Saturday, December 28, 2013

Left Overs...OG 173

Its the week after Christmas, and I just MUST find some room in the frig.  I totally forgot to put out the cherries on Christmas Day (no-one missed them, and there wasn't any room on the table anyway), and there are only so many cherries one can eat at one I turned them into spiced cherry jam.  Here's the proof that I did really make it (with the help of new kitchen tool, a super-expensive-but-impressive cherry stone remover thingy)....

...and here's the finished product.  I'm so glad I saved all the tall jars because it makes the jam look very classy. 

....and it tastes delicious.  Here's the recipe:
  • 1 kg pitted cherries 
  • zest and juice of one orange (should be about half a cup of liquid)
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cardoman pods, crushed
  • 8 cloves
Put everything except the sugar in a pot , cover and bring to the boil.  Simmer 5 minutes, crushing the cherries with the spoon as you do.  Add sugar and continue stirring until dissolved.  Boil 15 - 20 minutes.  Take off the heat and cool slightly.  Pour into hot sterilised jars, seal immediately.  Store in a dark cupboard.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Circles.... (OG 172)

How often have I walked through a store and seen these paper pom-poms and said to myself "they'd be easy to make"....and then totally forgotten once home again? Countless times I'm sure - but not this week, because my fellow Poobah Deena from the Opus Gluei team currently has us spinning in circles, and just before I fell to the floor with more than the usual dizziness, I had an "Ah-ha" moment....

First decide on the paper you want, and find some ribbon or cord that matches it, then use a circle punch to cut at least 5 circles from the paper.  I used 7 circles in the orange one and 5 in the black one.  I think 7 looks better, but if the paper was glittery and textured, maybe 5 would be fine (I've seen ones as big as dinner plates and they were made with only four).  Once you have your circles, fold them neatly in half and really press the fold to make it sharp.  Glue the halves together with double sides tape, slotting in the ribbon as you go.  If you use cord, make sure the adhesive holds really well.

I should have made these for Christmas........Ah well, there's always next year.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Brrrrr.......winter is upon us

...well, somewhere in the world it is winter, certainly not here in sunny Melbourne where the temperature looks set to stay warm for several days in a row.  And about time too.

Over at Opus Gluei, the challenge is to show off your wintery best, so I went back to the humble ATCs and had a rummage in the boxes to find these glittery bits and pieces, and than I photographed them against a backdrop of Whitehaven Beach in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands.

Winter for me is all about the cold crisp clear evenings, when the stars are like icy sparkles in the night sky, and star gazing means rugging up in a warm coat and gazing up........

Can you believe this is Challenge number 171?? Amazing, where did all that time go?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

OG 168 For the man in your life.......

Many of my friends have birthdays this month, but the most important would have been my
husband Peter turning 60 on the 21st.  Its not a sad day - he would have loved a party and spent the night telling silly stories and topping up everyone's glasses and accompanying any smokers outside just to sit close by and inhale some secondhand smoke..........he was such a reluctant reformed smoker!!

It was no use making a card for him - he never noticed the front, only turning inside to see who it was from - so for this challenge I looked for something different.  The drawers were a chance find in a box of oddments, so I named each one for the loves of his life, and added a swing tag of his favourite movie, and a heart from me.  Just because.

And what do the drawers mean?  CT is me, SCT is our son, StKilda is the name of his football team, Mk1 is his first rally car, and 2002 is his last.  SJT is his brother, HHR is the company he founded, 23.4.79 is the day he left on a never-to-be-forgotten Overland tour of Europe that he never EVER stopped talking about, and CGS is his school.

Happy 60th Peter  R.I.P.

You have until the end of Saturday 2 November to join in with your fabulous creation. Add your blog post address to Mr Linky below.

If you would like to join in with a previous challenge we've set (life happens and lateness is absolutely fine, we don't mind a bit) just add your blog post address to Mr Linky below. Please make sure your blog post refers to the previous challenge you are entering so we don't get confused.  

