Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Hello Spring

It was so lovely to wake up to Spring here in Brisbane this morning.  Sun pouring through the glass doors, and casting its rays on the morning dew settling on the grass outside.  Sipping coffee and munching on toast with my little girl snuggling up to me on the couch. 

A couple of days ago, things were a little different, dark skies, and a thunderstorm threatening, so we escaped for some shopping, denying it's looming presence.  It didn't take much to restore my hope for Spring when this lovely set of drawer liners caught my eye.  They smell devine, just perfect for my daughters set of drawers (which have that musty smell that seems to come along with anything second hand). 

Hmmm, what to do with the sweet smelling off-cuts, definately not throwing them away..
so with scissors in hand I came up with..

Some pretty hearts to hang up in the wardrobe, and the perfect way to use up those  little ribbons that come sewed into the shoulders of tops (I cut them out and keep them in a box for a rainy day, which it was this day).

Hmm, sitting there looking out through the glass doors, scissors in hand, the misty rain was telling me to stay indoors, and with the little one sleeping soundly, I didn't need to be told twice.  So with a little rummage through my crafty stash, and a flip through an old Handmade magazine, I came up with these...

Peg magnets! (in my favourite colour of course).
Nothing like the weather, rainy or sunny for a little inspiration to create!

What inspires you to create?

For more inspiration, why not pop over to ourcreativespaces?

Hope you are enjoying a beautiful Spring day at your place! 


Wednesday, 24 August 2011

My Creative Space - Vintage Kitchen Labels

Vintage Kitchen Labels

This week I have been "prettying up" my kitchen.
I've been searching for some pretty labels for these vintage kitchen jars which I recently acquired, however, I have not found anything that suits. 

So I just created these labels in Microsoft Word, since I don't possess a desktop publishing programme or anything like it. 

I made them in light turquoise, however, you could do them in whatever colour you like.   Red or grey would look great too! 

Here's how to make your own vintage kitchen labels:

1. Using Microsoft Word, create a plaque autoshape, then enlarge to the size you need. Customise the border on the autoshape (I chose the 3 lines in 6pt). Fill the shape with colour of your choice.
2. Insert another plaque over the top of the first one, but make it smaller (this creates your inside border).  I then customised the border on this shape to have three lines also. Fill this shape with same colour as the first plaque.
3. Insert a text box in the middle and customise the font (I chose Edwardian Script IT in 48pt font size). Remove line from the text box so that it has no border. Fill text box with the same colour as before.
4. Print out onto paper, and cut out with scissors or paper knife.
5. Take a square of contact approx 1.5cm larger than your label and place it over the label. 
6. Affix label directly onto canister or jar.
And there you have it, a bit of vintage style on a shoestring budget!

The labels can just be wiped over with a damp cloth, perfect!  (I wouldn't recommend putting them in the dishwasher though).

I hope you find these labels useful and pretty in your kitchen. If you do, I would love to see them in action!

Popping over to ourcreativespaces to see what everyone else has been up to this week.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

Two words, mmm and mmm.  I know it's an Italian classic, but I have never made it...until now.  My husband took one bite of this, looked at me with a certain look and I just knew it was a winner.  

 It's super easy to make, you just need to allow a little time to prepare the eggplant.  It's simple and melt in the mouth delicious.

What you need:
1.5 kg eggplants
plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
350ml olive oil
500ml tomato pasta sauce
2 tablespoons roughly torn basil leaves
250g mozzarella cheese
90g grated Parmesan cheese

What to do:
1.Thinly slice the eggplant lengthways.  Layer the slices in a large colander, sprinkling salt between each layer. Leave for an hour.
2.Rinse and pat the slices dry on both sides with paper towel, then coat lightly with the flour.
3.Preheat oven to 190C and grease a shallow baking dish.
4.Heat 125ml of  the olive oil in a large frying pan.  Quickly fry the eggplant slices in batches over high heat until crisp and golden on both sides. Add more olive oil as needed and drain on paper towels as you remove each batch from the pan.
5.Make a slightly overlapping layer of eggplant slices over the base of the dish.  Season with pepper and a little salt. 
6.Spoon 4 tablespoons of pasta sauce over the eggplant and scatter some of the basil over the top. 
7.Sprinkle with some mozzarella, followed by some parmesan.
8.Continue layering until you have used up all the ingredients, finishing with a layer of the cheeses.
9.Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Go on, try it this weekend, you will be very happy you did!
Adapted from "Home Food".


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Things I'm Loving

Linking up with paisleyjade today for Things I'm Loving...

A few scrumptious things I'm loving this week...

Freckles, yum, just looking at them makes me happy..

*This photo of my daughter was removed for internet security purposes.

Seeing my daughter enjoying her new dolls house,
just need to make some curtains and bed sheets for it, such fun!

*This photo of my son was removed for internet security purposes.

Seeing my son up on stage at school in his class's parade performance this morning, so proud of him! (Apologies for the photo quality, when you are right down the back of the hall, a little digital camera like mine really doesn't work!)

