Monday, July 21, 2014

Newcastle Beach, Crochet Shell Stitch Scarf and a Simple Succulent Planting … July in Review

Hi all, not much happening here except trying to keep warm!!!! It was my birthday about two weeks ago and i enjoyed a breakfast out with my two boys Thomas and Cooper… Thomas had just gotten his licence a few days before so he was the driver :) Which of course means he is officially all grown up … not sure what happened to the last 17 years !!??! After breakfast we had a browse through the antique store that the cafe is joined to, always a treat with a 4 year old …. luckily the shop made it through unscathed ;)

This cafe is a quirky/arty family owned business
with great customer service and delicious food and coffee
Vincents in Mayfield, Newcastle 

sorry guys not very flattering pics :/

One of my all time favourite poems on the wall

(not quite sure how the pics fit in with that poem tho??)

some bits and pieces from the antique store next door

started to convince myself i needed a white peacock….
(thats when Thomas said it was time to go …LOL)

Newcastle Beach

Still on the birthday theme my lovely friend Catherine sent me the above gorgeous bouquet of flowers and took me out for lunch at my favourite beachside restaurant "Rustica" a beautiful rustic italian style restaurant overlooking the picturesque  Newcastle Beach. We have been there a number of times now and always order the slow cooked lamb should for two … which is way to much for us but we struggle through cause its sooooooooooooooooooo mouthwateringly fabulous!

was a Frangelico Parfait with salted caramel nuts 
(actually called something more eloquent than that but i can't remember )

Divine !!!

Some more birthday flowers from my husband :)

On a creative note I hadn't been crocheting or creating much of anything lately but i came across this lovely but simple shell stitch scarf on All About Ami and decided to give it a whirl, real happy with the end result and the fact that even I made them in a short amount of time.

Cream alpaca yarn makes a reappearance
i used two strands together to get the nice chunky look.

I purchased these beautiful button from The Wool Shed, Manuka
(In Canberra)

The pattern can be found here at All About Ami

I used some leftover yarn which is an acrylic 12 ply in Raspberry for this one

 My other creative moment this month was this simple and free 
centrepiece for our dining table ….
all i did was use a basket and filled it with little antique terracotta pots, some white ceramic ones and even some shot glasses
and filled them all with random succulents both full plants and cuttings and just fiddled around till it 
all fitted and looked visually pleasing. I think it would look even better if i had some sort of moss
or filler to squish in the gaps. As i had all the supplies already it was a  cheap and easy way of having a green display all the time

Really pleased with the overall look of the plantings here :)

I am in the middle of a crochet poncho for a special little girl, so i will be sharing that asap!

Also Cooper decided he would be happy to wear a beanie (purely because his best friend had one on the other day and not because he thinks my crocheting is fab… but i will take it! lol)
i have been crazily making him a few beanies in different colours whilst the going is good 
will share some pics later in the week :)

Thank you for stopping by

Clarissa xo

Saturday, July 05, 2014

A Little Winter Weekend Baking…. Cinnamon Scrolls

Hi all, I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. Cooper and I are still hanging onto our colds unfortunately.

Last week my stepfather, Paul passed away from a massive heart attack so we made a trip to Canberra to be with my mum and attend his funeral. Paul was a lovely person and was great to my brothers and I and more importantly to our mum and will be greatly missed by all of us. He also made beautiful timber furniture which i have been the lucky recipient of over the years, these pieces obviously will have even more sentimental value now…..

The view from my brothers back verandah (excuse the mess etc he is in the middle of renovating, new verandah and back room being added on at the moment ) on the day of Pauls funeral quite fitting i suppose …. desolate and only 2 degrees at 10.30 am when i took this pic very quickly i might add :/

There are mountains out there somewhere !

Paul….  Always in our Hearts …..

on a lighter note

I finally mustered up enough energy to make some chicken and corn soup yesterday and i must day it turned out fantastic and everyone else took advantage of me entering the kitchen so i ended up making some cinnamon scrolls and a batch of sun dried tomato & olive scrolls which seem to be very popular :)

I found the recipe for this Chinese style chicken and corn soup at Not Quite Nigella
and it tastes exactly like chinese restaurant style soup.

