Wednesday, October 24, 2012

It's been awhile!

Well, I've been a bit slack in the blogging world havent I?!

Life has just gotten hectic around here in the past fortnight or so. My mum and dad were here for a week, hubby has been working crazy mad hours and I've been holding together a house with the cleaning, cooking & general chores.
I have found a quiet moment this morning to spend some 'me' time. I am enjoying a quiet cuppa, heading to clean the kitchen, hang out some washing then the sewing room is all mine!! I will have to spend 10 minutes doing a speed clean in there as all the odds & bobs have been dumped in there (again!).

We've had rain for the past 2 days with some more threatening clouds around today. Fingers crossed that it does not rain today as we are all itching and champing at the bit to get the headers chomping away through the crops.


Helping hubby move gear during swathing.
The rows are freshly swathed, hence why they are so green.

 

Swathed canola rows. At this point they are starting to dry out
quite well and are nearly ready to be picked up.

This is a video of the swather. Hubby was doing 12hr shifts so I quite often joined him for dinner. The swather cuts the canola crop and lays it in rows that sit on top of the stubble to allow the crops to dry & ripen, ready to be picked up.


I couldnt resist. Had to share a photo of my Red rolling in the dirt on the dam bank.
He gets so excited when he's been in the water!!



I did have a two day "break" in town for the local show. I helped a friend with her saddlery store and babysitting duties of Miss 1mth old and Miss 2. I was the lucky one to share a room with Miss 2 who woke at 5am. No wonder I'm so tired! I normally enter some of my photography in the show & I had plans to enter my Happy Quilt however I missed the entry cut off for the photography & I am still working on my Happy Quilt. However, I did take some photos of the quilts created by the very talented local quilters. I will pop up a post on those later on!


Works in Progress:
-Happy Quilt
-Owl Cot Quilt
-2 cheaters cot quilts.

Project Wish List:
-Christmas Table runner
-Rainbow Log Cabin quilt
(there are more but they are stored way back in my mind somewhere to be dug out at a later date)



Monday, October 8, 2012

That time of the year again!

Yep! It's slowly starting to get busy. Hubby was out the door by 6am and is not expected home till after 5pm. We have started swathing the canola. Swathing is when you cut the plant and lay it down so that it can dry out. You then come back about 14 days later and pick it up with the header. I love to watch the colours change over the two weeks. It goes through too many changes to list!
Here are the swathed rows around lunch time today.....


Monday, October 1, 2012

Drover

I'm a part of a travelling stash page on Facebook. Basically, someone gathers together a pile of fabric (generally fat quarters and charm packs) and chucks them in a parcel. They place a document on the Facebook page asking for people who wish to be involved. Once there is enough people, say 10 or 12, the parcel then gets posted to the first person on the list. They look at the fabric and take out what they want. However, they have to replace it with something from their fabric stash. Great idea I think!
One of my good friends who lives in Melbourne decided that she would package up a travelling stash and call it Drover.....I put my name down and was pleased to be third to receive Drover. I was so excited when Lara let me know he was on route to my house!! But, as it always is, disaster strikes! Because of my location, I have a roadside rural mailbox which only receives mail twice a week. It's a huge mailbox - I have heard a story of a backpacker sheltering in it from the rain one day. Anywho, we've had terrible bee problems this year and the bees made a hive in the mailbox around the time Drover was due to arrive. I was devastated as this means that Doug the Postie won't deliver the mail for fear of being stung (this I understand). Anyway, after a few mail days and a chat with Doug Drover arrived safely! He was promptly picked up, taken back to my place where I proceeded to unpack and admire him. I was in looove!
I touched every piece of fabric. I looked at them all from every angle. I sorted them into piles then I resorted them again and again until I came up with about half a dozen fat quarters that I wanted to be mine. Then I headed to my sewing room to my fabric stash. This was going to be difficult for me and I knew this from the moment I put my name on Drovers list.....I love my fabric stash and parting with any of it was going to be hard!
I sat in front of my desk and went through my FQs. I pulled out the ones that I thought would suit Drover. I pulled out the ones that deep down I knew I could part with and I pulled out some pieces that I would need to cut into FQ size.....eventually I had made my decision.
The first photo is Drover on my dining table having a rest...the second photo is what I kept (rainbow stars) and the third is what I put back in.
I have repackaged and posted Drover on his way again. He's headed further west to visit Amanda.
I'm very sorry this post has taken so long to be published but I've been super busy and its about to get busier here with the canola pretty much ready to go. I hope to get a post of that up real soon for you all.




Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Another favourite

Yep, I don't mind a bit of scrapbooking either! Actually, I love it, when I can find the time and the patience.
I needed some time out yesterday and I found myself in the sewing room, with the timer set for 20 minutes to do a quick tidy up. The tidy up really didn't take long but in the process I found a couple of little projects I have had sitting around waiting for a rainy day to be completed. Instead of going to do something else, I used the rest of the 20 minute block to finish the two projects.....here they are!
First is a pen holder to go onto my desk when its tidied up - this task is a part of The Organised Housewife's 20 Day Challenge.
The second is a little photo holder. I'm not certain where I'll put it yet...



Friday, September 21, 2012

Doo do doo looking out my sewing room window

Living on a farm certainly has its benefits. The sun has been shining, the birds have been singing, the crops and livestock are looking great thanks to the rain & sunshine and the reptiles are starting to appear. Hang on, that's not a benefit! Anyway, life's pretty good out here this time of the year.

I love walking into my sewing room and being able to look straight across the room and out the window.....



You can't see them in that photo but there are about 1100 lambs lazing about and having an early morning graze. I love looking out the window at them. I kinda feel a bit sorry for them - they were weaned off their mums last week. They called out to them all night for the first night. Ha, sounds like I do have a maternal instinct! They have settled down quite well and are grazing well and getting fatter everyday!

Today would be a really nice day if the crappy wind buggered off. I have towels & sheets on the clothes line but I can't get them off because the wind is blowing too hard! However, I've just looked out across the barley crop next to the house which is about knee height and it's rippling like the ocean thank to the wind......I could get lost in it!

Anyway, I best be off to get some housework done and prepare for the long awaited visit from the electrician - he's finally coming to resolve my lack of powerpoints problem.....plus I think I better batten down the hatches as the weatherman is predicting some thunderstorms over the next 24 hours.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Killing time......

With harvest just around the corner hubby is taking every opportunity to go to town. Todays trip was to learn about the new piece of machinery his boss has purchased for this harvest. I had the car booked in for service so we took the opportuntity to come to town together. We visited a friend and her brand new baby girl in hospital this morning, had a quick lunch then dropped him off at the course. I'm now killing time.....I'm watching the ships get loaded while flicking through a few magazines - Australian Patchwork & Quilting and Farm Weekly. Every few minutes I glance up and can't help but smile at this gorgeous view. I love this place!!




Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sewing room update.....

After some consideration on my behalf and persuasion from my hubby, I did another small rearrange of the sewing room. I have moved the Horn cabinet and the cutting table to create a corner to put hubbys home brew kit. It was kept in the spare room but with my parents arriving in only 2 weeks I thought it would be better to sacrifice a corner of my sewing room rather than leave the brew kit next to where our guests would be sleeping. Here's what it looks like now!



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Introducing......Ruby!



Ruby was recently given to me (complete with a Horn sewing cabinet). I have no idea of how old she is (any one have an idea?). I have no idea on anything about her except that I am very grateful to the beautiful lady who allowed me the opportunity to become her owner.

 
 
 
Ruby has a variety of functions that are very new to me. You'll see why when I introduce Betty. So far I have fallen in love with the many stitch options and the top loading bobbin!! I can finally see easily how much thread I have left!