We look forward to visiting you! This is a Blog Hop!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A list of lists

Last month I accepted a challenge to make a list for every day of September, and it took some thinking.....but that was the easy bit.  Since it was a challenge set by Jana from the Opus Gluei I couldn't just let it go at a bit of writing, there had to be some glue and glitter and lots of coloured paper involved.  This is what I came up with......

There's one tag for each day, and I chose one of the things on each day's list to illustrate on the tag.  Some are considerably better than others.........some took ages, and some did not (this is NOT a challenge to see which ones took me longest!!).  When they were finished, I gathered them altogether on a piece of ribbon and held them in place with a big black and white bead.  I'll just share four here, one from each week.

Week 1 included a list of things I'm listening to and one was Fatness (the oldest biggest cat) complaining that SURELY it must be tea time....

Week 2 investigated my wish list which includes keeping bees.....

Week 3 had me writing a shopping list which included my favourite tea...

and week 4 wanted to know about collections I've accumulated and I chose the alphabet books that are taking over my shelves.

You can see all the lists on my other blog.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

BOO!! (OG 166)

Halloween is sneaking up on us all - even here in Australia where it is not a traditional celebration....but pumpkins and spiders and cobwebs and witches' cauldrons are in the shops nevertheless.  I dont think I'll bother with the spiders, there are enough real ones right here in my own back yard..........

So I stayed away from things with eight legs and hunted out the spooky paper pack from TE a couple of years ago.  All the dark and mysterious colours are an inspiration in themselves so here's what I made for my friends on the other side of the globe.........  A bat against the moon, some little creatures out for a walk along the branches one night when the moon was orange, and my favourite: a ghost!  Making her (its definitely a girl) was fun and just a bit fiddly.  

After the fun of inchies in recent days, ATCs seem huge by comparison.  Come and join us and show off your mysterious side........

Now it's your turn to show off your creations.

You have until the end of Saturday 5 October to join in with your fabulous creation. Add your blog post address to Mr Linky below.

If you would like to join in with a previous challenge we've set (life happens and lateness is absolutely fine, we don't mind a bit) just add your blog post address to Mr Linky below. Please make sure your blog post refers to the previous challenge you are entering so we don't get confused.  
We look forward to visiting you! This is a Blog Hop!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Inchies by air.....

I love going to the Post Office to open the letterbox and find surprises.....and this was one of the best lately.  The last of the summer inchies arrived from the very creative and talented Poobah Rosemary, and I love their glossy look.  There's a pair of sandals (which I would call thongs, but that confuses people if they're not from Melbourne), a cool drink and a pair of bathers - 2 piece no less.  When was the last time I wore something other than neck-to-knees??  ....and the most gorgeous retro sunglasses with pearls on the rims, and a tiny piece of the sun, along with a note to remind me that soon it will be SUMMER.  Here at least....  

 Don't you love them?  Why not make some and start a small collection of your own.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


On the other side of the world it was Skyscraper Day on September 3 while here it was just another day.........but its still a good excuse to show you some of the places in my city of Melbourne.  Places in the centre of the bustling and beautiful "World's Most Livable City", and places just outside in the suburbs where my friends and family live.

If I was as clever as Electra, I would be able to make digital scrapbook pages, but I'm just an amateur photographer so here's a selection of some out of the way images of my home town.  The first is under the Bolte (pronounced boltE) Bridge one Tuesday afternoon while I waited for my friend to come in off the water from dragon-boat paddling.

Dockyard seagulls
 Melbourne is riddled with laneways full of shops and coffee houses
Laneway florist
or you can have afternoon tea at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms in The Block Arcade, so called because, last century, fashionable ladies could be seen walking around "the block" where all the best shops are to be found.  We were in the queue, planning what to eat.

The Block Arcade
....and this is the aforementioned Bolte Bridge which flies over the lower end of the Yarra and carries traffic from the eastern suburbs where I live out to the airport and beyond.  The centre span is j-u-s-t high enough at low tide for yachts to sail underneath.  The towers are just for show.

