A tiny slice of my life

This is a look at my life, and the many things I try to learn and do.

Friday, December 21, 2012

What Have I Been Up To ... Christmas Sewing & Cooking

Well I haven't forgot you all I have just been very busy getting Miss Le Coiffures quilt finished for Christmas.

All I have to do today is sew on the binding then I can sit tonight and hand sew it down.

Here is it as I have left it, after Christmas when Miss Le Coiffure has seen it I will post pictures showing you all the details.

Also for little Layla "Sweet Pea" I have already made 2 Santa stockings one for her house and one for Nanas house it feels strange saying that, I have gone from being a Mum to a Nana.

So I have been working on her Santa Sack, which I will finish after I have posted this.

Isn't it cute for a little cutie.

Ice cream

Now what have I been up to ths morning some gentle beating using the electric mixer and some stress relieving using my marble rolling pin on some candy canes.

The end result vanilla ice cream, coffee ice cream and my christmas favourite candy cane ice cream. It is divine with its peppermint flavour and pieces of candy cane.

I must admit it is a very easy recipe

Ice cream recipe

1 x 600 ml bottle of cream & 1 1/4 cups icing sugar beaten to soft peaks.

This year I divided it in half and flavoured one half with vanilla not essence or extract but the actual seeds and the other half I mixed in broken candy canes.

That is were the gentle stress relieving bashing of candy canes comes in, because you want some pieces but also the fine dust which will flavour the ice cream.

Then comes the coffee ice cream. Now normally I make the ice cream above and add coffee flavour and crushed chocolate coated coffee beans, but as I have been so busy I haven't been looking for the coffee beans.

I fell upon the recipe I used on the internet yesterday , it is from Nigella's new show Nigellissima and is dead easy.


If mixed the coffee and liquor in the bottom of the bowl while I measured the other ingredients. This gave the coffee time to dissolve.

Coffee ice cream

300 mls Cream, 175 grams condensed milk, 2 tbsps instant expresso coffee powder & 2 tbsps coffee liquor - I used tia Maria

Mix coffee & liquor together in your mixing bowl, add cream & condensed milk. Beat till very soft peaks form it took about 3 minutes in my mixer, stop scrap down sides keep beating till soft peaks form. Place into a sealable container a freeze 6 hours or overnight.

Well if I don't get a chance to post again before Christmas from the CLI family we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe New Year.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Easy Street Mystery Quilt Steps 2 & 2 + Some Christmas Sewing


Here are after 2 days of serious sewing I have now completed all 3 steps of the Easy Street Mystery Quilt, phew !

Now all I have left to do is iron the squares flat, that is a job I can do when I am less busy.

Also while I was waiting for the cotton to quilt Miss Le Coiffures quilt I got busy making 2 Santa Stockings for my little Sweet Pea.

One for her house and one for Nanas - my - house.

I used a pre printed panel from Spotlight and primped it.

I got our my collection of beautiful ribbons, not only do I collect fabric I have trouble passing by a lovely ribbon.

I made crazy patchwork backs for the stockings. Don't you love this Santa , perfect for Australia.

Then I really pimped them with bells , Santas going to have to be extra quiet when he fills these and pom poms for the hats.

Both of them are now under there respective trees filled with little presents for a very special sweet pea.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Easy Street Mystery Quilt by Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville

Well after 2 weeks of no Internet I am behind the 8 ball in this mystery quilt. There us a clue each Friday and I missed the first 2, so I am running to catch up.
Last week saw some serious sewing of Miss Le Coiffures surprise quilt the top is all finished I only have to baste it then quilt it !
Her quilt consists of 63 12" blocks quite a big one.
Anyway I made some head way yesterday and today.
Step 1 is all cut and sewn. I only need to iron the blocks fat, but I can do that at anytime.

Step 2 cut ready to sew today.

Look what I found I had a quarter and half square ruler. In the instructions Bonnie uses 2 as I was reading them a little light went of in my brain.
I had recently gathered together all my specialized rulers into one place and remember seeing a ruler that would do the job! There it was still wrapped in plastic, well it has worked hard these last 2 days!
Step 3 also cut ready to sew. Phew.

Link to the mystery quilt

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Internet is Back ... Yippee ! And Blocks from My - The Civil War Love Letter Quilt

Well hello again, long time no talk. Our local Telstra telephone exchange burnt down just over 3 weeks ago, so we lost all land lines & mobile service and our Internet was down :-(


Well we finally got it all back they should have everyone back on line over this weekend, it didn't do much for people Christmas shopping. No Atm's no Eftpos no banks computers working = no Xmas shopping.

