Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Here and now...

This is my 100th post, I can't believe I have had that much to say!

So here and now I am:

:: Knitting a spring scarf. The yarn is Patons Batik and the colours remind me of two people who are dear to me...which one to give it to?!

:: Making spinach and cream cheese snails for lunch!

:: Planting in the garden.

:: Making folding carrier bags with fabric from Vietnam.

:: Learning how to juggle.

How a weekend away inspires me!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Freestyle sewing with a Singer

 I have been wanting to do some freestyle sewing on my Singer sewing machine for ages. I did it first when I was at school and had so much fun. Lowering the dog feed on our school machines was simple. I never took the time to work out how to do it on my own machine until a friend gave me the Poppy Trefry book, which I blogged awhile back. It turns out that on my Singer you put a plastic plate over the dog feed and remove the foot. As I wanted to make a quilt for my new niece, born just before Christmas I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try freestyling on my machine. After a few very frustrating attempts I gave up. I was so disappointed as I remember my school day attempts so fondly. I couldn't get the tension set properly. So the pictures of the quilt show mainly normal machine sewing with a little freestyling! I think when I try it again, which I will, I will keep it more simple and on a smaller scale.

I have also just sent off some bunting to another friend who has had a little girl. Sorry about the photo, it is not very clear...but I do love my Forsthyia flowering, in the background...another reminder that Spring is here...yay!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

I Have Found Such Joy

I Have Found Such Joy – Grace Noll Crowell

I have found such joy in simple things;
A plain, clean room, a nut-brown loaf of bread
A cup of milk, a kettle as it sings,
The shelter of a roof above my head,
And in a leaf-laced square along the floor,
Where yellow sunlight glimmers through a door.

I have found such joy in things that fill
My quiet days: a curtain’s blowing grace,
A potted plant upon my window sill,
A rose, fresh-cut and placed within a vase;
A table cleared, a lamp beside a chair,
And books I long have loved beside me there.

Oh, I have found such joys I wish I might
Tell every woman who goes seeking far
For some elusive, feverish delight,
That very close to home the great joys are:
The elemental things–old as the race,
Yet never, through the ages, commonplace.

My friend sent me a copy of this poem last year and it has been on my fridge ever since. It is particularly important to me at the moment as I find myself daily longing for sunshine, a full night sleep and a decision on our future. The poem brings me back to the 'here and now' and helps me refocus and enjoy the simple life of a home maker.

I hope you find joy in it too.

Friday, 4 March 2011

His first canvas

1. Take a three yr old, a canvas of any size, a roll of masking tape and some paints.

2. Cut lengths of tape and stick in random places on the canvas.

3. Paint the shapes in various colours.

4. Allow to dry and remove the tape.

5. Hang.

This is not an original idea. I saw it on another mums blog awhile back, but I'm sorry to say I can't remember which blog it was.

Considering MJ has the concentration span of a flea this was a successful activity. He didn't complete it all by himself but he did start each stage before getting distracted and kept coming back to it.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Spring has arrived

How do I know it is officially Spring? 
Simply because the Spring issue of 'Rhythm of the home' is now available online to read and be inspired.

I get so excited about Spring...longer, warmer and more colourful days!

Dish of the day

Last Friday we had lunch with a friend. She made a delicious chicken and rice dish which I thought  I would try and copy today. Due to its simplicity and tastiness I thought I would post it.

My version (for 3 people)::
Place in a casserole dish
1 mug of rice
1 1/2 mug of hot chicken stock
Some frozen peas
1 red pepper
Handful of sliced mushrooms (or whatever veg you have, my friend used spinach)
3 Chicken thighs and 3 chicken legs (My friend used breast)
Season with pepper, paprika, and whatever spices you like!

Bake in 180oC oven for 1 1/2hrs

Result is a tasty, family friendly and so so easy dinner.

My Afghan blanket is growing and I'm wondering who I will give it too. As I am using up balls of yarn I couldn't help reflect on where each ball was bought and realised that the blanket has quite a geography. The red wool was bought in Edinburgh, Scotland. The turquoise wool was bought in Iceland, The multicoloured wool was bought in England and the blue was given to me from my mum who bought it in Ireland! Thinking of it in this way makes me what to keep it :)