Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas!

image red christmas birdhouse winter seasonal

I want to wish you all a very blessed and joyful Christmas!  May you have a time of rest, relaxation and enjoyment spent with friends and loved ones.  Thank you all of you for your support of my blog this year, especially to those who faithfully read every post and comment when you can.  Things will be a little quiet on the blog over the next few weeks as I recover from the hectic schedule my family always seems to have during the Christmas new year period.  I look forward to seeing you all and feeling revitalised in 2014!

"...the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas Cooking

With Christmas just two days away, I am now in the throes of cooking the masses of food I have promised to bring along to our various family Christmas celebrations.  Being of Chinese descent, I am more excited about cooking my favourite Asian or gourmet meals for Christmas rather than the traditional roast turkey and vegetables.  To give you an idea of what I mean, my Christmas cooking list this year consists of beef rendang, siu mai (dumplings), a Vietnamese-style salad and an Italian-style salad!  However, I do love a few of the traditional western Christmas foods.  One which my children adore is gingerbread, which we have been merrily making for the last few weeks.  I use a failsafe recipe shared with me by an old friend, which I have included below.  So let me know, what kinds of foods do you cook at Christmas time?

image gingerbread cookie biscuit recipe diy

Gingerbread Biscuits
- 60g butter or margerine
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup golden syrup
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour
- 1 tsp bicarb soda
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 4 tsp ground ginger

1. Melt butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan.  Let stand for ten minutes to cool slightly.
2. Sift half the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the butter and sugar mix to the dry ingredients.
4. Sift in half the remaining dry ingredients.
5. Mix in the eggs.
6. Sift in the remaining ingredients.
7. Lightly flour a chopping board.  Knead the dough into a ball (add more flour if too sticky) and wrap in plastic wrap.  Leave the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.
8. Roll out the dough 0.5cm thick.  Cut out your gingergread shapes and put the biscuits on greased trays.
9. Bake in a moderate oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool biscuits on a baking rack.
10. Enjoy as is or ice and decorate your biscuits!

Friday, 20 December 2013

Things I Love - Chandeliers

image felt chandelier gillian harris

I am a big fan of chandeliers and would dearly love to have one (or more) in my humble home.  But, since the style of my home doesn't lend itself to the installation of these elegant lighting fixtures, I just stick to admiring them.  However, I recently found a whimsical and quirky chandelier which I think would look amazing in a child's room!  Gillian Harris' book, Carnival of Felting, has a host of felt craft projects, including the amazing felted chandelier you see above.  It is elegant, grand and so much fun all at the same time.  And best of all, this chandelier is probably a lot more affordable than a traditional crystal one!

Monday, 16 December 2013

Something New: A Two Cheeky Monkeys Sneak Peek

image zelena bracelet asymmetry range asymmetrical two cheeky monkeys vintage glass cabochon emerald green glass jewels

With just over a week until Christmas, I have been busily working on a new range of jewellery for Two Cheeky Monkeys amidst the chaos of end of year functions and Christmas preparations.  This new range of bracelets, the Asymmetry range, encompasses many of my favourite jewellery styles to create.

image vasanta bracelet two cheeky monkeys vintage glass cabochon aqua blue pink rose glass jewels brass asymmetry asymmetrical

Half of this new range includes bracelets combining vintage glass cabochons, beads and/or glass jewels.  Not only are the bracelets asymmetrical in the way the clasp is situated and the use of both beads and vintage glass jewels, but several of the bracelets are also split in half colour-wise.

image mr darcy bracelet sapphire blue royal asymmetry asymmetrical pride and prejudice jane austen two cheeky monkeys vintage brass

And I couldn't create a new range of jewellery without including a few creations from my signature Literary Jewellery range!  The Asymmetry range will include bracelets celebrating many favourite characters, such as Mr Darcy.  I have started to list some of these new bracelets in my stores, but you'll have to wait until the new year before the whole range becomes available.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Sew Mama Sew Giveway Winner

image pride and prejudice literature buttons silver text vintage glass bennet sisters elizabeth kitty jane mary lydia domum vindemia jane austen

Thank you so much to everyone who joined in the Sew Mama Sew giveway week fun this past week!  I've enjoyed finding new blogs and "meeting" my new blog readers - I hope you have all had fun too.  Unfortunately, there is only one winner of the Bennet sisters button set, and our winner is Robyn, who said that she is like Elizabeth Bennet (as did a large number of the other entrants).  Congratulations Robyn!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Summer Holidays Craft Tutorials: Beading

