Wednesday, February 29, 2012

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

After weeks of bitching and whining about my lost mojo , complaining about how tired I am and a serious case of sewing inertia I have something crafty to show this week.

Drumroll please. 

Yes- I managed one whole hexie this week . Not a whole flower- just one hexie. That one there at the top.I was thrilled with this monumental effort. 

Linking up to Kate's 15 minute challenge because I'm sure it will make someone else feel good about what they got done. (Snicker , snicker )

When will the slackness end? Will Mrs. P ever find her mojo and motivation again. Has she used up all her inspiration genes?  Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment !

Monday, February 27, 2012

A relaxing weekend

I was given strict instructions this weekend not to post anything incriminating about family members on my blog. That pretty much means I have no photos and nothing much to tell you. I can say that it was a relaxing weekend, in a wonderful location and as a family we really should make an effort to do this more often.

Friday night was heralded by this gorgeous sunset (taken from the balcony of the house we stayed in which was just lovely) 

Saturday morning we were up bright and early to go to the Willunga Farmers market. This was my breakfast at the market along with a very large cup of coffee. There  was  also free taste testing of boutique beer at 9 am which my oldest nephew thought was the best way to wake up ever.

I love going to markets because you can buy things you hardly ever see at the regular shops. 

These spice mixes looked tempting....I'm not averse to a bit of spice 

I've wanted to use preserved lemon in something for just about forever and now I can finally give it a crack. The Jamato sounds interesting too and that Moroccan jam ...yum!

I snuck in some op shopping (even if my Dad did grizzle about having to stop )  I couldn't leave this soup tureen to the mercy of someone who wouldn't love it as much as I did.... 

Other Nephew of Pyjamas (who says I don't mention him often enough in my blog) taught Miss P  how to play chess.

Giving Other Nephew his 5 minutes of fame here ....

It is tradition in our family when we all get together to try and eat as much Mullers Metwurst as possible. This was my effort . I did see one of the boys wandering round with a 4 inch hunk at one point so I couldn't declare myself the winner this weekend. It took us less than 24 hours to completely polish off about a kilo. 

On Saturday night we went for dinner at The Star Of Greece which sits atop a cliff and looks straight out onto the sea. 

The happy couple celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss. Dad jokingly asked Mum for a divorce. At least I think he was joking. 

Miss P , me and Sister of Pyjamas after a few cocktails. It was about 100 degrees so we all look like we're melting. 

Nephew of Pyjamas and The One who always looks gorgeous. (who actually has the same name as Miss Pyjamas which means things get very confusing sometimes when we are all together ) 

It's going to be a busy week.  Dad goes into hospital today for surgery and Little P is  scheduled for surgery on Thursday. Once we're through all that kerfuffle we have another big celebration on Friday. Somewhere in amongst the pressures of the week  I'd like to get some sewing done!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Miscellaneous Post

I've been chasing my tail for the last few weeks and at times even questioning whether my life is decent blog fodder any more. Lets face it-posts about non existent crafting and sewing don't exactly make for scintillating reading. I am beginning to fear I've lost my capacity to poke fun at myself along with all traces of my sewing mojo.  Maybe I need to renovate something again. That usually provides me with more fun than I can poke a stick at. 

Anyway, today you're getting this conglomeration of things that have been going on here while I have been lurking but not actually posting.  

Miss P's birthday cake has been ordered . I almost died of shock when I got the quote. Who knew flour , eggs and water wrapped in a bit of fondant would necessitate a house re-mortgage?  Since Mademoiselle requires two cakes (one for the actual birthday and one for the actual party ) I have decided to go it alone for the family birthday cake and set out to create the worlds biggest cookie cake as a prototype this past weekend. 

I'm showing you the good side. On the other side features the guts of the cake leaking out. Very unappetising. I'm desperate to come up with something that I can make that won't end up looking like dog food. I'm thinking cupcakes. I can cover the mistakes with plenty of icing. And cheat like buggery with some store bought cake toppers. Naturally the supplies have ended up costing me more than buying the cupcakes already made would have. Obviously I didn't really think that through.