The cinnamon scrolls have become very popular here… they do not last long at all 
and so easy to make 

I have been using the recipe from best recipes Cinnamon Rolls 
(recipe #5299)

These are the sun dried tomato and olive scrolls
first attempt at these, one was missing before i could even take a pic !!

I took some more pics this morning in better light 
(well sort of better)

I used the recipe for cheese and bacon rolls from the all recipes site and changed it by

rolling it out  (like when you make the cinnamon scrolls)
and spreading it with tomato paste mixed with italian herbs
sprinkling generously with chopped sun dried tomatoes and black olives
and rolling up and cutting into scrolls 
I also sprinkled a little more of the olives and tomatoes 
and some grated parmesan

The pile has diminished rapidly since taking this pic :)

I had to do a little backyard tidy yesterday so Thomas could mow the lawn
so even tho its winter here and there is not much happening garden wise it's always nice to see a few blooms in the winter morning sunshine …..

I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend
I am off to enjoy a bowl of my delicious soup :)

and maybe,
like me you could take the time to 
remember that life is short and to make sure the people you care about know that you do……

Thank you for stopping by

Clarissa xo

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cute Pink and Green Granny Square Baby Rug Finished…. Finally!!

Hi all, well i hope everyone out there is happy and well. I am actually feeling rather down today with wisdom teeth pain and a head cold … at least i am getting both over with at once, sort of sickness multi tasking i suppose :)

In my last post i stated i would get my pink and green rug assembled and be back in a few days with a tah dah moment. Well for once i actually knuckled down and didn't let myself get sidetracked by cute crochet anything and started join all my adorable puffy flower squares together and i must say i am not unhappy at all.  And the reason my post has taken so long from that statement is …. NO INTERNET !!! omg we have no internet at home… technical difficulties we have it at work of course but i don't have time to blog there … i know, i know life is so cruel ;)

So without further ado……

Tah daaaaaaaaah…

I used pure wool in apple green, pink and vanilla
and i had originally planned on making a single size rug but as time grew on i found it really hard to find the pink ( and i had lost a little enthusiasm for making the squares these flowers squares used quite a bit of yarn!) and so i decided to down size to a cot size which turned out to be a good decision as i just made it to that size with the pink i had and they didn't stock it any more so cot size it is :)

i found the pattern here

I decided not to steam/set my flower squares cause i wanted them to look puffy
( a decision i was soon to learn a lesson from)

That decision was to later haunt me when i put my plain border of granny squares that i did steam on,
not so drastically it was a disaster but not perfect perfect … everyone knows what i mean don't they :)
I am really lucky that the border squares and border rows only slightly ripple and actually looks like i planned it …. yep of course I did…. didn't I?? 

so i have learnt two things whilst making this rug 

1…. buy all the yarn at once
2…. plan design decisions out to the finished product 

so obvious, so simple 
these are my two must abide rules from now on 

 I love love love the colours and i think this is going to make a lovely gift for the next little girl to come along in our circle of friends 

I have decided to put a cotton backing on the rug 
I had these in the cupboard so tossing up whether to use one of them or buy something else

Well thats my not so perfect, perfectly cute handmade with love cot quilt :)

I am linking up for the first time with Daisy Cottage Designs

I am always stalking the crafty blogs and checking out everyones fabulous creations so i thought it was about time i introduced myself (so to speak) and hopefully make a few new friends :)

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend !!

Thank you for stopping by

Clarissa xo

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Gorgeous Pink and Green Granny Squares Finally Joined and a Angry Birds Birthday Cake

Hi all,  well its been a fabulous start to winter here in Australia cold mornings and evenings with for the most part quite warm sunny days …. cannot last much longer surely !!

I have managed to get my granny squares joined on my cute flowery pink and green granny square rug and am now onto the border, which hopefully will not ripple this time. I hope it will be a successful "tah dah" moment once i have finished. Just loving these colours !!!!!

So watch this space hopefully i will be posting pics of a finished rug by next week :)

On a totally unrelated topic i thought i would share some pics of Coopers 4th Birthday cake.

