Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

Welcome 2011




Happy New Year
 
I am always surprised when we reach the end of another year, and each year it seems to come faster. Whoooo up!

Been a memorable year for me. Of course the death of my beautiful mama in August eclipsed most everything else for me. As we slide into another new year, it feels odd that we wont be bringing her along for the ride. As time drifts on and the years fly she is left further and further behind. Sigh....

Do you make new years resolutions? I don't. I found that I never kept them, the pressure was far too much for me. :)

So instead, at the start of a brand new year I get my brand new diary/book/journal what ever it is that I have purchased and start listing my goals and dreams for the year. This year I might even go one step further and work out a plan on how I can achieve them. Dunno yet, depends on my energy levels, which are still low at the moment.

In keeping with the new year-new start I had a hair cut yesterday. As I rarely leave my home, I have a mobile hairdresser come to me, she is great and have I have had her doing my hair for many years now.

I went shorter than I have for a long, long time. I was tired of my hair, cos there were many days when I did not brush it. The knots were horrible.

So as a start to new things I am posting a small pic to show you, and will also import it as my profile photo.





What do you reckon? The girls think it looks boyish, the bloke says it looks fine! I think it 's fine too and  it's going to be cooler and easy to care for.

Anyway, enough of the chatter, gotta get my head ready for the new plans.

I would like to thank anybody who has taken time to read my ramblings, comment, email and inspire me this year. I hope we can continue this into the new year and even more so.

May you all enjoy great health, happiness, and live the most authentic life you can.

I intend to give it my best shot.

Thanks, see you on the other side of 2011.

Jan














Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What's happening at your place?


Pretty petunia, the bloke planted many of these this year but after several days of high heat lots died, such a shame

this pic made me look twice a frog in the garden is good luck apparently
 

  sponge cake and trifle



                     gingerbread and fruitcake

It's fairly quiet here as we wait for the start of a fresh new year. For me this time of the year has always been about being in limbo. You know after the tremendous build up to Christmas day then the down slide as we get ready to embrace another new year. I like to think that the year coming can be better than the last, not sure if I succeed in that idea though. Sometimes the years seem pretty similar to the previous ones.
                    coffee and cheese & tomato toast

This is my most fave brekky of all, actually I have told you that before, but it is worth repeating as I find this fills me up longer. Nice grainy bread, not white. In fact if we have to use white bread I seem to get hungrier much quicker-not good for me.
So what does your morning look like? What do you eat for breakfast that is delicious and filling? I hope to get some ideas as I am due for a change.
I had more photos but because they show the faces of my loved ones they don't want me to show them. One I convince them (read twist their arms) I will post them.





Jan













Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blog Issues

Just a quick post to let you know that I have been trying over the last few days to give my blog a new look. Unfortunatley due to my lack of knowledge I am experiencing many problems and as a result the blog is changing every day, sometimes more. LOL
So don't think it is your computer it is I fiddling around.
Please bear with me, and I will get it fixed eventually.

Thanks,

Jan

P.S Back again to say that despite all my attempts to create a whiz bang, prettier than pretty blog look I have had to admit defeat and go for a half way decent look in some of my favourite colours. However rest assured that as new and improved information comes to me changes will be affoot once again.

Let me know what you think about it all please?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fabric Storage & Fruit Cakes

Recently the bloke had reason to be visiting the city and was kind enough to bring me home a very nice and useful present. It was on sale which made it even better.
The moment it was in the house it was loaded, in a semi haphazardly way by the bloke and the other racks and things were quickly relegated to the carport. It's great having a glass cabinet as now I can admire my stash from all angles. :)
And as a bonus my fabric can remain dust free. What's not to like eh?

Try to block out the assorted mess in the lounge. Oh did I say lounge I meant in my design studio. (well it's really the lounge but I can pretend right?)



Note the lovely quilts on top of the cabinet, they look great but I am sure I wont leave them there due to the heavy dust problem in this city.





