Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Family, Cats and Christmas!

Merry Christmas is over and we are now heading into Happy New Year! The best thing about Christmas is having my family home, especially my daughter! Surrounded by Testosterone all year it is nice to have another female in the house for a few days.

 She arrived with her babies, one of which settled in very quickly. You saw little Sparrow in a previous post when I brought her home from work.. She has grown heaps since Nicky took her home and is very very cheeky!

 Atticus aka Fatty took a bit longer to settle. Lots of hissing, snarling and random attacks until he found a safe hole behind my bedroom curtains

But given time he has settled down very nicely.

It was a lovely day with lots of food, family and presents! I did very well out of the day and the thought and love that many people put into their gifts made them even more special. It was such a lovely cool day too which was a bonus, it made it much easier facing up to cooking and eating a Roast turkey lunch.
The New Year will be here in a minute and I'm looking forward to all that it may bring. Through my Blog and website I have met so many people and formed wonderful friendships. It's going to be fun continueing the friendships, maybe making more new friends and sharing my life with anyone interested in reading my Blog.
Happy New Year to you all, I'll talk to you again in 2010!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Baking

Despite the almost 40 degrees outside today I was determined to get my Pecan Candy Cakes made. They are one thing I always make for Christmas. They are done, I have melted. Thought I would share the recipe with you cause they really are the BEST thing.

310gr Halved glace cherries (half red, half green)
200gr chopped glace pineapple
240gr chopped dates
350gr chopped pecans
100gr shredded coconut (don't be tempted to use dessicated, it has to be shredded)
440gr sweetened condensed milk
1 tblsp SRF

Grease 2  x 8cm x 26cm orange tins. Line base and sides with greased greaseproof paper . Combine all of the above ingrediants in a large bowl and then add the condensed milk. Mix well. Press mixture into prepared tins. Bake in the oven 160 degrees for 1 hour to an hour and a half until brown. Cool in tins. Remove paper when cool and wrap in tin foil. Store in the fridge. Slice thinly to serve.

And while I had the oven going I made a few teacup christmas puddings for my favourite customers at work.

I made it with my Mum's recipe, a nice quick one, no soaking overnight!
Boil in a saucepan for 1 minute:2 oz butter, half a cup of sugar, half a cup of Sherry (I used Brandy) 1 cup of milk, 2 cups of mixed fruit
Cool then add: one third cup of sifted plain flour, 1 tsp carb soda, 1 tsp mixed spice and an egg.
Mix well.
Grease 10 teacups well and almost fill each one with the mixture. Tightly cover the top with tin foil. Sit in a baking dish and fill about two thirds up the cups with water. Cook in the oven 180 degrees for approx 45min. Puddings are cooked if a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from cups, cool, wrap in Glad Wrap or Tin Foil. Wrap in Calico and decorate. Store in the fridge.
I have to work all day tomorrow but Nicky will be home so I can leave her a long list. Whether she does it or not is another thing.
All my shopping is done, the Cheesecakes are in the freezer, the house is reasonably tidy and the Turkey is defrosting. I think I am finally organized!!!!
Two more sleeps!!
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Place and Yours : The 'Me' Wardrobe

Time once again for Meet me at Mike's Meme- My Place and Yours This week the Theme was chosen by Sandra. Sandra says What's your favourite item of clothing, the one that you feel special in, the most "you" in, keep going back to, can be spotted in by friends from miles away, wear over and over and hope will never fall apart and die? Perhaps you've even had to darn it already? (There's to keeping an old craft alive!) It might be a scarf that you made, a pair of gorgeous red high heels, a vintage printed dress or even a pair of old pink flannelette pyjamas. Or it can be more than one!
 My Wardrobe mainly consists of Jeans and  black tops with a little bit of colour thrown in on occassion. I love it when the winter comes and I can wear one of a dozen coats and one of a multitude of scarves. Love scarves!!!!!!
Most of my Coats are Vintage that I have found in Op Shops and this is my very very favourite one that is worn a lot more than any of the others.

It is pure wool with lovely big buttons and sits just below the hip. Usually there is a Vintage Brooch pinned on it somewhere. Well after I bought it a friend told me how glad she was that I had bought it and was wearing it. Turned out it was her Grandma's who had passed away a few years before.
Little black shoes are another 'never be without' item in my wardrobe. I wear them till they literally fall apart then get another pair. They are great as they cover everything from casual to sort of dressed up.

The very sad thing is that I still have the last two pairs that I have worn out.....can't bear to part with them!
Of all my Black T's and tops this is my favourite and is usually the first one I grab if it is clean.

My teen crush. One of my middle son's friends was wearing it one day when he was here and as soon as I saw it I wanted it. Anyway, I made him promise to give it to me when he got over it. AND HE DID!!!
Love it now the boys are grown and they wear clothes I can fit into.
There are other things I wear to death but they are so near death they are pretty disgusting so this will do.
Sadly this is the last week Meet Me at Mike's will be hosting this particular Meme. Possibly someone else will take it on and you can continue popping in to have a look at My Place.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Place And Yours: Just five minutes peace!

