It's been a so therapeutic to give my little wee craft space and total clean up and re-organise. I've been spending small bits of time going through everything, and I'm sure many a fellow crafter will agree - boy oh boy do we like to collect! It's strange the random things I found. I had to wonder at my ability to hoard some things that I was never going to use.
The other strange oddity that came to me, was how little I make for myself of the practical variety. I mean, I have the ability to sew, and yet, there were my pins all hanging on for dear life onto a crumbling bit of foam that was glued onto the plastic container they came in mostly likely many moons ago (dare I say even from my mum's sewing kit..)
No...it would not do....not for this re-vamped sewing space. So I've been busy whipping up a pin cushion (or five) and then I happened to glance at the cardboard packet of needles.....Quick....A needle book (or two) created quickly. So whilst some of these most practical delights are for my own, I couldn't resist making a few as gifts. It's marvellous how they brighten up my crafting space!
But for more creativity....head over to this space (but watch out...there is so much to look at your derrière could soon been getting a dose of pins and needles!)
We grew up together because our mum's were besties. That's me in the hand knitted pink jumper and the blonde is my mate Nicki. We grew up together but went to different schools then moved further away from each other, but no matter what we had the foundations of a solid friendship. One that endures months without even a phone call, but then nights spent laughing hysterically and doing all things together. She is the Godmother to my first born.
The other day we were off on an impromptu visit to the Finder's Keepers Market. There was loads of traffic. It took me an hour to drive 7kms! So we chatted... about my kids, her niece and nephew, my husband, her partner, my job, her job, my family, her family and then she dropped a bombshell. My mate Nicki bought her first house!!!! A real house, with a backyard, a bungalow, and cute little lace curtains.....and only a few minutes from mine! We've already allocated a craft room!
Wow...baby....Look how far we've come!
It's gone from a childhood friendship to so much more. And it's moments like these that I realise we're totally grown up now.
I know, I know....Brussell Sprouts. Please, stay with me!
I first came across this recipe, torn from a newspaper at my mum's house. I picked up the article, read it....and put it back down. Brussell sprouts? ewww! But my mum was determined to make this recipe, and whilst I showed no enthusiasm or offers of help, this dish was made and served as a tapas style entree to a very sceptical daughter and father.
I took a sprout...dipped it in the hummus, with the sprinkling of dukkah and the sweetness of the honey and placed it in my mouth. Heeeeeelllllooo Brussels Sprouts! Aren't you a surprise package!!!!!!
Well, I'm converted! I don't know if it's the fact they are roasted or just the combination of all the wonderful flavours, but now....this is the only way to eat sprouts! needless to say I copied the recipe.
So this time around, I was making this dish mid afternoon for the same tapas style entree before dinner to tuck into. A friend dropped round and saw me assemble the homemade hummus, arrange the roasted sprouts, sprinke the dukkah and then drizzle the honey. I offered....she was hesitant...."I don't like sprouts!" she said. I insisted and she tried, and then returned for seconds and thirds!
And I consider this dish a winner when my hubby is grabbing at the bread and wiping the plate clean!
Do you need any more convincing?
I made the hummus and the dukkah but you could easily use store bought, but here is what you need....
12 -24 (depending how many serves) brussels sprouts trimmed & scored with an x at the bottom
sea salt and pepper
2 tbs honey
4 tbs Hummus (homemade or store bought)
2-4 tbs dukkah (homemade or store bought)
2-4 tbs honey
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and on a baking tray add the oil and spouts with some s & p and bake for 30-40 minutes until tender (a little charred even). Toss occasionally too.
If you want to make your own...
1 can of chick peas, drained and washed.
Place in a food processor and blitz adding a good dash of olive oil, some crushed garlic and good squeeze of lemon. Once pureed, taste and then add some salt to season to your liking.
If you want to make your own.... (this is how I did it...totally made it up, but it worked!)
In a small frypan on medium heat, place 2 tsp of coriander seeds and 2 tsp of sesame seeds until golden. If you have cumin seeds add them too, but I only had ground cumin.
Use a mortar and pestle to ground the seeds.
