Sunday, June 26, 2011

Kitchen Nightmares

Renovating the bathroom was one thing (and it's not even completely finished yet) but the kitchen has been a whole other (much bigger) kettle of fish.

The Plan: knock down the (annoying) single brick wall separating the kitchen and dining areas...and then..well...just pull out and replace everything!
Easy! we thought.

 There were a few minor hiccups along the way, but overall removing the old cabinets, knocking down the wall, and installing the new cabinets, did turn out to be reasonably easy.

But then there were the parts that weren't easy...

like having the contents of the kitchen cupboards scattered all over the house- some in boxes, some stacked on furniture and some on the floor...

the dust that was continuously spread around, covering things that should not have been covered in dust...

not having a sink or dishwasher for two weeks, and trying to find somewhere to stack dirty dishes, and then washing them in the bathroom or laundry...

having no bench top to prepare school lunches, make breakfast or prepare dinner...

and trying to think of easy healthy meals to cook on a gas camper stove or in the microwave, with minimal space to prepare anything, and no kitchen utensils in easy reach.

But, slowly it all started to come together. The new oven and cook top went in a few days ago ...the installation of the cabinetry was finished off...and the plumber installed our new sink and tap...hurrah!

We have spent the weekend cleaning and organising, and finally the clutter, dust and dirt is gone and our house feels like a home again. The kids even got some very overdue quality play time with mum and dad...which felt really's been hard keeping them occupied and happy when we have been so busy. (They have enjoyed all the demolition, the plumbers and electricians coming and going, and making cubby houses from the old cabinetry, though!)

So, the kitchen is almost fully functioning again, with the only downside being that we will still have the old bench top in place for a few more weeks while we wait for our new one to be made. So we have the old bench resting on top of the new cabinetry...with a nice big gaping hole beside the sink, due to the new sink being different dimensions to the old one. But, it is almost finished, and the time we have to spend waiting for the bench top will be much more manageable than the weeks just past. (Still, though, can't wait to see it completed!)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Baby Love

There have been a few little bundles of joy arriving around us lately...most recently one little baby girl, and two brand new baby boys.

Definitely an opportunity for a bit more card making!

Paper bunting...ribbon...and alphabet rub-ons...

...fabric with cute baby motifs...embossing...hand stitching on card...ribbon and buttons...

...die-cut circles for tags...embossing and string.

And who can resist tiny baby size crochet beanies?

As cute as the tiny babies themselves :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Paper, Scissors, Make

After my visit to Scrapbook Secrets a couple of weeks ago, I had big plans for a weekend of paper crafting and card making. I imagined spending the weekend at my craft desk, surrounded in beautiful card, paper, and embellishments, and having uninterrupted time to bring to fruition all of the ideas swimming about in my head.

But with a three and a five year old, of course it was not going to happen this way! Instead I had to fit my craft in around all of the distractions from the kids - making their food, getting their drinks, finding lost toys, cleaning up mess, admiring their drawings, breaking up fights and participating in their games.

Uninterrupted craft time would be wonderful and productive, and occasionally it does happen. But still, I love that the bulk of my crafting and making happens in the heart of the home, with my family around me.  

And besides, even with all of the distractions, I still managed to make a couple of cards, cover a wooden photo frame...and get started on a few other works-in-progress!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Time for Soup

Photo Credit: Nuchylee

It's cold...must be time for soup! Here is a quick and easy recipe for a delicious soup, from Healthy Food Fast. It is a lower fat version of a cream-based soup.


250g pumpkin, peeled and cut into small chunks
Half head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup low-fat evaporated milk

Combine pumpkin, cauliflower, zucchini, onion, potato and stock in a large pot. Cover and cook over gentle heat for 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and puree in a blender until smooth. Stir through milk. Serves 6.

Hint: If you do not have a blender, push soup through a sieve.

Variation: This soup can be made using 1 1/2 kg of any chopped vegetables. Try sweet corn and sweet potato and 5 minutes before the end of cooking throw in a few outside lettuce leaves and a handful of parley or mint, then puree.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Feeling Crafty

Today I have been hand-sewing pretty crochet flowers onto snap clips and hair elastics. My crochet-obsessed mother made these gorgeous flowers for me. The colours are amazing - chocolate, turquoise, taupe, lime, pink...I think I will package the finished hair accessories into co-ordinating sets. I will pop them into the shop soon.

Yesterday I paid a visit to Scrapbook Secrets. They stock the best range of papercraft and scrapbooking products that I have ever seen.

Their patterned paper and card was head is full of ideas...and I am sensing there may be a card making and paper-crafting binge this weekend!