 
So far Ruby & I have had a play with her 85 different stitches which includes 2 alphabets. We have mended a pair of hubby's jeans, had a moment where I thought she was gone forever, broken 2 needles, learnt that my 1/4" foot from Betty just fits and we've worked on some piecing for my Happy Quilt.

We are getting along well & I am very excited to have Ruby as part of my team - I can see great things for my sewing future!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Oh so happy!

Today shall be known as Super Sunday.....finally, I completed the mammoth task of taming the jungle that was my sewing room!
Now I know I said that Friday would be the day but that fell by the wayside as I just couldn't get into the groove and spent the day cleaning the rest of the house. I had gotten to the point where I couldn't even look in the sewing room as it disappointed, aggravated and frustrated me almost to the point of tears......
So, I guess you're asking why did I choose to do it on a Sunday, the supposed day of rest? Well, after spending the weekend in town fishing and eating good food and then checking out the local markets this morning, I had found the inspiration and motivation that I needed to tackle the task. Once I got started, I couldn't stop! I had also decided that Tuesday is going to be spent in the sewing room, doing what I want. It is my birthday after all!
Enjoy the photos and happy sewing!!





Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sewing room update

Just a quickie tonight. Slowly getting there. Did hardly anything today as I concentrated on getting my Body Shop at Home affairs in order as peak trade is just around the corner! More photos tomorrow - hopefully near completion!




Monday, September 3, 2012

20 Day Challenge (20DC)

Just a quick update....
Day 1: I was flat out like a lizard drinking today! Well, it certainly felt like that. It started off with not wanting to get out of bed because I was so comfy and relaxed and it was just one of those mornings. I stayed in bed half hour past my alarm and that's where the mayhem started! Got up, quick shower and I was already behind the 8-ball so the 20DC Task for the day was looked at briefly and chucked on the back burner until this afternoon. I was planning to be home at about 2:30ish. HA!

I have a friend who is supervising a SIDE student (distance education). The student has to complete a sewing subject. Now my darling friend cannot sew a straight line to save herself so she asked me if I would run the sewing aspect for her. I gladly agreed! I planned an 80 minute lesson based on the lesson book I was given. 3 hours later and we were finally finished the lesson I planned. Oh dear!! Quick lunch and off to the next destination. My best friend is due to have a baby any day so I was off to check in on her and look at her new horse that she picked up last week and to have a play with one of her other baby horses that I will be leading in the local show ring for her next month. Well, her eldest was sound asleep in bed when I got there so those plans went out the window. By the time we got out to the horses, had a quick bit of horse play and fed up, it was 4:15pm. Oopsy! The roast was supposed to be in the oven 1 hour ago!! Oh no, hubby is going to be champing at the bit when I get home. Anyway, as luck has it I gave him a quick call and he was right near the house so he happily ducked in and started to preheat the oven ready for when I get home. Since I've gotten home, the roast has gone in the oven, a loaf of bread is in the bread maker, I did a 5 minute declutter on the dining table, written my town list for tomorrow, printed tomorrows 20DC tasks, checked emails, updated Facebook, put away the clean dishes, started packing the car for town day and have popped the top on a Pipsqueak Cider. My boots are still on my feet, the dogs are still running around but I feel slightly less hurried than I did when I pulled up at home just over an hour ago. Off to ready the vegies for the oven then I might tackle the huge pile of washing sitting at the end of bed. This little exercise is part of tomorrows 20DC task but I have to be out the door around 7:15am tomorrow morning to have Nelly at the vets for desexing surgery by 8:30am. More about town day later on...... 

Friday, August 31, 2012

What have I gotten myself into?!

We live in a farmhouse. It has cobwebs, mice in the roof and the occasional bee tries to make it a home. It is nothing flash, it is nothing fancy. It is tiny, it does my head in on a regular basis (especially the kitchen & bathroom!). It has next to no storage - no wardrobes, no bathroom cupboards, not even a proper pantry. As a result, we have had to buy/source storage options. We still have no where near enough storage for all of our belongings and as a result lots of things are stored in plastic storage boxes. These boxes are then stacked in the corner of my sewing room.

