Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes


100g butter
1 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 quantity chai spics mix (see below)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Chai Spice Mix

1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Vanilla Chai Buttercream

125g butter
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tbs cold milk
1/2 quantity spice mix

Cinnamon sugar to dust


Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla. Stir in half the chai spice mix. Fold in the flour and the buttermilk, stir until combined but don't overbeat. Mix together the bicarb soda and vinegar and mix into the batter. Spoon into prepared cupcake cases.

Bake 15-20 minutes at 160 degrees celcius until cooked.

To make the buttercream, beat the butter until creamy and pale in colour. Add the vanilla and remaining spice mix. Slowly beat the icing sugar into the cutter about half a cup at a time to ensure that it isn't grainy. If the buttercream is too thick, add a splash of cold milk and beat until the desired consistancy is reached.

Pipe or spread buttercream unto cooled cupcakes. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Delicious with a chai tea latte!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

10 Rules of Basic Etiquette for the non-Crafty:

1. Just because I am crafting in a public place does NOT mean I am fishing for compliments, comments, advice. etc…. I am minding my own business, how about you minding yours. Plus, before you decide to help yourself to my personal private space, from my crafting supplies, equipment etc. please pass me your wallet. If your gonna snoop in my personal belongings I get to snoop in yours.

2. Do not rubberneck my crafting project from two tables away or over my shoulder for 10 - 15 minutes watching me, then have the audacity to ask me “Did you do that?” You will get the “Nope. My invisible friend Matilda did it, but doesn’t like to feel like a freak so I fake it for her.” Plus do NOT crowd me, most crafts have sharp ended tools and I am not adverse to jabbing you with one so you get my point.

3. When gushing “I could never do that” be honest with yourself and the crafter in question, finish the sentence with “because I do not have the patience and I am a abject moron.”

4. All Family & friends, if I ever chose to create something for you it is an honor. It is NOT like going to the store and just picking something up. Creating the gift takes time, forethought, pre-planning, and time management. Keep in mind socks are NOT simple, neither is a scarf or a hat, they are basics where we learn and try new design and pattern ideas. Be very honored when we feel a practice piece is worthy of gifting to you.

5. NEVER EVER gift yarn, notions, patterns expecting it to be used for you. Do not hint that I make you something. Ask me simply and straightforward. I may or may not make it for free if you buy the yarn, or may charge you for my time… either way be proud and humble to think I would even consider doing it for you since you are too lazy to learn to do it for yourself.

6. If gifted with a handmade crafting item, thank the creator profusely even if you never want a hand made gift from them ever again, then state its beautiful and I’ll cherish it but handmade is really not your thing. This gets the giftee and the creator off the hook for more gifts that can be appreciated better by someone else on the creators list

7. If you are the recipient of a handcrafted item and decide within 2 years its not the thing for you, offer it back to its creator before selling it or regifting it to someone else. Its insulting to ask about a piece made for you to find out you donated it to goodwill, I got $5 at my garage sale for it, or hear from you “oh, that grey sweater. I gave it to my ex-boyfriends girlfriends best friend because it just wasn’t me.”

8. If the hand crafted item is wearable then WEAR it, if it is decorative USE it. If you are so overwhelmed that you want to take care of it so it won’t get destroyed FRAME it. If you choose to do none of these things give it back to the person that made the item because you do not deserve it.

9. Do not blame the creator if a thing you have bullied them into making for you does NOT turn out the way you want it. If you are so damned picky take the time to learn the craft and make it for yourself.

10. We craft because it relaxes us, we enjoy it, we can take our time and be proud of what we are doing. Selling our creativity for profit will stress us out, put us under deadlines, and generally make us want scream. That is why it is a hobby and not our JOB so quit pestering us by how much money we could make yadda yadda yadda.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hot off the needles!

*A Star Crossed Slouchy Beret for Moi knit in Malabrigo Worsted (Love this yarn!)

*A pair of Felted Slippers for the Pa-In-Law in Cosy Wool

*An Easter Basket (my own design) for Jayden in Cosy Wool

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Orange and Almond Friands


Cooking Spray to grease
230g Pure Icing Sugar, sifted
185g Unsalted Butter, melted
100g Almond Meal
75g Plain Flour
6 Egg Whites, lightly whisked
Finely grated Orange Rind of one orange
50g Flaked Almonds


1. Preheat oven to 200C. Spray friand pan lightly with cooking spray to grease.
2. Place icing sugar, butter, almond meal, flour, egg whites and orange rind in a bowl and stir until just combined.
3. Spoon the mixture amond the prepared pans. Carefully place some almond flakes on top of each friand.
4. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.

