Sunday, July 31, 2011

day fifty two: lemon and blueberry bars, and a pillow for valentines

pillows for valentines :)
day fifty two and i had time to make a couple of creations today ... i LOVE time!  pinned to my recipe must do's board was a lemon and blueberry bar from the gorgeous blog for the love of cooking ... it looked so good and after the success of the lemon blueberry yoghurt cake with the family i decided this was a good thing to attempt today!  as i had time to sit and do some sewing today, i decided a pillow i have been pondering making all week would finally be made today. pinned to my holiday goodness board is a gorgeous valentines/love pillow by blueberry park.  karen at blueberry park is clearly incredibly talented and her blog is full of wonderful products and inspiration.

lemon and blueberry slice fresh out of the oven
first to the lemon and blueberry bars ... you make the crust first and bake it (if you don't like to get your hands messy, drag out the food processor and whiz the base up in that) ... then add the topping and bake again. i used frozen blueberries and plopped them on frozen too!

ready to eat ... they were so good!
lemon blueberry bar outcome:  seriously so good ... the crust has a little bit of a chew to it which works really nicely with the topping ... family was once again delighted with another pinterest recipe! thank you so much to pam from for the love of cooking, it was (yes that does mean its already completely been eaten!) a delicious slice and i definitely plan to make plenty more of it :)

the basic's for the pillow
ready to sew on the fabric strip
on to the pillow and lets remember i am not a seamstress so i need all the help i can get with pillows like this! i can't draw either so i printed off a heart shape from clipart, then traced the heart onto heat'n'bond so i could fix it to the white material before sewing!  who knew such great stuff existed, not i before pinterest (i clearly have lived a sheltered life)!  anyway i stitched in the side fabric, and then ironed on the heart into the white space before sewing around that as well.  added the backing and stuffed before hand sewing the stuffing opening.

the finished pillows for valentines day
valentines pillow outcome:  i was so stoked with the finished product i made two!  they are certainly happy pillows to look at and the heat'n'bond made it relatively simple to attach the hearts.  can't wait to put them out with the rest of the valentines decorations!  many thanks to blueberry park's karen for such an awesome idea, her blog is completely inspiring and has lots of ideas for purchasing and making!

that's if for today folks, enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

day fifty one: bunting cards

bunting cards ... these made me happy :)
day fifty one and i need some thank you cards but we had a lot on today so it needed to be something quick!  pinned to my paper crafts board was the ideal card ... a simple bunting card idea from the australian made it website by seller zippyzippy. she has absolutely lovely stuff for sale and if i lived in australia i would definitely be making more than one purchase!

the card idea by zippyzippy involved some sewing, which wasn't on the agenda today, so i went with the same design but using only paper and glue :)  the triangle size i used was a 1" depth and then i played around with patterned and solid colour papers!

i'd be happy to have this card!
outcome:  fantastic looking cards, easy to make if you are in a hurry and don't want to spend $8 on a card and this one will probably be appreciated more because it's made with your very own hands .... for me the best part of the card is they are really easy to co-ordinate with your wrapping and the age/gender of the recipient ... ie: you can use this card design for ANYONE!

if you live in australia, head over to zippyzippy's site for some awesome products or her blog which is just full of crafting eye candy ... thank you so much zippyzippy, your designs are amazing :)

off now half time in the rugby and the all blacks need my support!

