Friday, December 24, 2010
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
My mind is what the Buddhists refer to as a “Monkey Mind” or as I prefer to say my head is full of mad monkeys – what this means is: it NEVER stops! Plans, dreams, desires and schemes swirl around in a blur of colour and movement and it is exhausting. The upside: I always have a project to work on. The downside: I rarely finish them or ever start them. But 2011 will be different.
- THE FINE PRINT: I loved print making when I was at TAFE and I want to play around with it again. I would love to take a fabric printing course with Harvest Textiles. Also work on some lino cuts and gocco.
- BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: I want to sketch, draw, doodle. I loved to draw when I was little but now I am somewhat scared of it. I am my own worst critic, never happy with the outcome. I am going to jump in the deep end and just do it. I plan to keep a sketch book where I will draw often to hon my skills.
- GOURMET DELIGHTS: Cooking is a passion of mine. My Grandmother (Marny) taught me how to cook when I was little and it is something I have always enjoyed. Because of this I am a subscriber to Delicious and Masterchef magazines, which are both full of beautiful recipes but all I do is flick through them and put them in a pile. So in 2011 I WILL cook 2 recipes a week whether it be from one of these mags or my collection of Jamie Oliver cook books. Now I have access to so much fresh produce here in Gippsland Victoria and we even have our own veggie patch so it seems a shame not to take advantage of the situation.
- SEW-SEW: I know that a lot of us taking part in this blog hop want to work on our sewing skills. I was given a sewing machine for my birthday last May and have only used it a couple of times but I want to learn to use it properly. I have also just taught myself counted cross stitch which I LOVE and I would like to work on making some original embroidery artworks to sell.
CITYKITTEN DESIGNS: There is so much I want to do with CityKitten which grew from the most unlikely of beginning’s. I could never imagine when my life and heart shattered into a thousand pieces in late 2009, that the snowball effect of absolute disaster would turn something that was a hobby into a little business.
At the moment it is still really a hobby but I want to take it more seriously. Because I am at home all day I have developed bad habits of just doing what I want, when I want but this cannot go on. I need a schedule and I need to be organised. I MUST work on my website (it has been under construction for months now!) and I want to blog more often and make more friends and connections in the online handmade community. I need to run my business like a business and keep accurate records, keep up-to date on Etsy and madeit.com and I also want to look at other outlets to sell my items.
Finally ME: I have some baggage, actually I have a Louis Vuitton Trunk and I need to let go. When you carry around all the yuck in your life it makes it hard to create beautiful things and it makes it hard to move forward. I need to be easier on myself instead of beating myself up when I make mistakes and I need to remember there really is a silver lining because that is what bought me CityKitten in the first place, so joy can come from heartbreak.
What are your Creative Goals for the coming year?
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
White Chocolate Dipped Shortbread
Super Rich Chocolate Fudge (recipe below)
So I thought I would share with you the Super Rich Chocolate Fudge recipe so you can spread some Christmas Cheer.
- 100 gram butter - chopped
- 1 x can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup brown sugar - firmly packed
- 2 tbs golden syrup
- 100 grams of good quality white cooking chocolate - chopped
- 200 grams of good quality dark cooking chocolate (preferably 70% cocoa) - chopped
- Firstly line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
- In a glass bowl put butter, condensed milk, sugar and syrup and put in the microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Carefully remove and give it a good stir, add 100 grams of white and 100 grams of dark chocolate and return to microwave. Zap the mixture for 30 secs and then stir thoroughly. The chocolate should melt into the mixture. If it needs to go for longer give it another 30 seconds and check. Do not over cook it as the chocolate will "turn".
- Carefully spoon into the prepared baking tray and refrigerate for two hours until solid.
- Melt the remainder of the dark chocolate and use a spatula to spread evenly over the fudge. (I finished mine with a drizzle of white chocolate to make it look pretty).
- Leave to set. Once it has set then cut into small squares (this is SUPER rich so the only need to be small) and wrap in baking paper and put in an air tight container.
A little tip is don't refrigerate the fudge because it goes super hard. I keep mine at room temperature. If you do need to keep in the fridge, remove it a couple of hours before serving.
Monday, December 20, 2010
This one is super simple - I just got styrofoam stars from Spotlight, spayed them with a spray adhesive and then dipped them in Marth Stewart glitter and you have instant twinkly stars.
The next one is a real easy one too. You can buy DIY clear glass ornaments (they also have good quality plastic ones in you have youngens in your house). All I did was get some white feathers, sprinking them with glitter and poke them into the bauble. Easy!
And here is my finished tree, I just put on some lights and a few of my sentimental ornaments that I have collected over the years. I'm very happy with it, now all I have to do is make sure Winston doesn't climb up it!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Time has gone so quick that I haven't even got my christmas tree up yet! So I have been working on that today and I have been making decorations for it this year so it has a nice handmade feel. Here is what I made:
These are so easy and fun that you can make them with the kids to keep them occupied in the first week of holidays (I don't have kids, I have cats and they also found this fun - by stealing them and using them as toys!).
All you need is:
- Pack of Styrofoam Balls (I got mine from Spotlight)
- Scrapbook Paper (but you could use anything - I think old novels would look cool)
- A paper trimmer
- PVA Glue
- Hot Glue Gun.
All I did was measure the ball from top to bottom and cut strips of paper that wide and then cut that into 1/4" strips. Next you glue the paper strips onto the balls so the are sitting flush against each other around the middle and overlapping at the top and bottom (does that make sense? I hope so).
Once they are dry carefully put a dot of hot glue on the bottom and wrap your ribbon around. I cut one piece short and wrapped in one direction and another piece long and used that to go around the other side and tied a bow at the top.
If you own a hot glue gun you know it is an absolute nightmare and quite dangerous so I think if you are going to make these with kids that you should use strong double sided scrapbooking tape to adhere the ribbon.
And viola - christmas ornaments. Just put a ornament hook through the bow on the top and hang on the tree.
I will be back tomorrow with some more of my homemade ornaments.