Sunday, February 28, 2010

testing recipes

I just bought (another) recipe book - Kids Cooking by the Woman's Weekly, and can I just say yum? I decided to make the Vegetable and Feta Tart for lunch today, I don't think the toddler will be quite up to chopping eggplant for a while yet, but there are lots of how-to's and explanations and descriptions of things for the budding chef.

The thing I really liked about this recipe is that it worked even though I only sort of followed the recipe. My cooking style is haphazard because I don't plan, so I never have the right ingredients. This is why the Corn, Cheese and Bacon Muffins became Oatmeal Coconut Sultana muffins this afternoon. They still worked!

I made minor alterations to the tart recipe - no pesto, used pasta sauce, no zucchini, used pumpkin I roasted off first with nutmeg sprinkled on them. I added some coriander, cumin and paprika when I cooked off the eggplant, because that's just the way I like it. And totally forgot to measure anything. And they turned out so well, I was quite chuffed because pastry (yes even the pre-made sheets, as used here) and I don't always get on well.

And as you can see - toddler thought the tart wasn't bad either...

Friday, February 26, 2010

the never ending scarf

This is my never ending scarf. I don't think I'll have it done for this coming winter. I don't even like the colour (I plan to dye it). The best thing about this project is my knitting bag, from Pocket Carnival! Do you have one of Penny's totes? What do you keep in yours?

don't forget...

What do you forget? Do you write yourself little notes? I love post it notes, I'm forever opening my handbag to find a little flurry of them with all sorts of things written on them. This week I wanted to remember to make a pair of earrings I thought up while I was at work one day. This is my terrible little sketch...

... which resulted in these earrings. As soon as I drew it I knew it was wrong, but that was okay because as long as I had the note I knew what to do. I'm calling them Comet.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

wishlist wednesday

I noticed these colours crop up recently in my favourites - a lovely grassy green and amber orange tones, and I think there is something so appealing about them! They seem optimistic, but with a sense of humour. More jewellery loveliness for my wishlist today, yes I am addicted thank you very much. Chelsea Hotel earrings by Leaves of Glass, Facet resin bangle in Amber by Milkwood Design, and a cute collection of vintage lucite clip ons from Mean Old Bags.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

an adorable treasury!

Thanks to the amazing Julie Blanchette my little thingomatic shop on Etsy is in an adorable treasury! The idea behind the range of jewellery I'm stocking in thingomatic is something cute, something you can wear everyday, and something inexpensive! A treat you don't need to feel guilty about, or an ideal little gift.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

what have i been doing?

These are some of the pieces I worked on in the last few days. Starting at the top left and working clockwise:

a) currently unnamed, cute little dangles using brass findings and vintage glass and metal beads.

b) Nero d'oro - black gold, seemed a fitting name for these sultry looking earrings using a vintage gold plated charm, vermail wavy discs, oxidised sterling and my own handmade hooks. I only had four of these charms, so I've made two pairs of the earrings.

c) Sun comes up - intensely yellow faceted citrine with handmade brass rings (from another etsy member) and brass findings. Very cheerful and simple!

d) currently unnamed swing earrings, another of my swing earrings, I love this style, and decided to use these tiny gorgeous turquoise coloured czech glass cubes this time.

Naming products can be either very easy, or dreadfully difficult! Most names pop into existence as soon as I see the finished piece, or the first time I see a photo of the piece. They can be bits of a song, common turns of phrase, or a word that just seems to sum up the first impression I get. For those few that don't just pop into being, well, it takes time. However I am feeling particularly foggy today, so any suggestions for the two unnamed pairsof earrings would be great! Do you name your creative endeavours? How do you do it?

Friday, February 5, 2010

why i love photoshop

I love photoshop.

I must admit for most photos I do very little, just tweak the levels and crop them to size. But every now and again, some serious background work needs doing to turn a useless shot with potential into something I'm really quite happy with.

Here is a recent example. The timber slat I use as my background for most of my photos is just too small, especially for necklaces and other long or bulky items. But I love the colour of it, and the way the light hits it. I will need to find a new piece I know, but until then, I love photoshop!

The 'before' shot...

...and the 'after' shot!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

wednesday wishlist

I was checking out fantasy wardrobes and amazing shoe collections online today, which reminded me I'll need a new pair of winter boots soon. This inspired today's wishlist wednesday - a new outfit to go with my dream boots! A gorgeous dress by Lyptis, a lovely stripey scarf by Lemonade Stand, and the sweetest brooch in teak by Naomi Murrell.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a quick front page!

This treasury with my deep water earrings shot to the front page of Etsy today before I had the chance to have a look! Thank you Julie!

Monday, February 1, 2010

cinnamon pancakes

I love pancakes. Really I do. Every now and then I alter the basic recipe my Grandma gave me (see below), adding banana or blueberries, grated apple and oats, but I always come back to just a hint of cinnamon. We like to make little ones and soak them in real maple syrup, and then dunk them in greek yoghurt. Oh boy!

And now to make the process even more entertaining, I have this totally adorable measuring cup set in the form of nested babushka dolls. I love them! I don't lose measuring cups anymore, because they sit on the bench looking cute all the time. There is a 3/4 cup measure in the set. You don't need to measure a quarter cup three times anymore! These babies make baking even better. If that is possible. Do you have any kitchen gadgets that make you happy?

My Grandma's Pancake Recipe:

1 cup of self raising flour
1 tablespoon of sugar (I prefer brown sugar)
1 egg
add milk to dropping consistency

Recipes from my Grandma tend to be this simple, and vague! I'm always adding different amounts of milk! A runnier mix gives you more of a pikelet, a thicker mix makes the puffier version shown above. It's a great recipe to experiment with. Have fun!


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