The week that was

Alas, it’s been a very loooong week workwise, so not much stitching at all has been done, and not much of anything else.  I had a couple of 9pm finishes at work, then got sick on Thursday and haven’t been firing on all cylinders since.  My leg has been giving me a lot of pain lately, but after 2 months being on a waiting list for physio, I FINALLY have an appointment tomorrow morning so I can start discussing some appropriate exercises for my back (I have some degeneration in the discs of my lower back which is causing swelling and therefore compression of the nerves … which is leading to me walking like an old lady when I get up and horrendous pains in my left knee).  Mind you, with the current heatwave back in Sydney, going to bed with an ice compress on my knee has been blissful 😉

What I did do yesterday, though, was to dust off the grime from the top of the breadmaker and threw in some flour and rolled oats into it … 4 hours later and I was able to sample the results – a very slight sweetness to it, which I’m not a huge fan of, it’s still quite a nice loaf, and it’s given me the urge to get some milk powder and other ingredients in to start sampling a few more recipes (and also therefore cleaning up another one of my 101 things in 1001 days items).  Anyway, here is the result of my Oatmeal Walnut Bread, which is one more recipe book that I can tick off the list of my 101 things (“The Bread Machine Book” by Marjie Lambert):

The only stitching I managed to do during the week was to put a few touches to Bittersweet Season – it’s really hard to pick up the metallics and beads, as my macro camera battery has died and I can’t find the charger so I’ve had to use my Nikon SLR whose Macro setting is crap … oh well, I’m halfway through adding the embellishments, which means I just have the remaining half of the pumpkin’s beads and metallics to stitch, then stitching the metallic half-moon at the top and the pumpkin stalk.

Last night I sat in the lounge and caught up on some taped TV and put a couple of stitches into this month’s ornament – this will eventually be “He’s a Flake” by LHN … sorry for the blurry picture, but there isnt’ too much to see really anway so I guess it doesn’t matter 😉

And on that note, I’m going to take a break from the PC and grab another slice of that bread to make a sandwich …

Christmas has arrived … finally

Ever since my flatmate made a comment about my Christmas tree being up when her Mum was here visiting I just haven’t felt like putting decorations up, and definitely had the “bah humbug” feeling. On Friday night, though, I decided to put a few things out and decorated the lounge – a lot more understated than normal, and I have to say I think I really like it!

Because my flatmate is away for Christmas (she flew out today), we had Christmas morning early on Friday night and I refused to swap gifts until we at least had some sort of Christmas decorations up. I’m usually cracking the decoration boxes open on 1 December (or the closest weekend afterwards), so it’s really really unusual for me this year! Even when I lived on my own, I still had my own little tree and made myself a Christmas stocking each year – it seems a little silly, but I still bought myself a little chocolate bar and some nuts in their shells and popped a little baby bottle of champers in there (and for the first time ever something I’ve neglected to do for myself this year yet). I’m tossing up whether to approach a LNS next year and see if they will bundle up some surprise goodies from my wish list and then get someone to wrap them up for me so I can have something of a surprise in there – I was originally going to do my own 12 days of Christmas and parcel up 12 little items early in the year so I may have forgotten about them by Christmastime, but it’s not really the same, is it? haha.

Last year Katie said she was going to buying a white Christmas tree with black balls to put up this year, with a skull instead of an angel/star … sigh 😉 Let’s just say it hasn’t happened yet, and if it does happen next year then I will sit my own tree up in a different corner to be a bit more traditional!! Anyhoo, earlier in the year I found the most PERFECT gift for her … I was going to stitch her this chart and frame it up for her – I had my heart set on it, because it is just so “her” haha.  As you can see, it was the Christmas tree that made it think it was so perfect!

Unfortunately I’ve had various items back-ordered for over 3 months, and the Belle Soie threads that were sent along with my other parcel goodies an exact month ago still haven’t arrived – not to mention I was really unhappy with the fabric I ordered from NZ for it, so I ended up placing an extra order for the recommended fabric listed on the chart, and that was also on back order for a while. The fabric finally left about 1 1/2 weeks ago, but the first parcel is still AWOL, and there was no insurance on the parcel {{sigh}}. I’ll wait for another few weeks, then I’ll have to save up and re-order everything again, I guess 😦 I was then in a quandary as to what to buy my flatmate, but my heart was still set on this chart, so I ended up wrapping just the chart up and saying the real version would be coming whenever I can get it together.

To say Katie was over the moon with it is an understatement! She loved it so much she’s been taking photos of the chart and showing all her friends and family and can’t stop talking about haha. The great thing now, I guess, is that I can actually stitch it in the lounge without having to hide away, so she can watch it grow each week once I finally manage to get it started 🙂  I also gave her two Jared Padalecki movies on DVD to fill her horror quota for the year (Friday the 13th and Cry Wolf).

