The most simple recipe you’ll ever try!

Ok, so I have lost count how many times I have made this almond cake. Either in the round form, rectangular or individual. Either with berries, stone fruit or nuts. It’s that versatile. And looks extra special, kind of cafe quality/store bought. I get asked all the time for the recipe. So I have shared the recipe and the lovely Cintia from My Poppet was kind enough to share the recipe on her blog. Here are some of the variations I have made.

Click here for the recipe.

Enjoy!

flying like a feather [+free pattern]

I am going through a little embroidery addiction at the moment. Signing up for mini hoop swaps, participating in the February stitch-a-day challenge, buying kits at op shops and creating gifts. I wanted to create hoop wall art for my niece’s birthday. I also wanted to show case an inspirational quote and some pretty stitches.

Erin Hanson has penned a lovely poem and a quote that I have seen quite a bit lately is: What if I fall, oh but my darling, what if you fly? To me it speaks volumes of trying, never giving up, surprising yourself with inner strength and aiming for the stars. I thought it would be appropriate for my 14-year-old niece to reflect on and decorate her girly room with. I used fonts in Microsoft Word and freehand feather drawing to come up with my design. I used DMC thread colours [2160, 2161, 2162, 6163 and ecru pearl cotton] and a variety of back stitch, chain stitch, satin stitch, French knots, button hole stitch, darning stitch, weaving stitch and Roman stitch  on white linen.

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I finished the back by gluing a piece of white felt. And tying a ribbon for hanging.

I am happy to share my design with my blog family as a free printable. Be sure to share if you stitch this hoop art.

Here is your free copy what-if-you-fly.

Officially a Hit!

I was slow to get going but once I did, it came together. My objective, organise 2 parties for our little guy, who was turning 5. I jumped into the preparations with no direction or theme. Googling birthday party invitation templates for boys I was trying to stay away from trends or superheroes – as I didn’t want to mislead the invitees. I settled on a iPhone ‘screenshot’ of text messages. Link to template here. It was current and generic.

Invitations drafted, printed and sent.

I then decided to go with a theme, our little guy’s current favourite TV shows, either Operation Ouch or Officially Amazing! I googled some images for Officially Amazing and sent it to my sister-in-law and parents.  The image was used as a guide for the cake and the piñata. I stumbled across a printable which I thought I could use for the party favours somehow. I resized the images to create the right size for chocolate wrappers. Added a thank you message and had them printed in colour. While I was at it I printed some tiny logos to create a cupcake toppers.

The lolly bags were next. I found a pack of pink, purple, green and blue bags, perfect as we had an equal ratio of girls and boys. The bags were personalised with their names. I found a fun balloon font online. I printed all the names, scanned them and cut them out of cardstock with my Brother ScanNCut machine.

We decided to go with an antipasto buffet for both parties, followed by paella for party #1.

Here are some photos of the handmade elements.

Party #1

Antipasto buffet food labels – printed cardstock held by corks tied with twine

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Paella – deliciously cooked by my brother

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Cake organised by my SIL – made by the talented Annie from Cool Cakes

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Party #2

Lolly Bags – used to collect sweets when the piñata was cracked open

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Personalised chocolate wrappers

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Cupcake toppers – craft punches and toothpicks

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Piñata – made by my dad

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Not handmade but awesome none-the-less – the commander obstacle jumping castle.

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The parties were officially a hit!

Wedding cake boxes

Can you make something with these wedding cake boxes? My good friend asked me. I’m sure I will think of something I said.
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The boxes stayed in storage for years. The idea then came to me. An advent calendar! How many boxes did I have? About 80. That meant 3 advent calendars!
I purchased 3 large canvas from Lincraft, 91 cm x 91 cm (36 in x 36 in) to fit 24, 5.5 cm x 9.5 cm [2 1/4 in x 3 3/4 in] boxes on each canvas.
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The next step was to determine the placement of the boxes. My initial plan was a Christmas tree shape, 8, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 1.
But then I thought of a triangle shape so I could fill the inside of the triangle with Christmas sentiments and symbols. I drew an outline of all the boxes on the plastic wrapping.
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I attached the boxes with rivets. After all the boxes were secured I removed the plastic wrapping gently.
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I cut the numbers and words with my Brother ScanNCut machine. I was so happy I worked out a way so that I  could cut words out with my favourite fonts. And enjoyed the process of ‘welding’ the letters to create one piece. And playing around with uppercase/lowercase and rotation on some letters to define the word. Imagine if the ‘I’ was kept at 90 degrees it would be lost between the ‘M’ and the ‘L’.
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I enjoyed personalising each one with all their names. And with mine 😉
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I also used some crafts punches. I decided to stick the numbers to the boxes with double-sided tape and the words and shapes with Mod Podge .
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I created some 3-D baubles with the 2.5cm [1 inch] circles.
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So the boxes can be filled again and again and the calendar used year after year.
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My BFF and brother’s families loved their new advent calendar.
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I love my ‘handmade Christmas’ display. My paper 3D star bunting, my hexie tree, my book tree with quilled lights and quilled decroations – to complement my new addition – our advent calendar.

