Saturday, January 30, 2010

Making Things

First of all, I have to confess that I didn't get out of my pyjamas today at all. I just felt so comfy that I decided to stay that way. I procrastinated all morning. I did a load of towels but it was raining so I had to hang them inside and then that stopped me from doing any more washing (what a shame). I boiled the jug and made pineapple jelly (the Termites LOVE jelly). We had fish and chips for lunch (blame the rainy weather) and then I decided to get cooking...

The first thing I did was put the slow cooker on for dinner. No picture.

I went through the many books I have acquired over the past month and settled for Doughnut Muffins. These were tempting cause of the cinnamon sugar on top. Who doesn't like cinnamon sugar?

I believe the photo is a tad blurry. I apologise for that. I only just worked out tonight how to turn the flash off but then that creates shake problems. I'll work it out.

I also have an abundant supply of cream cheese since it was on special for $10 for four packets so I found a delicious recipe for Cheesecake Brownies. These were a little time consuming since I had to let it cool in the oven and then refrigerate for three hours, but oh my goodness, they are so delicious. Forgive me Weight Watchers for I have sinned!

After my cooking splurge I got out the sewing machine and sewed five of the Pineapple Blossom blocks together. I've got all the pieces already precut. It's so handy to do. I had made a test block late last year so I could see what it looked like. Here's the six I've done.

So yeh, I've been busy but remember I am procrastinating. I went back to work on Thursday after having nearly three months off and I just can't get into it. Behaviour problems have already reared their ugly heads in the classroom so that's not enjoyable. It's just about routine and organisation...

I'll get some school work done tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Australia Day

What an excellent day!! We were so busy.

We started the day by going to the local showground. Termite 1 and Termite 2 had a go at the slip and slide. Termite 3 decided he was too little.

After what seemed a gazillion goes we got out of the sun and watched the ride-on lawnmower races. They were pretty good. Termite 3 particularly liked this.

We walked around for a little bit and then decided to go to the beach. There was a sand art competition. Here's some:

There were different age categories. The young boys in the surf rescue boat won the junior prize and the seal won as well. The other winner was the Australian Coat of Arms but I didn't get a photo of that.

At the beach the Termites got up to a few activities:

We stayed out until just after lunch. We had to come home since I didn't pack lunch for the boys. After feeding the Termites I decided to undertake some cooking. I made LOTS!

The following recipes are from the book I showed the other day called Little Cakes. I bought it from Big W for only $10! A great book.

I made Jaffa Cakes,

Banana Muffins with Cream Cheese Frosting,

White Choc Chip Muffins,

and Neenish Tarts.

As well as all this, I managed to cook a nice roast pork dinner for the family. It was delicious. But since dinner was served at 8pm (that's late in our household) I didn't get a picture of it. Oh well....

And just to sum up the cooking time here's a group photo:

I have to say that I had an absolutely, positively, great day!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Now take a look at this picture and see if you can work out what's wrong with it.... and no, it's not a mistake that I am in Dubbo!

Any ideas?


Where are my Termites? NOT WITH ME!! I left them behind with their dad and I ESCAPED by myself, for the very first time in SIX years!! That's right... this is the first time I have been somewhere without my boys. Woohoo!!

The reason I'm in Dubbo without my boys? Well I travelled the six hours from home to attend my dad's 69th birthday party on Saturday. And why 69th and not wait until he turns 70? Because he's just plain rude that's why. He thinks it's funny that he's 69 and, yes, he is placing certain connotations to it.

That's my mum and dad above.

And here is my beautiful 'baby' girl Shayna (her name is Hebrew for beautiful). She was my original Termite, but since she's reached adulthood she can go by name.

And here's my sister Gosling (well Roslyn actually). And yes we are twins and yes we are identical twins but I am the prettier one and everyone knows that the older twin (that's me) is ALWAYS right. Hehe.

This is the clan. Mum, dad and their five kids. From left: me, eldest Debbie, brother Mark (second born), middle child Verlene and then baby sissie Roslyn (aka Rozz).

From us five kids mum and dad have 11 grandsons and 5 granddaughters; ages 3-1/2 to 27. At Christmas time we got a photo of all the grandsons together but two of the granddaughters weren't there when it was photo time so we got that photo this time. Back row: Mandy (Verlene), Maddison (Roslyn), Katie (Debbie). Front row: Shayna (mine), my dad, Chantelle (Mark). Notice we each got one girl? I think that's pretty neat.

Now I know that the purpose of travelling six hours was to attend my dad's 69th birthday party, but it just wouldn't be a trip if I didn't take in some shopping. Here's what I got:

I'm so into books at the moment. Now I just have to start some cooking!! Back to work in 4 days though.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Look What's Come Home!

Now it's only taken 13 days (too many) but look who's come home to Mummy! Yeh....

So what do I do? What will I sew? I mean, I've been cutting out so much for different quilts and not really getting anywhere.

I find another quilt that I have been cutting out fabrics for that I didn't mention in a previous post. For this quilt though I need to make some half square triangles for it do even make the blocks so I do that...

And then I make up a few quilt blocks:

A simple nine patch. I came across this block on Keryn Emmerson's blog and she was kind enough to send me a copy of her instructions of her Half and Half quilt as featured in Australian Homespun magazine. Thanks Keryn!!

Now let's play around with it:

Let's put four of them together as Keryn did for her quilt and it looks like this.

Now we'll change the combination so it looks like this:
I like how this block appears framed. Very effective.

Now we'll flip the lights and darks and we get this block. I like this too, but I think if we combine the last two blocks it would be another great quilt.

