of course our house looked like a freaking Chinese laundry for most of winter which annoyed me no end. Wet clothes are  right up there with smeary kitchen benches on my annoyance scale.

I finally decided this week we needed to bite the bullet and let the dryer go. At $80.00 for call out and probably $60 for parts plus labour it just isn't economical to fix it.  I decided some smart person on freecycle probably had the know how to fix it. Family debate then ensued about whether we would get another tumble dryer...but that's another story ( Audra at the Frugal Missus has just had the same issue with her microwave...and the boys sneakily outvoted her, without actually taking a vote ) I advertised it, selected the recipient , arranged and confirmed a 2 hour window for a pickup time...then nothing..he just doesn't show. Pretty Rude.

Mr. Pyjamas got pretty peeved at the non attendance since he had pulled the darn thing down from the wall so he decided to pull the back off the unit and take a look. I'm not sure how the two became connected.  I'm imagining instant electrocution because he works in finance not electronics. While he pulled the unit apart I ran and checked our superannuation and life insurance policies to see how well off I was going to be if he fried himself, and then hurried back to make sure he didn't, by offering completely unhelpful suggestions about what he should do next. I don't work in tumble dryer repairs either.

Mr. Pyjamas pulled about 5 kilos of burnt compacted fluff out of the housing near the element, screwed the dryer back together,  threw some wet towels in and I witnessed the resurrection of our tumble dryer, which now appears to work perfectly. I also gained a new understanding of how a house fire from a tumble dryer might conceivably happen.

Thanks Rude Dude for not showing up yesterday. And thanks Mr. Pyjamas for not getting electrocuted. Now I can warm my undies again  before I put them on during those cold winter mornings.

Past Glories-Quilt Cover

I found this in the linen cupboard yesterday and got all goo-ey over the memory of making it.  This is the first thing I ever patchworked. It's actually a quilt cover I made for my daughter's bedroom when she was about 8.  She also  had matching curtains and a valance, and I painted her room  bright pink. The stars are all appliqued on and so are the hearts and stars in the middle. I was so darn proud of myself when it was finished. She used it for about 18 months and I've just never been able to donate it to a thrift store when I've been having one of my annual cleanouts.

For some reason I was thinking about it last week, and it occured to me I could unpick the top from the backing and quilt it. At least then I could show it off.

Another project for the 2010 lineup....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fabulous February

I’ve noticed this month I have had great intentions and a complete lack of follow up! Case in point – Yesterday – I didn’t get out of my pyjamas at all…( I know, kinda gross huh?) I was going to clean the house …I got it half done and then sat on my behind for the rest of the day reading blogs and surfing Ebay. I did cook banana choc chip muffins so I felt partially redeemed, although the people that eat them might feel they’re being punished. Hey it’s the thought that counts….

So I want to make February Fabulous. It’s the last month of summer. I have to go back to work. I need some motivation to beautify my home and focus a bit more on me. I can amuse myself for hours looking at people’s quilts, blogs and stuff on the internet but I just feel I need to be more present in my own life if you know what I mean. To paraphrase Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards from Top Gun:

”I feel the need- the need to achieve. “

So these are my plans for Fabulous February ….

Furnish in  February - There are lots of half finished or germinating projects around here that will ultimately make our space a better place.  I’m not going to list them all because it’s too embarrassing. Sufficed to say , I have a back patio filled with filing cabinets, old tables, a desk, and lots of other stuff, “I’m gonna get to”. I’m going to pick one this month and finish it. Results at the end of the month, or sooner if it’s finished before.

Frugal February- I blogged recently about the amazing amount of food and supplies we have in this house , so shopping for groceries will be frugal and limited to what we need.  And so will everything else. If we need something I’ll try to think of the cheapest way to get it. No quilting fabric at all this month! (groan)

Found in February – Each week I’m going to post about a blog I’ve found that has inspired me in some way. There are so many !!! I snaffle all my best ideas from other people’s blogs. (and of course always give credit where credit is due)

Finished in February – I have three quilts on the go. One of them needs to be finished by the end of February. It would be great to get two done but I’m not pushing it. I’m a realist.

Fun February - Confession: I’m a stay at home-r. Mr Pyjamas is a social butterfly. This month I’m committing to doing something social at least once every weekend. That will make Mr. Pyjamas happy and take me out of my comfort zone. Change is a good thing.

Fabulously Foxy February - This month I’m going to eat better, get more active and take better care of myself. I’m soooo tired. At first I thought it was Christmas, New Year , hot weather , middle age yada yada yada ….It’s not. I just haven’t been taking care of myself. I don’t want to lose 15 kilos but I would like to look less like death warmed up and more like  a picture of glowing health.

Finding Family February - I think I need to make time to track down some of the elusive ancestors. I tend to get distracted and wander all over the place with my family history and the last 6 months in particular I have been suffering from motivation-itis in the family history department. This month I think I’ll pick three names and just concentrate on those families.

