Wednesday, May 30

snap it {red}

A few favourite red snaps 
1. Red sliding door
2. Red coffee pot
3. Red candles in the underground church
4. Sunset
5. tomatoes
6. Red crate

Join in your Red snaps here!

Monday, May 28

Read, reading, next

Fifty Shades of Grey

Another installment of my book reading for you's been good reading here.  Do you think reading is a good Winter Sport?  Something that can happen more often when the weather is dreary, the days are shorter and quite simply....what's better than a cuppa, a blanket, warm fire and a book?  So what's been ticked off my list so far...

Freudian Slip - Marion Von Alderstein
I loved the era this book was set it.  It reminded me of that mini series they did on Ita Buttrose and the birth of the magazine Cosmo. All the glorious 60's fashion and women making a mark for themselves in corporate world.  It was slow in parts, but the author, who has extensive experience in the copywright industry made all of this just work.

Fifty Shades of Grey - E.L James
Well ladies, I'm not too sure how much to reveal about this one??  I picked this book up on a whim standing in line at Kmart or the like.  I flipped it over, read the back....hmmm innocent romantic novel....that'll do.  Well hold onto your knickers girls...This is not your average girl meets boy novel.  You're in for a bumby ride full of domination, control, bondage, whips and chains, secrets, and psychological desires.  Don't say I didn't warn you (or that there are two follow up novels - which of course are now on my "must read" list!)

Persuasion - Jane Austen
After the book above a girl has to take stock and regroup.  Nothing like a good Austen novel to do that.

Fifty Shades Darker - E.L James I dare!

What's on your list?
Have you joined the Fifty Shades hype?
And do you read more in Winter?

Happy Reading

Friday, May 18

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Ok,  So I came across this recipe whilst wasting away such precious hours on Pinterest from this gorgeous blog.  I would easily say this is one recipe that once made looks way more impressive than the time taken to make them!  All up - I'd say I spent 20 minutes at it, and that included baking time!   I love anything lemon but am not really a fan on meringue but gave it ago and wow-ee this packs a punch!  So going to whip these babies up when I next have dinner guests!!!

Here is what you need.... 

200g shortbread biscuits
3 eggs, separated
1 can sweetened condensed milk
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup of caster sugar
This is what you do....
1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F). And line 12 holes of a muffin tray with papers.
2. Smash shortbread with a rolling pin in a bag or whizz in the food processor until you have coarse crumbs. Divide crumbs between the muffin trays.
3. Combine egg yolks, condensed milk, lemon juice and zest in a bowl and place on top of the crumb bases.
4. Whisk egg whites until stiff. Gradually add sugar and continue to beat for a few more minutes until the sugar is dissolved.
5. Spoon whites on top of the lemon filling.
6. Bake for 10 minutes or until the meringue is golden. Cool before serving.

And before you've had time to flick the kettle on and lick the remnants of condensed milk these babies will be done. 


Thursday, May 17

My creative space {a cape}

When you're children adoringly look at you and ask those precious word it's hard not to oblige. Lately my daughther had been asking I make her something.

 "what would you like?" I ask
There were a few random suggestions and a request for more skirts (she had more skirts than days to wear them!)

So when she came across this little poppet sporting a wonderful cape she was decided. A little girly trip to spotty to pick out fabric of her choice (with a little guidance from mum!) and we were set.

 She wanted me to make it straight away and so began transferring the pattern and cutting and sewing.

My skills at "imaginary enlarging of pattern from book" must be non existent and the pressure added by an impatient customer added to my woes. The dimensions of the neck of the cape and the joining of the hood all required a bit of imagination...but my little miss just wanted it finished!  So it's definitely not the perfect cape (sorry Steph!)

It's a lovely girly pink fabric with wonderful little flowers and the reverse is a yellow and pink check. So some bright yellow ribbon for ties and the cape was done. Pity she was not so happy when I decided to take some pictures!!

Pattern by this very clever gal, in the great handmade living book!

For a whole lot of creativity we could fill several volumes - head over here

Tuesday, May 15

Skirt Sew Along {a winter skirt}

 I set myself a goal this year to make more clothes for myself.  Alas, I was motivated enough to buy some yummy scrummy fabric but I couldn't for the life of me figure out why that gorgeous fabric wasn't turning itself into equally stunning garments for me to sashay about in.

This is were Cam from Curlypops stepped in and gave us all fabric hoarders a wonderful challenge for May!  A skirt sew-a-long!

With some gorgeous wool suiting bought on sale at spotty and the most frustrating Burda Skirt Pattern I think I own, I set to the task of making me a winter skirt!  I measured myself, and cut the pattern, I read and read and read that pattern until my eyes were bulging out of my head, that is how difficult Burda patterns are to read (please tell me I'm not alone!).  It seemed I measured myself incorrectly or that the measurements are just plan wrong, because I spent more time adjusting the skirt than in making it!

For this self taught sewer, I am pleased with my results.  I decided on giving this skirt two splits, instead of one (as per the pattern) given that I didn't make the skirt quite as mid thigh length as was suggested. I do love the pocket though (Cam you will be happy!) although next time I'll use a lighter fabric as the pocket lining as the wool is a little bulky when you add an extra two layers for a pocket on your hip!

It's the perfect Melbourne Winter Skirt!

Thanks Cam!

Monday, May 14

Read, reading, next....

Source: via Fliss on Pinterest

Ok....So the fifty pages a day Challenge is still going.  I'm pleased.  I'm making so much more of an effort to dedicate to books on my list...and I'm proud to say I've knocked off thirteen books this year already! 

So what's been read, what am I reading and what's next I hear you ask...

Well I finished Room, by Emma O'Donahue which was such a provocative and heart wrenching book all in one.  It was one of those books that was so well written and so well described that I quivered at times at the 'realness' of it all.  It was a bit 'can't put down' and I was at the end before I knew it. 

Death at Pemberly by P.D James.  Ok I picked up this book as it was in the top 10 when I bought it....I've heard about this author (who is apparently very adept in the crime writing department) but my interest was in the detail.  Yes, it's set in the era with our lovely characters of Jane Austen's P & P.  I'm half way through, and yes, it's intriguing....not enough Darcy and Lizzy yet, but a fun read so far....a great "who dunnit?"

Next....Freudian Slip by Marion Von Alderstein - this book is set in the sixties in Sydney and about the success (and ways of getting it!) of women in the publication and advertising business.  I am intrgiued about this one!

Do you give yourself a list of books to read?
I tried recording the books I've read and a little synopsis of them, but I found I got a bit lazy (hence i now blog about them!) you keep a book diary?


Thursday, May 10

my {actual} creative space....

Well, I'm not sure if words are necessary with such a photo overload of a post, but there was just so much to capture.  This is now my actual craft room in the "after" category.  If you'd like to see the before have a look at this post. 

A quick summary....
  • I completely removed everything and tried to start from scratch
  • A visit to ikea for a portable trolley and some storage for the cupboard
  • Some contact from Bunnings for the sewing machine bench
  • A pin board covering in some Ikea fabric
  • A chair cover made
  • A organisation rack made from an old cot rail
  • A make-shift desk made with milk crates, four years worth of Real Living Magazines and a bit of coated ply board. 
  • A coat of paint to the cupboard door (miss tint from Bunnings! - Yellow suede effect) 
  • Heaps of 3M hooks 
  • Personal touches....some artwork from the kids, a favourite photo of my Grandmother in Egypt, a cross stitch I did when I was twelve, some overseas momento's and retro finds at the local oppy. 
Voila!  A revamped craft room...

For a total room full of creativity head over to A NEW space for us creative types over here....