Let's have a go:

Now couldn't you imagine these two blocks alternating in a quilt? That would be pretty effective.

Now as Maria has already mentioned in the comments section (before I could even finish this particular post and manage to 'tweek' the layout so I liked it) I should just do one quilt at a time - posted three other quilts that I'm cutting out for remember?

Good advice but I do like chaos. Thanks Maria!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cutting Up

I've been spending the school holidays sorting through my fabric and cutting out for some quilts. My machine is still in getting its service. Thats been 11 days now. I've been trying to stay organised as I cut out by putting extra strips into their appropriate containers.

As I cut out I drape the strips over my chair until I am ready to cut individual pieces for the quilts. From left to right I've cut out:

  • 1 1/2" strips
  • 2" strips
  • 2 1/2" strips
  • 2 7/8" strips
  • 3 7/8" strips
After doing a few of the 7/8" strips I realised I should round them up so I've started doing that.

Here are the quilts I'm cutting out for:

The first one was in Australian Country Threads. The designer is Belinda Merritt of Phoebe Rose designs. I love this scrappy quilt. I like how the nine patches are framed by the same fabric in each of the blocks. I'm still cutting out most of the fabric for this quilt.

The next quilt I'm cutting out is another scrappy. I just picked up the June 2009 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting for only $3. I like this one so much that I started straight away. This one uses so many different sized strips. I think I like that about it.

The last quilt (for now) that I've cut out for is from Quiltville. It is Bonnie's Pineapple Blossom. I've cut out all the fabric for this quilt and made up one test block. I've managed to find the same fabric for all the square centres and triangles. This is going to look fabulous!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

THIS Woman Cooks

Well tonight I got out the book The Pioneer Woman Cooks and made up two of Ree's dishes. These are definitely not Weight Watcher friendly, but oh my goodness I enjoyed them so.

The first dish was Comfort Meatballs. So yummy. One of the ingredients was oats! I'm not sure whether I used the right oats but it still tasted good. Termite 1 wasn't overly impressed with the onion in it but he ate so he could get the next dish...

The dessert I decided to cook was Chocolate Sheet Cake. Now this is not for the dieter either but talk about different.
The cake is put on a biscuit tray not a cake tin but you have to make sure there is a lip to it. I actually liked how it was thin but chewy at the same time. Maybe I didn't make it properly (well I know the icing was a dismal failure) but it was still edible. The Termites loved it!

Next time I make this I would put some crushed Maltesers on top. Yum yum! Or maybe some coconut or perhaps crushed Violet Crumble or maybe a sprinkle of icing sugar....

Friday, January 15, 2010

Look What Arrived!!!

Wooooo Hooooo!!!!!!! I ordered these books only 12 days ago and yesterday I got them. I'm so pleased. The estimated time was the middle of February.

So, so quick.

I really have to recommend both Scrap Basket Surprises and The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Such great books.

I haven't really ever come across a quilting book that I would probably want to make all of the quilts. This one comes close. Totally recommend it. Go to Amazon right now and take a look inside and then order it!

If you haven't gone onto The Pioneer Woman's blog then you must. I've become hooked on it. I'm only up to May '08 on the blog. So much to look at; photography, cooking, home and garden, confessions. Go check it out.

I don't know whether to cook or to quilt!!

Oh, and just because I can, I also ordered The Pioneer Woman Cooks for my sister and she'll be getting a big surprise in the mail. She works for Australia Post but always complains how she never gets any mail. I wish I could be there to see her face when she opens the package.

Love Birds?

We've had a little female finch for a long time and we have come to name her Meep Meep 'cause that's the sound she makes when certain people enter the room. We decided she needed company so on Wednesday Termite 1 and his dad went out and bought a male finch.

After only two days she is sharing her 'room' with her new friend. How sweet! Is this the making of future love birds?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Termite 1's Birthday

Termite 1 turned 6 yesterday. Here he is after a day out with friends; sunburnt, tired, cranky, and blinking every time the flash went off on the camera. I had put him to bed and he was nearly asleep when I realised that I had not taken the customary "holding-up-the-birthday-number-of-fingers photo", so I got him up and made him SMILE but he kept doing silly grin things and then blinking all the time. I finally got one that was OK though.

Termite 1 woke at 6:45am. We are currently on school holidays and I have to confess that I've been dragging myself out of bed at around 8am. This was way too early! I had bought Termite's present before Christmas and a "very nice man" (at giftwrapping) as Termite says offered to wrap it for him for later. It then sat in my room waiting for the 11th Jan to come. So here he is ever so excited that he can finally got to unwrap it. Oh, he even knew what he was getting but check out that face! He even looks surprised.

We spent the day with my friend Cindy and her termites. The kids had a play at our house first (and totally trashed the place!). We started the celebrations at the park with pizza for lunch. Double bacon cheeseburger, meatlovers and ham and pineapple. Yum yum!

These are the termites. My termites are the first (Termite 1), second (Termite 2) and last (Termite 3). Cindy's termites are the third (Termite 3), fourth (Termite 2) and fifth (Termite 1).

After pizza in the park we went to the pool for a swim. I would like to say that I took lots of photos but it was such a hot (very hot) day that both Cindy and I spent much of the time in the pool too.

It was a good day and what better way to celebrate a birthday than spend it with friends.

We said our goodbyes at the pool and went home for dinner. It is customary for the birthday boy to choose a takeaway for dinner but since we had that for lunch I made spaghetti bolognaise with angel hair pasta.


Love Mummy