Thursday, 30 June 2011

...i must confess...i do love a bit of hess..ian.

Just recently i celebrated a milestone birthday.  I went head first into it, organised my own party(ies) - with a bit of help  from my nearest and dearest...and they were both absolute blinding successes!  Actually I had the time of my life, celebrated with all the most important people in my life and I was overwhelmed with both parties (..exhausted by the end of what was 3 weeks of partying!) phew.  I decided early on that I wanted to mark the occasion(s) by giving a little handmade gift to each of my girlfriends.  Inspired by a handmade hessian bag given to me last Christmas by a crafty friend and so i toddled off to Spotlight to bag me some hessian.  From the moment I lay my hands on this gorgeously, aromatic fabric I was smitten.  What is it?  I can't really place it, but the stuff is so tactile, easy to work with, smells strangely earthy and lovely and well, lets just say I had a bit of a love affair :-)  I pulled out my Nan's trusty old Singer (she's should see her!  I'm still a bit dumbfounded how it ended up in my hands - a non-sewer of the family, anyway...) and there I began to create.  I then painstakingly (for me, you see, I have NO patience...) cut up one of my darling crochet doilies (bagged from yet another thrifty shop), hand sewed the florets on to each one, and then hand embroidered my girls initials onto each one.  I then filled  them with a little piccolo of bubbles and tied a handmade (i was on a roll...) thank you card around the neck.  All in the space of about a week.  Now thats an achievement for me, let me tell you.  Before you ask, yes they were received with absolute delight.  Mission accomplished. :-)


I don't have a green thumb.  I do however, love flora, i'm just not very good at growing anything, or more so, keeping it alive.  That's why succulents are the best little piece of nature I can possibly have, cos the things are darn easy peasey to keep alive!  I also have a vast array of ceramics that I collect, Japanese from the 60s and 70s being my fav, but I also love ANY retro style crockery I can put my little hands on, Scandanavian, English, long as it's got good colour or pattern, BUT i'm very partial to Feng Shui in my home, so if any of these little lovelies gets chipped or broken, I have to move it out of the house immediately before I'm bestowed some evil ways of the world.  Being a particular lover of my "things" though I find it very distressing parting with anything that is still reasonably intact - (though i'm even guilty of keeping pottery pieces and making a mosaic in my backyard) Of course I always like to do my little bit to avoid adding to landfill so I decided to start filling every little vessel with a succulent off-cut, as these little babies grow roots so  dang easily.   The result is not perfect, nor amazing, but I just simply LOVE it.  It is my little garden made from love, and I love that each bit tells a story....I've even got the little one's first gumboots filled with soil and waiting ready for my next offcut to sprout :-)


I rock!

Wow...a few days of being stuck at home ( the freezing cold hills, mind you!) is enough to send anyone SPARE.  Sick child + interrupted sleep + cold and rainy weather = no motivation/drive and minimal enthusiasm/care-less factor.  Aka depression starting to set in...  So, in my miserable state I start to feel sorry for myself, ready to throw in the towel, dream of tropical islands, oh and browse the interweb and low and behold I come across this little beauty.  It kicked my butt back from the dark side and back over towards the light...thank you so very very much for this witty read, it really made an impact in a much needed moment.

..a great little cause!

Oh...just got another email from these guys recently so wanted to share before i forget!  Have you heard of the Yellow Bird Project?  It's a fantastic little initiative, a  Montreal-based nonprofit company who work with a range of amazing indie rock musicians to create unique t-shirt designs.  They then sell them to benefit a variety of charities, each chosen by the musicians themselves!   I bought the coolest little colouring book from them for a friend for Christmas, filled with ace pictures drawn by the musicians to colour in - SO cool!   A very rad present....(did i just say "rad"? hmmmm). Check them out....their T-shirts are pretty damn ace too!  (ace, now that's a bit better than rad, isn't it?!)...  I'm so UN-cool, luckily I have discovered Yellow Bird Project? to help me with this.... :-)

..did somebody say "Crochet?"

...who doesn't love crochet?!  I mean a few years back it was such a nanna thing, and then boom shanka, it's like taking over the world!!! But what a gorgeous way to take over the world!  My mum can do it, some of my girlfriends can do it, heck even my cat can bang a rug together (okay i'm stretching it a bit there...) but I CAN'T DO IT!  Not to say i've ever tried, but I dang well should cos it's everywhere...vintage crochet, new crochet rugs, scarves, tablecloths, dresses....there is no end to it, i've even seen a few trees covered in it..  Anyway I still love it, especially vintage bits I pick up occasionally here and there, although I have to admit my mum's ability to crochet her way through a huge blanket and pop it in the post to me just in time for Winter (and goodness gracious, it's working a treat on my freezing tippy toes right now!!) must take the cake.   Thanks mum, you're ace!  :-)

Check out this just beautiful little crochet blogspot.....sigh.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011 least there's chocolate!

...another day and it feels like zero degrees and...goodness gracious me, well, it's only June! Being under the weather what better way to cheer things up a little with some little Choc muffins and a great classic movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! (the original of course, love Gene Wilder..not that I don't like Johnny Depp, but you can't mess with the original...).  I pulled out my trusty old Marie Claire "Food Fast" cookbook (the Donna Hay one...whilst i don't warm to her on the tele, she does pull out some dang good recipes..) and this little beauty was so easy, quick and, well, they taste ok too!

little choc brownies
150g butter (softened), 1 cup castor sugar (i used raw, still works!), 3/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 eggs, 1 cup SR flour.
Preheat oven 180 celcius.  In a bowl beat sugar and butter til creamy and light in colour. Add eggs and beat in..add sifted flour and cocoa mix til combined.  Spoon into patty pans in a muffin tin or cupcake tin...Bake in the oven 10-12 mins...mine took 15mins, or until cooked but soft in the centre.  Serve warm with cream or ice-cream..