Time for another instalment of Meet Me at Mikes My Place and Yours Meme Pilgrim  is this week's  THEME QUEEN and she has chosen   'Just Five minutes Peace!'
I used to think when the kids were little that it would all be so much more peaceful when the kids were in their teens and I wouldn't have at least one of them calling, wanting or needing. I was so WRONG! No matter how old they get they still call, want and need! When they were little my five minutes of peace was of an evening when they were all tucked up in bed but now days they are still up way past my bedtime.
So my strategy is to wake early and have one blissful hour of reading in bed before I start my day.

I curl up here with the latest book and a cuppa. No one has turned a TV on yet, or the radio. The X Box is still turned off and no one is rattling and banging in the kitchen. Machicho is curled up somewhere towards the bottom of the bed keeping my feet warm and all is right with the world.
Once they are all up and the day has begun then there is no peaceful or quiet place in the house so I head up the backyard to my sewing room.

I can sit and sew in the quiet and no one annoys me (much) I can play my own music or not and generally ignore the world.

If a Nanna nap is called for, I have my little iron bed in the corner to curl up on and have a snooze, once I have cleared it of whatever I have dumped on it.
Usually one or both of the dogs come up and sleep on a blanket under the bed though they have to be careful as I quite often forget they are there and shut them in when I leave. Don't worry, I do remember them eventually!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

T'was a fortnight till Xmas.................

T'was a fortnight till Xmas and out of the trunk, came tinsel and Stars and more Xmas Junk

                         The tired old tree is revived yet again, with baubles and  stars and all the kings men!

Santa appears on the cupboard and wall. The little ones scatter themselves in the Hall.

The Snowmen gather in a life risking huddle, let's not light the heater or they will be a puddle! .

The Prim Ornies and tinsel as you can see, exclusively hang on the Dining room tree.

Kinder creations in pride of place, tinsel, buttons  and even some lace.

Candy Canes hang from the doors in the home, and in the kitchen, a lone deer does roam.

We mustn't forget to chill a bottle or four (maybe we better get  more!)
Now we have roasting and baking to do, as we all shake our heads muttering 'My the year flew!'
Here is my house crammed with Christmas Cheer, so now I can wish you

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Place And Yours: Wherever I Lay My Hat …

This week, Myrtle and Eunice is our Theme Queen and she wants to know what object you would take wherever you roam, because it makes your house feel like a home? OMG How on earth am I supposed to choose one or a few things from this house that truly signify home? The cupboards are bulging, the walls, every flat surface and even a lot of the floor are covered in treasures that I am sure make my home what it is. So I have walked around all weekend thinking and looking and have narrowed it down just a little

Yes you have seen Machicho before, she is my baby. Not the prettiest, probably the naughtiest and most certainly the most loved!

And Maggie, my sweet girl who talks to me and fights machicho every night for a place on my lap.

These two have been hanging around with me most of my life and still sit on a chair in my bedroom. They are getting on a bit now, Teddy is in his late 40's and has a few repairs over the years. Miss M above has tried to remove Teddie's nose and I haven't got around to repairing it yet. My 'floppy' doll still has all her clothes except the bonnet and is also in her 40's. Pity we couldn't age as well as her!!!

And there is the collection of 'Poms" my son David wrote for me when he was younger. He gave me one every Christmas and I have framed them and hung them on my bedroom wall. This one has photos of all the kids around it so has even more reminders for me.
Of course all the photo albums, my handmade quilts and my collections- especially the Violets!!Then there are my Vintage brooches, some were my Grandmother's, some were Mums and others the kids have given me. The Vintage furniture, kitchen just goes on and on really. Whoops nearly forgot the sewing machine, don't know how 'cause I use it every day!!!  But the pictured four would have to be my first choices. What about the kids you ask?? Well two have left home, one is going and I wish sometimes the fourth one was going too. So even though our children do make my house a home, we have entered the next stage of life, learning to make a home without them in it. Maybe thats why my two M's (sorry suzanne) are so very very important to me now. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009


You should never EVER tell your daughter who is more than likely going to end up as the mad old cat lady on the corner.......that you know where there are kittens!!!!! Especially when you are  an hour and a half away and will have to look after it till the weekend when she can pick it up.

Just look at that face!
My day of non stop sewing was constantly interupted by sad little lonely cries that are virtually impossible to resist. It knocked its water over, sat in it and generally made a mess over and over again. Rev the dog came in to visit and baled out real quick cause the kitten chased him around the room for cuddles.

In the house she very quickly found machicho and a love affair began. They won't leave each other alone!!! 

Now Machicho looks huge but the kittens not worried, she just wants to play.

Hopefully this means she is getting tired and peace will reign.
Tomorrow night or Saturday (my bet is tomorrow night!) she is off to her new home with a new big Brother who goes by the name of Atticus aka Fatty

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Place & Yours : That's nice, that's different, that's unusual

A new theme on Meet Me at Mikes- My Place and Yours. The Theme Queen for this week is Toni from Little Suitcase. Her theme is 'That's nice, that's different, that's unusual'
Our house has been renovated over the years so any strange things that may have been here are long gone now.
My daughter and I wandered around this morning and this is what we came up with..................

