Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Red velvet cup cakes and chocolate ripple cake

 Christmas is over now and it is time to sit and recov er.

One of the highlights of this Christmas has been the sweet dishes.

On Christmas eve we had chocolate ripple  cake cooked by grandson Michael.  Absolutely delicious.

On Christmas day we had red velvet cup cakes made by our daughter Meaghan.   Also delectable. 

 I have spent little time in the kitchen due to an injured knee but I did manage to buy some treats:  rocky road and fruit mince pies to have with coffee.

Now it is time to take a more sensible approach to food.

I hope you have all enjoyed the festivities.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fiskars Fabric Strip Cutter

 You might remember that I bought this Fiskars Fabric Strip Cutter from the op shop some time ago.

Well at last I have had a chance to try it out.  I think the blade needs replacing but it cuts well enough.

  I cut three strips of floral fabric which were a bit frayed on one edge.

You can see that I braided or plaited them together roughly just to see how they would look and I think there are real possibilities for some exciting new things.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Capsule coffee machine and landfill

 Just recently we treated ourselves to a new coffee machine.  It was at the lower end of the price scale and uses capsules of coffee.  It is clean, efficient and user friendly.
 I am not the coffee maker in this house - this task along with stacking the dishwasher are the responsibility of the man of the house, however he is not always here and so it was up to me to empty the discarded capsules from the tray last night.

Each cup of coffee uses one capsule  so they soon accumulate.  Being a curious person, I decided to dismantle the used capsules.  Each capsule has a foiled lid which I threw out but in the pics you can see there are three other components.  Now I found this to be a dreadfully wasteful system and my question is of course "how can I make use of these items.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  I am thinking the circular plastic pieces would make good bases for buttons or brooches.  The little cups would be good for mixing paints etc.

What do you think? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

magazines, books and daydreaming

 Today I called in at the newsagent to buy the morning paper for my father in law to read.
I had to walk past the magazines.  There are so many wonderful titles to choose from.  I walked out with three gorgeous mags to see me through the holidays and to provide me with some much needed inspiration.  Embellish was the first I picked up, then Cloth Paper Scissors caught my eye, as I tried to make my way to the newspapers I saw a magazine called Making.
One Australian, one UK, one USA - so many ideas - so many fantastic products that I didn't know I needed. 


Already on the table were two current favourite books.

Embroidered Garden Flowers
by Diana Lampe with Jane Fisk
Knit One, Make One
by Furze Hewitt 

I really have no excuses now - just a lack of time.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas in the summer time

 I have a collection of Santa Claus figures that I add to each year.  They are scattered around the dining and lounge rooms.  The Christmas tree is in the corner: it is made from branches from our trees and decorated with various treasures including a little Church worked in cross stitch by a friend, Mildred Keyes.  

For those who have not seen him before: the Santa with the dark hat is my Swaggy Santa which I designed and made and which is on display all year round.

The garden is looking glorious at this time of year.

I know many people think of Christmas as being a cold and wintry time but here of course it is summer and usually quite hot.

I hope this time of year is enjoyable and stress free for everyone.  It is often a difficult time of year and I must say it is not my favourite time but I try to make the best of it.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

hot crayons

this interesting creation was made by gluing pastels to a small canvas and then melting them with the hair dryer. 
I have to say now that this was not my project.  It was something Ally 
had seen demonstrated and wanted to try.  I think the crayons we used were a bit old and so they didn't melt properly but it think it looks sensational.  The canvas is just 10cm x 10cm.
I wonder if anyone else has tried this.   

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Summer days

The day has been warm (33degrees) and so the twinnies and Ally spent time in the shade shelter on the back lawn.  

So lovely to have them here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

all the things I need to create (a mess)

 This evening I am having some sewing time,

On the couch and coffee table I have my sewing machine, my threads, gorgeous fabrics and my laptop.

The tv is on and I have ownership of the remote.  Homeland is about to begin.

It is my intention to make some small items for sale at the Frankston Waterfront Festival in January.

Quick,  easy to sell, not too expensive but one of a kind items.  Starting with a pin cushion and a scissor holder. 

