Saturday, 31 December 2011

Starting a new venture - cardmaking

I love cardmaking, it offers so many possibilites and is like mini-scrapbooking! I thought as a new venture I would start to make and sell (hopefully) some of my own handmade cards and see how I go. I know there are a lot of these available out there, and it's really something that you need to be uber good at or really stand out from the crowd to get a look in but I'm not really aiming for either of those things, I do it purely because I find it relaxing and seriously enjoyable! That's all you need really, the rest in due time will follow naturally as with most things crafty :)

I am a paper-junkie. I really am! If I see a piece of scrapbooking paper or a new stack at a store, then generally it ends up in a bag coming home with me whilst I slowly repeat 'my precious' under my breath....oh yes I am obsessed!! And since I don't actually do a lot of scrapbooking as I find once you buy everything you need (I like my scrapbooking pages to be coordinated and when I think it needs something specific I could spend 6 months hunting for it!)  it ends up being a very pricey hobby so I've decided to satisfy my paper-love with cardmaking instead.

So first I gather my pile of loot (ooooh how I love loot! So shiny and sparkly and new!) and a now clean crafting desk (it was rather messy a few hours ago)...

And then off I go!

 You gotta do it for the love of it and just go with the flow!

Til next time,

-Tashy Xx

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


Guess what my hubby bought me home after helping to clean his parents' shed????

CHOCOLATE MOULDS!!!! Christmas moulds (including advent calender moulds!), chocolate frog moulds, christening moulds, chocolate seashell moulds, sea creature moulds, leaf moulds ooooh I'm a very happy lady!

I was also given my first sewing machine today too! My aunt had one that had been in the family for a while and she wasn't using it so I gave it a new home! Previously I'd been hand stitching everything (bags, skirts, clutches, pillows...everything!) so I am very excited :)

Now all I want to do is make dozens of chocolates all flavoured and coloured and ganache filled and test out my new sewing machine!! Pity the kitchen is a mess and my crafting room needs a good clean out... drat! Looks like I'll have to tidy first!

Friday, 23 December 2011

What an absolutely crummy day I've had! Nobody likes coming down with the flu this close to Christmas...I must just be unlucky! I didn't end up finishing (or getting anywhere near) all those handmade Christmas presents I was meant to have had done by now so no presents from us this year :( that is a major dissappointment!! My husband and I won't be having much of a much needed holiday this year either..after everything we've been through this year we desperately need a break and wanted to go camping, just the two of us for just a weekend but even that doesn't seem possible anymore. At this rate we don't even think we'll make it home to visit my parents and brother and sister which I don't even want to think about!! Unfortauntely Im doing my usual drown my sorrows in food thing, which isn't so bad coz hey, it's actually helping but I'm sure my tummy will remind me of what a bad idea that was when my jeans don't do up.

Should I look for the positives of today? I had to just to get through it! My wonderful husband has been taking care of me whilst I've been sick, bringing me cold and flu tablets, hot cups of lemon honey tea and lovely Twix bars :) And our puppy got the official approval to live here in our apartment today which is great! I have been working on a bag today too but it hasn't turned out quite how I wanted...originally it was going to be handbag but I made a mistake with the measurements and it's a tad big; but I have deducted it would make a fantastic Baby Bag so that's what I'm going with! I've tried to stitch the handles on twice today and for some reason my thread has just been knotting up all day...i'm currently working on a nappy wallet as part of the baby bag and stitching my first button hole. I just don't know when to quit do I? I keep trying and things just keep not working ARRRGGGGG Maybe it's time for bed!

This is my bag too... I'll show you the work in progress now in case I make another mistake and in my sick and short tempered state fling it out the window!

It's super spacious! You'll notice the lack of handles.. I will add those later and hopefully wont jab myself with the needle too many times! Ahhh the hazards of hand stitching! I figured with the rest of the fabric I'd make a large nappy wallet, a baby bottle holder and a change matt. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Made myself a new handbag!!

Look what I made!! Every inch is hand stitched :) It took about 3 hours in total to complete but I ADORE my new bag! A big thankyou to Monica at Deliberately Domestic for the fantastic tutorial! I did mine a bit differently, I added the straps onto the outside (I love that look), made the body of the bag a bit bigger and added one of my flowers for a personal touch. Her instructions are super easy to follow and who wouldn't want such a gorgeous bag!!
It's very bright, I just love it! I'm still working through all the fabric I have here at home in my stash! I think I've caught the bag bug coz now I'm going to go find another wonderful tutorial and make more :D

-Tashy Xx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

SOOOO guess what I'm doing tonight??

haha yes, more baking!