I was very lucky I had withdrawn money from the bank the day before because we were going to Mt Gambier for the weekend phew !

If you were with the major banks you were unable to get any money or the maximum of $100. Some shops pulled from the back of the cupboards the old slide credit card machines, but very few did. Why ? Because dishonest people were going with maxed out credit cards and using them, one petrol station started out using this method then a couple of days later when the slips were sent to Sydney for processing it was shown quite a few people had done this, so the "Cash Only" sign went up.

Situations like this brings out the worst in people.

Now to my quilt blocks my Mum gave me the book for this quilt as a present this year ? I think . Why the fabric colors, well I was down at my parents house when I got given the book and I wanted to get started, so Mum got some fabrics out and we went from there. I believe there are 111 blocks to make and I have completed 47 , so nearly half way.

All the blocks in the photos have been hand sewn and yesterday I gave them a nice big steam press. Some of the blocks have very tiny pieces or funny angles I am going to foundation piece them on the machine after I have hand sewn all the other blocks.








Monday, November 19, 2012

2 Quick and Easy Slice Recipes

Well I don't have any pictures because I made these the other day then cut them up and sent Mr CLI on his way with them and then realized, I was having a busy day , that I forgot to photograph them !

The first slice is an Anzac slice, it was dead easy to make and was quite moorish to eat.


For the second slice I wanted to use up some of the tins of fruit I have. This recipe was even easier, but you need at least 3 more tablespoons of oil to from of soft batter, that when cooked was light and fluffy.

Also the topping amount wasn't enough I used 1/4 cup of each brown sugar & coconut.

Even Miss Le Coiffure liked it, she normally won't eat anything like this.


Once again sorry about no photos.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Craftsy BOM with Amy Gibson - Last of the Blocks Finished

Well they are all finished the final 8 blocks have been sewn. That makes a total of 20 blocks all together.

I have some really bright red with a white polka dot fabric that I am going to use for the sashings. I may fussy cut some flowers from the other fabrics for the corner stones, but that's a decision for another day.


This isn't my normal color scheme but I bought a piece of the red fabric with flowers, then the grey floral and it went from there. I just love the way that the colors jump out at you from the off white background.

Now the blocks are finished I can look at starting Lori Holt's - from Bee in my Bonnet - row along mystery quilt. She is upto row 6 so I had better get a sew along !

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something's To Put A Smile On Your Face ...

My sponge from last week before I creamed and iced it.


My new slippers that someone has taken a dislike to .... I have to lock them yes lock them in the bathroom every time I go out ...


This is the culprit Miss Jessie butter wouldn't melt in her mouth !


Just something funny to make you laugh . . . But don't laugh to hard :-)


Something yummy I had for tea the other night, homemade spaghetti and meatballs. Yummy


This is my story and I am sticking to it !


Till next time smile and the whole world smiles with you :-))

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

With a Passion

Well I have as a passion with things this week...

Last Sunday Mr CLI, Miss Fish and myself went to visit an old house that is being restored it dates back to 1873 called Narrapumelap built in the French Gothic style.

It was very interesting too see all the before photos of the rooms but sad also to see the vandalism that had been done to the rooms especially the beautiful marble fireplaces.

There were a couple of stalls we walked away with a beautiful orchid which now resides in our fernery.

The was also a stall with jams, Mr CLI loves a nice jam and bought one with passion fruit in it.

On the way home he was nearly licking his lips talking about his jam, then came up with the thought that wouldn't it be lovely to spread on a homemade sponge with cream and passion fruit icing.


So what does a good wife do but make a sponge and drizzle it with jam then a fluffy layer of softly whipped cream then top it all off with passionfruit icing.

Also I have been hand quilting my licorice all sorts quilt with a passion. It is always nice to get to the final stage of something. I have finished quilting all the stars and am now onto the straight pieces.


Unfortunatly Miss Fish is home with the sniffles so she is dampening my passion as if I go anywhere she wants to know . Tomorrow she is back to work Yippee !

Monday, November 5, 2012

Easy Thai Beef Stirfry

I decided the other day to do something a bit different from the usual beef & black bean or oyster sauce.

So I popped into Internet land a looked at Thai recipes. This is a compilation of several recipes.

