Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Dolls House - One Day

When I was a kid (and played with Barbies) we converted a section of my bedroom cupboard into a dolls house.  It was a built in cupboard - floor to ceiling...something like 60cm wide with shelves top to bottom.  I don't think we did anything fantastic or amazing to the 'house' - no wall paper, no carpet.  But each shelf was a house floor. My Barbies lived in a mansion!  I loved it!

Anyhow, I have seen a few children's dolls houses around - like fancy-pants wooden ones that you'd be fleeced £200 for the privilege of owning.  Definitely not on my wishlist.  But, we visited a friend yesterday and her little 3 year old has been given this really great cardboard dolls house.

It is just like this one, but it is white.  I have just done a bit of googling and I see that you can purchase one of these here.  So fun.  I especially love that it is created for drawing on and that a budding little artist can go totally nuts on it or leave it completely minimalistic...and then when it's days are over, just recycle it.  No dilemma's or guilt over what to do with it when the enjoyment has fizzled out!

On my cardboard dolls house google travels, I also found this one.  I just have to share it!

How completely crackers is that?!  I love it.  The creativity appeals to me in a beeeeg way.  There are a few more must see views here.  Nappy boxes here - we - come!

Ok.  I got distracted.  This is actually where I was heading before google-land side swiped me....

It's a book shelf turned into a dolls house.  So, totally pretty.  Ok, I love this even more than a recyclable dolls house.  I love that I could re-purpose something that we already have.  I love that it can be re-purposed back into regular storage when the girls grow out of dolls houses.  Not that they have grown into dolls houses yet....maybe One Day...some day soon....I want to make a dolls house already!  Our family need a home!

Oh - if you know of any great dolls house furniture DIY's - I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Lovely Summery Weather

Today is the 4th day of the most awesome weather.  31 deg C is again the forecast high today.  I am melting, but loving real summer!

I always walk through Russell Square on my way home from work - it is a relatively small, but lovely and green park with a lovely little fountain in the middle.  One of those fountains that just looks like paving when it is off, but bubbles and spouts through the paving when it is on.  I took a few photo's the other evening.

It was around 6:30pm and really, really warm.  As you can see, there were loads of people just chilling on the grass.

You can just about see the fountain is in the distance.  There were a few littlies in their swimming cozzies splashing around in the bubbling jets.  So nice to see people enjoying the warm weather and just enjoying being outdoors!

The pictures are a little fuzzy...I blame it on my phone camera, again...It's so nice to have windows and doors open to the breeze and warm weather.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Screen Printing Love

What is it about screen printing that is just so darn addictive?  The more paint I mix and slop around, the more I want to do it again.  I want to print and print and print until I get the technique just right and am rewarded with a perfect print.  Then I want to mix a different colour and start it all over again....

The whole process can be really rewarding or really, REALLY frustrating.

Either way - it is a-d-d-i-c-t-i-v-e!

So, I was allowed an hour or so at the weekend to get messy.  And whipped out a few green apples and green robots.  I mixed the green myself - the on screen colours don't do the colour a great deal of justice.  It isn't an emerald green, definitely not an olive green or even a granny smith kind of green - it is a lovely vibrant, summery, sunshiney green.

The colour is probably somewhere between the Pantone Summer Green and Bright Green.  It is g-g-g-gorgeous...if I do say so myself.

Anyhooo, if you are looking to invite a bit of summery green into your life...look no further than here!

On a really exciting note, I have a few days of leave to look foward to at the end of August.  Leave where I will be all to myself!  The girls will be at nursery, Flower Daddy at work (for most of the days) and me at home.  At home!  Designing!  Mixing ink!  Printing!  Exposing screens!  Sewing!  Time - all - to - myself.  Time to do with as I please!

Can you feel my excitement????!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Crustless Milk Tart {Recipe}

When I was a kid Mom used to buy full cream, lightly pasteurised milk from a local diary farm - like 15 litres of milk in a gigantic yellow bucket once a week!  [One time, when the bucket lid wasn't properly closed, milk spilt all over our car boot - yucky sour milk stank out the car for WEEKS!]  It had lovely cream on the top which my dad skimmed off and turned into butter - he had one of those fancy pants butter churners.

