Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Inspiration gets you no where

Inspiration gets you no where.
Words to live by. I have been making excuses for my artistic inactivity. Including I am uninspired, I am too busy and blah blah blah you know the song only the words are different.
I have been busy new car to organize which I have by the way and it is very pretty and nice and solid. Homework for the training course I am doing at work, getting organised for Fiber Forum in Ballarat.... all the life things. I've just got home from taking youngest son to an eye specialist we had hoped would put him on a blind allowance there was good news and bad news... He agreed Troy should be getting a blind disability allowance due to his vision, color blindness, dyslexia and the rest but the sod (not the word going through my mind but I am trying not to use really filthy language out loud) wants Troy to see another specialist a neuro-psychologist I didn't even know there was such an animal so here we go again... Back to the GP then off to another specialist we will probably have to wait months to get into. Good thing it isn't life threatening. This is on top of the psychologist he is already seeing that our GP recommended who wants to do an astrology chart for him to help with his diagnosis.

So back to 'Inspiration gets you no where', while I was checking out my favorite blogs I saw that doll sculptor extraordinaire is having a bit of a flat week too and has been wildly productive by being inspired by Ursala Vernon of Red Wombat Studio artist and writer so I am sure that is a bit ironic to be inspired by an article entitled Inspiration gets you nowhere. Just the kick in the pants I needed I think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Petite Purls, Flint Knits and Ravelry

I keep adding to the list of blogs I follow and that list is getting quite long but I always have something to read. Petite Purls is a blog and an E-Zine please go and have a look.
I have been waiting for the insurance to ring and so I am blog hopping and finding all sorts of fun things.
Flint Knits - Post Industrial Crafts is another must see.
And of course Ravelry which I have been meaning to join for ages and finally have.
So I must go now as I have spoken to the insurance people a much more helpful person than the assessor believe me. I know they have a job to do but they don't have to be sods about it. The washing is waiting to be hung out.

A week ago

Well here it is a week already. This time last week I was still a bit shell shocked and looking at wreckage of my poor little car. In hindsight if I was going to be in a car accident it couldn't have happened at a better time. I had a week off work coming up, that has given me time to find a new car and make a really good start on the paperwork required. I still have some bruises and a slight burn in my shoulder. I went to my chiropractor yesterday and the burn is from the accident. The force of the seatbelt grabbing has ripped a lot of the scar tissue that formed in 1999 when I was injured at work. Dislocated AC joint and fractured elbow. Because of the elbow I was in a cast and sling for some time and my shoulder didn't heal properly. So as a result of the car accident I now have more movement and rotation in my shoulder than I have had for years.
So I am counting my blessings.
A new car, more movement in my shoulder without the surgery and no injuries, wow who could hold a grudge with those results. So I forgive the dope who ran into me. I won't forget but I do forgive.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Of fleece and other things

Well here I am at home, waiting for the insurance company to call. Apart from nearly getting seriously injured by the idiot who wrecked my car I have had a pretty good week. Sunday night Greg and I went to my belly dance teachers concert. There were lots of displays set up around the hall and I couldn't resist this fleece. Bingle in case you are wondering is the name of the sheep the fleece came from. Bingle is grey and the fleece has been dyed this lovely range of browns. The bag is sitting in the sunroom at the moment while I decide what to do with it. I may get my spinning wheel out and spin some of it. I am definitely going to felt a bit. I have to use it as I have breached my New Years Resolution. Greg didn't say a word bless him.
He loves me he must.

