Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Here are some yummy profiteroles which have become a Christmas tradition in our household. You wouldn't believe how many I made and there is only the 2 of us here to eat them, oh and the dog as well......he seems to have developed a taste for custard.

Wishing everyone has a happy and safe Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Rocky Road

I made this rocky road today as part of Evan's Christmas present.

It has white chocolate (Cadbury Dream actually because the supermarket was out of white choc melts), coconut, pistachios, mini marshmellows and turkish delight - the authentic kind from Real Turkish Delight.

Since it is warm here today I really need to keep it in the fridge but I don't really want him seeing it until Christmas so I have put it in a christmas tin I had which is great because he won't be able to see though it and I have taped it shut with packing tape and written a note on it that says DO NOT OPEN! I think that should do the trick. Luckily he almost never reads my blog so it won't ruin the surprise. I am about to go and dispose of the chocolate wrappers so he can't find them.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Giveaway

This brooch is part of a large Christmas giveaway on

You have until Monday to enter and be in the running for about $600 worth of handmade goodies.

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Stash #23

Here is the vintage fabric scrap pack that I won from Retro Age Vintage Fabrics in their last blog giveaway. The fabrics are all around 15cm x 15cm give or take a few centimeters.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Secret Santa

Here is a purse I made for a secret santa present. It is smaller in size than the frame clutches I have have previously done.

I made it out of linen with a piece of vintage embroidery embroidery on the front that I salvaged from a napkin. And of course I had to include red and white lining.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Stash #22

This fabric I picked up at a local op shop. It's some kind of synthetic.

I quite like the colours in it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Stash #21

No fabric this week. Instead I have some recently purchased white vintage buttons.

You will be able to see what I am using them for soon.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bring Back the Hazelnut Roll.......Please!

I just found out that the Hazelnut Roll is no longer being made and I am not a happy camper.

I have been eating them since I was a kid and even now that I am all grown up (well, technically anyway) they are still my favourite icecream.

Peters Icecream the maker of Hazelnut Rolls was bought out by Nestle earlier in the year and are doing away with the Hazelnut Roll. I only found out a when I went looking to buy an icecream on a particularly hot day and couldn't find a Hazelnut Roll anywhere. A blog post by The Food Pornographer confirmed my worst fears - they are no longer being manufactured.

Damn you Nestle!

I wish I had found out sooner so I could eat one last Hazelnut Roll for old times sake. As it is I don't think there are any left anywhere but I have been searching deli icecream freezers in the hope that I might find one lucky last one hiding at the bottom of the freezer. I have had no luck so far.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another Frame Clutch

This is the clutch I made to take to brothers Wedding a few weeks ago. You may remember the fabric from Sunday Stash #19. I wanted to put a bow on the front the same as the previous clutch but the fabric was too thick and it didn't really work so I had to go plain.

I am slowly getting the hang of making these style of purses.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Bird Figurine

I bought these cute birds on ebay.

I think I feel a mini collection coming on.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I thought I would show you the clutch I made to take to a friends wedding that I went to a couple of weeks ago.

I have wanted to make a purse with a metal frame for years and have never known a) where to buy the frame and b) how I was going to make a pattern and construct one that looked professional.

I found my answers when I across a purse frame kit from Nicole Mallalieu Design. It came with a frame as well as the pattern and instructions on how make to a beautifully finished purse.

It didn't work out too bad for my first go. I made up a calico toile for practice and then made this one with silk taffeta from Tessuti. I added a bow to the front for a bit of interest and some red polka dot lining.

Attaching the frame to the purse is the tricky bit. I did manage to get some glue on the taffeta (oops!) and am not sure whether I have crimped the frame enough but I guess that all comes with a bit of practice.

I am currently making another one to take to my brothers wedding on Saturday.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Here is the cropped jacket I made with Liberty fabric from Sunday Stash #18. I have had quite a difficult time trying to get a good photograph of it.

It's a little hard to tell because the fabric is so busy but the jacket has a revere collar. The sleeves are a bell shape which I have gathered at the bottom and then attached to a lining (which is not gathered) that is a little shorter than the sleeve length so they create a kind of puffball effect (hard to tell when it is not on the body). I hope that made sense!

The pattern is by me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Stash #19

I am going a little glitzy this week. It's some Italian brocade I purchased from Tessuti with the plan to make it into a clutch. It's quite silvery and I am not sure my photos have quite captured what it looks like in real life.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Stash #18

Liberty Tana Lawn from Clegs.

