Apr 30, 2008

updating (because I haven't in so long!)..

oh dear! has it really been over two weeks since my last post? i mean really, two weeks!?! That went fast! I'm sorry friends for my slack effort I really don't have any excuse but here's a little update of what I've been doing during my time of 'blogging silence'...

Winter is coming and it's getting colder and colder around here now. Every year I seem to forget how cold winter can be or how much I hate getting out of my warm bed in the mornings and we don't even get any snow! The worst we get is ice on our cars in the morning which happens so occasionally that when it does we all freak out because oh my gosh, the car is frozen!! I've welcomed this change of seasons with a head cold-flueing thing (not so much fun and which I have thoughtfully given to many of my office colleagues because I'm nice, like that :S) this was also in time for the long weekend (erk!) But the weekend was not wasted, it was one of those relaxing weekends that has been a long time coming :) Morgan and I made a big pot of minestrone soup (my mumma's recipe) and we had pumpkin soup (Morgan's mum's recipe) for dinner the next night yum! It was so fun having him in the kitchen with me chopping and preparing food and chatting away*grin* There was also abit of sewing and crafting, dinner parties with good family friends, big family breakfasts with banana and raspberry pancakes - which dad was flipping into the air for our entertainment like he used to do when we were little and we would dare him to see if he could hit the roof with the pancake!(we have really high ceilings) and we watched nearly 2 seasons of Friends that M just brought. I was too young when Friend's first came out and so I missed out on it the first time round but now I'm older I love it, it's just so funny and has quickly become an obsession for M (and me).

I made these little guys (and the elephant) from the sock animals book for my cousin Larissa who ordered some to give away as gifts to her friends as she loved the ellie and chops I made her. I don't usually like to make heaps of things the same but she insisted on having the lambs the same colour as hers and not white like in the book so i made one like that, because the first one was so cute!
They are off to their new homes today.

and these booties and the doll were just sewn for fun and added into the parcel for Keara as a little thank you. The booties are corduroy and cotton with little suede soles (so very soft!). The pattern for the doll is Emily's from The Black Apple which you can find here and the shoe pattern I found here. They were just so cute and simple that I had to give them a try!

And I finally got around to framing and hanging up the print Morgan brought me for Christmas, which is good cause I've decided that it looks so much better on the wall :)

Apr 15, 2008

in hidding

Just how great are these fabrics from designer Tula Pink? They are part of her 'Flutterby' collection. I love the bold prints, colour combinations and did you notice a small animal hidden in each design? snails, dragonflies and bumble bees :)
i just brought a whole heap and can't wait for them to arrive!!

go here to check out the rest of the collection and her pretty page!

Apr 14, 2008

made with love

As promised, Morgan's birthday present from GranJen. (this is his Aunt's mother who lives with his Aunt, uncle and cousin's and is basically a second grandma)

i think it's cute and slightly better than the time she 'fixed up' the hem on some suit pants for morgan's cousin, Aaron (which he borrowed to wear to a formal night) and put denim cuffs on the bottom, because apparently she saw it in the shops and it was fashionable hehe!

Apparently she made one for me too which had 'Katie loves Morgan' and 'K 4 M' engraved on it. But the kiln was too hot and the darker colours ran into each other and you couldn't read anything. So i got a mug with flowers on it. But i have requested a matching 'K 4 M' one because, personally i think its just so cute!

Apr 13, 2008

Mgn's birthday cake..

over 900 gram's of melted chocolate...
8 eggs!
one superb and overly large birthday cake for my little drummer!

