Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Young Designers Market Brisbane

This Sunday I will be making a return to the market scene - it's been about 5 months since I have sold at a market! Summer in Brisbane is not the best time for markets - it is hot and humid right from set up to the end of the day - but this weekend the temperature is meant to be in the mid-20s, which sounds lovely!

I have been trying to get all of my things organised so there won't be a mad rush on Saturday, but I've been getting sidetracked. Instead of printing out updated business cards, working on how I'm going to display things and updating my records, I've been making new bracelets and necklaces. New supplies that arrived last week have inspired me and they go so well with some of my older supplies.

I haven't had a chance to take any photos of my new items, so here are some from last week. I'm not very happy how they turned out, but again, I haven't had a chance to retake them!

Very simple, but pretty too.

This one can be worn as a wrap bracelet or a necklace.
Another wrap bracelet made with waxed Irish linen. I love using 2 shades of the same colour. Next I think I will try contrasting colours.

Pink leather and fabric button bracelet

I love this charm - filigree is so pretty.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011


Madeit is Australia's Etsy. Anyone can buy from the site and it is getting bigger each year. Like Etsy, there are many, many talented sellers, so today instead of my usual Etsy Treasury, I thought I would do a kind of madeit treasury.

This collection is cute things for kids - they are hard to resist and I love making things for kids myself. Just click on the shop name to be taken to a world of cuteness!

Poss and Wom
Sophie and Jack
The Black Sheep

Little Peanut
Diddle and Ro
Bubble Lane
Li'l Birdie

Monday, 28 November 2011

Gluten Free Monday - Nachos

Who doesn't love nachos? They are great for relaxing in front of the TV and it is easy to make a gluten free version!*

1 bag corn chips
500g chicken thighs, cut into very small pieces
1 green capsicum, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1tsp cumin
1/2 - 1tsp chilli flakes (more if you like them hot!)
1tsp garlic salt
1tsp cornflour
1tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like them hot!)
1 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC

1. Mix spices and cornflour together in a small bowl, then stir into cut up chicken. Put aside.
2. Dice capsicum and onion.
3. Add oil to pan. When hot add chicken and when sealed, add capsicum and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is done and onion and capsicum soft.

The spices in this can make cooking a little unpleasant! I usually have coughing fits, so make sure you have your fan going full speed!
 4. Grease a baking dish (I use a lasagne dish). Add a layer of corn chips, sprinkle with cheese, then add a layer of chicken.

5. Add another layer of corn chips and chicken then top with remaining cheese.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is browned.

7. Serve with salsa (and sour cream and guacamole if you like it) and enjoy!

If you have any leftovers, just heat them up in the oven the next day. The Doritos do go a little soggy, but it is still delicious!

*As with all gluten free food, check the ingredients! In Australia, Original Doritos are gluten free, as are most salsas. Be careful with spices - I used to buy Hoyts brand herbs and spices and loved them, but they now have the warning that products may contain traces of gluten due to production. Also make sure your cornflour is 100% corn - sometimes they do sneak wheat in there.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Friday Finds - Pretty, Gifty Things

My soon-to-be new watch

Dark with Raspberry FillingRaspberry Ruffles Jar (975g)

 Raspberry filled chocolate - my absolute favourite, but soooo hard to find here :(

Cherry Blossom Tree Cuff from Taylor's Eclectic on Etsy
Her work is beautiful!

Sweet beauty case from Forever New

Plum Rose Dress
Cute dress from ModCloth

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Canada Adventure Part 4 - Winnipeg

The BDI (Bridge Drive-In) may not look like much - it's just a square box on a pretty busy road - but it is arguably the most popular icecream place in Winnipeg. My husband used to go here as a kid and it was one place he had to take me given how much I love icecream!

We only ended up going twice in the 2 weeks were were in Winnipeg. The first time I had a strawberry soft serve covered in 100s & 1000s. The second time I had a caramel sundae. I have to say the sundae was hands down the best one I have ever had. It was huge and smothered in caramel sauce. Perfect!

What you can't see from my photo is that the BDI is located next to the Red River, so it is actually quite nice to sit there and eat your icecream. If you are feeling energetic you can walk across the pedestrian bridge which takes you into a pretty residential area.