I am currently trying to turn it into a jacket to wear to a friends wedding in less than 2 weeks. Because it is such a lightweight fabric I am interlining it with another cotton to give it a bit of body and also to keep me warm. The chances are with Melbourne's unpredictable weather it might just be chilly on the day and I will need something to keep me from freezing in my strappy dress.

Friday, October 9, 2009

De Bretts World of Antiques

I am slowly trying to discover antique/second hand stores in Melbourne. I have recently found one not too far from Cyclic and the big bonus is that I can afford a lot of what they have on offer. The shop is described as "eccentric antiques and bric a brac"and that explains what kind of store it is nicely. The shop goes back a long way from the street and it is filled to the brim with lots of lovely vintage goodies. I bought this beautiful bird figurine for $24.95, and I am currently in love with it.

With some of the items you will need to rummage through stuff to find what you are looking for. There are piles of books, and boxes of magazines, and linens where you will want to spend a bit of time looking. That's half the fun anyway. It's definitely worth a visit if you are in to that sort of thing. You can find De Bretts World of Antiques at 1043 Mt Alexander Rd, Essendon.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back Again

I am back in Melbourne again after a holiday in WA. Now that I am back to real life have a huge "To Do List" that I need to tackle.

Here is a picture of how the birthday cake turned out. I am already working out improvements in my head for the next cake. Mum helped me put chocolate on the outside of the cake to pretty it up and I now want to master that process.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I am flying over to WA today to help mum celebrate her 60th birthday. I am in charge of the birthday cake, so before I left I thought I would test out an idea I had and see how it worked.

The cake is a chocolate mud cake. I have cut it in half and on top of the bottom layer there is a layer of whipped cream and then some raspberry syrup that I cooked up on the stove with some frozen raspberries and sugar, then another layer of mud cake and then chocolate ganache. It is finished off with some raspberries on top for decoration. It looks a little rustic , so I will try and neaten the edges when I make the real thing. I actually cracked the top piece while flipping it onto the the rest of the cake so I used the chocolate ganache to glue it back it together and it wasn't too noticeable. I guess I need some practice in that department!

I was going to link to the recipe for the mud cake which I found on but the recipe is no longer available. I will type the recipe up and post it when I get a chance so you can have a try. Even if you don't want to bother with the raspberries and cream, it's worth trying the mud cake. The recipe is super simple and it uses a whole block of chocolate so of course it tastes pretty fantastic.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sunday Stash #20

I am diverging away from fabric for my stash this week. This is a vintage embroidery kit I picked up from Savers Footscray last time I was there. The finished product is meant to be sewn up into a cushion.

It came with a piece of linen/cotton that has the embroidery design (cross stitch) printed on in black. The fabric was the only thing in the packet. I am sure originally it came with some instructions and the thread needed to replicate the photo. I guess I will have to work out the colours myself, using the photo as a guide. I plan on giving it a go very soon.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Do Try This at Home

I have mentioned the breakfast crumble from Mitte before - it's fantastic in case you haven't heard. Those of you not in Melbourne can now have a taste of what it's like too, only you will have to cook it for yourselves. The current copy of Delicious magazine has the recipe on page 50, so if you have been wondering what it tastes like, now is your chance.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Stash #19

I bought this fabric off etsy from twogreenchickens. It's going to be clothing I think.

Friday, August 28, 2009

For the Dog Lovers

Have a mentioned that I am a massive dog lover ? I don't think I have so far... well I am and I have just discovered the Daily Puppy website. I am not sure why it took me so long to find out about it. There is a new puppy for every day of the week. How fantastic!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Swimming Pool Cake Recipe

I took an unexpected trip to WA last week to visit a sick relative who was seriously ill. Thankfully she is on the mend now and while I was there I managed to get a copy of the swimming pool cake recipe from from the Woman's Weekly Children's Birthday Cake Book. I might just make one for my next birthday.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's my birthday today and reading Shannon's post over at Rabbit and the Duck got me reminiscing about the birthday cakes mum used to make my brothers and me from the Woman's Weekly Childrens Birthday Cake Book. Each year we would choose a cake for mum to make and one year I asked for the swimming pool cake.

Yes that's me in the photo on my 5th birthday with my Nonna and I look like I am getting ready to blow out the candles. The swimming pool cake had green jelly in the middle which was meant to be the water with little plastic dolls swimming in it alongside cocktail umbrellas and the whole cake had tim tams lined around the outside. Mum always did a fantastic job at replicating the cakes in the book. The recipe called for chocolate biscuit sticks to be used on the outside but hey, you really can't do better than tim tams.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Our almond tree is showing signs of life again with pretty pink blossoms that will eventually turn into nuts for us to harvest . I just hope the birds don't get to them before we do this season. Last time we had a flock of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos eat most of the crop which was disappointing on the almond front but fascinating to watch at the same time. Fingers crossed.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Stash #18

Liberty Tana lawn from Patchwork on Central Park. I only have two small pieces left in this.

