Friday, 31 December 2010

Finally back to temari making

The last few weeks have been so busy, it seems like I have done EVERYTHING except make temari or yubinuki. During the afternoons this week I have managed to pick up my needle to complete some UFO's. In the late mornings I've been taking my son to swim classes at the beach.  I must say I am amazed at the number of people laying on the beach frying away. I wear a huge hat, 3/4 sleeve shirt and 3/4 length pants and any exposed bits are generously slathered with 30+ sunscreen, the only bit that is bare are my feet which I bury into the sand - trust me there is nothing worse than sunburned toes. I am lucky to have been injured in a car accident when I was 16, the plastic surgeon who stuck me back together was most firm at drumming in the sunsafe message for my facial scarring, and almost 3 decades later the message has still stuck with me even after the scars have faded to almost nothing.

After an hour and a half in the baking sun I am exhausted so we get all our chores done before swimming and then try to do as little as possible afterwards. I have been working a version of a pattern from my small Ondori booklet. This is a S4 with additional support lines. Sorry this picture is a bit dark, but I got called away this afternoon and when I got back it was too dark for natural light.

I think I will pull the band back off and re-wrap it in some other colours because in this pic it looks awful. Let's see what it is like in the morning light. While I have been stitching this, I am also thinking about the design options for my last two JTA temari.

I also have just purchased 3 stockings for next year from an ebay store located in Canada can you guess which one will be mine?   I haven't seen stockings like this in Australia.

Our Aussie dollar has gone so high against the USD hitting 102 cents today, which is the highest in almost 30 years. This means that I could treat myself to a bit of discretionary spending. Sadly the yen hasn't done the same thing... the Aussie dollar is still languishing around 81 JPY.   :-( but we did have a good spot with the Yen about 3 years ago when we could buy 105 JPY per AUD... maybe that will happen again.

I am expecting to need to find several quiet things to do for a few days starting on January 1st... our weather forecast is for 4 or 5 consecutive days over 40C. Egad! When I saw the following forecasts from the WA bureau of meteorology I can honestly say I nearly cried. I think I will be spending as much time as possible over the next week doing early morning watering on the garden and trying to keep the chickens cool with a little misting, I'll even give the dogs a super big brush to get rid of as much loose hair as possible as the clippers that will manage to cut their hair has not yet been invented.

1.1.11 Saturday Sunny. Min 19 Max 36
2.1.11 Sunday Very hot, sunny. Min 21 Max 40
3.1.11 Monday Very hot, partly cloudy. Min 24 Max 40
4.1.11 Tuesday Very hot, partly cloudy. Min 25 Max 40
5.1.11 Wednesday Hot before a humid change. Min 25 Max 40
6.1.11 Thursday Partly cloudy. Min 22 Max 32

On the plus side I realised that new years day has a date that I like. All number ones. Hopefully this is auspicious and can signal new beginnings for all that want them.

Well that's it for this year. In a few hours it will be 2011, I wish you all the best for your celebrations, stay warm, safe and dry until next year.

Cheers and 乾杯 (Kampai)  

Rebecca and the Aussie Temari Addicts.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Meet the girls

We finally got everything finished and have installed our 2 chickens in their house. Mr W named them Itchy and Scratchy not only because they are scratching around all day long and adjusting their plumage but because he liked the names from the Simpsons - not that he has regularly watched the show - he doesn't need that type of role modelling, but he has seen it once or twice.

I remember seeing some chicken inspired temari being showcased on temarikai a while back and now that I have looked closely at some real chickens I can see the inspiration. Click the link above to see the pattern by Karin Karlsson.

I am hopeful of getting enough stitching done soon to be able to show off something temari related.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Chicken Coop-la Hoopla

By now you are thinking I am completely and utterly mad! Insane, deranged and crazy! A temari blog with no temari? What? Well that would be like Christmas Day without a dip in the pool!

Well lately there has just been no time for temari making... so I've been sharing what I have been doing... so you don't think I have run off somewhere.

We had an awesome Christmas Day! A really delicious lunch with a huge ham, WA jarrah wood smoked lamb and beef, Japanese potato salad, sushi, coleslaw, garden salad, prawns - with a to-die-for dipping sauce, and a bunch of desserts made by someone... oh yeah me! After lunch there was hours of swimming, bombie competitions and water fights (it was 40.6C) and then when it cooled off a few rounds of Cricket and then Soccer.

Luckily my DH was home for most of the day, he had a short early shift and thanks to the people of Perth he wasn't recalled to rescue anyone from the ocean. We had a really great family day.

On Boxing Day we began making a box for our soon to be newest members of the family... 2-3 chickens. We have a large aviary which used to hold parrots etc but it has been empty for many years so we decided (after Miho and Seth had success with their chooks) to convert it. Here is Mr W winning $2 from me after I bet him he couldn't get into the box through the top and get out through the door on the front.

10GknU on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

We are not carpenters at any rate but this is pretty strong and should make our girls quite comfy... hopefully resulting in lots of yummy fresh eggs. In fact I did remind DH that I took 'clothing and fabric' and 'food and nutrition' at school instead of wood and metal works... and he had joined the navy instead of doing any of that! We originally planned to make a flat roof but decided it looked too coffin-like so we added the A-frame roof with a hinge for the front of the roof to open up.

Last week we made some new vegetable patches, they also look a little grave-like, but we have been trying to recycle unused items around the property and all we had to make the beds were the white bricks. No matter I am sure once (if) the plants get going it will look great.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

If you feel a bit *blah* most of the time read this

I recently began this program of eating along with my mum, because we had both been feeling unwell for a long time, me for more than 12 months and she for nearly 9 years. Are you like us? Do you avoid eating particular foods because you feel sick with pain afterwards? Do you suffer from painful joints and lack of energy? Need a little nap after lunch most days? Get stuck in the bathroom? Did you answer yes to any of these questions?

Release your self from pain and suffering with this easy to follow method of eating which will give you back your energy and health. There are no special foods or pills to pop but you will feel awesome following this program. I would never ever endorse something I didn't completely believe in, so believe me when I say this works 100%. I am a skeptic, I rarely believe anything I am told, I began this program just to pacify my persistent Mother... how lucky for me that I did (even though I refused to believe it would make any difference to my health). My Mum and I feel better than we have in years after less than a month and we noticed the changes in just a day.


