Monday, March 30, 2009

Cassette tape recycling with a difference and a new Stitch N Bitch...

My husband sent me a link to Iri5's awesome cassette tape works! I just love them!

Regular Stitch n' Bitch get-together at Port Melbourne on the first and third Tuesday's of the month from 2.30pm. Call Justine or I at the shop on 9681 9255 to confirm, bring your current knitting project. (Port Melbourne always make me think of romantic notions of boats...we have a creek in Brunswick but no boats...)

Post office blues...

My third Polka Dot Rabbit order has gone missing in the last 6 weeks. Extremely frustrating due to the cost and time of making new orders and sending them. Perhaps I'll have to make all orders registered post from now on.....

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ethical Easter goodness

Easter is coming! Whether you celebrate it as a Christian rebirth, a paegan time of renewal or a chocolate lover's license to indulge, this is the time where your purchasing power really does count.

In Australia politican Clover Moore has been in the news for her decision to ban Tim Tams (a popular type of chocolate biscuits)and other goods in a move to create "sustainable, healthy and cruelty-free catering" at City of Sydney meetings and events. Staff have stopped providing chocolate biscuits along with meals containing eggs, bottled water, fat-rich cakes, dairy deserts and "bad" fish species.

Things you can do

Buy Fairtrade chocolate.
Buying Fairtrade Certified Easter Eggs and chocolate helps tackle the issues of child trafficking and labour - both major problems resulting from cocoa production. You can get many fair trade chocolate brands at your local supermarket or speciality shops. You can see a list of stockists here.

Easter bilbies
Consider an Easter bilby, to support conservation efforts to secure the breeding of wild bilbies.

Shop local
Consider support small local businesses. Buy handmade chocolates or hot cross buns from a local store, cafe or health food shop.Non-food gifts are also a good bet. Bulbs are wonderful this time of year for starters. There' also homemade jams and chutney, even home made beer!

Make it yourself:
Maybe you'd like to make your own hot cross buns? I've found a yummy gluten free recipe here

Isn't this lovely? You can find the tutorial here

Knit your own eggs!

Dye your own eggs!

Experience not eating
Or perhaps more valuably, spend easter with friends, partners or family and spending time with loved ones is the best gift of all. Camping and holidaying is a popular Australian easter past time. Chris and I are spending easter at Port Fairy by the sea and we can't wait!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

When craft and music collide....

Easter is coming....

We bunnies love easter and will be bringing you an easter bonanza very soon...

There's been a bit of a delay due to an rabbit intervention...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Thankyou to all the people who have contacted me since my injury friday night. I'm totally fine and my headache has gone today! Hurrah!

How funny is this pic! ?

My creative space....

These should have been technically done in my craft room, but they were made in front of the telly while I drank tea and ate dhal...

Why are sewing pattern fashions so revolting?

I like to sew as you all know. It amuses me no end how pattern companies make up their patterns in the most unflattering fabrics or 'looks'. Here's an example (I think its the bow tie that horrifies me most)

My sentiments exactly!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cate's shower antics...

Last night I was washing my hair in the shower (well it's a shower head over a bath like most rental houses) and slipped and lost my balance. I fell backwards out of the bath and landed smack on the tiles. Now I have a big lump on the back of my head and various bruises. Lots of aching and probably mild concussion. The thing that scared me was that my half sister died after hitting her head in the shower. She went to bed after wards and never woke up. It was a long time ago when I was 14, but I remember my mother having to make the decision to turn the life support machine off.

Chris told me to just ignore the lump or go to hospital. Then he went off to see a band with his mates while I sat on the couch with an icepack on my head. I'm used to migraines so this wasn't all that different, just a different location in my head.

My head is still really sore and I'm a bit woozy so I decided not to go to yoga this morning. Chris told me I was just making excuses and that yoga would make my head feel better. Somehow I doubt it. I've had some sleep and as it was very hot today we went to the pub for antipasto and cider. We've got a neighbourhood party tonight 5 mins walk away so I might pop along briefly to be polite.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Look what I just bought!

