Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I've been away for a few days, enjoying the country air and coastal waters... now I'm home and refreshed, it seems like a good time to share my new year's resolutions for 2009:
~ do at least half an hour of yoga every day
~ enrol in proper sewing classes (also, finish the green velvet cushions)
~ practice the acoustic guitar
~ have a garage sale or market stall
~ ride my bike at every opportunity
~ remember most of the time to just be happy

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Christmas presents

1. New York 2009 Calendar (Zetta Florence), 2. Coo Ca Choo cardi, 3. Cupcake Afternoon Tea Set, 4. Paton's wool & pattern book, 5. Recycled newspaper coasters, 6. Miscellaneous goodies.

>> I'm so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends - this applies all year, but around Christmas it really hits home. It's not about the presents, they're just a bonus!

An award

I've been given an award from The Vintage Year, which is one of the most inspiring blogs you can read. Here's what it says:

This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships.
These blogs are exceedingly charming.
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends.
They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement!
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut,
even more friendships are propagated.
Please give more attention to these writers!
Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more
and include this clever-written text into the body of their award.

So, thank you! I would love to pass it on to everyone in my reading list but instead here's a selection of eight whose blogs are inspiring and/or very pretty:
~ A Cat of Impossible Colour
~ Bug and Pop
~ Cloth and Fodder
~ CurlyPops
~ Hoppo Boppo
~ Miss Muggins
~ Turkey Cookies
~ Vegan and Vintage

>> Also, I discovered this link a little too late: A Do-It-Yourself Christmas: 34 Great Gifts You Can Make Yourself (it's a list of 34 frugal Christmas present ideas, like personalised calendars, homemade treats, teacup candles and themed gift baskets, to name a few).

Friday, December 26, 2008

A "before" shot of my Christmas presents

I was so proud of my presents this year, mostly for the stamped brown paper wrapping! Despite rushing between the various family parties, it was a really lovely Christmas, full of food, fun and festivity. I hope everyone else had a great day too.

>> Don't forget to recycle your cards!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My wrapping station

My stamps have well and truly been broken in today with all my Christmas wrapping! Possibly the best present-ation I've ever created. Har har har.

Laying on the grass (looking up)

I went to the Makers' Market at the Abbotsford Convent on Sunday. There were lots of stalls full of gorgeous handmade things like clothes, badges, jewellery and bags. I'm planning to visit the next one on Sunday 18 January and you should too! This photo was taken from under a tree in the convent gardens.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just a minute... in December

Despite falling down on the every day blogging, I'm proud to have kept up with a monthly "just a minute" post since July. It's a great way to keep tabs on your progress with different things, or just to see what you've been doing at various points throughout the year. Thanks Jenaveve of August Street! So what's been happening with me?

Reading... a book by Alain de Botton called The Consolations of Philosophy. I'm not usually into heavy reading but it's actually really interesting and not too hard to follow, I'm hooked!

Watching... a TV show recommended by a friend called Damages. It's really a long winded murder mystery, but I'm up to the fourth episode and looking forward to the next one.

Listening... to the new Emiliana Torrini album (Me & Armini). I recently posted the YouTube clip for the first single Big Jumps, it's so cute!

Eating... lots. Must be all this cold rainy weather. Vietnamese noodle soup with tofu and vegies is becoming a staple.

Sewing... is so much easier now I know how to use my overlocker! I'm going to put a deadline on my green velvet cushions to be completed by December 31st.

Learning... that time is more valuable than money.

Going in circles

I managed to muck up the pattern for this blue crocheted beret and am now making it up as I go, doing increasing circles of double crochet. At some point I'll need to start decreasing, then maybe knit around the bottom, since it's not getting a brim. If it turns out to be at all wearable I'll post the pattern - fingers and toes crossed because I love this colour and can't wait to wear it!

>> The wool was only $1 at the Camberwell Market. Yes, really!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Meredith Music Festival

Here is my excuse for a lack of posts this week - I was at the muddy banks of the Meredith Music Festival! I spent Thursday night gathering supplies like gumboots ($26 very well spent), and packing up my festival camping kit (tent, camping chairs, tarp and eskii) then hit the road on Friday to what would end up the wettest festival ever. Typical. We still had lots of fun! Today... I clean.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A bright blue beginning

After getting the hang of granny squares, I'm now embarking on something circular in the form of a blue crocheted beret! Yes, it's altogether the wrong season for it but the on-again-off-again rain makes me think anything and everything is possible. My cute little red fingerless mittens might even come out again... I'm still so proud of those.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Proactivity is making a comeback

Discovered: on a wall during a recent walk around Carlton. It's nice to be outside more often, now the weather's warming up. I'm hoping to find more time to fit in some crafting too; which is what I always say, but this time I've bought the materials and should have photos to share soon!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bon Iver is breaking my heart

The best thing about this YouTube clip is that it has no video, so you can just listen to the song and click away in other tabs/windows at the same time ;) It's so pretty, you might like it too.

>> The truth is, I couldn't think of another way to share the song (there's no film clip yet) - it's "Skinny Love" by Bon Iver.

Gourmet vegetarian pizza

Some things are too good not to share, like the recipe for this gourmet vegetarian pizza. I'd share the actual pizza but it hardly lasted long enough for me to take this photo. What you'll need to serve two people:
~ 2 pieces of pita bread
~ 3-4 tablespoons tomato paste
~ 1/2 eggplant (or a small one)
~ 1/2 red capsicum
~ 1/2 red onion
~ 6 button mushrooms
~ small block of goats cheese (or soy cheese, to make it vegan)
~ small handful of baby spinach leaves
~ one teaspoon golden syrup
~ olive oil

Then do what I did...
1. I had to defrost the pita bread (it lives in the freezer), so I set the oven to about 200 celcius and left the pita in there to thaw while it was heating up.
2. Meanwhile, I cut the half capsicum in half (or, err, quarters) then put it under a hot grill.
3. Slice the eggplant into thin rounds, cover with a small amount of olive oil (spray is even better) then put in the oven to cook. This is a good time to take out your pita bread and spread it with tomato paste, and leave to the side.
4. Next, slice the red onion in strips as thin as you can, mix up with a spoonful of olive oil and the golden syrup (that's all I had instead of brown sugar and it worked wonders for that slightly caramelised effect). Fry on a medium heat until soft, then set aside.
5. Slice up the mushrooms and fry in the leftover onion oil, then set aside.
6. The capsicum is probably black by now - which is good! - so turn off the grill and peel the skin off, then set aside.
7. Now you've done all the setting up, putting it together is easy. To your pita bread bases (which should be covered in tomato paste), add the cooked eggplant slices, then capsicum strips, then mushrooms, then red onion, then spinach leaves (uncooked) and finally crumble the goats cheese (or soy cheese) on top.
8. These only need 5 minutes in the oven, pretty much just to warm it all up. I turn off the oven a few minutes after putting them in, since the residual heat will finish the job quite nicely.
9. Take them out of the oven and eat.

I feel like I just wrote an essay, but I hope it brings someone joy - it really was so delicious!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Overlocked, not overlooked!

I had some sewing instruction tonight and finally got back to these green velvet cushions. The overlocker is my new best friend - hopefully the other three won't take over a month to complete... whoops!