Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas shirts

I'm a bit pushed for time this Christmas so I wasn't going to make shirts, but my oldest asked for one, so I scrounged up three new white T-shirts from around the house, in the right sizes, and had a go at some reverse applique.

I'm converted! It's so much easier (for me and my machine, anyway) than regular applique.

I used this tutorial.

The Christmas tree is a size 4 for 3.5 year old Alastair, the bell is a size 2 for 17-month-old Evelyn, and the star is a size 6 for 7 year old Emma. Emma usually wears about a size 8 but this is technically a 'boys' t-shirt and pretty roomy.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Still waiting for my mojo to return ...

... but I finally finished a sewing project.

This is a doll/toy mei tai for a little girl's second birthday. Reversible - and I figured the brown straps would hide the red dirt well where she lives up in the north of Western Australia!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lazy update-by-photos

Home-made finger buns. FINALLY found a recipe that my kids will eat in lieu of the Baker's Delight ones - all I did was add an extra tablespoon of sugar to a white bread recipe, do the dough in the breadmaker, and the key is to put them close together on the tray so they have the joins like the bakery ones. Oh, and undercook them a little compared to what you would do regular bread, so they'll be soft rather than crusty.

Custard apples ... the only thing I can grow, and no-one here really eats them. Palmed a couple off on friends and added one to a batch of strawberry sorbet for sweetness. Amazingly, these things sell for up to $8 each in the shops!!

Chocolate cupcakes for Miss Emma's seventh birthday, to take to school. Icing is natural food colouring.

Cake for her birthday party, she only wanted a love heart and didn't mind that it was a bit of a slipshod decorating job, heh. It does say "Emma" in sprinkles.

And the birthday girl herself.

Really bad photo of the Milo vest I knitted Evie; I finished this a while ago but had no pics. I've lost my yarn needle so the ends still haven't been woven in! Argh.

There's one important domestic art every mother should teach her son - how to make a good coffee.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Bad, bad blogger, I know! Life got in the way.

I haven't been doing much crafting lately anyway, but I need to get into gear for Christmas.

One thing I have been doing is making bread. I was lucky enough to find a breadmaker, in perfect working order, on my local Freecycle group. Only one suburb away, too!

This thing is awesome. I did make bread before, sometimes. But I had two issues: firstly, finding a big enough block of time to mix, knead, prove, knead, prove, bake, because we're in and out a lot most days. The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day takes care of that, but the kids don't like the artisan-style bread. The second issue is that I'm a lazy kneader and the bread was never light and fluffy enough.

I was buying about 4 loaves of preservative-free bread, and a bag of rolls, each week. Plus my partner kept buying lunch because neither of us got organised enough to make sandwiches. The past couple of weeks, I've bought one loaf of bread a week, and he has taken savoury scrolls for lunch.

Savoury Scrolls

1 quantity of your favourite bread dough
pizza sauce, pesto or some other kind of sauce
grated cheese
other toppings, e.g. ham, bacon, chopped onion, mushrooms, capsicum, sundried tomatoes, pineapple.

After its first rise, roll out the dough into a large rectangle.

Spread with sauce, add other toppings and sprinkle with cheese (reserving a little cheese).

Roll up, starting from the long side. When you've rolled it into a log, pinch the edge a bit so it sticks. Cut into 2cm pieces.

Place either in a large round cake pan, or on a tray (depending on whether you want the scrolls to join up or not). Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for about 30 minutes.

Sprinkle with reserved cheese, and bake in a preheated 180 deg C oven for about 15 minutes or until browned and hollow-sounding.

When cooled, they can be wrapped and frozen individually. Just pull one out each morning for lunch!


The breadmaker does make a funny-shaped loaf, so if I have time I just do the dough in there, roll in sesame seeds and bake it in a loaf tin. But for when I don't, the time delay function is awesome, being able to wake up to freshly-baked bread!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Something I never thought I'd make myself ...

... bathers!

And I'm just a teeny bit reluctant to keep pasting the photos 'round the internet (but it just doesn't work on my dressmaker's dummy), so I'm just going to link, because a link is easily removed:

The link to the free pattern I used is there. The pattern instructions were awful! I did find a blog with some hints on construction, thank goodness, but I still made a bunch of errors that I'll do differently next time. There probably will be a next time, because despite the shortcomings of the instructions, it went together quite easily, and with a few adjustments, could be quite flattering. As flattering as any swimsuit is when you've had three children, anyway ;)

I do really like the cut of the legs - true boy-leg styles make my legs look really short, but I'm not a fan of high-cut these days.

