31 May 2015

The French Shabby Chair Makeover...

Having acquired this fab wee French inspired metal stool, 
the big debate was...to paint or not to paint!
Is the metal too shabby in all it's rusty marked glory?
I decided no it is not.
There is just something about the time worn patina of aged metal that I love.
So the metalwork shabby look remains.
 I found a remnant of the most gorgeous fabric, which is called 'Paradiso' in Cobalt by Charles Parsens.
For the local followers you can source this from Peter Clark Interiors.
And this covered the very shabby and just can't keep it original seat cover!
It looks AMAZING.
(Gleeful happy dance in progress behind the camera!)
Gracie really doesn't care at all because it is nap time you know!
But I am in shabby love....
I just can't decide which I love the most, that divine fabric or the chair!
Both I think...

28 May 2015

Macadamia Caramel Slice...

 Macadamia Caramel Slice...
 This is so moreish you simply will not stop at one piece!
 You know what it's like when you open a bag of chips and you can't just have one?
Well this slice has the same guaranteed effect!

Macadamia Caramel Slice

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius 
In a large pot melt 170 grams butter.
Add 1 cup brown sugar
2 cups self-raising flour 
70 grams rough chopped macadamia nuts
Press dough into a baking paper lined slice pan
Bake for 10 minutes.
While cooking make caramel.
In a pot melt 2 tablespoons golden syrup and 50 grams butter.
Add a 395 gram can of condensed milk.
Stir over heat to boiling. boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly until thick and golden.
Pour onto hot base and spread to edges.
Bake another 10 minutes.
Cool slightly and top with 100 grams melted dark chocolate that has 1 tablespoon Kremelta (vegetable shortening) added to it. This stops the chocolate cracking when the slice is cut.
When completely cold and chocolate has set. Cut into slices or pieces.
Printable recipe is here:

A soft buttery shortbread base with macadamia nuts inside...
a thin layer of gooey caramel that is the perfect sweetness...
And a creamy chocolate topping.
Now that's my kinda slice!

25 May 2015

DIY Button Light Shade...

The office makeover was completed some time ago now...
 And it looked fabulous...
But one thing was missing.  A light shade on the lonesome bulb!
It has taken forever to decide on what was right for this tiny room.
Fractured light was not an option...so I chose a simple linen shade.
 I had used buttons in the officescape....
to make sweet little pin tacks.
Pop over here to learn how to create them:
So I thought...
why not embellish the plain linen shade with buttons. 
 I kept the colour scheme neutral, using white toned buttons.
 And with the trusty glue gun...
(next to my drop saw this would be one of my most vital tools!)
 Attached the buttons in rows around the bottom of the shade.
     Then randomly added a few to the third layer.
Buttons in various sizes...
Adding a little pizazz to an otherwise dull plain light shade...
It fits in perfectly with my button accented office space.

#lightshade #diy #buttons 

You might like to also visit:
My store at Redbubble
and designer collection at Vida
Or check out my creative antics on Instagram

21 May 2015

Repurposed Bottle - Let's Paint It GOLD...

 The other day I was rinsing this empty Midori bottle to put out in the recycling...
And as I was washing it, 
thought - YOU really ARE quite a BEAUTIFUL bottle!
 And that's when I decided to repurpose this BEAUTIFUL bottle into a vase!
With the idea of painting the untextured glass top GOLD.
So off came the labels...
and all that icky sticky glue residue.
(Jiff cleaner is fabulous for this task.)
 It was placed in a sunny spot to dry thoroughly.
 The textured glass was masked off like this...
And the first of two coats of gold paint applied.
 I used White Knight 'Super Gold paint'.
(Available at Bunnings).
 So after two coats and being left to dry overnight, the masking tape was removed...
 To reveal a nice crisp line between the now smooth gold and textured glass.
I'm currently adding metallic accents in gold to the red sitting room,
and I LOVE how this accentuates the gold in the vintage glass dish, and painted gold frames.
Not only does it add some needed height to this table vignette...
The repurposed bottle painted gold is perfection with it's single stem of flowers.

#repurposed #bottle #diy #vase #paint

19 May 2015

Cranberry & Currant Loaf...

I am a sweet tooth, eat the dessert before the dinner kind of gal...
but if I ever have to be 'behave' then this loaf is my go to.
It's quick, easy and one pot.
And because it has no icing and contains no chocolate,
 you can pretend you are being good while you are eating it!  ;)
Perfect with  a cup of tea...
(Healthy foodies and nutritionists read no further!)
This loaf is a great grab and run breakfast...
add a piece of fruit and you're good to race out the door!
The original 'Bin Inn' recipe used raisins and no spices,
but over time it has been twigged Mia Bella style with different fruits, 
and the addition of almond meal.
Another variation is to use sultanas and spices.
Cranberry & Currant Loaf

In a large pot melt:
50 grams butter 
2 cups water, 2 cups caster sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 
 1 cup each of dried fruit: diced cranberries & currants.
Stir over high heat for a few minutes to warm through.
Take off heat and add 2 beaten eggs and 3 1/2 cups of self-raising flour,
and 1/2 cup almond meal.
Pour mixture into two large baking paper lined loaf pans
Bake at 190 Celsius for 45 minutes. 
Cool and serve sliced and buttered.


Sultana and Spice Loaf

Add two cups sultanas for the dried fruit
Omit the almond meal and use 4 cups of self-raising flour
Add 1 teaspoon of mixed spice
and 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
(= YUMMY!)

17 May 2015

Upcycled Pallet Hanging Planter Box...

Quite simply my mind went into overdrive when I acquired this lot - all for free!
(Mitre 10 is a great place to visit for free pallets).
In my imagination I created a few signs,a side table, a book shelf....
but first let's DIY an upcycled pallet hanging planter box.
I saw this idea in a cafe courtyard setting last year, and thought I must have one!
So this is how it was made:
Firstly dismantle the pallet using a long crow bar to lever off the wood.
 Take all the boards off except the last two.
 The pallet should look like this now...
 Cut the long pieces off...
 Check it's square with a measure, and push into shape if not. George agrees it is square.
 Nail another board on so your two becomes three...
 Like this...
This is the back of the planter.
Attach another piece of wood which is the bottom of the planter... 
(Sorry - photo topsy turvey!)
 Lay on back and place wood across front...
 Then a second piece flush against the first...
It should now look like this.
Use a metal rasp type file to smooth the edges.
Paint the planter in a colour of your choice.
Or leave natural wood if preferred.
 I painted mine 'Grey Friars'...
 Just because I'm loving grey right now!
Once dry, gather supplies of rope, wire, plants, potting mix.
Then add a rope hanger.
On each end nail two staple nails.
Leave them sticking up enough so you can thread the rope through.
Like this....
Then use some thin wire to bind the ends together.
Hang where you want it.
I hung mine over the pool fence upright.
(Oops - I might need to straighten that top cap!)
I recycled some old pots and got planting!
If you are wondering why I chose blue pots, the reason is that I have large blue pots in the area where this pallet hanger is going to be sited.
And this is the end result!
I can't wait for the plants to grow and cascade over the edge more.
Even still....I think it's pretty cute just like this!
This side is planted with a white iceplant, a green grass (seedling from the garden), and a red iceplant.
And this side has a Red Sweet William (root taken from the garden), a red toned grass (you guessed it - another self sown seedling from the garden), and a white iceplant.
The iceplants were the only plants I bought and I think they're a new favourite.
 Especially because they require less water than most plants, 
and may well survive the hot summer at Mia Bella Gardens!

#diy #upcycle #pallets #garden #planterbox

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