Feel free to make your own Fabulous February list. It would be great to cheer one another along. Check back over the month for my progress and to give me a butt whipping if you think I’m being a slacker.

Friday, January 29, 2010

You're all invited to dinner....

I just want to declare up front ...I am officially the spice queen of Australia. I counted and I have 53 different herbs and spices. Beat that. I am also the Cupcake Princess -having discovered I will need to make approximately 187,324 cupcakes in my lifetime to get rid of my current patty pan stash. I also have enough sprinkles to go on that number of cakes. I don't even LIKE baking.....

After my post yesterday about trying to find hidey holes for my grocery shopping I decided to take the bull by the horns and clean out and re-organise my pantry.  I'm pretty sure I did this about 6 weeks ago. By the way I have 15 packs of pasta. They ARE breeding.

The upshot of it all is that I've decided to only buy essential items  for the next 4 weeks. After doing the freezers (all 3 of them ) we dont need to buy meat for at least 6 weeks. I had 14 roasts alone dotted about the place. That's like almost a whole cow....

You're all invited to dinner , anytime you like. Just drop in . It's not like I dont have enough food and if you like tuna or beef  you'll be in hog heaven.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A Melting Pot of Random-ness

I'm just sitting here stuffing my face with a Cherry Ripe reflecting on my day....

I go back to work Monday and I don't feel I’ve achieved much this week, so I vowed to make today an action day. I’m usually pretty good at getting through my “To Do” lists but this week with being away I feel like I’ve been slack. I also think I expect way to much of myself but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post. I just don’t do “relaxing” very well. Or maybe my relaxing looks like other people’s work. Whatever. All I know is if I'm not doing something  I'm feeling lazy.

We have been in the market for a new desk for our computer area for a while. Everything I like is about $400.00. Being the scrooge I am about some things (fabric isn’t one of them) I decided to look pre-loved a while back but nothing was taking my fancy. I don’t want something ordinary and I don’t want crappy wobbly veneer Ikea rubbish. (Apologies to anyone who likes Ikea, and the Ikea people)  I finally found a possibility  on Ebay. The universe appears to be  are smiling on me (no doubt to atone for her shocking behaviour of last week )  because it’s one street away from my house and the price is right. If I win I can carry it home. Im bid nipping so hopefully I'll get it for a fair price. ( please don’t send me hate mail for being a sniper)

I can see lots of beautiful remodeling possibilities with the desk, especially after I viewed it this morning. My heart beat just a little faster when I saw it, because its 40-50 year old solid oak. I'm seeing this done up in a funky style, although I'm not sure what that will look like just yet. Assuming I win it.

Off to my favourite op shop after desk gawking,  just for a look see- I haven’t been there in about a month or so. I managed to get some crazy bargains.

3 metres of  material - far right.
1 vintage sheet (in the middle )  You would think after all my bitching about THAT quilt , I would never want to see another vintage sheet again as long as I live, but this was too pretty to pass up.

A material offcut (far left ) which will make a lovely cushion for my sofa.

This jar for my button collection . I have some gorgeous vintage buttons.

Toys for Ethan. The caterpillar is Lamaze, the Ladybird is Playgro, and Elmo is Fisher Price. Retail these toys would cost at least $110.00. Op Shop price= $12.50.

I came home and made a triple lot of my famous Rendang Curry in the crockpot for dinner. We had people over tonight and I made awesome oven rice. My friend Sandra has a friend, Carl, who is a chef and he made this for a dinner we were at recently. Easy Peasy, great when you have lots of people and sooooooooo delicious, so I snaffled the recipe. By the way “Cooking around the World with Saj and Pyjamas ” resumes next week, so expect much hilarity about our cooking misadventures in future blog posts.  Betcha can't wait for that !

Off to do the weekly grocery shop after lunch ( which was a slapped together promite sandwich) Came home and trying to find places to put everything was a challenge …I felt like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter .I've reached new levels of ridiculous with stockpiling food and groceries. I am beginning to suspect I starved to death in a previous life and have carried that little fear over to this one.  I’m too scared to go into my pantry because I’m pretty sure my tinned tomatoes are breeding in there. I cannot think of any  reason we need 3 kilos of dessicated coconut.  If there is ever a diarrhea outbreak in my suburb I'll have it covered with all the toilet paper  I have, and I could wash dishes for the Australian Army and not have to nip out for dishwashing liquid.

Football starts again in about 6 weeks. We have season tickets to the Adelaide Crows. I like going to the matches, but hate the fact that Mr. Pyjamas must watch all 8 games of football every single weekend in football season. One year I swear we spoke  only 83 words to each other  between April and September because he was glued to the television watching constant football. I'm a prolific quilter in winter....

So I have managed to do  ummm..let's sewing since I got home 48 hours ago.