The Ultimate Chocolate Brownie..... with Raspberries!


320g Unsalted Butter
1 1/4 Cups Cocoa
7 Eggs
3 Cups Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 1/2 - 2 Cups Dark Chocolate Chips
1 1/4 Cups Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
Frozen/Fresh Raspberries (optional)
Icing Sugar to dust


1. Preheat oven to 160C
2. Line a large baking tin/roasting dish with baking paper (I used one about 24x36cm)
3. Melth the butter in a large bowl (there are a lot of ingredients to fit in here) in the microwave.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat cocoa into melted butter
5. Add eggs, sugar and vanilla and whiz with the electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until the mixture begins to whip up in volume.
6. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the chocolate chips.
7. Sift flour and baking powder in and stir until fully combined.
8. Pour into lined baking dish. Give it a shake to even out the mixture.
9. If using raspberries, dot these evenly on top of the mixture, gently pushing them in just under the surface.
10. Bake in oven at 160C for about 1 hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
11. Leave to cool in tin for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to allow it to cool further.
12. Sift icing sugar over the top
13. Enjoy with coffee, chocolate milk or take to work to woo your co-workers.


I was recently asked by tikki to test knit her newest design. I was so honoured! This is the design.

During the initial testing stages, this little singlet top was named “Simplicity” and I think that it suits it really well.

Yarn: 3 balls of Anchor Magicline 100% worsted weight cotton (It was so close, that I used all but 84cm of yarn, not even enough for another round!!!)
Needles: 4mm 40cm Addi Turbo
Size knitted: 3T, although the pattern does go from Newborn to Size 10.

This pattern will be available through Tikki very soon. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Valentine

I just finished knitting a lace scarf called My Valentine.

Start: 6 Feb 2010
Finish: 20 Feb 2010
Pattern: My Valentine on Ravelry
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4ply in "Ruby"
Needles: 4mm

Notes: This was a great pattern,very clear, charted and written out. It comes in 3 sizes, a small for a scarf, medium and large for a stole. I would knit this again.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

White Chocolate Chip Cookies


250g butter, softened
250g soft brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
460g self raising flour
pinch of salt
250g white chocolate chips

1. Pre-heat fan forced oven to 190 degrees celcius. Lightly grease 2 baking trays, or just line with greaseproof paper. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten egg.
2. Sift the flour and salt into the creamed mixture and blend well. Stir in the white chocolate chips.
3. Roll a teaspoon sized blob of mixture into a ball, place on baking trays and flatten slightly. Be sure to give the cookies room to spread out.
4. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until just golden (I check at 10 minutes and find they are done). Cool on wire rack, or eat them straight away. :)

You can also add 50g of chopped brazil nuts or macadamias to this mixture if you've got them, but they are pretty good without them. Add them in when you add the white chocolate chips.

Strawberries and Cream

I just finished knitting and felting myself a new small projects bag.

Yarn: Two balls of Lincraft "Cozy Wool". One in solid pink, the other in variegated pink and white.

Needles: Instead of using 5 DPN's, I used 2x 40cm 4mm Addi Turbo circular knitting needles. I placed markers on the needles to simulate the 4 DPN's, and did the increases at the start of the needles and immeditely after the centre markers. It worked brilliantly!

Notes: This bag shrunk by about half and the pink faded a little, but it is still nice and bright. I felted this in my front loader washing machine at 90 degrees celcius for the full length of the cycle. I added a towel for friction. I let the bag dry with a small plate in the bottom of the bag to make it sit flat.

The gorgeous crocheted flowers in the picture were lovingly supplied by my baby sister Joanne. :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Whisper Cardigan

I recently finished knitting a Whisper Cardigan!

Pattern: Whisper Cardigan (Interweave Knits Spring 2009)

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fine (4ply) in "Cavern" - 3.5 balls

Needles: 4.5 mm, 3.5 mm, 2.5 mm

Modifications: I knitted the back so that it was longer. I also added another 10 rounds to the sleeves after the decreases and before the increases so that they were longer.

Notes: This was a really fun pattern to knit. The longest and most time consuming part was the ribbing around the opening of the shrug.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


It's been raining a lot this week. We've had over 400mm of rain!

