Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I think this just might be the most adorable retelling of the Christmas story ever.

Wishing all of my readers a wonderful and happy Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011


It's been, I think, about two weeks since I actually made these snickerdoodles. I took photos of them, however, and I don't want them to go to waste.

I've been wanting to make snickerdoodles for years and years, and so when I finally took the plunge the poor cookies had a lot to live up to.

Did they meet my expectations?

YES! In more than one way, too.

They are delish, but they are also so easy to make. Best of all, they don't need any special ingredients. Perfect.

I used this snickerdoodle recipe, but added a little cinnamon into the dough, too. I also cooked it as a slightly higher temperature (about 180C). This time, I cooked them perhaps a minute or two too long, because they should be moister and chewier than this, but they were still wonderful.  

This one is bleeding :(
The dough is like heaven, too! Ah! Couldn't stop eating it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas has Landed

So! Today was awesome!

I did some volunteering in a friend's classroom (which I've enjoyed so much) and that led to me getting to decorate a gingerbread house! I had to do it super quickly as it was almost lunch time (and the kids were using all the lollies I wanted!), but I think it's cute.

That's the door - notice the two hinges!
After supervising several groups of children, I knew that for a gingerbread house to be successful (and look extremely tempting) a huge amound of icing is crucial!

A bird's eye view.
After volunteering (I was only there from 9 until 1), my husband and I went to Mitre10 (a hardware store) to find a real, live, prickly, conical and cute Christmas tree. I love the one we chose - a White Spruce, still very much a baby.

It's decorated with bells (red and while), angels with glitterly wings, and a starry garland. We think it's too small for the lights, though I may add them. It would be nice to have it lit up.

I also wrapped a silver and red ribbon around the pot, to make it look a little nicer.

As we now had a Christmas tree, it meant that decorating could happen, and now the house is decked out. 

I'm pleasantly surprised at how many times I've already posted this month, I half expected to get to Christmas and realise I hadn't posted at all!

I'm planning on being back soon to share about my snickerdoodle making venture and the recipe for the yule log I plan to make for boxing day!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wedding Anniversary Number Six!

I've been looking at wedding photos for the last few days (preparing to finally get them printed!) and so now it is finally my wedding anniversary and I'm so excited!

Tonight we are going out for dinner and then a movie - nice and relaxed, just like our wedding day was! I can't wait! Wood fired pizza, here I come!

Also, honey, if you finally catch up on reading my blog, the last six years have been wonderful, and I'm looking forward to the next 60! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Summer is Here! Hence the Rain!

In typical Tasmanian fashion the first day of December - and of summer - was cold and drizzly. Not that I'm complaining, becuase I LoVe this sort of weather! But it would be nice to have warm toes!

The "Christmas Month" has started off slowly. Today I did the dishes and some present making, and that's pretty much it. The yarn for one of my husband's presents (a beanie) arrived today, which is a relief - I was starting to get concerned I'd run out of time to make it.

I've been thinking about trying to post every day in the lead up to Christmas, but I'm not going to be too strict on myself. I will try to post every other day though. Be forewarned: it will mostly be crochet and food and house rearranging and decorating. 

And because I don't want a pictureless post, here are some snapshots of a sunshower we had just the other week: 

I love how the rays of sunlight are visible, there's something so magical about it.

See you back here soon!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pears and Roses


As you can see from all the posts, the 21 day organising challenge is going great! Okay... so maybe not. Somethings are more exciting than organising (though don't get me wrong - I love to organise stuff!).
Instead of organising I've been busy crocheting like the wind!

A while back I decided it would be awesome if I managed to reach 150 finished objects (FOs) on Ravelry by then end of 2011. In the last week alone I've finished a total of seven projects, which means I've only got 15 to go!

Totally reachable!

Here are some of the things I've been making. Each of these projects were for a Kris Kringle gift.

A tiny pear keyring.

A pear pincushion. This was the first time I've used two colours simultaneously while crocheting. I love the result! Inside are a couple of metal scourers. Apparently they help keep pins sharp.

This is what it looks like on the inside:

A rose brooch - I was very gratified when the recipient pinned it on immediately!

Now I just want to make dozens of tiny pears and rose brooches!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembering and Rainbows

Originally, this post was just going to be about a rainbow badge I made for my niece, whose birthday is today (she's currently into rainbows), but I also want to say something to acknowledge all the courageous men and women who have fought to keep Australia free. 

Thinking about these two things, the rainbow and Rememberence Day, I realised that there is a connection - for me at least. For me, the rainbow is all about remembering. When I see a rainbow, it reminds me of God. I'm filled with joy and thankfulness that my God is faithful and trustworthy. I can honestly say that God has never disappointed me. He has made even the hard and difficult parts of my life into something beautiful.

This post is getting much deeper than I intended!

Here is the rainbow badge I made for my neice:

To make it, this is what I did:
  • I crocheted a flat disk (sc), using the usual increased (6, 12, 18, etc) until it was 36st around, then did a round of slst (blo), doing an extra ch in each of the six corners.
  • I then embroidered the rainbow on, using chain stitch and some running stich, and I used the yellow to sc around the outside.
  • I then sewed a piece of felt onto the back, and sewed on a brooch pin.
  • To flatten it, I boiled the jug, held the badge in the steam (being careful not to burn myself!) and then pressed it flat.
Here's the back, all nice a neat with a bit of felt covering all the mess! I really enjoyed doing some handsewing again.

