Monday, December 24, 2012

The fat man is on his way

Merry Christmas everyone

There is something about taking the time to cook over the Christmas period that I love.  I went trawling through my recipe books looking for a baked cheese cake.  Finally I remembered - Nan used to make a great one.  I went digging through her gorgeous recipe book which is falling apart and stuffed full of all the useful tit bits that a budding housewife needs along with all of her treasured recipes.  I love seeing all of the families different hand writing of different recipes over the years, tried and tested favorite recipes handed around the family.  

Just in case anyone needs any hints on how to be a good housewife.  :)

Recent work road trip.

Lake George - En-route to Canberra (the capital of Australia - Just for those interested)  You can actually see water which is amazing.  The water had been lapping at the road a good 30 years ago but over the years of drought it had dried up.  Fingers crossed for more rain I would love to see it at capacity again.

I will be enjoying some of the simple pleasures over the silly season including time with loved ones, food, laughter and love.   Oh and sun on this side of the planet.  Lots and lots of sun and warm weather.

May you all have a safe and happy holiday.  

K x  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Do you freecycle?

Its a simple concept, pass on what you are not using to someone who can. given and received - with good outcomes all around.

Saves on land fill, cuts out middle men Oh and you get something that you want/need for free.  Could it get any better?

Well my latest acquisition was an overlocker.  Who gives away an overlocker I ask you.....  a little old lady who said she just popped it back in the box and hasn't had a chance to use it.

I set it up and it didn't work - doh but tell you the truth it looked like it had hardly been used.  The needle area was all jammed up.  Off it went to a repairer, $95.00 later and I have a working overlocker.

I'm looking forward to putting it to use in the formidable sewing room.

I've been collecting fabric and patterns for skirts.  My mum's booked in for a couple of lessons when we get the chance to get it happening.

Have you ever freecycled?  Did you have good experiences?

K x

Saturday, December 8, 2012

seriously - more fabric

I couldn't resist hitting the sales in the US last week.  What can I say....  Hmmmmm  something else to add to the fabric stash.

I must say I do love this range from echino I picked it up from Pink Castle Fabrics.  At an absolute steal.  

and this one is Odds and ends by Cosmo Cricket for Moda - positive affirmations on fabric - makes me happy. :)

I went to a fashion parade the other night at Wendi Leigh Designs.  She is a local dress maker here in the Illawarra making a statement on a local level and online, connecting with small business and networks.  

She has some amazing outfits and is happy to assist in tailoring for the individual.  You know as much as I do love buying online I also love seeing local business getting their groove on and putting it out there.  In particular women passionate about there craft.  Wendi's joy was obvious on the night and in her cloths.  You know I'm not just about just the talk, I'm happy to say I did walk out with a little purchase ok a big purchase.  What can I say - local businesses need our support now and in the future.  Oh and what I purchased just suited me amazingly.

Thanks for a great night Wendi, I look forward to wearing my new wardrobe pieces and coming to your future events.

Well that's about it for me for the evening.

Happy weekend all
K x 

Friday, November 16, 2012

ahhh - the long awaited *sigh*

and just like that after 5 straight days of study where my eyes were getting blurry with reading, a 3 hour exam, a very big *sigh*  the university session was done..   Blink and you miss it that's another 2 subjects done.   

So you know there was a little happy dance to celebrate and a couple beers.
Lucky for me I made it in one piece and my sanity intact.     

Two more subjects to go and I will have myself a completed Masters in Management. 

I'm visualising the whole cap and gown,  :)  Something to aim for.  Keep me focused to hit the end result. 

Well that's nearly me for the year.  So good to realise the year is wrapping up, summer is trying to come and the fat man in the suit isn't that far away and then a nice little holiday poking around and hopefully hitting the sewing room. 

So you know I found a great quilt as you go tutorial a couple of weeks ago.  And can you believe that I cant find it now.  I have been trawling through all the usual blogland haunts and nothing.....    I sort of have it in my head as to how it is supposed to go.  So I was thinking I might just give it a crack and see what I can come up with. I will post a couple of pics along the way and share with you all.
 :)  Fingers crossed.