This is The Cake that I made for morgan's 18th which involved an awful lot of 'googling' for cake and icing recipes etc. The bottom layer was a chocolate mud cake and the top layer was a caramel mud cake - they were both as equally as scrummy and very rich! The icing was white chocolate ganache on the top and dark chocolate ganache on the side. I then used marzipan to mould the drum brackets (with morgan's much needed help at 10 o'clock at night because I was stressing!) these were then painted with edible silver paint. The strawberries were added at the last minute because i felt that it needed abit of colour and we dipped them in white chocolate and laid them on a bed of cream :)

The bottom layer actually took two goes to make, because I decided to use a 12" pan (which we hired out from a local cake shop) because basically I'm insane and like to make things hard for myself. The first recipe, which was a chocolate mud cake I made from scratch was too dense and because of the size of the pan the outside was crunchy and the middle would just not cook and so it ended up collapsing in on itself. But mummy came to the rescue (who knew mother's actually know so much :P) and she saved the day by suggesting using this chocolate packet cake recipe which you could add melted chocolate and cream to make it into a mudcake. Because it was not as dense and heavy the 3 packet quantity cooked quite well at 150 degrees for a little more than an hour. And we also saved the original cake which turned into more of a pudding which we served with cream as a dessert when we took some friends out on the boat - still just as yummy and liked even more than the drum cake by some people!

and here's a picture of us with the cake, so you can see just how big it is in comparison to our heads! Morgan seems pretty engrossed in it!

and now we have cake coming out of our ears (and our freezer) and when guests come over we try and feed them large amounts of cake. In fact we're having our good friend's Sam and Leesa over for dinner on Saturday night and when she asked if they could bring dessert I was all "ah remember that massive cake?..."

I'm pretty pleased with the end result although I would of liked to have some drum sticks placed on the top of the bigger cake (but Morgan didn't have any new ones that weren't chewed up and do you know how much those little pieces of wood cost??). I also would of liked to have made some brand labels but ran out of time. I've also realised that marzipan is an art form and I probably should have cut and dented it neatly before putting it around the cake. Oh well, I enjoyed making it and the taste was subperb (I'm so in love with ganache icing!) BUT I don't want to bake or look at another cake for at least 3 months!

Apr 10, 2008

quote for the day..

"Good news... It's Champagne Thursday!"
"But It's Friday."
"Uh, yeah, Thursday came twice this week."
"For the third straight week in a row??"
"There's talk of making it permanent."

-quote from movie failure to Launch

Happy Champagne Thursday everybody it's nearly the weekend yipee!

Apr 9, 2008

a sweet conversation...

a conversation i had with Morgan last night:

Me: *in excited tones* Guess what I joined up for today!?
Mgn: ummm...
Me: an online apron swap!!!
Mgn: oh....cool?!?
Me: You think it's one of the stupidest ideas you've ever heard, hey?
Mgn: I only just got used to the idea of a house swap and now, NOW your swapping aprons?!

but the way he said it, the confused tones in his head and the way I could see the little clogs in his brain clicking over and trying to process this vital information was just so funny!

It seems he has a long way in understanding the concept and excitement of a swap. Of being able to make something personal and special for someone else and getting something equally as special and handmade in the post just for you, making new friends and being able to bless someone else. But he will one day understand, and he will love it and until then we'll just take these foreign ideas with baby steps :)

Apr 8, 2008

summer apron swap

i just signed up for the summer apron swap :)
yup yup yup

i'm so excited to start sewing and to get my partner so I can make something special for them!
if you want to join in click here or click on the sassy apron page link under my inspiring blog lists.
The theme is summer and the apron must include a dish or teatowel and the recipe for you favourite non-alchaholic beverage (and i'm pretty sure I will include the recipe that saw me faint in morgan's arms and then be carried into the doctors surgery because I dropped the blender blade on my foot! ah, memories)

so go and sign up :)

Apr 6, 2008

to have with tea..

Raspberry-spiked choc brownies

i made these brownies for a recent family get together and it was just so yummy that I even got requests for the recipe - don't you just love when that happens? I originally got the recipe from a lady at work who made it on the weekend for a do and brought the rest into 'us' at the office
on Monday, so she wouldn't eat all of it herself. It is a given that this would of been the outcome because it is just so chocolaty and buttery and yummy! And I say 'us' both in italics and as a loose term because it was mostly me who ate pretty much the whole thing (although I assure you it was over a period of 2-3 days ;) so that is my plea to my fellow office staff - guilty for eating most of the brownie and guilty for throughly enjoying every mouthful of it!

