Tuesday, July 31, 2012

On the Table.

I have my yearly sickness at the moment, that cough that kicks in towards the end of winter, the kind that  makes you feel tired but not sick enough that you need to be in bed all day. Just the irritating kind of sick. I guess I should be grateful that my immune system is so stellar that this is all that usually troubles me all year. Yep I guess I must have eaten a lot of dirt as a child.

So I am going to soldier on and deliver to you some cupcakes and macaroons from the last week that was an un-sick week, one full of motivation, energy and enthusiasm. Not like this week at all.

I also apologise to my lovely friend Victoria who I seem to have given the sickness to while baking these said goodies.

Yep we made macaroons they aren't perfect but they are getting there!! If anyone wants to volunteer their oven to Victoria I am sure she would kiss you, but then you might get our sickness too.....

We also made cupcakes, but we were super tricky, we didn't use ANY recipes OR measuring implements. Because we rock like that! And they weren't bad I promise, just ask Joel's workmates who scoffed them down the next day! :)

I'll post some more pictures on my Facebook page here :)

Monday, July 30, 2012


Just words today.

This week I will be busy organizing everything Zoe and I will need for the Cherry Blossom Markets next weekend, locals should come along to both it and the Olive Tree (this weekend) for a fun day out and to help support our local crafters.

This past weekend I did my first wedding with Jess of The Wedding Designer at Margan Wines in the hunter valley it was a long, fun day and I wish the lovely bride and groom every happiness, keep an eye out for photos by April Werz. It was stunning!

Today my friend Soph and I took advantage of our proximity to Darby St sharing a ploughman's lunch at Goldbergs and coffee at The Essential Ingredient. It was awesome.

With a blackout this evening in town we lit candles and chatted on the lounge. Chilled lovely day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anything Can Happen Friday. Plumtart

I am very excited to share Jessica Paget's work with you today she is a maker after my own heart with style to boot. She is the woman behind Plumtart a brand you will most definitely be aware of around the traps of Newcastle. I first remember noticing her at the Olive Tree Markets and since through my prolific use of Facebook and my trawl of Etsy for local makers. Again and again she kept popping up with her simple pared down style - everything I love in a brand.

But I will let her tell her own story :)

How did you begin your making?
After studying with my mum (Donna Burrell) in Sydney I found that my passion for design and fabric could be combined in creating my own designs. I had been studying my Certificate IV in Design, Surface Design and Colour Consulting, while she was joining the surface design with me she had previously done her Certificate IV in Design, Colour Consulting and Interior Design.

What inspires you?
I really love Florence Broadhurst in how she created designs and screen printed them onto fabrics. Although I don't want to have a controversial and outrageous life like her, I am more so inspired by her design concepts and her appeal for Japanese design. We also have travelled to Japan, me once but Mum maybe 6 times and have also fallen in love with their designs, simplicity and creative function for living.

And the story continues.....
With all this we started to develop some of our own designs and screen printing them onto beautiful textured linen. Recently I have started to design some prints to be digitally printed onto a new fabric range. 

Where can we find you?
We  are also working together with our own design school here in Newcastle, the Hunter Design School. Plus Donna also has her own design studio Liquid Colour where she works as an interior designer and colour consultant.

You can also find Jessica's designs through here Facebook page and her Etsy store and of course the Olive Tree Markets, the next of which you can find details below

Wishing everyone a happy weekend!! :)


We finally re-discovered our iPod Classic on the weekend and along with it I rediscovered a whole bunch of old photos I had saved onto it. I love looking at old pictures like most of us do and as I was thinking about what to post today an old picture seemed like a great idea!

These pics are from a family holiday that we went on to Huskisson on the NSW South Coast, I don't know why we needed snorkels when the water clearly isn't deep enough, the goggles even more so but we look like we are having fun and those holidays were some of the best I can remember.

I love walking along the rocks and the NSW South Coast has some pretty amazing coastline if you ever get the chance to walk it - I remember Mum waking us up early to watch the sun rise and seeing humpback whales and dolphins in the water. Pretty darn special.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wednesday. Cherry Blossom Markets

Through my 'Anything Can Happen Friday' posts I have come into contact a great deal with both The Olive Tree Markets and The Cherry Blossom Markets in looking for makers to feature. Both Justine and Lynne ( OT and CB respectively) have been super helpful and supportive in helping me spread the Stepford word and a chance Facebook comment has resulted in something a little bit exciting for me!