Bolte Bridge
....and so down the bay, heading south east to Half Moon Bay where the best thing to do is order fish and chips from the cafe and eat them on the beach.

Half Moon Bay jetty
Drive another hour south and you come to my favourite place for a holiday where the only choice you make is which book to read on which beach .  This is the beautiful Blairgowrie at sunset.
Blairgowrie beach
And on the other side of the headland is the Southern Ocean - next stop, Tasmania....or Antarctica if you go further.  Not a place for faint-hearted swimming.
Hughes Road back beach
And just in case you turned north from the city, instead of south like I do, this is where'd you be....the quiet and creative Healesville.

Where do you live?  I'd love to see some photographs from the other side of the world.

You have until the end of Saturday 21 September to join in with your fabulous creation. Add your blog post address to Mr Linky below.
If you would like to join in with a previous challenge we've set (life happens and lateness is absolutely fine, we don't mind a bit) just add your blog post address to Mr Linky below. Please make sure your blog post refers to the previous challenge you are entering so we don't get confused.  
We look forward to visiting you! This is a Blog Hop!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Inchies inchies inchies

Look what arrived in the post last week..........lots more inchies from my talented friends at Opus Gluei.  These are from Deena and I love the details.......that flower pot has a twist of string around it, and the kite has a tiny length of string.......  I could have made mine so much that's my vow for next time.  Work harder!!

If you have a look at my post from a week or so ago, you'll see the growing collection of inchies and how clever people can be on such a tiny canvas.

OG 164 Dive Deep

Well, it might be summer on the other side of the world, but here its's c...o...l...d..., but it IS getting slowly warmer as spring stirs.  Jana's challenge for this fortnight is to dive deep and its been a challenge in lots of ways because I've left the black behind (well, just for a week or two)....and slipped beneath the waves to add to my ATCs.  There's a merman feeding his pet fish, a little snapshot of a turtle at home, and a treasure chest overflowing with goodies.  Ah......if only I could swim!!

Here they are a little closer up.....

......lots of pearls and other bling, and bubbles and scraps of paper and ribbon from the busy room.  

Why dont you join us and explore the subterranean depths........

You have until the end of Saturday 7 September to join in with your fabulous creation. Add your blog post address to Mr Linky below. If you would like to join in with a previous challenge we've set (life happens and lateness is absolutely fine, we don't mind a bit) just add your blog post address to Mr Linky below. Please make sure your blog post refers to the previous challenge you are entering so we don't get confused. We look forward to visiting you! This is a Blog Hop!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tiny little masterpeices

...well, maybe not, but they're fun to do and OH so fiddly.  I still think in inches to sew, but hadn't realised how much decimal measurement had infiltrated my life til I set out to make a collection of inchies.  The inch in my mind is about four times bigger than the inch on my ruler!!

These are some summer themed ones I made - using up lots of little images from my decoupage boxes, and thinking about what summer brings to mind - holidays and sunshine and not wearing very much and sitting around being lazy, and also the bush-fires we dread every year, and the drought that continues month after month after month.  I confess to adding a frame to each one because they seemed so tiny and lost.........

I'm working on a collection to rival my ATCs, and here are some others from friends...the amazing Electra can pack so much into such a tiny space - and she doesn't feel the need to frame hers!! I think my favourite is the yacht, but that's just because I'd rather be sailing.........

Just the other day, in celebration of summer, these little masterpieces came from Jana who was my inspiration to go down this miniature path.  Love the picnic basket, but I'd be very wary of that friendly looking crab.....

Here's a link with how to get your head around some small acts of craftiness...  Try one.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

OG 163 "The start of something........."

Whenever I think about starting something new I get all excited and enthusiastic.  I want to go out and acquire all the accoutrements of the new craft (because that's generally what it is) and find a place to work (that's relatively simple), and then a place to put things........and here I come unstuck.