We're heading to the Gold Coast in two weeks, and my old bathers have completely given up the ghost, so I figured it was worth a shot. The fabric cost about $10.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New things I've made to sell

For two custom orders:

Loving these new fabrics, they are polyester PUL so suitable for nights, and super-flexible and soft.

I should have some up in the Madeit shop soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spring is coming

The nectarine and plum trees are flowering. Lots of bees buzzing around doing their work - hopefully lots of fruit this year!

I also bought a Pinkabelle apple tree. Despite the pukeworthy name, it's pretty cool - a dwarf Pink Lady apple tree. I'm going to plant it in a large pot with Evelyn's placenta (placentas are chock full of nutrients), which has been in the freezer for just over a year. It's partially self-fertile, which is lucky as it's the only dwarf apple tree variety available in Western Australia due to quarantine restrictions. I don't have the space for a full-size apple tree right now. So hopefully in a couple of years we will have yummy apples!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I have been battling really bad headaches lately, so haven't managed to post much.

I made these all-in-one nappies for a friend (she supplied the fabric - funky, huh?), I hope she likes them!

They are true AIOs:

I also made a gymnastics leotard from lycra remnants for Emma from a 1980s kids sewing magazine:

I altered it from the original by finishing the edges in a narrow fold-over elastic. Super-easy! I don't know why the photo program cut the top off ...

Monday, July 27, 2009

Making butterfly cakes with Emma

Butterfly cakes are a classic from my childhood :)

I made this Iggle Piggle (character from a BBC children's TV show) for Evelyn's birthday, which is in TWO DAYS! Eep. I feel a little guilty, because I'm not quite as excited as I have been over my other two children's first birthdays. Here isn't really the place to go into it, but the birth trauma somewhat overshadows the excitement.

Aaaanyway, on the lighter side, here is a somewhat wonky, but made with love, Iggle Piggle.

All fabric from stash, including gorgeously soft pale blue cuddle fleece I picked up as a remnant for $2 a couple of years ago.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ten things I can't believe I used to buy at the supermarket!

1. Microwave popcorn. Ew. So many things wrong with this - the cost, the additives, the Teflon-coated bag. I was pleasantly surprised to discover how easy popcorn is to make on the stovetop, and how cheap a kilo of popcorn kernels is (which makes a heck of a lot of popcorn). Air-poppers are pretty cheap, too, but I like the butter and oil version.

2. Gravy powder (Gravox/Bisto). Mmmmmm, flour, salt - so much salt!, MSG, artificial caramel colouring. Yum. I used to use it for flavouring/thickening casseroles as well as for making gravy. Now I just season with herbs and spices, thicken with cornflour and make my own gravy if need be.

3. Powdered stock. Same sort of deal as number two. Chicken stock and vegie stock are really easy to make.

4. Maggi/Continental recipe mixes. Again, a few herbs and spices and a whole whack of "bad numbers". I learned some basic herb/spice combinations instead, just as quick really and a whole lot yummier (and cheaper).

5. Polony (also known as Devon, probably has a bunch of other names - pink lunchmeat made from God-knows-what). Yeeeees. Enough said.

6. Disposable nappies. Quite a few years ago now. A complete waste of money, terrible for the environment and I'm not keen on putting all those chemicals near my baby's bottom.

7. Yogurt. OK, so I still buy fancy yogurt sometimes, but for day-to-day I make my own with the EasiYo (I don't use the entire sachet each time). One day I'd like to learn to make it the proper way.

8. Supermarket meat. Two things wrong with this - tastes awful, and the animals were probably treated awfully. Also expensive. I now try to buy in bulk from places that, if not certified organic, follow organic/biodynamic/free range principles, and the meat is fresher. If I am not organised enough for that, at least I buy from a butcher, who can tell me where the meat comes from and how old it is.