In order to overcome some of the storage issues in my sewing room, I came across two old sets of shelves/bookcases at the local school. They were put into the sewing room and due to other commitments, I didn't get around to organising and setting up the shelves properly. As a result, stuff (and I mean stuff) has been dumped on and around the shelves with no resemblance of any order so now it just looks like one big junk pile. It has gotten to the point that the only clearing is a path way from the door to the back corner of the room where my sewing machine & ironing board are set up.

Now that I am not working and I am finding myself in the sewing room on a regular basis, I am really getting frustrated with the mess & the amount of crap that has accumulated. Solution to my frustration: clean out, throw out & organise the sewing room!

This is how the sewing room looked when I started.

 

 
I was recently contacted by a friend who had a Janome Memory Craft 6000 with a Horn sewing cabinet. I have been after a Horn cabinet for months so I was pretty stoked and very quickly organised a visit with her to look at the machine. The machine may be a lot older than my little Betty but it seems to have a lot more functions.....so that's how I came to welcome Ruby to the family. More on Ruby & Betty later.
You can see Ruby in the middle of the room there. I need to fit her in somewhere......I've spent a few hours in the room so far clearing stuff out, tidying, rearranging and I'm finding myself asking what have I gotten myself into?!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Organised Housewife

Please don't think that this blog title is indicative of my life because it sure as hell is no where near that! I've titled this post in this manner because "The Organised Housewife" has recently become a favourite blog of mine. I was doing a quick Facebook check the other day and I noticed a friend had shared a link to a challenge set by The Organised Housewife. I became very intrigued and had to check it out. It's 20 Days to Organise and Clean Your Home. Wow! Perfect timing! My parents are due to arrive in WA in 32 days so I need to get the house spick & span before then. This challenge is just what I need! It starts on Monday 3rd September but there are a few pre-challenge tasks happening at the moment.
To start with I've subscribed to emails so I can stay on top of everything. Then I went through the blog and caught up on a few things that I'd missed and printed a few of the required documents. Now to find that spare ring binder I have and I'm set!
Check out the challenge here..... The Organised Housewife - 20 Day Challenge


Friday, August 24, 2012

More busy.....


Oopsy, another week since my last post! I promised myself I wouldn't do that.

So, quick catch up. I went out on a deep sea fishing boat for the first time on the weekend and although we saw whales and dolphins and caught some great fish, I wont be doing it again. I last 3 hours and had to be taken back to shore - I was a bit sick. Since then, life has just gotten away from me! One day was taken up with a trip to town for my fortnightly shop which included a trip to my local patchwork shop (more material - shhh! Don't tell hubby!).
I took some time also to visit a friend just down the road who I haven't seen for ages. She had a Janome Memory Craft 6000 with a Horn sewing cabinet that she said I could have if I liked what I saw. Well, I couldn't pass that up so it's now patiently waiting on some TLC before I bring it in and set it up in my sewing room. Finally I have 2 machines!!

My SuperChef is cruising along well. I made another cheesecake and this morning I attempted some Choc Chip Muffins as per the recipe in the provided book. It was so quick & easy however, the mixture ends up very smooth and not lumpy like I've been told muffins should be. They still cooked fine and they tasted pretty good.


I have been working on a table runner & mug mat prototype set for a little while now. Here is the table runner (folded in half) and the first mug mat. I learnt a lot from the first mug mat and hope to fix some of the little issues I have with the next three. Keep watching -- more photos to come once it's all finished.
 



Friday, August 17, 2012

Busy, very busy!!

Oh wow! I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted -- naughty me. I have been super busy with a big birthday party last Sunday resulting in Monday being a complete write off with a little hangover, Tuesday was working with hubby doing some fencing, Wednesday was working some young horses with a friend who's pregnant and then more fencing yesterday!! Today has been a big catch up day with lots of paperwork, emails, housework and phone calls.