So if you are ever in Winnipeg and you like icecream, make sure you stop by 766 Jubilee Avenue!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Crochet Craze

I have been on a bit of a crocheting craze lately, making lots of pretty flowers and cup holders. The flowers I have been making for years - they have just been a time filler while watching TV and as they are so cute I just keep making more. I have put them together in sets of 6 to be used as coasters (check out last week's post for a photo). The cup holders are because of my husband - he bought a new cup with no handle and then found that it was way too hot to drink from, so I made one for him, then used all my leftover cotton to make more!

So, because of this craze I have had to stock up on supplies. For convenience I was just trotting off to Lincraft during my lunch breaks and buying Panda's 8 ply 50% cotton/50% acrylic blend - it is so nice and soft with pretty colours.

Pink - Cotton Blend 8plyCream - Cotton Blend 8plyDenim - Cotton Blend 8ply

But it was getting kinda' pricey. My mum has always been a knitter and with the arrival of grandchildren this has gone crazy! I keep telling her she should sell some of her stuff as it is just gorgeous, but she keeps refusing. Anyway, to the point, I remembered that mum sometimes orders from the Bendigo Woollen Mill so thought I should check it out.

It's great! I love it! Check it out And the best thing about discovering it when I did? They are having a sale!!! Yes, I was excited. A 200g ball of 100% cotton is $10. How good is that? But wait, it gets better. If you order over $30 postage is free (just in Australia, sorry). So I put in an order for 3 balls of cotton for me and 1 for mum, thinking I would see what I thought and if I really like it, I will go ahead and buy some more.

Honeydew, Daffodil & Blush - how pretty are they?

I think they were actually delivered to my place this week, but as I was at work they didn't leave them. I tried to go pick them up from the Post Office yesterday - I got up nice and early and arrived at the PO at 6.10am. It wasn't open. Argh! My delivery card said it opens at 6.30am, but I am positive I read a sign inside that said 6am. I wasn't going to wait for 20 minutes so off I went back home, parcel-less and sad. I am now looking forward to Saturday when I can go pick it up!

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Treasury Tuesday - It's a Bright Sunshiny Day

It's so sunny and hot here that I thought I would put together a treasury of all the pretty sunshiny things - hope this brings some warmth to people living in cold places!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Gluten Free Monday - The Solution

Well, I solved the dilemma I had on Friday. In the end it was a very easy decision to make....I had a look in the cupboard to see what I had and the cake balls were the winner! I really wasn't in the mood for cooking on the weekend either - it was so hot and humid - and the cake balls seemed to be the easiest thing to make.

So here it is - my cake ball recipe:

1 packet golden cake mix
1 can top 'n' fill caramel
3/4 pack chocolate buttons

1. Bake the cake as per the instructions

2. Crumble the cake into a bowl

3. Add the top 'n' fill and mix until all the cake crumbs are coated

4. Roll the mix into bite-size balls, place on a lined baking tray and refrigerate (I put them in the freezer for about 1/2 hour)

5. Melt the chocolate - I did this on the stove so that the chocolate would stay melted. Just heat a small amount of water in the saucepan and place a bowl in the saucepan. The bowl shouldn't touch the bottom of the saucepan - it needs to half sit in it, if that makes sense. Do not get water in your chocolate!!!

6. Dip the balls into the melted chocolate and place on tray. This is the trickiest part and mine ended up a little messy. I used a spoon and a fork with the 2 middle tines snapped off so it formed a kind of scoop.

7. Refrigerate until set.

8. Eat and enjoy!

You know, when I had added the top 'n' fill to the crumbs and had a bit of a taste I came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to like cake balls. I was really disappointed as I had been so looking forward to these. I had a think about it and realised that I just don't like 'wet' cake that much. I'll eat it, but if I had a choice I would much prefer to eat just regular cake. This may just be because I used the top 'n' fill rather than icing, so I guess I'll have to make them again sometime just to be sure!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday Finds - The Dilemma

Today's find has become today's dilemma....

