Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas (Christmas Eve 2010!)

This year was the first year Axel and I spent Christmas in our own house. To celebrate and to help make Axel feel at home we celebrated Christmas Eve German style, or at least in the way his German family do. We put up the Chrissy tree, brought out the ornaments and scattered green and red candles here there and everywhere. In the morning we received a postal delivery which was a box full of Chrissy ornaments from his mum. They were very pretty and typically German in style. I instantly hung them around the house to complete our look.

So what do Germans usually do for Christmas Eve? Well they go to church and then come home and have dinner followed by sweets and the exchanging of gifts. Axel's mum makes a plate for everyone that has an assortment of nuts, winter fruits, chocolates and biscuits.

Here is our version of these plates...

For everyone I made a 'shortbread' person with their name and likeness. They would have been gingerbread men and women but everyone complained that they didn't like gingerbread. Fussy relatives!

I had a little fun with mine and added the baby!
All in all it was a great night. We had lots of fun and heaps of laughs. I think it might have been the best time we've had as a family for a long time. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too full of happiness and yummy treats! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Where have I been?

I just looked at the date of my last post and its from MAY. OMG where have I been? I have been crocheting and working on some quilting but just haven't posted about it due to a lack of photos. It's also been a hectic year with work so much so that I asked to go part time next year, that was until....

 Yep this little person came along. Within a week of missing my period my anxiety panic disorder came back full blast sending me to the emergency room begging for my old medication. (damn hormones!) It took 6 weeks for the medication to completely kick in and in the mean time I packed up my husband and rabbits and moved back to my parents for extra help. I had no energy for doing house work, cooking etc, and lost all interest in things including my husband. It was such a scary experience constantly having hideous thoughts that my baby will be deformed, will die, will have 5 limbs etc etc.Work was a nightmare, I tried to go in a few times but totally freaked out and was very anxious for the whole day, adrenalin running through my veins and causing my whole body to be in pain. Even my uterus was killing me and that's when I thought I have to take time off this can't be healthy for the baby or myself.

And so I've taken the rest of the year off and after 6 weeks school holidays I will go back as a casual relief teacher, filling in when I feel ok. I am seeing a psychiatrist and psycologist as well as my midwife and doctor so I'm in pretty good hands at the moment. It's taking me some time getting used to being a 'house wife'. I've never not worked or studied. I felt very guilty at the start but my husband said it was the best decision I could make and that he is happy that he can go to work now and know I'm safe at home or hanging out at mums or friends. He just wants a healthy wife and baby and work can wait! 
Ironically  now that I have time on my hands I have NOOOOOOOO energy or interest in crocheting or crafting. I'm told that your energy levels come back after the first trimesters finished so I'm very much hoping that that's true! I have so many things I want to make. Mum and I went to the yarn store the other day and mum bought a great baby knit book heaps of awesome patterns and some yarn. She's already finished one little sweater. 

Anyhow hopefully now that I'm at home I will post more but I seem to always say that, hope this time I stick to it! 

Merry Christmas to everyone if I don't post by then and I hope you have a lovely festive time!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Raspberry Delights and Over the Top cake

I finished the cardigan I was making for our friends' new baby girl Paula Johanna. She was born about a month ago and we are just itching to go see her. I was so happy to hear that it was a girl because then I had an excuse to use some super pink raspberry yarn. I just love hot pinks but haven't had any real reason to use some.

Lucky for me the exact stuff I was looking for was in the discount corner at the local yarn shop, still meant $5 dollars for 50gms but hay for raspberry coloured 100% merino wool who's complaining! I mixed up two patterns to come up with this one. Unfortunately I printed out the patterns long ago and have forgotten the sites I got them from so I cannot share them.

Here's a photo of the little gem!

It's been finished off with the cutes of pink mother of pear buttons. I am also planing to make a beanie to go with the cardigan. I hope it will keep her warm this winter. It will be too small for the following winter.

Just before I go thought I'd throw in a photo of a yummy cake I tried today. I got the recipe from Recipes + May 2010. It's called pear and chocolate cake with hazelnut syrup. I didn't have any hazelnut liquor so I swapped that for chocolate essence as suggested at the start of the recipe.


Last weekend Axel and I attended my friend Nanette's 60th birthday party. What can I say about Nanette? Well, she is a funny, say-it-like-it-is, warm and generous woman, who recently became a granny for the first time. Nanette started off as my boss, well second-in-charge boss, then mentor and finally became my friend. To give you more of an idea of what Nanette is like let me just tell you that instead of a speech after singing happy birthday, we were all asked to do the chicken dance in her honor.