I'm posting this now to keep myself honest ..I almost cut material last night for a new quilt. I have decided that is ridiculous and I have promised myself I must finish one of the three I already have in the pipeline BEFORE I wield scissors on my Flower Bucket Fabric. But I really do want to cut it....

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m about to give  Elmo, the Caterpillar and the Ladybug a bath in the washing machine.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Vibrations

After last week, where the universe appeared to be kicking me in the pants... a lot.... as hard as it could.... I've decided that if the universe pulls that stunt again, I'm going to punch it in the face.

I had a lovely weekend away, I have the rest of this week off,  and  I avoided Meatless Monday because my Mum doesn't do Meatless Mondays and so the "good week" gods appear to be smiling on me once again. Meatless Monday will be back next week unless I can arrange to be 250 kilometres away at my Mum's again, which is unlikely.  It's almost worth the drive to avoid it in my opinion.

I am getting an ever increasing list of quilts I want to try.  I feel like I’m on inspiration overload. Everywhere I look something else by someone clever catches my eye.

The latest piece of eye candy to float my boat is this Roundabout Quilt made by Amy at “A Commonplace Life”. I think this has to be one of the cutest and most striking quilts I’ve ever seen.  Mr. Pyjamas took one look at the photo and said “Let me know when you’re going to do that one so I can move out for a couple of months”….so even he knows it requires a degree of skill (and patience!) to finish.

Break out the streamers and lets party! I found backing for the Gobble Gobble Quilt- and ordered it online from the US, because we didnt have ANYTHING I liked in the whole of Australia (well at least the places I looked, which was about half a dozen stores) I’m hoping to have that quilt finished soon after the fabric arrives at my house.   I don't know about you but I feel discombobulated when the only thing stopping me from finishing a project is not being able to find the exact right fabric.

Gobble Gobble Dots in Squash

I had a productive quilting weekend amongst the relaxing  – I have managed to get 202 of the 256 Half Square Triangles for my latest quilt finished. Not having worked with triangles before, I’m flying by the seat of my pants here and I’m hoping random luck will bring it all together. I bought an extra fat quarter bundle of this fabric collection online on the weekend and saved almost 40% off. That’s a Crazy Bargain! I’ll have enough left over to make another quilt down the track. How could I resist this luscious gorgeousness…Again, I’ll get to a certain point with this quilt and have to stop and wait for the rest of the fabric to arrive. Paisley and pastels are  not usually my thing but this just spoke to me somehow.

Just in case I get to the point where I’m waiting for fabric to arrive and have no quilting on the go, I have the next project all sorted out in my mind.  Yes,  I'm well aware I have some kind of crafting disease...I don't think it's catching.

I’m in love with the Hungry Caterpillar Fat Quarter Bundle at the moment and just need one teensy weensy bit of justification for buying it. I’m also  dreaming about California Dreamin’ Fabric by Jeanean Morrison (still!) and the Oz by Sanae collection for Moda.

With my two half finished quilts, another one in the planning stages, and Ethan's UFO, I figure I'm pretty much committed until about April....and somewhere in there my boss expects me to show up to work regularly.  

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pity Party- Table for One Thanks!

Gloria Gaynor sang a great song in the late 1970's about surviving a relationship breakup called "I Will Survive". I'm applying it to surviving this week.  Minor annoyances have felt like major dramas.

So essentially this post is bitching about my week and then I'm going to let it all go. But I'm not just whining-I'm going to come up with solutions to the problems so I can move on. I can't stand grizzling for grizzlings sake!

The devil quilt - what sane person considers taking their quilt and using it as bonfire fuel  -in the middle of fire ban season -on our tinder dry block ? I didnt really think about it seriously - I was more blogging for laughs - but I was pretty peeved about the quilt all the same. And since that quilt is finished why the hell am I still blogging about it?

Solution: Start something new , exciting , gorgeous and get immersed in it's wonderfulness. Not everything I do has to be perfect. (although I'm a Virgo- so it kinda does actually)

The car went in to get fixed yesterday and 24 hours later the powertrain light is back on and the computer is whoop whoop whooping like an aircraft about to crash everytime we turn it on.  This is the third time it's been in and checked out (and we've been charged for it being "fixed".) You can understand my reluctance to go back to get ripped off a fourth time. Just diagnose the problem guys - because your inability to do so  seems to be the actual  problem. Our mechanics are about as sharp as a bucket of nerf darts and as far as I'm concerned they couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery.

Solution: Buy a skateboard to get to and from work. I'm pretty sure that now the devil quilt is finished the car has been possessed.

SA Water- I dont need you reminding me on my bill that my water usage has increased since this time last year. I'm still using about 1/3rd less a day than you consider average. Where was my thankyou when I was using only 1/2 the amount of water you consider to be average for my home? Oh and by the way - my household size has doubled since this time last year - that would be why my water usage has increased 30%. And if my crispy brown front lawn isn't enough of a tip off for you about how serious I am about doing my bit to save water, please feel free to come and suss out my two minute showers (I dare you) where I dart through the shower with a cake of soap and catch all the water in a bucket at my feet so I can use it in my washing machine, then catch it in another bucket and use it to water my plants outside.  