This time in someone else's kitchen though so it's all mother-in-laws kitchen's HUGE, and much easier to cook in than my tiny excuse for a kitchen *hangs head in shame*. I mean look...all my spices and baking supplies barely fit on the one shelf I have!

As soon as my hubby and I start looking for a house to ABSOLUTELY MUST have a big kitchen.

I am baking again tonight...we're going and making gingerbread cookies with my Hubby's younger sister and brother...I foresee icing sugar everywhere...strange new colours invented with food colouring and many many spoonfuls of eaten cookie mixture! It's always more fun that way though :)

So holy cow there's only 4 more days until Christmas! What the heck happened to the rest of the year???????? Did I misplace a few months? Are they under the bed or something?? wow.... that's really all I can say is wow.....
Oh well...bring on 2012! What are you doing for Christmas this year? We're having a nice family day, lots of food, water and soap sud slide in the yard, more food, a nap or two, lots of wine and heaps more food! Christmas is no fun unless you feel like you're gonna hurl from overeating am I right?! And then we eat some more! Ooooh can't wait! I'm a proud food-fanatic, what's that old saying? Never trust a skinny cook? Well...I should be a cooking master!!!

Hmm so what else have I done today...well I made some new Doggie Bandanas!  All sewn by hand with a needle and thread, (yes I am still without a sewing machine) but it was worth it and they turned out great! What else?! I have a huge stash of ribbons and lace and fabric and things so I dug out some of my prettier ones to create with today.. I still feel like I need more though... you can NEVER have too much stuff in your craft stash!! (don't tell my hubby I said that!)

todays creations :)

Well, I'm off to bake in 10 minutes so I'd best hop off the net and say goodbye for the time being!

Happy Tuesday!!

-Tashy Xx


Sunday, 18 December 2011

Chocolate and Cream Headband Tutorial

Hi guys! I'm winging this one from my couch today, as I'm not feeling too fantastic (my hubby and I seem to have caught the 'summertime' bug)...This is a super cute elastic-free tutorial and can be fitted to any size so you can make it for a special little bubba in your life, it would make a lovely baby shower and baby birthday gift. I have a few friends with bubbies due next year (and by a few I mean 8! must be something in the drinking water hehe), I'm going to have a lot of baby shower gifts to make!

So let's get started... as you can see here, your materials list is fairly simple. I've chosen to make mine brown, ivory and blue (my favourite colour combo). You will need:

-A comfy couch and a cup of tea are a complete necessity for this one, I would have ice cream but Im not sure my stomach would thank me for that at the moment!

-A piece of satin; a scrap will do, you will need roughly a 30 x 30cm square
-A length of wide organza ribbon, to fit it to your head, simply measure it to fit from behind one ear to the other leaving about and inch on either side to attach your tying ribbons onto.
-Some tying ribbon; I like to double mine over at the ends of my headband so you will need two pieces about 50cm long
-Three large buttons; I've chosen a set of ivory buttons I picked up for 50 cents at the local fabric store
-Needle and thread; I've used white so you can see it for the tutorial :)
-Hot glue gun (as always!)

Making Your Headband:

1. Take your organza ribbon and your two lengths of tying ribbon. Hold one end of the organza ribbon between your fingers and about an inch from the end, fold it in half. Then fold in half again, and then again.

2. Take one piece of your trying ribbon and loop the middle an inch from the end of the organza where you've folded and tie a knot. Take the tail of the organza and fold it upwards, tying another knot. Take the leftover tail and fold it down, tying a double knot this time. Repeat on the other end of your organza. Refer to the image to see how I've done it :) It's pretty simple.

You've now got your basic headband!

Making the Flowers

1. Cut three strips of satin about 40cm long, your first about 6cm wide, the second piece 4cm wide and the third about 3cm. Precision isn't important here today...I'm sick and can't be bothered finding a ruler.

2. Thread your needle. Take the first strip of satin and fold in half. Along the open end, sew a quick running stitch by hand....

 gently tugging on the thread as you go so your fabric looks like this:

3. Once you have a full circle, you can cut off the tail. Overlap the two edges and close to the centre stitch them together and tie it off on the back. It should look like this:

Repeat with your remaining fabric strips.. You've now got your flowers!

Don't worry too much if the satin had frayed in the centre, because now you're taking your buttons and hot glueing one to the centre of each flower :) I have to leave the couch for this part, my glue gun cord didn't reach to the coffee table!

4. Arrange your flowers on your headband how you'd like them, I like mine fairly low on the headband so the flower cluster is to the side when I wear it. Cut out a circle from your remaining satin to act as a 'base' for your flowers; when glueing on your flowers, position the circle underneath the headband first. This will not only make your flowers more stable on the organza, but it will also help to not burn your fingers in the process!

