Monday, January 26, 2009

Back in the Kitchen

It has been quite a while since I have written about anything food-related. In fact, many of my new followers wouldn't even know about Experimental Cooking Night - a weekly event where I pull out an as-yet untried recipe and see if it is worthy of either repetition (if it is from a cookbook we own) or of being added to my personal only-the-best-of-the-best cookbook, if it is a cutting from a magazine or similar.

So, seeing as I received a few natty little gadgets over the Christmas/Birthday season (see: cornish blue mortar and pestle, garlic grater, ceramic juicer, giant mother of a chopping board) I decided to pull out the old apron and do some experimenting.
It's a Jamie Oliver recipe I'm whipping up here - from his Cook With Jamie book. I've made a couple of things from this book so far, as has the man, and we've been quite pleased with the results. This pork is especially delicious. We serve it with a spanish rice (with beans, roasted capsicum, onion and oregano) and corn on the cob. Yummy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Desk Job

So, I have rescued a lovely old desk that was destined for firewood from my workplace. It is lovely and heavy and has the most beautiful grain - the only thing is it needs a bit of love, as you can see on the top surface. The varnish is chipping off and it has some watermarks. From what I can tell by by internet sleuth work, I need to strip it, sand it, and re-varnish it with a very similar if not the same colour varnish. Anyone an expert?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I love a trip to the fabric shop.

I only needed bias binding. Tee hee!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fun with Photostitch

One of the lovely things about going away for a weekend break is the little things you rediscover that you had forgotten you enjoy - sitting on a garden swing, the smell of gum leaves as you tread on them, and taking photos of otherwise unobtrusive things. This weekend we had a trip to the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney. It was a wonderful escape, and one of the highlights was that I re-discovered my camera's panorama settings. I thought I would share a few of the results with you, not only from the Blue Mountains. I love PhotoStitch!

Freshwater Beach 2007

Alice Springs 2008

Blue Mountains 2009

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Humouring the Demon

...otherwise known as "Allowing yourself to buy stationery and clothes from online stores once in a while". Well, this week I've done it. I shouldn't have, I know. Budget and all that - which my boy has officially renamed "The GFC" (Global Financial Crisis). You know what? Stuff the GFC. I needed a diary, I want to look pretty for a superspecial dinner I'm being taken out to for a late birthday treat (don't ask where, I don't know yet - squeeee!) - and the file folder, well, that was getting carried away. I fell for the old "Spend this much and we'll give you free postage" trick.

So anyway here's what I bought.

Above: Lovely metallic string nude going out top from TopShop online

One red moleskine diary. Day to a page.

And then, because of aforementioned free postage and because I like organisational aids ;) - these lovely wooden files, from Notemaker.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Tale of Emma and the Lovely Plate

Let me tell you a little story.

One day when Emma was living in Melbourne, she and her boy decided to visit a local vintage and antique shop that she had admired going past on the tram. She was delighted with many of the items for sale but was especially taken with a particular lovely German plate, 1950's, with a geometric pattern and beautiful colours.

Emma really wanted to buy this plate but sadly, she was a little bit short of cash, and a bargain this plate was certainly not.

"Oh dear," she sighed as the boy steered her out of the store, "how I would love to own that lovely plate."

Every day afterwards she sat on the tram and stared wistfully into the shop window, where the plate was not on display, and wondered whose house it was sitting in, and whether its new owner was treating it with love. A little part of her still hoped that it was on display elsewhere in the shop, and she intended to return when she had saved enough cash. If she was lucky, the lovely plate might still be there!

A few months later, Emma and her boy found themselves moving back to Sydney. It had been a very busy time, working, packing, running her Etsy store, and farewelling her Melbourne friends - so much so that she hadn't had a chance to go to the shop. As they were driving out of Melbourne, 4WD full of boxes, plants and clothes, and balancing a fishbowl on her lap, Emma looked out the window a final time at the shop and felt sad that she would not buy the lovely plate, after all.

A few more months past. Emma and her boy settled in to a new life in Sydney. Christmas and New Year came, and with it all the family and friends and social events. Emma forgot about the lovely plate sitting in Melbourne.

Then the day of Emma's birthday arrived. She was excited but a little apprehensive as her family were away on holidays, and her boy had decided to go to the cricket for the day. Not to be disheartened, she had a lovely day shopping in the city and enjoyed a lively dinner at Chinatown with her friends. When they finally got home, Emma said to her boy, "What a great day! I am so tired, I am going straight to bed."

That's when her boy produced a sneaky present from under the bed. He had bought it 5 months ago and had been hiding it in manholes, at work, in his laptop bag, at his parents' house, and finally in the top of our new wardrobe, but somehow it had survived and was now sitting in Emma's lap.

It was the lovely plate.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

A tourist in my own town

You'll notice a new little pic over here to the right - a friendly little owl? I am proud to say that I have been featured on a fantastic kid's handmade blog - Handmade Kids. Look at the lovely company I keep there:That's me, the Field of Flowers Collar Dress. How exciting!

Meanwhile I have been a bit quiet because I have an overseas visitor! I like being the person to show my town off to a tourist. You very rarely get out and see the "touristy" stuff in your own city - so it is always a fun adventure to see it through a traveller's eyes. Also it has been an excellent excuse to go out for many delicious meals. I have been spoilt for choice this past week! Next week we plan a trip to the Blue Mountains - always a favourite. Must go and find some nice accommodation...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

This was our vantage point. Nice.