Thank you all for your kind words about my sewing fail, I do appreciate the sympathy! It made me feel a lot better and it was nice to know I'm not alone in the occasional craft disaster!
The other day Mr F returned home with a good distraction. For those of you who watch Master Chef, the Australian cooking reality show, you will know the name Adriano Zumbo. The occasional guest on the show he produces the most technically amazing cakes and desserts as challenges for the competitors to follow.
Zumbo has a patisserie in Balmain, close to where we live. Rumour has it that after his Master Chef appearances there was often a line outside his shop. We've never tasted his wares before so it was a nice surprise when Mr F turned up with this glamorous box full of his signature macaroons.
And the container of tomato sauce you're wondering? That's to eat with the bacon and egg macaroon, the one that looks like a mini hamburger! I had mine without and it was my favourite of all the biscuits, a nice mix of sweet and salty with real bacon pieces. The other flavours here include lamington, wasabi (the black one with lime green sesame seeds), ginger and chocolate. Other flavours listed on his website include beetroot & raspberry, pumpkin & orange risotto, custard crunch, chickpea lemon & caramel, Mont Blanc, citrus & mustard, Blackened vanilla bean, 3 textures blueberry, kalamata olive & bergamot candy, pear pistachio & fennel, salted peanut caramel, oatmeal & ylang ylang.
We divvied them up so we could all taste a bit of each. It was fun. Oh and Zumbo has a new show starting on SBS soon. For those mad bakers in the house it will be a must see!
Remember that New Year's resolution to sew the Shearwater Kaftan? Yesterday I had the house to myself for a couple of hours and decided to make a start. Annoyingly on unwrapping the pattern I found that the pattern pieces were printed double-sided in pieces that needed joining and would need to be traced onto tracing paper first. Of course I didn't have any tracing paper and it was a public holiday so I couldn't buy any.
I was all ready to sew so I came up with a plan to scan the pieces and print them out instead. It took more than an hour to do all that but I consoled myself in thinking it would be a good, exact copy of the pattern and all the markings, and that I could use it again in the future.
To cut a long story short I cut out the pattern and started sewing. After I got to the point of attaching the sleeves I threw it over my head to see how it fitted. It didn't. What?
Turns out all the pieces had printed, unbeknownst to me, at 90% (@#@*&!). I'm sad because of the wasted time but also because I really like this fabric. I'm just hoping that I can find it again at Spotlight, or something as nice. And I'm just hoping too I will find some more enthusiasm to start again. Hmmm, at the moment I'm not feeling it!
To celebrate Australia Day I am taking $2 off all my prints. The prices are changed so you don't need to mess around with codes. $12 prints become $10 and the A4 size Ruby Slippers are reduced to $18. My old favourite Filigree gocco print becomes $8!! And don't forget the new Zinnia prints, they're there too.
Oh, and I nearly forgot, I'm sitting on 599 sales!!!!! Lucky 600 will get a Ruby Slippers card thrown in :-)
The spare tent went up in the backyard early last week for a cousin's visit and then a birthday sleepover. I have fond memories of this tent, its the one I camped in when I was six months pregnant with twins, and yes I took up most of the space back then!
Its been really popular and though I haven't slept out there I succumbed to temptation the other evening while making the beds to have a little test. Its very nice, the windows look out on different parts of the overgrown summer garden and cool breezes float through the open sides. I lay there and dreamed about having a little garden studio, wouldn't that be nice, I could just picture it with lots of windows and weatherboard walls. Maybe one day...
I've been a bit absent here but I'm taking advantage of having the kids home. All too soon school and music and sport will start and we'll be rushing into another year. Tomorrow is Australia Day too and another holiday here! I'm thinking I might have an Australia Day discount in the shop, if I do I'll post it here first.
The birthday girl requested turkish gozleme style toasted sandwiches for lunch yesterday and we came up with these, made with wrap bread and filled with baby spinach, onions, field mushrooms, mozzarella, bocconcini, kalamata olives, ham, baby tomatoes and marinated persian fetta (my new favourite thing!). Easy to make you just put a wrap in the hot frying pan and top it with fillings and then press another over the top, flip once and then serve with lemon. The real gozleme are a fixture at Sydney markets and our favourite shopping snack but they do sound very labour intensive so I think we're sticking with our faux version.
A couple of days ago I was most excited to get an email from Ros a casting director at Granada, who is looking for people to be in their new show - TOP DESIGN hosted by Jamie Durie. While I politely declined her flattering invitation (citing extreme stage fright!) I told her about all my creative readers and promised to post a call out here on my blog. So if you are braver than me and love the sound of this below go here to apply. Wouldn't it be great to have an Aussie craft blogger on the show!! And there's a prize for the winner.
