Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mmmmittens!

Helloo! Hopefully by the time this post goes to air I will be very nearly landed in Copenhagen!

Now, as a knitter, when packing for a holiday its always fun to plan which project should come alone for the trip. And, believe it or not (ha!), all I can think about is mittens!!

I've narrowed it down to three contenders (in order of increasing yarn weight)...

Snowbird Mittens


Herringbone mittens


Bulky fliptop mittens I think I'd make the tops flipless though



I think the plan will be to go with the snowbirds, up the top there, since our holiday will be so snowy, but at the same time now I think about it 'herring'bone mittens seem very fitting for a trip to Denmark!

Eep! Looks like I'll be packing two and making up my mind later! (and keeping an eye out for a nice chuncky yearn for the bulky mitts haha)

xo

Monday, December 27, 2010

winter holidays

Hooray! Today I'm off on my holiday to Europe - first stop Denmark!!

It has been a bit crazy here, with finishing up work (I'm off until the middle of Feb!!), and Christmas, and packing, but there are somethings that there is always time for! Like lightning trips to IKEA with friends! And last minute crafty projects!



Like these Danishy calico shopping bags I whipped up yesterday afternoon.
I'll admit they were a little bit of a cheat - the bags were ready made - but I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. Just right for carrying our Georg Jensen goodies, don't you think ;O)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Little red stitchyhood

In the lead-up to Christmas I was doing a little bit of sneaky secret stitching ...



It's little red stitchyhood (with a few of her redhooded friends)!

The pattern is from A Little Sweetness, and was lots of fun stitch.



I hope she'll be very happy in her new home with my sister! =)

xo

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas...



...from our (gingerbread) house to yours!
xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmassy skirts

Another quick Christmassy idea from last year's stash - festive skirts for your favourite little girl.



These were really quick and easy - just measure the length of elastic you want for the waist, multiply by about 1.5 for fullness and use that measurement to cut the cotton. From memory I did about 50cm for the elastic, so 75cm for the cotton. This was big enough that the skirts still fit this year, and are just so cute!
Then the elastic goes in a casing around the waist, and embellish to your heart's content! This little gingerbread man is felt, with real buttons.

I actually made a matching gingerbread one for myself using green cotton and my favourite gored-skirt 'pattern', but now seeing these pics again I'm tempted to go all out with some polka dots and ric-rac for myself too!!

xo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas in a jar

Here's a quick cute Christmassy present idea I came across last year... cookies in a jar!


Apologies for the less than excellent photo, but I probably finished putting these together some time around midnight the day before I gifted them (apparently last minute is just how I roll) - the photos over at Bakerella are much nicer!

The recipe for the jar on the left in the pic is that same Bakerella one, but I used green and red m&ms, and also threw in some crushed candy canes.

Of course you can use any recipe you like, just as long as it is a recipe where you can mix all your dry bits together, and then add the wet (so nothing that needs you to cream butter and sugar first). For the second jar I wanted a recipe that could be rolled out and cut with cutters, so I used a recipe I found in an old magazine for dutch speculaas biscuits which I just can't find now, but was something like this (sans the candied peel).

Once you have a recipe picked out putting together your cookie jar is easy! Just layer your ingredients into a jar, with the finer things (like flour) at the very bottom (otherwise they've sneak down through your coarser layers). Then attach a label with instructions to let the recipient know how to make their cookies - the Bakerella recipe has printable labels you can download from the website, but I just wrote it out on some card and decorated with stickers!
I added a big red ribbon, and gifted them with some Christmassy cookie cutters and a new wooden spoon!
Lovely!

Speaking of lovely! Only 2 weeks until we arrive in Denmark, and check out this satellite photo!

pic from the TV2 weather website!


Pretty, ja?!

xo

Saturday, December 11, 2010

new cookies

We had a Christmas morning tea at work yesterday - the perfect excuse to try some new baked goodies!

Like these triple chocolate Christmas pudding cookies:


I found the recipe here - they were super simple, and it was the most delicious chocolate biscuit dough ever!



I've also been having a little play with my favourite shortbread recipe -

I've also tried a chocolate covered version - I'm not sure whether to leave them basic like this, or add more detail... I think there might be another batch of these before I'm done ;o)

x

Friday, December 10, 2010

baby it's cold

Ok, Michelle beat me to it, but I just can't resist sharing this one too - you know Christmas with Dino is my favourite, and I think this number might just be even better glee-ified!



xo

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In December I am reading...

This month I'm getting into the Christmassy spirit by reading Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol




I haven't read it before, but of course am very familiar with the story - in fact we watched The Muppet Christmas Carol as a warm up on the weekend!



