Thursday, May 31, 2012

Anything Can Happen Friday!

2012 marks 60 years that Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne!! I don't mind the queen she seems like a lovely old lady and though Prince Phillip has the tendency to be a little ahem inappropriate they look like they are still madly in love after all these years.

And well of course you know how I love to celebrate ;)

But as I am supposed to be studying this week and not celebrating :( I asked the lovely Nikki of Paper Gravy if she would mind terribly if I used some pictures of the great jubilee bunting she has for sale in her Etsy store.....

Isn't it awesome?? Printable straight from her Etsy store to you for the low low price of $US4, so why not grab some and hold yourself a Jubilee party this weekend!!

And if that didn't make you want to drink tea and celebrate the queen here are a few more links to get you in the jubilee mood:
- first port of call the official site here
- grab yourself one of these awesome tea cosies by Ulster Weavers on Not On The High Street
- I found these great totes from Rockett St George
- Culture Label have a limited edition tea towel set in stock
- in the archives at Amy Atlas I found this London Inspired Dessert Feature
- the Biscuiteers have an entire jubilee range which looks awesome AND tasty
- this little graphic is making the rounds of Pinterest
- The Prince of Wales is even getting a wee bit excited bringing out his own range of memorabilia, despite all the shenanigans in the media I happen to think the Union Flag Baby shoes are pretty damn cute

What ever your stance on royals it's always a good excuse for a tea party ;)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It's just a wee bit chilly down under lately so we have been doing a lot of baking, Joel bought a bag of apples a few weeks ago but was a bit slack when it came to eating them so I decided to make some apple crumble....

When we were kids Mum used to make it all the time, except she ever so politely called it 'Apple Scab'. If you haven't made it before it's pretty simple - peel and chop some apples and then chuck them in a saucepan with a bit of cinnamon/nutmeg and a spoonful of water, when they have cooked down all mushy and stuff (well as mushy as you wish really) put them in a baking dish. Then combine some oats, brown sugar, flour and butter and sprinkle on top of the apple mixture and bake - SO SIMPLE

and SO TASTY!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I am hacking away slowly at the last of my two assignments for the semester - surprisingly they are not as bad as I first thought and I am actually finding my futures assignment a little bit - dare I say it - interesting!

But that doesn't mean I haven't found time to peruse all my favourite blogs and foster maybe a new little idea in my head; here are some ways I have been found procrastinating....
- entering and hoping that maybe just maybe I will win this competition on the Design Files blog
- reading this article on Design Sponge and wondering whether I should start seeking some guest post opportunities...
- discovering new blogs like this one here and also this one, this one is also pretty rad
- contemplating a new brand name - any ideas? thinking about celebrations/parties/events type of name
- and finally playing with my paints to create these little thank-you cards below

Monday, May 28, 2012

On the Table

So last week my husband came home from work with a really sad look on his face, he totally loves his new job and I mean LOVES so I wasn't quite sure what the problem could be. He muttered something, sad look still on his face. 'Can you make me some biscuits?' simple enough request right? so why so sad? 'Because all the other guys at work have awesome biscuits and cakes that their wives make and all I have is a ham sandwich'


So in order to help my cute as hell hubby fit in at work I agreed to make him some biscuits, but not just any biscuits some awesome double choc chip biscuits. Like these...

 I found the recipe via Tastespotting on Cooking with the Big Dogs which she found on the Gourmet: Day to Day blog. Instead of making the 11-12 huge/giant cookies we just went with 24 regular sized ones. I made them on Sunday and we still have about 6 left stored in an airtight container still tasting pretty darn good.

We accidently grabbed a bag of milk and bag of dark chocolate chips so I just used a mixture of both. No Subway cookie but I would definitely recommend them.

You can probably tell from the photos but they were definitely a late night snack... next he has requested Double Choc Muffins but I think I might also sneak in some of these (minus the chilli) they will surely blow all the competition out of the water.

Also on the note of packed lunches I recently found the blog This Lunch Rox! and it really does rock

Sunday, May 27, 2012


This week is the last week of uni before exams, I am drawing ever closer to that elusive point called graduation but still no job prospects on the horizon I can't help but feel down at the moment but hopefully things will start looking up and up and UP!

So this week my posting might seem a little all over the place... mainly because I HAVE to focus all my energies on assignments due at the end of the week and the coming exams and thus I will have for you what I am going to call 'lazy blogs' things I have done/been doing that are simple and most importantly have already been photographed/documented etc.

 What is this? I hear you ask well after re-organising my sideboard which plays host to all my creative paraphernalia (we have no space so if it can't fit here, there is no where else to go!!)

