Friday, October 29, 2010

Perfect Sunday

This past weekend, we had a 'girlie weekend'. My wonderful sister in law, Jayne, came down from Sydney for a couple of days. We trooped off to a craft market on Saturday morning and followed it with a few stops along High Str, Armadale. We ended our outing with a visit to a fabulous supermarket called Leo's in Hartwell. We bought supplies for dinner as Jayne was cooking. We had pork belly with lentils and caramelised beetroot. Delish!

Sunday morning found us the Camberwell Market. My favourite market in Melbourne. We browsed and had a yummy breakfast. I picked up a planter bowl for a new little plant my niece Gwen gave me.

Here's Jayne checking out the vintage bags

I love the eclectic fashions you spot at the market. Anything goes!

This thoughtful stall holder even provided a spot to kneel while rummaging through her pile of clothes. Genius!

We then went home and lazed on the front deck.   

Sara took to the grass

One of these days she's going to finish Anna Karenina!

Nala had to be part of the action. Love her licking her lips in anticipation!

Tea was poured

We bought some lemon curd at the craft market on Saturday. We filled little pastry shells and topped them with cream. The little meranges we picked up at Leo's. Filled with cream they were simply sublime! Not a calorie in sight! Sshhhh.....

Aaahhh... the good life!

Many years ago, my girlfriend Donny and I used to listen to Michael Franks' music. In one song he had a line that went something like this: 'hollyhocks and foxgloves to the knees. Now life's in a major key.' I've always wanted to grow foxgloves after hearing this song. So I planted some last season. No flowers then. But this year they've rewarded me with the most beautiful pink bell like flowers.

Life is definitely in a major key!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

R.I.P. Wynand - South Africa

It was with great shock and sadness that we learned of the passing away of my youngest brother Wynand on the 14th of October. Wynand was only 37 years old. He was much loved by all who knew him. We will miss him terribly. He is going to make an awsome angel!

So my brother Lionel and I hopped on a plane to make the sad trip back to South Africa. We flew into Jhb and transferred directly to Durban where the funeral was to be held.

I stayed with my Mum at Wynand's apartment right next to the sea. What a view! No wonder he was enjoying his life in Durban. 

Lionel and I managed to catch up with our family and in between the sadness, we did manage to have a few good laughs. We visited my Dad and step Mum at their new place. Boy, just look at that security! 

Seatbelt rules are very casual to say the least in South Africa. No proper car seats for little ones. My little nephew Seth wanted to sit with his Uncle Lionel. No problem.

Lunch with my Dad and my little sister, Vanessa. 

You know you're in Africa! 

Lionel and three of the gang. Leshae, Seth and Cadibree 

Dinner.... Bunny Chow. A wonderful Durban Indian invension. Half a loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with a delicious (hot!!) lamb curry. Served with a packet of pickled carrot. 

I just LOVE the Indian spice shops in Durban. Here's my Mum and my sister Belinda. Pity the Aussie customs are so strict! Spices are bought by the weight. 

What wonderful colours!

The new South Africa has created many new job opportunities..... For instance, I think that being able to buy an ice cold coke while sitting in the hot afternoon traffic is simple genius!  

My Mum Marie and my Sister Vanessa. 

The wake in honour of Wynand. Here his friends and boss are remembering him with a shot or two! 

My trip was only 4 days. I wish I could have stayed a bit longer. Next time. But my best friend Donny and her sister Lois came to the airport and we had a coffee together. It was sooo good to see them! 

And finally, on our way home, Lionel treated himself to a shoe shine at the new King Shaka airport in Durban.  

I visited South Africa last year and I didn't think I'd be back quite so soon. Even tho' it was for a sad reason, I'm glad I went. And hopefully we'll be able to go back again soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family is best!

This past weekend, my brother Lionel, my SIL Adele, and my niece Genevieve and nephew, Delisle came to visit us from Brisbane. It was a fleeting visit. Only two nights. But hey, we're not complaining. It was great to catch up and share a few good laughs.

From left: Lionel, Delisle, Adele, Genevieve

Little Mummy. Only 6 weeks to go! It was wonderful feeling the baby kick.


Frans & Ami

Then it was time to haul out the knitted baby stuff and pass it on to Gen. (Save the postage!)

Pink and purple wool jacket

Little cotton bolero

And my favourite.. the sunshine BSJ knitted in wool

And just to show that knitting and crochet is genetic, here are a couple of pics of a beautiful afghan rug my Mum has just completed. My Mum lives in a small town in the beautiful Cape Province in South Africa. There is a very clever lady there who has a wonderful store called RAIN. She specialises in hand made organic products. So my Mum was asked to crochet an afghan for the store. It took her 3 months of solid 'hooking'. The pay was not great, but the satisfaction made up for it. I wanted to buy it, but unfortunately the afghan was earmarked for the London store. My Mum's one complaint was that the yarn was very thin! But you have to agree it looks devine! Well done Mummy! 

A close up of the squares. Yummy chocolate, taupe, cream and shell colours.

And yes, afghans are the flavour of the month in this family. I'm knitting a little pram blankie for Genevieve's bub. I'm using organic cotton. Queensland is hot remember!

The pattern is dead easy. Cast on 2 stitches. Knit a row. Then increase one stitch on each end until you have used up approx 5 or 6 balls of yarn. Then simply decrease one stitch again on each alternate row. And viola! You have a square baby blanket. All you need to do if you fancy, is crochet or knit a little edge around it I'm using white, cream and ecru for this little number.

Easy huh?

Stay tuned for the finished result. Then I'll be posting it off to Brisbane to Genevieve with all the little jumpers she FORGOT to take home with her! :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Latest knits...

I've been enjoying knitting smaller items this winter. And here is my latest tea cosy. I love orange. So if I can use this colour in a project, it makes me very happy!

The body is knitted, and the flowers are crochet.

This cosy looks very special on top of my grandmother's tea pot!

And once again, orange is the feature colour in this little 'Baby Surprise Jacket' that I made last week for my neice Genevieve. Well, it's for her baby...
The construction of this jumper is facinating. It is knitted as one piece. And all done in 100 rows.
I think this little jacket looks like pure happiness!

Here's the finished little jacket

Just loved the little flower buttons. Here you can see a close up of the unexpected use of colour: Orange, red, hot pink, pink and yellow. Why not I say...

The back.

Knitting these little jackets is a tad addictive.... Now what colours should I try out next I wonder....

Cupcake Madness

A couple of weeks ago, Stephen's (Sara's lovely BF) little sister Jessica had her 18th birthday. So it was all systems go with the baking, making and setting up for the party. Stephen and Sara made a huge batch of cupcakes. Two flavours: Strawberry & white chocolate, and a plain vanilla flavoured one. Stephen's Mum, Doris made another batch with a few different flavours.
They measured, mixed and baked all Friday evening.

The batter is good. Sara is spooning it into the cupcake papers.

Stephen is doing the 'rendering' here...

And here come the decorations! 

Keeping it simple. Looking pretty!

And here they are! All done.

And what is an 18th party without a few Vodka jelly shots?