Do you have a favourite Christmassy story? Or is there something new you've got your eye on that you've asked Santa to bring? We'd love to hear - join our bloggy bookclub by leaving a comment, or blogging and adding a link below!



enjoy your reading! x

Thursday, December 02, 2010

creative space :: inviting

I have to admit that haven't done a whole lot of paper crafting in the past, but when I decided to hold a little Christmassy get-together I just couldn't resist making my own invites to post out!



The gingerbread men are cut out of felt, and it was the perfect excuse to use my lovely red & white string!

Check out loads more creative spaces at kootoyoo

xo

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Bienvenidos a December!

Hooray - it's December!
At the end of the month I'm off on holidays to Denmark, which currently looks something like this...



Also, like this! Gorgeous!!!

I can't wait! =)

xo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Auditions

The weather has been super gloomy here - wet and temperatures in the low teens. It is a bit sad to feel like we're back in the winter after some gorgeous warm sunny days, but I have to admit this weather is perfect for baking!

I'm auditioning new recipes to add to my Christmas favourites - starting with white chocolate shortbread from the free Coles Christmas Magazine (on p46), to which I also added cranberries.



It turned out ok, but I'm not really sure...
To start with, I have yet to find a white chocolate that bakes nicely as chocolate chips/chunks in a slice/brownie/biscuit - generally I just find it either kind of burns or melts and either disappears or sinks to the bottom,like it did in this recipe. Also, I'm pretty particular about my shortbread - I like it buttery, just a bit salty and really melt-in-your-mouth short. This didn't quite make it - I think perhaps the melted white chocolate had something to do with it, and maybe my oven was just a bit too low to start off with.

My favourite thing about the recipe was that I used the food processor I got for Christmas last year - this was my first food processor shortbread, and it was brilliant to just throw everything in there and watch it turn from butter and flour to something that looked like dry sand and then suddenly turned into a big ball of soft dough.

I have a couple of other new recipes to try out (like the brownies in the same magazine), but will happily take suggestions!

xo

Monday, November 29, 2010

weekend

We had a very productive weekend here!

I got my puddings done on Saturday (only 6 days late - I blame Saturday Christmas! ;o)), and 8 squares for my Christmas quilt, plus a few other crafty things that, being this time of year, I can't share ;o)



We also had a lovely visit to the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar - we brought home some danish pastries (I took my lunch box!), some Swedish Christmas beer, and homemade chocolates, and I won a prize in the raffle!

Plus, it was nice to escape the cricket for a little while - what a disaster the last two days were!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar

Hooray - this Sunday is the Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar!

We went last year and had an excellent time - and some excellent danish pastry! ;o)



If you'd like to check it out this year too here are the details from the invite:

CHRISTMAS BAZAAR
SUNDAY 28 NOVEMBER 2010 FROM 1 TO 5 PM
at the ACT ATSI Cultural Centre, 245 Lady Denman Drive
Yarramundi Reach (between the Zoo and the National Museum) see map below
Entry by gold coin donation
Come and share the Scandinavian Christmas spirit, shop for Christmas presents and stock the fridge with
Scandinavian delicatessen!
• There will be stalls selling Scandinavian food, Swedish and Finnish home-baked delicacies as well as
traditional Christmas decorations, home-made candles and craft
• In the Art and Craft Corner both young and grown-ups can learn how to braid hearts and cut decorations for the
Christmas tree
• A fiskdamm, will be available during the afternoon
• The traditional Lucia procession and the Swedish Choir will sing Christmas songs and
string musicians will be performing traditional Scandinavian Christmas music
• A Raffle with Scandinavian prizes will be drawn every hour
• The Cafeteria will serve tea, coffee, glögg, cordial and freshly baked Wienerbrød - Danish pastries




(the invite is available online here - for a map to the venue)

If you have time on Sunday, do check it out - and save me one of those pastries ;o)

xo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

creative space :: catch-up!

Mmm - this week we've been getting creative with the bread mix we got started last week!



That lovely loaf was our first! We've also tried the dough for bread rolls and pizza base - absolutely delish! (go thick, not thin, for the pizza base!)

This week I'm trying to catch up on some of the many unfinished project (and fabulous new ideas!) that I have lying around - the house, and my brain, are really in quite a chaotic state at the moment!

Never mind - there's still one more weekend for some last minute spring-cleaning and pre-December organising!