But first....

Yep that's me and my lovely sister Zoe together we will be heading to the Cherry Blossom Markets on the 11th August (Broadmeadow Harness Racing Club) to snap some pictures of all the incredible makers and visitors to the markets for FREE [ though we will accept donations :) ] yep we might be a little crazy but eventually I will get together some little bits and bobs for you to buy as well!!!! I know crazy exciting right? 

I am not sure how regular a feature we will be as a lot of weddings tend to happen on Saturdays for some reason.... which might be a problem in my shadowing of Jess of The Wedding Designer (Olive Tree we would love to come along and do the same there too if you would have us!!!)

So if you live local book it in they have lots of lovely makers there including Little Skip and Little Owl Trinkets 

Monday, July 23, 2012

On The Table. French Toast with Grilled Apples

I am going to let you in on a secret. I really love my Tuesday posts. Like really. It gives me an excuse to make something really really yummy and then re-live it all through the pictures. Of course it is also a contributing factor to my ever expanding waistline so I should possibly explore some healthier alternatives. All suggestions welcome :)

In the meantime this morning I made good use of the stack of bread and bag of apples that we had laying around to produce this tasty bundle.

I googled a few different recipes before throwing caution to the wind and chucking a couple of eggs, a dash of milk and some nutmeg and cinnamon into a bowl to coat my bread in (the dodgy supermarket stuff we had on hand) fried in a skillet as you normally would and then topped with some cored/sliced/covered in brown sugar then grilled green apple slices. The icing sugar was an afterthought (and things always look tastier with icing sugar). It was tasty quick and a great way to start the day. I LOVE breakfast!!

  What's your favourite breakfast food? I would love to know :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012


With all these new endeavours on the horizon I thought it was time to finally give the blog a bit of sprucing up.

In case you have already forgotten what it did look like here is a little before....

I was using the 'Awesome Inc' template that comes standard on the Blogger platform and my biggest irk overall was the social media buttons on the right side bar though now looking at it my header does look pretty dodgy :/

I am no expert at all this stuff by the way, I just turned my original heart into a graphic, mucked around with the fonts and got the social media buttons off this awesome site. I sure don't have the $$$ to get it done properly and I am definitely not a web expert so this is going to have to do for now :)

I think I really like it but we will see in the next few days. What do you think? What do you like? What could I do better? PLEASE!! I am dying to know :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Anything Can Happen Friday. Happy Birthday

My super funny adorable handy loving and loyal husband turns 24 today so instead of sharing a maker with you I am showing my appreciation for the wonderful guy I have in my life!!!

He is always super supportive of my creative endeavors and there is no way I would be able to do the things I do without him!!!

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I love you SO much :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thursday. Traveling

I got up super early this morning to help out with the fashion part of the shoot, I can't wait to see the finished product everything looks so good!! I had to leave early so I won't be able to see how the rest goes!! I'm heading to my lover so we can celebrate his actual birthday together!!

Its been such an amazing experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity!! Both Jess and Jade (of Jade McIntosh Flowers) are super super good at what they do and I would recommend them to anyone planning an event and as a team they are even better!!!

Your Hunter Wedding Planner has some sneaky peek pictures on their Facebook page, I'm posting this one on the move so I'm not entirely sure how to add links but you should definitely take a look (there may be a link in my previous post) - follow the link above :)
Remember wedding stuff doesn't always have to stay in the wedding realm you can take inspiration from it for other things too :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DIY Blackboard

So if you follow me on either Twitter or Instagram you may have noticed that we have had a blackboard in the works and today I am going to share how we did it.

I haven't had a chance to take any more awesome pictures of it, but I do assure you its totally awesome!!

Firstly you will need to head down to the hardware shop and pick up the following; 1x MDF Board (3mm thick, 900x600mm), 4x wooden planks (we got cypress picket cut-offs), a packet of timber screws (6Gx6mm), a tin of blackboard paint and a roller. All in this cost us about $30 but the blackboard paint was $12 a tin and I didn't even make a dint in it.

1. Using the roller, paint your MDF using the blackboard paint, you may wish to give the board two coats
2. Measure your planks and saw according to the size of you MDF board - In this case we had 2 planks that were 600mm long and two which were about 770mm long (900mm-2x width of plank)
3. Position your planks and screw them to the MDF from the back so the screws are not visible (you can simply nail instead but screwing allows you to remove the frame if you decide to repaint or glue and screw frame on)
4. Et Voila!!