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How have you made your Christmas, handmade?

Blog Hop – Making Luna Lapin

I can guarantee, you too will fall in love with Luna Lapin – it’s inevitable, I did. Luna Lapin is Sarah Peel’s model and she slowly morphed into a delicate and exquisitely dressed rabbit. It was a delight to receive this e-book and read Luna’s story. Luna, her story, her apparel and instructions on how to make them makes this a wonderful gift. Sara’s story telling is beautiful. Her book takes you on Luna’s journey, and through the photos and diagrams invites you to create your own ‘Luna’. With 20 projects of varying difficulty  to make, it’s a lovely book/project to work through. Here is a sneak peek at the book.

I have always had a passion for miniatures so was instantly intrigued by the structure of Luna’s shoes. I just had to make those first. I cut out the template and cut them out on white felt. Before construction I added a pale pink and blue ribbon and French knots before assembling the shoes with blanket stitch. While sewing the buttons, Luna whispered, I would love to have a nice mat to place my shoes after a long and creative day at work. So how could I say no. With the last tassel on the mat she then whispered that one of her favourite things to do after taking her shoes off was to drink milk with a stripey straw.

Here are Luna’s shoes and her special mat I made for her.

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And a close up.

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If you have fallen in love and can’t resist not having Luna in your life, head over here.

Grab a cuppa and go and visit these lovely creative makers and explore more of Luna adventures! Thank you for stopping by. Next on my list – the tweed bag.

Monday 31st October – SewandSo

Tuesday 1st November – Meet Sarah Peel

Wednesday 2nd November – Sew of Course

Thursday 3rd November – Melanie Sews and Other Stuff

Friday 4th November – Poppy in Stitches

Monday 7th November – Carina Crafts

Tuesday 8th November – Bendigolioness

Wednesday 9th November – Bit of Tea and Honey

Thursday 10th  November – Thimbeleanna

 

Blog Hop: Modern Folk Embroidery

I am so excited to share with you today:

 * my first blog hop post

Nancy Nicholson’s delightful book – Modern Folk Embroidery

* my take on the cuff bracelet

I love the benefits of Instagram. The wonderful supportive like minded people you e-meet [although I have met some a wonderful group of ladies in real-life – story for another day], the inspiration and the opportunities it offers. Like the opportunity to receive and review Nancy’s ebook.

The cover had me drooling from the word go. The book is full of:

gorgeous photography

beautiful colourful projects

an insightful stitch library

clear and easy to follow instructions

full size templates

I have always enjoyed embroidery and working with felt. So immediately I wanted to start making all the projects. I settled on the cuff bracelet for my first make from the book. I might just gift it for Christmas. When I was finished I thought the middle flowers looked like succulents.

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A little difficult to see in the photo however [as with many of the other bloggers] I love the Eskimo laced running stitch.

I can see myself adapting these to make napkin rings and perhaps making the cushion next.

Although I’m the last stop on the hop – be sure to see what inspired the other bloggers.

Monday 17th October – SewandSo

Wednesday 19th October – Wild Olive

Thursday 20th October – Kate & Rose

Friday 21st October – Lilipopo

Monday 24th October – Anna Scott

Tuesday 25th October – SewandSo

Wednesday 26th October – Carina Crafts

Here is a short clip on some of the projects you will find this fabulous book.

And lastly if you need to have it on your bookshelf, you can find it here.

Cooking up a storm

Today I wanted to share a quick and easy but oh so adorable tutorial – kids apron. I was lucky enough to win a Rollie Pollie [jelly roll] from Riley Blake Designs on Instagram. Bella Boulevards Fresh Market collection is vibrant and whimsical, filled with citrus, florals and fruits. It screamed out kitchen to me. So with that I decided to make some children’s aprons. Here is how I made it. This size would be suitable for 3-5 year olds.

rollie pollie

Work out the order and placement of the strips. As I was going to donate these to my son’s pre-school I thought I would group ‘boy’ colours and ‘girl’ colours.

position strips

Sew the strips together with 1/4 inch allowance and press. I press the seam towards the darker colour of the 2.

