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7 August 2009

Sewing and baking

The new sofa (red) with the old sofa from the bedroom.

I didn't finish everything on my list yesterday but I made great headway. I'm always pleased when I have a full agenda at the start of the day because I know I'll get a lot done and not wander around between jobs thinking about what to do next. A full list gives me direction as well as the tasks on it.

Clicking on the photos will enlarge them.

I made four patchwork arm rests for the lounge and will finish the final two today. I made two aprons for the fund-raising kiosk in bright colours that I hope will attract a lot of people over to us. I really liked working on these projects because they used fabric from my stash that has been sitting there for some time. I will make the lemon butter and Anzac biscuits later this morning.

Aprons - pink sausage dog and floral cotton with pink linen sash and pocket.

One thing that wasn't on the list yesterday but was done nonetheless, was making biscuits for Alice. She's been biting and scratching her skin lately so Hanno took her to the vet a couple of days ago. She had a skin allergy, probably due to the commercial biscuits we had been feeding her. We wanted to get some biscuits with Omega oils in them, but even though the ones we bought were supposed to be a healthy option, they contained colourings that made Alice come out in the worst rash. The vet gave her an injection of cortisone and told us to stop giving her those biscuits. I used to make dog biscuits in the past so I set about making another batch, much to Alice's approval.

The recipe is similar to the previous biscuits. It can be made in the bread machine or by hand - it should be kneaded for about 5 minutes.
  • 2 cups plain (all purpose) flour - I used full grain flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon of Vegemite OR peanut butter OR beef stock powder dissolved in a cup of warm water

Mix the above ingredients together and add more water to give a good dough consistency. Knead by hand or add to the bread maker. When the dough is soft and smooth, roll it out with a rolling pin and cut to the desired shapes.

Bake in the oven on 180F (350C) for 15-20 minutes. Cool and store in an airtight jar.

I told you all a couple of weeks ago that my son Kerry had travelled to New York with the intention of working in Canada for a year or so, before going to Cuba and Brazil. Well, he arrived in Toronto (he has lived there before and has friends there) but he couldn't get motivated to look for a job. He was missing his girlfriend, Sunny, too much. Eventually he decided he couldn't go on without her and after a few phone calls to her and me, he decided to come home. He's on his way back now but is zig-zagging through the USA before getting on the flight home. He's been to Montreal, which he loved, then back to NYC, to Phoenix, he's in San Francisco right now and tomorrow he goes to Las Vegas where he'll meet with Sharon's daughter (Sharon who helps me here and at the co-op) and her boyfriend. They have kindly offered good old fashioned hospitality to him so he'll stay with them while he's there. Then it's on to New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and back to NYC for the flight home via LA. He'll be back home on August 20. It will be good to see him again, I've missed him.

I'll draw the winning names for the Envirsax bags later this morning. Good luck if you entered.

Just a few quick answers here: Rebekka, that bucket would be idea for ginger beer. My knitted blanket is coming along slowly, I think I have about half my squares now. How is yours going?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. If you have to work this weekend, I hope you have ample time to relax. Welcome to all the new readers who came here this week and a warm hug to all the long time readers. I thank you for your warm and generous comments during what has been a tough week for me. They mean more than you know. Reading snippets about your lives helps me build up an idea of you in my head. See you again next week. :- )


  1. A peaceful and restorative weekend to you, Rhonda.

  2. Mjammie!!

    Nice to see the white pillow on your red sofa. It reminds me of my big favorite swedish shoppingmall ;o)

    Want to wish you and all the other readers a happy weekend. Hope to see you next week.

  3. Hi Rhonda,

    I supplement my little dog's diet with omega oils, but without the commercial biscuits. Lately I've used flax oil, but I've used it mixed with other oils in the past. I just pour a tablespoon or so on his dinner - he gets the healthy fats, a shiny, healthy coat, and healthier joints, plus he thinks it's a treat. Maybe this will work for your Alice?

  4. Those patch work turned out very cute and really pulled those sofas together. Alice thanks your from the bottom of her itch :)
    That son of yours must be very wealthy to travel the states! my goodness! Sounds like a bit of fun. I am sure he is glad to be out of Phoenix it is very hot!
    Keep good care not over do it until your strength gets full take it easy.
    cute aprons.

