Sunday, November 17, 2013

A makeover, makings and a mo.

At the risk of sounding like that old broken record, I've been finding it hard to visit this little space much lately and when I do, I feel strangely distant, unconnected. Time waits for no man and trying to keep up with everyone's past news is almost impossible at the moment. Like everyone else, days are chock-full of work. There has been a concerted effort to get the shed finished before summer's heat and storms arrive, taking up most of the weekends and after work on some days. Which at night has us willing the hands of the clock to move quickly towards a normal bedtime. Is nine o'clock considered a normal bedtime for adults?

Have managed to fit in a few personal things (things that bug me and no one else) I've been wanting to get done for ages. As this old footstool has become more of a seat than a footstool, I've been wanting to add a slipcover to take on and off if needed. Took me a day (seriously) to work out how, as I wanted to have a go at piping as well, bias-schmias darn year 8 sewing. (Practice for those $5 outdoor chairs that need new seats/covers) One of those machine piping foots would have made the job easier but persistence has got to count for something. Unpicked parts of it twice and the end piping join is pretty average, but it sits well enough to keep me happy (being a non-sewer and all). Used what I had already, backed the top panel of fabric with some calico as I didn't have any interfacing (is that what you use?) and I just folded the sides in half.

Also gave the legs a sand and stain to change the orange-ness of them. As the newest, cleanest bit of fabric in the house, the cat has already claimed it as a perch.

Also made a pigeon pair of cushions from an old op shopped tablecloth. Still wanting to make a bag of sorts with the same cloth.

Made these bags first, from vintage 70's bed sheets, the orange ones were my sheets. I used calico as the lining so they would be soft and foldable to tuck in another bag. Even mitred the corners (inside as well) and was quite shocked, it worked. Could be a fluke. Sewers don't laugh at me. Would like to make a few for gifts.

My sort-of pattern. The strap was simply folded and edges tucked under. The lining was just a few mms smaller.

Finally got around to painting the new wood block surround on the laundry door. Mr CH installed a new door knob earlier in the year (to replace a slide bolt) and because there had been so many alterations to the lock area over the years, there wasn't enough solid wood left, so he added a routed piece and it's rawness against the white has been mocking me while doing the washing. Another job done.

Also papered the drawer fronts of a wall shelf in my laundry. Funny how a few simple changes brighten the space.
Have discovered a gifted bunch of daylily plants are a lovely red/yellow colour (now should I move them/leave them, decisions, decisions)  and we have enjoyed our last orange hippeastrums, all done until next year.

The vege patch has been making on it's own, pretty capsicums and strange round cucumbers which still need the skin peeled. Tomato plants have produced fruit and then died off (tommy toe). Don't know why.

Have been making bread every weekend lately, after a few years break. It was our Sunday thing while living in a small town, the shops were only open for a few hours on the weekends, so we baked our bread fresh.  Now remember why I stopped making bread, we eat too much of the darn stuff. Fighting over the crusts from a bread machine my dad picked up in an op shop in Emerald for $5 because it had no manual.

 The Christmas cake is made and tucked away in the back of the fridge. One job less to think about.

Had a go at making Amanda's Nanna's Apple Blossom pie. With a sweet name like that how could I not. Made a piecrust (and then overcooked it a bit) I left the passionfruit seeds in mine and topped it with some toasted coconut instead of cream. Lovely chilled pie especially if you like apple pies, which I do. It has condensed milk in it, need I say more.
            Sweet shortcrust pastry  (for the base)
1 1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup self raising flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
125 gms butter (cold)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons cold water
Sift flours, add sugar and rub in butter with fingertips.
Add egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water and mix to form a firm dough, add second tablespoon of water if needed.
Chill dough in fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll out between two sheets of greasedproof paper and line pie plate.
 Bake blind (with paper and weights/rice/beans etc.) until firm.
Remove weights and bake for a few minutes more if needed.

Seems a pity to show this after a pretty pie. Mr CH is making growing a mo in support of Movember (Men's health). It has passed the "turning on him" stage and has all the potential for a sleazy car salesman, underarm bowler or 1980's high school teacher. Worse, his "bit of lint" seems to be sporting a middle part.
 When daughter saw it she said "That's gross, quick shave it off Dad!" He said, "Nup I like it, I'm keeping it".
I don't like his chances (though it does look a bit like a stray animal).

 Have taken to calling him either one of our favourite moustachioed TV/movie stars whenever the mood strikes. Tom usually wins out, 'cos in a few weeks Mr CH's mo might look a bit like his.

Have finally had some decent rain, after the weather taunting us for a week. Up until Saturday we had missed out, this time the kids were thrilled with hail, our first for around 10 years. We were fortunate to miss the golf/cricket ball sizes that did so much damage in other towns.
Hope you got some decent rain without any damage at your place. There is a tinkle of tiny hail on the roof now.

 Hope you're having a lovely day in your neck of the woods.



  1. I do like seeing you latest crafting and sewing pieces.
    The floral carry bags are beautiful. I ought to sew some up too.x

  2. Hi Simmone, have been busy! I admire your crafty sewing, I cannot sew a stitch! Your vegetables and cooking look amazing, I bet that Christmas cake smells good. Apple Blossom Pie...that looks very hard to resist, such a pretty colour! Glad to hear you got some rain too.

  3. Please don't stop writing your blog Simmone. It always makes me smile. Mr CH's tash with centre part! Classic! Your piping looks perfect to me and the stool so much prettier with it's new little 'frock' For a self proclaimed non- sewer you're looking like a pro to me. I've got to try that pretty pie - just its sweet name is enough for me. I hope you finish your shed soon. Take care x

  4. Your Pie looks yum, what would we do without Condensed Milk. I'm the same, trying to get projects finished before the Christmas Decs come out :-)

  5. Wow, you've been so busy. I love everything that you have made and baked. Wouldn't have a clue how to do piping, yours looks fantabulous! I do know what you mean about feeling disconnected when you've been away from blogging and then come back to it as well as having trouble keeping up with everyone else. I feel a bit the same. Just do what you can do, I always love popping into your space :-) Mel x

  6. Oh goodness, you have been a very busy girl! You have inspired me to make a new slip cover for a my footstool. It's looking quite mangled at the moment. Piping is apparently good for soothing the sore gums of little people who are teething. Yes, it really does look as bad as it sounds and desperately needs a makeover.

  7. The footstool looks fantastic, love the colour! The bags look good too, smarty! That's a good idea for the cupboard drawers, would never have thought to use paper. That pie looks so yummy. Hope you didn't get any damage from the hail. It's good have rain but not the hail.

  8. Hi Simmone, Your pie looks devine!! You have been so busy. I think your bags are fantastic and a really great idea for gifts. Also love your cushions - I love vintage yellow florals. All the best to Mr CH for the rest of Movember. : )


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