Saturday, November 26

DIY overload

There has been an awful lot of DIYing going on at my house.

It seemed to all come to a head at once.  That, and the fact that we could no longer get into the small back shed, so it was now or never.  Just look at my backyard! 

This photo was taken a few weeks ago, when everthing got pulled out...I donned my work gear, floral scarf wrapped around my head and set to work.  I sanded, and filled, painted and scraped.  I traded visits to Spotlight for Bunnings and I felt like a warrior in the process.  I enjoy this fixer-up-ering journey.  I love watching items that were, perhaps destined for the rubbish heap or no longer wanted, brought to new life.

My kids watched eagerly too - and with a paintbrush in their hand, I quickly set them with a bucket of water to "paint the fence" (genuis dad!).  I hope I am teaching them the value of "make do and mend" and that new is not always necessary. 

Here is the latest finished item.  A salvaged narrow ladder that I collected during hard rubbish.  All she needed was a sand, stain and a little colour.

Do love fixing stuff up?  does it hang around in your shed or garage though? Or are you great at fixing it up as soon as you bring it home....


the rain in spain......

Do your kids make up words?  Or try really really hard to pronounce words and still don't quite get there.

Well, lately I've been catching myself out using my kids words instead of the Proper English.

Oh dear.  Not a good teacher am I?

I play along, as their little language can be so damn cute, funny and entertaining that sometimes I think I prefer their words to proper English.  That, and it makes them laugh.

Take my son - inventor of new words, and lately when it's "time to go"  I find myself yelling out "let's gok"  as that is what he made up! But it doesn't stop there.....

When it's time for "breakfast" - it so much cuter when my daughter asks for "bwekfrast"
Which is then followed up by a request for a "bay-chee" rather than the usual "baby cino"
There is "drunkfood" instead of "junkfood", which i think is just hilarious
or "wallpaper" vs "toilet paper" (but, it is on the wall mummy!)
Even the italian word for cheese "formagio" has been hijacked and re-arranged into "bobbagino" - dont even ask!
The "tee-pee" has been renamed the "tee-pit" as I can't be bothered correcting that one....
then there is "spell" for "smell"
and my favourite at the moment would be my daughters name for the humble "tracksuit"....."suit-jacks"

Do you correct your children's pronunciations?  What cute words have they come up with??

Or do you play along like I do?

Hmmm.... time to get into action and find my inner Mr Higgins......

   "The rain in spain falls mainly on the plane" (REPEAT!)

Tuesday, November 22

{red velvet cupcakes}

I was looking for a nice cupcake recipe to whip up to take to a function that required a "bring a plate" scenario.   Then I remembered that I had stashed this red velvet cupcake into my "must make" section a while back and thought it a good opportunity to test it out.  At first, I was a bit apprehensive about using a whole bottle of red food colouring, but low and behold I still took the plunge and made these vibrant red velvet beauties.

here is what you need....

2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
50ml bottle red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 17o degrees Celsius. Line two 12-cup muffin tins or silicone pans with cupcake liners or I did a mixture of normal and mini size muffins.
2. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a smaller bowl, mix food coloring and cocoa powder to form a thin paste without lumps and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in vanilla and the red cocoa paste, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as you go. Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beat well, then beat in half of the buttermilk. Beat in another third of flour mixture, then second half of buttermilk. End with the last third of the flour mixture, beat until well combined, making sure to scrape down the bowl with a spatula.
4. In a small bowl, mix vinegar and baking soda. Be careful as it will fizz so don't do it in a shallow bowl. Add vinegar mixture to the cake batter and stir well to combine. Fill cupcake cups with cake batter until they are a little under 3/4 full.
Place muffin tins in your preheated oven. Bake the normal size muffins for 20 minutes and if you do the mini muffins, for 10 minutes. The cupcakes are done when you are able to pat the tops and the cake springs back up. If it sinks down they are not yet complete. Or you can insert a toothpick into the center of a cupcake in the center of the tin and if it comes out clean they are done!
5. Cool the cupcakes in their tins on a wire rack for 10 minutes then remove and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

50g butter
200g Cream Cheese
1 Cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

To make - beat the butter and the cream cheese together until nice and smooth, then slowly add the vanilla extract and lastly your icing sugar.  You can always add more or less icing sugar depending on our sweet or thick you would like you frosting.  Spread on with a flat knife, or if you're real fancy, use a piping bag. 