This little stitchery is on of the guys at the top of my list!
I started it last year (I needed a project for our Christmas road-trip) and am super keen to finish it off soon!

xo

More creative spaces at kootoyoo!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

take me out to the ball game



Australia's new national baseball league (the ABL) kicked off this month, and last night we went to check out the local team - the Canberra Cavalry - who played their first home series this weekend.



It was so much fun - a gorgeous warm night, and the Cavalry won!



I also thought the atmosphere was great - there was a decent sized crowd, and there was lots of music and cheering to get the crowd going - my favourite was I wanna be in the Cavalry



The next home series is in two weeks, against Adelaide - can't wait =)

x

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my creative space :: bready or not!

My creative space this week is in a bucket in the fridge:



It's 5 minute bread!
Can't wait to bake some up and try it out tomorrow.

x

check out more creative spaces over at kootoyoo!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

freezer paper preview

We're freezer paper stencilling at Brown Owls this weekend, but after spending some time puttering around internet for inspiration I was just too excited to wait...

This bit is always nerve-wracking - fingers crossed it looks ok when I peel that paper back!

x

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

foxy!

Thanks for the recommendations yesterday!
It sounded like the Nigella recipe was a winner, so I just had to try it out - stat! - and, I have to say, the results were great!

I made a couple of squirrels to compare with yesterday's - check them out:

The Nigella recipe is the paler one on the left - much better definition, don't you think?

For the rest of the biscuits, I used another cutter from the same set as yesterday:
(I figured the fox was fitting for a Nigella recipe)

The recipe is available online here if you'd like to try them out too =)

x

Monday, November 15, 2010

cookie cutting

I came across a box of never been opened cookie cutters when I was looking for some fabric over the weekend, and I just couldn't resist whipping up a quick batch of biscuits to test them out. The problem is, I don't seem to have a good roll-and-cut-out type biscuit recipe that isn't Christmassy.



These were a gingerbready recipe from the Essential Baking Cookbook, and were ok, but I found that although they didn't spread a lot there was enough puffiness to lose the crisp definition of my cutters.
Does anyone have a good cookie-cuttering recipe they can recommend?

xo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

patch

Check out my strawberry patch!
(I meant to post these pics on Thursday, for 'my creative space' but I just don't know what has been happening to the days between Tuesday and Sunday lately!)


I have planted other bits and pieces of veg around the garden before, but these strawberries are growing better than any thing else so far.
I put half a dozen plants or so in the same spot last year and got nothing - the only plant that survived the summer didn't make any fruit at all, and I lost all the others in the heat before their fruit ripened.

Although the garden here was lovely when we moved in, I've found it difficult to get anything new growing at all - the soil is pretty shocking (pretty much just dust). I dug through manure and mulched heavily with sugar cane the past two years to improve where the strawberries are now - in fact when I was putting in the new plants was the first time I had seen a worm in our garden in two years!



As you can see, we've got loads of fruit growing now! So far we haven't had too much trouble with bugs/birds getting to them - hopefully that keeps up and we'll have home grown strawberries for our waffles!

xo

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

curiosity

This afternoon I popped outside to take some cupcakey pics to share (hurray for light in the evenings!), and (as usual) furry help wasn't far away! =)



I made the flowers from fondant - cherry blossoms for morning tea in honour of a colleague who has just returned from a holiday in Japan.

The cakes are my usual recipe, but I'm actually thinking about branching out in search of a recipe that will give me cupcakes with a more rounded/dome-y top - any recommendations?

xo

Monday, November 08, 2010

In November I am reading...

Probably not much, to be honest!!!
I have lots of crafty and almost even Christmassy things that I'd like to get into gear with this month, so reading will probably be pushed to the side a little.

What I am looking forward to reading though, as I've probably said a couple of times already, is the Millennium Trilogy.



The guy is reading the first one now, and really enjoying it - and if I don't get to them now I think they'll be perfect company on my pending trip to Europe =)

***

If you'd like to join our bloggy book club for November all you need to do is post on your blog about what your reading now, or what you're planning to get into next, and add your link below so we can pop around to visit!



If you don't have a blog we'd still love to hear from you - just leave a comment below! =)

Enjoy your reading!
x

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Horsey

You know it is just impossible for me to refrain from posting something horsey on the first Tuesday in November, so here are some of my equine etsy faves...

Vinyl wall stickers by WowWall


wood slice horse brooch by RuralMemories


Wild horses in a river stamp by rubberstamps


Hope you had a winner! =)

xo

Monday, November 01, 2010

cupcake stands

Oooh, look at these pretties!

petite cupcake stands from Mon Tresor

Paper stands just perfect for a single gorgeous cupcake!
Don't just make you want to get out a some lovely teacups have a fancy afternoon tea =)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Canberra International Film Festival

This week the 2010 CIFF began - it runs for about 2 weeks.