Great for in the kitchen, for events or even for a market stall - this one had it's first use at our friend's engagement party as a menu board

Note: Remember to 'chalk' the board before you use it for the first time

Monday, July 16, 2012

On the Table.

I mentioned yesterday that this week would be spent doing some pretty cool things and as a result I would be working early mornings and late nights so this is what I had for dinner last night....

I hear the nutritional content in these is not very good, in fact it is probably loaded with salt and fat however it is quick and tasty and our fridge is totally bare. 

To make up for my bad dietary habits should I let you in on what I have been doing? Well as I mentioned I am shadowing Jess of The Wedding Designer and this month she is the official stylist of the eleventh edition of the Hunter Valley Wedding Planner. Yesterday we accepted deliveries, moved bits and pieces around the space, put masking tape on the bottom of shoes (it's not ALL fun and games people) and picked out wedding dresses and accessories for the shoot. Sounds pretty rad right?      

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Monday. Christmas in July

This year we decided on having a Christmas in July with Joel's family, to celebrate Christmas not only in winter like the rest of the world gets to do, but also so extended family could come along and we could all spend an evening together. We lined up 3 long tables in the centre of the front room at Joel's folks place, covered the tables in white, with a kraft paper and red tartan runner laden with real pine and red berries.....

 I made white crowns for everyone and tied the cutlery up with twine, we played trivia in between dinner and dessert which was hugely enjoyed by everyone and we even cut ourselves a massive tree decorated with handmade decorations including Christmas shapes filled with candy. It was alot of work but definitely worth it. 

 I ran out of natural light to take pictures but hopefully when my new old camera arrives this week this will be a problem of the past. 

I am working with Jess of The Wedding Designer on a very cool project this week so I am not sure how much time I will have to put together posts but if you would like to stay up to date 'like' my Facebook page here for bits and pieces 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Anything Can Happen Friday. Crafty Bouquets

I knew early on last week that I would run out of time to get all the things I needed together for Joel's party so I thought I would combine my regular Friday feature with a handy birthday banner. I trawled Etsy for 'Superhero Party Supplies' and favourited a few items that I thought looked good and were reasonably priced. That was when Christina of Crafty Bouquets made herself known to me in a brilliant display of customer service and proving that you SHOULD put yourself out there because it really does work!!

It was her Superhero Birthday Banner and Superhero Party Cupcake Package that really caught my eye but looking back now I am surprised I didn't notice the Photo Booth Prop Package and Activity Package as well. But the best thing about Christina is how obliging she is!! When I noted that Joel probably wouldn't give the tick of approval on the Spiderman style banner she made me a whole new Captain America style one!!

Keep reading on to get to know Christina a little better, along with some of her awesome products!

How did you come about the business of "Making"? 
Ever since I was little I have always loved making things with my hands, drawing, decorating and planning events. Crafty Bouquets formed as result of all the activities I so dearly loved as a child, and am passionate about to this day.

Who are your biggest supporters?
I would have to say my Husband is my biggest supporter. If it wasn't for him Crafty Bouquets would not exist. He has always pushed me to follow my passion and do what truly makes me happy. I am so blessed to have him in my life.
My friends and family have also been a great support for me. They have always cheered me on along the way, and have been a great resource, providing lot's of input and feedback on our products.

Where do you see your "making" taking you (in an optimistic world)?
In an optimistic world, over the coming years I hope to expand our product line to include more printable party collections, as well as pre-assembled party products, so that I can look back 20 years from now and still be doing what I love.

Where can we get your stuff?
You can purchase our Products or inquire about customized products at our Etsy shop

If you could be any animal in the world what would you be?
I would love to be a seagull, because then I could fly, live at the beach, and float on top of the ocean.

So along with this extensive range of Superhero party supplies she also has items for a Curious George, Dr Seuss, Hunger Games... and the list goes on but you really should check them out for yourself! You will be pleasantly surprised at both her prices and range :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thursday. DIY Captain America Shirt

I originally planned on dressing as The Scarlet Witch for the party and was some semblance of the character, I was wearing red and I had a cape. But I did not really look like her. Joel on the other hand made himself an awesome Captain America t-shirt.

