Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Santa is a-coming!

So tomorrow is December 1. This means it's the day we put up the Christmas Tree. It also means it's the day advent calendars get started.

I came across this really cool home made advent calendar idea on (you guessed it) Pinterest. Look here for the original blog post and how they did it

This is my version. The cotton balls will be added each morning by the kids, secured by double sided tape. I used the same poem and santa. I was quite lucky, I actually went shopping yesterday to try to find some papers to use but came up with nothing - I tried 3 local shops! In the end I decided I would just paint it. But today when I decided I realllllly had to get my A into G and get it done, I dug out some papers I bought ages ago when I tried my hand at scrapbooking, and turns out there were the perfect colours in there, even a skin colour! Fancy that. Was obviously meant to be.

Anyways, the picture:

The kids think its kinda cool, its hung on the wall in the dining room and the 2 big ones had to sit on the opposite side of the table to what they normally sit so that they could see Santa. A bit cute.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Filling a blank space

I have this wall in my kitchen that was happily empty. Till I started browsing Pinterest. Then I realised it needed something on it. I did have one particular craft idea that would have gone there oh so nicely, but I don't think I will ever find the time to do that project... at least not any time soon anyway. Anyways, the inspiration for this one actually came from TradeMe. I have no idea what I was browsing, but this particular wall art thing stood out to me, but I wasn't going to pay for it when I knew I could make it for free (had all the materials I needed just lying around - cardboard, a craft knife and paint).

This is what I created:

All I did, was find plates, bowls, plastic containers of various circle sizes. Grabbed an old cardboard box from the recycling and found my trusty craft knife. I looked for circles that would give me roughly the same dimensions per circle. This is what they looked like to start with:

As you can see, I off centred them, looks better that way. I then used my craft knife and carefully cut them all out. I did this 4x.

Once I had them all cut out, it put them back together and painted them (half black, half white, I found I needed 2 coats to get them looking nice. I wanted to throw a colour in there too, but my whole kitchen is in black and stainless steel, and the walls are a greyish pinkish colour so I thought I best stick to plain black and white and I'm glad I did). I'm quite happy with how it turned out, not bad for something that didn't cost me anything!

Another wall art I have done previously was in my bedroom - I always liked those wall quotes you can get but (in case you can't tell) I loathe to spend money on things like that. So I made my own - printed the letters out, traced them onto cardboard, cut them, painted them, and blu-tac'ed them to the wall:

(BTW it IS straight on the wall, I just took the photo on an angle!)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Cake gone wrong

It always happens when you are pushed for time. I need to baked 2 square shaped cakes in order to make mr7's birthday cake on the weekend. I needed it on Sunday, and unfortunately hubby had to work on Saturday. So along with making the cake, I also had 3 kids to wrangle, AND had to make a trip down to the Shore. And I was fully aware my mother-in-law was coming up in the afternoon too to stay the night.

So I decided to bake one cake first thing in the morning, then do the trip to the Shore, then when I got back around lunchtime I would bake the next one, then tackle the housework. Well, the first cake stuck to the pan. To the silicone pan. This never happens. It shouldn't happen. I came to the conclusion its a stupid pan. Anyways, the cake was unusable as a cake. Cue stressy me! I was ready to throw the bloody thing across the kitchen haha.

In the end, I just left. I couldn't face making another cake and I was running out of time to do my trip to the Shore before mr1's sleeptime. Luckily driving helps me clear my head.

I realised I could turn the cake into crumbs and make cake balls. Yum! Ok, doesn't help the fact I still had 2 cakes to make AND it also added to my workload, but at least the cake wasn't a total waste.


All you need to do to make cake balls is to crumble the failed cake, make up a batch of icing (various flavours, cream cheese icing makes for very yummy very rich cake balls), mix the icing and the crumbs together, roll into balls and roll balls into something like coconut, cocoa or my personal fave is to chocolate dip them! yummo!

These particular ones I separated into 3 batches (one I did later on so didn't photograph). The cake was vanilla flavoured. The first I mixed with lemon flavoured icing, and rolled in coconut. The 2nd I added chocolate chips to the mix, made a plain vanilla icing and rolled in a cocoa and icing sugar mix (as I was doing that I realised I could just use drinking chocolate!). Then later I made a chocolate peppermint icing and mixed that into the last lot and rolled in drinking chocolate. Oh yum!

I managed to bake 2 more cakes without any issue (I sprayed the bloody pan with oil lol), and that evening when the kids were in bed, over a glass of wine or 3, I decorated mr7's cake....