Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: sand between the toes

After a big morning shopping for gorgeous fabrics, we decided to take the caged lion down to the beach so he could stretch his claws and get his fur wet. 

Is my foot as big as yours yet mama?

Whoops, should have removed the shorts BEFORE we went in!

I hope you've been having a lovely day too xx


I'm playing Wordless Wednesday over at Faith, Hope & a whole lotta love, pop on over and share your special photographic moments too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A shout out to all my clever crafty friends

I am very excited about my entrance into the world of sewing and craft. I feel a purpose that's been missing for such a long time. I've had so much fun trawling through online patterns and have finally chosen a delightful little first project.

She's a little Annie doll created by the incredibly talented Sarah from a Bit of Whimsy Dolls. I have my pattern downloaded and my creative mind has been in overdrive all day. The decision now is which sewing machine to buy! I'm a sewing and craft novice, I wouldn't have a clue how to thread a machine dated past 1980, nor would I know if they even use bobbins anymore *blush*? I've done some research and would like to buy a Janome, but as for which model....... oh dear the choices are confuddling! I'm hoping that my beautiful and incredibly talented crafty friends can provide with me with some suggestions?

I'm looking for a relatively simple machine, but one that won't date as my sewing skills (hopefully!) improve.

Can you help?

Would you also like to share your favourite online shop for fabric supplies *pretty please*?

Thanking you in advance from the very bottom of my heart xx

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Today I am grateful for. . . . . a trip to mum's

It's been such a long time since I visited my mum. We see a lot of each other, but it's usually mum coming to the farm and filling our freezer and tummies with scrumptious food. I treasure her regular visits, they enable me to catch my breath and some lost sleep.

It's not the same as visiting my haven though. There's nothing like a week away from all the hustle and bustle and responsibilities. A whole week to relax, read books, cook, shop and, this time, start a new hobby.

My mum is a brilliant seamstress, and one of my greatest regrets is failing to learn her craft before I left home. My desire to sew has become very strong since I joined the blogging world. I realise that I miss the enjoyment of making beautiful things by hand, which used to be a big part of my life growing up.

Mum and I have been excitedly planning our week, which will include purchasing a new sewing machine, some gorgeous fabrics and bringing out all the old patterns that have become mum's treasures.

I'm so very excited, and can't wait for the moment I finish my very first sewing project. I wonder what it will be?

I hope that you too had a week to be grateful for. I am playing along with Maxabella Loves, come along and join in the fun!

Blogged on the go using Blogpress for iPhone

My image of the beautiful antique sewing machine is from here 

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Country Life

I'm not your average country girl.

I love to wear frilly skirts and pretty tops with contrasting colours and patterns, cute leather ballet flats and flowers in my hair. I have manicured nails, an overflowing cosmetics bag and an aversion to the dirt, dust and heat. I adore Allanah Hill's eclectic style and I have a penchant for lace stockings, fur coats and feathers. I covet the occasion to wear glitter.

That's not to say I don't adore my life on the land. I just do things a little differently. I make cupcakes with candy pink frosting and sprinkles for morning tea. I paint my nails fire engine red and I have a frilly/ flowery/ ruffly headband for every day of the month. My home is filled with vibrant colours, textures and shapes and there is no place for minimalism. In my opinion, I have the best of both worlds.


I was daydreaming yesterday of all the things I love about living on my little pocket of land.

What attracts me most is the wide brown open space; it's beautiful, it's raw, it's reminiscent of a harder life and the settling of Australia. You are confronted by nature at every turn, reminded that we don't own the land, that the land owns us. Nowhere is it more evident that we rely on mother nature. I love living in symbiosis with the environment, surrounded by something so vast, complex, fragile yet resilient. Unforgiving yet nurturing at the same time.

There are no neighbours to seek privacy from, no lights to spoil the vast sky of shining stars. The afternoon 'traffic noise' is of pink and grey galahs socialising in nearby gum trees.

I love it here on the farm, the merging of city girl and country life. Nothing could be more perfect.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Worldless Wednesday: autumn nights

These images were taken at sunset on the night of the 'supermoon' using the Hipstamatic John S lens and Pistil film.

I'm playing Wordless Wednesday at Faith, Hope & a whole lotta love, pop on over and share your special photographic moments too xx

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Raindrops are falling on my head

*gasp* my eyes and ears don't deceive me....... we have rain! Big fat delicious drops of autumn rain, smelling so sweetly of dry dirt and a long hot summer.

