Made-It Monday

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Well, I haven’t made much lately that’s really ‘arty’ since my ‘spare time’ has mostly been consumed with book edits and formatting and such like. And whatever energy is left over after all of that has to be devoted to food, because I’m on an extremely strict elimination diet and finding ways to eat the same 20 foods for every meal without going mad is pretty much using up any leftover creativity. Ha.

So today, for Made It Monday, you get book formatting. These are some of the opening pages of Liana Brooks’ forthcoming novel, Bodies In Motion; you can read the draft chapters on her website for free – they’re releasing two per week and I think at present we are about 2/3rds of the way through the book.

The novel comes out on Sept 19 (20 in Aus) and you can preorder through all the usual suspects – or if you want to preorder a print copy and you live in the US, you can do that here.

Yay! Pages!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made It Monday: Party Garland

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Shockingly enough, the only thing I’ve made recently is – yep, you guessed it – more cake. Unfortunately, I finished it late at night and forgot to take a photo of it before leaving for work the next morning, and Husband didn’t know I wanted a pic so didn’t take one before he and his workmates devoured it.

I hear it was tasty.

Anyway.

So instead of cake (again), you get a party garland that, yes, technically I made several weeks ago, but NEVER MIND 😛 😀 This party banner was great – so easy to make. I bought 40cm each of green and pink broadcloth (or whatever was the cheapest fabric – it cost me about $5 total for the fabric, maybe less) and a roll of cotton rope from the hardware store (about $5 again, but I only used a third of it). I tore the coloured fabric into strips about an inch wide (yes, tore, not cut, this is all about efficiencies) and then, starting from the middle of the cord, did a simple loop/hitch knot thing to tie the strips on*, alternating colours. I’d been planning to put some cow print fabric in there too, but I couldn’t find any for less than $15/metre, and I wasn’t willing to pay that for a cheap party decoration.

* Fold the strip in half, lay it over the cord, loop the two loose ends under the cord and up through the folded bit of the strip itself, and pull tight.

It took about half an hour from start to finish, and the kids think it’s pretty cool because it also doubles as a wrap-around tie-up grass-style skirt for dress-ups 😀

Green and pink party banner

But since we pretty much never close that small window above the dining table, they can’t use it for dress-ups at the moment, because it’s still up 😉 😀

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

MadeItMonday: CAKE.

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Okay, getting back on track with this whole blogging thing, I promise. I spent the last few weeks dealing with horrendous deadlines and blogging died ded – but hopefully I can resurrect it now and all will be well again 😀

And what better way to kick this off again than with a (slightly belated) Made It Monday about CAKE!!!

Dude. Of course it was going to be cake. Of course.

Anyway, this is the cow cake I did for the small girl’s birthday a while back. If you’ve been paying attention at all this year you’ll have heard me talk about switching from the narwhals to the cows – and I’m pretty happy I did. It turned out really well. Hopefully I’ll do a post tomorrow or Thursday wrapping up the How To Have A Pinterest Party (Without Going Insane) series, and you can see how it all turned out then 😀

For today, CAKE!

I only have a picture of it with its ears cut off, but I nabbed one with the birthday girl from my sister’s facebook page, bwa ha ha. So here you have it: plan, cake, and post-cutting. Woo! Cake!

   

 

PS This cake was so easy – it was literally just a circle cake. I cut two ‘leaf shapes’ out of it, one on each side, rounded the snout off a little, trimmed the leaf shapes so they would butt up against the cake flat – and each leaf became one ear + one horn 🙂

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made It Monday: Cakefest

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

So this week we are, shockingly enough, back to cake. Stop, stop, stop. I know. Not MORE cake, you are saying. Does this woman EVER not eat cake?

