Dec 27, 2012

did you know....

You can now find meandmy2guys on Facebook. Just search for meandmy2guys or try Come over and say hi and please like my page :)

Dec 18, 2012

cranberry and almond (virgin) balls

My husband isn't a huge fan of the traditional Rum Ball.  He was eating a handful
 of cranberries and almonds the other day which gave me inspiration for this twist on the traditional Christmas recipe.  You can see my regular Rum Ball recipe here.

I substituted 2 of the weet bix/ vita brits for 2 handfuls of almonds, just regular almonds, they don't have to be blanched or roasted or anything.  I gave them a blitz until they were in chunks but before they turned into almond powder.

I replaced the dried fruit/ sultanas with dried cranberries.  I also increased the cocoa content slightly from 1 tablespoon to 2.  I also removed the Rum (hence the term 'virgin' balls).  You could leave it in but he doesn't really like it.

The rest of the method and ingredients are the same.  Guy thinks when I make the next batch that I should coat them in grated chocolate instead of coconut!  I tried to convince him otherwise but no dice.

Let me know if you make them and what you think.

I'm off to find my grater......

beautiful birthday cakes

This year to save my sanity and so the little Guy could invite his kindy friends we decided.tonthrow our children a big combined party. We were always going tondo a party for Amelie's 1st birthday so it wasn't a big deal to add Guy into the mix. We had a ladybug theme for Amelie and Iron Man for Guy. With then some more shared accessories and decorations in red. Husband Guy decided on an Iron Man cake for little Guy and I went for a rainbow for Amelie as I thought a ladybug would look too similar to Iron Man.

Judging by the reaction we got from the little Guy I think we did ok. And the rainbow cake was the better tasting.

I had such fun gathering all the party supplies and decorating the deck. Everyone had a great time and they even ventured out into the yard onto the swings and to play with the dogs.

Dec 8, 2012

pretty snowflake garlands

I have absolutely adored creating these garlands with crochet twine snowflakes and now some little stars.  The snowflake and star patterns were both from Attic24 blog .  I lightly sprayed them with spray starch and pinned them, so far they seem to be holding up.

They are not really rigid but are just holding their shape.  However I think humidity will be my enemy in the weeks to come.  Mum says that there is a way to starch crochet with egg whites but I'm yet to find the recipe.

So far with our Christmas decorating we have really focussed on hanging decorations.  We have the crochet garlands, paper chains and the bunting I made a few years ago.  The beauty of these decorations - all up high and baby proof!

Our tree is still looking a tad naked but we're working on it.  Fortunately we have high ceilings so even though we had to put the tree on a table to keep it away from destructo baby, it only just hits the roof.

Dec 2, 2012

fur kid Christmas presents

Our fur kids get presents at Christmas and even have their own stockings. Until this year they have had some very dodgy store bought stockings but when I found this fabric in Spotlight I knew it was time for an update.

I also stumbled upon some very easy recipes for dog treats, this is the one I made yesterday.  The verdict from the pooches was yummy. One of our dogs is allergic to beef protein so we have to be very careful of the food and treats we give them. Most dog foods even if they say chicken on the packet will still contain some beef. You have to read the ingredients carefully.

Dec 1, 2012

personalised Christmas sacks

I started these Christmas sacks last year quite early and just never got them finished. Thankfully my gorgeous friend Amanda is very understanding (and she saw the state of my house)! They have recently moved away but are back for Christmas so I was determined to have them finished. There really wasn't much to do, I'd done all the patchwork and even cutout all the pieces it was just a matter of aassembly.  Now that they are done I'm very pleased with the results. Each one is slightly different with Christmas fabrics chosen especially for each child. Hopefully Santa stumps up with some awesome pressies to fill them with!

