Friday, March 25, 2011

Taking a walk in someone else's shoes

I didn't think this moment was far off.  After trying to get our shoes on for weeks, Seb comes trotting around the corner wearing my trusty (and yes, those that know me well - somewhat overworn) crocs.

It is so lovely watching him figure out what the world is about and how the everything works.

I hope that he continues to like to try on other people's shoes, especially the ones that aren't meant to fit.

I also hope that he holds onto that willingness to explore and learn out of his own motivation.  I feel I lost it myself sometime in later high school.  I think that there was so much pressure to do well and so little guidance to actually find out what you enjoy learning, perhaps have natural talent for, or given encouragement in areas that perhaps you weren't great at (I have never forgotten my year 8 art teacher looking over my shoulder at some sketching we were doing and exclaiming "Oh dear, art isn't really your thing is it").  With a but of luck maybe watching my little boy pick up lots of new tricks might encourage me to discover one or two of my own...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

War on the spare room/office/craft room/chinese laundry room

This had been my "project" for a couple of weeks now.

This photo was taken at the start and to be honest it doesn't look much better now.  It seems as soon as I tidy one corner another is dismantled by my "helper".

However, there is more order.  Paperwork has been organised.  Computer cables tidied and childproofed.   The spare bed has been dismantled in preference of a sofa bed.  I am halfway through sorting through the "craft" stuff and have vowed to not buy any more fabric or materials until I have actually completed some projects with the hoard like stash I have at present.

Once tidied I hope to get sewing and get a good stockpile of creations for a market stall.  It has come to a time in the year where I need to find a little extra cash from somewhere so hopefully I can turn my collection of fabrics into sellable goodies.  My mind is flowing with ideas but I need to make sure I complete the big tidy before I get going so that I have the space to create freely without adding yet another layer of mess on the top!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

How to make Greengage Jam - Charlotte Style

STEP 1: Find yourself a greengage tree

Thankfully my sister has one laden with fruit! (Cheers Sister! X)

STEP 2: Get picking (a picking buddy always helps)

STEP 3: Taste the fruit as you go to make sure it is OK (my helper here is trying out some plums which I was also picking...)

STEP 4: Pick desired amount

STEP 5: Have a restorative cup of tea and consult preserving bible

This is another good opportunity to make sure that the fruit is indeed up to scratch.  (Yes, OK, and have a bit of chockie too...).

I personally usually tweak Sally's recipes just a bit.  I often find that I don't need to put in as much water as she says and I prefer to put less sugar in so you get more flavour of the fruit.

STEP 6: Prepare the greengages

I find some music helps with this (Today I was enjoying Madeleine Peyroux)

STEP 7: Bring to the boil and then simmer fruit (plus I thought I would muslin up some of the stones for some pectin assistance)

STEP 8: Add the sugar.  Even though I usually put in less than the recipe says I am always staggered by just how much goes in!

STEP 9: Stir until sugar dissolves and then bring back to the boil and bubble away until you get setting point (or as near as darn it!).  

STEP 10: Pour into sterilised jars! 

As you can see I have made rather a large batch... If anyone out there has any surplus pantry or garden produce they would like to trade for some jam please let me know!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I'm having a gradual spring clean of the house.  Emphasis here is on gradual.  Since having the little man I have slowly started to accept (well, sort of) that things just take a hell of a lot longer to achieve than they used to.  Mess and clutter also seem to breed at an alarmingly speedier rate.

Over the past week I have been making progress on the kitchen.  I have recently stopped baking for a cafe from home and have turned it into a proper business, moving the operation to an outside kitchen (complete with delegation to chef husband to do said baking and cooking - nice).  It was lovely to clear out bulk flour, sugar etc out of the pantry and to reclaim the space as my own.

Today I managed very slowly to sort out the tupperware cupboard and hit the "white drawers".  I only purchased these drawers a couple of weeks ago, a nice $20 find at a second hand shop.  Already they have become full with items that "I have no idea where to put so lets just shove them in there and forget about them".

 Little people also seem to appear in them...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Time to dust the walking boots off...

After a very lovely morning cuppa and chat with a new friend and her little ones I found myself in the region of Kingston beach with a boy in need of a nap, a few hours to spare and my trusty ergo carrier. Being a lovely sunny day and having been reminded of the Alum cliffs walk during a recent conversation, I thought I would go for a wonder.

I don't know why, but I always forget about how many lovely spots there are in such close proximity to the "CBD" of Hobart.  Every time I venture out, I always vow to "reconnect with nature", "walk more often", "get more exercise", "take the good camera with me next time" etc.  But for some reason a cloud of amnesia floats over, everyday life takes over and my token stroll through nature remains just that.

I am hoping that by blog pledging to go for at least a 1 hour walk through nature once a week I shall stick to it!  I really hope I do, as with a views like this to gaze out upon out there it shall be good for the soul and bad for the cobwebs!

Any suggestions for lovely short walks in Southern Tasmania (do-able whilst carrying a small person) would be very welcome!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To read the book or be the book.

I am so very much looking forward to the day when I can snuggle up and read with my little man.  I try to make reading a part of every day but he much prefers more active play.  When we do sit down with a book he likes to be in control.  He'll flick, throw, tear, point and sometimes, heartwarmingly, laugh.  He is too young, or maybe it is not in his nature to sit still long enough for me to turn more than one page or read aloud a line or two.

Yesterday I found us at a bit of a loose end in town.  I had intended to get a few errands done but silly me had left my wallet at home.  In search of something free to do out of the rain, Seb and I investigated the library for a couple of hours.  He was having a great time chasing after bigger kids and trying to distract them from their own reading.

He was also enjoying getting in amongst the books.  When my back was turned he cleared himself a spot and made himself comfortable.  I only wish I had managed to get my phone camera out quick enough to capture the cheeky grin on his face!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

An Open Window

I have been enjoying reading various blogs of late.  It is interesting to see snapshots of people's days and views.  They don't necessarily need to be experiencing a momentous occasion or achieving something of greatness.  Sometimes the most poignant and inspiring posts are just of everyday occurrences.

So I thought I would give one a go myself.  It doesn't feel quite right to be a nosy parker on other people's lives without opening up a bit of myself in return.  So here we go - I'm leaving a  little window left open in case anyone wants to have a nosy in on me!