Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Creative Space

My creative space this week finds me battling the dreary, cold, wet Melbourne winter with all too many days like this...

.... to find enough good natural light to photograph my lovely Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange present from Keera at Live.Love.Sew.
Today however wet, miseable and cold it may be, it is the brightest day we have had all week. So here are some shots of the lovely creative journal I received.
Keera came across one of my posts moaning about how I wish I had more time to let creative ideas percolate etc and she came up with the lovely idea of a journal to draw, doodle and work ideas out in.
The cover for the journal is exquisite. Not only has she created a lovely patchwork front but she has also hand stiched some inspiring wording that winds its way around the entire cover. (I feel Keera has far more patience in her little finger than I have in my whole body)

Right down to my initials in the corner. ( Having the initials ME got me into a lot of trouble with teachers at school who thought I was being smart when asked to mark our initials in the corner of our work, but I digress)

I also received some lovely hair ties and clips for my girls in my package, but I cannot photograph them as they have gone away in the girls hair to their Grandparents for a sleepover while it is school holidays.

School holidays have been non stop to say the least around here but I have managed to get a few more of the cupcake pincushions made and out to new homes.Oh those wonderful wee hours of the morning!
When friends and family saw the one I made for Keera, the requests started pouring in.

The next lot aren't quite as large as Keera's but still just as cute.

This is the only one still to go to its new home....

I hope your week is full of sunshine and warmth and lots of creative space.
Play along at Our Creative Spaces

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Shadow Shot Sunday

Dont you just wish you were a little kid again? I know I do when I see things like this.
Nothing beats a whizzy from Dad.

Play along with your shadow shot here with Hey Harriet

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Creative Space - with just a 2 month hiatus

Well I know  I said a while ago that I was going to attempt to be a little more regular at posting this year but once again one thing led to another and life got in the way. Even though I have not been posting and updates/ creative persuits etc, I have been keeping up with what all the other lovely people out there in blogland are up to.

Last year I took part in my first ever gift exchange run by the very talented Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous and received a wonderful surpise in the mail, so when it was anounced again this year there was no hesitation in signing up. My swap partner this year was a lovely lady in Outback QLD who is leading a life I thought would have been mine when I first started University.

Reading through her blog, Live.Love.Sew I discovered a very talented and patient Keera ( anyone who quilts is extremely patient in my book) who loves both crafting and cooking - especially guided by the amazing Donna Hay.

So with my thinking cap on I tried to come up with a gift that would bring both of these together.
I immediately thought of one of my upcycled Silverware Cookbook Clip's personalised for Keera as the cooking part , and a project that I had been wanting to try for a long time as the other part.

And after deciding that fleting was not my thing, this is what was born....

... a cupcake pincushion ( I hope it was obvious)

I hoped that with the cotton cupcake wrapper it would have more of a Donna Hay look to it.

So overall I was very happy when I packaged my gift up and sent it on its way to Qld.

I dont think I have spoilt the surprise for Keera either by posting these pictures, as she left for her honeymoon yesterday and reading blogs will not be one of the planned activities for the next week or so.

Well this is just the start of quite a few updates of things that have been happening around here.
I hope to be a little more regular in posting from now on,  but no promises. ;)

To see what other creative types have been up to, check out and play along with  'Our Creative Spaces'

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Day of Extremes

Well today has certainly earnt its title. Either absolute success of abject failure and nothing in between.
First of all  were my Easter baskets for Mum and Caroline. It was obvious this morning that I had been working on them quite late last night as some of my 'logic' had gone astray and there was quite a bit of unpicking to be done before they were finished this morning. BUT, I am very happy with the way they turned out and would be very happy to receive one myself (especially if it is filled with chocolate eggs).

I put these down to absolute success #1.

Absolute success #2 is the easter tree. After searching our dying maple tree for the right branch, this is how you are now greeted as you enter our house.

Our house is white, not pale pink like the photos show but I could not get the white balance right today for some reason. Absolutely no chance on the little automatic (pic1) but getting a little closer (still not good) with the DSLR (pic 2). I will put it down to the funny light today and the fact that our front door is bright orange and alters the colours in the hallway.

