Sunday, January 27, 2013

Farm Produce.

 I will write quickly today as Jonno's computer has a bit of a temperature and is a little cranky... Here is a mushroom from the farm. It didn't grow on the farm but as I made it here I figure it still counts.
 Mid summer and the dahlias are going crazy, perfect to add to a present.
 Plums and eggs.
 And a little bit of blackberry picking with Hugo on the bank behind the house.
 We are loving our time together at the moment and made another spoge cake with plum jam, blackberries and blueberries.
Next time we will use farm cream too - the milkman is away hiking at the moment...
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Trials and Tribulations.

 Did you know that laptops, particularly Apple Macs, don't like drinking tea. Sadly I discovered this a few days ago and now I am in an internet wilderness waiting to hear back from computer shops and insurance companies. Quite a lot of stuff may end up being lost but luckily I have kept a blog of my favourite projects and printed out my best family photos. It's worth printing things out I tell you. 
 In the meantime I have been keeping myself busy with lots of new projects including Mr. and Mrs. Fox above. When I get my new/old computer up and going, I will write up a few p.d.f.s to make available... how exciting.
Jonno and Archie have set off on a 5 day hike this morning. They are going off with a few other friends and are over the moon about it. For the last couple of months they have been consumed by the planning and anticipation so it is a funny thing for them to finally be doing it.
Hugo and I have a few days to ourselves and he has just discovered the joy of sewing felt mice. Hopefully we will have lots to show you over the next few days.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Computer Peace.

 The boys have been pretty up and down with each other lately - par for the course at this age and stage. However, I find if they have a project or mission, they are at their best together.
 And taking our old computer apart certainly proved the theory. The computer has been sitting about for years with us not quite knowing what to do with it. So when they suggested taking it apart I jumped at being able to provide a yes.
 Cleo from next door was a great worker too.
 Maybe they could provide a service. 
 The only provision I made was that there was to be no glass broken.
Along the way their imaginations became fired by all the different structures they found inside. We are all pretty amazing on the inside....
Have a great weekend,
Love Kate xxooxx.
P.S. Thank you to the anonymous reader who wrote this in the comment section "While great to encourage exploration and tinkering, opening up a computer or television is very dangerous. There is a capacitor that can store deadly quantities of energy, even months after it is uplugged. Just want to keep your boys safe."

Monday, January 14, 2013

Crochet Star Wars.... That's Right!!!

 The lead up to Christmas was very frustrating for me blog-wise as all my crochet had to be kept secret until the big day. Archie asked earlier on in the year if I could please make him a set of crochet star wars characters... hooo hoo hoo hoo. Yes! 
 After much thought I decided to buy the patterns online rather than make them up myself, time being a huge factor in the quest so I went searching and found Lucy Ravenscar's amazing etsy shop. Her pattern writing is brilliant and I learnt so many new techniques while making all of the little creatures.
 I split the set in two, so that the boys would have to combine their set to play a full game. That being said, I also promised to double up on a couple each that were particular favourites. Hugo would like to have a Yoda like Archie and Archie would like an old Obi-Wan Kenobi like Hugo.
 Darth's buttons don't work which is a little bit of a relief to tell the truth. It is hard enough at home without the dark side coming too much into play.

 Best pals forever.
 Nice backsides fellas.
The gang. I have found a few more patterns since making these little guys so will add to the clan as time goes on.
Meanwhile, may the force be with you.
Love Kate xxooxx.
p.s. Thank you so much for all of your lovely sponge cake comments. They gave me a good laugh and warmed the cockles of my heart (what are heart cockles?).

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When a Sponge is more than a Sponge...

 Today I made my first sponge cake. Doesn't sound like much... except that for years I have been too overwhelmed by the thought to even try. I think there was a small and strange era when you could be judged by your cake and many were often found wanting. This has lingered with me, especially the comments that I used to hear like "It's just too fiddly" and "It never works out properly". 
I am very lucky that I have made my first sponge cake in 2013 when many of us have forgotten what a perfect sponge looks like. A slight dip in the centre - and excellent spot for storing cream. Slightly askew and lop-sided - an engineering feat!
 And the best thing was, it tasted really good. The boys have almost devoured the lot... which is good because I don't think they keep that well. The recipe is naturally gluten free, made with cornflour and custard powder - it came from a school cookbook given to me by my sister and I will ask her if there is a link to buy it online somewhere because it is amazing!!!!
On another note, I have some new pictures to hang up. Last term saw the boys studying Maori arts at school and Hugo came home with the wonderful feather collage (there is an official name for it which I will find out) and this sketch which he did at a local marae.
I adore his teacher for loving this sketch and displaying it on the wall. As she said to me, that was what it looked like.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. Is anybody else out there in New Zealand trying to survive this humidity. Just when I thought the air couldn't become any more dense it began to rain. First time in years that I have craved a cold beer and so instead cracked open a frosty ginger beer (one with alcohol) and watched the rain pour down feeling very, very, very tropical.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Melbourne Shoes.

I thought you might like to see some shoes that my friend Bella took me to see at the South Melbourne Market. I was in complete and utter heaven and sent into a frenzy trying to choose a colour. In the end I went for the pink ones.... I have jeans in the other colours...
 You can find more about them here....
 They even have children's sizes. Gaaaaaahh!
 We were also very lucky to see the Corpse Lily flowering at the Botanic gardens. The centre had just collapsed but it was still spectacular. Can you see where they made an incision to extract pollen?
The boys felt a little let down that it had run out of 'stink'. They were so hoping to smell it's dead body aroma.
Well, better go and feed the young clan.
Lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


 I am so, so, so sorry that I have been M.I.A. over the holidays and completely neglected my Christmas and New Year wishes to you.... but you see, I have been back home (other home) to Australia to catch up with family and friends for the past three weeks and I have barely been near a computer.
It has been a real joy watching the boys catch up with their cousins (note Archie and Hugo with their big cousin Charlie above), it is such a special thing how they all know and love each other so much even thought the time they spend together is limited.
 Under strict parental supervision they had a ball doing all sorts of wacky things such as riding bikes into dams. The bike was tied to rope so they could haul it back out again - the best thing about this was that the bike came out sparkling.....

Lots of dog cuddling duty.
 Lazing in the Melbourne Botanic Gardens.
 Elephant spotting.
And South Melbourne marketing to do.
I have so many more photos to show you - especially of shoes....
Lots and lots of love,
Kate xxooxx.
p.s. Happy New Year!


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