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Preparing for Christmas!

Christmas is fast approaching, we have 8 sleeps to xmas if I have counted correctly, so I have probably miscounted. I have just finished printing my templates for our names on the xmas stockings. Now that Raah is with us, it is time for new, matching stockings.

our old stockings are nice, but trying to match fonts and size might be a struggle, and i can easily whip up 4 new stockings. plain white muslin with red applique names, I am quite excited. It is Raah’s first xmas!

Last night I made shortbread, using the lovely thermomix. I have a delicious recipe from DaddyMopar’s grandmother, which has the measurements in ounces. I regularly make it, and often have a batch frozen for when we need homemade biscuits, but it is a lot quicker that mixing a full batch. The thermomix scales are set to metric, and I didnt see a quick way to change to imperial, so I tried to scale it to metric. I decided to use 50g for every ounce, which would almost double the recipe. I started with the creaming of the butter and icing sugar. Unfortunately I didn’t do the calculations correctly, and ended up doubling the amount of sugar, so I was now making 100g for every ounce. That’s how I ended up making 1.7kg of shortbread dough. The freezer has some, along with the fridge, a big tub to eat now, and a shortbread tree to assemble as well!

I will post a few photo’s later, hopefully the shortbread tree is nice, and the stockings happen, as I often take on projects that never get finished!!

Lots of love,

MummyMopar xxx

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A pinch and a punch…

It’s the first day of the month!! I can’t believe it’s December already! Time sure is flying!

Raah (I know I called her Boo, but it just didn’t suit, so I’ve re-named her Raah, as it suits her perfectly!) is almost 6 months. Still fully breastfed, and now we are starting to think about starting solids. It’s likely Santa will bring her a pretty highchair, as the old ikea one we have isn’t supportive enough for my liking. A while back I found a jolly kidz chair on my local Facebook buy swap sell for $30, it’s been great. We are using it as a booster chair for Squeak, she is still very possessive of it. It is similar to a Stokke trip trap, and the mocka chair we are considering for Raah is also similar, but it’s new so has the harness, and tray which we don’t have for Squeak’s chair, as she was too old for them when we bough her chair. Raah sits up at the table with us if she’s awake at dinner time, as I enjoy eating as a family, and I feel we benefit as a family from it. It also helps to encourage me to cook wholesome healthy meals. 

On the topic of wholesome meals, I was hinting in my last post about buying a large kitchen appliance. We finally decided to take the plunge and order a thermomix. We were hoping to have more variety, reduced food costs, less processed foods along with less last minute chaos, as babies want what they need, immediately. I will agree it has added a lot of flexibility and variety, and definitely less processed foods, however I think I will have to properly meal plan, as I can be very impulsive with what I cook for dinner. It’s been almost a month, and there are some dishes that we very much enjoy, like the fried chicken (the spiced flour coating is made in the thermomix) and scalloped potato (cooked in thermomix and then baked in the oven). Most of the time I use it to cook parts of the meal, however I have made the whole meal in it occasionally. I have also made bread a few times, but struggle with the rising and baking part.

Another project I am working on, is new curtains for Squeak’s bedroom. She loves Thomas the tank engine, and about 3 weeks ago we saw some curtain fabric in an op shop (thrift store) so we bought it and I will be making blockout curtains soon. This will mean I can use the drapes in her room in the sewing room, which will mean we have thermal curtains on all the windows, which will help keep the house cool this summer. 

It’s really feeling like things are falling into place, which is really nice. I’l be posting a few list post shortly, favourite cookbooks, current favourite TV shows and the like, as it has been a while and my tastes have changed a bit since my last TV list post. Would you believe I haven’t watched bold and the beautiful for well over a year? There’s just other things on, and it’s just not my thing these days. If you do have any questions, or suggestions for lists, let me know. 

Have a great day!

Lots of love,

MummyMopar xxx

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ANZAC Day

Today is Anzac Day, Australia’s day of commemoration of military service. In 1915, Australian and New Zealand troops landed on a rocky beach in Turkey, called Gallipoli Cove. You may have heard of the 100th anniversary in the news.

World War 1 (The Great War) was a big deal for our adolescent country. We became a nation in 1901, and the war matured us. We heard stories of Simpson and his donkey, of great mateship, and things that would become ‘the aussie way’

For years Anzac Day, and later in the year, rememberance day, have been held dear in my heart. I love my country, I think it is the most wonderful place. I may be biased as I have never left it’s shores, but I could never imagine living elsewhere. I am humbled by others who volunteer to protect us, in our armed forces.

I had a conversation with my Mum this evening, discussing our family history. Mum mentioned her grandfather had served in the Army in WW2, in New Guinea as a driver. Mum mentioned that her grandfather never spoke of his time in the Army, but she remembers a photo ¬†of him in his uniform that was in her grandparent’s home. I hadn’t known about his military service until today, Pop passed away when I was a child and my great-grandparent’s home was about two hours away so visits weren’t often

I was able to do a quick search on the internet, and find some details of his service. I can request a copy of his service history, but that will take time. I was able to find out some information, such as when he enlisted, when he was discharged, and his rank, and his last posting. I also googled the posting, and his company was sent to qld about the time he enlisted. That company was in New Guinea until the end of the war, less than three months before he was discharged.

