Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cosy CAL Blanket

After finishing the Coastal Ripple blanket, I was quite eager to start a new crochet project.  My wool had been sitting under the tree for weeks, so once our Christmas festivities were over, I was able to sit back, relax and start my Cosy CAL blanket:
I love the vibrant colours I'm using for this one, it will defintely brighten up those dark, dreary days of winter. She does have packs of wool available to purchase, but I choose my own, keeping the colours reasonably similar to her original palette.
I have finished the first 15 rows (Part One) and I love it!! Its such an easy pattern to follow and its growing quite quickly.
If your looking for a new crocheting project for 2015, make sure you head over to Attic 24 and check out her site, its very inspirational and all her patterns are gorgeous :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Free January 2015 Calendar

I hope you and your families are enjoying this wonderful Christmas season. It's time to start New Year's Eve preparations and to look ahead/make resolutions/set goals for the coming year. There will be lots happening for us during 2015; it's an exciting time and I'm hoping we enjoy every precious moment.
I have designed a range of free calendars for 2015 and this year they come with a little bonus:
Each month will feature a photo of one of my designs and for the entire month I will be offering that pattern at a special price in my store, as my gift to you. The calendars will still include a lovely quote; because I think it's important to surround and inspire ourselves with beautiful words and sentiments, everyday :)
January's featured pattern is my most popular quilt for 2014, Asteria:
From today and during the month of January, PDF files of this pattern are available for the discounted price of $6.95 and you can grab your copy by visiting HERE. (To read more about the quilt and see more photo's, you can visit HERE.)
You can download and print your free January Calendar, HERE.
I hope you enjoy this year's calendars and I wish you and your family, all the happiness, laughter and love 2015 has to offer :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Blessing

"May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,
The gladness of Christmas give you hope,
The warmth of Christmas grant you love"
- Author Unknown

From my family to yours, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and hope it is filled with peace, love, joy and sweet blessings :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Coastal Ripple Blanket

I finally finished Cohen's Coastal Ripple blanket from Attic24:
I love this pattern and it was such a fun blanket to crochet. Cohen is thrilled to have it finished and even though the weather is warmer, I've found him snuggled under it every morning since he put it on his bed :) .Love that!
I'm looking forward to starting her new pattern, Cosy Blanket CAL but the wool is wrapped and under the tree, so I'll have to wait a few more days to start and then work on it over summer when its not too hot :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 9

This weeks block is my variation of the lovely Forest Paths block. I love the simplicity of this block and to add something special,  I adapted the rectangles surrounding the pretty little pinwheel, to make them two toned, instead of the solid rectangles that feature in the original block.
This is another quick and easy block to sew and it will make a lovely addition to the blocks you have sewn so far in your Chatelaine quilt.
To download the free pattern, just visit HERE.

Break in Scheduling:

This will be the last block I share with you for 2014 but I will resume on a weekly basis starting on Wednesday the 7th of January 2015.
It's a busy time of the year for all of us, and I'm taking a little break to spend time with my family as they begin their holidays after a super busy year!
If you have fallen behind or are just starting to follow along with this quilt (welcome), this break will allow you to catch up on the first 9 blocks.
Early next year, I will be giving you some options for final layouts for the quilt........I'm working on three different options and you can chose which one suits you best (I just have to get all the Maths to work out nicely). Happy sewing :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Healthy Chocolate Fudge (No Bake)

Christmas is the time when we all indulge our "sweet tooth" but if your looking for a healthier option for gift making or for serving during the Festive season, have a try of our Healthy Chocolate Fudge:
Maddi and I regularly visit our local health food shop and we love to play around with ingredients and adapt recipes depending on the occasion. Once you have the basic Chocolate Fudge recipe, its up to you what extra ingredients you include. For this Christmas inspired fudge, we added some dried cranberries, some raw almonds and some shredded coconut but the possibilities and combinations are endless.
You could omit all the extra ingredients and just enjoy the Chocolate Fudge but I love all the different tastes and textures. They are quick and easy to make, so you could make a batch a few hours prior to serving them or before they need to be wrapped up and delivered as gifts.
To download the PDF version of the recipe, visit HERE or right click on the image below and save to your computer:

Happy baking :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 8

This weeks block is my variation of the Country Farm block. The original block has a solid square centre but I decided to add a little square in square block, to give it something special. I really love how this block turned out and its quick and easy to piece. Hope you enjoy this one :)
To download this weeks pattern, just visit HERE.