Nov 30, 2012

number peg game

My mum used to be a classroom teacher and has an absolute wealth of resources that she now shares with my kiddies. This brilliant little game she made herself and would make a cute Christmas gift for children learning their numbers up to those learning simple mathematics.  All you need are some leaf shapes, mum just drew these and laminated them, and some pegs with bug buttons stuck to them (available at craft shops). The child just pegs the appropriate number of bugs to the leaf with the corresponding number.  You could always vary it to say lily pads and frogs or planets and aliens or rockets and astronauts. Whatever your child is in to. Using pegs is excellent for strengthening their fingers which is essential for holding a pencil. You can also write simple sums on the leaf and have them peg on the answers.

There you have it, a simple and educational toy you can make yourself.

Nov 29, 2012

first crochet doily

Well since I've been well and truly bitten by the crochet bug the thought has been in the back of my mind to try a doily.  We don't use many doilies here however and they always look very complicated.  Also it generally requires the use of a very small hook and thin cotton, neither of which I was confident in using just yet. I came across this pattern the other day though and figured my twine would be ideal to try it with using a 2.5 mm hook.

And after just a few rounds I was hooked so to speak. I stayed up late trying to finish it in one go. In the end I went to bed just before the end but finished it off first thing the next morning. I really love the orange twine for this too - gives it a really modern look. I gave this one to my mum but I can see myself making more for here and maybe some as place mats or coasters. I did a half size one in black but am not quite as in love with it.

Nov 27, 2012

another Christmas blanket

Anyone would think by looking at the gifts I'm making that it is cold here at the moment. In fact that is far from the truth.  I've started my next blanket.  This will probably be the last one for Christmas.  Then I'll start on the baby ones.

On another matter if you'd like to see the daily nonsense that I post on instagram and don't have access to it you can now access via the web by using the link to the left. Be prepared for a lot of photos of cups of coffee!

Nov 21, 2012

recycled magazine Christmas tree

I absolutely love Christmas.  As I'm sure I've mentioned before. The traditions and the decorations. Excuses to make heaps of stuff and eat heaps of stuff.  I like trying out new crafty ideas for Christmas.  I think because you can get away with slightly more kitsch at this time of year too.

Cue the recycled magazine Christmas tree.  My Dad has heaps of promotional magazines for his work. As with most businesses which have this kind of thing there is heaps of surplus.  So I decided to try and re purpose some of the old ones. Just fold the page down to the centre and then either fold the cover back on itself or attach two together at the covers. They make a quirky decoration or you could hang them up too with some fishing line.

Nov 16, 2012

am I a twine-hard?

So they call Twilight fans Twi-hards.  Does that make me a Twine-hard do you think? My ideas for using twine keep flowing thick and fast.  And my collection grew a little this week too.

Todays idea is to make friendship bracelets.  I had a little practice last night. I think I need more practice but the twine is the perfect thickness.  For a great tutorial head here.

You can also use the bracelets for other things.  Tie them around jars or use them as napkin rings.

So are you a twine-hard?

Nov 15, 2012

handmade Christmas cards

Little Guy and I had a lovely morning today making Christmas cards.  I had gathered supplies for a few weeks: blank cards, stickers and washi tape. Unfortunately we forgot the washi tape but we might add some later or to the envelopes. He was such a good boy and didn't rush at it or try to put all the stickers on the first card.  I can't wait to write them up and let him sign his name and go through the whole posting ritual with him.

Nov 13, 2012

1001 uses for twine

The other day a friend jokingly (I think) said I should write a book about ways to use twine. Well I am kinda loving using my twine collection.  And I may or may not have bought another dozen spools the other day too!  (Checkout Whimsy Farm Twine if you dare!)

So far I have wrapped a vase in twine

Wrapped a little jar (for a birthday and Christmas decoration)

Crocheted many little star/snowflakes for a garland for Christmas

Packaged a present

Crocheted a present

And I have plans to give a couple as presents.  Who knows where this twine-foolery will end?  Maybe I should start that book..... :)

Nov 12, 2012

gingerbread babies

Two of our dear friends are expecting their first baby soon and are also both celebrating their 30th birthday this month.  Last week I was lucky enough to attend the baby shower and this week we all went along to the birthday party.  I've previously mentioned how much these friends like my gingerbread (you can see the recipe here) so as a gift for their birthdays I made a big batch exclusively for them.  I took great pains to make sure there were even numbers of boys and girls as they don't know what sex their bub is going to be.