Quick Overview:
With more than 1 out of 3 adults in the US (70 million) taking OTC or prescription pills for digestive disorders and the pain associated with them, as a nation, we have serious health problems. And we're spreading our problems around the world.

What most people are frustrated with is that even if they eat how most health professionals consider to be healthy, a large percentage of people STILL experience digestive problems. And so most people resort to drugs, surgery or eating bland foods. Or they just continue to suffer.
That's why the Great Taste No Pain System was developed -- to help slash some of the $42 billion dollars spent on those pills in the US alone.

This simple eating system is designed to dramatically reduce the acid pH measure in a person's entire body -- not just in the stomach. It does so by increasing the ratio of alkaline forming foods eaten and by showing you how to combine foods in a way that radically decreases the amount of acid digestive juices in the stomach and small intestines required to break down foods. With me so far? Hope so, because this is important stuff.

One of the primary components of the Great Taste No Pain System is the science of food combining, which was first introduced into the US in 1911 by Dr. William Hay, a New York surgeon who used it to cure his Bright's Disease, a kidney disease which was often fatal at that time. In fact, among the many thousands of lives it claimed was Teddy Roosevelt's first wife, who died of Bright's Disease at just 22 years of age.

A basic knowledge of Junior High chemistry is all it takes to see the logic behind this science: Mixing foods that require alkaline digestive enzymes with foods that require acid digestive enzymes slows and can even stop the digestive process. It can and does delay digestion by as much as 10 hours and more. This is incredibly bad for the body. The Great Taste No Pain system alleviates this problem, speeding food through your body, allowing it to absorb nutrients from foods at a much higher level.

In addition, one of the manuals in the Great Taste No Pain system, 'Foods That Create Acid, Foods That Take It Away,' is as clear as I've ever seen this data presented. Follow this simple guide and your body will use a minimum of energy in the digestion process, which leaves more energy for healing and other daily functions your body carries out.

This is a timely set of guides, because with our society's addiction to the convenience of processed foods, in many respects our health challenges are far worse than they were in 1911.

Great Taste No Pain author, Sherry Brescia, was a former Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferer herself. In fact, in 1991, she spent 7 days in the hospital with bacterial colitis.

As a health insurance researcher and Chief Underwriter, she was able to research the benefits of an alkaline- balanced body and over the next 15 years perfected the system she now calls Great Taste No Pain.

She meshed a number of philosophies proven to help alkalize the body to create this simple system that anyone can follow regardless of where they are or what food choices they have available to them.

What I Like:

Taste: Unlike most restrictive diets, Great Taste No Pain cannot actually be called a diet, because it allows you to eat even great volumes of luscious, delicious food as long as you combine it according to a few simple guidelines. It truly requires very little willpower. Perhaps the greatest news for people who love to eat is that the 176 page recipe book in the system is stuffed with breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks that are unbelievably tasty. No rabbit food. Gourmet all the way, yet the meals (if you like to cook) only take between 15 and 30 minutes of prep time and make tons of yummy leftovers. So you can throw away the belief that you can't eat healthy on a super-busy schedule.

Speed: I love that you don't have to read 300+ pages before learning what to do. In the first guide, 'How To End Stomach Pain Forever, Even If Your MD says, "No Way,"' it provides a brief background on the science and then quickly moves onto the step-by-step 'how to.' I really love that.

Simplicity: The second Guide in the GTNP System is 'What To Eat With What.' This is a massive compilation. Every kind of food that you could possibly put in your mouth is listed, along with the corresponding foods that combine with it for easy comfortable digestion, and those foods that don't. This guide is so complete and so easy to follow, if you screw this up, it's back to pre-school for you.

More Simplicity: Traveling is the one thing that can ruin even the healthiest eaters. But in Great Taste No Pain, Sherry gives you a 'Pocket Guide For Pain-Free Dining Out.' This tool is phenomenal. You can store this little baby with your credit cards and, until you understand what combines with what, all you have to do is pull out your pocket guide and quickly note the rule, so you can eat and enjoy the rest of your day, pain-free.

Would you believe that you could eat McDonald's food and not suffer gassiness and reflux? Now you can!

Meat: While meat is not something people with digestive issues usually tolerate well on a daily basis (hence the daily pain), the problem isn't so much the meat as it is what you eat with the meat.

That is why each of the Guides in the system, including the recipe book, lists every possible food you can combine with meats without suffering. Most people will suddenly be able to eat beef, chicken, fish, pork, turkey, venison and any other type of meat they want. As long as you combine it right... no pain at all! And broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers and other veggies that can create havoc suddenly will not. That I love.

Fruit: Ask anyone that suffers stomach problems about fruit and you'll hear horror stories. So sadly, the most perfect food on the planet is shunned by a huge part of our world's population. No longer. Because you will soon learn why fruit causes you trouble and how to easily change that. You CAN eat fruit again, even if it now makes you turn blue! It's true!

While each Guide in the system is detailed and complete, they are "dumbed down" in the clearest language possible. So I don't doubt Sherry's claim that any 11 year old could teach it. This I really love.

Things To Watch For:

The one thing you want to be careful of is that once you start eating as prescribed in Great Taste No Pain, you could quickly begin to feel all powerful. You might start to think you are "cured" of your digestive problems since they went away so fast and since you have so much extra energy.

That would be a mistake.

Because technically there is no "cure" for most digestive problem, because technically they are not diseases at all. They are maladies brought on by eating the wrong foods and by eating them in the wrong combinations. So the principles in Great Taste No Pain is not a "cure," since people with sensitive stomachs will always be sensitive. GTNP is merely a way to make all symptoms go away forever and give you a lot more energy.

For example, let's say you've got it bad and have Diverticulitis or Crohn's. Great Taste No Pain can help you get rid of your symptoms very quickly.

But a year later, if you start eating like you used to, guess what? Yep, the symptoms will come back. You see, the principles that Great Taste No Pain is based on are sound. They work for everyone. But if you think that because you've been symptom-free for a long time, you've been "cured," think again. Go against these principles of easy digestion, and the problem can come back with a vengeance. Remember, good health comes from living a healthy lifestyle, not a"do it once and you're fixed" approach.

