Swap Meet Sunday

Swap Meet Sunday

Brrrr….2 degrees?  Really, Mother Nature?  Really?  Don’t I have enough trouble getting up already?  I can’t physically wear any more layers of clothing and I’ve forgotten what it is like to be able to feel my extremities.  This is Australia for Goodness’ sake!  Sure, it’s Winter, but really!

Got up early on this bright and sunny (but frickin’ freezing!) Sunday morning to go bargain hunting at a huge swap meet in the Northern suburb of Wanneroo.  My two friends, FK and MD, asked me if I wanted to go (last night) and I thought about it for two seconds before saying an enthusiastic “Yes please!”  We set off early as the real “pro” bargain hunters go at the crack of dawn and we wanted to make sure there were still treasures to be found.  We rugged up (I even wore my knitted hat – that only comes out when I am beyond caring about what I look like and aiming for the prevention of frost-bite) and set out into the crowds, ready to snap up some cool stuff (hopefully).  We struck gold at the very first stall (always a good sign if you spend straight away) – lots of lovely plants for sale, predominantly succulents.  MD and FK LOVE their succulents and so they parted ways with the cash pretty quickly.  I too bought a little cactus – an adorable little guy that looked like a bunny.  Had to have it.  It was only $3.00. Will try not to kill it (yes, I can murder even a cactus with my black thumbs).

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Further on, I picked up a lovely white geranium – have wanted one for ages but they are always so expensive.  This one was just $4.00 and a good size and in great condition.  Gotta find a nice spot for it to go in my garden.  MD and FK bought a few more succulents to go in their respective gardens at home.  FK also snagged a bright green wheelie bin that she is going to use as a compost bin on her balcony.  Those bins are normally around the $20 – $30 mark.  She got it for $3.00!  Another stall-holder tried to buy it from her for $10.00 so he could sell it for more himself.  No chance!  Unfortunately, another gentleman thought it was a real bin and threw his half-eaten burger in it.  Ew.  He removed it again though 🙂

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MD herself also found a great bin, suitable for compost.  It’s asking price was $14.00 but we haggled the guy down to $9.60.  Bargain!  Of course they were now lugging around two big bins but it was too far to go back to put them in the car (we’d already done that with the plants).  I managed to pick up an awesome spice rack for $9.00 (I should have haggled but I’m not so good at that…still, it was a good price) which I am going to use for my beads.  It’s perfect for that and fairly compact in size so will save space and free up some room in my other bead boxes and jars.  It was bloody heavy though…wish I’d found it at the end of the day instead of the beginning!

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I also picked up these pretty Wood & Sons “Yuan” vintage plates for $3.00 (for the three plates).  Such a nice design and I love the blue. I’ve had a look around on the internet for prices for these plates and they’re going for anything from $5 to $40 per plate!  Definitely got a bargain here!  Doesn’t matter to me really though – I just thought they were pretty! 🙂

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FK found a watering can and paid $5.00 for it – it fitted nicely in her wheelie bin so at least she didn’t have to carry it as well.  I was happy to grab some paint brushes that were being sold by the bundle – only $3.00 a bunch.  The lady at that stall was eyeing off my spice rack – but I wasn’t giving it up!

MD got the biggest item of the day – a six-seat dining setting for $130.00 including delivery!  It was a nice set – expandable table with good, solid chairs.  We were amazed that the stall-holder would deliver on a Sunday and only charge $20.  Crazy!  But such a bargain.  The seat cushions were a little grubby but will probably come up nice and clean again with a bit of sponging or MD could maybe re-upholster them pretty easily and cheaply.

After three hours we were pretty pooped and ready to go home for a nice hot cup of tea and to look at our purchases.  Will definitely go again – maybe take Mum as she needs some new plants that won’t cost the Earth.  Love a good bargain hunt and today was no disappointment in that category.  The weather actually was pretty nice after the first chilly hour or so – beautiful blue skies and sunshine (although I still had a big jacket, scarf and my hat on!).  A nice way to spend a few hours on a Sunday.  I came home and made one card (meh…I’m still getting back into the groove with card-making) and a necklace (trying to use up my chunkier beads…).