I purchased this cute gingerbread fabric at Spotlight the other week knowing that it would come in handy for Christmas.  And of course my twine had to make an appearance.  I also got to bust out some cute labels that I picked up at Typo the other day.  I'm planning on making a lot of food gifts this Christmas so the twine and labels will be getting repeated runs.

Nov 11, 2012

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day, or as it was known when I was a child, Armistice Day.  I think it's also known as Veteran's Day in the USA.  Today is also my birthday.  I've always felt that 11/11 is a special day and when you meet others with this birthday they always seem to know what you mean.  Last year an old friend had her little girl on 11/11/11.  My birthday isn't quite that special.

So as I sip some lovely Champagne and eat ham and salad with my family for lunch today and cuddle my two adorable bubbas (oh and my hubby I suppose) I will think of all the Diggers past and present who serve our country to protect our way of life.

Thank you.

(Image from here)

Nov 5, 2012

two crochet Christmas blankets finished

(Mum and Dad look away now!)

The other night I did the last row on the second of my Christmas gift blankets. One for my mum and one for dad. I hope they like them cause I did let them choose he colours!

I'm also knee deep in planning a double birthday party. We always make sure we do something special for the little Guy's birthday to distinguish it from Christmas.  This year with Amelie celebrating her 1st birthday I was faced with the prospect of organising 2 parties in the space of 2 weeks with Christmas in the middle.  So I cunningly sold the idea of a joint party to the little Guy. So now I'm organising an Iron Man/ Ladybug party complete with two sets of decorations and two cakes
It is a lot of fun though. I can see how some parents do go completely overboard. I'll share some of my ideas in the coming weeks for decorations and food.

Nov 4, 2012

twine on my hands

(Title stolen from my friend Shona)

Since I do now have a healthy twine collection I have been thinking of tons of ways to use it. My collection of little snowflake/ stars is growing and this morning I grabbed the super glue for another project.  I purchased this little milk bottle yesterday and thought it would look cute with twine wound around. In betwen chasing the kids around this morning and nearly gluing myself to the bottle, the twine and myself,  I managed to get it finished.

I gave it to my Mother in Law today to put a little sunshine in her day.  Im going to make a couple more for Christmas table decorations.

Nov 1, 2012

crochet with twine

So as promised on the back of my washi tape confession I now have to show you my newly acquired twine. I purchased my twine from a lovely little Aussie company called Whimsy Farm Twine.

I wanted the twine (because everyone else has it) to not only use in wrapping and decorating but also to try crocheting with it. I'm pleased to report that it has been a raging sucess.  Im using Attic 24's snowflake pattern and a 2.5mm hook with awesome results.  I just need to get some spray starch to stiffen up the finished product. You can find Whimsy Farm Twine here.

Oct 30, 2012

pearl barley risotto

In the spirit of trying new cooking things and recipes I had been wanting to try a pearl barley risotto.  I do quite a good mushroom risotto with traditional arborio rice but I wanted to expand my repertoire a bit and I absolutely love the taste and texture of pearl barley.  Watching Two Greedy Italians ... Still Hungry the other night I was very excited to see Gennaro do a pearl barley risotto using pork mince.

The recipe was very simple (serves 2):
150grams of pork mince
2-3 handfuls of dry pearl barley
1 litre of stock (I used salt reduced chicken stock but you can use vege stock)
1 onion
olive oil
parmesan cheese

Dice the onion (they used a small brown onion, I used half a red) and sweat off in some oil. Add in the mince, breaking it up and cook, do not brown the mince though.  Throw in your pearl barley and stir the mix as the bottom of your saucepan starts to go a bit toasty.  Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine or stock.  Here your risotto goes along as a normal rice risotto would - adding your stock a cup at a time until your barley is cooked.  I added a little crack of black pepper towards the end.

