Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cheats Peking Duck

The Flower Drum, one of Melbourne’s most famous restaurant  (rated 2 “hats” in The Good Food Guide 2012), charges A$20 for two pieces of Peking Duck. I’m sure it’s delectable, but I wouldn’t be satisfied with just two (did you think I was going to let you have the other one?), so we prepare the dish at home for a fraction of the price.

We purchase a whole roast duck from a Chinese rotisserie, and slice the meat into thin pieces. We keep the carcass as it makes fantastic stock. 

We purchase ready-made Peking duck pancakes. Julienne cucumber and spring onion into about 8cm lengths and we add sprigs of coriander.

Spread about a teaspoon of hoisin sauce onto the pancake. Lay 2 (or however many you like, I won’t judge you) pieces of duck with cucumber, spring onion and coriander.

I like to fold the base, and overlap the two sides to create a pocket. Yum, yum, yum (I ate three!)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Felt Sunflower for Bernie B Productions

My friend Bernadette Burke of Bernie B Productions is a Film Festival Curator and Producer for the 2012 Sydney Fringe Festival and had commissioned (my first!) a piece for the occassion. The "brief" if I chose to accept (of course!) was to make a sunflower with a "B" in the centre using any materials I wish. I was thinking about making quilled curls for the centre and petals made of crepe paper, but it would surely be crushed during transit to Sydney. Since I prefer stitching, I decided on using felt and embroidery wool.

To make the centre of the sunflower, I cut out a circle of brown felt measuring about 19cm in diametre. Bernie sent me a "B" in Helvetica font which I increased to size 500. I cut out the "B" in blue felt which I anchored to the brown felt with small stitches.

DMC embroidery wool consist of four strands which need to be separated which was a really tedious process. For the blue, I use one strand of 7297 and one strand of 7306 (threaded in one needle), and the browns were a combination of 7469 and 7489, and 7488 and 7467. The fun bit (well, fun for me anyway) was creating the french knots to resemble the tiny sunflower seeds.

So I knotted, knotted...and knotted...and knotted some more, for about 2 weeks until the centre of the sunflower was complete! I then mounted the embroidered onto a round piece of stiffen felt using a lacing method rather then glue as I was worried about leaving any residue.

I wanted bright, lively petals so I enlarge the petal templates from Amy Butler's Snow Mum Pillow pattern to 150%, and cut out 16 lots of large, medium and small yellow felt petals.

The two sides of the petal base were stitched together (either hand stitch or chain stitch on the sewing machine). Beginning with the large petals, I machined stitched the petals which were pinned in a circle onto a piece of linen fabric. The medium and small petals were then laid out in a circle and stitched.

The tricky part of the project was attaching the centre of the sunflower to the fabric. As I had used stiffen felt as the base, I could hand stitch through the embroidery but it was tough!

I complete the project a couple of weeks before the deadline so Bernie has a one of a kind, lovingly hand embroidered felt sunflower!
How exciting! CheeKeeLee got a mention on the pamplet!

 Check out Bernie's Sydney Fringe Festival Sponsorship Video:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio

I've avoided the Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Chapel Street, South Yarra for months as I suspected it would filled with deliciously evil treats. My instincts were spot on because this was a chocolate and sugar haven filled with naughty (but really pretty) edible goodies!

I couldn't resist buying a treat for my parents and me, so I selected the Explosive Milk Chocolate and Raspberry in a groovy little plastic cup. I had, after all, with my friend Celia, lead a group of 34 people for an 18km scenic walk along the Yarra River from Fairfield Station to Federation Square yesterday so I felt entitled to a reward. Surely you understand this, dear reader?

I liked the thoughtful details such as securing the bottom of the cups with tape so the goodies don't tip over in the box, and a description of the contents on the inside of the lid. Chocolate is mentioned six times!

It was deeelicious of course and I savoured each spoonful with delight! Thank you to my friend Nadine for giving me courage to venture into this fine establishment...I think I need to organise another!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Melbourne Spring Garden

Melbourne has had some glorious weather well as rainy gloomy weather but c'est la vie (five years of high school French and that's pretty much all I can remember!) so I took some photos of our garden.

Our friend J gave us some tulip bulbs which are magnificent ~ they are huge and I love the colour!

The succulents are always thriving ~ this particular plant is almost as tall as me (and I'm around 165cm)!

The plum tree is blossoming so we anticipate lots of plums this year. I'm sure the pot will be simmering with lots of jam!

I use to press pansies so I can enjoy them all year round, but I think they are happier in the sunlight.

I adore freesia, the fragrance in the air is a reminder that spring has arrived.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Another Crocheted Blanket

A few weeks ago I walked into my nearest Spotlight (in Box Hill) and noticed a buzz of excitement in the air. What could it be? I soon discovered that the positive vibe was due to a 30% off yarn sale! Nothing brings me more happiness than a sale, but a handcraft sale (which is almost as exciting as a shoe sale) tops the list. What bliss!

I bought 8 coloured balls and 2 white balls of 100g, 8 ply Thorobred acrylic yarn. Since I only know how to crochet two stitches ~ chain and treble stitch, I started crocheting squares to make into a blanket (again). Crocheting is so addictive as this is my third crochet project this year (I have six unfinished patchwork quilts in the UFO cupboard...ah I'll get to them eventually)!

I used a metallic purple 5mm crochet hook which is part of a set of 23 which was a gift from a former neighbour named Richard Gilbert (who sadly passed away earlier this year) so I thought of him when I was crocheting.

The pattern I followed is super easy, and I completed 10 rounds of treble with the coloured yarn which I then edged with 1 round of white yarn. A finished square measures approximately 22cm, and I was able to complete 4 squares from each ball of yarn which resulted in 30 squares (I crocheted 3 pink and 3 navy blue). I crocheted the squares together, and completed a round of white around the blanket, followed by one round of blue. The finished blanket measures approximately 115cm x 140cm.

I'm not sure what to do with this I'll start another one while I think about it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Bride & Groom Outfit Cross Stitch

This is my third cross stitch from Anne Sohier-Fournel and Sonia Lucano's Pictos, Logos & Autres Tags Au Point de Croix book which is filled with motifs for every occasion.

This cross stitch is for K and M's card for their nuptials on the 1st of September. I cross stitched using white embroidery floss on red aida cloth to represent love and passion! I mounted the cross stitch on champagne coloured card stock and embellished with a ribbon and bling buckle. Congratulations to the lovely couple!