Saturday, December 31, 2011

These are a few of my favourite things…

Hello Blog World,

Well 2011 is coming to a close and what a year it has been, lots of work, lots of fun, 5 births and 2 deaths, and I started a blog.

I was going to do my favourite or most popular posts for this year but I have seen a few of them around and since I haven’t been doing this a year yet I thought I would leave that for my bloggingversary (I like making up words) in February.  Instead I  am going to tell you a few of my favourite things from the year 2011, this way I can look back and remember the year that was so to speak.

These are in no particular order…just random as they come into my head (lots of random things come into my head)

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This is a big one for me, watching my little girl start the next chapter of her education.  Isn’t that hat darling, she had heaps of fun new subjects, maths challenges, camp, sport days, cooking class etc..


This was/is very exciting for me.  Somewhere I can record my thoughts and share my journey through life, love, cooking, crafting etc.. I had some ups and downs, went missing in action for a couple of months but the last few months since I have started back up with purpose has been very enjoyable.  And while I don’t have many followers or visitors I appreciate every single one of you and love getting comments no matter how random they are.  I can’t wait to see how it grows in 2012.

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I know something trivial, but I had been wanting one of these since they first appeared on the shelves and hubby got me one I was sooooooooo excited, now I can’t live without it and I don’t know how I ever did.

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In November I went back to Melbourne for the first time in over 5 years.  I grew up in Melbourne and lived there for 28 years before moving to Sunny QLD, but getting back there was brilliant.  It was home!!!! And best of all I got to celebrate my closest friend and adopted mother Jenny’s 60th Birthday.

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In June this year, a whole bunch of us from work went on a wine tasting weekend to Stanthorpe, we had copious amounts of alcohol, lots of good food and lots of fun!!

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In July, I took my husband, daughter and my brother in law to a game of AFL Football.  I grew up going to games in Melbourne every week as a kid, but since we moved interstate it’s been quite hard as there are not many games up here, so when my favourite team Collingwood was journeying up here to play Gold Coast we had to go!!! We won that night and even made the grand final this year, alas we did not win it!!  But it was still a good year.


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Hubby bought me a puppy in Nov 2010, and in March 2011 we saw her graduate puppy school.  She is such a darling puppy (even though she is a year old she is still my puppy, she will always be my puppy) and she brings the whole family so much joy and laughter.

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I feel this year I have come a long way with all my crafts to far to pick a favourite one, so above are only a few of my faves.  Click on the photo for more info on each craft.

While this has taken a back burner for the month of December in the lead up to the holidays, I am slowly getting back into it and while some of it has been really hard, back breaking, sweating my butt off hard some of it has also been fun and rewarding! So bring on 2012!!!



One thing you don’t know about me I have a little bit of a vampire obsession, not these new fandangled vampires that sparkle (mind you I have seen all the movies and read the books) or can freely roam about in the day with a special magic ring. 

I am a sucker for the old fashioned kind, I love Bram Stoker’s Dracula –book and movie, Interview with the Vampire ( Unknown fact about Michelle, I was an extra in the sequel to this movie Queen of the Damned), and Nosferatu just to mention a few.  Buffy and Angel will hold a special place in my heart forever.

My newest obsession is True Blood! I discovered the TV series before the books, but I am now onto book 3 and I am hooked!! If you like vampires at all, or just a really good story I suggest you have a read.

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This is my most important favourite of the year, my family and the joy they bring me.  I don’t have a big family but I love the family I have and I wouldn’t be me without them!

So these are my favourites for 2011, there were a couple I didn’t feature, my new car I got for my wedding anniversary also rates high, my Saturday lunches with the girls at The Glen hotel, my Sunday breakfasts with hubby sneaking out without the child and these are just a few. 2011 has been a really good year and I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings.

Again thanks for everyone out there in blogland for your nice encouraging words and support and listening to me ramble on and on and on, I don’t think that will ever change sorry. I hope everyone has a fantastic and prosperous new year.

Until then Happy Crafting


I often link up at these parties

Friday, December 30, 2011

More Gift Card Box Fun

Hello Blog World,

Just a quick post today to show you a couple more gift card boxes I made before Christmas using my own tutorial.

I had to make a couple this time for my daughter Tiana, so I got to play with more girlier colours this time which is always fun.

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The star one is my favourite and the way just some left over wrapping paper which I still have heaps of little scraps of it left ( I don’t throw anything I think I will use away )

I was also loving the monogram look so I went that way again, needless to say Tiana loves them and she has kept them to put earrings and other teenager stuffs in!

