Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It's time for a break

just signing off for a couple of weeks to get through and recover from the silly season
relax, be safe and enjoy the time with loved ones
until 2010.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

magic pudding

Last Christmas I must have had a bit of spare time on my hands as I decided to make a traditional boiled christmas pudding - the way my Gran used to make it, as our contribution to Christmas day lunch. 
As everyone was expecting a christmas pudding on Christmas day, I had to make sure I had a recipe that worked (My Gran's old pudding recipe has since long disappeared). I found a recipe, bought a bottle (or two) of rum, heaps of dried fruit, new calico and got the fruit soaking for about a week in the rum. After all the rum was dried up by the fruit, I made the pudding mixture, got it wrapped in the calico cloth and had it on the stove boiling for 6 hours. And the test run pudding was created. 
What! Is she crazy? I hear you all say, making a test run pudding! Well it all worked out, the test run was a hit. So I went on to make the "real" pudding for Christmas day. 
Alas, expectations have been set. So the pudding order for Christmas day 2009 was placed again. Of course Mr wanted the test run pudding as well, and as I don't trust his sweet tooth home alone with the Christmas day pudding, I have given in and already made the test run pudding. If only is was a magic pudding, my work in the Kitchen would be done!

My Magic Pudding

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Going Bananas

So I love to cook.
Maybe it's my captive audience of Mr and the 2 dogs. They love anything I cook, sweet savoury, you name it!
Maybe I find it therapeutic measuring, mixing and relishing in the finished product!
Maybe I enjoy the peace knowing that Mr will leave me alone while I am in the kitchen!
Maybe Mr will build me a new kitchen and buy me a new stove! (well a girl can dream huh!)

Even so, I am always on the lookout for quick, easy and wholesome (i don't think healthy is the right word) sweets, cakes, puddings and more, to meet the high demands of Mr's sweet tooth. I have several recipes that have become my favourites, (ie chuck all the ingredients in one bowl, mix with a spoon and put in the baking tray) in particular a carrot cake, but I will share this secret recipe with you another time. 
The newest edition to my repertoire is this date and banana loaf that I was so impressed with I just had to share with you. To my surprise I discovered the recipe on the side of a weetbix pack (well it was a pack of no name brand wheat biscuits!). 

My version of date and banana loaf straight out of the oven (note: Mr has already sneaked a slice when I went to get the camera) on my favourite Johnson Sunflower plate - always makes things taste better - but definitely not needed for this one - it was gone in a  day!

The Recipe
5 whole wheat biscuits (eg weetbix)
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped dates
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup low fat milk
1 extra large egg, lightly beaten

Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C.
Combine wheat biscuits, flour, sugar, dates, banana and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix in milk and egg until well combined.
Spoon into lined loaf pan (215 x 115 x 55mm) and bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked when tested with a skewer. Serve warm or cold with butter!

After you have made this once, you will want to make it again! Next time try fruits that you may have around the home. I have used a mango and banana mush and dried cranberries which, like the original recipe, was a hit!

Go on, give it a try! And don't forget the butter!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Timing is everything

I would like to share an adventure we had recently.

Mr, the 2 dogs and I decided on a long weekend of camping. Having found an awesome sounding place on the web called Riverwood Downs that was dog friendly, had reasonable camping fees and a river right next to where the swags would be swung, we thought it would be three days of relaxation and river swimming. 

The dogs enjoying the ride

I should have known it was all too good to be true! (Especially as the weather forecast was for flooding in Northern NSW).
We headed down the mountain, took the back roads, the "scenic route" through Wiseman's Ferry, along the Old Northern Road, checked out convict relics, stopped in at St Albans Pub, again at Wollombi Pub (the home of Dr Jurd's Jungle Juice) where there was an added attraction of woodchopping, for the annual Wollombi Festival. 
Depending on whether you are a glass half full or half empty person, fortunately or unfortunately, it was getting dark. We found a riverside camping reserve at Broke, set up camp, had a great dinner, a few beers and settled in for the night falling asleep to folk music drifting across the river from the nearby music festival. 
The next morning we were up early and heading for our destination. The dogs were happy as ever - they could smell the river getting closer and we could see the weather closing in!

The lovely view from the vehicle 

Needless to say it was a tad wet. But we soldiered on and made it to Riverwood Downs. There was a break in the storm. We checked out the place, pulled up next to the River and had a bite to eat. Little were we to know we were about 2 minutes ahead of the deluge. Soggy sandwiches in hand and our clothes soaked to the bone, we graciously admitted defeat and headed back home vowing to return when the North Coast is not in flood!
Although we were only there for a matter of minutes, we were impressed with  Riverwood Downs, the property the people and hope there are others out there that check it out if you are heading that way.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Looking for something to do tomorrow?