9. Supermarket fruit and vegetables. Again, expensive, poor quality, has probably been in cold storage forever. I used to get an organic seasonal box delivered, which I stopped when we went Failsafe and haven't started again. At the moment I buy from local growers' markets - the most convenient one to me usually has a few types of fruit for 99c/kilo when the supermarket will sell it for $2.99 and it'll taste worse. The fruit from the growers' market tends to have small blemishes and lumps and bumps, but it still tastes better!

10. Custard powder. Custard is really quite easy to make from scratch, and it doesn't turn out that weird shade of yellow.

I'm not perfect, by any measure. We eat takeaway food sometimes, and I'm a big fan of some convenience items like frozen vegies just in case. However, making these kinds of changes over a few years, has saved me a lot of money on my grocery bill (and has enabled me to purchase many organic staples now instead of entirely conventional), and surely been of benefit both to my family and the environment.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Artisan bread in five minutes a day

Surely I must be the absolute last person in the blogosphere to try this!

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

This is the first loaf from the first batch, and it is SO yummy, and SO easy! I think I might ask for the book for my birthday in September.

A quilt block ...

... of sorts.

My lovely friend Emma (as opposed to my lovely daughter Emma) is going to give birth to a new baby soon, and I was privileged to attend a beautiful blessingway for her last weekend. Everyone brought some fabric or a quilt block to be made into a snuggly quilt for mum and bub.

After a bit of thought, I made this:

Waves make me think of birth, as does sunset for some reason (maybe because I went into labour in the evening, who knows?) and this is a representation of that. It's made from Didymos wrap scraps!! I had to overlock the edges because the fabrics fray very easily; I hope it isn't too difficult for whoever is making the quilt.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The present cupboard

One thing about having a child in school is that one gets a lot of birthday party invitations, at least when they're at the age where often the whole class is invited. My elder daughter is in Year One this year, and while last year it seemed many people had smaller parties, this year there have been a lot of whole-class parties. Add in children of my friends, and it can seem like we're constantly buying birthday presents. We don't have many children in our extended family, but of course many people would be buying for nieces and nephews or other relatives too.

So the present cupboard is a really good idea. I've just started building one up this year, although I've always picked up various things for my own children on sale throughout the year. Basically I've just extended that to buying small/medium-sized gifts that would appeal to a wide range of people in our circles of friends and family.

At the moment I have some children's books, some art stuff, some nice notebooks (which would work for adults too), a toy cooking set and some wooden food. I also try to make gifts when I get a chance, but I'm often forgetful and leave it until the last minute. Sometimes I pair a bought gift with something handmade, which is a nice touch.

Who else has a present/gift cupboard? What kind of things do you generally have in 'stock'?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I have been doing

Very little time for crafting lately, life has gotten in the way.

Firstly, I would like to say that I am now Ms Surprisingly Domestic, BA (Mass Comm.), Grad Dip (Lib. & Info. Studies). I completed my degree, yay!

Secondly, any spare energy, which isn't much, has been directed to activism on the proposed laws affecting homebirth.

I've made two submissions to committees, written one letter to a local Senator, and spoken to an adviser at my local MP's office (because my local MP is also Minister for Foreign Affairs and far too terribly busy to speak to little ol' me).

Here's one of my submissions, to the National Registration and Accreditation Project:

National Registration and Accreditation Implementation Project

By email

Submission re: Exposure draft of Health Practitioner Regulation National Law 2009 (Bill B)

My submission relates to the following two sections of the draft legislation:
101 (1a) (ii) that the registered health practitioner must not practise the
health profession unless professional indemnity insurance
arrangements are in force in relation to the practitioner’s
practice of the profession
Subdivision 6 General
148 Directing or inciting unprofessional conduct or professional misconduct
(1) A person must not direct or incite a registered health practitioner to do
anything, in the course of the practitioner’s practice of the health
profession, that amounts to unprofessional conduct or professional
Maximum penalty:
(a) in the case of an individual—$30,000, or
(b) in the case of a body corporate—$60,000.

Taken together, these two sections of the proposed legislation effectively criminalise homebirths attended by independent midwives. Midwife-attended homebirth is a choice currently made by only about one per cent of Australian women. Being in the minority, however, does not invalidate our choice, and I am concerned that Parliament may see fit to pass laws that remove women’s rights to bodily autonomy.

