Thursday, August 30, 2012


After a few days of feeling less than motivated on the creative front, I'm suddenly feeling quite inspired. The clean house would probably have something to do with that. Do you find this too - a clean house = a clean mind? A mind ready to start afresh with new ideas and even perhaps finish a few of those project lurkers? I have to say, it's a great feeling to craft away without feeling guilty that the floor needs a mop or the dust on the furniture is growing by layers each day (week, month *gulp*). 

I'm feeling inspired to spin up some fibre to make a scarf for my dear alpaca supplier. She's so kind and provides me with bags and bags of alpaca fibre I really do feel indebted to her and want to do something nice to show my appreciation.

When nothing much else takes my fancy, there always seems to be some ball winding to do. Did I say how much i'm loving the vintage Singer ball winder I found at the op-shop? It's a real time saver! Although if anyone knows of someone who makes homemade swifts, please please send me their contact details (or vice-versa)! I would love to buy a homemade swift and absolutely balk at the idea of paying for a mass produced one. 

In the meantime, the chairs do a satisfactory job, which includes an upper body workout at the same time, complete with flailing arms ;)

Balls wound on the winder can have their yarn pulled straight from the centre thus eliminating 'roll away ball syndrome'. Nice for when you're in the company of strangers and don't want to be groping around their ankles for your cheeky ball of wool that has escaped...yet again! I'm sure I've mentioned this before but it's so true!

I love walking into the craft room and just staring at the works in progress..and those no longer in progress. It's the best remedy for a less than motivating start to the week..

Pondering the options is always fun..I could get lost for hours staring at vintage patterns and dreaming up possibilities. Ahh, possibilities, now there's an inspiring word, wouldn't you say?

Handspun yarn hanging up to dry is always offers a bit of inspiration - what to make, to dye or not to dye, to knit ..or crochet? Again, the possibilities!  You see?

So..tell me, how do you revive your inspiration when it's lacking? Clean the house? Read a book? Get out? Or maybe just ride that wave until it passes? 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Loving this week

It's funny how fast the weeks are going at the moment. Just as I think I am on top of things, Sunday rolls around and it's time to start thinking about the week ahead all over again! The faster I move, the faster the days and weeks seem to move, crazy, yes?!

It's nice to stop and notice the niceties, the little things that 'tickled the heart' as Brydie so eloquently puts it. Linking up with the cityhippyfarmgirl herself today..head on over to see what others are loving this week or if you too feel inclined to link up!

I'm loving this week short bursts of spring-like weather. Getting outside and breathing in the fresh air, soaking up some vitamin D and potting up a few volunteers for the front gate plant stand...

The little bunch of flowers the youngest won in a raffle on the weekend at the netball presentation night. She could have her pick of anything on the table and thought this would make me happy..which it did! Sweet thing, what really pulled at my heartstrings was that she didn't chose what she really wanted..the drink bottle that was calling her name.

Fortunately it kept on calling though, because a little later, her number came up again and off she skittled to collect the prize that was gnawing away at her yearning heart..

I'm loving watching the chooks do my gardening work this week for me, as the weather improves they are so happy to get out and cultivate the beds and do a much finer job than I ever could.

Plotting where Oma is now, as compared to last week on her ginormous travel-fest and hoping we catch up for a skype session soon. We miss you, Oma!!

Forgiving the goats their ridiculous antics and taking pleasure in them just being.  They are goats after all and their floppy ears flapping about as they run up the hill as just too sweet.

I'm also loving cracking out the dyes bought at the wool show recently. Let the colouring experiments commence..

 Enjoy the week, people. :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


At last, with a burst of spring weather, it feels as though our garden and it's surrounds are awakening from it's winter slumber.

Flowering bulbs seem to be all over the neighbourhood, providing cheer around every bend. The chooks have been busy cultivating a neglected old bed in preparation for spring/summer plantings, delivering their rich fertilizer shovelling involved whatsover!

Our silkie hens have started laying, I am really looking forward to the time when their nesting instincts kick in. Their eggs are so tiny and cute, hubby has taken a liking to serving them boiled!
Speaking of eggs, they are coming from all directions at the moment and I am pondering over reviving the plant/egg stall at our gate over summer. Ahh, the options!

Raspberry canes have burst into new growth showing promising signs for a (fingers crossed) good season.

Blossom is gracing the neighbourhood and today when I opened the kitchen door a fly flew in. A fly! Yes, I do believe spring is most definitely on it's way.. :)

What signs of spring (or autumn!) do you have in your parts? 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The 'Waterfall'

With pretty much a week of solid rain, it was nice for it to stay away today so that young people (and those not so young) could get out and enjoy the fresh air again. 

A puddle, some 'ramps' and a strategic movement of the hand and suddenly we are witness to a 'waterfall'!