Another thing you might want to be prepared for is that since Great Taste No Pain cleanses your digestive tract, initially you could get a little diarrhea. If you experience constipation on a fairly regular basis, you might get a little "looseness" at first, but it will end soon.

Also, due to the detoxing going on, you might get a runny nose or get some other cold-like symptoms at first. It's nothing to worry about. If you do, while it might not be fun, it does mean it's working. It means your body is becoming purer and the toxins are leaving. And that is a very good thing.


When I began following the system, I personally was amazed at the amount of energy I had, even late into the evening. I had no discomfort, no bloating, I didn't feel the need to eat again within an hour and no need for caffeine after meals.

Professionally and personally, my strong recommendation is that for anyone who wants more energy, sounder and longer sleep, migraine headaches to stop almost immediately, pain from gastritis and acid reflux to stop almost instantly, and the pain of digestive problems to stop or be reduced dramatically, click here to get over to the Great Taste No Pain website now and get the whole system. You will be thrilled.

And frankly, it won't take a full day for most people to feel a major difference in their bodies. Often it just takes one meal. After you have been following it for a week or more, feel free to let me know how you like it. I personally believe that anyone who adopts this simple, enjoyable food combining method will reap gigantic health benefits. So if that is what you are looking for, get over to - and get started today.

All my best,

Rebecca Armstrong Koelma

Friday, 24 December 2010

Sneaky last post before Christmas

I've got a nanosecond between jobs to sit and write about the last thing I made for Christmas. Reindeer food. Now this is strictly reindeer only and not for human consumption. I made some bags to give out to my niece and nephew and the kids in the street.

The recipe is easy all you need is a plastic bag, half a cup of rolled oats and a good sprinkling of glitter and/or metallic scatter cutouts (you know the kind people put into cards). Dump everything in the bag and give it a good shake. Fold over the top of the bag, print out a label onto paper (or light weight card stock) and staple the label onto the bag. Tada! An easy but magical little giveaway for kids. Just make sure the kids and parents know this food is ONLY for reindeer not for humans. You might want to hand write 'not edible' or something on the back of the label.

Click the image below and print it out.

Now I am off to clean the floors and fold the washing because Santa wont want to visit a messy house!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Check Check Check Smile

This is my last bit of Christmas baking: Mini Pudding Cakes. These get served with Brandy Butter. Miho and I cut up all the fruit for these on Monday and I spent the day baking them yesterday 24 at a time... I must get more mini muffin pans at some stage.

Now I have finally finished all the Christmas baking My oven is switched to the OFF position for the first time in a week, I can't believe it! My kitchen is now free of bags of flour, dried fruit, nuts and sugar and all my Kitchen Aid equipment is back in the cupboard. All the gifts are wrapped, the cards sent out, all that is left is to go to the fruit and vegetable store, buy one last thing for my hubby and hang up the Christmas stockings.

We took a day off today and my Mum, Miho and I took the 3 kids to the swimming pool for a few hours. I don't usually swim, I have had a new bathing suit sitting in my cupboard for almost 3 years waiting to be worn, but I did take a dip today. I think it might have been the first time my son has every seen me swim. If we go to the beach I will often walk into the knee deep water, but never swim. I think he was impressed that I actually could swim. My Mum suggested we should make it a weekly event... I'm not sure about that but I will probably go again before the end of summer.

I am positive that someone has been stealing away days this year... it has whizzed by so fast. I can't believe Christmas is only 2 days away! In Perth we are looking at 38C on Christmas Day, the forecast keeps going up and down but my money is on being 35C at least. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a not too hot day here (and not too cold for you all in the northern hemisphere).

This is probably my last post until after boxing day so I want to wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday. I hope your day filled with love and laughter and that you get to share it with those you hold dearest.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Nut Tartlets

It was cold and wet today in Perth, totally weird for this time of year, you might recall that in my last post I was moaning about the heat melting my birthday cakes. I saw a news article about Heathrow airport being closed due to excessive snow falls.  Believe it or not it has even snowed at Mt Buller 3 hours east of Melbourne in Victoria.

Today has been nut tartlet making day. Miho and the kids all came over to help out. It was a really fun but very tiring day. We used some eggs from Miho's chickens for the caramel sauce filling in them. So yummy! I forgot to take progress pics and pics of Miho, Me and Miss D in our matching homemade aprons. Never mind I should really get a photo of us with my Mum who also has a matching apron. This is what the tartlets turned out like.

We made both macadamia and pecan varieties baked in a shortbread case and filled with a delicious caramel filling which turns into a slightly crunchy toffee when baked. The tartlets are sitting on the brandy soaked fruit which will become mini puddings tomorrow. Miss D kept stealing the nuts during the tart making and later when we were cutting the fruit I talked her into trying a dried fig... she got addicted and I had to eventually cut her off so she didn't get a sore tummy. Mr W kept sneaking the uncooked dough and I noticed several cooked tarts walking away in his pockets too.

Now I just wish the sugar plum fairy would come and do the dishes!!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Oh no my buttercream is melting!

It's hot, too hot! Too hot for butter cream icing anyway. I've spent the last two days making birthday cakes for my gorgeous niece (3) and nephew (1). I've made a banana cake with marshmallow frosting ducky pond with bulrushes and lily pads for my nephew and a butter cake with butter cream frosting fairy toadstool house for my niece. I hope we get to take some photos before they melt away in the heat at the party.

I learned something interesting, that is, butter cream will not stick marshmallows together to form toadstools even if the instructions say that it can be done. However the MacGyver in me worked out how to get them stuck together.  Put the regular marshmallow on a toothpick and using a small flame (I used a gas lighter) heat the end of the marshmallow, then quickly pull away the crusty bit and stick it to the underside of the toadstool cap shaped marshmallow. Remove the toothpick and Yip Yip Yippee it worked.

I'm so thankful for such a great husband who helped me clean up all the mess created by 2 days of cooking, but also made dinner tonight and washed all the dishes too. He also provided 'artistic support' by suggesting where to place the decorations on the cakes.

Now I just need to work out how to get the cakes to the party tomorrow without damaging them... and not forget the birthday gifts and the extra bits I need to stick onto the toadstool cake (fairies, butterflies coconut grass and cocoa to sprinkle on the mallow mushrooms).

