Thursday, March 25, 2010

my creative space: peg dolls

I have entered my toddler into this cute little peg doll competition that the gorgeous shop Small Acorns is running. I got my package today and can't wait to show Amelie who is going to create a little doll with Absolutely no help from me at all, well except maybe if she needs to use the glue gun ha! Will be interesting seeing her try to draw a face on the peg...
It's such a cute idea for a comp- click here to enter your own little fashion designer
PS: Stella liked her softie phew (thank you for the birthday messages for her)- she is having a little snooze with it now:)
We went down to the Mount this morning so I took a pic of this cool bright yellow combie van- cute isn't it. Great advertising for the surf school -you can't miss it!
for more creative spaces head over to Kootoyoo

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

a softie for Stella

It's Stella's first birthday tomorrow so I have just finished making her a little present - a cute softie from the Softies book.  I used the 'Polly' pattern by Carly Schwerdt of Nest Studio (what a gorgeous blog she has), and I just love it. I bought a tag a while back from a craft shop that says "Made with love by Mummy" so I sewed that on the side and I stitched Stella's name on the back too.  Still can't do ladder stitch so my stuffing seams are really obvious- need to work on that!

I think she will really like this- she hasn't been that rapt with some of my sewing efforts so far- everytime I give her the taggie to play with she throws it on the floor and likewise with the patchwork gonk so here's hoping I'm onto a winner with this one!
I also got her a little outfit from Cotton On Kids today- I love the apple tree print on the t-shirt and its nice to see her in an outfit that isn't her sister's hand me downs. As you can see it's a bit tricky trying to photograph a one year old hence some of the blurry pics!

And my bag arrived from France yesterday- j'adore le spotty bag! The bracelet was at Cotton On kids too and freakishly matches the bag- funny how I get drawn to childrens jewellery for myself.

and finally... some cute spotty mugs from ....Countdown Supermarket ($3 something each).... who would have thought!

Time for a cuppa now,

Monday, March 22, 2010

baking: one pot slices for the busy mum

When I do get around to doing some baking (my baby has just dropped her morning sleep booo!) I usually choose a slice as they are generally quite quick and easy to make and any recipe that uses only one pot is a good one with me!

Crunchy Flapjacks by Adele Collins
I found this recipe in an issue of Homestyle magazine- very quick to make and the oats are great for filling hungry tummies. This is also a good one as the ingredients can generally be found in the pantry.

200g butter
2 tbls golden syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
2 cups crushed Weetbix (about 6 Weetbix)
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 190∘. Spray a 20 x 30cm slice tin with non stick baking spray and line with non stick baking paper.
In a large pot, melt butter and golden syrup. Remove from heat and beat in the remaining ingredients. Press into tin and bake for 15-18 mins. Remove from oven and cool in the tin. Cut into pieces when cold.

Joan's Peanut Slice 

I found this recipe in either the Herald Canvas magazine or the Sunday Star Times Sunday magazine.  This recipe is really great for busy mums because you can freeze it after baking and it doesn't even need defrosting-just grab out how ever many pieces you think you'll need.

150g butter
½ cup sugar
1desert spoon golden syrup
1 cup flour
1 cup whole or chopped raw peanuts
½tsp baking powder
1 cup rice bubbles

60g butter
1 tbls golden syrup
120 g (a little over half a cup) icing sugar

Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large pot.  Add the flour, peanuts, baking powder and rice bubbles and mix. Place in a well greased 3- x 25 x 5cm slice tin and press down.  Bake at 180 ∘for 15-20 mins, keeping an eye on it so it doesn't over colour on top.
Make the icing- heat the icing butter in another pot, add the syrup and then the icing sugar and blend well.
Ice and cut into squares while the slice is hot. You can then place it in the freezer when it has cooled a bit- some cooks even store it uncovered in the freezer in the tin it was baked in! You can vary the nuts if you like- pistachios or walnuts are good options.

And for a yummy chocolate fudge slice read Clare's post and comments here at Greenvalley Crafts

Happy baking!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

my creative space-fabric

My creative space is overflowing with piles of gorgeous fabric- I have developed a serious fabric addiction in the last few months! I am about to begin a softie for my baby girl's first birthday present and I also need to get started on a present for a new baby boy Thomas- maybe an applique bodysuit, a taggie and a soft toy. I just need about another four hours in the day!

For some creative inspiration I got this book from the library yesterday so I will try and sit down for a little bit today and have a look through it.
I got this book as well as I would love to sell some crafty things one day soon...just need another couple or 10 hours a day for that too!
And I have to show this gorgeous bag I've just bought from 'Ikabags' on Etsy-isn't it just the cutest bag- I love the spotty fabric.  I have been looking for a nice big bag with a shoulder strap as they are so much easier to carry around with a baby and also for hanging over the buggy handle. I should be getting it in a few weeks as it's coming all the way from Paris- can't wait!
For more creative spaces head over to Kirsty's here


PS:  if you've got a man about the house who's feeling a bit left out from all the blogging you're doing then here's a really cool blog for them :)
The Art of Manliness

Thursday, March 11, 2010

my creative space: a flower invitation

Our baby girl is turning one in a couple of weeks so I have just made some cute invitations for a little family party we are having.  I got the idea from Maddie at LilMagoolie who has a gorgeous free flower card pdf  on her blog- isn't she kind! I downloaded it and played around with it in 'Pages' on my mac and printed it on some Christina Re scrapbooking paper.  Isn't it neat how to folds out into a little flower :)
I made up a little envelope for them too. I just folded a piece of A4 paper and stitched up the sides on the sewing machine, then decorated the back.