As for what I got, I was truly spoilt – I knew in advance what I was getting, but it made it not less thrilling – I got a ticket to see Tap Dogs next month with Katie, and we’re only a few rows from the front so we can drool over Adam Garcia without squinting haha.  I’ve always loved him in the movie Bootmen, which is so similar to Tap Dogs – if you haven’t seen it yet, I can definitely recommend it as a great Aussie drama/romance (but make sure the tissue box is handy) … love, love, love it! 😀

Today I actually started one of my 101 Things in 1001 Days – I’ve been playing with this list for the last month or so, and have finally published it live.  Seeing as I’ve started feeling a bit more positive over the last 48 hours, I’ve started making a move to see some of the goals happen. Today’s effort was in relation to #23 in the list, which is to make something out of every recipe book I own in Sydney – considering there are 130+ books, that’ll keep me busy for longer than the 1001 days, but it’ll be fun anyway!  Today’s recipe was from “Simple Delights: Coffee & Tea” book – and the chosen recipe was “Bonoffee  Coffee”.  Perhaps not the ‘best’ thing I’ve ever tasted, I have certainly enjoyed slurping it down this afternoon while I’ve been pottering around – here’s the full recipe if you’re interested:

BONOFFEE COFFEE

3 teaspoons instant coffee granules
150ml (5fl oz or 2/3 cup) boiling water
450ml (16fl oz or 2 cups) vanilla ice cream
1 large banana
300ml (10fl oz or 1 1/4 cups) milk
Few drops vanilla essence
85ml (3fl oz or 1/3 cup) Tia Maria
2 teaspoons drinking chocolate
Chocolate flakes, to serve (optional)

Mix together coffee and water and set aside to cool.  Place all the ingredients, except the chocolate powder, in a blender or food processor and process them until completely smooth.  Pour into tall glasses and sprinkle the chocolate powder over the top.  Serve with chocolate flakes, if desired.
Serves 4-6.

Alas I couldn’t find any drinking chocolate in the cupboard, but I did find some Lindt chocolate shavings … score!!! haha.  I even broke out the super-duper expensive hand-blown glassware to drink it out of.  I was given a pair of these by my very best friend Vicki, and I’d hate to think what they’re worth today – they’re hand-blown by Hoglund Glass, and apparently are quite the collector’s item … I personally don’t care, because I adore them to death, and will never sell them, I love them too much! 😀

I really should show the results of my decorations, but I think this post is getting waaaay to long by now, so I’ll create a new post shortly 🙂

Photo Hunt – Half (15 May)

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The theme for 15 May was ”Half” and here are a couple of crayfish cut in half and baking in the oven.  The dreadful thing is that there were only three of us for dinner, so we got an extra half to share (and mostly for the chef, me – yummo! 😀  I think this is my favourite way to cook crayfish (lobsters to you, up north), however at $50 each crayfish it’s definitely a real “treat” once in a decade! 😛

Farewell Dinner 2

Farewell Dinner 3

Then of course there is the Half a pumpkin that I’m still working on in the lounge … it’s almost growing at the same rate as a real pumpkin, very very slowly. Fingers crossed my threads arrive this year so I can get it finished sooner rather than later!

Bittersweet Season 12Nov10

Coconut Biscuits (aka Cookies)

Seeing as it’s been requested, I’m happy to give you the recipe for Coconut Biscuits/Cookies – I have to say, though, the coconut flavour is very light, and I wasn’t entirely thrilled with how dry the mixture was when mixing, so I added a teensy bit of milk to the mixture to help it stick together.  They tasted OK, though, and my work colleagues didn’t complain.  I personally think, though, that the Honey Coconut Biscuits/Cookies that I’ve made previously are nicer, so I’ll give you that recipe as well (I’ll be making those this weekend to take into work on Monday).

CRISP COCONUT BISCUITS/COOKIES

125g (4oz) butter
1 cup castor sugar
1 egg
2 cups self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 cup coconut
extra sugar

Cream butter and sugar, beat in egg, add sifted flour, salt and coconut.  Roll into balls and press flat between hands.  Dip top side in extra sugar.
Place on greased oven trays sugar side up; allow for spreading.  Bake in moderately hot oven (220-230C/425-450F) 10 to 15 minutes.
Makes about 40

Coconut biscuits

HONEY COCONUT BISCUITS/COOKIES

125g (4oz) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons coconut
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup coconut, extra

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, beat until light and fluffy.  Add coconut and honey, beat until combined.  Fold in sifted flour, mix well.  Roll teaspoonfuls of mixture into balls, then roll in extra coconut.  Place on lightly greased oven trays, at least 5cm (2in) apart.  Cook in moderate oven (190-200C/375-400F) for 15 minutes.  Cool on trays.
Makes about 35