Flying Geese Units:

There are quick and easy methods of making perfect flying geese units but I still make them by sewing a triangle on one short side of the larger triangle and then one on the other side. Because the triangles are cut on the diagonal, it can cause some variations to the sizing so to alleviation this, I always cut my squares (for the side triangles) slightly larger than required in the pattern and then cut them on the diagonal. 
For this particular block, the pattern calls for the squares to be cut at 1 7/8" and then cut diagonally. I actually cut my squares at 2" and then cut them diagonally. Once the flying geese unit is sewn, I then trim it down and I don't lose any seam allowances or have any units that are a little wonky. Its only a teeny difference but it really helps, so give it a try :)

Monday, December 8, 2014


In the 12th century, Shortbread was originally made using left over bread dough which was sometimes sweetened and then dried out in the oven to form a dry, hard rusk. Over time, the yeast was replaced by butter and Shortbread became an expensive fancy treat for celebrations, such as weddings, Christmas and the New Year.
You can add any amount of lovely flavorings to the basic recipe: lemon, caraway seeds, fruit, nuts or chocolate. Maddi loves to make our Christmas Shortbread, so today I'm sharing her recipe (and photo's):
Baking Shortbread is a Christmas Eve tradition for us and after baking we all sit around the table and decorate them; it's always a fun and creative afternoon. Last year, she simply dipped them in chocolate and it was a lovely addition which proved to be very popular:
She likes to package them, and other cooked goodies, in cellophane bags that are tied up with pretty ribbons ready to give to family, friends and neighbours. They are so yummy and very easy to make, so add this Shortbread to your Christmas baking list and get the kids involved; especially the decorating part.
Either right click the recipe image above and save to your files or you can download a PDF version by visiting HERE.
Happy Christmas baking :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Your never too old to enjoy a Disney Movie, right? We loved Frozen. It had such a beautiful soundtrack and moving story with a very heartfelt message...........and of course, we all adored the super cute and super comical snowman, Olaf.
"Hi, I'm Olaf and I like warm hugs.":
I came across this free paper piecing pattern, by Jessica Blacknell of Sew Much Mischief and I knew straight away that I had to make him :) He went together quite quickly and easily. The pattern is very clear and concise and I spent the day rekindling my love of paper piecing.
I made mine into a little wall hanging and he is hanging near our tree but he would also make a lovely cushion or be the feature block on a Santa sack.
You can find the free pattern, HERE on Craftsy. She has a few other "Frozen" patterns as well, if your looking for some. Thanks Jessica for such a gorgeous pattern. I enjoyed every minute sewing him and everyone loves having him as part of our Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chatelaine- Free BOW Sampler Quilt Block 7

This weeks lovely block is called Thrifty and its a pretty variation of the simple 9 Patch block.
I chose this block for two reasons: its a quick and easy block to piece at this busy time of the year and it also gives you a chance to try some fussy cutting.
I have to admit, I rarely fussy cut or worry too much about keeping fabrics directional (which is surprising considering things like that generally annoy me) but I know many people like to and it really does showcase the fabric. So for this block I did fussy cut the centre square and kept my stripes directional and I love the overall effect.
To download this weeks free pattern, just visit HERE.

Fussy Cutting:

Fussy cutting refers to cutting a piece of fabric so that the motif or part of the design that you want to "frame" is centralised. Some people do this by making a template window to help them visualise the specific area before cutting but you can also do it just as simply with your square and rotary cutter.
Firstly, chose which part of the design you wish to focus on. In this block, the centre square is cut to 2 1/2" square, so find the halfway point on your ruler, which in this case would be 1 1/4" and line it up with the centre of the design you are focusing on. Make sure that the design sits evenly within the 2 1/2" square and then cut your square, ensuring everything remains centred as you move your ruler to cut each side.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream

Gingerbread has been baked in Europe for centuries and in the 17th century the art of gingerbread baking was recognised as a profession in itself. Grimm's fairy tale, "Hansel and Gretel" modernised and romanticised gingerbread with its house made of bread, cake and candies and today we decorate gingerbread houses and cookies to share with our loved ones at Christmas.
If you love gingerbread as much as I do, you will also love these Gingerbread Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream:
They combine all the traditional flavours of gingerbread in a light and fluffy cupcake and teamed with the Salted Caramel Buttercream, they make it hard to stop at just one.
Packaged in a cupcake box, they would make perfect homemade gifts or they could star as the main attraction for a morning or afternoon tea with friends during the festive season or be enjoyed with coffee after your Christmas Day lunch.......anytime really; who needs an actual excuse :)

To download the PDF version of the recipe, just visit HERE and give these yummy little cupcakes a try.........they are a perfect addition to your Christmas celebrations :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

Free December Calendar

Christmas preparations are fully underway: menus are planned, cards written, gifts are ready to be wrapped and decorations are being made......we are REALLY looking forward to the festive season :) It's also time for your free December calendar:
This month's photo is of the cake I made for Christmas lunch last year:
The cake is a Raspberry and White Chocolate Cake and I covered it in buttercream and shredded coconut. The Santa and Snowman were purchased from the cake decorating aisle at the supermarket (Woolworths for Australian readers) and I made the trees by piping Royal Icing onto ice cream cones and sprinkling on a few cachous. The snowflakes and snowballs are rolled and cut from ready made icing (I inserted the wire strips into the snowflakes before they dried, so they would "float" above the cake). A fun little cake to make, which was yummy and all the kids loved :)
This months quote is so apt for the Christmas Season. I can think of nothing more perfect than spending this time with my family; its the ultimate gift :)
To download and print this months free calendar, just visit HERE.
I hope you have enjoyed the 2014 calendar's..........they will continue during 2015.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful December and all the fun, love and joy it has to offer :)
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