Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Afternoon Walk

Quite often we will head out for a walk down the road in the late afternoons, especially if the kids appear to have acquired excess energy from somewhere and it needs to be worn off before tea time. 

003or sometimes they ride their bikes and I walk behind them with the dogs...and the pig!

005 yep, he comes for walks too! Imaginatively named Pig Pig, he believes he is truly part of the family and kicks ups quite a fuss if he isn't let out of his pen at the same time as the dogs.

006He will also drop down wherever if he thinks someone might come along and scratch his belly.  I'm a bit like that, except in my case its "foot rub"!

The are a few "not - normal" pets in our little part of the world.  Just down the road, meet Buffy:

020She also likes a scratch, but isn't quite as user friendly as Pig Pig (check out those horns!)

002 I believe Buffy also loves mud and the wet season just as much as our Pig Pig does! 

Pig Pig is quite quiet, and loves a good pat and play on the lawn.  He also likes dog food and stealing the kids biccies if they are silly enough to sit on the lawn and eat them when he is let out.  Has more gumption than a dog, he will just walk up and steal them off the kids!

024 Why we would want to live anywhere else?!  Just for reference, this isn't a street, its a road heading out to one of the local properties. However, the road in the top picture, yes, THAT is a street.

Not a lot of bitumen thrown around our town!  There was celebration a few years ago when they bitumen-ed off the highway (runs through town) past the pub to the police station.

But that's the charm of living west of the great divide, dirt streets for the kids and animals to run down barefooted, to splash in the puddles (oh my lord, the puddles - nay RIVER- of water down that back street in the wet season).

Remind me to tell you about our afternoon walks on the other side of town past the rubbish dump!

(which is not as bad as it sounds, the rubbish dump walk can often be quite fun, and given that the dump is currently a VERY deep straight sided hole in the ground, it gives the kids a thrill to peer into, and mother with hand firmly attached to boys shirt collar while said peering is happening!)

Ah, good times.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yes, I am that easily distracted

Well, I did get some work done today, but am now thoroughly sick of looking at numbers and reconciliations.  I'll finish it off in the morning when my head is not feeling so empty of brain power!

I just wanted to share this gorgeous little project that I came across when trying to find a crochet pattern that I could actually follow (yet to succeed, I do believe it is something to do with a lack of brain power!)

Lucy at  Attic 24, over on the green side of the world :-) has a charming blog full of photos of the English country side around her home, her wonderful crochet projects, and amusing musings about her world. 

I found this proejct that she did with her kids.  Well, her kids must have the same crafty gene as their mother, as I am fairly certain that if my kids were to undertake this, the finished result would not be QUITE so charming. Still, a great little craft project for a rainy morning or school holidays.  Start collecting the toilet paper rolls now (if your place is anything like ours, it will not take long at all!) and each kid could make their own version of the family.

tpp1tpp 2 A few scraps of fabric (of course, the marvellous Lucy whipped up a little crocheted cardigan for her version of herself, as she is clever like that!) and some felt, buttons and felt pens, and voila.

She had her kids practise doing their faces on a bit of paper first, so they could work out how they wanted to look. (and distance ed. mums: you know who you are - wouldn't this be a great tie in to ABOUT ME units?)

Of course, girls will probably find this more fun than boys, but boys tend to be more about bashing things with a stick than sitting down and being creative.

But then again, that could be just MY boy.

tppFor sure, I have started collecting toilet paper rolls - AND kitchen rolls - my husband IS 6 foot plus tall, so if we are to get the perspectives right, will need a roll that is longer than normal!

One project earmarked for the Christmas holidays! Go to Lucy's blog (link above) if you need more information on how she and her kids carried this out.

some yummy colour schemes - eye candy

and images that are inspiring me.

I sort of want to print these out and have them as pretty postcards on the fridge.  Funny how the simplest of things can please my tiny mind!

Blues and yellows. This colour scheme matches my unmade little strippy quilt.


(if I didn't have kids that like to touch and feel and RELOCATE I would find some buttons that match one of my granma's old china plates and put out an arrangement like this just to make me happy!

Dunno what I would do with coloured doilies, but certainly I love how these look in their pretty colours!

62e16a6e2Dd9a02D4b402Daf622D0041efa2fc8d18762MLove the oranges and pinks. Very girly.

