Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Op Shopping - A Plate I Love

This was my prize op shop find this week.  I am so in love with it.  Its from the Noritake Bahama Collection and is in pristine condition and cost me pretty much nothing.  The hubby thinks its hideous.  I am displaying it on top of my china cabinet, which I am extremely happy about, and him not so much.

I brought it to the couch with me tonight while I was writing this post and his reaction was "What, so now you are watching TV with your plate?".  I wonder what he'll say when I bring it to bed with me tonight....

My other find was this gorgeous vintage Holdson puzzle, which Danger Mouse has claimed as his own.

Joining in over here at Op Shop Show Off.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Turning Children's Artwork into Framed Embroidery

Kids often draw the most amazing things.  As Sprat neared 5 he started getting quite creative with his drawing and I started to amass a pile of my 'favourite' drawings.  I had a few that I really loved and wanted to do something more with and decided to turn one of them into an framed embroidery piece.

This is a really quick project.  If you are not me.  I started this in September last year ... it then sat around for months, got packed and shifted house, got dragged away on holiday with me twice, lived in a suitcase for over 2 months and I finally finished it today.  It took me two nights of work in total to complete, spread over 5 months.  I can be VERY slow at things sometimes ...

First thing was to pick a picture.   I had three of my favourites to choose from, and decided on the Robot.

I decreased him down to the size I wanted on the photocopier, then using my fancy light box (sellotaping it to the window....), traced it onto linen using an erasable marker.

As linen is see through, and I was using red thread, I used a piece of backing fabric to reduce the show through of stitching from the back of the fabric.  And no fancy securing of the two fabrics - I just put the two on top of each other and secured together in the embroidery hoop.

I stitched using back stitch, washed away the erasable marker with a wet white cloth and trimmed the edging down and glued it to the back of the hoop with Mod Podge to secure.  I have to confess here, my hoop is a little bit broken from living in a suitcase for so long.  I just glued that too.  One day it might pop off the wall and unravel, but lets hope not.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday - Passport Picture Perfect

I've not been very good at keeping up with Wardrobe Wednesday.  I have been spending way too much time in workout clothing or beach gear lately.

I quickly popped over to see what the gorgeous Miriam was wearing today and saw that it was her last day hosting Wardrobe Wednesday. 

As I am off to get passport photos taken, and seeing that it was her last day, I thought I would ditch the bright green workout top (true story, I am that tragic I was going to wear that in my passport photo) and wear my favourite dress so I could share on Wardrobe Wednesday.

I LOVE this dress.  In capitals.  I have always wanted to own a dress from Annah Stretton, and now I own 3 after a Christmas shopping spree!!  The sales staff were fun, and straight away had worked out what colours would suit me.  We were in the store for a good hour and a half and the whole time we had their full attention.  It was a shopping 'experience' that I won't forget for a while. 

The hubby picked this dress.

It makes me feel happy to know I am wearing something he loves and picked himself. 

Joining up over with Miriam at Wardrobe Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Op Shopping - Baby Girls Delight

I had a spare 20 minutes today so I popped into my local Salvation Army.  Alone!  This never happens.  In fact, I think this may of been the first time ever I have op-shopped without the children in tow.  It was just a little bit blissful.

I picked up this bedcover for The Girl for $8.  Slightly more than I wanted to pay, but I love the print.  It was thinner than I thought it was going to be, but will be great over summer.

Praise hot sunny days, as I was able to soak it, wash it, hang it out and get it on her bed all in the space of around 5 hours.

She is one happy little monkey.

I am yet to master the art of making a bed look amazing.  How do people do that? 

Joining in for the first time over here at Op-Shop Show-Off.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Chia Seed Cake

We found out not so long ago that Danger Mouse, whom is madcat crazy, might not actually be as mad as we thought.  That he is in fact dealing with a heap of food intolerance's, which could be attributing to his behaviour (I am claiming its the food, otherwise its genes.  Definitely his Dad's ....). 