We've got memberships and tickets to see 5 different films - I can't wait! =)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

spring-time cuppies

A week or two ago I bought new daisy and leaf cutter/veiners for making fondant flowers from Style Emporium, and this weekend's Brown Owls meet was the perfect excuse to try them out!


Taadaa!
Spring-time mini-cuppies!

I love the flowers from the new cutter, but I have to say the little roses were my absolute favourite!


These roses are super easy - I can't remember where I first saw them (I used them on Dorothy's hat), but over the weekend I was inspired when I came across this tutorial on the absolutely gorgeous blog Cake Journal

There are loads of other tutorials on the blog that I just can't wait to try!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my creative space :: lernen

My creative space today, and every Thursday evening for the next 8 weeks or so, looks like this...

After thinking for a long time about how much I'd like to study German I finally got myself organised and enrolled in a short course.

I was very excited today to have an excuse to buy some new stationery - look at that dotty note book! - and I even get to buy a text book! (yes, I miss text books!!

More creative spaces at Kootoyoo!!

xo

Sunday, October 17, 2010

1st birthday dress

Given my current obsession with these little reversible dresses, I would understand if you're getting a little bored with seeing them - but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop ;o)

I made this little dress for my tiny cousin,who celebrated her first birthday this week.

One side is pretty purple...


and the other is these lovely friendly skull and cross bones...
...complete with heart shaped eyes, fluttering eyelashes and darling pink bows. Ooh, and those dots - glitter. who designs these fabrics, I wonder? hehe

The pattern is New Look 6579, in the medium size, and (surprise) I have a couple more of these in different sizes up my sleeve ;o)

x

Monday, October 11, 2010

waffling


mmmm we love our weekend waffles chez kuka, and (despite being the creatures of habit that we are) over the years we have enjoyed trying a couple of different recipes - the best so far being Georgie's German waffles, and the recipe in my very favourite Essential Baking Cookbook.

On Saturday night I came across a gorgeous blog Under the Tulip Tree, which is written by Julie, the sister of one of my very most favourite bloggers Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy. As I was reading back a little on the blog I came across a post where Julie had shared her brother-in-law Andy's buttermilk waffles recipe, and I just couldn't resist trying them out on Sunday morning.

This recipe was super quick and simple - as Julie says in her post it took less time to mix up the batter than to heat up the waffle iron - only uses 2 eggs (important, since I always run out of eggs halfway through a batch of waffles!) and makes a great pile of waffles - we're having leftovers for dessert!

yummmmm
x

Sunday, October 10, 2010

baby boy blanky

More baby crafting this weekend (I just can't resist - it's all so little and cute!) - a snuggly little baby blanky for the boy my friend is expecting in early November.



This is flannel on one side, and polar fleece on the other - which is my go-to for new furry feline type babies, but which I have never actually done for a baby of the human variety ;o)



The squares were cut to 5 inches - some are from a charm pack I picked up last week, and the others are bits and pieces from my stash.



Mum-to-be hosted an afternoon-tea baby shower yesterday, and I had to share a cute decorating idea she found on Martha's website (natch!) - tissue paper pompoms.

Photo from Martha's how-to article on marthastewart.com


She had 3 or 4 in beautiful bright colours hanging together, destined for baby's room, and they just looked so pretty! I think I might need a couple in the garden room for the summer =) (incidentally, I bought Jamie Durie's new magazine today, and there were some featured in one of his 'outdoor rooms' - retailing for $48! Outrageous!!)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

In October I am reading...

Well, after polishing off all 7 of the Tomorrow series books in August, September was much slower as far as reading, and I have only managed to make it a bit over half-way through the first of the Ellie Chronicles (the sequel series to the Tomorrow series).

The slow progress is mostly due to the fact that the book opens with something so shocking that I just had to take a little break before I continued reading (yes, I get unnaturally attached to my book characters - and I'm even worse with tv!), and once I did pick it back up again I have much of the story is quite slow (I guess by comparison with all of the action in the earlier series, and the drama of the opening) - but where I am up to at the moment things are just starting to heat up again, so this month I'll keep on with reading these guys!



Once I'm finished though I'll be keen for some ideas on what to read next (maybe the girl with the dragon tattoo series?), so I'd love to hear any recommendations!

***

If you'd like to join in our bloggy book club for October, with a post about what you've been reading at the moment, or what you're planning to get into next, please add your link below so we can pop around to see what you're up to!




Enjoy your reading!!
x