Sunday, April 29, 2012

Birthday records

A number of years ago two babies were born in the same hospital 3 days apart. They didn't meet for 27 years, but when they did they fell in love, had some wild joint birthday parties and then settled down and had kids. This week Mr Chameleon and I turned 35. When we turned 30 we celebrated with an all night fancy dress party, 31 was spent on a boat on Halong Bay and today we took the kids to the cinema for the first time and came home and drank tea.
I must have aged as I think I prefer the latter!

Amongst a week of baking and stressing over other things (more of those in posts to come) I managed to buy a few things, including Mr Chameleon's birthday present. Some may say I'm stingy, I prefer vintage ;-)

After we had a conversation a couple of months ago about John Peel and his record box (containing the records he would take with him in a fire), I decided I wanted to buy Mr Chameleon one. Now, there are quite a few on ebay, but most were out of my price range, so I put the call out to the thrift divas that are my mother and sister in law. Mum found this for me after posting a wanted add on a facebook sale site.

This one holds 12". I now need to find something to hold 45s. Actually I think I may have started something and wanted to collect a few more!

OK, so it doesn't hold 142....but it is probably more portable. 

I also picked up this Star Wars version of Guess Who at the local Oppie. It was sitting in the window calling out to me with its $3 price tag. I know its isn't perfect (it was created after the prequels so contains Jar Jar Binks, but at least it isn't auditory) , but it has all the pieces and gave me something to put in the record case (since I ran out of time to buy him a new record). We had a game the other night and its great. You can get rid of a whole bunch of characters if the first question is "Are you humanoid?"

I picked up this set of 10 linen napkins from the same shop. I love crisp white linen (or in this case still wrinkled white linen) with the fresh greens in the embroidery. A couple of them have a few age spots, but otherwise they are in great condition.

Would look great on a Christmas table!

I also did a bit of facebook garage sale shopping this week. I had noticed this Sesame Street doona (duvet) cover a few weeks ago and finally succumbed yesterday. At this stage I am thinking of using it for fabric. Either as a skirt or pillowcases.

Wow! Cookie monster is Australian?? 

I think big bird is still my favourite.

And yes...the skirt will probably be for me and not Poppet.


Linking up with Flea Market Finds over at Her Library Adventures.

Monday, April 23, 2012


I've been teaching myself to sew. This is a really funny statement since I've always said that I suck at any type of craft.

What is more surprising it that I really enjoy it. I actually look forward to the cutting, the pinning, the drawing blood from the pinning of my finger, the uneven stitching. It's great. Well, the outcomes aren't great at this stage if you are talking about tangible product, but the enjoyment and satisfaction factor is pretty high.

Although the tangible products aren't too bad either. No brilliant, but not too bad.

This is the second thing I have made (the first being a bit of fabric with elastic in the top, whala a skirt!). I took an old top that had a few holes from age, and turned it into a pair of pants for Poppet using a this tutorial on Prudent Baby as a rough guide.
I say guide as I got a bit confused adding the crotch, couldn't make out  the 'proper' way of finishing it, buggered up the waistband and ended up winging it......and am chuffed at the results.

As good as a picture as I could get since she won't pose.
If they look like pants and fit like pants, then they are pants!!


Sunday, April 22, 2012


I love bags, cases, boxes......anything that you can put other things in. My mother is the same. Give her a present and the first words out of her mouth are "Ooh, nice box".

The second hand gods smiled on me this week. I had a phone call from a friend last weekend saying that her neighbours had a sewing cabinet out the front of their house with a sign saying free! Thankfully the owners dragged it back inside til we could pick it up. It even contains a sewing machine that apparently still works and the manual. Since I have a shiny new machine I don't need a second one and a friend from work is pretty stoked to get a free machine.
Sewing cabinet, 2 airline totes, 2 suitcases, wrap dress pattern, fabric and tea towel! Huzzah!

 I was able to hit a couple of op-shops this week and scored the two suit cases and the concorde bags from the one shop!! I grabbed the red concorde bag as I walked through through the door and was amazed as I walked to the other end of the shop and spied the blue one. After trawling though the clothes to no avail I spotted the suitcases at the rear of the store. I am going to use them to store the ever growing stash of fabric I seem to be accumulating.

Scarf storage and out and about
The brown case has a broken latch, but still closes thanks to the amazing buckles. It even still has the key. I am terrible at dating anything..anyone have any idea as to how old it might be? I love that it comes with its own clothes must of been top of the line in its day!

Complete with clothes airer

All straps and buckles still intact
I scored the fabric and the pattern for a wrap dress in another shop. I'm thinking a skirt with the fabric......the wrap dress is a bit beyond my current abilities..but soon grasshoppers! The repro AWW tea towel was destined to be turned into an apron, but I'm thinking of using it as wall hanging instead. I figured I can always change my mind.....but once cut you can't go back!

I passed on a whole bunch of gorgeous crockery, but have decided that since we are about to move there is no way I am bring home anything that needs wrapping in newspaper! I was able to justify the suitcases since they can be used in the moving process.
Honestly, they won't clutter things at all. (Total cost including some kids shoes and baby bowls......less than A$30! I love a bargain)

(Linking up with Her Library Adventures - Flea Market Finds)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I love Belinda Jeffery

Of course I've never met her and this is completely based on her food. But I do.
I love the way her books give me an insight into her past. I love the photography of the food that I KNOW is still edible even after being under studio lights. How do know...well, because it's Belinda's cooking it has to be.

Most of all I just love the food and the way her recipe's just work.

Mix and Bake is the most useful cookbook I have come across. I used 3 (yes 3!) of its recipes as my wedding cake, her scones are MY scones and as is the case with the following recipe, you can make some tweaks and generally not stuff things up.

Image from Penguin

Belinda (yes I am on first name terms with all of my favourite cookbook authors Belinda, Jamie, Stephanie...) herself says that there are many variations of her "simple upside-down tomato and basil pie" and I think I try something different every time I make it.

Sometimes I halve the amount of canned tomatoes (and it still works), I sometimes replace the mustard powder with dijon or wholegrain mustard (and it still works), I never have Tabasco in the house so chuck in some chili flakes (and it still works) and most of the time I'm out of basil and will use another random herb instead and yes it still works. And of course I don't use egg and it works with "No-egg" replacer.

Tomato and Basil pie...sans basil!

In this particular version it was I added a can of cannellini beans after the tomato. I really enjoy this variation and it packs some extra protein points in.

So try it, Belinda's way, my way, your way....whatever, it still works.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Second hand score

OK. Long hiatus and renewed vow to do this more often, so setting myself some challenges!

Since what I spend so much time trawling op-shops I figured I'd share some of the loot.

After a series of mishaps (involving rain, sickness and a bit more rain), by mum finally made it down for a belated Happy Birthday for Poppet. Since mum is an even more chronic op-shopper than me we hit one of my favourite op-shops.

Unfortunately since one child was asleep in the car (and the other needed physically restraining from trying to grab everything in the shop), we had to take it in turns to have a quick rummage. Mum unfortunately missed out, but I managed to score a few things.

Strawberries!!! Possibly oil cloth, but definitely cute. And pretty floral frock that is admittedly a but frumpy without the belt, very cool and comfy.