Thursday, 30 June 2011

I know.., it's been awhile

Hello slacko here...

Up until the past few days, the weather has been pretty much perfect, so I've been looking for any excuse to get out and enjoy it, ignoring the indoor stuff I should be doing like study, filing and tackling the mountain of laundry. This has also meant zero blogging...

When I have been spending time inside, I'm in the kitchen.  Inspired by a big basket of home grown goodies I received from the Cloudlake veggie patch, I've been cooking up a storm...

A classic winter staple Rhubarb.., always good with a little crumble and vanilla ice-cream. This time, on Mum's advice, I slow roasted it with orange juice, lots of honey and a little butter, Yum! It's made a great twist to the morning drop of porridge too..

These pretty Winter jonquils, that line the driveway at Cloudlake, sit on our dining table, making the house smell sweet..
They're doing a stellar job camouflaging the remaining odours of last night's pan seared salmon too. Another winter favourite, we had ours with a kind of salsa verde, creamy mashed potato and beans. So good but man, sooo stinky!

I've never cooked with Warrigal Greens before and had no idea how versatile they are. I used mine in place of spinach and served them as a simple side dish, blanched then tossed with lemon and olive oil and topped with with feta and pine nuts. They made a terrific accompaniment to these delicious filo pastries from my new Turkish cookbook.

A new favourite thing.. drying herbs to store.  No wastage and they look lovely hanging in bunches above the kitchen bench.

Next up, the big bowl of lemons. Lemon curd or preserved or both..!! And some study I suppose...

Thursday, 16 June 2011

my father, the collector (of useful stuff)

When I was little, a favourite activity was making the tip (dump) run with my Dad.

This usually meant loading up the trailer, after a weekend working on the house, an 1880's cottage, only to reload the trailer with a hoard of new found 'treasure'. Old sash windows, doors, door knobs, the odd chair... If Dad thought it was worth salvaging, it was coming home with us.

This habit wasn't exclusive to visits to the tip. Dad was always bringing home some little (or not so little) find from an antique/record/junk store or gallery he just happened to be passing..

And now decades later, my parents home and a couple of sheds are chock full of a very eclectic and pretty fascinating collection of stuff..
I should add, Dad is no mad hoarder.., although those that know him would agree he's a tad eccentric, he's very discerning and every piece has been acquired to be useful, as well as beautiful and/or interesting.

This applies particularly to one of his most extensive and perhaps most cherished collections, his gardening tools. Actually, he's become quite well known for this collection, having had it featured on Gardening Australia and in Country Style.

Now ABC Collectors has done a piece on it too, in their latest magazine! Here are a couple of photos from the article, I wanted to share.

Another great thing about this collection is.., next time I'm in need of a hedge trimmer/Korean weeding hoe/pitchfork, I know just who to call...

Friday, 10 June 2011

five on friday - for the birthday girl...

Ann Carrington 2009

Andy Warhol 1984

Dorothy Wilding 1952

Cecil Beaton 1942

Time Magazine 1929
Happy Birthday!! and thanks for the long weekend.. xx

Thursday, 9 June 2011

grey day

My morning looks like this..,

so I'm looking for inspiration in these..,

while he's snuggled up here

and I'm finding it hard to get out of these...

On days like today my daydreams are made of this...

Brrrrr.., stay warm out there xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

que sera sera...

Some time ago, while wasting an hour (or two) browsing, I came across a little house that made my heart skip a beat...

Undeterred by the sad state of disrepair (it was pretty much advertised as a demolition job), it's location on a busy road or the fact that we're really not in the market to buy anything right now.., I immediately began dreaming and scheming of how to rescue this little yellow butterfly from the wrecking ball and transform it into our modernist dream home.

My (far too practical) husband was not at all convinced though.., In his opinion, my new love could only mean trouble, very expensive trouble and was surprised that after all the Grand Designs and Sarah Beeny property disasters I'd watched, I didn't know better.. So for the time being I dropped it.

Secretly though, I just couldn't let it go and last weekend I finally dragged the family across town for a visit. Seeing the house in the flesh instantly reignited my interest and not just mine either!! Husband was more than warming to the idea...

After spending the next couple of days sketching potential floor plans on napkins and talking endlessly of how best to bring this baby back to her fabulous former glory.., I finally rang the realestate agent this morning and......

It's gone!!! The dream is over..!

Ah well, back to reality, I guess... or until the next diversion.
ps. On the up side, I'm pretty sure the little butterfly is being bought by a like minded soul, so it may be saved after all..

Friday, 3 June 2011

friday, on my radio...

I've been humming along to this infectious tune for a while, but only just discovered the band behind it today! It's called Apartment, by Californian Young The Giant. I especially love the laid back, almost croony vocals... Have a listen here.

lovely cover art too, don't you think..?

The band is coming out for Splendour In The Grass, so if you're lucky enough to be going (I'm not), I would definitely recommend seeking them out. In the meantime, turn it up and enjoy!!

Have a lovely weekend!! xx

Thursday, 2 June 2011

home sewn for small friends...

Some time ago, after showing a girlfriend a little satchel I made my niece, I promised her little girl I'd whip her up one too...

I asked if she had a colour preference and her answer (with no hesitation) was pink please and I like butterflies!! She's a real little live wire and takes Spanish lessons too, so she may have actually said "Me encanta la mariposa y rosa por favor" (thanks Google translator).

Yesterday, after too many months I finally delivered on my promise!

Here's the original I made my niece for her Birthday. She's animal mad.., for horses especially, so the little pony motive was a big hit.
Both bags were made using op shop bought fabrics and the magic of printable iron-on transfers...

My first foray into using this transfer stuff, came at the height of my nesting frenzy, when I wanted a couple of cheap & cheerful cushions to brighten up the nursery.

Before I knew it, I was ironing the stuff onto anything and everything, bags, hats, t-shirts, labels..! So beware, the instantaneousness of it all is pretty addictive, but great for a fun, impromptu gift (or very much belated, in this case)...

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

not so fantastic plastic

Last week, after years of just 'watching'..,  I finally experienced the rush from bidding on and 'winning' my first Ebay item!! 

My glittering prize was a set of classic Kartell nesting tables, at a too good to be true price.. Wow, what a bargain I thought.., perfect side table solution I thought...  

My husband brought them home and it was love at first sight!

On closer inspection however, it became clear that life has not been kind to these little tables at all. 
Alas, even with some serious spit and polish on my part there seems to be little chance of restoring them back to their original glory... 

The next best thing I guess would be to respray them.
I've done a bit of research and it appears that there is several decent paint products out there just made for such a job... I was even thinking of being a bit zany and spraying them three different (maybe tonal) colours. What do you think??

Before I take the plunge and spend up at Bunnings on paint though, I'd love to know if anyone out there has undertaken a similar restoration and has any tips?!

I really hope I can salvage them.., if not they may become destined to be my first Ebay sale...

ps. I've been trying to post this for a couple of days... I seem to keep getting these bugs in Blogger! Anyone else having the same problems..?