Monday, December 2, 2013

Spicers Retreat Raffle

It has been a long time between posts. But it's been worth the wait! Because this could be you...
Image courtesy of Spicers group
I am participating in a 'Cycle for Cancer' challenge next March (hubby is taking on the primary carer role for 2 weeks) and Spicers have generously donated a night's luxury accommodation including a gourmet breakfast for 2 people at any of their 7 beautiful properties! The money raised goes to the Mater Medical Research Institute for research projects into women's cancers and to their Cancer Care Centre.

Tickets are $20 each or 3 for $50 and you can purchase them via the paypal button on the side bar to the right. Or if you prefer, you can pay via direct deposit. Just send me an email for my account details. I will post your tickets out to you and the raffle will be drawn on 8th March 2014. The lucky winner will be announced on this blog and also by phone.

If you'd like more information about the challenge, or to also make a tax deductible donation directly to the Mater Foundation, please go to my everyday hero supporter page!

Thank you so much for your support of such a worthy cause
Renée M-B

Monday, December 10, 2012

bunny and bunny rug for bub

That's my beautiful bubba with his bunny! My first crocheted toy!! The pattern is free from Lion Brand and is called 'best bunny'. I used brown sheep cotton fleece - the same yarn as for his layette.

I made it with the scraps leftover from his blanket!

I'm really happy with how this turned out. The design was based a little on 'make it yours pocket pal blanket' - another free Lion Brand pattern. However, I added a few more colours and quite a few more rows and rotated it so that the stripes were horizontal.

Crocheting is actually lots of fun. I think I may be starting to like it more than knitting!!! I have crochet geek and her videos on youtube to thank for learning how to do it. She has left-handed versions of nearly every stitch and pattern she's designed. Go check her out! She's awesome!

Mama JdV

Friday, November 23, 2012

Koala's hand-knitted layette

It is with much pleasure that I finally get to share this with you! It was a long work in progress but well worth the effort.
When we found out we were pregnant with our 3rd child, I decided straightaway that I wanted to make a layette. I'd come across a pattern in a Spotlight magazine of overalls, bootees, beanie and cardi that I thought was pretty cute and unisex. And I'd found the most gorgeous cotton merino wool yarn (Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece) at my fave yarn shop, Tangled Yarns. It was my intention to have this finished in time for Koala's birth. However, regular readers of this blog know that this was thwarted by the complications I had during the pregnancy and Koala's 3 month prematurity.

However, I still wanted to make the layette and embarked on knitting the overalls in the 3 month size. I also decided that I no longer loved the patterns for the other elements of the layette so I began searching on ravelry and found alternatives - like the cute bootees (yellow brick road bootees - free pattern)!

Next, came the beanie. And I found another pattern on ravelry called 'button beanie' that I knew would go perfectly. However, I had to knit this in a 6month size as Koala was growing pretty quickly!

After searching for a garter stitch cardi that I loved, I finally settled on Debbie Bliss's garter stitch cardi from her book Design it, Knit it, babies. This had to be knitted in a 9 month size! And because Koala had outgrown his overalls, and I dearly wanted him to be able to wear the ensemble, I lengthened the overalls on the leg and on the strap!

And there you have it! I'm hoping the cardi will fit him this coming winter. It has a lot of ease in it and was quite big on him.
It was so wonderful and healing to be able to make this for my beautiful boy. And maybe one day, if he has a son, he can wear it too!
Cheers, Mama JdV

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

school library bag

I've been doing a bit of sewing lately. Sewing is not my favourite of the domestic arts but I'm pretty happy with this! I got the pattern out of 'Everything Patchwork' that I found in our local library. The felt letters are a die from stampin'up that I ran through the 'big shot' and stitched on. Possum loves it. It certainly stands out amongst the sea of mundane, plain navy library bags and it never gets lost!
Renée M-B.

school beanie

Some MotherCraft for you in this post. Love this beanie! It was really easy to make and Blossom wore it last winter and again this winter to school.  Have only gotten around to taking a photo of it and posting it now!
It's a mixture of garter, moss and stockinette stitch and I used cleckheaton country 8 ply. The flowers are crocheted and stitched on (pattern for those from the 'learn to crochet' book by Paton's. Found the free beanie pattern on Ravelry - here's the link.
Renée M-B.

Friday, September 7, 2012

write a handwritten note

I was browsing Kikki K. yesterday and came across their '14 days of happiness'. You can check it out on their blog. Each day, they're posting an idea to implement to create more happiness in your life and the lives of others.
Anyway, day 1 was write a handwritten note. So I whipped up some hand-made stationery, wrote the note and sent it off (deets on how to make the stationery on my cardart blog here). It was a really nice thing to do. I highly recommend it!
Mama JdV

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

gf polenta pie

Thought I'd post this recipe for lentil and vegetable polenta pie because it was such a hit tonight - even with Possum who usually detests anything that contains any vegetable other than peas. And it's a good meal to prep in the morning and then just put in the oven 30 mins before teatime. This makes up enough for 2 nights for our family of 2 adults and 2 munchkins. I adapted it from a fantastic book called "low gi food" from the "food for life" series. (Polenta isn't the most low gi of grains, but I suppose it's balanced by the protein in the lentils and cheese. I'm not an expert so please do your own research if the low gi thing is important for you!)

Basically, you can put any veges you have in it. I used crushed garlic, chopped onion, celery and carrot (sauté first in olive oil), then add cubed aubergine and courgette, quartered mushrooms and diced red capsicum, a drained tin of brown lentils, 2 tins of diced tomato and some oregano and salt and pepper. Simmer that for about an hour or until veges are cooked.

Meanwhile, make up the polenta. I found that 2 cups of polenta was a good amount. Bring to the boil 6 cups of vegetable stock then slowly add the polenta, whisking all the while, and then stir over low heat for about 5 mins. Mix in about a cup of grated parmesan to finish. Line a round cake tin with foil, spoon in the polenta and refrigerate until set.

Then about 45 mins before teatime, preheat oven to 180, take out the polenta from fridge, cut into wedges and brush with olive oil. Put vege mix into a pie dish and arrange the polenta wedges on top. Bake for about 20mins or until the polenta is lightly golden.

Polenta is such a great grain for celiacs and this is one of the easiest ways of making it taste really good!
Mama JdV

Saturday, July 7, 2012

hold everything lightly

What a wonderful mantra that is! A beautiful friend of mine is going through some difficulties with her pregnancy. As I've been through two high risk pregnancies, I'm fully aware of what it's like when things don't go as you expect them to. Pregnancy, birth, and parenting are full of expectations. We have hopes and dreams of how we think it should go, or how we think it ought to be. However, there are so many other factors at play and we can't control them all. And if things don't turn out as you had hoped, it does get easier. You eventually accept the situation and you do get through it. Sometimes though, it does get all too hard, and it's then that we need to seek help and support. And it's then that our loved ones need to be there for us.

If there's something I've learnt through my experiences, it is to 'hold everything lightly'. Try not to hold too fast to how you want things to be, but just try to let them be. And it's ok to cry, get upset, be angry, but then to also try and make the best of the situation. And be thankful for all the blessings that are there for you, as hard as they might be to see at times.