Gorgeous Peta Pledger polka dot shirt! (This pic isn't of me, but it's the same style shirt)...Hurrah!

What I'm wearing today...

My new top which I rather like for it's 'mushroom' colour and apparent dowdiness. It'll look great with a tweedy skirt in a few months instead of a fat friendly gypsy type skirt ;-). The decoration is a brooch line I made for Polka Dot Rabbit, recycling the patterns on an old shirt that had an unfortunate finish through some red wine. I really like them and have sold only 2 in all the time my shop is open (including retailers I stock) so I stopped making them ages ago. It's funny how some things you like aren't popular.

One of my handmade hairclips, one the first things I ever started making....
Blue sparkly nail polish! I don't wear thongs as my feet problems means they are horendously painful to walk in for any length of time. But they are necessary for a trip to the pedicurist. I have to see the foot surgeon on monday so this is my brave gesture as I'm quite nervous about potential surgery.

I got matching nails too! This of course will be a wreck by tomorrow as crafting is not kind to manicures....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Works in progress....

Nearly finished some custom orders, I love this purple fabric!

Shower Curtains...a necessary evil

I need a new shower curtain and I've been rather underwhelmed by the selection in the shops. I don't want dolphins or marine life thanks. My current shower curtain is a vintage one featuring bunnies riding bicycles. So I had a look on the net and here's some of my faves:

Since the Australian dollar isn't great I've decided to make my own shower curtain using some of my vintage sheeting. Stay tuned for a pic :-)
Apartment Therapy has a fab DIY tutorial here
to make the design below, but I may end up sewing my sheet to a plastic curtain for extra protection.

The Craft Show!

I went along to the Stitches and Craft Show on Saturday at the Royal Melboure Show Grounds. with my mate Steph. It was great fun. It was pouring rain and staff kindly provided umbrellas to walk for place to place.

I met the lovely Publisher of the Mix Tape Zine , Justine. She gave me a lovely "I write for Mix Tape" badge and I bought a subscription which I'm eagerly awaiting. We had a chat about some ideas for green articles which I'll start thinking about.

Saw Holly from Two Cheese Please. If you haven't seen her work you should certainly pop on over the Etsy and check it out. I bought an apple softie making kit and a stamp carving kit (not like I don't have enough craft related injuries in my life!):

Holly's stall was just stunningly set out, it all looking so professional and so unlike my own crafty stalls hehe. How cool is the enormous icecream?!

I was also awed by the work of Ric Rac. You will have no doubt seen the amazingness that is this dress, made by stitching strips of selvage together (yep, selvage) which was on display at the show, along side various selvage items:

How cool is this chair!:

We also enjoyed seeing Faythe Levine's Handmade Nation, a documentary on the rise of crafting across the US. I would have liked to see a more political analysis but it's an excellent doco, one of the few times I see someone in a film I can relate to! There also a book from the film which I haven't looked at yet:

All in all a great day, with stitching, fun giggling at the pink horrors of 'traditional' crafts, meeting lovely people and drinking coffee!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What I'm wearing today...

One of my birdie badges! It's made from part of an oilcloth apron I found when I went white water rafting in Warrandyte. Hurrah for recycling!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cooking for my life...

I've been batch cooking today. For those unfamilar with the concept, it's basically where you make up several meals in advance and store or freeze them. When I have been successful at weight loss and eating healthy in the past, batch cooking has been a big part of this. When my eating is dysfunctional I get in a mindset that I don't deserve nice, fresh healthy foods and i get stuck in a rut of eating poorly. Further, it is easy to eat poorly when you are busy and tired if you don't have a back up plan. I have been eaing poorly, not going to the gym, going out every night and drinking lots of booze, so I will be trying hard at health for the next few months to get back on track. Batch cooking is great for saving time and reducing food wastage also.

What I made today:

Roast vegetables:

Method: cut up carrot, potato and pumpkin into chunks. Add to a baking tray lined with baking paper, reducing the need for scrubbing. Season (I often use rosemary from the garden) and spray with a little oil. Roast on a low heat for several hours until tender. Sweet potato and parsnips can also work well.