So....I have attempted a few things in the SuperChef. I tried custard from a Thermomix style recipe and won't be doing that again. It burnt slightly on the bottom and left the dirtiest taste in the custard. It all ended up going into the bin! I will attempt another recipe later on.
I have fallen in love with mashed potato again thanks to SuperChef. It is so so quick and easy! I have made the mistake of 'blending' it too quickly and as a result ended up with a very runny mash. It still tastes good, just has a different texture.
I have also used it to chop garlic and onion and am so pleased with how well it did this -- especially no onion tears!
The only prob I have had was the blade getting stuck in the lock position which I now believe was thanks to some baked on custard remnants. A quick little temper tantrum on my behalf and it decided to behave. I have also noticed some black liquid coming off the bottom of the blade as I've been cooking but a good clean seems to have corrected this problem.

Tonight we have some porterhouse steak on the menu and I am thinking about doing the Potato Gratin and Hollandaise sauce in the recipe book provided plus some steamed veg.

We are going fishing for the day tomorrow (hopefully we get to see some whales!!) so I hope to be making fish cakes sometime early next week.

Till then.....
bye!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Cheesecake & SuperChef

Oh wow!! That's all I can say about the Bundy Rum Liqueur Cheesecake. It was devine! I think there is still one or two pieces left in the fridge - tonights dessert done!!
We had friends visiting last night and they wanted to see SuperChef in action so I grabbed a bag of ice and whizzed up some. Wow!! SuperChef did it easily and quickly. Our friends were rather impressed and I dare say they went home and sussed them out with the thought to buy one. So, that left me with a bowl full of blended ice......let's make sorbet!! Bit of castor sugar, half a lemon and a handful or berries. Voila! Quick, tasty, refreshing sorbet. I had to put it back into the freezer for a little bit though because the ice had started to melt before I got to put the rest of the ingredients in.

Today is going to be a busy one....we're expecting family friends who are travelling to pop in for a visit so I'm thinking I'll put a cake in the oven & clean the house a bit. Plus it's a gorgeous day so my trusty washing machine is going to get a workout washing all the new material I purchased on our recent holiday. Then I have no excuse for not quilting!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bundy Rum Liqueur Cheesecake

I have felt like cheesecake for ages and had two packets of cream cheese staring at me each time I opened the fridge. I decided to put Mr SuperChef to the test so I grabbed my recipe books and found a recipe for this devine cheesecake. It called for a coffee liqueur such as Kahlua but I didn't want to open the bottle I have. Instead I found a bottle of Bundaberg Rum Coffee and Chocolate Liqueur....Oh yum! Fingers crossed it works!


Where to start?

So....my first blog post. I really don't know where to start so I'll start with a little bit about me.

I live my husband near Esperance in Western Australia. Hubby is 2IC on a broad acre cropping (wheat, canola & barley) and sheep (mainly Merinos) property. We live on the farm and wake most mornings to a crowing rooster (Rueben), playful cat (Nelly) and ewes and lambs. We have two red kelpies - Mocha & Red.


Up until about 4 weeks ago I was working at the local school as an Education Assistant. I have taken leave from this position and hope to spend the rest of the year working on a variety of projects including cooking, quilting, photography, sewing, crochetting and knitting. I may even throw in some horse riding! Keep an eye out as I may even do some other really random things.

I love to cook but find it really hard to keep it healthy and yummy. It's a 200km round trip for fresh fruit & veg and basic groceries so I like to keep a lot of frozen goodies in the freezer and prefer to cook/bake things for us. So, on our recent holiday I purchased a ThermoFoodPro SuperChef. Yes, it's a long name. To make it shorter -- cheap Thermomix. I know all about the Thermomix vs Cheaper Alternative debate and it's not something that I wish to get into. I am so far enjoying my SuperChef! I have had trouble finding recipes specifically for the SuperChef and will be posting links/recipes as I find (or create) them.

More on me later......

See ya!