Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Forward

Mr Frog accuses me of living in the past.

In a way, he's right, I'm very sentimental and can hang onto things I no longer need, use or even like that much because of the memories attached to them. He often tries to get me to "go through" my things and get "RID" of stuff.

I dig my heels in.

We argue a lot.

I give in a little, but never enough.
Moving house was not fun. We have a way of filling the space we have, so there were lots of things Mr Frog decided we didn't need the bother of having to move. He was right. And he was wrong.

His (quite accurate) accusation didn't really click unitl he added the phrase " you should be looking forward with your Husband and your Baby".


We are building a life, together, for the future. The past is important, yes. But the future is oh-so-bright-and-beautiful.

I haven't thrown out all the things he wishes I would, but I'm getting better. Letting go is getting easier every day.

But this I could not let go of...

My sister Sadie made this for me. I think she was in high school...? Maybe a bit younger. Of all the people she could have made things for, she chose me. And so I choose her.

The feet have broken off, and it will no longer be allowed to reside on the bathroom bench, but it stays. Keeping other bits and bobs safe in my bedside table.

So, Happy New Year. Look back on the year, but try not to hang on to it. Unless someone made you something special. Hang on to that.

Here's to Looking Forward.

What are you plans for next year?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It's beginning to Feel Nothing Like Xmas!

We moved house a week ago.

Yes, a week and a half before xmas, we moved house. Dumb. I know. But that's just how it is.

Needless to say there is crap every where and we are very slowly making progress with the unpacking. While everyone else is looking for the xmas decorations they stashed sometime in January, I'm looking for the dinner plate I packed just over a week ago.


We're a little xmassy...

That is my feeble attempt at a card xmas tree. Technically the power point balances it out. "Hanging" on the blue card is the bauble my mum bought for Tadpoles' first xmas. "Oh but you have to have a tree" she says to me. "I can't find the cutlery" I say to her. 

It's not all bad. I still have my new advent calendar. It's fun when you forget for a few days and end up with quite a collection of choccies.

Tadpoles' first xmas is not quite the one I had in mind. That's o.k. She won't know. Not till she's old enough to hear the story about the xmas we stupidly moved house and mummy made a card xmas tree.

That story will never get old.

What are your memorable xmas stories?
Happy Holidays everyone, see you in the new year, when Madame Clochette gets all shiny and new-ish.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

These moments in Pictures

Anzac Bastards... aka Anzacs minus and plus a few things

Brown rice salad, trying to take care of myself

Champagne, Canapes, a goody bag and the top bloggers in the country.

Christmas Chocolates

Christmas shopping

A lovely gift, kinda glad the vases are packed.

Crazy times people. We're moving house. Christmas is coming. A visitor is coming to stay.

It's all happening.

Stay tuned.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mushroom Magic

I love it when I can make a dinner do double duty. By that I mean the leftovers of something delicious become something else, possibly even more delicious. I feel like a super domestic goddess, creating magical goodness with my cleverness.

You know what I mean.

It's cost effective, and time efficient, and we could all use a little more cash and a little more time.

So, my latest stroke of brilliance was Mushroom Ragu.  I only made it because there were a bunch of different mushroom punnets reduced at the supermarket and I just can't walk past that. So I made my ragu (saute a bunch of mushrooms with onions and garlic, perhaps a little wine, a little stock, add a knob of butter at the end) and served it with soft polenta.

The Ragu, looking all yummy and steamy

The leftover polenta was poured into a lamington tin and flattened down with wet hands so it was all nice and smooth. (I'll get back to that later.)

The mushroom ragu leftovers sat in the fridge for a couple of days... the flavours developing (and I kinda got sidetracked.) Then I whizzed up the mix with a little melted butter, divided it into a couple of jars and poured more melted butter over the top. No, this is not every day food.

Voila. Mushroom Pate.

O.k, so I made this jar pretty for you guys

Just in time for Nibblies night.

Oh, and the polenta? Cut into chips, coated in some uncooked polenta and baked in the oven (When we have an extractor in the kitchen I'm gonna fry them!) and served a couple of days later with sausages.

