Friday, October 18, 2013

Making do with what I have, a tale of decluttering

 You may remember I wrote a post about Spring time being time to declutter. Yes?

Well I am pleased to say it is going well and I have discarded quite a bit and have reclaimed
some space even!

But going through stuff that I didn't want to get rid of and seeing what surplus of stuff I had acquired
 got me thinking.  Why did I have so much wool unused, so many books unread,
recipes unmade, patterns not knitted, fabric not sewn? I mean this pattern of surplus even extended to my pantry. I have sooo much stuff. Which would be great if I were planning on moving underground 
for a good decade. But with no plans in the immediate future to go underground, I needed work this one out.

Because I just keep on buying before I RUN OUT! Der!

So enter Operation "Make Do"
 So I am using up old wool to make a new throw and I am reading books
that have been laying around forever.
We are currently eating out of the pantry.
I have started making Christmas gifts from the stash.
I am using things up.

 When I finish.
I will start afresh.
Form new habits.
Enjoy new space and order. 

It will feel fresh and new.

 I have also been baking like mad too! 
Banana bread instead of bought muesli bars have been most welcomed
by the crew!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pomme De terre

Le Pomme de terre
The Potato
The Spud

 And where the hell would we be without this humble staple? 
Heck generations of women have raised whole families on them.  So cheap and yet so versatile.  Today I am going to share with you an age old recipe that Mr G and I have grown up on ( in our respective families) that took me through years of flatting and living on the smell of an  oily rag, through to lazy Sunday nights when we just don't want the mess but feel like something seriously yummy.

In my family it is known as potato pancakes, in Mr G's family called it Mock Fish ( WTF? I have no idea why that family does anything!) and in some fancy dancy places it may be known as a potato rosti.  Either way it is super cheap, super easy and super yummy! You might even have your own version that you have relied on for years.

Here is how I do it:

Take a few potatoes ( depends on how many of you there are) say about 4 big ones.
Big heaped tablespoon of plain flour, maybe a bit more ( scientific huh? )
1 egg
Oil to fry
Salt and Pepper

Peel and Grate the potatoes.
Squeeze the water out of the grated potato flesh ( they get pretty soggy)
Mix in the egg and then the plain flour. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil in a fry pan.

Drop tablespoons of mixture into the heated oil, now don't have the 
heat up too high but not too low, you do want the potato to crisp up but also
you want the potato to be cooked! Raw potato bluk! 
Cook until golden on each side.
Serve up fast!
If you want to be posh you can add some speccie condiment and salad. Yummm.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A few happenings around here...

 I'll start with a little boasty, proud, look at my amazing kid, mummy moment.
This is kid #1 - he is 14.5years old and a really keen basketballer.
He is also a guy with big dreams and knowledge that he needs to fund them.
Recently, one Sunday morning he asked me could I drop him somewhere at 2pm.
Sure. Where?
I have enrolled in Referee Training. When it is finished I can ref for $15 a game pay.
I know this will require you to run me around a bit - but I would really appreciate it and 
I can earn my own pocket money.

I have friends with 18 and 19 year olds who "prefer" their kids not to get part time jobs 
and focus on their studies. These friends do EVERYTHING, fund EVERYTHING and often
feel ANGRY at their kids. Yet the situation remains.

I always planned on encouraging my kids to get part time work whilst at high school.
I think it is a good thing. I think it helps them learn about stretching themselves under pressure (life does that to you), develop their own work ethic and value their own money.

14.5 and he organises it himself! 
Very proud mummy.
Of course Mum's Taxi service has extra fares for a few more months!

 I am loving my new Turquoise Parrot whom I purchased online. I love online shopping
and do lots of my shopping online. I made a purchase with Domayne Online and 
in a few clicks spent a small fortune! I was so excited about it : Florence Broadhurst Line (ahhhh 
wetting my pants with excitement. a huge metal yellow flower for my wall and this fellow). 

Well what a disaster! 2 months and I still hadn't received my goods. 
Finally I was informed by bird and linen was in and I negotiated it to be sent to me. 
Ugh! The linen was a different pattern. So then I had to take it into the city for an exchange,
only to discover the pattern I did order was graphite and beige not white like it showed online.

I throw my hands in the air and cry UNCLE! I surrender and request a refund. 
They can't.
We actually are not the same as Domayne Online - we cannot refund you.
So  after 2.5 months later I get a refund.

I kept the bird. 
He looks good to me.
My family hate it!

Not all purchases have bee failures - although this was in a shop.
At the newsgents, I notice a box of craft mags priced at $2. 
I would usually walk past, cos we all know they are left overs from the 90's
and I am no longer interested in folk art or decoupage.

I have been looking for a pattern like this that goes up size 12 and when I 
have had luck, it has been download PDF and what I believe to be overpriced.
So I was super excited when I found one in this pile of mags for $2!!!! 
There is also about 6 other patterns I would also be keen to make.

Yeah, good buy!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Let the Christmas making commence!

Whether we like or not, Christmas is almost upon us.
We are over a month into Spring and Christmas items are appearing in the shops. Eeeek!

I am happy to say that I do have some gifties already purchased and I have just completed the first "hand madies". I love to give hand made items as Teachers gifts and they never fail to please and help the budget too.  Miss M's teacher is a real greenie - and Martha adores her commitment to living a sustainable lifestyle and how she passes her positive attitude onto her students. Miss M diligently ensures she takes a "rubbish free" lunch daily and is always on the look out for items to recycle. Mrs Kane has been a huge inspiration to my daughter. 

In previous years I have made bunting - which I still enjoy see decorating classrooms, crochet covered baubles, fabric flower brooches and yoyo necklaces - all have been received with delight. This of course delights the crafter / gifter!

This year I am making candle holders from simple recycled jam / pickle jars with crocheted covers. I have seen loads around the place and pinned a few patterns.  I got this pattern off Pinterest, and here they are! With a small tea light placed inside the jar and once lit, the lacey pattern throws a lovely glow.

Used with 4ply cotton from my stash that has been laying around for at least 4 years, jars that are recycled and tea lights that work out to be about 10 cents from a huge bag purchased from IKEA years ago - this achieves an almost a neutral cost!!! Even better!  

I am going to make a heap of these for presents and some for me too. The pattern was super simple and I made both of these in one evening. Simples!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Upload your photos, you lazy girl!

And finally I did.
There was over 100 photos!

So the next few posts are going to be a hotch potch and in no way suggesting any chronological order at all!

I will start with a bit of a Purple Haze aka the AFL Grand Final.  My lot were so very excited as their beloved Fremantle Dockers footy team got the Grand Final - the first time in their 19 year history. The Dockers play in purple, and when their fan base is assembled it is known as a "PURPLE HAZE" - the crowd is a sea of  purple and very loud!

This was our Purple Party

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Day trip to Bendigo

 There comes a time when you just have to run away from the screens and 
hit the highway.

So we did.
We drove and we drove.
We stopped at Bendigo.
We ate at the worlds' worst, dearest and slowest cafe : Match.
We wandered beautiful gardens.
We wandered the streets and marvelled at the wonderful buildings built 
during the town's hey day in the gold rush.

We ran out of time and then drove home.
We spent a great day away from the screens.