Why not head for the cool and fresh air in the hills, to Springwood in the Blue Mountains.
If you need to do some shopping in preparation for the silly season, or are just looking for someting special that is handcrafted, check out Celebrating Design this Saturday 21st November at Springwood.

Celebrating Design is an exhibition and sales of handcrafted works, direct from over 30 designers and artisans including gifts, jewellery, leather, woodwork, ceramics, glass, textiles, clothing and more!
It is at Springwood High School HALL, Grose Road, Faulconbridge from 10am - 5pm, Saturday ONLY!
There is a small entry fee of $5 adults, $10 family, $2.50 concession and children under 12 are free. There will also be a cafe running throughout the day. All proceeds go towards the Springwood High P&C

Hope to see you there....

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I see RED, I see RED, I see RED

I have been having a blogtoberfest-free time for a few days. There were a few matters that needed tending to with no distractions.
But now I am back and look what I have found! THE QUILT PROJECT is a community friendship project based on redwork with everyone being asked to "work a square in red". There were 66 squares in total. At the Quilt Project site you can read about each of the creators and the story behind their "square". 

After everyone had sent in their squares, the quilt was constructed, displayed for one day only, then dismantled with each square being returned to each of the creators. This is an amazing project and was initiated in Melbourne by Kirsty from kootoyoo. Well Done Kirsty and to all the red square creators. It has inspired me to start needlework again!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 21: Am I going batty?

Halloween is creeping upon us. So when I stumbled across this green batty material I couldn't resist it. 

I thought it would be perfect to make something for my friend's halloween party! Hmmm what to create....... 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 20: and the list goes on.....

UFO Number 4: Its a Wrap
I don't know what came over me when I bought this mohair yarn. It is soft and I liked the colours and of course I had no idea what to make with it. So I just started knitting a 4 row pattern. And this is it so far. It's knitted in the shape of a rectangle.

A friend today had on a wrap that was made from a simple rectangle of material and I thought that would be perfect for this knitted piece. Only a few more rows to knit before I can sew it up and it is a wrap!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 19: Have I let the cat out of the bag?

Who would have guessed that the more I look the more I find...

(Unfinished) Project Number 3: Japanese Fabric Reversible Bag
I love these two japanese style fabrics (the rusty rainbows and dragonflies), and this reversible bag is just perfect - I can use both fabrics on the one bag! I also have a blue denim-like cotton fabric to make the handle bands. I have already cut out the fabric and it's ready to sew...

The hardest thing (once I have finished) will be what is my favourite side!
Now to sew it all together, and get it looking like this!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 18: Project Number 2

About 6 months ago I had to travel to the city for an appointment and was taking the trusty public transport option. Having to leave home while it was still dark, I though I would snooze on the train and didn't bother taking anything to read.
After the appointment I made my way to towards Central Station and realised I had nothing to read or keep me busy during the 2 hour + train trip home. Next thing I know I was browsing in a beautiful yarn shop and a few too many $$ later had a new project to keep me busy for more than the train trip!
So here it is. It was the orange that got me. It is a lovely box pattern, but on 3.25mm needles it is taking me quite a while. The bamboo is lovely and soft too. I still need to do some research on bamboo yarn - I have been told that bamboo is not a good sustainable yarn due to the high amount of processing needed to get it to this stage!
There is still quite a few balls of yarn left to knit!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 17: The first of many...

Here it is, the first unfinished project that needs to get off my to do list. 

It is a hopscotch play mat. It rolls up like a mini sleeping bag, is tied with a ribbon and can be taken on picnics, to play at friend's place or to sit on and play in the garden. I have all the pieces cut and have started to pin it together. It is a big project that I thought I would do over a couple of days but the next day never came. So now it is on the "To Finish Before Christmas 2009 List".
Just in case you wanted to check out the finished hopscotch mat, this is the pink/green/blue one I finished 2 weeks ago.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 16: Hump Day

15 down, hump day today, then 15 more to go...
With one slip off the wagon and for a blog-newbie I am glad to reach octo-hump day!

Thinking back on starting this challenge (what a challenge it has been), and how satisfying it is to get half way, it reminded me of all those unfinshed craft, sewing, knitting, crocheting, cross stitch...... projects I have lying around the house. Like Blogtoberfest, they were started in earnest and just never reached the finish line.

So to help me not let Blogtober fade away and to make sure I get across the blogtober-line, I thought I would share my discovery of those unfinshed projects each day until the end of the month.

