Saturday, 28 July 2012

Lemon Cream Pavlova

My sister-in-law's birthday was on Thursday and as a belated gesture Jordy and I went round with a lemon cream pavlova to share. Unfortunately she is currently out shopping with our mother in law for her birthday present after completing a shift at work. I'm sure they'll enjoy the pavlova when they return providing her children don't hoe into it. Love that sweet sour flavour.

4 egg pavlova

4 egg whites
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartare
1 tablespoon cornflour
Heat oven to 210 degree C and turn down to 110 degree when pavlova placed in oven

Whisk egg whites till thick and fluffy white cream of tartare.
 Then add castor sugar 1 teaspoon at a time whilst continuing to whisk the meringue mixture. In last few spoon full mix in the cornflour and add to pavlova whislt continuing to whisk. When sugar dissolved transfer mixture to baking tray  dusted with cornflour to prevent pavlova from sticking or use baking paper.

Cook for 1 hour
Allow to cool

Lemon curd

1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
2 tablespoon butter
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar

place all ingredients except for egg yolks and dissolve sugar (Approx 2 minutes)
remove from heat and add egg yoks whisk until smooth.
Allow to cool
The lemon surd can be added straight to the pavlova with cream or whip up with whipped cream to make lemon cream as I have done. Make sure lemon curd is cool .

Decorate pavlova as desired

Butterfly Garden Crochet

Baby Blanket number four almost complete, a few loose ends to sew in and set the blocks and then I'm done yeah! This was a pretty quick crochet and now that all the squares are together I don't mind the gelati  colours. So now you know what I've been up[ to in the last week. I did manage to do a little hand quilting and I'm currently making a lemon curd pavlova- sweet and sour yumminess.

So I'm off to finish the pav and sew in the baby blanket ends.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

One Year Old

Happy Birthday to Monique's Mess!

Apparently one year ago today I decided to venture into the world of blog land. I really had no expectations of what I was going to do other than try to motivate myself to produce some works of art that might be appreciated by others. I'm happy to have started my journey of creativity and look forward to developing a more personalised style.

I know that being creative requires time and effort and to continue blogging more time and effort. But to anyone who has a desire to express oneself then they'd appreciate the need to commit themselves. My trouble is that I don't know what areas I'm most comfortable in.  I like varying the activity that I participate in. Do I continue to jumble along and offer a variety of mediums that I craft away in or do I start to direct energy into one or two specific areas??

I think on the blog face of things I'd like to become more interactive with others. With that in mind I have started to look into the Etsy side of  things - maybe that'll make me commit myself to be more discretionary in my choice of projects.

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear from you. What preferences you have, constructive comments  and any thought you might like to share, I really do appreciate someone taking the time to communicate the written word.  Thanks to all who venture to join with me in my ramblings and hope we continue to journey on together. I really do get excited when I see someone has visited the site and it inspires me to continue the journey of blogging. But I know no matter what happens in the cyber world I will always craft and create in my little part of the world.

Looking forward to sharing with you. Keep safe Keep HAPPY and be BLESSED. xox Monique

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Weaver Bird

Last night the troupes were not going to go to bed early (which is what I wanted to do). It wasn't even that early being ten o'clock at night. All I could hear were the heavy foot falls of sandshoe covered feet clonking down the hallway. THUD THUD THUD Jack hammers in my head! Rather than get mad and achieve nothing, I decided to paint a little and added to the weaver bird. I'll have to add to the branches as they have bled colour whilst wet.

I've finally started baby blanket number four utilizing the Butterfly Garden pattern found on Yarn Crazy.
The request from mother to be was for a bright blanket.
I've decided soft brights would be the go. I think I would prefer this pattern all in one colour but I'll reserve my judgement until its completed.

It'll need a good stretch to get into shape.
I must say this is an easy pattern to follow and once you've completed a square its easy to do by heart without a pattern.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Weaver Bird

I stopped in at the Salvation Army Recycle shop on the way home on Monday and found an illustrated Children's Book of Wonder that was produced in 1949. A few of the pages are coloured but it makes fascinating reading all the same. I liked this little chap and proceeded to paint him that night at about eleven in the evening, I do have a penchant for staying up late. All those years of late shift nursing and you forget how to go to bed early unless utterly exhausted.

Today I had a  quick little crochet and thought I'd start producing a few flowers which I want to attached to the remaining hand dyed scarfs. We'll see what happens.

I saw on this  blog by Sandra Everton a lovely row of baroquet paper ladies cut out in chain fashion and thought they'd look great decorating the windows of the ward at Christmas. 
(Sorry the pencil outline is hard to see but the picture is worse when I utilized the flash) Follow the link above to see how lovely they are.

I thought this chap could be made into chain work as well. I haven't made any paper chains yet but will do so as soon as I obtain some A3 paper

Back to the crochet for now.

