Monday, 26 January 2015

an Aussie tea towel necklace

todays outfit, for a day of picnicking by the lake. all handmade,

dress: thrifted seersucker fabric and the same pattern as this dress.
necklace: upcycled from a tea towel

Friday, 23 January 2015


I've had some lovely finds at the local oppies...
 tooled leather clutch with the cutest coin purse inside ($4). This brings my collection to a grand total of 3.

 2 tier Johnson cake plate. Still in it's box ($5)

pretty florals
this year has seen me sign up for a Diggers Club membership. Looking at all the seeds available is like being in a lolly shop trying to pick which ones I want. Have you ordered through the Diggers Club before? Any varieties you can recommend?

I got to meet up with a lovely blog friend, Jane of A Shady Baker. I've only met with one other blogger before, Susan, so it was a real treat to meet another. it's like we already new each other, which I suppose reading each others blogs for a few years is not surprising.
we talked all things op-shopping, collections, old churches, gardening, sourdough starters, farmers markets and Kitchen Aids.
Jane gifted me this beautiful pastel Johnson ware and some homegrown, homemade treats. thank you Jane.

what have you been up to lately?

Sunday, 11 January 2015

tablecloth dress.

my first (of hopefully many more) wearing post of 2015.
with the weather so hot in my new town I've noticed a bit of a gap in my wardrobe.
one of lose fitting, easy wear dresses.
I made this one with a thrifted tablecloth and a thrifted pattern- Butterick 3349.
it's a simple pattern with (after alterations by me) only two pattern pieces- a front and a back. I tried a high/low hem for the first time too.
I'm still trying to perfect the neckline binding. I can't seem to make it sit flat. any tips?
wearing it with Lotta clogs, WeWood watch and thrifted bangle.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

for 2015

Here's a little list of my goals for 2015. I'm joining in with Sophie over at Her Library Adventures.
I hope to check back throughout the year and be able to tick at least some of these goals off the list. let me know if you share your thirty goals too.

1. sew, sew and sew some more. I want to sew more clothes for myself and also get my little shop open and stocked again
2. gardening. this will be a bit of a challenge but I at least want to have a few herbs going and also get a compost pile/worm farm happening for all the kitchen scraps
3. get cutting and pasting in my inspiration scrapbook
4. continue with the ethical clothing pledge of 2014, I shopped my wardrobe, found some beautiful pieces while op-shopping and made a few purchases from ethical businesses
5. not buy bread, instead making our own. I'd like to get my own sour dough starter happening too
6. take pottery classes, I'm pretty sure there's a group in town
7. make more cleaning and beauty products including washing liquid, facial exfoliator, shampoo and conditioner
8. say 'no' to disposable coffee cups. I invested in a 'keep cup' each so now just the challenge of remembering to bring them with us while out and about
9. learn the art of macramé
10. get to know and understand the functions of my camera better
11. Try weaving. I op-shopped a little loom a while back so now just have to find some yarn to weave
12. Try screen printing
13. Make a strap for my camera
14. upcycle some of the silver cutlery collection.. I'm thinking jewellery
15. upcycle some broken plates.. yes the move did unfortunately result in a few Johnson casualties
16. use the cookbook collection and try new recipes
17. make a timber Christmas tree for December 2015
18. make soap
19. make a terrarium
20. buy groceries from locally owned small businesses rather then the big chains
21. keep the house tidier by doing a little cleaning everyday
22. blog at least once a week, maybe twice
23. send more happy mail
24. discover the perfect museli bar recipe
25. drink more water everyday
26. make more handmade gifts
27. cull more stuff.. kitchenware and craft room
28. buy based on quality rather than price
29. print and frame some of my photos
30. organise a wedding

Monday, 22 December 2014

fruit cake

so I'm probably a bit late with the Christmas baking but today after a quick trip to the shops to pick up some supplies I set to making a fruit cake. I based my recipe on a CWA recipe (always a winner in my book) for Glad Shute's Christmas Fruit Cake. I left out the alcohol as I didn't have any on hand.

1.375kg mixed fruit. I decided to make up my own combination rather than use the pre-mixed variety. (250g pitted prunes, 375g dried figs, 200g dried apricots, 550g sultanas)
250g butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup or molasses
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Combine all these ingredients in a large pot and place over medium heat on the stove top. Bring to the boil and boil for 3 minutes.
Leave to cool.

4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
2 cups plain flour (I used spelt flour)
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1 cup chopped nuts (I used half almonds and half macadamias

Beat eggs in a small bowl along with vanilla. Add to cooled fruit mixture.
Dissolve the bi-carb in the hot water and stir into the fruit mixture.
Fold in the flour and chopped nuts.

Bake for 3 hours at 160 degrees Celsius in lined cake tin/s .
Will make one large round cake or two smaller ones.
Cut a round of brown paper to place over the top of the cake while cooking to avoid a burnt top.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool slowly, with the tin wrapped in a towel.

Store by wrapping in foil and placing in a cake tin. enjoy.
wishing you a lovely Christmas. x

Saturday, 20 December 2014

new house.

after a stressful few weeks and a long drive we are settling in well to our new house in the central west of NSW.
all the 'necessity' boxes have been unpacked. over a dozen boxes filled with crockery and kitchen ware remain taped up. I'm not sure when i'll unpack them yet.
my love has started his new job. a new career that has been a goal for many years.
I've visited some of the op-shops already and they are a treasure trove of vintage goodies... Ladybird books, floral sheets, glass Christmas baubles and retro dresses all came home with me.
I've tested out the new kitchen with a batch of cocoa nib cookies, carrot cake, roast and baked spuds.
the sewing machine is set up and I've attended to a few jobs... two sets of curtains and a fitted sheet from vintage florals. the thing with vintage linens is fitted sheets are a rare thing. I hope to make a few dresses in the coming weeks. the stinking hot days call for lose-fitting smock dresses.
we are missing our chooks. we gave them to a new home before we left. the long drive and the huge change of climate would have been too much for them to cope with.
Mitten is settling in well. sadly we farewelled our black and white cat Tillie before we moved.

after a forced internet break i'm looking forward to catching up with all your happenings. I've also joined instagram, you can find me at zarannehandmade

hope you're having a lovely weekend. x

Saturday, 6 December 2014

a big move

our home is currently packed up in boxes, so many boxes.
in the next couple of weeks my love and I will be moving. to a new house. in a new town. a town which takes 12 hours of driving to reach.
we're both excited and a bit anxious.
this will be our biggest move yet.
I'm looking forward to unpacking those boxes and decorating our new home. to settling in to a new community. to lots of new photos and the chance to share them with you.
and so the adventure begins...