Tuesday 30 August 2011

Project: Button Monogram

I've been drooling over the button monograms and other button creations I've seen on Pinterest, like this one:


So I decided to make one as a gift for a friend's little one for Christmas!  Funnily enough his name also starts with A :)

I have tons of buttons thanks to massive $1 tub deals on TradeMe and lots of bits and pieces from card-making which I used to do all the time.

As before I printed a suitable size "A", cut it out and lined out the shape with pencil on white card.  Then arranged and lay out the initial base layer.

After that came filling in the edges and gaps with little brads and beads.  Pop it in a frame and done!

Hope they like it!
Have a good Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday 23 August 2011

Project: Name Frames

I have a few projects lined up for the next couple of months - all Christmas presents for children of friends and family.

One I'd been holding out to do was an idea I saw in a book well over a year ago now - letters of a child's name cut out of fabric and placed in picture frames!  So simple, so fun.

The basic white frames came from Spotlight on sale ages ago and I already had heaps of fabric options.

I printed letters in the right size for the frames and used them as outlines on the fabric.  The backing rectangles were cut larger than the inside measurements of the frame to fold over the edges.
 Mixed and matched colours and patterns, sewed letters on to background fabric, glued the edges on the outside of the backing inserts.  You could alternatively also use pinking scissors, and also just glue the letters on .

The glass was cleaned inside and out and I used a lint roller to pick up any stray fluff or threads (be careful though with the raw edges as they might fray and pull away) and tidied up the loose edges, corners and strands.

Then put it all together and voila!

Hope they like it!

Monday 22 August 2011

Wordless Sunday: Something Blue

I could just devour this girl :)
As for something blue... take your pick :)

Sleep tight


Thursday 18 August 2011

Recipe: Lemon Coconut Cake

One of my favourites, Super easy, Super YUM!

- 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 125g butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk

Lemon Syrup:
- 150g icing sugar
- 50ml fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 large lemons)

1. Preheat the oven to 180'C. Grease a 20cm deep round cake tin.
2. Combine all ingredients in bowl, mixing well with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth.
3.  Pour mixture into cake tin and bake for 40 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and stand the tin on a cooling rack.
to make the syrup, gently heat the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, stirring until a clear syrup is formed.  Do not boil.
5.  Prick the warm cake all over with a fork, then gently pour the syrup over it, until it has been completely absorbed.
6. Leave until cool, then carefully ease the cake form the baking tin.
7.  Sift a little more icing sugar on the top before serving.

Now try to hold back from eating the whole thing all at once...

Linking up with


Sunday 14 August 2011

Wordless Sunday: Reflection

Linking up with the funny Stacey for this week's Wordless Sunday.

Theme: Reflection
A friend took a family photo of us last weekend - it's been a time of reflection on the last 3 years...

April 2008

August 2011

Time flies.
Happy Sunday Everyone

Friday 12 August 2011

Recipe: Rubarb & Date Crumble

One of my favourite recipes - definitely one of the best Crumbles EVER.  The Crumble with Macadamia Nuts is awesome.

For the rhubarb:
- 600g rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces
- 3 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm pieces
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 1 cup pitted dates, halved
- 1/2 sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan, mix together and place on medium-high heat.  Simmer for about 15 minutes until the fruit just starts to break down.  Pour into your favourite ovenproof dish.  The fruit should be 3-4cm deep in the base.

For the crumble:
- 3/4 rolled oats
- 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 cup roasted unsalted macadamias, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 100g unsalted butter, cut into 1cm cubes

Place all the ingredients except the cream in a large mixing bowl.  Rub together by hand until the mixture begins to come together, but is still quite coarse.  There should be no visible chunks of butter.  Spoon the crumble evenly over the rhubarb mix then refrigerate until required.

Preheat the oven to 200'C then bake the crumble for 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and crisp.

Dish out the crumble into bowls and serve with whipped cream or ice-cream (as we do!).
Recipe by Al Brown from Cuisine magazine July 2010

Sharing is Caring ... Enjoy :)

Linking up with:


Tuesday 9 August 2011

Project: Mess Mat the 2nd

After seeing the first one I made (thanks to the one I saw here), my sister in law was quite keen that should I ever feel inclined to struggle with a 2 x 1.5m sheet of plastic again, she and my little niece would be very happy to own one too...