So my cooking and baking for him is slowly evolving.  He is intolerant to sugar, wheat, dairy and a heap of preservatives and colourings.  Not to mention a pile of randoms, including dust mites, perfumes and pyrethrins.  I am trying hard to eradicate the food intolerance's from his diet.

Its not easy.  Its not that fun.  Its proving to be expensive.  But its worth it, in bucketfuls. 

I've decided sugar is going to be the hardest intolerance to deal with.  It comes in lots of processed and natural forms.  So the first thing I am doing is getting rid of the processed forms, then will go from there.  I am hoping the naturally occurring sugars in pure food have no effect on him.  Fingers crossed.

Thankfully there are a heap of brilliant blogs out there written by mummies with a heap of experience in food intolerance's, who love to share their recipes.  Otherwise I'd be stuck!

Which is how I came across this Chocolate Chia Seed Cake recipe.  I didn't add cranberries and used organic coconut palm sugar for my sweetener.  Yes, still sugar, but I'm hoping because its not highly processed, is preservative free, unfiltered and is low GI it will be OK.  As I am still a bit green on this whole healthy thing, I used raw cacao instead of raw cocoa.  They might be the same thing.  I haven't bothered to research it to find out.  I also used pure virgin olive oil instead of the butter.

The kids loved it.  I had an argument with them because I wouldn't give them thirds.  An absolute winner.  It has an amazingly moist texture, is oddly grainy, yet has a lovely rich chocolaty taste.  Definitely not your traditional cake, but lovely all the same.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Homemade Crayons

I can finally now tick this off "I Want to Try This" List.  I made my own crayons.  I have had a bag of broken crayons that I've been adding to for about 2 years.  Yes, sadly, its taken that long for me to get around to trying this craft.

The Girl likes to snap crayons.  And then painstakingly peels the paper off them and leaves it all over the house.  Then she eats them.  Then spits them out into a big sticky colourful disgusting mess. 

No chance now kid. 

The verdict?  She tried to snap them but couldn't.  She likes to use them as pretend glasses.  And stack them and put them in a row.  And look at the pretty mottled colours on the bottom of them.  They were a bit hard (as in solid), so she had to press really hard to get them to mark.  Danger Mouse had more luck using them as crayons than The Girl did.  She had a tantrum that I wouldn't let her carry them to school to pick up Sprat.  She likes them.  Possibly just not for the use they were made for. 

I have ordered some different shaped small silicone baking trays, and when they arrive I'll make some more in smaller shapes.  I have plenty of broken crayons to melt.

Pinterest is full of pins about homemade crayons.  Or if you Google homemade crayon it'll come up with 2,880,000 results.  I don't need to add yet another blog post on how to make these.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Markers on the Rampage

I thought I had learnt years ago to get rid of all markers from our house that were not washable.  Crayola Washable Markers are the only ones allowed through our front door.  So far, I haven't found anything they don't wash off.

One Christmas a few years back, we were given 3 of those artwork sets.  You know the ones, they have crayons, markers, pencils, paints etc all in one handy carry case.  Knowing the markers were almost permanent, I packed them away in our craft corner, well out of sight, waiting until the boys got old enough to be trusted not to draw over the house with them. 

I took them away with us to the beach this summer deciding they would really handy for rainy day entertainment.  And with 11 cousins all together, they were brilliant.  Apart from when The Girl got hold of a few markers and drew on the dining room table, and we had to scrub it for half an hour to get the pen out.

Problem is, I should of left them at the beach.  When we got home, I dumped them in the office and thought I'd get around to putting them away properly later.  And as the story usually goes, that 'later' never came.  The Girl found them didn't she.  And this is the fun she had in the space of around 13 minutes while I was cooking dinner and not really watching her properly ..... I am extremely grateful that she was outside with them.  I cringe to imagine the damage if it was inside.  I might add that she had some help in the form of Danger Mouse.  But so far he is denying all damages and claiming it was "nobody".

The trailer took the first hit, and was obviously the marker hide out.
The house had a turn.

The concrete has some lovely new features.