On Monday I will get back onto the Christmas baking only the Pudding Cakes, Brandy Butter and Nut Tartlets to do now. Thankfully I have a few weeks until my son's birthday BUT I need to hope for cool weather because he wants an Echidna styled ice-cream cake.

Echidna: An Australian egg laying mammal also known as a spiny anteater. Click the link to see a picture, my favourite is the short beaked ones

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Recycled Hazelnut Temari

Last week I wrote about making some ice-cream desserts for Christmas. One of the recipes called for skinned hazelnuts, and while I would ordinarily throw the removed skins away, this year I decided to make a temari out of them. I placed the skins into a freezer bag with some rice hulls and wrapped it with a ball of wool. I was watching a movie while wrapping, and it must have been particularly interesting because I used the whole ball of wool. My base mari ended up having a 33cm circumference. I chose a navy blue thread base and C10 division. Last year (09) I purchased some braided Kreinick threads for $2 a spool, a local supplier was clearing their stock so I scooped up a whole bunch. I selected 5 glistening metallics and stitched a simple star in each face. My camera can't really pick up in the sparkle of the thread in such a small image but if you click each picture it will pop out a little larger to show more of a 'real life' view.

I liked how it turned out so I did it again using Sakasa Uwagake Kagari. This ball was slightly smaller at just under 30 cm. Again I put the points of the stars into the pentagon corners.

I really enjoyed the effect of both those designs and I wondered if I turned the points of the stars (from the first ball) onto the short lines of the pentagons whether I could make also stitch 6 pointed stars (similar to the second ball) over the 6 part triangle areas. Would it look too busy? If I kept the same threads for the 5 point star what thread should I use for the smaller 6 point ones? It thought on these questions overnight and then decided to just go for it, if the ball turned out to me a big sparkly mess it didn't matter because the threads I was using was inexpensive. I kept the same threads for the 5 pointed star and chose 5 variegated Krenick #8 braided threads (that I scooped up at the same clearance sale) for the 6 point stars. The base mari was 36cm. I spent ages trying to lay out the colours on the 6 pointed stars so no colour appeared twice around the border of any 5 point star. Yay for coloured head pins.

I didn't plan to make a set, but this so often happens with temari making. One question leads you to another and another...  On the upside of this experimenting, I think I have cracked a pattern by Barb Suess in the new Japanese language Temari book released earlier this year 7837701101 彩りのてまり歳時記 Coloured Temari: Seasonal Events (Irodori no Temari - Saijiki) featured on top of pages 52+53. I hadn't been able to turn the drawing in my head to work out how the pattern was laid out between the two main designs. But I had an AHA!!! moment as I stitched the first ball in this group. I wonder if Barb heard my very large penny dropping here in Perth. Things are always so obvious once you get 'it'.

I almost used all the thread on all 10 of the Kreinick spools... I stitched almost 100 meters of thread on these 3 balls. I've never really thought of it before, I usually think in time rather than length of design thread consumed... This made me wonder if I laid every piece of design thread I have used since I began making temari end to end... how long would that thread be? If I did the same in the yarn wrap or thread wrap how long would that stretch? I wonder how many years (and temari) it would take until I had used enough thread to stretch from here to Sydney (Approx: 4110km)? To the JTA museum in Tokyo (Approx: 7867 km)? Around Australia (Approx: 59,736 km)?

My boys like the third ball, I am partial to the second - in spite of the open spaces. What do you think?
Happy stitching.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Wonderful Surprise

This week I received a package from Kristy S in Queensland. It was a most lovely and unexpected gift.

I wasn't expecting any parcels so I was surprised to see the postman holding a package at my door. I turned the parcel over in my hands, saw the 'from' address and I instantly had a jolt of excitement run through me. I guess without being conscious of it, my mind had worked out by the size, dimension and weight of the box what was inside. I'm glad I was alone because I tore the paper off like a woman possessed.

My very first temari gift. I have made many temari to give for gifts but I've never participated in a GITS (Great International Temari Swap) through TalkTemari so I have never received one from another temari maker. Kristy took some beautiful pictures which are posted at her website. Please click here to have a look... you will link to Kristy's blog. The base thread is a gorgeous shade of deep blue (Kristy knows blue is my favourite colour) and the purple toned threads used for stitching the design are just divine.

Thank you Kristy you made my week!

Ice-cream Feast

I bake a lot at Christmas and my assigned course for our movable Christmas Day feast is usually dessert. The last few years have seen the weather in Perth get more extreme, the cold is colder and the heat is hotter so it is particularly nice to have something to cool down with during a hot Christmas Day afternoon.

Today I'm making some of my family's favourite Christmas goodies and I'm going to share them with you. These recipes are quite quick to whip up (especially if you can find skinned nuts) and they are almost always the first things I make because they can keep for weeks in the freezer.  Let's begin shall we...

Hazelnut Fudge Ice-cream Layer Cake.

 You will need:
400g Hazelnuts
150g Butter, softened
1C Pure Icing Sugar
3 Eggs
250g Dark Chocolate
1/4C Kahlua or Tia Maria Liqueur
2-3 Litres of good quality creamy Vanilla Ice-cream 

Here's what you do:
Step One:
Heat the oven to 200C and roast the nuts on a sheet tray in the oven for 10 minutes until the skins begin to loosen. Remove from the oven and place a clean tea towel over then a thick towel, this will insulate the nuts and help the skins to come off more easily. When the nuts are cool enough to hold, rub them in the tea towel until the skins come away. Roughly chop about half of the nuts.
Timesaver: Buy your hazelnuts pre-roasted and skinned.

Step Two:
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until the colour becomes pale. Add the eggs one at a time, beat well. After you add the eggs the mixture will split, but don't worry because it will mix back together when you add the chocolate and Kahlua.

Step Three:
Melt Chocolate by you favorite method (I microwave on 50% for 30 second bursts) and stir with a dry metal spoon until smooth. Stir the warm (but not too hot we don't want to scramble our egg mixture) chocolate and liqueur into the butter mix. Try not to eat all this yummy mixture.