Friday, July 29, 2011

day fifty: a pencil vase or lolly container

the finished container filled with lollies!
day fifty ... ooohhh how exciting, fifty down and plenty of inspiring ideas and days still ahead :) today we are delving into thank you gifts for teachers or those who would appreciate a vase or container wrapped in pencils!  this gift idea is pinned to my home school projects board and is from the blog of 1 wasabi mommy. cool website love all the different ideas she has posted there for all kinds of things ... especially the teacher appreciation ideas!

the original concept is a vase surrounded in pencils, i thought i would like to fill mine with lollies instead of flowers for my lovely friend who helps us with our home schooling resources.

what you need .. a word of advice, i actually had to call my
sweet husband to get more pencils on the way home from
work because a circumference of even a small glass is a
long way round for pencils (this one took 30 pencils!)
attaching the pencils to the glass with
hot glue
i used hot glue to attach the pencils around the glass and the ribbon to the pencils :)
filled and ready for giving :)
outcome: totally stoked!  it was actually really hard to get started because i had trouble getting the first pencils straight up and down ... i know it looks easy but the first couple took a little bit of getting and then the rest were a breeze!  can't wait to give this to our lovely friend :)

many thanks to 1 wasabi mommy for taking the time to find such wonderful ideas and filling her blog with such awesome inspiration ... it is definitely worth a peek-a-boo if you love pretty things you can make yourself!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

day forty nine: lemon blueberry yoghurt cake

blueberry lemon yoghurt cake :)
day forty nine and its time for some baking for the hungry munch-kins on holiday! pinned to my pinterest recipe must do's board is a lemon blueberry yoghurt cake from smitten kitchen (adapted from an ina garten recipe) ... the pictures on smitten kitchen look delectable so i figure the cake would be too!

the ingredients for the cake

yeehaa for another cake recipe that doesn't require heavy machinery, you only need two bowls and a whisk for the batter and a little pot for the syrup ... totally loving the recipe so far!  it is a quick and easy whisk together batter and then into the oven for about 70 minutes (the recipe says 50 plus minutes and mine was definitely in there over an hour). i left my cake in the loaf pan and poured the syrup over it in there so i didn't get syrup every where :)
the just drizzled cake :)
outcome:  lemon and blueberries are one of those food combinations that just taste like heaven together.  this cake is very nice, very moist, and has a really nice tartness to it. i am thinking i might try this in muffin cases next time and put a lemon butter cream icing on top :)

my sincere thanks go to smitten kitchen for a positively awesome recipe. i absolutely loved all the variations given with the recipe so you can truly make it your own ... smitten kitchen has heaps of wonderful looking recipes, i will definitely be trying more :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

day forty eight: making a board book/album

the completed hard cover board book
day forty eight and it has dawned on me we have only seven sleeps until we go on our big adventure to singapore to see my sister and her family ... we are all beyond excitement about this adventure, it is the first time all four of us have ventured overseas and seeing my sister again after months is giving me goosebumps!

today's pinterest 365 is board book binding tutorial from memory maker magazine ... i intend to give it to my little two year old niece blank so we can fill it with photos of her and her cousins while we are there (so she doesn't forget us!)
ready to put the pages together :)

making the spine and bookends 

the completed spine and cover :)
the tutorial is excellent and contains both sketches, photos, and instructions ... nice and comprehensive!  i made mine a 4 x 4" book and used quite heavy cardstock for the binders and for covering the covers to make it nice and sturdy.
i feel very proud of my first ever book!
outcome:  this little book is my first ever and i love how well it came together, can't wait to fill it with photos for isla :)  amazing how is easy it is to make a book with some really good instructions, might be my first but it won't be my last.

thanks goes to kim from memory maker magazine blog for her well thought out and illustrated tutorial on making a very cute board book.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

day forty seven: gift wrapping a recipe book

the wrapped present
day forty seven and its time to get some gift wrapping done for my sweet dad who has just had a birthday.  just the ideal time to get some inspiration from my gift wrapping and gift ideas board on pinterest ... why is it dad's are so hard to buy for or is it just mine? :)  any ho, my dad loves to cook good, ole fashioned hearty meals so i found the perfect recipe book for him and decided to use the tea towel gift wrapping idea i pinned to my gifts board :)

i was so impressed with the idea, i have two versions pinned!  one has the tea towel wrapped recipe book (from the kitchn) and the other takes it a step further putting a wooden spoon on the packaging as well (not sure who this was originally from but it was first pinned by betsy merena).

