Category Archives: Create

Repurposing: Art by Repetition

via design*sponge

A few weeks ago, I spotted this amazing piece of art featured on design*sponge. It was made using bus or train tickets (admitedly very cool and colourful tickets from San Fransisco, but tickets nonetheless) and it got me thinking about what I could put together, using otherwise unused multiples.

I have a bajillion plastic bits and bobs in the storeroom, left over from my Trove days, and these white plastic squares were perfect and easy to put together. I just used tiny balls of Blutack to stick them to the kraft paper, so I was able to reposition them if need be.

Obviously, this one and its twin still need to be hung on the living room wall, but I was so taken with the idea of using everyday or unused items in multiples to create a piece of art or a wall hanging, that I had to share. 

Other possibilities are:

– train/ferry/bus tickets
– buttons
– ribbon
– wool/string
– drinking straws
– bottle tops
– corks
– confetti

via Sharon Whelton on Etsy

Apologies for no Meat-Free Monday yesterday. I’ve been struck with this tummy bug again and the last thing I wanted to consider was food. It’ll be back next week though!!

Cheap, Quick, Handmade Mothers Day Bouquets

I’m still on my “handmade, homemade, vintage or repurposed” gift challenge, but I’m going in with my sisters to buy my mum a Mothers Day pressie that doesn’t quite fit into the HHVR categories. So I’ve been perusing the interwebs for something sweet, handmade and cheap (because the pennies be tight here at the moment) and have come up with a few options, that you may or may not be interested in yourself.

I’m keen on bouquets of things other than real flowers AND super-keen on pompoms. Behold, the joining of the two!

I made these two pompom flowers in the time it took my coffee to brew (and, if I’m being honest, to go slightly cold) so they are classified as a quick-fix craft for me. They really are very easy, and I followed the directions found here on domestic fluff, which includes a much much much easier pompom making method than the cardboard doughnut one I posted a while back. Praise!!

I have plans on making bunches of these for the mums that I know, and my fingers are itching to get into it.

Before I do though, I thought I’d share another non-flower bouquet that I put together a few weeks ago, using Japanese washi tape and skewers.

I just wrapped some tape around the blunt end of the skewers and snipped them into various flag shapes. A cute little handmade gift idea, or something to brighten up your bedside table or bathroom vanity.

(You can also make miniature versions using toothpicks, which are super-sweet as gift tags, place markets or cupcake toppers.)

Do you have anything special in the works for your mum/mum-in-law/sisters/grandma?

Gift Challenge: Easter Success!

So Easter has come and gone, and the long, long, long weekend has too (Sparky unfortunately had to work, so it wasn’t so long here, but we made the most of it nonetheless) and I’m happy to report that I didn’t stumble at the first gift challenge hurdle. I ended up gifting everyone with homemade presents this year!

I just made up little parcels for each of the families and included homemade chocolates in different colours/flavours, as well as some homemade Easter biscuits – some were Easter eggs with marshmallow in the centre, others were chocolate-dipped and others had 100s and 1000s sprinkled on top. By all accounts (mine included – I had to sample the merchandise first) they were pretty tasty!

  

I already posted on my chocolate making, and the recipe for the biscuits was super easy. It was actually the first time I’d made cookie-cutter biscuits before so the dough-rolling part was new to me, but simple all the same. Here’s the recipe if you’re keen to try it some time:

You’ll need:


125g butter, cubed
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup plain flour
1 cup SR flour

1. Preheat oven to 160C and line two trays with baking paper.

2. Cream the butter and sugar. Then add the egg and vanilla, beating well. Fold in the combined flours, forming a soft dough. (Mine was quite crumbly at this stage, but when I kneaded it together it stuck well).

3. Turn the dough out onto a sheet of baking paper, kneading/rolling it together to get a good dough consistency. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and roll out to around 5mm thick.

4. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters and pop onto your prepared baking trays.

5. Bake in batches for around 10-15 minutes or until golden.

To make the marshmallow filling you need:


bag of marshmallows, halved (although this depends on the size of your biscuits, larger ones probably would need a whole marshmallow)

1. Pop a few biscuits on a plate and top with a marshmallow. Microwave for 10 seconds and then sandwich with another biscuit. Easy, sticky and tasty!

My Gift Challenge Begins

A couple of weeks ago I challenged myself to make every gift purchase this year either handmade, homemade, vintage or repurposed. Easter is nearly upon us, and while we’re not huge on Easter gift giving here, we do have lots of nieces and nephews and couldn’t not get them something chocolatey.

So I decided to make the chocolates myself. I found some cute chocolate molds at House and bought a few packets of chocolate melts. I already had some food colouring on hand, as well as some sprinkles. It was totally time-consuming and totally delicious, but I think it was a success.

Actually, I know it was a success because we have eaten them all and I need to make another batch.

But basically I melted half a pack of melts at a time (in a double boiler situation) and coloured the white chocolate with a couple of drops of green, pink and yellow food colouring, to give that cutesy, traditional pastel feel. I also made a lot of milk chocolate eggs (much tastier than the white chocolate, I have to admit) and sprinkled the backs with different coloured ’00s and ‘000s.

Just a tip, err on the side of underfilling your molds rather than overfilling. They get a chunky looking edge to them if you over-fill.

Apologies for the lack of photos, but I was too busy licking spoons to take many shots. I’ll take some of the finished presents though, I promise!

As for packaging, I have a drawer-full of pretty paper and bags I’ve been given gifts in over the years (who doesn’t? I swear those things multiply) so I’m sure I’ll find something in there that I can use.

If nothing else, I know this exercise works out cheaper than buying Lindt bunnies for everyone. All up, I made (and consumed) enough chocolate for everyone and it cost around $20, including the reusable molds, so I’m well ahead money-wise. Just a few hours poorer time-wise!

Quickie Craft: Wool-Wrapping

Do you ever get the unshakeable urge, the deep desire to just create? You don’t know what or why, but you just need to make something. Anything. Now. Scones, a painting, a pathway, a short story, pom poms, a skirt. Whatever, just make it snappy.

Next time that urge strikes, keep this quick, cute craft in the back of your mind: wool-wrapping. I’ve seen bits and pieces about the interwebs and thought I’d give it a whirl while Isy and I were having crafty time. It’s quick, easy, repurposeful and, provided you have some wool lying about somewhere, it’s free!

You need:


a stick (pick one up off the ground or your backyard – just make sure it’s not home to any little insects) twiggy is good.
some wool (bright colours look cute, but white or grey is surprisingly sophisticated)

  1. Start at one end and wrap the wool around your stick, tucking the end of the wool in to the first few rounds, to secure it.
  2. Keep wrapping till you reach the other end. Tie a knot in the wool and trim.

The end. (See? Super easy. Tutorial really unnecessary!)

a vaseful of these will look sweet and colourful.