I have made some brooches out of it. One of which you can find in my etsy shop here and one on Leeloo here

See everyone else's stash here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Unveiling the New Look Pin Oak Crescent

Excuse the crap photo, I have no idea how to use our new scanner.

Moonee Valley Council has just completed some road works on Pin Oak Crescent where Cyclic Bicycles is located and to celebrate they are having an opening/unveiling event.

There will be free activities and entertainment on the day including:
  • Roving entertainment
  • Balloon for kids
  • Face painting
  • surprise giveaways
Date: Saturday 1st August
Time: 10am - 1pm with the official opening at 10.30am
Location: Pin Oak Crescent Flemmington

So if you are in the neighbourhood why not drop by. All the shops are up and running again including Flowers by Janelouise, White Pony, Made Cafe and Cyclic Bicycles so it is a good day to get out and do some shopping.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Stash #19

I thought I would show you something different from my stash today. Some cute vintage hankies I picked up a few weeks ago. I have two in each colourway and thought I could use them for brooches.

Want to play Sunday Stash? You can do so here

Don't forget about the DUST team sale. We aren't having a lot of entries in the prize draw so you have a good chance of winning something. All you have to do to enter is to pick something from one of the participating shops, show us a link to the item you like and tell us what you like about it. It's that easy, prizes are drawn every 3 hours or so and you can enter each round. Find out more here. You will need an etsy username though.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Christmas in July Sale Starts Now

The DUST team Christmas in July Sale is NOW ON!

As part of the sale ruby-jo is offering 30% off the listed price of all brooches! Doesn't include postage.

Every store that is participating in the festivities is having some kind of sale. The full list of shops can be found here.

As part of the sale there will be ❉ GIVEWAYS ❉ throughout the entire weekend from different members of the DUST team.

To win something you will need to keep an eye on this thread here. There is an assortment of prizes on offer, one of which will be a brooch from me.

The sale runs from Saturday July 25th through Sunday July 26th, although a lot of the DUSTers have started their sale from now. To cater for international customers many shops will also extend the sale to finish at 12noon on Monday 27th July (Sunday night American time). Check each store for individual details.

and have fun shopping!

Just Listed

The latest batch of vintage embroidery brooches waiting and ready for the Dust Christmas in July Sale.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

SALE Sneak Peak!

Next weekend the etsy Down Under Street Team (DUST) is having a HUGE Christmas in July sale.

From the 25th to the 26th July every shop participating (including me!) will be offering some kind of sale for their customers. There will be lots of lovely hand made goodies on offer and the chance to win some fabulous prizes from Australian sellers (including one of my brooches).

You can find the shops participating in the sale here, so why not have a browse and mark some favorites ready for the weekend ahead.

In my ruby-jo shop I will be offering 30% off all of my brooches.

Stay tuned for more details closer to the date...

Friday, July 17, 2009


I might be a little late to the party but I just discovered It's a great site for finding new recipes and discovering some delightful food blogs along the way. It's a good thing looking at food doesn't put on kilos!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Stash #19

I am now the proud owner of Paint by Numbers Birds in red by Erin Michael for Moda, thanks for GJ's Discount Fabrics in Brunswick. I had given up trying to find the fabric as it seemed to have sold out everywhere but I was lucky enough to stumble across some at GJ's. There was only 1.2m left on the roll so I bought the whole lot. I want to use it as a trim on a skirt for myself and maybe some bags.

If you want to play Sunday Stash you can do so here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trip to Ballarat

We (man, dog and me) took a trip to Ballarat for an overnight stay on Monday to get away from it all for a short time. It was my first visit to Ballart and the highlight (for me at least) was exploring the many antique stores on offer. You can see in the photos some of the goodies I came home with.

1st photo from Joyce’s Junkatique (next door to Antiques, Goods and Chattels) It's not an antique store but pretty much what the name suggests, a shop packed full of junk including the many rooms out the back. The bonus is if you are lucky enough to find something worth buying you won’t be pay much for it.

2nd photo from Antiques, Goods and Chattels - 30 Main Road Ballarat East. They had such an amazing collection of vintage treasures including a selection of peoples old sewing tins and boxes with various collections of threads, needles buttons and other bits and pieces inside.