The party was wonderful, and held at her daughter's beautiful home in Ascot Vale. We were spoiled with yummy Asian food and oodles of rich cakes and sweets. It was really nice to finally meet all of Nanette's family and meet her granddaughter who I'd made the little booties for. (see post at For the Love of Crochet Along) A few people from work were there too and it was great to spend some time with them away from work.

The present I gave Nanette was of course hand made. I later found out that she is usually the one who cross stitches presents for others, traditionally for their 40th birthdays, so she was surprised to get one herself!

This is the first installment of the present I made her. I knew I couldn't just make her something ordinary or without a twist. I initially wanted to cross stitch 'I'm getting too old for this shit' but my more proper and less daring husband suggested she might not be able to display something with a 'swear word' and thus I came up with 'don't tell me to grow up'. But after talking to some friends who also know Nanette I convinced that she would love and display the other, thus why this one has become a 'part one'. Basically I only had enough time to make one so Nanette now knows she's got another present to look forward to.

A site that inspired the cross stitch messages can be found on Flicker. The group's name - subversive cross stitch. I recommend anyone with a wicked sense of humor go and check it out!.

Anyhow I better stop with all this and get back to some serious report writing, yep it's that time of year again!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Food Glorious Food!

I've been dying to try some new things in the kitchen only to find that I haven't really got much time to actually experiment and cook something more interesting than a simple stir-fry or chop in the oven. Watching Master Chef is not helping either because now I feel like everything has to look like it came out of a fancy restaurant just so I can call myself a great cook. It also makes me want to try my hand at some of the recipes just so I can 'test' how good a cook I am. But the problem with that is most of the recipes have ingredients that Axel will not eat. I didn't realise how many things he just wont eat. He must of been just too polite before to complain leading me to think he was a good eatter. Arrrhhhh!

So anyhow over the last few weeks I've just had to let some other areas of house keeping go, like clothes washing, vacuuming and make some time to cook. I've looked through some old cook books and adapted some classics to my liking. Classic gnocchi with roasted pumpkin and butter sage sauce, ( think this one was on Master chef also) well I took it one step further! Mine was roasted beetroot, pumpkin and garlic with mixed herbs in a butter sauce and balsamic vinigar, sprinkled with fresh riccota. TAKE THAT MASTER CHEF! I served it with a nice bit of pork chop and damn it was good and so colourful too. The following night I took the left over pumpkin and beetroot cooked a new batch, with the gnochi again but also adding some brussle sprouts I had boiled the day before and served it with sliced sausages. Soooo good!

Here are some photos of the second batch with sausage and brussle sprouts...

Sizzling away on the stove!

Served with the ricotta

Still want to try the beef wellington that was on Master Chef! Will let you know if I ever get to try it!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Wedding

Here is the final chapter in the 'wedding cup cake' saga. It's a little late but here is what we ended up making for the wedding.

As you can see below we set to work early Saturday morning (day before the wedding) baking 110 cupcakes from the trusted and well tested White Wings Golden Butter Cake mix. Yes I took the easy way out and went packet cake. The reason for doing so was that we found the packet cakes stayed moist longer and since they were going to be eaten over a day after making we thought this was the best option.

Axel helped turn the cupcakes as I piped. The new piper that I bought for the job didn't work so well, icing kept on coming out even after I stopped pressing. I had to use an old one I had that was very hard to use and needed a lot of force to push the icing through. Hence the aching hand and sore shoulder the next day! It all went pretty well and took 8 hours to complete. We did however break 2 electric hand mixers, one blowing up in our faces (lucky I didn't loose my eyebrows). Fortunately the last one broke just as we finished making the last batch of icing.

Here is a shot of the cupcakes on the cake table. Unfortunately even if you send a photo of how the cake should look and detailed instructions to the reception, people still can't set up the cakes exactly how you intened... in our case a missing cupcake on the very top part of the stand. If there was no cupcake intended for the top, why would we have it there? Obviously not all people think the same.

We went with the silver patty pans and plain blue icing pipped in little stars all around. No silver balls. We were pleased with the end results and all up it cost under 200 dollars which included the cake stand and the practice runs. Much cheaper than paying $4.00 to $5.00 per cupcake, which would have meant minimum $440 plus the stand. Considering at least 30 cakes were not eatten that would have been $120 wasted.

So here ends our cupcake story!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

He Fell Asleep on Me

There hasn't been much time for anything other than work and house work. The place is pretty much the same as when we first moved in just before the wedding and it's bugging me to the max because so much of my craft and art materials are in boxes with no chance of coming out to play. The sun has moved position in the sky and no longer reachers my little veggie patch. Nothing is growing, the plants are not really dying either but the fruit and veggies are no bigger than 2 months ago. They seem to be in suspended animation.

