Tuesday, 24 December 2013

SPECULAAS - Sugar and Spice And All Things Nice

Dont you love the smells associated with this time of the year. A kitchen full of cinnamon and spice, the aromas enhanced by being in the oven and wafts throughout the whole house. Lucky yesterday was a lovely cool day for cooking and with the weather warming up again, it was necessary to get in and do some serious baking ( in between the food shopping and present hunting and dropping off the car for repairs and the kids off at friends places) phew I'm tired just talking about it!
Anyway I managed to churn out a couple of batches of speculaas and some meringues - all very slow cooking items. Today its cake - red velvet,  for a burst of Christmas cheer.

The recipe if you feel so inclined.... better late than never.

450g plain flour
350g butter
225g soft brown sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
15 g speculaas spice (2 1/2 tablespoons)
50 g almonds

Peel almonds (pour boiling water over skins to lift and pop out almond)
split almond body in half
Sieve dry ingredients to mix thoroughly
Add butter ( cut into small pieces)
Knead into supple ball(I do this in my Kenwood with the K beater on slow until combined and then squish into a ball)
Dust flat surface with flour and roll dough to about 1/2 cm thickness
Cut shape and decorate with almond
Brush some egg and milk over dough if you want a glossier looking biscuit (personally I dont bother)
Cook  in over 30 - 40 minutes at 180 degrees as per recipe. ( I do mine at 150 degrees over an hour but I tend to make the pastry thinner)

Green meringues trees for on top of the fruit salad

And progress on the bucket bag

Cheers and Merry Christmas to you and yours

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Sun and Surf Crochet bag

I was bored last night and tired but not quite ready to go to sleep, so I decided to start a crochet circular bag - big circle disk bottom and then work my way up. To me it looks a little like a bucket bag and not necessarily what I envisioned. I thought I would continue utilising the cotton threads that I have collected op shopping instead of just having them lying there in the basket.
I'm kind of going with a sun and surf theme. Not entirely sure I like it but I am not pulling it out - too bad - let's see what happens.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Crochet facial cleanser

Lovely gelati colours! A little pile of cotton freshness to wipe your blues away or clean the make up off your skin. Well that is the intended purpose for these little florets of colour.
I thought I might make some little net bags to put them into so that when you've used them you pop them into the bag and then drop the whole thing into the washing machine

They could just as easily become a string of floral bunting or decorate a Christmas present. Any way you look at it they are good way of using up the odds and ends that collect in the cotton basket.

Do you remember the tutu I made Jordy and my nieces for the Taylor Swift Red concert. Well here is a picture of my girl before the concert and on the way to the concert with the nieces

happy little campers.

Hopefully I wont be so long in blogging but work has been exhausting and sometimes you just cant be bothered trying to do it all - so I don't.
Cheers and hope you are all enjoying the season. xox Monique

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Baby booties - "Molly Makes" Style

Aren't these booties just the cutest! Some of the left over cottons from my wash cloths has gone into these. The pattern reasonably easy to follow and I made this little bootie whilst Jordana was at surf lifesaving this afternoon
The second boot is underway but as usual I have run out of cotton!Still need to do the detailing around the bottom of the boot and add the material trim but you get the idea dont you.

Since I participated in a Christmas wash cloth swap I have been madly making washcloths in different stitches. Going to Spotlight doesn't help - faced with all these luscious fresh colours in cottons is inspiring and I cant hlep buy few despite a basketful of leftovers.

Its a very green theme this post!

Cheers and stay well!

Sunday, 1 December 2013


I've been having a little tidy and clearing spaces to make way for Christmas decorating. On the floor under my cupboard I found some of my clay decorations waiting to be finished. I grabbed some red paint and added a few details and then decided to hang them under the painting by my daughter Jordana. A little cheer for everyone. Finding joy in simple things.

I also printed up some photos for an Aunt and proceeded to utilise the card maker to produce a winter berry Christmas note with Mother Christmas mouse for my swap Christmas decoration swap partner

Some crochet in shell design. I started this morning due to the fact that I ran out of red for the washcloth below. (  I now have more thread and can complete the last two rows plus borders) It is so annoying when you almost make it and just need a little more yarn to complete the job.

Textured pattern for a wash cloth. I've used double thickness crochet cotton.
The pattern is one row of double crochet and then alternate rows with one double crochet , one treble ..repeat until the end. Pretty simple huh.

I've visited my lovely flower lady to discover she has decided to close shop and today was the last time I would be buying flowers from her. The roses were her gift to me - greenery and pomegranates from the garden.

I will miss her and her lovely flowers :(

 Stay safe and JOY to you and yours

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

November Sampler

1. Angel Mouse 2. red and white wash cloth for Christmas swap 3. Christmas wreath
4.dead ivy in brush fence 5. patchwork quilts on display at craft 6. Tom mouse
 Red tutu 8. Tom mouse 9. handprinted leaf fabric 10. Mother Christmas mouse 11. hand dyed scarves 12. Shell wreath with air dry clay stars

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Tutu and what not

1. tiered fru-fru skirt for my daughter to wear to Taylor Swift concert "Red"
2. dead ivy vine  in brush fence
3.red bush? I just liked it!
4. face washer - I got bored trying to count spaces

Dead ivy vine in brush fencing - really looks like bare trees.

Craft display by my local craft group....the place I usually attend but have been working full time for the last few months.. really miss it and my lovely crafty friends.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Angel Christmas Mouse

 On display for Christmas. The new stars for " under the dome " (TV series) - no blood allowed!

Party together behind the television

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Tom Mouse - A Mouse Tale Adventure

Hi there I am Tom Mouse! You met my mum the last time you dropped by - Mrs Christmas Mouse.
Mum generally likes me to stay pretty clean especially with the up and coming Christmas events that are happening around. Usually I get assigned jobs like carrying around bags of lollies for the kiddies and ornamentals stars as gifts. But today.. I am free to do as I please.. and I feel like an adventure.

A little bit of swinging, great fun hanging from this bell, the wind blowing in my hair...really makes my ears flap! I feel a little like that elephant in the circus, you know the one..Dumbo!
Mmmm what to do next.. I know I'll go climb the tree and have a look from the top!
Hope mum doesn't see me, she'll tell me off for getting dirty.

I must say it is hard work climbing these branches and not easy when you have to carry a star as well.
My ruffled collar is also making me quite hot - Hot under the collar..hah!

 Keep going. Eventually I will get there..almost..almost , yes I can see it...now for a giant leap and I can make it into the neighbor's tree.

Phew ! Just made it.
Almost nosed dived out of the tree! That wouldn't have been the prettiest sight.
Can't say my positioning is the prettiest sight either
Better straighten up and get some secure footing

MMM it smells good and looks beautiful from here.

If I leap from here I might make the letter box. Yes I think I can make it, it's not to far and I am a great jumper..The best in my class you know! You couldn't tell by looking at my spindly legs especially when mum makes me wear these boots. Oh well here goes.. Wish me luck.
1...2...3.. Jump!

Yeeeha! I am the best . I am the king of the world!

A quick jimmy up an then I can rest and wait for the mailman to come

Wonder how long he is going to be.
My tummy is rumbling from all this exercise.
Mum says I should go on a diet or do more exercise .. She says I am a little round in the middle. I just tell her I am preparing for my next growth spurt. She replies "so long as it is not outwards.

I can hear something, something rustling in the bushes. I wonder what is ?

Hey mum , what are you doing here?
Oh thought I'd just join you and wait for the mailman... an also let you know I've baked some cookies.

I'm off. I'm not waiting for the mailman, not when there are cookies to be had.
See you later, the last one down is a rotten egg! BYE