Sunday, June 30, 2013

Copycat - Girl on a bike with a cute puppy

Today's Copycat pose was inspired by Bess Georgette, Teresa had posted a picture on Twitter from one of her Pinterest boards of a girl on a bike and I thought - YES! Girl on a bike can be my next Copycat pose! 

Upon on further enjoyment of her boards I found a girl on a bike, and she had a cute puppy - yes! A cute puppy! But I don't have a cute puppy. But wait! Little Miss A has a cute puppy toy, I can use it to substitute.

But the pout I could just not replicate - it's contortion of the lips! And my mouth isn't that big or full.

This was actually the first attempt, we tried many times to get the mouth right but I looked kinda scary and witchy-like.

I hope you like this one and I think I have redeemed myself somewhat from last weeks cellophane debacle.

Original image found here

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Soup and you shall be content - roast pumpkin soup

I love a good easy soup recipe and in essence it is my winter bliss.
A good basic recipe that can be adjusted according to your tastes or the tastes of your family or guests ('cause Little Miss A doesn't like anything too tasty, uugg!) is what I need mid-week when I get home from work.

So here is a basic recipe I came up with that is quick, easy and tastyyeee

1kg grey pumpkin

chop into small chunks (discard the seeds - or you could toast them for a crunchy topping) with half an onion and 2 cloves of garlic, salt, pepper and some olive oil

bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius until roasted, I put a sprig of rosemary in for the last 15 minutes to add extra toasty aroma to the soup and my house.

once cooked blend (minus the rosemary sprig) with a food processor of some sort until smooth

heat in a saucepan and add as much hot water as you want it to be thick or thin, add a little cream if you like...I like!

Then top with olive oil and freshly ground pepper and salt

Oh how did that garlic bread get there all crusty on the outside and soft on the inside? mmmm

You can add vegetable stock instead of water, include other roasted vegetables like sweet potato or carrots, grated ginger or spices the list is endless but always tasty.

Some nights for a quick dinner, I'll roast the vegetables and puree, place in the fridge in an airtight container and finish the soup the following day.

If you have any variations please let me know as I'm always on the look out for a tastier soup.

*note: just don't add orange juice - my dad used to do that and it is not nice!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Novelty Brooch Friday - July

I am so happy to say welcome to Novelty Brooch Friday for July.  

Both Erin and I were overwhelmed with the interest on Instagram and had so much fun seeing all of the fantastic brooches everyone was wearing and also the new creators we have all discovered. 

Our Novelty Brooch creator for July is Liz Jones from Betty Jo Designs, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Erin asked Liz 5 questions about her business and the development of her studio and shop, which I hope you find interesting and inspiring.

Thank you Liz for donating your time and one of your lovely sewing machine brooches to be given away for July's Novelty Brooch Friday.

How long have you been making your own brooches and how did you start? 

I have been making brooches and other types of jewellery since I majored in Jewellery Making at Uni. 
I first started my label Betty Jo Designs in 2005 when I began playing around with vintage linoleum. I had found a piece of 1940’s lino lining the cupboards of an old kitchen dresser and I fell in love with its beautiful designs and decorative potential. 
My earliest brooches were simple circular and flower shapes adorned with retro buttons. After that I designed a selection of woodland critters for my first range called “Lino Forest”. Since then I have dozens of designs in my collections, and am still creating new ones. 

Do you have formal design training or are you just a creative person?  

I was always pretty creative growing up.  
I have a Bachelor of Education in Art and Craft and taught art in High Schools for several years. While studying I discovered it was fun to use recycled materials in my designs and have never looked back.  
These days I’m happiest fossicking in op-shops or salvaging second hand materials from skips. If there was a degree in gleaning I would be a star pupil. 

How has creating and sharing your unique pieces affected your life?  

Creating my little jewellery business has transformed my life. I was lucky enough to be able to make it my full time job in 2007 and since then it has opened up loads of opportunities to create and make like-minded friends. I began a blog that year called Lino Forest and still regularly update it with pictures of new designs and general Betty Jo chit chat.  
Maybe the biggest thing that has come out of my creative meandering is my decision to open a bricks and mortar shop in 2011. Gleaners Inc. is a cute emporium of handmade and second hand treasures situated in the historic old Perruci shirt factory at 2 Ballarat St. Brunswick {just off Sydney Rd.} 
It is such a delight to be able to show case wonderful products by Aussie designers and be surrounded by colour and loveliness every day. I also blog about our shop happenings at Gleaners Inc

Do you have a studio so to speak? If so, what is it like? 

Since beginning Betty Jo Designs I have progressed from the kitchen table to a small enclosed veranda at my house. Then, as I grew the business I moved into a warehouse art studio in Brunswick and now I have a studio attached to my shop which is perfect as I can work all day when I’m not doing shop girl things. The only downside is I have to keep it a bit tidier than I’m used to! 

If you could collaborate with another creative, who would it be and why? 