Friday, March 12, 2010


I have had my lovely little car for two years. It is my first new car and I was really happy with it. Yesterday an unlicensed, uninsured idiot driving an unregistered car drove on my side of the road and hit me. I am unhurt apart from some seat belt bruises incurred while my car was spinning like a top. So I am a bit battered, bruised and extremely annoyed.
All the damage is on one side I am very lucky I saw him coming and had a split second to swerve and got hit on the side rather than head on. Now I need a new car. I went back to the crash yard today and realized just how lucky I am. I may not post for a couple of days while I recover.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shalom Cardigan or The Caterpillar Vomit Vest

There is now a bit of a story attached to this vest. I used a free pattern from Involving the Senses the pattern is the Shalom Cardigan available in the side bar of the blog page. I finished it in a marathon session on Sunday night after I returned from baby sitting. I still have to put the button on.
I decided not to use a crocheted one as Greg has offered to make a wooden one for me. So I just have to decide how I want it made. I was knitting the vest while I was babysitting the granddaughters. They of course wanted to know all the details. They agreed it was very soft as you would expect of silk mulberry chenille if you follow the link it is No 16 on the page knitted double with a strand of thread No 9 on the same page in Beautiful Silks website which is mulberry lustre plain. Miss 2 nearly 3 wanted to know what it was and I answered "Silk". Miss 4 wanted to know where it comes from and I said caterpillars make it. "How" was the immeadiate question. "They make a cocoon and then after they are butterflies then people get the cocoons and make the thread"
"How does a caterpillar make it" Miss 4 wanted to know.
"He spits stuff out of his mouth" - Yes I was being a bit vague with the details but they are only little.
Miss nearly 3 then assured me that spit didn't look like that and offered to show me some which I declined.
Miss 4 then said "Maybe it's caterpillar vomit"
Miss nearly 3 then said "Yes cause if you drink milk then vomit it's that colour"
To which I said "It's not vomit its stuff"
Miss 4 then quite seriously asked "Are you being tricky Nannie?"
"No" I replied it is stuff from a caterpillar.
Miss nearly 3 then assured me she didn't want a jumper made of caterpillar vomit because that was Yuck.. Miss 4 agreed and said how come it wasn't wet? So I did what any good grandparent would do and said "Why don't we watch a movie you choose" and then they were arguing about which movie and forgot about the Caterpillar vomit vest.
I am still undecided about dying the vest as I am growing quite fond of the natural colour, but after all the talk of caterpillar vomit I might have too.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jessica and Caitlin's Quilts Finished

Ah another two WIP's finished, I cannot take the majority of the credit as my wonderful quilting friend Prue did most of it. I provided the fabrics and did the quilting Prue did all the assembly work. She is a lovely friend. These are quilts for my granddaughters. I was going to give them to them for Easter but I don't know if I can wait that long. A 'Just because I love you' present is always the best.
You can't see it but in the top left corner the little blocks say Caitlin's House and Jessica's house so they don't fight over them.


My natural state of being is UNORGANIZED yes in capitals with several exclamation marks following.!!!!!!. There they are.
So as I have a life where I want to do things and not forget important bits I have lists and I have boxes of bits and pieces.. Usually I can't remember what is in the box. Greg bought me a labeller for my birthday which is a beautiful thing. I am going to use it heaps soon. I have a bit of time off coming up and I shall use it a lot then.
I made the chutney and have already given away two bottles.

Yesterday, I did an exhibition crawl with a friend. We started off our day at Borders for as my friend had never been there so we did a lazy crawl through the shop and had coffee, then onto Karma Sukka this is a clothing shop in Adelaide - They have fair trade clothing mostly india style and one of our belly dancing class mates has a lovely wrap around silk skirt from there and so we needed one too. The skirts are two layers of silk so you can reverse them and tie them in all sorts of ways.
Then we went on to the Embroiderers Guild Exhibition and then onto the Spinners and Weavers for there exhibition and then onto the Basketmakers. I bought a bowl and a book. I realised as soon as I got home it was just the place for my Penny the Pygmy Possum to live. Just because she in needlefelted doesn't mean she can't have a fun place to live.

