Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dress for a Special Teddy

This pair of teddy bears are very special to me, I've had them for nearly two years now.

I knew I wanted to get my grandma something soft and pink, hopefully something that could bring her at least a little bit of comfort. David found one and I loved it straight away, knowing it was what I needed to give her. I put a big, bright pink ribbon around it's neck. It was a hard time for my family, David took me back to the newsagent and bought me another one. When my nanna passed away, I was given the option to look after her teddy so chose to keep the pair together.

I recently made a dress for one, it was very easy. I might make another one in a different colour for the other teddy.  I simply made a circle chain with a circumference as wide as the chest, rows of single crochet make up the bodice. Then I used a shell stitch for the skirt. Last to do was 2 shoulder straps leaving holes for the buttons, and sewing on the prettiest buttons I could find that would suit. I chose ones with a nice shell texture.

It might be fun to make a frilly pair of underpants to go under the dress, if I ever get around to it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Awesome Sauce

And so here we have it, Awesome Sauce.

We've become dissatisfied with the hot chilli sauce you can get from the supermarket as we find them too mild. So there was nothing left to do but to make our own using our bumper crop of home-grown chillies. And is this sauce Hot! Just the way we like it! /nomnomnom

David made this using a recipe for hot chilli sauce at And who've known it, that maple sauce bottle I saved for no good reason has come in handy after all!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My best cure for hiccups.

I have a theory about hiccups that I'd like to share!

There are many home remedies to cure hiccups. Teaspoons of sugar, deep abdominal breathing, breathing in a paper bag and getting startled with an unexpected 'boo!' are all well known hiccup cures.  My best friend from highschool Karen, was convinced the only way to cure hiccups was to get a glass of water and drink it upside down. I never quite got that, even though I saw her do it with my very own eyes! But have you ever noticed a common theme through all of these cures? They all make you do the same thing ... stop whatever it was you were doing when you got the hiccups!

I believe hiccups are caused by stress. Stress in the body, which is caused by the mind not listening, so the body says 'hey, stop that!' and starts to hiccup. Apparently, scientists don't know what causes hiccups. Well, I think they should look at what is common between all the cures and there is the answer. The cures all make you stop what you were doing by making you do some other little thing to give yourself a break. And why wouldn't a spoonful of sugar work? And if it doesn't, just go and sit in a pretty and quiet place with a nice cup of herbal tea and admire the garden or sky, it's bound to fix you right up!

/smiles from me

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Elder Uma Dings 80!

My druid Uma just dinged level 80, so now I have 5 x 80 toons on Nagrand!

For want of something better to do, it's been my plan to level all classes for a while now. The reason is to improve my understanding of all the classes so I can (hopefully) lead raids better. I don't think it's possible to play all classes exceptionally well at the same time, but good raid leaders must have a basic understanding of at least most classes. And of course, I was reminded by one of my kind guildies that 'didn't you get free levels?' referring to the recruit a friend deal David and I did a while back. Isn't it funny that when you do something that might be impressive, there is always someone there to explain how it possibly could have happened? I mean, it couldn't be because I can play well, right? There must be some reasonable explanation! The fact is, after a considerable about of planning together, there was only 5 of my characters that could take advantage of the deal, and they could only get to 60. And the R.A.F deal is a legitimate levelling aid, so it's not like cheating. It means we could plan well together to take full advantage of it, and that's smart gameplay.

Geminda, Blood Elf Priest, 80 - duo levelled with Hydde to 70 then Nathaniell to 80. (no R.A.F.)
Sigora, Orc Hunter, 80 - R.A.F. from level 1 duo levelled to 60 with Wolffish, solo levelled from 60 to 80.
Yulara, Blood Elf Paladin, 80 - duo levelled to mid 20s with Steelle, R.A.F mid 20s to 60 with ?, solo levelled 60 to 80.
Summonatrix, Blood Elf Warlock, 80 - duo levelled with Avastin to 70 then Nathaniell to 74, solo levelled from 74 to 80 (no R.A.F.)
Uma, Tauren Druid, 80 - solo levelled to mid 20s,  free R.A.F levels from mid 20s to 60, solo levelled to 80

And before I forget, I may as well write down how my other 4 Nagrand toons levelled...
Swiftmyst, Blood Elf Rogue, 70 - R.A.F level 1 to 60 duo levelled with Amberthorn, duo levelled with Hexlord from 60 to 70
Maryrose, Undead Warrior, 76 - solo levelled to 50 ...  solo levelled from 60 to 65, JC Dailies with Nathaniell to 70, duo levelled with Wolffish 70 to 76 (no R.A.F.)
Darkmystress, Blood Eld Death Knight, 62 - R.A.F. with Hexlord 55 to 60, then solo levelled
Zye, Troll Shaman - solo levelled to 45 (no R.A.F.)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sweet & Salty Pickled Ginger

I was pleasantly surprised how easy this was and how well it turned out. I was worried the fresh ginger in my ginger pot wasn't going to last, so I quickly whipped this up while I waited to go on a raid!

