Saturday, June 13, 2009

Kirsten's Chai Spice Cake With Love

I guarantee you that your life will be complete with this little recipe under your hat. This cake is the easiest, quickest and most delicious thing you could make. Not only that - it is super healthy without tasting like a doorstop. This recipe came from my friend Kirsten. 

Whilst the cooking time is 50 minutes (fairly standard) it takes only about 10 minutes to prepare and mix. I have made it many times when pushed for time and needing to take a cake to someone's house.

Also, you can have many variations - I have placed sliced apple on top, made a sugar honey syrup to pour on it in the last 5 mins of cooking time, and I have made a really rich cream cheese icing for it - so decadent! The best icing for it I think though is a simple icing sugar and lemon mix. The lemon is always a hit. Ice the cake when cooled and sprinkle dessecated coconut on top - delicious. 

What can I do to convince you all that this is the perfect recipe? I guess you will have to make it to find out...


1 - 2 carrots grated
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup vegetable or coconut oil (I use rice bran oil)
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour (can be wholemeal which I think tastes awesome)
1 tsp Chai Spice or cinnamon (I just use lovely real chai spice tea leaves)

Mix with a wooden spoon and cook in a lined and greased 20cm cake tin on 180 degrees. Check its progress every now and then using a skewer - if it comes out clean it is ready.

Ice when cooled.

Quotes before eating:
"I hate carrot" - flatmate
"Carrot cake is my least favourite" - boyfriend

Quotes after eating:
"I stole some more of your cake - I was going to ask but I did it anyway" - flatmate who hates carrot
"Is there any of that cake left?" - boyfriend who loved it
"I usually don't like carrot cake but this is delicious" - good friend. I don't think the piece I gave her to give to her boyfriend made it home!

Bunny and Molly sat down to lunch.

Ok, I know you have seen little bunny napkin in the last post but I have added some pink ribbon to the sides and am now in the process of embroidering little pink flowers in the corners. I am becoming quite attached to these little napkins. Once finished I will have them as a set, tie a little raffia ribbon around them and give them to someone special in the post - perhaps my mum who loves anything cloth!

In the meantime, little Molly is coming along nicely. I will show you the pics when finished. I have been working on the bubbles the birds are breathing, as well as adding some ribbon like bunny above. In each corner is a little bird who also breaths bubbles.

I am really liking embroidery although I do wince when I call my efforts embroidery because my stitching is in no way formal - more of a mishmash!

I love how my own drawings can be translated really nicely into stitches. I find it a little easier than the crochet process too! Plus it is so meditative. I would suggest embroidery to anyone who wants to be crafty but has difficulty following patterns. Also it is cheap and so easily accessible. These napkins cost $2 - $4 and you could always make your own to save even more money. The embroidery thread and needles are next to nothing too. We are all suffering a little from not having as much money so this will make a lovely gift.

I would love to see what you all come up with in your embroidery!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Embroider bunny

This is what I do when I have 60 year 7 exam papers to mark and an honours paper to complete. Who said procrastination was a bad thing?

Embroider bunny was done on a $4 cloth napkin.

Crochet Piggy

This is Crochet Piggy. He did start as a rabbit but ended up a piggy.


He spent a little time on the window sill being photographed. My flatmate then found him in her room - I have a feeling the cats took a liking to him!

That night it was awfully cold and he looked a little too naked so I crocheted a scarf to keep him warm.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Brrr it's cold outside

It's so cold outside. I have the heater going and I sit in the sun to drink my coffee and eat my wholemeal cheesy mite scroll. 

I bought this stone owl for $4 from St Vinnies and left it on the counter when I left the shop. A week later I went back and it was still there. Meant to be I say.

The strangest things happen to me sometimes. The other day I bought the fabulous book Meet Me At Mike's: 25 Fun And Crafty Projects. . I couldn't get enough of her blog so I bought the book. It is truly divine. 

Anyway, I decided to make my own version of the Ephemera Mobile. I believe that most of what I make and do is always inspired by someone else so I always try to give credit where credit is due. I hope if I inspire someone else they will do the same. So anyway I looked up the original author of the Ephemeral Mobile after I had made my own and I couldn't believe it but it is by my friend Marriane Horton of Applehead. I was so happy to see her published work - she is a true genius and inspires me in so many ways. See blog 
for her Ephemera Mobile. 

This is mine...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Car Boot Sale Fun

On a fabulous Sunday morning last week I took a trip to the local car boot sale, and boy did I find some goodies!!! Better than my local Vinnies or Salvos which like to charge extravagant prices for not great things. Ok, I know it is a charity, but please, some of it really is a bit of a stretch!

 A couple of weeks ago my dear flatmate made a point of not letting me touch her Six Million Dollar Man collectors item thermos after I expressed interest in using it to take coffee to work. Imagine my surprise when I found one just like it for $5!!! A good joke would have been to pretend it was hers and drink from it in front of her but I was too exited and had to show her my find straight away.

And this lovely knitted bag? A great find at 50c!!!

This red bag was actually from a much better Vinnies not too far from me. It is a fake Balenciaga but so soft it feels like leather. $10. 

This tin toy is quite large and I know they are a bit of a collectors item. I was happy to pay $15 - probably the most expensive item I bought that day but worth it. His hat spins when you turn the key. Bless.

This lovely chair which is in pretty good nick was only $2!!! I cannot believe it. So lovely that someone when to the trouble of covering it with beautiful red velvet. And the wicker basket next to it was $10. Perfect for my knitting and crochet supplies.

Let's go shopping!!!


Birdy Bowl

I had to teach the boys at school a unit on Aboriginal artmaking and my head teacher organised for the students to all glaze their own ceramic bowls in the style of Aboriginal art. Of course, I had to make my own as an example! 

If I were to be marked on my efforts, I would have failed for lack of Aboriginal references, but secretly? I had my own agenda to make a fabulous birdy bowl

Yes, and all the students said my bowl was not Aboriginal but it does look lovely on my dressing table ;-)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monkey magic

My second crochet animal. A LOT better than the first and not nearly as holey. Little monkey magic. 


Starting somewhere in a crochet dream

So we all have to start somewhere...

Sammy the cat seemed to love learning to crochet as much as me. Or did she just like to eat the wool?

An attempt at the head of a bird seemed to work out fine...

And the body wasn't going too badly either...

The end result? A little holy for my liking. But cute all the same and acceptable for my first crochet animal, particularly (as I have said before) I hate patterns and have decided to make up my own.

Add a couple of buttons for the eyes and finito. Starting somewhere in a crochet dream.