Well, to be fair, most of the cakes I make are not for me to eat O:) And hey, what can I say? I just really love cake!! 😀

So last Sunday (i.e. a week ago, not yesterday, or today I guess if you are on the other side of the world where it is still possibly maybe Sunday? TIME, WHAT IS TIME) I spent the day baking, because I have a few big cake projects coming up. You can see the glorious stack of results below:

 

Item 1: A birthday cake. This one’s a paying gig that I’ll be completing next weekend (the cake is frozen in the meantime – this recipe freezes REALLY WELL, and hey, did you know that professional cake-decorators actually recommend freezing a cake at least for 24 hours before then defrosting and decorating as if you’re using a mud cake (which for decorating you pretty much should be, as they sturdy and dense enough to hold up under the weight of the decorations) it actually improves taste and texture? There ya go ;)) and I’ll OBVIOUSLY take pics and share once it’s done 😉

Item 2: The baby’s birthday cake. Her party isn’t for over a month, but again with the freezing, and between now and then I have semester finals for all my classes plus end of semester reports and etc etc etc, so free weekends? Yeah, not so much. So I figured doubling the recipe and making it now would be perfect 😉 (PS Still haven’t decided which permutation of a cow cake I’m doing for her party, but rest assured you’ll see that when it happens too!)

Item 3: Weeell. We have a staff lunch and I have to bring food and it’s going to be a Western theme and the baby’s party is cows, right? So I had this genius plan that I’d make cowprint brownies (cheesecake brownies, right?) and I’d just double the recipe and have half for the work thing and half for the cow party and THIS MADE SENSE – RIGHT?!?! Except cowprinting them turned out to be totally impossible. Sigh. It was such a good idea, too 🙁 But hey. They’re still tasty, and Imma still CALL them cowprint brownies – they’re just… reversed. Black with white splodges, right?* Om nom.

* Today in blogging: Amy’s contest to see how many times she can use the word RIGHT.

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made it Monday: More Baby Stuff For Markets

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

So last weekend we had another baby market, and IDK, I think we might have decided to not really do them any more? It’s a big chunk of time, and when you have nothing better to do, that’s fine, but we got home at 3pm and all promptly headed to bed, and most of us slept until 5 or 530pm, and the baby didn’t wake up until 6pm. (Man, I have got to stop calling her the baby.) And then after that we had to deal with making sure the kids’ clothes/uniforms were washed for the week, and the house is TRASHED and we haven’t grocery shopped so there’s pretty much no fresh food in the house (there are the hundreds of freezer meals I cooked in the holidays, which is fab, but they need fresh veggies or salad to accompany, PLUS we *really* need to try to eat these down this week because I actually really need some freezer space this weekend for a whole bunch of baking that I have to do (er, have done? Will have done yesterday when you read this? That. Time travel, yeah.) *sigh*.

Also, I have a cold, and the baby not-baby has a cold, and neither of us can breathe, especially at night, oh what fun what yay.

Blah. I am being humbuggish. Sorry.

Made It things. Right.

Okay, so, BABY THINGS were the creative outlet of the week, because they needed making. My husband did most of the sewing (as ever at the moment), but still. I HELPED, OKAY? And even though the markets left us wasted and on the back foot for the rest of the week, the actual day was pretty good, and the kids were really well behaved, and it was nice to just sit/stand around for several hours with no major brainy commitments and hand stitch a bunch of the mats closed. That was happy.

Also, Mr Boy Child is getting old enough that he thinks he can be the shopkeeper now 😉 Super cute.

Aaaand I just realised that I don’t actually have any photos of the NEW items we made *eyeroll*. We’ll have to do that sometime soon so we can list them online for sale. Bah. Also, humbug.

I am only four weeks through this term and already I am counting down until holidays. Oh well. Never mind.

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made It Monday: Badges!!

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

BADGES. Y’ALL, I HAVE BADGES.

Well, have is a strong word. ‘Have ordered’ is probably a more accurate phrase.* But anyway. LOOOOOOOOOK, I DESIGNED PRETTY BADGES FOR THE LAUNCH OF WHERE SHADOWS RIIIIIIISE!!!!! I’m super happy with how these turned out and I really can’t wait to see them in person. I’ll post a picture when I get them. In the meantime, enjoy the pics and plot which one you’d prefer** 😉

  

* Where ‘probably’ = ‘definitely’. Naturally.

