31 December 2008

A little Christmas present from me to me.

Well kind of. I got a gift voucher from Damien's mum for Christmas and I used it to buy two thirds of this beast. I saw it a couple of weeks ago while doing the last minute shop for Christmas and thought it looked awesome.

Besides being possibly the heaviest book in the world, it's also very interesting looking. The chapters aren't divided in your tradtional meat, dessert, baking kind of way. They're way more interesting than that, off the top of my head without having the book in front of me for reference, some are; Rise and Shine which is Breakfast goods obviously. But it also includes some great juice and smoothie recipes. Drinks and snacks (I think) is full of cocktails, nibbles and other party kind of foods. There's also super fast, healthy, and asian chapters.

Anyway, enough rambling, I'm just excited to get stuck into it! I'll be doing a proper Christmas wrap up on the weekend when I have a little bit of time. But until then I hope that everyone has a very safe, happy and fun New Year.


29 December 2008

The reveal.

This post has been a long time coming for me, and I'm very excited to show my creations off now!

I actually made this for my sister months ago, and it's been sitting in my linen closet just waiting for a home. It was very tricky as my second quilt, and it's a bit "special" if you look at it too closely. But I love it and I'm very proud of it.

The thing that I like the most I think is the binding. I used the lovely Fii's tutorial from her blog. And the result is ace! It makes the whole thing look about 100% better I think.

My mum just started working again after a few months off in between jobs and I made her this bag from the always favourite Bend the Rules sewing. It was quick to put together really and I think it's turned out pretty nice. I really like the fabric. One question though. Does anyone know what flannel facing is? I interpreted it as wadding, but I'm still not totally sure.

And lastly here are some litlle zipper pouch make up bag thingys that I made for Damien' sisters. We tucked a few choccies and a gift card in them all. They turned out cute!

Did everyone else give and recieve some nice handmade gifts? I'd love to see!!


21 December 2008

Eye spy.... a bit of bling

Thanks to Bug and Pop for hosting, and to Hoppo Bumpo for the theme this week.

These are the decorations that I got this week from my lovely holiday traditions swap partner.

I love them, they're so cute and they look very nice on my tree.

I'll do another post later when I have the chance dedicated to the swap.
Busy, busy!


14 December 2008

Eye spy... a burst of colour

This is a small part of my shoe collection.

Wearing yucky boring work clothes and stockings every day is made so much easier when you can also wear purple shoes!

Thanks to Bug and Pop for hosting and Flossy-P for this weeks theme.


12 December 2008

75 Books in a year

Book 2

This is another series that follows John Marsden's very good tomorrow series.

It's pretty much just the 8th book in the series, but it's equally as entertaining. So I won't hold that against him. I really liked it as much as all the other ones. It's a little different, it's set after the war and Ellie's parents are dead and goes through the trails of running the farm, looking after Gavin etc.

If you liked all of the other books, I'd definitley recommend it!

I have a lot of books that I've read recently that I haven't written up, but I'll try and do it soon over Christmas.


09 December 2008

G Day*

On Sunday my Ginger beer was ready, yay! I didn't really have a proper taste of it but I'll write a few sentences about it anyway.

The small glass I had was WAY to sweet. It was almost syrupy to me. I think that if I make some again that I'll put in half the sugar at the final stage. Maybe less. At the moment I want to give it a go sliced with a little soda water and lime. Maybe some gin too.

Another thing. It's so fizzy. It put my batch in 1.25l bottles, and boy has the fiz come on strong. The first time I opened the bottle it fizzed over but was manageable, the second time it spayed all over! Luckily I was speedy to get it into the sink and close it up. Next batch I think that I'll use 2l bottle, see how it goes.

Anyway, in summary. Even if I end up pouring this all down the sink, it's been very fun to make anyway. Having the plant to feed every morning for 2 weeks was like haveing a whole new pet, very exciting!


Anyone else that's made Pip's ginger beer recipe, any words of wisdom?

*In no way affiliated with G'Day or D Day

Making paper.

Well not really making it, but same thing!

Here are some photos that the wonderful Damien took of me last night while I was painting some of the brown paper I got on the weekend.

Although this is a really horrible photo of me, please note the stencil. I think that I might make a little stencil tutorial the way I made this one. I used a plastic pocket for it.

This is one doing the prefered method of paint application, stipling I think it might be called? I also use one of those funny shaving cream brushed to apply the paint.

This is the finished product more or less. It's fairly unspectacular. But trust me, it looks very nice when wrapped around a present. I'll throw up some photos of my very coordinated Christmas tree and you'll be green with envy!

And I thought this was a funny photo of me, don't I look like I'm having fun??


07 December 2008

Eye spy... something in my garden,

Thanks again to Bug and Pop for the great new Sunday night game, and to CurlyPops for the theme this week.