I did not follow the recipe exactly, but I did get the idea from the taste recipe for pickled ginger. All I did was peeled the ginger, then sliced it thinly with the veggie peeler. Then I blanched it for 20 seconds in boiling water, drained it then sprinkled the ginger with some salt. In a small jug, using enough white vinegar to cover the ginger, I dissolved enough sugar to saturate it. There was only a little bit of undissolved sugar granules in the bottom. I pat the ginger dry with paper towel, then put it in a small jar.  Then I just added the sugar vinegar, and several hours later it was ready. Like I said, I was surpriised how it tasted, just like the pickled ginger you can get in the sushi bars! LOL, maybe not, but its very good for homemade!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Child's Cardigan in Progress

I wondered if I could make a bigger version of the baby's hexagon jacket, so I used the two balls of $2 wool I got from Lincraft. There's no one in particular that I'm making this for, I just felt like making it! I don't know if it will fit a child of any age, I'm guessing it might fit a toddler? I won't cut the wool yet as I'm not sure if the collar is right, or even if I'll just unravel it and reuse the wool! Maybe I'll take it with me when I visit my sister and see if it fits any of the children. They come in a variety of sizes!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Every Heart stands for Love

What do you give the couple who has everything? Something sweet, simple and thoughtful, complete with your very own homemade touch - homemade is best!

I have named these homegrown second generation chilli plants "Spicy Hot Love Trees", to bring good luck and passion to a newly wed couple. I'll pick the most handsome tomorrow, but I'm thinking the one with the red fruit is a favourite to win! To bring spicy hot lovey-doveyness into the home, this chilly plant will need lots of sunshine and happiness. A good drink of water everyday is in order, but this special plant will not like to sit in water for too long,  so it's best it doesn't have a saucer and is well drained. Keep it in a pot, so that in the winter its easier to move into the sun, or to a sunny window indoors. I've written about our homegrown chilli plants in a previous post.

Fresh herbs are usually best, but these "Love Sprinkles" are a lucky love charm to add when cooking food to share. These herbs were homegrown, dried and prepared with love for good luck! Marjoram is well known as the herb of weddings, rosemary is for love, and just a few little chilli flakes are for spicy passion. These herbs would be good to add to a pasta sauce dish. I've written about drafting this idea in a previous post.

I've also made my own gift card and wrapping paper for our other gift (another simple gift for goodluck, to help with homebaking). This is a magical gift card with its matching paper. Every time a heart was handdrawn, the word 'love' was whispered for goodluck.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Making Crochet Rugs is good therapy!

So far, I've made 3 small rugs, as they take quite a while to do, but making them is excellent therapy!

Thousands of dollars can buy you a considerable amount of good therapy, but an armful of wool is a lot cheaper! Its well known activities like crochet and knitting are relaxing, and it's also considered healthy diversional therapy, like other crafty activities and hobbies.

The first rugs I made were a matching pair of lap rugs, which I made to pull over our legs in the winter. They're not too large to catch in the wheels of the computer chairs. I even got creative and gave them names to match their colour schemes. As David loves all things dragon, his is called "Dragons in the Woods", because it had a lot of brown in it. The red represents the fire breath. Mine is called "Roses in the Snow", because it's pink and white, and it's nice to remember flowers during the winter! These ones are made up of 5 round granny squares slip stitched together.

The third one I've made is bigger than the lap rugs, and I just called it a 'therapy rug'. I wanted to make a rug purely for relaxation, and didn't want the added pressure of planning the colours like the other two rugs. It's just made up of random colours of similar ply wool. When one colour ran out, I just chose a new colour. This is one big granny square, so not much thinking required, but the changing of the colours meant it wasn't too boring.

