Monday, January 30, 2012

Poppy and Connor....

Just before Xmas we were very lucky to welcome 2 new little kittens to our tribe..... Meet 'Poppy' (and yes that's me, raw as raw, with all my lines exposed - something I'm trying to embrace)...
cat 
And here's Millie's 'Little Connor'.....
cat 1 
cat 2 
cat 3 
cat 4 
We sure do love our cats 'round these parts.... :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pebble....

I love knitting for babies, there's just something special about it - don't you think???....
pebble 1 
And if I had to pick a favourite pattern for a newborn it would have to be the 'Pebble'...
pebble 3 
I love the way this little vest is designed to open out flat - it makes those sometimes awkward newborn  change times seem oh so much more simpler.....
pebble 2 
If you've followed this blog for a while you'll know that this is my 3rd 'Pebble'. This one I've made for a lady who has been nothing but warm and generous to me since we met a few years back. She and her family have welcomed the most sweetest little girl, Tilly J, into the world on a very special day - Xmas Day!!!
pebble 4 
So with another knitted project off the needles a new one has begun... This time using some scrummy silk/cashmere and a gorgeous Kirsten Kapur pattern - I can't wait to tell you all about this new yarn once this project is finished...
silk 1
but until then - Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Seasonal

Last week we were gifted 2 big boxes full of the sweetest home-grown Nectarines I think I've ever tasted (thanks Hansen family) so what were we to do with this yummy, juicy, extra ripe seasonal fruit apart from eat it??? Make Jam of coarse....  
jam 1 
Having never made Nectarine Jam before, and a lack of being able to find a recipe in my trusty old preserving book, I decided to 'wing it'.....
jam 2 
My girls started by removing the seeds from the fruit and slicing the flesh, thinly, until they had enough to fill a 4 litre pot. I then placed the pot full of sliced fruit on the stove over a low heat for approx an hour (do not add any water or your jam will be too runny) - the flesh will be all nice and gooey like baby food after this time.
jam 3 
We then added 4 cups of sugar to our baby food goo and bought it to a simmer. Because Nectarines have a very low pectin level we had to simmer our mixture for approx 2 hours before the 'setting' stage was reached. A good way of telling if you've reached this 'setting' stage is to have a small plate handy in the freezer, place a teaspoon of your hot mixture onto the cold plate and freeze for a couple of minutes. If, when removed from the freezer, your mixture wrinkles and separates when your finger is run through it than your jam has reached the 'setting' stage - remove it from the heat and bottle it. If the mixture doesn't wrinkle simmer for a further 10 mins and repeat....
jam 4 
We've also got an abundance of passionfruit here on the farm at the moment so I tried my hand at some passionfruit syrup, so far so good it's a hit with the whole family!!!!
jam 5 
For our syrup we took 2 cups of fresh passionfruit pulp, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and bought it all to a rapid boil for 10 mins.
jam 6 
While it was still hot we poured it into some sterilized jars....
jam 7 
And then I couldn't help but pour it all over a butter cake that we'd made the day before and fill it full of cream - so delicious!!!!!
jam 8 
I'm still knitting away happily and have been dying to share this shawl with you all...
sand 1 
The pattern is Sand and Sea from the Coastal Knits book and the yarn I've used is Malabrigo (lace for the green and sock from the edging)
sand 2 
What can I say.... I simply loved making this shawl. There was just enough detail to keep me interested the whole way through and I even learnt something new - picking up wraps from a purl side. I can see another one of these simple lightweight Summer shawls whipped up very very soon....
sand 3 
And thanks to my little Millie, it's being modelled just beautifully..... :)
sand 4
{{{{Big Hugs}}}}
Jodie

Monday, January 16, 2012

Summer Afternoons

The windy weather this past week has been just perfect for kite flying....
kite 1 
So we've been making the most of it, as you do, getting our fill of windy action with some friends!!!
kite 2 
Connie (my 5yr old) even enjoyed a fly,
kite 3 
and loved every minute of it!!!! Next time she might even be ready to go solo...
kite 4 
kite 5 
Summer afternoons spent like this - finished off with a BBQ of coarse, are up there with my favourites - how 'bout you??? What's your favourite way to spend a Summer's afternoon where you come from???

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Absolute Bliss

WOW!!! Can it really be the 10th of January 2012 already???
The past 18 days since I last posted have been absolute bliss.... Loads of things have been happening, here's a brief run down - there was Xmas (of coarse), a gorgeous trip to Sunny Queensland for one of the best 6 day holidays we've EVER had, a delightful New Years Party on the gorgeous over flowing Darling River with a group of friends (both new and old which is always nice..), A visit to Nanny's place, a perfect pool party here on the farm for my little Millie who is now 3 - OMG!!!! And to top it all off we were blessed with a visit from some special friends this morning - they've travelled all the way from Victoria for a week away.
  tramp 1
Also, in amongst the excitement we've been trapping goats like crazy (which is usual for this time of year) but with the scorching temps reaching well up and into the 40's for the past week (thank goodness today is a mild 32'C) the new Jumpoline (thanks Santa... *wink*), some bubble bath and a sprinkler come in very handy for cooling everybody down a little - and yes I mean EVERYBODY!!! 
tramp 2
Thanks for all of the Xmas and New Year emails that have come through. A few have been wondering where I've been and if all is well - I promise, all is well here on the farm, a little chaotic at times but still very very well....
tramp 3
So................. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!!! Sorry it's 10 days late....
Here's hoping you bought 2012 in with a bang and that this year finds you taking a little more time out to appreciate the simpler things in life.....