 It is good to have these little projects to work on.

Any suggestions for items I can make would be appreciated.

Friday, December 7, 2012

new fabric and some more stitching

Yesterday I received some fabric from Retro Mummy: one of my favourite bloggers.  Have a look here to see what is on sale.

Today was my last day at the textile group for this year and I have been working on a picture of a tree (pictured in the top left corner).  It is on yellow cotton and the tree is worked by couching yarn to the fabric and then some flowers have been added.  This is a piece that I work as I go and by the time it is finished the yellow fabric will be completely covered.

Thanks to those who have visited Ally's Blog
and for visiting mine as well.  It is sometimes hard to find time and interesting things to write about - especially at this time of year.

I hope everyone is managing to relax a little.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This collage shows some views of Christmas decorations in my kitchen window early this evening.

The day has been quite cold and very wet and windy.  In fact the gale force winds are supposed to increase overnight.
 In other parts of Australia they are having record breaking heat waves and there is snow in some other areas.  Such a big country provides a wide range of weather conditions.
Whatever the conditions you find yourself in please take care.

Friday, November 30, 2012

an ending and a beginning

Now that I have finished the garden embroidery I have started on a tree design and another beach themed box top.

I will take a pic of the tree tomorrow.

The box top is the usual formula: a box from the op shop, lumiere paint, texture paste, pumice powder and lots of bits and bobs from the stash.  There is a lot more to do so I will post pics as I go.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stitching at last

 I have finished my parterre garden at last.

It is pinned to a corkboard to damp stretch it. 
 The colours and textures have turned out really well and now I have to decide whether I should frame it or put it on the top of a box or the front of a journal.

Of course putting it in a frame would look good and I have just the right little frame but one of the great things about these little gardens is that they are very tactile.
 A box top would look great but I am not sure how many boxes I might need.

the front of a journal cover would display it well but would take a bit of wear and tear.

 I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

Now I have to start on something new.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Back again

Goodness this time of year is so busy.  Blogging is sometimes hard to find time for.

We have had our granddaughter Ally staying for more than a week and some extra babysitting with the twins so my days have been full: the weather has been great and as Ally loves the water we have been to the beach lots of times.

Before taking her home we went for a swim yesterday afternoon and then we both spent time taking more pics.

Ally has started her own blog and I would be thrilled if you would take the time to visit it and perhaps follow or comment.  Take a look here.

Meanwile  I have been experimenting with using the monochrome function on my camera.

The effect is really pleasing don't  you think?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Today I thought I would show you a table set using just items bought at the op shops.

It was a fun and interesting project and my dear granddaughter enjoyed helping me with it.  

The idea was to use odd pieces of china, cutlery and glass and then to add a few decorative items to complete the look. 

The lovely damask table cloth is by Linen House and I paid $8.00 for it.  After a wash and iron it looks as good as new and fits our large round table perfectly.

This gorgeous quiche dish was a bit of an extravagance at $8.00 and fullfills my dream to own something by Villeroy & Boch and is perfect to hold little dinner rolls.

The dinner and side plates were from two different makers (made in china) and each set cost $5.00.
The very fine hand embroidered serviettes were part of a bundle of old linen that I bought at Vinnies: about 50 pieces of assorted serviettes and place mats for $10.00  = 20 cents each, which is cheaper than paper serviettes.

The assorted glasses cost up to $3 each.  I have collected these over the past few weeks

 The little pink glass petal candle holders were $2.00 for the pair and the candles are led lights which I picked up for $3.00 each.

The cutlery is an assortment of stainless steel pieces and these can be picked up for just 10 or 20 cents a piece in most op shops.
This is a very pretty fork. 

We used this plate for a garden salad:
the design is called French Dresser by Portmeirion made in Britain.  This is oven to table, Dishwasher, Freezer and Microwave safe but I must admit I will only hand wash this one.

The bud vase is beautiful with or without the rose and these vases can be picked up for 3 or 4 dollars.
I do have a weakness for glassware - especially good glassware.

So you can see it does not need to cost an arm and a leg to set a lovely table.  I have found it is much more economical than buying paper plates and so much more kind to the environment.