It's a tomato plant with actual tomatoes on it! And from the look of those flowers, a few more to come. Sorry about the terrible quality of the photo. My camera died while trying to take a second one, so this will have to do.

Another thing I like in the garden,

this little succulent tray that my Nanna made for me. I love the look of succulents.

Some of the things that were missed in this post because my camera died:
- A chili plant with an actual chili on it.
- A strawberry that I've had for 2 years and never gotten a strawberry off.
- The corn that I tried to grow in pots (it didn't work)

04 December 2008

The newest member of our family...



Don't tell Damien I put a picture of him on the internet ok?
He's only been with us since this last weekend, so he's a bit to squirmy to get any good photos of, not that I haven't been trying. Also, Amity is really not liking him at the moment. So he's being kept in isolation until she get over herself because we're afraid she might hurt him.

Any tips on introducing cats to each other?


A week of collections - Day Four

The glass ones.

Please excuse the photos, it's deviously hard to take a photo of glass that is all rounded and such like these are.

On the left is a nice little guy that I picked up from Ikea a while ago, they have another one that's the same just bigger that's really nice too. Though I think I have enough plain glass canisters. I'm all about COLOUR! On the right is one that I got from a Vinnie's I think. $3? Sounds about right. I do remember though that the old man selling it to me was very interested it what I was going to do with it.

This is another of my favourites. I got it of eBay and it's one of the few that I've paid a not measly sum for $20 or so? Can't remember with the postage. I love the colour and texture of this, love it.

Another beauty from trash and treasure, which I've decided to start calling the happiest place on earth. I think this was actually $1 and it was my first canister I think. I mean besides just regular supermarket purchased ones that is.

My mum gave me this last Birthday. It's very pretty! You can't really see here, but it's got lots of lovely etchings on it of flowers. It currently houses latex gloves for when I have to touch raw chicken. YUK!

Plenty more tomorrow!

- Jemma

03 December 2008

What are you wearing Wednesday

As I said last week, mine will be more of a "what I would be wearing if I wasn't at work Wednesday". Say that 10 times fast!

This week though is what I wore to the Mike's Christmas party.

Sorry about the terrible photo. I took it last night when I got home, very tired.
I got this dress at the quick brown fox a few weeks ago on sale, it's lovely I think. It was a bit long for my taste so I cut about 2 inches off the bottom, it's now very short, but looks awesome with black tights and I like it so much better. And, on the hem there was 2 very nice pieces of matching embroidery that I have now to applique on something. Which is nice.

Coming up, tomorrow more canisters, Sunday I spy and I'll be back next Wednesday for what are you wearing.


A week of colllections - Day Three

The sets or, The collections within the collections.

These ones are another gift for my nanna. I only got these beauties recently, so they don't actually have anything in them. But they're pretty yes? These ones don't actually live in my kitchen, they're currently on top of the heater and looking for a permanent home.

I remember someone in my family having something very similar to these when I was growing up. I got these at trash and treasure for some paltry amount. $8 I think. They came with a cutlery jar, for wooden spoons and such, and 2 shakers that I can't figure out what to do with.

These last ones are from trash and treasure too. (I love it there!) Also very cheap, $15 I think. And they have a matching cake tin that some of you might of seen at the pedlar's picnic. These are my favourite of the sets.

More tomorrow.


02 December 2008

The best!

Vintage LOL Cat

Via Gawker


A week of colllections - Day Two

Ok, I'll admit. This is technically a Christmas cookie jar that I got at Target last year.

But I like to call him Mr. Rice Penguin. Because that's where we keep our rice. Nothing is funnier than the day my nephew reached in there for a cookie, pulled out a handful of rice. And STILL tried to eat it.

This one I got at the heavenly trash and treasure market that's just near my house. $5 I think? This one holds our first aid supplies. It's deceptively big and currently has a jar of cough syrup, a jumbo pack of bandaids, about 8 different kinds of panadol, prescriptions and Damien's medicine.

See you tomorrow for more collections!


01 December 2008

A week of colllections - Day One

This is my first attempt to host anything, probably no one will play. But at least I'll get to show off my favourite thing to collect, which is Canisters!

I may have mentioned this before, but I love them. There's some really awesome things out there. My collection also extends to include cookie jars, regular jars tins etc. Pretty much anything that you can put a bag of flour in, I love.

This canister is one of my favourites (I say that about all of them). Yes, that is a top hat with a bunny coming out of it. And yes, the bunny is the lid. I got this bad boy at a local Vinnie's, it was a bit pricey at $7.50. But well worth it I think for the kitsch value alone!