everything you need!
i decided to use concealed safety pins to hold the tea towel wrapping around the book ... this pressie is being sent so i needed the wrapping to be a little more robust than just ribbon holding it together.

happiness in a tea towel! 
outcome:  well its for a guy, and i won't get to see him unwrap it, so it could be wasted effort, BUT i love it and would think someone had gone to so much effort if i received a beautifully wrapped present like this ... awesome idea, i am sensing more people will be getting recipe books as presents from me in the future just so i can put this cool wrapping idea to more use!

ali edwards week in the life album update:  just finished putting day one together ... i have gone down the simple, simple, simple route so i can achieve this album and get each day's documenting done the following day.  i am really pleased to be doing this project and while it may not be as indepth as ali's at least i am getting some memory keeping done at a level that is achieveable for me :)

the first page, front of the journalling page insert (i made the
paper protector for the long narrow page using an ali edwards
tutorial :)
the second full page and the back of the long, thin insert :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

day forty six: week in the life album with ali edwards

our every day life ... ben with a book :)
day forty six and its time to start the week in the life album with ali edwards, probably my favourite scrapbooker :)   i have never done her week in the life album before but have always done her december daily albums and absolutely loved the process and the end result.  so today's pinterest 365 creation is the start of the week in the life project.  i have a linky button for this project that will take you straight to ali's site just over there on the right ... can you see it? if not this project is also pinned to my paper crafts board on pinterest.

last year i undertook becky higgins project life and completed it but decided a year off from photo taking and documenting each day would be a good idea!  i loved the project and have missed not documenting all those little every day things that make my life what it is ... i am hoping this project will give me a small slice of how our lives are for 2011.

i have decided to go with a similar album layout as ali used for her 2010 album but with less pages for each day ... lets face it ... there are only so many hours i have in the day and with a new creation and this for the next seven days, i needed to simplify it a little!  that said below is a quick sketch of how i intend to put each day together with journalling and photos  ...  always start with a plan and then see where the road takes you i say!  (this is my disclaimer that the finished project will probably look nothing like this sketch!)

the sketch of the plan for how each day will take shape in
the album!
i also printed out ali's VERY handy week in the life documenting worksheets which have already come in really handy for documenting the day as i go.  there are two worksheets for everyday, one is a timetable and the other has spaces for things overheard, gratitude, favourite moments etc.  honestly they have made documenting and remembering everything this first day a breeze ... :)

the things i have put aside for this project plus
ali's fantastic daily worksheets :)
i am doing this project in a postbound 8.5" x 11" album, sticking to warm reds, greys, black, and white as the colour palette, and using lots of tim holtz embellishments for a bit of a vintage feel to the album ... again we will see where this road takes us!

if you are joining in with ali edwards a week in the life project, PLEASE leave a comment with a link, i would absolutely love to follow along with you and see how other people are tackling this project :) ... and to ali edwards, well my sincerest thanks for such wonderful, meaningful projects and for providing us less talented with the tools to be able to complete them.

have a great monday everyone, below are just a couple of photos as the day has progressed so far :)

lunch should definitely not interrupt reading :) 
i wanted to get a photo of the fire because it is really cold in
new zealand today with snow in places we normally won't
have it ... something to document definitely!

on a cold day there is nothing better than milo

pollyanna helping me in the kitchen ... she
absolutely loves to cook ... today we made
a sauce for the fish together :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

day forty five: a whole lot of inspiring creations from pinterest

pineapple and prawn fried rice
day forty five and i just couldn't choose one project!  after a really busy week, it was nice to have extra time to create today ... and create i did!

