Thursday, 12 May 2016

Little Bear Cape

I didn't plan on this little project, I just wanted to test out the hood design for something exciting I have planned for Mio's birthday. But after rummaging for some test fabric and sewing it together I decided to go all out and turn it into a finished piece. I used fabric from a bag of mixed bits that my in-laws gave me, so all it cost me was my time which is always a bonus.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Crochet Shorts

I love making crochet shorts, and kooky granny square shorts are the best. I have two pairs I made for myself that always get compliments from people in the street and I absolutely love them. I made these from the leftover yarn from all the rompers I knitted for her in her first year so it was a great way to use up some of the bits in my yarn stash.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Drawing Development 2 Years 10 Months

Mio is continuing to show her love and skill for drawing. Here's some My Neighbor Totoro inspired drawings she did this morning.


Another Totoro (this was the first one she drew)

The Cat Bus

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Gluten Free Focaccia

Creating gluten free bread and cake recipes seems to be my favorite thing to do in the kitchen at the moment. I'm really excited about this bread, it has a great texture and is really easy to throw together. It has a lighter texture than my buckwheat bread and is probably my favorite of the two. I haven't tried making it into a loaf but it works well as a focaccia, as well as little bread rolls made in mini muffin tins for picnics. I've tried other toppings like basil, garlic and cheese, and spinach and cheese which are both delicious.

The risen dough and the prepared baking tray.

The dough in the tray ready for the toppings.

Ready for the oven.

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tbsp psyllium husks
2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups warm milk

3/4 cup olives and sundried tomatoes
1 cup grated cheese
fresh basil to sprinkle on top

polenta for sprinkling on the bottom of the baking tray

Measure dry ingredients for the bread into a bowl and stir to combine. Warm milk on the stove (you should still be able to dip your finger in and hold it there without burning yourself) and then add to the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined, the mixture should resemble a thick batter. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 230 degrees Celcius. Slice the olives and sundried tomatoes. Finely dice the basil and grate the cheese. In a 20x30cm non-stick slice tray sprinkle a small amount of polenta on the bottom.
Spoon small amounts of the dough evenly over the base of the tray and spread to cover. Cover the top of the dough with the olives, sundried tomatoes, basil and cheese and leave to rise for another 10 minutes.
Bake for 15 minutes and then leave to cool in the tray for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

My very patient 2 year old waiting to eat while I snap a few photos.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Little Pants for Mio

I found some cute corduroy fabric in an op-shop recently for $1.25 and knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Paired with some purple stretch fabric my in-laws gave me, I thought it would make great pants for Mio. I drew around the shape of some of Mio's pants for a rough pattern, altered the length for the leg bands and took a bit off the top for the stretchy waist band. The pants came together really quickly, I love little projects like this that are quick and easy. Now on to the thousand other clothing ideas I have swimming around my head.

Playing in the backyard kitchen.

Through the overgrown garden and into the cubby, life is full of wonder.  

Monday, 21 March 2016

Gluten Free Vegan Buckwheat Bread

In my 6 or so years of living with Coeliacs I've had countless baking failures in the pursuit of creating baked goods that are easy to make, don't crumble to bits, are free of thickeners and gums, don't contain eggs, and don't have a list of ingredients that's longer than my weekly shopping list. I know, that's a long list of ideals and gluten free baking is not usually the easiest of cooking endeavors but I've finally created a bread that I can make a sandwich with, tastes delicious, fulfills all my ideals, and has the added bonus of being really quick to put together.

3 cups Buckwheat flour
3 cups Tapioca starch 
1 Tbsp Psyllium husks
2 tsp Yeast
2 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt

3 cups Water (warm)
1/3 cup Olive oil

Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl then add water and oil and stir to combine into a thick batter. Pour mix into an oiled and floured bread tin and leave to rise in a warm place for 20-30 minutes before placing in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 50 minutes (will probably only take 30-40 minutes in a fan forced oven). Once cooked leave to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool or slice while still warm.

My little munchkin blowing the bread to cool it down.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Mio's Pom Pom Beanie

I love making beanies so it's a good thing that it's autumn again and my small person has done plenty of growing over the summer and could do with some more cozy head wear for the colder months here in Melbourne.
This was a super easy beanie to make without a pattern, once you've roughly figured out the gauge and head circumference, cast on an even number of stitches and work beanie in a knit 1 purl 1 rib in the round until you have a cuff the width you like. Then knit in stockinette (knit all stitches in the round) until your beanie is the right size and cast off using kitchener stitch. Add a couple of pom poms and you're done. Easy!
The wool yarn was so soft and such a delight to work with, and it only used a little over 50 grams of yarn so it was well worth investing that little bit extra money to make something with natural fibres for Mio's precious little noggin.


Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tooth Powder

So, I know there are about a million recipes for toothpaste alternatives out there these days but this is one that I came up with that my kids (8yrs and 2yrs) love, and it made the switch from toothpaste an easy one. After researching ingredients and testing a few things I came up with a recipe that is easy to make, has a minty toothpastey taste and cleans my teeth so well that I don't get any tartar build up like I used to (which means less dentist visits!). At first I thought it would be hard to get used to not having a foamy paste but after I had been using my tooth powder for a while and then went back to toothpaste when I had run out and forgotten to make more, I found the mouth full of foam a really bizarre and kind of gross feeling; so I guess that means I'm well and truly converted.

The recipe includes diatomaceous earth for it's high silica content which is important in the formation of strong enamel and has the added benefit of being gently abrasive to polish teeth and remove plaque and tartar build up. The green clay binds to impurities and toxins in your mouth and also has anti-inflammatory properties as well as containing a variety of important trace minerals. Ground stevia leaf (not to be confused with the chemical filled white 'stevia' you can find in supermarkets) helps to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth that contribute to tooth decay, it also gives a flavor that in my opinion is similar to toothpaste. Lastly, the peppermint essential oil has antiseptic properties and gives the tooth powder that minty toothpastey taste.

1/4 cup diatomaceous earth
1/4 cup green clay (bentonite clay will give similar benefits)
1 tsp ground stevia leaf
20 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix ingredients together thoroughly and store in an airtight container. To use, simply wet the toothbrush and dip it in the powder.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, I share this information as it has been beneficial to my own and my family's health. I encourage you to do your own research and if in doubt consult your doctor.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Mio's Drawing 2yrs 7mths

Since Mio was a baby she seemed to be grasping concepts and developing beyond what is 'normal'. At 2 years and 7 months she's a bright little cookie with very advanced language and communication skills and wonderful fine motor skills. She loves to draw and write and has been enjoying drawing faces and people over the past month or so. I was rather impressed with her drawing today which she told me was of a person with one hand on it's head (below)

I've been reading up on drawing development which with a background in primary school education and creative arts I'm finding really interesting. Her drawing above indicates she's in the pre-schematic stage of drawing which typically begins around 4 years of age but can occur earlier. I'm really enjoying watching her learn and develop, she's such a delight to be around.