Archive for June, 2010

How to make a Pillowcase with a border

June 29, 2010

yellow and grey pillowcase with border

I’ve made one of these pillowcases with a border of fabric before, but believe me I did it the HARD way.

I love linen with borders, my favourite doona cover has one.

White linen with border

My favourite doona cover

white linen with border

a border just helps finish it off

This little pillow I made for my eldest when she was born (yep that’s the one I did the hard way).

Elephant Baby Pillow with border

Elephant Baby Pillow

I admit I didn’t really pre-think that little elephant pillow, I had no pattern, it was one of those projects that you make decisions about as you go, which isn’t always the best way to work. I decided, for something that should be relatively simple, it was too hard and I wasn’t in a hurry to attempt it again.

bodgy corner from not pre-thinking this activity!

However while browsing one of my favourite blogs, Design Sponge. I came across this tutorial they recently posted: diy project: pillow shams

you too could make these

Go visit, the tutorial is thouroughly photographed. I had one of those ‘Uh Duh’ moments. Seeing it all photographed like that, really it IS very simple. Sometimes it just takes someone to show you.

If my sewing machine wasn’t all packed away I would be trying it out right now! I have a square version floating about in my head. For now it will just have to sit here on my blog hopefully inspiring someone else and one day I’ll might just have time to click back and give it a go.

Our First Woman Prime Minister

June 24, 2010

This is post has nothing to do with what I normally blog about. However it is such a significant moment in our history I just had to mention, today, Australia got its first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. Now I have a lot of thoughts and even emotions about this turn of events. I am quite convinced that politics is a messy and often morally comprable game. Whilst I’m not going to go into my dislike or like, my opinions for or against Kevin Rudd, I do think no one deserves to be undermined in the way he has been. The way that seems acceptable in politics, and also the way our political system allows. His farewell speech brought me to tears. I felt he went out expressing great strength of character, dignity, pride and a genuine passion for this country. He hasn’t had a good rep lately, but it was clear today, he loves this country and his job. Whether hes done things right or wrong I believe he has done everything with the greatest of intentions.

The other side of this tale is the triumph of a woman. What a day in history. Julia has literally opened the path for young women everywhere. It occurred to me that one day, if my daughters should so wish they too could be Prime Minister. Now of course they could always have had that aspiration, but Julia has literally showed it can be done. I’m not sure politics is going to be the nicest place in the world to exist, but I have respect for those who believe they can make a change, who have a passion for this country and the well being of its people. Now if only all politicians truely felt this way in their core we might have less underhanded dealings and more successes that benefit our nation.

Colour me a personality

June 18, 2010

colours of Autumn

I love colour. I even took a special extra colour theory class at uni with my lecturer Paul Green-Armatage who has a PHD in Colour Theory. Yep that makes him a Doctor of Colour. That sounds coool to me!

I think colour influences us so much, it has the power to express, the ability to make us feel, it forms opinions among us, and can make us best of friends (comeon you can’t tell me your best friend when you were 5 didn’t have the same favourite colour as you, in fact thats probably why they were your best friend!), colour helps us remember and recognise. Imagine life without colour.

Colour Test

Apparently some psychologists think colour means a whole lot too and have based a whole personality test on it. Now I’m not going to give it much more thought than I would a girly magazine quiz, and I’m not sure how accurate it is on a computer screen, but just like those magazine quizs its fun to do. Have a go….

What does colour say about you?

Apparently my colour choices make me fit this test perfectly

Your results present a correlation ratio with our model superior to 96 % “

either I’m very predictable or I’m, what was the word….superior…

“You are 52 % extrovert and 48 % introvert.
Independently of any order of importance :
You are strong-willed and active, your actions are determined by your own will, by the goals you settled for yourself, and by your need to act and to move forward.
You are also charismatic and good in communication, you know how to attract and manage people.
Finally you are able to have an in-depth thinking, you think before acting, and you know how to communicate your knowledge.”

I’m not sure if this nearly 50/50 split makes me very well balanced or teetering on the brink of dysfunctional.

“Finally, you are creative, you know how to see beauty, you are intuitive and your inspiration comes from the inside, You are intellectual and intelligent, you wonder and you inquire before taking any action and setting your values.”

So kind of you internet.

P.S. These leaves have been greeting me every time I open my front door for the last couple of weeks. I finally took the time to capture their beauty today. Next Autumn someone else will get to enjoy their gold, crimson and burgundy colours.

Gluten Free Lemon Tart

June 17, 2010
Gluten Free Lemon Tart

Gluten Free Lemon Tart

This is a must try, it looks hard but its not.

