Sunday, November 28, 2010

marshmallow world...

This year I've found the all the Christmas issues of my favourite magazines really uninspiring. All the ideas either seem to be completely derivative or a rehash of the same things they published last year. I think a couple of stylists may have hit their creative snooze buttons this year. Thankfully there are some great online magazines around that are amazing this holiday season. Check out Rue and Gifted. This video is visually delicious - doesn't it just make you want to inject a little Elvis glamour into your Christmas decorating scheme? I seriously want to back comb my hair and get some false eyelashes... just saying.

Rue Magazine: Marshmallow World from Shark Pig on Vimeo.

Friday, November 26, 2010

I *heart* liberty...

Love can be a dangerous thing… especially for one's wallet. I got a little carried away at Patchwork on Central Park yesterday. Normally buying fabric is such a fun, positive experience but yesterday I came away feeling a bit like an alcoholic after a pub crawl. The shop was filled with snooty ladies contemplating purchasing fabric at $80 a meter and hand sewn blouses for $395. I was there with a very specific mission (to purchase binding for Minty's quilt) but when I reached the counter there was a $20 credit card minimum. I needed to spend an extra $5 and somehow that $5 kinda, sorta, maybe multiplied into a 'tiny' bit more *ahem*. So now I have spent the past 24 hours justifying my fabric extravagance in my mind. These liberty prints will certainly be treasured and every last millimetre will be used for something.

Monday, November 22, 2010

One - an open letter to the birthday boy

Dear Turi,

One today! Your first year has both flown and crept by.

Let me tell you a little about Turi at age one...

You love to climb and are often aided and abetted in your exploits by your big sister. You've scaled the back of the couch by gripping onto a towel that was hanging over the back like a tiny mountaineer, you climb the play table so you can peek up onto the kitchen bench and you've learnt to scale the baby gate by gripping the bars with your toes. You are very determined and crawl or edge around the room at high speed with a definite sense of purpose. When I tell you 'no' you flash me a cheeky grin and nod defiantly.

It is very hard to say no to you. You chase me around the house trying to get a cuddle and weep inconsolably if I walk by without picking you up.

You are very sociable. You always have a winning smile for visitors or people we meet out and about, and if they're extra lucky you might even give them a wave and a little 'hi' or 'hello'. Sometimes you get a little shy afterwards and have to hide in my shoulder.

You're trying really hard to talk and your list of words is slowly growing. Recent phrases include, 'yum yum milk', 'what's that?' and 'Oscar cat!'. When we go for our walk in the morning, just the two of us, while your sister sleeps, you spend the time pointing everything out to me, laughing and babbling away mostly in your own little language. Every now and then you'll reach back so you can hold my hand. I know when you're old and fighting for you're independence from me I'll look back and treasure this golden age together when things were simple and uncomplicated.

Happy Birthday little bear! You will always be my little angel, even if sometimes only god can see your wings!

Love mum xoxo

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sneak peak at my desk...

Moulin Rouge meets Christmas...

a little crown for a certain special almost one-year-old...

and finally my current headache... Honestly I have somehow made a seemingly simple project into a bunting nightmare - add a bit of tomato sauce to my screams and we could make a horror movie!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In which we eat asparagus and contemplate dressing as a maniac...

I'm blogging over here today if you're interested in checking out an asparagus tart recipe (sorry once again to all the dieters out there as this isn't exactly low fat).

I'm pretty swamped getting ready for Turi's birthday/Christmas/upcoming weddings so this is going to have to be a short post (sneak peak of crafty projects tomorrow).

Please enjoy yet another conversation with Minty (I know we've had a lot of these lately but she has been particularly amusing)...

as part of a larger conversation about all the things that would be happening around christmas….

me: ...and we might go to church with granny and grandpa and maybe you could dress up as an angel

minty: yeah or a witch

me: I'm not sure that a witch is really appropriate. Maybe you could dress up as a shepherd with a sheep

minty: or a parkilan [pelican]

me: um I'm not really sure that a parkilan is part of the Christmas story. How about dressing up as Mary?

minty: or the postman!

me: well the postman isn't really in the Christmas story either. How about a donkey?

minty: yeah that would be good…. or I could dress up as a maniac!

Not exactly sure if that would require a costume Minty. Sorry mum but I have clearly raised a heathen.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Conversations with Minty

Excerpts From the Dictionary of Minty

doughnuts = gumnuts
diamond room = dinning room
bestfast = breakfast

While playing hide and seek with her Peter Rabbit toy...

Minty: 7, 8, 9, 10… ready or not here I come! Is he under the mirror... no. Is he under the wall... no. Is he under the roof... no. Is he under the bed… no. Wherever could he be? I'm getting tired looking everywhere... I found him! That was pretty impressive wasn't it?

A little later...

Minty: would you like to find me?

Me: ok… you go and hide and I'll look for you.

Minty: alright - I'm going to go and hide under the blanket…

Thursday, November 11, 2010

In which we make a long overdue introduction and I hide the fairy trees...

Meet Lillian River, my teeny new baby niece. There is something so amazing about holding such a tiny little soul with all life's possibilities stretching out ahead. She is so cute, I just want to spread her on a piece of toast and eat her! Or kidnap her and do a photo series like this...