Add some s and p
Add 1 tbs of almond meal (or hazelnut meal) and combine
Now...to assemble. spread the hummus out of a medium serving dish, and place the roasted sprouts on top. Sprinkle the dukkah liberally all over and then drizzle 2-4 tablespoons of honey all over. Give your family, friends or whoever is around a fork and tell them to tuck in!
Whilst on school holidays, the kids and I got up to some fun stuff. One of which was spending a day with our friends at there house for a picnic lunch in the backyard, followed up with laughter, playing, chatting and coffee! And whilst I've seen heaps of pic's of this gorgeous girls backyard, nothing prepared me for Real Life impact. It is just so inspiring. A planned veggie and herb garden, in the most amazing garden beds, all arranged with beautiful bricked paths that lead to the centre where a gorgeous persimmon tree adorns. I was even shown the beloved notebook of said gardeners and their rotational method, planting veggie's in different sections of the garden each year!
So of course days later, I finally put all my (miniature) garden planning into action. I'd been planning a little vertical garden for a little while now, collecting things as I went, but the creative bug hit, and the last official day of the school holidays was spent digging, getting green thumbs and loads of warm sunshine!
My kids loved it! We picked some herbs, lettuce, mini broccoli, and snow peas to start with. I drilled some holes in old wine boxes, and even in some tins I'd kept. The hanging baskets were stripped from under the shade of the tree where nothing will grow...and given a new spot right in the sun. The pallet and ladder are road side finds and that bit of ply wood as been clogging up the shed for ages. A few nails, some wire and bit of imagination with the chalkboard paint and voila! A vertical garden!
So my creativity took me a away from the sewing room and into the garden..... that's the bit I love about being creative....it can strike anywhere. Now head over here and get a look at all the other creatives out there!
Something has been slowly getting on my nerves of late and it's really starting to bother me.
Have you noticed, that we are becoming LIKE addicted???
It's like you cannot do anything these days without the phase LIKE coming into the conversation or even action.
Facebook is the biggest culprit and I have not been on Facebook for years now (and have officially deleted my account!!!!!). But it's spreading....like the plague....it's everywhere.....
All the LIKE this and LIKE that is enough to drive someone like freaking crazy. I can't even read an email from humble spotlight offering me a chance to win a voucher without the punch line being "just LIKE us on FB" - urgh! You lost me...delete!!
I do imagine a lot of people trying to be really cooky, funny, quirky and original with their comments or photos to obtain the most likes, and then refreshing their page to see the response as if that is the ultimate status. I think my like dislike really dawned on me when a few followers on my Instagram liked EVERY SINGLE PHOTO I have on there to date in one go. What you like all of them? Your not even going to be selective? Is that just lazy, or you can't be bothered commenting? I admit....I will occasionally like a photo on Instagram....but I don't like what I'm doing! I'd rather comment. I don't like conformity. I don't want to be like everyone else....that's half the reason I abandoned FB for the world of blogging I think. Here I can be me...you can be you and we write what we want to write and set it out in a way we want to. All those blue pages....all the same...all dictating how you do things on there....limiting how many characters you use on Twitter....things like that....I don't like.
All this liking is diluting all the goodness.
While were on the subject of liking....how do you like something that is not so good? And so I ponder over someones instagram photo of their child crying, and I'm like.... "I don't LIKE that...". Your child is crying...or you just lost all your stitches on your knitting needles....you're stuck in traffic or there is no milk left. I'm not LIKING that!!!!
And why like??? Is love too strong??? How about OK? Too casual??? Pinterest, I noticed have a like button, but really it's so unnecessary, cos if you like something you usually re-pin it yourself no?
I just feel so high-school-ish and all we are doing is passing around the same note on it asking each other - Do you like me? People are on constant "performance mode" - If you aren't on FB, your on twitter. If your not on twitter...you're instagram-ing.....your liking other peoples comments, or photos, or updates. I wonder at the pressure of going along your normal day and worrying about checking in to all this social media. Where has the down time gone? The alone time when your not "on show"....
Do we really need to pat each other on the back at every single moment?
Anyone sick of the LIKE hype??
I am fortunate that I have my own craft room in my house. Albeit it is very small, more like a cupboard, but I prefer to focus on the positives, and that is, that it is a room entirely for me and my craft.
