Friday, April 30, 2010

A Real Life Author - Writing a Touch and Feel Book

I thought about calling this post - the belated belated. This is my belated posting of the belated present that Rainbow made for Moonshine's birthday.
It was strongly inspired by the lovely touch and feel book that Zoe (from Playing by the Book) 's daughter M created.
Where as M started with a scrap of fabric that she then transformed into a picture, Rainbow started with an idea that she drew and then choose a fabric to suit. I then helped her to cut the fabric to fit.

Moonshine is really enjoying her book - she loves the song, she loves touching the pictures and loves trying to make the animal sounds. It's really where she's at, at the moment.

And Rainbow she enjoyed the longer process of making the book and was proud of the result. She enjoyed helping look for the letters and once I'd finished the first animal sound (on each page) she enjoyed ordering the letters into the words. She (and I) also enjoy the singing and the touching and the animal sounds too!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fresh Plums

We brought some fresh plums and apples from a farm side stall a week ago. The plums were delicious but all ripen simultaneously so we cooked some up.
The first kilo I used to make plum jam. (I cut the sugar to 2 1/2 cups for 1kg of plums) We always have commercial jam in the fridge as Rainbow is a big fan but I don't usually have any desire to eat it. Put a jar of homemade jam in the fridge and it calls to me. I think its because it actually taste like real fruit. This one is just plums, sugar, lemon and water. How easy is that. If you haven't made jam have a go it's really easy. I'm wishing I'd brought more plums! We also made some upside down cakes. I made 12 muffins out of this cake recipe and didn't use all of the sugar and butter for the topping. They still came out of the pan quite well. There not all that pretty but they taste good and these one's keep well. They would be good with hot custard, I think. They remind me of ones my boss use to make for morning tea on Muffin Monday. She also use to make ones with fresh mango in the middle of summer. Delicious.

Monday, April 26, 2010

That Dress

I finally finished the two knit dresses that provided me with so much angst.

I'm pleased with how they turned out. Having sewn two of these dresses it's actually quite an easy pattern, though I'm a bit inexperienced at setting seams. It also looks comfortable on. It's such a retro style - I can imagine myself wearing it fifteen years ago (still retro as it's really my Mum's generation) with knee high boots.

End Note:
Here's Moonshine (with a few toys she brought over) climbed onto the tea trolley with the overlocker, waiting for Mama to finish sewing and come and play.
I know this photo isn't in focus but I love the cheeky look on Moonshine's face.

Monday, April 19, 2010

One last Easter Craft

I know Easter was two weeks ago. Finally the kids have polished off the last chocolate (or so they think - insert evil laugh!) The egg cups have been put away. The bunny ears have retired to the dress up box. But what do you do with those beautiful dyed eggs.....

Easter Egg Mosaic - Very simple and all that egg smashing is quite simple.

dyed eggs
glue (I used school glue. If you want it to last a little longer before the pieces fall off then you'll want to use something stronger like PVA)
1. Cover entire page with glue.
2. Break the egg shells into quite large pieces.
3. Position a broken piece of egg on the page. The inside of our submerged eggs are a paler version of the outside colour so you can choose to position shells outside or in. Then crush onto the page. If you hold the shells down as you crush them, they stick better.

4. Use your finger to crush smaller pieces until the pieces are all flat against the page.

5. Rainbow had fun smashing a few whole eggs that I hadn't broken up.

Rainbow really enjoyed this and created 3 pieces in the one session. The coloured paper gives an interesting effect. The red one she described as fish swimming in the ocean. The blue one as fireworks.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Nest + handle = basket

Yesterday I made a nest basket using the nest pattern I a few months back. I adapted to make the point (base of the basket) bigger and the rectangular portion (height of the basket) shorter. I made it with a felt outer and fabric inner with the intention of appliqueing and embroidering flowers on the front but time got away. It's a little too flimsy to use as an egg collecting basket but looks good displaying the rainbow dyed eggs.

In these photos it is holding cupcakes for a morning tea at my mother in law's house. It is also resting on a plate to hold it secure when I carried it.
These little cupcakes are topped with chocolate icing with a border "Flake" to resemble a nest. You could use grated chocolate if you don't have flakes in your part of the world. I had hoped to use those little bird's egg sugar coated chocolate eggs but couldn't find any. They are my little brother's favourite so I'll have to see where he gets his.
Some of the eggs have already hatched!

And here are the girls. Rainbow insisted that she needed an Easter egg dress - a little short notice for me but we agreed that polka dots look a lot like eggs. Hence both girls are in polka dots.

I just looked up to see both girls eating chocolate eggs when they should be eating their dinner. Russell and I are off to dinner (only the second time since Moonshine's arrival) for our 6th wedding anniversary. Please cross your fingers that Moonshine sleeps until we return.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rainbow's Rainbow Eggs

Each year Rainbow and I have dyed eggs for Easter. We leave them in a basket on the back step for the Easter Bunny or his helper the Easter Bilby to hide in our garden on Easter Morning and hope that maybe he'll leave us a chocolate egg or chocolate Bilby to find too. Yes - we do have an Easter Bilby here in Australia. The rabbit is actually a terrible feral animal in our country which results in degradation of the land and leads to the demise of many species (including our lovely bilby). But perhaps I should leave that discussion for another day.
Now I shan't teach you how to suck eggs or blow eggs as the case may be. But I will briefly share our experiment this year in dying rainbow eggs. Can you see the top three...Hollow eggs of course float. So you simply float the egg in one colour dye. Then after desired time (the longer the deeper the colour) you lift it out pat it dry and lower it into the next colour. This continues until your egg is rainbow. This is so simple that Rainbow was able to do this by herself - though it is hard waiting, waiting, waiting.
You also get more colours on the egg that you anticipate as when the colours overlap you make new colours. I think in years to come this will be great to predict and discover how colours mix.
If you haven't dyed your own eggs before. Here's the recipe we use.
1 T vinegar
1/4t food colouring (you may need to add more to get the desired colour)
3/4c boiling water. (I'm not sure why it needs to be boiling. In the past we have reused the water over several days, successfully.)
We also did a few wax resist ones by drawing on the eggs with crayons first. I'm not sure if you can see them in the picture.