Wednesday, January 27, 2010


2010 looks to be a year of changes for me and my little family. It started on Friday night with our move. We have almost finished bringing everything over to the new place, just some plants and the BBQ are left to come across. I have to say, doing the majority of the moving on Saturday - when it reached 41 degrees in Sydney - was tough. It was made even tougher by the set of stairs everything had to be brought down, and the two flights of stairs it all had to be carried up.

The new place is looking great. I am loving the big screen door on the balcony which allows an abundance of fresh air into the house. I love the fly screens on the windows which stop the mosquitoes. I love having a dining room where we can put a table so we no longer have to eat dinner on the couch. Simple things can make a place so much nicer.

Another change for me this year...

I have decided to go back to Uni. After 8 and a half years of Uni previously and less than 3 years in the workforce, I have decided to try another career. I knew halfway through my postgraduate degree that I wasn't going to be happy being a scientist in the long term, but I pushed through and completed my degree. Partly because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. And I like to finish things that I start. Also because I didn't want anyone to think I couldn't do it.

So I have decided to do a Graduate Diploma of Education to become a secondary school science teacher. Working with teenage girls last year in the SISTER2sister program was tough, but so rewarding. Having thought about teaching for a long time, these girls helped to cement my decision. I am really excited about this new direction. The degree will take me two years so I still have some research in me, but it is a start - and I can't wait to get started.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Please meet Tilly!

My shiny new pink KitchenAid!

She came out of the box for a photo, but then went straight back in ready for our move this weekend. I think her first test will be Karen Martini's pizza dough.

I hope we will become good friends.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quilt top - check

Even with all the packing we did on the weekend, I managed to get this quilt top finished. The sun shining through it distorts the colours a little, but I am pretty happy with how it is looking. It's much nicer than when the blocks were separate that's for sure. I really enjoyed piecing this quilt as it was simple and quick which allowed me to see results quickly (yes, I am impatient!). I put it together from 16 fat quarters and some white yardage. I do love quilts that use lots of fat quarters as they tend to be the predominant pieces in my stash.

Only 4 days until our move and I can dismantle mount cardboard! Thank God!

And today is Sampson's 5th birthday - happy birthday little man!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Chaos and hot weather - not a nice combination! We are moving in a week and a half, not too far, just a few streets down in fact, but the packing and organisation is still the same as a big move. Our lounge room looks like a cardboard monster threw up in it and my sewing room...let's not go there.
I am heading to Melbourne at the end of the month for a baby shower and I really wanted to have my present finished to take with me. So I can't pack my sewing machine, or the fabrics I need, which is fine - but now I have no room to baste the thing because the floor is covered in boxes! We get the keys to the new place late one afternoon, so I wonder if I can convince my husband that before we move in, that I need to use the wide open floor to baste my quilt??

I am a bit nervous about this quilt. I let my friend choose the fabrics as our tastes are so very different. As I was sewing the blocks together I started to get very worried, individually, some of them are not so pretty at all. However I am hoping (and crossing everything), that when they are all together that it will look ok.

Last night in the heat I decided it would be a good idea to do some baking. The apartment is still about 10 degrees warmer than it is outside, but I do have some beautiful salted chocolate cookies to show for it.

Craft room girls - these are for tonight!

World Peace Cookies

1¼ cups plain flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp baking soda
155g unsalted butter, at room temperature (it really does need to be soft for this recipe as there are no other wet ingredients)
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp fleur de sel or ¼ tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
140g dark chocolate, chopped

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder together. Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for another 2 minutes. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix just until the flour just disappears into the dough- don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Add the chocolate pieces and mix just to incorporate. Turn half the dough out onto a piece of cling wrap on the bench. Shape the dough into a log of 4cm in diameter. Wrap the cling wrap around the log and refrigerate or freeze for at least 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 160˚C. Using a sharp knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1 cm thick. (The rounds are likely to crack and break as you’re cutting them- don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds onto baking paper lined trays, leaving about 3cm between them. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

recipe from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Thursday, January 7, 2010

December daily - 13 to 19

I was really organised with my December Daily journal - I finished all the pages before we left for Melbourne and took some glue, scissors and a pen with me with every intention of finishing it off but, it never left my suitcase!

I am almost done now though - I just have to get my last few days of photos printed.

But here's Dec 13-19 which are (almost) done!

Dec 13 - carols by candlelight in the local park

Dec 14 - making Kris Kringle presents

Dec 15 and 16a - Christmas parties (15 still needs a photo)

Dec 16b and 17 - Christmas feast and presents for my sister

Dec 18 - a leisurely night at home and Dec 17 - picnic in the park - also awaiting a photo.

I've really enjoyed doing this little journal, it certainly helped make Christmas a little more special. I can't wait to finish it off this weekend.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I was very lucky this Christmas - some of my favourite presents were:

Karen Martini's second book - Cooking at home - from my parents. I think I am going to love this one as much as I loved the first one - I've been home for 4 nights and already cooked 2 meals from it!

A gift voucher from my in-laws...

for Patchwork on Central Park!

I used it to get some gorgeous Japenese fairytale fabric and Amy Butler's pattern for Gumdrop pillows.

I also got the book "The Art of Happiness" by the Delai Lama - from my brother-in-law and his wife, and a Sydney/Melbourne 'Taste' voucher from my sister and her boyfriend which can be used at a number of restaraunts, bars and cafes.

And somehow, I also got 5 blocks of chocolate! 3 different varieties of Lindt and 2 fruit and nut...

See - seriously spoilt!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Home again, home again...

Why do car trips always seem so much longer on the way home? We drove home to Sydney yesterday from Melbourne, and after dinner and a glass of red it was lovely to get into my own bed again. We picked up Sampson today from his holiday at the cattery and he is incredibly smoochy - it has been lovely!
And now I'm finally settling in for some late afternoon sewing... just what I need to relax after a busy, but wonderful time away.

I forgot to upload these photos before I went away, but these are the presents I sent to Emily for Chookyblue's SSCS.

This sweet bag was designed by Leanne Beasley

And this little angel was from a pattern in Homespun (and of course, I can't find the issue right now because I am looking for it!)

And of course I had to make one for myself too