Voila!!! You now have a beautiful couch-headband! Simple to make yet such a gorgeous addition to your hair accessories don't you think? Now to make another 10 in different colours ;)

Happy Headband Making!!

Though if you don't mind, pretty please don't sell headbands you make from this tutorial; I have an online shop and I create tutorials for home-use wouldn't be fair to sell them k? :) Thankyou kindly in advance!!!

I'd love to see your creations! Email them to me at and I'll post them here on my blog :)

-Tashy xox 

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Itty Bitty Ginger Bread House Recipe

I have gone completely cookie mad today... I made a lovely batch of gingerbread peoples and 'royally' iced them! They are uber tasty, I LUUURVE cookies...major weakness! I'm making batches and batches of them as Chrissy gifts to friends, family and colleagues. We can't really afford to do the gift thing this year so I'm handmaking all my own sugar scrubs, cookies, meringue, gingerbread houses, lemon and pumpkin butter....the list (and a neverending list it is too!) goes on!

My husband took some gingerbread people to work to share with the ladies he works with in a library (hubby works in a school) and they sent him home with nothing but compliments and all begging for the recipe saying how light the texture was and how beautiful they tasted...well, as you imagine I was very happy with myself!! I'm new to baking so I was extremely pleased! I guess that's what nudged me to think I could give this a go.

anyhoo, I want to share this's not only super yummy, but also super cute and very Christmas-y! I have always wanted to try these but never been brave enough; I'm actually typing this recipe out as I bake them so they could go wrong yet! But HEY! What can't be fixed/hidden with a bit of icing huh? If they're 'Tash-Proof' then I guarantee you can do them to. I'm a forgetful baker, like forgetting to put the cocoa into chocolate pudding, and yes I have managed that before.

 SO here goes...

Itty Bitty Gingerbread House

To start this yummo recipe, you'll need some let's start there.

Making the Gingerbread
125g butter, softened
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups plain flour
1/3 cup self raising flour
1 Tbs ground ginger (more or less depending on your tastes...I like mine sharp with that delicious ginger flavour so I add a little more than 1 Tbs)
1 Tsp of bi-carb soda

With this recipe, you should get about 3-4 itty bitty houses of the gingerbread dough
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees; beat butter, sugar and syrup until light and creamy (and try not to eat too much of it as you go!!!)

Add the lightly beaten egg gradually. Sift all your flour, ginger and bi-carb into the butter mixture and combine well with a wooden spoon. Once combined, knead it gently to form a smooth dough.
Roll out your dough onto a baking paper lined tray to a thickness of about 5mm. Refrigerate for about 1/2 hour...(this makes it a world easier to handle later, trust me!!)

2. Now to cutting out your house peices out of your gingerbread, you can measure these out onto cardboard before hand if you like or you can just measure them as you cut like I did:

Two front walls: 5cm x 5cm squares with a 3cm triangle on top
Two side walls 5cm x 8cm rectangles
Two roof pieces 5cm x 9cm rectangles
Bake for about 10 minutes. You can tell they're cooked when the base of the cookie has turned a darker brown. Using a spatula, gently place your cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely. 

I like to use that half hour the dough is in the fridge for to clean up my mess and prepare for the next step. I only have a very small kitchen with limited bench space and I need every inch of it so I suppose I don't get too much of a choice! :p

Ta da! you've got your cookies! Are they cooled yet?? Yes?  I just took mine out of the oven and they appear to have survived! Excellent!
While they're still warm, take a sharp knife and straighten to edges of your cookies..they'll stick together better that way.

 Now let's get to the fun (and messy) part!

Making the 'Cement' Icing and Constructing Your Itty Bitty House
This recipe should give you enough to glue your house together and use the rest to use to decorate with :)
2 egg white (at room temperature)
3 cups of icing sugar
1. Beat your egg whites until they form soft peaks then gradually add your icing sugar bit by bit until you get a gorgeous shiny and stiff icing. Just a tip here...what you don't use for sticking the house together, cover the bowl with a damp towl to keep the icing from hardening before you use it for decorating.

Or you can get your husband to beat the eggs and sugar! You didn't think that was MY arm did you? Be warned..don't wear black!! The icing sugar gets everywhere!

There are two ways you can stick your house together...first way is to use a piping bag ( a number 96 piping nozzle works well) or you can simply (but carefully) dip the edges you want to stick into the icing and do it that way. Or you could use a spoon too... do whatever is necessary to form your beautiful little yummy house together!
2. Join together the walls and leave it on a aluminium foil sheet to harden.

