Sunday, 30 September 2012

Hinata Gallery Cafe 2012

I wish I'd had time to blog about this before the event, but I've been kinda busy lately. I worked 8 days straight leading up to this event (between all my jobs - paid and volunteer) so by the time the day came I was a bit tired but talking about temari all day long does give you a boost.

This year one of my temari made it onto the back of the flyer. Lucky me!! I was so busy I forgot to take photos of everyone's stall but if you would like to see you can click here to go to the Hinata Cafes' blog

I sold several temari including my 'revolution of thought' set of temari. I also sold some Yubinuki thimbles which were fashioned into either necklaces or pin cushions.

I did take some pics of my stall. It wasn't as beautifully laid out as last year. My Mum is the lady with the display knack but she is still out of action since her fall down the stairs some months back. So I had to do the best I could in a short space of time with my 10 year old 'helping' so we could go home and he could play with the kids in the neighbourhood.

These pics were taken on set up day, I took them so I could work out how to make the space look nicer for the actual event. So on the day it looked different and better than this... I forgot to take a photo on the day though. I liked the wooden stands, they worked really well. I needed a longer bit of the cream coloured temari fabric for the table top the darker fabric doesn't let the items pop.

Thursday, 27 September 2012


Thimble rings are what we westerners have dubbed Japanese silk stitched Yubinuki. They are like temari (because they are Japanese) because there are never two the same. Each stitch placement, colour selection, division and size make each one look entirely unique from every other. Even if you try to make two the same they never work out identical.

I have had another binge on thimble stitching lately. I seem to leave these for months at a time and then suddenly become inspired all over again. I love the feel of them when they are finished, nothing beats the smoothness of silk thread. I like all their profiles from the tall slender tubes to the short chubby stuffed ones.

I sold a few of these (with 5 pins in them) at the recent Hinata Gallery Cafe that I attended at the beginning of the month. I don't know many people that appreciate and collect thimbles these days so I turn mine into something 'useful' by making them miniature pin cushions. I even display them with hand beaded flower pins... just because I can.

Sorry for the dodgy photo (which was shot on my iPhone) but here are some of the ones I've made lately. I keep forgetting to charge the battery on my camera so I have several iPhone pics for the next few posts. Sorry.

I stitched the 2nd and 4th ones in the top row and the 1st and 4th ones in the bottom row from my head. I had no idea how they would turn out. I just randomly chose a division and several shades of thread and began stitching. I had a few aha! moments as I went along. The top middle and bottom right patterns were from Debi A's old website. All the others were from the thimble and flower or hard cover thimble books.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Cheesy Goodness

In my last post I wrote a quick update about all the goings on around these here parts. One of the things I have been doing lately is making cheese.

Three friends and I all got together to learn how to make Haloumi (also known as Halloumi) cheese.

Pan cooked Haloumi Cheese. Image from Wikipedia
Have you ever eaten this type of cheese? If not you are missing one of lifes' great experiences. It is brilliant for pan frying (I like it with a little garlic in the pan) and serving in a salad or eating just on its own with a drizzle of lemon or lime. Yum, yum and yum. The problem is it is fairly expensive in Australia so when the opportunity came up to learn how to make it I jumped at it. As part of the course we had a Masterchef cook off at the end to see which team could make the best appetizer with their box of mystery ingredients. Our team won and we all got a Cheese maker cooking timer and a set of mini measuring spoons.

This is a white cheese with a salty squeeky bite which is stored in brine. Originating from Cyprus, this was traditionally stored wrapped in mint leaves (which it tastes fantastic with) and can be served cold atop a slice of watermelon and garnished with a mint leaf. This sounded gross to me but I tried it and it is an amazing flavour combination. In Cyprus it is made of raw sheep or goats milk but we don't have access to that here so I make mine from pasteurised cows milk from the store.

Some people think it is too salty, others don't appreciate the squeakiness... but actually when you make your own cheese you can control both of these factors through the cooking and brining times. I like it salty and squeaky, but my cooking partner and I decided to cook out 3 blocks made in class for different periods of time so we could try all the options. Louise liked her Haloumi less squeaky. Sonja liked it less salty. Courtney was another salty, squeaky Haloumi lover just like me.

If you would like to try haloumi for yourself go grab some from the store and use it in one of these recipes.
I think I'm going to go to the store for milk and make some more today!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hello world...

it's me! My little corner of the planet has been so busy lately. My free time has been squeezed, squashed and stolen mostly by the pressures of various paid and volunteer work.

I am very sorry for not posting in more than 6 weeks (a first for me) and I'd like to thank everyone who kept popping by to see my blog despite there being no new posts. Also here is a shout out to everyone that sent an email to check on my welfare... sorry to have worried you all, I have been A-OK just too busy to get blogging.

So what have I been doing?

I learned to make Haloumi Cheese with 3 of my girlfriends at The Cheesemaker in the Swan Valley. If you haven't had this lovely cheese before you need to go find some. More details later about that.

I've been making some yubinuki thimbles again. This time I have been stitching without any pattern just seeing how it turns out.  More details to follow.

I've had another 1 day workshop with my group of temari makers in Fremantle.

I've been working as an Administrative Assistant at one job and Bookkeeper at another. Also just for fun I've been volunteering at my son's soccer club as his team manager and also as the co-manager of the canteen. Every Sunday for the last 18 weeks has been swallowed up entirely by soccer.

We've celebrated Father's Day, and a ton of birthdays so of course there has been much baking.

Stock has been piling into the temari supply shop and shipping back out to customers just as fast. More details about that will follow.

I spent some time looking after my DH with a serious case of Man Flu.

Last weekend was the Hinata Cafe, I had a stall there again. It was fun and busy! More details later about that.