And last but most certainly not least is a photo of the two fruit cakes my eldest girl made this Christmas. Slightly well done on the outside edges but tasted so beautiful. It a recipe I devised from a few different recipes and in my opinion it's one of the tastiest, easiest, cost effective cake to make.
Although this cake turned out a little more moist than normal and no wonder too when she told me to the 1/2 cup sherry she had also added a dash of whisky and a dash of some other spirit I can't remember. Nothing like a family recipe that can be fiddled with is there?

Do you have any favourite fruit cake recipes to share?


Sunday, December 26, 2010

It was the day after Christmas and ...

Well believe it or not Christmas 2010 is done and dusted. Can't say I am sorry really; cos for many reasons I am not in top form this festive season. Family dynamics have meant that we did not see many of those who we normally would at this time of the year. So much pain and anguish and past issues...all too much for me really. Usually I am the peacemaker the bringer together of the troops, but right now I am experiencing what I call the Black Dog biting, yes depression. Although I am taking medication it is not working as good as it should be, so the result is one not so happy chappy-me!


So I don't make this post all gloom and doom I wanted to put some photos up that the bloke took recently. I think they are a beautiful spot on a otherwise dark period in my life.




Aren't they pretty? These are known as 28's also known as 
common green parrot. Many farmers consider them as pests, but there are others who love them in the garden and grow plants to encourage them to visit. The colours are great on the eye.



The above photos was taken last Wednesday night when we celebrated out first Christmas dinner of 2010. It's a bit blurry sorry but it is a nice reminder all the same. My second eldest daughter and her partner were of to Tasmania the following day to spend Christmas with their friends. Good food, good company-nice.
I do like how the candles look all frizzy, yeh I'm strange like that. :)

What happened at your place this Christmas?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Different Perspective On Christmas


(This is not my image, it was taken from Google images)

Hello people not long now till the big day. I was reading a blog the other day by a terrific American writer and he was discussing his idea of Christmas in an article entitled: CHRISTMAS EXPLAINED TO AN ANXIOUS HEATHEN

Now it is not my intention to offend anyone with different beliefs, but I think this world is big enough for all our ideas. Anyway he has no objection to sharing his work as long as he is given the credit for it so if you have a few minutes to spare check out Robert Fulghum
(google images)
 
I would like to finish here by extending my utmost appreciation to those who have been able to take the time to have a look at my blog, and to those who were game enough to make a comment. Please accept my best wishes for a happy, peaceful and rich time with your loved ones during the festive season.




All the best- Jan

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Some of the foods we are eating at the moment

Easy pizza

                   This pizza may look deadly, but in fact it is not too bad. The base is made using only two ingredients and it is the nicest one I have ever tasted. And believe me I have tried many, many types of pizzas. I am from Italian stock after all. Although the picture shows a version with meat, we have since perfected and actually prefer the meatless pizza! I know it was unheard of in this home. But even The Bloke was converted-I tell you that rocked my foundations, his being a meat eater from caveman days. And because I love to share new and beautiful things I will tell you that this pizza base can be made with two cups of self raising (all purpose flour in the USA) and 1/2 cup of natural yogurt (we use Greek). Then it is simply a case of mixing the two until you get a doughy consistency, if too dry add more yogurt or a little water instead. Then roll out to desired size and shape. This will make you two medium sized pizzas.

                My favourite brekky food
Multi-grain bread with thinly sliced cheese with tomato, cracked black pepper. I just love, love this simple but tasty food. The best thing is it fills me up for a few hours. I have it nearly every day, never really tire of it. But sometimes I will have a boiled egg on toast. :)

Choc slice
My eldest daughter is a fantastic cook and loves to fiddle with the presentation of our food that she cooks. We love it. She can take a simple little slice of choc slice she has cooked, drizzle some choc sauce( which I didn't like by the way) shh, few sliced peaches, strawberries,leaves and all, a light dusting of chocolate powder and presto yummy desert.
                     Vegetable Soup
Well what can I say but goodness in a bowl. The bloke made this with every veggie we had in the fridge. Carrot, spinach, cauliflower, tinned tomatoes, potato, onion, broccoli, sweet potato and a bit of vegetable stock powder, black pepper. Beautiful and filling too.

