Thursday, October 15, 2015

what i'm learning

It's been an awfully long time since I wrote a post. And I've missed it. I think its been a combination of not knowing who/if any one reads it, other forms of social media being easier and quicker to use and weird pressure to stop cos that's what everyone seems to be doing. But i actually like blogging, Its time for me. and i get more off my chest, i feel like i'm talking rather than just browsing my instagram or facebook. And as a new mum of two, i need this. I'm learning a lot and here is exactly where i want to share my new feelings and thoughts.

So, my little daughter Hazel was born almost 2 months ago. It's been such an amazing time as a family, adjusting and getting to know her. And in this time, due to the copious amounts of time I have to sit and think, i'm learning a lot about this parenting thing.

I'm learning that its about taking it slow. Both physically and mentally.
I'm learning to not have expectations, but instead be amazed at the pace my children do things.
I'm learning that i'm glad i do things my way, popular or unpopular.
I'm learning its ok to carry your baby and strap them to you if it brings both peace and calm.
I'm learning that its also ok to let them sleep, lie, sit alone. I am not neglecting them.
I'm learning to love the moments i have alone with my 3 year old son, doing the things we both love.
I'm learning to have at least 30 minutes of time in the evenings child free before going to sleep.
I'm learning to love 6am wake ups, walking outside barefoot watching the sun rise and listening to the birds start their busy day.
I'm learning to always have something baked in the kitchen for the tiring afternoons. And to use the biggest tea cup!
I'm learning to embrace wardrobe changes- the amount of clothes I go through cos the baby strapped to me also vomits on me.
I'm learning the importance of time just staring at my baby, making eye contact and smiling together.
I'm learning tricks to keep the house clean, like fresh flowers around the place, encouraging me to tidy so they don't get hidden.
I'm learning, that tidying also doesn't have to happen, and that's ok.
I'm learning the importance of seeing other adult human beings during the week, especially when my husband is working.
I'm learning to have ready made pastry in the freezer for dinners that seemed too hard to cook without it!
I'm learning to not feel too guilty if I have to tell my husband, I just cannot cook.
I'm learning that its not selfish of me to serve my meal first and even finish it before helping my kids.
I'm learning that's its not wrong of me to lie and say there are no more muffins, while i hide and eat the last muffin.
I'm learning that two kids is hard. But so amazingly wonderful and i cannot wait to watch the relationship between the two of them grow.
I'm learning to stop stressing about the how and when and just let things unfold.
I'm learning to be patient.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ballarat Apron Festival 2015

Hello! Where has time gone!! Sorry for the delay in sharing about the fabulous Apron Festival I went to.

Its held each year (this being its second year) in the lovely town of Ballarat. The festival celebrates aprons from the very very olden days to today. They were just gorgeous! There was also an option of entering in a handmade apron, to possibly win a prize, but really, the joy came from seeing them on display! I decided to make one and enter it. I entered it into the 'Best use of colour ' category, which was not hard, and actually meant I didn't have to choose which fabric to use, and used them all!

I made mine by  patch working vintage fabrics, then attaching thrifted crochet pockets then I lined  the back with a vintage tablecloth making it reversible.


I had never been to the festival before and wasn't sure what to expect, but I was delighted to see a huge beautiful church hall packed with amazing aprons, tables of donated craft and house goods for sale(picture tablecloths, aprons galore, doilies, books etc), areas to get crafty and there was a cute pop up café run by a delightful café in Ballarat, Vegas and Rose who were selling delicious homemade food. I loved it all so much, I browsed once with the fam, then a second time by myself, so I could really take it all in and rummage through everything! Take a look...




I have so many more photos to share, but this post will end up way to long! It was just such a lovely festival, and was so nice to have my apron part of it! The festival runs with the Heritage Weekend, so if your thinking of going to the next Apron Festival, I highly recommended it, as the heritage weekend had so much to see and do! Stay in Ripon Miners Cottage or Lalor Miners Cottage(we've stayed at both and both are lovely) to really enjoy wonderful Ballarat!

Did you go to the apron festival, or been to anything similar? I'd love to know!

Now to wait til the Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival starts up again, that's my next one to attend! I heard they also did a Anzac biscuit festival which is just wonderful, isn't it!!

See you soon,

Taz x

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Weekend Baking: Cream Cakes

Hello again,

Its been quite cold here in Melbourne the past couple of days, so staying indoors and baking has kept us happy, fed and kept Percys hands busy!

I had a mountain of cream in my fridge, so thought I'd make cream cakes. The original recipe comes from my hubbys nana, and they are a family favourite. I didn't have all the right ingredients at home, but managed to bake something equally delicious with what I had!

Nana Elsie's Cream Cakes were one of the recipes we featured in issue 3 of Hundreds and Thousands magazine, and there are still copies left if you would like the original recipe for yourself, as well as the other yummy recipes, easy crafts, interviews, beautiful photos and inspiration. Just click here!

So here's my adapted recipe for cream cakes, perhaps something you might want to bake this weekend?

You will need:
1 cup cream
1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour
3 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla
50 gm salted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
natural food colouring

Beat your eggs and rice malt syrup and vanilla in a bowl. Add the cream and stir. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl then gradually add this to your cream mixture. Mix. Pour into patty pans (I made 17 cakes) and bake at 180C for 10-15 min or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool before icing.

For your icing, beat the butter, honey and vanilla until very light and fluffy. Divide between bowls and add a few drops of food colouring to each bowl. Spread onto your cooled cakes. Enjoy!

