Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sufjan Stevens- Come On! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!

Not the best video, but best I could find :)

Happy Christmas and Holiday Season everyone!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


The man from the shop rang.
He said it was stuffed.
I am sad.

Monday, December 20, 2010


My littlest boy has shown a lot of interest in my sewing machine recently and last week as he was 'investigating' he pulled it down onto the ground. My first reaction was to check he was ok, and considering my machine got dropped when it was shipped from NZ to Australia but kept working, I was fairly optimistic that it would be fine.
But it is not.
Now it is off at the sewing machine hospital.

I'm quite sad because I had been enjoying using it a lot lately and I also have quite a bit of sentimental attachment to it. S gave it to me with its box covered in "I LOVE U" written with colouring pens all over as a betrothal gift to me around 11& half years ago.

The "sewing machine hospital" shuts tomorrow for a few weeks holiday.

Hopefully all it needs is some bandages and a little rest before it comes home again feeling better than ever...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Stocking fillers Eye ♥

This time next week S will be a few hours off finishing work for the year. I wish he were home for a couple of days before Xmas, but having Christmas Eve off is great. Like birthdays, I feel that Xmas Eve should be a holiday.

Anyhow, as we get closer to Christmas, and I await the opportunity to wrap and place pressies under the tree I am still browsing online some of the neat things around.
Here are some bits I come across in the past week that I would be happy for Santa to drop into our stockings.

Hector Serrano
This designer has innovation. And fun. Check out his site for more great things, but here are a couple of my fav's.

Monster Hands Temporary Tattoos

Dress for Dinner Napkin

This guy has a website apparently but I can't find it. However plenty of links (get it?) online for his mens jewellery and at his etsy store.
Lego Cufflinks

Grove Made do design and craftsmanship as it should be. This company have beautiful laser cut bamboo iPhone cases, and you can get  custom made cases too!   A thing of beauty.

Grove Bamboo iPhone 4 Case

Lifes A Stitch (haha - I love that name :) ) make probably the best toy food I have seen.  These 2 Aussie sisters make cool tactile playfood from fabrics such as wool & cotton. Well priced and great options such as Fish & Chips, Eco shopping bag, Fresh Fruit.

Roll Your Own Sushi

Monday, December 13, 2010

Julie Goodwins Xmas Gingerbread Men

I felt we needed some fun yummies to eat leading up to the big day (in less than 2 weeks!). And I saw Julie Goodwin (Masterchef) making these on telly the other morning, and who could go wrong with something called "Great Nan's Gingerbread Recipe"?

 I got D and cleaned his hands, stuck on his apron (getting time for a new bigger one Muma). It was fun making this with him but its 3 hours later and I have only just finished! Julie said the mix should make about 36 cookies, so I'm not sure how many I got but it is a lot more. Julie must have bigger cookie cutters than me. But I'm pleased to have so many, because most of the time I follow baking recipes I end up with a much smaller quantity than suggested. Which means everything is eaten within the same day :(

I did break to get D into bed for his afternoon nap and clean up a little. But the icing took me the longest. It's really a two person job. One to ice and one to stick on the fiddly little Cachous.

I was a bit sick of it by the time I got to the Angels, and didn't really know how to decorate them. So I went with green side ponytails and red shoes, which is quite 'Wizard of OZ' and not really 'O' Christ the Teenie Babe is born'...  anyhow thats fine by me and I'm sure the boys will be just has happy to eat them and the alien eyed Gingerbread men.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quick Mix Veggie Burgers Recipe

(food has been attacked already but I remembered to get a photo this time before they were all gone)

This is a quick and easy pattie mix that I came up with that holds together well when shaping and cooking and eating! It takes only up to 10 mins to prep the mix or less if you already have some left over cooked pumpkin from a roast etc. And it has no egg so its suitable for vegans or those with egg allergies.
It should be fried long enough for the onion to cook through, so make sure the onion is diced up finely.

1 Tin brown lentils
1 Tin Chick peas
2 cups cooked pumpkin (preferably tasty and less watery variety like Kent), (we cut into chunks and zap in microwave for 5 mins then drain water and cut skin off).
1 Small onion finely diced (we generally cook with red onions because they are sweeter).
3 - 6 cloves crushed/finely diced garlic
1/2 cup of brown rice flour.
1/4 cup whole meal flour (for coating).

Olive oil for frying.

Add the following seasonings to your own tastes. 
We like to use about 1 tablespoon of each herb and 2 tablespoons of pine nuts for this quantity of mix.
Salt and Pepper 

May also add chilli or curry spices and pine nuts 

Drain liquid from pumpkin (if any from cooking) and rinse and drain liquid from tinned chickpeas and lentils (or cooked if you've cooked your own!). Mash all ingredients together (except flour) , then add in flour and continue mashing until thoroughly mixed and no major lumps.
If adding pinenuts, add them at end so they stay whole and give them a quick stir in.

Sprinkle wholemeal flour onto clean plate, chopping board or bench. Use one heaped soup spoon scoop of mix per fritter. Place onto floured area and use another spoon to remove mix from soup spoon. Flatten down mix a little with back of spoon or hand and then sprinkle more flour on top of fritter to coat. Gently pick up fritter and turn around in flour so sides are coated. Place into preheated pan with enough olive oil to  coat pan well. Make and add other fritters to all cook together.  Fry on mid heat then turn when golden  and crispy on outside (5 -10 mins depending on heat setting and pan type and size). May need some more oil added to pan when turning fritters over. Sprinkle some rock salt over top towards end of cooking.