Tuesday, November 15

my creative space....{a little quilted notebook}

Inspiration finally struck, as I had been pondering for a while what to make as a gift for a dear friend.

This quilted notebook emerged, peice by peice and luckily turned out, just as I'd hoped.  With inspiration from this very clever crafter, I set out to achieve something a little different...

It was such a fun project, and great to hone those quilting skills...even if the stitching is a little wonky (it all adds character!)  

And when you open her up, she really comes alive.  Bright chevron fabric, with everything a note-taker needs..... a spot for a notebook, pen, and pocket for any other imperative bits of paper or even business cards?

I can imagine this little quilted notebook, being pride and place next the phone to jot down those all important messages, or perhaps just relaxing by the kitchen bench, waiting for the milk to be low, so it can be added to the shopping list.

And a little bit of fabric scrap utilisation!  You wont care which way she is facing!

For more crafty delights to fill any notebook


at the movies.....

It was hubby's birthday a few days ago!  Happy Birthday to you my gorgeous man.
As you know I love the idea of giving a handmade I pondered. 
 Until an idea struck when we got together with a group of close childhood friends.  You see,  there is always, always part of the conversation where they throw in a movie line, have a guess, and then chuckle with laughter.

It usually prompts more movie lines and before you know they are reciting the whole God Father to each other doing their best Marlon Brando!

So,  I put together a bit of a collection
of hubby's all time favourite movie quotes, and framed it.

Can you recognise any quotes?  Most, are from your typical action/mafia/thriller movies. I did have to ask for a bit help, not being so familiar with this genre.  You'll find a bit of The Godfather, Wogboy, Top Gun, Scarface and Rocky.  Needless to say, he loved it!

I had so much fun making it, that my mind started racing.....

So I did a girly version too.  All my favourite flicks.  The Notebook, Dirty Dancing, Pretty Woman, When Harry met Sally, Pride and Prejiduce, Princess Bride and Titanic. 

Side by side, they make a lovely pair.

And to steal a quote directly from my children

"I love you infinite days" my sweet husband

Do you have a favourite movie quote? 
Do share?


Sunday, November 13

A tutorial in the bag....

Hi there....see those little drawsting bags up there...well I show you how to make them over at Emma's gorgeous blog Frog, Goose and Bear. 

Click over and check out the lovely series she is doing all about handmade gifts for girls....

Nothing is sweeter than a little gift made by hand and this little tutorial is great for beginners. 

thanks for having me Emma 


Friday, November 11

I'm grateful for....{a little imagination}

Source: via Claudia on Pinterest

Ahhhhh....i could not sigh more deeply that the end of the week is here. It's been a long grueling week, and I'm totally up for some fun weekend action.

Today I'm grateful for....

1. Great outcomes - After weeks of recruitment, interviewing and discussing late into the night - it finally ended. I was over the moon yesterday when our favourite applicant accepted the Teachers job at my kids Kinder. The enormous amount of responsibility I felt along with my other parent helpers was getting overwhelming but I'm so relieved to have a great outcome. I love our community run kinder, and I'm a little excited as the new teacher has a little touch of Mary Poppins about her!

2. Challenges - I'm usually, mostly, or even sometimes up for a challenge. I think they are good for the soul, and make us stronger. I've learnt things I never thought I would need to know going through this whole recruitment process that I have a deeper appreciation of what amazing, special people Early Childhood Teachers are.

3. Sense of community - It's wonderful when you work towards an outcome or the greater good of your local community. Even though I live in a city, I appreciate and am grateful for those that look in their own backyard first and make that a better place.

Happy grateful to all of you! If you are grateful, stop by with this lovely lady and share with us!


Tuesday, November 8

the old fashion pinterest

Before Pinterest there was this.

Good old fashion scrap books.  I had heaps of scrapbooks when I was a kid.  I would cut out inspirational pictures, fashion shots, favourite celebrities and diliegently paste them in my books.   I would even attempt at drawing some designs (although not very good).....but at least it gave me the creativity I needed and help me realise my love for sewing and craft.

When a lovely lady gifted these to me for my birthday this year, I fell in love with scrap booking, doodling, and note-taking all again.  And who wouldn't?  Three gorgeous art books, all covered in the most beautiful fabrics....

...and with perfectly embroidered titles on them, I can ensure that all of my dreams, inspiration and ideas are safely recorded and never far away should I need reminding.

Now, I'm off for a cuppa and some old fashion pinning


Monday, November 7

so five minutes ago....

Source: via Brenda on Pinterest

I'm just wondering when did we go from replacing items to up-grading them?