3rd photo from Alexa’s Treasures - 46 Sturt St Ballarat. Amazing is how I would describe the shop, they have a wonderful collection of china as well as a huge shelf packed tightly with doily’s, linens and buttons. I am kicking myself for not buying one of their beautiful vintage tea cups.

The trip was fun despite a few things not going entirely to plan including a bed and breakfast that didn’t want us to let our dog inside, despite advertising themselves as “pet friendly” (we snuck him in when we went to bed anyway because the temperature dropped to about 1 degree overnight) and a brewery where we had planned to spend our evening with drinks and tapas not opening on a Monday night in winter. We turned up to the brewery ready for dinner at 7pm only to find out they were closed.

I can’t wait to go back and do some more exploring.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Stash #19

This is an interesting piece of fabric I picked up from the op shop yesterday for 20c! It's only about 58cm wide and 33cm high which is not a lot to work with. I think it may have originally been curtain material.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stocktake and Breakfast Crumble

Yesterday we did a stocktake of the shop. I have to say I really don't look forward to doing it. If you have ever done a stocktake before you will know what I mean. We had over 1,000 items to count which takes quite a few hours and is surprisingly tiring too. The silver lining is that we always go out to breakfast before we do stocktake. It's kind of like an unwritten stocktake rule and is supposed to make the day a little easier to bear.

We went to Mitte for our breakfast and that's where the breakfast crumble comes in to play. Mitte won Best Breakfast of the Year in the The Age Cheap Eats 2009 and it's well deserved. I had their breakfast crumble which involves cinnamon and vanilla poached pears and apples topped with a macadamia crumble and mascarpone. Absolutely awesome and a perfect way to start a day that involves doing something you really don't want to be doing. If you are in Melbourne I recommend checking them out, they have lots of other yummy breakfasts on offer and are located at 76 Michael St, Fitzroy North

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Stash #18

This is my favourite piece of fabric from my stash. It's a beautiful polished cotton from the 1950's. The fabric has a lovely sheen to it and I don't think the photos quite do it justice. I bought the fabric from the Lost and Found Market in Collingwood. I have about 2.5m of it and the big plan is to make it into a 1950's style dress with a fitted bodice and flared skirt.

If you want to play Sunday Stash you can do so here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Trip to Tessuti

Tessuti has recently opened in Melbourne and I took a trip to the city to have a look. I have always felt a little jealous that Sydney had Tessuti and the rest of Australia didn't. I visited one of their shops in Sydney while on holidays a few years ago and was really impressed with their range of fabrics. No need to feel jealous anymore.

The Melbourne shop is exactly what I expected it to be, full of gorgeous, quality dress fabrics. Note: this is definitely not your local spotlight. Tessuti buy fabric from local and overseas designers so it is packed with drool worthy fabric.

I took home from the trip some beautiful denim that came from Zimmerman and a box of Crown Fox Pearl Pins. If you have never heard of Crown Fox Pearl Pins then listen up. They are THE ultimate box of pins. You get 1000 of them in a box and they have a pearl head so they are easy to work with and you won't lose them in your fabric. They will last you for ages and you can use the box as a storage container. Just don't iron over them or they will melt.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Stash #19

My stash this week is some fabric I have screen printed myself (just now actually and it is still wet!) I took some lovely brown check fabric that I was going to make some pants out of and then screen printed it in white with my doily print. I am going to make some clutches out of it so I guess that means I am going to miss out on the pants.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Op Shop Finds - Hawthorn.

I thought I would show you some goodies I bought at the Epic Treasure Trove op shop in Hawthorn. It's not in my neck of the woods but Monday is our day out and we usually go exploring other suburbs. I got this lovely little matching tea cup, saucer and plate. I love the combination of yellow and pink flowers. It's in really good condition too. There is a tiny bit of wear on the saucer but it's not really noticeable unless you look very closely.

I also managed to pick up an embroidered doily and a whole heap of vintage hook and eye cards. Some of the hook and eye cards are a little damaged but I did manage to snag one that was in pretty good condition and had all it's hooks and eyes in tact.

I went to 2 other op shops in the area but didn't find anything worthwhile in either of them. It's always a bit hit and miss with op shops. Most of the time I end up leaving with nothing.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Brooches

I have some new brooches ready to go in my etsy store. For the first time ever I have made some mini ones. They aren't exactly tiny but they are small compared to my standard size brooches. They measure 5 cm in diameter at the widest point. I have made them from from vintage napkins and they feature some fabulous cross stitch embroidery.

The purple and red brooches are my small size ones and measure 7cm. I will be adding the brooches to my etsy store in the coming week.