Tuesday 17 June 2014

Winter loves

Homemade butter chicken soup; pumpkin soup made from home grown pumpkins (isn't this the cheeriest colour on a drab winter day?); Saturday morning soccer; knitted fingerless mitts (as requested by Charlie for her best friend/cousin, the Nalu Mitts pattern, information here); scrapbook pages completed; pot plants filled with pansy's.
Butter chicken soup is one of our favorites, it's a hearty filling meal and actually low in fat.  The second day we often have the leftovers on extra rice so it becomes more like a casserole.

Butter chicken soup
1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into small chunks
1 finely chopped onion
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 can tomatoes, chopped with juice
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup basmati rice
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup lite evaporated milk
Spray large pot with oil and add chicken and onion. Stir constantly until chicken is sealed. Add the dried spices and ginger, then stir in tomatoes and chicken stock. When simmering pour in basmati rice and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix together tomato paste and flour and whisk this, a little at a time, into soup. Add brown sugar and evaporated milk. Season to taste with salt and ground pepper.  (Recipe from Sophie Gray)
Enjoy, Wendy xx

Sunday 8 June 2014

A date and a dress

Paul had a day off on Friday so we visited the Hamilton gardens.  It was a perfect winter day, the sun was shining and it really felt more like autumn than winter.  The gardens are a beautiful place to visit and cover a large area with many different collections. My favourites are the Italian and English gardens.
I had also finished a new dress so Paul snapped some photos for me.  The dress is the Darling Ranges dress by Megan Nielsen, my first time sewing one of her designs.  Dear Julie gave me the fabric, it's a polyester (I did a burn test) with a nice soft, silky feel and drapes beautifully.  I finished the seams by overlocking and the neckline with bias binding as the pattern said, I do like the clean finish this gives.  I made the size medium with the following alterations:
  • removed 1/2" from top back seam for my narrow shoulders
  • added 1/2" to each side seam at the bust
  • removed about 4" from the skirt to reduce the fullness and gathers
  • added 6" to the length
  • I didn't add the elastic casing to the sleeve cuff or add the back tie
I really love this dress, I like how I can dress it up with a belt or just leave it plain.  Thanks so much Julie for the gorgeous fabric.  I've entered my dress into The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern dress competition. I'm not really one to blow my own trumpet but in this case I have to indulge in a bit of self-promotion. If you feel so inclined you can click on the button above to view the dresses and cast a vote for your favourite (it doesn't have to be mine but of course it wouldn't be self-promotion if I didn't gently nudge you in that direction). :) Wendy xx

Saturday 7 June 2014

Knitting and thrifting

We had a long weekend last week and it was pretty wonderful: no Saturday sports, Paul was home, I went scrapbooking for a day and we went to the movies on the Monday.  I did unfortunately get the cold that the rest of the family had but am now almost back to normal apart from a stuffy nose.  So I haven't felt as much like sewing as usual; knitting has been the craft of choice, it's so easy to sit near the fire and relax with needles and yarn.  I now have two socks and they are very comfy.  I made my own 'blockers' from foam sheets, not wanting to pay $60(!!) for sock blockers from the wool shop.  I also finished my hat, I love this pattern and have worn it a few times already. It is the Skeppe hat by Truly Myrtle.
Occasionally I make time to pop into my local vintage shop and recently I found a beautiful lace table cloth and two scarves, one silk and an organza one.  Today I visited a vintage and craft fair, I love seeing what the local crafty community are making.  I found the succulent in a china bowl, a silk vintage dress and a hand crafted necklace made with felted balls.  The dress is lovely, fully lined, really nicely finished inside, and it fits!!  It is actually a dark navy although it looks black in the photo.  Oh, and I also bought a couple of yummy cupcakes that didn't last long! Wendy xx