I gave myself a high five.


What do you do with your leftovers?


Friday, November 8, 2013

"Tis Almost the Season

This is to be the Tadpoles' first xmas. Granted, it will pass her by in a whirl of paper and presents she'll have no comprehension of, she'll be almost six months old after all, but I wanted to start a new tradition.
In fact, tradition is suddenly a very interesting topic to me. We have traditions already, grown up ones that are a mixture of French, Australian and our very own made-up ones.

1. The tree goes up on December 1st. There is sparkling wine involved, always. Often, the date changes because, hey, that's life.
2. The weeks leading up to xmas involve me pre-making as much of the festive food, and foodie gifts as possible. I'ts a very happy time for me!
3. On xmas eve, I prepare a range of canapes, while drinking sparkling, to be eaten while watching Carols by Candlelight and taking the piss out of everyone on stage. Except Marina Prior. She is untouchable. Everyone else is fair game. (I know, not in the xmas spirit but still, it's fun!)

4. As is the French tradition, we open gifts on xmas eve, but not at Midnight like you're supposed to and only those from each other.
5. This is because on xmas morning we open everything else.
6. I spend the rest of the day cooking. And we eat.

Nothing happens on Boxing day, because until recently Mr Frog and I have always been working. So, I need to get a new tradition for that day.

Until then, my newest addition to tradition is The Advent Calendar. I know nothing about it (perhaps someone could enlighten me?) but a daily dose of chocolate will make Mr Frog very happy... at least until he has to share with the Tadpole!

Here is the process of making my own in pictures:

The shelving, painted cream

The back board with picture

A work in progress
The drawers

Decorating is easy with a sticker sheet

Gluing the back board on

Voila, the finished product.... for now.

I'm still considering adding to the shadow box, but for now it's done. Now I can focus on the xmas gifts I plan to make.

I'm thinking Sleeping masks, bath salts, lip balm, and of course all the food!

What traditions do you have?


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Anniversary

The other day, Mr Frog and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary. The fourth anniversary of the original wedding day (there were three in total).
Normally, we'd go out to dinner or something, but hubby had work to do and would be late home so it was up to me to make it special.
Normally, I'd go mad cooking all day, making something time consuming, delicious and best eaten at a leisurely pace.
But this is the new normal. We now have a Tadpole, and my energy is spread pretty thin. So instead, I made only two canapes (boconccini, tomato and basil bites, and peach wrapped in proscuitto), bought a frozen pizza, a bag of salad, and a box of Bounty icecreams for dessert.
The idea was that I'd have more energy to actually spend some quality time with Mr Frog.
Normally it would have been a great plan.
Tadpole had other ideas!

Anyhoo, Mr Frog also got ripped off in the gift department... Handmade chocolates. Not fancy ones from the shop, I mean handmade by me.

Yep, that's blue glitter. Don't worry, it's edible!

A little scrapbook paper, some red cardboard, a rub on and some black ribbon.

 He was very polite and is thoroughly enjoying them.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Paper Craft

In between the constant feeding of the Tadpole, I've been making a few cards. It's been quite a process, due to the fact that all my craft supplies have been stored away in boxes up in a cupboard, which means lot's of ladder climbing and unpacking and packing.

Mr Frog convinced me to sell them (just head to the Madame Clochette Facebook page) because he thinks they're great.

What do you think? 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back in The Saddle

It's been too long! So long in fact that I went and had a baby girl! The tadpole is now eight weeks old and taking up lots of time and energy... which I mostly enjoy.

In this past week I've managed to find an excuse and a project to get myself back in the crafting way. Here's what I've been up to...

Take one, plain wooden box you bought super cheap, and remove the hinges and latch.

