Saturday, August 29, 2009

Morning Tea Treats

The great outdoors beckons at Button Central so we're taking the opportunity to sit outside and enjoy watching the Button Bikie Gang cruise around the driveway on their bikes and push-alongs. There is a ginormous skip in our driveway which we've been filling with all manner of objects from our garage and yard. While we work, the Button bikers have been careering down the driveway and swerving to miss the skip. It's hungry work and when they stop for a break, they're quite happy to munch on these ANZAC biscuits which are a very tasty Aussie tradition. If you can't use Golden Syrup, honey works just fine!


1 cup rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
125g butter
1 tblspn golden syrup
2 tblspns boiling water
1 tspn bicarb soda

PREHEAT oven to 140C
COMBINE rolled oats, coconut, flour and sugar
COMBINE butter and golden syrup and MELT in microwave
STIR boiling water and bicarb soda in butter mixture
POUR wet ingredients into dry and mix thoroughly
ROLL tablespoons of mixture into balls
PLACE on lined tray and allow a little room for biscuits to spread
FLATTEN biscuits slightly with the back of a fork
BAKE for 30 minutes. (for softer, chewier biscuits remove at 25 minutes)
COOL on tray for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling racks

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thought for Thursday

Wish in one hand, spit in the other and see which one gets full first!
My Nin

So today's thought is not of the genteel, greeting card variety but, it is something I often remind myself and although I am not sure where my Nin heard it, I'd like to give her the credit. The first time I heard it I was completely shocked because I didn't think grandmas were supposed to say things like that! My Nin was my Mum's mum and aside from my Mum, I know no other woman who could come close to being as remarkable as her. She raised 7 outstanding women and wholeheartedly loved squillions of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was 4ft and a bit, and a hard core crafter who always valued and gave handmade gifts. She passed away on Easter Saturday many years ago. Each of her daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great-grandchildren opened a handmade gift, lovingly made by her, that Easter morning.

Nin couldn't abide self pity and if ever she heard someone wishing for straight hair instead of the curls they were born with or for a husband who picked up his jocks, she'd trot out that saying and sort you out quick smart. She was wise on so many levels and of course, now I realise just how wise she really was:
  • She would scoot through the housework in the mornings so she could start her craft and watch her shows.
  • My Gar (Grandad) always took care of the washing which freed Nin up a bit more to work at her craft
  • She believed a cup of tea should always be accompanied with something to eat - preferably after being dunked in the tea
  • She was tiny but had an enormous bust on which she could balance a cup of tea and leave her hands free for knitting
  • She always wore her good knickers when she went out because you never know when you might fall over and you wouldn't want to be embarrassed
  • She never said a bad word about anyone...she'd just stop discussing the person altogether
  • She always told us she loved us and left us with a kiss and cuddle
  • When you were with her you felt like you were her favourite person in the world
  • Family came first
  • She didn't wish her life away - she lived it with love and laughter and beauty
I'd really like to be like my Nin when I grow up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trying Something New

After much thought and a fair amount of procrastination, we have finally dipped our toe in the Etsy water. There is only one item listed at the moment and it only has one sad little photo to show due to a flat camera battery.

Etsy is a whole new world which I have only discovered as a side benefit to blogging. I think I may need to find a tutorial entitled Etsy for Dummies as there are lots of gaps in my knowledge! Anyway, you can find us here and there will certainly be more Button Lovlies listed once my capabilities and camera catch up with the technology.

I'd love to know if there is a way to connect with the Brisstyle Crew via Etsy. That's going to be one of my tasks this week. If you have any Etsy wisdom to share, I'd be happy to listen!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Head in the Clouds

We seem to have a bit of a theme happening in our Cute as Buttons appliques, at the moment. Perhaps we're spending too much time watching the clouds roll by or maybe we're dreaming of a chance to fly away, sans small fry, and sleep for a week. If you know us, or you are responsible for a number of small buttons, (and a grown up one, in Sharon's case) I'm sure you can guess which option applies!