Solution : Turn on all my sprinklers out of spite  and water the lawn while running through the sprinklers having fun like a three year old while holding a cake of soap. The sprinkler run can double as today's shower. Since it's illegal to use sprinklers here I'll probably be arrested. I wont be getting water bills in jail and they'll probably still time my showers.

I feel a lot better now...Thanks for "listening"  if you made it this far.

It's Australia Day next Tuesday, which is like American Independence Day - but with much less fanfare. We tend not to do parades. Actually we throw snags on the barbecue and have the day off work.  Mr. Pyjamas and I have decided to take the opportunity to go away for a few days. While we are away I'll  have an  attitude adjustment, and come back as little Miss Sunshine, instead of the wicked queen from Snow White.

See you all mid next week!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Avert Your Eyes !

I take no responsibility for any unnatural occurences or subsequent possession of your soul that might arise from you viewing this quilt.

It's Finished! I can move into something else with a clear conscience and with what is left of my tenuous sanity intact.

I am very very excited.

Ok its official .....I'm a true 80's tragic.

The excitement of my week , month , year , life came when Spandau Ballet announced their upcoming Australian tour yesterday double billing with Tears For Fears in April.

Faster than you can say "I'm soooooooooo there " I was on the phone calling all my 80's tragic friends and bullying them into coming with me .

I wonder how much other mutton will be there dressed up as lamb, because lets face it they havent had a hit since about 1989, so there wont be anyone under about 35 at the concert. I wonder if Tony Hadley will finally realise I'm the girl he's been searching for all his life....

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sometimes I'm just crazy

I'm going to try really hard not to come across like a raving lunatic with this post. It's been such a busy week. It's late. It's hot. I dont feel 100%. I'm tired...and it's that time of the month. (Sorry if that's TMI for anyone)

With all this going on, it's a miracle I'm not a sobbing heap in a corner somewhere.

If you've read my profile you'll see that I start with "sometimes a disaster" in reference to my creative projects...well this is one of those times.

Just to re-cap ...I made a quilt, I hated a quilt, I partially quilted a quilt, decided to nix the quilt, helpful people gave me suggestions about how to change it so I might be able to look at it without vomiting, I changed my mind, (unpicking the possessed devil incarnate quilt was not my favourite activity but I did it gracefully and without pitching a hissy fit once ) re-did the whole quilt top, still didn't love the quilt,  basted and quilted the quilt top. Actually started to like the quilt! Quite cute actually. Yay!

Binding was a disaster. Many many mistakes. Even the sewing machine doesn't really like this quilt. Perhaps it senses that if this quilt is given life it may breed and spawn other devil quilts.  Lots of mother-effing and assorted other sailor like language eminating from the sewing room ensued. Yeah Yeah I know I'm meant to pretend I'm a lady . Whatever... Ladylikeness is pretty over rated in my opinion.

Rationalised that  unless the quilting police are planning a raid on my house it doesn't have to be perfect. Perservered. Finished it. Breathed a sigh of relief. It's not utterly gorgeous but it's finished. Did a little happy dance. Mentally patted myself on the back. Tallied up pertinent facts relating to the making of this quilt like: I used  2 metres of sashing , 100 vintage sheet squares  and 346 cuss words during the quilt making process.

Ironing the binding...and dreaming of the impending unveiling of the quilt to the family in the loungeroom. Discover a whole 2 inch section not properly attached to the front of the quilt and it cannot be fixed  unless I unpick the ENTIRE binding front and back.(amended swear word total = 352 cuss words) 

I'm just off out the back with the quilt , a can of petrol and some matches....

Nerida , I know you check in here and I'm only kidding about the cuss know I don't use profane language. ROFL...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meatless Monday -Can You Keep a Secret ?

This recipe for Roast Vegetable Frittata is easy. I decided to use my omelette maker and just popped the roast vegies in and poured beaten eggs on top. They only take about 8 minutes. A few minutes before the finish I popped some edam cheese and basil on top and closed the lid on the omelette maker again.

This is the finished result.

Mr. Pyjamas couldn't join us due to another commitment - so his is plated in the fridge for him to enjoy when he gets home later .

I'm sure these taste scrumptious but since there was no adult supervision in the house to shame us into eating vegetables on Meatless Monday Miss Pyjamas and I did a covert Maccas run for dinner.

It was delicious !

I'm just going to dispose of the evidence and wash the plates we used for our McDonalds so it will look like we actually ate the Frittata....