Today's post is the last in my series of summer holiday craft roundups.  I have saved my favourite, bead crafts, for last.  Don't forget to let me know if you tried out any of the tutorials I featured - I'd love to hear what your children thought.

image small for big tutorial beaded bunny keyring
Small for big has the cutest bunny bookmark tutorial.

image pony bead beaded napkin ring personalised personalized tutorial
Personalised beaded napkin rings are a fun idea and might help your children to eat less messily!

image polymer clay bead necklace gumball necklace sculpey fimo tutorial
Make your own gumball necklaces using polymer clay.

image macrame keyfob tutorial key fob kimmelcrafts
A retro craft making a serious comeback is macrame!  Teach your kids this age old technique by following kimmelcrafts' key fob tutorial.

image kleas tutorial bead icicles beaded
Kleas shares a tutorial for making beaded "icicles".

image beaded dreamcatchers tutorial lace crafting connections diy
These beaded dreamcatchers over at Crafting Connections are a fun and colourful way to decorate a child's room.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Summer Holidays Craft Tutorials: Glue

All children love to play with glue, possibly because it is gooey, sticky and messy!  While I might shudder at the thought of the mess my kids make when creating with glue, a strategically covered table (and floor!) will make the cleaning up much easier after all the fun's been had.  And with super fun projects like these (for both grown ups and kids), it should be easy to overlook the mess that is made during the creative process!

image glue yarn ball tutorial make and takes
I loved glue yarn balls when I was a child!  You can find a straightforward tutorial over at Make and Takes.

image dana made it no sew fabric flower tutorial
Dana Made It has the sweetest no sew (all glue) flower tutorial!

For a very creative idea I would never have thought of myself, learn how to make a glue and foil work of art from Art Projects for Kids.

This crepe paper Christmas wreath tutorial can easily be adapted to make a wreath you can use all year round.

Happy Hooligans shares a very simple papier mache bowl tutorial - love it!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Summer Holidays Craft Tutorials: Sewing

I hope that yesterday's roundup of paint and ink tutorials has inspired you to feel a little more optimistic about entertaining your kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews this summer holidays!  Today, I have found some fun sewing projects; there's something for pretty much every age.

image scrumdilly-do embroidery hoop sewing for children
scrumdilly-do! shares a simple embroidery hoop sewing tutorial which can be tailored to little ones just learning to sew and older, more accomplished sewists.

Expanding on the embroidery hoop idea above, Childhood 101's button sewing idea looks like a load of fun.  And this project can also be adapted for older and more proficient children.

image monster twins sewing pattern sew mama sew
The monster twins sewing pattern over at Sew Mama Sew is perfect for older children.

image cross stitch ducks
Simple patterns are a good place to start when children learn to cross stitch.

image embroidery for children toy pillow cushion amy power big picture classes
Amy Powers shares a fun embroidery tutorial over at Big Picture Classes.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Pride and Prejudice Giveaway - Sew Mama Sew December Giveaway Week

image bennet sisters buttons silver pride and prejudice jane austen elizabeth lydia mary kitty jane giveaway

As usual my December has been so crazy that I completely forgot about the twice yearly Sew Mama Sew giveaway fun.  This bi-annual event is a great way to discover lots of creative blogs and have the chance to win something crafty too.  So at the last minute, I've decided to join in the fun by offering a set of Pride and Prejudice buttons from my Domum Vindemia store.  These buttons are approximately 16mm across and feature the names of the five Bennet sisters.  This giveaway is open worldwide and will run until 13th December 2013.
You can enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter form below - PLEASE MAKE SURE that you read all entry requirements carefully, there are already some entries which have been incorrectly completed.  The winner will have 24 hours to respond to my email before I pick a new winner.

EDIT: This giveaway has now ended and a winner has been announced over here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Summer Holidays Craft Tutorials: Paint and Ink

It's mid-December and many of us are madly running around in the midst of end of year concerts, Christmas functions, organising teacher appreciation gifts and coordinating family Christmas get-togethers.  If you're like me, you may also have been hit with the feeling of impending doom when you realise that school summer holiday are almost upon us too!  So to help ease some of the summer holidays "I'm bored" syndrome, I have put together several tutorial roundups filled with ideas for a range of ages.  Today's tutorials all focus on paint and ink because, as much as we mums may hate the mess of paint in our homes, it is the summer holidays, so you can send your kids outside to play with it.

