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Pantry Meme

Nigella Lawson keeps a secret stash of pigs ears in her freezer that she deep fries for a crispy solitary snack. Do you have anything similarly sordid in yours?

Not really, although I seem to be one of the very few people who like Cherry coke, and I do have a stash of that in the cupboard. As for Nigella’s treat, I do enjoy a pork roast but I’m not sure I could eat the ears. Especially since they always seem hairy. *shudder*

What foods would I always find in your fridge and why?

Eggs are always in the fridge. I love a sandwich made from a sliced, hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper between two pieces of toast. There is always butter plus olive oil spread, hard cheese of some kind, usually cheddar. Some cheese slices (Kraft) I love the way they taste when grilled on bread. Fresh veggies such as carrots, cucumber, cabbage etc. Milk for cereal, coffee and tea. A selection of mustards including seeded, dijon, hot English and Australian.

Do you have a stand-by, never fail recipe, that you like to have the ingredients on-hand for unexpected visitors?

Not really, I’m not big on unexpected visitors and prefer to know when people are visiting in advance. I’m a bit odd that way; I really dislike people visiting unannounced.

What is your favourite comfort food?
Potatoes, mashed with gravy or some lovely thick wedges with sour cream. Dal is another dish that I find comforting, especially when I’m not feeling well; it always makes my tummy feel much happier.

Do you have a chocolate drawer or secret hoard of sweet or savoury snacks?
Chocolate is something we usually buy as a treat sometimes when shopping, we don’t have an actual, regular stash of it. Although we do have some at the moment! I don’t think I’ve ever had a secret stash of food. I have bought myself treats when I’m shopping alone, and quite enjoyed the naughty feel of eating said treat myself. But that is very rare, I usually tend to feel quite guilty if I don’t share. heh


Last day of Blogtoberfest

The last day of Blogtoberfest, and October! Not doing any Halloween things here; very over all the gory images and decorations now. Looking forward to more Christmas decorations and sparkly, glittery things! Another happening around this time of year is the appearance of the first Cicadas. The Greengrocer Cicada below was the first this year. Cute, huh?

We went out for breakfast with family this morning and had very delicious Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon. Mmm. The poached eggs were perfect, cutting into them released the yummy golden yolks. Delish! After breakfast, the husbitect and and I indulged in some book shopping. Now that I am really into embroidery, I wanted a good stitch guide, found a perfect one plus another book on shading techniques. I also got the latest Connie Willis novel which I am really looking forward to getting stuck into. It is a sequel, so I have been awaiting this book for a few months.

Now it is time to go make some delicious dal. Yum, I can taste it already. I just hope the storm passing over doesn’t cause a blackout before I have finished making dinner!


French Knots, Oui!

My creative space this week sees my little mushroom having some filled in spots. I decided to go ahead with french knots and am quite chuffed with the result. The texture is just right and looks nice against the long and short stitch I used on the main body of the mushroom.

My first tries at french knots can be seen at the very top in the first two spots. I kind of had it, but the knot kept getting a bit messy. I searched for a better tutorial on french knots, and found this one by Mary Corbet (must see site, btw). They key action, which was missing in the other videos I watched, was gently pulling the thread so the knot slides down to the base of the needle and then keeping the tension as you pull the needle through. I think you can see the difference in my french knots in the rest of the spots. Top two are a bit messy but the rest are pretty good.

I debated briefly on removing my first two groups of french knots, but then decided to leave them in because they show my progress and also, handmade isn’t meant to be absolutely perfect. At least, not in my view. To me it adds a bit of character. And also, I have no idea how to remove embroidery stitches! hehe

To see more creative spaces, visit Kootoyoo and play along!



Here we are on day 17 of Blogtoberfest. The native participants are seeming to be more slowed in their intensity… Sorry! I was drifting into being the David Attenborough of Blogtoberfest! *slaps self*.

