Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry (belated) Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to everybody! Sure... I'm about 4 days late... but I think I've had a pretty good excuse. I'm currently relaxing at my brother's house in the Clare Valley (SA), with my parents, aunty and uncle, nieces and nephews. We're drinking plenty of good wine and now eating lots and lots of Christmas leftovers! It's been Jett's first Christmas and although he's had a snotty nose (much colder here at night than home!) and doesn't quite grasp the concept yet, he's had lots of fun getting plenty of attention from his relatives, and playing with his cousins toys (and trust me, there are loads of them!).

I haven't really been able to access the internet much and probably won't until we get home on the 5th Jan. So I just wanted to say Happy New Year to everybody and look forward to reading what everybody's been up to over the festive season :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yay, a new bag for me!

I decided two days ago to make myself a bag before heading off to Adelaide on Monday, and I just finished it today! Perhaps Jett had to watch a little more Baby Einstein than he normally would (not that I think he minded!), and sure, he may have been a little attention deprived - but hey, I have a new bag! YAY for me! I used left over fabric from our dining room chair seat covers for the outer and strap, a vintage linen tablecloth for the lining and on the strap, and a salvaged fabric sample from Reverse Garbage for the cuff.

I actually started two at once as I couldn't decide which fabric I was going to like better - the other should be finished tomorrow/tonight so I'll upload a new pic once completed. Amazing how much you can get done when you're procrastinating cleaning the house and packing... :P

I also finished this bag last week for my mother-in-law for Christmas. It's probably photographed a little brighter than it actually is because of the flash... I love the blue wool on the outer and strap, and have teamed it with a vintage sheet for the lining, and used an upholstery sample on the cuff. I hope she likes it! I almost feel like handing it over and saying 'if you don't like it I'm happy to keep it and make you another'.

Is it normal to get so attached to the things you make, even when you make purposefully for someone else???

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eye Spy... a burst of colour

Eye Spy a lone blue flower in my garden. Nestled amongst a patch of little yellow flowers and many many weeds (again... I don't have a green thumb to know the correct names of these flowers!), this little flower caught my eye when wandering around our garden with Jett this morning. Since having Jett there are so many bursts of colour throughout our house (toys, swings, playpens etc!) that I needed to get outside to notice my rare burst of colour.

Thanks to Flossy-P for choosing this weeks theme, and also to Cindy for hosting the Eye Spy. Head on over to Bugandpop to join in.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

So many things to love, to want, to buy...

Yesterday was the BrisStyle market and I have to say it seemed to be a raging success! I was helping out my sister at the Beckybean store and she sold more than half her stock - woo hoo! She's closed her Etsy shop until the 26th of January but somehow I think she's going to have a bit of sewing to do in the new year... I might have to help out I think - I'm feeling very motivated!

It was very inspiring to see so many great crafters, designers and artists in the one place. I'm generally not a market kind of girl (unless it's a food market...) but I have to say I loved it! Kym had Jett for the morning and didn't bring him in until the afternoon, so it was also lovely to have some 'kid-free' time. Of course after only five hours I was starting to miss him so it was very nice when Kym turned up :P I also needed to promptly show Kym to a few of my favourite stalls for my Christmas present so I'm looking forward to seeing what he chose - I think it may be a bracelet from StratDesigns - yay!

My lovely sister also got me this lovely necklace from Raspberry Pink which is very cool, and this awesome little bib by Jellygnite with cowboys on it for Jett. I managed to pick up Jett this gorgeous little tee by Tees2Knees and I couldn't resist the little zipped purses by Little Mary Moo (I couldn't decide which I wanted most so I got all three...)
and also this tiny purse mirror by Hot Toffee. Oh and a brooch from REread Design (I couldn't take a pic of it as I think it's somewhere in Kym's bag and he's off riding with my brother-in-law). I think that's everything!

