Friday, 24 June 2016

Polymer Clay Creations For Kids: Tutorial Roundup

As school holidays loom for most Australian states, I thought I'd put together a roundup of polymer clay tutorials for entertaining kids (and any visiting friends).  They're all easy and can even be managed by preschoolers with some adult help - enjoy!

image tutorial roundup polymer clay diy craft marbled pen jewellery jewelry dish trinket bangles bracelets necklace tag

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Reader, I married him

image jane eyre bracelet quote reader i married him two cheeky monkeys jewellery jewelry handmade custom order

Hands up who read the post title and thought, "What? Who got married???"  The title is in reference to one of the famous quotes from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, which I was recently commissioned to turn into a bracelet for a customer.  I don't think my customer was getting married either, but she told me that she loved the story Jane Eyre and that this was her favourite quote from the novel.

image jane eyre bracelet quote reader i married him two cheeky monkeys jewellery jewelry handmade custom order

I had a lot of fun playing around with different fonts for my customer on this one, and am loving this bracelet so much that I think I'm going to add it as a regular item in my store.  What do you think?  Do you love it or do you have another quote in mind?

Monday, 20 June 2016

Mystery Grab Packs

Hands up those of you who always loved "lucky dip" stalls at fetes and markets when you were a kid!  Today I have some exciting news for those of you who love surprises and mysteries - I am adding mystery grab packs to Domum Vindemia and Two Cheeky Monkeys.

image mystery literature grab packs domum vindemia two cheeky monkeys handmade

These packs will feature a random mix of literature- and music-themed pretties at 25-30% less than retail value.  Every pack is different, and you won't know what you will receive until your package arrives, but I guarantee that every item is lovingly made by me and of top quality!

image domum vindemia literature music handmade items accessories homewares bokmark wine glass charms thumbtacks push pins magnets

These mystery packs are great for surprising that literature buff friend, spoiling yourself, or even for stocking up on a range of goodies to use as last mintue gifts!  At the moment, I have only set up a listing for mystery packs of Domum Vindemia pretties, but a Two Cheeky Monkeys one will be in-store later this week!  Which set would you go for???

Friday, 17 June 2016

The Makers Mailer

Psst!  I have some exciting news to share!  Some of you may already know about and be big fans of monthly subscription boxes.  For those not in the know, various companies have subscriptions available to monthly or bi-monthly boxes of beautiful goodies.  These can be commercial items, foodie items, handmade creations, or a mix of the above.

the makers mailer logo

The Makers Mailer is an Australian-based company which sends out monthly boxes that feature handmade lovelies from Australian creators.  And in the coming months, one of my creations will be featured in their monthly subscription box!  It's all hush hush right now about what will be in the box, but you can be guaranteed that the boxes which arrive each month hold wonderful handmade goods.

the makers mailer handmade items

So if you're a huge fan of surprises and handmade pretties, head over to The Makers Mailer and spoil yourself with a subscription.  And then you can squeal in pleasure each month, especially when you open the box and find my handmade lovelies waiting to be loved by you!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The bunting train continues

image peter pan bunting domum vindemia bedroom decor nursery children garland homewares

You may have noticed over the last few months that I have been regularly sharing my latest storybook bunting creations.  I am so thankful to you all for how much you have been loving my book buntings, with buntings almost literally flying out the door some weeks!

image scuffy the tugboat bunting green domum vindemia boat ship sailing children decor bedroom nursery birthday party handmade garland

This week's latest additions to the bunting range are two old favourites, Peter Pan and Scuffy the Tugboat.  Both of these stories are old classics and popular with both boys and girls, so I have been struggling a little to keep them in stock.  These two are waiting to be added to the store, which will happen over the next day or two, but if you want to claim one for yourself, send me a message and I will reserve it for you!  Which one do you prefer, Scuffy or Peter Pan?

Monday, 13 June 2016

Gingerbread Fun

image gingerbread cookies biscuits atom atomic picture diagram diamond cookie mould mold recipe

We are BIG fans of gingerbread (biscuits, cake, you name it) here at Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia HQ, and I have tried many recipes in my quest for the ultimate one.  Today I am sharing a biscuit recipe from my friend's grandma, one which we all love for its texture, taste and flexibility to alterations.  If you make some gingerbread biscuits with this recipe, let me know how you go and what you think of it!

Ingredients
- 60g butter (you can use margerine or a non-dairy substitute here if you like)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger

image recipe gingerbread biscuit cookies star wars darth vader chewbacca yoda c3p0

Method
1. Melt the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over low-medium heat.  Let stand for 10 minutes, or until cooled a little.
2. Sift half the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.  Add the melted sugar and butter mix and stir to combine.
3. Sift in half the remaining dry ingredients.  Stir thoroughly.
4. Mix in both eggs, stirring thoroughly.
5. Sift in remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
6. Lightly flour a board and knead the gingerbread dough into a ball.  Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Roll out the gingerbread dough to 0.5cm to 1cm thickness.  Cut your desired shapes and place onto greased or baking paper-lined trays.
8. Bake gingerbread biscuits for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Place biscuits on cooling racks and try not to eat them all before they cool down!

Notes:
- these biscuits will store well for up to 5 days in a sealed biscuit jar.
- play around with the amount of spices added to suit your tastes.
- you can substitute up to 1 cup of whole wheat or spelt flour for the regular plain flour without any noticeable difference to the final biscuit.
- the very cool cookie moulds for the diamond and atomic particle cookies came from Australian-based totalum!

Friday, 10 June 2016

Cucpake stands and faux macarons

image maura cupcake stand pink floral botanical stand jewellery holder jewelry domum vindemia upcycled handmade
 
In recent months I have been busily working on product photography for Domum Vindemia, and one major change I wanted to work on was styling the cupcake and dessert stands to give an idea of their size and purpose.  My biggest problem?  I didn't really want to style my cake stands with real food, as some do, because I didn't want to have to wash EVERY SINGLE STAND after a photography session, and I didn't want customers to feel like their purchases had been pre-used as such.

image cupcake stand hand painted bottlebrush stand jewellery holder jewelry domum vindemia upcycled handmade

So, spying my Monkeys' stash of felt faux foods that I had made for them when they were very little (and which they still occasionally play with!), I decided to go with a little faux food styling for my cupcake stands!  I know it's not quite as luscious-looking styling a cake stand with faux food, but I absolutely adore these faux macarons and feel much happier with my new product photos already!  Do you like to see an item styled in use before you purchase it, or would you prefer to know that your purchase is untouched, unused and ready to head to your home?

image cupcake stand gold leaf stand jewellery holder jewelry domum vindemia upcycled handmade
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