Saturday, 20 April 2013

Grasshoppers Like Chocolate Too

I got myself a Chocolate Cosmos last weekend. It isn't what you'd think, it's a flowering plant who's flowers smell like chocolate. When I saw it in the nursery I knew it was the plant for me and had to bring one home. I have since learnt that there are a lot of different varieties of flowers out there that smell like chocolate quite a few of them are native Australian plants too, it's just hard to find them in the nurseries so I'll have to keep looking. My ultimate plan is to have a chocolate scented heaven potted just outside my back door.

Now I'm not very good with plants so I'm being very careful about the few that I have potted this year, with that in mind I went out yesterday morning to carefully water each of them and check out whether any of them are turning heels up yet. As I was admiring the fantastic flowers on my Choc Cosmos I noticed that someone else is addicted to that heavenly scent.

I let him chew on that flower while I got some shots of him then chased him away, he'd already taken out half a petal which wasn't a bad effort for such a teensy fellow. Terry reckons he'll bring back his mates for a party but I think he listened to me when I told him that he couldn't have all of my flowers and will go find some daisies in the yard next door.

While we're talking bout bugs chomping on my plants I guess I should mention the army that came to feast on my lemon tree.

I'm sorry to say that these guys are getting treated a bit rougher than the grasshopper. But again not til after I get my photos.

And one last shot of the day, sometimes the sunsets here are truly amazing and one day last week as Terry and I relaxed out the back looking at the progress of the deck that we are in the process of building we were lucky enough to catch one of the best I've seen in a while.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

What is the secret of the Teaspoon?

I have long been convinced that my teaspoons lead a secret life. They sneak out of the kitchen draw at night and head out for a night on the town, partying hard all night and end up so inebriated that in the wee hours of the morning they forget where they live and are lost forever.

Or maybe they are double agents ... they are spying on the knives and taking important secret files back to the spoons .. I sometimes find them hiding amongst knives or forks and wonder what they have been up to. I wonder if the knives have made more than one set of concrete shoes fitted for teaspoons and if somewhere at the bottom of the dogs pool there is a grizzly teaspoon graveyard.

Terry has a theory for the latest disappearance, which he thinks happened while we had a visitor, Louie from Western Australia, who rode here on his bike and has a cool camper trailer that he tows. Terry reckons that during one of their late night parties one of the teaspoons noticed the trailer parked in the backyard and went to investigate this unusual contraption. He soon called over his buddies and they all were fascinated and spent the night playing in this cool jungle gym. They were caught by the first rays of sunlight early in the morning and weren't quick enough getting back inside, the humans were already up and about getting ready to leave on the return trip across Australia. Now the teaspoons didn't know that their playground actually moved and it was the only place they could think of to hide until the sun went back down and the humans went back to bed, so they jumped back into the trailer. Louie packed all his gear tightly back into the trailer that morning then headed off all unknowing that he had stow aways. I wonder where our little teaspoons have ended up, maybe they jumped ship somewhere along the way and are even now trying to find there way back from Broken Hill or somewhere along the highway in the Nulabour. Maybe they are lost or maybe they are having a great adventure.

I'm not sure exactly what the reason is it might be something I haven't even thought of yet, there might be aliens that have teaspoon fetishes that visit my cutlery draw. But my teaspoons disappear, their numbers usually gradually reduce so that you don't notice it at first, then one day you go to the draw and there's only one or two solitary teaspoons resting in their little compartment. In the last week or so we have noticed it happening again.

I found some of them, they were hiding in the fridge. I'd made some Chocolate Truffles to take to work last weekend and meant to use up the remaining mixture to make some for us. But I forgot about them til this weekend and when I pulled out the bowls of mixture this morning I found two teaspoons resting in there. I'm still missing a couple I'm sure of it, maybe they will turn up .. or maybe one of my theories is right and they are gone forever.

I made the rest of the Truffles today, and I'm munching on yummy chocolate treats with my coffee as I write this. These things are a huge hit where ever I take them and so easy to make.

All they are is two cups each of milk and dark chocolate buddies melted with about 2/3 of a cup of thickened cream and teaspoon of vanilla essence. After it's all melted together take it off the heat and let it cool a bit. You can add stuff after it has cooled but not set, I added chopped hazelnuts this time. Then you just stick it in the fridge to set, overnight is best. Once set use about a teaspoon full of mixture and roll it into a ball and cover in what ever you like. I have used dessicated coconut and toasted coconut here, you can use powdered cocoa which is yummy too. I'd like to try making these with a bit of fruit or maybe with a whole nut inside each one.

But while you are making these make sure you keep a close eye on your teaspoons ... you never know what they will get up to while you are not looking!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Biker Betty

Nope really I'm not confused, this isn't a bike related post and doesn't belong on The White Shadow Diary. This one is about Betty .. Betty Boop. I love Betty, she's so sexy. I was sitting round one night last week checking out eBay, and I browse all sorts of things, so Betty went into the search bar. It turned up a plethora of things Boop related but there was one thing that caught my eye. A cool pic of Betty as a biker chick ... ooh I like that! What is it .. oh it's a .. cross stitch?

Ted says Hi!!
Hmm I don't mind getting into all sorts of art and crafty things but I'm not really much of a sewer. I did a couple of tapestries when I was much younger, I even actually finished one I think .. a doily. I got bored on the second one in the set. I have made Teddy Bears, I finished three of those and gave the two biggest ones away to special people. The third lives with me still and gets into all sorts of mischief. But I still have a fourth Ted sitting in the back cupboard waiting to be put together. I get bored with sewing.

So .. I bought the Biker Boop cross stitch. Of course I did, I love Betty and she looks so cool in this design. It arrived today and I was kinda excited, I pulled open the package and took all the bits out. I was a bit put off by the fact that there was nothing printed on my piece of fabric, no design to follow .. hmm oh look a pattern to follow ... oh dear. 

OK I found the instruction sheet and worked it out. Then I sat down and managed to do about a dozen stitches before it got too dark to be able to see what I was doing properly. 

This is going to be fun!! I probably could have chosen an easier design for my first effort, not on a black background with a lot of black cotton, that is just about impossible to see on a good day, and maybe something bigger, with bigger stitches. But I think I actually will finish this one cause I like the design so much ... I dunno how long it's gonna take tho ...