Now I didn't help him with this at all and though the stitching and measurements are pretty crazy it did the job well, he wore a white long sleeved shirt underneath and we picked up a mask from Toys'R'Us for $15, I think they were around the same price at K-Mart. He was sewing it all together even when our guests arrived so I didn't get a chance to take any pictures but hopefully this helps.

Take one blue shirt, measure around the bottom of the shirt (back and front) and divide by 10, add a 1cm seam allowance on either side and cut 5 strips of red and 5 of white. Sew all your strips together, including the two ends and hem one side and then attach it to your shirt. Cut out a white star and affix it to the front of your shirt, stitching around the edges.

Voila! You are done

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wednesday. Games

So I guess I am a kid at heart because when we were discussing throwing a superhero party my thoughts instantly went to kids party games. Namely pass the parcel. And every kids game has to have a prize right? This time of year in Australia all the big stores have MASSIVE toy sales, considering myself pretty lucky I headed to Big W and picked up a whole lot of Nerf Guns. Because Nerf Guns are awesome fun.

And this is what happened...

BTW please ignore my super messy kitchen, we ran out of time :/
They tried to shoot potatoes off each others heads, the Captain America mask of course was being used to protect the eyes and face, the beer well....

In the end we had three games; create your own superhero (using a template I made in photoshop), pass the parcel and then Celebrity Head. I was Phil Collins, Joel was Gina Rinehart.

For the decorations, as I was running a tad late we kept it REALLY SIMPLE!! I did manage to get a super cool banner off Etsy but that is a story for Friday :)

Balloons and streamers in coordinating colours, it's not going to win any prizes but it is quick, simple and cheap and it works!

For more pictures head on over to my Facebook page here

Monday, July 9, 2012

On the Table. Birthday Cake

We are big big big lovers of chocolate and peanut butter in our house so when I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen I knew it had to be a birthday cake, despite Joel's wish for both a Captain America shield or an ice-cream cake (it's the middle of winter!!!). But how to make it fit in with the whole superhero theme? Well this was my plan but unfortunately I didn't get round to printing my little signs off in the mad rush to get organised. You can actually buy the whole Superhero Party Plan for $25 (US?) from One Charming Party right here. I didn't. But perhaps I might have been more organised if I did....

So what was it? well just a super moist chocolate cake topped with my new favourite icing; peanut butter cream cheese, this stuff is SERIOUSLY good!! The original recipe used three cakes but I only had two tins so I made 2 layers and 6 cupcakes. Everything iced we still had a LOT of icing left over. It's so good I might just grab me a leftover slice right now.....

I also made these cute little cutlery pockets up in Photoshop along with signs for our kebab bar (yes we had a kebab bar - so very awesome but no pictures, sorry). The font I used was American Captain from DaFont, and if you would like the template (along with some 'pow' signs) feel free to send me an email and I can send it to you.

Now this one is not so PG, for drinks I was inspired by this cocktail list I found via Pinterest and in effort to save precious dollars we stuck just with 'The Hulk' which is simply Midori, Absinthe, Mountain Dew and Kiwi. It was pretty tasty.

So there you have it! For a few more pictures you can head over to my Facebook page here.
Tomorrow I will be covering the few little games we played and a couple of decorations :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Monday. Captain America Piñata

So I had a very busy Thurs-Sat organising and making things for Joel's Superhero party I didn't have quite enough time to be as organised as I would have liked mainly because I forgot to get sour cream for his cake on Friday so I had to make it on Saturday, taking up a good few hours of precious costume making time.

But it went well, I think, we had a few kid-style games to play and I bought Nerf guns for prizes, the ensuing Nerf gun war proving that men are never too old for toy guns. The weather kept us inside instead of in the park so alas again the piñata was not smashed, I think we may take it up to his folks place for his actual birthday and he can smash it there.

But then again this piñata was the hands down must frustrating piñata I have ever made, so seeing it smashed may bring a feeling of painful revenge.

However it does look pretty darn awesome!! I realised after I made it that it probably would have been easier to simply buy a target piñata and then add the blue circle and star but I am a sucker for piñata making!

This hopefully gives you a bit of an insight into the process and if you live locally I would be more than happy to come up with a custom piñata for any event you have planned! Though maybe not one like this for a little while :/

Tomorrow of course I will be covering the cake!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Anything Can Happen Friday. Little Skip

This Friday I am on cloud nine!! I passed all my subjects this semester leaving me with only 3 yep 3 left of my entire degree. Feels. So. Good.

