Sunday, 18 May 2008


Last week I picked up my Pistachio coloured Mother's Day present. All I can say is We Have Been Baking!

First these treats from Cathy, which I was dying to try with a Kitchen Aid vs the handheld beater - what a delight!

Then I made a chocolate sponge for a dinner party. No photos, but imagine this, layered chocolate sponge, filled with whipped cream and raspberries and topped with more cream, grated chocolate and raspberries scattered on the top. All wonderful except I had a full bowl of cream and raspberries left over. That's what I mean by DANGEROUS!

So, what to do with a bowl of, a decadent late night banana split. And then how about these. Oh, just a little moreish.


I have been meaning to do a series of posts on my favourite things. It started with my teapot and hasn't gone much further. Here is another addition. It is my laundry, the real workhorse of the house. It is the room where I wash all the clothes, dry all the clothes in wet weather, iron all the clothes (except for shirts), make all my bows and sew. It stores all of my business supplies, some of our wine, all the household chemicals and cleaning cloths and all my vases and display objects (and there is a lot of them).

This small room is super engineered, every square inch is utilised. I wonder if the walls will collapse one day. They will be crying out as they fall, they just couldn't take it anymore. So here are the parts I really love:

1. Made to measure. I love appliances that just fit into the cabinetry space. The bench is deeper than the usual 600mm and made to match the depth and height of our washing machine. This makes a snug fit and means that the sink could be put widthways, freeing up more benchspace. I usually find undersink cupbards to be messy so this one is a single cupboard, rather than the usual double....more usable space once again.

2. My clothesline:
I had a few spare centermetres of wall on the otherside of the door so I thought this would make a great space for a customised, integrated clotheslne, of course we put the ducted heating vent underneath. I can dry a load of clothes overnight in the winter. Although I love to hang clothes in the sunshine, this is a great second best when it's not shining...perfect for Melbourne's winter. It also holds my tissue paper for packaging up Ella and Kate orders. Above it are two shelves for laundry baskets and boxes for my Ella and Kate supplies.

3. The pretty details: because practical can be pretty.

These tiles match the colour of the walls perfectly.

Cathy made me the gorgeous peg bag and gave me some extra fabric to cover the benchtop ironing board. The laundry powder box and my storage boxes all co-ordinate. You can have form and function, have a look at the shelving,the plate stand for my Ella and Kate WIP and the glass jars and bowls on my windowsill.

And of course there is new spool rack.

4. Sewing corner. In this little cupbard is my sewing machine. It is all plugged in, just ready to pull out and sew. This part of the bench drops down in height so I can sit and sew. The three laundry baskets(whites, darks and ironing) underneath can be pushed to the back and I have room for my short legs. I keep a fold up Ikea chair on the back of the door.

5. Speical momentos. I keep some of the special things that the girls have made me here. All of their special pottery creations are on the windowsill, along with my scissors and tools.

Yep, there isn't much that hasn't been thought of. I would like to say that it is always this tidy but that would be a big fib. And, I would love an extra foot or two of space but considering all that, I do love my laundry.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

My Mum

This was my first Mother's Day without my mum around. I really did miss her. Still, I don't feel too sorry for myself, we still get to see her, talk to her and she can still watch my children grow up. Recently, a few of my friends have lost their mothers and I remind myself of that when I am missing her.

My mum is such an inspirational mother who has set the most perfect example of how to mother. I think I have already mentioned that I can never remember her yelling. With four children I consider that to be an amazing show of self-control because I know we pushed her buttons!

She has shown me and my siblings such amazing characteristics to aspire to. Some of my mothers strengths are her selflessness when it comes to others especially her family, empathy and a being great listener, never having a whinge(!!!) a great cook and seamstress and a great shopper (although some would call this a weakness). I seem to have inherited her latter characteristics rather than her more noble ones.