I myself had a traumatic hospital birth almost one year ago. I experience panic attacks when I have had to be in close proximity to the hospital in which this experience occurred, as well as flashbacks and nightmares relating to the birth. Should this legislation pass without alteration, if I have another baby, I will be forced to either return to this hospital to give birth, or give birth at home without trained assistance. I will choose to stay home, but my preferred option – and, statistically, the safest - would be to birth at home with the assistance of an independent midwife.

I propose two possible solutions to this problem:

I. Alter the legislation to provide an exemption for suitably qualified independent midwives. Independent midwives have been practicing without indemnity insurance for many years; or

II. Provide assistance to independent midwives to obtain indemnity insurance, so that they may continue to practice legally.

I did not think that, in Australia, it was acceptable to discriminate against a group of people because their health and lifestyle choices may be in the minority, but this is exactly what this proposed legislation would do. The wording of this legislation is indirect discrimination against homebirthing women. Indirect discrimination is illegal in the workplace under Equal Opportunity laws, so why is this double standard even being considered?

Yours sincerely,

Georgina Ker

What have you done to help protect women's rights? Don't leave it all to someone else! Pro forma letters are available - here is one originating from Justine Caines of Homebirth Australia:

Information Sheet - Writing a submission for the Community Affairs – Legislation Committee

Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills

This Senate Committee is receiving submissions until July 20, so please prioritise this. It is important and it will greatly help those of us at the ‘front’ of the lobbying activity.

You can email them to the Committee Secretary

{Your name}
{Your address}

Ms Claire Moore
Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee

By E-mail:

Dear Senator Moore

Re: Inquiry into Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) Bill 2009 and two related Bills

I write to express my concern about the above bills. I understand that these bills will enable Medicare funding, access to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and professional indemnity premium support for midwives providing care for women to give birth in hospital.

Medicare funding for midwifery care is long overdue. It is not acceptable however to exclude homebirth from this funding and indemnity arrangement. By doing this Australia is totally out of step with nations such as the United Kingdom, Canada, The Netherlands and New Zealand.

These nations support the rights of women to choose homebirth and fund a registered midwife through their national health scheme. In New Zealand and the U.K women have a legislative right to choose homebirth.

The intersection of this legislation with the national registration and accreditation of health professionals will prevent homebirth midwives from registering. I believe this to be an unintended consequence and ask that you take steps to include homebirth within the Health Legislation Amendment (Midwives and Nurse Practitioners) and related Bills.

I support a system where all consumers are treated equally, with the same access to funding and the same insurance protection.

{Please add your own comments here}

Yours sincerely

Your name

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tooting my own horn

Just trying to clear some of my fabric stash and justify buying more:

Items for sale on MadeIt

Puff pastry delights

I can't believe I've never made spinach and ricotta triangles before - they're so easy! This is adapted from a few different recipes and according to what was in the fridge.

Spinach and ricotta triangles

2 sheets puff pastry (I use Pampas butter puff pastry, because it hasn't got nasty numbers)
1 bunch English spinach, washed, ends trimmed
1/2 tub (about 125g) ricotta (Mundella has no preservatives)
handful grated cheddar cheese
a little grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 200 deg C.

Wilt spinach by placing in a colander and pouring boiling water over it. Drain well, and when cool enough, chop roughly. Place in bowl.

Add cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut puff pastry sheets into 9 squares each. Place filling in each square and fold over to make a triangle. Press edges firmly, place on baking tray.

Bake for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffy.

Then I had one sheet of pastry left over - three in a pack - so I invented this:

Cinnamon twists

1 sheet puff pastry
about a tbsp caster sugar
about a tsp ground cinnamon
melted butter


Preheat oven to 200 deg C.

Cut pastry sheet in half and brush with melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over one buttered pastry half.

Place the two halves together (buttered sides together). Cut into thin strips, about 1.5cm wide. Twist strips and place on a baking tray.

Bake for about 6-7 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

Is there anything puff pastry can't do?!?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Save homebirth! Shame on you, Nicola Roxon!

As of July next year, homebirth with a private midwife will be illegal in Australia, if legislation being introduced to Federal Parliament goes through.

How? Well, it will be illegal for a practitioner to attend a birth without insurance, and indemnity insurance isn't available to private midwives - and the government won't step in and help midwives get insurance. At the moment, midwives practice without insurance, and this is a risk they, and their clients, knowingly take on.