Gracie progress and Biscuits

It’s been a rewarding day today – sat on my fat bottom pretty much all day watching DVDs and stitching on Gracie … leaving her looking like this at the end of the day:

Gracie 22Aug10

I did manage to get off my fat hiney for a short while this afternoon, and whipped up a batch of coconut biscuits … yummo 😀

Coconut biscuits

And now it’s time to hit the hay for the night, for another week of testing at work …

Last day of the weekend

Darnit, I’m sure someone stole some hours from this weekend, ‘cos even with an extra day it’s absolutely flown past!  Mind you, at least I have something to show for it … a freezer full of the following:

Banana and Date Muffins
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Spicy Apple Muffins
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Blueberry Muffins
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Plus I have 3 servings of Spaghetti Bolognese in the freezer now ready for upcoming dinners, and 2 servings of Rice Pudding in the fridge (of which 1 is about to be consumed, leaving 1 more for tomorrow night – yummo).

While I’ve been busy in the kitchen, I’ve been listening to another book – Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  It’s very slow starting, but starting to get a bit more interesting, I guess.  I’m almost halfway through the book now – I’ve really enjoyed having the book nattering away in the background while I’ve been busy.

Last night I put a few teeny tiny stitches into my Quaker Huswif, but not much more to show for it – this will be a loooong project, as I don’t often have time to stitch in bed on an evening, but I want to leave it here in my bedroom as my ‘bed project’.

P1030767

Tomorrow it’s back to work again … {{sigh}} 😛

Photo Hunt & Halloween Fairy WIP

I flew down to Melbourne with work on Wednesday, which meant a 4.30am wake-up call and being on the road at 5.00am … getting home a 7.30pm … yikes.  Being absolutely shattered, and on the first day of my ‘cycle’, I thought it would be best for all concerned at work if I took yesterday off as an RDO as my mood would be FAR from perky yesterday morning 😛

Anyway, on Thursday I came home from work and was in bed by 6.30pm as Katie flew home that night … and I curled up with book 2 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (Lover Eternal – Rhage’s story).  I didn’t put the book down again until I’d consumed the very last sentence – I’m now starting book 3 (Lover Awakened – Zsadist’s story), which I’ve been told is possibly the best book of the series to date. 

I’ve tried to ignore the new book calling to me, though, and yesterday spent the entire day in my PJs sat in my stitching chair watching DVDs (Hart’s War with Bruce Willis and Colin Farrell, and disc 3 of season one of The Unit) and clearing the DVR of TV shows that Katie doesn’t watch.  That meant a relatively big chunk of stitching time on Halloween Fairy – I’m almost at the point where I can’t stitch anymore until my two missing metallic threads turn up (they’re on back order), and I need to run to Spotlight to pick up one pack of Mill Hill beads that I apparently don’t have in my stash.  Here is the updated piccie in the meantime – I probably won’t take another piccie until I receive my threads and beads and manage to finish her off.  Oops, just noticed the photo isn’t quite in focus … I took it in the not-too-well-lit lounge with no lights on  … ah well, you can kind of see the fabric better this way, though – it’s being stitched on 28ct Desert Sky hand-dyed linen by Silkweaver.  I was originally a bit worried it would be a bit pale for the stitching, but actually I really like it!

Mirabilia-Halloween Fairy 25Jun10

Today I’ve been relatively busy after having a lazy day yesterday – the morning has been spent attacking the bathroom tiles with Exit Mould and scrubbing the grouting with a toothbrush.  Then I popped a load of washing into the machine before heading across the road to grab a bit of grocery shopping so I can bake some muffins – and picked up a large skim cappuccino as an afternoon treat.  Now I’m awaiting the next load of laundry to finish it’s cycle so I can throw the final one in for the night.  Then I’m thinking of dragging an old UFO out of the ‘bin’ to work on in the lounge while I’m waiting for my Halloween Fairy supplies to turn up … I woke up thinking about this piece, so perhaps it’s only right that I finish it off.

Le Jardin Silk Sampler 21Jan05

Then I need to kit up my final two PIFs, along with two exchanges that need to be stitched over the next couple of weeks – that could keep me out of trouble for a while!  Plus I have a couple of picture frames that I still haven’t put together, although I may save those until next weekend.

I’ll finish off my saga for the day by doing this week’s Photo Hunt …

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This week’s theme is ”Purple” – and this week I’ve chosen a spot of purple from Robyn Drayton’s winery in the Hunter Valley, NSW.

Robyn Drayton

Photo Meme catch-up

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This week’s theme is ”Fresh” – here are some fresh limes just before being squeezed for their juice. I love buying fruit in bulk from the fruit markets – especially fruits that can be frozen to keep the love happening throughout the following months!

Limes

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Here is my choice for this week’s Scenic Sunday – Glenelg, Adelaide.

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Scenic Sunday

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Here is my choice for this week’s Blue Monday – Timberland, NSW.

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Blue Monday