With the dates I found, my grandmother would have only been one year old when her Dad joined the army. He was in the army two and a half years. It makes me think of my great-grandmother, raising her daughter. I wonder what life was like during the war?

This morning when I woke up, I knew nothing of my great grandfather’s military service. It makes me wonder how much is lost through the generations, stories about family members, lost in time.

Today I was made more appreciative of our armed forces. For me, it was never this close to home. I was proud of our country, grateful to those whe served, and even more to those families who had made the ultimate sacrifice, whose loved ones never came home. These were all someone else’s stories. The stories I knew were of farmers who looked after our country, those who kept the home fires burning. Today I learned a different story, and I wonder how many stories I am missing, just because I didn’t ask about a family member.

Tonight I am going to sleep wiser, and more curious. I take for granted, on a daily basis, the freedoms the men and women in the military fight for. They have fought for them for over a hundred years. They are still fighting for them. I don’t know how to say thank-you enough to them.

Lest we forget.

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Off to a swap meet

On the weekend DaddyMopar, Squeak and I attended the Bendigo Swap Meet, a large swap meet held at the Bendigo showgrounds. If you are unfamiliar with a swap meet, they are mostly car parts and memorabilia, with some older-wares as well. Car workshop manuals are of interest to me, as well as old kitchenware, and memorabilia. DaddyMopar loves his car parts, but he only got one car part, a rubber dust boot to go on his car. I got my dad’s father’s day pressie, a car workshop manual for one of his 1930s cars. Even though father’s day was a few months ago, I felt this was the perfect pressie. He loved it! It is great to have collectibles to go with old cars. I bought myself a cookbook from the 40’s, with some unusual recipes like fish pudding, and boiled terrapin. There is also instructions for buying fruit, setting a table, and carving meats. I haven’t had a good look, but it was only $8, so I am sure it will be worth a read, and have some good recipes in it, and a few that I would consider odd some 70 years later. I love old cookbooks, some of the recipes are brilliant, and there are some wonderful desserts. I tend not to be so fond of the more ‘modern’ cookbooks, as I love comfort food. I do find Nigella Lawson’s, and some of Jamie Oliver’s recipes very good.

I made a chocolate cake out of Nigella Lawson’s ‘How To Eat’ for my brother’s birthday a few weeks ago. I had bought a silicon cake pan shaped like a car, so I made a very odd car cake for his birthday. The candles were put in to look like zoomie headers

birthday cake

Nailed It??

It was delicious, so it wasn’t all bad. I will leave the fancy cakes to my sister-in-law, she makes gorgeous decorated cakes. I aim for edible

Do you like my Car cake??

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

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It’s been a while…..

I lost track of time!!! It feels like only last week that I last blogged, but it has been a month! It has been an interesting, fun filled month. we spent a weekend away in the lovely Victorian town of St Arnaud with friends from our car club, and it was a blast! there was a halloween themed party on the Saturday night, and some amazing costumes were showcased

I made Squeak a patch to dress up as ‘Superbee’ a joke on Superman, and the car superbee. A pair of black leggings, yellow t-shirt, black wings, and the patch on the chest of the T-shirt and a perfect costume!

superbee

I haven’t got a pic of it finished, I cut it out from the background, and attached it to the t-shirt with safety pins, and now I am considering framing it, just as a cutesy thing for Squeak’s wall.

Unfinished projects…..GUILTY

I currently have a lot of unfinished projects.

The Persille pullover still needs to be sewn up.

The Square cotton feather shawl has been ignored and not touched

The All-in-one sleeveless top is almost finished, I ignored it for too long, as the plain stocking stitch was being repetitive. I then started a Bubbles shawl for Squeak in 8-ply (DK) using 5.0mm needles. I realised when I was about halfway through the patterned border (not the edging) that the pattern for 4 ply (fingering) called for 5.5mm needles, so I should have used at least a 6.0mm. Oopsies. Hopefully it turns out ok. Squeak picked a multicoloured yarn, a 250g ball in spotlight, and refused to let it go, so I bought it to make this blanket for her. I am a bit worried that it won’t sit right, as the bubbles shawl is a bit odd, it is circular with a feather and fan border, then a knitted edging. I hope it will sit flat. I could always knit extra panels to expand it if it needs it. I Wish I could post a pic of it, but my phone is flat, so I will post an update tomorrow.

I have now committed to knitting two more blankets in the next 6 months, as two of my cousins are expecting within 6 weeks of each other! I purchased some lovely dusky green 8 ply (DK) to knit up a rectangle blanket, and it suggests 6.0mm needles, so it should have a lovely drape. I am still deciding for the baby due a few weeks later, I might decide once the green blanket is underway, or almost completed. If I decide too early, I might lose steam on the green one. I can feel myself losing motivation on the 8 ply bubbles, and I HAVE to finish the all-in-one sleeveless top before Squeak grows out of it.

