Mar 30, 2012

Missing Mojo, curly hair and a freaky looking bunny!

Okay... so I need to get my sewing mojo back . . . SERIOUSLY! Who snuck in and stole it while I was nanna napping???

I think part of the problem is that my sewing room looks like someone detonated a fabric bomb in there . . . so   it's not very conducive to a random spot of sewing - all inspiration gets sucked right out of my being the instant I open the door . . . like it's become some sort of creative black hole or abyss.

I will get in there and sort it out . . . I promise . . . I will, I will . . . and when I do I'm sure I'll find that creative mojo buried under a pile of gorgeous fabric screaming to be cut, sewn and re-invented!

So, what have I been doing if not sewing?

Losing my mind. Okay, maybe not. Well, maybe only for fleeting moments. I've been feeling like my brain is turning to mush lately - I'm forgetful, disorganised and seriously, I can have a whole conversation, make plans and commit to doing something only to turn around and completely forget THE. WHOLE. CONVERSATION!!! Hmmm . . . I need to find a memory boosting phone app or something!

Well, here's that frizzy hair photo of my girls I promised in my last post . . . they love it even if their hair gets so incredibly knotted after a day or two like this!

Big Little Miss M rocking her curly style!

Little Little Miss M looking too adorable :)

And because it's almost Easter and the girls had their last day of playgroup for the term they had a little party . . . I made these Rice Crispie Bunnies.

It was kind of funny, as I made them I thought they looked more like mice than rabbits. Then this morning I asked the girls to close their eyes as I put the tray in front of them . . . Big Little Miss M's eyes lit up as she exclaimed, "Wow Mum! CATS!"

So my bunnies look like mousey kind of cats! 

I got a good laugh out of it though and it as always reminded me of just how amazing children are.

And just one more pic . . . Little Little Miss M and the Easter Bunny whilst out shopping the other day. Is it just me or does the bunny look slightly scary? Little Little Miss M didn't seem to mind... after she discovered  the bunny came bearing chocolate that is!

Have a lovely weekend lovelies!

Mar 21, 2012

A few photo's of the week that's been . . .

How lucky are my girls . . . I've mentioned the local fauna park before and both I and my girls love the place!

Here they are getting up close & personal to pet one of the locals

The kangaroos and emus at the park wander freely as do the children! ☺

Remember as a little one how you always wanted the opposite of what you have . . . Well I do . . . dark skin to fair skin (I even quite embarrassingly remember patting my face with copious amounts of white talc as about an eight year old in the efforts of seeing how I'd look as a Caucasian!!!) . . . and of course straight to curly!

Well, my gorgeous straight haired girls wanted curly tonight - and they get so excited when I tell them we'll do hair twisties so they can wake with curly ringlets.

I don't know how they sleep with these little hair twists all over their head but they do and they are happy 
to. . . oh the things we do in vanity!

I'll show you a curly haired pic tomorrow.

And here's a little friend, Fleur (BOW dolly). . . I made her as part of a Facebook give away I ran at my last market 
night . . .
So why not check out and follow my FB page SpaNGle* and stay tuned for the next market night and giveaway!

And yes. . . I am slowly getting there on the Japanese Pattern. . . all my mummy duties are taking priority at the moment but I am getting there - just at a much slower pace than the norm.

Till next time

Mar 18, 2012

A childhood glimpse to treasure...

I do believe that my daughters allow me at times to glimpse the world once again through the eyes of a child.

They reminded me today about childhood fantasies and imaginings of princesses, fairytales and happily  ever  afters...

Nothing gave my girls more joy than being princesses for a day.

I'm looking at this photo and am filled with a beautiful serene happiness and love.

Mar 14, 2012

Another food post...

Yes, I know... sporadic (or rather absent) week or so from blogging - where do the days go and why must they melt into weeks before I know it?

Well, the Japanese pattern is coming along nicely and I will give you a peek into that very soon but for now here's a looksy at my latest kitchen creation....