I had moments yesterday where I wished my gorgeous little boy was a gorgeous little girl... so many beautiful dresses by Hot Fudge and gorgeous ruffle pants by Bettsy Kingston... I would have brought some for two nieces but Bec had already beat me to it - maybe our next baby (not any time soon!) will be a girl and I can go nuts then :P

I helped Bec with five bags to sell at the markets, and while three sold, I was very happy that my favourite one didn't, so I get to keep it. Yay!

After all those purchases I still managed to forget to buy something! I really wanted to get a print for Jett's room by Twinkle Star Art - I'm going to need to go online now and get one I think. They are soo cute. How I forgot when they were the store next to us I have no idea :P

Speaking of recent purchases (how's that for a segue?), Kym brought me this present this week. Yay! I'm so excited about it that I'm 'saving' it for when he's off work over the holidays so we can just sit and watch. I love love love the Mighty Boosh - 'ooh such a good time' :D

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eye Spy... something in my garden

So this is my first Eye Spy! I just want to say thank you to Curly Pops for picking this weeks theme, and also to Cindy at Bugandpop for hosting the Eye Spy.
I love this tree in my garden, not that I know what it is called. I keep thinking it's a poinsettia but I'm pretty sure it's not. I don't have a green thumb, and to be honest if you get up close and have a look at our garden you'll see it really needs some TLC. All the rain we've been having lately is causing it to go a bit nuts, and this tree in particular is in desperate need of some pruning (is that what you call it??). But I love the pretty red flowers it drops on the lawn - they remind me that Summer is here. I'm also a fan of the big palm next to it. Before I moved up here I always thought of balmy weather and palm trees when I thought of Queensland, so it's pretty cool to know I have one in my very own backyard.

I had to include this pic of the oregano in my herb garden - the weather lately has also caused it to really spread and I think it looks very lush.
Friday night saw my extended family, Mr J, and I attend Carols by Candlelight. With early evening thunderstorms forecast we decided to risk it anyway. We were there only 1 hour before we were rained out. But the carols themselves were pretty funny, if maybe a little lame. The 'host' of the evening was definitely a Jack Black from 'School of Rock' wannabe... which my sister and I found pretty hilarious. He had the same moves, held onto those high notes a little too long, tried to get the audience to 'rock' and at one point even referred to the females in the choir and the females in audience as 'the ladies'. If nothing else, he gave us a great laugh :P

Sunday we also had our family pre-Christmas party where all the kiddies had lots of fun opening presents. And the grown ups consumed some great finger food and of course some much-needed drinks. My couple of glasses of Piper went down way too easily...

Here's a couple of pics of some of the food brought by everybody. There's some bruschetta, little sausages with zucchini, olives, goats cheese and tomatoes, some buttersnap bikkies with caramel (thanks Bec, these were one of my favourites as a kid - who am I kidding, as an adult too!), and some mini trifles. Needless to say I think we all needed a little nap afterward :P

Friday, December 5, 2008

Run fat boy run!

I am feeling so organised this Christmas. I even got online and made our first ever family Christmas card. Kym and I are notoriously crap at sending out cards - actually I think my whole family is a bit crap - but Kym's family always send us cards and each year we both say 'we should really do that next year'. So I have. Perhaps you get into these things more so when you have kids?

We also have our family pre-Christmas party on Sunday which I'm super excited about as there's always so much good food. And Jett now goes quite a few hours between breastfeeds so really looking forward to my Christmas bubbles :D

My recent exercise regime appears to be working which I am very excited about - 4kg in 5 weeks - woo hoo! Obviously my Body Step and RPM classes are doing the trick. I have less than 2kg to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and only 4kg to get back to my preferred 'ideal' weight of 7 years ago...oh the days when I never had to worry about it! This is the first time in my life I have ever tried to lose weight (and possibly the first time in my life I feel I have really needed to for my own self-esteem!), so I'm pleased I can do it when I actually try.

Speaking of weight loss, there is currently a bet happening at Kym's work for his apprentice to lose weight. This kitchen is made up of a group of guys (sorry and one girl) who are not your 'typical' chefs - no one smokes (one recently quit) and no one has more than probably two drinks a week. Not your average kitchen brigade! And they often go to the gym in their breaks...