Preschool Daze shares a great bubble wrap painting idea so simple even the littlest one can join in!

Moomah has a sweet watercolour notecard tutorial.

I think we've all done this at one time or other in our lives - ink blowing (from Kidspot)!

Key Art Studio shares THE BEST cookie decorating idea: watercolour cookie art.

The thought of my children eating paint, even edible paint, freaks me out completely.  But the less fastidious will love this edible paint tutorial by hellobee.

Head over to offbeat + inspired for a fab painted t-shirt tutorial.

This one is a little pricey, supplies wise, but I have been wanting to try sun painting for ages!!!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Golden Book Buntings Revisited

image golden book bunting bambi lime green forest deer disney domum vindemia children

Some of you may remember when I first introduced my range of Golden Book buntings back in March (see here).  Although expanding this fun range of products for Domum Vindemia has been a little slow, I am always very pleased when I finish making a new batch.  This past week has been spent preparing for Christmas AND sewing up a few Golden Book buntings with a Disney theme.

image disney lady and the tramp golden book bunting domum vindemia white book children

I stumbled across several old Golden Books harking back to "old school" Disney movies and was immediately reminded of my childhood enjoying these stories and crying at the sad parts.  For those of you who grew up in the '80s (or even in the '60s and '70s!) like I did, the sight of Bambi, Peter Pan and Lady and the Tramp may bring back many fond memories.  And the thing I love best about my range of Golden Book buntings is that you can re-live your favourite childhood memories and share them with your children too.  :)

image peter pan captain hook disney golden book bunting domum vindemia golden yellow wendy tinkerbell

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Doily Crazy: All New to Domum Vindemia

image dyed doily baby mobile domum vindemia pink blue fuchsia

My name is Deb, and I can't stop creating with doilies!  Yes, you all should know by now how crazy I am for vintage doilies and how much I love to upcycle them.  It's not hard to be inspired by the many intricate-looking doilies I find and my latest idea has been sitting in the back of my mind waiting for me to find the time to act on it.

image spiral baby mobile snow white doilies dangle snowflake domum vindemia

I have long been an admirer of mobiles for decorating a nursery and entertaining baby (the little Cheeky Monkeys still have their musical mobiles from when they were babies).  So it hasn't been a huge leap for me to go from admirer of mobiles to creator of mobiles.  My newest doily additions to Domum Vindemia are vintage doily mobiles, perfect for hanging in a baby's nursery or for decorating your favourite room or special function in shabby chic style. They are only available in two styles at the moment, but I will be making more in the new year as I source more beautifully hand dyed doilies.  What do you think of my new mobiles?

Monday, 2 December 2013

My Re-Usable Advent Calendar

I love the idea of advent calendars, but have always scorned the commercial ones filled with chocolate and pictures of Santa and snowmen because they neither represented the real meaning of Christmas nor Christmas in Australia.  So I toyed with the idea of making my own advent calendar for a few years before finally mustering up enough motivation to do it this year.

image advent calendar nativity jesus christas shepherds wise men mary joseph kaisercraft navy blue silver black

My calendar was made using a Kaisercraft kit, which I struggled immensely to put together (having to slot together lots of small, thin pieces of MDF is really NOT my thing).  However, I managed to hash together a slightly wonky advent calendar which I decorated with a blue, black and silver colour scheme, yuzen paper from Daiso and a nativity set from Koorong.  Each little drawer contains an ornament for our Christmas tree and a Christmas-related Bible verse for the little Cheeky Monkeys to look up.  The little Monkeys are thrilled with the way their advent calendar looks (wonky bits and all), and I hope they enjoy opening each little drawer in the lead up to Christmas!

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Christmas DIY: Edible Gifts

For my last post of the DIY Christmas gift series, I have found a tantalising collection of recipes for creating edible gifts.  We all have foodie friends (that's what we call ourselves because it sounds better than glutton!) who would appreciate a delicious gift, and they're also great to store up as last minute gifts for unexpected guests or people you have (shock, horror!) forgotten about.  These edible gifts are great all year round, so don't just wait for Christmas to whip them up!!!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Christmas DIY: Upcycling

You should all know by now how much I love to make upcycled creations, so you won't be surprised to see today's post!  Upcycled gifts aren't for everyone, but I'm sure we all have loved ones who would gratefully receive a vintage recreation.