Lots of new things keeping us out of mischief and keeping the machines running hot! Nearly as hot as the weather here today! If you live in Queensland, I hope you are somewhere cool and have a lovely, long, icy drink in hand.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Our Home Among the Gum Trees

This weekend we are spending the whole weekend in our piece of the bush. There will be lots of time with the Little Buttons, some baking, family and friends and great weather to enjoy. I thought I'd share some photos of the view from my front steps. Those big trees are home to possums, koalas, cockatoos, kookaburras and a couple of goannas and many other little creatures we don't know about. We also seem to be attracting an evergrowing population of scrub turkeys who like to eat the scraps that our chickens don't fancy!

I've included some of the before shots of our yard. Hard to believe it is the same place. Mind you, the Little Buttons keep telling me they miss the mud patch, but, for now, they'll have to make do with a roll in the grass and digging in the sandpit.

That was then:

This is now:

I hope your weekend is a happy one!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thought for Thursday

...there are two kinds of friends in the world, those who inspire in you all that is great and good and those who'd prefer to get right down on their haunches and help out with the mud pies.
Julie Powell

This is a quote from Julie & Julia which I've just finished re-reading. Julie is a frustrated actress who is working in an unfulfilled job. She decides she needs a project and chooses to to cook all the recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child and to write a blog about the project. The book is a memoir of triumphs, tears, offal and lard laden cooking. It's also a lovely reflection about the people who are part of Julie's journey and how they lift her up and love her warts and all.

The first time I read this book I had no idea about blogs. It was interesting to read it again in light of my recently acquired blog edge (Blog knowledge!). There are some other great quotes about blogs and followers throughout the book which I shall share some other time. The movie is one I am keen to see and I am looking forward to taking my two best girl friends along. The beauty of these girls is that between them, they've got the inspiration and mud pie routine down to a fine art. They always know just what I need and slip into action in the blink of an eye - usually with a teapot in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other!

Julie & Julia is a fun read but you may need Sandrine's help to work out the French pronunciation!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Great Birthday Gifts

One of the things I love about my Mum is the value she places on our Family History. She preserves things and loves to share them with us and her grandchildren and remember where we came from. We moved around a lot growing up because of my Dad's work. Mum packed many of these things for 10 moves around half of Australia until she and Dad settled in in what is now our Family Home. Amongst her treasures are the pram and truck I was given for my 1st Birthday. They have great life left in them and it gives me great joy to see my Little Buttons playing with these toys which bring back such happy memories for me.

When I shop for the Little Buttons' presents I want to buy things that are like the pram and truck, that will last for 30+ years and still be great toys. We try to cater to their interest at the time but are always happy when the big ticket item is something that doesn't have a trademark symbol on it. These blocks were a 1st Birthday present for Will. They come in a neat little wooden box and are made by a little man on the Sunshine Coast and sold in an excellent local toy store. (Feel free to email me if you want the details.) There are no bells, whistles or colours, but, they are without a doubt one of the best presents we've ever given. I know that they'll be around in 40 years and I can only hope they continue to provide the same level of entertainment and developmentally appropriate play as they've given the Little Buttons.

Our 5 almost 6 year old Button has been spending hours constructing elaborate castles with these blocks and taking photographs to document his work. I'm very proud of his handiwork. His birthday is looming large and I am canvassing present ideas for long lasting gifts that float a 6 year old boy's boat. All opinions gratefully accepted.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ahoy there, Blogging Friends! The posts have been a little scarce of late as there have been so many exciting things to celebrate. Firstly, our landscaping is finished and beautiful. We've spent lots of time communing with nature and have had visits from koalas, wallabies and our resident scrub turkeys. I'll show you some pics later in the week.

Secondly, The Handmade Expo turned 1 and we had a great time joining in the celebrations with them at their new home at the Ipswich Turf Club.

Lastly, the little Buttons are 2 tomorrow and we are all geared up to have a whale of a time. I've just finished sewing the buttons on their shirts for tomorrow so thought I'd show you some photos of the finished products. When I was visiting Karen's blog, I noticed the Babushka shirt she made for her littlest girl and thought I'd rather fancy one of those for my Miss Molly. I have changed it a little and incorporated some chenille hair and button eyes. I think she's luscious. I know you've seen Pete the Pirate before but just thought I'd show you Will's birthday version.