I haven't named it yet - it has too many things going on for me to pin down a name... If you have an idea of a name let me know - I'll even try to put together a recipe of sorts for you!!! (Sometimes it's nice to just not use a recipe and throw in food favourites that you think will work and this creation is one of those)

It has a fig, honeycomb and macadamia biscuit base, a layer of caramel choc rolo cheesecake, followed with a white chocolate and maple layer, then topped with a whipped cream swirl and some home made old fashioned toffee (you know the sort you used to pour into patty cases and decorate with hundreds and thousands to sell at the school fete as kids) scrawls. 

And if you must know this creation is a total diet abomination!!!! 1050cals per serve and over 60g of fat - eat at your own risk but relish in the tastiness... sadly my current eating plan just does not allow for that much of a blow out so all twelve of my mini creations travelled to the local playgroup to be enjoyed my some other mums over coffee!

Oooh,., and my second Japanese pattern book has arrived in the mail too - I promise to share some of it's absolute gorgeousness with you in my next post!

For now though, it is well past my bedtime, so nighty night!


Mar 4, 2012

The Yummiest Little Uglies... Rustic Date & Walnut Scones

You're Mumma probably told you, "Never judge a book by it's cover"

Well, today I give you the yummiest little uglies: Rustic Date and Walnut Scones . . . don't hate them because they're ugly.

They taste DE-LisH-Ous!

They are super easy and quick to make . . . under 30 minutes, from start to finish . . . from idea or craving to afternoon tea!

They are a bit of a throw together combo of a base recipe my Mum gave me years ago, some of my favourite sweet ingredients and a craving for home baked afternoon tea today.

Rustic Date & Walnut Scones


Scone Base
3 cups Self Raising Flour
1 Tbs Castor Sugar
80g Butter
250ml Milk

100g Walnuts
100g Dates
100g Sugar
60g Butter
1tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nugmeg


Make filling first by processing dates and walnut in food processor until evenly mixed and blended.

In heavy based pot melt butter and mix in sugar until dissolved. Be mindful not to burn butter.
Then stir in the dates and walnuts and set aside to cool slightly whilst baking scone base.

In a bowl combine flour and sugar. Add in softened butter and rub together till like fine breadcrumbs. *The quickest easiest way to do this is with a pastry blender tool but if you don't have one you can achieve the same using a balloon egg whisk.

Add ALL the milk at once and use a knife to cut it in (basically use knife in place of spoon - this is to help avoid over kneading and mixing which will make your mix cook tough and heavy rather than light and fluffy)
Once just combined tip out onto lightly floured surface and knead LIGHTLY (only 4 -5 times - remember light and fluffy!)

Using your hands and the heel of your palm flatten the dough out into two rectangles about 1cm thick . . . don't worry about getting it perfect - in shape or thickness - this recipe is called 'rustic' for a reason . . . we're not going for pretty here.

Spread slightly cooled filling evenly over flattened dough - just leave about 2cm along one long edge that will be the outside of your roll.
Roll up to form two long rolls and then using a sharp knife slice into rolls approximately 1 -2 cms thick.

Lay rolls about 1cm apart on lightly greased tray and bake at 200c for 10 minutes.
Allow to cool on cooling rack.

ENJOY... Just the right crunch on the outside . . . super fluffy and light on the inside . . . with yummy, yummy hits of sweet buttery, walnut and date goodness!

I have to admit, even I thought, "UUUUG-LY!" as these came out of the oven . . . but they smelt divine and please take my word for it - bake up some of these Date & Walnut Rustic Scones.

And if you can't handle the sweetness, don't like dates, or walnuts aren't your thing . . . the base recipe makes the most delicious and easy scones - perfect for jam & cream . . . simply roll out to about 2-3 cms thick and use a scone cutter to cut and bake as for the scone scrolls! 

Happy Days ☺

All in pieces

Seriously . . .

Are you a one project person, start to finish?

Or do you start one, then another, then another and have a few on the go at a time?

