Monday 23 March 2009


Ever since I was a little girl I have had pet cats. Before I had human babies – they were my furry babies. There have been a few over the years…at one stage somewhere in my twenties I had 5. I can tell you now – that it was full on. I would get home from work and there they all were at the front door to greet me – they must have some kind of built in alarm clock because they were always there when the key turned in the lock. Singing for their supper and meowing their greetings.

It all got too much in the end and one got adopted out, one left home and sadly one died of cancer. Now I just have my two old boys above.

FB (Fatboy) is the black one and is 12 this year and Zippy is the stripy one and is 14. They have had a good life and have now settled in to retirement pretty well. When my daughter Kitty (gee I must like cats!) was born there were jokes about me adding another to my litter….(after all my star sign is Leo and I was born in the year of the Tiger)…the boys didn’t take to kindly to being kicked out of the family bed and weren’t to impressed that she took all my attention away from them.

When Milo was born – FB took him in like a kitten and on a couple of occasions decided that the furry down on his head needed a good lick and clean…all the while purring away happily. Zippy on the other hand would rather Kitty and Milo buggered off so he could be numero uno once more. I can’t imagine my life without cats by my side. They really have been such dear friends.

Tuesday 17 March 2009


My favourite item of clothing other then A-Line skirts would have to be the cardigan. My uniform therefore is an A-Line skirt, a t-shirt with a cardigan over the top and a pair of Birkenstocks. You’ll be able to spot me a mile away now. The gorgeous red cardigan pictured above was a recent gift from my lovely husband. He is such a gem and knows exactly what I like!

The history of the cardigan began in the mid 1800's during the Crimean War. James Thomas Brudenell was the 7th Earl of Cardigan - and he is who this versatile garment was named after. In this day and age though I am slightly suspicious of a man wearing a cardigan…..I wonder when women started to wear them?

Anyway thank goodness for the 7th Earl of Cardigan – if it wasn’t for him….what would I wear! At last count I had about 15. They are on a pretty good rotation; however there is always one (like the one above) that gets a good airing more often then the others.

Wednesday 11 March 2009


I love the sound of the word calico - kal-i-koh. I also love the creamy oatmeal naturalness of it. The clean flat landscape of fabric and slightly mottled colour that is just waiting to be made into something else.

It’s the worker bee of fabric. I often use calico to make samples of things I’m designing…to see how they work out before I start hacking into the ‘good’ fabrics. In my fabric stash I have bits and bobs of ‘good’ fabrics that I LOVE so much I can’t bring myself to cut into them. Especially if I know that it is a vintage remanent that I have found somewhere in my travels.

That’s the good thing about calico you see. You can be generous with it – you can cut and sew to your hearts content and if you bugger it up – you know what. IT DOESN’T MATTER!

When I was designing my Bushka face – I knew from the start that I was going to have it screen printed onto calico - and now, those dear little calico faces feature on the ‘good’ fabrics – that go into making my one off Mumma & Baby Bushka dolls and rattles. A match made in heaven.

Thursday 5 March 2009

Cake stands

My lovely husband Sam found this cake stand in my favourite Op Shop - Merrijig, The Joseph’s Corner Shop at 128 Somerville Road in Yarraville. As soon as he saw it he knew I would love it and that it would go perfectly with my modest collection of cake stands. Note the word ‘modest’.

The multi-level aspect of this kind of cake stand is what appeals to me. What a fabulous way to display little morsels of the yummiest things that you can’t help but try…..ohh yes thank you , I’ll try that cucumber sandwich, and perhaps I’ll try one of those asparagus rolls…..oh and yes – is that a mini chocolate cupcake?

Speaking of chocolate cake…..I have the yummiest recipe for one that I have been making for almost twenty years (now that’s saying something). Here it is:

Morgan’s Deluxe Chocolate Cake Recipe

¾ cup hot coffee (real coffee preferred but instant can be used)
½ cup cocoa
11/4 cups white sugar
125g butter
3 x eggs separated
1tsp salt
1tsp vanilla essence
1tsp Bi-carbonate soda
½ cup sour cream
2 cups plain flour
½ cup sugar (extra)

Icing (Ganache):
1/3 cup King Island Cream
250g Dark Cooking Chocolate

Mix hot coffee & cocoa. Beat sugar, butter, egg yolks, salt & vanilla. Alternatively mix flour and coffee/cocoa mix in to the butter mixture. Mix bicarb and sour cream together. Mix egg whites to stiff peaks adding extra sugar gradually. Softly fold sour cream mixture and egg whites into cake mix. Bake in moderate oven 180 degrees for 1 – 1 1/4 hours.

Once cake has cooled. Make Ganache. Combine chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir with a metal spoon until smooth. Remove bowl from heat. Set aside at room temperature to cool, stirring occasionally, until ganache is thick and spreadable. Yum Yum!