the first creation was some shorts for the boy inspired by a pin on my general crafts board from saltwater kids ... there are some seriously good tutorials on sewing for the novice on this blog :)  emily at saltwater kids transforms a mens shirt into some stunning boys shorts.  unfortunately the only old shirt i had of steve's to chop up was a purple one so that wasn't going to work for my nine year old boy, but i did have some nice blue gingham cotton.  even if you don't have a shirt, you can definitely follow along with the tutorial and she gives you great advice on the how to's and know how and even steps you through making the pattern!

shorts for the boy :)
shorts outcome:  outstanding, i am NOT a seamstress but even i have to admit these shorts looked really good when i had finished them ... actually they were so good, so easy i had two pairs done by lunch!  thank you so much emily from saltwater kids for another wonderful crafty project that made me feel like i was a champion seamstress at the end of it!  her blog is full of crafty goodness and tutorials, totally worth looking at even if its just for craft eye candy :)

making the lemon curd
the next creation was inspired by a pin i found on the pinterest gallery early this morning ... lemon meringue pie!  the pie is pinned to my recipe must do's board and is from  it looked so good and as we have a tree laden with lemons, there seemed no excuse not to make one today (especially as my sweet mum said she was happy to help :))  ok, this recipe is not for the one bowl wonder bakers amongst us, so prepare for the dishes!
the absolutely delicious lemon meringue pie
lemon meringue pie outcome:  the finished pie looked so good, we couldn't hold out for dessert so we had it this afternoon!  and it was TOTALLY worth it and ALL the dishes.  its not too sweet, or too tart, just beautiful.  some lemon meringue pies i have had in the past have been overpoweringly sweet and one bite gives you a lolly headache!  this isn't like that, its a really nice balance between tang and sweet :)    ...    luckily there was enough left for dessert as well!

the final creation of today is pineapple shrimp fried rice pinned from skinny taste onto my recipe must do's board  ...  in the supermarket early this morning to get a couple of things and some imported pineapples were reduced to clear.  normally i would have thought well its not summer here (clearly!) i don't need that, but then i remembered i had pinned a couple of pineapple recipes to my pinterest boards the other day ... so that little pineapple came home with me to be turned into a pinterest inspired creation ... this is why i love pinterest, i am trying things i normally wouldn't bother to do!

cooking the fried rice in the wok
i substituted the shrimp for prawns (personal preference) and put in spinach instead of scallions, the rest of the recipe remained the same :)
ready to eat straight from the pineapple!
pineapple and prawn fried rice outcome: i thought the brown rice would make this quite a heavy, stodgy meal but the lightness of the prawns and pineapple really help to keep it light!  it was gobbled up by everybody and apart from waiting for the brown rice to cook was very quick and easy to cook :)  thanks so much to gina at skinny taste for the delightful, healthy meal we really enjoyed tonight, it was an awesome recipe.

and that folks is all the creating for today, see you tomorrow :)  i'm thinking a pillow might be made, but who can tell!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

day forty four: pesto, mozzarella, and bacon toasties

a superb hot winters lunch :)
day forty four and its a saturday here ... bring on the weekend and when its winter AND the school holidays saturday lunch should be hot and delicious and that is just what today's pinterest 365 was all about!  ages ago i pinned a superb looking 'sisters sandwich' to my recipe must do's board from the three many cooks website ... the website is gorgeous and has the most delicious looking recipes!

the ingredients
adding the layers of flavour!
as it was just the girls at home for the day, all sisters in our own right, i thought this sandwich would be ideal for saturday lunch :)  luckily we had all the main ingredients in the fridge and a panini machine waiting to be heated!

such awesome flavours together
outcome:  oh my these flavours are DIVINE together, no wonder people put them together on pizzas all the time!  the basil pesto and bacon are awesome flavours together and they hit the spot brilliantly.  these are so good you could serve them up to visitors for lunch .... although you may not want to share them!

thanks to the crew at three many cooks for a wonderful recipe, i am sure to use more from your recipe files in the very near future.

