Thursday, August 23, 2012


While browsing the pages of Etsy the other day, I came across a picture - it made my heart do a little flip flop !!! It was a picture of spools of ribbon. Not just any ordinary ribbon, but handmade, hand dyed, hand stamped fabric ribbon - I HAD to give it a try !!!!
I'm going to share with you, how I made mine. It is not my original idea, just how I went about creating my own little spools of happiness.

- I dug some 100% cotton calico out of my stash - I had about a yard of it. I gathered 4 bottles of Ritz Liquid Dyes - I went for Halloween themed colors (orange, blue, green and red), but the world is your oyster when it comes to colors, and set about dying my fabric ............ follow the instructions on the back of the Ritz bottle.
- I then cut the fabric into 11/2 " wide strips of fabric - they were as wide as the fabric was - 44" in my case.
- I then sewed a seam all the way down the length of the ribbon. I wanted the edges to look frayed.
- I had a few little Halloween stamps that I wanted to use on my ribbon. I used StazOn Ink to stamp the images onto the fabric - black in this case.
- I stamped the image along the length of my ribbon - no exact measuring, I just eyeballed it !!!!
- Once the ink was dry ( it dries very quickly), I ironed the lengths of ribbon - it seems to heat set the ink.
Now those of you who have read my blog for a while now, know how important packaging is to me. I chose wooden spools (the ones you buy at the craft store).
- I didn't like how shiny and new they looked, so I stained them with wood stain. A word of advice here .... make sure you're spools are completely dry, before winding your ribbon onto them. I even rubbed mine down with a clean rag, once they were dry.
- Another packaging suggestion ...... large, sturdy, decorated tags. Just wind the ribbon around them.
 - The spools needed a bit of jazzing up, so I cut circles from cardstock, and glued a brad (prongs removed) onto the top of them.
 Time to wind the ribbon onto the spools ... easily done !!! I used little gold safety pins to keep the ribbon nice and neatly in place.

I see this ribbon being used in so many different ways ......
- Halloween Scrapbook Pages
- Halloween Cards
- Sewn into Halloween costumes
- As ribbon around gifts

The themes you can make are endless .....Thanksgiving, Christmas, Winter, Summer, Spring ......... and so the list goes on.
This was a fun project to do, and I'd encourage eveyone to give it a try - you won't be disappointed!!!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


There's nothing like heading to the kitchen and creating something "traditional" to ease that homesick feeling when it creeps in !!!!
That's precisely what I did this morning ........ I made a great traditional South African treat - Koeksisters !!!!
They're fiddly and quite time consuming to make, but oh so worth it. The process started yesterday, when I made the syrup needed for dipping them - it needs to be ice cold when you dip the cooked dough into it. That's why you make it 24 hours ahead of time.
So let me walk you through the steps .....
Syrup is made ..... so is the dough ....
Next the dough is rolled out, and rectangles are cut from it. The rectangles then have 3 legs cut into them, and are gently and loosly plaited, to form the little plaited things you see above. 
Into the hot (and I mean very hot) oil they go. They only spend about a minute in there before they're removed and ....
Drained on paper towel.
Next they head over to the syrup pot .......
Where they spend some time soaking up all of that lemony, gingery, sweet syrup ....... yum, yum, yum !!!
Once that's all done, this is what you have .... a plate of delicious, crispy, sweet/tart yumminess .....
Oh I can't wait to sit back and enjoy one, while I think of Africa ..... the place that holds my heart.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


It's been a long time in the doing, but it has finally happened !!! I am so happy with the way my perfectly, pretty, creative space turned out.
I have it all organized into different stations - Papercrafting, sewing and a Cricut station ...... everything I could possibly need for those specific crafts is right at my fingertips. The best part about this entire redo - I had to buy nothing except 2 small plastic storage containers, and a yard of fabric. Everything else I either repurposed, or already had on hand, just waiting for the right time to be used.

So please join me on a tour of my space ...... just a quick warning - there are alot of pictures and a lot of words !!!

At the top of the stairs, on entering my space. The shelves are there for storage. At the moment they have my 3 brad containers on them. I've used round containers that have detachable boxes. They are  typically used to store beads in for jewelery making. The brads fit perfectly into the small compartments, and I have them all seperated out - One stop brad shopping at my fingertips.
The green boxes are my photo storage boxes - they are empty at the moment. Top of my "To Do" List once the kids go back to school, is to sort and box my photos ..... it will make scrapbooking them so much easier.
The tension wire  ...... FANTASTIC !!! It is from Ikea and is meant to hang photos on. It has all my patterns, clearly marked and packed in Ziploc bags hanging off of it ..... this might just be my favorite part of this room.

Moving on now ....

