Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010.....

(Sunset Goolwa Beach, 30 December 2010)

As 2010 draws to a close and I reflect on this past year, I'd have to say I'm not unhappy about it ending. Sure, there were lots of highs but there were a few lows too. So I'm putting them behind me, wiping the slate clean and stepping boldly into 2011. Here's to a very happy new year and a successful creative year ahead!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Not so complicated...

Around about this time of year there's plenty of cooking (and not quite cooking with royal icing making) that requires egg whites leaving a plethora of egg yolks.
I like to use these egg yolks for homemade ice cream. I call them my 'Christmas Editions' and they include Marmalade and Rum and Raisin which go really well with Christmas Pudding.
R suggested we make Lavendar ice cream. She's been keen to try this ever since we saw the movie, "It's Complicated".
I picked the last of our lavendar buds - most have dried out following our recent hot days and set to making the custard. The smell that filled the kitchen was nothing short of divine.
The custard was then strained and mixed with the egg yolk mixture and left to chill completely overnight....only because it was late and I didn't fancy staying up another two hours for it to cool and churn!

The brew churned this morning.And it's now in the freezer for the taste test after it freezes a little more. The first taste tests (ie. licking the spatula) are not too bad!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's a scrappy Christmas.....

It seems an age since my last post.
Not for a lack of activity....more a matter of secrecy.
There's been a bit of crafting that we'd love to brag about but haven't been able to share until the gifts had been gifted.
So now the great reveal.....
R and I made these lovely little purses for her friends. We had a wonderful time matching fabrics for outers, linings and tags and then matching them back to the friends. Lots of fun and most appreciated by the recipients! They're a great size for phones and iPods.
I try to make a Christmas gift for the 'Sew and Sews' out of scrappy left overs. The skinny batting off-cuts were the recycling target this year. Once trimmed from the sides of quilted quilts, I place them in a plastic tub for 'later'. They're perfect for the padding needed for covered coat hangers. And let's face it....there's nothing nicer than a lovely coat hanger for a special garment.
I used mega skinny and long strips of cotton and wool blend batting to wrap the raw wooden hangers, then threaded co-ord coloured plastic tubing onto the hook, stitched and gathered in some magnificent Amy Butler Love (decorator weight) fabric and tied a ribbon to finish and ended up with a dandy little coat hanger. Spectacular!
But that's not all I've been up to! Oh no.....the scrap challenge continues! I recently sorted my offcuts into red, green and brown fabric piles. The aim was to make little Christmas tree blocks that would then make a runner for our chiffonier. These little trees aren't appliqued...they're all stitched into a block bordered in white approximately 7.5" square.
Each of the blocks are different and all are a little quirky, alternating between red and green. Some are made from the very much loved left over triangles cut from binding and these bits ended up as wonky flying geese trees !The runner measures approximately 165mm x 53mm and is bound with a candy cane stripe binding.
Merry Scrappy've gotta love a left-over!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Mixing business and pleasure....

I cannot believe that it has been a year since I posted this story! Nor can I believe how lucky we were to be able to do it again this year.
R and I headed off to Sydney this past weekend. Me for work, organising a client's Christmas Party and R for a glorious catch up with her 'oldest and bestest friend in the whole wide world'.
Lucky for me I also had a chance to catch up either side of the work bit and once that was out of the way, I had a whole day to spend with C and her family as well.
We had a spectacular couple of days exploring their beautiful city and acting the total tourist. We weren't short of something to do or look at that's for sure.
Saturday included browsing wonderful local stores including Papaya, Accoutrement, Camargue, Fourth Village Providore and Nordic Fusion. My tongue must have hanging out and I know my neck was sore from looking around at everything, so we headed to Coco Chocolate for a hot chocolate hit like nothing I'd ever had before. I opted for the Rose and Black Pepper (magnificent), whilst the girls chose Lavender (intoxicating in a non toxic way) and there was also a plain which is a COMPLETE understatement of what was presented!
I left R and headed off to work, meeting up again the next morning.
Sunday really made us feel like we were in Sydney. There was a ferry ride or two.
(One for the HP fans!)
Exploring the iconic Sydney Opera House with lunch at Opera Bar. Discovering the remains of historic homes set into the Rocks. Lucking in on the Sydney Theatre Company's Open Day. And generally stopping to snap the best view of their magnificent Bridge which looms large around every corner.
And in every backdrop.
And the girls can also add some quality mall shopping and baking the best chocolate cake ever (thank you Nigella!)Now it's back to reality and to try and come up with another excuse to get back there again sometime soon. Maybe the Annie Leibovitz exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Bursting with pride....

'Straight off the bat' from R's graduation has been L's last day of school assembly.
Each year at this assembly the school awards a select group of boys from each class with the Edmund Rice Award. Edmund Rice was the founder of the school's philosophy. The award is given to the boys who exemplify the spirit of Edmund Rice showing compassion, friendship and guidance and is the absolute pinnacle of any award the school gives out.
L was lucky enough to be nominated again this year. He also won one last year.
Last year we received a letter to our home and a request not to say anything to L. They like to keep it a surprise. Joe and I quipped a couple of weeks ago that it looked like we wouldn't be at assembly this year!
A few days ago I was in the school front office and the Receptionist asked if L had given us 'the letter'.
"What letter?", I responded.
"The one about assembly and the nomination", she said, and then did a double take as she checked her list in case she got the wrong kid, wrong parent, wrong award!
No, he was definitely on the list.
I said, without any details, "we'd be there".
So L was up there again this year. Taking it all in his stride and giving us the thumbs up at the end. (He obviously hasn't connected the fact that if your parents are at assembly it usually means you're going to win something!)
I commend the school for selecting boys on this basis because we certainly wouldn't be there for academic or sporting achievements.
And I realise that pride is one of life's 7 deadly sins, but I think that particular sin needs a bit of a rethink!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Year 7 Graduation....

I've just come from R's Year 7 Graduation.
The school does a lovely job presenting the girls, thanking them for their achievements during the year and wishing them well for high school.
The highlight of the ceremony is the projection of their first year of school Reception photo as they accept their graduation certificates. I had tears in my eyes as I witnessed the 'befores' and 'afters' and how much these little girls have grown into little ladies in 8 short years. It's the same face however less rounded and certainly more mature.
So from this.....
to this....

Well done R. Let's hope high school is as rewarding as primary school has been.