But Now the rest of my day is calling I want to get the newsletter for my Doll Group done and then I have to go shopping as I spent yesterday having fun.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Of Chutney and other things

There has been much discussion here in regards to our apple crop. Our fruit trees are quite old and when we moved in practically ring barked by the ride on mower the previous owners used to do the yard. After 10 years of babying we have a bumper crop of lovely little green apples this year. We bottled the first bucket and now Greg has picked another. So my thoughts have turned to Chutney. I love chutney's and sauces and such and I used to supplement our income by a goodly amount years ago before the local council insisted all small producers pay a fee to the council to have their home kitchens approved for food preparation. this resulted in me saying several uncomplimentary things to the council inspector and saving my brilliance in the sauce and jam department for family and friends. So rather that twenty or thirty liters of chutney I shall make just a dozen or so jars. A particular favorite is Moroccan Chutney the recipe is below and I don't know if anybody in Morocco makes it but tough.

Moroccan Chutney
This is a smaller amount enough for home use. All the bits should be of a similar size.

1 kilo of green apples peeled cored and chopped
1.5 kilo of tomatoes as ripe as possible chopped (Skin off if you want)
1 kilo of onions peeled and diced.
1 kilo of dates chopped
1 or 2 lemons finely chopped skin and all or pulped in the food processor.
2 litres of good quality white wine vinegar ( cheap vinegar does not give you a good taste)
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
The spice mix is important as well, I like to buy small amounts of spices from a shop that has a good turnover.
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
* 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
If you would like a subtle flavour use a level teaspoon for a bit more kick use a heaped teaspoon, if you must have chili in it add dried chili powder or flakes to your taste. Put the ground spices into a cold pot. toast gently until you can smell them but if you burn them chuck them out and start again. When the spices are fragrant then add the other ingredients and stir over a low heat until the sugar dissolves and then simmer until it is thick and looks yum.
You have to stir it quite frequently and if you use a pot that you have burnt food in before then it will be more likely to stick. I have a jam and chutney only pot. I also use my big pressure cooker for small batches of stuff as it has a lovely thick bottom. Because you don't put a lid on chutneys when you are cooking them the pressure cooker is just a heavy bottomed pot.
Once the chutney is thick put it into hot jars - Jars that have been washed and then put into a 100 Degrees Celsius oven for at least ten minutes. I put the lids on straightaway (some people let it get cold but I don't) as the chutney cools the jars will vacuum seal. Don't worry if they don't. If you taste test your chutney and think Oh yuck too much vinegar leave it to sit for a few weeks the vinegar mellows. I hope you enjoy this let me know if you make it. It is really nice with Lamb Kebabs and Cous Cous.
You can make up the spice mix and keep it in a bottle to add to your stews and such or a little to the cous cous along with some currants and toasted almonds is really nice.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Knitting etc

I had a lazy day yesterday, I watched a replay of the ice hockey lovely to see the Canadians do so well. Then I watched the closing ceremony of the Olympics in the recliner with my feet up and my knitting. I am knitting the free download pattern Shalom Cardigan from Involving the Senses Blog It is knitting up so quickly I will soon have another item for my finished things. I bought the silk chenille thread and the silk knitting thread from Beautiful Silk at Fibre Forum Ballarat last year so I am being true to my buy less New Years Eve resolution, I confess though I did have to go and buy a circular knitting needle as I didn't have a 9mm and that is what I needed to get the right gauge. So silk from the stash, a free pattern from the net and a minimal expenditure on the whole project.
All the fibres are still in natural colour and I think I will dye them. Either blue or purple or a mix of both. I have only used the plain silk thread in the yoke so I have enough left to do some crocheted buttons I know I have the instructions somewhere for some really special ones that I found in a Piece work magazine at the Embroiderers Guild. Once dyed they will really suit the vest.
Some days you just have to take a me day and not do the things you think you should just do the things you want too.
The weather is being a bit kinder and those evil sadistic sods at the Weather office have promised us rain tomorrow while they sit there and laugh and say "Suckers".