  5. I'm glad Rebekka asked about your blanket squares, I thought I must ask when I found mine forgotten at the bottom of my knitting basket...oh well, I've been doing other things :)

    Hope your weekend is nourishing and peaceful and you're well enough to go see your friend...blessings to both of you.


  6. Your den looks very cozy!

  7. Hi Rhonda,

    Glad you're feeling a little better, and that you managed to get quite a few things done! Those aprons are adorable :) And so are those patchwork arm rests... So many projects!

    I've had a busy day of writing today, as well as a few other things. My partner has gone out for the evening, so I'm upstairs sneakily sewing his birthday present for next week - tee hee! I promised myself several months ago I'd make all of the presents I gave this year, and I had to include his in that, even though he's so difficult to buy/make for! But I had a marvellous idea, and it's looking good so far... pictures on my blog when it's done! (and when he's seen it, of course).

    I'm also planning to make your home made heart shaped crumpet recipe for breakfast in bed :)

    Right, must get back to the sewing. We're going camping for the weekend at the seaside tomorrow evening, so tomorrow will involve making bread, curry, a few cakes... for the journey and the weekend. A frugal holiday, bravo! (means we can have more of them, of course ;))

    Thanks again for your beautiful and inspirational blog, I always feel like I've popped into a friend's house for a cuppa when I read through your posts.

    Much love,

    Glad you'll be seeing Kerry soon, keep up the good work.

  8. Good morning Rhonda, the photo of your lounge room shows a lovely and inviting spot. Good luck with the lovely Alice and her itch, your homemade biscuits should be just the ticket.
    Trust that it's a restorative weekend for you, with the gate shut.

  9. Elizabeth from the Gold CoastAugust 07, 2009 8:33 am

    Rhonda, your contrasting sofas look great together, I guess you have lots more room in your bedroom now you have moved the sofa out.

    Like you I didn't quite get everything on my list completed yesterday but I did manage to get quite a bit is another day and I will have everything finished in readiness for our house guests.

    I will definitely be trying your dog biscuit recipe.

    I hope your fund raiser goes well and makes lots of money....Have a lovely weekend.

  10. this looks so easy to make. I think I will make it this weekend. thanks for the recipe.

  11. Hi Rhonda - thanks for the inspirational start to the day again. Am adding patchwork armcovers to my 'to do' list - they look fabulous and what a practical idea! Also our vet this week suggested breaking open fish oil capsules and tipping on our blind old (13) red heeler's homemade casserole to help with his excema and advised to stay off commercial dog biscuits (too much salt, additives & colourings). So I will also try your lovely treats for old Johnson - just love the terrier shaped one! Blessings for a restful and reviving weekend. An cheers to all your lovely followers for a happy weekend too.. x

  12. What a lovely home you have. Looks so inviting. What a nice mommy you are to Alice. Glad your son will be home soon.
    Love reading your blog!! Hope you are feeling better.

  13. I'm so glad you posted this about Alice. Our little schnauzer, Livingston has had the same type of problem. I will make some home made doggie biscuits this weekend. Have a great weekend. Donna

  14. FYI the link to your dog biscuit post is broken :)

  15. Rhonda,
    Did you make the red pillow on the right side (in the photo) of the gray couch? If so, could you please maybe give "directions" as to the how, and an enlarged photo, too? It is gorgeous!
    Everything looks so cozy and nice!


  16. Hello everyone! He's not wealthy, Donetta, he saved up for a long time to make this trip.

    Daffy, I loved reading your comment. Please let me know when you post about the gift.

    Beth, my sister Tricia made that cushion for me. You can read about it here, with closeup photo:

  17. Yummy!!!Love the biscuit recipe and will make some up for the big Zorro.

  18. I will have to try your biscuit recipe for my dogs. Good idea to use the bread machine. Glad to hear you are feeling better!

  19. Hi Rhonda,
    Those aprons are just adorable! You sure are talented. Have a great weekend.

  20. Hi Rhonda:

    Thanks for posting your recipe for dog treats. My little darling, Oscar, is just about done his commercial ones and I was looking for something better...and behold...I found it on your blog!!! :)
    Pretty aprons - hope your fundraiser is a profitable and enjoyable one!!! Have a great weekend and thanks for all that you give to us through your blog. You have given so much to us and for that we are grateful!!!!