It formerly had my uni stuff on the top along with my roll of brown paper and other stuff but I found it just looked way too messy all the time so ta-dah!

So much cleaner looking right? One day I will get round to taking photos of the whole flat but right now things are still a little all over the place - I want to get some of those space bag things to give us some more room in the cupboard and of course there is still the matter of Joel's boxes of 'stuff''

In the meantime don't my books look pretty? These ones are either my absolute faves or hollowed out books ready to be something else.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea

Today I am having a Holly Golightly 'Mean Red' Day. But my lovely family rallied to my request to send pics enjoying tea/hot chocolate for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea! The official day for it is today but you can throw one any day in May remember to donate you can head on over to the official site here....

I would love it if anyone wanted to send me their own pics of enjoying a cuppa around the world to do so you can email me at the address at the top of the page or alternatively head on over to the Stepford Facebook page and upload them on there :) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea Fundraising

Hopefully in throwing your own Biggest Morning Tea ways to fund raise should be at the forefront of your mind, there are many different ways you can get your guests to contribute and this is but one of my own suggestions.

Why not set up a simple 'photo-booth' for your guests to have their picture taken with prints able to be purchased and funds donated to the worthy cause of cancer research and prevention (you can find the details here). This is a different and fun way and relatively low-cost meaning more will make it to the Cancer Council!

I knocked up this simple backdrop in less than 10mins using some poles that we had from the tents we used at the wedding, a roll of white fabric, pins and tea bags. You can find lots of DIYs for backdrops using items you can easily pick up from the hardware store, this one here is pretty comprehensive and easy to follow.

If you want to keep it super simple and fun just go for a plain backdrop and use props to make it fun. Jordan from Oh Happy Day regularly offers free printable photo booth props like this one or you could easily collect materials and come up with your own. Ideas are endless but if you want some inspiration I suggest heading over to Smilebooth - they have the absolute best and funnest looking photo booths in the business

Good luck and happy fundraising!! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea DIY 2

For todays DIY I headed over to the official Biggest Morning Tea site right here and had a look see at all the special recipes that some of Australia's most awesome chefs have come up with for Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. I was originally planning on making some pikelets but then I saw these Ricotta and Banana Fritters by Tobie Puttock and decided to give them a try!

 They are quite a bit heavier than pikelets but still pretty yummy - the recipe yields about as many as you see here in the picture minus maybe one or two :)

I sprinkled icing sugar over the top and ate them first with a fork and then just picked them up to eat by hand, I think these would be a great after school snack 
and don't forget to donate some money to the cause of the week! Australia's Biggest Morning Tea 

Guest Post on Tinker Finca

I was so blown away when Jasmine of Tinker Finka asked me to come up with a DIY for her super stylish blog, you might have noticed I love to craft and her lovely request reinforced my belief that I am actually getting pretty good at this crafting business! So pop on over and take a look at my DIY Maxi Skirt - not just a summer thing you can wear them in winter too!!!

btw please ignore my horrible picture I am definitely no Bri Emery

Also if you would like to follow my crafting exploits I would LOVE if you would become a follower, just take a look over there --->

Alternatively you can catch me on Facebook here :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Australia's Biggest Morning Tea DIY 1

Wow all the while I having been asking for ideas for this week's DIY topic I missed one giant awesome one....AUSTRALIA'S BIGGEST MORNING TEA!!!!

For official details you can check out the website here but ultimately it is a fundraiser for the charity the Cancer Council and it's a big and very well loved one here in Australia. So if you decide you want to host a morning tea to raise money for the Cancer Council I am hoping to provide you with all the tools you might need - and as always cheaply and simply.

So other than organisation etc how does an event start? Well with an invite of course :)

Now you can probably do better with the lettering but below I am going to show you how to make a tea ring stain (which you could easily adapt to make a wine stain if you wanted to). It's as easy as making a cup of tea give or take a few minutes.

1. Grab a tea/coffee cup and saucer (or small plate/dish)
2. Make up some tea or coffee (I used tea)
3. Using a teaspoon spoon some of the tea into the saucer (I used about 3 spoonfuls)
4. Lift the tea cup out of the saucer carefully and put it gently onto the paper
5. Remove carefully again so you don't get excess drips
6. VOILA!!