The beef was super tender because I decided to stir fry it till it was just changing color and removed while still a little pink then returned it right at the end while I thickened the sauce slightly.

I served it with steamed rice and fresh mint and coriander from my new little coriander plant. I also added some of my vietnamese mint.

The freshness of the herbs really lightened the dish. You could also top with fresh chilli.


Thai Beef Stirfry

750gm piece rump steak, 1/2 red onion cut into slices, 1 large or 2 medium carrots peeled cut in half lengthwise then on the angle, 1 stalk celery cut into 1/2cm slices on the angle, 1 red capsicum seeds removed sliced into lengths, 1 pak Choy/bok Choy cut in 1/2 width wise slice leaves 2cm slices then cut of end wash stems if necessary slice on angle into 1 cm slices, 1bunch brocollini cut width wise into 4 pieces, 2cm piece ginger peeled and grated, 2 cloves garlic peeled and grated, 1 cup of each fresh mint leaves & coriander leaves. 1/2 water

Marinade - 2 tbsps light soy sauce, 2 tsps cornflour, 2 tsps oyster sauce, 2 tbsps Shaoxing wine.

Mix together in a small bowl add beef stir.

Sauce - 1 tbsp lime juice, 2 1/2 tbsps oyster sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy, 2 tsps sweet chilli sauce ,2 tsps fish sauce, 3 tsps cornflour

Mix together in a small bowl.

Now the best way to get the beef cut into very thin strips is to cut it while it's a bit frozen. I cut mine after it had been out of the freezer for about an hour. If your meat is fresh put it into the freezer for about 1/2 - 3/4 hour to freeze it slightly.

Cut away all the fat and slice into very thin strips about 5 cms long. Add to marinade, stir leave while chopping the vegetables.

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a wok till very hot. Add 1/3 of beef draining off marinade. Stirfry 1 minute until meat is starting to loose it's pinkness, remove to a plate. Continue in the same way with remaining meat. Add any leftover marinade to the sauce mixture. You may need to add extra oil while cooking the beef.

If the base of your wok is covered in cooked on marinade add some water let boil 2-3 minutes while scrapping the bottom, tip out. Add 2 tbsps oil heat till hot.

When the oil is hot add all the vegetables, stirfry 2-3 minutes add water, garlic & ginger. Stir, cover cook 2-3 minutes remove lid add beef & sauce. Stirfry 1 minute or until sauce starts to thicken. Add most of herbs, save some for the top.

Serve with steamed rice.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Short and Sweet

No its not a blog about something to eat but a short blog as I spent yesterday with Miss Le Coiffure and little Layla.

I just discovered much to Miss Le Coiffures amusement that there is a song called Layla by Eric Clapton, I will have to get a copy.

They both went to the chiropractor, as Little Layla has problems with wind. She made both of us laugh the chiropractor was working on her tummy to help her bowels, well help he did she is lying there smiling at him while her bottom was going off with the loudest and smelliest farts.lol

She thought she was pretty clever !

While driving around town yesterday we discovered a new shop that just opened yesterday and had a sale !

Ishka - they have lovely Indian things plus beautiful smelling candles and spice mixes which I couldn't resist.

Here's an idea of some of the things you can get below is a beautiful multi colored candlabra, I didn't see any yesterday but I did see the same idea in a chandelier.


Mr CLI is now up so I can go have my shower. Till tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I have Been Up To ...

Well it has been seriously busy in the CLI household for the last few days.

I have made vinyl backed baby change mats number 3 & 4. That's the end of that job.

Mr CLI , Miss Fish & I did some serious gardening, well i sometimes did a bit of pruning the watching because this blipping shoulder restricts what I can do, the back garden bed is now weed free and heavily mulched with geraniums that I grew from cuttings, planted.

The front garden bed around our bedroom window and across part of the front verandah where I have my standard roses and lavender , is all now weeded and mulched.

On Saturday afternoon I did some serious cooking I made sausage rolls, pasties and with the 1 sheet of pastry left over I made 6 little apple turnovers which I served hot with ice cream and the leftover sauce from cooking the apples drizzled over it. Yum !

Yesterday I got to do my first ever Layla minding for the afternoon. Yippee

What better way to spend an afternoon that to cuddle your Grandaughter for the afternoon. As our house has very high ceiling 3 1/2 meters it was lovely and cool and she slept well. Oh joy :-)

So till next enjoy your day with whatever your doing.

