February 28, 2011

Music Monday

Morning Elegance 
by Oren Lavie

Sun been down for days
A pretty flower in a vase
A slipper by the fireplace
A cello lying in its case

Soon she's down the stairs
Her morning elegance she wears
The sound of water makes her dream
Awoken by a cloud of steam
She pours a daydream in a cup
A spoon of sugar sweetens up

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows

Sun been down for days
A winter melody she plays
The thunder makes her contemplate
She hears a noise behind the gate
Perhaps a letter with a dove
Perhaps a stranger she could love

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
As she goes in a store
With a thought she has caught
By a thread
She pays for the bread
And She goes...
Nobody knows

And She fights for her life
As she puts on her coat
And she fights for her life on the train
She looks at the rain
As it pours
And she fights for her life
Where people are pleasently strange
And counting the change
And She goes...
Nobody knows

February 24, 2011

tee-shirt necklace tutorial

Remember me these?
 Well, I promised you a tutorial and here it is. Come on...pull out those old tees you had set aside for cleaning rags and follow along...it's so easy!

You will need: 

tee-shirt or similar fabric
embellishments if you choose 
(I used some metal, ovoid discs I thrifted years ago, but you could use beads, etc)
long straight edge: I used my trusty yard stick
an olfa rotary cutter (scissors are totally fine)

Lay your fabric out, smoothing away any wrinkles. Cut parallel strips, the more you cut, the thicker your finished necklace. I cut my strips 3/4" wide. It's preference really.

Now the fun part...pull/stretch those strips as much as you can...come on, use those muscles! Your strips will lengthen and curl in on themselves...perfect! You'll end up with a nice pile of tee spaghetti.

Knot your strips end to end. Loop them around and around your neck, a coat hanger, a door knob, alternating and adjusting the length of your loops as you go. I used my dressmaking dummy for this.

Add your embellishments as you go. I knotted these silver discs fairly closely together and added short strips of tee spaghetti in between to create a sort-of-fringe. 

Be creative, the more random, the better...in my mind.

Finished! Now wasn't that so simple!!! I hope you give it a try!

February 22, 2011

a pinned heart

I forgot to show you these wee pins I made for the children to wear on Valentine's Day. I remembered today, as they wore them again to recognise "No Bullying Day" at school. I thought I should share as they were so simple to make.

Just cut three hearts from crafters felt, of different sizes, using pinking shears...you know the ones that have a zig-zag profile...but you knew that!?! Layer them in order of size and hand stitch them together with contrasting thread. Affix a large pin to the back and voila!!!

Hardly worth describing the "how-to", honestly, they were just...so simple!

I know! I just couldn't get him to lose the lolly pop. "Just take it mum"

February 21, 2011

Music Monday

I would be remiss not to introduce you, this music monday, to my beautiful friend, Sarah Calvert. Based now in Torronto, she is a singer songwriter with such a wonderous talent. 
Pianist, guitarist, poet, story teller. Her voice soothes the soul...

Sarah performed songs from her debut album locally, last weekend and I had the joy of hearing her play. Click on the photo to hear what I'm talking about.

February 15, 2011

happy...belated...valentines day!

I don't generally buy into the whole valentines-day-thing. It's not that I'm not a romantic. Believe me, I quite like all those traditionally romantic, sappy things. It's just, you know, after all the hype on tv, at school, in the grocery store the minute christmas is over...I'm over it!

This year with a very sick child at home, that needed more attention than the hallmark holiday, I kept it simple. Red velvet cupcakes and french vanilla cream icing....mmmm!

Ann's Red Velvet Cake

1 oz red food colouring
2 Tbsp cocoa
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp white vinegar

1: Preheat oven to 350C

2: Mix food colouring and cocoa together until smooth and set aside.

3: Cream together butter, margarine and sugar until creamy and white.

4: Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

5: Add cocoa and colouring mixture and mix well.

6: Sift flour and salt together in separate bowl.

7: Add flour and salt mixture alternatively with buttermilk to butter and sugar mixture.

8: Place soda on top of cake batter, then add vinegar. Mix in until well blended.

9: Pour into well greased and floured 9" cake pans x2 (or prepare cupcake liners into muffin tin and 1/2 fill with mixture)

10: Bake at 350C for approximately 30 mins.

11: Cool and frost with French Vanilla Cream Icing.

NB: you can make your own buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and topping up to the 1 cup measure with milk. Let stand for 5 mins.

French Vanilla Cream Icing

1 cup milk
6 tbsp flour
1 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla

1: Whisk milk and flour together in small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until thick and smooth (not lumpy, but like a thick sauce)

2: Cool immediately in an ice water bath.

3: Cream together butter and sugar for 15 mins.

4: Add thickening and beat for a further 10 mins.

NB: sometimes this icing is easier to spread when quite cold.

I apologise I don't remember where on the web I found this recipe so many years ago...but Ann, if you're reading this, my family loves this recipe and I thank you so much for sharing!

February 11, 2011

friday finds

thrifted tea spoon displays...

to make more necklace displays.

thrifted pretty, sweet tea cups...

to create more of birdfeeders, like this one, I made 
for my mother-in-law last spring.

One of my favourite sets I've found so far. 
The combination of baby blue and gold stars is so sweet.