I would love to collaborate with the amazing Melbourne artist Louise Saxton. I was lucky enough to meet Louise when she submitted some work for our Doily exhibition held at Gleaners Inc. last year. 
Louise creates exquisite work from vintage embroidery and needlework and I would be happy just to pass her scissors or sort her extensive doily collection.  

So for your chance to win one of these cute brooches just post a picture of yourself on Instagram with your favourite brooch, entries can be submitted on any Friday from now up to and including 26th July with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 29th July. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like, either new or vintage brooches.

Each month Erin and I will take it in turns to showcase those sellers of vintage brooches and designers we admire and love to wear ourselves.

*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches (worldwide) and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at

Monday, June 24, 2013

Novelty Brooch Friday - June Winner

June was the first month we held the official:

'Noveltyyyy Broooooooch Friiii-daaaaaay!' 

Erin and I were super excited about this little idea and so pleased we had 173 entries!!! I hope you had a good ol' sticky beak at all the fabulous brooches everyone was wearing.  

There was handmade, vintage, wooden, tin, ceramic, plastic, wool, metals, felt, cross stitch, knitted, felted.....and the subjects of the brooches were just as diverse - it was fascinating and fun!

We also want to say a big thank you to Kirsten from Each to Own who was our first maker and shaker and who donated this lovely, cute fawn brooch to be given away.

As neither Erin or I could chose 'the best' we used a random number selector programme-thing-a-mi-jiggy and the person who submitted their brooch the 168th time (minus ourselves) to #noveltybroochfriday in June on instagram was:

@throughthealley Congratulations!! If you could email your postal details to me at I will forward to Kirsten who will send you your new brooch.

Isn't it sweet!

On Wednesday we will feature July's creator for Novelty Brooch Friday and reveal the fantastic brooch you could win.

Thanks again and g-e-t brooching!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Copycat - cellophane failure

I'm afraid to say this copycat photo was a failure.  I tried to make a collar out of blue cellophane but it just didn't work out, to be honest I looked ridiculous and frankly it was hilarious, Mr Ed and I couldn't stop laughing.  

It's a shame really as the glasses I made for the headband were kinda cool.

Mr Ed tried to cheer me up by saying 'Who would wear a raincoat like that anyway?'
Hands in the air ME!!!!

image found on Mir Reina's Pinterest board

Late addition: OK so after Jess from Miss Fairchild's Charm School asked me to put the photo up, I thought about it and well, I think we all need a chuckle.

At least you can't say I take myself seriously.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Baking - It must be in the air, peanut butter biscuits

I have been baking a lot lately and it seems that a lot of people in Australia who's blogs I follow are doing the exact same thing - it must be the cooler weather.

As you might have seen from my Instagram feeds I've been making ANZAC biscuits, peanut butter biscuits, upside-down cakes and all manner of baked goods. By far the easiest and the one baking recipe I know by heart is peanut butter biscuits (this recipe is from the Woman's Weekly, I've had this book for many years and love it), they are so, so simple and so, so tasty.  

So all you need is 1 egg, 1 cup caster sugar and 1 cup peanut butter - yes really, 3 ingredients!!

Whisk the egg with a fork and add the caster sugar

 add the peanut butter - I like Kraft and crunchy, and mix them all together

scoop a heaped teaspoon of mixture and roll into a ball, little hands like helping out at this stage 'cause it's sticky and fun

Place on a greased oven tray (I like to use a spray oil) and push down a little with a fork to make them look all fancy

 Then in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes, even our heap of rubbish oven can cook these little beauties (it may look all fab in it's 60's facade but this oven is on it's last legs)

Remember to scrape the bottom of the bowl before little ones remember

Then sit back and relax with a book and a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy their sugary, peanut buttery goodness

Taa! Daa! I hope you enjoy them as much as me, and Little Miss A and Mr Ed

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Copycat - scarf pose

Another Copycat pose for the weekend, I chose this photo because my hair style is similar - mine is real, I have a feeling hers is a wig - watcha think?

Now I don't have a fat neck but this girls neck is as skinny as her arm! 

Don't get me started on how bendy her finger is. It was a hard slog to get the fingers in the right position, the hand origami worked out in the end.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Going back in time on the Puffing Billy

Last weekend we drove out to Belgrave which is about an hours drive from Melbourne into the Dandenong Ranges. 

Our new years resolution was to go on a day trip at least once a month and so June's trip was to take a ride on the Puffing Billy.

 The Puffing Billy is over 100 years old and the railway was built in the early 1900s to help establish and develop rural areas. However these days it is a major tourist attraction and is kept running by over 900 volunteers!

It was so exciting when we arrived; the steam engine's were puffing and the air was full of mist - so romantic.

Travelling over the Monbulk Trestle Bridge was one of my favourite sights.

Little Miss A got into the swing of things half way through the trip and sat on the edge of the train like all of the other children and some adults, feeling that cool air on her face and feet (I couldn't feel my toes by the end of our trip, I think it was about 5 degrees up there in the mountains that day).

And the views were amazing!!