I have seen cake pops online for a while now and then recently saw them at a market. It has been in the back of my mind to make some, but it wasn't until just before Halloween when I saw these super cool cakepops on Bakerella's website that I became more inclined to actually make some.

I hate spiders, but these are adorable!

 I checked online for recipes and found that they are super easy (in theory) to make, with lots of people just using a cake mix and ready-made icing (frosting), then coating them in melted chocolate (this bit sounds the trickiest). 

However, one thing I wasn't so keen on was the sticks - they just seemed to be a bit of a waste. After all, the cake would be gone in just one bite. Simple solution there - just don't use a stick! I looked around online some more and of course there are loads of ideas out there for cake balls.

But still nothing was made - I needed further inspiration. Funnily enough, this came in the form of a recipe for truffles. The recipe was from the 4 Ingredients Christmas book and included Oreos and cream cheese. Delicious! After looking at this, I thought I would have a look online for different recipes and here are a couple that I found, kind of in keeping with the whole cake theme.

Cookie Dough Truffles on Annie's Cooking Lab.

Cake Batter Truffles on The Girl Who Ate Everything's Blog

Big mistake. Now I am hungry and I can't decide what to make! This will be my project this weekend. I will let you know how it goes!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Canada Adventure Part 3 - Big Things BC

Chris loves Big Things. The Big Banana, the Big Pineapple, the Big Prawn, the Big Guitar. Anything big gets included in any trip we make and our trip to Canada was no exception. It may not sound very exciting, but it is good fun checking them out.

We managed to see 2 Big Things in BC, both in the Okanagan Valley.

The Big Peach

I was a little disappointed by the Big Peach. It's big, but not impressively so and looks a little old. And, being in the Okanagan Valley, which is famous for summer fruits, and being a Big Peach, I thought it would sell....well, peaches. It didn't. It sold junk food.

The Big Clothes Peg

The Big Clothes Peg, on the other hand, I did like. It was an unexpected Big Thing which made it even better. We were driving around the wineries and stopped at one called Dirty Laundry. When we were leaving I decided I had to have a photo - it wasn't until later, when Chris was looking through the photos, that it actually registered that this was indeed a Big Thing!

Stay tuned, there will be more Big Things to come later in the Canada Adventures series!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

New Listings and Projects

Some supplies I ordered last month have finally arrived - everything takes so long to get here, it feels like I've been waiting forever! I ordered lots of leather - I love the look and feel of it for bracelets and even necklaces. It is relaxed and suitable for everyday, but also good for a night out.

So here are 2 of my latest listings on Etsy - I love the colours in both bracelets!

I've made a necklace to go with the dragonfly bracelet, but haven't listed it yet, so here's a sneak peak at it!

I love so many different crafts and I swap between them depending on my mood and what has inspired me. The first crafts I learned were knitting and cross stitching. I quickly gave up knitting when my sister taught me how to crochet. I'm not really sure why now, as I did enjoy knitting. Maybe one day I will take it up again. So here are a few other things that I have been working on lately - it is definitely a bit of a mix!

A hanging photo holder - peg photos onto the lace and hang! Cute bee charms separate your photos

An example of how the photo holder works - isn't this a gorgeous photo? It's my Nan on her wedding day.

Giraffe cross stitch I designed - so cute!

An elephant in the same series as the giraffe. I've designed a lion, but haven't tried it out yet

A cherry blossom noren - these room dividers are very popular in Japan and I thought it would be a great way to use all of the felt blossoms I spent so much time making!

A close up of the blossoms

Crocheted flower coasters

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Treasury Tuesday Dreaming of Other Places - Japan

When I first started doing Treasuries on Etsy I began a series called Dreaming of Other Places. These are places that I have been and would love to go back to and places that I daydream about going.

I have been a bit slack with adding to the series as there are just so many pretty things on Etsy, but I have been thinking a lot about Japan lately, so I thought that it would be perfect to continue my Treasury series with it.

So here it is. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Gluten Free Monday

When we were in Canada we had the most delicious Indian lunch at a friend's place - a chickpea and potato curry and a cheese, tomato and pea dish. Total deliciousness :) Of course I completely forgot to ask for the recipe!