NOTE: My teacup base was quite small so I made several 'rings', the longer you steep the better the colour will be

I chose to use blue watercolour for my lettering but you could print something out and do the ring stains separately, clipping the corners with a round punch will also make for a more professional finish with little effort. Put the invite along with some tea into a coordinating envelope and you are all set :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Anything Can Happen Friday

So you might have noticed that there are a lot of new TV shows around the place at the moment, I watched a catch-up episode of Once Upon a Time this morning and would have to say the hype is legimate... well for me at least. I tried explaining the basic storyline to Joel and I guess he IS a guy... I am also super ecstatic that Channel 7 has FINALLY decided to air the second season of Downton Abbey.
I. Love. Period. Dramas.

So to celebrate I grabbed out my pretty teacup to drink my coffee in this morning with my matching side plate and banana bread....

oh and can you tell? that's an instagram shot which means YES my phone finally got fixed! I am practically singing from the rooftops.

But in other news what in the world am I going to celebrate now that there are no approaching holidays on the horizon? well excepting the end of financial year and that's not really that exciting

If you have any DIY's you would like me to have a crack at, something that you have long loved but never thought achievable leave me a comment below or better yet hop on over to my Facebook page to get the ball rolling  

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend and fingers crossed I can come up with good projects for next week :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Fashion Thursdays

Well looks like winter is finally setting in here - I am freezing!! so in effort to lift my spirits out of the winter blues and the realisation that yes the ocean will probably be deathly cold I decided to have a little look see at what ASOS had to offer in their sale department....

1. Midi Skirt in Metallic Knit in Fuchsia 2. Vero Moda Loose Tailored Tweed Man Pants 3. T-Shirt with All Over Lace in Emerald 4. Pearl Cardigan with Faux Fur Collar in Black 
When they have sale items they REALLY have sale items you should totally check it out... now

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mothers, Babies and all the things in between

This week my posting will not be the usual Mon-Fri, sad I know but with no upcoming holidays to celebrate and an absence from home while I visit my sister and Dad I haven't had time to create things. This is one adorable little thing that has been keeping me busy...

My niece Isabella, she turns 6 on Thursday, the other one a little younger is much harder to pin down for a photograph but equally as cute. I have been thoroughly enjoying my time spent out West with my Dad and sister. My Mum is currently overseas with another of my sisters so it was a good opportunity to keep Dad company and help out in his shop (I even managed to make a Kate Spade reminiscent envelope window display for him) but as I ready myself for the gruelling 9-hour journey home I am reminded that real life awaits......

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day DIY no. 5

Ok last but not least is a DIY not of my own but one that I recently found and LOVE - you might be able to tell from my header that I love origami but I must admit the talent for origami comes from Joel not me - he made my little red heart for Valentine's Day and was more than instrumental helping me figure out this cute origami bow

Once I got the hang of making these babies I couldn't stop, you can find the instructions here but I was linked to them from How About Orange. They would be the perfect addition for any gift you decided to get Mum this Mother's Day and best of all they are likely to be FREE because all you need is a square of paper.

So Happy Mother's Day for tomorrow everyone!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mother's Day DIY no. 4

Second last homemade Mother's Day gift ideas!!! So no excuses to not give her something!!! ..... on that note I had better whip something up for my Mother and Mother-in-Law.....

My Mum will actually be in Darwin/Dilli with my elder sister this weekend so I will not get to see her but I am heading down to visit my Dad while she is away so perhaps I can give her the gift to beat all gifts!! CLEAN HER HOUSE!!! Yes because I am a strong believer that the gift that Mums, daughters - women everywhere!! would love the most is for someone else to do all those crummy jobs like cooking, cleaning and sometimes a little help in the garden of course while she sits back on the lounge with a book/movie with a soft pillow to rest her head - enter today's DIY

Yep, the simple envelope cushion cover

I try and keep all my DIYs super simple because let's face it you are much more likely to do something when it isn't so daunting a task but also because everything starts with a super simple idea that you can BUILD on!!

For example add a button to close the cushion at the back, I like bows better so I usually make a ribbon closure - you could use simple fabrics like the ones shown or you could appliqué designs on them like this, or maybe you can be brave and patchwork, or braver still and print your own fabric, customisation is endless but it all starts small

  1. Go out and find yourself some awesome fabric and a pillow to pop inside (I had a 20" pillow so I made the case accordingly)
2. Measure and cut one 20" square and two 20" by min. 16" rectangles - You need these two rectangles to be bigger than half the size so that they overlap and don't gape when the pillow is inside
3. Take the two rectangles with right side down and fold over the top about 2cm along the 20" side, iron flat and fold over again so the raw edges are covered, iron and pin
4. Sew this folded edge down as neatly as you can, this will be the only stitching you can see on the finished product
5. Take the square piece right side facing up, lay the first rectangle (this one will be the one that shows the most) with the finished edge towards the middle right side down (i.e. right sides together) lay the second rectangle on top right side down and finished edge facing the middle
6. Pin along all the edges
7. Sew along all sides with a 2cm seam allowance and finish edges with a zig zag (I do not suggest trimming the seams before you finish them the larger seams give the pillow a bit of give - which is necessary)
8. Turn in the right way and pop your pillow inside

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day DIY no. 3

I love these little (or big or even huge if you want) fans, they can be used for almost any occasion and as always are simple to make and adapt.

