Sunday, July 10, 2011

yellow still rocks

And because yellow still rocks we have our party 'theme' sorted. It's just got to be yellow. I've started to get preparations underway, although I think I should have got more done by now! Pretty sure I need way more straws too. A visit to Little Paper Lane helped my Loot Bag ideas crystallize, I picked up those snazzy little brown paper bags with windows and I'm going to make some tags to match the invite and sew them to the bag as I sew the top of the bag shut. I'll have to take a photo and show you that later, hope I'm making sense!

  1. Wooden forks for the fruit salad, from The Party Studio
  2. Biodegradeable gelato cups for the fruit salad, from The Bio Packaging Company on Ebay
  3. Adorable polka dot baking cups (not sure for what yet, chocolate crackles?) from The Party Studio
  4. Yellow stripey straws, from The Party Studio
  5. Mini yellow chevron snack bags for my smartie cookies, from The Party Studio
  6. Loot bags from Little Paper Lane
  7. Scalloped kraft paper baking cups for blueberry and apple oat muffins, from Little Betsy Baker

Sunday, July 3, 2011

the fluffy kookaburra

I captured a few (okay about 50) photos of a kookaburra that had decided to perch awhile on our deck railing yesterday. So fluffy! And big! We wondered whether or not it was okay for a bit there, as it seemed completely unconcerned as I gradually sidled closer and closer, trying to get a better view. In the end it sat there long after I took all my photos, just keeping the occasional eye on the young fella as he showed him various toys that may have been of interest to a kookaburra.

"yeah, close enough lady..."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

a quick status update on blankie

Believe it or not, 80 squares are now done! I'm slower than I hoped, but not too surprised - I always hope I'll get more done than I can. I've introduced some more colours since the last update - but have been quite frustrated in my search for a good range of colours in cotton yarn. Does no-one else find wool itchy?

At this stage I am planning to do the final join-as-you-go round in the same grey that edges all of the squares. I think introducing white at this stage would be a bit jarring, or better suited if it was a babies blanket. Here's a quick photo of my stacks of squares - there are ten squares per stack, and then I'd better get back to it!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

mmm macarons!

It's been all about macarons lately! You know when that coincidence thing happens, when you hear about something or bump into someone three times in a row? Well that's what happened to me with macarons! First I spotted the Donna Hay Macaron Kit in the local supermarket, and couldn't resist. I've been wanting to try making them but been too intimidated, the kit provided the perfect opportunity.

Not too shabby for my first macaron!
Yes, they were completely and utterly scrumptious!
Super easy to make, and impressively delicious, I'd highly recommend giving it a go unless you already know how to make them! Here's a tip from a pro if you do - instead of waiting the ten minutes recommended on the box before putting them in the oven, wait until they don't stick to your finger when you lightly touch them. And here's a tip from me - check out the instructions on the website because I think they instruct you to make the ganache filling after baking the biscuits, rather than on the box where they tell you to make it before. I made the ganache first, and I took so long doing the biscuits I had to add more cream over low heat to the ganache to get it back to a spreadable consistency.

Then, I received the Woman's Weekly Macaroon and Biscuits cookbook for my birthday! I'm so loving my Woman's Weekly cookbooks, (and my Donna Hay ones too actually), and this new cookbook not only has macaron recipes, but loads of other traditional biscuits too, like Monte Carlo biscuits, just like my grandma used to make. Watch this space, I'll be reporting back on recipes from it soon! Meanwhile checkout the cover and the chocolate macarons inside, lovely right?

And finally, on my birthday my son and I went to Manly and stopped in at Adriano Zumbo's, and took home a selection of five delicious little crispy treats. Salted caramel was by far our favourite flavour! Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of the Zumbo macarons, but follow this link to his website for the Manly patisserie, and check out the super cool floor detail in the shop. Monkey was completely impressed with the miniature building site under the clear section of floor, which gave me lots of time to make up my mind about which macarons to buy!

