Sunday, November 7, 2010

Summer Ice-Cream....

I've been messing around with making sorbet and thought that I would check out how to make ice-cream, when I had a go and saw how easy it was; it was really hard to stop! I've since splurged a little on an ice-cream maker and it has been so much fun for Gracie and I.

As you know, Grace is lactose and gluten intolerant so Summer can be a little depressing when you want a nice, creamy, cold ice-cream and another ice block just won't cut it. Soy ice-cream is expensive, so it tends to be a special treat and is rationed out — not fun — and definitely not enough to fill a cone and have it dripping down your hand. That, would be far too wasteful.

Anyway, back to the good stuff — how to make it! I mucked around with a few recipes that I found on-line and I think that I have created the perfect ice-cream (for us) that isn't full of gelatin or things that are super hard to find. I have the recipes here for either vanilla or strawberry; we made strawberry and it was awesome. Using coconut cream means that you have a similar fat content as regular cream which gives it a wonderful texture; you can't taste the coconut but if you wanted to play up that flavour add almond extract instead of vanilla.

Vanilla Ingredients:
3 egg yolks
200g caster sugar
1 x 165 can of coconut cream
just under 1 cup of soy milk (any kind)
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
200g chopped strawberries
1-2T strawberry yoghurt

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My 'New' Old Couch

A little while ago (well, month and months ago actually) I made an Ottoman Cover and mentioned that I was going to update and renovate a small 1950's sunroom type couch that I had been given — well, I finally did it!

It was a lot of fun but my arms were so sore for days from all the sanding, that the two arm chairs that match it are tucked away downstairs, waiting for that time when I forget how hard it was and want another crack at it.

Anyway, it was relatively simple to do; the original varnish was so old it was crumbling on the wood.
  • I started by sanding it down to the natural grain, first with a coarse sand-paper then finishing it off with a much finer one to make it nice and smooth. 
  • I used a dark stain on a cloth to cover the freshly sanded wood; I chose a dark one because my dining table, coffee table and TV cabinet are all quite dark so it makes it look as though it belongs a little better. I kept the rattan back the original colour, mainly because I couldn't sand it but I do like how it looks now.
  • Finished it off with 2 coats of a satin matt varnish — anything gloss would make it look quite 'mock-antique' like
  • Covers I made from black corduroy to match my other 3 seater couch (that also have large, black corduroy cushions) and some bright throw cushions for both to tie them together. 

After (and in our new house too!)

So what do you reckon?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

it's been a while...

But I'm still here! Time has gotten away on me for a bit but I do have a log of posts that I'm meaning to do including:
  • The 100$ super market challenge (a work in progress for a year now!)
  • Some tutorials and patterns for kids clothes
  • Renovating furniture
  • Recipes
  • Downloads
  • and a few more up my sleeve!
We're moving house this weekend and I'll be sure to come back soon with some posts.... hope everyone is well!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Creative Space... Ottoman Cover

I inherited an Ottoman that matches my sofa from my folks a few months ago, it's really very handy (it opens so you can store things in there) but it is very, very ugly and tired looking. I usually have a couple of throws over it to disguise it, but they slip off all the time and drive me nuts — so being the crafty, frugal lady that I am, I made a cover!

I found this tutorial on-line on the ever-popular website, Design*Sponge and now my living room is looking a little smarter... My next project will be to sand, stain and re-cover the seat on that cute, vintage 2 seater couch I also recently acquired!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kids Belt Tutorial...

I've been thinking about making some kids belts for a while now, I bought some little loop things at Geoffs Emproium years ago always intending to do something with them — and I finally found some motivation!

I found this tutorial for a double ring toddler belt on the Prudent Baby website (definitely a site worth looking at if you have a few spare hours! It's hard not to look away once you start...) which reminded me that I had the rings, now all I needed was some motivation!

My idea had always been for the belt to use velcro rather than the double rings, I find that it holds better and doesn't slip out and it 'grows' with your child just as easily.

