Saturday, October 31

Purple, Aqua & Lime on Kraft....

...don't you think it makes a nice combo?  This was our visit to Armidale the other month with buddy Linda and her sister Fiona (whom we have not seen for like....15 years!).  Now Linda, don't hate me but I had to include that photo you intensely dislike - I needed your dark purple shirt for the whole balance of the layout, you see....

I am so disappointed that the quality of the photos I print at home has gone downhill since I got my new Dell printer is exactly the same......go figure!  SO, I've gone back to having my photos printed at the lab.....the upside is that I am saving money on ink and getting better quality prints.....the downside is having to drive to town for my photos and no longer being able to have any weird and wonderful size I want. 
Thank goodness I can get those half size pics I used on the Gara Falls LO - very handy for double pagers.

Are you scrapping this weekend???  I'm working on my class project for the Gum Flat Girls next week....using these yummy-scrummies from Fancy Pants....

....YES!  A boy layout is on the way......what a change!  Will be showing you a sneak peek of the layout next week.....and I WILL have a few spare kits this month if you are interested.

What else is happening around here?  Bethie had a friend over for a sleepover last night and tonight Kate's friend is here.  Tim is working on our trailer we are setting up for our big camping trip.  He didn't get home from that fire last Sunday until 11.30pm!!!  Black as soot from head to toe and stinky and exhausted......what a hero!

Earlier in the week Linda and Chilli Wombat were here at Gum Flat School to teach the kids about our native animals - it went down very well and cheeky Chilli was absolutely LOVED.  The rest of the week I worked....another funding submission....they take up so much time!  Will need to work on it over the weekend as well, its due to be posted Monday.

OH!  I almost forgot the most exciting news.....IT RAINED!!!!  Can hardly believe it myself.  Had given up on it.....had come to believe we'd had all the rain we were ever going to get forever and ever.  OK, it was an inch....but made me do a happy dance all the same.

Well, looks like that's it from me....have been requested to go play PS2 with Bethie - she is feeling left out now her friend has gone home and Kate's is here......with Kate's room.....with the door firmly closed on little sisters.....

Til next

Sunday, October 25

A Scrappy Smoky Sunday

I always worry when Tim goes fighting fires with the local brigade.....he was out all yesterday arvo into the evening......was restless all through the night in bed......then went back out to the fire first thing this morning......and he's still there!  He texted at lunch time to say everything was under control and he wouldn't be long.....BUT now I look outside and see this.......the wind has really picked up this arvo and obviously restarted the blaze.

To keep my mind occupied I decided to scrap today........I did this one using Cosmo's Girl Friday, a couple of handmade flowers and some Elle's Studio tags.........

......and this one of Kate's 10th birthday party last month.......I used Fancy Pants Kraft Kutz, a few buttons, plus those Girl Friday letters that I just adore.......

.......a bit of a blurry pic cos my sun has disappeared.......HURRY UP AND RAIN AND PUT THIS FIRE OUT!

Saturday, October 24

I've Found Paradise..., at Ridgetop Hideaway in Dorrigo!  This is where we spent last weeknd, and it was the most perfect setting to relax, unwind and get away from everything.  The house is fabulous..... get to stay by yourself in this absolutely charming stone and timber house that has 3 bedrooms, a MASSIVE timber kitchen, wood fire, spa bath and swimming pool....and that first photo is the view from the front verandah!  Lots of lovely homely and unique touches like stained glass windows, mosaics and the handmade stair rail....

We were so envious of the green rolling hills......which were apparently "dry and terrible" according to the locals!

What is there to do in Dorrigo?  Heaps!  We went to the magical Dangar Falls, which is practically right in town.....

....and wandered around the quaint shops, including the Dorrigo Sweet Shop where we stocked up on all kinds of handmade chocs and goodies.  We visited the Rainforest Centre and were on a mission to find the elusive lyrebird....... such luck....but we loved it all the, fresh air, exercise and education all in one!  The girls decided it was the best part of the holiday, especially the bit where they pretended to be monkeys in the vines....

We took a drive down the mountain to the gorgeous little "hippy" town of Bellingen where we mingled with an array of interesting characters at the Markets.  Boy, this place is HUGE!  Hundreds and hundreds of stalls and all kinds of intriguing little knick knacks to be found.