And honey , if you're reading this , I'm sorry. I'm pretty sure that the stuff in  McDonald's burgers isnt ACTUAL meat so we haven't really broken the sanctity of Meatless Monday. 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lazy Sunday (not)

I spent today quilting the vintage sheet quilt. It's done! Now that it's quilted I'm far happier than I was yesterday. It's actually quite sweet.  I just have the binding to do and it's finished . Once it's  done, I'll post some pics. I'm planning to hand stitch this binding on just for the experience, so give me a week or so.

I was  bitten by a baking bug the last 24 hours. I made gingerbread cupcakes, chocolate crackles, a chocolate slice, roast beef for dinner tonight and I roasted capiscum, onion, potato , zucchini, pumpkin and parsnip for tomorrow nights Meatless Monday dish.

It's 9.15 pm and I'm still in my least I won't have to change to go to bed. I'm looking forward to collapsing into bed in an hour or so and reading a book.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Lesson Learned and Random Musings

What a week!

It’s always a shock when you have to go back to work after holidays. However, this time next week I’ll be back on holidays until school goes back on February 1st. Yay! Quilting Party!

Miss Pyjamas is suffering from one of the worst cases of sunburn I've ever seen and has been completely unable to do ANYTHING for the last 48 hours. Even sitting is painful. I think she has learned a valuable lesson about applying sunscreen. A side benefit will be the Academy Award Nomination she receives for her touching and heartfelt portrayal of a dying swan.

A few highlights of this week:
~I managed to get the two filing cabinets I was after – completely free- which rocks.
~I got our household budget done for the first 6 months of this year. Wow if we want that new kitchen I’m gonna have to stop buying fabric! Shocker.
~I went to see a movie with my friend Sandra and Miss Pyjamas.  I had a near death experience while I was there when I choked on a half sucked Jaffa. (Maybe the NDE should be in the low lights section)
~I finished the devil vintage sheet quilt top. For a peek you can look here
~I got a menu plan happening for next week so the eternal “What’s for dinner” question is already answered. I'm on fire organisation wise!
~And the Fringe Guide came out for 2010 and we’ve already bought tickets to 4 shows. Fringe is a  huge 3 week art festival with lots of different shows and performances. It's wonderful!

Low Light of the week

The powertrain issue with the car still isn’t fixed and it has to go back to the dealer. That’s two mechanics that haven’t been able to locate the problem and  fix it. We’re going for third time lucky. Thank goodness this isn’t brain surgery.

Enjoy your weekend  and do something  special that makes you happy and relaxed.

Back from the Dead.

With Mr. Pyjamas otherwise occupied today,  I snaffled the opportunity to do a few things round here. One of them was clean the bathroom properly ( Excitement Plus !)

The other one was to spend a couple of hours sewing my new /old, improved /re-hashed vintage sheet quilt top.

Remember this monstrosity?

Tweaked and Polished, it now looks like this

I'm still not completely in love with it but it certainly looks better. Maybe I'll love it when it's quilted.

That's half a UFO finished !

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Can't Think Of A Catchy Title For This Boring Blog Post

I pretty much live in  a zoo here. I'm not impuning the behaviour of the humans I live with ..although they can also be pretty gross. For example my daughter has a nose ring. Apparently that entitles you to pick your nose whenever you like. In addition let me just say that seeing the hilarity in farting and burping is not limited to 4 year olds. At least thats the way my house rolls.

I'm talking about the level of animal co-habitation at our place.  We have two dogs and two cats and a blue tongue lizard that lives in our yard. We also have assorted wild birds that feed at our place daily. Apparently word has got around the feathered community that there's a free smorgasbord going down at the Pyjama's house.

Given the level of animal feeding that goes on here , I buy all our animal food in bulk at the local "Buy BIG bags of cat and dog food Here" store once every couple of months. Bear in mind that I'm buying 90 pounds of dog food and 40 pounds of cat food at a time. Nobody bats an eyelash.

This week I discovered I could buy it cheaper at the local supermarket when it's on sale. And on sale it was!

Let me paint a mental picture for you. Set the scene as it were. At the local grocery store civilised people (who own pomeranians and other assorted small-ish type dogs ) buy 15 pound bags of dog food and a box of cat food and apparently it lasts them about a year. You can't get bags bigger than 15 pounds  because if you need more than that  for the lifetime of your pet  there is an unwritten law that says Thou Wilt shop at the "Buy BIG bags of cat and dog food Here" store.

Now picture me at the local grocery store tonight then with a trolley loaded with 90 pounds of dog food and 26 pounds of  cat food. ( I couldn't fit the extra 14 pounds of cat food in the trolley - I'm gonna have to go back ) EVERYONE was looking at me like I was the Crazy Cat Lady from the Simpson's. Or Cruella De Vil . Take your pick.

Smart arse checkout chick says to me with a smirk "This'll keep you going for a while then" to which I replied "Love, this is about 6 weeks worth " . I'm fairly sure she thought I was joking.