I used some decorative scissors to edge the paper on this one but you can also just cut triangles out of the folded fan to make one like this

Pretty neat huh? still wondering how to do it yourself?

1. Take some A4 paper, a glue-stick and some scissors (decorative or normal)
2. If you have decorative scissors now is the time to cut the long edge of each side
3. Then fold about 2cm accordion folds until you reach the end
4. Fold in half and if you didn't cut at step 2 you can cut a scallop now or any other cuts you would like to make
5. Glue the two halves together as in the bottom middle picture
6. Depending on the desired fullness of your fan fold another one (for cut-out fan fullness) or two (for scallop fan fullness) more sheets of paper repeating as before
7. Now you can glue them all together
8. Voila!

If you would like you can add a circle or heart to the centre with hot glue or even dab the edges in glitter - they are endlessly customisable

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day DIY no. 2

It's Tuesday that means one thing FOOD!!!

So traditionally on Mother's Day we make Mum a homemade card (see Monday's post), give her some flowers and of course make her some breakfast - preferably in bed so today I am going to share my ideal breakfast or at least a scrumptious one ;)

Oh yes it is exactly what you think CROISSANTS!!! and some tea of course :)

But not just any croissants I piped some chocolate ganache and custard cream into these babies to make them extra special

Pretty tasty right? And so simple even Dad could make them! Just chuck some cream and choc bits in a bowl stick it in the microwave for 20 secs (or less) and you have some yummy choc sauce, then make some custard using custard powder (or use store bought custard) whip some cream into it and you have some custard cream. You can either pipe your delicious centres into the croissant or simply cut as usual and lay it on thick.

Mother's Day DIY no. 1

So we got washed out on Saturday when the 'possible showers' forecast turned into actual showers so our Cinco de Mayo party did not go quite as planned... but we did enjoy some lovely Mexican food and yummy Kiwi Margaritas... perhaps a little too yummy in my case. Which means I didn't snap any pics :(

But never fear it is a new week which means new things to make! This week's 'holiday' being Mother's Day nothing could be more appropriate than a cute DIY card!

It's super simple and easy to make and hopefully only requires materials that you may already have! I love love love watercolour and the whole ombre thing going on everywhere is SOO pretty so why not give it a go!

1. Cut your card to size - I had a 5x7 envelope so I used my cutter to take my a4 160gsm down to size
2. Grab some pink watercolour paint, some water and a paintbrush
3. Starting off super dark and not so much of the water paint a line or two across your card
4. As you work your way down increase the amount of water you are using to spread the colour
5. Grab some white paint (or any other colour) and write something over the top I simply wrote 'Mum' but you can write anything from '#1 Mum' to 'Happy Mother's Day' the choice is yours

The best thing about using watercolour is that it is relatively easy to correct any mistakes you might happen to make along the way and now you have a super pretty handmade card to give to Mum :)

TIP: K-Mart stocks pre-made blank cards and envelopes for a good price if you don't have a big cardstock stash like me :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo DIY no. 5

Lucky the main participants in Cinco de Mayo are a little behind the time line in a different hemisphere because I seem to be getting into the habit of being late.... but again better late than never right? right?....

Ok so this last one is a no brainer it was intended for yesterday but I didn't get to Spotlight in a timely fashion and whipped it up quickly tonight. I felt like maybe I should not only focus on the decorations for Cinco de Mayo but possible fashions too.... so last time round I made a skirt and if I don't look hideous tomorrow maybe I will post some photos of it and I guess it needs some accessory kind of lovin' so this is what I did.

It's SOOOOOO simple anyone could do it.

  Pretty cool right and the best thing about it is you can always change it up later if you need to.
1. Go buy some beads (I tried to get some from the $2 shop but to no avail - each packet cost me $2 from Spotlight so I guess not too pricey) and if you don't have it on hand a length of ribbon (I chose red to match my skirt)
2. Grab a paintbrush with a skinny end (or use something else similar) and use it to push the ribbon through the beads
3. Continue until you have used your desired amount of beads
VOILA! done!

so so so very simple right? but effective and cheap and re-make-able. Also there are many different variations you can try - I was originally going to paint all the beads varying shades but didn't have the materials, you can also knot the ribbon between each bead to secure it or just simply tie one at each end to stop the beads from moving too much around the ribbon - so many options!   

