Monday, February 28, 2011

pretty things

At the end of last year/beginning of this year, I, like so many of you out there, made a little promise to myself to finish off all the unfinished projects I had laying around the place. 

My sewing table was piled so high with half done items I couldn't even see the table any more. 

Every time I wanted to sew, I would have to make several trips back and forth from my sewing table to my bed moving things just so I could get started. 
Not to mention the numerous (five spring to mind) crochet projects I have on the go............

So, I have been slowly crossing afew little things off my UFO list.

These are but two of them...........................................

I started making these crochet flower squares (pattern can be found here) back in July '09! 
I made about twenty of them, then changed my mind about the project I was making them for.  
What to do with them?  Make a cushion cover of course!

And another.
Recognise the fabric?
It's Meadowsweet by Sandi Henderson. 
(Yes, yes, there is one little rectangle of Amy Butler midwest modern in there too. )

I received these little fabric sample's, along with a purchase I made from modern retro textiles  back in March 2010. 
I was smitten. 
So small yet so beautiful. 
Too beautiful to just throw away. 
These tiny bits of yum languished in my sewing room for many, many months, just waiting for inspiration to strike. 

One evening I had been indulging in a bit of flickr browsing and stumbled across these gorgeous cushions made by meringuedesigns.  


In no time at all I whipped up the cushion front and then that sat around in my sewing room for some more months.
Finally, I paired it with some spotty fabric from Spotlight; pink for the front, chocolate (so much nicer then brown) for the back.  I  did some straight line  machine quilting, made a simple slip cover, 
and that's another finished project!   

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

my current obsession

Totally scrumptious and oh so easy Breadsticks.

Now that we're back into the school routine I wanted to make something to put in Miss A's lunchbox.

Topped with black olives, semi-dried tomato and tasty cheese for Miss A
and an allergy friendly version, soy cheese and vegemite for Miss B.

From this many..................

to this many
in seconds flat!

Wanna make some?

Combine 1/3 cup of warm water, 2 tsp instant dried yeast, pinch of salt, 1/4 tsp caster sugar and 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a bowl.  Sift 1 cup plain flour over bowl and stir to form a soft dough.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes or until elastic.  Put dough into a clean bowl, cover and place in a warm place for about 15 minutes until it increases in size by about one third. 
Roll out dough to form a rectangle afew millimetres thick and brush with some olive oil.
Sprinkle dough with toppings of your choice - the possibilities are endless, cheese, herbs, chilli, diced ham etc.  If you are using largish pieces such as chopped olives or diced ham, once you've sprinkled them over the dough use the palm of your hand to press them into the dough abit to stop them from falling off.
Now cut the dough into strips, I prefer my breadsticks smallish so they fit into lunchboxes, so about 1.5cm x 10cm.  Twist each strip and place on a lined oven tray.  Set aside for 10-15 minutes until increased in size slightly.
Bake breadsticks in oven preheated to 200C (fanforced) and bake for 12-15 minutes or until breadsticks are golden.


We also made these yummy egg-free choc-chip cookies. 
As always soooo good to eat even for those of us who can tolerate egg. 
For the recipe and lot's more inspiration visit Bubala's lovely blog.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

movin' on up

Today my little Miss B started pre-school - at the ripe old age of 4 years and 10 months!

A little late in the day compared to many other children but this is just the way things have panned out for my family.

As per usual with children,  she took me completely by surprise, and rather than cling to me, wail with dispair and be an inconsolable blubbering mess as she has done on many many occasions, she smiled, was excited and thoroughly enjoyed herself. 
To the point where upon my arrival at 1pm to pick her up (thinking a half day would be just about all she could handle for her first day) she told me she was about to have a 'rest' and that I should come back for her later!  Which I did - lucky I only live a couple of minutes away!

But why you may ask?
Well....................................although Miss B was accepted to start Kindergarten this year, we made the decision to 'hold her back' a year.  Someone put it to me this way: this is about the next 12 years of school, not just about the first year.  When she's in Year 10 or Year 12, and she's 12 - 18 months younger then some of the other kids in her class who are going out to parties or getting their licence or starting to drink it's going to be pretty hard to reason with her.............. 

Add into the mix the fact that Miss B can be p a i n f u l l y shy at times, is easily distracted and that the size of the Kindergarten classes at her future school average out at 30 pupils (don't get me started on this!) it was really a no brainer to allow her another 12 months to develop and mature before commencing her formal education.

This is just what felt right for her and for us. 

But, BUT, Miss B will be five years old for a good portion of this year. 

And although I think I have done a very good job of providing the opportunity for my kids to be well balanced, socialised and stimulated without going down the pre-school path but instead the Playgroup and Occassional Care path, I just felt that Miss B would need a little more stimulation this year then either I at home or either of these options could provide. 

I am also hoping that by putting her into the pre-school which is literally across the road from what will in time become her Primary school, she will get to know some of the kids who will transition across with her, therefore making that whole starting big school thing a little less overwhelming and daunting for a rather bashful but very, very sweet child!

In the spirit of making this day special I promised to make a new top for Miss B to wear to her first day at pre-school using some lovely purple broderie anglais she begged me to buy from Spotlight some months ago.  This top is based on the Flower Girl dress pattern in Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing, with the addition of ruffle sleeves from Sparkle Power's Ruffle Sleeve Top tutorial.  Miss B specifically requested a top not a dress, so I lopped off afew inches of the length, but when she still wasn't happy, rather then re-hem it I ran a piece of elastic through the channel created by the hem and turned it into a bubble top.

In true crafty mama fashion, I also made a drawstring bag, again using a pattern from  Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing, for her to carry her bits and pieces for rest time in. 

Can you tell her favourite colour is purple followed closely behind by pink?

So for one day a week this year I will be childless. 

What to do, what to do?