Have a great weekend all.
K x

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cookie cut outs? Not !

I read some mummy and me blogs.  You know the ones, where the kids always look like cookie cut outs and mum and dad just seem to have it all going on.  Good looks, great house, car, kids... blah blah blah.

Funny how that quick second snap of the flash on someones life can make it all appear veneerial.  No pimples on chins or unwashed snotty nosed kiddies, not a hair out of place.  I'm sure you know the type. 

Well I love it when they to talk about their bad days too.  Cause know its all about keeping it real folks.  No one is the cookie cut out.  LOL even if on the surface they may appear to be.

The past few weeks/years of my life have revolved around working my butt off in attempting to do a Masters in Management at uni.   I've undertaken (self inflicted) an Advanced project management subject this semester.  OMG....... the amount of work is ridiculous particularly whilst trying to work full time and have some sort of life in between. 

Well first assessment in, what an absolute disaster.  I swear I was nearly crying by the end of the class.  In embarrassment.  What can I say, I just didn't get the brief.  I couldn't get my pea brain around the whole thing, didnt know who to talk to or where to get started.  I ended up turning in something that was seriously no where near the standard that it needs to be at for what I'm attempting. 

So I f*cked up. But don't we all at some stage?

I don't have an undergraduate in anything.  Just life per say. 

I'm personally paying to put myself through this.  Character building I'm sure some would say.  Absolutely mad is all that I can hear from myself.

But you know I made the decision, this is where I am.  Warts and all trying my hardest and in the process of sucking it up and getting on with it.

There is no time to continue to beat myself up, the session runs through in 11 weeks and there is only 6 weeks left.  So I need to be able to turn it around pretty quickly and get on with the next assessment and prepare for the exam. 

So this weekend i'm popping on the war paint, coming up with a plan and slipping on my big girl panties and getting on with it. 

Assessment 2 is due in a couple of weeks.  So fingers crossed I can get some ground back.

Have a great weekend all.

K x 

P.s....... Oh and remember its the warts & all that makes it all so much more interesting.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

93rd Post

Heavens above, how time flies when you are having fun

93rd post..... 

Not like I'm counting at all.

Well I have been doing the mad chase around for a new car.

My car is 16 years old this year and she is getting a bit tired of all of it. 
I went and test drove a couple of new ones and the one that I thought I wanted just isn't going to cut it for me.  It just feels too small, not enough leg room to the pedals and the gear box is in a strange place.  So now what to do?  Second hand?  how many K's is too many? how much is too much $$?  whats around?  oh the choices.

So I've decided to stop freaking out and just relax.  I will find one when it is ready to come to me. 

Doesn't really help that I have so much else going on either. 

The 3000 word essay dead line is drawing near as is delivering a presentation on it.  Trying to get my head around what I want to actually say in a clear and concise manner.  LOL Really it a process to get it all together sometimes.  :))

Oh how I long to potter to the craft room and just randomly pull something together. 

Mind you it is still packed to the rafters.  Oops

One day it will mysteriously clean itself up and all will be well with the world.

Have a happy week all.

K x

P.s.  Things I'm grateful for?  the opportunity to study so late in life.  :)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tough day. . . .

Too cute...  Would be gorgeous for a new born or toddler.

Couldn't resist.  Was nice to have a little splash.  Even if it isn't going to be used straight away.

Stopped by the little shoppe in Loftus, Julies today.  Such as busy little shop and a delight to visit.  Tucked away off the main roads.  Took me ages to find it a couple of years ago.  But you know there is something about the familiarity of dropping by your favorite patchwork shop.  I think my car could just take me there.  Somethng about the connection of like minds, happy women loving and sharing their passion with others.  Always a kind word and a friendly laugh of how much do you NEED....  LOL which the response is usually "I dont need it".  He hehehe I want it though, just to sooth my soul and need to consume.

Terribly sad day today.  But you know you just pick it up and keep on shuffling along.

Life.  I wonder. . . . .   There are some strange moments in it hey.

