Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tis the Night before Christmas and i forgot to buy cards!!

Its the night before Christmas. As I happily sit in front of the television watching Christmas movies, sipping eggnog and wrapping all the gifts I have put together I realize I have forgotten something. I have forgot to buy the christmas cards. This literally happened to me 30 minutes ago.

I scrounge around the house to see what crafty things i have to create something from nothing really and here it is. I share with you my DIY get you out of trouble Christmas Cards.

My tools.

You will need 
Glue (I used a glue gun)
Patterned card/paper.
Jute or cord or wool what ever you have.
Stamp and ink pad (optional - you can always write it with a felt pen -
 I just happened to own these items) 

1. Cut the card down to the size you need. The patterned card I had came from a scrap book which was only 6" x 6" (15.2cm x 15.2cm)  so I folded the paper in half then cut it. Each sheet provided 2 cards.

2. Stamp or write the "Merry christmas" and allow to dry.

3. Create the embellishment. Get the creative juices flowing. I used the jute to create bows, and attached buttons to the centre. I arranged the buttons in a circle to create a wreath and then added a bow to that. I randomly arranged the buttons like a poka dot effect and I created what look like balloons (or a tree) with the buttons and then used the jute as ribbon (or a tree trunk, depending on how you look at it).

I am sure there are many variations, just get creative and please share them with me once you are done.

Now i know which presents are going to who.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
xx FF

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Country chic heart Decoration.

       Here are all my DIY project. Have fun

Heart Pillow Christmas decoration

Christmas Decoration DIY

Christmas Wreath DIY

Photo wall art 

COUNTRY chic heart Decorations: Perfect for the Christmas tree &/or Valentines day.

I have been getting hugely excited about decorating our tree this christmas. This is the first tree i will be decorating for my own place. Every year i have been helping my mum with her precious glass decorations so this year i thought i would go for a less traditional tree with decorations i made mostly myself. Having just moved to NYC i didn't want to spend a lot of money on christmas decorations so here is another DIY tutorial so you can decorate your tree yourself.

What you need:

Fabric: i used calico for a natural look.Buttons TwineFiller - I used buffalo snowSmall buttonsPins, Scissors, sewing machine.

How to make it.

1. Draw a heart shape that you want to use on a piece of paper and cut out. This is your pattern.
2. Pin the pattern to calico and cut the calico around the pattern.
3. Sew the two pieces together leaving a hole 1.5" down one side so that you can turn the heart though.

4. Turn the heart through the gap and stuff with buffalo snow.
5. Hand stitch closed the gap.

6. Add the twin and decorative buttons.
Note: when sewing in the "V" of the heart reinforce it with a backward stitch then trim the fabric to the seam (this makes it easier to turn and get the deep v shape)

Have fun.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Chrismas decorations

 Handmade christmas decorations. This project is super easy and suitable for children with parent supervision of course.

What you need

Rolling Pin
White plaster or clay (I used "Creative paperclay")
Cookie cutters
Q tip (remove one end)
Parchment paper
Cutting Board

Step 1: Start by rolling out the clay using the rolling pin. Try and get the consistency as even as you can.
Step 2: Take the cookie cutters and start cutting into the plaster.
Step 3: Remove the shape from the cutter and set onto the parchment paper.
Step 4: Using the Qtip put a hole in the top of the star.
Step 5: The clay can air dry over a few days or you can pop it in the oven at 350F for 10 - 20mins turning the clay over at to dry out both sides. (Keep a very close eye on it in the oven ensuring it doesn't dry out and crack)
Step 6: Cut a decent length of twine. Thread it through the hole in the top of the star.  Knot the ends together. 

You can paint the ornaments or just keep them natural. I kept mine natural looking because my tree is taking on a handmade look.

Next stop - to buy a nice plump tree.

I will post pictures of these on my tree once i have it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

DIY Garden Animal Christmas Wreath

I have been shopping for Christmas wreaths this year and I have to say there are some real shockers out there. They look cheap, tacky and of no artistic merit. I guess you have to expect that when Christmas like everything else has become a vehicle for mass produced, generic garbage.

I really don't want my house to got the way of a ikea showroom (no offense if you like ikea thats great they do make some great stuff. I just don't want to have what everyone else has) I wanted a wreath that screamed individuality and stood out.