Hopefully someone else will join in, I will of course happily link anyone that does. If no one plays, just enjoy the canisters. I'm sure some of my other kitchen goodies will make there way in here too. Like the caraffe that I made my ginger beer plant in, vintage pyrex and gorgeous.

Anyway, enjoy them.


30 November 2008

I spy, what I want for Christmas.

Thanks to Cindy at Bug and Pop for the awesome new idea of Eye Spy.

One of the things that I really like to buy for entertainment purposes, is DVD's of TV shows. Me and Damien already have a fairly impressive collection, and one of our favourite relaxing things to do is lounge in bed on a Sunday and watch as many episodes of our favourite TV shows as we want. No interruptions, no ads, the TV station can't randomly decide to show an old episode completely screwing up the story line, heaven.

This afternoon I spent some time over at EzyDVD looking through their lists of TV shows and I've decided to do a little top five of the shows that I would most like for Christmas. Sorry that this isn't anything crafty, I'll chuck a few of those on the end too!

- Buffy, the complete series - I am letting you all know how geeky I am?

- Dawson's Creek, the complete series - I grew up in the late 90's didn't I?

- Arrested Development - I love Jason Bateman and Michael Cera. I find this show SO watchable.

- Supernatural, Season 3 - It scares me, but I can't help loving it.

- Bones - No, I don't have a thing for David Boreanaz

Have I mentioned that I love TV?

On a more crafty note, I'd also love a new rotary cutter with an interchangeable zig zag blade, new fabric scissors, someone who knows how to change the light bulb in my machine, a crafting iron (I ruined ours with wadding), quilting lessons, a walking foot for my machine, more storage and a million dollars!

This game is fun!

- Jemma


With the amazingly talented Kirst over at Kootoyoo!

Here are my answers:

Still feeling totally inspired by the handmade issue of mankind mag from my favourite design blog.
Q What is the blog author's first name? ANSWER: Erin Loechner
use the first letter - LETTER: E

We like to keep lunch casual, I've found some fabulous BBQ recipes for the big day.
Q What type of meat is pictured on the rotisserie? ANSWER: Lamb
use the first letter - LETTER: L

Getting some great ideas for upcycling (my favourite craft) & enjoying the revamp over at this fabulous craft website.
Q They list everyone's favourite mama as one of their inspirational sites. Which mama is she? ANSWER: Soulemama
use the second letter - LETTER: O

Looking forward to being able to buy handmade at the shopping shindig with the craft book Queen.
Q What type of car is pictured? ANSWER: Volkswagon
use the first letter - LETTER: V

All these letters unscramble to reveal: LOVE
WHAT? is all you need.

I can't even imagine how happy I would be to win this one!

Good luck to everyone else.


28 November 2008

Next week!

I'm going to host a week of "Collections"

I'm going to be posting everyday, starting Monday of pictures of what I collect. But if you want to join in, it can be anything really. Cool pictures of other peoples collections, the things you collect, items that you'd love to add to your collection, the possibilities are endless!

Let me know if you want to play and spread the word, I'll make a link dump on my sidebar if anyone actually reads this and decides to join!


Ginger Beer

I decided that I'd use Pip's recipe and have a go at making some ginger beer. After seeing her joy at her creation at the Peddlar's Picnic. How could I resist?

The end of my second week is coming, and it should be ready for bottling on Sunday afternoon. I still haven't quite pigured out where I'm going to mix 14 litres of ginger beer in my tiny kitchen, but that's half the fun! I'll let you know on Sunday night.

Also, my best friend asked me if I could dye a dress of hers. I of course said yes (very cockily I might add) but I actually have no idea how to. Any one have any tips?


Christmas Traditions Swap 2008

In this, my first year of blogging I've decided to join in with the Christmas swap over at sew liberted. I got my swap partner last week and I was super excited to see that my partner was from america. A place that i've always had a facination with. And has a lot of cool traditions that I'd like to read about!

Being that I did get an American partner it really helped me with thinking up ideas of things to make. I'm pretty much going with a kangaroo theme. And then filling in the gaps with caramelo koalas!

The tradition that I wrote about was a but if good old backyard cricket. And the recipe that I chose was the timeless and slightly 70's white Christmas.

My partner also told me that she had a 2 year old son. So I thought that I'd whip up one of the very cute and easy Melly and Me dinosaurs. I love them!


26 November 2008

On my fridge..

With one of my favourite bloggers, Amy over at BadSkirt.

A little temperature conversion chart, since my oven is older than dirt it's still in Fahrenheit.

A menu from my favourite restaurant to get take away at. It's walking distance from the house!

A purchase wishlist made by me and Damien at the start of the year. Nice to see that so many have been ticked off!

And lastly, a "get well soon" picture drawn by my nephew Noah when Damien and I had a really bad flu a few months ago.