Mum just sent me this photo of her and me. I hadn't seen it before as it was at my Granmas. I tend not to think of my mum at my age, being a mother for the first time. To me she has always been the all knowing, all wise mother of four she is today. Looking at this photo I felt like it was me sitting there holding Ella. I felt like I knew just how she was feeling, full of love, inexperience, enthusiasm and the best of intentions of how you will raise your child. I love it!

Happy Mother's Day mum.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all Mothers out there.

For us Mother's Day and Father's Day has become a whole weekend celebration. It seems there is too much celebrating to do for just one day. And the children simply cannot wait until Sunday to give their cards and presents. So we do cards and presents by the fire on Friday evening,out for breakfast on Saturday (without the crowds), breakfast-in-bed on Sunday and then a special day visiting the Grandmas.

I have been truly spoilt by my three chicks this Mother's Day. How wonderful to feel so loved. I am so grateful on Mother's Day to be a mother of three gorgeous children and to have a great guy who helps me and loves me along the way.

This year, my in-laws were away for the weekend and with my parents living in England, it was a quieter Mother's Day. So we decided to invite our elderly neighbour in for afternoon tea.

Marj is such a gem. I do not know what we would do with out her. She helps out our family in so many many little ways. We reciprocate by helping her out with all of the little odd jobs around her house, nailing the odd fence paling, checking her gutters etc.

Marj comes and sits in my house if my children are asleep at school pick up time, she lets Edward go into her house if it is raining at drop-off time and if ever I need her she is always there, at the drop of a hat...just helping out with the little things which make such a difference to my day. And, she loves my children dearly. So it was only fitting that we invite our 'adopted Grandma' in for a little afternoon tea.

We pulled out my special china, which was a gift from my Grandma, and my beautiful tablecloth, embroidered by my other Grandma, and I attempted to make scones (I do not have a light hand). What a fun afternoon tea we all had, playing ladies.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

The Best Mama in the World

Sometimes it is the simple things in life that count.

It is funny how you can go to so much effort to make some things, only to have them unappreciated.

And then you can make something very simple and suddenly you win the title. Take some ribbon, spend two seconds at the machine to attach a few clips.

Well I have won it. The Best Mama in the World. Over and over again, with matching lanyard ribbons for my girls new electronic gadgets.

So simple.

Monday, 5 May 2008

Dinosaur Obsessed

It all started with a beautiful little dinosaur jigsaw that Edward got for his birthday.

Then one night, as we were eating out, he declares we are all eating dinosaur meat. In typical two year old style he couldn't just say it once, dinosaur meat...dinosaur meat..dinosaur meat. The fits of laughter from his adoring audience spurred him on.

So now, with another obsession to follow (remember the planes, we have also had trains), I have created this little scarf.

Every morning we walk to school. With winter setting in, Edward has developed a reaction to the cold and he comes up in itchy welts where his bare skin is exposed. The only solution is to cover him up as much as possible.

Take one obsession, some warm, soft wool and a few spare minutes while he naps and you have one happy boy.


Oh, poor blog. Poor, forgotten blog.

One month since I have last posted. Simply unbelievable really. It seems I took an unannounced blogging break. And what do I have to say for myself?

Well, we have been busy, but hey we're always busy? Aren't we all? I guess it started when I was feeling a little under the weather and had a few too many commitments to honour and then I just sort of lost touch. The longer I left it, the harder it was to make a post.

But, I am back. I don't have an awful lot to show. (I haven't even been taking many photos. Now that is saying something!) But I do have a few projects up my sleeve, and a few things to share. I just had to make the first move and get back on track.

Here is your one solitary picture. It is the last of my summer vegetable garden harvest. I took this photo a few weeks ago.

This year is the first time we have planted potatoes. Boy, are they delicious! If you have a deep, neglected part of your garden, I recommend them. When I dug up/picked/collected this beautiful lot of produce I really had such deep satisfaction. I mean, anyone can grow lettuce and tomatoes, but potatoes and eggs...that's real self sufficiency.

Back soon, I promise.