Monday, May 31, 2010

Crochet stories - new

A lovely friend recently gave me the scarf above as a birthday present. I'm in awe of people who are good at buying presents. They always seem to hit the mark, whereas mostly when I have a present to buy I fret about it for a while, buy something I think might work, then decide that it won't but it's too late to change it!

Anyway... the scarf is a beautiful pale grey in colour and made in cotton. It's from a local store but I don't know what the brand is. Though I am personally not a crocheter I admire the design and the contemporary styling. I love seeing different crafts used in contemporary ways, though obviously what is contemporary now is temporary - see tomorrow's post for an example of contemporary in the 70's.

The day my friend gave it to me I tried it on and it instantly lifted my boring jeans, knit top and cardigan combo out of the doldrums and made me feel that bit better for the day, which is what clothes could and should do for you I guess! What is the piece in your wardrobe that makes you feel like that?

* also pictured is my yellow birdy brooch from my favourite accessory designers, the very talented Melbourne based Elk

Kind-of tutorial catalogue

The following are my 'kind-of tutorials': not step-by-step instructions but rather guides and ideas with links and tips. Some day I hope to have the time to write proper tutorials, in the meantime I hope there's something here to inspire you.

A-line skirt with pockets

Crayon hearts


No-sew jersey scarf

Oven mitts


Repurposing skirt to top

Simple apron

Sleepover bags

Recipe catalogue

Here are some of my favourite recipes catalogued. All tried and tested many times :-)
Click on the links below.

Main course

Green pasta

Spaghetti with tomato broad bean sauce & garlic croutons

Mushroom burger

Roasted vegetables with cous cous & chick peas

Sesame tofu

Seeded salad


Basic no-knead bread


Cheese & vegemite scrolls

Cinnamon scrolls

Garlic flatbread

Potato foccacia

Seeded rolls


Pitta bread

Snacks & after school treats

Apple slice

Banana bread


Cheese biscuits

Choc chip cookies

Golden syrup scones

Egg-free pancakes

Roasted olives

Shortbread animal biscuits

Vanilla yoghurt

Cakes (Egg-free)

Amazing orange cake

Chocolate apple cake

Date loaf

Easy chocolate cake

Egg-free stress-free lemon cake

Spicy carrot cake


Chocolate orange pudding

Individual tiramisu's

Raspberry ripple icecream

Rhubarb icecream

Egg-free baking catalogue

One of my children has an allergy to eggs, and as a result I've searched for a far and wide for great egg-free recipes for baked goods. Here are some of the best I've found, tried and tested family favourites. Many can be adapted to be dairy-free too. Click on the links below.

Apple slice
Banana bread
Cheese biscuits
Chocolate apple cake
Choc chip cookies
Date loaf
Easy chocolate cake
Golden syrup scones
Lemon yoghurt cake
Orange cake
Shortbread animal biscuits
Spicy carrot cake

BYO birthday cupcake

On the weekend I took my big girl to the birthday party of one of her kindy friends (great party!). As usual we took along a cupcake for her to have instead of the birthday cake...

When she was tiny we found out that she is allergic to eggs and nuts. This generally isn't a huge problem, more of an inconvenience, and it's not too difficult to avoid both. When it comes to parties though, a girl's got to have cake! So I make a batch of egg-free cupcakes now and then and freeze them, then on the morning of the party take one out of the freezer to defrost, ice it and away we go. She seems very happy to have her own special cake and I try to decorate it to look nice so she doesn't feel she's missing out.

Below is the chocolate cake recipe, originally given to me by my friend Sarah (thanks Sarah!). It's super adaptable (see the notes) and very reliable. If you know someone with allergies, need to make an allergy-free cake for pre-school or just don't have any eggs in the house and want to make a cake, give it a go. Another time I'll post my special occasion egg-free cake (containing apple - yum!) and other egg-free baked goods.

Easy egg-free chocolate cake

1 1/2 cups SR flour
1 cup sugar (can use all white or a combination of white and brown)
4 tblsp cocoa powder
1 cup milk (or water to make it dairy-free too)
1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, sunflower or olive)
1 tblsp vinegar (white, malt or red wine)

1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 180c (or 160c fan forced) and place patty pans into a muffin tin (*see note below about making one large cake). Mix together the flour, sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl (I generally don't bother sifting but you might like to if your cocoa is lumpy). In a jug or separate bowl whisk together the milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla essence. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk (mix will be quite runny). Spoon into patty pans and bake for about 18 minutes or until cooked.

Makes about 12 cupcakes.

* Alternatively use a small round cake tin or loaf tin to make one cake

Sunday, May 30, 2010

hello blog land!

Woo hoo, I'm up! After months of dithering, fretting and getting excited about all the things I could post about I've finally started my blog. I hope to download all the creative 'stuff' that clogs up my head (in a good way!) and connect with some like-minded souls out there. I'd love your company...
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