At the end stir in a little olive oil to give it a creamy/emulsified feel.  Serve with a little parmesan on top.

The verdict here was great, we ate the whole lot just between the two of us!  I think we may try with some mushrooms next time or maybe some peas.

Oct 26, 2012

special memories

The relationship between Grandparent and Grandchild is special and important.  I am so happy that Little Guy and Amelie have very special relationships with their 4 Grandparents. Looking back I am so grateful for the relationships I had with my Grandparents over the years.  

When I was about 19 I used to spend quite a bit of time with my Granny - my Mum's Mum.  When we were kids she baked these really nice patty cakes with pink or white icing.  This was well before the time of cupcakes on every corner.  The other day I pulled out a recipe book that I had started years and years ago so I could write down some of the new recipes I'd found lately.  I made a lovely discovery - two handwritten recipes Granny gave me years ago - one for the patty cakes and one for a chocolate slice.

I often think that she would be so proud of the efforts I go to cook and provide the best food for my children and the gardening we do.

Oct 25, 2012

fridge art

I've been having so many ideas lately for little craft projects.  A lot involving magnets, washi tape, pegs and twine.  After my adventures on the weekend at the Craft Show I lashed out and bought a few rolls of washi tape.  It was a total 'everyone else is doing it' purchase.  Sad I know.  And then I bought some twine off the internet yesterday too, for almost the same reason.  But that's another post. 

I had a little play with my new supplies this morning and came up with this idea.  It needs a little refining but I think it's cute.  Fridge art!

Oct 23, 2012

a mother's thoughts

Look at these feet.  They are so soft, new, innocent, pure.

In years to come they will get hard, dry, squeezed into wildly impractical and uncomfortable footwear, countless blisters and generally mistreated. 

Hopefully though they will serve her well, take her on some interesting journeys and maybe enjoy a pedicure or two.

Oct 22, 2012

my European loot

Mum and Dad have just returned from a wonderful holiday cruising around Italy and visiting my Brother in London.  As with last time they went away they returned with lots of loot for me (and the children). 

beautiful handiwork from Croatia

a great book on Gaudi from Barcelona - and look what was on the first random page I flicked to!

a gorgeous bag from the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam - totes jealous (haha get it?)

a couple of little cross stitch kits from Belgium

and the piece-de-resistance - a Vulcan Minor (to go with the Vulcan Major I already have) from an antiques fair in Scotland

Oct 21, 2012

quilt show

Cat 7 Amateur - Anne Meikle "Christine's Tiny 9 Patch"
Saturday saw the girls heading off to the Convention Centre to take in the Craft and Quilt Show.  It was really humming on Saturday around lunch time, which was nice considering last time we went, earlier this year, it was quite quiet.  I had vowed not to buy any fabric this time as I'm a tad embarressed by the HEAVING load of fabric crammed into my cabinet (and spilling out onto the floor).  I did purchase a couple more crochet hooks and a few rolls of washi tape.

The Challenge Quilts - I swear one year I will enter!
 As usual as well as the plethora of stalls to purchase all things quilt, bead, scrapbook, crochet, knitting and now cake decorating, there is also a quilt show.

the chicks enjoying the show

My favourite part by far this year was the Red and White quilts which came from the Mt Isa Quilters.  They decided after seeing the Red and White quilt exhibition that took part in the USA that they would like to emulate it.  I love red and white and the beautiful quilts that were on display did not disappoint.  Great credit is due to the Mt Isa Quilters for their wonderful quilts.

I also like these little ones from the Bundaberg Quilters which were made to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

Here are a few more snippets.

Cat 4 Amateur - Trish Parker 'Gatton Stars'

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...