I am thinking that in the new year I would like to really get going with my blog and diversify the subjects I talk about, well even more than I do now.
I guess there are some that already know of the major challenge and mission I am working on and for others who don't, all will be revealed in the new year, if your still  reading and interested.
I have thought long and hard about revealing all-oh hang on don't take off yet, I promise no nude photos or too shocking revelations. :)

I just want to say before I post this, that I was really delighted that you took time to comment on my last blog post. This is a great boost to know that a few people are reading and enjoying some of the stuff I ramble on about. Thanks. Please feel free to comment or discuss anything I write, even you family members who peruse my writing looking for a reason to sue.

Okay see ya all later folks.









Monday, December 13, 2010

What I am liking right now

These are few things I am really liking about this time of the year.
First is the lovely festive cups Gloria Jeans are using, are they not cute?



New plants being potted on the patio to make it more pleasurable to sit out there. Thanks to the Bloke.


This is a small quilt intended for a new baby that is due early in the New Year. A special lady who has been in my life short while and has made such a positive impact is the recipient. I hope she likes it, and understands the appreciation behind it.
Note the hand quilting around each chook. It is the first time I have ever undertaken such a task and really I suppose I am really laying my basic hand sewing skills out to show, but to be honest I am pleased with the way it looks. Of course the stitches could be straighter, neater but given time I reckon I will improve. I enjoyed the process a lot even though I was not sure how to tie the knots of when finishing a section so if anyone out there reads this and thinks they can help a novice hand quilter I would love to hear from you.
Anyway don't you just love the chooks?
Just a thought if you do manage to read this post can you please take a few minutes to let me know. It is so lonely here sometimes not knowing if anyone reads me or not. A few tell me directly but I would love to read comments here too.

Patio garden in progress with the metal windmill we got from my mums place when we were cleaning the place ready for sale. I love it, it's real Aussie.

Well that's enough from me today I am off to have a rest before lunch. It is 41 degrees here today and although I am inside with the air con off my energy levels have left the building, if indeed they were here to start with.
Ciao till later bambinos

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday's Show & Tell

Hey told you I would come back, did you think I was telling porky pies (lies).

The first picture is a quilt I made for my youngest daughter. It originally started out as a table runner using charm squares from a beautiful range from Lily Tueller for Moda. A real girly but tropical look fabrics. When my daughter saw it she loved the fabrics and because I had made the runner on the large size she asked me to keep on extending it to make her a quilt. No worries says I. Well on I went with two charm packs, and before long I had a fairly large top but not quite big enough to fit her queen size bed. Unfortunately the fabric was not available so I chose something similar from another of her range and I must say it blended in rather well. Of course this quilt is not some tricky design it is just squares sewn together cobbled with the long borders of a mixture of floral and dotty yardage. All in all I am pleased how it has come together and even more importantly the new owner is happy too. I used my new machine to quilt this and let me say that I am very, very happy and impressed. I quilted 1/4 inch either side of the seams. A lot of work made easier by this Trojan of a machine, like a hot knife through butter. The bed is so large compared to my Janome 5027 that I was not struggling to stuff the bulk of it through-true bliss I tell you. Apologies for the poor picture quality, we are still learning the camera.




                 I used my favourite green dot by Amy Butler to bind it


                
Well that is it for today, I am off to supervise a bit of a clean up in my sewing area. I really need a cupboard for this fabric and one with a glass door so I can look at my pretties all day long.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Short post


Hi

This is a post to let you know I am still alive and will return with some pictures to show what I have been up to. I have to download them to the laptop and upload them to the blog. Some sewing finishes and upcoming projects.

Hope your all doing well. :)

See ya soon.















