19th April 2016
With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I’ve been trying to work out what would be a nice and creative thing to share with mum, over above a simple gift. As I grown older, I’ve realised that mother’s day isn’t just about what you give your mum, it’s as much about what you share with her on the day (and everyday). As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more interested in my mother’s life, the one before I knew her as mum that is. Namely all the things she did, the places she visited and the friendships she made. It’s taken a while to realise that she wasn’t always ‘mum’, and at one time was my age with all that it entails (albeit sans instagram!). It’s for that reason I was excited to get a copy of Kikki K‘s new ‘Mum’s Story‘ book, which is all about sharing and learning more about your mother, the person she was, is and will be. The aim is that you sit down with her and fill it out together, over a strong cup of tea naturally, and maybe some salted Lindt dark chocolate? It’s something you can get totally creative with too – adding photos, decorating and putting your own special touch on it. Read on for a few other creative gift ideas for both those who like to buy and also those who like to make.
Clearly Kikki K’s Mum’s Story goes hand in hand with a nice cup of tea, and this cup and teapot are the perfect set up for an afternoon tea worth remembering. If you’ve inherited your OCD list making from her, maybe you should buy her something gorgeous to write in (maybe buy yourself one too!) – I recently splurged on this leather notebook cover and it know it will be something I’m going to use for a long time. And if the kitchen is her forte, this recipe organiser is a lovely minimalist addition to the kitchen…. When in doubt, a simple set of notebooks can never go wrong.
Looking for a gift that’s soaked in your own blood, sweat and tears? Perhaps try your hand at macrame – you’ll be making one for mum and just about everyone you know! If she’s a furniture lover this bench is easy and cheap to make, or if you’re handy with a sewing machine, these rope bowls are a winner. My mum’s always after some good jewellery storage ideas, and this leather jewellery holder would be a great little addition to her vanity. If she’s the classic type, this pearl glasses strap is just the right kind of fancy. And naturally showing someone you love them is as much about what you make to eat than what you wrap and give to them, and these coconut baked doughnuts would go down a treat… Yum! For something a little bigger that’s sure to impress why not try this epic platter? Pair it with a simple glass jar arrangement on the table (like this one) and you’ve got a day she’s sure to remember.
Oh and if she is a lover of SKI trips (aka spending the kid’s inheritance) splash out on a new passport holder and bag tag, because she definitely needs some cute accessories for that, right? Last but not least, don’t forget to wish your mother happy mother’s day on all those social media channels she doesn’t use :).
This post is in collaboration with Kikki K
14th April 2016
Chargers, can’t live without ’em… and can’t live with ’em. Regardless of what you’re doing, chances are you need to be plugged in – kindle, iPad, phone you name it, a girls gotta be juiced up. But instead of carrying those oh so essential chargers around with you in a crazy tangle in your handbag, this tassel is one accessory that’s not only totally functional, but actually pretty cute too. Win win!
Watch the video here!
- A clasp
- A charger
1. Cut your fringe, making sure not to cut all the way through at the top. We left a 2.5 cm (1 inch) space at the top.
2. Roll your charger up in another small piece of leather.
3. Then roll your fringe around the charger, adding glue as you go so it stays in place.
4. Leave to dry overnight, you’ll probably have to tie rope or string around it to keep it in place.
5. Glue in the clasp and then secure the leather strip.
And in case you’re wondering, no the irony of crafting charging tassels when also on a month long nightly phone ban challenge isn’t lost on me. But the reality is that we lead lives that are full of contradictions, it’s how we mange them that matters. My motto is – juiced up when the suns up, powering down the the suns down. Pretty simple really :). I’m also thinking about making one next for my kindle… All the books!
13th April 2016
Creativity has long been a foundation of this blog, I like to think it underlines everything we do here and how we approach things. Which is why I couldn’t be more excited to be part of the judging panel for this year’s Etsy Awards, awards that aims to celebrate creatives in all forms. What I love most about Etsy is that they’re a platform focused on helping creatives turn their passion into a business, something you’ll know I’m totally into too (remember?). I truly believe that we’ve all got hidden talents and untapped passion, if only we’d give ourselves time and confidence to invest in them. I’ve met so many inspiring creatives since starting this blog, who’ve all managed to develop thriving businesses from the ground up – not without ups and downs but most of them would never go back. Whether you’re a designer, an illustrator, a painter or a vintage furniture addict – the secret to success is getting started and I feel like Etsy is a great place to do that.