Apologies for the dodgy photos...I keep hoping Tania from Myrtle & Eunice or Taryn will conduct a photography lesson via their blogs and help me develop my previously unexplored talent for photography!

I can't believe that those teeny, little 1.5kg bubs are turning 2. How very blessed we Buttons are!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Boys and Their Toys

There are big things afoot in the Button household. After almost 8 years of living in our house, we decided it was time to call in some professionals and get the front yard landscaped. We live on the side of a mountain and our yard is fairly steep. Who am I kidding - it is ridiculously steep and even the dog avoids running up the hill because it tires him out. I think the small buttons penchant for starting at the top of the hill on their bikes and scooters and flying, helter skelter to the bottom of the hill may have prompted Mr Button to make the necessary phone calls to find someone willing to take on the job.

It started with trucks, rocks, and bobcat on Monday morning and will hopefully draw to a close at the end of the week. The little buttons set up their chairs on the verandah at 7:01am Monday morning and that is pretty much where they have stayed all day. Will is almost 2 and is currently obsessed with machines and Bobby. He has clung to the rails and ooh and aahed his little heart out. The workers have been treated to shouts of Hooray, spontaneous rounds of applause and sundry cars, trucks and favourite toys being tossed over the railing as gestures of his goodwill and appreciation.

This morning it became too much for Will's verbal skills. He could only look on in awe and wonder as the Big Digger and the little Dingo thingy passed each other dirt. He shook his curls and stared at me with eyes of wonder - I knew what he was thinking. "Does it get any better than this, Mum?"

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In Memory of Masterchef

Image: Curly Pops

I've noticed a few folk in Blogland lamenting the end of Masterchef. Luckily for me, I've found a way to help fill the gap. I've treated myself to one of Curly Pops' vintage teatowel aprons and it is a beauty. I was very excited to notice that it has snaps so you can adjust the neck and the waist ties are lovely and generous for those of us with substantial girths! I was able to select my own teatowel and it is full of the colours I love. I've decided that she is too pretty for any messy cooking and I'm going to keep her for good!

Image: Curly Pops

Every apron needs a recipe and this one is a Jamie Oliver recipe which he calls the English version of risotto. We Buttons eat it at any time of the day but it is a yummy, comfort dessert.


1 vanilla pod
75g arborio rice
600ml milk
2 knobs unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
1 wide strip of orange zest
Strawberry jam or Seville orange marmalade

Button Variation
We omit the zest and jam and add a handful of sultanas/currants/blueberries or other fruit at the end.

SCORE vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds from the inside.
COMBINE first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan and place on MED heat.
COOK gently, stirring every now and then.
REMOVE from heat when rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.
ADD jam or fruit to pudding before serving and sprinkle with zest.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cold Feet

Image: Anni

Believe it or not, we are experiencing what passes for a cold snap in South East Queensland. Now I realise that those of you from more southerly climes are holding your sides and snorting with laughter at the notion that nightly temps of 8C are considered cold. However, I guess it is all about 'match fitness', isn't it? We Queenslanders just aren't good at coping with the cold.

The other night I was up late making some hair ties and pins while Mr Button was tucked up in bed snoring softly. When I snuck in beside him with my iceblock toes, he automatically put his warm foot on top and started defrosting them for me. It occurred to me that was a particularly kind and loving thing to do and one which I must admit, I don't reciprocate! I cannot bear feeling cold toes on my warm ones and each morning when the little Buttons scurry into our bed, I grin and bear it as they burrow their cold fingers and toes into me. Not so Mr Button, he is happy to help out cold frogs and it is a quality I do admire in my Prince Charming.

As a reward for his generosity, I think I will make him a gift of the Hot Frog that Tania from Myrtle and Eunice is going to post on her blog. I'm not sure he will be the sole beneficiary of this gift but I am positive it will be well used by the cold frogs in the household!