251400dd2Df2832D418a2Dac9c2Dc42ad82a58f8SpiceI haven't had a chance or the motivation to make that drawstring bag I've been talking about, but since seeing these layered flowers think this would be the perfect embellishment to the bag.  Just one, in the bottom corner. Perfect. (I have felt, and buttons, just have to scrounge around for the right patterned scraps).


And that's it. Might not be a lot of creativity coming out of here for a little bit, as I knuckle down and get some bookwork done.  Unless I get distracted and start surfing, but I am going to be strict with myself: just get it done already!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lets Eat - An Australian Bush Smoko

Welcome, new readers on your journey around the world on Amy's Let's Eat Blog Hop (and g'day to regular readers as well..heheh, turning on the Aussie slang this morning!).
If you are on the Blog Hop, you should have arrived here from the depths of Sussex, in the UK - a vastly different locale from where I am writing - outback Queensland, Australia.
Firstly, let me define SMOKO for you.  It is NOT, up here in the bush, a cigarette break (as a Sydney friend once thought) although the origin of the term for us does go back to shearers taking a break for morning/afternoon tea and a smoke. For all of us in the bush (or outback) smoko means morning tea (or afternoon) - a cup of tea or beverage of choice, and something to eat.  And let me tell you, after a LONG mornings work in the cattle yards, the call "Righto, lets have smoko!" is quite a welcome one! (actually, its welcome at any time, no matter the task, especially if there is a good cook in residence!)
art29758_smoko-time_g-taylor So, smoko is a break from work for a drink and something to eat, and if you at my mum's place, that involves yummy fruit cake and/or anzac biscuits and/or some other yummy slice.  But at my place, with kids eating me out of house and home, the supply of baked delights tends to low on a regular basis.  However, on an occasional Sunday, when the stars align and The Husband is home (and therefore the kids are not underfoot and are out of the house annoying him spending some quality time over the shed with their father, I will whip up a big batch of pikelets.
I have tried a few different recipes in my day, with buttermilk and other different ingredients, but I keep coming back to this one. Quick to prepare (although if you wander off to through a load of washing in the machine when the sugar and eggs are mixing, it will be all the better!)
081 Some tips - I tend to make a stiffer batter, so that the pikelet will not spread all over the pan, and be nice and thick.  Easy to flip over a nice smallish pikelet than a wide flappy thin one, from my experience.  And depending on your pan,  I find an even, medium heat to be best.  The first batch in tends to be a little rough looking while I adjust the heat to the right setting, and the pan seasons properly (which leads me to add - season with butter. Real butter).080 The best way to enjoy these is warm, with butter and golden syrup spread over, and dripping down your fingers!  But of course, could be also served with whipped cream and jam, if you are being a bit fancy.  083 I've tripled this recipe and fed a crowd of hungry helpers at calf-branding time down at our cattle property - I made the batter the night before, put it in the fridge.  When I got there (our property being a hour or so drive from where we live)  I cooked them on the flat plate of the barbeque (no power on the property for electric frypans) and I have to say, there wasn't a great pile on a serving plate - they were getting eaten straight off the BBQ.  But a single batch is enough to feed our family for morning smoko, with a few left over for the kids to have later on that afternoon, cold.089 There wasn't a lot of styling or preparation going into the above photo, otherwise I would have a. shut that cupboard door and b. shifted that pile of washing that needed folding from the day bed behind my husband! I just sat the camera on a cupboard across the room and sat down to enjoy some pikelets before the kids and husband ate em all!
BEST EVER SIMPLE PIKELETS (single size batch)
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups Self Rising Flour (1/4 cup less if you like a runny batter)
1/2 cup sugar
Vanilla to taste.

Beat eggs until light and fluffy, add sugar and continue beating. Beat in milk and vanilla, then add flour and mix to form a smooth batter.  Spoon onto hot frypan/plate, turning as bubbles form.
That's all there is to it.  And if you do have left overs, they seem to freeze well too.  Just double or triple quantities as required.
Now, for the next stop (and final I think) in the Lets Eat blog hop, head over to Alexa  on the other side of the world (back to the UK) and check out her wonderful writing, and no doubt scrumptious recipe!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A quick page

before the Let's Eat blog hop happening 8pm tomorrow, created by Amy (

I tore this page out of a magazine recently.  


Thanks to Amy and her skills at undertaking a task immediately and making a template (having emailed her the page as a challenge to create a page from its design...which I haven't seen yet...ahem!  although I didn't actually set any guidelines or anything, just said - oi! make something like this! ) I ended up whipping up a hybrid page in no time at all.