K x

Monday, August 13, 2012

how often to we really pay attention?

Oddly you know I have actually been paying attention to things around me of late.  I'm not really sure why but some things have been jumping out.

Have you noticed?

You know generally crafters for a long time look to the latest fashion colours as they hit the furniture stores.  As they seem to be the leaders in a many colour combinations and designs.

But lately as soon as I see someone in blogland having come up with some funky new crafty pattern/concept its in the stores.  I'm wondering who is it that is coming up with the ideas.  Is it crafters or is large business or designers? 

All pictures are nicked. ( co/ Domayne online)

Anywho....  I love the Union Jack and Eiffel Tower in the cushions that I've seen.
But my question is?  not to anyone in particular mind you....  have crafty ideas and concepts gone main stream and mass produced in China? Like Typo - which I love to go for a wander thru and grab a quick couple of little things.  But is it loosing its handmade charm? Is it loosing the kitchy my Nana made that?  Or my Mum made me a quilt?

Any thoughts from the peanut gallery??

Have a great week. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Confession time

I haven't moved in over 7 years and for one person my little townhouse/unit feels like it has been at the over flowing stage for some time.  And it has been driving me totally nut's.  I'm the girl who used to move every 2 - 3 years and de-clutter every time.  I have packed my whole life in my little Mazda 121 and moved.
There comes a point when you just have to say enough.  It might have been when I realised I couldn't fit all of my clothes in the cupboard or wardrobe and that they were everywhere??   Or I realised I had stuff shoved in every single nook and cranny in the place.  E N O U G H.....

I started with the wardrobe and have now progressed through most of the living spaces. 

The kitchen is next up.  Which shouldn't take too long.
The place feels so much better already, I can move again.  Oh and I have nice clear bench spaces which is always a good thing. 

But I must say, how difficult is it to part with things.
Oh I cant get rid of this or that, so and so gave me this and that.  Oh that's my favorite movie..  and on and on it goes.  Well I didn't listen.  If it wasn't nailed down it was out.  One car full has already gone to the opportunity shop and the recycle bin is full. 

The other clutter is the craft room. LOL I'm calling it the craft room from hell. I can't move.  I can't be creative with no space. no where to play. every surface is covered, the ironing board , the cutting table. I'm too scared to go in there???  There is limited floor space left.  I have taken pics but to tell you the truth I'm too scared to post them cause they will show how bad I have been....  *blush*....

I'm on a schedule.  Uni starts next week and I need to get organised. Or it just isn't going to work.  I'm thinking I will just close the craft room door and not iron for the next 3 months.  :)  If the rest of my living space is sorted then all will be well with the world.  And for those that know me, know that ironing isnt one of my strong points. 

If you don't see me on here for a while you know my nose will be buried in a text book on Advanced Project Management.  Two more subjects to go and I will be the proud owner of a Masters in Management...  I wonder what I will do with that?  best I not leave it in the craft room....  ;)


Happy crafting all and remember when it all gets too much....  Just shut the door.  hehehehehe

Kath x

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The promise of things to come

The sun was out today, so fabulous to get out and about. 

There are things happening in craftybarter land.  So be sure to keep your eyes peeled for future posts. 

I managed to get out and about for a big walk around the harbour.  Sensational.

Happy Sewing all
Kath x

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Extended Families Celebrations = L O V E

Once upon a time there were 3 friends who used to hangout together sharing dinner and drinks.  Dancing around singing along to Elvis songs laughing and joking, enjoying one another's company.  Did I mention drinking wine and champagne? 

Kindred souls who gather together for fun and frivolity.

I love this picture.  It is of 2 of my dearest friends & myself.  It must be close on 10 years ago now and that was the night this picture was taken did I mention Elvis singing LOUDLY?

Well I headed down to Victoria on the weekend for a wedding cause this one decided to get married.  I don't go to many weddings.  But I didn't want to miss this one.

It was such a pleasure to be at her wedding. 

Arriving a day early, we had time to catch up and do some girlie stuff together, nails, champagne and chitter chatter of course on our lives and the happenings......

