Sunday, 27 May 2012

All about my Torso

The lastest arty news is that Cathy (of My Stamps) has worked on a terrific new torso mould. She's offering quality plaster torsos in a just-right size and classic design.

She got me to decorate one - my choice of styles. Well, I gathered up a few trinkets from around the house...

There was this toy swan, which spent the day on the workbench with me at a Michael DeMeng workshop in 2008. It emerged unscathed, but since then, it hasn't been so lucky...

Its head got chopped off in 2011 to get added to an altered Barbie doll (still named Mrs Swan-for-a-Head).

There was this baby doll (the smaller one) who wandered into the scene of action and got rather caught up. The big one is still living on the windowsill.

Then there was this little pie tin, featured in a blog post from 2010 - bought already rusty, it was no longer fit for culinary purposes, so I used it to soak up a little spare paint one day.

And the end result of all of this has been : this! Here's the torso (see how I resisted the urge to attach the wings conventionally).

Here we have the baby doll, strapped safely into her pie tin ...

Nice back tattoo! This was the very last bit I added.

And here's some for you to decorate!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

I tackle a ... pomegranate!

In case you are wondering just how to eat a pomegranate, stick around.

I was shopping at the crack of dawn today, beating the crowds and getting a great parking spot.

So much was I enjoying my trip to Bushy Park, I decided to try a new fruit. Well, it worked great last time - I tried a pomelo, and it was delish! In fact, I bought another pomelo today. Doesn't count as a new fruit any more, it's just one of my regulars now.

So, today's new fruit is the pomegranate. Here's what they look like...

Now that looks tasty - what's inside though?

Ooo, that's pretty. Plenty of shiny seeds, and some tough stuff holding it all together. This is what you see if you cut through the "equator" of the fruit.

I cut out one of the triangles of tough stuff, and that let the seeds come free nicely. Notice all the bright coloured juice all around!

Here's those pretty seeds - they do look like jewels! Whoa, there's a lot of juice around the place now. Really should have moved my iPad first.

Here's the scene of pomegranate carnage - did I say there really is a lot of bright red juice all over the place? I really wish I hadn't been wearing the pants I mean to wear to work tomorrow.

And here's a lot of the goodies from inside the pomegranate. I've already eaten a bunch.

Now, what do they taste like?

Well, tart, juicy, tangy. Did I say juicy? The seeds themselves are pretty bleah. Tough and not good to chew up. I see why pomegranate seeds get used sparingly.

Hmm, why do I keep going back for another spoonful? These really are tasty!

I have another pomegranate - I might juice that one. I might change clothes first though.

Oh yes, and that plate seems to be permanently stained too.

Tomato Plant update

This heroic tomato plant has been killed twice already, once by a hail storm, and once by a pelican. However, it has recovered and is well on the way to growing big and strong.

How do I break it to this brave little soldier that it's actually just the start of winter now?

I've managed to cage the pelican so it can't harm the little guy any more.

Happy Mothers Day Mum

Here's the Mothers Day card I sent to Mum, and to Jeff's mum. Had some fun with the postage stamp punch from Stampin' Up, and shuffled through my stamp collection for all sorts of stamps that worked together.

And here's a close up of that cute little bird.

Thanks, Mums, for all you do for us!

A spinny thing!

A big bike ride with the boys - we have stopped because they spotted a different kind of spinning playground equipment! And there was a maze too (this is Ferndale park we think, near Ashburton station).

Sunday, 13 May 2012

The after macaron effect

So after making the fabulous Ispahan Macarons, I had lychee and rose ganache left over. And raspberry jelly squares too. There was only one thing for it - bake vanilla cupcakes, decorate them with ganache, and cut out the jellies in heart shapes. These might be going to the office tomorrow. Or not.

Having a go at Pierre Herme's Ispahan Macarons

As a Mothers Day treat (let's say), I took the time on Saturday to bake a batch of macarons. I chose the Ispahan recipe from Pierre Herme's macaron cookbook ( recently translated and very specialised). The restaurant version of Ispahan is a fabulous confection decorated with fresh raspberries and a rose petal - this is the home version. There's a raspberry jelly inside, as well as a lychee and rose ganache. Whoa, that's a very girly ganache (if you could taste it, you'd see what I mean).

I've sprinkled them with edible glitter (of course). My macarons are starting to look quite good, but I still get a surprise every time I open the oven. Not about to give up my day job!

It took until Saturday night to get these put together. I had a glass or two of red wine, THEN assembled them. Which is totally how I would recommend you do it.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

What's that shiny thing parked in your driveway?

We've replaced our old car (and not before time ... bits were starting to fall off it). Here's the new car - a Toyota Yaris sedan (to match the Yaris hatch we already have). The boot on the sedan is rather big, and the back seat is the most spacious of any car we tried. Yes, we tried some big ones!

And the new car's name - ZAW the Mighty! Or sometimes, ZAW the Merciless! Or to his followers, ZAW the Just.

Zaw is a manual. We can both drive a manual, and it's a great idea for kids to learn in one, we thought.

My first drive turned out to be at short notice, in peak hour, when Thomas was almost late for drama. I did NOT enjoy relearning my manual driving on crowded Burwood Highway! But I got there, and the next drive was much easier.

Friday, 4 May 2012

My tomato plant's been attacked by a PELICAN!

A tomato plant popped up in one of my outdoor pots, grown from a seed from last season. I took it into the window box and grew it to a good size, then replanted it in a big pot of its own.

A few days later we had HAIL, and the plant got broken in half. BUT IT SURVIVED! New growth appeared, and it seems that the broken stem was not completely broken. I put a trellis around it to encourage it to grow well.

Everything was going well until this morning when it got attacked by a pelican. I'll let you know if it survives this one!

Happy Birthday Mum!

I made Mum a birthday card! Happy Birthday Mum! I sent her a cute tea-towel/small tablecloth with a Scrabble board design too. We found that in a games shop in Melbourne!

This stamp is a new one, from Flourishes, which I have to say, I found excellent. It's a clear polymer stamp (came in a set with a small version of the main image, and some excellent words too). And it stamps up really WELL! Leslie at Little Bits will sell you this range.