Granada Media Australia is currently looking for designers, artists, creatives and decorators for a new design-based reality television show called TOP DESIGN. The show will go to air on Channel Nine and will be hosted by Jamie Durie.
For those of you who are still looking to contribute towards the Brisbane floods, I have to mention this fantastic list of fundraising auctions hosted on the Make it Perfect site. Check out all the wonderful prizes being donated by amazing bloggers everywhere. Entry is in most cases just a small donation to the Premier's Relief Fund. And lets not forget other countries affected like Brazil and Sri Lanka, UNICEF is one place to contribute.
Her father and I have been reminiscing a lot this past week about our little blonde baby. The busy one with the huge smile. About our funny toddler who survived the arrival of not one but two little baby brothers with great generosity and few tears.
Oh how we love her. And we're so very proud of the young woman she has become. Beautiful, funny, clever, creative, graceful, artistic but above all a lovely person. She is just a really nice soul who is always thoughtful with other people, a great and popular friend and adored daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister and cousin.
I don't usually post photos of my kids on my blog, but I love this photo taken at a favourite dog beach that we stop at on our long drive to the farm. I love the joy and energy in girl and dog, and the beachcombed treasure in one hand!
Happy Birthday my beautiful girl. I love you so very, very much!
It's hard to believe that Australians are facing such a huge natural disaster so soon after the devastating Victorian fires. Reading the international news I know too that we are not alone with our weather extremes. It seems all too common these days to read about record fires, floods, winds and heat and the lives, homes and businesses lost.
After the Rockhampton disaster and with the flood waters heading for Brisbane we contacted family and friends there. While their neighbourhoods were all affected we are so relieved that their houses weren't. Sadly though so many others were.
Being away camping means we have missed a lot of the flood coverage. In a way I'm not sorry about that. The stories I have seen have been dreadfully upsetting. What great courage people have shown, many losing their lives saving others.
How fantastic it is then to see the generosity in financial and hands on aid that is being given now to help those affected. For those of you in other countries who might not have seen the front page stories, armies of willing volunteers are turning up in flood affected suburbs dressed to help in boots and gloves (today's Herald says up to 100,000 of them!).
Like so many others who can't help physically I am donating to the cause through the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal. And though I'm quite out of touch with my blog reading I know that lots of crafters are donating handmade goods and other items to the cause. Such a generous bunch, make sure you help support their efforts, I will be.
I'm home briefly to unpack and repack for our camping week (I know, totally spoilt), and though I don't really have time to be reading blogs or writing posts. I can't seem to help myself! Reading around the place everyone sounds so happy and thoughtful coming into the New Year and I can suddenly feel the first inklings of inspiration daydreaming their way into my holiday brain. A few things keep surfacing and this is what my project list is looking like so far:
* Sew some clothes, I have had a pattern and fabric for a Shearwater kaftan for months now and I need to make that for starters. I also want to try the Amy Butler Barcelona skirt pattern. I used to make clothes when I was younger but lost my confidence somewhere along the way.
* Design and print a new yardage design. One of my designs is begging to be made into yardage (can you guess!) and I had yet another request for fabric in this design while I was away. I really need to sit down and adapt it soon!
* Ceramics. I'd like to try my hand at some very simple ceramics and a good start will be the porcelain pens I got for my birthday, I've already decorated some cups for Christmas presents and I will be doing more with these when I get time.
* Block printing with foam and perspex a la Jesse. I am intrigued by this method and I'm dying to give it a try.
* Wholesale. I'm slowly dipping my toe in here and one resolution is to have more local stockists by the end of the year.
* Screenprinting on paper. With the demise of gocco I'd like to try and adapt some of my prints to larger format screenprints.
Phew, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I think I need another week to ponder it all! What's on your list? Are you using the New Year to kickstart some plans that have been languishing on the drawing board.
p.s. While I was at home I scanned some old photos from family albums, this picture shows my brother Will and I at Chenonceaux castle in the Loire Valley in France on a family road trip in the seventies. I think we look like the youngest members of the Partridge Family!
Here's my annual look back at the year that's past. There are a couple of things missing I think but time is a bit hard to find here in holidayland! There's lunch to be planned, swims to be swum and games to be played. Priorities.
I'm looking forward to what's ahead, getting the feel of 2011, but I like to think this quiet time is just as important, recharging the mind and soul, it feels like it. I can feel myself slowing down, stopping to look around. Hope you are all getting time to do the same :-)