I printed out the journaling block and title from the template, and punched the paper and photos with my often neglected square punch.050 Journaling is about how we LOVE Mission Beach and our dream of one day maybe buying a holiday unit there.  (Right now prices are reasonable - equivalent to a Townsville unit - Mission Beach is not overly developed and is still a nice quiet coastal town at the moment). But affording it, well, a Lotto win might be the only way it will happen! 

And if the squares look slightly skewiff in the photo, its because I have just remembered I haven't stuck em down yet!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A couple of random things

that could go in their own blog post but I can't be bothered.

1. Looking after this dog, who has an obsession with any tennis ball. And having someone throw it for him.  the kids were playing in the sandpit, and he kept nagging them to throw the ball. They buried it. He was most confused!

025 018I have no idea why there are traffic cones on the lawn. Ask my boy. They get relocated around the garden, sandpit, back paddock and back verandah on a regular basis.

2. This Child has been sleeping in my bed on a too regular basis, because he is "  'cared". (aka scared).  We are too tired to put him back to his own bed because we have had interrupted sleep from him sleeping in our bed the night/s before. It is a vicious cycle.  I have a mental note to scrap these photos soon.

055Yep, right in the middle.  I am fortunate that he gravitates towards his father during the night and wedges himself cosily under his shoulder blade, occasionally (while still sound asleep) flinging out a hand and feeling the nose or ear closest to him. Can be somewhat disconcerting.  The boys' gravitation towards his father and consequent discomfort experienced by the father trying to sleep - the father being quite large in length and also a fair sort of bredth - does not put the father in an especially good mood come morning.  (I have indicated that the father is more than welcome to relocate the child back to his own bed!  As there is no discomfort experienced on the mother's part!)

056And linen purists, I am aware that purple sheets do not go with my green pillowcases.  but when its dark and your eyes are closed, you can't  tell what colour they are.

Enough random blathering for one day!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I can tell its springtime

When the garden looks like this...and it does help when we get unseasonably good rain at a time when it is normally really, really dry.



_MG_4675  chan and ken wedding 158all little bits from my garden. (and my loopy dog) 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Finding ideas for some more sewing

Following the "success" of the pencil roll, I now want to make a simple drawstring bag to house all of the bits and pieces that go with our niece's pencil roll. But its gotta be pretty, right?!

Hanan'sDrawstringBag2 I like this idea, matching fabric.  I don't have anything nearly as cute in my pile, but I am sure I can come up with something.

With the bag plan sorted out, I thought I might like to add a little flower or something. Like this...

854cbfb52D8e2d2D40012D82682D04ab521f8209IMG5F1992 a528d5002Dcc232D4ec22Db5602De56c0753e074Floweebut I like this circle embellishment better.

Some more things that I found on my search for inspiration:

81d4906f2Da4002D4f972D968d2Da8fd5d919dbeIMG5Fr  CUTE headband!  And looks simple enough to make - here is a close up: (it has elastic at the back)

8823e6232D77032D45982D90d02D610dcd1d9120IMG5FrNow I am not sure that I am ready to venture into more sophisticated sewing like this yet ;-) - I best get through the drawstring bag first!

OOOH! Another idea that I could easily adapt to string across a bag!  cut some rough triangle shapes and then just pin them on and stitch down!  Leave the ends flapping and raw for interest. Hmm...what to do - circles or bunting? Decisions, decisions.....


Sunday, October 17, 2010

December Decidedly NOT Daily

While I love the December Daily that AE and the rest of the world put together, I haven't got the staying power to carry this out, nor the finishing power to put it all together  (short attention span?!)

However I have been thinking for quite some time of putting together an album that captures a little bit of each christmas, a summary of sorts.  I thought it would be fun to include the christmas letter I write each year (a great way for us to look back on each year - I try NOT to make it one of those bragging letters that everyone dreads, but more of a catch-up-this-is-what-we-did-this-year highs and lows, written a bit like how I write this blog, complete with pics!) as well as a couple of select images from the christmas season. All in one album, it will be great to see how the kids have grown (and we parents have aged!) over the years. A couple of pages or just one, for each year. Depends how I feel, it will be go with the flow type of construction.

So I decided to start with some chipboard bracket covers that I bought AGES ago, and never used. Already the binder rings for use with this are driving me nuts. Even though I didn't want to purchase any new materials to make this album, I have a feeling I will be ordering a little 8x8 d-ring binder before too long...