I got to looking through my materials that I have in my craft room. I work with butterfly’s and birds when I am creating the fascinators I make for race season seeing these inspired me to created this garden themed wreath. I have to admit I have never seen a wreath made with butterfly's and birds. I come from a beach side community in Australia where I used to see a lot of wreaths made from seashells and starfish so I think this garden animal wreath project is very unique.

                                     So here are the materials  

                                                   Length of jasmine branches
                                                         Fake bird eggs 
                                                          Jewelry wire
                                       All these materials are available here

                                                   The tools

                                                                Glue Gun
                                                              Wire Cutters


I have made a movie and posted on you tube if you would like to see the process in its entirety. Or just follow along here to these simple instructions. Watch here

First step. Make the base. Take the long stretch of twigs and join the ends together using jewelry wire. I simple wrapped the wire around the wreath then twisted the two end pieces together and snipped off any excess wire.

2nd step: Attach the butterfly's. I arranged the butterfly's first as they would make up the bulk of the creatures I would be using.  Leaving room for the small eggs and the birds that I wanted to centre on the piece. I used the glue gun to attach the butterflies to the wreath. I left some on their wires to be wrapped around some of the branches. This meant i had butterflies "flying off" the wreath in a 3rd dimension.

3rd step: I positioned the eggs. Using the glue gun dab some glue on the underside of the eggs and place them into an area on the wreath where there is a good base (a thick area of twigs). I placed 2 eggs together.

4th step: Add the birds. The birds I have come on clips so I literally clipped them onto the wreath hovering over the eggs (to protect their eggs of course). The great thing about the birds being on a clip is that once christmas is all said and done I can unclip them and use them for another project. 

5th step: Add a wire loop to the top of the wreath (you can also use ribbon) and hang it in a central position so that everyone can admire your creative genius. 

Some of the fascinators I mentioned earlier

Friday, December 6, 2013

Vegan Corn Cakes with an Avocado Salsa

This recipe reminds me of when I was living back home in Australia. Every Saturday i would have breakfast at my favorite cafe. I always order the corn fritter stack that came with a roasted tomato and large dollop of guacamole. Avocado is my fav fav fav thing in the food world so this is why I am slightly obsessed with this recipe. Any excuse to douse avocado on anything sits fine with me.
I originally found this recipe in an old cook book of my mothers. I think it was the "common sense cookbook". I have taken the brush strokes of that recipe at adapted to a more vegan friendly version.

You may notice in this recipe i have used eggs however these can be substituted for a vegan friendly egg replacement (we just didn't have any at the time) and while i am a vegan 90% of the time sometimes i have to make do with what life throws at me.

1. In a large bowl combine the corn kernels, creamed corn, eggs, cheddar and paprika. Mix well 

2. Sift the flour and baking powder and mix well.

3. Stir in enough milk so that the batter is not to thick and drops off the spoon. (don't overdo the milk or the batter will spread to much in the pan)

4. Heat your frying pan (i use a wok) and add some coconut oil (or regular cooking oil).

5. Fry spoonfuls of batter until bubbles appear at the top then flip. Allow the other side to cook then remove from the pan and allow to cool on some kitchen paper (this soaks up an excess oil).

Combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and mash well.
Add crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

When all the corn cakes are cooked heap the avocado mash on top adding extra lemon and fresh coriander as you like it.


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vegan: Yummy Indian Food - Palak Chana Dal Recipe

I just watched the food documentary "Vegucation" if you haven't seen it then than i suggest you take a look. You can watch it for free on you tube. I have watched many food documentaries in the last few years and i am not sure how i missed this one.
Anyway it inspired me to share this Recipe. I don't claim this to be my own creation. It actually came from my sister in law Vicki. Thanks Vic xxx

             "Vegetarianism and Veganism is not for hippies its for educated people"

This recipe is so simple, so healthy and so yummy!!

What you need

1 cup (250 gms.) Chana Dal (yellow split peas)
1 cup spinach, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbs grated ginger
1 tsp garlic, finely chopped
2 tbs oil
4 cups of water
salt to taste

Herbs and spices
1/2 tsp cumin powdered
2/3 tsp coriander powdered
1/4 tsp garam masala
2/3 tsp turmeric powdered
Chili Powder (optional)

Lets get started

  • Wash the yellow split peas (Chana Dal) 3-4 times with water and soak for 30 mins.
  • Take a large saucepan and add 4 cup water, yellow split peas (Chana Dal),  turmeric, and powdered coriander to it and cook it over medium-high heat. Cook for about 15-20 mins. or until Lentils get soft.