So that was the week that was all about macarons!

Friday, April 15, 2011

grey blue green and yellow

I said I'd blog my second crochet project, and here it is! The plan for this one is that it will be a blanket for my son's bed. When I first started crocheting up some left-over cotton I hadn't thought that far ahead, but looking at the colours I think it will be good for his room. If he gets too old for it then it would probably suit our bed too, as a blanket across the bottom of the bed.

Just looking at this photo I'm realising how different in size some of the squares are! Because I'm using leftovers, and buying odd balls here and there, the yarns are quite different thicknesses, even though they all recommend the same needle size. Some of the yarns I've used so far are:
  • Jo Sharp Soho Summer dk cotton in Fog (I need so much more of this! It's the grey every square will be finished in!)
  • Jo Sharp Soho Summer dk cotton in Shamrock
  • Heirloom cotton 8-ply in denim blue (I have some of this in a dark navy blue too)
  • Heirloom cotton 8-ply in yellow
  • Heirloom cotton 8-ply in pale lime (the heirloom yarns are by far the thinnest yarn)
  • Sugar'n'cream cotton 8-ply in turquoise (very thick, would love more of this in various colours)
  • Twilley's of Stamford Freedom Denim - desperately seeking more of this discontinued yarn, it's the middle colour in the top right square
  • Some unknown yellow cotton, middle of bottom left and right squares
  • Katia Mississippi, the dark lime/pistachio green, which is actually only 60% cotton
What I'm craving is more yellows! I have an interim solution for this, and that is to dye some plain white yarn. We'll see how that idea pans out after the Easter break.

My plan for this blanket is to do 10 squares of each colour combination, and then finish the blanket off by doing a final round in white, joining as I go. I have roughly estimated I will need about 192 squares, which quite frankly is terrifying! It seems an awful lot of squares! I'll need 15 more colour combinations! I'm hoping to have something about 1.5m x 2m, so it will be a large single bed blanket. I just hope he still likes it by the time I've finished it!

Here is how far along I am - as of today, I have 26 squares done, roughly an eighth of the way.

Wish me luck! I think I'm going to need it!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

my first crochet project

Not too long ago, I got the urge to learn to crochet. As with any newly learnt craft skill I quickly became obsessed, and approached it the usual way. Dive in head-first, avoid patterns, and learn only what I need to complete the first thing I decide to make. I really can't recommend this approach at all, it has resulted in far too many UFO's (unfinished objects) over the years! It is only thanks to the craft itself here that I did actually finish my first ever crochet project. Crochet has an addictive quality, and as my first project was granny squares, the bite size pieces give you lots of opportunities to feel a sense of accomplishment. The first square - AWESOME! First ten, YAY! A neat stack you can photograph, Woo Hoo! and so on.

This project came about because I am an awfully slow knitter. I have only ever finished simple scarves, and they take me about two months. Because of this I ended up with a lovely stash of yarn that clearly would be sitting there for years waiting to be knitted up.

For this project I went with some yummy Twilley's of Stamford cotton. I had only the vaguest of plans at this stage - perhaps it would be a little sofa throw? I didn't know how far the yarn would go until I had used a whole ball.

Oh the sense of accomplishment! My first little stack of granny squares! Now we have to fast forward this bit of the project, because I forgot to take any more pictures. I forged ahead and simply turned all the yarn into granny squares. I tossed about ideas like, should I buy more yarn and make it a nice big throw? How was I going to join the squares together? What colour should I use to join them, now that I've used up all the yarn?

Then I realised I'd better keep it short and sweet, and get something finished. Abandoning any plans to make anything large, after playing with the squares for a while I decided on one big cushion. So I just started sewing them all together, using my crochet hook. Now I really wish I had seen this tutorial over at Attic24 before I rushed into this step. Because then you wouldn't be able to see the joining yarn! Live and learn!