If you give it a go yourself I would love to see your end result you can share with me via my Facebook page here, otherwise I wish everyone a happy Cinco de Mayo tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cinco de Mayo DIY no. 4

oops sorry guys a bit late today... I had something else planned for you but unfortunately uni has been taking a little more of my time than usual... so here is tomorrow's post today!!

So how can you not think about Piñata's when you think of anything Mexican? I LOVE making Piñatas, they don't often end up getting smashed but I LOVE making them! I made 'E' and 'J' ones for the wedding, I made some more for the last Mexican party we had, I made a monster one for my nephew and a few weeks ago I made a clover Piñata for St Patrick's Day. I guess once you start you can't stop.  
As I mentioned on Wednesday I used up my supply of coloured tissue paper so to cover my piñata I just used the same coloured paper as the tassels - they both work well so just use what you have or are comfortable with :)
1. Cut out your shape on some cardboard (I usually use cereal boxes but alas we had none at the moment) trace around it and cut another one so you have two sides that are roughly the same
2. Cut yourself a middle section and tape tape tape away!! (see my other tutorial or this one on Oh Happy Day! if you need more help)
3. Now is a good time to grab a hole punch and make a hole to string your piñata up
4. I find it useful to cut all the strips you think you might need straight up so when things start getting messy you don't have to wash your hands a thousand times (for this one I used 1 sheet of each colour cut into 4)
5. Tape or glue your fringes on starting from the bottom and working your way up - you might need to cut normal paper (unfringed) to cover the difficult spots like the nose and under the 'tummy'
6. Attach a string, fill with lollies and destroy at your will!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cinco de Mayo DIY no. 3

Recapping Monday we had Tissue Paper Pom Poms, Tuesday I made Chilli Choc Lava Cakes and today I am going to show you how to make a simple Tassel Garland.

As with the Tissue Paper Pom Poms the tassel garland is another decorating staple that has hit it big lately though I think there is one place that can be credited for making it fabulous and that is the one and only Confetti System, look here for a taste of their shiny happy goodness. You might remember I made a gold and white tassel garland at Christmas using tissue paper.

As always I use the materials that I have on hand and as I used all my tissue paper on Monday's project I gave simple coloured paper a try.
1. Fold a sheet of A4 paper in half and make 1cm (roughly) cuts leaving about 3cm on FOLDED edge - to save time you can stack two sheets at a time (or more if you feel your scissors can handle it)
2. Open out the sheet of paper carefully
3. Roll your paper into a tube as tightly as you can
4. Place a dab of hot glue at the point where your cuts begin on one side
5. Carefully fold your tube back in half securing at glue dot and leaving a loop at the top so tassel can be threaded onto string
#if you are using tissue paper or crepe paper twist the centre tightly and then twist each section around the other leaving a loop at the top, you may not need glue or simple craft glue may work. see this DIY for more help#
6. Repeat with all remaining paper - I made 5 tassels out of each of the 5 colours, leaving the glue part till last so I could do them all at once
7. Optional: You can 'finish' the tassels by taking a small bit of paper and fixing it around the top of the tassel - this will cover up any visible glue etc
8. Thread your tassels onto a bit of string/ribbon etc and hang - make as long or short as you want
VOILA! finished!

There are lots of fun and different ways to make and use the garland - try using different materials like fabric if you do end up making some please please feel free to upload your pics onto my Facebook page here

Cinco de Mayo DIY no.2

So I mentioned earlier that a Chilli Chocolate Lava Cake would be on its way and here it is... a little late but better late than never especially when it comes to chocolate!!

Looks pretty good right? I made three of these babies and good thing I did because after I cracked this one open I ended up eating it for lunch... I was feeling like I needed a winner today, a no hassle recipe that wouldn't fail on me - you might notice like Joel did that there is no chocolate oozing out the centre - this is not the recipe's fault. You see I used an 'ole faithful Donna Hay recipe but chocolate doesn't last too long in this house so the gooey choc centre was a lot smaller than it should have been and in this case must have been located further to the right rather than the centre. But I assure you it was there. And it tasted damn good.

The other great thing about it is the simplicity of the recipes - granted not all of us have a packet of almond meal and some chocolate laying around but it is SO easy to make and as Donna points out great for dinner parties because you can make in advance and then pop in the microwave to warm up. If you aren't sure about the heat in this you can omit the cayenne but other than a kick at the end it doesn't detract from the chocolate. In fact they are so good I ... might... ... right now ....