Which is whyyyy the prizes for the awards are so great and a big incentive to all of you pondering whether now’s the time to get started – entrants have the chance to win the Community’s Choice Grand Prize of $5,000 or one of five $1,000 cash prizes to go and get started, and one lucky applicant will also win a Business Bundle which is aimed at growing their biz. So why not? If you’ve got an Etsy store already you can enter easily via the Etsy Awards page by submitting an item from your store, and if you’d like to get a chance at winning yourself but aren’t currently a seller, you can easily set up a new Etsy account, add a listing and enter it in the awards. Enter by 5:00pm on the 29 April, 2016.
To celebrate the launch, I got in touch with some of last year’s award winners and picked a few of my favourite designs, the list of stores and designers was so inspiring and it was a real struggle to pick my favourite pieces. But here we go!
Last Year’s Etsy Award Winners & Finalists
Burnt Bush Bedcover from Grace Wood Designs, Flamingo pink linen cushion cover by Aqua Door Designs, Faceted Wood Coasters by Gwyneth Hulse Design, Black Leather Satchel by Sarah Van Oosterom, Abstract Art Print by Sarina Daikos Art, Ceramic Vases by Maribray, Organic Turtleneck by The Bilboa Loft, Ceramic plate and bowl by Susan Simonini
This burnt bed cover is hand made to order by Grace Wood in the Blue Mountains, with the most gorgeous marble detailing – I can see why Grace was one of the winners! Perfect for lazy sunday mornings at home with a bowl of quinoa pudding.
Can you tell how excited I am about this abstract print, complete with my favourite shades of the moment, pink and grey. I think I know exactly where it should go in the house…
Just hanging out in the studio… This gorgeous hand made leather bag is convertible, from a shoulder bag into a back pack. SUCH a good design.
Got pink on the brain… clearly! Head on over to read more about the Etsy Awards, in case you’re wondering there are a number of different categories depending on your skill set or product, so if you’ve been waiting for a sign to get started. This is it. Good luck!
Photos by Bryant Lee. Styling and direction by me.
11th April 2016
A down under saw me introduced to the amazing Nodo (pronounced no dough), a crazy good cafe and bakery thats makes gluten free and raw doughnuts. After eating one of their creations (ok, two in fact) I must say, they’re absolutely incredible and far removed from the often sickly sweet standard versions. With delicious whole ingredients like coconut, beetroot and chai, no gluten and a light cake like texture, they’re not a bad choice for your next treat yourself day. The owner (of both the premises and the best job around – doughnut taster!!) Kate, kindly shared a recipe for her famous Raspberry and Coconut Baked Doughnuts so you can make your own at home…. Yay! How good is it when you can have your cake and eat it too?
Dress by Paddo to Palmy
for the doughnuts (makes 6)
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla bean
80g butter, unsalted at room temperature
110g panela sugar
3/4 cup coconut milk
½ tbsp. coconut oil
3 cups gluten free flour blend
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
for the glaze
125g couverture white chocolate
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla bean (optional)
freeze dried raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla bean to a small bowl and whisk lightly to combine. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand-mixer for 3 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg mixture slowly and beat until combined. Add the milk, beating after each addition.
- Sift the flour and baking powder over the bowl and mix very lightly to combine. You must be careful not to overwork the dough or it will become tough and dense.You want the mixture to look like the consistency of a thick cake batter. Gluten free flour blends can vary so if it seems a little dry, just add a little more milk.
- Pipe the mixture into a thoroughly greased donut mould and place on a baking tray, this is important if using a silicon based mould.
- Bake the donuts for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and lightly golden.
- Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes in the tray then place a baking rack over the top of the donut mould and flip over to turn out the donuts to cool completely.
- To glaze the donuts, melt the white chocolate & coconut oil together. Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Once melted, stir in vanilla bean paste. Dip the donuts face down in the chocolate and sprinkle with freeze dried fruit (like we have done).
Andy how pretty are the interiors?!?
Ok ok you can probably see that these little nuggets of goodness do still have sugar in them, so it’s not like you’ll be able to eat one as a fullstop to every meal, but as a once in a while treat they’re pretty much guilt free!
Photos by Nicola Lemmon