Thursday, 26 February 2009

Stencil fun

Today I had one of those rare (for me!) occasions when an idea in my head came out just as I had planned ... I've been trying to come up with a stencil to use on a striped shirt - something with enough interest to be interesting, not too busy given the loud background and something that works with the stripes rather than against them. This seems to have worked pretty well.

I've done this trial run on one of JoJo's manky kindy shirts - excuse the stains (it actually covered up quite a few horrible marks!).

I used freezer paper for the stencil - what a FUN craft idea! When I went to cut the stencil I was horrified to discover that my trusty stanley knife is now far more broken than trusty, but fortunately I could do this shape with scissors. We used to have a scrapbooking shop literally around the corner from us, and much as I loathe and detest scrapbooking I did venture inside the shop one day and bought a superb pair of ultra sharp scissors which are perfect for stuff like this :)

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Mr 2

Xander is too cute these days (he's also giving us a good look at his naughty side, but let's not go there for now). He's very keen to do things his own way, by himself - it's gorgeous seeing his concentration and hard work to master skills I take for granted :)

Goodness Gracious great balls of ..... felt!

Of late I have become just a little besotted with felt balls ... they are so lovely to look at and feel so nice to hold, and they even bounce (a bit!).

The kids have been having a great time playing with the ones I've made them (not the ones in the top pic - they get the trial ones!). JoJo has made up all sorts of complicated games involving multiple characters and scenarios, but Xander is more concerned with putting them in and out of containers, and trying to work out how to carry them all at once!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Best gluten free playdough recipe

I've been searching high and low for a decent gf playdough recipe, and this is the best one I've tried by far....

2/3 cup maize flour
2/3 cup besan (chickpea) flour
2/3 cup rice flour
1/2 cup salt (table salt is best)
2 tbsp canola oil
4 tbsp cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups warm water
food colouring

Chuck everything in a saucepan and stir it until all lumps are gone before heating. Cook over low heat and stir often- this takes a long time! Leave it to sit until pretty cool - it will get less sticky.

* This seems to take more cooking time than "normal" playdough - it needs to be cooked very thoroughly.

Monday, 16 February 2009


My dear Grandma died early this morning. Death is a horrible thing, no matter how old, frail or sick the person is. This is not easy.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Is this enough new posts for you Donna?

:P I think it will do for today anyway!


We've had a busy month (Jan... I'm a bit slow with my blogging!).

The 2 little people in our family both had their birthdays, and both had a fabulous time (although Xander has taken to yelling "I want a present, I want a present" if he gets the slightest bit tetchy).

JoJo also started kindy and is loving every minute. She's so tired at the end of the day that she can hardly eat her dinner, but it's great to see her having so much fun. Doesn't she look grown up? I've included a photo of X doing his wierd fish face - he's made this face alot ever since he was really young - I think it started when he was teething one time, and is now his default expression esp if he's concentrating on something. Strange boy.

Hear that?

It was the sound of me breathing a huge sigh of relief. My fantabulously wonderful and amazing husband has helped me to get the words of a song that's been bugging me for years to a level of bearability I can live with! Thanks J :D

It's a song for kids about a story in the Bible - a man called Nicodemus comes to see Jesus and they have a rather intriguing conversation. You can read it here if you don't know what I'm talking about.

What do you think? I'm still open to suggestions :)

Born Again

There was a man called Nicodemus who wanted to be good
So he tried and tried and tried and tried as hard as he could
To do everything right
But then one night
He talked to Jesus who explained that he hadn't understood
Jesus said

You must be born again,
You must be born again
Repent and believe,
God's Spirit receive
That's the way you're born again

"But I'm too old to be a baby, I can't go back to Mum
See I've grown and grown and grown, a big strong man I've become"
Nicodemus, be smart! You need a change of heart!
You should know all this stuff, how can you be so dumb?
Jesus said....

And now we've heard that if we really want to be God's friend
We mustn't try and try and try and try and try and pretend
That we've got the right stuff;
We're just not good enough
But in our place God gave His son, and on him we can depend
That's why....

© Lucy W 2009 Don't steal my stuff or I'll come and poke you with a knitting needle ok?

It's better than the old version anyway!

pic from

Italian Chicken Casserole

... and while I'm on the topic of recipes, here's one of the easiest "having people over, must cook large quantity of food" recipes around. AND it's gluten free and easy on the budget!

Lots of skinless chicken drumsticks or lovely legs
Enough Homebrand Chunky Pasta Sauce to cover the chicken (I use 2 jars for approx 15 pieces of chicken). Homebrand is nicer than Savings in this instance, just so you know.
Pitted Kalamata olives
Grated cheese (check it doesn't have a thickener with gluten in it, or grate it yourself)

Put chicken in a single layer in a big roasting pan.
Tip sauce over chicken
Put in oven (I cook it at 140 degrees for a couple of hours, or 180 for about 45 mins - 1 hour)
Turn chicken when it's nearly cooked, put some olives in the sauce, sprinkle with cheese and crank up the oven to brown the cheese.

Serve with rice and salad or veges.


I probably shouldn't have posted this recipe because anyone who comes to my house gets served this dish and I'd prefer them to think I'd spent hours hand roasting my home grown cherry tomatoes for the sauce. Ah well.

Amazingly Yummy Can't-Tell-It's-Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Recipe

If I say it myself :) Oh, and it's also nut free if you pick the right ingredients! I made this for the kids' birthday party last weekend and it worked out really well. I figure it's easier to share a recipe on my blog than write it out by hand, so here you go Santina:

125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup icing sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup blackberry jam (or other smooth, seedless jam)
1 1/4 cups Orgran gf SR flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarb
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yoghurt mixed with 2 tsp brown sugar

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Grease a 20cm cake tin and put baking paper on the bottom
  • Beat butter, sugar, icing sugar till light and creamy
  • Mix jam well with a spoon to break up any gooey bits, add to butter etc with vanilla
  • Add eggs and mix well
  • Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder together
  • Fold in 1/2 of flour mixture, then milk, then other 1/2 flour etc, then yoghurt
  • Pour into tin, bake 45mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Leave in tin for 15 mins then turn onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Ice with something yummy (eg vienna cream).
I made 4x this mixture for the party and it was huge! Too big for my jumbo mixer, and too big for JoJo to stir (she gave up after one attempt!).

Good Riddance Bye!

The dolls are finally leaving! Xander will be sad - he loves to play with his "dowwies" but I'm glad they're going to a new home and I can start working on some other sewing projects. Farewell my garishly bright little friends!


I've come across a very interesting article about breastfeeding, early gluten introduction and coeliac disease (actually it's the articles referenced at the end that make particularly interesting reading). Turns out my determination to hold Xander off solids until 8 months may not have been such a great plan after all, although to be honest he hates eating so much it's probably just as well I wasn't trying to force feed him any earlier - might have saved myself a few grey hairs there.