These are photo's of the gully in my neighbourhood. Normally there are walking tracks, park benches, bridges, flowers and grass. At the moment, it's all underwater.

These pictures were taken when the rain had stopped temporarily, and at about 5pm this afternoon. It's so dark with all these storm clouds hanging around. The rain this week has come from 2 ex-cyclones, Cyclone Neville and Cyclone Olga. It's been messing up a lot of Townsville. We've had King tides, the Strand (the local beach) has been mostly eroded, water has backed up across streets, sewage pipes have burst and flooded people's houses, mains water pipes have burst, wind gusts that are bringing down palm fronds in our yard, and tree's throughout the rest of town. The kids all got soaked for the first day back at school. The weather forcast for the next few days is more rain, but at least it has stopped everyone from complaining about the heat. It's a wonderful 25 degrees celcius right now. Kinda makes up for the fact that my herb garden is submerged! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lavender Milo xoxox

A friend of mine who I have only ever met online is having her second baby (a little girl) in a few weeks. I decided on the spur of the moment to knit her a Milo.

I love this pattern; this is the third one that I have knit. The newborn size is especially fun, as it only takes a day to knit up and you get to have fun with the cable choices.

Project notes:

Yarn: Carnival 8 Ply Acrylic in Lavender
Needles: 4.5mm Addi Turbo's
Size: Newborn
Started: 11 Jan 10
Finished: 12 Jan 10

This is the first time that I have ever knit with acrylic, simply because there are no yarn stores up here apart from Lincraft and Spotlight..... and I am devastated that I am seperated from my beloved stash!!!!! Wah! Having said that, the yarn did knit up nicely and gave lovely stitch definition, and the garter stitch border didn't curl like the wool ones that I have knit. So that's a win. :)

Action shots to come.... I hope!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Australian Butterfly Sanctuary

This week, we all went up to Kuranda to see the Butterfly Sanctuary. It was a gorgeous, magical place, and it is the home to over 1500 butterflies. I was lucky enough to get some of them to pose for me. :) Jayden absolutely adored the butterflies!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Deejay's Felted Slippers

A few months ago, my partner Deejay asked me to make him a pair of felted slippers like Jayden's.So I did.

They turned out to be a perfect fit for him after being felted twice.

Pre-felting size was 40cm. Post-felting size was 27cm, or to fit a size 9.5 Australian.

Project details:

Yarn: 2.2 100g balls of Lincraft "Cosy Wool"
Needles: 6mm
Started 3rd January
Finished 9th January
Skill Level: Easy

The yarn did bleed somewhat, resulting in a lighter blue than the original yarn. My partner still loves them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

I had a wonderful day! I was given some pandora charms for my bracelet, a pandora love pod "3 pod" ring, a swarovski crystal necklace and 3 lovely dresses. I went to the hair dresser and had my hair cut, coloured and straightened, got a lot of knitting done as well as being able to do some shopping and going out for dinner. It was awesome. It's too bad that birthdays only happen once a year!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Knitting Intentions

I've been deliberating this for a while. Mostly, I am just going to be happy if I knit half as much as I did last year, 28 finished objects is a hell of a lot for me considering that I work full time.

Ok, here we go:

1. Princess Zia (on the needles)
2. Felted Slippers for Deejay (on the needles)
3. Pink Champagne
4. Devan size 3yo for Jayden
5. Luna Moth Shawl - This is going to be knit with 2ply pure silk in a gorgeous straw/golden colour
6. Felted Hexagonal Coasters
7. Farinelli
8. Playground Shirt size 3yo for Jayden
9. Basic Baby Socks on 2 Circulars (Baby shower gift)
10. Rosie Posie Tea Cosy
11. French Press Felted Slippers
12. Esther Socks
13. Tonks Socks
14. Knitted Then Felted Bag

The rest I am just going to wing it..... decide when I see a pattern that I like while flicking through a magazine or surfing Ravelry.

The best part about this list is I already have most of the yarn in my stash to make these things. Woohoo!

As for the rest of my craftiness, I would like to learn how to sew more. I am going to practice my crochet some more and generally branch out and expand on my knitting skills.

I would also love to knit this shawl: 1 ply Rosebud Shawl. It may not get completed this year, as it is going to be my long term project, but it will be knit eventually. This is going to be my wedding veil for when we eventually get around to getting married. Eee! So I have the pattern and the yarn, now I just need to be able to sit down and knit it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

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