Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mummy Daughter Date

My daughter has been nagging for a few weeks to go to the Quilt and Craft Fair in Perth this week. Now I'm a crafty person and you would think I would love these things. And don't get me wrong, I like going to them....but $22 for myself and my daughter to get in...ouch. And I find that the majority of the stalls are the same stalls that were there last year. And the year before that.
Anyhow I digress.

My daughter had a good time. We ended up strolling through the city, and popped over to the Made on the Left pop up market. Not much was going on, only about 8 stalls.

Then we decided to do some sight seeing. Perth doesn't have a huge amount of stuff to see and look at, but nonetheless, still has some gems.

Photos are of us being goofs and a quote at London courts.

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Creative Space

Is running a little late, I think it's still Thursday somewhere in the world??

This week I have been doing lots of sewing. More long sleeve hoodies, beanies and a coat for me. But today I'm cutting out bias strips to make bunting flags. For christmas last year I bought myself a simplicity bias binder. What a nifty little machine this is, wind the cut strips on the spool and it will run through the machine and fold and iron it for you. Very cool. My only complaint is my machine gives off a really strong smell. It smells even when the machine is off.

More creative goodness can be found here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pleated Skirts for My Girls

Pattern: Prep School Pleated Skirt by Little Lizard King
Fabrics: Red and Cherry Corduroy and cotton print from Crafty Mamas, burgundy cord from Spotlight.

Pattern Alterations: I added length on the burgundy skirt, my daughter likes them knee length. I also made it so it sits differently at the front, like a solid panel.

Pattern Comments: Easy pattern to follow. I got a bit confused by the elasic bit, but then I hadn't done it like this before. I'll probably use this method of enclosing the elastic again. Sizing is 1y-10y and measurements for a 18"doll too. After making two skirts, I'm confident in being able to measure up a skirt for any size.

I really like this pattern. The skirt comes together well and the instructions are well presented with lots of pictures. I can see more of these skirts being made for my daughters. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More on Breadmaking

Oh Belinda I spoke too soon!

The day after my previous post, I loaded up my breadmaker, pressed all the buttons and left it to make dough. Unfortunately the machine was sitting to close to the edge of the bench and during kneading it fell off the bench. The lid cracked and it couldn't be closed properly.

I recieved the breadmaker for my 19th birthday preasant, I'm now 31, so I have got a good number of years out it. But I was still disappointed.

Anyway, on the bright side, my making bread by hand is steadily getting better. Getting the bread to rise sufficiently has been a problem. It takes several hours and the dough is still not that well risen. The inside of my house is too cold, and I live in a coastal town, so although the sun is nice and warm, the wind has a cooling effect on the dough. Not good.

I read on another blog that placing a cup of water in the microwave, then zapping it to boil the water, then placing the dough in the microwave can work. And it does! The steam from the water combined with the contained space, creates a nice warm environment for the dough.

Hmm, I'm off to make bread ;)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bread Making

I think I'm finally getting the hang of this bread making thing. I little while ago I set the lofty goal of baking my own bread everyday, then proceeded to make some pretty dismal loaves....5kg of flour later and I think I might be getting it right.

I'm using the recipie from Rhonda over at Down to Earth blog, (i'll add the link in later, not sure how to do it on my phone), with some changes. Firstly, I'm using more yeast that Rhonda. I started of with yeast that is not foil packed and in the stated amounts. The dough was heavy, difficult to kneading and slow to rise. The loaves were too dense, even the chooks weren't that into them.

So then I changed the yeast brand. It helped, but the loaves were still far to dense. So I increased the yeast amount to a while sachet, which I think is 7g. At this point I decided to add in a short cut as well. I have a bread maker, but I hate the shape of the loaf. However, my breadmaker has a dough option, so for the 1st kneading and rise I let the breadmaker do the work.

So far so good. My breadmaker also has a time delay option, so i can load the ingredients, pre-set the machine to be ready first thing in the morning and have fresh bread ready for school lunches in the morning.

Cool hey :)

On a cost comparison, bread can cost generally from $1.20 to $3.50 for a store bought loaf. I usually spend about $2.80 as I prefer to buy loaves I know my family will eat and I tend to buy several at a time, so I buy bread I know will freeze and thaw really well.
Home made bread doesn't keep very long, but then it is so scrummptious it tends not to last long anyway. The ingredients cost around $1.20 for a large loaf, that is a loaf that is white with no extra seeds etc. I know i can get flour cheaper, but have been reluctant to buy in bulk quantities until I'm sure I've got the hang of baking bread.

So on a cost basis, based on my normal buying habits, I'm saving $1.60 a loaf. Not much on one loaf but we go through two loaves a day so that is $3.20 a day. Or $22.40 a week. In the course of a year it is a potential saving of $1164.80.

My next experimenting will be in baking to freeze so that I can have a few loaves in reserve for times when we are running short, too just, kids are sick, I'm sick etc. I also want to play around with making rolls too.