Thanks Amy for something fun to do tonight.

Next week I'm going to join Fi from Dearfii with her new "what are you wearing Wednesday". Though I might make it it. What I would be wearing if I wasn't at work Wednesday !

Happy hump day everyone!


23 November 2008

Passport Protector

As I said before, two of my very good friends are leaving for a 3 month trip to Europe next weekend. I wanted to make them a little going away present that would be helpfull while they're away, and here's what I came up with!

I got the adorable tutorial from here. It was super easy to follow, and already for an Australian sized passport.

I added a little (shakily) embroided panel on the front with the girls names for a little bit of extra personalisation and for my first bit of proper embroidery by myself. I think it looks good!

The top stitching is a little special because this was the first time that I had done any sewing with clear vinyl and I don't have a teflon foot or anything fancy like that. After I'd done a few centimeters I remember a tip that I read about putting a bit of tissue paper over the top of the vinyl when sewing it. And it worked a treat! The only problem being that I only had decorated paper, that wasn't exactly see through. I know what to do in the future though.

Well, hope you like. I know that I'm super pleased with this one. I'm going to be making the second one tomorrow night with the same fabric combo, but in reverse.

- Jemma

I've been a very bad blogger....

I've had one of those weeks. You know, very busy but you don't know why?
Well I assure you that there's some goods coming up. I've joined with the sew liberated Christmas traditions swap, and I'll hopefully be doing a post about that tonight. It's all a bit exciting, and I've made a little present for two of my friends that are you going to Europe for 3 months (lucky!) next week. So I'll be showing that too!

Hopefully I'll be back soon :)


14 November 2008

This makes me smile.

Stop Motion Spaghetti Cooking - Watch more free videos

First seen by me at Mighty Girl.

Make sure to check out her other excellent sites, Mighty Goods and Mighty Haus. They're my homewares porn.


12 November 2008

Curried Sausages

This is a recipe that I like to pull out... probably once a fortnight,at least. It's super easy, very cheap per person, easy to adjust for different amounts and most importantly. Delicious!

This is for 2 people since that all there is at my house. 3 sausage per person is pretty good, just add more if you want. The sauce is very far reaching in that regard. One other great thing is that this is an absolutely perfect leftovers meal from the barbeque that you've just had :)


6 Sausages, cooked and cut into chunks
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium apple, cubed
1 medium banana, cubed
2 tbsp of sultanas
1 tbsp of dessicated coconut
1 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp of plain flower
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp strawberry jam
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
2 1/2 cups of water


Heat oil in a frying pan and add onion, curry powder and coconut and allow to fry for about 2 minutes. Then add flour and fry for another minute.

Add water, jam, tomato paste and lemon juice. Put in the fruit and sausages and let this all simmer until thick and the fruit is nice and tender.

And you're done! I like to have mine with some rice, but I think mash would be really nice too. Especially if it was good and creamy to set of the spicy fruity curry.

Enjoy it!


75 Books in a year

With Jessie

Starting 1 November 2008

High fidelity.

What can I say ? Loved it! The movie of this book is one of my favourite go to watches in times of boredom, and I was surprised to read that in the book the whole story is actually played out in the UK.

I pretty much loved every minute of this one, and though I don't usually like to read the book after I've seen the movie first ( or the other way around ) this actually gave me a really enjoyable sense of déjà vu. It was really fun this time seeing that a lot of my favourite moments from the movie were in the book too.

So in short, highly recommended!

- Jemma

02 November 2008

This is... A favourite recipe that I'd like to share.

Vintage California Raisins Drummer

It's called Old Fashioned Raisin square among my family members. But I've seen various other similar recipes that are called some variation of raisin bar or raisin slice.

Anyway, moving right along.

Preheat your oven to 190 Celsius and grease and line your favourite slice pan, square or rectangle. It doesn't matter!


1 cup of Raisins, Chopped
1 cup of water
125 grams of butter
3/4 cup of caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon of bi carb
1 teaspoon of all spice (or nutmeg or cinnamon or something similar)
1 3/4 cups of plain flour


Put the water and raisins into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Stir in the butter and allow to cool slightly. When it is cooled, beat in the egg. Make sure to do it quickly or your egg will cook a little.

Sift in all of your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until it is nice and smooth. Pour evenly into a greased pan and cook for 40 minutes.

Take out of the oven and allow it to cool completely, if you take it out of the pan too soon it will fall apart. I like to dust it with icing sugar too.

My suggestions for serving is with an afternoon tea, it goes perfectly with a cuppa! Or for something slightly more decadent, put one of the bars in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then put a big scoop of vanilla ice cream over the top! Yummy!

I really hope that someone in blogland will give this a try and see how delicious it is!

- Jemma