Fortunately I did see this tutorial at Attic24 just before I finished sewing the squares together. It inspired my final decision to make two cushions with envelope style linen backs. Because I couldn't see how I would finish the cushion quickly and simply if the whole thing was crocheted front and back, and still be able to remove the insert! I also decided the crochet would need a piece of backing fabric, it was too gappy to simply pop in any old insert.

And once again - as I rushed through the final stages we go from the above just sewn together cushion front to...

The final cushions! I did so many things wrong it's best you didn't see all that inbetween stuff anyway!
 And the backs with their overlap envelope opening, easy peasy with no buttons, snaps, ties or zips.

I do love them, they are snuggly and feel lovely and huggable - with zero itch factor for this family full of wool-itchers. But most of all I am just so chuffed to have finished them! I have started my next project, initially learning nothing from my previous mistakes as I plowed straight in to my cotton stash. I will tell you all about it very soon, and you'll be proud of me - I have started planning how it's going to work!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

walking home

Sometimes I forget to just enjoy what's around me. I rush, try to get everything on my list done each day, use every moment. Even planning in 'relaxing' time. Last week, while heading home with the kidlet from preschool, I was starting to worry about getting home quickly, wishing I had the car. But I didn't, and I was tired, and he was super tired. And so I stopped for a minute, and thought instead of trying to rush and making both of us more tired, and then cranky, I could relax, take it slow, enjoy this bit of time alone with him, where all we have to do is walk for a bit. So that's what we did, chatting, holding hands, one of us eating ice cream, and the other taking photos. I'm so glad I stopped to think that afternoon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I just wanted to share a little drawing I did to cheer up my cubicle. Do you need a little sunshiney goodness too? Feel free to click on it and print for yourself!

Friday, April 1, 2011

from the other side of australia to my mailbox

I received some Little Mo and Friends goodness in the mail yesterday! I was super lucky and won a print for naming one of two new characters in the Little Mo gang - YAY! As always, even the packaging was divine...

...and here is the adorable art print! Some frame shopping is in order I think! Can't wait to have this cutie up on the wall. Thank you Helena!

See what Helena is up to here on her blog - or visit her store on Etsy for lots of sweet papery goodness!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

the most delicious lemon yoghurt cake

I have found the most delicious lemon yoghurt cake! Not that I've eaten a lot of lemon yoghurt cake in my time, but still, it's pretty darn good, and the thing I truly love about it is the recipe worked beautifully for me, which doesn't always happen! I think it is a forgiving recipe, not too hung up on whether or not you do things exactly by the book. For example I didn't have a plain vegetable oil, I only had Flax Seed oil, which to me had a strong smell for a cake, so I only used a bit under a third of a cup instead of the recommended half a cup. Still an incredibly moist cake.

Also I could see this cake recipe being quite adaptable - add blueberries for a visual treat and a little extra goodness, make cupcakes to share. I could see a few different toppings working here too. I didn't actually put the finishing icing glaze on it, and it was still delish. So glaze it, and maybe sprinkle sugar over the glaze for a frosted look, try your hand at marshmallow frosting, or even cream cheese frosting might work here too.

Tempted? Of course you are! So run over to Chasing Some Blue Sky (loads of fab recipes!) and get the recipe here! Bake it today!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

And the winner is....

First of all I would like to thank all of you for entering! Thank you so much! Also thank you for tweeting, or following my blog, or liking wing by sea on Facebook!

Well I'm afraid there can be only one winner. I carefully went through the comments, and allocated each comment, and each comment about a tweet - even if they were in the same comment - a number, 1 through 77. I then used the website to give me a randomly generated number.

The winner of the sterling silver Shimmer earrings is.... drum roll please...  Petaliferous!

Congratulations! I will be in touch with you shortly to arrange to send you your prize!

Keep an eye out for my next giveaway!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


It's time for a GIVE-AWAY! Yay! The crowd goes wild! I am giving away a pair of 'Shimmer' earrings to thank all my fans, followers and friends, for being so supportive of wing by sea. Seriously if it wasn't for all of you, it would not have been half the fun.

