the effects of heat

January 30, 2009

image by predi

Fellow Melbournians will be very much aware of the sweltering heat we've been experiencing the past few days. My house has turned into an oven - even when it cools off slightly at night the temperature inside does not change. I've been wondering if it's ok to put my mattress on the front lawn and sleep there. It's getting desperate.

Today I was lucky enough to be offered a friend's apartment for the day so I could get some work done. Oh what bliss to be in air conditioned comfort all day, happily sewing away! Thank you Carly!

But my happiness has come to an abrupt end when I arrived home and opened my pantry to see a trickle of chocolate dripping out. Why didn't I think a few days ago to put the 5 or so blocks of chocolate we have into the fridge? I'm not sure they can be saved but I've carefully moved what I can into a cooler place. It might be time to do some baking of chocolate cakes, chocolate tarts, or anything else that requires dark chocolate. Or perhaps an iced chocolate, yes that is sounding good!  

delicious apple (or apple delicious?)

January 25, 2009

Continuing my obsession of apple print fabrics is this latest purchase from Amitie. All washed (and soon to be ironed) it will be chopped up tomorrow for a project.

I've been dreaming of all manner of baked goods featuring apples since this fabric arrived in my home, is it normal for fabric to make a person hungry?

love it love it love it

January 22, 2009

Despite the hideous weather in Melbourne today (think hot, windy, dusty) I decided to venture out to look for a birthday present for a certain someone (I am not going to mention anymore about this just in case they are reading!). I did make some progress on the gift buying front, but I also found some treasures for myself.

The wooden boxes were a bargain at only $8 each and will be perfect for my market stall. The bonus with these is that they have already been sanded and painted! I have a matching box at home that I bought a few months ago in its original condition, there was a half-hearted attempt at cleaning and sanding it recently but I have a feeling it won't get finished anytime soon.

The brown bag on the left is from a cute store called Woo's, I love the simple packaging with the wooden peg. There are some things in there for the previously mentioned certain someone.

I was very excited to find the trims shown - the yellow measuring tape is a nice cotton twill, and my favourite, the heart tape, came all the way from Sweden to the delightful shop Est, where I pounced on it. 

And lastly, on the right, some new cookie cutters, which I may or may not use for a certain Hallmark occasion coming up next month.

Before I sign off, I just wanted to introduce you to Claude (the bird). I discovered this lovely shop today while on my travels, and they have just started a blog - so pop over and say hi : )

Time to give my credit card a rest I think.

sneak peek #2

tweet tweet

January 18, 2009

I love new fabrics - these arrived in the post from Superbuzzy this week. I have a real thing for fabrics with birds on them at the moment!

Want to join Sunday Stash? Visit here. You can also see who else is playing here

Happy Sunday everyone : )

christmas coupon #1 redeemed

January 15, 2009

Determined to make Christmas a handmade affair, and struggling to think of a crafty gift that my boyfriend would appreciate, I decided to make up a batch of coupons for him to redeem throughout the year. I love to cook, and we both love to eat, so a set of food related coupons seemed to be the answer. 

Funnily enough, on Christmas morning I sat in bed unwrapping all manner of kitchen related gifts including a pair of shiny red mixing bowls, a new wooden spoon (Mr French - partner to Mrs French who is a smaller version of the same spoon), and some new cookie cutters. I put the bowls and spoon to good use today when the first coupon was handed to me.

These were my first attempt at making peanut butter and choc chip cookies. I can't begin to tell you how good these cookies are! They are gluten free as well so I can eat them too (there has been some argument as to whether the gift giver is allowed to eat some of the cookies, but I think I've managed to win that one, for now). If you decide to make these cookies, I recommend following the suggestions of others and put in less sugar and choc chips. I also added a bit of gluten free SR flour (but you could use normal flour) which worked a treat. to have another cookie and watch some new Gossip Girl episodes I think!    

sneak peek

More to come...

when i was a girl i loved to play with my dolls

January 11, 2009

Even as a grown up, it seems I still have a fondness for dolls. This Kokka fabric was another acquisition during my recent shopping spree in Amitie. I think it will break my heart slightly to cut into it, but I have the perfect floral to team it with. I have been sewing up a pile of envelope clutches this week, and will hopefully be able to reveal them to you soon (I just have to take some good photographs).