Until tomorrow and what finds you may come across in the depths of yoru cupboards...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 15: The simple things

I love where I live....
Working close to or at home, popping home to have lunch with Mr on a weekday, having friends only a walk away, living in fabulous extremes of weather (it feels like its going to snow) and living surrounded by world heritage area.
Earlier tonight there was a rat-a-tat-tat at the front door. Not knowing who would be calling at such a late hour I made Mr go and see who it was. I swear I could see someone through the glass....
Mr opened the door and found this above his head (excuse the gap in the wall, someone still has a job that needs finishing!)

It was very happy to have our attention and hung around for a little while until it ventured on the front lawn and then took shelter and checked us out for a while.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 14: Wednesday Inspiration

I have been setting aside time in my october days and gradually been visiting other Blogtoberfest-goers, albeit after 9pm pretty much every day/night. So my goal by the end of Blogtoberfest is trying to post before it gets dark!
Today I found Punky & Me's Wordless Wednesdays. I may still have a few words, but I have also got some groovy tunes that I stumbled across...
so sit back and 

to some groovy tunes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 13: A hard earned rest...

After a hard day at the day job, a home cooked meal by Mr, and a visit to the gym, I come home to find Mr and Red snuggled up on the lounge. 

Gives me peace and quiet to focus on my blogtoberfest commitment...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Where did yesterday go...

Blogtober forgive me...
I've slipped up...
Yep, I didn't make it yesterday. But with good reason... 
After a long day two at Leura Fair with rain, rain and more rain, I came home, unpacked the ute and curled up on the bed and snoozed until the sun rose this morning! 
What a way to start my market venture! Lucky I am the eternal optimist as this was the view at 9am on Sunday!

By Sunday afternoon, everything had dried out and the sun began to shine as we were packing up. Isn't it always the way. 
Apart from the soaking, I had a wonderful time, met some lovely people, had some great help and am still inspired to keep creating, making and growing....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I will survive!

Well I have just made it home after a fab day at the Leura Fair Markets! 
I met some fantastic local makers and interesting characters today. Thank you for all your support at the Red Lizzi stall and Vicki for helping me out - what a gem! And I am back to do it all again tomorrow. Thank goodness, there was only a drizzle of rain as we were all packing up and sunshine is forecast for tomorrow. 
My etsy store is looking a little bare at the moment while I have been working on creations for the fair, but I will update it next week after I recover from this weekend. 
Now it's time to put up my feet, grab a drink and relax until tomorrow morning! Cheers!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 9: The Perils of Housework

I have been working hard recently sewing for the Leura Fair which is on this weekend and have been neglecting the house work. BUT to my surprise I have found an alternative to vacuuming up all those threads that make it to the floor that is much quieter than the Dyson. My Explorer socks!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 8: Fabric Finds

Garage sales are fantastic! There are great finds to be had - persistence pays off to find those little gems that you could not find anywhere else! 
But if you are not careful, there can be a down side. You can end up having enough stuff to have a garage sale at your own place! 
BUT I have learnt some control over the years. It has taken some time and refinement but I have...

And when I found this patchwork fabric (it looked like a quilt that someone had not quite finished) I knew exactly what I was going to make with it before I had even saved it from under a heap of kids games on the front lawn.
Having already made a bag like this previously (with japanese owl fabric which I take everywhere),  I knew that my newly found patchwork would also work perfectly. And here it is.....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cats & Dogs

I was visiting one of my friends recently, and had taken a few things I have made for my first markets (which are coming up soon) to show her what I have been doing!
Being the cat person she is, I couldn't resist showing her this bag I had made with some fabulous cat fabric I found. My friend's Birman cat, Batu took a liking to it and managed to curl up in the corner with it! A little while later, after we made sure he was purring contently, we cautiously removed it from his clutches unscathed!

Although I have always been a dog person, Batu is slowly changing my mind on cats. After all he does have his own blog!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

DAY 6: Short & Sweet

I knew it was going to be a challenge when I signed up to Blogtoberfest but I am hanging in there ... just.

There are lots of new blogs to check out, fabulous people and creations to find as well as posting everyday.

It is also giving me time each day to reflect on the great friends and opportunities I have every day in my life!

Maybe, just maybe, blogging will grow on me and I will grow on blogging.....

Monday, October 5, 2009

DAY 5: Rain, Thunder, Lightning...

Mr and I started the day off with a trip to the hospital in the flatlands, to see Irish and Baby Irish. Baby Irish is still in ICU so we could only see him through the viewing window with all the other tiny ones. He is gorgeous and hopefully he will be home in a couple of days and can have many huggles from us!
The rest of the day was just how a public holiday should be, relaxing and cosy, with Mr and the dogs (our two are on the right - Red & Lizzi; the third in the pack is Chrissy who is having a sleepover at our place while her owners are riding the Simpson Desert!)

