Friday, July 31, 2015

Absent again

It's been brought to my attention (many times) that I've become a very slack blogger (love you Jo!). My slackness apparently makes it very difficult for stalkers who like to know what I'm up to.

With this in mind... I'm going to attempt to become a better blogger and to update you on what I've been up to over the past almost twelve months. It's not that I haven't managed to squeeze in any sewing, I just haven't gotten myself organised enough to write about it. Sometimes the last thing I want to do after working in front of a computer all day is to come home and play on the computer some more, so please forgive me if my posts are brief and more about the photos than anything else.

I originally started my blog more as a record for myself, to keep track of all the things I've made and mostly given away. To keep some semblance of order, I will backdate my coming posts to the relevant time.

Thanks to those of you who are still checking in even after all this time.
Watch this space!!!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

A quilt for Graham

I recently helped my dear friend, Cath and her family create this ‘blokey’ quilt for her father-in-law, Graham, who sadly is terminally ill. Cath chose flannels from the ‘Woolies by Bonnie Sullivan and Maywood Studio’ range which were just perfect for this project and combined with the ‘Shaggy’ quilt pattern made a lovely cosy quilt.  We also added in some white flannel, which not only lifted the quilt but gave the family a place to stitch a personal message on a couple of the blocks. 
The quilt was made over a weekend with the whole family including Mum, Dad & all five children (ranging from as young as 4 to 17) contributing to the process.
It was a very special project and I’m pleased to say it was absolutely loved by Graham when they gave it to him. The younger children especially delighted in pointing out which bits they’d had a hand in.


Saturday, August 2, 2014

A special bag for a special little girl

My husband's 2.I.C has a little daughter, Mackenzie, who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. I wanted to do something special for her and decided on a cute little bag to carry all her essentials like her needles and sugar tester, etc. After a bit of thought and some sneaky and very technical measuring by my husband (almost as big as an A4 sheet of paper by half a fist wide... you get the idea, lol) this is what I came up with.

I used much the same method as for the snap-happy bags I've made in the past (book bags).
I thought the snappy closure would make it quick and easy to get in to, and I included a layer of plastic on the outside of the bag and added handles so that she could carry it over her shoulder easily.

Lastly, I added her (very long) name to the front just to make it special!

Mackenzie was absolutely delighted with it....
and I know it made my husbands day to be able to give her something special.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Pork Belly with Caramel Dressing

Another scrumptious recipe I've made recently which came from a Delicious Cookbook....
definitely worth the effort!!

1kg boneless pork belly (skin on)
1/2 firmly packed cup (110g) brown sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) red wine vinegar
2 star anise
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
Juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
1 cup mint leaves
1 cup coriander leaves
1 cup Thai basil leaves (see note)
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 long red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced

·        Preheat the oven to 220°C.
·        Score the pork belly skin at 1cm intervals. Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan, skin-side up. Rub 2 tablespoons of salt into the skin, then pour in enough water to fill the pan to just under the rack. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the skin is crispy, then reduce the oven to 180°C and roast for a further 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender, topping up with water as necessary.
·        Meanwhile, place the brown sugar, red wine vinegar and star anise in a saucepan over low heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the mixture has reduced by half. Add the lime juice and continue to reduce for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is syrupy. Allow caramel dressing to cool slightly.
·        To serve, transfer the pork belly to a board, carve into bite-sized cubes and arrange on a platter.
·        Drizzle the pork with the caramel dressing, then scatter with the mint, coriander, Thai basil, spring onion and red chilli. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Something else for Cath

Another little bag I also made for my friend Cath's Birthday..... I just love these little shoe bags by Annie Downs and I especially love the colours I chose for this one!

and a couple more in progress..... I wonder who these will be for?


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Upsized Book Bag take 2

You might remember my first attempt at an upsized book bag a few posts back, which ended up being too short to hold most of my friend Cath's larger books? Well, I'm pleased to say that my second attempt was much better and I was able to give it to Cath for her birthday last week. I went to a little extra effort and added some applique to this one as I was pretty confident that this time it would be just right!

I just love the clever use of the old steel tape measure in this pattern to make the snap-close top and plan to use the same closure for some other ideas I have soon too!


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Art Folder

Another little art folder made using my tutorial... this time a gift for my friends daughter who has just turned 11.... hope she likes it!