After a light sanding,  paint around all the edges and inside, then glue scrapbook paper cut to size to the inside of the bottom .
Then get to gluing the outside, one side at a time. I cut my pieces out in sequence and glued them as I went to make sure the pattern was continuous. Keep in mind you'll need to put the hardware back on, so poke holes where the screws will go.
Now I waited until I had covered all sides before I sanded off the edges of paper. Don't do that. Although a little more time consuming, I think you'll get a better result if you sand as you go. Just make sure the glue is mostly dry before you do.
Once you're happy with the edges, give the lid and the bottom a couple of coats of glue. This gives it a satin finish and is "water resistant". Of course, you could use polyurethane if you prefer... but I was doing this on the cheap.
Screw the hardware back on and you're done.
A great gift... fill it with lollies or a little surprise, and a great project for the school holidays!



Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lamp Re-vamp

My original plan for my plain jane lamp was to cover it in cream linen with a teal coloured damask print on it. Of course, when you have such a specific idea in mind, and you're still on a budget, you'll never find it.

So, after another fabric choice was vetoed by Mr Frog for being too girly (he was right, but I already had it which means it's free!), I settled on a cream and white fat quarter I already had in my stash. Still free.

After trimming the fabric, I folded over the edges and ironed them flat.

Most instructions for covering a lamp, suggest using spray adhesive over the entire lamp. Being an indecisive lass I used my glue gun along the seam...

...and then around the top and bottom edge, figuring it'll be easier to rip off if I hate it, now or down the track.

I used a silicone mat to help press the fabric down, without burning my hands. Learnt that the hard way.

Looks pretty, but needs a little something. After much faffing, after weeks of thinking about it, and after a few trial runs... I decided to add a little ribbon.

Once again, I've covered my bases by not gluing the ribbon to the actual lamp, but gluing the ribbon to the ribbon... this way, I can slip it off.
I then needed some colour. After ditching the hand making of a damask print idea, I tried making a Fleur De Lys out of Fimo. Fail. So, I followed my heart...

Conveniently, I was able to mix a couple of colours I had already mixed (trying to match a colour I can't remember) to come up with the perfect colour.

A little more hot glue, and there you have it... a Re-vamped Lamp.

Five weeks till my due date... and counting.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bless You

I finally made a decision on the Tissue Box cover I bought purely because it was on sale for $3.

After painting the sides cream and the top dark brown, I was stuck on where to go next. So many options. I could keep it simple, get all folksy, or not.

A couple of coats of my rapidly running out cream paint...

After going through the papers I originally bought for the baby's room, I realised I had an entire page I hadn't used yet. I also realised, that sometimes, simple really is better.

Glue on some paper and you're done. Mind the dodgy paint job.

Who really needs a more fancy tissue box cover than this?
Next up, is a lamp revamp and also a chest of drawers spruce up. It's looking as though I'll need to compromise on both of these projects, given time, but mostly budget restrictions. This makes me a little sad, but then again, I do love a challenge.
I also need to change the amount of pink bows on this:

Mr Frog feels it really is too girly, and seeing as there's a 50/50 chance we're having a boy... I have to change it. A fiddly job, but I feel it needs something extra anyway.
Six weeks till my due date... place your bets if you think I'll go early or late! (Pray for early... I'm HUGE!)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Family Tree

So I mentioned a little while ago that Mr Frog spotted an MDF tree in Kaisercraft and suddenly felt that we needed one. I wasn't overly excited, or motivated, but a craft project is a craft project and so I went at it.
It started with a tree, and some paint....

I painted the front cream, and the edges dark brown. Easier said than done!
Then I tore up a sheet of scrapbook paper and stuck the pieces over the majority of the limbs and leaves.

Glued, but scrappy...
I then sanded the edges of the over hanging paper, with a nail file; much easier than an actual piece of sand paper.

All sanded and pretty... but the torn edges were
using a bit of sponge and some cream paint, I dabbed all over the white bits.
Mr Frog wanted Owls, but the ones we bought didn't go with my colour scheme. So I glued some paper onto a cardboard box rescued from the recycling bin...
and cut out little owl shapes.

Some black and white pics of our families (minus a couple that I haven't printed yet)
And voila, Our Family Tree.

Now, Mr Frog will probably have some helpful "suggestions" to make it better... but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.