002I scratched through my drawer and found a heap of 8x8 page protectors. I chopped off the extra bit with the holes made for going in post bound albums, punched (oh, if only it were as easy as it sounds!) new holes in them and they fit nicely inside the bracket cover.

003As you can see, I have both full page and divided 8x8 protectors. Just for some fun!  I normally recycle christmas cards the year after getting them (as in I have kept 2009's for reference this christmas, but 2008's went when I put away the ones from last year) but if I happen to get any wonderful handmade creations or something special, I could put them in the divided pockets easily.

See those bloody binder rings. It irks me they don't sit flat.

004I prettied up the cover using AE's recent free download and a strip of paper. The graphic is printed on some old ledger paper I found yesterday when tossing crap out cleaning out my office (again...I had a box of stuff that needing dealing with months know me, ever the procrastinator)

005I suspect the circle thing is crooked, but tell me it isn't and we will all live happily ever after, OK!

When I bought the brackets way back when, it was part of a kit and came with some christmas papers.

006Not quite sure how I will tackle the rest of it just yet - although I do plan to tuck each years letter (the ones that I can find on file on my hard drive!) in a christmas-sy envelope.  I might do an AE and use some of her templates, or have some of these papers just sit there alone as a divider between years/decoration.  I really like the top paper, not sure that it needs any interference! Think it might be the opening page, with just a little type towards the bottom with a description of the album or something. 

There you have it, my Definitely Not Daily December Album!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


I did it - I finally sewed something! With my sewing machine (other than paper that is).  The Grumpy One (aka The Husband) was home today and I got him to help me oil the sewing machine. It now no longer sounds like a chaff cutter.

I mentioned that I wanted to make a pencil roll, so once the machine was oiled and other piles of mess in the office/craft room (one could call it The Studio I suppose!) were dealt with,  I had a go. Completely winged it, followed no pattern except what I had seen from images gathered from around the web.

I decided to be lazy and use felt - no turning of seams!

035 I did remember reading that felt would stretch and to use ribbon or something to give some strength to the top edge.  I used some wide-ish pink ribbon.  I roughly pinned a couple of crayons into place to work out my spacings, then pinned and sewed the green bit to the flower bit.  Then I sewed that bit to the front, around the edge, and then the spotty ribbon to hold the roll together.

039 Considering this is the first real sewing project I've done in about a gazillion years, it didn't take long - maybe 40 minutes?  Its not perfect, but good enough that I feel happy to give it away to our little neice for Christmas (so Suzi, if you read this please pretend to be VERY surprised when she opens this come Christmas!)

The crayons I have used are BIC brand and are called Plastidecor - they are just lovely to use and claim to be "extra clean" (I bought mine from Woollies). My kids have used them before and they are brilliant for colouring in ordinary old recycled paper colouring books.

Now, I best go and check that my sewing machine has gotten over the shock of being used!

Friday, October 15, 2010

seeking crafty inspiration

Lately I have found myself bookmarking images of handmade things for inspiration...I am FEELING like making things (not just scrapbooking) although I haven't actually gotten around to it...there are always plenty of other things to do...

here are some things that have caught my eye recently:


Yes, another pencil roll.  Going to have a go at one for my niece's Christmas present.

MoonShineMariaSkirtCute girly skirt:

a2 Thinking of having a go at making my OWN skirt.  The pattern looks simple enough (and the style is one that I think suits my shape) (pattern image below - i like the plain version, but you can see it has two bits to it in view c)


.50a4d0642D2f7b2D42202Da3922D86e1ded0ac0eHome f0f1b16a2Df4b12D4fcb2D95bd2D5aae47ac3f14Eat13

I have a bloggy friend who I think would like these linen pears!

And finding some Christmas ideas...I thought it was a bit early, but when you think about it, its not all that far away!

3454b28e2D5e892D42142D9b602D0ea1052cfb52DSC03022 dc671d082D71f12D4cad2D95ea2D7195618ccea8Chrisr











(I have seen tutorials on making those flowers - ridiculously easy, however I do have a distinct lack of organza or satin laying around the house!)

18e5d72f2D8be32D403c2D96be2D754c8ce42499IMG5Fl LookWhosHereforChristmas (the cute strip-py stocking, you know how I love strips of lovely fabric!)

handmade yumAnd to finish off this very light and fluffy post, this little fellow....

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