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Hope you have had a good weekend – enjoy your week! 🙂

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April Blooms (while I curse the cold)

April Blooms (while I curse the cold)

It is raining.  Our parched state is finally receiving some blessed rain from above and my garden couldn’t be happier.  As everyone knows, I don’t like the colder seasons and whinge and complain for months on end until the sun starts warming the earth again and I can get out of the dreaded jeans and pants (I am a skirt girl).  However, I do love the rain and how it freshens everything up and makes the plants blossom and bloom and stand tall.  I love the sound of rain on the roof, especially when I’m tucked up in bed.  This morning I slept in, yet again, when I had promised to get up early and make the most of the day, and listened to the lovely gentle rain, watering my garden for me and making everything clean and bright.

So while drag myself out of bed and make plans for the day, my garden is happily soaking up all the moisture it can get, blossoming and blooming in an explosion of colour, to celebrate the breaking of the “drought”.  I’m just trying to wake up.  I’ll leave the exhibitionism and beauty to the plants 🙂

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Noooooooooo! I’m not allowed to get sick!!!

Noooooooooo! I’m not allowed to get sick!!!

Ugh.  I think I am getting a cold.  I hardly ever get them and, when I do, I am quite pathetic.  Sniffly and moany and pathetic.  I think I hate the time they waste.  When you’re sick you can’t do anything constructive and you just want to curl up in a ball and die, loudly with lots of complaining and coughing.  Right now I feel a bit hot in the face and my throat is dry and scratchy.  I have loaded myself up with Vitamin C, Garlic and Horseradish.  I hate bought throat lozenges and will be making myself soup for dinner (capsicum with added horseradish and ginger and garlic – it is possible no one will want to come near me for a few days).  I am drinking lemon and ginger tea and am about to pour a jar of honey down my throat.  Ugh.  I think I am even more pathetic now I am on my own – not that hubby was particularly good at playing nursey but it is always better to have someone around to fetch you tissues and get you hot water bottles and look sympathetic.

However, I shall try not to give in to the lurgy.  I have one more day of my short holiday left and I do not want to waste it.  I have had a few nice days of crafting with my Mum and I don’t want to stop now that I am back home again.  Today we went to a big craft show at the show grounds and had a great time – but I will update you on that next post.  The days before were spent collaging and playing with clay at my Mum’s.  We had been wanting to make some clay ornaments and beads for some time and decided this would be the week we made a commitment to do so.  We soon learned we are lacking in sculpting skills and probably had visions of elaborate finished pieces that were way beyond our actual abilities.  Never mind, we had fun and made a mess which is the important bit 🙂

I made a few round beads that I want to paint once they are dry.  I also made some pendants (again, faces) and a brooch and a little “L.O.V.E” statue that I think is kinda cute.  They all need to be sanded a bit and/or painted and varnished.  Fun!  Time-consuming!  Messy!  But definitely fun.

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Little L.O.V.E statue.  (you can’t see the word very clearly here but it is near the bottom.
Speaking of bottoms, she has one.  A butt that is!..but you can’t see that either here)

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“Goddess” brooch

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“Face” beads and pendant…

Now I have to unpack all my bags (I’ve been staying at Mum’s and I always overpack) and find my house under all the rubble.  I want to be ready to get up early tomorrow, possibly go for a walk if I can get motivated enough and then do a solid day’s crafting as I won’t get to do any for a while due to pesky work commitments (so inconvenient this work business!).  I also plan on eating the fudge I bought at the craft show in a moment of weakness.  I want to get back onto my healthy eating so will have to consume the fudge quickly so as not to ruin my healthy week.  That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  Fudge is good for sore throats, right?

Hope you are having a great weekend, free from lurgies and full of fun and fabulousness! 🙂

Coconut and Pistachio Barfi

Coconut and Pistachio Barfi

I am off work today with a cold.  Not a terrible cold or the flu – just sniffly and snuffly and couldn’t get out of bed-dy.  I always feel guilty about taking time off work but I really didn’t feel well this morning and so when hubby asked me if I was gonna stay home, I said “Yep” and went straight back to sleep.