I've been a bit spoiled in the mail department lately. Firstly from Ms. Mistea, who thoughtfully sent me some selvages, wrapped in other goodies. Is this a cute mini pin cushion or what ? And that little pouch is perfect for my lip gloss collection that used to reside at the bottom of my handbag, that I could never find in the 3 seconds I had to apply lip gloss in the mornings. 

And I did a swap with the wonderful K at Shocking Hocking for a goodie bag of red and white fabrics so we can both have more variety in our  Farmers Wife Quilts. Look at what she sent me !  Talk about generous. 

Close encounters of the gardening variety have been occurring here as well. In the last three weeks I have  planted mint, parsley , coriander, leeks  and basil. And despite remembering to water them I have managed to annihilate the leeks.

And all of the coriander.

And I had to get Mr. P to build a fortress around the mint and parsley because my cats thought we had provided them with very swish toilet bowls.  

The past weekend saw me being a social butterfly. I attended my monthly Farmers Wife Quilting Group. Pop on over here if you want to see what we got up to. I always remember to take my camera and then forget to take pictures!  It was fantastic to catch up with the girls and gossip and sew. Here are the two latest blocks I have finished (which makes a HUGE total of 4 - only 107 to go ...)

Progress has been made on the hexagon cushion.  A finish could be lurking in the wings but I'm not making any promises. 

I've also been working on the hourglass quilt but I've been too lazy to take pictures ...

And in my last piece of news, my parents have been married for 50 years on Friday and we're all going away this weekend to the land of no wi-fi (I'm pretty sure my Mum organised that on purpose)  to celebrate this incredible milestone. Happy Anniversary Mum and Dad. So FTF will be on hold this week since I wont be around to be amazed by your posts. Hold onto those happy thoughts for another week ! I have a big post coming up next week. 

Just in case you think I was joking about leaking cake guts ...

and FYI marshmallow fluff explodes in under 30 seconds when you try to heat it and it coats the inside of your microwave like builders concrete.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I'm shuffling in late to my own linky party this week. I kinda feel like I should have a note from my Mum to avoid a tardy slip...It's still technically Friday...just. 

My favourite thing this week is planning. I love to think things through and plan their outcomes. I love details and planning surprises or anticipating wonderful things to come and this week has been full of that kind of activity. It's been very exciting.

Plotting and Planning Scenario Number 1...

Someone here is going to be having a very BIG birthday soon and some of my week has been taken up with planning and organising, not one, but two celebrations for the birthday girl. I cant say too much just yet because I don't want to ruin any surprises so you'll have to stay tuned for further news. Let's just say there are lots of fabulous things going to happen. 

The second big thing for this week is the decision I made out of nowhere on Thursday to start planning a holiday for this year. It took me all of about 5 minutes to decide where to go.

I've already picked up the passport application forms, finalised an itinerary, bought electrical appliance adaptors (America has weird arse power points )  and tentatively booked the flights . We're going to spend this weekend nailing down the final accommodation choices.  Anyone want to do a meet up in Hawaii? Does anyone have any tips or recommendations? We're going to be there for almost two weeks. Im jumping up and down- Im so excited.

OK your turn - what's your favourite thing this week? 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

Welcome to Friday! I'm so unbelievably happy it's arrived. When you go back to work they don't let you have an afternoon siesta at 3.00pm ( I asked) and they expect you to concentrate on things for longer than 15 minutes at a time. It's been a busy week and I'm looking forward to the weekend. 

I have never been one for video or computer games. I'm not really good at them. When I was a kid the closest thing we had to a video game was Ping Pong Tennis and my coordination was always off.  In Mario Karts I spend most of my time reversing out of walls, fences and off grass. Crash Bandicoot and I never really bonded. I get bored with games really quickly because I'm hopeless at them. 