I will admit the pastry takes a little time, about an hour, and even then it’s just short bursts of time separated by cooling or cooking. A food processor or a mixer with a dough hook will makes it even easier! If you are short on time you can make the base one evening and bake the filling the next. It keeps beautifully.


1 1/4 cups gluten free flour (I use white wings)

1/3 cup pure icing sugar

1/4 cup of almond meal

125g cold butter chopped into squares

1 egg yolk


1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 or 3 lemons depending on their juiciness!)

5 eggs

3/4 cup castor sugar

300ml thick cream

  1. Process flour, icing sugar, almond meal and butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add yolk and process until all the ingredients come together. If this doesn’t seem to be happening add a tablespoon of room temp water. Process again. Repeat this until a dough is formed. (The amount of water you need with vary each time, sometimes you’ll need none other times you’ll need 3tablespoons, I find it seems to depend on the weather). If you are using a pastry hook you can allow the mixer to ‘kneed’ your dough for a minute or two, if not turn out and kneed lightly. Lightly pat into a ball shape and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30minutes.
  2. Grease a 24cm loose-based flan tin. Roll pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to cover base of tin and up the sides. Cut off excess pastry along the top of the tin with a knife, use any spare pastry to carefully repair any cracks that might have formed.
  3. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for another 30minutes. Preheat oven to 200C
  4. Remove from fridge and cover pastry shell with baking paper, fill with dried beans or rice, place tin on oven tray and bake in preheated oven for 10minutes. Remove paper and rice and bake for another 10minutes or until shell is lightly browned. Refrigerate cooled pastry case until cold.
  5. Preheat oven to 160C. Whisk all filling ingredients in a medium bowl, allow to stand for 5minutes
  6. Pour filling into pastry shell. Bake uncovered on baking tray for 40minutes or until middle is set. Slightly shake the baking tray when the middle has minimum jiggle its set.
  7. Allow to cool and then refrigerate until cold. I’ve been known to be impatient (or running late) and serve this warm, its quite nice this way but the filling may be a bit melty. It should hold its form well when cool.

Everyone who tries this loves it, I think it’s something to do with the almondy, buttery, pastry combined with the tangy, creamy, lemony-ness. Plus you can always substitute some (or all) of the juice for lime and ta-dah lemon-lime-pie!

I love this pastry. Gluten free pastry often has a lot to be desired, this is not normal gluten free pastry. It never dissapoints. It always turns out buttery and holds its form. Sprinkle it with icing sugar and it will look like it belongs behind glass in a cafe!

Perfect Gluten Free Pastry

Perfect Gluten Free Pastry

It’s the perfect way to finish off a dinner party!

Gluten Free Lemon Tart

Any one for seconds?

Yes, in case you were wondering this is what I did with my 5 broken eggs. (Yes I do know this recipe needs 6 eggs, I bought more, I needed to anyway right?!)

Help me choose an oven!

June 13, 2010

Ok I know you’re out there! (I have ways of seeing you clicking on my blog mwhahah). If you’re going to ever make a comment, do it on this post, I’d love to hear from you.

I need to choose an oven. I’ve got a real penchant for an ‘aga‘ style oven, but with the modern conveniences, like windows in the doors and programmable timers to switch on the oven while you’re out (or conversely turn it off). Problem is they are pretty expensive, however the sales are on and I’ve found a couple of bargains. I guess the downfall of bargains is that sometimes you dont get exactly what you want, you need to compromise.

The requirements I wont compromise on are: 90cm, free standing, double oven, as these are going to suit my cooking needs the most. Note in ovens I’ve found the second ovens have rotisserie functions… Sunday Roast at my house, cheesecake will be in the other oven!!

So far I’ve found these two ovens within my price range:

Ivory with crome and gold detail

Stainless Steel with Modern Details

Ideally I’d like this oven in BrightWhite or Stainless Steel but I can’t afford it.

My Dream Oven

So I have to choose between the others. I really quite like the cream oven but I think it will look funny in a white kitchen. I’m also not a fan of the gold details. As for the stainless steel I like it but its far more modern than I really had my heart set on. So do I go for the colour I want but not necessarily the style or do I go for the style but no the colour?!! A few more details that might help you help me. The cream oven is a Fratelli Onofri and I’d be buying it from Melbourne and having it shipped over. The modern oven is an ilve and I can get it from Harvey Norman.

If I do go for the cream what colour kitchen should I go for?

Ok weigh in with your opinions I’m looking forward to what all my lovely and creative friends have to say!