** Totally open to posting some of these internationally if people want them. Let me know and I’ll look into postage costs <3

 

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made It Monday: Disappearing Zucchini Soup (Courgettes, For Some Of You ;))

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Food, this week, because despite spending an intense day in the last week of holidays making two weeks’ worth of meals and freezing them for when school went back and I’d be smashingly exhausted, it’s been a pretty inspiring food week and I haven’t actually *used* anything from the freezer yet! (Despite being smashingly exhausted. Me and food are on good terms this week. Possibly because I *devoured* Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in two days – no pun intended ;))

I had a run of like three or four REALLY GOOD meals in a row, including the very first time I’ve ever cooked fish that didn’t involve just wrapping it in foil with herbs and butter and baking it in the oven.* But the recipe I’m sharing today is actually mine, so I feel like it’s a little more in line with the ‘Made It Monday’ concept, so this is the one I’m sharing.

Also, it’s a really good way to use up those giant, surplus zucchinis that always end up hanging around at the end of the season, AND it freezes well, so you can have your zucchini hit well into autumn and winter 🙂 It’s called ‘disappearing zucchini soup’ party because it’s a good way of ‘disappearing’ those extra zucchinis, and partly because they kind of do disappear into the soup 🙂

 

* Yes, yes, I’m vegetarian, but we’ll eat fish if/when my husband catches it fresh, so 2-4 times per year. After the success of this experiment, we may try to make that more often! 😀

Pot of chunky, vibrantly green soup simmering on the stove

DISAPPEARING ZUCCHINI SOUP
Makes 6-8 serves*

INGREDIENTS
1 large bunch of spring onions (actually green onions or scallions, I dunno why we persist in calling them SPRING onions in Australia)
1 leek
Oil, for sauteing
6-8 heaped teaspoons of vegetable stock powder
8c water
6-8 medium potates
2 large (forearm-length) zucchinis
1 handful fresh basil leaves
Salt, to taste
1T dried chives
2t dried ground sage
1/3c grated cheese (cheddar or tasty etc)
1/2c milk (or more to taste)
1 can corn kernels, drained.

METHOD
Slice up the whites and some of the greens of the onions and leeks. Saute gently in olive oil (or other oil or butter or whatever).
Add stock powder, mix until pasty and heat for a minute (this helps release the flavours in the stock).
Add your water and bring to a boil.
Meanwhile, finely dice your potatoes and grate the zucchinis. Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes for 5 mins then the zucchinis and basil for an additional 3-4, until the potatoes are soft. Add salt to taste.
Add the chives, sage and cheese and stir until cheese is melted, then add milk.
Use a bar mix to blend until smooth, then add the drained corn kernels. Adjust seasonings if necessary and serve with sour cream and, if you can bothered, a grate of parmesan. Om nom. 🙂

* Honestly I have no idea how many serves this makes because I serve two adults and two small children who may or may not be hungry and then package up some of the rest for my lunches for the week and then throw the rest in the freezer. But on the basis that one cup of water equals one serving, you can assume about 8. For reference, we got out of it two adult dinners, two tiny dinners, four adult lunches and then probably another two adult dinners for the freezer.

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made It Monday: Party Decorations!

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Well, I was planning to show you jellyfish today, but since I switched party themes 😛 you get a cow garland instead. This is literally a third of the decorations for the party DONE, and the party isn’t for a few months. The aim is to have it all pre-made and ready to go so the actual party is as little work as possible – more on that on Wednesday 🙂

For this garland, all I did was find an image on the interwebs that was licensed for reuse, figured they’d look cute at about four to a landscape-oriented A4 page, figured out I’d need about 18ish to go the length of the table, plus a couple so it can drape nicely makes 20, printed 5 pages of 4 cows, cut them out while watching TV, and then just ran them all through the sewing machine to string them together.* All up, it took about half an hour while zoning out and watching the aforementioned TV. Not too shabby.

* If you’re going to sew paper on a regular basis, use a separate needle for it. Paper blunts blades faster than fabric, which is wh you also don’t use your good sewing shears to cut these cuties out 😉

Garland of cute cartoony black-and-white cows strung together.

Close-up of one cute cartoony cow from the garland

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

Made It Monday: Sort of?