As soon as I got my I pad I started downloading game apps like a crazy woman. I discovered that maturity has not helped my coordination or my ability to concentrate on games one little bit. One by one, usually after about 10 minutes of hilariously bad game play, I get rid of them. 

With one notable exception. I'm completely addicted to Bakery Story. I've been playing it daily for months. 

My Bakery 

For the uninitiated, Bakery Story is a game where you build your own bakery by cooking and preparing cakes, pies, breads, and drinks. The more stuff you bake the more things you can buy for your bakery such as tables and chairs, ovens , candy makers , and donut makers  and the more customers you can serve. You can swap parts and baked goods with "neighbours" (other people who play the game ) to build special appliances as well. In my pretend world I am a master baker. 

And just like in real life baking you can stuff it up and your food can go mouldy and manky. But it's OK because you can throw it in the trash and nobody will ever know. 

Virtual baking is my favourite thing this week. It's a lot less stressful than the real deal! My cakes always rise, my cookies don't look like Chinese throwing stars and decorating cupcakes is a breeze. They always look perfect.  

What's your Favourite thing this week? 

All the above being said I baked a vanilla and chocolate zebra  cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting this week that actually turned out . I was doing the happy dance I tell you .

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

15 Minute Challenge with Kate

This is going to be a short post . I'm still trying to find my groove this week (in fact as I write this post -in a bloody hurry might I add- I should be in the shower and getting ready to go work !) and I don't have much to report on the sewing front.

Somewhere this past week in between babysitting Little P , and getting ready to go back to work, sewing took a back seat. I feel like I've been spinning my wheels and getting nowhere with projects. Progress has been made but nothing is getting finished. I'm not sure whether to keep working on bits and pieces or whether I should focus on one thing. It feels like there aren't many finishes happening.

The hourglass quilt blocks finally got some much needed TLC. I  finished 10 new blocks this week. Forgive the photo quality . It's very dark and overcast here this morning (Summer - where for art thou?)

My Farmers Wife buddies will be pleased to hear I actually started them this past week. 2 down and 109 to go . This is going to be a real labour of love and a test of my patience. I'm going for near enough is good enough with these....seriously.

Little Miss Sunshine made mention in this post about our joint cooking session this past weekend. Instead of sewing on Saturday I indulged in a spot of confectionery making.  I found a recipe for peppermint patties and because I am insane decided it would be great to make some.  It seems I'm no better at wrangling chocolate to my will than I am at baking. They taste good but they don't look all that pretty. I mention this because it took about 5 hours away from sewing and I'm all about making excuses as to why I didn't achieve greatness this week. (There was also a lot of gardening going on here over the weekend - but that's the subject of another post) 

Mental note to self: If you're a dumb arse and think it's the best idea ever to use a cooling rack to dry your chocolate covered mint patties you'll end up having to deal with this crap. 

Which will result in peppermint patties that look like this. 

Linking up with Kate again this week. She's doing a giveaway so pop on over , have a look and link up!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Favourite Things Friday

I know most of you are probably so glad it's Friday and the end of the working week. I'm not because Monday will see me returning to work with all the rest of the schleps and the lovely little imaginary world I have fashioned for myself over the last almost 7 weeks will crumble into the mundane of balancing work and home life. (And I'm confessing that I didn't get half the things on my list done that I thought I would and I'm not really sure where the time went) 

My favourite thing this week is a vintage item that I have long coveted. I only managed to lay my hands on one this week and I finally feel my life is complete. If you were born prior to the 1970's you may recognise it. If you were born after 1980 , it's highly unlikely you've ever seen one. Patty had one when we were growing up and it brings back lots of childhood meal memories. My Mum made the best chops and mash in the universe and this was part of her secret.

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you my new /old vertical grill. This is my absolute favourite thing this week. 

