Sunday, 3 June 2012

DIY Storybook Roses

So I did some thinking and realised that the vase on my dining room table was empty more often than it was full (of lovely fresh flowers!). I mean, let's face it, there aren't many of us who get bought flowers on a regular basis (and if you are one of the lucky ones, then I'm jealous!) and I don't tend to buy them for myself. So I decided to get crafty and make my own long-lasting, romantic flowers. I searched for the perfect ones (thankyou Pinterest!) and came across these beautiful storybook roses. You can find the tutorial by 100 Layer Cake here: DIY Storybook Paper Roses

These were my pretty creations:

They look so beautiful on our dining room table and have that romantic feel that I was after!

What are you waiting for? Grab out that hot glue gun and get crafting!
Emilley =)
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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Baby bake-a-thon

Less than 6 weeks until my beautiful baby makes his or her entrance into the world! I can't wait to meet our little one and give them lots of cuddles and kisses.
In the meantime, I have been on a bit of cooking spree in preperation for their arrival. I figured that once bubs arrives I will hardly have time to eat a piece of cake...let alone bake one! Not only have I been making cakes, biscuits, pikelets and savoury muffins (all to freeze), I have also been gradually stocking up our freezer with meals that I have made and then frozen in containers. Dinner in a hurry? I'm getting all sorted with that one! I'm sure there will be plenty of nights where dinner will be the last thing on our minds! So hopefully all this preperation helps. Plus, it makes me feel super organised =)

I thought I might share this easy choc-chip cookie recipe. These cookies are incredibly tasty and can be made using different variations. For example, my grandma adds Milo to her mixture (so yummy!), and I have previously used M&M's instead of choc chips. Be creative and let your inner baker shine through!

150g margarine (softened)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 capful of vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups plain flour
1 cup choc chips or choc buttons

- Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Beat together the margarine, caster sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract until well combined
- Beat in egg
- Stir in the plain flour (you may find it easier to add the flour gradually as you stir, rather than pouring it all in at once). You would add Milo at this point, if you were following my grandma =)
- Fold through the choc chips or buttons
- Roll tablespoons of the cookie mixture into balls and place evenly on the trays
- Press on the top of each one gently, using a fork
- Bake for 15-18 mins or until golden on top.
- Transfer onto a cooling rack

They look tempting, don't they? Now the trick is to not eat all my hard work before baby comes! Hehe.

Happy baking!
Emilley xx Pin It Now!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sorry for the absence!

What a whirlwind couple of weeks! There's just not enough hours in the day sometimes - I'm pretty sure everyone knows that feeling! When family, work, extra commitments, hospital appointments and illness all mix together at once (in very large doses!) get a very exhausted pregnant lady =P

It's not all bad though, I have still been able to complete some crafty activities in the midst of what felt like chaos. Craft of any sort + a yummy peppermint tea = my stress momentarily melting away. So over the next few days I will update with what I've been doing =)

In the meantime, I thought I might share this picture. The question left me thinking...and thinking...
So, what would you do? Would love to hear some thoughts and aspirations!

Sweet dreams!
Emilley xx
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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Meet Sophie :)

This is Sophie :) She has been my sewing project over the last couple of weeks. She was definitely a challenge but I love how she turned out! She is from a Bit of Whimsy pattern, isn't she cute?!

Kate xx

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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Fit for a Princess

My beautiful niece Lorelei turned 5 a couple of weeks ago and these are the skirts and matching hairclip I made her. She was having a princess party but I found this beautiful ballerina fabric and had to use it!

Happy birthday Princess Lorelei!

Kate xx
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Friday, 11 May 2012

Jewelry Organisers

Every girl likes jewelry of some sort.
Every girl has jewelry of some sort.
Especially me!
But I found that since we moved house last year I haven't been wearing any of my much-loved necklaces. A few days ago I realised that this was largely because they were all tangled together in a little box in one of my bedside drawers. Every time I went to grab one, I'd give up and walk away because I couldn't be bothered to untangle any of them!
Finally I decided to go ahead with the frustratingly slow task of untangling what felt like hundreds of necklaces. When I was done, there was no way I was shoving them all back into that tiny box to get twisted up again!

So I raided the house and found two little wall hooks and strung up some shiny white ribbon to create a hanging space for them =) Not my most creative idea, but it looks cool on the wall I've chosen!

For some amazingly crafty and fabulous jewelry organizer ideas, this website has some great projects:
DIY Jewelry Organisers

Happy organizing!

Emilley =) Pin It Now!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Wipes Case Covers

Good morning! Hope everyone enjoyed their long weekend!
Mine was filled with a half-day breastfeeding class by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (would highly recommend this for any new mums or pregnant women! Was fantastic - very informative), an absolutely beautiful wedding, a BBQ to meet our new neighbors and dinner with my family. I must say, it was a pretty good weekend =)

In the midst of all this, I decided to make a wipes case cover. I was pleased with the results and tried to make it suitable for both genders (seeing as we are keeping our baby's gender a surprise!). There are so many ways you can embellish or decorate the covers, so I was in my element! I settled for the frog, however the options were almost endless. Hope you like =)

Emilley xx Pin It Now!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Baby Bolero

Introducing the Baby Bolero! Pattern by Nina Bonita Designs.

