Sunday, 27 January 2013

Introducing Benedict, our new cat

We adopted Benedict from the RSPCA yesterday. Catriona (a Sherlock fan) named him.

Benedict spent most of today hiding, but has come out to watch TV with the family tonight. We're watching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Look, Benedict, that's you!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Annual tomato boast post

Stand by - I have to tell you how well I'm growing tomatoes this year, in spite of being terribly busy, and not much of a gardener to start with.

This year I'm growing three varieties - Tigerellas that popped up from last year, Romas that I bought in seedling form from Bunnings, and (um) one other kind. The tigerellas have thinned out a bit in the heat, but there are plenty there. The romas are going mad! And that third variety has yielded some, but nothing's started to ripen yet. So, plenty of nice salads to come.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Lego news! Friends set 41019 has a Turtle!

Here's a cool little Lego set you can get for around $6 - Turtle's Little Oasis. It's part of the Lego Friends range, that girly (but not too girly) Lego that has been so successful. Here's what you can build with the set as it comes ...

Oooh, that's a CUTE LITTLE TURTLE! You can see why a serious grown up like me had to buy it.

But if you want to have a bit more fun, it's only natural to try an alternate build. That is, something quite different you can make out of the same pieces.

Well, I did add just one piece ... a minifig of Jack Sparrow from a Pirates of the Caribbean set.

Here he is escaping from the desert island by strapping two sea turtles together. Or at least, one turtle and a raft.

Do you know this set gives you FIVE gold telescopes!

And once you've built Jack Sparrow escaping from the island, you still have enough bits left to make the Girl Bug.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

How I made musk sticks!

I made some actual musk sticks! And they are good!

We have the recipe from the Frankie cookbook "Sweet Treats", which I recommend for coolness of photos as well as recipes.

We got the musk essence (at last) from The Essential Ingredient in Sydney (yes, it was a bit of a hike, we live in Melbourne).

The essence is actually made by Roberts Confectionery, who are in Dandenong. That link will take you straight to buying some musk essence! Yummo!

Only problem is, they seem a bit hydrophilic. That is, having dried them out as much as I can, they are getting moister again. I assume they are sucking water out of the air. As you do. So I'm trying gently dehydrating them in the microwave. And eating them up too, of course.

Shocking update! I looked again at the recipe, and remembered that on musk-stick-making day, I had been surprised by how much glucose syrup the recipe called for. But there it was in the recipe, only 1 teaspoon. So I think I was in a pre-Christmas blur that day, and got the balance wrong. I'll try again soon.

The microwave drying worked somewhat. I used the very lowest power, of course.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Another carved stamp - an octopus!

I caught Thomas drawing a octopus, as you do. I liked it so much, I asked his permission to borrow the drawing, and make it into a stamp. So, I present, the THOMAS LAING octopus stamp. I did promise I'd give him credit.

All the Laing cousins!

At last, all the cousins in one place! Left to right, we have Connor, Xanthe, James, Jessamy, Mitchell, Catriona, Jonathan and Thomas.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

What's better, macarons or little collages?

I do like to make things. All sorts of things. So I make things to eat, arty things, and other things. Just recently, I made some macarons from a kit, the Adriano Zumbo kit. Well, macarons are fussy to make, so I'd happily try a kit. Well, the kit worked out GREAT, but after that ... well, I couldn't just throw away the box! So here's what happened. Two more Artist Trading Cards. These would have to be my first ATCs that feature a patissier of note.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

And what I did with my carved stamps...

Here's what I've made with my new stamps ... Some trading cards, done with collage, gesso, and Derwent Inktense pencils. The main collage paper is a trashy doctor-nurse romance I bought in a op shop here in Perth - I've used it every year since.

Holiday craft - eraser carving!

Holidays are the time for trying new time consuming crafts ... I've had a first go at eraser carving. I agonised over what design to use, then decided to do some of the doodled faces I've done for years. And here's the two stamps I've carved!