Sometimes, when there was milk left over at the end of the week Mom would make some delicious milk tart.  This is the same recipe that I have been eating since forever...    

The more traditional milk tart has a pastry crust.  This recipe is just so perfect, that I have never been bothered to figure out a crusty version.

4 cups milk
2 tbsp margarine or butter
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
cinnamon to sprinkle over

* Melt the butter, then beat in the egg yolks and sugar.
* Add the dry ingredients, milk and vanilla to the egg mixture.
* Stiffly beat the egg whites, then fold into the mixture blending well.
* Pour into a 35x20cm (can do a bit bigger too) dish.
* Sprinkle cinnamon over (I use LOTS)
* Bake at 160 deg C for around 45-60 mins.

You may need to bake the tart for longer.  Mine is often in for longer than an hour.  Keep baking until the milk tart is no longer wobbly.  I usually wait for the surface to crack up a bit - it is normally ready to eat at this point.  Also - it gets firmer the cooler it gets.  Ours is usually half eaten by the time it is cooled.  It is just too yummy to wait until is is cool!!  It will keep in the fridge for a few days - and is just as delicious cold.

Yum!  Yum, Yum, Yum, Yum, YUM!

I'd love to hear what you think about this recipe - so please give it a go and let me know if you enjoyed it or not.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

No Cupcakes Left

If you happen to have visited my Facebook this week you would have seen Chloe hanging off of the oven watching cupcakes bake.  Or, maybe she was just gawping at herself and slobbering on the mirrored glass?  Either way, it was cute.

We decorated the cupcakes with a lovely, yummy, light and fluffy chocolate buttercream icing and Ava sprinkled colourful flowers, spots and miniature smarties generously all over them.  YUM! cupcakes are all finished :(

I am supposed to be on a bit of a diet - as in cutting back on the naughty stuff, so no baking cupcakes again any time soon......{melodramatic} sigh........

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Through the Eyes of a 3 Year Old {July 2012}

There is nothing quite like a 3 year old to keep it real...yup, our house is an untidy mess.  That is just the way it is.  No sooner have I tidied a corner, than a bomb explodes in another corner.  So, I have kind of given up.
The dining room table always has piles of stuff on it.  We pretty much live at and around the table - this space has a lovely view of and doors opening on to the garden, as well as lovely light.  The backs of the dining table chairs often have clothes hanging on them - better there than the floor, right?! 

In other 'news':
* As of Thursday Chloe is walking!!  About 2 drunken metres at a time!!  We are so proud!!
*I have been a bit quiet in this here spot because day job + home are sucking me a bit dry - a bit of overtime, cranky commuters, late and disturbed nights, cranky tired children, dreary wet weather all contributing.
* I squeezed in a tiny bit of sewing time for me yesterday.  I have hardly sewn in weeks!  I now have 2 skirts on the go - 1x Burda (kinda wrap style) skirt and 1x re-invented M&S (long to short) skirt a la Noodlehead....more details another day....

And now, Chloe - who has been up since 5:30am (grrrr) - is removing washing from the airer.  Best I go rescue it all before it needs re-washing!

Have a happy Sunday!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

My Pin Cushion Arrived!

The pin cushion that Rachel made for me finally arrived, after 2 weeks in transit....Yay!

Isn't it just gorgeous?!  She made it all herself, including dying the wool and molding all the mushrooms, owls and the snail.  I love it.  As you can see, Ava loves it too - in these pics she is pretty darn well absorbed in un-pinning and re-pinning the whole thing.

I couldn't find my proper camera in the rush to open the cute packaging and so had to resort to my phone camera before Ava rattled the tin to death.  There are much better photo's over on Rachels blog and a nice description of how she put it all together.  Isn't she just so clever?

For now, the little woodland scene is sitting prettily in my sewing space and won't be used as a pin cushion any time soon...

Rachel also send a sweet little stone with a pretty white ink pattern drawn on.  Can you see it by Ava's elbow in the top left photo?  Chloe thinks that the stone tastes rather nice...

You can see what I sent Rachel over here.

