Make It Your Own

Make it unique. Make it yourself. Make it your own

Think I Might Start Blogging Again 6 May, 2010

Filed under: Home cooking,Thoughts,Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 9:24 pm

It’s been a long time since my last post but I have a very good reason for this. J is now 15 months old and has just started walking. He is real cutie and loves his Dad. He is very sweet and has a gentle nature. I’m a stay-at-home Mum and after a year or so I feel that life has a rhythm and  an improvement in my health and energy levels means that I’ve doing and thinking and changing a few things. I’ve been having the urge to get a few things out of my head and onto a page so I thought I’d use my already existing blog as a kind of journal. You can read it not as you please but I hope some of my thoughts might inspire or inform someone.

Vegetables

The vegetable garden is going well at the moment. We’ve been eating butternuts and capsicums and a bit of New Zealand spinach occasionally as well as lots of herbs. We had the usual heatwaves over summer so the beans didn’t so well and butternuts almost died. The tomatoes were good though and the basil too. We decided that beans would grow better when the weather is cooler so we planted some at the beginning of autumn in a newly manured bed. Success! I picked a huge bunch of beans today and they were as sweet and crisp as you could want. I think beans are my favourite vegetable. Tonight for tea we had risotto with butternut and grilled capsicum, basil and thyme and beans on the side. The vegies were all fresh from the garden, except the onion and garlic. J likes risotto. It makes excellent baby and toddler food.

Speaking of onion and garlic, we have planted out a bed of onions, garlic and carrots. The onions were from a punnet, the garlic from the organic green grocer and the carrot from seed M saved a year ago. The garlic is up and the carrots have germinated along with lots of weed seeds but we’ll pull those out once they are bigger. We also have some spinach, lettuce and broccoli in the beds and some more brassica seedlings in the shade house. I’ve made a bed ready for podding peas but we haven’t planted them yet.

Make it your own…FOOD

I’ve been thinking about where our food comes from and what goes in it. Food these days is an industry with factories and machines, preservatives and palm oil. Highly processed food is not the kind of food I want to eat. It might be cheap to buy in many cases but it isn’t cheap for our bodies or the earth. God has given me the skills and knowledge to cook my own food and large garden to grow it and I want to do more of it. I also don’t want to put highly refined sugars and vegetable oils into the little body of my son. Below is a list of some of the things I’ve been doing myself…

Bread (in the bread machine)

Pizza

Herbal tea (herbs grown in the garden and used fresh or dried)

Cordial

Jam

Chutney and pickles

Stock (usually chicken)

Some vegetables and fruit

Eggs (we have six chickens)

Baking (biscuits, cake, scones etc)

Chicken patties (I use chicken thighs, bread and vegies and put it through my Kitchen Aid mincer attachment)

These are all fairly easy things for me to do, except for the heavy stuff in the garden of course. I think the two most important things here are the bread making and the baking. Industrial bread and biscuits are filled with all sorts of awful things and a lot of the time I don’t like the taste anyway. Our homemade wholemeal bread is heavy and dense and make excellent toast. It has no preservatives or fillers and tastes delicious. Homemade cakes and biscuits are made with butter, flour, eggs and sugar and one or two other things. They have no colours or “numbers” in them and definitely no highly refined vegetable oils which are very bad for you. They also taste homemade which is good thing when it comes to home baking. I would far rather give my little one a buttered homemade scone or a piece of homemade cake for morning tea than a bought biscuit.

My Empire Red Kitchen Aid stand mixer makes light work of mixing, kneading, mincing and slicing. It sliced 4 kilos of cucumbers in about 10 minutes!

I’ve just started to get my own bacon going but I’ll talk about that another day…

It might only be 9:20 but I’m tired. Being a full time Mum with a bee in her bonnet about home cooking makes for a tiring day. I’m going to bed with a book.

Here’s a happy snap of my little guy.

 

Sock wool with Lycra 20 March, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 1:59 pm

Hey everybody,

Just wanted to let you know that I have added some more yarns to my list of Hand Dyed Sock Yarns for Sale. There are now some very bouncy, sproingy 4ply sock wools with lycra for $16 for 100g. There are only 5 hanks available so get in quick!

