Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pom Poms & Rocky Road

I thought I'd share quickly with you a couple more shots of stuff from our "We're about to have a baby and go into hibernation" party.

Because I was going with red (or deep strawberry) and lemon for the food theme...

I whipped up a few tissue paper pom poms in deep red, lemon, and white and then added some large round lanterns to the mix that I made the Mr. string up for me using fishing line.

I'm not sure why, but the red in the photos came out a whole lot brighter than it really is - and the yellow more, well, yellow. But then, the walls look a weird colour too. Maybe it was the time of day that I took the photos.

Also, as a "Thanks for coming" I wrapped up some large chunks of handmade rocky road - Ours has a bit of a surprising twist to it (I might let you in on the secret some time in the future).

I just used red and white dot (and plain red) muffin cases, clear cellophane, and some red with white dot ribbon. I HAD intended to make up thank you tags to go with them in colours sticking with the theme, but I just plain ran out of time!

Check out where I'm partying through my link party button.

Oh, and if you haven't already heard... 
Seaweed & Raine is turning 2 tomorrow!!! 
Come back and check out the deets for our first Giveaway.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Seaweed & Raine is Turning 2!

Coming up in just a few day my little blogs Second Birthday 

June 1 to be precise! (And not long before the baby is due!). 
So I've been thinking, in order to celebrate we might need to have a little party 
- in this case, me giving YOU the pressies.

There will be a some yarny substance donated by Simple Little Luxuries

...and a little bit of a pampering for your skin from Clinique from me. 

So stay tuned for more!

S xxx

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Maxi {Maternity Skirt}

This is what I wore to our  "We're about to have a baby and go into hibernation" Party last week.

 A while ago I found this tutorial for a maternity Maxi skirt while catching up on icandy (Autie's insights are worth a read). It all looked relatively straight forward, so even though I'd never sewn with knit fabric before I thought "Why not?"

While perusing my local markets one Sunday with my men (both the big one and the two small ones), and my in-laws, I came across this striped fabric that made me go "I want that and it's coming home with me!!!"
After asking the price (a low $2 per meter) I  ended up buying all there was on the roll (approx 2 metres - who knew that everyone else thought it was good too?)

I had to get Mr. Kelp (aka Mr. Help) to help me lay the fabric out because I couldn't get it to align on the grain line in my preggy state, but once that was done, the cutting out took very little time, and stitching it together was a breeze.

I will say that once it was done it practically fell off me. I took one look at the instructions where she said to make the waist band the size of your waist and thought "Hmmm. Pretty big there", so I only reduced it by about 2" to start with. I ended up taking it in another 2" after that. I also didn't make my skirt quite as full at the bottom. I'm not sure on the exact measurements now, but I have had loads of people comment that they love my skirt - and are totally surprised when I tell them that I made it!

Will I try this skirt again? You betcha!!! (Just need to find some more funky fabric at bargain prices.) :)

I think this skirt will work really well post pregnancy as well, so I'm planning to make more when I know what my measurements will be! ;)

Hope you are all having a smashing weekend!

S xxx

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mug Cake Review

Morning all!

I thought I'd just quickly pop in and share with you a recipe (which you may have come across before) for a chocolate cake that you can have ready in 5 minutes. Yes, you heard me FIVE MINUTES!!! Now I was hoping for a gorgeous outcome to show you all... but, well, apparently my large Mikasa mug is not quite big enough. I think if there's a next time, I'll put it in two mugs.

A gorgeous friend of mine emailed this recipe to me a couple of years ago, but I was trying to avoid it (I didn't want to know how to make it in case it became a habit...). I did make a few changes, which made it a tiny bit dry, so I'll share the original recipe with you as well as my adapted version.


4 tablespoons SR flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips or (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract 
1  really large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to your largest mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using), vanilla extract , then mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high).
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!  

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired. 
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

Adapted Reduced Fat Version.

4 tablespoons SR flour
3 tablespoons sugar *
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons low fat milk *
1 tablespoons oil *
A small splash of vanilla extract 

1  really large coffee mug

* Note: I reduced the sugar a little, used 2 Tbs LESS of oil, low fat milk, and skipped the choc chips entirely. AND just to feel a bit more virtuous, I shared it with the little peeps and my fabulous hubby. If I were to make it again I may add a little more oil OR a little more milk to increase the moisture level.