It measures 1.7 by 2.1 - see cupboard like. But it's my crafty paradise. Although more crafty cyclone devestation is more accurate. It is in major need of an overhaul. It's getting to the point where I can't find what I need easily, I'm buying stuff I already have....and it's just not as functional as it could be.
So I have be clearing some rubbish out and making a list of the things I think will make my craft room more inspirational. I'll be putting things in close reach...things like scissors and pins, tape measure and threads. I want a more cohesive area for my fabrics, big and small, and a little area for planning, packaging and for storage of books, magazines and patterns. Perhaps an inspiration board, a spot for projects on the go and just making it look pretty too.
And of course I turned to pinterest. For a while I've been collecting some inspirational pictures of craft rooms around the globe to see what tricks might work for me!
Last Saturday I participated in my first outdoor country market. Simply put, it was magic. And even though I've done markets before, it's been quite a while (a year nearly) since my last market and I think I lost my knack!
I think the things I love about markets is the sociability. The interaction with other stall holders and the connection with those that come to wander. I had some lovely comments thrown my way and I gobbled them up and will keep them as confidence boosters when I get a crafty slump. One lady in particular made such a lovely comment about the quality of my goods, my fabric choices and of course my mum piped in that I make all the products myself and look after my two adorable children. Kudos mum!
I think that's the magic of a market. Sure it's nice to sell things on line or stock you wares in shops, but seeing someone's face light up because they buy a key fob and realise that they wont lock their keys in the car anymore (well i hope not), or they find a perfect little gift for a grandchild, or even a little something for themselves. Well, it makes my day.
I was delighted to pick up a bag of local fresh apples, chestnuts we roasted the next day and some lovely hand made soap. I also scored the most amazing vintage platter for the stellar price of $6 thanks to my mum yet again.
Do you love markets and what do you love about them?
*my made it shop is now open again after a long vacation, but I'm slowly adding items on!
Over the Easter break me and my little family exited the city for country life. The morning after day light savings changed back to normal, my kids were up way too early, but I saw the silver lining and we all crept out of the house leaving hubby to snooze away. I grabbed my camera and we took in the scenery, watched the sun rise and took note of the beauty of a small country town waking up slowly. It was a favourite morning, with my favourite people taking photos of my favourite country spot.
My son has always been an early riser. Lately its been 5.30am that I hear him stir. When daylight saving changed he woke at 4.30. Not good. He's always been this way and finally I feel I'm just getting used to it. You see I'm definitely a night owl. Not the partying up late kind, but the type that likes to potter around, I get things done, I read, craft and other such stuff and then I just let myself collapse in sheer exhaustion. I'm not that great in the morning. But I'm better than I used to be.
I lay awake this morning after directing my son to a quiet activity at 5.45am realising that I've had to become an early bird, but still love being a night owl.
In other news....
I'm busy preparing for a market this upcoming Easter Saturday. It's my first outdoor market and my first country market. I feel it's going to be big...the street gets closed, there is a parade, rides, music and crafty and homemade goodness on offer. I'm excited...
Here are some of my mobiles... And it only just dawned on me that I make both an early bird and a night owl!! How fitting!!!
What are you... Early bird or night owl??
And what are your children??
My reading challenge to read 50 pages a day is going well. well, mostly. Some days it's way too hard to stick to, but others it's fine. The best thing is that I'm making sure I dedicated small little fragments of time to get some much needed reading done. So what's been on my list? Well here's a snap of what book I've just finished, what I'm reading now, and what's next...
Read - The Mothers' Group by Fiona Higgins - a compelling book about six women and their journey through the first year of motherhood as they come together in the form of a mothers' group, each with their own story, their own expectations and perhaps their own judgements of each other and how they are going to parent their infant. The book is being released nationally on the 1st of April, but I got an early copy as I went to the book launch and got to meet the author (who has three children under five!) and discuss her journey in writing this book.
Reading now - The bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad. A man in Afghanistan defies authorities and sells books to the people of Kabul. He is arrested and the book travels through the journey of him, the turmoil of his country during the rein of the Taliban and the extreme differences in culture, tradition and the treatment of men and women.
Next - Room by Emma Donoghue. This book was recommended by a colleague. All I know is that it's about a five year old boy, Jack is locked in a room with his mother. Why?
What book have your just read?
What are you reading now and what's next on your list??