Me? I'm the latter . . .  I start one project then intersperse it with the beginnings of others . . . sometimes this leads to distraction and in-completion . . .  other times it just works!

A few weeks back I made these gorgeous dollies for my two little princesses. . .

Let me introduce you to Big Little Miss M's new BFF, Jemima (what can I say - the girl loves her some playschool)

This next one is Little Little Miss M's new bubba . . .  Abbey - not sure where or  what inspired the name but she was adamant right from the beginning that her dolly would be called Abbey, and she has not wavered on it since - which is a little special in the ever changing world of a 2 and a half year old!

Yes, the Japanese project is underway. . .
but I thought I'd just give you a peek at another little project I'm also working on.

I began cutting another two dolls. . .

when Little Little Miss M wanders in, enquires as to my makings and then promptly put in a special request.... so one of these 'all in pieces' dolls is going to be a little extra special!

Three more Bit of Whimsy dolls . . .  One  a custom order . . .  one to find a new home when completed and one a special order by Little Little Miss M..

Can you guess what she wanted? I was a little surprised by the request but I'll let you know what it was in due course . . . ooh the mystery . . . the suspense . . .  lol, it must be late and yes I do need to get some more sleep!


Be back soon with a first glimpse of the 'Japanese Project'

Mar 3, 2012

My first Japanese pattern book ...LOVE ♥

I'd been hanging by the letter box, day after day, from about 7 days after I ordered this gorgeous book... 

Three and a half weeks later it arrived and I fell in instant love/lust with all it's gorgeous glossy pics of adorable girls wearing super simplistic styles whilst looking fabulously stylish (yes, I am gushing).

Yes, the book is in Japanese (save for a few titles) and no, I do not speak, read or understand Japanese... but everything I'd read on other lovely blogs raving about these books and the need to not be able to read the instructions inspired me.

I am not disappointed... although basic, the diagrams will be more than sufficient (says, I whom have not yet put scissors to fabric nor thread to machine on this project) to work it out.

After much to and fro I finally settled on the blouse pictured above left... partly because I've always had a thing for square necklines and also because it's perfect for this time of year here in Oz... Autumn is now upon us and the weather will soon start to cool... how adorable is this bit of loveliness going to look teamed with some leggings (or when my next Japanese pattern book arrives - yes, I've already ordered another - there are some beautiful pants in it that will work wonderfully).

So, first things first, check out the pattern sheet... this awesome book comes with 23 full size patterns, in 5 sizes for each.... and guess what?

They are all printed, front and back, on one large sheet (big enough to almost cover my dining table), and overlaying one another... oh, I feel a glass of red would go nicely in hand whilst I absorb this one!

Okay, glass of red on standby along with a few tools... 

Here's how I began:

Normally, with PDF patterns, I'd print them out on regular paper then use a serrated tracing wheel to trace the indents onto a large newspaper end roll sheet. But I couldn't bear to mark any of this book, including the pattern sheet... and even if I wanted to there was just far too many patterns overlaying one another to ever be able to do it this way without utterly destroying the pattern sheet.

So, I used one cheap, generic roll of baking paper - the generic stuff came on a roll about 30m long and is not at all waxy (or non-stick mind you... I never use it for baking but it's perfect for patterns) and is stronger than tissue paper, cheaper than lightweight interfacing and still translucent enough to trace through without a light box or the need to sticky tape it to a large window!

And, then I simply got tracing the old school way... easy really, the hardest part of this step was finding the right pieces amongst the bazillion on the page! 
(They are referenced with a letter to correspond to the design so it's not that hard - just a little tiring on the eyes... nothing a nice slow sip of a good red doesn't fix or soothe!)

So, I got to tracing... it pretty much took the better part of a whole afternoon (with the expected kiddy interruptions, queries and curiosity).

I went a bit OCD and decided to colour code the pattern pieces according to size... the prettiness of it all makes me happy.