 

A lucky winner 25 February, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 12:10 pm

It’s time to announce the winner of the “tell us your favourite books” competition. In a process as random as one person can make it…

Kozmic is our winner. She (he/it?) said that Morehouse Farm Merino Knits is her favourite knitting book. I’ve seen it and I can see why it is a favourite. Kozmic has won a choice of any of my hand dyed yarn up to a value of $15. Congratulations. I’ll send you an email to discuss getting it to you.

Other books you guys love are:

Yarn Magazine (three votes)

Interweave Knits (three votes)

Knitting Rules by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (two votes)

Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson

Sensational Knitted Socks

Big Girl Knits

Knitting Without Tears

My favourite knitting books are Knitting Without Tears and Folk Knitting in Estonia.

ONE MORE THING…

A nice person called Joy left me a comment asking about postage costs to Virginia USA and what dyes I use for my sock yarn. I’ve tried to send you an email but it bounced so I’ll answer you here…

The blue, pink/purple and light turquoise sock yarns have been dyed with Rit. The other sock yarns are dyed with food colouring. Both are colourfast in the wash but not in the sun. Postage of up to 250g to USA is $10. Hope that helps.

Have a nice day everybody.

Sarah.

Visit me at Ravelry as SarahGolder.

 

Happy New Year 3 January, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized,Vegetable gardening,Weekly useful stuff — makeityourown @ 11:39 am

Hi everybody and happy new year to you all. Thankyou to those who wished me a happy new year and Christmas too.

We had a lovely day on the 25th. We went to church at 11pm on Christmas Eve and saw Christmas Day arrive. We slept in and then went to my Aunt’s house for lunch with 12 others and had turkey, ham, baked vegetables, pudding, custard, champagne, Christmas crackers and gifts! It was nice to see a couple of Sydney relatives that I hadn’t seen for a while too. Later in the day we went to Matthew’s brother’s house and had a small Golder family dinner with roast lamb, salad and Christmas icecream. The weather was a perfect 28 degrees and as far as I could tell, everyone was happy with the gifts we gave them.

We spent New Year’s Eve at a friends’ place with lots of other friends. They very sensibly had a wading pool with a few inches of water in it in the yard and after a 43 degree day it was quite refreshing to stand in it with a drink and have a chat.  Thanks David and Tiff! I think I haven’t recovered yet from staying up until 3am.

I’ve been far too busy to do any craft projects or interesting cooking to tell you about this week. When I say busy I mean when I haven’t been writing a column and preparing patterns for YARN and working on a couple of patterns for Live 2 Knit I’ve been reading, watching the tennis and playing Super Mario Galaxy on Matthew’s Nintendo Wii.  It’s a hard life! When Matthew goes back to work on the 14th of Jan I’ll have to start working a bit harder!

IN THE GARDEN

We’ve made the bold decision to stop vegetable gardening for the rest of the summer.  It’s just too hard to keep plants alive when the weather is over 38 degrees several days in a row and we’re only allowed to use the drippers for 3 hours a week and have to use a watering can the rest of the time. We’ll probably keep the pumpkin patch going though. They seem to be managing okay so far and watering one patch is much more manageable than five! We will not give up on our fruit trees. They can manage with the 3 hours once a week and can be supplemented with grey water. I’m very glad I decided to plant the rest of the garden with drought tolerant perennials when we established it a few years ago.

Here are some drought tolerant plants you might like to try in your garden. (Remember that they are only drought tolerant when they are established. For the first 6 months to a year, you’ll need to keep an eye on them and water them reasonably regularly.)

Lavenders, salvia, santolina, curry plant, rosemary, roses, pandorea, bulbs, plumbago, buddleija, agapanthus, erigeron. There are so many varieties and colours of lavenders, salvias and roses that your garden need not be boring. I’ve got about 8 different colours and sizes of salvia and they stay looking good in the hottest of weather.

CHEAP CARDS AND WRAP FOR NEXT CHRISTMAS

Early January is an excellent time to buy Christmas cards and wrapping paper for next Christmas. I always buy them this time of year because they are almost always half price. They don’t take up too much space in the cupboard and you can get the expensive good quality ones pretty cheap.

That’ll probably do for today… the tennis has started for the day and I want to watch Australia play the USA in the Hopman Cup. I get quite a lot of tv knitting done in January…

Have a good week and a happy new year. Sarah.