Step Four:
Sprinkle the chopped nuts over the base of a baking paper lined spring form pan. Pour half of the chocolate mixture over the nuts and freeze for 30 minutes.  [You can use any size tin but the smallest I'd use is about 26cmX7cm round. If using a bigger tin you'll just have a thicker ice-cream layer.]

Step Five:
Stand ice-cream at room temperature until soft (I use a 4 litre tub and it takes about 15 minutes to soften on my kitchen counter). Spoon ice-cream over the chocolate layer and press down using the back of a spoon, fill until there is about 2cm of space in the tin. Pour over the remaining chocolate mixture. Freeze for about 30 minutes and then use the remaining nuts to cover surface. You may need to gently press them into the topping. Cover with foil and plastic wrap to keep out frost crystals. Freeze at least six hours before serving.

To serve: Use a platter preferably with a slightly raised edge to contain any melting ice-cream. Remove cake from freezer to counter  for 5 minutes and just before serving gently open the spring to release the pan base, peel back the paper as you slide the cake onto the serving dish. Slice with a sharp knife, serve immediately and return remaining cake to the freezer before it melts away completely. I usually store it back in the spring form tin or in an empty ice-cream container.

Raspberry and Meringue Ice-cream Cake.

 You will need:
 2 litres good quality creamy Vanilla Ice-cream
500g Raspberries (use berries of your choice fresh or frozen)
100g Meringue nests

Here's what you do:
Step One:
Line base of a spring form tin with baking paper. I seem to have lost yet another one of these tins so I am showing a regular cake pan lined with two pieces of plastic wrap to help the cake come out of the tin at serving time. Note: this would look nice made in a pudding tin too.

Step Two:
Scoop softened ice-cream into a large bowl. Add berries and gently crushed meringue nests. Stir until well combined. [I don't have a bowl big enough to do this all at once so I usually do this in two batches.]

Step Three:
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and press gently to smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and foil to exclude frost on the surface. Freeze at least six hours before serving. The last pic shows how much is left from 4 litres of ice-cream after both recipes are made.

To serve: Use a platter preferably with a slightly raised edge to contain melting. Remove cake from freezer to counter for 5 minutes and just before serving gently open the spring to release the pan base, peel back the paper as you slide the cake onto the serving dish. Slice with a sharp knife, serve immediately and return remaining cake to the freezer before it melts away completely. I usually store it back in the spring form tin or in an empty ice-cream container.

When I rubbed the skins off my hazelnuts today I made sure I saved them.  I'll add them to some rice hull for a special Christmas temari. Let me know if you try either of these recipes and what you thought.

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Gingerbread things

Over the years I've learned that perfectly Martha Stewart moments only truly exist when kids are a bit older (or possibly not actually helping). On Wednesday night after dinner and tree decorating Mr W and Miss D decorated the gingerbread house. My brother did the house frame construction and then the kids went all out covering the rooftop with as much candy as the structure could support. Here is how it turned out. The top image is Miss D's roof side. I think she ate a fair amount of her candy before it even had a chance to get stuck onto the roof.

This side of the roof is Master W's. I did try to explain that his bears would be upside down when the roof was put on the house but (almost) 9yo's know so much better than their Mother. His writing in icing is better than mine of course so maybe he does know better.
I can almost feel myself slipping into a diabetic coma from the sight of it. My brother wrote the kids initials  here on the end of the house. The 'curtains' are interesting... very jailhouse chic. The kids (young and old) all enjoyed making this gingerbread mansion... it is a fun tradition that I hope will continue for many more years.

On Thursday we made gingerbread men. I had intended to just have W and my DH making them as a family activity but somehow we ended up with 2 of the neighbourhood kids helping out too. This meant that my tiny kitchen was too full of people so hubby got kicked out. Sorry no pictures of these as they all got nibbled up before I could take pictures, just as well too because some of them turned into conversation men after Wesley and I got tired of talking about whether or not he could have another cookie. Some had 'no' others had 'yes' and one had 'please' iced on them. Here are some gingerbread snowflakes we made yesterday to use up the icing and left over dough. The one with the lime tictac stuck on top used up the very last of the icing.

Happy stitching/baking/shopping/decorating/other to you until next time!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christmas temari finished

I've been stitching merrily away this week and I've finished my temari for the neighbours. It has been a fun project and I finished it just in time for December 1st.

I don't know what the rest of the world does but I know many Aussies use a simulated (fake) tree for Christmas. When I was a kid we used to have a real pine tree that my father would go cut down from the forest about a week before Christmas. Most years we were lucky to get it to survive the 7 days in the heat despite watering it every day.  In our home we now use a fake tree... I like to think the real tree can stay in the forest to keep the air we breathe cleaner for everyone. This also means we can do a December 1st tree decorating get together. For many years my family have gathered on Dec1 for dinner and tree decorating and tonight will be no different.  It is usually just a simple meal and then we spend the majority of the evening decorating and finalising plans for our Christmas day celebrations. We will also make the gingerbread house tonight... this is a new tradition we began last year so the grand kids can have some fun... we make two, last year one got nibbled on the night and the other lasted to Christmas day.

But before I send my son  and maybe my niece down the street to hang our gifts on all the neighbours doors... here they are all stacked up on the plate.

And hanging individually on my mini tree. Cute huh? But not quite special enough so I decided to string them together with a tassel. I also added 3 rondell (I think that's what they're called) swarovski crystals to add a bit of bling.
And how the neighbours will receive them all strung together. I will use a paper clip bent open to place them on everyone's screen door with a little note.

Sorry this last pic is a bit fuzzy but I've got to run and get other things organised for tonight... or dinner might be even more simple than usual.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Update on Chrismas baubles

Earlier this week I posted about the temari balls I've been making for the neighbours in my street. I am about half way done with this project now. Here is a new progress shot. I can see from the finger marks on the plate how many times this project has been moved around the coffee table.

All the small size temari are completed. Three of the medium size are also done and another has the obi band done and is awaiting the pole designs. There is still only one large temari finished, I am saving the large ones to stitch last. I still can't decide whether to string the sets of 3 together to make one graduated bauble or if they would be better as 3 separate pieces. I am leaning toward the prior but I've never strung temari together before so I need to work out the best way to do it, also I am trying to decide if they would look better hanging smallest to largest or largest to smallest... and lastly would I use a tassel and which thread would I used to make it?