I’m not feeling well but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna sit around and do nothing.  I have to be really sick to just lie on the couch all day watching TV or sleeping.  So I’ve been re-organising my jewellery supplies.  When I say “re-organising”, what I should really say is “organising” because they were in a pretty bad state and nothing was even remotely organised.  At all.  I want to put all my silver findings in one box, copper findings in another and so on.  So I can find stuff when I need it.  Which will certainly be a novelty for me.  It is going to take me the better part of one whole day I think.  I’m culling as I go as well because there are beads and findings that I just won’t use. Lots of plastic beads and stuff that I’ve just acquired over the years.  So many boxes and cases to go through…it all looks so much nicer when it’s all neat and tidy and colour matched though:

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As I said in my last post, I have a “Bollywood” themed fundraiser at work tomorrow so my department had to make Indian foods for a staff banquet.  I said I would make some sort of sweet thing.  I chose Coconut Barfi because it seemed pretty simple to make and didn’t have lots of ingredients.  I altered mine a bit to include Pistachio because it’s just such a pretty colour and I love the flavour.  So, here’s the recipe, provided by my lovely library assistant, Bhavni:

Coconut & Pistachio Barfi

Should make about 12 – 15 pieces depending on how big you roll them

Ingredients 
2 Cups Desiccated coconut ( I am a bit of an idiot and accidentally used shredded coconut but it still worked fine)
Condensed Milk -1 Can (300 ml)
½ tsp Cardamom powder
100g ground pistachio
Extra desiccated coconut for coating

Method
1.Heat a non-stick pan on medium flame and add the coconut.
2. Saute until the you can smell the coconut, making sure it does not brown at all (it takes 5 to 10 mins).
3. Add the condensed milk and cardamom powder and ground pistachio

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4. Saute for 5 mins continuously until everything rolls out to a ball.
5. Add some food colour if you like (the pistachio was green enough for me) and mix it.
6. Switch off the stove and let mixture cool down so you can handle it.
7. Roll into small balls and roll in extra coconut.

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8. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Voila!  Pretty easy really.  Thanks Bhavni!

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Hopefully people at work will like them.  I should point out that I washed my hands continuously throughout the making of these little gems.  I didn’t want anyone getting my germs as a special surprise in their Barfi.  I’m not coughing so I hopefully kept my plague to myself.  I had some ideas for dressing up the dish and making them look all blingy and Indian-inspired and colourful but I’m not feeling that well.  I’m just glad I got something made, despite my ill health.

Have a great week everybody.  Why not try some Barfi?  They don’t take long and you could make some to take to your own workplace and share around.  Let me know if you do 🙂

PS The Barfi can also be pressed into a tin (buttered, the recipe suggests, or, as I would suggest, lined with baking paper) and when set, cut into diamonds.  Pretty!

Bloomin’ cold…

Bloomin’ cold…

It is still freezing cold here.  The weather reports say there’s more frosty conditions to come and looks like even Spring will be colder than usual.  Yuck.  Today is bright and sunny with blue skies and not a cloud to be seen, but still it is double-quilt-and-blanky-weather, especially indoors.  So, as much as possible I’m going to stay outside.  That means gardening (or at least walking around thinking about gardening, then giving up and just sitting with a cup of tea looking at the flowers…) and taking stock of what lovely blossomy things are in bloom at this time of year.  I do love pansies and other annuals, geraniums and even my poor roses which continue to struggle through the cold weather and my neglect.  So, for want of something more interesting to blog about today, here is another trip through the garden (and some shots from Mum’s – I’m cheating today. I wish my garden was like hers).  I hope the blooms brighten your day.  Bring on the sun!

 

 

NATIVE WISTERIA (MUM’S)

 

 

GERANIUMS (MUM’S)

 

 

GOLDEN WATTLE (MUM’S)

PANSIES

ROSE

PANSY (MUM’S)

SWEET WILLIAM