Monday, November 29, 2010

Memory Craft 6600 Professional



Image courtesy of Janome web site



I am happy to introduce my newest acquisition. I have long coveted this machine since first seeing it on numerous sewing & quilting blogs. Everyone raved about it and the things it can do. I thought that I would not get to own one due to the cost, but a recent small winfall and a subsequent Christmas sale saw me ordering one.
I had my SIL pick it up from my preferred dealer, approx. 700km's away last week and she returned home with it yesterday. The Bloke gave me a hand to unpack it this morning and I am amazed.
It is a beauty.
But until I study the manual I will not touch it, as I am thinking that the super fast speed might see me sewing my fingers and that is not something I want. I am alergic to pain.
It is heavier at 12 kg than my previous machines so my muscles will get a work out.
I am still trying to finish quilts that need to be completed for xmas as they are gifts. Tablerunners, and napkins also need to be started.
I do it all the time leave things to the last minute, then work like a mad thing getting things done. Crazy I tell you.
So until I have some more news to tell you including pictures will say bye for now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Short Break at the coast



Banksias on Pink Lake


Sunset at Pink Lake

Twilight Beach
Hello. Did you like these pictures? I think they are great, The Bloke took them, he is practicing his photographic skills. I think he gets better all the time. As I said we have had a small break at the coast, we drove down Friday morning and had a nice relaxing break, not doing much, reading, sleeping, touristy stuff, eating, breathing in the fresh air. Ah just what I needed. I am cooped up at home for the majority of the time so this was a good thing to do, makes me happy to get home again.
Of course due to my physical limitations there are many aspects to travel that cause me a fair bit of distress. The car is very uncomfortable and it is all I can do to not scream in pain and frustration. Then it is nearly impossible to find facilities that cater to people of a larger size. So I make do, the best I can. The beds are another matter altogether, but this time although the bed was well past its use by date, it was quite comfy, but smaller than what we sleep on at home. At home we have a great king sized bed, and it is luxurious.
But the one of the best things about going away is that it is good to come home where all the comforts of home, suited to me are.

Bliss xx

Sunday, November 14, 2010

An Ordinary Life

Hi
How can it be the 14th November already? Seriously who stole the last 6 months? One minute it was June and the next we are staring Christmas 2010 in the face. I tell you either someone is spinning the world on its axis a lot faster than normal or I am filling my days with stuff and time is getting away from me.
Anyway enough stalling, *blush* yes I apologise for my tardy posting.


This is a picture of the waffles that the girls made recently. When the girls were little their Oma used to make these for them and they loved it, so when they asked me to buy a waffle maker I didn't hesitate. Since then they have made quite  few batches and they were yummy, especially served with strawberries, cream or ice cream with strawberries. Oh and maple syrup. :)
We are now making memories for the future generations.

On the sewing front I have been stuck. Simply put I have so many ideas in my mind that is stops me from getting any done. However, today I found the energy to piece a backing for the youngest daughters quilt. Now this quilt is a biggie, length wise anyway. It is 2.5 metres long! Don't ask why; though it might have something to do with putting borders on and not knowing when to stop. No pics yet but soon.
I also made a little table topper as a gift and some mug rugs which are all the rage in blog land these days but I have been doing my version of them for a while now.
Thought the ones I have seen on the blogs are much prettier than mine.
Onto other news. Our eldest has arrived home for a while. She needs time to gather her thoughts and we are very pleased to have her back with us. I love having her around.



See ya soon



Thursday, November 4, 2010

The rest of the news

Been a busy few weeks here. Last Wednesday the youngest daughter graduated from year 12 (that's her in her gown sorry for the poor photo) . She is very pleased. Me well whilst pleased I am also wondering what the near future has in store for her and us.
She is away at present went with her eldest sister to the big smoke and today has gone on further to the coast to visit with the middle child with another sister. She has taken her little toy poodle with her. His first holiday. They were in an IGA store yesterday and she had smuggled Smog (that was his name when we got him) in with her inside an oversized handbag. He poked his head out and some small boy shouted out "Look at the cat". Smog was not happy with that description. But as others became aware of him he attracted a bit of an adoring crowd. :) He is quite an acient dog and he does have eyes, they are well hidden under that fur. He had his hair cut last week and bears no resemblance to that picure. lol



Next week they return to us with the eldest sis who is moving back here with us for a while. So yes all ebbs, flows and dam breaks. That's our life.

I have other news but it is more lengthy to tell so will leave it for another time.




Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's not all a bed of roses



26 years ago
on a cool, overcast Saturday afternoon
(3.11.84)
The Bloke and I
were married in St Mathews Church
Boulder.
I was nervous, just 20 years old.
As were signing the marriage certificate
a large, black spider dropped down
and hovered above the table.
My brother who got a fright
 and not given to
a genteel vocabulary
let out a choice expletive
in the presence of the
presiding minister.
It provided light relief
from what was a quite
formal occasion.
26 years.
Five beautiful daughters
2 house moves
and here we
are.
Yes he bought me the roses
after he initially forgot
the girls called
to remind him.
I don't really mind
I am used to him by now.


I have other news and pictures but will do that tomorrow. My internet is being shaped and it is painfully slow.
Talk soon.






















Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Little Bit of Show & Tell


Well here I am with a little update on one of my current projects or maybe this is the first youvĂ© heard of it.
Anyway I have been working on some blocks for a quilt by the team at Piece O Cake. The pattern is called My Whimsical Quilt Garden. It is a great, cheery little thing, well not quite little as it has 20 blocks measuring about 11"x 11" I think. I am using fabrics similar to those Becky used (one half of the design team) so out come the yellows, greens, reds, blues. I really love the aqua blue pindot, one of my super favourite fabrics.







We purchased a whiz bang camera late last year in order to take some beautiful pictures of my quilting and sewing oh and other things of course :) The Bloke is the man with the midas touch and he is enjoying lurking around the garden taking some pics. But no matter what we do we are yet to take a decent picture of any of my projects.
I am dissapointed but have not given up, we will keep on going untit we crack it. Any tips kindly recieved.

I am home alone tonight as The Bloke, and my 17 year old daughter and one of her big sisters are attending the year 12 graduation. Oh my wish I ws able to go. The camera went so maybe I can post some pics later?

See ya later folks.




Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks for the technology


Hello. I have come to the blog today with no set idea of what to write, but I did want to try out the new signature I just created.That is the thrilling thing about blogs, or the internet in general. No matter what there is someone out there with the knowledge. Before the internet, forums, blogging how did we learn new things? For me personally I have much to be grateful for. I did 99% of my unversity studies via distance education and online resources were the thing that got me through.
And for the past 2 and half years finding myself more or less housebound it has been my lifeline to the outiside world.
I have made many online friends, people who share my values, sense of humour (in most cases), ideas and vision for personal growth. I have signed up for regular emails from the most inspiring people on the planet. Lovely blissful words that make a weary heart like mine sing. They give me hope that there is much more to life than the physical sense.
And it always seems to come just when I am ready to hear it. Do you ever get that? Yes I bet you do.

On a slightly different note, recently I came across a term that I had never heard before. Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. Have you ever come across an obscure piece of information be it a word, term or subject and then shortly afterwards encounter the same thing repeatedly?
Well if you have your experiencing the Baader-Meinhof Phenonomen. Who knew!
Well now you all know about that I will finish, need to have my lunch getting light headed. See ya next time.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Finding Me

Finding Me

For some time now I have been on a mission.
 A long term one, not a set of and carry out mission all accomplished within a time frame mission.

But a steadily evolving mission to find out just what makes me tick.

Why I am who I am.
Why I do what I do.
Let me tell you right up that I am no where near finished, and in fact there is a great chance I never will be.
Life is like that isn't it?
Anyway, during my time of seeking I have turned to numerous books, spiritual magazines, and any other media in my quest to gain a knowledge of what I am all about.
I have a bookcase that has two shelves full of self books, books of wisdom etc.
However recently I was directed to a book by an acquaintance who found it to be very helpful.
And as a helpful sort of person-see I know that much.
I would like to pass this on.


This book is available from the
Book Depository here.

See this is just what I have wanting to do live my life as authentically as possible.
I am tired of all the farcial posturing that we take on in our lives. I am tired of keeping up appearances.
Of having to have the right house, the right car, attend the right groups and on it goes.
Life is to short to live a life restricted by the confines of someone Else's rules and agendas.
Gawd I have certainly used a wheelbarrow word of two today. So with that I am of to get into some sewing.
My soul needs it, really it does.
I'll be back and let you know how I get on.