I used BIC branded fine permanent markers in a rainbow of colours... they are fab - they don't bleed through or smudge and the colours are just so darn pretty!

This pile of cuttings above... not so pretty LOL!

Ooh... look, all pieces finally cut, sorted, and now labelled - kind of like a guessing game reliant on only a little sewing knowledge... mainly to be able to guess front to back pieces but the diagrams in the book do help... If you love jigsaw puzzles you'll breeze these!

Me, I'm not one for ever having followed sewing instructions or set traditional store bought patterns... give me a finished picture and just a few pointers and I'm much more happier!
(One day I'll tell you about my first sewing project done in secondary school at the mandatory sewing lessons we had back then... It was not good... I believe I scraped a 'D' mark and the pant's I made were beyond hideous!)

Let me know if you've used any Japanese pattern books... better yet tell me of your favourite all time foreign pattern book (yes, help me feed my new found penchant for this)... and pop back soon to see how I go with this one!

So, cross your fingers for me, wish me luck... it's time to put scissors to fabric and thread to machine and see what little bit of loveliness can be churned from my machine! 


Mar 2, 2012

Tweaking and rejuvenating!

Well, what do you think?
I've tweaked the layout and decided to rejuvenate the blog layout a little...

I think this new layout is a little less cluttered now to set about cleaning up and neatening my side bar...

And then I'll be back with a bit of a follow along on my latest project -I've fallen in LOVE with Japanese pattern books!!!


Mar 1, 2012

A Random Rambling...

Tonight the hubs and I had a night out together - just us, no kids in sight. Just for fun and for a laugh I kept referring to it all day as "date night"... each time I did it earnt an exaggerated eye roll from the husband which just made me laugh more and resolve to keep on referring to it more often as such at random points in the day.

Seriously, I love my two little girls beyond any words could quantify (and who before my eyes are growing up WAY. TOO. FAST) but it is nice to enjoy those rare and quiet times where it feels like we are a couple again rather than two people muddling through this thing called adulthood, responsibility and attempts at raising well rounded and balanced children.

Now don't get too excited for me... our "date night" was the simple bliss of a new release movie watched at the local cinema -  but oh how I'm sure all you parents will know how these simple, little things, taken for granted without their worth realised pre-children can take on immense currency once they are an almost forgotten memory lost amongst the laundry, nappies, laughter, tears, needs and wants of the little people who steal your heart and warm your soul...

Anyway, just a random funny (well I thought so anyhow)... Hubby and I have such different movie viewing styles - if there is such a thing. I'm one of those annoying cinema whisperers... a speculative and always guessing movie viewer... and I just feel like I'm busting if I can't tell someone as the thought, speculation or guess comes to mind. The hubby on the other hand relishes total movie viewing silence... a film totally devoid of viewer conversation... total and solitary absorption. He even threatens (jokingly so) to sit at the opposite end of the seating row from me... 

All this brought about a rather light, semi joking, homeward bound car conversation... The hubby is just not a talker, not big on conversation... I'm the opposite. We laughed at how when you watch the news and they have the feel good segment with the couple celebrating their silver or golden wedding anniversary that the interviewer will always ask for the secret to a long marraige and the answer is often something like  'communication'... we laughed at what our tip would be and we settled on 'tolerance'... He tolerates my incessant natter and talking (with many a shush) and my constant sentences beginning with, "I've been thinking..." and I tolerate his shushes, his annoying habits - like cinema silence, compulsive tv channel flicking,   and need to nap at any given chance (you know, the big stuff... LOL) 

Yep, I often think we are an odd couple... but it works... sometimes it's hard work... other times its not... some days we can make each other laugh till it hurts... and others we can infuriate each other to eye-popping extremes (well... maybe not that bad... hmmm... maybe?).

We had a nice night, I feel happy... 

I have a wonderful partner in my husband and we've been blessed with two gorgeous and precious little girls... I am grateful and I just wanted to share it!

Little Little Miss M and Daddy... I LOVE this photo... It makes my heart smile :)

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