Friday, May 30, 2008

I'm reading...

Tangled Webs by Anne Bishop

I adore the Black Jewels books and am only a couple of pages in. I have that wonderful feeling of re-meeting old characters (friends) and knowning I have the whole book to read and enjoy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chantilly lace/tulle gown, c.1905

How beautiful is this gown? I have been admiring it for some time on the Vintage Textile website. Not possible to buy, even with the Aussie Dollar nearing equal to the US Dollar. Here is the description:

Black Chantilly lace has always been associated with romance and mystery. When combined with black tulle in a gown, Chantilly lace makes a dramatic statement. This is the sort of grand gown that you would have worn if you had been born into the elite New York society depicted by Edith Wharton in House of Mirth (1905).

This gown is extra special for two reasons: the unusual addition of colorful floral appliqués; and the use of black velvet bands to highlight the texture. The gown is totally lined with écru silk. This allows all the textural elements—Chantilly lace inserts and appliqués, rows of tucks, and black velvet ribbon bands—to stand out.

The bodice has the full pigeon-breasted front typical of the period. The skirt is cut longer and fuller in back, forming a small train. The boned bodice closes with hooks on one side of the front. The skirt closes with hooks in back.
The condition is very good to excellent. In the lining of the bodice are several patches and some minor splits. Luckily, the skirt lining is in excellent shape and does not need to be replaced.

It measures: 36" bust, 25" bodice waist, 14 1/2" sleeve length, 16" from the shoulder to the bodice waist, 28" skirt waist, full in the hip, and 42" skirt front length.

*sigh* One of the many things I would buy should I win the lottery!

Wild Confetti Print Vintage 60s Swimsuit

How gorgeous is this swimsuit? I recently discovered LuciteBox an online vintage clothing store and found the above suit, among other gorgeous things. Here's the description of it:

This swimsuit is bursting with fun. We dig the explosive confetti print in pink, purple, and green over little bold rectangular blocks of color. This is a good swimsuit made by Cole of California sometime in the 60s. It's made of cotton, fully lined and zips up the back with a long nylon zipper. There's a little rope belt that dresses it up nicely. The swimsuit has boy cut legs with built-in panties. It's well made with a built-in bra that has cups that actually snap out with tiny concealed snaps. The sides are smocked with elastic shirring.Bold and graphic, we think this suit ought to add a blast of excitement to any pool party.

Pop over and check out the lovely vintage items.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I was cooking and Little Miss was playing with her dolls house. Periodically I was looking up and checking on her when I notice the window behind was broken and she had a piece of glass in her hand. Bolting over to her I brushed her down and checked her over for any glass shards, luckily nothing. I have no idea how it happened. She wasn't banging anything and there was no sound of breaking glass. It should be repaired before 5.00pm today thankfully.

My Super Hero

Here's my superhero. He tells me he is a superhero 'cause he has superpowers. Fair enough, can't argue with that. Certainly he seems to have a power that tells him exactly when I am distracted and that is the moment he gets into mischief!

He woke the other night when I checked on him before I went to bed. He reached out to me and said "Mummy, you have the sweetest kisses". Enough to make a mummy tear up!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Golden Syrup Biscuits

A girlfriend and I arranged to get together at my house the other day and when I went to make something yummy for us to munch on, I realised I didn't have any eggs. I flicked through my new copy of The Women's Weekly "Bake" and found "Maple Syrup Butter Cookies" which didn't require any eggs. Only I didn't have maple syrup either. Not to worry, I used Golden Syrup instead. They were very yummy and I've made them about three times since, including Saturday's batch some in the photo below.

Maple-Syrup butter cookes

125g butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup (130g golden syrup)
3/4 cup (110g) plain flour
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour

Preheat oven to 18OOc/160Oc fan-forced. Grease oven trays; line with baking paper.

Beat butter, extract and maple syrup in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; stir in sifted flours.

Drop teaspoon sized balls onto trays.

Bake cookies about 15 mins. Cool on trays.

Jam Drops

I borrowed "500 Cookies" recipe book by Philippa Vanstone on Friday from the local library. I love making biscuits almost as much as I love making cupcakes. The beauty of biscuits is that they are instantly gratifying. Ususally takes only about 10 mins to make then about the same in the oven. Cool for a couple of minutes and then pop one in the mouth!! I think I liked the strawberry jam over the apricot jam but as the recipe made 2 dozen it was nice to have a choice.

I am not sure about the copyright on listing recipes, but the protocol from checking out other blogs seems to be as long as it is credited it is OK, so here goes.

Jam Drops (500 Cookies, Philippa Vanstone)

115g (4oz) unsalted butter
150g (5 oz) caster sugar
1 egg
200g (7 oz) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
75g (3 oz) jam, any flavour

Pre-heat oven to 175Oc (350OF). Line two baking sheets with parchment.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.

Sift the flour and baking powder and stir into the butter mixture. Roll the mixture into balls and place them at least 5cm (2 in) apart onthe baking sheets.

Press a finger into each ball and fill the hole with a little jam. Bake for 10 minutes until golden. Add a little more jam while the bookies are still warm.

Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for four to five days.

Makes: 2 dozen

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics

How beautiful are the fabrics at the etsy shop Fresh-Squeezed Fabrics? I popped over to it after reading Randi's blog I have to say... and was double excited to learn she would be stocking the previously mentioned Farmer's Market fabrics. Yay!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Farmers Market

How beautiful are these fabrics? They are the new range by Sandi Henderson. She talks about the range in her blog Portabello Pixie. They should be available in fabric stores which also stock Michael Miller fabrics, I couldn't find an Australian store that stocked the new range, but QFD stocks her Ginger Blossom range.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Chocolate Macaroons

Don't they look great? I spent Saturday baking desserts for my nephew's christening. These would have to be one of my favourite things to cook. I recently discovered them in Nigella Lawson's "How to be a Domestic Goddess". Macaroons were something I always wanted to try after reading about them in countless Enid Blyton books, although they were generally coconut macaroons. My preference for chocolate overroad authenticity!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Easy Banana Cake

My mother, the Clean Queen, bought some bananas the other day that turned out to be somewhat less that average so I decided to cut out the bits that were still nice and make a banana cake. I was feeling lazy so I found the easiest recipe I could.

Mixed it up in a flash in the trusty Sunbeam Mixmaster (I know, the purists would gasp in horror that it isn't a Kitchenaid but I don't have the dollars for one of those!)

Flopped it the tin.
Popped it in the oven and it came out like this.

Mmmm the smell is gorgeous. It went perfectly with a cup of tea looking like this.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Springy Flower Pot Desserts

Oh my goodness, how gorgeous are these? These are made with pound cake, ice cream and crushed oreo cookies inside. Instructions on how to make are from The Pioneer Woman. I am going to make these for Mother's Day.

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