I fell in love with these toadstools......

...and bought a family of 3 for my just waiting for the fairies to visit me!

Such a relaxing little getaway for us.....even for me.....I got to finish reading this.....

.....just in time for the release of the movie!

Don't think I've ever had a nicer two night break and had such a feeling of peace, calm and health afterwards.

Thoroughly recommend going here people!!!

Wednesday, October 21

Chilli the Wombat

Look who came to visit our house last week.........a beautiful bouncing baby wombat!

....she is the most amazing and adorable creature we have ever seen and we feel very lucky to have had such a special visitor.  The girls, of course, were besotted....

Chilli is being cared for by our wildlife expert friend Linda, who just happened to be visiting over the school hols......lucky us!

Apart from the missing tips of her ears, you would never know that poor little Chilli was rescued a couple of months ago from the side of the road wandering around near her dead mummy, suffering badly from frost bite and exposure. 

Of course, being only a wee bubba (8 months old) she spent almost all the time snuggled in her "pouch".....but we got to enjoy her short bursts of playtime running around our kitchen and loungeroom....and even a few cuddles.


Just in case you don't know....tomorrow is WOMBAT go ahead and talk about them, look them up on the net, wear a wombat t-shirt, or give one a cuddle.....I've just done my bit!

Monday, October 12

Layout and My Birthday

I fiddled with Sketch 155 from Pencil Lines on the weekend and this is what eventuated.....

....the Rose Moka paper and splash of white paint were perfect for the "grafitti" look.

The family surprised me with lunch out yesterday for my birthday here.... the Riverwalk Cafe.

Another customer kindly offered to take our picture at our table on the verandah.  But soon after the chilly wind sent us inside....the food was very yummy and afterwards we strolled around the gardens looking at a display of gorgeous vintage Morgan cars which happened to be passing through town.  When I'm retired that's what I want to do!  Go touring around the countryside with Tim in a very cute and impractical convertible sportscar while wearing a scarf and a funky woollen hat....!

Notice the Pandora-style necklace I'm wearing?  That was one of my many pressies!  Lucky girl I am.

On the way home we called in to our friend's place and I was doubly spoiled with a black forest cake and too many glasses of bubbly.  A fabulous end to a fabulous day.

Making a beef and red wine pie and its in the oven right now smelling SO good..........!  What's for dinner at your house tonight???

Ta ta for now and thanks for calling in. xxx

Saturday, October 10

All by myself!

ACDC Rock and Roll Train is little voices to interrupt my thoughts....and its bliss!  The fam are off on secret birthday business (yep, it's my BD tomorrow....!) and having lunch out together without me.

Wanna see what I did yesterday?

....the girls over at Home and Scrapped very wickedly challenged me to create a page with NO DOODLING!  How mean is that?  I still couldn't resist outlining my lettering to make it stand out....but that's not it?  Here's the whole layout.........

How adorable is the new Nutmeg range from Cosmo Cricket? Yummy yummy scrumptious I say....

Another fun school holiday activity we love is making PIZZA........the girls love to watch the dough rise and then have turns at kneading..........

...and they taste oh so good!  Have you tried making your own dough before?  You should!  So much better than bought ones.  I'll give you the recipe we use.........

Makes 4 bases

Mix: 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast,
20g caster sugar,
a good couple of pinches of salt,
and 1 tbsp olive oil
in 250ml lukewarm water.
Cover with cling wrap and sit for 10 mins until foamy.

Sift 3 cups of bakers grade flour (I use Lighthouse brand Bread & Pizza flour) in big bowl, pour in yeast mixture and bring together with hands.  Turn out on floured bench and knead until smooth.  Place back in the bowl, cover with a teatowel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size.

Punch air out of dough, divide into quarters to make 4 bases.  Knead each blob until nice and smooth.  Roll out to about 5mm thick (thin, in otherwords!).  Place on hot pizza stone (or tray), prick all over with a fork and add all your toppings quickly while tray still hot.  Bake 220 degrees about 8 mins until crust is golden and crisp.

Here's a big hint - put on your pizza sauce, then your cheese before all the other bits AND don't overload with too much topping!!!

Happy munching and see you next time!


Thursday, October 8

A Thai Recipe and a Camping Trip....

Planning to go camping in the Xmas hols here....

....Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges National Park - a stunning part of Oz that I didn't know existed.  Looks awesome doesn't it!  Then travelling all around the coast here....

....along the Eyre Peninsula in SA.  Of course, the kids think its wonderful and are jumping out of their skins about it.  Even me (with scary childhood memories of camping trips past!!!) - I actually think it will be a fun adventure for all of us!

These hols have been nice and laid back......Tuesday we went and saw...

....this movie is GORGEOUS....go see it, honestly!!!  You will love it to bits.  And the final credits may give you some scrapbooking inspiration!

Yesterday Kate went to a friend's for a sleepover and I took Bessie and Mimi to town for a wander around The Dust Jacket, our local cosy bookstore, then to Coles for the weekly shop and lastly a browse around FDB's - which is never actually a browse....always end up finding a heap of handy little things I "have to have" and find myself spending $50 plus at the checkout!!! 

No scrap pages to show you.....I am busily sorting out the linen closet.  Decided I'm going to pack all the sheet sets into their pillowcases to save all that time rummaging around for matching sets.

I have a recipe though, if you'd like it.........As you know, I've been going to Thai Cooking Class for the past 6 weeks.  It's been SO great!  The recipes have all been absolutely scrummy and we now have home-cooked Thai at least once a week.  Here's one of my faves.....


Flat rice noodles, soaked in warm water until soft (about 20 mins)
Chicken thigh or breast, finely chopped
Tofu, boiled 1 min until firm, then chopped
red onion
palm sugar (or brown sugar)
fish sauce
white vinegar
tamarind paste
powdered chicken or vegie stock
1 egg
peanuts, crushed
bean sprouts
juice of a lemon
garlic chives
fresh chilli, seeded and finely sliced
fresh coriander

You will notice there are no amounts given - this is because its entirely up to you - you have to taste as you go.
Caramelise onion and garlic in hot oiled wok.  Add chicken and fry until starting to turn white.  Add fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste, stock powder and sugar to taste.
Add lightly beaten egg and noodles and stir through.
Take off heat and lastly toss through tofu, peanuts, bean sprouts, lemon juice, garlic chives, shallots, coriander and chilli.

Mmmm mmmm.....

The girls are watching "Born Free" right now - I picked it up at the Target DVD sale and had to get it for them - it was a fave of mine as a child (even though I bawled and bawled....)

That's your lot for now.....hope to have some scrapping done for next time!


Monday, October 5

You Know It's Spring....

....when you get an intense urge to clean house!!!  This does NOT happen to me very often - so I am taking advantage.....more on that later.

September is gone....October is here, along with the start of the school holidays for us, and the start of daylight savings.  This was our September, summed up in a layout....

...and closer...

The weather has warmed up just in time for the school hols.  Here's some of what we've been up to....

Cattle work yesterday.  The bulls go in with their girls at the start of October each year and everyone gets brought in to the yards for vaccinations, ear piercing (as the kids call it!), and the little boys get "the snip" to put it gently.  One sweet little boy oblivious to his fate....

Mia watching the action from a safe distance...

Today the kids dug out their cossies and set up the hose on the slippery dip...

while I planted some seedlings and pottered about in the garden...

Now, back to the cleaning thing....I hate housework as much as anyone, but occasionally I get a serious cleaning bug.  Yesterday was the the bathroom....they look so good - I keep glancing through the door whenever I pass to admire my handy work!   I'm battling a head cold at the moment, so I've decided to thoroughly clean one room per day until the whole house is done. 

Tell me I'm weird....but I have to share these little tips with you.  Firstly, this stuff.... actually gets all the soap scum off the glass shower screens!!!  That job has to be one of my most you can understand my excitement....I use it with a microfibre cloth and it's just fabulous.

I have black and white checkerboard tiles in the bathroom and I love the way they look...but I HATE the way they show up every scrap of dust, sprinkle of powder or speck of fluff.  Mopping with half a cup of metho in a bucket of warm water works perfectly (also on the kitchen lino) - and you would think it would smell yukky, but it doesn't, and way cheaper than floor cleaners.  My "mop" by the way, is the broom with an old t-shirt wrapped around its head.....with the bristles underneath I can get into all the edges and corners, sticky stuff scratches off gently and I just chuck the shirt in the wash afterwards.  Love it.

What's your fave house cleaning tip???


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