Sunday, 29 June 2014

Dressing up

Last night Genevieve went to a Great Gatsby themed 21st birthday party.  She pulled her outfit together using mostly what she had on hand with a few shop charity shop purchases.  The little dress I found in Target in Merredin, Western Australia (of all places) for $15, a bargain.  You just never know what you'll find, a purchase made the last time I was visiting Mum.   I saw it hanging there and I knew it would be perfect for Genevieve although at the time I had no idea she was going to a 1920's era party.   So here is the young lady all dressed up.  I love how she styled her hair, worked out a head band from a necklace and wrist jewellery from another necklace.


Friday, 27 June 2014

Winter days

Winter has finally hit Victoria and with a bit of a vengeance too.  Some days in May were quite mild  but now we have cold winds, rain and even snow in the high country which means the snow resorts will be breathing a sigh of relief.  

I've been making an effort this past month to get out and walk every day for my benefit and for my gorgeous Labrador Sophie.  Usually in winter I don't want to walk because of the cold so the purchase of some wet weather gear and making a few crochet items is helping to make walking more pleasurable.

Please excuse the quality of these next photos, it's a bit hard taking selfies when it's freezing and you can't quite get the angle of the camera right.

First up I made a scarf in an 8ply teal acrylic.  I chained 250 stitches with 4.5mm crochet hook, crocheted 2 rows of double, 7 rows of treble and then 2 rows of double.  I did a simple picot stitch around the edge to finish off.  This scarf started life as something else entirely but adjustments were made when I ran out of patience.

I'm thinking Stripey makes a better model than me.   :)

I rather fancied making a shawl or something similar to throw over the top of my clothes when venturing out.  I finally bit the bullet and purchased a pattern from Etsy that I fell in love with.  Big mistake.  Nothing is wrong with the pattern, it's wonderful but trying to find a similar yarn in the right ply was a nightmare.  I finally found (after spending about 1 1/2 hours in Spotlight) a yarn I thought might be suitable, Patons Midnight, an acrylic, wool, metallic polyester and nylon mix made in Italy.  The wool was heavily discounted at $5.00 for a 75g ball so it being the best affordable option for me, a purchase was made.  Trying to find a nice 12 ply yarn in this country for a reasonable price is rather challenging so I hoped my yarn which seemed more like 8 ply than 12 ply would suffice.  Of course the right hook size for the pattern wasn't in stock in Spotlight so I decided to wing it with 6mm hook I had at home instead of a 6.5mm.  I'm a bit of a novice when it comes to crochet but I did think to add more stitches to increase the size of the wrap.  My wrap is o.k. but it's not at all like the one in the pattern picture which looks soft and drapes beautifully.  I've opted not to use a button to secure it with, rather using a large kilt type pin I embellished a couple of years ago which doesn't show up particularly well in the photo.

Oh the joys of developing ones skills  :)

As our days are cold, gloomy and overcast I decided to bring a little colour into the house with these Camellias from the garden.

 I'm eyeing off the Daphne that will be in flower soon too so I can bring some of the fragrant blooms inside.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Anne xx

Sunday, 15 June 2014

A 21st birthday celebration

Our baby Genevieve turned 21 yesterday and I'm struggling to comprehend where the time has gone.  We had dinner with family and close friends at an Indian restaurant and then came back home for the birthday cake.  The day before her birthday, the power was out all day so the cake was made at 9pm Friday evening.  Unfortunately the power went out again yesterday afternoon and didn't come back on until about 10.30pm.  So it was celebration by candle light and not as many photos were taken as I would have liked.  Fortunately I had taken some earlier in the day just after I had decorated the cake which is a white chocolate citrus mud cake.  It's the first mud cake I've made and was topped with a ganache of white chocolate, sour cream and lemon and lime rind.  Here are some photos of the celebration.

We are most fortunate to have two beautiful daughters who have turned into beautiful young women.

Anne  xx

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Sometimes I get to the end of the day and have to stop and think if I actually achieved anything.  So a couple of weeks ago I decided I would write down everything I did during the day in a journal.  It's not meant to be anything significant or soul searching writings, just a record of the day.  It actually turns out I do more than I think I do and it's a good way to keep track of what I've cooked for dinner or done in the garden, family events that have happened etc.  I've had this pretty notebook for quite a while so now it's being put to good use.  I can barely read my own chook scratchings though and my writing use to be so neat.


Charlotte had a birthday on Wednesday and she is now the ripe old age of 24.  How did that happen?  We are going out today to have lunch to celebrate but on the day she requested lasagne for dinner to which I was able to add this beautiful, healthy, home grown organic perpetual spinach.

I scrounged around in the garden and found enough flowers to make a little floating display to put on the table.

Candles, serviettes and a glass or two of bubbly turned our evening into a lovely little celebration.  For dessert Charlotte requested meringues with fresh fruit so strawberries, kiwi fruit and passion fruit was well accepted.  Adding some ice cream and cream made it rather indulgent but then birthdays only come around once a year.
 It's been mostly a pleasant week although saddened by the death of hubby's elderly aunt who was 91.  She has been mostly well in body and definitely in mind into her old age so for that we can be grateful.  Issues relating to a younger extended family member have been bubbling away under the surface, things that are troubling and keeping me awake at night.  In amongst this though there is much to be grateful for which I will endeavour to focus on.

Enjoy your weekend.

Anne  xx

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

When life gives you lemons

We have two lemon trees in our backyard and they are fruiting prolifically at the moment.  I love cooking with lemons but I wanted to try something a little different today.  This is my first attempt at preserved lemons.

The lemons are covered in lemon juice although some recipes use water.  Those little things floating around are fennel seeds not lemon pips and there are a few cloves, coriander seeds and black peppercorns as well as the salt.  I'm led to believe the juice will go from cloudy to clear within a few days and the lemons should be ready to use in about a month.  I hope this experiment works as I'd like to use the preserved lemons in some middle eastern recipes further down the track.

Anne xx