Friday, 21 September 2018

sunny and warm ...

Headed off to Queensland for a few days. The mission was to get some sun, find some fabrics, check out a few maybe-stockists for Minnie + Ree, and go to a class to start learning how to make Minnie + Ree necklaces! 

So I'd decided to go and stay at Redcliffe for a few nights. It's on the coast and has a big Sunday market. Maybe it wasn't quite what I expected but that's okay - it was by the sea and new experiences are good. To get there I rented a car and got a new Hyundai. 

So if I had a Bucket List and it included getting a brand new car I could give it a ✅. Not really that exciting though. Look here: I've done 50km, most of it lost in the dark with no sense of direction trying to get to Redcliffe!

And here's the big fabric shop ... aisles that go for miles, total overwhelm!

And the market - really long too!

Still hadn't found anything that excited me, and then I went to class. My sense of direction was still on holiday and I drove around Brisbane a bit more. The class was about using polymer clay. I'm applying the same theory as my pattern-making: learn enough of the rules so you can break them and do something new. Here's my hands getting into conditioning the clay... and turning green.

And I made this - not really where I think I'm going with this but good to experiment! And I now have so many ideas!!

And I went to Paddington (yep, got lost again), adored Dogstar... Note smirky face cos I really like Dogstar ... happy place!

And onto a store in Toowoomba. I've been following them on Facebook for ages and was very curious if they were the store of my dreams, or just really, really good at having an online presence??!!?? And the answer came from the Universe, conveniently written on a Tshirt:

And s
o lots to think about and do!


Thursday, 9 August 2018

Do you make yoghurt/yogurt?

EDITED March 2019

I am now using the amazing PUHOI Organic Half & Half (that's half cream and half milk). So my basic Reuteri yoghurt recipe is now:

  • approx 1/2 cup of current yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon inulin
  • approx 1500ml half & half 
  • for the first batch that I make in the beginning of the month, I add one or two crushed reuteri probiotic pills

ENJOY! But don't eat too much if you're new to it (side effects require regular visits to the toilet!).


Do you make your own yoghurt? And have you tried making the WheatBelly doctor's probiotic yoghurt? It's pretty amazing, click here to read all about the benefits... And then if you like playing with strange lifeforms, here's your chance to brew up some weird stuff!

You will need these:

And a Yoghurt making machine - I used this one as it makes fermented food as well as yoghurt and has several pre-programmed cycles. This yoghurt needs about 30-36 hours to create the mega-probiotics and this machine has a yoghurt cycle (10 hours at 42 degrees C) and a natto cycle (24 hours at 42 degrees C) so I just do the 24 hours and then another 10. And yes I do write on my appliances. You should see my sewing machine and overlockers!

I made the first batch with:
  • 10 crushed probiotic pills (you must use this particular strain from BioGaia. Flavour makes no diff so take what you can get, it's all gone by the time it's fermented)
  • 1 tbsp inulin
  • 1 litre of UHT milk
  • 300 mils cream

That created a thing that was very curdled, lots of whey, and smelt like parmesan. I'd picked up in the blogs that this may happen so I continued. 

Second batch was:
  • about a cup of the whey from the previous batch
  • 1 tbsp inulin
  • 1 litre UHT milk 
  • didn't bother with the cream as I was guessing this wouldn't be yoghurt either!
This batch was better but still very curdled/cottage cheesey - was nice enough on crackers when drained!

Third batch was:
  • half cup of whey from batch #2
  • 1 tbsp inulin
  • 1 litre of UHT milk
  • 300 mils cream
This batch was perfect thick yoghurt.

Since then I've used 1/2 cup of the previous yoghurt, inulin, UHT milk, cream. I added one crushed probiotic on version #5 and will add that every 4-5 batches to keep the strain up. You can crush the probiotic in a plastic bag (with a gin bottle) and then you look like a druggie which makes it even more exciting.

This yoghurt does have a weird 'stringy-ness' so I tend to use a knife to spoon it out of the big container and cut it off. 

Why don't you read the wheatbelly blog and give it a try?  

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Taking a walk every morning is bliss. Here's how I am currently starting my day.

From the beach ...

Up a few steps ...


Note in pic below: man using leaf blower on the paths "to keep them tidy" !! I'm expecting a red carpet next.

To get to the top of the hill and ...

Ah Wellington, only 4,000km away!

And back for coffee with the best coffee, best tables, and a special award for coordinating crockery.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Chilling out

Since Wellington recently had its first days with temperatures that stayed in single figures all day it was obviously time to skip across the Tasman to somewhere warm. And then to chill out and think about next summer's clothing. 

So Step 1 Chilling Out looks like this:

Find a coffee shop that makes great Long Blacks and sets the scene ... getting onto Tropical Time.

You can go to the park and gaze across the ocean but there's a full on white wedding - chandeliers in the trees, classical music, pony and buggy - going on behind this tranquillity. Luckily the sea provides the noise and you can't hear a thing - so peaceful and warm and lovely!

And back at the apartment there was a wee party going on in a nearby balcony. And the newest toy - bluetooth speaker and white noise machine - came to the rescue. Shrieking female voices blocked out by the sea noise. Bliss!

So at this rate the sketch pad will be out very soon.


Saturday, 16 September 2017

Liberty and Liberty

Trying something new this year in Paris and looking for trims and embellishments as well as fabrics. Here I am being overwhelmed by the huge choice in a display of Liberty bindings... we don't have this at home!

This is just a fraction of the display.

And this is me saying "damn you Mr Taxman, I had to pay 20% extra to get a receipt"!

We went to Saint-Ouen to go to Les Puces which is the famous flea market there, and they had a special invite-only night event. So we spent a couple of hours wandering around there. 

And it was great to see one of my favourite embroiderers, wearing this amazing creation!

Back on the fabric trail the next day and we went to the fabric area which is literally on the doorstep of the Sacré-Cœur. I am still not getting too inspired by what I see. I think the shops may have already moved into their (duller) winter fabrics and that's just not me! 

The Liberty fabric is pretty expensive, but I did find a great wax fabric and some nice viscose ...

I also got some more embellishments but they haven't been photographed yet.

But you know everything is going to be fine when there are red sequins, and texting policemen on bicycles ...

À bientôt!


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Back to Paris again

Back in Paris and catching up with Wellington friends who are here for a few days. Did a cycle tour around Paris with Bike About tours. Yes, there is a kiwi connection to that tour company. And there is also a connection to Le Peloton cafe which was a huge favourite of mine last year, and where we ended up at the end of our rather wet ride. 

Yes it is raining here as well now. My snazzy new Rains raincoat is getting a lot of use!

Tomorrow it is back to fabric hunting.

À bientôt!


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Copenhagen 4 ...

Continuing on with my 'Amazing Copenhagen' theme ... have you seen their Botanical Garden? What can I say? Amazing! Here is a pic of the Palm House which dates back to 1874.

Inside is a series of interconnecting rooms with a huge variety of plants and (warm) temperatures.

If you are feeling adventurous and can ignore any niggling fear of heights, you can climb the circular stairs to the roof. It's very warm up there, and a Health & Safety official's nightmare, but so good! Amazing even.

We also went to visit this beautiful church...

And we caught up with Underground Market ex-stallholder Shalini who moved to Copenhagen a year ago. Like me she sews with colourful print fabric and was able to confirm that there was very little fabric of that type available in Copenhagen. Still, it was fun looking for it!

And here we are in my favourite Copenhagen cafe ...

And another bikes picture because, you know, Copenhagen ...

So, it was all amazing. And now it's back to Paris.
Hej hej