It is such a lovely afternoon here in Melbourne, I think I am going to head to the beach for a walk before dinner! 

got to love a sale

January 9, 2009

image courtesy of Bholu

Ooooo I just received an email from Bholu announcing their January sale! If you have never heard of Bholu - please pop over to their website and take a look around. This amazing Australian company is run by the very talented designer Jodie Fried. I love the philosophy behind Bholu - plus their products are absolutely gorgeous! I was lucky enough to receive one of their beautiful red wool blankets for Christmas a couple of years ago, I have since added another blanket plus a handful of cushions to my Bholu collection. I'm off to check out the sale now!

time for lunch

One of the things I love most about a day spent at home is being able to cook something delicious for lunch. Inspired by a cookbook I received from my sister for Christmas, I decided to attempt a grilled haloumi salad. This is such a quick and easy salad to make, and looks visually impressive - perfect for an impromptu summer lunch with friends!

Here's what you do:

  1. Prepare your salad leaves. I like to use a mix of rocket with fresh chopped mint. Just toss them together and put them on the plate in a nice pile.
  2. Lightly toast some pinenuts in a dry frying pan over a low heat. When they are a light golden brown colour and smell delicous, take them off the heat and sprinkle over your leaves.
  3. Slice your haloumi cheese into 5-10mm thick slices. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the haloumi and cook for about a minute on each side - don't turn your back on it - the cheese cooks really quickly!
  4. Arrange prettily on your salad leaves, drizzle with a good quality olive oil, some lemon juice and a twist of fresh cracked black pepper.
  5. Eat immediately (or as soon as you are done taking photographs!).

Bon appetite!

feeling all professional

January 8, 2009

Today's project = business cards. 

I had so many ideas in my head, and toyed with the idea of getting some cards professionally printed, but in the end I wanted my cards to have that handmade feel to them. This is what I came up with - a brown kraft card, hand stamped with my logo on one side and my contact details on the reverse. And finished with some stitching down the side.

I have started with 50 cards, and while I absolutely love them, I do admit it might not be that realistic to make my own if I am going to be handing them out a lot. After cutting and stamping this first batch, my arm was already getting tired! Do you think this counts as exercise? I'd much rather make business cards than lift weights at the gym!

my newest love

January 4, 2009

After last week's tidy up of my stash I started pairing up fabrics for possible new projects. I soon realised my stash was getting dangerously low! The only solution of course was to go shopping - first on Superbuzzy (I will show you those fabrics when they arrive in the post) and then in Amitie yesterday. After spending 2 hours in Amitie (a pretty good effort for me!) I came away with lots of new fabric combinations. 

This is one of my favourites - I've always loved Joel Dewberry's Aviary print but had never bought any - when I put it next to this chocolate stripe/floral cotton canvas I knew I had to have it! These will be cut up today to make some more of my favourite envelope clutches.

Want to have a sneak peek at the stash? Head on over to the Flickr group to see what other stashers have tucked away!

a new year

January 1, 2009

Another year has begun! 

I just wanted to take this moment to wish all of you a very happy new year, and to thank every one who has visited or made comments on this blog since it's inception a few months ago. When I first ventured into the world of blogging, I wondered how I would ever find enough to write about, and if anyone would even be interested in reading what I ramble on about. This blog has quickly become one of my favourite hobbies and I love reading all the comments I receive.

The rabbit & the duck are planning a productive year in 2009. We have our first ever market stall in February, with more to follow. We are working on developing some new products and hope to keep the Etsy shop a bit more up to date! A trip to Japan later this year is also on the agenda. I'm already thinking about how many suitcases of fabric I can get away with bringing back home! 

OK, let's get this year started! It's almost lunch time and I'm still in my pj's...

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