I've just piped the cement on here and I'm hoping it hardens!! Not too sturdy at the moment..but I always have trouble getting royal icing to the right consistancy..I think it's just me!
. When the walls are set enough (you'll know if it's not, as it will fall apart on you!) after about half an hour to be on the safe side, pipe or spoon icing on to join your roof pieces. Leave your house for 20-30 minutes for the cement to harden up before you start decorating.

THE FUN PART (a.k.a The Decorating Bit)
Did you see my Christmas Mallow Poles there?? I've also got M and M's and some Naturals Jelly Fruits as well as a whole range of food colouring at my disposal!! You're free to decorate yours however you like, but in case you're curious, I've taken some progressive photos of how I've decorated mine :)

With plain white icing I have piped on roofing shingles

On the front I have added some cut-up pieces of marshmallow pole I bought at the supermarket

To add some fun colour I have 'glued' on M and M's to the roof shingles...looking very very tasty at this stage!!!

I made some mini gingerbread christmas trees to use as front doors :) I started making some gingerbread windows but found I'd forgotton my liqourice strips to make the window frames with! Whoops! (the windows look a little like grilled cheese on toast!)

Next I went a little icing-mad and added 'snow' to the eaves and over the top of the roofs...then digging in my pantry I found some silver candy balls and sprinkled those on top. The house is resting on a small plate covered in foil, which I then dampened and sifted icing sugar onto. Around the bottom of the edge of my houses I stuck yummy little jelly fruits! yum yum yum!!

It definately needed a chimney...I found a fun-sized cherry ripe in my chocolate stash (you have to keep an emergency stash at home at all know, just in case!). I cut it in half and cut a diagonal on the bottom edge, added some icing and stuck it on top....perfect!!!
And there you have it! I hope you have as much fun making these as I did! I hope the people I made these for enjoy eating them just as much too!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask!! :)

-Tash Xx

Monday, 12 December 2011

A pretty skirt, a bowl of ice cream and a playful puppy!

You know at the moment you can't even get through the DOOR of my crafting room?? Yes it is that bad... and yes I should be cleaning it instead of being online (pity it's so much more fun!) but hey, it's Monday and we all need a bit of extra enthusiasm to get into gear on Mondays. My enthusiasm is coming from a nice hot cup of tea and the baking of apples for after tea tonight (and a little bowl of ice cream of course!!! The only downside being of course that baking means more mess to clean to it's a catch 22....but who cares!! Baked apples are yummy. Peel them, core them, shove dried fruit and brown sugar down the middle and bake until they're cooked! I have no idea how long that is, I usually just wing it! (like I do with most things!)

 Honestly...what kind of insane person sews a hand without a pattern when they've never sewn an article of clothing before in their lives??????

Oh right...that was me

It's not completely finished yet, I still have to hem the bottom layer in the skirt and add the silk ties to it (dusty pink ones! That tie into a sweet bow at the back of the skirt). It was really quite simple! I just pictured the kind of skirt I wanted, high waisted, two layers, and with a fuller body in the skirt so it would be flattering on my figure! It worked!! The hardest part was once I had cut out all the peices, the hardest bit was trying to figure out how it should all go together! And parts of it were a tad fiddly...but it was so worth it! It isn't a straight edged skirt (they're a little boring anyway), and it's very comfortable! When I finish it completely (and have someone else around the take the photo; hopefully soon!!!) i'll show you what it looks like on.

I'm in love with it! And isn't the fabric just divine!! It was a fabric remnant I picked up locally and fell in love with, I made a bag with it a few months ago and found I had enough left over for a skirt too! I still have enough for a clutch and a headband aswell so I am one very happy camper!! The dark blue fabric I had in my stash and never thought I would use, but it turned out to be perfect for this project :) It's quite heavy (it's courdory) but it falls perfectly and has the right amount of stretch to fit comfortably. It comes up just under the bust and the skirt falls just above the knees.

My furry little companion here watching me take photos of my skirt!

My skirt also has a cute split in the front on the top layer
I've used a beige thread again the dark blue, I just loved the effect!

Oh! And one more thing before I get stuck into my day....

Caramel, chocolate and honeycomb

Happy Monday!!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sharing my favourite 'Net-Haunts'..the best places for craft lovers to be online!

OH MY GOSH have I found the most amazing website ever today??? I think I have! I found these and just HAD to share with you....

Craft Gossip - this is one of my absolute favourite places on the internet to be.... it is absolutely packed full of amazing patterns, recipes, ideas, inspiration and pretty things galore! It has tonnes of tutorials, knitting, scrapbooking ideas, home and garden, wedding inspiration and DIY and so much more!  It's very addictive to just sit and browse through! Not only that but like all good craft-central sites... you will find millions of new pages and blogs as you go! Definately worth a visit! Be warned though... you may never leave!

