Showing posts from August, 2011

Art Wednesday: Sir John Everett Millais

Sophie Gray
Artist: John Everett Millais (1829-1896) Born: Southampton, UK Founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Millais was born in Southampton, England in 1829. His talent got him a place at the prestigious Royal Academy School at the tender age of eleven, the youngest to ever entrant. In fact there are records that show he was drawing with confidences at the age of seven.

While at the Academy, Millais met William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and together they formed the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) in 1848.  At the start of Millais career he remained close to the principles of the the movement, but by the end of his career he had become one of the biggest paid artist of his time thanks to his more commercial Victorian paintings.  Millais was painting scenes that the Victorians wanted to see - beautiful imagines.

His most famous work, Christ in the House of His Parents (1850) was controversial because of its image of the Holy Family working in a dirty worksho…


Recently I have been sharing with you the bread I have been making - not this week, partly because I haven't made any bread - the dough is made but in the fridge waiting to be made into bread when I need it.  But I thought I would share this with you!! This is what can happen when adding flour to the machine - everything, including me, can be covered in flour!! And . . .  why is this still there and not in the bread. . . oops, forgot to add any salt.  I don't think it will be a disaster!! Regardless of the salt missing - the bread has risen beautifully.  It now gets covered and placed in the fridge until I need it (for up to 5 days - or 4 weeks in the freezer).  Interestedly (as I discovered) dough can continue to rise in the fridge.  This will make 2 large loaves of Challah bread or a one loaf of bread + some sticky walnut caramel rolls.
Happy cooking!
PS - The recipe I am using is from a excellent cookbook called Artisan Bread in Five Minutes by Hertzberg and Francois. These gu…

Spring has arrived . . .

Spring in all her glory

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.  ~Margaret Atwood

I spent my weekend gardening, motivated by the glorious weather and by the end of the day I had plenty of dirt under my fingers!! The garden was in much need of cleaning up after winter - pruning back the frost damaged plants (still more to do but the garden bin is full), weeding and a general cleanup.  I also planted 3 pots with pansies which will add colour to the garden in the coming months and some more spinach.  In early October we are having bark mulch delivered so I need to have the garden ready by then.   

I know it is August when I see all the wattle in flower and what a gorgeous colour it is. Along many of our roads are wattle shrubs and how they brighten up a normally drab drive to work.  However DH does not not li…

Warm glows

This lovely box of peanut butter and choc-chip biscuits were made by my 18 year old son on Thursday. He made a double batch so I could take some to work on Friday for morning tea, keep some for his dad and have a few for himself. They are so delicious.  Not only did he make the biscuits, but by the time I got home from work, he had cleaned the kitchen and done all the dishes.  It is times like this that I get that warm glow inside me, bursting with pride about my sons. I'm sure that every mother has those moments.
And, on my birthday (Tuesday) he made a beautiful creamy chicken, mushroom and sun-dried tomato pasta for dinner and butterscotch pudding for dessert. He is a very good cook.  I have encouraged both my sons to cook (as my mum encouraged my brothers) and it is now something they both really enjoy doing. They even like doing the weekly grocery shopping, hunting for new ingredients, which I am sure their future wives will really like. My eldest son (who is 23) said somethin…

Be ye separate

Be ye separate from the world
The Christian, while in the world, is not to be of the world. He should be distinguished from it in the great object of his life. To him, “to live,” should be “Christ.” Whether he eats, or drinks, or whatever he does, he should do all to God’s glory. . . And you should be separate from the world in your actions.  CH. Spurgeon -  Morning and Evening (Sept 11 Morning)

I don't know about you, but I struggle with this one often. The world looks so tempting and Satan makes sure that it looks that way so we find it hard to say NO.   And to make it worse, some worldly temptations don't look that bad and we are so good at convincing ourselves that having a tiny nibble won't hurt.  But it is like nibbling at a chocolate bar, after the first nibble you put it down, then say "perhaps just a little more" and before you know it, you have eaten the entire bar of chocolate.  Afterwards you feel pretty sick inside, suffering from regrets and perhaps…

Art Wednesday: Katey Perugini

Self portrait
Artist: Katey (Catherine) Perugini (nee Dickens) (1839-1929)
Born: England
Father: Charles Dickens

She was the daughter of one of our most famous Victorian authors, Charles Dickens, and she was his favour daughter. Catherine Elizabeth Macready Dickens was born in 1939 but best known as Katey by her family.  Her first husband was the artist and author Charles Allston Collins, younger brother of Wilkie Collins; they married in 1860. After his death from cancer in 1873, Kate married another artist, Charles Edward Perugini. She became a successful painter of portraits and genre paintings, sometimes collaborating with Perugini. She started exhibiting her works at the Royal Academy shows in 1877. The Peruginis were active in artistic society, and maintained friendships with J. M. Barrie and George Bernard Shaw among other celebrities of their era.
Like her father and mother, Katey suffered from depression, in particular when her father died and the death of her baby.  Sadly Katey…

Children's stories

As this is National Children's Book Week and considering we were all kids once what was your favourite children's books?  These are mine: 
When I was at primary school I had the most wonderful teacher who read to us each week - the one book that I remember most and couldn't wait to hear what happened next was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  Interestedly, I read this as an adult to my sons and I didn't find it as exciting as I did when I was 10!!

Who doesn't love Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, it was magical and I still love this book as an adult.  My favourite character was the Cheshire Cat.  Did you have a favourite character?

I can't remember which of the Milly-Molly-Mandy books I had, but as I wasn't a good reader I use to look at the pictures for hours and make up my own stories.  I was particularly fond of the map of the village as this gave me inspiration for my "version" of the stories.  I also like to draw maps as a child so …