This afternoon as the rain pelted our tin roof, Mathilda and I watched and listened to the clouds rolling by and the lightning and thunder as the skies opened up above us. We drank in the beautiful sounds of pink & grey galahs squawking in the trees, sheep bleating and scurrying for cover and nature gobbling up every last drop of this long awaited weather.

I'd almost forgotten how delightful an afternoon shower can be.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baking crabapple cupcakes

One of Oscar's and my favourite activities is baking cupcakes. Oscar takes such great delight in helping to measure the ingredients and pour them into the mixing bowl. Of course one of his favourite parts is licking the spoon! 

When it's baking time, we head straight for one book, the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. In our humble opinion, it's the only cupcake cookbook you need. Every member of my family owns one. The cakes are so light and airy and the frostings are devilishly divine. The only problem is choosing which scrumptious recipe to bake!

Today's recipe was decided for us. With banana prices sky high at the moment we couldn't let this pile of overripe bananas go to waste. So together we whipped up a huge batch of Natalie's banana fudge cupcakes (otherwise known as banana and macadamia cupcakes with chocolate fudge frosting, drooool!).

I challenge you to make these, and stop at eating just one!

banana and macadamia cakes
makes 24 keeps 2 days freeze 2 months

3 1/3 cups plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
250g softened unsalted butter
2 cups castor sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups mashed over-ripe bananas
3/4 cup macadamias, chopped

Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake papers.

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1 -2 minutes. Add the castor sugar a third at a time, beating for two minutes after each addition. After the last addition, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy and the sugar is almost dissolved.

Add eggs one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. 

Add a third of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add half of the buttermilk and half of the mashed banana and beat until combined. Repeat this process. Add the remaining third of the flour mixture and beat until thoroughly combined; do not over-bet as this will toughen the mixture. Add the chopped macadamias and beat until evenly combined.

Spoon mixture into cupcake papers, filling each about three quarters full. Bake for 20 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the trays immediately and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before frosting.
NB. I have made these cakes with and without macadamias, and they turn out perfectly without any need to tweak the recipe. You can halve the recipe if you don't want the temptation of 24 cakes! I tend to put half  into our cake tin and the other half in the freezer.

chocolate fudge frosting
makes 4 cups of frosting - enough for 24 cakes
keeps 1 week

8 cups icing sugar
1 cup cocoa
200g softened butter
3/4 cup milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Sift the icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl.

In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the milk, vanilla extract and half of the icing sugar mixture, and beat for at least 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat for a further 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy and of a spreadable consistency. Add extra milk if the mixture is too dry or extra icing sugar if the mixture is too wet.

You can use the frosting immediately.

NB. It depends how generously you ice your cakes, but I think a half measure of this frosting is ample for 24 cupcakes. And yes, that includes the spoonfuls that end up straight in the mouth!

This recipe comes with the Oscar seal of approval xxx

We Play

Sunday, March 20, 2011

This week I am grateful for.... a blast from the past

Today I donned my flouro pink leg warmers, sprayed a can of hairspray in my hair and painted my eyelids blue. For I was celebrating the return of a true icon of the 1980's.... the SodaStream! 

My sisters and I were lucky enough to have a SodaStream machine when we were kids. I can fondly recall those warm summer nights spent drinking as much icky sickly lemonade as our stomachs could tolerate. And if we were lucky, we could dunk a great big scoop of ice cream into our glasses and make a spider. 

Since discovering the SodaStream was back, hubby and I couldn't resist getting busy with the fizzy all over again. Our machine finally arrived this week and in giddy excitement we tested out all the fancy new flavours. Not a lot has changed, the machine still makes that unmistakable 'farting' noise as it fizzes your water, the livid green creamy soda is still on the menu, and the recommended syrup to water ratio makes a drink strong enough to curl your hair! 

But with just a bit of tweaking to the recommended carbonation and a more modest dash of syrup, I was happily quaffing on a sparkling peach iced tea while hubby enjoyed an ice cold ginger beer. Today, after a long day in the sun, our little SodaStream machine fizzed out the perfect sundowner drinks. We decided that unlike stone wash jeans, this was a welcome return from the 80's!

I hope that you too had a week to be grateful for. I am playing along with Maxabella Loves, come along and join in the fun!

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