    Liane :)

  21. I love your arm rests. Ive always fancied this kind of thing on my sofa but unfortuantely it has one of those shapes thateverything just slips off (except for my coffee cup Ive had 12 years of perfecting this!!) Also love the aprons. I went mad and made aprons about a year ago and no dout the urge will revisit me again. I just loved that dogggy fabric.
    love to you

  22. Hi Rhonda,
    Your living room looks wonderful- warm and welcoming! I love the patchwork covers you have made. Your aprons look lovely too. I went in search of aprons at our local op shops but none available! I bought a dark floral ruffled pillowcase there for $1 - hoping I can convert it into a nice apron (but I'm not a good at sewing like you obviously are!) at least I'll only be wearing it at home so it won't have to be super perfect.

    Hope you are on the mend so you can visit your dear friend soon.

    I have added bicarb to the washing powder mix and have to report a big improvement in the whites! :-)

    It is very exciting news that your son will be returning home soon.
    Take care


  23. those aprons are beautiful, I've been tossing around the idea of making one, but to be honest I'm a little intimidated by my sewing machine...I need to get a "Sewing for Dummies" book! LOL

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  24. I love both your aprons! I bet they are snapped up quickly at your fundraiser. My sister-in-law has a dachshund and would love the "sausage dog" apron. I love the other one.

    Today I was really unproductive as I took my kids to an amusement park all day. Tomorow we are going to a 4-H fair (sort of a local agriculture fair) so I don't expect to get much done either. Thankfully school starts in a couple of I can get some work done around here!


  25. What a beautiful room, so comforting and welcoming. I love the patchwork arm covers, nice pop of color! I will be sure and try your dog treats!

  26. Hi Rhonda,

    I love the dog biscuits. I couldn't help but think of dear, sweet Rosie today. If my memory serves me correctly, it was exactly a year ago today (aug. 7th) that she left this earth. One thing that makes your blog so special is how you're able to me feel as though I'm part of your family. Today I miss Rosie.

    I hope the weekend is good for you and that you continue to recover from that awful flu.

    Diane in North Carolina

  27. The sofas look very nice together. Your home is very homey and appealing.

    LOVE the doggie apron, and the other is beautiful, too!

    Glad you were able to figure out Alice's problem and hope she is better soon.

  28. I really like how the two sofas look together.I love red. I have been thinking of slip covering mine since they are looking worn but are still in great shape otherwise. Have a great weekend!

  29. Hello Rhonda, Beautiful Aprons. I have made the Dog Bisucits you once posted with the Rye Flour and I am going to make bisucits tomorrow with the recipe you posted this time. Thank you for all your wonderful post.

  30. Just looking at your photo showing the patchwork for your lounge has given me an idea of what to do for mine. I have a material lounge in several shades of blue that just looks boring but I think if I look for the right combinations of material I should be able to make it look a whole lot better

  31. O what a cosy and comfortable living room with a very calming athmospere! Have a nice weekend, Rhonda!
    Kind regards from Anemone

  32. Rhonda dear, I simply adore your blog and I have been reading for well over a year now. I do have a question. Could you do a post of what your cleaning routine is? Your home looks so immaculate and neat, I would love to know how you manage your cleaning tasks such as sweeping, vacuuming, dishes, etc. Thank you!

  33. Oh, I am definitely going to have to give the dog biscuit recipe a try! My little pup loves it when he receives home-cooked treats (dont we all?). :)

  34. I am facing unemployment for first time in my career and are trying to prepare by creating our own suburban "good life' preparing the garden beds, have planted the fruit trees and berries and have a few crops on the go ( but very cold down here so not much in yet). We even got our first chooks. I have found your pages an inspiration and a help, so thanks plus love the Spring article in BBY. Julie, Tassie

  35. Hi Rhonda! Wanted you to know that I made a modified version of the biscuits for our dog a couple of weeks back and she loves them! Thanks for the recipe! And I hope you don't mind but I included a link to your posting for this on my post for tomorrow! I've been really bad about blogging with the marriage, graduation, and move that happened, but am hoping that I can get back into it a bit more! Hope you've been well!!


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