The more I stitch these tiny temari the more I am falling in love with them... they're just so darn cute. I've been chanting to myself  'I am making these for all our lovely neighbours' from time to time as I stitch but truthfully the neighbours could possibly end up with baked goods for Christmas instead of these temari.

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Ooops, I missed a week.

Sorry there have been no posts since last week. I got a bit distracted by physio and some strange 'fever and chills combination' that lasted several days and made it impossible to make temari (or do anything else for that matter). All better again now... yay for good health!

Shaking off last week... and so here we are with a new week and a new project. On Sunday I helped my Mum make some cushion covers for her friend's daughter. Mum was having trouble getting the bits all folded in the right places and thankfully I could remember how to make the covers from my high school sewing classes.

My temari project for this week involves making some little temari ball sets for the neighbours to hang on their Christmas trees. I am making 3 temari for every neighbour... lucky I live in a short street... there are only 8 houses. I've got 5 stitched so far and the other 16 are wrapped and ready to go.

These temari are a lot smaller than the ones I usually make. These bases are made with foam cores, I only used thread wrap for the small size and for the other two sizes I used some very thin machine knitting yarn under the thread layer.
The circumferences are 8.5cm, 11cm and 14.5cm. Obviously I can't use perle 5 for these so I am using Gutterman Rayon Sulky #30 for small, Gutterman Top Stitch for medium and Thread Art Cotton Perle #8, for the marking thread I'm using Rainbow Gallery Treasure Braid Petite for the smaller sizes and Nordic Gold for the large size. Luckily I did some experiments with several threads when I began making yubinuki so I have a few sizes of thin thread.

I am making 3 different designs, S8 on the small temari have a Maki Kagari design with a simple herringbone on the obi, S10 for the medium using a Hoshi Kagari (Star) in different colours on each pole with a stepped herringbone obi and S12 Uwagake Chidori Kagari on the large balls with a double herringbone on the obi. I cant decide if I want to place these on individual hangers or make a larger ornament  by stringing them together with a bit of tassel on the bottom. I guess I need to percolate on the idea a bit  more.

I'm taking a break from my recent yubinuki bead project and when these temari are done I've got some fabric notebooks to make for my Mum and Miho.

Hope you can settle down and enjoy some stitching through the week.

Monday, 15 November 2010

I'd rather be... stitching temari

... than stuck at this traffic light! This was my thought this morning.  I think someone programs the light changes to deliberately make you stop at every intersection... maybe that person is in cahoots with the oil companies... do I smell a conspiracy to make us use more fuel? This morning I travelled about 23km in about 15 minutes along the highway (no traffic lights) and then it took 20 minutes to travel just an extra 8km along the surface roads. I stopped at 11 sets of traffic lights because every one of them was red... two sets had no traffic coming at the crossroad either. Nevermind it was all worth it because I had a physiotherapy appointment today, and I do feel much better, my brain can process thoughts again and I can even look over my shoulder to reverse the car. Yippee! I've got another appointment booked for Wednesday which should take considerably less time to get to as I'll be going from home instead of via Lesmurdie.

Before the physio I went to school to take another class of girls for temari making. This was my last teaching commitment for 2010 so now I guess I am on holidays!!???? Er actually... No rest for the wicked (and I must be particularly so) I've got 2 JTA temari to make, 2 birthday cakes to bake (I am so lucky to be making my nephew's 1st birthday and niece's 3rd birthday cakes), then I will get stuck into all the Christmas baking. My assigned course is dessert (another conspiracy I suspect) and everyone has given me a long list of requests. I daren't make anything new because I know it will be added (nothing every gets left off) to the request list for next year when I mysteriously get chosen to make desserts.

Today I am made photo boards to help the girls finish off their design. Click here to see them.

I also finished off a yubinuki bead to go on a necklace. This one is green and navy and is quite cute but still no good for entering into Chloe Patricia's share your thimbles for this month... not to worry though because I am half way through one that will qualify. This one is made with Orizuru No9 silk in green and navy on a base made of bias tape, cardboard, cotton thread and yarn. There are 11 sections and each colour is stitched in the opposite direction.

The new thimble bead is also 11 sections but I am experimenting with 3 colours. 2 sections of red, plus 1 section each of gold and silver. I'll share a pic when I've finished it.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Weekend Workshop

Ahhhh we are having a bit of rain today and my garden is so thankful as it has been particularly thirsty weather for the last few weeks.

Last weekend I had an awesome workshop with 9 ladies in South Perth. One participant flew all the way from Melbourne just for the weekend. On Saturday morning we were so lucky to have Miho come to help as everyone marked up C8 division temari, for some ladies this was their first time to mark a into C8.

We stitched our way through several temari designs together over the weekend. I managed to convert one lady from foam bases to rice hulls when I gave her one of my bases because her prepared base was just a little too small for the design we were stitching. Once you go hull you don't go back.

This week is a bit quiet... for the first time in ages... I am waiting, waiting, waiting for a giant delivery from Japan. I haven't done much stitching (my neck, spine and arm are playing up) but I have something to show which is my latest effort. I finished this one last week but hadn't had time to take a photo. I think the pattern is from Cosmo 2 but I can't remember because I started it a while ago and it sat for several weeks waiting to get the last light yellow triwing  stitched on it.

I am beginning to suffer from increasing numbers of UFO's again. I am hoping to get some of them finished soonish. Some of these may get wrapped back over and started again as something else. Let's see: I will finish off the green based one (right) and the one on the front left but the middle one is just a ball I use for laying out new patterns and the one at the back is Joan's stitch along I still haven't finished. I don't like the colours so it will get wrapped over or pulled out and something else done on it. Also you can see through the bag my latest thimble bead almost done, this is the item closest to finished so this is the next thing I'm doing.

Now that I look at the photo it's not too many UFO's... I just have to put out of my mind all the crafty things I promised to do for everyone just now. [Just kidding people... you know who you are]

I am looking for C10 projects to make right now. I need two awesome temari to finish off my JTA requirements. When I started the C10 above I planned to use it as a JTA submission ball but in all honesty I did a terrible job of the stitching and when I tried to diagram the pattern... well let's just say I couldn't without just redrawing exactly what was in the book. I like to make my diagrams from my understanding of the pattern rather than just reproducing one verbatim* from the source.