I found several different recipes online that look very similar.  I just googled it. So if you want to look for recipe variations, this could be your answer.
If you give this recipe a try, I'd love to hear how it goes.

Happy baking!

S xxx

Monday, May 21, 2012

Beach House Worthy Tea Light Holders

This past week I've been working on a few bits and pieces for a "We're about to have a baby and go into hibernation" party. I had one and a half weeks to put it together  - which for me is kinda short (I'd prefer a month or more). Somewhere in there I squeezed in some fun with the little peeps (hello bottles of bubble solution), doing regular house stuff (including several trips to the neighbours to do the laundry since my machine blew up... and the one that is on order got put on back order), and cooking to put things in the freezer for after the baby comes. But I digress...

While rumaging in the cupboard that has vases and candles in it and I found a few baby food jars that I have been hoarding since I had little C (I've had several ideas that I wanted to try with them, but my concepts and execution never quite met...). Then the "A-HA!" moment hit. I whipped out the little piece of pale hessian (burlap for my US friends) and took a quick trip to Bunnings for some Jute twine.

I just cut a strip the width that I wanted (plus a wee bit extra) and frayed the edge out slightly. I wrapped it around the jar, added a dab of lampshade glue, and tied a piece of jute around it and knotted it. I did try a bow, but I wanted to go for a more nautical/country feel.

Please excuse the crummy evening photography.

So there you have it. A fairly quick method for makeing your tea lights look just a little more special while still being relaxed.

I'll be back later this week with some more party bits and pieces.

S xxx

Monday, May 14, 2012

Things that happen when you comment...

So I'm curious to know...
How many of you out there are the kind of people that quickly scan a blog, close the tab and move on (the kind that bloggers commonly refer to as "lurkers"), and how many of you are the kind of person who just has to leave a little sprinkle of encouragement, suggestions or share a thought when you visit some one's blog?

One of the reasons I ask, is that I mostly tend towards the latter. Some time ago I left a comment on Rockmelon's blog. She was having a "down size" ready to move and was giving away a whole lot of vintage Golden books that she had found doubles of in her collection. I HAD to leave a comment telling her my fave Little Golden book - I really enjoy Little Golden books - especially the vintage variety! I have all mine from when I was little, and the boys seem to enjoy them too, so I have been collecting them at markets and the local thrift stores (Op shops in Aussie speak).

Now, it's been a while since I have won anything in a giveaway, so (partly because she already had my deets) imagine my surprise when a parcel landed on my door step a while ago - only to find it filled with Little Golden books! Not only that, but Miss Rockmelon totally made it worth my while and spoilt the boys rotten - she sent bi-plane kits (which she has available for parties and the like) and a bunch of stickers for them too! When I left my comment - I didn't anticipate that I would win the giveaway, I was just sharing my love of Little Golden books with her. Thanks for the parcel though Miss Rockmelon the boys have already divided the books up (Including some for the baby) and made their planes (which were a life saver when we had days upon days of rain!).

So next time you are visiting some one's blog, briefly ask yourself if there is something you want to say to that person. You may not get anything in return, but you never know how it will affect that person's day - in fact, you might just make it! :)

Have a great day!

S xxx

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stitched Cards { + Tutorial}

If you are my MIL, stop reading right now. Close the URL, and don't read it for another 5 days! :)

This year for Mother's Day I thought I'd do something a little different. I wanted to make cards for both my Mum and my Mother-in-law since I knew I wouldn't get to see either of them on Mother's Day, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with the idea of stitched cards. I mean, fabric designers go to the effort of creating beautiful prints - so why not show-case a little of it in a different kind of way.

Here is how they turned out.

I have to say, getting the tension right on my sewing machine (AND the stitch length) was a little tricky. I ended up winding the machine by hand since the stitch length kept varying with the speed of the machine (I'm sure a walking foot would have come in handy here - but I don't have one).

Now all I need to do is get them in the post!

What are you doing for your Mum this Mother's Day? Leave me a comment and share the creative inspiration - I'd love to hear about it! :)

S xxx

And now, for the Mini Tutorial...

Select your card stock and fabric (the latter of which you will need to iron). I don't know about you, but sometimes I find this the hardest part of the project! The next part is deciding how big you want your card to be. I simply cut an A4 sheet of card stock (in both colours since I was making 2) in half, and then folded the piece I was using in half.