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Now I am off to do a bit of  a pre – new year de-clutter (I have decided I need to throw some things away or I am going to end up on that show hoarders!!!)  Then I might do some scrapbooking, haven’t done that in a while and the mood is hitting me.

If you’re interested on how I put this box together, check out my free tutorial here.

 Until then Happy Crafting.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fruit Salad with Strawberry Coulis

Hello Blog World,

This was my daughter’s first year of high school and with high school comes extra subjects, some she thinks are just awesome (science experiments, cooking) and some not so awesome (textiles GASP! How can she be my daughter?)

In one of her Home Economics classes they made a fruit salad with strawberry Coulis which she got top marks for. She was very excited and of course she had to make it at home so we could see how it’s made and enjoy a yummy fruit salad.

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I find it so refreshing just to have fruit salad sometimes after a meal.  So thanks to St Peter Claver College Home Economics Teacher for the following recipe.

What you will need for the coulis

1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen doesn’t matter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

How to make it

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Transfer to a blender.
2. Purée until smooth, strain, and set aside.

Serve atop of ice-cream (we used low fat ice-cream) and any fruit salad, we used strawberries, pineapple, banana’s, kiwi fruit, apples and passion fruit. I know very simple, but very yummy.

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We didn't have proper sundae glasses so we improvised and and used wine glasses.  

Now I am off to buy a new bathing suit for my daughter as my fab sis in law is taking her to Wet N Wild on Friday, that means hubby and I can spend the whole day together before heading back to work in the New Year.

Until then Happy Crafting


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sleeping Eye Mask Pattern

Hello Blog World, 

I think I must be getting precious in my old age, I am finding it hard to sleep in with any light coming through, and as we live in Sunny QLD with no daylight savings (something about the cows not knowing when to come and get milked GO FIGURE?) the light comes shining through our glass doors about 4AM in summer, and we really can’t afford block out blinds.

So I searched high and low on boxing day for a sleeping eye mask and couldn’t find one so I came home and thought well I will just make one.  I am on holidays at the moment and I want to sleep in!!!!

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Check out my beautiful model my daughter Tiana

So I grabbed some dark fabrics out that I thought would be good for blocking out the sun.

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Some black satin fabric for the inside of the eye mask and some dotty black cotton fabric for the outside of the eye mask.  I also added some batting in the middle for a bit of cushion.

Then I roughly drew the shape that I wanted.

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Don’t worry that’s not the finished pattern, you can get that the end of this post.

Once I had the shape I was happy with I cut it out and placed on the fold of the material like so.

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Here you can either pin the pattern piece on and snip around it like I did, or if you are more comfortable you can trace around the pattern with a fabric fade away pen then cut.

Make sure you put this pattern piece on the fold of the material that way when it opens up you will have you shape.

You will cut out one for the front material, one for the back and one out of batting.

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They may seem a bit big at the moment but the pattern does include a 1/4” seam allowance.

At this point pop your three pieces of fabric aside and concentrate on the back. 

( I forgot to take photo’s of this bit sorry) But basically measure some elastic around your head, I cut mine about 13” but I have a big head and didn’t want it too tight. Once your happy with your measurements cut.  If you are using a nice elastic you can leave it at this point, or I only had white elastic on hand so with the dotty fabric I cut a 2” wide strip about 16” long, made a tube by sewing up one side of the fabric, quickly stiched the elastic to either end and turned the tube the right way. The longer you make your tube the more ruffly it is.  I will leave this up to your discretion.

Once all your pieces are cut out and your back tie is done, please iron your material, I cannot stress this enough, I hate ironing but when I sew I always iron, it just gives a much better finish.

Now we start piecing our bits together.

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Start with your batting, back piece right side up, slip your back tie in one side then front material right side down, tucking in the back tie into the middle of your stack, make sure you pin the back tie on the opposite side and that it’s tucked in nice and neat so you don’t accidentally sew it where it shouldn’t be sewn.

Then basically go around your stack, make sure you leave a hole I left a hole just down the bottom this is so you can turn it out once sewn.
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Once it’s turned out you have a hole left, at this point you can either slip stitch the hole shut or give it another good iron, tucking in the material at the hole as you go, then top stitch all the way around.  I chose to top stitch as I like the finished look.  Once that’s done your new sleeping eye mask is complete.  WAH LAH!!!

