Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Time Flies...

Time flies... I no sooner get to Monday with a full week ahead of plans, and all of a sudden its the weekend again. Who was it that said"Life is what happens, whilst we are making plans". Something along those lines anyway.
Time Management, I hear you say.... Maybe, it's simple laziness on my part......
We are off to Tasmania for a long weekend, for those of you who dont know where that is well I live at the bottom of Victoria (State on bottom right hand side) and the little island directly below is Tasmania.

We visited Tasmania, about 5 years ago for 2 weeks. Drove around, it is the most beautiful place, the scenery is breathtaking. It was the most relaxing holiday, and I would move there tomorrow, but Mr. M. won't be taken away from his work here. We are only visiting Hobart(capital) and the surrounds on our trip. Can't Wait....
Here is a pic of Mr. M. & I at a theatre restuarant not long ago, (sorry about the quality I had to take photo of photo, as scanning, wouldn't work.)

We have been together 26yrs and married 23and a half yrs. We have both physically changed alot, but we are still the same in every other way. Still laugh at the same things, like the same things etc.. both enjoy a simple life.
Bye bye, time to pack...
With Smiles
Kathryn x

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Day Out

Warm Welcome,
Today I was lucky enough to go with four of my Wednesday lady group friends , for a day out.
Our destination was Ballarat, an old gold mining town, about an hour and a bit (Didn't time it, we were too busy talking..) from home.
I have mentioned the emporium we usually visit in a previous post, and the lovely lady it belongs to.

These are some pics of the front, and inside, it is so easy to lose track of time in here.

This is what I bought, so much for my NO MORE FABRIC rule.

These charms squares are destined for a quilt and cushion.

We had lunch at a local club, wandered around and took the long way home.

What a delightful day. To add to the loviest day, Mr. M. & Miss. L. had dinner for me when I arrived home. Jock, had missed me, he greeted me with the enthusiam of a madly waging tail, and some little woofs to get my attention.

After dinner I looked through my little bag of goodies, and folded and refolded my fabrics. Yep, life does throw a diamond day at you, when you least expect it. Funny how the small things in life can make you the happiest. Family, friends, some fabric to make something useful out of. (Oh, yes and of course the unconditional love of a dog, who is always happy to see you.)

With Smiles

Kathryn x

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busy Days

Hope you and yours are all well....
If you are, then like me, you are very fortunate. I think as you get a little older & wiser, you tend to appreciate the little day to day things. Waking up in good health, being able to go about your daily business with ease, enjoying simple things like a garden, a stroll with a friend, cooking for the family, a warm fire shared with family. I often have this thought in the evening ,when we are sitting in our cosy home, all in good health (God willing) with a cup of tea in one hand and a biscuit in the other. I realise that my needs are few, Family, Health, Food and a roof over our head. So many do not have even one of those. How fortunate I am, I have them all, Yes.. I am truly thankful every single day, I have been blessed.
I have been a good girl (well middle aged woman) today. I have swept and vacumned and scrubbed, washed the floors, hung out washing and started to organise tonights dinner, and I did it very quickly (but thoroughly), so I could do some of my craft work. It's not that I don't enjoy doing chores, it's just that I try to fit in some therapy(CRAFT WORK). Am I alone in this?? I know it's all productive, but most of my chores aren't very creative, so I tend to hurry.
Freshly ironed tea towels...(don't mind doing these)

So....., to therapy, I have been working on a cup/mug padded bag, to take my mug to my Wednesday morning group. It will have small pockets on the side, to put in extra coffee, tea etc..perhaps a spoon. A drawstring top will finish it off.

I love the fabric...

Thought I would let you know, I am a person who has to have lists. I have a shopping list like most people. A list of unfinished craft projects, list of things that need doing around the house, one for me, one for Mr. M., a list of christmas card receipients, also of christmas presents I have bought, and put away throughout the year. I could go on but I will bore you. OK, then... A list of dinners to be prepared for each day of the week, a list of things I wish to make(food, soap etc..). I think you get the drift.. Yes, I am organised, all because of lists. My Lists ensure I don't miss anything. Try Some!!!!!