However, spurred on by this challenge I have expanded my horizon a little more and gone back to sewing, and linked my new love for felting with my old love.  I've played with felt pieces before, but making felt from scratch is amazing.  The wool is soft and pulls apart in feathery wisps, and the process can be a bit like painting.  First I made a scrap with three colours, and attempted some button holes, just in case I ever feel brave enough to make a whole garment; then I made two lots of pre-felt and joined them in strips and patterns to make a scarf.  The last image is part of a pansy with shaped petals and lots of twists of wool and silk threads.  Not sure what to do with it, except make more and have yet another collection!!

I love how threads and scraps of natural fabric bond with the wool and recreate themselves into veins and decorations, and how thin layers of coloured wool combine.

This is a challenge for you to start something new - it doesn't have to be a crafty thing, it could be a new book I suppose, or a new recipe, but whatever it is, we want to see it.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

OG 160 Pin it.........

When Pinterest appeared I was instantly drawn and ahh-ing at images of things I admired, food I wanted to make, places I wanted to see, houses I wished mine was more like........and lots and lots and lots of things I wanted to copy.  Haven't done ANY of those things, but its nice to have a goal!! 

Then we (the fabulous Opus Gluei Grand Poobahs and their team) came up with this challenge: find something you love, and make it your own. So this is the challenge: Pin it (that's the easy bit), Spin it (okay - thinking caps on), and Win it (goodies to share!!).

One of my boards is all about art that inspires me and this is the pin I saw a year ago (so my creativity has really been active Yes?  NO!!).  For my take on it I used a TE stamp and got busy with the bling and even found the heat gun to do some embossing.  I made three ATCs, and its set me off on a whole new theme for cards for friends.  I might even bravely put pen to paper and DRAW the trees instead; now that would be creative.

Now its your turn.....Come join us and share your interests...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wings! I associate wings with fairies....which are not really my thing.  Bad fairies being devilish I could do, but all I can imagine is Tinkerbell.  More thought....butterflies?  moths?  aeroplanes?  birds?  Whatever I choose, it will have to be an ATC because I'm thinking small wings.

Its at this point that I gave up and consulted my scrapbooks, so this is the result.  First up is a group of fairy-ish little people, perhaps elves?  They're darting off somewhere really exciting, even if that insect needs some persuading - he looks just a little uncertain.  This used up some little pieces of paper and ribbon that I'd saved...................for something  This must have been it.

But it seemed a little bland so I hunted a little further and found this angel with beautiful coloured wings and a thoughtful expression.  

All he needed was a star or two and some vaguely glittery handmade tissue.

Then of course I remembered that, knowing this Challenge was coming up, I had bought a dragonfly punch - not that I had the slightest idea what I would do with it, but trusted that inspiration would strike.   Not sure that I'd call this "inspired", but I like the base image and it only needed one little dragonfly to land on the birds of paradise.

So there you have it.  My take (or two or three) on the things with wings.  Hope you come and play with us at Opus Gluei and show us your lovely work.

Monday, June 3, 2013

OG 158 Birthdays

June is a big birthday month for me, the first week would be exhausting if everyone
had a party on their right day!!  And I'd be so much rounder from all the food and champagne.....  

I've made three cards to share - the first is for my sister in law Gaye who loves bright colours and just seems to cruise through life with a smile no matter what she faces.  I'm not deceived but I SO appreciate her ability to remain positive. I tried to use her favourite colours, and even got out the Cuttlebug to cut some flowers.  The poor machine is so dusty,  I'm amazed that I remember how to use it.  

The second card is for my friend Wendy who loves orange.  Once again I fell in love with the paper and couldn't cover up any of the shadows so there's just a bit of sparkle and some ribbon.  I like the layers of shadows in the paper.

The last card uses my favourite colours and is for my friend Sue.  Can't say how long this layered cardboard flower (and its companions) have been lurking in the busy room boxes...just another thing I HAD to have, and promptly forgot to use......til now.  

Wishing all my friends the very best of birthdays this year.