Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Melbourne.....

oh how i love you.   you are cool without being pretentious.  you are familiar like a comfy pair of jeans.  you make everyone feel welcome and those of us who live north of the border - like we should be living there.  you are underground, funky, moody and alive.   coffee, bikes, beers, veg bars, gorilla crafts. 
Needing to get our fix so we will be seeing you soon

claudes and martino

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Project #2 - Cushion for Martino's Chair.....

So yesterday I went to my favorite fabric shop and bought lots of really cool fabric and from there decided to make him a cushion for the chair.

This is Martino's chair.....his little space to sit and enjoy all his magazines, bicycle websites, coffee and sometimes even to do none of the above and just have a good old nap!  
I had not used my sewing machine for over a year and a half as all the projects I have been working on recently are all hand stitched.   So I went hunting around online and found one of the easiest tutorials to make an envelope cushion cover.   It is from Vanessa at Crafty Gemini.   Ive only just discovered her videos and they are great mix of sewing, crafting and cooking tutorials that are easy to follow.   So check out her blog for some inspiration and easy to follow instructions.

Here is my finished product -  hope he likes it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jamie Oliver you rock!

Here is one of our winter staples for 2010 -  Chickpea and Leek soup.  Ive been collecting his cookbooks for a while and thought I better start really using them - not just for the pretty pictures and to perve at his cheeky smile - but really they are filled with wonderful, fresh, seasonal and yummy goodness! This soup caught my eye as I had been wanting a hearty soup that didn't involve pasta or lots of potato and was vegetarian.  Ive tweaked the recipe a little since I am only cooking for the two of us (the recipe in the book serves 6).   I still get 4 serves out of this recipe below, which is lovely as I get the night off from cooking!  a win win really....

eat me!  I am quick and delish


Serves 4

2 cans of chickpeas (240g per can)
3 medium leeks
1 large potato peeled
850ml of vegetable stock
a little olive oil
1 clove of garlic crushed
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and dice the potato into cubes - i usually get 6-8 cubes from the 1 potato.    Slice the leek length ways from the root to the tip. Then peel off a couple of the outer layers and give the leek a good wash to get rid of the gritty stuff that always finds its way amongst the leaves.  Slice the leek thinly.    Put a little olive oil in your pot and cook the leeks and the garlic gently for a few minutes.  You will start to see the leeks get sweaty and soft and at this point - grab a glass of your favourite drink and enjoy cause your kitchen will start to smell sooooo good - after all its part of the experience!     Cook the leeks until they are tender and sweet and then add the potato and  the drained chickpeas and  most of the stock.  Simmer all this for about 15mins.   Your soup is then ready to puree.   I pour out half of the soup and leave the other half in there to puree.  Return the rest of the soup to the pot and use the rest of your stock to get the consistency to your liking.    Check for seasoning - I don't add salt as the stock will already have some, but I do add pepper before serving.    Enjoy it with some crusty bread and a little grated Parmesan.... mmmmm delicioso!   


Monday, August 23, 2010

Project #1 - Pretties for your home or office desk.....

So part of my blog space will be dedicated to sharing with you all simple little crafts that I have tried making and would love to share and hopefully inspire you to try.   My craft skills are all self taught using the Internet - blogs, tutorials, videos, pod casts, newsletters etc.   The online crafting community is a very generous one with many people willing to share tips and tricks on all sorts of projects.   Ive had lots of fun making many of them.  Here is one of my favourites:

im recycled!

I made these in no more than 10 minutes.   I chose pretty papers that I had kept from my paper crafting stash.

You will need:
* aluminium or tin cans (like the ones you get your tomatoes, beans,chickpeas, corn, coffee beans etc)  Also look for cans that have ring pulls for opening.  No need to then use can opener and you have a safe, jagged-edge free can!
* paper or fabric to cover the tins  (go crazy here - newspapers, craft paper, wall paper, stationary, maps, catalogues, fabric scraps etc)
* spray adhesive  (this is my choice as its quick drying, not messy and easy to find in all craft/hardware stores- but any glue for craft will do as long -ask your local craft store helper)
* scissors

Step 1:

remove the labels as well as wash and dry all the tins.   If you are planning on making a few, I suggest you look for tins of different sizes and heights as they look lovely once they are grouped together

Step 2:

grab the piece of paper/fabric that you will be using to cover the tin with and lay it down on a flat surface.

Step 3:

wrap the paper/fabric around the can leaving as little or as much overlap as you like to cover around the tin.  I usually leave 2-3cm.  Also measure the height of your tin and cut this to your preferred height.  I like to leave the paper to sit just above the can opening.  Its easier and looks neater.

Step 4:
once you have all the coverings cut to size. Head outside and spray the adhesive on the back (or wrong side) of your chosen covering.  For me its easier to do this one can at a time.  Also good idea to be in a well ventilated room or outside as per the instructions on your chosen adhesive - some of these are stinky!  

Your new holders are ready to use!   

Super easy,  fun and a great way to recycle cans and any bits of paper/fabric/materials that you have been holding onto (or like me hoarding for years).   You can use these to hold all sorts of fun things like your pencils, crayons, pens, paint brushes, rulers etc

the finished product - making my craft desk neat and pretty!
if your tin has a lid - then cut out paper to fit the inside of the lid and you have even more pretty places to display things on your desk!


ps - if you ever want to share pictures of similar project you have tried, please feel free to email me pictures and i can put them up on this blog to inspire others to give it all a go!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ay caramba!!

Finally....a blog space all of my own!!   A place where I can share (and at times ramble on about) all the things that excite me including:

felt  - One of my fabrics of choice at the moment.  Using it to make lots of little things that I will soon share on this here blog.

2nd hand goods  -  Woah! have you been to your local Salvo's or St Vinnies of late?  Its filled with lots of beautiful preloved things to redo/reupholster/polish/clean up/wash etc  

Home design magazines and blogs -  My guilty pleasure.  Well not just me, my partner too. We both love them.  Looking at what others are doing with their spaces is inspiring.  

Jamie Oliver cook book -  working my way thru his first book.  Started with soups.  Scored 2 beautiful wintery soup recipes that have become winter staples - and all veg!

Crafty pod casts --     what a find!   Filled with interesting interviews, tutorials and other information for crafters and artists.  

Just some of many things that seem to be occupying space in my brain of late....hope to share many more soon!