I have thrifted close to forty teacups and saucers ready to be upcycled.
Crafty times ahead!

some inspiration...

so sweet

February 10, 2011

no post today as we are so...very...sad....

February 8, 2011

re-styled tees

I know, I know you've seen these before...about a hundred times...but I love my re-styled tee scarf. (not pictured here...picture to follow?)  I get comments whenever I wear it. 

So I thought I'd play around with some thrifted tees, I had in my stash, and see what I could come up with. What do you think...fun huh? I'm loving the tee-necklace-style I made using some metal pieces I thrifted a while back. These are so easy to wear. Throw atop a simple tee and jeans and HEY, you're lookin' alright!

They are soooo simple to make and are a great use of items in your closet you no longer wear. I think I'll throw together a tutorial...stay tuned!!!

one pretty thing

Wow! I was featured on one of my favourite sites, a daily read, One Pretty Thing!! 

Thank you everyone for your kind, encouraging comments.
 A big shout out to my number one supporter: my sister Amber!
 Love you!

February 7, 2011

Music Monday

If you should be
the last autumn leaf
hanging from the tree
I'll still be here
waiting on the breeze
to bring you down to me
And if it takes forever, forever it'll be
And if it takes forever, forever it'll be

And if you should be
the last seed in spring
to venture out a leaf
I'll still be here
waiting on the rain
to warm your heart for me
And if it takes forever, forever it'll be
And if it takes forever, forever it'll be

OKGo "Last Leaf"

If you like this check out some of their other videos.

February 6, 2011

stunning...Joshua Petker

"We are not as colorful as we think we are"

February 5, 2011

sleepovers and whipped cream...mmmm!

Last night my children both had sleepovers.
Easton went to her friend's 8th birthday sleepover party. Seven x 8 year olds...can you imagine?!?! I suggested Tasman invite a friend (x 1!) for a sleepover here at our house...much more my style...heheh.

Don't you remember how much you loved sleepovers as a child? Our house was always open for large groups of giggling, squealing nocturnal tweens throughout my childhood. I think 12 was the record...my mum was brave!

...sigh...(cue music, good ole Barb)...memories...
I don't remember my sleepovers being this dreamy. Nice to think they were though.


Breakfast was always a big deal at my sleepovers, second of course to the late night candy feast. This morning I pulled out an 'old favourite' for the boys.
Who's kidding...it was for me too.
I say...ANY breakfast that involves whipped cream is a winner in my books! 
Try my adaptation this recipe I found over at Made.

Dee-lish Baked Pumpkin French Toast

1 loaf french bread

2 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbl flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbl sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp clove

1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup butter

2 Tbl sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Cut the bread loaf into thick slices, about 1 1/2" thick. Set aside.

Whisk together the first set of ingredients. Don't worry if it's a little lumpy.
 Sometimes I throw everything in a tupperware, pop on the lid and shake...great way to cook with children...less mess and fun too!

Over medium heat, add the next set of ingredients to your fav saucepan. Cook until bubbly. Pour this caramel sauce into a greased pan: 9X 13" will do.

Pop your thick bread slices in to the pan, 1 layer thick. Don't worry, you can really squish them in there.

Pour the egg mixture over top. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon if desired...I always do!

Cover and refridgerate overnight. It really does work best if you can prepare this dish the night before and let it soak...totally worth it!

Next morning, pop your prepared french toast into your oven, preheated to 375C. After an hour pull out the pan and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving

Whipped cream and fresh fruit, of course.
Wow!! Sooooo good! 


February 4, 2011

latest made by me

Have you ever held onto a piece of clothing because you just weren't ready to let go? It just hadn't had a long enough life? 

I had a t-shirt once. The print was sweet, but those armpit stains...
not so much...bummer.

Enter t-shirt number two...hmmm. 


Ever heard of reverse applique? Want to learn how to let your favourite print live on?

Follow me.

First: two t-shirts: one printed, one plain.

Next cut out the elements of the print you wish to use.

Turn your plain t-shirt inside out and lay your printed piece of tee, printed side down in position. Pin like crazy to the front of the plain shirt...be careful not to catch the back of the shirt with your pins ;) Tip: a piece of cardboard, slipped inside the t-shirt as you pin, will make pinning to one layer only, a breeze.

When possible, always use a ballpoint needle in your machine, when sewing t-shirt material.

Your next step is to simply machine stitch, following the outline of your print. You don't have to too precise. Some free flow sewing is allowed and will, in fact, add interest. You can see I've been very liberal when "following" my original print.

Now roughly cut around your sewn print, removing excess fabric. 
No need to be too perfect!

Turn your t-shirt right way and out and begin cutting away your plain t-shirt fabric, inside the sewn lines/shapes you have created. I would recommend using small, needle nosed scissors for this part. Be careful not to cut your printed fabric underneath. I chose to cut very closely to the lines...about 1/8" or less. 
It's your preference.

 Here is the finished t-shirt. Neat huh?!

So simple. 

stage fright....

I've been feeling like this...


no...not like a rock star...

Although I love her jewels and leather combo...I' been suffering a little stage fright. 
A little panic...
I've felt pressure to write smart and entertaining. 
To post only the hippest of hip...to put myself really out there.


Who do I think I am?! 
I'm just me and what you see is what you get!


I'm back!