Friday, July 22, 2011

day forty three: the 'bored' jar

the completed 'bored' jar!
day forty three and i know a fair proportion of the world are having school holidays ... some for summer, some for term break, but regardless of holiday and no matter how prepared and excited you and the kids are during this time, every now and then parents get the "i'm bored, i don't know what to do" from their peeps!

have no fear parents and caregivers, shayna from shaydes of life has a solution from her childhood ... the bored jar~!  whenever a peep in her house uttered the phrase "i'm bored" they would have to go to the jar and do the activity they pulled out without whining, ifs, or buts! her mum put in lots of good stuff like have an ice cream, ride bikes for an hour, play with chalk, but there were also some nasties in their to discourage the use of the 'bored' phrase ... so if you did utter it, you took your chances on whether saying it was worth it!

all the bits you need :)
i thought this sounded like a great idea, its a great solution for a problem that sometimes (not often) rears its ugly head AND will prevent me from getting grumpy with the child who is bored!  this ideas is pinned onto my home school projects board on pinterest. i grabbed a nice cheap, but cheerful jar from a local store and some attached some scrapbook letters to the outside.  the inside is full of ideas some nasty, some fantastic, some so so :) i ended up with about fifty activities in the jar, some of them are below.

some bored jar activities: make a sculpture out of pipe cleaners, vacuum upstairs, have a shower, make some cookies, clean the windows in two rooms, sweep the decks,  make a house with lego, do some chalk drawings on the concrete, play hopscotch, watch a dvd, write a letter to send to a relative, make a sculpture out of 32 lego bricks, read the book closest to your bed for 40 minutes, make a hut in the forest, make a birthday card using stamps, wash the front of the kitchen cupboards, play top trumps, computer time for 40 minutes, build a fort in your bedroom using blankets, bake a cake to give to a friend, make a piece of art using only pasta, make four pompoms, ride your bike for an hour, paint a picture, tidy up the classroom, rake up the cabbage tree leaves, make a boat out of fruit and vegies that will float, write a list of 20 words being with D, make a puppet from a sock, etc
take your chances with this jar!
outcome:  i think the kids are running scared, nobody has dared mentioned being bored!  so from this, i can tell you the jar is a TOTAL success! its so funny, watching them look at the jar with weary eyes not knowing if this is going to be a good or a bad thing for them when they say that WORD THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED!  i have also decided that when one is taken out i will replace it with a new one so they know that once its gone it may not reappear for a while and i am also going to put some seasonal ones in their (eg: swimming in the summer, inside activities for winter)

may thanks to shayna from shaydes of life for blogging about her childhood and this wonderful idea to alleviate the boredom problem when it arises!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

day forty two: smartie pants treats

smarties trouser treats!
day forty two and its time to reward my hard working kids!  they have been doing a fantastic job with their maths this week, they have had some new maths ideas to work through and have done a great job so i am going to reward them today with 'smartie pants'!  this is a fantastic gift idea from the muddy princess kimberly, and i have pinned it to my gift wrapping and gift ideas board on pinterest.  kimberly has so many wonderful crafty ideas on her blog its well worth checking out.
the template and the trace :)
this is nice and easy so you could do multiplies pretty simply ... i have a class of two so no worries for me!  i used some scrap card and made a pattern, then traced around it for the rest of the trousers. after some gluing, a bit of pen work, a couple of brads to make them a little more robust, and an investment in some smarties, i'd say you are good to go .... !

just need some smarties in these cute little pants!
outcome:  these are really fun to make and totally rewarding to give :)  the joy of giving them is thanks enough, seeing there cute little faces light up is SO cool. i can think of so many ways you could adapt them so you could use them for valentines day, christmas, birthday favours, all sorts :) if you need to give a lot of little people a boost or a thank you then you need go no further than these ... sweet, simple, and fun to make!
he was so chuffed at being a smartie pants!
big, big thanks goes to the muddy princess for having such wonderful crafty ideas on her blog, it makes being inspired to give it a go so much easier :)