Unfortunately I got busy and by the time it was finished Peyton had grown so it won't fit her for long but doesn't she look cute!

Kate xx
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Go screen free for a week!

Children are spending more and more time in front of screens in today's society. Technology is ever-developing and advancing, and children are growing up tech-savvy from an early age. While this is not a bad thing, it is definitely important for children to step away from the screen and do other things. Find the happy balance and try some of these fun ideas with your children =) Great for them...and for you! Enjoy the moment with your children.

A lot of these are even great for those rainy days where "I'm bored, mum" becomes frequently heard. Thanks to NurtureStore for compiling such a great list of ideas with links!

Let us know your favourite activities from the list!

Emilley and Kate

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Monday, 30 April 2012

Spiderman Spiderman does whatever a spider can...

My little man Jeremy has become a little bit Spiderman-obsessed lately, see figures 1 and 2 for example...

So I told him I would make him a Spiderman cape. Well you should have seen his face! He was so excited! He even came to Spotlight with me to choose material.

This is what we came up with...

I was rather proud until Chris came home from work and told me that Spiderman doesn't have a cape...

Hmm... well if he did I'm sure this is what it would look like!

Kate xx

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DIY Handtowel Tutorial

I've found that I somehow seem to have an over-abundance of tea towels and yet only ONE hand towel in my kitchen. Which I'm finding to be incredibly annoying, because I'm forever having to wash it (and when I do, I have no spares to use)! So, I decided to turn a few of my extra tea towels into some hand towels. 

This is my first attempt at writing a tutorial, so I hope that you find it easy to follow! Let me know what you think =)

You will need:
1 tea towel
1/4 metre fabric
Approx 15.5 inches of 1.5 inch wide ribbon
Hand towel template (print it here)
1 button
small square of velcro
sewing machine and other sewing supplies

Step 1
Cut your tea towel in half (you can use one tea towel to make 2 separate hand towels! Yay for re-purposing!)

Step 2
Take your ribbon and pin it across the bottom of your tea towel somewhere. Be sure that you fold under the edges (which are still hanging over in my photo) so that the frayed ends don't show once sewn in place. I used about 15.5 inches of ribbon - I got this measurement by taking the width of my tea towel (which was 13.5 inches) and adding roughly an inch to either side.

Step 3
Use a straight stitch to sew along to length of the ribbon, both top and bottom. Then sew down the very outside of the short edges. You should end up with something like what can be seen in the below photo.

Step 4
Turn your tea towel over so that it is ribbon side down (with the raw edge of tea towel at the top and ribbon at the bottom). Fold it over one third of the way.

 Step 5
Now you need to turn this fold back on itself and pin in place. This part sounds a little confusing, so I hope that the photos help you to get a clearer picture of this step.

This is what your Step 5 fold should look like from the top:

Step 6
You will need to repeat Steps 4 & 5 for the other side of the tea towel. Both sides should be pinned in place. This photo is the view from the top, showing the completed folds. When you measure across, it will need to be about 6 inches wide (so adjust your folds to suit this).

And it should like this when you are looking at it flat on the table:

Step 7
Sew a quick stitch across the folds to hold them in place.

The front of your tea towel should now look similar to this:

Step 8
We are now going to move onto making the top for our hand towel =)
Fold your fabric in half (right sides facing) and trace around the hand towel template you have printed out (print it here). Cut around the shape you traced.

You should now have two identical pieces.

Step 9
Place the two pieces right sides together and sew 1/4 inch seam around all of the sides, except for the bottom. Trim off the excess fabric around the edges and cut some small triangles into the corners, as you can see in my photo. Turn the whole thing right side out (you may find it helpful to use a pen to push upwards when turning through the long part).

Right side out, it should look like this:

 Step 10
Fold under the bottom of your hand towel approximately 1/2 an inch (this hides the raw fabric edges) and tuck the tea towel a couple of inches into your hand towel top. Sew a straight stitch 1/4 inch from the bottom, through the two parts. You may choose to sew another line a 1/4 inch from the first one, however this is optional.

This is how it should sit (although I haven't yet stitched it together in this photo):

 Step 11
There are two different ways to add your button here. You may choose to do a traditional button with a buttonhole. Or your other option is to do what I did, and use velcro (my husband has now proceeded to inform me that this is actually cheating! I beg to differ haha).
If you are using my 'cheating' method, take your two halves of the velcro and place them onto the hand towel. Sew firmly in place.

Step 12
Last step! Woohoo!
Now all you need to do is hand stitch or machine stitch your button on the opposite side of where you sewed the top velcro piece. And you're DONE!

