Monday, 28 March 2011
Whilst rummaging through a stack of DVD's looking for a particular image I found one with a whole lot of piccies taken with my phone whilst in London. They made me happy and I wanted to share the love with you....
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Whilst wandering past the shop front of a local antiques dealer this delightful light blue set of kitchen scales caught my eye.
Perfect for jam making AND the perfect colour for my kitchen I couldn't resist and bought them using a house warming cash gift.
They are pictured here helping with their first recipe - quince jam. The fruit was also gifted to me following my reputation as a jam maker :)
Monday, 21 March 2011
It seems like Autumn is suddenly upon us with foggy mornings, rainy afternoons and chilly evenings - all which suddenly make me want to curl up inside my house and be crafty and creative.
My latest screen printed design has been printed onto a heavy linen fabric and can be used as an embroidery panel for those so inclined. Yesterday I couldn't resist the urge to see how one would look if I embroidered it. So I got out the embroidery threads, made a cup of tea, threaded the needle and got started .... this is what it looks like with simple daisy chain leaves and french knot flowers .....
If you like my embroidery panels and would like to make one too - you can buy them from my online store www.madeit.com.au/kateward
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Designed and launched at the Poppyseed Markets today, the Parisian Chic bag which has many different uses. You can see in the image below a picture of the design turned into a stuffed toy or travel pillow, and below it in the same image the design printed on the shoulder bag.
The fun thing about this bag is it lets your creativity take over to create something individual and beautiful: stretch the design over a cheap frame to turn it into a print to decorate your walls, embroider it, cut it up and stuff it - or simply use it as a bag.
Stay tuned, Ill post a tutorial so that you can transform your bag into a much loved toy.
For a chance to win this beautiful toy, simply become a friend on Facebook by following the links on the right hand side of my blog. The winner will be announced on Monday 18 April - just before Easter. Good Luck x
Friday, 18 March 2011
This Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm I will be at the first Poppyseed Market to be held in Canberra at
The Abbey Function Centre
NICHOLLS (Gold Creek)Poppyseed markets has quite a following in Sydney and is known for its quality handmade, vintage and chabby chic goods ......
My latest design is a dual purpose bag: tote, stuffed toy, embroidery panel. Designed with Easter in mind, and a need to collect lots of Easter Eggs from the Easter Bunny, the Ooh La La Hen has been printed onto a calico tote.
Once you have enjoyed all the chocolate you possibly can - you have the option to cut out the hen design and turn it into a toy, or cushion, or embroidery panel - the choice is yours. The design measures approximately 30cm and is printed onto a tote which measures 34 x 40 cm with a side gusset.
Happy Creating x
Sunday, 6 March 2011
With the chill in the air of the impending change of seasons, my fingers are itching to start knitting....
So I picked up some needles and reworked some yarn I bought earlier in the year from Rainbow Wools. I absolutely love the blues, greens and greys in the variegated yarn but Ive been struggling to find a pattern which would suit the wool.
After starting and unraveling for the third time, I decided to play with texture to create the pattern of the jumper. Using a stitch called Mock Rib which is K1 P1 (repeated) for the first row, and then knit for the second row - so very easy - the wool has knitted into a beautiful textured fabric which makes the colours of the yarn sing.
Some amazing things can be created using knitting and Scandinavian Sandra Becklund has created some visually stunning pieces.
I don't think my jumper will look anything like these creations, but they are fun to look at and very inspirational :)
Friday, 4 March 2011
It must've been serendipitous because only moments before I was thinking I should make some chutney with some old apples I had in the fridge which were perfect for jamming, but too floury to eat.
I couldn't resist temptation and I picked a basket full of the delightful tiny fruit.
Amazingly the majority were unspoilt by bugs and insects. They look like they could be Gala apples- although Im not terribly good with apple varieties. They are sweet and tart to eat.
And so cute and photogenic!
Anyway they inspired me to get cooking. Last week a friend of mine was telling me about Apple Butter she used to eat with fried biscuits (like a scone, apparently its an American thing) so I was curious to see how you make it.
I found a recipe which looked pretty easy to make and got started. I choose it because I didn't have an apple peeler and the idea of peeling each of the tiny apples was pretty unappealing....
So I cut and cooked the apples in a water and vinegar solution and they were starting to soften nicely. The next stage of the recipe called for the boiled apples to be passed through a sieve - this sounded too hard to me - so I just blended them together and then added the sugar and spices....... It wasn't until the end of the cooking that I realised that straining the mixture gives it the 'buttery' texture. Because I was in a half hearted mood I had just made thick apple sauce! Its still yummy though and now I want to make the recipe properly.
In my searching I also found a recipe for making the apple sauce in the slow cooker or crock pot which takes about 12 hours. This looks like another easy recipe :) I am a big fan of this cooking device and so tomorrow morning I will be embarking on Apple Butter #2.
Im also hoping to make a Bengal Chutney - its main ingredient is also apples. I used to make this one all the time when I sold jams and chutneys for pocket money when I was studying at Art School. I cant find my original recipe (its stashed somewhere safe) but I found a similar one on the web.
You can click on the links below to each of the recipes I am referring to :
Whilst delighting in my discover of a windfall of apples it reminded me of a movement which I heard about in London where people were sharing fruits off neglected trees in urban environments. I found a page where someone was starting to document all the trees in London called Urban Forager - a fantastic idea! I don't like to see food go to waste, which got me started dabbling with the alchemy of preserving fruit in the first place.
With a little further research, I found an article in the Sydney Morning Herald similar concept undertaken by a Sydney sider.
Hmmmm. I could be onto something here.... there's heaps of old fruit trees near where I live.
Food for Thought - as they say!
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
On the weekend I went to Sydney to see the Terracotta Warriors at the NSWAG exhibition. It was a fabulous show and absolutely fascinating to see. Whilst in Sydney I also squeezed in a couple of markets and found some delightful things......
Wandering around Kirrabilli I happened across a delicous chocolate store Coco Chocolate. I had been here once before and couldn't resist temptation so I dropped in to admire their beautiful displays and sample some of their chocolates.
Kept beautifully cool behind a hand painted silk blind are delectable flavours: rose geranium, pink peppercorn, dried figs in chilli chocolate are some of the unusual flavours I tasted. Yum! Its definitely worth a visit. They're stocking up for easter with some delightful variations on the egg theme. The most delightful were the light blue speckled 'Magpie Eggs'.
We then made our way to Paddington to the Magnolia Square markets which were held in the old Paddington Town Hall. It was creatively decorated throughout and I particularly loved this idea of putting together ideas in a mood board.
Paper Queen, Jo Neville created stunning interior scenes from paper throughout the market. Jo is an Australian artist who also runs Paper Couture, a stationery boutique based in Sydney.
And being a 'knit-wit' I couldn't resist taking a photo of the knitted jute. There were also crochet doilies in the same material. Such great texture! Apparently its pretty hard on your hands and its recommended to knit wearing gardening gloves :)