Today has been lovely. Lots of geekyness with my love and general relaxation. Some of today was spent browsing embroidery patterns online, and deciding on my next project. I have plans to make my own, very geeky, pattern. Probably SciFi based. But for now, while I am learning stitches, I have decided to embark on another pattern from online.

This lovely one is from Doe-C-Doe, who has a tremendous amount of vintage patterns available online. You can see for yourself, here. I love mushrooms; both the visual aspects as well as the deliciousness of eating them. So mushrooms had to be an embroidery subject, sooner rather than later.

I have the attention span of a flea, or a squirrel in a room full of nuts. So my latest craft obsession is embroidery. It’s not all short attention span, however, it is also partly based on the weather being warmer, and my seasonal lack of interest in wool. Embroidery has my eye now as it is cooler, and more portable. Well, at least around the house.

So in my photos you can see my latest pattern selection, courtesy of Doe-C-Doe, my brand new pink keyboard with non-stickable keys thanks to my Husbitect, my fuel of choice (wine plus unpictured cheese & pate) plus my newly traced pattern in a hoop, ready to go. I am chuffed with my new air/water vanishing pen. It makes me feel more experienced. Ahem.

* Today’s post was brought to you by Blake’s 7, Cliff Richard, Dean Martin, Doctor Who, Wine and Cheese. Plus the colour pink.

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Sleepy. Blogtoberfest Day 16

Sleepy time here. We had a lovely evening out tonight with friends to celebrate a birthday. I’m now feeling all drowsy and ready for bed. Ah, I love Sundays; no need to rush anywhere, you can have a nice lazy sleep in and take the day slowly.

The two black kitties above are my latest eBay, retro find. I’m so happy with them, mint condition. Black cats are my favourite kitties. My first cat, Puss, was black with a little white spot under her chin and my Max kitty is all black. I was only very little when I named Puss, so I am allowed to have an obvious name! Max is what suited the little bundle of black fur who, like he did then, loves to tear around the house on mad runs and also, tear up newspapers. ♥

I have some comment catching up to do tomorrow, and a meme to participate in. For now, it is time to visit bedfordshire and get all cozy under the blankets. A peaceful nights rest and/or a wonderful day to you. Thank you for all the lovely comments I have been left recently, they are most appreciated and make my day. Always nice to know people are visiting my little part of the interwebs.


My Creative Space

I came across my first attempt at embroidery the other day, and am now adding the last few stitches to finish it. Just a little more detail on the trunk, and a couple more nuts for the squirrel. Cute, isn’t he? I found the pattern on Flickr, in the Embroidery Group pool. Embroidery is more appealing to me at the moment than knitting and crochet, no thanks to the warmer weather!

I’m not sure if I have done the stitches correctly, but I am quite happy with it nonetheless! I’m going glue the edges of the fabric to the back of the hoop and hang it up in the hoop. These first hoops I bought weren’t the best, very hard to tighten. I have some better, plastic ones now. I also enjoyed winding all my threads onto the cards and arranging them in my storage box.

I just came across a very lovely site with free vintage embroidery patterns: Vintage Transfer Finds. Do take a look, so many wonderful patterns to be found.

Visit Kootoyoo for many more Creative Spaces.


Nigella Lawson

I came across this article about Nigella Lawson tonight on the Sydney Morning Herald’s site, and it prompted the following musings.

I have to admit that my first interest in watching Nigella’s show was exactly that she wasn’t thin. I was happy to see a woman who was outside of the media’s idea of beautiful. And she is truly beautiful.

But after watching Nigella, what I love, and what keeps me watching, is how she is so unashamedly herself. She isn’t scared to share her love of eating crispy pigs ears or to enjoy food that is seen by some as ‘uncool’.

She inspires me to be me, to enjoy the things I like unashamedly, to enjoy being a curvy girl who has a big bum and big boobs. You can be and do all that, and still be liked.

I think one of her messages is to just enjoy food, enjoy cooking, enjoy your life and your family and friends. There is no right or wrong, no perfect ideal. It is all perfect, as are all of us! Exotic food, cheap food, homemade food, big bums, small bums – everything is good! :)

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Springing Forward. Blogtoberfest Day 12.

