Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Break time



I'm going on a little blog break for a while. Hopefully I'll be back with some crafty inspiration. See you soon. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Popsicle Hut



Got some leftover craft sticks? Make a popsicle hut! This takes 15 minutes to build tops. Inspired by A Little Hut.

Turning Japanese:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

5 minute craft

Dress up your bulletin board with button pushpins. Simply hot glue a button to an ordinary tack. Make as many assorted button pushpins as you like. Inspiration from Mikodesign.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blog awards and happy things to do




The super sweet and lovely Suzanne of Create Fun & Mess gave me this award. Thank you Suzanne! 
 
The rules  of the Brillante Weblog Premio-2008 are:

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link to the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you have nominated.

I  am very happy to give this award to the following  talented and inspiring ladies whose blogs I really enjoy so much:


I love Gina's creative homespun crafts, recipes, nature photos  and cozy projects  she makes with her two gorgeous daughters Jem and Rhiannon. Always thoughtful and welcoming, you'll feel right at home in her blog right away.


I love Cindy's sparkly and bubbly wit and her funny take on things that happen on the home front.  I can't get enough of her sweet decorating style.  Her sewing and garden projects are so inspiring too. From time to time, Lucy the Dog makes an appearance. 


Stylish Rachael creates the cutest illustrations and prints. If you want to add a bucket of sunshine to your day, visit her blog! 


Creative as she is generous and unassuming, Yasmine's  true mark of artistry lies in her discipline to create beautiful, imaginative prints and patterns that she showcases in her blog on a daily basis . She's truly a creative visionary. I look forward to seeing her art everyday.


A naturalist at heart, Louise's  charming and effervescent writing about secret gardens, feathered friends, favourite things  and ephemera  is like having a chat with a dearest friend over tea. 


Chelsea's blog is all about sunshine and happy bursts of  colour, fun and everyday flavours. And oh, aren't her vintage collectibles and vignettes so cute?  


Two creative heads are better than one! Lisa and Sarah's craft collaboration is really inspiring and fun.  They have so many craft projects I want to try, like the covered tape measure for instance. Ahh, so crafty!

I also want to give this special award to Suzanne of Create Fun and Mess,   an award given to me by Gina and Louise in the past. Thank you again, gals.  

You make my day, Suzanne! Thank you for all your nice comments and  for dropping by my blog always. Cheers. xx

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hope Revo



Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

Join the Hope Revolution.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monster in a box


Special delivery: Monster in a box

For the past few weeks, my four year old nephew has been begging, moaning and nagging me to make a monster plushie for him.


"I want a monstei!," he wails.

Apparently he now has officially outgrown cuddly fluffy pouffy toys and has started to explore the deep dark recesses of monster land. So I sewed this critter out of long black athletic Adidas socks. I didn't have any specific monster template and rather just followed my imagination. For basic instructions on how to make a sock monster, this fun site is very helpful.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ring, ring, ring bananaphone

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring bananaphone
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring bananaphone

I've got this feeling, so appealing
For us to get together and sing, sing !

(Bananaphone-Raffi)

A funky sock monkey project using vintage socks (my old washed out kindergarten socks that mother kept for posterity). If you haven't made a sock monkey yet, try it! The little fella will add some sunshine to your day.

Sock monkey tutorial at Instructables.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Crystal charm birdy




I love wind chimes and especially faceted feng shui crystal balls. They really are great additions to a room to dispel negative vibes and invite chi and positive vibes. When hung near a window, the crystal refracts into a thousand rainbows when hit by slivers of sunlight. I added a little detail to the crystal balls to avoid the room looking like an oriental curio shop. I thought, why not add a robin bird (Christmas robin template from Nini Makes) adorned with gingham ribbon and some charms. Birds are ethereal messengers from another realm and lucky charms are just as effective in bringing in that lucky feeling.

May your weekend be filled with bliss and positivity!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Moonbeams



"Tell me what you feel in your room when the full moon is shining in upon you and your lamp is dying out, and I will tell you how old you are, and I shall know if you are happy.”

-Henri Frederic Amiel

The grass is always greener where you are



"The best place to seek God is in a garden.
You can dig for him there."


-George Bernard Shaw

Make your own happy terrarium! Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Matryoshka and song

This is a 7" celadon and rose matryoshka doll I made from Goody Goody Handmade's matryoshka doll tooth fairy pillow pattern. I think this cozy doll would look cute in a shelf filled with books and knick knacks. You can download Goody's free matryoshka pattern here if you feel like making one.