With the fire roaring and the dogs soaking up all the warmth they can, an awesome (and not so uncommon) storm passed by. Chrissy, not being a mountain dog didn't like the storm and hid under my sewing table. Every now and then I had a helping hand paw with the sewing machine pedal.

Here is Mr holding the hail that showered upon us this afternoon. I managed to get the happy snap before the snow ball came my way! During the storm we had to go out and put a blanket over the vege garden to make sure the plants weren't damaged during the storm.
I can't wait till the veges are ready to pick. We have been in the house six years now and this is our best effort at a vege garden yet! So far we have managed to keep alive for the past 5 weeks, silverbeet, broccoli, chillis, carrots, rosemary, beetroot, coriander, basil, parsley, tomatoes, shallots and rhubarb!

DAY 4: tying up loose ends

I'm still here! Day 4 and Blogtoberfest and I are starting to get it together. Today, apart from sewing for my first market stall next weekend (more on that later), I have been busy finishing off a project that I started some months ago. 

It is a jumper for our friend "Irish", actually for her new baby boy. I wanted to do something different - not use baby pastels and I just love these bright colours. It is the perfect thing to keep "Baby Irish" warm on those misty mountain days. So I have finished it just in time for our trip to the hospital tomorrow to see them both!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

DAY 3: "Ohhh" is for ORANGE

Earlier this year we were heading through Northern NSW & QLD for a well earned break. 
Having recently re-ignited my obsession with yarn and all things "knitty", I made sure we had time to take a detour and spend a few hours in Nundle , 60km southeast of Tamworth in Northern NSW. 
Nundle is famous for many fab things, the Great Nundle Dog Race, Peel River, & Gold - but the main draw card for me was to check out the Nundle Woollen Mill . 
From the observation deck that suspends above the factory floor you can view all stages of the mill processing, from when bales of scoured wool are opened, carded, spun, twisted and wound into balls or reeled into hanks. There is also a factory shop where you can buy all things wool. I tried long and hard to resist but I couldn't go past the fabulous chunky hanks of 20ply wool. I immediately fell in love with this retro orange, and along with a few accompaniments I knew what i was going to create. After a few crochet lessons from some very patient friends (I haven't picked up a crochet hook for over 20 years!),  I have finally finished it! 
So here it is! My crochet "retro" scarf. With my crochet hook, some chains, half chains and double chains, and no real pattern to follow I was on a mission!
If you can't resist the orange urge, you can buy Nundle Wool online.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Yep, I've done it now - I have jumped in with both feet and it's a big ask for me as I have only just started blogging BUT I think I can, i think I can...
So what's it all about you ask? The simple answer is that you post everyday of October - but really there is a bit more to it and you can read all about it here - but to get you in the mood here's a little snippet of the good stuff from bellsknits :
"Blogtoberfest involves the ... task of blogging daily for the month of October and anyone can sign up. You agree to:
  • really give yourself permission to spend time on daily blog posts
  • sink your teeth into posting stuff you never thought you'd write about
  • come up with ways to keep yourself interested and motivated - after that the interest by other people is just a flow on effect
  • find yourself looking with fresh eyes at the world as each moment of each day may contain an image or a conversation or an idea that can be shaped into a blog post."
It's not too late to let yourself be immersed, ponder and post in the blogosphere.
Until tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Good things come in small packages

When I returned home yesterday, to my surprise there was a little package waiting for me. Yes, it was my new labels from Cash's in Vic http://www.nametapes.com.au

The price was very reasonable, the turnaround was fantastic and the quality is great! See for yourself

Could the Three Sisters be next?

It all started with an email to our Katoomba weekly knitting group about this "craft bus". It was a great talking point at the next knitting day with the sky being the limit with possible future knitting projects!

So when I walked down Katoomba Street the other day, I was thrilled to see that the knitting / crocheting craze had hit the Blue Mountains!

I don't know what fabulous group are involved with stitching up these blue mountains "pole cosies" but if you want to find out more I have found these sites to give you a taste for more.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Flat out like a lizard drinking

Hi, my name is Sel and I have finally got round to starting my blog for RED LIZZI.
One reason for my renewed enthusiasm is I have my new logo! Check it out, I love it! A big thank you to Sandra, from idezine for her fabulous ideas and professional skills - Sandra is a Graphic Designer based in the Blue Mountains and you can check her portfolio of eye-catching designs at
If you are ever in need of a graphic design service I can highly recommend idezine!