Your Style Rocks - Now this particular site is for the out-of-the-box sewers! It has the most incredible ideas! I am actually going to be making myself a skirt from a pattern on this site...Fashion Frills Skirt and I cannot wait to get started! It looks so gorgeous. Another site I am hopelessly addicted to!

The next one is a well-known favourite but for those who don't know... Pinterest Oh yes.... we are all addicted to Pinterest! Now there's a page you can spend days browsing on!

If you have a soft spot for pretty fabrics (and I'm sure most of you do!) and for gorgeous patterns you just HAVE to visit Keyka Lou! I'm in love with everything that amazing woman sells... oh to have an endless supply of money!!

Grand Revival LOVE IT!!

CrafterHours -!!

rhapsodyofcacophony - I DESPERATELY want to try this apron!!

These are my recommendations for the day... I won't give you anymore today otherwise you'll never get off the internet... TRUST ME! :p

Enjoy everyone and happy hunting!!

-Tashy Xx

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Not-So-Great Days can be fixed with Cake

I don't really have anything overly fascinating to say today, just having a bit of an 'internet therapy' session really where I gush about my cruddy day and someone out there sympathises and we both eat imaginary chocolate together and watch sappy movies until we feel better! Anyone up to the challange?

What the heck happened to my temper these days?! Have I become less tolerant of other people in general? I find myself becoming more and more frustrated at what people say and do and find myself thinking how immature others can be without really realising I'm doing it! Normally it doesn't bother me at all... not only that but I seem to have found my (and you'll excuse my French) 'Bitch Centre' these past few days...

*WARNING* Unpredictable and unexplained word-vomit may occur at any given moment without valid reason

On the other hand, I suppose I AM a woman so that above if null and void really... let's just put it down to 'hormones' or 'stress' and leave it at that aye? :)

So today has not been the best day...mind you it hasn't been the worst..just one of THOSE days really. I didn't sleep until 3am thismorning up worrying and fussing over things that need doing rather urgently (and a myriad of other things that have been plaguing me recently) and yes, yes, yes I KNOW that at 3am in the morning there isn't a lot you can about anything but it was bothering me so much! I didn't even sleep in! It's a Sunday, I was up til 3am last night and I didn't even sleep in...there has GOT to be something wrong with me!

Oh and guess what? One of my adult teeth has decided it's not happy where it was and shifted on me whilst brushing my teeth. It's now a tinsy bit wobbly and I'm terrified!! Given my inability to deal with things (you know, like a normal person) it has been on my mind allllll day and boy oh boy it has not been fun!

And so I moved on to distracting myself... there were of course good points to my day... I made an adorable little bandana for my puppy, Toby and he could get away with murder running around with it on he's just so darn cute!

So let's turn this around and look at the good points of today.. my puppy looks adorable and gives the best cuddles so that counteracts the pain in my tooth and a bit of the worry too...

I have cake. Cake is always good so there we go, that's another good thing. Sort of doesn't help with the toothache thing but its soft and easy to chew so that one's a catch 22 BUT it is chocolate cake so that overrides everything! :)

My hubby and I are big on the boardgames and DVD's :p We're really just kids at heart!
Oh! I made this the other day :) Do you like it? It was a perk to come back home after a not-so-enjoyable trip to the outside world today and see my handiwork....I'm rather proud of it :)

Although I have been sick, and got an epic toothache and headache, been feeling all out of sorts and out of touch with myself and the world I am an expert procrastinator which means I have a knack for distracting myself! Alas making pretty things doesn't cure pain but it does help alleviate the want to throw bean cans at someone's head so that's a plus! I made 10 headbands today as well as my pups bandana. Down side being though I still feel the need to throw bean cans at people. I'll do my best to keep suppressing that one I think!!

My poor husband doesn't know what to do with me today! I swear that man has an insane amount of patience and an untapped supply of constant kindness when it comes to me and my weird days!! He really is an amazing person :)

What was the point of this blog entry again? Who knows! I certainly don't! I'll leave you with a song tonight... this one has been on my mind all day and I wanted to share it :) It doesn't have a lot of relevance to my day, but I have been singing it to my myself a lot recently.

Now I think I'll make like my puppy and head off to bed...looks like I'm going to have move Toby out of my spot first though!

Goodnight! May tomorrow be better than today....and may whoever annoys me get their armpits infested with fleas and their arms be too short to scratch... Dang there's that bitchy streak again! Oh well... sleep deprivation :p Sweet Dreams!!