Cooper LOVES Angry Birds

Cooper doesn't eat cake so his cakes are purely for show and singing Happy Birthday with
so i really just whacked this together two small chocolate cakes (the top one is half a cake)
stacked and very loosely covered in thin green fondant, i didn't even smooth it down (its meant to look like a war bunker or something who knows lol) 

I made all the figurines with gum paste about two days before and used chocolate biscuits for the sides
tied with some ribbon to hold in place and i used skewers painted with silver edible paint to hold the three blue birds up.

Obviously not a "technically" correct decorated cake but Cooper loved it he was so excited when he saw it and thats all that counts :)

ps. not a slice of cake was eaten Cooper trashed it playing angry birds lol

King Pig was my favourite 

Another totally unrelated topic…. we got a kitten!!

Meet Pattycake  :)

isn't she cute !!

She is being literally loved to death by Cooper

( poor thing )

Well thats my post for today three totally random topics and probably nothing overly exciting except i am really excited to be nearly finished my crochet rug and cannot wait to share :)

I have a few cake orders over the next few months (enough for me to get to be able to enjoy doing the odd creative cake) including a wedding cake and 21st birthday cake amongst other things looking forward to sharing those as well.

I hope everyone has a great weekend

Thank you for stopping by 

Clarissa xo

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Family Time, Crochet and Bread Baking

Hi all, well i don't quite know where the last two and a bit months have gone but they have flown by in a flurry of Easter, Mothers Day , birthdays, Cooper joining two pre school sport mornings and the revamping of our family business…. which involved a whole lot of painting !!! Rest assured i have still been crocheting and cooking in amongst all the day to day stuff we all get caught up in :)

So i thought i would share a little of the last two months including a week away at my brothers property about 40 mins south of Canberra heading towards the snow, needless to say it was pretty chilly.

This Fig Honey and Almond Tart was one of the most fantastic things i have made and eaten in the way of wintery style desserts …. looks fabulous on my railway sleeper chopping board too :)

always find time to create a cute little teapot cosy complete with a frothy peony on top!
(not my own patterns)

Made myself a crochet cowl using five large granny squares joined together then a row of single crochets all around both edges then a border of hdc all around both edges

I am happy to say we have still been keeping up with our resolution to get out and about on a daily basis ( well most days anyway)

A lovely autumn morning by the water front at Warners Bay

Stormy morning at the foreshore

watching the huge swell roll in with big brother :)

wind, light drizzle , waves and being chased by Thomas all good fun :)

Mousse Filled Easter eggs made by my sister in law

I made this Chocolate Meringue Cake which has now become our official Easter celebration cake !!
Its a layer of chocolate cake, then is sort of fudgey in the centre with a top layer of chocolate meringue
so decadent ….. yummy!!

After Easter we headed to my brothers for a week ...

The view over my brothers property and the mountains from the rear of his house

 The ornamental grapevine is a gorgeous colour!

We went out for a lovely breakfast in Canberra before heading to mini golf and the zoo

I am officially in love with Tuscan hot chocolates !!!!!!!

I practically ate it with a spoon :)

not to mention my fabulous breakfast :/

our little mini golfer 

and so sad to leave the zoo …. :(

I won't bore you a billion zoo photos but i will say that i am not a big fan of zoo trips but The National Zoo in Canberra is AMAZING !! very natural looking and set out great for walking around with kids there is also an aquarium there….

Back home and baking again...

  some delicious caramel explosions … perfect for afternoon tea 

My first ever home baked bread!!!!!

my first ever attempt at cinnamon scrolls. These are to die for and the family are eating them like i don't have to wait for them to prove for two hours !!! 

I must admit i am having a bit of an affair with bread baking at the moment

(sorry crochet and cakes ;)

love the whole yeast, proving and kneading process, i am really getting a lot of satisfaction from making my own bread etc knowing exactly whats in it and all that kind of thing, we actually don't eat a lot of bread so its easy to make bread when you only need two loaves a week.

Well thats what i have basically been up to the last two months … a little bit of work amongst family time, creating and baking 

I am actually getting somewhere with one of my small crochet blankets so i will be sharing that very soon, well depending how long the border row takes me and the finishing off but i am being positive that it won't take that long … fingers crossed anyway :)

Thank you for stopping by

Clarissa xo