I have no idea why they stopped making them because they are seriously fantastic. They cook both sides of your meat at once and all the fats and oils fall into the drip tray at the bottom. So you cook things twice as fast and get rid of some fats and what's not to love about that? And everything that comes out of it has a lovely smoky flavour. 

When I moved out of home in 1989 I went searching for one to buy but they had stopped making them by then.  I had to settle for a health grill (a flat grill ) which was never the same. (Miss P inherited it when she moved out last time around)  Over the years I have intermittently checked to see if they have started making them again and checked them out on ebay  They sell for anywhere between 30 and 80 dollars second hand and because I'm a minge I refuse to pay that for a second hand appliance that might blow up 5 minutes after I get it home because it's 30 years old. 

Cue angel music last Saturday when a very kind lady offered one on Freecycle. How fast do you think I  emailed her to say I'd be delighted to take it off her hands?  And have we used it already - oh yes we have and it's every bit as fantastic as I remembered from my childhood.  

If you haven't ever heard of Freecycle it's a world wide program dedicated to re-gifting items to keep them out of landfill.  It's a great way to get rid of things you no longer use but that are too good to chuck and it provides an alternative to donating them to charity. I have given away and received lots of fabulous things. People's generosity is pretty amazing. Check it out. 

Feel free to link away and show off your favourite things for this week. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

15 Minutes with Kate (Finally Some Progress !)

With the exception of Monday when I rolled around naked in some scraps that arrived via post (bet it takes hours for you to get that mental image out of your head)  I sewed every single day this week. Despite daily activity in the sewing room there was only one minor finish but progress has been made on a number of fronts so I'm doing the happy dance. 

Last week was "sew a million bibs"week. I was thinking about making this an official annual worldwide event. However, when I stopped, Miss P stopped,so I have a ton of half finished bibs lurking round. I'm absolving myself from the responsibility of finishing them. I have other fish to fry.

4 more log cabin blocks were completed. That's a total of 16 and this quilt is starting to look very rainbow like. I'm aiming for 4 more this week.

Lots of sewing and pressing occurred in preparation for a big run at the hourglass quilt blocks. Those poor blocks have been sitting idle for months. They're starting to get a complex.

I bought Little P a new quilt cover last Friday. I saw this a few weeks ago and thought it was very cute. (and much much cheaper than making one )  But they only had it in double and I need a single so I left it at the store.  You know how sometimes the answer to a dilemma is so obvious you don't think of it at first ?  I suddenly remembered that I actually sew and it wouldn't be hard to make the double quilt cover into a single . Duh ! Back to the store and then home again and this took about an hour to sort out. I'm spending this afternoon setting up his new bed in the guest room because guess who went to Ikea this morning? 

I couldn't resist making him a cushion from one of the pillowcases. It seems cushions are my latest obsession. 

I finally made one of my coffee sacks into a  cushion for my living room. This is destined to be an only child I think. Hessian is a bitch to work with ...

I think I have "chair fright" because I am yet to start that chair....

I am participating in a  Farmers Wife QAL with Claire, Loz , Val and some other wonderful ladies. Everyone else has started but since I'm a rebel I am still dithering. Originally I had decided to use these civil war repro fabrics 

but I was hit by an epiphany Sunday night and started pulling these from my stash. Yep-I'm going to rock the red and white. (if I ever get started ) 

I joined up with the String Thing Along group. Expect to see more selvage blocks over the coming weeks. Pulling them out to take this photo was as far as I got this week. 

I worked diligently on my hand sewn hexagon cushion  this week while watching multiple episodes of Sons of Anarchy (so glad I'm not a biker chick) and I'm really loving how this is turning out. Getting the paper pieces out may present some issues but I'll throw myself off that bridge when I get to it. 

Linking up to the Lovely Kate at Life in Pieces to see what other 15 minute aficionados have been doing this week. I'm going to sew my little heart out between now and Monday which is when I have to go back to w***. (See? I cant even say the W word at the moment)