So as predicted I did it again...

Now on to the next thing!

Monday 8 August 2011

Project: Pram

Last week I decided it was time to give the girls a proper seat for their toy pram so when they take their "friends" for a cruise they don't become roadkill...

I pulled what was left of this one apart to use the remnants as a template:

Anya chose some fabric from my stash and an hour later...Voila!

Even the "seatbelt" is functioning now!  Safety 1st!!

Sleep tight

Thursday 4 August 2011

Loving: Chocolate Chip Biccies ♥

We did some serious baking yesterday - two types of cookies, about 10 baking tray loads... Needless to say we now have biscuits for a long long time...

♥ Baking
♥ Biscuits
♥ Little Helpers
♥ The Smell That Fills The House
♥ Using the leftover sweetened condensed milk to replace sugar and milk in my coffees!

♥ This Recipe:

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
500g butter
1 cup supgar
6 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
few drops vanilla essence
4 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
500g dark chocolate, chopped into chunks, not too small

Preheat oven to 170'C.
Beat butter and sugar until creamy.
Beat in the condensed milk and vanilla.
Stir in dry ingredients and chopped chocolate.
Roll into large walnut-sized balls and place on cold, greased oven trays, allowing some room to flatten.
Flatten with the palm of your hand.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden.  
Cool then remove from trays and store in an airtight container.
Makes about 70.

Recipe by Annabel Langbein.

It's a deliciously buttery chocolaty cookie.  I don't really change much to this recipe.  I use Nestle cooking chocolate (chopped into big chunks) or Nestle Dark Chocolate Melts (broken in half).  I flatten them with a fork or the heel of my hand and they don't need more than 15 minutes in my oven.

They also don't last long in our house!

Linking in with:



How much do I love thee...

I cannot count the ways...

Sleep tight

Monday 1 August 2011

Book Review: Rhinos don't eat pancakes

So, I haven't read The Book Thief or A Thousand Splendid Suns... as much as I would have liked to!  I haven't read either before but am dead keen and having read The Kite Runner a few years ago I know what a talented writer Khaled Hosseini is.

I am still working my way through my July book which I started before joining up with the bookclub.  I will finish it very soon though and then hope to join in the review for August's book!

In the meantime I can make a different contribution - we are always reading new children's books and the highlight of this month was: Rhinos Don't Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp & Sarah Ogilvie.

Daisy's parents are always too busy to listen to her.  Actually Listen.  Then one day a huge purple Rhino comes to stay, but Daisy's parents are too busy to notice or hear her as she repeatedly tries to inform them!  Until all the pancakes disappear...

This is an absolutely delightful story with a little subtle lesson mainly for parents - to take time to REALLY listen to  our children... before it's too late and all the pancakes are gone!

My 3 year old adores and grasps the story fully.  The 2 year old loves the illustrations and loves listening to the story but is more enamored with the slightly simpler Dogs don't do Ballet also by Anna Kemp & Sarah Ogilvie.

Dogs Don't Do Ballet (Paperback) ~ Kemp Anna (Author) Cover Art

Another sweet story about Biff, a little dog with big dreams.

So there's my review - hopefully it's useful to someone!

Wordless Sunday: Colour

Linking up with Leanne for this week's Wordless Sunday: Colour

The week that was

It's been a bit quiet on the western front - but I'm happy to report that thankfully we're all improved and had a happy week!

The week in pictures:
Monday: Great fun learning another new game.

Tuesday: Particularly enchanted girls made 3D Swing pictures...
And topping up the liquid soap results in this effect... little mushroom like pods of the old stuff rise up... fascinating...

Wednesday:  The girls invented a new game: Hospital (aka our entrance-way).  All the animals are patients and receive impeccable personal care and attention while recuperating from all manner of illnesses and accidents.

Thursday: No caption needed...

Friday:  Fun with milk and colours as seen on clever Renee's blog!

Saturday: A super fun smiley day... really!

Soon I'll post a delayed Wordless Sunday and Bookreview!