I loved our return trip to Emerald, we had a little lunch at a wonderful cafe, Little Miss A had a play in the playground and we were back in Melbourne by mid afternoon which was just long enough for a little ones attention span.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Copycat - cardigan pose

I have come back to Pinterest.  I joined a while ago but I couldn't get into it, I'm on Instagram and found it supplied me with enough visual stimulus from the fabulous people I follow.  This week however I came back to the fold when I started searching for 1960's fashion photos - I was thinking of changing my hairstyle.

I love 1960's fashion photography: the poses, the hair, the models, the fashion.  So I thought I would start a regular post - copycat poses, not the exact same clothes obviously that would cost far too much money, but similar stance and feel.

So this first photo I found on Pinterest via Zafirah (a knitting pattern that has since sold).  I was wearing a cardigan today so thought I would go with this fab pose. And it was really hard to put my hips one way, shoulders another and smile in that - not too happy, not too sinister way - I applaud you lady gently caressing a cardigan sleeve while wearing another cardigan.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

When a friend comes to town we eat cake

Saturday afternoon after I got a tidy-up hair cut by the best hairdresser in Melbourne (yes, she is! Anyone who can cut a bob as fine as her is up there with the best) I met up with 3 of the finest lassies in Melbourne town.

You may know them as: Miss Fairchild's Charm School, Razzle Dazzle Rose and Bess Georgette or....Jess, Jacinta and Teresa and we were off to the Hopetoun Tea Rooms for tea and cake.  *Jacinta doing the creepy hand on the shoulder trick

The Hopetoun Tea Rooms are one of my favourite places to walk past, I often walk down to the Block Arcade in my lunch hour and gaze out of the corner of my eye at all of the tempting cakes and pasties they have in their window.  The queue's are often long and I know why, it's georgeous interior and food, it's a special place.

 Look at these 2 getting ready to enjoy a chat, cake and a cup of tea.

It was so lovely to meet up with Teresa again (the last time being the Truly Vintage meet at Trish's shop about a month ago) So after tea and cake we waddled around town and popped into a few shops and then waddled our way home.

Here's to more afternoon teas and more cake and more tea with friends.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Novelty Brooch Friday - second chance in June

 First of all I want to say a big THANK YOU! To everyone who entered Novelty Brooch Friday last week and those of you who missed out last week but are looking forward to entering today and next Friday!!  

Erin and I were so excited with the response and are so looking forward to seeing what you have to show us this Friday.

I wanted to share with you what got me interested in brooches, it was the humble badge, I love badges and would wear them a lot and I have so many I have given Little Miss A the majority of my collection. 

 This is a just a smidgen of the badges I have (the rest are under Little Miss A's bed, she is asleep at the moment and I don't want to wake her)

But it was this Lea Stein brooch from Mr Ed about 9 years ago that I began to collect brooches and love the different designs, shapes and materials.

Isn't she lovely

So.....if you haven't heard about Novelty Brooch Friday let me tell you!......

Erin from The Fawn Times and I met on Instagram through our love of brooches and from there we started posting photos of ourselves on a Friday with a favourite brooch.  With a little prompting from Kirsten from Each To Own we decided to develop the idea and include a giveaway from either a designer of brooches or a seller of vintage brooches and do a little interview and taa! daa! it was born.

This month you can win this little cutie pie fawn brooch, find out more about the lady, behind the brooch, behind the company Each To Own here.

 So to enter the competition just post a picture of yourself on Instagram with your favourite brooch, entries can be submitted on any Friday from now up to and including 21st June with the hash tag #noveltybroochfriday and we will announce the winner (randomly chosen) on Monday 24th June. Open to everyone, you can enter as many times as you like either new or vintage brooches.

Each month Erin and I will take it in turns to showcase those sellers of vintage brooches and designers we admire and love to wear ourselves.
*If you are a designer or sell vintage brooches and wish to donate a brooch for an upcoming month and have your shop showcased, please contact me at

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Getting my raffia on! - the beginning

 I have somehow started a collection, it is just the beginning: raffia and beaded bags from the 1960's.

It started with this red, wooden beaded clutch I bought from Alfie's Market in London about 7 years ago, I needed a bag for my brothers wedding - friends said it reminded them of a taxi drivers beaded car seat, but I like to think of it as my Jaffa bag (you know those Australian sweets - chocolate on the inside and red/orange crunchy shell on the outside)

Then I happened across this large brown raffia bag earlier this year (I love a large bag as I usually have my glasses case, sunglasses, fan (yes I get hot easily) and all manner of 'stuff' to lug around).

Then I found this little cutie on Mothers Day on a day trip to Rosebud.  She is small but so perfectly formed.

 And last week when I was in Sydney I visited the Sydney Antique Centre and my heart skipped a beat - she was the right size, in perfect condition and a wonderful colour - she is my favourite.

Most are made in Japan, well the ones with a label and I know this style of bag was also made in Italy.  I think they are fantastic, such clean lines, great texture and materials and an item that isn't THAT expensive.