Eat with salad and sour cream or other sauce, or use in a burger bun with whatever you like in your burger.

I usually make the mix up with no salt and pepper or chill spice and use half of mix to make up kids fritters, they like to eat it with cucumber, tomatoes and Rice Paper Roll dipping sauce. Then I add in the chili spice to the left over mix and prepare the rest for us grown ups to eat.

I'll add some photos next time we make these.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Creative Flurry

I'm not sure what has happened to me recently but I seem to have got all creatively inspired.

I noticed lately I have been telling M that his desk and his bedroom are a mess and he really needs to sort it out, then I realized my own workspace is, well.... teenage. M is not a teenager yet, but he reminds me of one frequently. I have not been a teenager for er um, a while, but I seemed to have found my creative mojo from that time again. It's not quite the same, because nothing ever is after having kids. I can't for example, stay up all night working on something and then hit the sack as dawn breaks. Ahh, I do miss those days/nights though.

 Lots of unfinished ideas from 20 years ago still niggle me, but 20 years on I am a different person and those old ideas don't feel quite right now. Time has moved on.

However, my mind is ticking with ideas and the state of my work room really reminds me of my bedroom when I was a young lass.  I think I really noticed how similar it is when S came looking for where all the cups had gone.  With slightly pink cheeks, I returned the dirty tea & coffee cups and sandwich plates to the kitchen and they have now been washed.

So things are messy, but I am feeling happy. But I do prefer more order, and think for my kids a better example being lived out, is kinder parenting than "do as I say, not as I do".

Now, back to tidying up a bit and trying to get this room organized again,  ready for making and doing. I'm not sure where this is all heading and I don't really care. I am just enjoying it.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dirt Girl World?

I thought when we moved to Melbourne that growing a vegie garden would be quite a bit easier than in New Zealand. Heaps of sunshine, with loads of rain over this past season.
We are not the greatest at gardening but  our vegie garden in NZ was huge - massive and we grew organically! We mostly filled it with potatoes, pumpkin and zuchini/marrow (depending how quick we got out to pick them). Tomatoes were easy and peas were easy 'peasy'.

So this winter in our new house which came with ready set up vegetable patches, we dug up and dug in some seedlings. There are two patches. The first we filled with 3 rows of potatoes and peas were planted along the back by the fence. The other patch we planted beetroot, tomotoes, celery, cucumbers and aubergine. I had seen a neighbour in Northcote successfully grow Aubergine so I was quite excited that I would be able to have my own. I also have some pots around the garden with Rhubarb, strawberries, mesclun mix and herbs. And M came home from school with some dwarf beans he had started from seed in a cup with cotton wool, so we put them along side the shed.

The weekend finally gave us a break from the the storms and so I got out to weed.
D came out to help.
The insects and nettle came out to defend what they thought was theirs.
And I got rather annoyed at how little our plants seem to be growing.
The peas had died. I knew that ages ago. I really thought they were the simplest thing to grow. Obviously wrong.
The cucumbers were already a 2nd lot that had been re-planted because the first ones had died.
The aubergine plants I discovered once I weeded had survived better than I thought, and we have only lost one. But like the cucumbers, they are very very slow growing. And I'm pretty sure they should be starting to produce fruit now or soon.
The beetroots - I just cant tell. A couple are going to seed already and others look far smaller than they should be for the amount of time they have been in the ground.
Tomatoes  - huh? I guess they are doing ok in the parts where birds are not pecking them.
The most successful vegetables looks to be the celery.

I layed down some sugar cane mulch, which may be too late in the season now to help, but if it saves me from weeding and helps protect the plants then YEAH 4 US!

I dont know if it's the weather? Or the insects? The birds? The soil? The kids (who pick, pull up and stand on it all - even the stuff in pots), or is it just me and S are rubbish at keeping a vegie garden?

Good news is, the grape vine over the pergola which we were convinced was just an ornamental, looks like it might be starting to fruit. The next month or 2 will reveal all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pop-up Tree

I was going past Lincraft yesterday and saw they had 50% off all Christmasy stock so I went in and had a look around. Our new place is quite a bit bigger than our last, so our festive decoration collection needs to expand. I came across this box which the scanner said was $10, so I don't think it was included in the sale but it seemed perfect enough ( at that price) for the empty space beside the telly.

The box said 'Christmas Tree in a Box' 'Paper art by Sam Ita. "Hmmm" I wondered, is Sam Ita someone I should know about? What other things does Sam Ita do? So a quick google and I see that Sam Ita is a Pop-Up Artist, but that sounds like another name for a Flasher in the same way Housewives use to (before someone came up with the term SAHM) call themselves Domestic Executives.
Anyways... his website refers to him as an author, artist and 'paper engineer'. His website by his own account is never updated but he did have a post with a cool invite he designed "CAGE"
I think we should have more Pop-up invites. Wedding pop up invites - cool!

So I made the tree last night in about 20 minutes while I watched the Amazing Race. I put it over in the corner by the T.V, only to realize that was a stupid thing to buy because D (who is near 2) would pull it to pieces in the morning. Our Xmas tree is bare for the first 2 feet whilst the carpet and garden are sprinkled with gold glitter stars and balls.

So highest place I could find was up with the china tea cups.