From my understanding, government-funded homebirth programs, such as the Community Midwifery Program here in WA, will still run, because the government covers insurance for them. However, these programs are very limited in scope: geographically; in terms of the number of places available; and in terms of a very narrow eligibility requirement. For example, I doubt I'd be able to get a place now because I've had two post-partum haemorrhages, a cervical tear and a 43 week pregnancy. Women who've had previous C-sections, are pregnant with twins or have a baby presenting breech at term are automatically excluded.

Whether or not *you* would want to have a homebirth - either at all or with any of those "risk factors" - is entirely your choice. But that's just what it should be: a choice. That choice is being taken away from Australian women.

Bewilderingly, our Health Minister, who is introducing this legislation, is a woman and a mother. Can she not see that this is a huge step backwards for women's rights?

Write your local member. Attend local rallies. Lobby senators (I think it's in the Senate, where the government relies on minor parties to get a majority, that we stand the best chance of defeating this Bill).

You might not want a homebirth, but what if your daughter did one day? Where does it end? What if all you want is a vaginal birth and suddenly the law told you that your care provider must perform a caesarean? Everyone has the right to informed consent ... unless you're a birthing woman.

Our bodies, our rights, our choice. Back off, Ms Roxon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Better late than never?!

I knitted this cushion cover for my friend's wedding present (the blue and red are almost identical to the theme colours they had for their wedding):

The buttoning bit is a bit wonky, and it's a bit big (I was paranoid it'd be too small for the smallest cushion insert, so I guess I over-compensated), but I made up the pattern myself and I'm pretty chuffed. Except for the funny part ...


The wedding was 18 months ago (I did buy her a gift at the time as well, I'm not a completely sucktastic friend). So, Tam, if you're reading this, I'm sorry I suck and we should meet up sometime soon so I can give you the world's most belated wedding present.

I had made an error on it, and I really, really hate undoing knitting, so it sat in the unfinished basket for ages. D'oh.

No more Ms Nice Woman!

So you know those nice humane mouse traps you can buy, where the mousey runs in, the door shuts, and then you take it and release it somewhere, and you're full of warm fuzzy love?

I gave you a chance, mouse. It's kill, kill, kill from here on in.

(I'm guessing it went in there last night, and before we got up this morning had managed to EAT ITS WAY OUT. The little bugger.)

Refashioned skirt

You'll have to take my word that this looks better on me than on the dress form! It *was* a size 22 Innovare skirt that I found on the $1 rack at my local op shop. Made in Australia, and simply gorgeous soft fabric. I am not a size 22.

I took all the seams in the required amount (which taught me a good deal about how a facing is sewn on to a skirt - I had to unpick the facing all the way round first), then tried it on and realised the length was unflattering too. I chopped a few inches off and now it hits just below my knees, which left a few inches of the slit in the back, just perfect!

Now that I have finished uni, it's vaguely conceivable I might do some out-of-the-home work at some point soonish, and all the stuff I wore in previous jobs is too small now :( (In all honesty, even if I were skin and bone, it would still be. My hips have expanded too. Not to mention my boobs.)

On a separate trip to the same op-shop - and purely by chance, as we were sheltering from the rain after Evelyn went to the chiropractor - I found the motherlode of secondhand Tupperware. Thirteen Modular Mates for $41! (Retail value: $266 new.) Made in Australia, interesting, cos it's not anymore.

Now envy my budget-priced organised pantry. I already owned some black-lidded ones, and these ones had green lids, but I'm not complaining:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A birthday gift

Emma has a birthday party to attend tomorrow, and of course I left the gift to the last minute. Enter the 1-hour bag tutorial, adapted a little to be child-sized. I also appliqued a matching T-shirt.

I got 1.5 metres of the pink canvas for $1.50 in the remnant bin at my local fabric store, so expect to see a lot more of it, hehe.

Playing catch-up

I did manage a few small projects while in stress-induced hibernation.

A library bag/tote bag - a birthday gift for one of Emma's school friends:

I repaired moth holes in a pair of longies that had been sitting in my repair basket forever:

Just for fun, here are the same longies on Alastair when I originally knitted them two years ago - he would have been about 15 or 16 months old.

Oh, and I converted a woven wrap to a mei tai:

(although the body length is too long, so I need to find the motivation to unpick it and fix it properly)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hello, out there!