My new chair I found in an antique shop.  Tends to be used as
a clothes rack in the bedroom, but I just love it!

Sourdough baguettes, problem is they are so long, when to stop?

Lady Grey Tea, warm and delicious on a cold windy day like today.
Jumping over to paisleyjade now to see what everyone else is loving this week.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Tearstained post about letters

Today, I'm grateful for handwritten letters.

If you read my post yesterday you would know about the letters.   I found a bunch of letters from my childhood pen pals, and have just been reading through them, it is just so special. 

I just realised that with the use of email, facebook, twitter etc, my children may not have anything like these letters to look back on when they are grown up, and that makes me feel rather sad. Of course, I will have to make sure this does not happen.  But the question remains, does anyone use pencil and paper for letter writing anymore? 

Most of the letters I found were from one particular friend. We moved from the Gold Coast to Brisbane when I was 9.  Linda and I wrote to eachother regularly, probably about every 4 weeks.  I remember writing the letters, and how much fun it was putting a stamp on the envelope, sealing it and posting it in the postbox, then waiting for a response.  Sometimes it would be many weeks before a new letter arrived, and how exciting it was to check the letterbox and find a letter with my name written on it.

We shared so much of our childhood between the ages of 9 and approximately 18 years of age and each letter is like a little snapshot in time of what was going on.   You can see how our handwriting, grammar, spelling evolved, how we matured into adults, all through letters on paper.

We talked about all the normal kid stuff like what we were doing at school, what movies were on at the cinemas, what boys we had a crush on, and then we both shared one of the hardest imaginable times of losing a parent as young adults.  There was a comfort in being able to put pen to paper, especially through the teenage years, something I really appreciate now.

Ok, now if this post were written on paper, you would see tearstains.  I am getting very emotional now thinking about this, these are wonderful memories, I am so grateful..
I can remember making a special trip with Mum to a stationery shop at Indooroopilly.  It was such a treat to get a new stationery set or writing pad.  I would sometimes send new stationery to my pen pal, and she would write a letter back to me on them.  One particular paper smelled very sweet and powdery, I don't know what the fragrance was, but I can distinctly remember it. 

I have searched facebook for Linda recently, but to no avail.  She spent her childhood growing up on the Gold Coast, went to Merrimac High (graduated 1991), and she may be married now with a different surname.  I would love to get back into contact with her, for old times sake, and maybe share a letter or two along with a latte or two.  That would be a very special treat.  So if you or anybody know of her or have any ideas on how I might be able to find her, I would love to hear from you.

Would also like to hear your thoughts about paper letter writing.  Is it something you or your kids do? Do you think it's important to keep it up in some form or another?

Linking up with maxabellaloves today, why not pop over there for some inspiration.


Friday, 5 August 2011

A Little Box of Treasures

Things I'm Loving (again)..

Last week Mum said she wanted to clear out her garage and whether I could come and see if there was anything there of mine that I might like to keep.  

Wow, wasn't I the happiest little vegemite when I found a cardboard box full of my stuff....

Like to know what I found inside the box?

My little red lunch case from kindergarten (yes really)! 

And inside the case was a stack of letters. Growing up I used the case to hold letters from my penpals.  Look at some of the stationery, isn't it sweet?

Holly Hobbie, I loved Holly Hobbie, still have my Holly Hobbie doll, even had Holly Hobbie bed sheets (wish I'd kept those).  Just love it.. but more about stationery and letter writing another time, that's a whole other post, can't wait to tell you.

My collection of Little Golden Books.  I thought these had been thrown out and lost forever! And Oh the vintage illustrations! I remember Mum buying these in the supermarket, they had them for sale right at the checkout (where the lollies are nowadays).

Little Red Riding Hood storybook with vinyl record, and BlueBird vinyl song record (these are the only pieces of vinyl I own).  "Would you like to swing on a star, carry moonbeams home in a jar..."  Now if I just had a record player.

Mary Had A Little Lamb belt from my 9th birthday.  How kids fashion has changed! Food for thought.

Birthday and Christmas cards from family and friends (here's a handful of cute ones).  Tempted to cutout, but think I'll keep, what do you think?

Also found the Instruction Book for my sewing machine (where have you been all my life?). Reading this right away!

I am so grateful to have found this box. I don't have many things from my childhood, and I feel like I just found a little part of me that was lost!

Have you found any long lost treasures from your childhood?  I would love to hear your stories.

Jumping over to paisleyjade now to see what others are loving this week?

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

My Creative Space

Granny Square Cushion

It's my son's birthday next week, and I wanted to make him something, but time is an issue.  So I decided to make him a granny square cushion.  I asked him to choose the colours, and then as I'm crocheting away realised these were spiderman colours.  So, how excited was he when I said it was going to be a spiderman cushion!  I'm thinking of sewing on a Spiderman applique (if I can find one by next week).

What do you think?

Popping over to ourcreativespaces now to see what everyone else is up to.