  • Heat oil in a large frying pan and put it over medium heat. Add Spinach and cook until they reduce, add cumin, stir it for 15-30 secs.Then add onion, ginger, garlic and cook for about 3-4 mins. stirring frequently. Add, chopped tomatoes and Red Chili Powder (optional) to the pan and cook further on medium flame for 2-3 mins.
  • When it changes its color add the lentils mixture to the large frying pan and turn the heat to high, stir it well. When it starts boiling, turn the heat to low, cover the pan and cook further for 8-10 minutes.
  • Sprinkle it with garam masala, stir well and further cook for 2 mins.
Serve with fresh Coriander. 

This recipe is so simple yet so yummy. Enjoy xx

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How to Create an interesting photo wall display on a BUDGET.

The Brief: Create a Photo wall display of our amazing wedding pictures for under $60

As you may or may not know i recently got married. Yay!! I am sure you will all agree weddings are great but they do leave a gaping hole in ones pocket. But on the upside we had a great time and now i have a flurry of photos from my amazing photographer Martine Payne coming at me.
We have also just moved into a beautiful Brownstone in Harlem (another burning hole this time in my left pocket) which i have been busily decorating with amazing thrifty finds and DIY projects. I will get to all that in other blogs. However I still have plenty of white wall space that needed something quirky and artistic to fill it so it has lead me to this latest project.

First stop: My favorite site for inspiration Pinterest - I found so many great ideas for how to display photos and some unique ways to do it (check out a few i repined into my folder "home"). So by now my mind was filled with so many ideas i just had to get started.

Second stop: CVS Getting the photos printed. Being a women on a mission to keep within my budget i hit up the local CVS where inside you will find a Kodak imaging machine. I sat there with my nifty smart phone and downloaded a few pictures from my wedding. These machines are great. The prints were perfect for what i had install for them.
Its ridiculous how cheap they were 4 x 6" $0.19
                                                        5 x 7" $1.69
So i printed 7 @ 4x 6 and a 6 @ 5 x 7" some pictures i printed in two sizes as I was unsure as to what frames I would find. You may want to get your frames first and this way you can choose which print will work in which frame.  Total: $19.45

Third stop: Goodwill. I love goodwill they have so much great stuff and if you have the time to sift through everything you are bound to get some great things. I bought 10 frames for $47.81 and then redeemed some *Goodwill points to get a deduction of $10 Total on frames: $37.81

Last stop: Staples. I am only renting my apartment so I really didn't want to go around putting numerous holes in the wall. So I picked up a packet of  Command 3M Damage Free -  hanging hooks. These stick on with an adhesive and can hold up to 225g (they have larger ones as well for bigger projects) and drum roll please....... they don't leave a mark on the wall. Oh and the cost 9 hooks for $4.79 

So that leaves a total of $62.05 (damn perhaps i should have bought the frames first and got 3 less prints - though i did send the extra prints to my folks and you cant put a price on making your parents happy)

First things first. Get the pictures and match them to the best suited frames. One of my frames was broken on the edge and i was left with a lot of gummy reside from pulling off the price tags so i pulled out my weapons of choice "E6000" and "Goof Off", windex works a charm also.

Arrange the Frames: I don't believe in order. I feel like chaos is a little more creative however if you want to get a general feel for what you want you wall to look like i suggest laying everything on the floor first before you start hanging on the wall. Though if you are anything like me you will just go straight to the wall. The beauty of the 3M hooks is if you put it in the wrong spot just pull the hook off and go again - Brilliance

The view over my dining table
This is just the beginning......

In conclusion: I love the wall!! I lay on my couch and look over to it and remember what a magical day it was. My Husband thought it was a little narcissistic to have so many photos of ourselves on the wall so i swapped a few for some of his old family pictures just to keep the peace. I also feel like this is just the beginning as we collect more frames and discover more photos i will be adding to this.

Remember never stop creating!

xx FF