Now this one very loud and outgoing apprentice, who is 20 years old, still has a bit of 'puppy fat' which they all like to give him a gentle ribbing about (how many workplaces in this day and age can you get away with doing that???). There is a $200 bet going that he can't lose 12kg in 12 weeks. He's currently 92kg. Kym, two senior chefs and one of the owners have each put in $50, and if he loses he pays each of them $50, and if he wins he gets the $200.

What's so funny about this story is this apprentice has gone out and spent over $100 on weight loss products - which means that if he loses he is actually down $300 and if he wins he only gets $100... So each day now he is eating carrot sticks and drinking Tony Ferguson drinks (I haven't tried these but I imagine they are disgusting!) trying to lose 12kg. All for $100. Now I know apprentices don't get paid much but he's not on a bad wage. I'm not sure he's done the math for this bet...

When I also had a go at Kym for putting $50 on this bet, he pointed out that it's Christmas in 3 weeks and there is no way he can lose weight over that period! I hope for his sake he does win to show the rest what for, but I don't like his chances... Hmm, maybe I'm not liking my chances of keeping my weight off for that matter when we're on our two week break in South Australia...

But I think I'm glad I'm losing my weight the good old-fashioned way - blood, sweat and tears! OK, maybe no the blood or the tears, but certainly lots of sweat and red faces nonetheless :P

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Definitely no need to pass the salt...

Although I'm not the chef in our household I certainly don't consider myself a bad cook - nor is my sister for that matter. In fact, I'd normally say we were pretty good and our meals are generally quite tasty. Except for the last Friday night. I was invited to Bec's for dinner to eat some snapper they had got from the markets. I had the great (??) idea of steaming the fish with some lemongrass, coriander, garlic, shallots and white wine - something Kym had done for me the previous Sunday and it was fabulous. Perhaps I should have paid more attention to how it was actually cooked... and how you fold up the paper and foil so it steams nicely. Oops. Mistake number one...

So with beers in hand Bec and I got to work on the preparation. I cut all the veges for the stir fry we planned to eat with our fish - very organised. Perhaps I should point out at this stage that normally Matt (Bec's husband) cooks the stir fry's in their household most of the time - and Kym in mine. Perhaps there's a reason for this :P

We wrapped the fish the way we guessed it should be and popped it in the oven. No idea just how hot it should be, we guessed (wrongly). Bec started cooking the stir fry and unsure what sauces to use, we decided to throw them all in. Oyster, Maggie Seasoning, Light soy, Sesame, a touch of sweet chilli. We didn't get the timing quite right and the stir fry had to sit for a little while we waited for our fish. Mistake number two...

When we finally got the fish out of the oven it was a little grey (perhaps overcooked?), pretty fishy (not the asian-infused smell we were expecting) and the stir fry was a little cold and so salty (Bec may have gone a tad overboard on the Maggie Seasoning) that even I was struggling to eat it. So all in all, it was pretty bad! Actually, a bit of an understatement - it was very, very ordinary. Perhaps we should both stick to what we know - spaghetti bolognaise, chicken casseroles, quiches, scones, and all those other 'homestyle' meals we learned from our mother (who is a great cook!). Oh well - live and learn right? I think we should just leave the Asian cooking to our husbands in future :P

On a more positive note, I finished another bag (the above pic) that I gave as a birthday present for a good friend of mine, Laura. I must admit, I was a little hesitant to hand it over - I really liked it and would have happily used it myself!! It's another Beckybean design and it was definitely a lot of fun to make. I only decided two days before seeing her to make it so I didn't leave myself much time and Jett may have been a little neglected... not that he seemed to mind. This is what he got up to while I sewed...

He sat for over an hour here playing with some catalogues - oh to be so easily amused!

Well I better get back to my bag making - I'm helping Bec with a few bags for her market next week. Perhaps I already am her new 'Aussie sweatshop' :P