Tea bag biscuits

I promised you a tutorial for the tea bag biscuits and here it is! These were such a novelty at the high tea we hosted recently but now I’m thinking they would also make wonderful teacher thankyou gifts (If you … Continue reading

Crepe paper bouquet

 

Welcome to all the people who have popped over from the Down to Earth blog! It was such a lovely surprise today to find that Rhonda had so generously added us to her recommended reading list for this weekend. To say thank you I thought I would post a tutorial for a crepe paper bouquet I made. This bouquet would be perfect as a table centre piece, I think, and you could make it in any colour or colours you like. So here’s the how;

I used florist’s wire that I cut into suitable lengths, a Styrofoam ball, a crepe paper roll, sticky tape and pearl beads. I threaded the beads onto the wire and folded it over and twisted it a little to secure the bead. Now the next bit is hard to explain but you get it as you go. I gathered the end of the crepe paper strip and rolled it around the wire and bead gathering, shaping and ruffling it as I went. Once you are happy with the size of the flower and the amount of petals, cut the crepe paper and gather it around the flower base and secure it with tape. That’s the first flower done, now for the rest! After completing each flower I pushed the wire stem (about an inch long) into the foam ball. You will need enough flowers to cover about two thirds of the ball so that the foam cannot be seen once it is sitting in the vase. I used a large ramekin for mine as it let the flowers hang perfectly over the edge and disguised the foam. If you get inspired to make one of these bouquets feel free to share it on our facebook page!  

Mini lavender farm

 

I will still be bringing you tutorials for the tea bag biscuits and other creations from the high tea but just thought I would share a little project I have been working on in the meantime. It is spring here in Australia and the perfect time to do some flower gardening and you know I love flowers, even better if they smell amazing. Could a flower get any better than that, well yes, it can! Lavender is a flower that can be used in so many crafts, cooking and home uses. I have been eagerly awaiting spring so that I can plant my own crop in the form of a mini Lavender garden ready for harvesting and making gifts for Christmas. I have another motivation and that is that my lovely chocolatier friend from Cocoa Jo’s has told me that if I dry some for her she will make me some lavender chocolate truffles, OH MY GOSH!

I am hoping to have around 10 lavender plants all settled in and happy soon. I have planted them around 60cm apart so that they can spread out. I have pink and purple lavender planted already and they have quite a few flowers that smell gorgeous so I have taken a couple of piccys and you will have to imagine the fragrance, so spring!

Ombre cake with fondant decorations

I really wanted a centrepiece for the high tea on the weekend and the colour theme I was given was aqua. I have wanted to try an ombre cake for a while but I am not the best cook and … Continue reading

Jars, Vases and Lanterns – pretty up humble glassware the easy way

I thought I would show you some really quick and easy ways to pretty up humble glassware for special occasions. These decorations lend themselves to shabby chic, bridal and country themes which are really popular at the moment. I am upcycling pasta sauce jars, jams jars, thrifty find vases and more but they key to this look is variety. They look best when they are different sizes and shapes, just like the rest of us! ‘Variety is the spice of life’ and other such clichés.

Here’s the how; I have used a variety of materials here including lace scrapbooking tape, real fabric lace, loose weave linen (or burlap and other fabrics would work as well), and white contact cut into heart shapes. I sometimes like to use washi tape, hand printed stamps, beads, sequins, leaves, paper, spray paint, the list is as long as your imagination. To attach the real lace I used double sided tape. The linen I just tied in a bow and the contact and scrapbooking tape is adhesive so just needed to be carefully placed before sticking. Jars and upcycled glassware is a great thrifty answer to decorating for themed events or table decorations. Use for lanterns, vases or to serve drinks and sweets. Add a hand handle and they can be a hanging decoration…….but that’s for another blog post.

Ps. Do you like my vintage wallpaper backdrop? Should I stock it in my store?

Dip-dye Tissue paper pom poms

We will be using tissue paper pom poms for lots of upcoming celebrations including our high tea, Christmas and more. There are plenty of tutorials for pom poms but I wanted to give these a bit of a twist so I used a dip-dye method on the tissue paper first to create and ombre effect as well as accentuate the dimensions and ‘fluffiness’ of them. I have included pictures of the process. You could easily skip the dip-dye component and go straight to the pom pom bit.