Absolute success #3. All my market stock is made ( including a large pile of teaspoon bookmarks which were not actually planned for thoday) and packed in the car before 6pm. This may not sound like a big deal but I could count on one hand the number of times I have been ready for a market before midnight the night prior , and I have been doing markets for 7 years now. I can always find something to do, a sign to remake etc, designing a new stall layout. You maket goers know what I mean - well I hope you do, and I am not the only one who does this.

All these successes had made for too good a day and the failures were about to begin.

Abject failure #1. Beer battered fish and chips for dinner. Hard to muck this up I hear you say-  well maybe, but not if you are me - I can stuff anything up - just ask anyone who has attmepted to eat my scones!!!
I had borrowed MIL's fryer to cook the fish, but all it did was stick the batter to the bottom of the basket so that when it was time to dish up my beautiful orange roughy, it came out in a multitude of pieces followed by crushed/smashed batter. It tasted alright but looked pre-digested. I changed the way I placed the fish in the oil each time but as the basket rotates and lifts the item being cooked out of the oil for short periods, the batter or just plain fish with no batter still stuck and ended up looking the same. A  good night to be a blind dinner guest in our house tonight.

Abject failure #2. Attempting to put royal icing on marie biscuits so that the girls can draw on them with the new food pens. We ( or mainly I ) decided that pre-made biscuits should be easier to ice than home made ones but try as I might I could not get the icing to stay in the desired shape or for that matter not stick to the bench when I rolled it out. I muddled my way through 6 biscuits and gave up. There has to be an easier way amd will be a task for another day. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Failure #3. Hot cross buns were not even attempted today. Maybe tomorrow, when I get home from the market so we can take them for lunch on Sunday, but then again, if I am as tired as I normally am after a market ( and it does go for an extra hour tomorrow), then it will just be dinner and bed for me tomorrow before the Easter Bunny hops his way into our house.

Here's hoping your day was full of success and sunshine and have a Happy Easter.

P.S.  If you are looking for something to do tomorrow and are near the Mornington Peninsula, pop along to the special Easter Market at Mornington Racecourse.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Creative Space

My creative space this week finds me enjoying Easter fun with the girls.
We have blown eggs ( free range of course - no cage eggs here - Sarah's attempting to get the whole school  to boycott cage eggs by the time she leaves grade 6 in Dec), drawn on them with crayon and then died them and many little fingers along with them.
Here are some of my favourites

I know there are flash spots on them but it is such a miserable wet night here in Melbourne that I cannot get enough light without the flash.

Now comes the assembly of the tree for a centrepiece on Sunday. This was going to be done today but with a shuffle of work days and me working today, it will have to become a Good Friday activity.

Hopefully it will end up looking something like this.....

As my family are not big chocolate eaters , I usually find/make a small present for them with some chocolate ginger etc hidden inside. With a hankering for scones, which I absolutely cannot make, even with no-fail recipes ( mine could be sold to the army as ammunition), I thought this years present to mum and  'lil sis could be something to give them a nudge in the scone making direction.
A long time ago I saw some lovely scone baskets by Mud Tea  and thought that I might be able to make something similar from my ever growing fabric stash. I think Kate has come up with a wonderful idea and it is not as simple to put together as it first appears. My version does not look nearly as pretty/neat but heck - it was made with love and a lot of experimentation and I am still rather happy with the outcome.

Next on the family easter/holiday craft plan is bajing some of these...

with this excellent recipe from none other than the Womens Weekly ,

and, also baking ( my oven wont know what's hit it - poor thing) some biscuits decorated with my new food pens.
After reading a lovely post on Christen's blog Twirling Betty about her children decorating biscuits, I spent the night scouring the internet for food pens that would not cost the earth and I could get before the Good Friday holiday. Baking Pleasures in Brisbane came to the rescue and the pens arrived today - YAY!
Still haven't decided whether we will make bunny biscuits or just plain round ones and let them create their own designs. - Maybe some of both.......

The rest of today ( after work that is  and probably into the mystery hours of tonight) will be spent finishing the other  scone basket, sewing some hats for the market on Saturday and if possible before it gets too late - bashing spoons, especially lots more bookmarks for Saturday too.

I hope your week and holidays have been creative  and you have a lovely Easter


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