The simple pleasures. I hope you managed to stop and take in a few this weekend. :)

Friday, August 17, 2012


My head is full of craftings lately. Seriously full. Overflowing even! I have to say, it's a nice thing for it to be filled with..

Vintage patterns just bursting with inspiration..

The winding up of the London games, a cosy spot and spinning wheel all seemed to go hand in hand..
Gosh I loved the gymnastics..especially the rhythmic!


Finding myself getting sidetracked with a dyeing session..

..and the sussing out of some labels.
Labels, I say! Whoop!

Items from these crafting sessions will be appearing in my shop soon..

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Linking up with Linda today for Creative Friday.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Bottle Boy

He emerges late in the weekend. Enthused and ready to go. He boils up strange brews with unusual additions...

He finds the only pair of pink rubber gloves in the house and shows no shyness in wearing them. Bottles are washed and rinsed..

..and later, sterilised. 
He makes good use of the bottle tree that we have acquired since commencing home brewing.

After a satisfactory fermentation time, he decants the amber liquid into the clean bottles..

..with the help of his 'little bottler'..

He doesn't forget to add the sugar drops to ensure a secondary fermentation/carbonation in the bottles.

The industrial looking bottle topper is retrieved and the clamping of the tops begins..
It's no fun for him to discover that he's nearly out of metal caps! Not to worry, his Mrs is keen to go out and finds them in the third shop she tries..a stroke of luck for a Sunday night bottling session.

He gently transports his sealed babies to a warm spot to sit for two weeks to commence carbonation..
..after which time they will be moved somewhere cool to wait for hot, sweaty, thirsty, dusty mouths to ask..

"What kind of beer do we have?"

Do you take the time to brew? Are you brewing now for summer? What is your favourite brew?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Playing with food..

Do you ever find yourself doing this? Playing with it more rather, to gain a sense of satisfaction in the making of it over the actual consumption of it? Not that I would ever complain about the end (and hopefully edible) result. It's all good play, that kind of play that happens between the kitchen walls...

We have once again, an excess of eggs. It's a good position to be in. I positively detest buying eggs from the shops - I find they're always runny, never plump and they just don't fill my heart (belly?) with joy.

Excess eggs are fantastic to turn into pasta..

100g strong flour and 1 egg for each person for the dough, with a pinch of salt. 400-500g dough is plenty for us!

After finding myself attending to the (forever) needy goats (in the rain..again), I was quite put off with the idea  of rolling out that dough and cooking it in a mere 15 mins before hubby came home and would be hoping to eat before heading back out the door shortly thereafter to collect the eldest from her activity. It's a tight schedule here some nights..and so tempted was I to pull out the exciting new pasta shapes that were calling to me from the pantry...

However! I gave it a go, clamped the roller on the benchtop and put the water on to boil while I rolled. It's very quick once you get into the groove of it! The great thing about fresh pasta is it cooks in a much shorter time than it's dried cousin..which meant I had an extra few minutes up my sleeve for hubby to make it to that activity on time..

Deadline made. And belly joyous. 

Do you make it?
Do you make it regularly?

I am struggling with breadmaking this winter. We are using a separate room for living in and as a result the kitchen in now quite chilly! After returning home from our bakery visit earlier in the week I was determined to make more of an effort on the bread front. Particularly sourdough which is (usually) such a forgiving bread and so time friendly...
Spelt experiments took place, although a little on the 'bricky' side. Perhaps a starter that was too young? Maybe some more feeds for it to (hopefully) produce a more robust version?

Ughh..bricky breads are actually ok, when they're eaten warm. Not so nice the next day, oh no no no!

Scones are always fun to make, especially when one has just found a new/old egg beater at the op-shop and just wants to whip up a small cup of cream for fun. Something to put whipped cream on would be  good....
{lemonade scones w/four berry jam}
So good. To be honest, I think anything would be good when acting as a carrier for some jam and cream. Even perhaps, a bricky loaf? Yes, even one of those, ahem.

Tween size people like to play in the kitchen too..

A rare moment of teamwork - one whisks while the other adds
They stand and stir, melt and whisk and pause to lick the spoons at the end. The result is a ridiculously rich chocolate mousse that makes the belly feel less than joyous, although does however, result in the tastebuds screaming for more. Such a dilemma! Oh, dear.

We love a pizza night here. It's just a naturally playful food, rolling, slapping, throwing, flipping and so on..
..and then make way for the toppings!

Using some new paddles I picked up recently made the experience even more playful. The trick for easy removal of the pizza onto the oven stone? Semolina. Plenty of semolina. Hubby is a natural now, it's all about technique.

Right now I'm off to go and play with some lemon rind, a little honey and hot water after remembering a tip from Kim. I have an awful feeling there is a sore throat coming on..and apparently relief is all in the peel..

What foods have you been playing with recently?