Thursday, January 31

make, mend & re-fashion

A simple philosophy so often forgotten.  In this materialistic world we live in even the conscientious of folk can be blinded by the convenience of replacing versus repairing and discarding versus re-inventing.

This week I focused on what my home already had to offer me.  Whilst wardrobes were being sorted and re-tidyed in an effort to start afresh for the commencement of Term 1, a small pile of clothes required my attention and my imagination could realise their potential.

A torn bit of fabric requiring a patch, a loose button and a snagged thread all begging to be fixed.  I often forget how fortunate I am that I can fix these with ease, that I have the tools, the knowledge (albeit self taught knowledge) and even when I don't know the correct way, I just have a go.

The black dress that I've owned pre-children was seeming a bit lack lustre but with still so much wear left in it, it was crying out for a bit of a re-fashion. I cut sections out and by adding bit of colour and contrast and I've a new dress to see me through Summer.

A pair of jeans that were too short for my son got the chop and made excellent shorts and a top with stains that could not budge were craftily covered with fabric and felt flowers.   My daughter is smitten with her 'new' dress.  A white tee (size 2) that still fits her small frame sewn onto a wonderful dress that was handcrafted by a dear friend years ago.

Make do, mend & re-fashion.

Joining in here.

Tell me your make do and mend creations.

Tuesday, January 29


Many moons ago when I packed my 1980's Ford Meteor and officially moved out of home, I was gifted with many plastic fantastic of the food storage variety.  Tupperware of all different shapes and sizes to see me through cheap university lunches and dinners, into work life when I expanded my cooking repertoire and then into early parenthood when the baby food was made in bulk and frozen in all sorts of said tupperware.  Slowly as the years have progressed lids were lost, the plastic cracked or lost it's shape.  Many an invite to the dreaded "tupperware" party have been turned down in an attempt not to replace plastic with more plastic.  Instead,  I've been drawn to glass.  All different shapes and sizes.   Recycling jars for further use, or searching in discount stores or kitchen ware departments.  A lazy afternoon crafting some labels.  Enjoying the sounds of the glass lids chinking, the earthy colours  of whole foods that I love cooking for my family. The aesthetic appeal of the beauty of glass bringing a small smile each time I open up the doors.    Packets discarded, filling the pantry with simplicity.

How do you organise your pantry?

Oh - I almost forgot...The Weetbix Giveaway winner has been announced (sorry for my tardiness in getting around that one!) 

Sunday, January 27

in the kitchen

This week it's no surprise my images reflect food, cooking and time spent in the Kitchen.  The kids and I really bunkered down this week and enjoyed preparing meals together, trying new foods and making loads of things from scratch...

::  Making bread rolls
::  Chopping up veggies for lunch
::  Fresh bread rolls straight from the oven
::  Wholemeal apple and sultana muffins
::  The fruit market - admiring all the colours, textures and having fun picking what we want
::  We came home with a great purchase of roma tomatoes for a spot of preserving*
::  Busy making our own laundry powder
::  A trip to Queen Vic Market
::  Pastry section always our first stop to fill empty tummies whilst we fill our trolley with fresh seafood.

what have you been up to this week?  And what's been cooking in your kitchen of late?

Joining in with Em at the Shack. 


*which was a success so will no doubt require it's own blog post.

Saturday, January 26


4/52 - A portrait of my children, once a week, every week for a year

J:  Sitting in his room, a calculator and books never far
M: What will I be today? A fairy perhaps...  jumping, spinning and twirling as always

Linking in with Jodi @ Che and Fidel 

Thursday, January 24

berries for jam..

Summer holidays have been spent in glorious sunshiney ways.  Berry picking was so much fun that we indulged in the delight on more than one occasion.  The first time the raspberries and blueberries were bursting off their vines and bushes.  The cherries were so plump, that we first filled our bellies and then our buckets.

We went again this week however, after the crowds had come and the warm weather Mother Nature had delivered the berries were not so easily harvested.  So we wandered down paths labelled with names not so familiar.  Waldo, Bramble and Boysenberries were discovered with eager delight.