Out of artistic desperation I took some printer paper today and an old HB pencil that was lying around and sketched Axel laying in bed. It's nice to know I can still hold a pencil and make a semi-recognisable sketch. It's been way too long. Only problem was Axel fell asleep halfway through the sketch, hence the one eye.

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the next day this happened...

Hail storms Melbourne. Just when all the tomatoes and peppers were getting ready for harvest. And the poor beetroot was looking so healthy. Growing so nicely... Sad the a whole 3 months of heart and work can be destroyed in a few minutes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Somethings Growing!

Just a few photos of some veggies we are growing in our little garden. We can't believe we are actually getting fruit! We are not sure how they will go maturing. Some of the peppers seem to be dropping off just after they start growing. You can see one that has dropped still with the withered flower on the top left corner of the photo before.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Today I turned 30. So what does one do on their 30th birthday...? Demand a really yummy and huge lemon meringue for their birthday cake! Why? Because I felt like it and 5$ mud cakes from the supermarket just don't cut it when you're the big 30. hehehehe. I guess one good thing about being in the middle of renovations and wedding plans is that you don't have time to feel so pooped about turning another year older and saying goodbye to your 20's. Here are some pics from the big moment.

We had Axel's parents on Skype while everyone sang happy birthday. They are so cute they made me a birthday sign and had a candle burning for me too. I've got a special parcel on it's way too. They always spoil me. Axel spoilt me with flowers and I spoilt myself with a new little cotton bud. His name is Joseph. He's a little 7 week old Angora X lop bunny. I've been thinking of getting a new rabbit for a while now and today I popped in to the shopping centre for a pair of shorts for indoor soccer and came out with a little fluff ball as well. I just have to work out how to socialise Joseph with Charlotte so they can be out together.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Home Improvement

I have some photos of a couple of projects that I am working on at the moment. Above is a section of an afghan I'm making for our new red velvet couch. I thought I'd be a bit more daring and use a variety of different colours. So far I am very happy with the results. I'm thinking of making it about 8 by 10 squares just large enough to cover the couch seat.

I'm also working on a quilt for our new bedroom. We bought a new bed frame because Axel keeps on hitting his feet on the bottom of the one we have now. (I guess being tall is not always an advantage!)

Here is a catalog photo of the bed. We haven't actually got it yet, it's on order.

Our walls will be a light blue and the ceiling, skirting boards and doors are white so I decided on making a blue and white quilt with a hint of orange and peach for contrast. Here are some progress photos.

At the moment I just have the blocks finished (simple maple leaf blocks without the stems. Did I mention I hate doing the stems on maple leaf blocks?) I'm planning on adding a 3 or 2 inch white border around each block and then a 1 inch navy border, finished with another 6 inch white border. I'm also considering putting a border of triangles made from the left over blue and orange material. I will see how it looks after the first white border and see if it needs more colour.

Anyhow I hope everyone is well and enjoying the first month of the new year. I can't believe 11 days have already passed! 16 more days before I go back to work! I have so much to finish at home that I am no longer looking forward to getting back to work, I just want more time so I can get things finished!!!!!!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

To 'New year's resolution' or not?

For the last few years I've given up on even setting new year's resolutions, what's the point I never keep them. Don't even know anyone that does. And they always seem to be the same ones, get fit, lose weight, eat right with the occasional read more books, get back to art.

Is there anyone out there that has actually kept their new year's resolutions? Is there a way of setting them and actually achieving success?

Having said all this I am one to make a 'what I want to do this year' list and it usually becomes more of a yearly to-do list like a daily to-do list. So what do I have to do this year?

1. Finish renovations on the house
2. Finish planning wedding and get married
3. Pay off more of home loan
5. Finish craft projects not finished from this year
6. Get body ready for pregnancy
7. Extend work skills
8. Start a vegetable garden
9. Maintain happy house and marriage
10. Continue to be pill free, (finally I have come off my antidepressants and want to stay that way!)
11. Living more frugally and environmentally responsible with the main focus being on recycling and getting others to do so as well as being self sustainable as possible. (bring on the solar panels, veggie patch, chooks and water tanks!

I also should be less sporadic when it comes to blogging. Anyhow lets see how things go. I got a feeling this is going to be a busy and exciting year! By the way did I mention I'll be turning 30 this January?

Happy new year everyone, hope it's a good one for you all and that you make the most of it. Hope you pass by and keep in touch with comments and follow me towards being more environmentally responsible. We can do it!... and should do it!