I even managed to get an updated photo of us again.  

The wedding was stress free and love abound for the happy couple.  The bride was beautiful and the happy couple had all of their friends and family there to celebrate with them.. 

It was wonderful to catch up with some family friends that has been a long time between visits. 

oh & you so know I was the crier in the back row.  What can I say I was emotional watching my georgous girlfriend walking into the chapel with her ever so proud Dad by her side to walk her down the aisle to marry her man.

Such a special moment.

Oh and I'm happy to say, no PINK taffeta in sight. 

Thank heavens for some small mercies.

Breakfast in the Dandenongs.

It never ceases to amaze me. One minute clear as a bell the next totally fogged in.  This was in a 5 minute space.
Street art near Olinda shops.
On the Sunday I managed to zip off and spend a couple of days with some more life long friends.   What can I say.  Time just does not alter these friends.  Our lives seem to go in different directions but the ties that bind are strong.

You never know what you will find in R's garden.  The latest sculptures from past and present exhibitions and plants that pop up on paths.  There is so many inspirational points of view throughout the house and garden. 

Taking the time to go for a wander through and letting it all sink in.  From the collection of canvases on the walls to the ever so red lounge room with the sculptured bird, and collections of bits from all over the world.

The South American oozes inspiration  at every turn .....

I feel blessed to have these kindred souls in my life.  I hope you all have these special people in your lives as I do.  They brighten my soul and wrap me in their lives and love. 

Until next we meet.

Fingers crossed for some sewing soon... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

Kath x

Thursday, April 19, 2012

April happenings......

Soooo I thought I would share with you some of what my Mum has been upto lately since I haven't been doing any crafty stuff cause the books are ruling my life of late (more on that later). 

Mum enters some of her knits into the Sydney Royal Easter show each year.  Although she didn't win any prizes this year they kept her knits on display with the winners.  I figure they do this because her knits are fabulous of course.  Not biased at all....  (ahmmm  Proud Daughter moment here). 

Even thou she hasn't been well of late she keeps knitting like a trooper. She currently has projects with watermelon coloured Samoyed dog hair on the go at the moment.  Now I this sounds strange, but can I just say the colour is spectacular and the softness and warmth of the yarn is amazing.  So if you are out and about trawling through the markets in the Southern Highlands over the winter period try and have a look out for some of them I think you will be pleasantly surprised. 

 Back right hand corner is Mum's the multi coloured patchwork one.

Head turn to the right (sorry I couldn't get it to load up properly) The pink one with the collar.

I must say she is a bit chuffed at having them displayed with so many people walking past each day admiring her handiwork even if she didn't win any prizes with them.

So about me?  I have been head down bottom up on the study at the moment.  Exams are looming so I'm hitting the books.  The house is a bomb and I have a thousand and one things to do personally which is all on hold till next week.  I'm looking forward to wrapping this one up and thinking about what to do next.  Im play chinese laundries due to the constant rain, the garden is overgrown in need of some TLC and there is cleaning to do done.  But there will be time for all of that over the next couple of weeks.

I found this Balinese sculpture somewhere.  Sorry can't remember where.   
The serenity and calmness, she looks so at peace with herself.   

Till next time.
Happy crafting....
K x

Sunday, April 8, 2012

First attempt at sushi

My first attempt at making sushi.  Smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber and fresh chives.  Very tasty....  and easy to make.  I just forgot to put the wasabi in the roll, doh.  Not to worry I had enough in the soy for dipping as you can see.

I might have to try doing that again some time.   Quick, easy and relatively pain free.

Leave me a comment on some of your favorite sushi combinations that might make me want to pull out the sushi mat again.

The vietnamese crockery which I dont put to use very often.  A couple of peices came home with me from Vietnam a few years back now.  And sit in the cupboard waiting for use.

Not a whole lot of sewing going on.  I have been tidying up a bit in the craft room thou.  Making some space and moving some things on. 

Im coming upto my 100th post soon and thought I might have a little give away.  Will keep you posted on what I come up with.

Happy Easter everyone.