Here is a recipe for muffins, it was put out here years ago by the heart foundation, I have tweaked it a little.


2 and a half cups wholemeal Self Raising Flour.
Quarter cup of unprocessed bran
Quarter cup castor sugar
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 cup Sultanas
1 and a half cups of Blueberries( I use frozen when not available)
1 Banana squashed
Three quarters of a cup Apple Sauce
2 Egg Whites
1 and a half cups of skim milk
Half teaspoon of Cinnamon
(Handful of chopped Walnuts optional)

Put all ingredients in one bowl. Divide into large Muffin (12) Tray.Bake for 15-18 minutes, in a preheated 180C. oven. Waa..Laa...

I want to thank Amy from Home Acres for the lovely award, and also want to mention that for some reason I cannot load my favourite bloggs onto my page. Will keep Trying.

Well goodbye for now

With Smiles

Kathryn x

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Christmas Presents we can all Afford..

Warm Welcome,

As we head closer to the end of the year, my thoughts inevitabley turn to Christmas, and of course Christmas presents. Many people are not drawn into the commercialism of Christmas, I am one. But, I cannot completely cut my near & dear ones when it comes to my pressies list. I have some of the most beautiful people in my life, some of the kindest souls, that I want to give a present to.....

Soooooo...... If the pennies are tight, I have a few ideas for handmade and inexpensive gifts . Lets cover children first.

Cooking Pack for Children.
This is a great idea, as it is an inexpensive present and it encourages children to cook.
Make an apron, with a pocket ,which you can either embroider the child's name, or applique a motif on. eg.. a spoon, a car, a chef's hat.
Buy some plastic cookie cutters(you sometimes get 10 in a pack so you could divide these to make 2 presents).

Small Rollingpin,
Small Wooden Spoon
Childrens cook book (Have seen some great ones a Big W for $4.50.
You could make a Chefs Hat.
Small Plastic Bowl

Tote Bag full of Goodies.
I had this idea some years ago when, we were going on a long holiday in the car. I wanted to occupy my 7yo along the way so I made this.( A bit worse for wear these days) . I put in it a colouring book and pencils, a paper doll book. A little doll with handmade clothes to change into.
A dot to dot book, a Golden story book, a little tin of lollies, a little maze toy and a note pad.
The bag fabric was on sale for $2.00(I had heaps left over, still got it) The plastic was approximately $2.50. The nik naks cost about $10-$14.00.
Ok.. the mermaid fabric and contents was good for a girl, but I have made one or two for a boy and just used car print or dinosaur print fabric, the contents stay quite similar with exception of the dolls things. You can put in a matchbox car or a pack of the collector cards boys like these days. (Just add less to make is less expensive.)

If you have a young teenage girl, you could make a large cosmetic bag and put in some lip gloss, bath bombs, scented deodorant spray, a pair of bedsocks, a lanier, a small brush , small mirror , some pale coloured nail polish, a girlie teenage magazine just to name a few. Another idea is a head scarf for wet hair made of towelling. My daughter Miss L. has used hers over and over.

Sorry hard to get a good photo of the back of your head.

Wine Bottle Bag
A friend gave me this pattern, but I think it is originally a Clover pattern, Clover are the Brand name of the people who make these ingenious, devices, to make craft life much easier. They have a suffolk Puff maker, I made this bag from small pieces of material, any scraps will do. You need to make 64 puffs to complete this project, please let me know if you are interested and I will post pattern.

The colours look washed out in this photo for some reason. The ones prior are spot on.

Embroidered Tea Towel or Pot Holder
I have made a set of these, and they really are effective, I love the old style feeling they exude, I have one hanging on my stove door handle all the time. They wash up a treat too.

There is another 3 in the set. I used transfers from Aunt Martha's made in the U.S. I think, which are reusable. I bought some good quality cotton(linen) material sewed up the edges and embroidered them. I have given one or two away as part of a housewarming present. One with a wooden spoon and a small bottle of Olive Oil (I infuse with garlic) or a small bottle of homemade cordial(See earlier post), or a nice mixing bowl, would make a delightful present.
I have also bought a good quality beige pot holder(glove type) , and embroidered the christian name of the receipent, (eg;Beth's Kitchen) and embroidered a little floral motif on it. I always keep my eye out at sales for potholders, and keep 1 or 2 for up coming or unexpected presents.
Aprons, I love aprons, but so many people these days don't wear them. If you know someone who does, a great idea is a matching embroidery motif on the apron, potholder and teatowel. I
will post an apron pattern if wanted.

Christmas Cake Scarf
I suppose it's a decoration, but scarf just seems to sum it up for me. I made one of these for myself, a few years ago. and the response was incredible, I have made so many to give away I have lost count. Now I am not saying, to just give the scarf as a present, but if you are one of those that make foody types of presents, this will really glam up a Christmas cake. Alternatively, there are a few people I know that are single, so I divide my usual cake mixture into three , use small tins to make make mini fruit cakes. I make three small cake scarves and waa.. laa. 3 lovely appreciated presents. In short, you only need a length of Xmas Material, eyelet lace and thin ribbon. It's so easy. If interested I will do an instruction post.

Ifyou would like to make your own soap, Rhonda Jean from Down to Earth has a great post.(Tried to link her post but am still new at this.)

By the way have I told you I am going on a day trip next Wednesday, with my Wednesday craft girls. We are going to Ballarat and Sebastapol, about an hour or so away. We visit an Aladdin's Cave there called Gails Patchwork Emporium, it is the most wonderous place, full of allsorts of material and braids and ribbons. oohhh.. She travels overseas and brings back the most delicious things. She puts out a catalogue once a year, which we all drool over. (I have kept the last 5 years, worth.) I forgot to mention the lady herself, she is so helpful, down to earth and welcoming. Gail even gave me some material out of her own stash once, NOW THATS SERVICE.. If you let her know a few are visiting, she will have a cake for you, to go with the coffee. Once we have composed ourselves, we will make our way to the hotel, for lunch.
Well have rattled on enough, take care, till next time.

With Smiles
Kathryn x

Monday, October 13, 2008

Walnut Loaf

A Warm Hello,

The days seem to be flying by.... Christmas will be upon us, before we know it...

We had a lovely weekend, Saturday was a day spent pottering and getting lots of those small chores done. Repotting a few plants in the garden, hand washing woollies to put away for the summer. I even spent time in the loft organising some more room for my materials that I love, but will not live long enough to use. I have made a mental note for myself NO MORE FABRIC.....I cleaned out my wardrobe, and was so pleased with the result. I wanted to start on the tallboy, but time was short , I cooked dinner and we visted some old friends of ours, we have known them for 24 years. It is a joy to sit and talk with people that know you so well, we know all about each others family and all each others quirks. We share some wine and laugh alot. Sunday, we visited a local picnic ground with a lake, Miss L. rode her bike, while us two walked, we did a couple of miles before the hot wind became so strong, it made it too uncomfortable for walking, so we turned back. We drove to the seaside about 10 minutes away and stopped for a late lunch. (Must remember to take my camera).

Today,I have visited the market, supermarket,bank and dry cleaners . I wanted to prepare something for afternoon tea, for when Mr. M. & Miss L. arrive home, so I quickly put all the shopping away, and made this nut loaf.

My recipe for Walnut Loaf....Yummy...


1 and a quarter cups of Self Raising Flour

1Tspn Mixed Spice

1 Tspn of Cinamon

Pinch of Salt

1/4 Cup of Castor Sugar

50gms Butter

3/4 Cup of chopped Walnuts

half cup sultanas

Just under 1/2 cup of milk

1 egg.

