Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas cheer

The turkeys in the oven, the table is set, and all the presents are now wrapped and under the tree.  Today has involved a tiny bit of last minute shopping (at 9am to miss the Xmas rush), a bit of kiddie craft, collecting a parcel from the post office, and the stuffing of the turkey with pork mince, dried blueberries and sage.

I'm having a Chrismas Eve dinner at home - then tomorrow we visit extended family. It will be a great Aussie Christmas with temperatures expected to reach 31 degrees (its not a real Christmas here unless it's HOT!).

My crafting time has been spent doing kiddie craft (the lovely stocking shown above, snowflakes and cards). I also have a new project - making begonia granny squares. The yarn is acrylic that I bought for almost nothing at a local op shop - and while the colours are great, it is a bit splitty and does not sit as well as I would like.  But I'm loving the pattern.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, and enjoy your day with your family.  And thank you for all your kind comments and support. It constantly amazes me how wonderful people are out in blog land.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Nonna Linda's Amaretti Biscuits

Baking biscuits for Christmas has become a tradition of mine for some years now.  Usually it's gingerbread men, but this year I really wanted to do some italian biscotti.

This recipe was given to me by my stepmother - whose mum (Nonna Linda) is the most amazing cook. It is a very easy recipe with fantastic results.

Last night I baked a batch and today my hubby and I gave half of them to our work colleagues.  The rest  will be brought along for Xmas lunch.

Here's the recipe for you all.

Nonna Linda's Amaretti Biscuits

1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 bottle of almond essence (approx 25mL)
5 eggs
400g self raising flour
400 g caster sugar
500 g almonds
icing sugar to coat
3 tbls of cocoa
1 tsp of cinnamon

Process almonds in a food processor. In a bowl, add almond, flour, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.

Beat eggs, add oil and almond essence.  Make a well in the flour mixture and add egg mixture, and fold together.  Roll into a ball and cover with icing sugar.  Grease trays and put balls quite separate. Bake in 170 degrees fan forced oven for 15 minutes.

My tips - when you roll the balls, I used a tablespoon to scoop some mixture out, and put some icing sugar in my hand as I rolled them so the mixture did not stick to my hands.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A bit of johnson love...

Ops shops, salvos, thrift shop...they have so many names. Just near my work is my all time favourite op shop where I love to duck off to during my lunch break. Here's my latest finds.

A retro orange crock pot - that cooks a beef and wine stew beautifully. I was sooooo excited when I spotted this little beauty on the op shop shelf.

And here's the ceramic pot itself - when the beef stew was ready I took out the ceramic pot and placed it right on the table.
And for some of my johnson love, love, love....
And these johnson cups and saucers and cake plate are my very first johnson finds.

What do I love about johnson crockery? It's Australian, it has Australiana stuff on them, they are very 60s/70s retro style, and I love that they are made in Australia.  There's not much crockery that was ever made in Australia. My mums a potter, so I've got a good appreciation of ceramic ware.  I also love that they are earthy colours, and have a solid feel to them.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tuesday tallies

The giant granny square blanket is done. Complete after 52 rounds. Now covered in wrapping paper, to be sent away for a christmas present.

The plan is for it to be a lap blanket as it measures (when comfortably sitting on a couch) perfectly covering one's lap and feet.  To be honest I couldn't bear for it to have been much bigger, and was quite pleased when I was running out of wool. I found this a tad boring, going round and round and round.
I decided not to block it and left it as is. There's some slight curling at the edges, but otherwise it sits nicely.  I've found this wool - Moda Vera by spotlight wonderful to crochet with.  And the border I've done simply with double crochet in the orange. I tried a few borders (picot and scalloped) and they all looked strange.  So left it with double crochet.

On ravelry here


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmas projects

The Christmas projects...

1. My Christmas dove is now complete.  She will either end up on a wreath or the tree, not sure which.

2.  Holly leaf and berries in 75 Birds, Butterflies &Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet .

3.  Greedy for colour's christmas baubles.

4. Attic24 Christmas baubles

5. Christmas Socks from Le Monde de Sucrette blog

I found these two gorgeous advent calendars that are just too big a project to take on now, so are now saved in my ravelry....for next year...a holiday garland and advent garland.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

My one a day tally

Luckily for me my one a day project - the giant granny square blanket - is now a christmas present. So I've been busily crocheting round after round with only 10 days before I have to pop it in the post. 

I am up to 42 rounds, with each round now taking longer and longer.  The blanket will be done once I've run out of wool - which is about 10 rounds away.

My crochet time has been occupied with making christmas stuff and presents.

Please go check out Gingerbread girls blog for the latest updates on everyone's one-a-day projects.  I'm off to check them out now.