Tuesday, 29 April 2014

hobbit heart

 In the morning there's nothing like the smell of breakfast cooking.

All the better when it is a farmhouse breakfast. Who needs Mcdonalds right?

And while cooking breakfast some ...rustic scones are good to have for later when it is morning smoko time.  They may not the best looking scones but they are tasty.

Breakfast went down a treat.

Then it was time to see to some craft projects currently on the go. The teapot supper cloth is transfered and just waiting for me to do the embroidery on it. I'm hoping to finish some old projects on the go too, and have at least ticked off some of the projects I wanted to try...
...Like these crochet edgings which I made to be attached to pillow cases.

I've also been bitten by the cross stitch bug again and have my supplies out to do some smaller projects, like this "bless this house" cottage design.

Then it was time for late afternoon smoko.

Before supper time I hope to finnish up this little design. We shall see.
I hope everyone is having a good day or evening.
“I am in fact a Hobbit in all but size.
I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am foond of mushrooms (Out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.”
--- J.R.R.Tolkien.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Oat Scone

1/2 cup plain flour.                  
1/2 cup oats.          
1/3 cup sugar.         
1Tbsp baking powder.                   
1/2 tsp salt. 
1/3 cup melted butter, 1 egg, 1/3 cup milk.
Mix together ingredients.


Pat dough out to about 7 to 8 inch circle about 1/2 inch thick. Spread 1 Tbsp melted butter across the top. Cut halfway through the dough into triangle sections. When done cutting sprinkle with Cinnamon sugar topping 1 TBsp sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon.


Bake in a 200 (-250) degree preheated oven for 15 mins. (the oven needs to be hot)

Let cool then enjoy with favourite jam.

Friday, 25 April 2014

frugal pieces

Today I spent some time at the sewing machine working on fancy strip patchwork blocks. It is a very thrifty way to use up odds and ends of fabric, but it does use up a lot of material scraps. I'm probably going to have to find some more scraps to achieve enough blocks for this quilt.

More quilting and patchwork is one of my goals for this year, I have a crazy quilt I've been working on and off for years and is making some progress. Meanwhile, I started this simple strip patchwork as it looked very easy to do and the vintage Lady's Circle magazine from where this pattern came from said it was good for beginners. How true. If you are doing this type of strip patchwork, a foundation material to sew the strips on is a must. I used a old bed sheet for this.

As mentioned I did some baking and the product of baking yesterday is being happily consumed right now. I'll put up the recipe next week.
I don't know what this tree is but it is hanging over the fence from our neighbours. Each year it has something different to show for all the season. There's white blooms in spring/summer and the berries arrive in all their glory in autumn. The berry colours are fantastic.

In Memory of Anzac day today I thought some might like the BBC Wartime Farm episodes to watch on Youtube.

 I hope everyone has a good weekend doing whatever it is they are doing.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Little Pleasures

A snippet of a page from one of this years journal entries for February.

On the craft table I've been playing around with cheap store brought felt tip pens and methylated spirits to act as a 'blender', by which I scribbled on a non-stick craft mat by Tim Holtz the felt tip colour and pooled a bit of methylated spirits next to the colour, then using a thin paint brush the two were mixed together so I could colour in this free fairy stamp. The method is stinky business but it does produce a result.

In the kitchen there was some baking.

And the day started off glorious so I had a walk around the yard admiring some of volunteer flowers that sprang up from previous gardening.

I discovered some hidden alpine strawberries the birds haven't found. Only a few but they were delicious.

'"After all," Anne had said to Marilla once, "I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."'
-Anne of Avonlea. (L.M.Montgomery)

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Make life...

This is a new junk journal which is just shy, not quite, of being A4 in size. I wanted to use up a lot of strips of paper I have from my paper stash and I created this book for that. The book 'closure' is actually from a cheap store and is a hair band.
The back of the front cover and the first page. I used washi tape to tie the pages in togeher and the ribbon is from a chocolate box!

Inside the book I also added some smaller insert pages. I like to use up my left over alphas in these books to decorate the pages.

Some of the smaller pages like the one with the birds are from vintage thrift store books I brought.

When some of the strips of paper were too small to do anything with I sewed them together. Some I used simple zig zag stitch for a decorative element.

I raided through my stash and used up lots of pretties I have been storing. This gal came from a Secret Santa swap with NZ/Aussie scrap group a while back. The package was too pretty to throw away.

Some of my cards also have been added into the pages. The girl is a Flonz stamp...of course.

On the front the image is from a vintage decoupage book I brought from the thrift store, I added some gold glitter around the border to make it sparkle and added the chipboard sentiment. Before I added the chipboard sentiment I went over the front and back covers with artist all purpose sealer to 'toughen' up the covers too. I'm glad it is now finished and I can move onto other things!