 

Taking a break 27 September, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 9:11 am

Just a little note to say that I’m taking a break for a couple of weeks. I might post a thought or two but there’ll be none of the usual useful stuff. When I return there’ll be more yarn reviews, book reviews, garden reports and craft projects to get you ready for Christmas gift giving!

Sarah.

 

Hey 5000! 11 September, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 3:53 pm

5000 visitors to my blog as of today! Thanks to everyone who reads regularly and to those who have left comments over the last couple of months. Don’t forget to enter my competition. Anyone can enter from anywhere. You’ve gotta be in it to win it. Read the post below (6th Sept) for details.

 

Beanies!!! and another felt project 10 July, 2007

Filed under: Craft,Home cooking,Travel,Uncategorized — makeityourown @ 11:35 am

Hey everybody, it’s Tuesday again. Sorry for not posting last week. We were in Alice Springs enjoying the exceedingly warm weather and the exceedingly good Alice Springs Beanie Festival.

This week I’ll report on the Beanie festivities, review The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook and give you another project to make with the felted wool jumper. At the risk of indulging in self-congratulation, I’ll show off my cupcakes too.

THE ALICE SPRINGS BEANIE FESTIVAL

For the uninitiated, the ASBF is a celebration of the outbacks’ favourite garment, the beanie. You may not think that you’d need a warm hat in the middle of Australia where it is nearly always sunny, but believe me, it gets very cold at night. Artists and crafters from around Australia and the world, including indigenous artists, send in their handmade beanies and hand spun wool to be sold. Over four days the beanies are sold to whoever comes to buy them. This year over 4700 beanies were submitted and over 3000 were sold. Aside from the mayhem of the beanie selling, there is also a competition for the most artistic head gear, with a different theme each year. There is also a tea shop selling soup, toasted sandwiches and divine cakes, all made by locals. All the workers are volunteers.

Matthew and I had a great time. We travelled up on the train in a sleeper cabin and I found a fellow knitter and festival volunteer to knit with. We volunteered, ate too much cake at the tea shop, I did two classes, tried on numerous beanies and generally imbibed the good vibes and bright colours. I came fifth in the world’s fastest beanie maker competition. Maybe next year I’ll do better.

Here are some photos to whet your appetite for next year…

Possum beanie

Beanies

Above are some of the beanies just before the hoards came to buy them. Within 15 minutes of opening, you could bare move in there.

FELT COASTERS

Here’s another project for using a felted jumper. If you’ve just joined us, put an old woollen jumper in the washing machine, set it to hot, put some detergent in and turn the machine on. When it is finished you’ll have some felt in the shape of a jumper that you can cut up and use for various projects. A few weeks ago I gave instructions for making a tea cosy. This week’s project is coasters. They are good for using up the smaller pieces of felt such as the sleeves or other leftovers and they are very easy. So easy in fact that I barely need to write instructions.

1. Cut a piece of felt about 8cm square. Round off the corners.

2. With some pretty yarn or thread and a needle, work a row of blanket stitch around the edge.

3. Sew some beads on to the corners.

4. Make as many as you want. If they are for a gift, tie up a group of them with more of the yarn used for the edging.

Easy peasy, hey?

Coasters

SHOWING OFF

My dear cousin gave me a wonderful cupcake book for my birthday along with some sugar flowers and cashous. I had a few hours of fun on Saturday afternoon and the family dropped in to enjoy the results. Making your own food to share is a brilliant way to reinforce family and friend relationships. Putting some love into the preparations shows how much you care and anyway, decorating cupcakes is excellent fun. Even if you don’t have a dedicated cupcake recipe book, most general cook books will have a cake recipe and an icing recipe. Then you can go crazy with food colouring, a piping bag and decorations.

Cupcakes

THIS WEEK’S BOOK REVIEW IS The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook. Go to the book reviews page to read it.

IN OTHER NEWS

On the 21st July the Hand Knitters Guild of SA will be having a Trash and Treasure Sale at the Unley RSL, Arthur St Unley (behind the Unley Shopping Centre), from 10-4pm. I’ll be having a stall selling hand dyed yarn, tea cosies and maybe even some cupcakes. Others will be selling knitting and bric a brac.

I’m off to the Central Market now. It’s far too cold to go on my electric bike so I think I’ll go on the tram. Our car is sick which is a big pain since I have places to go.

Bye for now. Sarah.