Here's the recipe if you'd like to try it yourself...

200g (7oz) dark chocolate, chopped
250g (8 oz) butter
1 3/4 cups of brown sugar

4 eggs
1 1/3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa, sifted
1 1/2 cups of raspberries, fresh or frozen (i used frozen)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the chocolate and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Place in a bowl with the sugar and eggs. Sift over the flour, baking powder and cocoa and mix to combine. Pour into a 23cm (9in) greased square cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Top the mixture with the raspberries (i pushed them in a little too) and bake for 30-35 mins or until set. serve warm or cold.

the photographs on this post are some great old shots i found whilst looking through my old photos tonight. They were taken as part of my year 12 photography major. The top image is myself and my good friend (and hairdresser) Corinne. I'm still impressed we managed to fit that table, the chairs, all the china, props chandelier (hanging in the tree) and about 5 dress changes into my tiny little excel!

Apr 3, 2008

"And I feel a pull to the blue-velvet dark and stars"

Yay! i logged onto myspace last night (my dear, dear myspace it has been so long! and it appears that I may no longer need therapy to get over my little obsession of you! ;) and I found out that my most favourite band The Weepies have a new album 'hideaway' coming out on April 22nd 2008! (and a new little baby, Theo). If you've never heard them, have a little listen over on their myspace. They are so great i seriously listen to them probably once a day. I am loving every single one of their new songs and can't wait to hear the rest! (hint, hint, nudge nudge). But because morgan is no good at hints, at all... "baby can you please puhlease get me this for my upcoming birthday?"

"No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
no amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, nothing else will do
I gotta have you, I gotta have you"

Apr 2, 2008

a week of birthdays!

that's what it's been around here lately - a week long of birthdays starting with Morgan's on the Monday (oh and our good friend Luke a few days before that), mum's on Friday and my brother Stuart's on the Saturday. So i've been busy sewing and baking all week long!

Here are some snippets of some of the home made gifts that I whipped up for my special people!

throw cushion for Morgan's new room with this fabric.

The alphabet fabric is an Alexander Henry print i brought from the ebay store funky fabrix. The red cotton twill and corduroy i just picked up from Spotlight and the back has a centered zip which is enclosed by a flap (it's gotta be neat right?).

I also had such fun wrapping his present starting with a small gift: this friendship ring in a small wrapped box, which was placed in a larger box which eventually had a cd in it (juno soundtrack brought here) he'd mentioned wanting to get for awhile - i love it! we both sung along to it all the way home the other night :) this eventually led to the biggest box with his pillow wrapped in tissue paper, with a few 'empty boxes in between'. It was such fun watching him unwrapping and opening it all up! On top of the large wrapped box i placed his card and his 'M'. I got this from the art shop for $3.50 and spray painted it white, sanding between each layer with wet and dry sandpaper so it was really smooth. It is so totally boss - quote Juno.

I made this heat pack for my mummy and put it as part of her present. It was so simple to make and i filled it with rice, dried lavender and a few drops of lavender oil and it smells divine and it's made my material and sewing cupboard smell so yummy!

oh and of course no birthday is complete without home made cards (well at least not in this household) although bad, bad me i didn't make Morgan's card this year. I think this is the only card i have ever actually BROUGHT him! Here's the ones made for Mamma (by the way that's my mum on the front - how cute was she!?) and even my brother had a go at making a card - the purple one with a bee on it :)

But alas the birthday week is not over yet! Morgan's having a friend's party this coming Saturday and I said I'd make the cake. Part of me is excited about this project and the other part keeps asking why, oh why did I say I'd do this?? what we're you thinking girl! I'm hoping it all works out but think chocolate and caramel mud cake, white and dark chocolate ganache icing and marzipan. Oh and silver edible paint!!