Monday, June 28, 2010


What do you do when you have weather like this...
                                                                Photo from

and half a case of these?
You break out the old high school cookbook...
Peel, core and slice 10 apples...
Cook them for about 10 minutes with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/3 cup of water, then pop them in a pie plate...
Rub 3 tbsp of butter through 1 cup of plain flour, then add 3 tbsp of coconut and 3 tbsp of sugar. Sprinkle this mix over the apples...
and bake in a moderate oven until lightly browned.
Serve it hot with an accompaniment of your choice (we are partial to custard and vanilla whipped cream) and watch a family of five demolish it in 10 minutes!
Family of five / 10 apples = 2 apples per serve. 2 apples - that's gotta be healthy, right?

Like I said - Mmmmmmm.

P.S. "Food is not about impressing people. It's about making them feel comfortable."Ina Garten,  'The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook'

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Grand Day Out...

I spent Saturday at the Scrapbook & Papercraft Convention in Brisbane with Toni. What a day!
We got an early start and were there when it opened, so that we had plenty of time to check out the stands before our classes. (Mind you, this takes a long time with Toni, beacuse she knows and chats to every second person she sees. She even managed to find the mother of a friend from primary school. Who else could do that?!)
Since I started working full time a few years ago, I don't get much chance to get into craft shops anymore. Seeing all the new products was a real treat. I was particularly taken with the new Kaisercraft collection which they had a raffle for...
 (Photo from the Kaisercraft website - go check out the whole collection - it's beautiful!)

Toni managed to fenagle us an entry even though they had run out of tickets!

There were also some excellent displays from the tutors of the classes on offer this year. Check out the work of  Lynette Carroll if you like shabby chic. Her scrunched paper wreath was to die for. (But the dusting!!)

We both did two classes, finishing with the one from Stick By Me using vinyl quotes, which were surprisingly easy to use. We applied them to tiles and then embellished...

We also managed to catch up with Ngaire Bartlam after her class, to say 'hi' and check out the progress of her tattoo - have a look at her amazing blog here. (I did a great scrapbooking class with her last year - see the page here.) Even with a head cold, she's still a hoot.

We didn't leave until the show closed - Toni was spending up until the very last moment! (I don't know how she managed to still have cash in her wallet!) It was great to shop vicariously though, and we found some good bargains and came up with some great project ideas together.

Despite the driving (Toni) and texting (me) adventures on the way home (tell you later), we had a brilliant day - full of laughs, friendship, shopping and craft. Thanks Gumby! *wink*

P.S. "Art is the only way to run away without leaving home."  Twyla Tharp

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The end of the 'long' project...

Have you guessed yet?  

The 'long' project was not only long, at 2.5m, it's also 4m wide when closed...

It's curtains!

Or to be more exact, drop cloth curtains. Made from drop cloths. You know, like for painting. From Bunnings. Two huge panels of gorgeous, thick, natural cotton for just over $40!

Mind you, they don't start gorgeous. They come like this...
Elegant, no! Cheap (for 9' x 12') - yes! (I got mine on special - $20.99 each.)

If you're going to use new drop cloths rememeber - once you remove the plastic, you will want to put them straight into the wash - they stink! The cotton is in a raw state and will need the little bits of 'chaff' washing out - did I mention the smell? (I guess painters are used to stinky smells. They probably don't wash theirs.) I washed mine twice in hot water, with drying time in between to make sure all the shrinkage was done before the sewing and that the fabric would be nice and soft.

Notice the great big black brand-name? Once the cloth was dried and ironed, I cut a strip from one selvedge to the other just under the printing. This is the fabric I used to make the concealed tabs on the top.

Because the strip I cut off ran down the side with a hem (the 9' one) I re-hemmed it. This became a side of the curtain. (The sides were already hemmed when the cloth was made - how cool is that?) The selvedge sides (12' ones) are the top and bottom. I made some tabs for the top, using my curtain rod and how much fabric was in the extra strip as a guide to the size. I used 16 tabs per curtain, and didn't need to use any of the fabric with the brand on it. There were even a few leftovers. 

Once the top was folded over 10cm, and the tabs evenly spaced and pinned on, I machine stiched two long lines across the panels, 1cm from the top and bottom of each tab.

Basically done. I didn't even have to hem the bottom because it's a selvedge edge, though I'm still trying to decide if I like the 'pooled' look at the bottom. (Check out examples of extra long drapes here and here.)  I may still decide to hem them.

In Design Rules, Elaine Griffin says, "Curtains should always be installed as close to the ceiling line as possible in order to visually elongate your windows and uplift your ceiling." And, "Never end your curtains exactly at your window trim. Extending the rod by at least 6 to 8 inches past the outer edge of the trim on each side of the window will let in bushels of light when the curtains are open, makes your windows look gargantuan and show off your lovely curtain fabric too."

And blow me down, she's right you know. Our room looks bigger and grander! (Though I keep expecting them to open to a fanfare of organ music and people to start dancing across my back patio!) The colour also helps make the room larger, as it's similar to the walls.

The nice french seams in the cloth give a little added detail - I decided to go with the pre-joined cloths and have 2 larger detailed panels than smaller cloths and 4 or 6 plain panels.

Anyhoo, the new look is much better than the old, dark, stingy curtains we had before:

(Just ignore the cute egg tree and focus on the blah curtains in the background - I forgot to take a 'before' shot. D'oh.)

One more look...

Ahhh. Much better!

P.S. "But Nature cast me for the part she found me best fitted for, and I have had to play it, and must play it till the curtain falls.Edwin Booth

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Key Art...

I have finally got around to a little art piece that has been on the drawing board for ages. I bought this frame from a discount shop months ago, waiting on finding some vintage skeleton keys.

Unfortunately, the real thing is a bit spendy - if you can even find them. I settled for the three largest of these:

         (Purchased from Twilight Crafts while at the Esk retreat.)

I used some paper scraps with text (that I already had) that fitted ...

and Voila! More art for my house. Which I need. 'Cause you can still see bits of the wall in some places.

So I had a little accessory re-arrange and made my linen chest vignette a bit more Autumnal.

Roll on cooler weather. More time for projects!
Stay warm.

P.S. "Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are already having."     Ambrose Bierce


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