So, I literally haven’t made anything in the last week, which is sad. This is mostly because my health is not great right now, and three hours of uprightness is enough that I need to go lie down for an hour, which is SUPER FUN and REALLY HELPFUL for my to-do list. Much tears and sadness.

But anyway, you know all that cake and party stuff I’ve shared the last couple of weeks? Yeah. I have the baby’s party ALL PLANNED OUT, with menu and shopping lists and everything.

Yesterday, we went to the Sydney Easter Show. Turns out the kid is OBSESSED with cows. Who knew? And when I mean obsessed, I really actually mean it. The cow pavilion was like her own private Heaven. So much cute 🙂

But what this means is that now I’m faced with a decision: run with the party that’s already planned, or switch and incorporate cows somehow? Because it’s not *actually* my party, and because she likely won’t be this obsessed with cows at any point in her life again, I’ll probably switch – BUT NARWHALS, Y’ALL. **NARWHALS**!!!!!!! *sniffles*.

…I guess it’s back to the drawing board. This is what I get for trying to be organised this year 😛 😀

#MadeItMonday: In Fairness, It’s Not *Quite* Cake

Welcome to #MadeItMonday, where I post something I’ve made in the previous week, and where you can join in and post something you made too! The rules are easy: post a pic somewhere of something you’ve made in the last week (ish; let’s say in the last month as the hard-and-fast) and tag it. Sit back and enjoy scrolling through all the beautiful things we’ve collectively created, and celebrate the fact that humans can be awesome! 🙂

Pressed for time again this week what with the wrap-up of school and all – Monday I drove back from Deniliquin (6 hr drive), Wednesday I had debating until 9:30pm, Thursday was parent-teacher interviews until 8:30pm, and Friday was DIE THE DEATH OF THE LAST DAY OF TEEEEEERM day. Woo.*

All of which is to say that pretty much all I’ve done this week that could tenuously be called creative and isn’t either a) making resources for school, b) writing (or more accurately editing these days) or c) website admin is a continuation of last week. I Got My Planning On today and finished planning out the baby’s (slowly) impending birthday party, including a menu (soup and bread, plus birthday cake and hot chocolate), a guest list (family, which still equals nearly 25 >.<), a shopping list (extensive) and an equipment list (not quite so extensive). It *sounds* like an impressive degree of organisation, but really, it was maybe an hour tops, including finding the soup recipes and compiling a comprehensive shopping list, and given that the end of next term involves report writing and semester grades and all sorts of time- and brain-consuming things like that, the hour of organisation now will save me a lot of stress later.

Plus if I can make decorations during this holiday break (the three jellyfish (which hopefully I will have to show you in two weeks’ time) and the cotton-wool snowflake string) then all I have to do is make food. And honestly, I could probably even make soup ahead of time and freeze. Organisation, y’all: it really works.

ANYWAY, as part of all this I sketched out the cake in a little more detail so I could figure out what I’d need to add to the shopping list. I still haven’t decided on a flavour of cake; I have both white and dark chocolate mud cake recipes that are *mine* and are *glorious* and my standard go-tos that I’ve made for heaps of parties and weddings, but…. I’ve made them a lot? Last year I did a coconut mud cake with raspberry buttercream filling for the baby, and it was REALLY TASTY, and I enjoyed the excuse to make something different. So! If you have suggestions for slightly a-typical cake flavour pairings, I AM ALL EARS. Suggest to me, peoples! Suggest!

But yes, this is the cake plan. Narwhal (BECAUSE NARWHAL) that will have a shiny silver horn, a teal-y coloured base icing, darker teal ganache dripped over the back, and decorations in white, silver and dark teal over the back–silver cachous, white almond confetti, and royal icing flowers mainly, I think. We Shall See.

Narwhal cake.

So yeah, that’s pretty much it this week. Don’t forget to suggest cake flavours for me – I could really use some inspiration!! 🙂

* But seriously: Holidays. WOO!

What have you made this week? (It doesn’t have to be fancy!!) Don’t forget to tag your contribution, or even better, leave a link in the comments!! I love seeing what inspiring things other people have made 🙂 🙂 🙂

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