July 31, 2010

Beautiful New Zealand

My sister and I took a trip to New Zealand approx. 3 years ago. I wanted to go somewhere that firstly, we could afford, and secondly where you were awe struck by the grandness and beauty of the nature. I live in flat lands and so I'd never seen vast mountain ranges before and the first thing we did when we got off the plane was to take a train trip from the North/East to the North/West of New Zealand. It was a chilly cold day but we stayed most of the trip in the outside carriage (I felt like a dog with its head out the car window lol). It was an amazing experience for me. I'm surprised I didn't swallow a fly, my mouth was open for most of the trip. It felt like the beginning of time and I was waiting for dinosaurs to pop their heads around one of the mountains. Here are a couple of photos.

July 30, 2010

RECIPE DAY - Maltese Sweets

As promised I'll be posting Maltese recipes that my family have made down the years. Today's recipe is a very mildly sweet chocolate pudding. I don't know about you but I like my sweets to be 'not soooo sweet'.

1 Vienna loaf
4 Tablespoons of Cocoa
1 1/2 cups of sugar
3 tbsp of jam (you can mix different jams)
1/2 pkt of chopped walnuts
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
1/2 pkt mixed fruit (I personally use less of this)
1/2 cup custard powder
3/4 cup of sherry
Level tspn of mixed spices

First cut the bread into small cubes and then soak in tepid water till soft and mushy and then squeeze the water out of the bread. Blend all ingredients together using your hands. Place a layer approx 2 inches thick.

Preheat oven to 180C then cook for approx. 30 minutes or until firmly spongy. Once cool sprinkle with icing sugar.

Then, most importantly, eat.

July 29, 2010

Photography Before and Afters - Getting Clever with Props

Etsy really does keep you on your toes. I'm constantly reviewing my photos as I realise that the number one attraction to your site is your photography. So I was umming and ahhhing the other day thinking, what else can I do to make my pictures look sharper, more interesting and I decided to use Props!

I have to say, I'm quite happy with how they turned out. I'll post some before and after shots.

July 28, 2010

The most natural and affordable Skincare Treatment

All from your kitchen and bathroom cupboard!! How's this for easy and affordable and if you don't mind a bit of egg on your face, apparently effective. Doesn't cost much to try.

Make-up Remover - This is a make-up remover I created for myself at home. I use a 50ml glass bottle that I can clean and re-use. I fill it up a third of the way with Rosewater (I buy from middle eastern food shop to use in my cooking and coffee), 2 tspns of natural shampoo which is free of harsh chemicals bought from the health food store. 1 tspn of Glycerine (to mobilise the make-up) and the rest water. Don't shake the bottle but move it to blend. Try a cotton bud and see if it works at removing your caked on mascara and if not you may need to add a little more glycerine or shampoo. Super effective and Cheap!

Exfoliator - Just mix Honey & Salt and apply! How easy is that?

Mask - Slap a bit of Yoghurt on your face, leave for 5-10 minutes and then rinse.

Dark Circles - Boil some Tea (doesn't matter which kind) add sliced cucumber pieces and then put in the fridge to chill. Then apply the cucumber slices to your eyes.

Moisturiser - Olive Oil, Lime Juice and 1 egg. Mix together and apply!

Next week I'll add other recipes using base creams, the marvellous Rose Hip Oil and essential oils.

A Vintage Treasury

I just made another Treasury. Wanting to help out my sister showcase her work so I made a fabulous Vintage collection of must haves.

July 26, 2010

Knitting Magic

I don't know what it is about knitting, but somehow whenever I try to make anything extra stitches magically appear on my needles, and then just as I'm close to finishing 100 rows, I find a hole in the 2nd.

Anyway, my sister is very happy with her short, hole filled red pure wool jumper I took 3 years to make.

Now I'm attempting to make my little niece the plainest of dresses, so nothing can go wrong can it? lol Except I'm stuck at the armhole, need to find myself a knitting guru who can translate pattern speak.

I found a fantastic website with the most gorgeous knitting patterns that are modern and fashionable. So often knitting patterns tend to be daggy remnants from the 1950's New Idea magazines. It's called Rebecca-Online Magazine. You can download individual patterns (they even have quite a few for free) or you can order the whole magazine which is packloaded with patterns. Definitely value for money. They also allow you to browse about 10 pages of each season's magazine so you can see what your getting. Addicted!

July 23, 2010

RECIPE DAY - Maltese

As you may be able to tell from my surname, I have Maltese heritage. Most people know Italian, Indian, Greeks recipes but I wonder how many know Maltese? So I've decided to have a recipe Saturday (or Friday depending on where you live).

QASATAT (? sp) It's pronounced Us-ah-tut (I think lol)


Short Pastry
3 medium onions
1 bunch silverbeet
4oz anchovies
1/2 lb green olives (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
2 tins of minted peas

Fry onion in oil then all other ingredients. Add 1/2 teaspoon of mixed spice and some chopped parsley. Taste the ingredients and if necessary add salt.

Cut pastry with a saucer sized circle cutter (you could cut around the outline of the saucer itself). With the left over pastry roll and cut into smaller circles. Wet the edge of the larger circle, add some filling and then gather up to meet smaller circle and pinch closed. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for approx 15 minutes or until golden.


July 22, 2010

Introducing Leonora's Boutique


My sister Leonora has just today posted her first item for sale in her new Etsy shop! She makes all the clothes herself and with some items, as with the top in the photo, she uses Vintage patterns. She's planning on adding a mix of different styles of clothes, for women, children, babies. At the moment she's working on the most gorgeous baby shoes in vibrant colours. I can't wait to see her shop filled up.

July 20, 2010

Personalised Photo Pendants

A great way to commemorate special moments. A keepsake to pass on to family or maybe you want to add a picture of your newborn baby or your beloved pet.
16mm Sterling silver on Sterling Silver chain.