Once you've eaten a few, store in a air tight container for a couple of days. I opshopped this one, isn't it lovely!

To mums, sisters, aunties, friends, women everywhere, happy mothers day to you for sunday! Im off to the Ballarat Apron Festival which I am so excited about.

See you soon,


Monday, May 4, 2015

Home made necklaces: ideas, how to's and some for you to buy!


I've been getting crafty lately, this time, quick 5 minute makes. I thought id show you 6 necklaces I have made all from household objects. I do love wearing a necklace, and even better a handmade one! These use materials from around the home so they were pretty much free and totally one of a kind, making them literally home made necklaces.

First, a DIY necklace:

We were cutting branches off some trees a few days ago, and this little piece was asking to be used. It already had a hole running straight through the middle, so the hard work was done.

1. Find a piece of tree trunk
2. Paint it white
3. Paint or use markers to draw polka dots or anything really
4. Thread some bakers twine, wool or string through and close at the neck.
5. Wear!!

This next one is also very easy to make!

As a sewer, I end up with empty cotton reels when they are finished. Old wooden ones are too nice to throw out, so I turned this one into a necklace.

1. Take your wooden cotton reel and wrap some pretty paper or fabric around the middle.
2. Paint over with mod podge, including the parts not covered in paper.
3. Place a button on the bottom and thread your string through the reel, then through the holes of the button and back through the reel.
4. Close at the neck
5. Wear!!

This next one, I made for the latest issue of Hundreds and Thousands Magazine, (issue five) using a doily and string. Doilies are just so great for crafting with, and if ever I get over this one, the doily has not been cut, so can just undo the whole thing!

This next one I made with the beads off my sons high chair! You just thread some string through and  wear it! Obviously you can use any beads, I don't expect you to all have a high chair sitting around!

This one, similar to the other cotton reel one, is using smaller reels. Cover them the same way, or even wrap yarn around them. Then thread onto string, with some beads between each reel.

And the last necklace, I made using vintage tracing stencils. I made quite a few, and if you would like one, they are $7 from my shop. They can be worn as a necklace or brooch and have a hand covered button to close.

Hope you have a creative week! I'm so so excited about heading to Ballarat this weekend for their annual Apron Festival,! I made a apron for the competition so will share about my weekend next week! Oh and happy mothers day if I don't see you before Sunday!

taz xx

Monday, April 20, 2015

South African Crunchies: for Anzac Day.


If your looking for something to bake this week/weekend for Anzac day(I'm assuming an Anzac biscuit) then I thought I'd share my recipe for a South African crunchie. They are pretty much the same thing,  but this is a slice. I tried to look up the history of the crunchie, and didn't find much except it's been a long favourite for children for as long as people can remember. The history of the Anzac biscuit according to Wikipedia, is that the wives of the soldiers made the biscuits to send over to them. They knew the ingredients would keep well(mmm butter) and they would stay fresh and tasty for long time travelling! I'm going to assume the crunchie probably came from the same idea, that the ingredients used don't spoil and the slice can last a long time! Of course my recipe is slightly different not using sugar and adding coconut oil, but my South African family tried them, and loved them. You can't go wrong with a crunchie, how ever you make them!! My Aunty makes hers with added pecans and raisins which is just delicious!!

This recipe makes approx 20 squares( my pic has 16 but I had made 8 biscuits with some of the mixture before making the slice to see if biscuits worked). You can double the recipe but just bake it in a bigger tray. And you can also blob the mixture on a tray making biscuits. Watch them as cooking times will change.

You will need:
60 gm coconut oil
60 gm butter
1/4 cup rice malt syrup plus 1 tablespoon. 
1 tsp bicarb soda
1cup oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup spelt flour
Pinch salt

Place the oats, coconut, flour and salt in a large bowl. Melt the oil, butter and syrup together in a small pot. Add the bicarb and whisk till all the lumps are gone and its gets frothy. Pour this over the dry ingredients and mix. Grease a 20x28 cm tin(or similar) with coconut oil or line with baking paper. Pour the mixture in and spread out evenly. Bake at 160C for approx 10-15 min or until golden. Cool slightly then cut, then let them cool completely in the tray before taking out.
*if you plan to double the batch, bake in a tin twice as big. There's no right or wrong tin, just the thicker you want them, the smaller the tin, or the thinner you want them, the larger the tin.
* if making biscuits, use baking paper on your tray and blob the mixture a few cm apart as they spread. 

These are even better if you have them with some African rooibos, but any tea will be delicious!



Taz xx

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It's getting cold so I've made a new blanket!

As I type this, I'm sitting outside in the wonderful sun! I'm eating watermelon and feeling quite summery! But there's something about his sunshine that's so so lovey, and that is,  it only comes out between crisp cold mornings and long cold evenings. You know the sunshine will leave and at no point do I overheat! Autumn is here and I am loving every moment of it! But it was one of those cold evenings that inspired and pushed me to make myself a new blanket. I was quite cold. And the thought of crocheting or knitting one sounded so comforting but I knew it wouldn't be ready for this winter!

So, instead, I cut up some old jumpers and cardigans I don't wear anymore, and stitched them together to make our new blanket. The idea was originally from The Crafty Minx in one of her books I think years ago. But also from my desire t0 use these brightly coloured woollens I just don't wear anymore and make them practical again!



With another cardi that was too small to cut into a neat square, I made into a hot water bottle cover(left one) to go with our other one made from a jumper that we bought from a market a few years ago!
I'd love to know if you make your own blankets for the cold months...or any favourite ways to get ready and enjoy autumn or winter!?
See you soon,
Taz xx