Yes, I'm all done with uni now, so perhaps I'll find time to blog (or even time to do something to blog about. My exam was yesterday and I've already finished a couple of lingering knitting projects that had been languishing at the bottom of the basket. Including a wedding present I was knitting for a friend. Her wedding was in November 2007. Oh dear.

Friday, May 15, 2009

We're doing a Nappycino knit-along for a headband, and what better reason to procrastinate on the uni assignment I should be doing??

Pattern: DROPS 86-10 headband
Needles: 4.5mm 40cm Addi Turbo circulars (circs not required, but it made the project more portable)
Yarn: some New Zealand 12ply felted lambswool leftover from another project

A nice easy knit, it only took me 48 hours and it's not as if that was un-interrupted.

And here's the zippered pouch I mentioned in my last post:

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mother's Day gifts

This year I bought two canvases, some paint, and let my six- and three-year-olds express their creativity for their grannies. It cost us very little, but hopefully our mums will appreciate it.

I also whipped up a little boxy pouch from this tutorial for my partner's mother, and added a nice all-natural soap from the health food store. I will do the same for my mum, although I'm actually not seeing her tomorrow (sorry, Mum!)

I must say that tutorial is simple yet ingenious. A perfect use for small pieces of fabric, perfect for gifts, and even I, who am extremely zipper-challenged, managed it without issue.

Product reviews

When shopping for my shiny new food processor recently, and with some other major purchases over the last couple of years, I've read a lot of product reviews. A great site for reviews by real users is Product Review Australia. You can earn reward points for each review you write - and if you join and use me as your referrer, I get reward points for each review you write too ;)

My email is georgina dot ker at gmail dot com, but really, I don't mind if you don't use it - it really is a useful site for many consumer purchases!

Monday, May 4, 2009

'Tis the season ...

... to make pants?!?

Well, the changing of the seasons tends to be the time when one needs to make things for children, when you realise they've outgrown all of last winter's things! I thought Evelyn was going to need a whole 'new' (i.e. op-shopped or homemade) wardrobe, but then I discovered three tubs of clothes in the shed, that I'd forgotten about. Woohoo.

I did still make her these two pairs of pants from the Little Comet Tails Crescent Moon Yoga Pants pattern. One pair is polar fleece with ribbing for the waist - it's only one layer of fleece so not really enough for a nappy cover, but cozy all the same. The other is a gorgeously soft wool jersey, slightly felted. I ran it through a warm wash, but not hot, so it's still stretchy. I used two layers in the 'crescent', and lanolised it, so it should hold up as a daytime nappy cover.

(The wool pair is showing the back of the pants, a perfect pattern for cloth nappies.)

Excuse the half-plastered wall in the background. We'll get it finished one of these days. I wish I could make the children stop being cute in front of it.

I made one more pair of pants last weekend for a little birthday boy (or not-so-little, since he turned four). He likes bright colours and bold prints: I think these fit the bill.

All these fabrics have been in my stash for ages.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some pants for Emma

These ones were made out of my favourite pyjama pants that had a persistent hole at one seam - I repaired it twice and then gave up.

These are made out of two fabrics that Emma chose on two separate visits to the fabric shop. I didn't have enough of either to make an entire garment, now that she's getting bigger!

And just for fun, my creative "space", characterised by a lack of space ;)

and one of my creative inspirations:

My new toy

Magimix 3200

I've never had a food processor before. It's very shiny! It came with a dough blade, a whisk blade, a cutting blade, and three discs. Three different sized bowls. Twelve year motor guarantee. Drool drool.

There's a lot of from-scratch food preparation on Failsafe. I figured I could do with the helping hand.

Here's the first result:

A yummy scroll. Not a cinnamon scroll because we're not allowed cinnamon. Yes, it's mostly eaten, lol!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

'Lemon' poppyseed muffins

'Lemon' poppyseed muffins (makes 12)
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup white sugar/caster sugar
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup/60g butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup good vanilla or natural yogurt
1 egg
2 tsp citric acid dissolved in 1tbsp water
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.

Mix wet ingredients in a separate container.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently until combined - don't overmix.

Spoon into muffin pans.