So it feels appropriate that I should share a 'maker' who just oozes fun. Jo from Little Skip, you might have seen her around the Cherry Blossom markets peddling her whimsical wares, if not meet Little Skip:

How did you come about the business of 'making'?
I have studied in the creative fields forever and wanted to actually put some of what I have learnt into practice! Plus I was totally bored in my "day" job so making stuff was a definite distraction!

Who are your biggest supporters?
My husband Ewen, my mum and my sister. They are always helping me set up at markets no matter how early or cold it is. Also Ewen doesn't complain about the bits of cotton thread and paper clippings that find themselves all throughout the house!

Where do you see your 'making' taking you (in an optimistic world)?
My dream is to one day open a little shop - a graphics and interiors studio incorporated with a shop front selling my hand made goodies!

Where can we get your stuff?
I sell at a few different markets locally and in Sydney. I post on my Facebook page and website where I will be each weekend. My main haunts are Hamilton Clocktower Markets, Cherry Blossom Markets, Salt Water Markets and Bondi MarketsI also have an online store 

and if you could be any animal in the world what would you be? 
I seem to keep making bird themed stuff so that must be telling me something!!!

Personally her lamps are my favourite :) Now I must prepare for Joel's Superhero Party tomorrow!! Lots of things to organise and do but don't worry I will be sharing all my decorations and details with you next week so you can make your own awesome superhero party!!! 

Also tomorrow marks the June Olive Tree Market where you can catch some of my other featured makers including Wisteria Paper, Little Owl Trinkets and Fugu Fashion , so why not head down there and see what you can find 

Happy Friday!! 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Thursday. Bits and Pieces

After my super long trip on public transport I am back!! Not quite back to the organisational state that I would like but back nonetheless!!!!

This Saturday we are throwing Joel a superhero birthday party, his birthday isn't for another couple of weeks but we will be celebrating it with his family so this one is strictly friends. He is going as Captain America, I am going as..... well I'm not really sure. My first choice was Black Widow but then I really want to wear a cape so I thought maybe Emma Frost, The Scarlet Witch or Enchantress. It all really depends on whether I want to wear black, white/silver, red or green, or which colour I find first because I have not even started my costume yet....

But anyho I am currently trying to organise some super cool printable bunting via Etsy, making a wicked (near-impossible to bust) Captain America shield pinata and gaining the courage to brave the chilly weather to head to the shops for supplies.

wish me luck!!
and let me know which character you think is hands down the coolest in the comments below :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Wednesday. Traveling

This is my first iPhone post so not quite sure how it will turn out but there has to be a first time for everything!

I'm heading home today my whirlwind visit involved two gorgeous girls their lovely mother, being looked after by my mum and dad, stocktake, the joys of working in retail, old memories, finishing the hunger games trilogy and traveling lots of traveling

Monday, July 2, 2012

On the Table. Cookie Decorating

On the table this week I was lucky enough to have two little helpers in the kitchen with me! My two nieces Isabella and Lily! Cooking with kids can often be a little trying but more often than not great fun, I remember when we were little Mum would let us make faces out of arrowroot biscuits, icing and various lollies it was awesome fun so I thought we would do something similar!

First we made some simple sugar cookies, then I got a few little bowls and made a standard icing sugar and water icing adding a few drops of food colouring. Throw some lollies/sprinkles etc into the equation and see what they come up with! Ok so sugar is not exactly the best thing to have in your diet but golly its fun :)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Monday. Engagement Party.

I mentioned last Monday that Joel and I attended a friends engagement party on the weekend, we had a lovely time and it was so nice to be again surrounded by everything weddings etc. I really do love it all, people grouped together in celebration of the love of two, it's totally mushy but gosh it's sweet. Anyho I was thrilled to make up a few decorations for them and now I have some lovely photos to share with you taken by another wonderful friend.
Of course it was inevitable that I make a pinata this one actually didn't have any lollies in it and was quite difficult to crack open, something I will have to think about in my future pinata making. Sarah is incredibly proud of her little garden which she made using all recycled materials and her cute bike which she told me she got from a garage sale for free after riding it around all day. She laid out tons of cute little tealights in jars all throughout the garden and they served a traditional hangi