27 August 2015

Personalised Library Bag

My little lady is going to a birthday party on the weekend. Now before I go any further, how difficult is it to buy gifts for 8 year olds?!?! They’re too old for little kids toys and too young for anything too technical or grown up. They like things and when you think you have it worked out and buy what you “think” they like, they don’t like it anymore. Gah!


Library Bag 1


I decided to make her friend a new library bag. Her mother appreciates handmade, so I know that it will be used. There’s nothing worse than spending hours and a lot of pretty fabric making a gift for someone, who doesn’t appreciate handmade.

This little girl isn’t a girly-girl – if that makes sense? I wanted to create a bag for her wasn’t overly pink, but still pretty. The fabric is called “Simply Sweet” by Lori Whitlock for Riley Blake Designs. I have had this charm pack in my stash for a while now. I bought it (and a few more like it) when I saw them in a sale. I also have some of the red hexagon print yardage, which I’m saving for ‘just the right’ project.


Library Bag 3


Library Bag 2


I appliqued the big letter “S” with heat n bond and then stitched around it twice. A little bit of hand quilting around the letter and that background fabric framed it nicely. I used Aurifil 12wt which is a little finer than the balls of Perle 8. It’s a sturdy bag with batting in between the outer layer and lining.

We’ve bought a “Friendship Bracelet” kit which comes with assorted floss and beads. Fingers crossed she likes her gift. If nothing else, it certainly is “one of a kind”.

26 August 2015

Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper {Recipe}

There’s something comforting about hot bread and butter, isn’t there? Home made bread is the best, but sometimes, you just can’t be bothered going through the whole kneading and proving and waiting process. This is where damper comes into it’s own. “What is damper?” I hear my international friends ask. It’s a classic bread which Aussie bushmen used to bake beside their campfires. It’s very easy to make and is perfect veggie soup or hearty stews.


Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper 5


With Father’s Day just around the corner, the Toohey’s Brothers Cooking Handbook arrived in the mail this week. It’s filled with a tonne of fun facts and great recipes. Manly recipes. Recipes for men. Hearty recipes that go well with beer. You get my drift. It’s a book which is perfect for the man in your life (and if you’re stuck for a fathers day gift idea, you really must keep this in mind).


Tooheys Brothers Cooking Handbook


One recipe instantly captured my attention - Cheesy Beer Damper. I thought I’d give this recipe a try… with a little twist, of course.


Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper


Here’s how I made my Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper

2 cups SR flour

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

50g butter (room temperature)

1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup finely chopped chorizo

3/4 cup (approximately 1/2 bottle) Tooheys Darling Pale Ale


Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper 1


Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees celcius (180 fan forced) and prepare a cookie tray with a sheet of baking paper.

Place the flour, cayenne pepper, salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until it’s combined into the flour mixture. Stir through the grated cheese and chorizo.


Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper 3


Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper 2


Make a well in the centre and pour in the beer. Combine it all with your hands to form a dough. Knead until it’s combined well and shape it into a 20cm circle. (NB Sprinkle with a little bit of extra flour to help the shaping process).


Cheesy Chorizo & Beer Damper 4


Use a knife to score 8 wedges and bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Serve it hot with lots of butter. YUM!


25 August 2015

Yarn Covered Pencil Pot {Project}

I’m sharing a fun little project, which is inexpensive, easy and perfect for a rainy afternoon. Your kids (or grandkids) will love to help and even make their own yarn covered pencil pots.


Pencil Pots - Yarn Project


Here’s the materials list:

Yarn – any colour and it doesn’t have to be the most expensive ball of yarn in the store. Visit Spotlight for a great selection of yarn.

An old glass jar with the label removed. Think pickle or vegemite or pasta sauce.

White glue – just the cheap kids glue which goes on white but dries clear. I bought a big bottle of Kids Glue from Spotlight too, and it was only a few dollars.

A paint brush – the thicker the better so that you can spread your glue quickly and evenly.

A little dish to pour glue in small amounts, rather than dipping into the big bottle.


Pencil Pot - Yarn Project Supplies


Paint some glue on to the lower half of the jar and then turn it upside down. It’ll be easier to work this way.

Cut a length of yarn and slowly begin winding it around the the bottom edge of the jar.

Once the first few loops around the jar are completed, it’ll become easier to just hold the yarn with one hand and turn the jar with the other. Work slowly and try to get the yarn to sit closely together.


Pencil Pot - Yarn Project Progress


Once that first piece of yarn is finished, add a little more glue around the jar, cut another piece of yarn, place the end of the yarn right beside the previous one and continue looping around.

Keep doing this until the jar is completely covered.

Once it’s all covered, place it somewhere out of the way so that it can dry. Keep it away from children and cats if possible.

Once it’s dry, it’s finished at this stage, but if you’d like to add the extra pom-poms, here’s how I did it.


Fork Pom Pom Collage


1. Grab a dinner fork and wind the yarn around and around and around. You will probably need to loop around at least 20-30 times, keeping it to within 2cm wide.

2. Cut the yarn leaving a 10cm tail and feed the end of the yarn in through under the yarn in the middle of the fork. Pull the yarn around to the back and tie a knot around the tail piece.

3. Pull the yarn off the fork and ensure the knot is tied tightly and securely. Cut through the middle of the loops on both sides.

4. Trim the pom pom into a spherical shape and there you have it, one lovely little fork pom pom.

Now make another one and then tie and loop them around the top of the Yarn Covered Pencil Pot.


Pencil Pot - Yarn Project 1


Just an FYI, these yarn covered jars can be used for any number of things in the sewing room… they can hold crochet hooks, knitting needles, rotary cutters, scissors, clover clips… the only limit is your imagination.