Do you think I have too many unfinished projects?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar

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It’s a bargain!!

On Saturday I wanted to pop down to the local Lincraft store, which sells fabric, yarn and all other crafty things. It was only a 20 minute drive, and the AFL football grand final was on, so it would be a quieter day. Football is very popular in Victoria, and AFL is very different to most other types of football.

I wanted to buy some flannelette to make Squeak some pyjamas, I already purchased the pattern, a lovely yoked top, with frills at the ends of the sleeves and legs. It looked so pretty, and less buttonholes!! I am very happy with my choice, and my mother-in-law thinks it’s a good pattern. She made clothes for her boys quite often, and is a great help as I haven’t made clothes before, only quilting. So I am going from 2-dimensional sewing to 3-dimensional. It shall be interesting. The pattern info says I can use flannelette, cotton, cotton blends and gingham. I was leaning towards flannelette as I thought it would be snuggly, and cute. It isn’t the season for flannelette though. Lincraft had signs up for 40% dress fabrics, and a sign said $4.50 per metre for flannel. I picked out 3 I liked, and went to the counter. I asked to check the price before they cut my lengths, and they said it was $15 a metre. I was not impressed, and their explanation was that it was craft fabric, and the other rack was the dress flannel, which was on sale. I decided to look elsewhere as each pair of pyjamas would take about 2 metres, and I can’t justify $30 on a pair of pyjamas. When I mentioned this to my Dad, he said it would be cheaper to buy adults pyjamas and cut them down for that price.

There is another fabric store just around the corner, A sweet little shop that has just fabric, and fabric accessories. There was a table at the front, with a sale rack. I chatted to the assistant about pyjamas, and she suggested cotton, as it is coming into warmer weather. There was some beautiful retro-inspired fabric, one in 3 colourways, and a pretty brown fabric with cute animals on it. I bought 2 metres (just over 2 yards) of each. I am tempted to go back tomorrow to get the rest on the rolls, I love it soooo much.The amazing thing is it was $3 per metre!!

fabric

I also bought 17 balls of yarn in the Lincraft end-of-season yarn clearout. It cost $33.33, 13 balls at $1.49, and 4 at 3.49 if I remember correctly. All 8-ply. I am considering going back to see what they have in 4-ply, which I could use in the knitting machine. I could spend a fortume on yarn and fabric at the moment.

yarn

This should keep me amused for a while!

Lots of love,
Mummymopar x x x

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Catch-up

I now have my Asus T100, with windows 8. A big change from Vista, and it totally bamboozled me for the first 2 days. I bought it on Saturday, and it was only in the evening I got to plug it in and fire it up.

First thing is that it needed to charge for 8 hours, so I couldn’t unplug it, so I was sitting on a step-stool in the corner. I had also purchased an anti-virus so I had to install it. I opened the packet and read the directions. they were to put in the CD, and follow the prompts. The Asus doesn’t have a CD drive, only a USB port. It only took an hour to get around that issue, but finally it was installed.

Vista had the typical start menu, and I could find where things were. With windows 8, It’s like I am fumbling in the dark. I might have to see if there is a short course to get the most out of it. The amusing thing is that I chose the windows based tablet over Apple or Android to avoid apps. There is no avoiding them now.

I also purchased a sewing pattern to make Squeak’s pyjamas, and 4 more pairs of flannel pyjamas, which was quite amusing, but now the pressure is off for now with the pyjamas, but the pattern is good for thinner cotton fabric, so this pattern will male all her pyjama needs for a few years. Instead of the traditional button-up style, the top is more of a peasant style, and there is a cute ruffle at the bottoms of the sleeves and legs. I am planning to buy some cute material to make her Christmas pyjamas, as we tend to have a relaxed Christmas morning, and I want to start a nice tradition.

On Sunday we went to Cranksters Cruise, in Nagambie. A few hundred hot-rods and older cars gather in a park in Nagambie, to look at each others cars and listen to a band. an entry fee and some raffles and auctions raise money for charities. It was a brilliant day out, and Squeak loved all the beautiful cars, she loves cars! She was rapt to take Blum, DaddyMopar’s Valiant out for a cruise for the day. I will hopefully write more about the day later on.

When I bought the pyjamas I also bought a new wool sewing needle. It’s just a cheapy, but when I went to sew up the self-striping pullover, I couldn’t find my beautiful bent-end needles. I loved them. They will be around somewhere, but I have a backlog of projects to sew up, so I must get sewing. I have sewn up 3 out of 4 raglan sleeve seams, then I can knit up the neckband, then finish off with the sleeve and side seams.

I want to finish sewing up the persille jumper, then the feathers blanket, then i will start my next hand knitting project. Even with a knitting machine I want to have a hand-knit on the go, as the knitting machine is a big learning curve, and I still have problems just making plain fabric, let alone any patterned fabric. I enjoy my hand-knitting, especially working with 8-ply (DK) yarn, as it is quick, and produces a nice, warm fabric.

do you have special clothing traditions for christmas and easter?

Lots of love,

MummyMopar