Saturday, January 24, 2009

First pavlova

I must confess that I have a new toy that is distracting me a little from crafting! It's the Australian Women's Weekly BAKE cookbook. Oh my goodness. I am in love. Although my hips will not thank me!
Anyway, I summoned up the courage on Saturday to have a go at my first ever pavlova. It looked great when it came out of the oven, although I had a problem with it sticking to the foil and it cracked as I tried to remove it. Oh well, as the cook book pointed out, it doesn't matter how beautiful it is, it still tastes fantastic. And it did. Yum to all that meringue, marshmallow, cream and berries!

The book is huge, and includes just about every baking recipe published by the AWW test kitchens. It's beautifully compiled and presented and contains all kinds of history about baking, as well as tips and shortcuts that will either make you a great baker or make you look like one! Thoroughly recommended.

(If anyone wants to buy this, head to Big W, where it's discounted to $45 from the RRP of $75!!)

Friday, January 23, 2009


We've been having some wild and woolly weather here lately! Hot, hot days followed by electrical storms at night. We had a short but frenetic storm last night that left several of Canberra's northern suburbs without power overnight. Fortunately we were unaffected, although I did have to put a towel down at the base of our front door to stop the water blowing in!
We had quite a hail storm here on Wednesday. It was so loud! I managed to snap a few photos - including one showing the size of the hailstones.
Oh, and Tristan's second tooth is through!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A little quilty something

Unlike in Canada, the US and Europe, where it's been a 'tad chilly', it's been outrageously hot here in Australia's capital. So hot that I daren't take the children outside as they'd dehydrate before my eyes, especially Tristan. So we've been going a bit stir crazy, bunkering down inside where the airconditioning does its valiant best to keep us cool.
In between entertaining Romily and Tristan, I managed to find a bit of time to design the next cot quilt. It's going to have 12 feature squares from the Tula Pink Forest Moon range (which, sadly you can't get anymore - a couple of stores have bits and pieces but there's very little yardage or FQs to be had). Fortunately I grabbed a 5" charm pack when I saw it! The feature pieces will be bordered by white on white and then chocolate brown with a cream fleck, then sashed with the white on white, with a narrow border on the sides and a big fat border top and bottom of the same white. I think it will be very clean and modern but also a little whimsical with the jumping fish, bunnies and squirrels tucked away in several of the designs.

Despite feeling way too hot to sit next to my hot sewing machine, I think I might persevere tonight and get the blocks pieced.
Easy peasy piecing is about all I can manage at the moment. Tristan has been having shocking nights - up to four feeds a night has been doing my head in and rendering me next to useless during the day. Fortunately we discovered why on Sunday! He cut his first tooth. I can't believe my not-quite-five-months-old bubba has his first tooth! I am trying not to despair at the loss of the gummy smile on my last baby :)

He is very beautiful, which makes the sleepless nights and grumpy days just about bearable!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Red moon rise

We had a red moon rise on Wednesday night. It was spectacular! Not quite full, but it really does look like there's a face (click to enlarge and tell me I'm wrong!!).
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I was stoked to find this 40 x 3m pack of craft ribbons in Big W (similar to Walmart for those of you in the US) the other week. A steal at only $20. That's 50c a roll. Score!

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

More feathered friends

At the risk of this blog becoming a twitter's delight, here are some more feathered friends who dropped by for a visit - this time two juvenile kookaburras. Very cute and fluffy! (Click for a larger image)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vote for Scarlett

The fabulous Kate, whom I mentioned in the previous post has entered an online art comp, which is open to a vote (the picture on the left is one of her entries). If you've got a spare couple of minutes, please give her a vote!

I've entered an art competition that I'm close to winning, and I'm grovelling for votes. You have to sign up to vote, but it only takes a minute (and if you uncheck the 'mailing list' box, you won't hear a peep out of them). Click here to vote.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Making me happy

I have to show off one of my Christmas presents - actually my favourite Christmas present! It was from my little brother and his very excellent other half (go check out her artwork). Bill has had somewhat 'eclectic' taste in his gift giving up till now, but, since he met Kate, he has been making us happy at Christmas and on birthdays.

How's this for a perfect present?
The Material Obsession book (you can get yours here). It's a fabulously fresh and modern approach to quiltmaking, with some interesting twists on traditional blocks, as well as an amazing use of colour. The foreword is by Kaffe Fasset - what an endorsement! Lots and lots of quilty inspiration there.

And 5 Amy Butler FQs from her Belle range. It's just beautiful fabric :)

FABULOUS! Now I just have to work out what I'm going to do with them!


And just quietly, anyone out there a Battlestar Galactica fan? Carl and I just finished watching Season 4.0 - oh my goodness. What a great show. Can't wait for the final 10 episodes to come out on disk...stupid free-to-air stations here don't screen it. (No spoilers please! I know it's already been screened in the US. I am studiously avoiding any websites that tell me how it was all resolved! LOL)

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Out and about: the National Portrait Gallery

What a lazy, lovely week we've had with Carl home. Thank you Carl's work for deciding that all non-essential staff did not need to be in the office between Christmas Eve and today! We had a couple of lovely outings, including a visit to Australia's newest national institution, the National Portrait Gallery, which opened in December.

We parked adjacent to the National Gallery of Australia and sauntered through the Sculpture Garden on our way to the marvellous new gallery. I was quite taken with the heads in the pond!

Romily and Tristan checked out the sculptures on the other side of the gangway.
Then we spotted this lovely chrome sculpture. Romily didn't know what to make of it, so Carl showed her that if you knocked on it, a sonorous clanging sound was produced, adding depth to the reflective properties of this rather large work.
She was a bit shy, hanging back and letting Daddy do it!

A lovely eucalypt-lined walkway down to the lake (and I do realise I've used 'lovely' three times in this post already!)
And finally we made it to the front entrance:
It's a beautiful piece of architecture - especially the use of Australian timber throughout.Unfortunately I can't show you any of the artworks, as no photography is allowed. But if you want to check it out, here's the website. There are works by masters old and new, and portraits in many different media, including video installations. It's great to see so much more of the collection on display than was available in its previous location in Old Parliament House.

Hopefully I'll get the chance to go back without kids one day - Rom was very well behaved, but a 3yo can only take so many paintings and photographs of people she doesn't know! I don't know why they don't include a special interpretive area for kids so that they can get a better understanding of what art is all about. It's definitely not a kid-friendly venue. If our country truly wants to nurture the artists of the future, it's about time the government funded some better children's programs. Nuff said!

Carl's back to work tomorrow, more's the pity. So it's back to our normal routine folks. Stay tuned for sporadic crafting news!