Cut the panel in half, creating 2, 20 inch [50 cm] pieces.

sew strips

Sew these 2 panels together and press.

sew panels together

Measure 6 inches [15 cm] from both sides [top left and top right corners] towards the centre and mark. Measure 12 inches [30 cm] from both sides [bottom left and bottom right] upwards and mark. With a plate [or another circular object mark the shape on the fabric and cut [keep the pieces for the scrappy oven mits].

cut shape

Sew a 1/4 inch rolled hem around the entire apron. Press the hem and sew in threads.

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rolled hem

Sew the waist and neck straps securely in place with an X box. I used white herringbone tape, 8 inches [20 cm] for the waist straps and approximately 16 inches [40cm] for the neck strap.

sew straps

With the scraps I trimmed them into approximately 4 inch squares.

trim scraps

Quilted them with wadding.

quilt scrap

I machine sewed the matching bias binding leaving a loop at one of the corners to create play oven mits to match the aprons.

match with bias

Sewed in the threads.

sew bias

play oven mits

Lucky we had storm trooper to model the ‘girl’ one.

my models

 

A is for apple, B is for bowl

spaghetti yarn fruit bowl

Fruit Bowl – spaghetti yarn pattern

Finished size: 9 cm x 30 cm [3 ½ in x 12 in]

Materials:

Spaghetti yarn [I used Lincraft brand]

Crochet hook: size 10 mm [USA size P]

Scissors

Marker

Abbreviations: ch= chain, sc = single crochet st=stitch rnd=round

Notes: American crochet abbreviations used {sc [USA] = dc [UK/Australian]

This bowl is crocheted in the round, i.e. the rows or rounds are not joined it is worked in a spiral form.

Rnd 1: Ch 2, 8 sc in second ch from hook. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 2: 2 Sc in each sc around. [16 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 3: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next sc] around. [24 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 4: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 2 sc] around. [32 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 5: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 3 sc] around. [40 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 6: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 4 sc] around. [48 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 7: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 5 sc] around. [56 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 8: [2 Sc in the next sc, sc in the next 6 sc] around. [64 sc total]. Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 9: Sc in each sc [back loop only]. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 10-11: Sc in each sc around. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 12: Sc in each sc [back loop only]. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 13-14: Sc in each sc around. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

Rnd 15: Sc in each sc [back loop only]. [64 sc total] Do not join, place marker.

The bowl is reversible depends which side you like best.

Any questions – let me know.

Craft a rainbow

How excited was I when I opened the [Craft and Quilt Fair] Craft Fair Friend [the fair’s mini mag] to see that Cecile Franconie would be at the fair. I have been admiring her creations on her blog for years. So here is my recap on a wonderfully inspiring day at the fair.

I was lucky to meet and chat to Cecile and photograph her work.

I attended some free workshops. Learnt about ‘boro’ sashiko stitching, some tips on how to make the perfect bag, how to create beeswax food wraps, some tips on using my ever growing collection of embossing folders and discovered candlewicking.

And did you know that candlewicking came about from American women initially using lengths of candle wicks to embroider boiled and bleached flours bags or feed sacks. Traditionally it’s white on white or cream on cream, and pre-dominantly colonial knots to form simple designs.

Warning – it’s a long post but worth the creative eye candy.

Cecile chatting and creating [stitching] flowers.

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Some of Cecile’s gorgeous pieces on display. So ornate, textural, just exquisite.

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There was a lovely quilted hoop display.

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There were so many features on the quilts that I loved – that called for close-ups!

These 3-D origami like butterflies are the cutest!

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FMQ drooling

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Zoom in – the stitching on these petals…

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So simple, so effective, MUST try.

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Reviewing my photos – I was clearly attracted to bright rainbow inspired quilts.

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Tegan’s ‘The 1400’

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Di J’s ‘out of the square’

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Oh my these tiny treasures…

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This one used Tasmanian timber scraps. With eyelets in the corners, these were sewn to create ‘wooden blocks’.

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Sweet felt applique embroidery, sew as you go hexagon quilt.

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Denim roof tiles [my take on it]

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A fussy cut masterpiece.

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Penny Poppleton’s ‘Jenn does Mrs B’

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Rachael Daisy won ‘best in show’ with this beauty.

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