I stomped off before she had a chance to reply. Hey I saved $11.62 for the next 6 weeks. It was worth the minor embarrassment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Practically Oreo-less Country

It started like this....

I've been over at Infarrantly Creative a couple of times lately and have had occasion to comment about Oreo's, firstly in response to her Awesome Snack Mom post and then in response to her Peas in a Pod Baby Shower post . (Have you seen those darling little oreo pops in her post ? I so wanna make some!)

You might not think Oreo's are very exciting. But to me Oreo's are darn exciting because they've only been available for sale here in Australia  for around 4-5 years. Until 2004 I really felt something was missing from my life ya know? Bingo- Oreo's go on sale here and suddenly angels were singing , the sun was shining and I felt completely at peace.

I fully confess I'm Oreo obsessed. As far as I'm concerned they're right up there with Tim Tams. If there was only one food left on earth I'd probably want it to be Tim Tams or Oreo's. Or maybe salt and vinegar chips. Anyway, I guess you get the picture.

So last night I did some internet surfing and found out just how many oreo varieties are out there. I say "out there" with an emphasis on NOT HERE.
I feel completely ripped off !

I gotta tell you ...I took my life in my hands trying to get this hard hitting investigative picture for you today at my local supermarket. One of the store employees looked at me like I was a spy for the rival grocery store while I was taking my photo's. I wondered for one small moment whether I was going to end up in the same place as Jimmy Hoffa.  Maybe it's illegal to take pictures in supermarkets here or something. Whatever.  I escaped with my pictures ...and my weekly grocery shop intact.

This is the entire Oreo section of my local supermarket.

Plain Oreo's and Oreo Wafer Snacks....That's it. I bet you guys have whole freaking aisles of Oreo's. Whole Oreo Stores even! I get 3 square feet of Oreo's. It doesn't seem right.

Where, I ask you  are the double stuffed,  double stuffed golden, or chocolate oreo's, or oreo chocolate fudge, fudge rings, double delights, banana split creme, or cakesters  that I read about ? And thats not even the whole list of what I'm missing out on! Where are my Christmas and Halloween Oreo's Mr. Kraft ? It's just not fair...

So while I'm on the subject of food, I have some questions about other stuff I'm missing out on since I'm geographically deprived of all the cool stuff in the world.

Are Lucky Charms as awesome as they sound? And why do they cost $14.00 a box? Are there real charms in there?
Should I start a movement to get Marshmallow Fluff to Australia? When it gets here what do I do with it?
Is Cool whip really that cool?
And does anyone really eat cheese whiz in  a can?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meatless Monday on A Tuesday

Again, I'm flaunting all the rules by having Monday's dinner on Tuesday . I'm one wild and crazy chick!

I made sure I filled up on meat eating the equivalent of two sheep and a small cow  yesterday since I wont be seeing meaty protein again till Wednesday. That's not cheating ! That's good planning!

Tonight's delectable vegetarian dinner  was a copycat Olive Garden Fettuccini Alfredo. I have to confess we dont have Olive Garden here so I dont know how close this comes to the original. At 52 grams of fat PER SERVE I don't think it's particularly healthy either.

You can get the recipe here and it got lots of good reviews from people who know what Olive Garden Alfredo tastes like.

You will need the following ingredients.

You will also need  a defibrillator on standby when you have a heart attack from immediately clogged arteries, given the fat content of this dish.

It's pretty easy to do. You chuck everything in 2 different pots and stir a lot. I added extra cheese, butter and cream cheese to mine to disguise the taste of the cardboard ....err I mean pasta.

It smelled great cooking, and looked good plated. I had very high hopes.

It's 30 minutes after dinner time and I'm sitting here stuffing my face with mandarin jubes....and I'm already planning a ninja raid on some vegemite on toast in about an hour. Miss Pyjamas will no doubt be joining me. In my own defence I had spaghetti for lunch so maybe I'm just pasta-ed out .

Or I'm just not cut out to be vegetarian. Or maybe I'm just picking shit recipes.

Till next week...This is meatasaurus signing out.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Round up of my week

Meatless Monday is on hold this week since we’re going to be at my in laws for dinner tomorrow to celebrate my father in laws birthday and they have decided on Chinese. So we are having Herbivorous Tuesday instead and will be pretending pasta is a plant. Awesome vegetarian and pretend play all wrapped up in one meal! How can we lose?

Just a couple of other observations. I want to reiterate that while our northern hemisphere pals are experiencing ridiculous levels of cold and snow, we are having ridiculous heat here. Most days this week have been over 100F. I’ll send you some sun if you send me some snow and maybe we can get the weather tolerable for all of us.

My husband saw Hot Cross Buns in the stores this week for Easter. All I have to say is WTF!!!! Apparently they are there because of consumer demand. Exactly which twits are demanding Easter arrive three months early?