Their deep intense colours of purple-y blues, and red and the sharp tangy sweetness were enjoyed by all.

We picked and tried, with only a little selection but still enough for some jam.  This recipe has become my favourite.  Use it for berries, it will not disappoint.  Of course you can use less or more lemon and you don't have to add the hull during cooking if you don't want to, but it does add a delightful acidic tang.  Cook in small batches to retain all that goodness, flavour and superior colour!

:: 1 kilo of mixed berries
:: 750gm of caster sugar
::  Juice of one lemon, keep the juiced hull

Over a medium heat with a heavy saucepan, place the cleaned berries and sugar and stir till dissolved.  Add the juice and the cut lemon pieces and bring to a rolling boil.  Remove any foam if you like and continue to simmer until it becomes sticky (about 15 minutes).  Test by dropping a tea spoon of jam on a plate that has been in the freezer.  If it sets, then your done...otherwise cook for another five minutes.  Remove the lemon pieces and pour hot jam into freshly sterilised jars.

Enjoy on toast, scones or dollop liberally on greek yoghurt and fresh apple!


creative wonderland here 

Tuesday, January 22

mastering skills

My children have always shared my passion for cooking and involvement.  The other day my son announced that he would be cooking dinner.  He chose what to cook, he wanted very little assistance and even insisted that he could lift the trays in and out of the oven.  Whilst I'm no perfectionist (especially in the kitchen) I held back and watched....the dough was made and he watched with eager eyes waiting for it to rise.  He set up his little rolling/cutting station and selected the ingredients from the fridge. As the mushrooms were cut in chunks, the cheese taking painstakingly long to master grating and the sauce dripping over the edges...his sense of achievement was palpable.   Whilst his creation was cooking in the oven he diligently set the table and then called us all to dinner.  As a rule our children generally ask the adults to leave the table when finished their meal....that night we asked our chef when we finished his meal and he was delighted that there was not one bit left. 

A lesson for both child and parent.  

Do your children surprise you with skills they have mastered? 
How do you feel when they do? 

Don't forget, this is your last chance to enter the Weetbix Giveaway!  

Monday, January 21

weekly stills

Our final week with all of us on holidays is coming to a close.  I know it will still feel a little bit holiday mode right up till School and Kinder start, but it's been oh so lovely having....absolutely no routine, work or appointments.  Just one glorious day after the other. And when the weather hasn't bee too hot, I must say most of our adventures happen outdoors.....

1. My trusty apprentice (scantily clad) doing much baking...
2. The two of them spent quiet time at the local library making craft then enjoying them all afternoon
3. A thrifted embroidery cloth, some necklaces and earrings
4. Her bike....those streamers
5.  In such excitement to get to the swing, there is no time to remove ones helmet
6.  Me (one out of focus, one in focus) - teaching my husband the art of shooting on Manual too
7, 8 and 9 - My trusty collection of necessities for a twlight market, setting up is always so much fun,

Joining in this lovely lady 

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a years supply of weetbix! 

Saturday, January 19


 a portrait of my children, once a week, every week for a year

J - proud to show off his creation
M - watching, waiting - "is it cool enough to go outside now?" 

linking up here with Jodi 


Thursday, January 17

summer sewing

There is something whimsy and dreamy in sewing up delights in the midst of Summer.  Today the temperature is set to reach the forty degree mark.  The curtains have been drawn, the fans on high rotation and "inside" games and crafts are scheduled.  A salad announced as the answer to "what are we having for lunch/dinner" questions.  So whilst I had a few moments of energy before the heat leads us to the local watering hole, I took some time to organise my stock for an upcoming summer night market this weekend in the peaceful location of the local golf course.  A few newbies to add tags too....  A collection of summer scarves adorned with pom pom trim and a few girls summer skirts completed as well.  Once tagged and pressed they will be diligently packed away in vintage suitcases.

How are your summer crafts going?

Joining in with these creative lovelies 

a years worth of weetbix giveaway here