Monday, September 28, 2009

I can't find my pins....

My new serra sharps are working nicely though - if only I could start the next step!!!

Edited to add: It's OK, I found them. Hiding in my sewing basket. Who would've thought?!?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Confessions of a WIPaholic - episode 2

Two years ago, I began working on a project for a very special little person's first birthday. Praise the Lord for hand sewing month, because it finally got delivered on Wednesday. Only 18 months late.

I did learn a couple of new skills - I'd never done lazy daisy stitch or mastered the french knot before - not that 'mastery' is appropriate just yet, but getting closer!

I also took the opportunity to frame another cross-stitch that's been sitting completed in a box for at least 2 years....
Gotta love the cross-stitch kit, especially when they're finished! I might have several others waiting to be started, but they're only on the to do list, not the work in progress list....yet!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

my creative space

It's washcloth central here at the moment. I only need to have one to send to my lucky (?) recipient, but I figure if I do several, I'll send the best one and use the rest here! Lots of different strategies are being tried, including different yarns, different hooks, and an attempt at knitting (not winning the excellence race at this point)!
Hopefully I'll have one I'm satisfied with before too long, so I can start some other things. Like...
...knitting a swatch for a test knit that I've signed up for!?! I figure I've signed up to be the novice knitter guinea pig. Ahem.

I need to use worsted weight yarn, and needles to get 5 stitches per inch. I figure I'll start on 5mm needles and see what happens!?! I found the yarn above in a suitcase that has been given into my temporary custody which is filled with a whole lot of yarn collected in the UK several years ago. I think this yarn is Rowan Aran weight, and I have 278g of this colourway. I'm hoping it will be enough for a 2yr old's cardi! Please tell me if this is completely unrealistic, as I can force myself to visit Sunspun again if I absolutely have to ;-)

See some competent creativity at Kootoyoo...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

take a peek...

Happy dances are happening in this house today!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cotton dreams

I went shopping yesterday. To Sunspun.

It's such an exciting place to visit! So many things to touch and look at! But I was on a mission, and only came out with what I intended to get (a miracle, I know). I needed some cotton for my washcloth swap project, and I also wanted to get a big range of different coloured cotton yarns to start playing with (envisioning Christmas presents).
So pretty! I got 15 different colours of Debbie Bliss cotton DK. I like them a lot!

I've already started! Such lovely colours and very nice to work with. Hopefully this means I'll keep on improving my yarny skills over summer :-)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

my creative space

Looky, looky!
Hang on, don't get too excited, it's not finished. But if you don't look inside, you'd think so, wouldn't you ;-)

Aside from the fact that I put the strap on inside out (I'm NOT fixing it, it's webbing: the slide is just on the inside rather than the outside. Oops.), I'm pretty impressed that I can follow instructions well enough to turn out something that might actually work the way it's supposed to! All I need to do now is the lining. And then it's finished! Actually, it's so close that I'm really itching to start something else....but no, I will be disciplined and finish this first!?! Maybe even by the end of the weekend....

Go on a creativity tour at Kirsty's place...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Holiday finds...

I've never been particularly good at op-shopping. I don't cope well in shops that are disordered (unless it's a bookshop, but even then I need to be in the right mood). Part of it is a complete lack of patience, but it's also because I can feel quite overwhelmed by what I interpret as chaos. This is probably completely unfair to most op-shops, as I'm sure the people there do a great job of sorting through and organising all that stuff!

My strategy until recently was make a blinkered beeline for the books and that's it. Oh, and check the knitting needles too. But that's it! No need to be overwhelmed by everything else! Recently I've started including the fabric pile (if I can find it), and sometimes the linen collection if I can get my head around it :-) Can't really face the clothes yet, but making progress!

So, on holidays, I had the chance to practice. Nambucca Heads has two op shops for trawlers, and I found a few things at each! Unfortunately I just couldn't stuff the last few pieces into my ridiculously full suitcase, so I'll get them with the next grandparental visit in November :-)

Here's what came home with me....