 This is my papercrafting (and general crafting) station. All my scrapbook papers are arranged by color or theme in those plastic drawers on top of the desk. My stamps, stamp pads, pens etc are conveniently placed here. I have lots of table top space available to spread out my scrapbook layouts while I work on them :-)

 Onto my sewing station we go ..... zips, piping, elastic, bag handles ..... all stored in the plastic drawers you see. Pincushions at the ready ..... love how I now know where everything is. My cutting table is all set up, complete with cutting mat and rulers at the ready.

My Cricut station ..... lots of space to cut, clip and glue. How I love this machine .... it's like magic !!! The 2 filing cabinets you see in the picture house all my sewing patterns (left hand side), and all my scrapbooking stickers and chipboard accents ( on the right).

Here's another Ikea special ..... these bars normally have plastic cups that hang off them. They do a brilliant job of keeping my paper punches organized and at the ready. 

I used to have this metal thing in my grocery cupboard .... it's for storing your canned goods on. I changed my grocery storage system a little while back. Not wanting to waste them (I have another one packed away, for when it's needed), I tucked them away. Just so happens that they are the perfect storage solution for my acrylic paints. I have them grouped by color.

Moving to the other end of the room now, 2 bookshelves that were no longer needed in the kids rooms. Here glass jars store ric rac, buttons, embroidey thread, ribbons of every color, binding, sculpey ...... let's just say it's my version of an old fashioned candy store without the calories ..... it makes my heart flutter !!!!

Here is the other bookcase, rescued from Girl Childs room in a terrible state. Not to be detered, I cleaned it up, and hid the ugly backboard, by modge podging some lovely fabric to it ...... voila !!! Here you'll find my reference books, felt (wool and acrylic), as well as my fabric scraps and fat quarters. On the top are my DMC threads (I bought that beautiful wooden threadcase when we still lived back home). Pretty jugs hold my knitting needles and crochet hooks.

Now this idea I saw on Craftgossip a long while back. This is a fold up side table I got on clearance at Walmart ($3) many moons ago. Anyone that sews knows how often you have to iron little, fiddly bits .... here's the perfect solution. I glued some batting to the table, then glued a layer of Insul Bright to the batting. I let them both dry and then cut off any extra batting that was hanging over the edges. I then laid the table, upside down, on the fabric, and cut the fabric 4 inches larger than the table all around. Trusty staple gun in hand, I stapled the fabric to the underside of the table, pulling tightly as I went around. This little item has proved invaluable for those small ironing jobs.  

This blog has been such a blessing to me, in so many ways ..... I don't have a huge following, and I dont have hundreds of people visit it every day, but that doesn't make me sad. I have met some of the most wonderfully creative and sweet ladies as a result of my little space in Blogville. Ladies that I would absolutely be great friends with if we lived near one another (Sometimes I sit and imagine the craft parties we could have). In celebration of this blog, I felt I wanted to have it represented somewhere in my space ..... after all it motivates me to craft. Soooo, I bought chipboard letters that spelt out my blogs name and set to work prettifying them. I painted the edges with paint, and then modge podged sewing/knitting/crocheting themed scrapbook papers to them. I finished them off with another layer of modge podge to seal them, and then hung them up ....... they really do just make me smile :-)

Here's a close up of what they look like.

I still want to make valances to hang at the windows, in that pretty green and pink rose fabric, when the budget allows. I'm in no hurry though, it will happen when it happens.

So there you have it. I look forward to many, many, many hours of crafty fun in my space. 
Thank you for joining me for my big reveal ..... you're the very ones that make this blogging adventure of mine so worthwhile:-) 


Girl Child turned 14 yesterday !!!! Am I the only mother who gets emotional when my children's birthdays come around?  I've done it since both of their first birthdays, I just can't help it !!!!
We had a lovely family day, just the four of us, doing activities of her choosing.
Gifts were opened on waking up .... Lunch was enjoyed while paying MUCH attention to one of the above mentioned gifts ....
After the 21/2 hours we spent in the AT&T store sorting out this new toy (ok, so we upgraded our long overdue phones too), we felt she deserved a little "play" time.
We ran a few more errands - mostly birthday related, and then it was home to enjoy some birthday cake. Her cake of choice this year ...... A strawberry dinosaur cake !!! I love that she is old enough (and interested enough) now, that we can make and decorate her cake together.

I must apologise for the icky pictures, but he was suprisingly difficult to photograph. I had never worked with fondant before (there's a first time for everything!!!) It wasn't as difficult as I'd anticipated it would be though :-)
I love his cute little head and face, she sculpted it all by herself.
But of course, no birthday is complete without something handmade ...... meet Spot, the stripey Birthday Monster !!!
Looking back at the pictures now, it looks like we intentionally had a purple and green color scheme going on - this happened by chance !! Girl Child chose the cake colors the day before her birthday, and Spot has been on my knitting needles for a while ..... he was a pick up and knit a few rows type project, between other projects, that she knew nothing about.

So all in all, it was a lovely day, for a lovely young lady, who we are extremely proud of.
Happy 14th Birthday Sweet Girl ...... We love you tons XXX