I kept thinking about this lunch and finally last week decided to have a look online to see if I could find a similar recipe. The only problem was that we hadn't been shopping for 2 weeks and I had to make dinner only with what I had in the cupboard. Lucky for me we had chickpeas and potatoes. Perfect!

It took me forever to find a recipe, as most of the chickpea and potato curries had some form of tomatoes in them. Alas, I did not have any tomatoes. I finally found a recipe, but then realised that I didn't have quite a few of the ingredients. I figured what the hell, and modified the recipe to fit with what I had.

So here it is: Gluten Free Chickpea and Potato Curry

1 can chickpeas
2 potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
2tsp cumin
1tsp turmeric
1tsp coriander
1/2 - 1tsp chili powder (or to taste)
1tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup water

1. Dice potato, onion and garlic
2. Mix spices together in a small bowl
3. Heat some oil in a fry pan. When hot, add the spices and stir for about 15 seconds
4. Add potato, onion, chickpeas, and garlic and stir to mix. Cook for about 5 minutes
5. Add about half of the water and simmer for 20-30minutes stirring every so often so it doesn't stick to the pan. Add water as required.

Serve with rice (I use a mix of brown and white), papadums, natural yoghurt and mango chutney (I didn't have any)

NB: Spices, yoghurt and papadums are usually gluten free, but don't forget to double check the ingredients list to make sure. Sometimes they pull a sneaky on you and change ingredients or add that gluten may be present due to production lines.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Friday Finds - Tickle the Imagination Online Magazine

Since starting this blog I have been doing a lot of looking around online (it is amazing how much time you can spend doing this!) and one of the best things I have come across is the new Australian online magazine Tickle the Imagination. The first issue was released in September, and recently issue 2, the Christmas issue, was released. This latest issue is 130 pages of gorgeous photos with craft projects and tutorials, recipes, a gift guide and market info.

I definitely recommend you to subscribe to the magazine - it would inspire even the uncraftiest (is that even a word?) of people!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Canada Adventure Part 2 - Edmonton

We didn't really see a lot of Edmonton as we were there mainly to see family, but we of course spent some time at the West Edmonton Mall. The Mall is the biggest in North America - this is why people go to Edmonton.

Here are the stats according to Wikipedia:

Stores & services: over 800
Area: A mall walker's dream mall at around 570,000m²!
Parking spaces: more than 20,000
Employees: over 23,000
Visitors/year: 28.2 million
Visitors/day: between 60,000 and 150,000 depending on the day and which season it is

The Mall has a waterpark, an amusement park, an icerink, a lagoon with a large replica of the Santa Maria (the ship below), a mini golf course, a bowling alley, themed areas, for example, Bourbon Street and China Town, cinemas, a shooting centre, it's own souvenir shop, and there is even a themed hotel and a casino! The list goes on and on and on.

This is one of the only photos we took in the Mall - for some reason we didn't take too many. A recurring theme through this trip!
So what is the shopping like? In a way it's a bit of a let down - the Mall pretty much has the same shops as everywhere else, just more of them and sometimes on a larger scale. This is fine, but I had just been hoping for some smaller, one-off stores. What was I thinking? I was at a mall after all.

General admission to the waterpark is $32.95, same for the amusement park. Add some shopping and food onto that and a day at the mall could end up being kinda' pricey!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Gift Tags and Cards

Japan is an incredibly inspiring place to live for someone who loves to make things. Everywhere you look they have gorgeous examples of pottery, origami, tie-dye, embroidery, flower arranging, sewing and so much more.

Supplies are easy to find - near where I first lived in Japan (Akashi) there was a massive craft store with 7 floors of every crafting supply you could possibly need. Later when I visited Tokyo I found that this store was spread across several buildings!

The beautiful fabrics and paper turned me into a bit of a hoarder, but I have been slowly making my way through my collection. Sometimes it is very hard to use something as it is just so pretty!

Inspired by a garland I bought in Japan, I made the gift tags below. I think they are a cute alternative to the usual gift tag. I actually bought the blue paper here in Australia - it was on sale and I couldn't resist it!