Tuesday, 25 October 2011

My son attended an undead party and  requested his face painting in the zombie style. I had only a few minutes between one child being picked up from surf lifesaving and having to run the undead to his very lively party, and quickly produced this likely character. It was actually quite good fun getting out the face paints again.

Monday, 17 October 2011


Today feels great. Its a lovely balmy warm day, a hint of summer in the air but the garden looks lush and green.
Poppies have self sown themselves again and big bright bursts of colour visit us for a few days. Even the seed heads look cheerful, like little greens soldiers. Unfortunately these giant poppies are not for picking and putting into vases but still give me delight as I go out to hang the washing on the line to dry.

My spinach is coming along and is singing out to me to make a vegetable pie out of it, garlic  feta and spinach pie, yummy.
On a colourful note I've finished a small hook rug from material scraps. it probably could have been made larger but I didn't realize how much material these rugs love to guzzle up.

Death and Taxes

The general consensus is out and its true that death and taxes are inevitable. Some are clever enough to evade the tax man but there is yet to be one to evade death. Even Jesus died before he could rise from the dead. Hopefully we will be able to die with grace and dignity surrounded be those we love.
I know its a rather morose topic but its a little close to home at the moment. Yesterday I had the priveledge to attend the funeral of  John O Callaghan, father of my brother in law Jack. It was a remarkable tribute to him and recognizing all the wonderful work in charities and  school boards and business interests in the geological field. Perhaps his greatest joy is to be found in his 6 children and the wife whom he was able to grow old with.
My heart goes out to those whom are cheated of the time to grow old with their chosen partner and see their children graduate, get married and achieve the milestones in life that we so readily take for granted.
 A recent conversation with one of my lovely elderly patients high lighted the fact that no matter what the age we all wish to cheat death. An impending death sentence no matter  who you are or how old you are, hurts all the same and presents challenges to those providing care to treat each with dignity respect and compassion, not to be dismissive and say you've had a good and long life. Who would want to resign themselves to the fact that your going to die because someone tells you so. Those that fight and strive to live definitely live longer, sometimes by sheer willpower alone. I don't mean to say that a person shouldn't be able to have adequate pain relief and prepare for death, but to live is to continue as best they can, enjoy their families and activities that make life fulfilling and not let cancer or illness define you.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Mississippi Mud Pie

My brother was on a flying visit to Adelaide to visit Jack and the family. So we decided to have afternoon tea with any family members able to attend. Mum decided she'd make Dutch Apple Tart, which I had been hankering for some time, brings back memories of Saturday mornings making apple pie myself and devouring it with lashings of whipped cream. I decided to embark on a chocolatey adventure and make Mississippi  Mud Pie. Really lush, rich, creamy and a chocoholics paradise. Jordana my daughter helped me make the pie and contributed to the ensuing mess, coco powder everywhere.

It's definitely not for the faint hearted and requires a healthy respect for chocolate.
To make:

Pastry: Sift 225g plain flour with 2 tablespoons coca powder and rub in 140g soft butter to form breadcrumbs, mix in 2 tablespoons caster sugar and 1 tablespoon cold water. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
press pastry in to pie plate and blind bake for 15 minutes at 190 C 15minutes

Make filling in the interim
Beat 175 g butter and 350g brown sugar together and add 4 eggs gradually.
Add 4 tablespoons coca powder.
Melt 150g plain chocolate over heat and then add to mixture  with 300ml of cream
combine well

Fill pastry with mixture and bake 160 c for 50 minutes or until filling has set gently

cool completely and top with whipped cream and grated chocolate

Shopping list
225g plain flour
coca powder 2 tablespoons
140g butter
2 tablespoon caster sugar

175 g butter
350 g brown sugar
300ml single cream
coca powder 4 tablespoons
150g plain chocolate

300ml cream to top pie and grated chocolate to decorate

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Quilt Compilation

I thought I should at least show a selection of quilts  I have made over the years, or am currently working on so that you can see I do actually love quilting and have started to produce some of my own designs.
I've always said anybody mad enough to complete a hexagon quilt needs to be certified. I do so admire some of the hexagon quilts that have been made but seem to run out of patience when it comes to doing mine. It's a start anyway.

The next few photos are of a king-size bed quilt I made for my Mum. It usually is laid over the bed so that the baskets can be viewed from any side of the bed. The quilt is based on an antique bedspread which I saw a photo in Australian Patchwork and Quilting Magazine Annual 1998. Express publication, my all time most favourite issue of any magazine. My issue is thread bare from being thumbed through so frequently. I have also made several quilts utilizing patterns from this issue

Jacks  quilt above. I love the colours of this quilt. I have actually finished it with a red border
Kirsty and I started this at a workshop at Patchwork By The Sea in Brighton, South Australia and completed it over a few months at home.

Below is another quilt form Australian patchwork and quilting annual 1998: The Sarah Johnston Quilt. It was my first quilt I ever made. Brigitte Giblin produced the pattern. The original quilt is housed in the Shelburne Museum, Vermont.
 I couldn't wait to go to quilting class and started the quilt at home. I cut all the pieces by hand using a template. It took me three days to cut all the pieces and then discovered on attending class that such things as rotary cutters existed. The girls at quilting talked me into hand quilting the quilt, at the time I didnt think i could accomplish such a huge feat and was very happy to pay to have it machine quilted. Anyway a year later of Thursday  mornings at craft my quilt eventually was completed. Twelve years later it still has pride of place on my bed but is showing signs of wear and tear. Being my first quilt I used a lot of scrap fabrics with calico and bought mainly the border greens to tie it all together. I love the chequered materials that lend a country feel, warm and welcoming

Also from Australian Patchwork And Quilting Annual 1998 is the goose track block quilt in red and white with sawtooth border. The pattern originally had a scalloped border. The original quilt was produced in 1924.
I have machined pieced and  hand quilted this quilt for Caleb, my son.
I was very silly and didn't pre wash my material for this quilt and delayed washing this quilt for months fearing that the  red was going to bleed. Thank goodness the colours were fast and have held nicely. The moral of the story is don't always be in such a hurry to get things done without adequate preparation. Think of all those hours hand stitching to have it ruined by stupidity of not pre washing. I shudder to think, but that is typical of me.

Jordana's bedspread is based on an antique style rose whig design and simple flowers. I added my own interpretation of the rose whig and used a basic solid block in fabrics that Jordana liked. No particular pattern was followed and flowers were placed randomly throughout the quilt.

Ben's quilt was made under the instruction that it had to be bright. I liked the appeal of the quilt's scrappy nature. The pattern is by Coral Smith "Bird on the Roof Quilt" in Homespun magazine No11 (Vol 3.3)

This next quilt David my husband uses its a scrappy basket design. I made it drawing up my own pattern but utilizing a photo of Bridgette Giblin's quilt shown in a photograph of her home in Australian Patchwork and Quilting Annual 1998. Another quilt made from this magazine!! This is the only quilt I have had machine quilted for me professionally, some times you just don't want to wait or cant be bothered to spend the time putting in the finer detail.

More quilts to come later when I dig them out