Thursday, June 27, 2013

What We've Made

So far this month there have been two birthdays, three eventful birthday events, presents exchanged and many moments of creation.  Perhaps not the thunder and lightning, spark of God style creation but nevertheless little moments of creativity have popped up here and there.  

We had been given some very sweet serviettes from Jay a few years ago and under the pressure of regular use and admiration they have started to, literally, wear thin.  I remembered that I had stashed away somewhere in the wilds of my fabric mountain a couple of plain serviettes awaiting some embellishment.  So the children were instructed to select a very simple illustration that I could attempt to embroider on there for them.

Ted chose the birds above and despite not having the orange for their beaks I would have liked, he was left very chuffed.  In fact in a most un-Tedlike  manner he even decided to fore go using it that first night because it was "too beautiful".  I had to persuade him that wiping his dripping/crusty/sticky/stinky hands on it was the very reason the birds had come into existence and it now lies happily filthy in the laundry pile after some enthusiastic use.

 Harriet needed a little guidance on what could be defined as a 'simple' illustration.  She finally settled on the puppies and has designated the one on the upper left to be her favourite 'for embroidery' and the upper right is her favourite 'for drawing'.  Ok look, don't ask me.

Harriet's own personal level of creation has skyrocketed lately.  The card I received for my birthday was delicious enough to last me for quite a while, as you can see for yourself:

It also serves to illustrate the fact of my awesome-ness which, quite frankly, has been all too little  remarked upon.  My favourite part of the card is a tight race between the love maths, the extendable love hearts or the "love us/me".   Honestly, this is a hard card to produce a superior to.  There are not enough beautiful words to describe just how this makes me feel.

 This magnificence was made by Harriet.  

And I'm not talking about in a she-held-the-spoon-and-cracked-an-egg kind of made it.  I mean Harriet chose the recipe, improvised ingredients, chopped, roasted, boiled, mixed and served the Monday night dinner for all four of us. 

It was one of the projects Harriet fulfilled for her 'Chef Challenge' on the DIY website I mentioned in my previous post.  I also made a video of her making it and uploaded it to YouTube, only to find out that it was a true behemoth of a file and they have a reasonably low upload limit.  So if you feel like you'd like to see Harriet move from novice to expert chef, watch this little educational pic in your next free ten minutes:

The night before there had been some cooking fun too.  Despite the pressures of a family under the grip of cabin fever, James took the bold step of embracing a little homemade pasta.  Harriet made the salad, I made the sauce and Ted and Jimbo made the spelt pasta.

Harriet had a turn of the..well of the turning.

And this knotted piece was a particular highlight. Mmmm...the waiting mouth impatiently awaited the taking of the photo.

Ted was not under a similarly obliging mind and (notice the action blur) was difficult to stop.  Pasta is a rarity and fresh pasta with a thick pumpkin and pine nut sauce? 

Sorry...can't type...drool on keyboard.

Another DIY project here.  Harriet made Ruby, the cleaning-up robot.  The many buttons have many functions and luckily her large body is of a size enough to welcome any stray items in the house that need to be transported to other areas for the sake of cleanliness.  As I prepared food in the kitchen this afternoon, for example, Ruby appeared holding dirty paint bowls and brushes in her innards.  She was a hollow vessel, to pour your thoughts into (trying to segue a Welcome Mat reference in there was darn tricky and I acknowledge, yes, it was lame).


 Absolutely one of the standout culinary experiences from the last few weeks has been this.  Sure, it looks benign enough.  Poached eggs and some other stuff on a flatbread.  But oh. OH!  The flatbread had a hint of cheese, fresh rosemary and the tang of Jimbo's homemade labneh on top to elevate it above the pedestrian.  Every single thing about this breakfast was astounding.  Even the jar of green tomato and chilli relish (recipe pilfered from the prolific Pearl and Elspeth), in order to use up those unrelenting tomatoes that sprang up in our compost, was delectable (proven by it's now pathetically depleted volume).


 Harriet has, as you can tell, be on an independence jag.  She was determined to make a Papa cushion for Papa's birthday and refused any assistance.  I did have to insist on topstitching when the stuffing went in because that sucker is slippery, but other than that she emrboidered, traced, measured, drew, ironed, sewed and exalted in her own abilities.


Yay for the age of Independent Harriet! I have just realised I failed to snap a shot of the finished item.  This shall be remedied.


Today we stayed at home.  As we have done for many, many days lately.  The onset of the holidays coincided with a massive downpour that has lasted approximately forty days and forty nights, so there has been a lot of washing paintbrushes of late.  Ted's enjoyment of paint still errs on the visceral.  The production line of paintings that require days to dry as a result of their unwieldy blobs of glitter paint do tend to take up valuable indoor space.  The lemon above is from our tree - bonus!  Still not enough for my dream of homegrown lemon curd, but we're getting there.

Of course staying home does mean much reading.  Ted's love of magic made me consider the Narnia series, which Harriet eschewed with such passion a couple of years ago.  I started reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to him and he sat, completely and utterly transfixed, for fifty pages.  Not having expected him to sit still for quite that length I was gasping for refreshment and had to sneak a break to boil the kettle, where I returned to read another 30 pages.  With only fifty pages to go Ted has asked if there is a movie of this book.   He has also asked some really lovely questions during the reading, none of which I can remember now.  You'd think having the blog would prompt me to remember such things but, sadly, no.

As for me I've read Big Brother by Lionel Shriver (oh so incredibly disappointing), Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (can't write an opinion about it until book club emerges from the shadows to meet) and finished Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kroster, which won the Miles Franklin recently.  James finished Hornblower and is about to embark on one of the books he recently acquired from Better Read than Dead (gotta love a gift voucher).

And there are still many things I haven't blogged.  I will hve to show you some of my deliciously awesome presents too.  Fun!  Meanwhile, in order to demonstrate the excitement that the sight of sunshine elicited in the children, here is a photo from today:

1 comment:

sarah black said...

WOnderful wonderful. Thankyou, as always, for sharing your beautiful lives.