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Front Outside

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Back Inside

There you go, one sleeping eye mask.  I am really proud of myself I must admit as I am fairly newish to sewing and this is the first thing I have ever made without a pre-bought or downloaded pattern.  I know you experts out there are thinking well that’s easy but to me it wasn’t.  So I decided to share the pattern with all you lovely people, you can get it in PDF from HERE.  If you do make it let me know, I would love to know what you all think and if the experts out there have any suggestions on how to make it better again let me know!!!  Also being my first ever be kind and forgive me if I have made any mistakes.

So to download your pattern click HERE, now I think I might get around to doing some drawing today.  Until then Happy Crafting.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Oreo Truffles

Hello Blog World,

Well Christmas has been and gone for another year.  I hope everyone had a great day!!!  Is anyone else exhausted?  I know I am!!  And we now have New Years on the way, does anyone do resolutions?  I normally don’t but I am thinking about it. Are they a good idea?  Do people ever stick to them?  Let me know.

 So before Christmas is fully forgotten for another 12 months, I thought I would share today my Christmas Oreo Truffles.  Yeah Yeah I know, there are a million and one out there in blog land but they are sooooooooo yummy and easy to make so now there is a million and two!

I served these up for our Christmas Day Picnic and they were a hit I must admit, and there were none left by the end of the day.

So you start off with your ingredients.

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 I use
  • 2 x 150g boxes of Oreos
  • 1 x 250g box of cream cheese
  • 1 – 1 /2 packets of chocolate melts ( you can also use flavoured candy melts if preferred)

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Crush up your oreos, that’s the fun part, pop in a bowl and put in you cream cheese, it’s best to have the cream cheese at room temperature other wise it’s very hard to beat. 
Beat the cheese into the oreo crumbs, and then I also do a bit of hand kneading until a nice smooth dough consistency forms.

Then roll them into balls, mine are about 1/2” round give or take, but you can make them any size you like. Mine yielded about 32 balls.

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Once they’re all rolled into balls I pop them in the fridge for about half an or so to firm up.

Then melt your chocolate or candy melts, I used white chocolate and then some powdered food dye to make green and red.  Dip balls in chocolate pop back on your lined tray and let set.

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If you are anything like me you will have mess everywhere by this stage.

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I also had some icing pens on hand and just drizzled over the balls in a no particular pattern just to brighten them up a bit and hide where some of the chocolate wasn’t dipped nicely.

Store in an air tight container in the fridge as they do get quite soft if not stored correctly.  I also found they tasted better after sitting overnight, the flavours fermented through better.

So there you have it another oreo truffle recipe.  I have found they are all pretty much the same out there but as I said earlier they are very yummy, easy to make and well worth it and you certainly do not have to reserve these only for Christmas, they also make cute pops if you stick them on a stick and decorate.

Hubby bought me a beautiful sketch artists pack so I may do some drawing today or sewing haven’t decided. Gotta get some housework done first, so until then Happy Crafting.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Paper Bags

Hello Blog World,

OK so it is now only 1 day to Christmas (panic setting in).  Just a quick post today to show you a little goody I made up quickly with a great tutorial.

Thursday I showed you my triumph and my fail with my shortbread

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Well of course I couldn’t stop there with the handmade goodness.  I had to pop these lovelies into something pretty.

So I went scavenging around the internet and came across this fabulous tutorial from Jones Design Company for these beautiful paper bag.


These looked so easy to make from their great tutorial I just had to give it a go, and even though I loved their stripy papers I have heaps of digitals on my hard drive I thought best to bring them out.

So I had three to make and I wanted them all different so I printed three different papers out.

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The Ho Ho Ho paper is my favourite.  Followed the tutorial successfully and made these great baggies.

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Again they were soooooooooooooo easy, I will definitely be pulling this tute out for future thank you gifts.  This time I wrapped some shortbread in cellophane and popped them in the bag, but you could use it for anything.  Lollies, chocolates, jewellery, the list could really go on and on.

I also made a little sticker for each to close the bag, with just a stamp and some card stock and double sided sticker sheets.

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I love them all lined up in a row like this

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Needless to say my work mates were very happy and were in awe of all my cleverness (hehehe modesty), it’s quite good actually because they are not very crafty and really do appreciate it when I whip out something for them.

So with Christmas only 1 day away I have lots of cooking and cleaning and general preparations to do.  I won’t be back until after Christmas, but when I am back I will have some truffles, hand made presents and another gift card box to show you. So to all my followers, all 19 of you, and to anyone who reads this Have a very safe and merry Christmas, may all our days be joyous and full of laughter and wonderful memories in the making. 

Until then Happy Crafting