Now to measure how big you want your boarder frame to be. I decided this time to make a boarder 1cm wide, but I think it could look really good if you use a much wider boarder instead (I have also considered just making a shape inside of the boarder frame instead of the typical rectangle... I'll be trying that next time!). Measure it out and cut it. I used a scalpel (craft knife/exacto knife... what ever you want to call it) since it's what I had on hand.

Grab your fabric and measure it ready to cut. If you are making a frame like I did, then you will want the fabric to be 1cm shorter length-ways and width ways (so there is still fabric under the frame).  Whip out your roller cutter (or scissors) and make it to measure.

Now for the sneaky part... I used a glue stick to stick the fabric to the back of the frame - right side of fabric to wrong side of card stock. This just helped keep it in place while I was stitching. Press it on firmly and make sure there are no wrinkles.

Stitch the fabric to the card stock. I chose a contrasting/complimenting thread here. Use whatever inspires you! :) Place your sewing foot so that your needles punctures the card just above the inner line of the frame (mine was level, and I had to fiddle with it at each turn - it was a bit of a pain. Just sayin'.) You should be able to see the very edge of the inner part of the frame through the gap in the foot (Mine is the one I would use for zig zag I think - it had the widest hole). You want to make sure you are catching your fabric and not stitching outside of it. When you are the whole way around, snip threads.

Pull threads through to the back and tie off.

Cover the back of the card stock & fabric with glue (I used glues stick again, but if you had spray adhesive that would very likely work a tread as well), and position it on the front of your card. Press firmly to make sure it sticks well.


Write on it and pop it in an addressed envelope and into the post!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mixed Spaces

Today the sun was shining in all it's glory. The sky was an amazing colour, and the clouds - for the most part - were wispy and light. Most of the washing got dry (funnily enough, washing doesn't seem like work to me - except for putting it away - that is!), and there were a few moments for playing. Perhaps you could say that I might be in the early stages of nesting. Cleaning the kitchen and bathroom WAS like work (thanks Mum, for phoning then and making the work seem less like work!)... but we won't talk about that now, will we?

I found a website a while ago that has some early reading (and phonics) interactive pages that you can use for free... if you don't mind trying to juggle the difference between American and Australian accents that is (not a problem for us adults - but when you are learning to read and sound out words... it's another story). So I had Jellyfish reading simple sentences to me, with Little C watching on. They both loved it. It's not the first time Jellyfish has had a go at it, but it's the first time his little bro has been in attendance, and they both thrived on it. It was just one of those warm fuzzy moments, watching them both learning and loving it.

Sunlight filtering through a double Jonquil
The afternoon saw Jellyfish making pictures with ink using his fingerprints and a black marker, while I made a huge batch of sausage rolls. Our next door neighbour is due any day now, so I thought I'd get some in the freezer ready to take over for when their little baby arrives. Yes. I will be surrounded by people with babies (remember the one I made the bib and burp cloth for? They live on the other side of us). I also wanted to have some on hand to pop in the freezer for us - that way either hubby or I (or my mum when she is here) can just pop them in the oven and they will be ready in 20 minutes.

Speaking of food, I experimented with a new choko recipe tonight - I'll have to see if I can reproduce it and share it with you. It tasted great in my books - and even Jellyfish said he liked it (I usually do it in strips with bechamel sauce because that's the way the hunk who lives here likes it).

The last thing I wanted to show you, you might want to skip if you don't like bugs and creepy crawly things. This came in on the picnic rug after our lunch on the lawn yesterday. I have NO IDEA what it is. If you do, PLEASE tell me!!! It's body seems to be quite soft (I encouraged it gently into a jar with my knitting needle so I could get it somewhere suitable to have it's photo taken), and it scuttles. I know. I know. I did the whole girly thing and let out a squeal when it escaped the first time. Sheesh. How embarrassing. But I did get this photo that was actually in focus (not bad considering it was dark, I'd been on my feet all afternoon and was in the midst of making dinner!) before the Mr. let it go outside for me - Hey! I had choko to cook still! LOL

So there you have it - my creative space was all jumbled up in a mix of things today, but it was a good mix.
One day to go till the weekend. Does anyone else count down till their hubby's are home all day?

My Jonquils got confused with the cold summer and are now flowering!

Hope your day was filled with sprinklings of splendidness.

S xxx