Monday, 16 July 2012


A little colouring fun after work. I'm still loving pomegranates. injected a little whimsy into the colouring but only a little. I'm thinking that I might have to be a little less constrained and become more fee flowing in my brush work, work with colour and not be so exacting. Exercise the brain and the mind by trying to do things differently.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Friday, 13 July 2012

She'll Be Apples

I'm currently painting an bunch or rosy red apples hanging in the tree and then I began thinking about the saying "she'll be apples". It sounds like a very Australian thing to say and having access to the internet I begun to wonder about the origins of the saying. I found on yahoo a description that originates the saying to rhyming slang- Apples and spice and all things nice. The saying she'll be apples came about by dropping the spice. The cite lists the earliest documentation of this saying to be 1943 by the Australian National Dictionary.

I saw a lovely print of the saying here

and here is the start of my fruitful  adventure. Back to painting.
Hours Later...

I don't know which orientation I should have this picture, but below is how I painted it.
Just have to wait for the paint to dry to add some finer detail.

I think I'm improving slowly with the use of water colours.?? A couple of smudgy bits but thats the nature of water colour = a little unpredictable.

Sending this to you

Just thought I'd send out a little  Love today. I thought it was as good a reason as any to test run my stamp set that I bought with some of my birthday money

I started with more of a square design which I really love but couldn't resist drawing in the heart.

So a little heart felt love to you all..

And this little fella was inspired by Country Style magazine and my farm stay in Canberra with my sister.

Monday, 9 July 2012


As I read other peoples blogs I bear witness to their holidays away and the homecomings that they experience.

People have differing emotions of their return home to their natural environment and often with a new appreciation of the surroundings of familarity and warmth of objects collected and held dear. 

Being away gives fresh eyes to things we may have become tired of and shown disregard to. Its a bit like putting away a drawing that you've completed and in the process become bored with or don't quite like the outcome of. But! When you pull that drawing out a year later you may see it in a new light, appreciate its colour or line though imperfect but yet it is a reflection of you in times gone by.

Not only do objects but people reflect their appreciation of you when you are absent- no matter short lived that time is. 
Sometimes that reflection that they show you makes evident that they haven't really missed you at all. Depressing thought, yes, that your return home gets very little response from those that are supposed to care: a husband whom barely acknowledges you at the airport but yet can display such warmth and caring to the child. Sadly I knew this was going to be. All the same you kind of wish that perhaps new beginnings and small efforts could be made to justify your existence in this thing we call family.

So frost is not only to be found in Canberra but also resides in my home. Frost puts a crisp chill in the air and  a stark light on my life. All I have to do is wait for the warmth of the radiant sun to blaze away the chill and breathe new life into these veins,  find new direction, seek a new path. Time for spring to advance and blast away the winter blues.

Who would think reading this that I had such a lovely time away. I did though.

Make much of time

A little dabbling in the watercolour arena over the last weeks and look what I come up with - Make much of time.
What am I trying to tell myself? Make plans , prepare for the future, organize oneself and my life so it perhaps is a little more fulfilling and fruitful ??
The basis of this picture came about whilst looking through some tapestry books. It's  a combination of traditional pattern of the tree evolving from the pot and mirrored patterning each side.

The next picture was inspired when  I saw a pillow on the front cover of Country Style magazine , a floral bouquet. I still like the pillow more but it was a fun exercise in colour

One Week Away

I've managed to sneak off for a week away with my daughter, Jordana and visit my sister and family near Queanbeyan on the farm.

panoramic vistas from the hay paddocks

The farm was beautiful despite being very chilly in the mornings at -3 degrees. The ground was covered in frost and the ponds and some parts of the rivers were iced over. The kids had fun cracking the ice on the fish pond in the morning. Being well rugged up was the key to staying warm, but we were always snuggly by the wood fires inside.
I went for several walks in the pine forest and scooted around the farm on the quad bikes to inspect the newborn calves. The Angus cows are really quite pretty animals.

Mama  with her new born calf, not twenty minutes old.
 Last November the farm suffered huge gale force winds that tore threw areas of the farm, ripping forests of trees and tearing down sheds and farm structures. Months later my brother in law is still clearing paddocks of fallen debris and repairing sheds.

There used to be a row of really mature pine trees in front of this scene and directly behind the wagon- all torn to shreds and felled by the forces of nature.
From the debris we collected wood each evening and made a large camp fire to roast marshmallows. We also picnicked by fire and had dinner in large bowls.

 Sunny days and there was horse riding across the paddocks

I love the colour and the patterns of the mosses growing on the fallen pine trees.

Looking up in to the blue from below these lovely trees

Following the creek bed

and finding a wombat hole?

Lovely ghostly gums

Looking at the greenery as I wandered around

Chasing this little bird along the fence line... until I saw the bulls in the paddock heading my way.

 Trying to capture these guys on my camera.

I really do need to get a camera with a zoom lens.. then iId have a better photo of these red beauties.

And celebrated my birthday in style.
Coco Black and dinner cooked for me - happy.