ENJOY the satisfactory feeling you get when looking at your finished product =) Hang it proudly on your oven or a kitchen cupboard handle and feel the satisfaction every time you dry your hands!

 Now get cracking on using the leftover half of your tea towel to make a second one! Get creative and add extra ribbon or lace or embellishments or whatever your heart so desires!

Would love to know what people think of my first tutorial, any feedback would be very much appreciated =)

I'm off to go have some dinner....mmmmmm yummy.....a little bit of pea and ham soup, followed by a walk with my husband and our puppy, then topped off with spaghetti bolognese. Bring it on!

Emilley xx

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Saturday, 28 April 2012

Cute Cushions

Happy weekend everyone!
Not only is it really cold here, it is also raining! One of my favourite combinations =) Well, that is until I have to go out! Then it's not so fun.

Anyways, after a super busy week of work, I have finally had some time to make a little housewarming gift for a young couple that we know.

 I made these two cushions for our home not so long ago and have had a lot of people say that they really like them...

So I decided to make a pair of the cushions for their housewarming gift! Hope you like them as much as I do =)

Sorry that these last two photos aren't as bright or clear as the first two - hard to get great lighting on such a gloomy, rainy day.

Can't wait to make more cushions, maybe even adding some pretty things like ruffles or lace. Hmmm so many choices! I think our bed is looking like the next good place for some new handmade cushions =)

Emilley xx Pin It Now!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Lest We Forget

Today marks 97 years since the Anzacs landed at Gallipoli. Thousands of brave young men fought for our country all those years ago, and today we stop and remember these men, and all of the other men and women who have served or are currently serving our country.

These men and women are true heroes, sacrificing so much and yet they proudly march on. The Anzac spirit is something that will not quickly be forgotten - courage under fire, loyalty and true mateship.

Take a moment throughout your day to reflect on and to honour the service of these wonderful people. Also remember the families that stand behind them, supporting and loving.

If you were able to attend a dawn service this morning, you will understand just how incredibly touching the experience is. If you have the opportunity in future to do so, attending a dawn service is one of the most moving ways in which you can remember the Anzacs. As the sun rises over the hundreds of people gathered and the bugle pierces through the cool morning air, emotions are stirred and you can't help but get goosebumps as you remember our brave soldiers.

It is so heartening to see the ever-growing numbers attending dawn services. It is wonderful to see families bringing their children, as we teach the youngest generation about all that Anzac Day encompasses. After all, they are the ones who will continue to remember and to carry on the Anzac tradition one day.

If you would like another way to remember Anzac Day, you could also make some Anzac Biscuits. If you have children, get them involved in the cooking process and use the moment to tell them some of the history behind the iconic biscuits:
"During World War 1, the wives, mothers and girlfriends of the Australian soldiers were concerned for the nutritional value of the food being supplied to their men. Here was a problem. Any food they sent to the fighting men had to be carried in the ships of the Merchant Navy. Most of these were lucky to maintain a speed of ten knots (18.5 kilometers per hour). Most had no refrigerated facilities, so any food sent had to be able to remain edible after periods in excess of two months. A body of women came up with the answer - a biscuit with all the nutritional value possible..."
- Anzac Day Commemoration Committee (QLD)
 The ago old debate is over whether today's biscuits should be cooked until hard, or still slightly soft. We'll leave that up to you =) But this recipe comes from the Australian War Memorial website and is an original recipe provided by Mr Bob Lawson, who was an ANZAC present at the Gallipoli landing.

Ingredients (makes approx 35 biscuits):
1 cup each of plain flour, sugar, rolled oats and coconut
115g of butter
1 tbsp treacle or golden syrup
2 tbsp boiling water (add a little extra water if the mixture is too dry)
1 tsp bi-carb soda

- Grease biscuit tray and preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Combine dry ingredients
- Melt together butter and golden syrup. Combine water and bi-carb soda, then add to mixture
- Mix butter and dry ingredients
- Drop teaspoons of mixture onto tray, allowing room for spreading
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden

 Lest We Forget
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Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Re-purpose and re-use!

Lately I have been looking at ways that I can give new life to some old clothes, and make better use of clothes that no longer fit or that I have only worn once or twice.

The other day I cut up a top that doesn't quite fit right, as it is too short in length. I used the material to make a simple skirt for a little girl, and also as the material for my teacup pincushion (see below). I was pretty happy with the results!

And I know that the two new items will get more use than the top ever did. Which was the whole idea of the project!

Next on my list was an old, over-sized, tunic-style top that had no shape to it whatsoever! I love it, however it really does resemble a potato sack as far as shape goes. Definitely not flattering on a pregnant body! I found this tutorial: Sweet Verbena - 20 minute cinch tee tutorial
Very easy to follow and I was able to revamp my old top and give it a much nicer shape =) Can't wait to overhaul other tops in my wardrobe now!


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