That's Nice.
I picked this chair up at a Clearing Sale a few years ago for $15. We had to hang around until dark as it was one of the last things Auctioned but I was determined to get it if it was reasonably priced. It is such a sweet little chair with a hidden surprise.

It has a potty under the seat! 

That's Different.

There is a very old fence post in the lawn next to the path not connected to anymore fence posts, just standing all alone.. Everyone has asked my Husband why he put it there but he really hasn't given us an answer yet. So what do people say when they see it, 'That's Different!'

That's Unusual.
My sweet babies. Axolotyls are the strangest creatures but so cute. These are my girls who are about 10 years old. Marvin the Male is hiding in the corner, camera shy I think, he's nearly 13. We have regular batches of babies who don't make it much further than just hatched.
So there you go, My Nice, Different and Unusual.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Place & Yours:My Collection

         Kate from Fox's Lane   has chosen My Collection for this weeks theme in Meet me at Mike's My Place and Yours Meme. What a can of worms this weeks theme opens up for a hoarder/collector like me. Every room in the house has something I collect, Vintage Furniture, trunks, china, linen etc etc

My Violets. seen them before in the first My Place and Yours, this is just a closer look.  It started as a couple of pieces that were my Mum's and Nanna's and grew to this. Some were gifts, others Op Shop and second hand shop finds. Everyone who knows me well seems to be on the look out for my Violets. Some pieces are 100 years old and others not quite as old.

It has spilled over from the sideboard to the tea trolley and still going. No rules as long as it's Violets and not brand new!

There are teapots in the Dining Room, this is what fits on the top of the cupboard. I have some put away as well.

Then there are Rolling pins, kitchen scales, cannisters, hand beaters and the like in the kitchen all mixed up with lots of Chookie things.
I have Vintage hats, handbags, jewellery,gloves and coats in the bedroom. Vintage sewing items, buttons, fabrics, cottons, laces etc etc in the sewing room. Ladders with antique Quilt tops and Vintage Doileys. Oh and Chairs! Old wooden 'em.
It just goes on and on really. I don't think any of my Collections will ever be finished, there are very few rules apart from the older the better. I like to think I am preserving the past for future generations, not that my Collecting needs justification!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Websites Birthday!

Can you believe that a year ago today I put my Website up for the world to see?
All the support I have had from friends, family and an ever increasing group of loyal customers has made the Butterflies in my stomach fly away and my confidence grow very quickly.
I can still remember how exciting it was and a relief when my first order came through! It is still a buzz when someone wants to buy one of my creations and I think that will always be the case.  The hours of work, lack of sleep, messy house and wishing for more hours in a day or days in a week are all worth it!

So now I am sitting here waffling on as I do when I probably should be up in the sewing room warming up the sewing machine and getting on with it!
So much to do, so little time!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Place & Yours : Through the front door

This week's Theme Queen is Shelley from Femme de Montmartre. She's chosen 'Through the Front Door' as this week's view.
Well here is my front door! Our front door is used a lot by the boys and their friends. There is always shoes thrown off where ever. And yes Pam I had to put my glass of wine down to take the photo!

And this is what you usually see in the lounge room through the front door. If it's not Beau (the baby of the family, 16 next month) on the couch it will be someone else. Amazingly enough it is quite tidy today. Thats the Dining room off in the distance.
Not overly inspiring  but it's home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The work of a couple of Graffiti artists just down the road from my house. They managed to paint smiley faces on about 100 Silage bails on Saturday night. The local paper asks why would they do it? Maybe it is the age old answer........because they were there!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Place & Yours : My Secret Weapon

This weeks Theme Queen is 'My Bricole' and she has chosen 'Your Secret Weapon' .
So many things carry me through my days and all of them are here, in my Home. That WAS going to be my chosen secret weapon but on thinking a bit more I realised it is the people in my life not the things that are my real secret weapon. Family, even though they drive me crazy most of the time they are still the most important thing I have created. Four grown children finding their way in the world, all beautiful and all individuals. Parents who were there when I needed them and a brother and sister who sometimes make me grit my teeth in frustration but also are my best friends.  Friends are a mainstay. There are those who I have never actually met face to face but we can spend three hours on the phone without drawing breathe, or email with exciting news, bad news or day to day drivel. Other friends I have known for 30 years and no matter how long between visits we just seem to pick up the conversation from where we left off. The people I work with are a huge part of my life as well. Now days we get to meet so many new people on the internet and some of them can become an important part of our lives as well. Imagine life with no interaction whatsoever. So there you go, my Secret Weapon......the people in my life!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't You Wish.........

Don't you wish that the most important thing you had to do all day was chase the multitude of Magpies that descend into your yard?

                Or sit and watch the young pup run around like a mad thing

 Wouldn't it be nice to have the time to sit for hours waiting for a lizard to poke its head out

Or take time to smell the flowers!

Don't you wish that sometimes you could just scratch around all day ,chase the ocassional butterfly and just enjoy the sunny day?