I mixed some food colouring and water in a bowl and dipped each layer of tissue paper individually. I then patted each piece with an old towel and left to dry. Once dry, it is important to line up the layers as best you can (use a packet for each large pom pom, approx. 8 layers, or cut the paper into quarters before colouring for small pom poms). In the picture above we made small pom poms for the dip dye, a large plain white and another large white pom pom that we dipped the petals in the left over colour and left to dry. Start folding the short side up 1.5 inches and then back 1.5 inches (accordion style fold) until you have folded up the paper layers the whole length if the tissue. Trim off any excess. We then used florists wire to create a loop to slip over the accordion folded tissue paper and lined it up in the centre. Cut ‘petal’ shapes out of each end of the strip of folded tissue (you can choose how you want this; spiky, soft, basic curve, it’s up to personal preference). Very gently, while holding the wire, separate the layers as closely to the centre as you can without tearing them. If they do tear slightly, don’t panic, you probably won’t notice in the end. As you separate the layers try to create a fullness and round shape. We attached string to the wire for hanging. Do you love the outcome? We love how the colour gently fades from blue to white in the flower shape pom pom, not to make some pink ones, can you imagine how pretty that would be! I also want to take the opportunity to thank Backdrop Addiction for loaning us a backdrop to try. It is soooo pretty and we love how it turned out, thanks!

Caramel & Honeycomb Ice cream cake

We have had so many birthday celebrations lately and more to come. I love it! I enjoy making decorating cakes but find the cooking thing gets a bit stressful which is why I relished the request for an ice cream cake for the latest birthday. This is what I came up with. I have named it “Gold Digger” (haha. So witty, I know) because it has seams of golden caramel running through the layers, not to mention the chocolate coated honeycomb. Grab a spoon and go in search of the gold……

I used 2 litres of vanilla ice cream, 2 lined loaf tins, chocolate coated honeycomb and butterscotch sauce (I think this is easier to make than a true caramel). I got my butterscotch sauce recipe from the taste website, yum! Get your ice cream out to let it soften a little while you make the sauce. I lined 2 loaf tins and spread softened ice cream on the base as the first layer, then sprinkled crushed/chopped honeycomb pieces on top. Once the sauce had cooled a bit I spooned some onto the ice cream and honeycomb layer. Repeat this process (like making a lasagne) and finish with sprinkled honeycomb on top. Make sure you have enough caramel sauce left over in the fridge for drizzling. Just warm slightly and spoon over slices of the ice cream cake. Droooool!

Fairy garden for imaginative play

 

We actually made this fairy garden a while ago but it has taken me forever to find a fairy house. I finally settled on this old oil burner! It is the perfect shape, size and even comes with its own roof top pool, haha! Because quite a few of the ornaments in this creation are ceramic I would personally only let older children play with it, too much of a risk with the little ones. I have created a few different versions here that I think are suitable for many different types of storytelling and imaginative play. Firstly, it is obviously a fairy garden but it is also a fairy tale garden. We have decorated with ‘silver bells’ and ‘cockle shells’ to make it a nursery rhyme scene too. You could incorporate princesses and gnomes or maybe a group of smurfs would be happy here. We have also completely mixed it up to create a Jurassic park full of dinosaurs. We have plastic farm animals for when it will be a farm and jungle animals too. The ideas are endless and totally engaging for boys and girls alike. What about making some more sandy roads for some off road 4wheel driving! OK, that’s enough! Here’s the how to;

I found a medium size basket with handles that makes the garden totally portable so it can be moved depending on the seasons, weather and if it needs to be kept out of reach. I lined it with burlap and newspaper and then filled it clean soil. I gathered some natural moss from the garden but you could use pretend moss, leaves or grass if you don’t have any. Now to decorate; we made a sandy pathway and placed our fairy cottage at the end of it, then arranged our main items until we were happy with the layout. Moss was placed gently all around and pebbles lined the path. We made sure we left a bare area for the vege patch! We used a shallow lid as a pond and paddle pop sticks as the picket fence. The bright pink flowers are fake and colourful all year round, but the other flowers and “veges” are picked and “planted” every few days which actually makes it more fun. The “wheat” growing in the vege patch is just grass that has gone to seed, it will be “harvested” soon, haha! All the knick knacks have been found though garden stores, thrift and craft stores. We made a simple lace bunting to pretty it up. There is also a mini working watering can that gets used regularly to water the moss and veges. I really love the little sifter for sowing seeds and the bucket and spade. I have even more ideas for this project….. What do you think? Feel free to post photos of any of your creations on our facebook page.