Friday, 6 July 2012

1 Year Blog-iversary!


I was just rustling through my archives...It is exactly 1 year ago today that I posted my very first post.  How did a year fly by so darn quickly?

Oh ja!  Kids tend to make that happen!

Must be all the fun been had.

In fairness, I really have only been making more of a bloggy effort in the last few months.

My first colouring in softies were hand they are screen printed (by me)...times have a-changed, and times are a-moving onwards and upwards with lots of good new things and ideas in the pipe-line.

To celebrate, I have a discount code to share with you:

Use BLOGIVERSARY at my shop for 25% off or on Etsy for free shipping, anywhere.  Good until the end of Sunday!

Pinterest or Evernote?

Do you use Pinterest?  Do you find it useful....a time waster...any or all of that stuff?

Flowers from Rose Hip
I don't know...I started using Evernote in February 2009 at Flower Daddies insistence that I give it a he said it was am-a-a-z-z-e-ing.  Well, I used it a little in 2009; a little more in 2010; then in 2011 went a bit nuts with it and haven't stopped since.  As I already have 606 notes (YIKES!) I couldn't really be bothered to take up Pinterest too.  That's not to say that I am not intrigued by it.  With Evernote....

*I like that I don't need to be connected to the internet to use it
*I like that it is easily portable
*I like that I can have gazillions of notebooks and tags and folders and still easily find things
*I like that I can see little thumbnails when searching for something
*I like that I can choose to share a notebook with whom ever I please - like a 'wishlist' for Flower Daddy to take hints from for presents...that is, if he would ever actually look at it!
*I like that it automatically saves the internet origin of my copy and paste (except when I just copy a picture...then I have to do it manually).

But, then again, I have zero clue how Pinterest functions, except when I land there via blog-land and just view and click on links.

I use Evernote a lot to save copies of tutorials and patterns - that I will one day hopefully get around to trying  - that I find online.  I use to just book mark them in my browser.  But after numerous computer deaths and losing all those saved book marks - or the source being removed from the web - I wanted a more permanent solution.  Evernote to the rescue!

A few highlights...

TGIF!  Have a good weekend and I wish lots of crafty-ness time for all of us.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream {Recipe}

In the hope of some more sunshine making an appearance...we made some strawberry ice cream.

All you need are some frozen strawberries, a little cream and a few spoonfuls of icing sugar.  I have to confess that it isn't my recipe.  You can find that over here.  But, it was super easy and quick to make.

To blend the ingredients I used our Braun hand blender - the hand held plunger, rather than the whizzy container.  I am not entirely convinced that it was man enough for the job as our ice cream was not as smooth as we would have liked.  Maybe I froze the strawberries for too long?  I don't know, but it was delicious!

Our ice cream looks a little melted, that is because I kept whizzing it to try and get it smoother.  So, don't over-whizz yours, unless you like melted ice cream.

Do you think that this idea would work for mango or banana or some other fruity ice cream?

Sunday, 1 July 2012

New Fabric - Apples and Robots

After my printing frenzy last weekend, I have finally put these two fabric designs in my Etsy shop!  Yay!  The fabric is the most gorgeous green linen.  The apple fabric photo's really do not do the fabric colour any justice.  I just do not know why it was so hard to capture the real greeny colour.

Anyhooo...pop into my Etsy shop and have a browse...lots of happy goodness in there for the taking (or buying if we're getting pernickety).

Elsie May and Bertha {Shop Swap}

Louise from Elsie May and Bertha was the first person (and so far, only person...) to sign up for the Shop Swap.  She sells lovely little things.  In her words "I make items with fabric, wool, vintage bits and pieces, buttons etc. These can be cushions, clothes, lavender and rose scented hearts, pillows and sachets, pictures, decorations etc".

I had a cheeky browse of her shop and her Folksy shop and found much yummyness.  I especially loved all her knitted things...probably because I don't knit!

Just a few photo's taken off her shop pages...go have a browse for yourself...

Sign-ups for the swap are open until 18 July, so please come and join us.  It is just a little bit of fun that really won't take much effort on your part.  I would love to see what you make and share some of your loveliness with others.