I’m going to round up my week from this post , because I am going back to work tomorrow (boo hiss ) and will go back to having about 10 free hours a week in which to craft and quilt….I have sooooo enjoyed being on holidays. (insert long and wistful sighing noise here –making sure you use an Australian accent for authenticity)

Gobble Gobble coin quilt.
Cant find a backing I like for it, so it’s on hold. It’s in my WIPS and I’ll get to it (eventually)

Beaded Curtain tiebacks
Done, installed, and looking positively fabulous.

Mirror Mosaic
At last count I had earned myself about 21 years of bad luck with my mirror smashing, and I have one more to smash . It’s been too hot to glue anything here this week unless you want the glue to dry as it’s coming out of the “instant nails”gun. I don’t, so I’ve laid the pattern out and when the weather gets tolerable again I’ll glue it and go from there. Another WIP.

Possessed Vintage Sheet Quilt
Was on my WIP list , off my WIP list and is now back on the list . I unpicked all the quilting this week, unpicked the squares and re-sized them and am in the process of putting it all back together. If I get it together and STILL hate it – I’m warning you it’s popping up as a blog giveaway.

Kashmir HST quilt 
Nothing accomplished this week. I was too busy unpicking the devil quilt.

Mini Quilt and Pyjamas
Done! And those pj’s are oh-so-comfy. I spent about 140 hours in them this week.

Family History- I did quite a bit this week and found out some new things especially relating to Military Service of some of my ancestors. ( can hear you all snoring with boredom) William Wates remains largely a mystery and I think I’m going to have to dump him for a while and work on someone findable. It’s not like he’s going anywhere.

And to all of you that are on my blog roll , my Mum finally came onto my blog last night and spent 12 hours trolling all your blogs. She reckons you’re all pretty darn creative and she’s all quilting enthused again. She also understands why I spend so much time checking out blogs now!

Have a great week!

Before and After .....

Since we're blog buddies and all, I wanted to show you some pictures of my house.

Our house is  a standard 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, 2 car garage built in late 1979. It's old enough to need lots of work but not old enough to have true character. With a house that's the vintage of mine you kinda have to breathe personality into them.

Mr. Pyjamas lived in this house BM...(Before Me) and when I moved in 9 years ago  it was decorated in the "really bad batchelor pad" style. Ugh! I got rid of the coffee table that had been spray painted silver and had carpet nailed to the top of it, the gross recliner chairs, the copper occasional table...the list goes on. Actually I got rid of pretty much everything.

 Two years ago we did a long overdue makeover on our master bedroom- taking it from drab to fab.  We stripped the room and started again- ceiling to floor, including knocking out a wall to build a HUGE wardrobe. The revolting white queen anne wardrobe we had might have been the height of fashion in late 1979 but it had certainly seen better days.

We went from this....

To this

But lately I've been getting a bit bored with the look of our room, so I just bought two new sets of completely different bed linen .

That's Mordecai... he's a star and I'm paparazzi

I think this bed needs throws and cushions,  but my white vintage hob nail chenille is currently on Miss Pyjamas bed and I haven't decided what colour cushions this needs. I dont think it needs more black and white. I'll shelve the cushion idea  for a while and think about it.

Last year we stripped the lounge room and started again , including taking out metres of cedar wall panelling and putting in a new wall. This before picture doesn't show the cedar panelling was truly gross. I still dream about it's disgusting-ness. We had a 30 year old gas heater built into the wall at the other end of the loungeroom, and in built dark wood shelving as well.

This is what it looks like now...

Unbelievably this is the same view as the "Before" picture.

Other views:

That wall used to be cedar panelling shelving and a very ugly built in gas heater.

The other two bedrooms have been made over too. But I'm not showing them because at the moment our guest room is my sewing room because my sewing room is temporarily Miss Pyjamas roomSome pics of that another time perhaps.  

We are planning a new kitchen installation for mid this year , which I am wildly excited about. I cannot wait to have the kitchen done !

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Look what I got!

Mr. Pyjamas went shopping for a birthday present for his Dad today and came home with this IPOD dock for me ........for my sewing room...I'm completely bragging and showing off and I don't mean to be but I'm just soooooooo excited!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Blackmail, Devil Wings and a Quilt Update

I went shopping today for some backing fabric for my gobble gobble coin quilt and I still can’t find anything I love. This might be one of those projects that gets put on hold for a bit while I scout for what I want. Once I put a quilt away for about two years until I found the perfect border. Thats just the way I quilt.
I also bought some fabric to use in my resurrected vintage sheet quilt. (that thing is on at least its third incarnation ) I got friendly with the unpicker this afternoon and will move forward from there. Stay tuned. As with all my projects I’m sure there will be much riotous drama before its finished.
While I was at Spotlight- So help me- I saw some Christmas fabric that I didn’t have in my stash and bought a metre of it for only $2.50.(Crazy Bargain!) This must have been the only Christmas fabric in the universe I don't have. I smuggled it into the house but Miss Pyjamas busted me and threatened to rat me out to her Dad unless I made devil wings for dinner tonight. What a squealer…. Blackmail is rarely pretty so I crumbed her devil wings with rat poison and arsenic. And squealed on myself to my husband. I like to cover all my bases.
P.S. The devil wings were awesome, although when I was melting the butter and tabasco sauce to pour on the wings I swear my eyeballs caught fire from the hot-ness. I hear not having eyelashes is very in right now. Probably just as well.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

UFO/ WIP Challenge

Becky over at  The Sarcastic Quilter has a UFO challenge going for 2010, which I've decided to be a  part of. Wander on over and have a squizz and feel free to join us.