All up this belt took about half an hour and just requires straight stitching.

How-to after the jump...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Easter Is Coming...

I'm not usually a huge Easter person, mainly because my family was never that religious and because I was never allowed to have loads and loads of chocolate. That aside, Grace is very excited about Easter and I think that can be attributed to day-care and the fact that they have been making loads of Easter type goodies — bunny ears, cards, little baskets for eggs — which I think is pretty awesome (anything crafty is awesome actually!)

With Grace being intolerant to dairy and wheat, she often misses out on treats during festive times of the year so I have to be quite creative with what she can have. I was on a trip to Spotlight today for some threads and fabric for a Bam Bam Creative wholesale order — when I spotted these little goodies! A little bunny basket and these awesome little plastic eggs that you can fill with your own treats. I'm going to fill them with little hairclips, rings, stamps, stickers and marshmellows so that Grace can still enjoy an egg hunt but without the upset tummy.

If you would like to pick one up for yourself they are very reasonably priced — $5 for the bunny and $3 for the eggs, so won't break the bank — cheaper than the chocolate eggs and they will even last until next year.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010



Hey Everyone,

Sorry, I have been a little slack on the posts for this blog. I have finally taken some photo's of my latest harvest from the vege garden, and look at the results! I'm very proud and it's giving us so many veges.

I have been picking the beans since before Christmas and the plants are insane now (nearly falling over and taking over any available pole to grow up). We have had 4 cucumbers (would have been more had our lawn mower man not obliterated the end of the plant...), the carrots we had one good harvest but the second lot have just stayed really small and the peas were great (until said lawn mower guy accidentally sprayed them with something nasty — harsh words were said...). Our Oak Leaf Lettuce was awesome and I only just pulled them out as they went to seed — we had enough for salads and sandwiches almost every day.

As you can see we now have a yellow pepper! Our first one! Plenty from the green capsicum bush and LOADS of chilli's — that I have now strung up and am drying in the kitchen. Our tomatoes were a Christmas gift from my lovely friend, Jana and have been exploding over the last few days, plus the little cherry tomatoes from Ray have started too. Oh, and enough strawberries for Grace to have with some yoghurt for pudding most nights.

I do think that it has saved us money having the vegetable garden, I haven't had to buy any green beans, lettuce or cucumbers all season and combined with the things that take longer to grow it has been really good.

The best part is when I ask Grace what veges she wants for dinner and instantly jumps up to get them with me from the garden, tonight, I asked her if she wanted tomato from the garden or the shop with her dinner — "from the garden Mummy!" she said with a tone of what-kind-of-crazy-are-you-on-Mum in her voice.

Now to plan what to plant for winter and to find some good chutney recipes!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pin Cushion Tutorial

I've been meaning to make a pin cushion for AGES but wasn't too sure how to go about it. After taking a looksie online, I have adapted a few tutorials I came across in my own way and came up with this method. You don't need a sewing machine at all and there is minimal hand stitching involved so it's a quick and easy thing to make — and makes a great gift!

How-to after the jump....

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gluten/Dairy Free Chocolate Chip & Ricie Cookies

I'm always trying to convert recipes for Grace so that she can have yummy treats — there is so much that she can't have and I feel so sorry for her sometimes! I adapted these from a great cookbook called Kitchen for Kids by Jennifer Low. The recipes are really easy and interesting so great for when you have a spare 1/2 an hour to make something delicious! These seriously took me no longer than 20 minutes — instant gratification for a pre-schooler, haha

These cookies are meant to be made with Butterscotch chips, but being that Butterscotch has way too much sugar for kids, I substituted it for dark compound chocolate chips which the recipe suggested.

I buy the Pams dark compound chocolate chips as they are totally dairy free, with no skim milk powder — none of the others I have found are dairy free so if you find some, grab 'em!

Recipe after the jump...

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