17 April, 2008

flannel bonanza!

Hi all
Well, as many of you know, I went to the stitches and craft show, and I did make some purchases, but then moved out to have the house restumped, couldn't find my camera charger, the list goes on!
At home with the dog today, sitting in front of the computer, quilt curled around me, drinking pineapple juice... (if I wasn't a snot monster this might just be heaven... oh, and of course if the hubby were her -- oops!), and remembered I hadn't done the show and tell with my flannel purchases. So here they are....

I only bought one fat quarter of each one (I was at a quilting stall, but had no idea how big that was... how embarrassing!), with the thought of stitching them all together to make a wrap or floor mat or something for our new person in the making. What do you think? This is what I think I will do with them....

It will be my first ever quilt though so I am a week bit nervous... any handy hints more than welcome. I am also interested if you quilters think that how I have mocked up the design on the computer is legitimate, or if I should be waiting til the pieces are cut before deciding on the layout?
Have a lovely Thursday, Friday and weekend x

16 April, 2008

chicken soup... no, not for the soul, for the 'flu

One of the girls from work brought her rotten 'flu to the office, and now I have it. Have been feeling gross all day (have discovered the 'flu is much worse when you're working on building a baby), and so decided it was time for some chicken soup.

Here is my recipe for chicken noodle soup... (makes enough for two to three people)

garlic - as much as you like
ginger - as much as you like (I put in plenty - I love it!)
onion - a small one, cut into little moons
chilli - as much as you like
chicken stock - around 4 cups
soy sauce - a good few splashed
mushrooms - a few, chunky slices
boy choy - quite a few bunches
coriander - as much as you like
chicken - I like to use chicken breast, but you could use thighs
enoki mushrooms - a good handful
noodles - preferable flat rice noodles, but udons are okay too
sesame oil

Pop some sesame oil (not much at all) into the bottom of a deep non stick saucepan. Throw in some slices of ginger, garlic, and some onion crescents. Then throw in your mushrooms (not the enokis just yet). Stir them around til they're coated in the sesame oil and starting to stir fry a little. Then, pop in a few good splashes of soy sauce, spin that around with the ingredients already in the pan for a short while, and then pour in your chicken stock. Slide your chicken (chopped into chunks) into the stock and bring to a boil. This is when I throw in the first handful of coriander. Pop your noodles in at the same time - these will not take long to cook at all. Once your chicken is looking just about cooked through, rest your bok choy on top of the soup along with your enoki mushrooms. Allow these to soften up and then serve.

You can garnish with some extra chilli and extra coriander (mmm...)

This soup tastes great, but also makes the house smell divine, and does make you feel better, even when you have a rotten 'flu! Oh, and the dog loves it... check him out in this photo, hoping to get some! (He didn't get any because of the onion and chilli, but he did win a couple of small pieces of chicken breast... spoilt little dog!)

Have a gorgeous week everyone x

09 April, 2008

books for kids... hooray!

Okay, I am not meaning to turn this blog into an account of my pregnancy or the upcoming birth of our first born (and there are some serious crafting questions and show and tell items once I can get some good photos), BUT, I am soooo excited about having another excuse to buy children's books at the moment!

Think it has something to do with my history... in a past life I was a speech pathologist, specialising in working with children, and kids' books were my favourite tool of the trade. So I have started my kids' book collection already. Usually, I am immediately sucked right in by a good illustrator, but if the narrative is terrible, the love affair doesn't last long.

So, I was catching up on one of my favourite all time blogs today - book by its cover ... if you love books you must visit this site! - and thought perhaps this was my opportunity to do a bit of a show and tell, too.

Here are some of my favourites:
Henry and Amy is sooo delightful and is probably one of my favourite books, for kids or for adults, of all time. It is essentially a book that suggests that it is absolutely ok to be different, and that our differences sometimes come together to create something truly wonderful (like Henry and Amy's amazing friendship). Everytime I read this I get teary at the page "and together they learnt how to fly". [sigh] This is a beautiful book. Oh! And the illustrations are gorgeous, and so much fun to look at with kids who really get a kick out of all of the squiggly details.

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is a gorgeous and fun book. I actually keep this one on my desk at work for when I am having a less than fabulous day, to remind myself that I have the choice tomorrow to start again, fresh from all of the stuff of today. It is also a fabulous book for those of us who are really not morning people. Probably my favourite part is the very beginning ... "I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there's gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." Gorgeously written and simply illustrated in black and white, I love this book.

This one is not a complicated book at all, but is another one I have on my desk at work. The message is essentially what you would expect... "it's all okay" (and in the background there are some messages perhaps about tolerance and openness). Kids love the illustrations (some seven year old girls I used to work with would just laugh themselves silly when we got to the picture with the girl who has a fish in her hair), I don't know that I am that fussed, but the colours are great, and this is probably not (in my opinion) destined to be a great classic or anything else, it is just a nice, easy, good book, that can be enjoyed.

The Boy and the Tree (1978) is a lovely collection of translated Yiddish poetry. Stunning illustrations by Victor Pivovarov, which are a bit dream-like (sorry, have a science and linguistics background, so can't use any art terms here!). But just lovely. And the poetry is so lovely to read out loud, beautiful rhythms and sounds. I wish you luck finding this one, I managed to pick it up thrifting (one of my best opshop purchases ever), but it could be tricky to get your hands on. It is, though, well worth the effort!

Other fun books to read aloud include Wombat Stew - "wombat stew, wombat stew, ooey gooey munchy chewy wombat stew" and of course Peepo. I have just bought Peepo this past month for our new arrival-in-waiting.

So many fantastic kids' books, so few posts on this blog! (so far...)

Now, time to share and delurk... which children's books are your favourites?



to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!