Here's another cute matryoshka pattern I found from Maize Hutton. The instructions and pattern can be found here.

Among other things, I have also been tagged by the lovely Gina of Gingerbread for a "song tag."
"List seven songs you are into right now.
No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they
are not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now.."

These are the seven songs I enjoy listening to at the moment:

Always be my baby- David Cook
Feel the rain on your skin- Natasha Bedingfield
Satellite- Dave Matthews Band
Serenity- Steven Halpern
Angel-Sarah McLachlan
Summer Sunshine- The Corrs
Lucky-Ben Folds Five

I'd like to tag anybody in my blog list who wants to play along! Have a happy thursday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A summery pincushion



I've been wanting to make a Heather Bailey pincushion for a long time. So finally, I got to gather some bits and pieces of summery fabric scraps to make a pretty pincushion. And oh, aren't threads and buttons beautiful up close? Sometimes we just need to move closer to see the beauty in the ordinary.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Creature comforts



Bunnies on my bed: Comfy bunnies made from recycled ribbed knit tops. The Cashmere Bunny tutorial is available at Betz White's website.



A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

-Miguel Cervantes

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Blondies and brew



What could be better than a sunny Sunday afternoon filled with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and home baked Blondies? Try Smitten Kitchen's Blondies recipe culled from the How to Cook Everything Cookbook. I've noted that a half teaspoon of creme de menthe added to the recipe gives the blondies a nice, refreshing lift that cuts through the assertive buttery taste. I love my blondies (and especially brownies!) without nuts. I guess the simpler, the tastier.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The joy of sewing and a secret garden



Don't you just love those big blue eyes? This is probably the easiest soft doll I've ever made. Missy Ballance offers this cute and easy to sew Silly Girl pattern in her blog Crafty Carnival.



This patchwork pouch made of vintage fabrics is inspired by the cover of Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew book. I hope this book becomes available in my local bookstore soon. There are just so many pretty sewing projects to try!



Lastly, a big thank you to Louise of This is My Patch for the Arte Y Pico award which she lovingly passed on to me. Thank you for your heartwarming words about my blog, Louise. I shall forward the award in due time.

If you haven't taken a stroll yet in Louise's beautiful piece of Eden, please do. There are lots of fascinating flora, faeries, berries, and birds to discover and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday Wisdom


Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.

-Rabindranath Tagore

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sweet tweet



Animal crackers: Cheery gingham creatures made from this, this, these and that.



Tabletop birdies: Beaded fabric birds made from a garland pattern



Savoury bites: Mini rosemary cheese scones adapted from the wonderful Hanigan Family Cheese Scone Recipe. Great with lashings of butter!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Bread to bake and toys to make

Banana Oatmeal Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Directions:

1. Sift together dry ingredients- all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon powder.

2. Mash 3 large bananas to smooth consistency.

3. Melt butter and add light brown sugar and 2 large eggs. Mix well.

4. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Blend well until free of lumps. Add 1/3 cup oatmeal and blend well. Add mashed bananas and mix thoroughly.

5. Pour batter into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350F until done.

Ooey Gooey Carrot Cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tb ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tb vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 8 oz. crushed pineapple, juice drained but reserved
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, both sugars, buttermilk, oil and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add in spices and other dry ingredients. Stir in carrots, pineapple and nuts by hand. Batter will be quite runny, but do your best to scoop it into muffin pans lined with cupcake papers. Fill the cups almost to the top because batter does not rise much. Bake for 20 minutes, until browned on top.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A piece of quiet



Quiet tunes, flowers and books are necessary ingredients of a quiet, restful weekend. Have a good one!





Press the bear's tummy for some relaxing tunes!

Friday, July 4, 2008

A bit of red, white and blue





Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Cream sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture then half of the milk. Add vanilla. Mix until blended; add remaining flour and milk and beat until smooth. The batter will be thick. Spread batter in two greased and floured 8-inch layer cake pans or a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched near center.
White Mountain Frosting

2 large egg whites
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a 1-quart saucepan. Cover and heat to a rolling boil over medium heat. Uncover and cook, without stirring, to 242*F (115*C) on a candy thermometer or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a ball that flattens when removed from water. Cooking time can take between 4 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile using an electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites in a medium bowl just until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and while beating constantly, very slowly pour hot syrup in a steady, thin stream into the egg whites. Add the vanilla and continue beating at high speed for about 10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Cover yellow cake with white mountain frosting. Sprinkle and cover with sweetened coconut.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If baking pie is zen, eating it is nirvana



The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they bloom like flowers.

-Thich Nhat Hahn