*I know this means word for word... is there a term that means picture for picture?

I had a Chinese hacker attack on one of my 5 email accounts twice last weekend. Grrrr!!! I don't even recall opening or clicking on anything dodgy recently so goodness knows how it happened. I want to apologise if anyone got a weird message from me... I wasn't even aware of it until some kind folk began to email me to tell me what they received. I've changed everything, every password for every account and my modem and anything else I could possible think of and now I scan every hour (instead of once a day) for potential problems. There seems to be a lot of nasty Internet goings on at the moment so let's all stay alert.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Thrilled all over

I have a few temari UFO's kicking around but my arm has been too sore to settle to them. Here is my latest temari. I really enjoyed working on this one and just love how it turned out. It is inspired by a pattern in Cosmo 4 p24 #6 (pattern p52). I changed the colours a little from the original ball because I wanted it to really pop with rainbow brightness. After I stitched it I was unsure if I had got the rainbow colours right... despite just coming out of winter here I haven't seen any rainbows for a while.

I really like this eye catching cheery little C8 fellow. I think I have 3 all time favourite temari that I have made so far (I mean those I worked out on my own rather than asking for help on) the other two are.

This one is a C10 and it is almost an all over design. My other favorite is below, a S16.

I'm sure I see a theme... they all have blue on them. I've stitched the last two many times, and I think I'll make the top one again in graduated shades of colour to see the effect.  Hmmm what colour might I use? Can you guess?

Till next time... just keep stitching!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Store updates.

Just before the big bumper bingle* last Friday, I had spent a few days updating the Temari Addict Australia Supply Store. It had been quite a while since I did any housekeeping in the store so it was well overdue. 

I've changed the banner to match this blog background, updated many product images and added some new product lines. All the books are now featured 4 to a page so the cover images are a little bit bigger. I also did a mini stock take and found a book I've had in stock that wasn't yet listed in the store. It is now of course!

I'll have more time (theoretically) coming up so I will be able to be more vigilant about keeping all the listings fully stocked so I've changed the inventory system to show all items again (this will allow you to back order any out of stock items as they will no doubt be on their way from the supplier). I'll be ordering more frequently so things should get back to being rarely out of stock. There is a big KYO and Cosmo series order about to arrive at the door so if there is something you wanted head over to the store to take a look. Also I am getting colour swatches in for threads and will add some starter kits to the store for those that just want to try temari without diving too far into the deep end.

*Bingle: an Australian informal noun which means collision or minor traffic accident.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Friday Freeway Fender Fiasco

Ouch! I'm a bit sore today and the posts might be a bit light on for the next week or so becasue last night I had a bit of a bump in the car.  Well it was a fairly solid bump and I'm a bit brused but I'll survive. Can't say the same for the car of the lady that crashed into the back of me though. I have have several nasty car accidents which might make you think I'm a bad lady driver, but in fact I've either been a passenger or been rear-ended so I've never had an at-fault crash.

The lady that ran into me was really shaken up, I'm an old hand at accidents by now so I managed to remain calm... I didn't shout or complain or even swear (I am most surprised about the last part).

Here is the other car, the damage doesn't look too bad but all that liquid on the ground is coolant from the radiator that my towball went through. There was even some very dramatic steam bursts when the cars collided. I think it needed to get towed afterwards.

My car (my Husband's actually) seems to have have faired a bit better. We will need to get the towbar system checked as it is bent and the bumber and bottom of the rear doors are all damaged. So no going boating until it is all fixed up.

It is a bit hard to see the damage as both cars are black.  I couldn't believe I had to tell my hubby that I had crashed his new car. This is his second black X-Trail that I have crashed (the last car was hit by a truck and all the front and side got smashed) Still I couldn't stop thinking how lucky we both were.

The first big accident I was in required almost 100 stitches in my face, broke all my front teeth and had years of physio afterwards, the last accident (when I was also rear ended) I was 4.5 months pregnant and was petrified that I would lose my bub because my tummy slid into the steering wheel so hard.

This time I was alone - my son was at his basketball  game and my neice didn't quite manage to twist my arm to bring her home for a sleep over, there was no blood, no human bodies were broken, there were only 2 cars involved - I managed to not hit the car infront of me, and I could drive home my car. Apart from having a fair bit of aching muscles in my back and neck, I will be A-OK.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Spring Fair Round Up

On Sunday we went to the West Coast Steiner School Open Day and Spring Fair. It was a nice warm spring day and I was very glad of the pop up shelter we took along with us, as we may have melted away in the sunshine otherwise. We presented a display table of temari items and spoke to a number of people about temari making. I met several Japanese ladies on the day, most of whom had seen temari when they were growing up but had never stitched one before.

We sold a good amount of caramel popcorn (a sample tasting always helps along with sales of this) and we only came home with two small bags (luckily one each for Mstr W and Miss D). We also sold some fabric journals, wired rings, temari styled brooches, and some yubinuki beaded necklaces and a temari or two too. The yubinuki were really cute, there was the red/white and purple/gold ones from last weeks post and also a red/silver one that I didn't even get a chance to photograph before it sold. I really am enjoying making these beads and I've started a new one already this time in navy blue and minty green... but it will need to sit for a week or so before I finish it because I am back to pattern writing and workshop preparation again today.

Progressive temari pattern 2010

Here is a link to the International Temari Appreciation Day blog where you will find the free pattern for the temari that was designed by 7 members of the Temari Challenge Yahoo group.  While you are over at the ITAD blog check out some of the other activities that were organised around the world to celebrate our day.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Today is International Temari Appreciation Day!!

Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!!  Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!!   Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!! Happy International Temari Appreciation Day!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

ITAD is tomorrow

As the title says... there are just a few short hours until ITAD 2010. Many people all over the world will celebrate temari in their own special way. Actually many people are stretching out the fun over more than 24 hours. You can check out some of the stories and photos at the ITAD blog and Flickr sites.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Back up the learning curve I go

I really enjoy making yubinuki (thimble rings) because they are fairly quick projects that can be stitched up in an afternoon. I haven't made heaps of them, less than 20, so I consider them a new skill. I have been so busy recently that I haven't had any 'spare' time to allocate to thimble making, and also I hadn't wanted to open the gorgeous silk thimble thread sets that Miho brought from Japan for me. But this week I had a little window of free time (read: procrastination and diversion from other projects) so I did treat myself to making some thimbles. I have almost completed 4 this week.