A length of pretty floral fabric that I think was a bedsheet, a pinstriped pillowcase that will make a great bag lining, lots of buttons that cost me a whole $1.50, and a little kit with some evenweave, embroidery thread, ribbon and a needle! So much potential fun!
So the big question is, what to do with the floral fabric? I'm thinking a little dress/skirt/swing top thing for the baby of the house. The only issue is that it's about 38cm wide, which makes dresses slightly more complicated than they might be. But whatever it becomes, it'll be cute!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Prosciutto wrapped salmon with lentil salad

This is a self-indulgent self-tag after seeing Nikki's recipe for Vegetarian Meatloaf. The rules involve picking one ingredient from the recipe posted by the person who tagged you (or you choose to reverse-tag, as in this case ;-)) and posting your own recipe using that ingredient. So, seeing that Nikki had used lentils, I couldn't NOT play!
This recipe is a particularly indulgent excuse to eat lentils, and satisfy the requirement to eat fish semi-regularly. So, here it is...

150g portion of salmon per person
2 slices of prosciutto per piece of salmon

Lentil Salad* (this quantity serves 2ish)
3/4 cup uncooked French Green or brown lentils**
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
1 tbsp red wine vinegar, or to taste
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
salt & freshly ground pepper

Place lentils, onion, garlic & bay leaves in a saucepan & cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20-30 mins or until lentils are tender. Keep an eye on them as you might need to add some extra water at some point. Drain if required. Place in a large bowl (remove the bay leaves if you remember), and let cool slightly***. Add remaining ingredients and stir together. Check seasoning.

Meanwhile, wrap the salmon pieces in the prosciutto, and panfry until the prosciutto is crisp and the salmon done to your liking.

Serve with crusty bread and dressed green leaves.


*Inspired by a Jill Dupleix recipe in delicious ages ago
**I prefer French Green (Puy) lentils, but brown lentils also work - they don't hold their shape as well so the salad's a bit mushier. Still yummy though!
***If you mix the salad while still warm the flavours will meld better. If you're making it in advance, don't stir the parsley in until just before you serve as it will lose it's colour if stirred in too early.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A clothkit!

A few weeks ago a parcel arrived in the mail from Lark containing a very nifty package!
Inside was a clothkit, which includes everything you need to make a particularly cute pinafore.
It includes the fabric, some lovely lining fabric, buttons, cotton, instructions, and even some tags.
The best bit is that the pattern is printed directly onto the fabric, which will hopefully eliminate some of the cutting 'challenges' I seem to have ;-)
I still probably need to find some decent scissors though. Any suggestions for what I should be looking for?

P.S. The bag is still going: straps were attached today (the right way now, after putting one on wrongly at first - need to pay closer attention to the instructions...), and the flap is nearly ready to be attached to the body. Yay for (slow) progress!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

my creative space

This afternoon I arrived home from a very restorative trip to the mid-north coast of NSW.
This (above) was the view from our balcony. Ahhh.

I feel so relaxed! Even after two flights in one day by myself with a 9-month old!

This is part of a mosaic sculpture is in Nambucca Heads on the main street. It's quite amazing, and uses all sorts of old crockery and things to create colour and texture. I love it!

I did do some knitting while I was away, but I haven't got a picture for you as it looks very similar to my pics a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, I realised I'd twisted the cast-on after I'd knitted about 16 rows, so now I'm on to Take 4....
Hopefully in my newfound relaxed state this might be a more successful attempt!

See some fantastic creativity here...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My creative space

Yesterday I was able to harvest the first of our broccoli from our vege garden! For some reason, one of the several broccoli plants decided to grow faster than the rest. This is a good thing, because it meant that I harvested just enough for our dinner :-)

It's so satisfying, eating something that you've grown yourself! It was very tasty, too ;-)

See more creative spaces at Kirsty's.