Since then, I've bought $10 worth of wool from lincraft on my birthday last year to make a 'birthday rug'. I am only up to the second ball of wool as I've kinda ran out of steam for that one. Having a big project in progress is good, as you can just grab it when you're watching some boring tv. I've got several projects in progress, starting them seems a lot more fun that seeing them through to the end!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Horrors of the Grocery Store!!! (I

There is nothing more depressing in my mind than pushing a shopping cart (more likely than not to have a wonky wheel and a mind of its own) down narrow aisles blaringly lit by artifical neons, crammed full with products screaming 'look-at-me, Look-At-Me!!' And this all the while negotiating self-absorbed fellow shoppers determined to block the way too narrow for you and their trolley combined, topped off with a soundtrack of screaming children and cheesey pop music.

Oh yes, I detest the grocery store. Too bad that I'm supposed to make more of an effort to get out of the house. If I'm going to do that, I'd rather it not be listening to other people's children screaming in the shopping centre because their parents are ignoring them and seem quite ok with imposing their life choice upon everybody unfortunate to exist anywhere in close proximity, say a 1km radius.

The whole grocery store experience is solely set up for the convenience of the capitalist shop owners and their willingness to use every trick in their arsenal to manipulate you into harried, rash or misguided purchases you will likely regret.  In the old days, you' d take your list to the counter and the friendly assistant went and got the stuff for you, so no opportunity for impulse buys. That was before the greedies figured out how to get you to walk into their storeroom and get the stuff your goddamm self, all the while trying to distract you into buying more stuff. And then there is this business of pricing products in less than round amounts to make a quick calculation challenging. God dam you, I will stand there for 5 minutes if I have to, so I can figure out if its cheaper to buy the 145g or the 270g jar of vegemite, just to spite you! I hate supermarkets with an unequalled passion.

Of course, I tell myself there are sensible, financial reasons for shopping online and my distaste for supermarkets is not the only reason. If not,  I would be getting out of the house every week, right? I've used both Woolworths and Coles, and while they both have 'unit pricing' only Coles allows you to sort accordingly. This makes it a very straight forward thing to figure out which sized product is the best value for money, even when the specials are on. Coles is also better because they will charge your account on the day the groceries are dispatched and you will not be charged for out of stock items, unlike Woolworths. At Colesonline I have a record of every product I have ever bought, which after nearly a year is over 600 items. I can see when these are on special and time to stock up. I have a few days to work on my shopping cart, coming back to it as I need to change it, so there is plenty of time to make sure I'm getting what I need and not just what I've managed to grab in under an hour. This forward planning means I am able to stick to my budget and feed two people for just over $100 a week, and that includes toiletries and cleaning products. I'm more than confident I get my $5 in delivery fees back and then some. Also, I almost always get a cute little sample to try, which is a nice little bonus, like tasty new sauces, spices, tissues, frozen fruit, canned chicken, etc etc. Like these cute little toy trucks, which I can give to the nephews when I see them next.

So shopping online is not just for insane hermits like myself, it is thrifty and sensible. Impulse buys and budget blowouts are a thing of the past,  stocking up on specials are GO!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What is this Wretched Malady??

Oh yes. I vowed Never Ever to do this. But here you have it, facewashers edged with crochet. Who can tell what possessed me to engage in such frivolity? I guess I'm just bored. So unwholesome is this wretched malady, that I now feel a compulsion to edge all facewashers in my house!

Somebody stop me!!!

Scented Rice Pack, Ribbon Gift Bag and Flowering Rosella

Today, I made up an organza bag to go with the hot rice pack I made last week. Well, I don't think it's proper organza, just a nice white sheer fabric I've had hanging around for ages. I finished it off with some of the new pretty deep pink ribbon I got from Lincraft the other week. My old machine did catch on the fine fabric, so I'll probably have to get around to that service soon.

To make the scented rice pack, I used a cup of rice (I got 10kg when on special), and added a tablespoon of dried lavendar petals, some dried homegrown marjoram, basil flowers, and lemon myrtle along with a drop of rose fragrance oil. I used more of the soft red cotton material, although I know red is not the best colour for a relaxing eye pack, but it is nice and soft. And it smells simply divine, if I do say so myself! It would be handy as a relaxing eye pack, or you can heat up it up in the microwave for a minute on high to use as a soothing hot pack. Alternatively, you can put it in the freezer to use as a cool pack. These rice packs are very handy to have around!

Flowering at the moment is our new rosella plant which is really taking off in this humid weather. We can't believe we picked this one up in the bargain bin at our local nursery for only $1! Its got a heap of fruit on it now, and also some optimistic white meally bugs. I sorted those bugs out, so hopefully we will have some fruit to try and make rosella jam in a month or so.
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