Oh and yesterday this came in the post, my ISpy fabric swap parcel. Nothing makes a fabricholics heart beat faster than more fabric.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Craftsy - BOM with Amy Gibson

Craftsy is an online crafting lessons website. I fell upon it a year or 2 ago and have bought a few courses, sometimes they even have free ones !

One of the ones I got last year was a BOM - Block of the Month - with Amy Gibson from www.stitcherydickorydock.com

Now last week I decided to print all the info and patterns then my thoughts went to creating these blocks. I had this red, hot pink and grey fabrics - Sugar Flower by Lecien - just sitting there waiting for inspiration to come also a large leftover piece of moda cream fabric.

Then the light bulb went off why don't I use them for this quilt.


It was something quick I could create on the sewing machine and as I need to have several breaks - still in pain from the car accident - at least I would feel like I was achieving something. Which I call a " win win" situation.

There are 2 blocks each month for 10 months a total of 20 blocks.

I have finished both blocks for the first 5 months then one for the sixth, I thought I had finished the second block, but due to technical difficulties - me not ready the instructions a making the hexagons to big - I will have to redo them :-(


Then I jumped a couple of months and hand sewed the curved little blocks, then machine sewed them together.

So I am very happy with my progress.

Now l must stop procrastinating and finish piecing the backing for the licorice all sorts quilt and pin it together so I can quilt it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Another Portable Change Mat ... but in Pink !

Well another change mat as been produced, not that there was anything wrong with the first vinyl backed one I made last week. Except without thinking I used a fabric for the front with cute little duckies on it, but the background was blue !

So a request Was put in by Miss Le Coiffure with a smile and oh so nicely could I please use the leftover vinyl and make another one using the pink fabric I had bought but forgot to use on the last one.

When I have made it she could then give the "boys" one to her friend that has a baby boy but she doesn't have a change mat. I don't know about it being a "boys" one because if you look at the backing it is all pink green lemon and aqua not what I would have called boyish.

Well what is a good Mum/Nana to do but make another mat. Which was this mornings job and is all done and dusted.


Very pretty in pink !

Monday, October 22, 2012

Spicy Red Capsicum Dip & Another Baby Item Finished

Well we finally had some nice weather on Saturday, so nice in fact that Miss Fish and I set up the out side lounges and watched Mr CLI work lol.


So for lunch on Saturday I fancied some dips. I made Lorraine Elliot's tuna one from her site Not Quite Nigella.


Then I wanted on a bit spicier, after a search on the Internet I came up with this one.


Now if you don't want to use the mayonnaise you could replace it with 1/2 cup of raw nuts and blitz till chunky.


Spicy Red Capsicum Dip

1 red capsicum with core removed and cut into chunks, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, several drops tobasco, 1 clove garlic peeled, 2 tbsps grated Parmesan , 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 dessert spoon lemon juice, 12 sundried tomatoes


Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz till smooth.



Also I managed to get another item on my to do list completed. I started this blanket for Miss Le Coiffure's baby while she was pregnant.

I picked the colors before I knew the baby was going to be a girl, but Miss Le Coiffure likes the colors so I continued on and finished it.



Thursday, October 18, 2012

What Have I Been Up To ...

Well as I sit here in darkness, well not really but we have no power so there are dark places. I thought I would catch up with what I have been up to.


Yesterday the day started of with cooking. Mr CLI needed a jam slice for a meeting ! I never realised that meetings need jam slices lol

Then I moved onto a pile of fabric I had been hoarding and started to cut it into all different shapes and sizes for a BOM quilt that I have been following/watching since last November.


I had run out the backing fabric, so I thought I would go into town and get some more and while I was in there get a script filled and check my Tattslotto, just in case I was a big winner. Hah hah

Just as I was about to go to the patchwork shop then go home. I got an SOS phone call from Miss Le Coiffure, could I get the ingredients and come to her house to show her how to make minestrone soup.

Now the problem that arises with that it was midday and she lives 30 minutes from the town I was in and I live 10 minutes from there. So. Had to get ingredients, get my fabric - without any looking get to her house , show her how to make the soup the travel the 45 - 1 hour, depending on traffic and be home by 3 pm.

As Miss Fish gets dropped off after work sometime after 3 pm I am always home by 3.

Well did I make it , yes I did I was home at 2.59 pm, having done the shopping , organised soup and managed to eat some lunch.

Well out power is back on so I can on with the day, till tomorrow Hasta La Vista Baby ...