Ok, so I'm considered gen Y and really should happy for the whole updgrading phenomenon, but you know what, I'm really not all that good at it.   Especially when it comes to technology and appliances.

I realised this when I finally upgraded my washing machine, even though my old one was still chugging along....slowly, and annoyingly, but it still worked and I felt insanely guilty at buying a replacement before it's predecessor had runs it's course.  As I was talking with the salesman, he nearly fell over when I explained that my old washing machine was the manual turn style dial.  I was equally dumbfounded when I was then informed that they haven't made manual washing machines for ages.  Oh dear.  Now my new washer looks as though it's fit to take me to the moon!

But, I'm like this in many areas.  I waited till my hairdryer literally fizzled out and didn't work, and that morning I drove to the shops (sopping wet hair) and snapped up a new one.   My kettle lid refused to open one day, and for the next year I just stuck the nozzle under the tap to fill it up.  Now my newbie kettle is so whisper quiet I forget I've turned it on!   Our television blew up before we even thought of getting a fancy pants flat see where I'm going with this....

Maybe it's because things just don't last like they should so I tend to squeeze as much as I can out of them.  I mean, you buy a computer and you need to get it upgraded or buy a new one the minute you've walked out the door because something better has come along.  Appliances barely make their guarantee period before they show signs of waning.   You wont see our kids taking the old fridge to their first flat when they move out - oh no...we'll be lining up with them to purchase yet another one.

So when did we go from up-grading instead of repairing?  And with so many appliances these days, which ones do we really need.  There seems to be something for everything.  We work harder to buy these items to make our life easier, but does it really...because we're so busy working to buy the next one?  hmmmm?

Do you replace or up-grade?
Do you have an old appliance that you love to bits and hate to think you might have to replace it?
Do share....


Sunday, November 6

Fancy Pants in full colour

I'm back into the Fancy Pants's been a while and for a moment there I'd forgotten what it was all about - I mean look at that sombre face up there!!! 

But I'm anything but sombre - this dress for instance is just made to make you feel happy.  And not just because of it's brightness and all.  No, not just that.  

And not just because it's super comfy... which it is mind you...stretch t-shirt like top, a little elastic in the waist and gorgeous cotton/sateen skirt with a split at the back for easy strolling.

And it's not because of the price I paid for it either - which I might add was something ridiculous...I mean this little beauty set me back under $20!  Yes, that's right! 

So the reason then???  Well, besides all of those I already mentioned, I'm going to love wearing this new maxi dress because I made it myself.  I eyed off a similar style for some ludicrous price and realised that simply is was a t-shirt top attached to some panels of fabric for the a quick trip to Spotlight and a rummage for a t-shirt that I chopped under the bust and hey-presto!  
A Maxi Dress! I'm sticking to my vow of not buying (or making) anything black/grey or even beige.  This has been in an attempt to add some fun and colour into my wardrobe. 
 I'm loving the big bold colours of this dress, the print and mixing it up with even more colours with added accessories.  Nothing screams summer more than bright colours! 

Do you have a favourite summer colour??   

Joining in with my dear Fancy Pants-er Kymmie 

Dress - made by me
Belt - Sussan
Shoes - Myer
yellow bangle - Diva
Blue necklace - 50c at a garage sale
red bag - Sussan


Friday, November 4

I'm grateful for {the right attitude}


I'm hoping that today I get to enjoy the sunshine, play with the kids and get some much needed crafty projects ticked off the list.  A plan for a good day.  But first, I need to be grateful, because it's been a bit hectic around here.  We've done some travelling and both hubby and I have been ships in the night no really kicking back and doing quality time stuff due to working, attending meeting, volunteering, and general stuff that life throws at you....

So, joining in with the ever so happy Bron from Maxabella Loves....

I'm grateful for...

1. The right attitude - because really, the right one can get you going, moving forward and see you through to the end.  The wrong one can just make one hellava mess even messer.  I'm really grateful that most of the time, my attitude is what can get me through....

2. Volunteers - when I signed up last year as President of the Kinder Committee I least expected to be recruiting for a new Kinder Teacher.  I've been thrown in head first with HR, advertising, resume reading, and the like, so ...I love my little gang of volunteers that are sticking with me to the end!

3. Priorities - when life gets busy, and things have to get shifted - it's time to rearrange those priorities.   Take care of your loved ones and yourself so you can all take care of the rest.

Grateful for something???  Join in here....