Thursday, 31 May 2012

a necklace named Sofiá

Do you ever name pieces born out of your creative efforts? I love words and finding just the right name to fit something is an enjoyable part of the creative process for me.

Meet Sofiá. A necklace made from hand-carved wooden beads,  threaded on a lustrous golden brown ribbon with white stitched detail. The ribbon is knotted between each bead. 

My favourite element of Sofiá is the finished ends. Each end of the ribbon is rolled and hand stitched with a brass charm: 

Queen Nefertiti on one end...

and a disk with concentric circles on the other.

You can peek at more of my necklaces here.
And too see more beauty therapy in action pop over here for a visit.


Friday, 25 May 2012

beautiful blue ball of yarn

I have pulled a beautiful blue ball of yarn from my stash. It is a soft warm denim coloured blend of aplaca and wool from the Bendigo Woollen Mills. Australia no longer rides on the sheep's back [do you remember that saying?] but we certainly still make amazing first class yarn.

I have cast on to circular needles and have made some fair progress on my cowl. I am writing up the pattern as I go so I can share it if it works out. Y

The little raspberry scrap of knotted yarn is my marker. I get a little excited every time I work my way around and it comes in to view. [yay - another 289 stitches completed!]

I am working an all-over simple seed stitch pattern and I'm really happy with how it's turning out. It almost gives it a spotted appearance.

This beauty therapy is so soft and warm and gorgeous. It's like the comfort food of knitting. Autumn is already a little chilly so I'm industriously click-clacking away to finish in time for winter.

Y Cate

Sunday, 20 May 2012

perfect banana oat muffins

I baked for breakfast this morning and due to the success of my delicious Banana Oat Muffins I am a very popular Mummy!

recipe below

Thursday, 17 May 2012

ok goodish good

ok - goodish - good are my current descriptors.
3 little words that I use to describe my photos [ok], my mood [good], the health of my children [ok], the state of my home [goodish], last night's chicken soup [good].

I have left out hellish and fantastic. Descriptors belonging on opposite ends of the scale. Words I would need to use if I was describing work or lovely Chocolate Cottage cappuccinos with a praline chocolate on the side. 

I have been indulging in a decent amount of beauty therapy at the moment. The the kind that requires the softest wool in graduating shades of blossom pink to raspberry to plum.

It's the kind of therapy that lifts me from my work induced [hellish] mood to that of a more serene-happy-mummy [good] mood.

I am using Attic 24's simple Teeny Tiny Flowers pattern to crochet a multitude of happy daisies and then stitching them together. I am envisioning a pretty scarf with lovely loooong woolly tassels at the ends. It's not the first time I've used this pattern with beautiful results.

Y Cate

p.s. I'm working on the work thing. Aiming for good.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

White shirt envy

I have a favourite white top that I bought in celebration of my children getting older and feeling that I could finally wear white. I would wear it to outings with other mums whose children were still a bit younger, secretly gloating that I was beyond all that and could wear white. “My children are old enough to wipe their nose, wash their hands, not unexpectedly spit up all over me”, my white shirt would say. Oh the joy, it had been 9 years since my last white shirt.

You know where this is going don’t you? And of course it wasn’t the children that got a terrible stain on my white shirt, it was me. It came in from the line one day with two big reddish brown spots. I tried everything, nappy san, sprays and scrubs. Nothing worked. I gave up on it and on ever being able to wear white, realising it possibly wasn’t just the children that had been holding me back from my white fantasy filled life. 

Then one afternoon I listened to Shannon Lush on the ABC radio. This was when I first learnt that stains had to be treated differently depending on their cause. I know to all the domestic goddesses out there this is not news, but to me it was earth shattering. I looked at my stain, thought long and hard and decided it was a rust stain from the pegs. Shannon Lush suggested pouring a mound of non-iodised salt over the stain then a few drops of lemon juice to wet the salt and hanging it in the sun to let the salt dry. “The drying would lift the stain right out”, she said. I tried it, and was ecstatic to see it worked!

I realised that I could learn a lot from Shannon Lush, who knew that you need to understand the cause of a problem to solve it. It’s the same with parenting. 
You need to understand the cause of the behaviour, in order to change it. 

Researchers generally agree that children’s behaviour is motivated by avoiding or gaining something. Just by monitoring a problem behaviour and keeping a record of:
·         What occurs just before the behaviour?
·         When is the behaviour more likely to occur
·         What happens after the behaviour?
By thinking about these things, you can then identify what the function of the behaviour is.  When you understand the behaviour, like a simple stain that you have tried everything to remove, the right treatment can be applied and voila. Problem behaviour gone. 

Of course it’s slightly more complicated, but you get the idea. Other functions for behaviour might be to get attention, self-stimulation, tangible rewards, displaced anger or retaliation. If you would like more, you could read any of the good parenting books- I even think that Triple P parenting book has some good info on this, but my son flushed it down the toilet (that’s another Blog though). Or get with the technology and buy an app.   

This one looks good:No More Meltdowns

I would love to hear if you have got any favourite parenting apps? Or stain removal advice!

And with all that lemon and salt from stain removal, I am going to try this recipe: Roast Potatoes with Paprika and Lemon Salt

Holly Treechange


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

green is my happy colour

Blue is my favourite colour. Pink I love but have to be in the mood for. Red is my power colour. But green is my happy colour. 

I love this mint green scarf...For sale here.

One of my necklaces. 
Green wooden beads interspersed with heavy Tibetan Silver Russian Doll beads.Loooong for lots of lovely wrapping.[Sold] 
More necklaces here and here.

Y Cate

Friday, 4 May 2012

May the 4th be with you...

It's May the fourth - Star Wars Day!

Oh I do hope one of my children grow up to be like Sheldon.

Y Cate

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Creatively Beautiful

I love having flowers in my home. Sometimes the budget doesn't stretch far enough to buy a bunch and I don't have a garden yet. 

So my beauty therapy today is a beautiful big fresh bunch of mint {$2.50} sitting in my old silver teapot.

Also making me smile is this pile of passion-fruit sitting in my blue bowl. A just-off-the-vine gift from my husband's colleague. 

Thank you! 

Passion-fruit {and raspberries!} are my favourite fruit.

Y Cate

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

morning tea treat

I have won tickets to a High Tea event being hosted by Random House Publishers. So off to Brisvegas this Sunday, child free! I am excited just thinking about it.

The above image is taken from this blog. Looks like a gorgeous High Tea and makes me want to create one for my friends.

I'm a little sceptical about Sunday's High Tea. Although I've had my fair share of luck and won some lovely things in the past - I have a feeling that everyone who entered won tickets. But I'm still going and I'll tell you how it was...

Speaking of Tea time - I whipped up a batch of these for the blossom and possums' school lunch boxes. 

Ginger Oat Slice

1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup wholemeal flour 
(you can omit the wholemeal and just use plain flour - I like the extra fibre) 
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup coconut
150g butter
1 tablespoon treacle
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon mixed spice
grated zest of 1 lemon (or orange)

Preheat oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Grease and line 28cm x 18cm slice pan.

Combine flour, oats, sugar and coconut in a bowl.

Place butter, treacle and honey in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter is melted. Remove from heat.

Combine boiling water and soda in a tea cup and add to the butter mixture. It will foam up! Add the spices and zest to the mixture.

Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.

Tip into prepared tin and smooth surface with the back of a spoon. Mark squares before you put into the oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and sightly firm on top.
Re-cut the squares that you marked prior to baking.

This recipe is my take on the Anzac Slice recipe that you can find here. My version has the super delicious flavours of gingerbread and a little less sugar than the original recipe.

Y Cate