To see what other people are up to in their creative spaces click here

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"First the oven, then the tin, wash your hands then begin"

Isn't that a good thing to remember when you start baking- I think it was Alison Holst or Jo Seagar who said it on a cooking show on TV once so I always try and remember it before I start some baking (which doesn't happen much in our house to be honest!)
Anyway, it is my hubby's birthday tomorrow so I made this yummy banana cake for him to share at work. This is such a quick and easy recipe from Simon Holst that I came across in a 'Little Treasures' magazine.

For a 21cm round cake tin or loaf tin

1-1¼ cups ripe mashed banana (3 bananas approx)
½ cup Canola (or other light vegetable oil)
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
2 cups self raising flour

1. Turn oven to 180∘, or 170∘ if using a fan oven
2. Mash the bananas with a fork
3. Combine the oil sugars, salt, vanilla and eggs in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well blended, then stir in the banana and milk, mix well, then add the flour. Beat with the whisk or stirrer until evenly mixed, then pour into a well non stick sprayed 21cm ring pan or loaf tin.
4. Bake for 40-50 mins, until top is golden brown, the centre springs back when pressed, and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. (Don't worry if the top cracks slightly.) Leave to stand in the tin for 5 mins, then place on rack to cool
5. Serve warm with icecream and fresh fruit for dessert, or allow to cool completely then ice with lemon or chocolate icing.
6. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

plastic covered zip purses

I have become utterly addicted to making these now that I've got the hang of it- they are so cute and so handy for all your bits and pieces. I wanted to try making some with a clear plastic outer and they have worked out really well- perfect for spills and other mess in the nappy bag! I followed the same instructions for zip purses from Cat Taylor's blog as my other zip purses but I just placed the plastic on top of the outer fabric and sewed as per Cat's instructions.
I made this little one for me to carry all my things like panadol, mints, lip stuff etc. 
I made the big one to hold my baby's nappy stuff so I can just grab it and put it in whatever bag I am taking out rather than lugging around a huge nappy bag. I put some of the neat waterproof lining I mentioned in my last post on the inside of this one and made a few pockets too.
(I use my Honeychild cloth nappies and homemade baby wipes when I'm at home mostly but if I get caught out when I'm out and about I just use a disposable nappy and wipes.)

Well, both kids are having a nice afternoon nap so it's time to make some more!
Hope your Sunday is going well :)

This project was featured on 'Saturday Link Love' on the Prudent Baby website -hello to visitors from the Prudent Baby site :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

my creative space- zip purses

I have just written my huge and never ending list of sewing and craft challenges down the side of my blog and one of the coolest things I have learnt so far this year is how to make a zip purse. Thanks to a fantastic tutorial from Cat Taylor I have managed to make three so far and they are definitely getting easier with each one.
I made this one the same width as Cat's but I made it a little longer. The apple print is upholstery fabric and the spotty lining was originally a drawstring bag from Wallace Cotton.

The lining of this little purse is actually waterproof tablecloth fabric from Payless Plastics. I absolutely love red and white spots so I couldn't believe it when I saw a huge roll of this in the store - perfect for lining a makeup or toilet bag or even a swim bag.

I made this little purse for my toddler. I made my first Feltie lion from the book Felties the other night and was wondering what I could do with it when I had the idea of making a keyring with it- doesn't it look cute on the purse.

To see what more crafty people are up to in their creative spaces click here

PS: I have used a Mac computer for about 12 years now but never knew about the cute 'special characters' symbols you can use with text (I was looking for a 'checkmark' symbol for my craft list).  There are loads to choose from- I just opened up my stickies and went to Edit-Special Characters. I like this cute little scissors one! 

PPS: there's a giveaway over on EcoMILF for a copy of 'Handmade Home' by Amanda Blake Soule- but be quick- it's being drawn tomorrow morn!

Monday, March 1, 2010

a little bag for me

Well I have finally finished this cute little bag from the book "Sew!" by Cath Kidston. I bought the book a few months ago and thought it was pretty cool that it came with the fabric, buttons and even the label for the bag.  After many, many mistakes and lots of unpicking I finally finished it tonight and am pretty darn proud of it! I had to admit defeat over making a 'rouleau' tube to fasten the button on the front of the bag and just sewed a button hole instead though. I also learnt the hard way that I need to remember to start in the middle of the button hole when using the quik un-pick to open the button hole...I used a bit too much force from the bottom and made a big rip right up the strap!
I learnt how to box the corners of the bag (also called a t-junction) like this.
Right, onto the next project... well not tonight but sewing is so addictive isn't it.  That feeling you get when you turn your project right side out and see it all finished is just magic!
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