I don't have a lot of UFO's but the few I do have are weighing heavily on my conscience. I hate not finishing things.

Consequently I've put the wretched vintage sheet quilt top back on my WIP list since both Vivian and Suzanne were nice enough to leave me suggestions about what I might be able to do with it. Thanks ladies! Your comments helped me see that the quilt top didn't need  to be consigned to the rag bag  after all. I'll have to spend some time thinking about it before I attempt to do something new with it. I need a success before I'm ready to challenge myself again.

Speaking of vintage sheet quilts my Mum sent me pictures of the one she has just finished. I think it looks so pretty. That's how sweet mine was supposed to look! My Mum is a really talented quilter and probably the person who set me on my own quilting path.

"I See Dead People "

Haley Joel Osmont said it best when in the 1999 flick "The Sixth Sense " he whispers to Bruce Willis " I see Dead People". Completely creepy!

Here it is :

I don't like to brag Haley Joel,  but I've been seeing  dead people since 1995 and my people are way deader than yours. Some of them have been dead for hundreds of years.  However, I only see relatives. I'm selective that way.

You see Haley Joel,  I am a genealogist.

Sometimes days go by where I live more completely in the past than the present. These are the days where coffee cups pile up on the computer desk, beds don't get made, animals get ignored,  and I announce we're getting takeaway for tea when my husband walks in the door at 6pm, like I planned it hours ago. Chances are I didn't even know it was 6pm. As far as I'm concerned it's half past 1832.

Once we ate takeaway for 6 straight days when I was tracing my great grandfather who came from a Russian controlled country, jumped ship in Fremantle harbour and swam ashore changing his name to something anglo-sounding without the benefit of legal process. The man never filed a tax return. Never became an Australian citizen. Didnt he realise how difficult that was going to make him to find 100 years down the track? Eventually my  9 year old begged me for vegetables with tears in her eyes and whispered the magic words "I'm sick of McDonalds". Thank you Genealogy for setting my daughter on the path to righteous eating habits.

In the pre-internet days, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and man had not yet discovered fire,  family history was done the old fashioned way. You used to hand write letters and use an actual stamp and envelope. You had to wait weeks before you got a response if you got one at all. You used to talk to members of your family and take an oral history. The internet has changed everything. So many resources online, so many people willing to share , so many people with an interest in seeing their own dead people. Genealogy has exploded. What used to take months can now sometimes be found in an hour. Sometimes it still takes years.  Or never.

I guess with family history you're either into it or you're totally not. I am aware I can wax lyrical about  1738 in Ingoldsby Lincolnshire, and can bore you with the statistics of what an agricultural labourer earned in Sussex in 1851 and that not everyone is interested. Just let your eyes glaze over ever so slightly when I start talking and I'll get the message. And keep right on talking.

For the rest of us that share this obsession it's amazing when you find someone tracing the same family as you , even if they are your third cousin seven times removed and they live in some place in Wales you never knew existed and they think Australia is actually somewhere in Europe. ("That would be Aust-ria, I'm in Aust-ral-ia -southern hemipshere -bottom of the world- yes it is a long way away- no we dont keep kangaroos in our back yards") 

Dead people have fascinating stories to tell. It's better than any soap opera. My great grandaunt cut my great grandfather out of all his own wedding photo's because she hated him so much. Nobody knows why - or if they do they aren't talking.   I've found a few tragedies, and the odd skeleton and scandal. I've dreamed of having a convict pop up because it's just so darn trendy to have felons in your family branches. One of my family died tragically in a fire 90 years ago. I had him pegged as a romantic hero until I discovered he was a tramp living in a box and set fire to himself while drinking cheap booze.   This hobby is like having my own personal episodes of Days of Our Lives.

So next time Great Aunt Maud pulls out her photo collection and wants to talk about the good old days, let her. You might learn something interesting.

And if anyone is related to the elusive William Wates please contact me !

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Mini Coin Quilt

Mini Coin Quilt Finished. (Doing the Happy Dance Here)

This is the back

This is the front . It measures 21 x 16 inches.

You can see the full size version in this post

I've also realised our house is too dark for taking good photographs. Or maybe I'm just crap at photography. Meh....

I'm off to find the mysterious William Wates.