Seafood stew:

Not the most attractive dish to be honest! Basically i have some 'frozen fresh' hake and prawns so I defrosted these, aded them to a dish with fresh dill, lemon and some red wine. Bake until tender.

Salad provisions ready to go:

It's much easier to eat lots of salads if you have them easily accessible. I chopped up the veggies and the worms got the scraps. The leafy bits of the celery are in the freezer ready for soup! Basically I grab a re-usable container, add bits of the above, mixed lettuce and maybe some tomato or avocado. Great as a meal with some protein (the seafood above or free-range chicken stir fry I also made) and brown rice, roast vegetables or some such. I add some fruit and there's breakfast and/or dinner for the day.

Other batch foods that work well:

-brown rice
-marinated tofu
-pasta sauce
-mexican food such as burritos.

And here's some spoils from the kitchen garden :):

Gardening and enjoying the spoils...

Chris and I have been working in the garden this morning. It is an absolute luxury after pretty much letting everything being burnt to a crisp in the heat wave. Here's some piccies:

Hydrangea cuttings: If plenty of these strike successfully I'll be growing more hydrangeas obviously and donating some of them to bushfire affected communities when they are ready to consider replanting their gardens.

This sedum has been growing out of crack in the wall next to the front door:

I planted these Liriope muscari out front. I bought them from the horticulture students at work:

Rosemary: We have loads and are constantly giving it away:
Gardening is great fun!

Friday, March 13, 2009

More news from Cate

Last night I went to see the rather wonderful Chicks On Speed exhibition Via La Craft. It's a great multi medium (and media ) extravaganza which would be appreciated by anyone who like me, enjoys the music of Peaches, Sonic Youth. Bikini Kill or just plain noise, or enjoys the post-1990's DIY punk meets craft ethic.

I felt quite conservative in my black 1950's style work dress (I'm a bit fat and old for fluro) but I had a great time. I caught up with Fashion Hayley and some other friends which was most lovely.

After wards I went to a friend's house for a Japanese meal which was great fun. Yummy miso and homemade gyoza and lots of wine. My friend kindly supplied me with a big plastic bag of cassette tapes which she'd unearthed at a charity shop in the country and bought for a few dollars. Busy times ahead! Tonight I'm going to see The Stranglers. They're not playing until 11pm so it's highly likely I'll have a nana nap first....

Tomorrow I'm off to yoga, The Craft show with Steph then there's a friend's housewarming tomorrow night.

Sunday will be a day of crafting and rest. Hopefully I haven't invited anyone over and forgotten. Might make some dahl for during the week too. I really need to have more wholesome food and dahl is good as it's low fat, good for protein and freezes well. I need lots of protein and not too much wheat (gives me migraines) . If I don't get enough protein I get severe sugar cravings which doesn't help with a healthy lifestyle.

I'll bring along some salads and brown rice or rice cakes for lunch each day.
Here's my favourite recipe (I usually add a few veggies for substance):

Lentil dhal

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 cup (300g) red lentils, rinsed well
3cm fresh ginger, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbs (40g) nuttlex
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
2 tbs lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp salt
1 tbs chopped coriander leaves
Naan bread or pappadums, to serve

Place lentils, ginger, bay leaves and cinnamon in a large saucepan with 3 cups of cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring to prevent sticking for 10-12 minutes. Discard spices and set aside.

Heat the butter in a large frying pan over a medium high heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, cumin, garam marsala and chilli flakes and cook for a further minute or until fragrant. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt.

Add the lentils to the pan and mix well. Cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in coriander and serve hot with naan bread or pappadums.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

the funniest soap ever!

I'd love to be the owner of these hand soaps if I didn't already have far too many gifted unused soaps. We have a ethos in our house of minimising consumption and not buying things we already have plenty of own (the joy of being a green renter). But hey, I can look...

Doll hands soap:

Choc Dipped stawberries:

Good times for all :)