Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fun Creating

I have had an urge to make things. Not necessary things but things that require me to work out how to do them. I have wanted to make something with clear pockets for a while so I used a plush curtain sample, a hand towel and some strips from the lining I bought for my jacket to make a toiletries pouch to take on the plane. I have three trips in the works. It is not super light or stream lined but I like the look of it.

After seeing the luggage tags Simone had on her post I just had to try making some. I tried one with binding that was OK but I didn't like it so I made one that is sewn and turned. The tails of the tie extend all along the tag and are sewn the length of the tag so there is no chance of it being torn off without the fabric tearing. I also wanted to decorate it with applique and since I had a likeness of myself from another project I put me on it in felt with a narrow zig zag to hold it on. It has stiff hand bag wadding inside. I laughed as I attached it to my bag. It is just like photo ID.

The other thing I made was  a sponge cake with lots of egg yolks and no butter. I had yolks left over from making pikelets with egg whites. I know the idea is not to eat the yolks but it seems such a waste to throw them away.

I made a few adjustments to the recipe and it turned out yummy. A lot of butter in cakes brings out my dairy intolerance a bit so it was nice to have no butter in the cake.

Egg yolk Sponge

3/4 cup SR flour or make up to 3/4 with 1 1/2 tbsp of cocoa
1/2 cup caster sugar
5 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg
6 tbsp hot water (85 degrees C)

  1. Sift flour and cocoa and set aside.
  2. Use elecric mixer or mix master to beat eggs for 3 mins
  3. Add hot water gradually while beating then beat for 10 mins til thick and creamy
  4. Add sugar gradually while beating and beat for 3 mins to dissolve sugar
  5. Fold in the flour in 4 steps. I use a hand whisk to stir in the flour gently
  6. Pour into a large cake tin
  7. Bake at 180 C or 375 F for 30 mins. The cake should shrink away from the tin a bit
  8. Turn out and cool completely. I found the top stuck to the cooling rack a bit. Maybe spray the rack before using.

The cake nearly didn't make it to the photo shoot :)
The pikelet recipe is interesting too. It is from the Oxygen magazine. I was a bit skeptical but they rise and they taste great. They even passed the husband test :)
I adjusted this recipe a bit too because it is a pain to clean out the blender. If you use oat bran instead of rolled oats you can make it with a bamix or electric beaters. I also used almond meal as an alternative to flax seeds and protein powder.

High Protein Pikelets
1/2 cup oat bran (or rolled oats if using the blender)
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 scoop protein powder
I had no flax seeds or protein powder so I used 3 tbsp almond meal
2 fresh egg whites
1/3 cup low fat cottage cheese

  1. Mix all ingredients or blend if using rolled oats.
  2. Also once I had made it once I just put in rough amounts. It is pretty hard to wreck it.
  3. If it is a bit thick I added another egg white one time and some rice milk another time.
  4. Cook like pikelets
This amount is supposed to be for one but it makes about 6 small pikelets that are very filling and would possibly feed two with some yoghurt and berries on top. It was enough for the two of us.

I am looking forward to the beginning of spring tomorrow. The sun has that lovely warm feel to it now - not too cold, not to hot.

Happy Quilting,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Crazy Quilting Friday

On Friday I was busy finishing a handbag. I really like the Birds Home stitchery so I made block 2. I don't want to make the wall hanging so I used lots of scraps and followed the design Diane had for the block but cut the pieces as big as I could. I added a bit on one side to make it even bigger and made it into a hand bag. Even the lining is some scraps. It has lots of pockets and a zip. It is not exactly crazy quilting but I did try to fit the scraps together.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Visit to Morpeth

I had a lovely time in Morpeth on Tuesday. Mum and I caught the 6am flight to Newcastle. It only took a bit over an hour. We picked up the hire car and drove the 40 mins to Morpeth where we looked around a bit then had a hearty breakfast at Crisadas Riverview Cafe.

The Hunter River, Morpeth , NSW
The main street - Swan St, Morpeth, NSW

By the time we had finished it was nearly 10 so we headed up to the Morpeth Gallery to see the teapots and find my tea cosy entry. I didn't win but my owl looked very respectable next to all the other entries. The winner of the birds section had a nest with chicks in it on top. I will have to work on increasing the cuteness factor for next year :)

A few of the tea pots
That's my owl in the bottom left corner :)

We had a leisurely lunch then back to the airport for the 4:30 flight home. A wonderful DH picked us up and we could relax on the way home. The weather was a bit cloudy in the morning fining up to quite sunny in the afternoon. DH said it had been rainy and windy at home.

I chose a handsome chicken tea pot to buy and mum very kindly bought it for me.

Happy Days

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Quilt bag finish

I discovered that there was such a thing as a storage bag for a quilt and decided to make one for the Christmas quilt. Being new to stitchery I made the stitched block and didn't like it so I did it over using my new skills. I don't know what to do with the first one. It is finished. Maybe I will make it into a block holder cover to make use of the fabric. I need a smaller block holder.
The rest of this post is just some journaling. I put headings so you can read or skip.

Travel News
DD2 is in New York at present on holiday. She has skyped us a few times. I think it is much nicer than just talking like a phone call. She plans to visit Niagara Falls, Washington DC and Boston then back to NY for a few more weeks.
On Tuesday Mum and I are flying to Newcastle to spend the day at Morpeth for the teapot and tea cosy exhibition. I have hired a car to drive to Morpeth. We fly home in the afternoon. It is the first time I will have flown somewhere just for the day. I feel very jetsetting :)

Diet News
My DH and I are trying to live without biscuits, crackers, cakes, chocolates, lollies, ice cream, softdrink, cordial, hot many things! We have managed 2 weeks so far and lost a bit of weight. We snack on the plethora of mandarins we get from my mum's tree. There are still a few weeks worth left. After that we will have to find something else to snack on. Maybe by then we will have lost our desire for chocolate....yeah sure :)

Housework News
This month I changed the housework routine around a bit. July was a bit of a break month. I only did essential vacuuming and washing. A change is as good as a holiday so I reviewed the routine to try to make is easier. In the beginning I would vacuum the whole house twice a week. Then I changed that to bedrooms/kitchen and kitchen/lounge so only the kitchen dining area got twice a week. Now I vacuum three times a week and only do one area at a time so the whole house is only vacuumed once a week. I used to have two free days but decided it would be better to reduce the time of the chores and only have one day free. Seems to be working so far.

Exercise News
This month I also added more to my exercise routine. Every morning after the usual yoga, stretching or weights I go for a 10 min walk/jog/walk/jog to the end of the street and back. I have been wanting to buy heavier dumb bells for a while but they are quite expensive. So I have have just been doing the same thing each time with the weights. I knew I needed to get some change there to keep moving forward so I bought an Oxygen magazine just for a look. They had a home routine that was perfect for me. Well maybe a bit too intense because I now have sore arms and shoulders and sore hamstrings and calves. Tomorrow I will also have sore back and abs! Maybe I will reduce the number of reps this time. Next time I do the other exercises I will definitely reduce the reps by a third - 12 to 8 and 15 to 10 so I don't over do it.
I have been doing the yoga, stretching and weights 6 days a week for 12 months in July. I felt I was ready for something more. When I added the 10 mins walking and jogging I felt really good. It warms me up and seems to give me more energy for the day.
This week I alternated the yoga/stretching with the weights. Next week I plan to do the yoga/stretching before the weights then do the walk/jog after for three days (the weights routines are divided into  three body areas) then have a free day then do it again for three days and have a free day. Depending on how I feel I might have to do a week or so alternating the yoga/stretching and weights again.
I copied a picture of the cover girl - a 55 year old lady who enters physique competitions - and have it displayed in the gym room. My goal is to look like her one day.

Happy Quilting,

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday's Show and Tell

A few months ago one of the ladies on a blog that I follow posted that she found a giraffe tea pot in a second hand shop. I told her that I had seen kettles like that several years ago but not recently. While in Brisbane last week I saw this lovely window display in The Tea Centre shop in Brisbane Arcade. Seems they are back in fashion!

I have been working hard on the Christmas quilt and have finally finished it. All the blocks are quilt as you go. Same with the outer border which I appliqued, stem stitched and then quilted before applying. I used 505 glue to attach the back. It made the final quilting and binding really easy. I used a flannelette sheet and a few pins to hold the quilt up while I sprayed the glue and smoothed on the backing half at a time. I will definitely be be using this method again.

Gluing the back on.
 Sandy from Cookies and Cream Craft hosts Monday's Show and Tell. Pop on over and join in.

Happy Quilting,

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jhoos social networking scam

Today I got an invitation to join up Jhoos from a blogging friend I would say that I could trust. I clicked yes and was taken to the window that asks you to sign up. Before giving out any info about myself I googled the Jhoos name and came up with quite a few blog posts about a scam.  Apparently people are giving out their email address and their email password! and consequently the site uses your password to send emails to everyone in your contact list as though you are inviting them to sign up. The problem is it disables your pop up window blocker and you keep getting adds you don't want. I have only read all this on other peoples blogs so it may or may not be true. Needless to say I did not bother to sign up.

Safe blogging,

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday's Show and Tell

I have really enjoyed trying to do the stitchery with Helen. It is not all that different to reading it in a book but I think Helen makes it sound easy and also look easy. I wanted to practice so I found the lovely kit that I won along with lots of other things in the June Christmas Through the Year with Allie. I was sticking the big pins (also part of the prize) in my regular pin cushion and I could see that I needed a cushion just for these pins. Luckily Stitched Sunday was up to satin stitch so I could make a fair effort with that. There was a lot of backstitch in this piece and I was very pleased with how it turned out. It will make a decent sized pin cushion for the large pins.
Stitched Sunday and Christmas Through the Year are in the right side bar.

Sandy from Cookies and Cream Craft hosts Monday's Show and Tell. Pop on over and join in.

Happy Quilting and Stitching,

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday's Show and Tell

I was very excited to receive a parcel of selvedges in the mail this morning. Lyn of very kindly sent me her selvedges from her hexies and she also put in a lovely reel of silver grey silk thread. I can't wait to get upstairs and sew something with them. They would be perfect for a zippy bag or the outside of a wallet style keeper.
Thank you so much Lyn. I love them.

Sandy from Cookies and Cream Craft hosts Monday's Show and Tell. Pop on over and join in.

Happy Quilting,
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