K x

Sunday, March 25, 2012

No I'm not Vegetarian

But I do enjoy vegetarian meals occasionally. 

Thought I would share this one with you since I haven't been sewing much of late.  :(

It is from the 12WBT (Michelle Bridges challenge) but I've tweaked it a bit to suit me and you can tweak it to your tastes as well.

Yes I know I'm hearing all the groans of that looks yuck you must be joking, Kath.  But let me tell you it is delicious and it gets better over a couple of days rest.

Lentil loaf with yogurt sauce

3 shallots
150g mushrooms
2 x 400 g tin lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 c veg stock (i use a chicken stock cube it is in the cupboard and easy)
2/3 c rolled oats
1/4 c reduced fat cottage cheese
1 egg
2 tablespoons of dill, parsley & mint.
my version, a big bunch of dill & parsley and I do mean big. 
1 teaspoon cumin (I use garam marsala)

Cook the shallots and mushrooms.
mash 1 tin of the lentils and add the stock.
Throw everything in the bowl, add some pepper and mix it up.

Line your dish with some non stick baking paper.  (I just use what I have in the cupboard, just plain baking paper and yes it gets stuck)

Oven 180.  Cook for 55 mins.

To serve,
Big leafy green salad
Yogurt dressing - Natural yogurt, warm water with a squeeze of lemon and a dash of pepper.
I also add beetroot (home made from my brothers place, thanks Susie Q)

Great for a quick light dinner.  Left overs, are great on a wrap with the beetroot the next day or so..
Love it oh and it is a healthy meal..

Happy days.  I'm all prepped up for the week to get in some extra study without having to worry about meals.

I'm having withdrawals from not having been in my craft room for so long.  I have a few other priorities on at the moment. 

Hope you are getting creative either in the kitchen or life in general as we know it.
Till next time, happy sewing and baking all.
K x

Monday, March 12, 2012

MIA ? Missing in Action - for those who dont do acronyms

Well it is Monday, the weekends are absolutely flying by.  Make that the weeks are flying by.  I think there are only 4-5 weeks to go and it will be exam time at uni.  
I spent today driving to Sydney and back, so of course popping by my regular patchwork shop was on the cards.  :)  I wanted some yardage to go with my charm pack. 

And as the lovely lady in the shop supported my thought process, if I don't get it now then by the time I do go to use it there wont be any left for me to grab to add to what I have.  I just need a couple of bits to extend out what is in the charm pack and pad it out a bit.  If you know what I mean.

This range is so pretty and girlie.  Love it

Happy Sewing all
Kath x 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday ramblings - bit of a biggy

Got to love your big sister.  My dear sister sent me a little present for my recent birthday.  Love it.  There are some very sweet softies in here and I look forward to having a little play.  I'll keep you posted on the shenanigans there.
 I cant decide which one I like the best, either the little dollie or the giraffe. Lets see which one I get done first.

The cushions I found mysteriously tucked away in a cupboard from my travels overseas.  I came across them over the Christmas period when I was tidying up in my craft room *(not that you would know it)   I think I picked them up in Belgium.  I loved them then & still do.  The daisy got me, my favorite flower.  It is the simplicity of the daisy that grabs me.  It reminds me of bright and happy summer days at my Nan's house with her old fashioned daisies in the back garden.  Playing with my brothers, sister and cousins.

It also reminds me of folk art days gone by where I spent many weekends painting daisy's on a variety of projects.   That have now all been scattered all over the eastern seaboard to family and friends.  This little one just seemed to go with the larger one. So of course I had to get both.  :)  I figured there was no use leaving them stuffed in the cupboard, best I grab some inserts and throw them on the couch.

We have been having the most amazing summer storms and rain on this side of the planet. Forget summer this year. We've only had a couple of really warm days. This afternoon there was a storm brewing up and I noticed these pelicans soaring on the air currents up high before another storm hit.  After pelting down for an hour the skies cleared and out came the sun.  Feast or famine in Aus, we are either in drought or in driving rain with floods.  There is an old Australian poem we learn as school children with a similar line in it. 