This afternoon I had a lovely time playing with my photos in Photoshop. The Lily above being one such photo. After titling it ‘Spring’. I thought about what I want to change and learn in this season of growth and freshness. There are too many things to list that I would like to change and learn to list them all, so I will stick to ones that more obtainable and immediate. I can always do another list!

  • I want to learn to be more accepting, more comfortable with what I do and where I am in life. No more holding back because I am scared of what other people think, or worse, that I could never be as good as others so why start in the first place. Very self-defeating.
  • I want to finally get more serious about photography and try selling prints of of my photos. I’ve held back till now because of fear of failure and also, not wanting to have someone steal my work or claim it as their own. But if no one ever sees the photos that I take, they lose their value.
  • I would like to learn how to draw, both with paints and canvas as well as digital illustration. I have plenty of paints, watercolour crayons and ideas; I just need to start.
  • I have dabbled with the older version of Terragen in the past and really enjoyed it. Now that there is a much newer, more advanced version, I want to learn how to use it in more depth. One of my images from Terragen is at the end of this post.
  • When I was much younger, in my late teens and early twenties, I used to enjoy writing and coming up with short stories. As I got older, I lost my confidence (I can see a pattern developing) and stopped writing. Time to dig out those old stories and get back into writing.
  • I would be over the moon if I could stop being so disorganized. Not to mention scattered in my approach to things. I know I will never be one of those perfectly organized people, but I would like to be better at it than I am. Being able to find things easily would be so wonderful! To start, I should create a filing system for myself.

I think that is enough to be getting on with for now, don’t you?! Writing that list highlighted just how much my confidence in my abilities (or lack of) has affected my life, particularly in terms of creativity. I want to go back to having that wild, carefree abandon in creativity that I used to possess. Deep down, I know I still have faith in myself somewhere, I just need to nurture that tiny flame and help it become a fire once again.

An ocean scene that I created a few years ago in Terragen.


Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler House

At the end of August, the Husbitect and I went to the Fifties Fair at Rose Seidler House. It was a lot of fun. Apart from seeing the house itself and the retro decor, there was entertainment plus lots of stalls selling retro clothes, household items, collectibles, food and so much more. We both found some goodies on the stalls, including a vintage model kit for the Husbitect and some vintage canisters for me.

This is a photo heavy post (not to mention the fact that I’ve heavily filtered the photos). I tried the built in gallery for WordPress but wasn’t all that impressed with the options. So good old insert one by one it is. If you know of a good gallery plugin for WordPress, do let me know!

The very retro hostess and the Velvet Set singing.

One of the coloured glass doors in the house kitchen.

I want one of these cute Teardrop caravans.

All the items in the back were themed perfectly.

Including a gorgeous picnic basket!

Hula girl’s car was pulling the caravan.

Another Hula girl, with some faboo anodised aluminium cups.


Retro Recipe: He-Man Salad (Blogtoberfest Day 8)

I have a very large collection of retro cookbooks and recipe pamphlets. I am fascinated by the era of the late 40s to mid 60s. I love the design of the clothes of those times, the illustrations, the hairstyles, culture, the music, the architecture, the cars and of course, the food.

I started playing with one of my recipe pamphlets this afternoon and wanted to share a recipe from my copy of ‘Tasty Salad Recipes’ by Lora Lee Parrott. Isn’t that a fabulous name? Anyhoo, flipping through the pamphlet my eyes caught the title of He-Man Salad; how could I not use that one?! I haven’t tried this recipe, although I have tried many of those from my collection.

One day I want to host an authentic retro dinner party. All foods from recipes of the time, music of the time and guests must dress in period. Ah, one day!

The image above is the result of my playing. The two illustrations come from the cover of the booklet and the rest is from my own little hands. I had so much fun making the image that I think I shall do more! I hope you enjoy these images, too.

* Soundtrack: I Don’t Want to Set the World On Fire by The Inkspots.