Bake at 180 degrees for about 15 minutes (I think my oven runs hot/cooks fast, so adjust accordingly)
Poppy seeds are apparently an excellent source of calcium and manganese, and a good source of iron and protein. My kids just like them on bread.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why I breastfeed in public

Why I breastfeed in public

Perhaps it makes most sense to start this essay with the myths about why I might breastfeed in public. These are all 'reasons' that have been put forward by people from my city over the past week:

1. I'm selfish. I don't quite understand this one. It brings me no particular pleasure to breastfeed in public. It's about my baby, not me. Her needs, not your preferences, nor mine.

2. I'm irresponsible. This one makes even less sense than the previous one. Surely it would be irresponsible not to feed my baby - if I'm feeding her breastmilk, or even formula, I'd say I've got at least one part of this parenting gig right.

3. I like to titillate (pun intended) and/or offend members of the public. I'd love if no-one was offended or seeing it as a sexual thing, because it's not. I take no pleasure in people's negative reactions. Look the other way if it offends you; if it arouses you, you have issues.

4. I want people to share in my moment of joyous bonding with my child. No, honestly, I don't want you to share anything. Just don't look!

5. I'm making a political point. Actually, I will be on Thursday when I attend a nurse-in outside the WA Premier's office, but I can honestly say that if you see me feeding my baby on a bus or in a shopping centre, I am not trying to make a point.

OK, so the real reasons ...

... there's only one. My baby's hungry: she has a right to eat, and this is how I feed her (a method which is the biological norm for our species). I really don't need any other reason.

Additional points

1. I don't breastfeed with a blanket over my baby's head. For those who choose to, fine, but I think it draws more attention to what we're doing, and more to the point, it would annoy my baby incredibly.

2. I also don't show much, 90 per cent of the time, when I feed. Not because I'm particularly concerned about modesty, but because I don't see the need to. Babies do go through stages of being very curious and unlatching all the time to look behind them, or being fussy at the breast and going off and on. At these times, you might catch a glimpse of a nipple, if you're staring at me. You'd definitely see more with some of the 'fashions' people choose to wear in public. I've breastfed a toddler in Brunei and Dubai airports, and on Royal Brunei Airlines flights, with no problems, and those are places with far more conservative views than Perth, Australia, surely!

3. Babies are unpredictable in their feeding times. To try and force a baby into a feeding schedule so that one can plan outings around feeding times, can be dangerous for the baby and detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship.

4. Expressing milk and feeding it from a bottle when I'm right there is pretty pointless, and can also cause mastitis, supply drops and nipple confusion, again endangering the breastfeeding relationship. In addition, many mothers - myself included - find it extremely difficult to express any significant amount of milk.

5. I am not 'staying home until my baby weans'. Two years or more? HAH. That's just silly.

But really, as I said, none of these reasons matter. It's a human rights issue. My baby has the right to eat. Period. Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed said baby, and not breastfeeding has many risks or costs to baby, mother, and society in general.

Failsafe garlic steak with couscous salad

I invented this tonight. It was quite tasty for a Failsafe meal, though not as good as the Moroccan-spiced version I used to make :(


however much steak serves 4 ppl (I think I had about 600g of blade steak, but that's just a guess, and I know some people are big meat eaters and some aren't)
1 cup couscous
chicken/vegie stock
1/2 red cabbage, chopped
1 large leek, sliced
1 stick celery, finely chopped (I don't actually like the taste of celery, so VERY finely chopped )
2 cloves garlic, crushed
garlic salt
sea salt
failsafe oil/butter


Rub some garlic salt into the steak and grill/pan fry as you like. Rest the meat after cooking.

Meanwhile, heat a couple of tsp oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, leek & celery and cook until softened. Add cabbage and about a 1/4 cup chicken or vegie stock. Bring to the boil, and cook, stirring, until cabbage begins to soften; then turn heat down and leave at a low simmer until needed.

Add 1 cup of boiling water or stock to the couscous in a heatproof bowl, leave for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Combine cabbage mixture and couscous. Season with a little ground sea salt.

Slice steak thinly and serve on top of couscous/cabbage mixture.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Just a simple knit top, but I'm pleased with how well it fits. The fabric cost $3 from the op-shop and it's a lovely weight for autumn. I get warm easily so the sleeve length is perfect!

And here's my little boy getting crafty: