I’ve been having a hard time trying to find some placemats and coasters for our new kitchen table that I liked so when I came across some plain MDF ones at the art store recently I thought they would be perfect for a little DIY weekend project.
Firstly I began by taping off the areas I wanted to stay clean to keep some of the wood for contrast. You can probably use almost any kind of good masking tape for this but I prefer to use painters tape which gives a nice clean edge. You can pick it up from any hardware store.
All taped up and ready to go! Make sure you spend a little extra time smoothing down the tape properly removing all bubbled areas so you get a nice clean line.
Next I started painting the exposed areas with some basic acrylic paint. I did about three coats of the white until I was happy and then added a little gold paint in a rustic effect over the top of some of the white strips. I left it for a few hours to dry and then carefully removed the tape. Then I applied two coats of matt varnish over the front and back so they could be easily wiped of any spills. Although I must say I’ve kept them pretty obsessively clean for now!
They worked very well and the finished product was put to great use at breakfast! I’d love to see what you come up with so please share in the comments if you try this project.
Painted plant pots are so popular at the moment I was inspired to try making my own. I found some different basic terracotta pots at Ikea and the hardware store. After applying some tape, paint (gold of course!) and a coat of varnish here are my first two finished so far! One for a friend’s birthday and the other for our studio.
Let me know what you think! I’m planning to make some more soon and posting a little tutorial.
Recently Ava and I visited my parents in the beautiful Sunshine Coast hinterland. We were hoping to catch some late summer sun before a Melbourne winter but unfortunately hit some very rainy weather, a cyclone in fact!! As you can imagine we spent a lot of time indoors so I thought I’d use the time wisely and attempt this idea I’ve had for candle holders. My folks have some beautiful Camphor laurel wood (it smells amazing) from a tree they had to remove on their property when they built their house. My dad also has a wood lathe and some very handy wood-turning skills. So we spent some time making a selection of interesting wooden shapes.
I bought our lovely wood creations home on the plane and later in the studio added a touch of paint to finish them.
I’m thrilled with how the first prototypes turned out and definitely wanting to develop the idea further. I shall keep you updated!
Raw cacao bliss balls have got to be my favourite go to snack food. Thankfully they are so good for you because I eat way too many! I always have them on hand to help me through my I quit sugar cravings and those late nights in the studio, so I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Unfortunately I’m not sure who I can originally credit it to as I wrote it down in my recipe book.
RAW CACAO BLISS BALLS
1 cup dates (Medjool works best)
1 cup walnuts (sometimes i’ve used half almonds/walnuts)
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
1/4 cup of raw cacao powder
If the dates seem a little dry first soak them in a little boiling water to soften. Blend all ingredients in a food processor then using your hands form into balls and roll in additional coconut or cacao powder. That’s it!!
So easy and the perfect pick me up snack.
I hope the festive season is treating you all well! I always get a craving for gingerbread cookies this time of year so I thought I would make some and also give them to my friends as a treat. I’ve never made them before so I went out and bought some cookie cutters and googled for recipes. I ended up coming across a Martha Stewart recipe which sounded perfect. It uses Molasses and dark brown sugar and most importantly!!… lots of ginger!
I also used her icing recipe but substituted Meringue powder instead of raw egg whites. This was my first attempt at decorative cookie icing. It’s much harder than I thought it would be but I ended up with some presentable ones and they seemed to be a hit with my friends which is the most important thing. Happy holidays!!!
Eat, drink and be merry!
I’ve had a few people ask me since my last post about how I created Ava’s first birthday chalkboard sign, so I thought I’d let you in on the details. Firstly it’s not a real chalkboard but actually metallic markers on black foam board. I came across the idea online and thought it was really smart and far less messy to have at a party. Plus I’ve now got it hanging in Ava’s room and she can touch it as much as she likes!
I started out by writing down a list of things I wanted to include such as her favourite foods, first words and nicknames etc.. then I marked it out lightly in pencil to get the placement and free-handed it directly onto the board. Even though I love writing decorative lettering don’t be discouraged if that’s not your thing! I think any type of neat handwriting would be great as the effect of the metallic markers is pretty awesome. I was happy with how Ava’s turned out and it made a nice feature at her party.
One year old and with a birthday cake made just for her! We decided to stage a smash cake a few days after Ava’s birthday. Kal and I set up a little smash cake stage using some of the decorations from her party in a position that would make the most of some lovely day light. I made her a low sugar coloured layered butter cake with low sugar cream cheese icing and mostly natural food colours. Then we dressed her in a pretty white lace dress and let her have fun!
The result was some lovely photos for her to look back on one day and treasure.
and here are some cute pics from our polaroid camera…
“Before you were born I thought it would be my role to guide you and show you this world. I never thought that it would be you that would teach me about myself and truly make me a better person. This past year has been extraordinary and I feel so privileged and grateful to be watching you grow into the little girl you are and the lady you will become. Happy 1st Birthday my darling Little Miss Ava.” xo
We celebrated Ava’s first birthday in September (I still can’t quite believe she’s one) with a lovely party with family and friends. As you can probably imagine for me the thought of planning my first children’s birthday party was like ticking off a wish on my bucket list and I was super enthusiastic about it. Really the first birthday is probably the only year that parents are able to choose the theme with no arguments so I kind of planned the party that I would have wanted as a little girl. I chose a garden high tea party theme and had an absolute blast making the decorations and baking, baking, baking! I also decided (as scary as it was) to tackle my first complete birthday cake! The sun was shining which made for a glorious day…
I couldn’t let her birthday pass without making a milestone chalkboard with some hand lettering.
Ava’s finished birthday cake and cupcakes… the base was a tasty chocolate mud cake with a delicious layer of chocolate ganache. I’ve sculpted before but never with fondant but I couldn’t resist attempting to bring to life this picture of a bunny for the topper which Kal and I drew before Ava was born. Her nickname was Ava bunny because she would thump and kick so much inside. The cupcakes are low sugar carrot cakes with low sugar cream cheese icing, for all her little friends that came to celebrate with her.