Sift flour Salt & Spices together 3 times

Rub in Butter

Add Sugar, Sultanas & Walnuts

Stir in egg & milk.

Place in Nut Loaf Tin and cook in a 190.c over for about 55 minutes.

Sifting flour etc..

Mix to a very firm dropping consistency. Place in Tin.(Remember,to grease it first.)

Cool on rack for about 1/2 hour.

Yum,.....nice with butter...

And yes they like my Nut loaf, Miss L. likes it with a glass of milk & Mr. M. with Tea.

Well, must away.. Take care until next time..

Will have a post on handmade Christmas presents coming up shortly.

With Smiles

Kathryn x

Friday, October 10, 2008

Lemon Cordial

Good day to all, Hope all is well, today is one of those diamond days, the sun is shining, God is in his heaven and all is right with the world.

These are the kind of days I savor, I linger far too long on the front verandah..

View from my front gate, down the end is the fenced off bowling club greens....

Lazy morning today, morning tea on the front verandah with a little embroidery, to keep me out of mischief.. Told you it was a lazy morning, even Lex has joined in...

I have made some lemon cordial, and thought I would share the recipe..

I have tried many over the years and this one is THE BEST so far.. It will keep for ages in the bottles I have in photos, but if you dont have those just use empty clean plastic juice bottles.


2kg white sugar

5 cups boiling water

60 gms citric acid

5 large lemonsHere are the ingredients, the lemons are from a country market we went to on the weekend.

Here are the tools.

Put sugar, citric acid,and grated lemon rind into large bowl.

Squeeze lemons, dont worry if a few pips sneak in, and the more flesh the better. (No Pith)

Pour juice etc into bowl, add boiling water, and stir until all the sugar has disolved. Let cool, cover let sit for overnight.

Strain juice through the strainer into a larger container/jug.

Funnel into sterilised bottles. Makes just over 2 and half litres.


I usually make at a 1-7 ratio. It is great with lots of ice on a hot day....

With Smiles


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wonderful Wednesdays

I have returned today from my usual Wednesday morning social outing, with my talented crafty friends. It started off as a patchwork group, but so much more happens there. I joined about 9 years ago and the group had started a few years prior. We have patchworkers,embroiderers,the most amazing knitters,photographers,doll makers, bear makers, leadlighters, dressmakers and tatters . So although when I started I was looking to only tackle patchwork, I have tried so many things over the years..and although I cannot master them all, I admit I enjoy trying. The usual number of about 10 has dwindled at times as people move interstate etc.. But more people come and at present the number is about 15. The majority like me have been there since I joined. We have seen each other through many a calamity, and have had many a laugh along the way. The ladies come from a range of backgrounds and ages, so the conversation and advice when required is just as diverse. We come together with a common interest, and find we have so much more in common than our craft. We meet in a medium size hall, which is surrounded by large glass windows on three walls, topped with leadlight windows. The hall is set in a beautiful garden, with a little japanese bridge in the distance, on one side we have lavender bushes growing and if we leave the door open, the breeze, gently wafts the scent around us. We have tea and cake or whatever is offered. We can only stay for 3 hours unfortunately.PURE ESCAPISM........
We often have a day outing to Ballarat, about 1hr drive. Once a year we have a weekend retreat, this years was in August in a place called Foster, country Victoria. It takes approx 3 hours to get there. IT TOOK US NINE..... Why, because we stopped at the craft shops, the fabric shops, the quilt shops, the nik nakky shops, the opportunity shops. Yes, we also stopped for morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea. We didn't only stop at the shops enroute, no, we turned off the main road to other little country towns, to look at their shops too... WHAT A FAB WEEKEND.... I have included a quilt top that I am working on, there are over 400 of the small 2 and a half inch coloured squares. I did not strip piece, they were cut individually.

These are some of the prarie points I am making for the edges instead of binding.

Mumma Bear Baby Bear(with dummy)

Till next time

With Smiles