Speaking of eating… before I went awol I had quite a few requests for this broccoli pasta recipe.

Just a word of warning before we go any further… this is absolutely delicious so if you are trying to cut carbs or go low fat maybe just stop reading now because you may have difficultly eating this in moderation.

This is a good recipe for small (and big) people who think they don't like broccoli. Generally I try to be pretty honest about food with the kids. I let them help with the food prep (OK well Turi doesn't really help - he just stands at the door to the kitchen and nags for snacks of whatever veg I'm chopping), and we try to talk about what goes into things. But occasionally I have to flirt with my inner Jessica Seinfeld. There is something about broccoli that sends my kids into a state of sheer horror. No matter how many times I try to tell them that they are like cute little fairy trees the kids aren't buying. So this is a good compromise - it retains its delicious broccoli flavour (with some helpful additions - because seriously what veg doesn't taste amazing with the help of some butter and cream?) without the seemingly offensive broccoli shape.

Recipe from The Silver Spoon

500g broccoli (the recipe called for frozen but I used fresh)

3 tablespoons olive oil

25g butter

1 onion, chopped

4 tablespoons double cream

350g spaghetti

25g parmesan cheese freshly grated

salt and pepper

Parboil the broccoli in salted water for 10mins (I steamed mine). Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the onion and cook over a low heat stirring occasionally, for 5mins until softened. Drain the broccoli, add to the frying pan and mix well. Stir in the cream and simmer gently for 10mins. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a puree. Season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile cook the spaghetti, drain and toss with the broccoli and cream mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

Monday, November 8, 2010

In which we say happy birthday and I am left unsatisfied...

Happy (belated) birthday Aunty Rae! xo

In other news… I had my high school ten year reunion yesterday. I'd have to say it was rather unsatisfying. Somewhat like a cross between a job interview and speed dating, with everyone basically circulating the room and giving a 1 minute synopsis of their life story. Mine - I've got two kids and I live on Phillip Island - somehow it says everything and nothing. With the 'Facebook' I suppose much of this is redundant given that you can take a superficial glance at people's lives whenever the whim grabs you. I came away feeling a bit like a carnivore at a vegan retreat - craving more substance. That said, it was nice to see people, especially some friends I haven't caught up with in a while.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Captain Obvious and Mr Malodorous rule the world

Just in case anyone in the house might be suffering from a case of early onset alzheimers Minty broadcasts regular public service announcements at the top of her lungs. For the most part these are purely factual, such as 'this is the lounge!', 'this is my brother!', 'I am Araminta!', 'this is my lunch!', but occasionally she injects them with a little subjectivity: 'I am a very cool dancer', 'I'm very sweet really', and my personal favourite, 'I am a big girl, and Turi is a little girl'.

Sadly I don't think Turi will remain a 'little girl' for much longer. He is what Oprah would term an 'emotional eater'. Due to my newfound prescription drug habit I had to wean Turi, a choice neither of us wanted to make. He now spends his entire day attempting to procure snacks and can often be found staring longingly into the kitchen. He eats if he's bored, he eats if he's sad, he eats if he's tired. If he sees someone else eating it sends him into a frenzy. Unfortunately this insatiable appetite has lead to some healthy bowel action… hence his new nickname.

"mum, stop telling everyone about my bowels!"

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Best present ever...

Two of our friends, who both happen to be talented artists, recently gave Minty the most amazing present. A calico bag filled with all kinds of goodness - two simple wooden dolls, a hand sewn calico doll, pipe cleaners, beads, buttons, ribbons, felt, fabric scraps, goggly eyes, pompoms and sticky velcro circles. Minty has had so much fun this week dressing the dolls in fanciful costumes. We've just been using a combination of velcro, sticky tape and ribbon or pipe-cleaner ties to secure everything to the dolls so that when she's finished we can take everything off and start again. Whenever she has a free moment Minty asks me to do more 'heart work' (the mispronunciation of art somehow seems more apt so I can't bring myself to correct her).

I think Minty better watch out because I have my eye on some of the fabric for some patch-working projects!

Thanks Andrew and Carly!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

In which I drop off the side of the earth and Minty learns to swear...


I'm finding it hard to write about the past month without sounding melodramatic or like some kind of polyanna wannabe. Two prolapsed discs in my neck. To say it's been hard would be an understatement. I feel like I've been sitting on the sidelines of my life the past month watching everything pass by.

I may or may not elaborate on all of this at a later date. Frankly it's a bit stressful and depressing for me to think about. I'm still very much going through the recovery process so don't be alarmed if I'm popping back and forth from this space in the next couple of months. I'm trying to live in the moment and not to look too far ahead. Right now I'm feeling much better.

Everyone has been amazingly helpful and supportive during all of this. Thank you!

And in the interests of full disclosure… a confession. As a result of my foul language during this rough month MInty has learnt a new word… 'shit'. On the bright side, to date she has only used it as an exclamation, not a verb or noun. Hopefully both Minty's sailor mouth and my neck will soon make a full recovery.