To give it to her, I am planning on putting it in this little bag. I think she'll love it! I hope so!!

And now to the Rememberence Day part of the post...

Several men from my family have been in the army, including my father in Vietnam, my maternal grandfather in WWII (I think - he was stationed in Darwin), and my great uncles in WW1, one of whom died. The other was literally saved by the Bible in his breast pocket, which prevented shrapnel from wounding him. 

I have seen the damage war does, even decades later, to those who give their time in service. I love my father, and I recognise that his service in Vietnam took it's toll emotionally, physically and mentally. It's is all due to God that my father and our family is as whole and healed as we are. I count myself blessed when I see how other veterans and their families are still suffering in a very real way.

I honour these men, and I pray that my brothers, my husband, and my future children will not to bear the burden they did. 

Day 5: Under the Kitchen Sink

Hello! I have been a little absent - oops! I have, however, kept on with the organising challenge. For the time being I'm skipping day 4 (the linen closet) because I haven't quite decided how I want to rearrange it, so here is day 5!

I enjoyed rearranging under the kitchen sink, making things fit a little better, and getting rid of a few things too.

Here's the before:

Here's the after:

Can you spot the differences?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3: The Tupperware Cabinet

I should start this post by letting you know that I don't have a tupperware cabinet.
I have a plastic tub that I keep all my plastic (tupperware and otherwise) containers in. 

I have a small kitchen!

This is where the containers live, in the tub directly under the microwave under the stairs:

See the neft guns? And the ladybugs? And yes, we use margarine (shock horror!).
This is before I started going through my "tupperware tub":

These are the things I decided not to keep:

The things on the left were put into recycling, I'm using the drinkbottle and I want to declutter the tupperware.
Finally, this was after:

As you can see, there's still plenty of tupperware left.
It's not much different, but it is neater and it's enough to make me happy, and isn't that what organising your home is really all about?

Btw, would any of you like these tupperware "FlatOut" containers? A set of four, barely used. 

This is what they look like "popped out" - 950ml capacity.
Flattened out, they really don't take up much space.
Leave a comment and I'll get back to you (make sure you include your email address). 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 2: Computer Desk

The computer desk is my husband's domain. I use the diningroom table as a computer/yarn and knitting/uni work station. 
My husband, while not filthy or disorganised, is not immune to leaving things like steak knives on the computer desk for weeks at a time.

This is the computer desk before I started on my cleaning and organising:

And again, from another angle:

Cous cous and coffee, anyone?

Yes, we really do have a computer with no sides... it was overheating. I think it looks pretty awesome like this.

After taking these photos, I procrastinated for about half and hour, before starting on a general tidy up of the floor and desk top. This led me to cleaning up the two top drawers a little, and the middle drawer now contains computer related cords which are bound up neatly with metal ties (the ones that come with freezer bags). I'm really quite pleased with it! 

Other things were relocated upstairs, some things even went into the junk drawer. Once tidy, I dusted. And dusted and scrubbed and dusted... for ages!!! 

Finally though, this was the result:

The thing with the heart on it gets put in front of the external hard drive so the flashing light doesn't annoy me.

And again:

Julian used to have awesome headphones too, but they broke. New ones for Christmas, perhaps?

I ignored the "media centre" right next to it, on which some things from the computer desk were dumped:

That's a job for another day!

Day 1: Junk Drawer

I sorted through my junk drawer not to long ago, so there isn't that much difference between the before and after pictures, but some things were thrown out and others were relocated, so all in all it was an organising success!

Welcome to my junk drawer:

As you can see, it's quite respectable for a junk drawer. This is partly because all the batteries, lightbulbs and glues have a drawer of their own. The blue bag is full of pens and pencils. The thing in the top right corner is an old fashioned camera.

The scariest part is the white container:

As you can see, this is full of a whole lot of random things, from sunnies to goggles to a handbag strap. The teeth were a present for my husband from my mum and dad. They chatter and chomp and are really quite entertaining.

In the white container were these little treasures, all belonging to my husband:

Clockwise from the top left: Manchester United keyring, brought back as a souvenir from the UK by his (that is, my husband's) sister; my husband's Bronze Medallion for swimming, earnt in grade nine; the glasses that my husband wore in primary school to help him concentrate; an Australian 2 cent coin given to my husband from his nan, featuring a frilled neck lizard.

Needless to say, these did not get thrown out, unlike half of the padlocks in the picture below.

Here are all the things that were thrown out (the game was from another drawer, and the Slazenger bag is empty):

As you can see, I didn't get rid of that much. Below is a picture of the things which were relocated, mostly to the computer desk, though the corner cutter thing will go in the box with the card making supplies, and the sunnies will go in the basket near the front door.

And this brings us to the finished result. There aren't too many differences, but it is just that bit more organised, which makes me happy! The main difference is that now all the screws, allen keys, and other things of that nature are all in a bag together. Also, the 3D glasses for the cinema are now kept in this drawer too.


I find it amusing that this drawer looks MORE cluttered since organising it! But this is partly because other drawers were organised at the same time, and things were moved around to make the best use of the space I have to work with.

Since taking this, a couple of other things have also been put in here, as a result of cleaning and organising the computer desk, which I'll talk about in my next post.