An exert, My Country, By Dorothea Mackellar

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains, 10
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror— 15
The wide brown land for me!

We have been tidying up our hideously over grown garden over the past couple of weekends.  The palm trees were given a severe hair cut.  They are already regenerating.    The cut of the branch and it healing itself in its circular path.  Something to hopefully inspire me back into the sewing space. 

There hasn't been a lot of sewing going on around here lately.  The craft room has had a bomb go off in it and I'm too scared to go back in there......  Not to mention uni has kicked off with a big bang and needs more time this semester to get my head around some accounting concepts of all things.  

So to those of you who are crafters happy sewing and to all else happy days, even if it is front of the TV watching DVD's while the storms continue on..
Kath x 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

We have a winner..... Woo hoo

I'm a bit chuffed at winning this period DVD series from samelias mum.  A very big thank you Anorina I'm looking forward to the marathon movie night.  :) 

I generally grab my mum cookbooks for Christmas, Mothers Day, and her birthday's.  She has a fabulous selection of cookbooks from Jamie Oliver and Stephanie Alexander all of the Australian Women's Weekly cookbooks.  Just to inspire her in the kitchen.  But you know this year, she mentioned she was a bit bored with the usual fare from Mr Oliver and that she might like someone different to try. 

I'm sure I caught a big wink there..... 

So this year I stepped up, I managed to find one of Janelle Blooms cookbooks for her, Janelle is ex Ready Steady Cook here in Aust.  She cooks everyday food that is good, wholesome, fresh and in season.   This recipe is care of Janelle her stuffed Mediterranean cabbage leaves.  Oh they were so delicious.  The lamb mince, pine nuts, ricotta, pancetta, feta rolled in cabbage leaves and cooked in chicken stock.   I must say, mum has been cooking up feasts with the different adventures that Janelle takes her on.  I have been hearing all about it....  So I thought I would give one of her recipes a go.   You can too, just check out her range of cookbooks if you are interested  janelle bloom - family food & weekend feasts  .

When you cut into the roll the inside merges with the chicken broth and goes all cheesy and basilly.  Oh lovely.  Just what I needed to sooth me today.

So next time I see a copy of this book on my travels I think I will pick it up for myself. ;)
There hasn't been a lot of sewing going on around here lately...  I have been off on other tangents with life as we know it.

I have managed to part with a few quilts of late, friends and other avenues.  You know there are only so many quilts I can keep.

Happy crafting all.
K x

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

whats happening in crafty barter land?

Well I'm still on my summer holidays.   Woo hoo.....  So I'm getting in heaps of swimming, relaxing, getting my studies organised for the coming semester, and resting.  Oh and of course I have heaps of time to be in my sewing room.  Can I tell you it looks like a bomb has gone off in there.  I have been sewing like a mad woman, I just wanted to have a little play around.  I didn't want to have a huge list of things that I HAD to get done, even thou there are heaps of things to finish off.  I wanted to relax into it and see where the breeze took me. 

I had signed up for a daily email from the modern quilt guild and they had a tutorial on HRT's (Half Rectangle Triangle) just in case you struggle like me with acronyms, the other dayLove the design and just threw this one together, simple, easy and effective.  

Elizabeth over on her blog, has a Mod Mosaic Tutorial. 

Again simple & yet effective.  This hydrangea fabric has been hanging around in my stash for years.  But this is now nearly the end of it.  LOL in this colour way anyway...  :)

Funny how some things you just love.  Well hydrangea's are one of my favourite flowers and I have used every scrap of this fabric.  

Well enough chitter chatter it will not get these to the next stages.

K x  

Monday, January 2, 2012

Cleaning out the craft room - Make Ebay your friend

Can you imagine, actually not be able to walk into a room due to the amount of stuff that one has.....  hmmmm 

Well today I have started listing some stuff on Ebay.  If you are interested in anything here then scoot on over there for a look see.   The link is for the   3-D-Explosion-Simpy-Fabulous-Art-Quilt-Illusions  book you can find all the other listing there.

K x

Sunday, January 1, 2012