What do I use my junk journals for? Anything and everything. I write in them, paste pictures and photographs and stick in odds and ends that need a home.  They are my journals, scrapbooks, photoalbums, all mushed into one. Just like old scrapbooks used to be.
Now I have some embroidery calling me.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Autumn Harvest

I used up one of the pieces of brown paper in the pile of rubbish from yesterday and went the easy way of making some home made wrapping paper from it. I had in mind to keep things with an Autumn theme and going that way I picked some grape leaves and used those to print with. The paper didn't look very exciting, so I cut out a leaf shape from a sponge and used that as a stamp. Still it looked lacking in 'something'. Finally I used a stamp set Autumn Harvest from clear stamps TPC studio and using black stazon on ink I stamped the acorns randomly and lastly added one of the quotes from the set. I'll use the other piece of brown paper in the same way but with a different look, stay tuned.
"Every one must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn."
-Elizabeth Lawrence.
Home hints:
Line your bread basket with a napkin, just to add that extra splash of colour. It will also keep the bread warm when ready to serve.
I've been preparing for my next embroidered kitchen set and have this dishcloth almost finished to be included in the set. I'm hoping to make a Days of the Week set with fruits as a theme.
I've also came across my stash of vintage photographs, while thinking about ideas for paintings. I think this couple looks rather dashing and may inspire something of an idea for a folky sort of art, maybe similar to Henry and Esther.
"Autumn is a second spring, where every leaf's a flower."
-Albert Camus.
Cooking for the freezer:
Pumpkin Soup
750g butternut or Queensland Blue pumpkin
2 large onions
250g potatoes
5 cups chicken stock
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
Sour cream
Cut the peeled pumpkin into small pieces and cook in the chicken stock with the prepared and chopped onions and potatoes. Simmer gently for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Push through a sieve and cool quickly, then package into airtight plastic containers leaving headspace. Seal, label and freeze.
To serve: Thaw gently over a low heat, bring to the boil, add milk, salt and pepper and reheat gently. Serve in bowls with a spoonful of sour cream sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg.
Serves 6

100 percent snow white cotton tea towels, washed and drying on the line. Getting ready for the embroidery I will do on them.
Have a good day or evening doing whatever it is you are doing!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Thrifty lessons

This may look uninspiring but I have inspiring plans for all of the rubbish items in this pile of things. I started off with the plastic covers some pillow cases came in and those plastic hangers which came from tea towels I had brought. I used the plastic cover as a template and the hangers to make some pretty sachets.

To begin with:


Cut your paper using the template diagram (below). I didn't have paper that was long enough for the template so I made my flaps separate. This is the front and I folded in the 6mm 'seams' along the bottom and the sides. Leave the top, if you are making a separate flap like I did. The 6mm 'seam' fold at the top is to line up your flap later.

Cut out your flap and fold a 6mm 'seam' at bottom. Where the crease is cut a small slit to place your hanger. (Leave this step if you don't have hangers).

Glue the flap to the wrong side of the front as shown.

Use a small line of glue to follow the folded seam of the front and attach the back paper, right side facing up, lining it up carefully with that narrow seam edge. Glue only on that narrow seam so you make a pocket.

Follow the steps to complete as many sachets as you would like. When you are done, fill the sachet with any pretty smelling potpurri you like...dried lavender is nice.
When you fill the sachet glue down the flap. And hang in your wardrobe or place in your clothes draws if you didn't give your sachets hangers. If this looks all too much work, you can of course, cover envelopes to create something similar.

You can make these as plain or as fancy as you like. Some lace can be added and if you don't have the plastic hanger hooks, add some ribbon as a hanger. You can add some pretty vintage images to the front or some plastic, paper, felt, flowers can be added at the top near the hanger too.

Below: Template for the front (with flap) and back. Click on image to go to larger size to print.

After all that hard work I think I should enjoy some more Easter egg!

Hope everyone is enjoying whatever it is they are doing.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

sweet delights

I've been doing some papery crafting and managed to produce a couple of cards for the holidays this weekend and I also made myself a needlebook to help with all the sewing I am doing of late.

The vintage girls are from this website Magic Moonlight Free Images I used a few different papers from my stash to create these cards.

This girl I did some collage stamping using two or three different stamps on the small squared background behind the girl's head. I cut her out and added her layering on a few different paper backgrounds. I stamped a little banner, added a home made stick pin and other little touches to finish her off. The main stamp 'enjoy life's moments' is from KaiserCraft.

For this girl I wanted to use a rose embossing folder I recently brought and layered the embossed back ground on a brown card. I stamped a rose stamp a couple of times and used watercolour paints for the roses. Then I made up a tiny envelope and arranged the cut roses accordingly. I used a tiny butterfly punch to add some butterflies and I added a ribbon trim and some bling. The rose stamp was a gift from I don't know where...The Best Easter Wishes is from a FLONZ Easter stamp set.

The needlebook I used dark brown felt for the 'pages'. The cover uses Kaisercraft paper 'Timeless'. The stamp set is My favourite things sewing die set. I added some handcoloured flowers and a real vintage scrap. The book closes with a ribbon and has a decorative ribbon on the 'spine'.

Here, you can just see the brown felt pages that are inside the needlebook. For the cover I used recycled cardboard from a cup-a-soup box ( I used two stuck together to make it hardy).
Clearly by the colours used in this set I am already thinking about Easter chocolate! Whatever you do this weekend have a good one.