Here is the first one... abandoned half way through due to being too big in diameter and too poorly stitched on a dodgy base made with two strips of bias stitched together to make them wider... in case you are wondering - no it doesn't really work.

Here is number two (left)... this time I made my own bias strip but while the width was fine the length was too short so the join popped open a tiny bit. The stitching on it is better but the measuring was still a bit off so there are a couple of gaps. The circumference is still too big at 3.9cm. Also here we have number three(right)... I made the base but didn't even stitch on it because it think the bias might pull out at the join again. I was going to practice on it but really why would I bother to disappoint myself. So I have said goodbye to this one.

Here is number four... I made an even smaller base 3cm using Debi's paper method (I like this tutorial). Ok I think I am getting there now. Stitching much more even and made on a better base... I lashed out and spent $3 on some wider bias tape and  now my hands are getting more used to stitching on this small scale.

Here is number five... Still in progress but I think you will be able to see where I'm going with this one. This is also my first attempt at stitching paths in two opposite directions.

Did you guess I have been trying to make beads this week? I have been inspired by the lovely beads made by Dorian E  which have been submitted over on Chloe Patricia's Share your thimbles site. I am also inspired greatly by Quiltsummse's thimbles at the same site. You could also win one of the monthly thimbles given away at this flickr group just by trying out thimble making for yourself and entering the draw.

This thimble experience made me reflect on a saying I often hear... use it or lose it. Ok so this is usually in reference to avoiding hoarding for example if you haven't worn an item in 12 months donate it to charity, etc... but actually this translates to new skills too.

If you have recently learned any new skill (drive a car, speak a foreign language, or make a new craft etc) and then fail to use that skill for an extended period it seems to disappear. You need to relearn and practice to get back up the learning curve to where you were before. This is depicted in the graph above: The red line shows an unbroken chain of learning and practice and the blue line shows what happens if you stop using the skill. As you can see by stopping using the skill in between the two thresholds you will likely slide backwards to the first threshold. The good news is that going from 'I suck' to 'I kick ass' a second time is an even quicker curve.

So if you hit a stumbling block with your new skill acquisition or had to take a break from using your new skills, just try again, for a short time it may seem impossible but stick with it because very quickly you'll find you can 'kick ass' again.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

October Workshop

Tomorrow I am taking a temari workshop in South Perth at Hazel McDougall House. It will be a beginner's class with 10 students. This is one of my personal ITAD activities for 2010. Here are a few photos of the venue.

I did some resreach about this building and I discovered this history. The parkland that this building sits on was actually the last dairy in the Perth metropolitan. Until 1946 dairies in this area supplied all Perth's milk and dairy needs. This farmhouse was owned by the McDougall's, a childless couple, who worked the surrounding land until 1952 when the local government purchased most of the property, which it redeveloped into housing.

After Mr McDougall passed away his wife continued to live in a small acreage while in the 1960's the land were developed into the current amphitheater, parklands and lake which provide shelter for local native flora and fauna which was the McDougall's wish. The buildings in the map below still exist today.

 When Mrs McDougall passed away she bequeathed the remaining farm acreage and homestead to the local government of South Perth with the understanding it be used to further arts and crafts in the district.  Now days many groups use this facility for sharing their artistic knowledge and skills. Thank you to the McDougalls for being so selfless with their community and giving us all such a wonderful gift.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

I got it from madeit.

A few weeks ago I did a swap with another seller on madeit. There are loads of art and craft websites on the www and madeit is probably the Aussie version of etsy. The difference is that there are no supplies sold on madeit and all items sold there can only be made by crafts people in Australian.  I gave a set of 15 flower topped pins similar to these shown below.

I received this cute little felted Chickie Mini Purse from Cassie at Rainbow Lollies. The photo is a little dark but the outer is a nice deep navy blue. Click on the image to see it a little larger and you'll see all the details.

You can see the cute packaging featured in the middle of the picture... it really felt like receiving a gift when I opened the parcel. Cassie is running a 3 for 2 special at her store at the moment click over and have a look. Right now my own madeit store is empty :( I've been focusing on my temari supply store recently but when I get a few minutes I will pop up a few listings at made it.

I'm not sure if I will keep this for myself or gift it to a lucky friend... if I can bear to part with it of course.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

2 weeks to ITAD... Here is a competition to celebrate.

Here is a cross post from my other blog:

Today I am announcing a giveaway competition for everyone celebrating ITAD 2010. We want to know how you celebrate ITAD.

Here are the entry guidelines:
General: Take a photo of whatever temari celebration you do on (or during the week of) ITAD. Upload your photo and a caption description just a few sentences long to the flickr group or email it directly to me at this place [] The entries will be added to the ITAD blog so by entering you grant the International Temari Appreciation Day coordinator permission to use the image and text in your entry.
Time: Competition will commence on October 22 2010 and close at Midnight October 31st 2010 local time. I live in Western Australia so the time here is GMT+8.
Photography: Please ensure you have permission of any individuals in your photograph as they will be published on this blog. Ensure your photo is named in an identifiable way. This will ensure you get all the credit for it.
Caption: Please tell us what you did and where you were. No long essays needed just a few sentences, no more than 100 words. This can be in English or your own language if you would prefer. I can always translate your text if necessary.
Prize: A little parcel of 7 DMC perle 5 and 3 Kreinick braid threads, one card of 3 needles and a JTA V-ruler will be posted to the winner. Here is a picture of the giveaway.

Draw: One winner will be selected at random from all the entries received before the competition closing time.

Here's a sample entry. I have used an old photo from my other blog and just added a few sentences about it underneath. The are about 60 words which is more than enough:

This is a plum blossom tree in my front garden in Perth, Australia. A few months ago (back in the winter) we had an unusually warm and sunny day so I decided to dress up this bare tree with some temari balls. Lots of neighbours walked past and wondered what I was doing. I had a great time and I love this photo. By Rebecca from Perth