These are the earrings you could win! Sterling silver earwires, with a dangling sterling silver ball, beneath which shimmying strands of sterling silver chain sway. I hope you love them, I think they would be perfect for celebrating in!

How to enter:

Well it's super simple!

All you need to do to enter is visit either of my shops and come back here and let me know your favorite piece of jewellery! I'd love to know what you all love ;)

wing by sea on Etsy -

wing by sea on MadeIt -

For a second entry, tweet my giveaway - include @wingbysea in your tweet, and come back here and let me know you did!

The winner will be chosen by a random number generator on Saturday the 25th, entries close at 9pm (Sydney, Australia time!). Please ensure to leave some way to contact you, or check back here Saturday the 25th to see who won!

Thank you and good luck!

This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

flirty skirty

I had an urge and decided to run with it this morning. Lately I've been a bit mad about skirts, hunting skirts, dreaming up skirts, and desperately wanting to make a skirt. But I have no patience for patterns most of the time, and very limited sewing skills, so I decided to make a skirt using only what I had to hand. This satiny fabric has been sitting in my sewing box for years, I don't remember what I had originally intended it for.

The machine was already strung with some matching thread, and I had some thin black elastic, so voila! Five lines of sewing later and we have skirt! I won't pretend it is the most flattering item of clothing I have, but I had fun, and got the skirt urge off my back, for a while at least.

Monday, February 14, 2011

but wait there's more!

Well after my little foray into washi tape and the adorableness of Little Paper Lane, I thought I'd bring to you today some more washi tape goodness with a V-Day theme. See below for some lovely locally made bunting by Paper Klip Design on Etsy. I also found this gorgeous blog - "i love pretty things" - with a fab interview from the owner of Little Paper Lane! So get over there and have a read, plus you'll get a tempting sneak peek of the storefront with it's ever-changing always eye-catching displays. Obssessed? Who me?

Party bunting by Paper Klip Design

Sunday, February 13, 2011

washi tape is lovely

There is the most gorgeous little shop near me called Little Paper Lane. One of those shops you always turn to catch a peep at when driving past (as a passenger of course, ahem!). Well after months of saying "I must go visit, I must go visit", my need for a diary - yes, I know, it's already February - drove me to make the time to visit. And how fabulous, even with the little man in tow. Not only did I get a funky little diary, perfect for scrawls and scribbles, lists and notes, I bought washi tape! Silver washi tape! And some baker's twine in black and white. And this is what I did with it!

The silver washi tape looks lovely with the silver tissue I use for wrapping my jewellery, and I like the simplicity of the twine.

While I was in the shop I spotted lots of familiar works by Australian creatives Pocket Carnival, Benconservato, Little Mo and Red Letter Studio. I think I will be visiting again soon, this time without the kidlet so I can dawdle just a bit longer. Might need to take a packed lunch.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

dandelions for the dining room

When I first looked at our new home I was left with the impression there was a window in this wall. I was so surprised there wasn't one when we actually moved in! So instead I had a wall crying out for something big. I would have loved to have put a huge mirror up there, it would have reflected the french doors in the living room and brought in sunlight and trees. But instead I have gone for something I can achieve quickly! Because I am impatient and it had to happen right now! So voila, fabric covered canvas. I took a little time to think about how to do the corners neatly, unlike my first canvas attempt, and thought I may as well document it. Just in case there is a next time. Can you see my dining chairs? Covered in fabulous patterned vinyl? They are on my To Do list. As is the maroony-dusty-dark-mushroom painted floor. Yuck!

Friday, January 21, 2011


How absolutely gorgeous, this rug would be perfect for in front of my new fireplace! Check out lots of other stunning up-cycled, re-cycled, custom crocheted rugs by EKRA here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

new beginnings

The dust is starting to settle, I'll post photos soon! I also want to share my first pavlova and an awesome bbq beef salad I came up with recently. What's new with you?


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