27 February 2016

IMAGO MUNDI - Benetton World Art Project.

This piece is on it's way to Treviso , Italy where it will be put forward to be collated into 
the IMAGO MUNDI - Benetton World Art Project.
So proud for the opportunity to be representing New Zealand art.

'Contemplating Flight #2'

 #proud artist moment!

25 February 2016

Pina Colada Mousse....

Pina Colada Mousse is a fun tropical take on the old fashioned Spanish cream dessert.
 Using pineapple, coconut cream, eggs, sugar and cream...
 When set creates a tropical layered dessert of cream, creamy, less creamy,
 then finishes with the tang of the pineapple fruit!
 Top with peaches or mangoes.
 Pop over HERE for the recipe...
Pina Colada Mousse will become a family favourite I am sure.

22 February 2016

Shanti-Rose - the particularly interesting cat!

Have you ever heard the quote
 'Behind every great artist is a particularly interesting cat' ?
(This is one of mine - I have been blessed with two particularly interesting cats!)
Meet Shanti-Rose.
A pure breed Red Burmese with an ongoing weight issue.
(She has a food bowl in every house in the street I'm sure!)
I have tried for YEARS to capture on film her greatest and most amazing trick...
she just won't do it if she thinks you are watching her,
but last night I succeeded.
This is Shanti-Rose's moment of fame.


21 February 2016

Handcrafted Air Dry Clay Leaf Bowls...

Air dry clay is a fantastic medium to craft with.
Leaf shaped bowls are a favourite of mine, 
so let me show you how easy it is to make them.
You will need:
Air dry clay.  (I used Das brand in white.)
A rolling pin
Newspaper to protect your work surface
Bowls in different sizes.
Scissors and a small paring knife.
And some leaves .
Roll the clay out to a 5 to 10mm thickness.
I made mine 5mm as I wanted that thin fragility.
Place your leaf on top of the clay and press it with the pin.
Cut out the resulting leaf image on the clay with your small knife.
Carefully pick up the leaf and place in a bowl.
Bend the leaf edges as desired.
Bend the stem into a coil for added interest.
Set aside.
Leaf bowl number two is a different shape.
Use the same technique as the first bowl...
Roll out the clay (I have done this leaf 10mm in thickness),
Press in the leaf and cut out.
Tidy the edges if you want perfection.
Place into a small bowl.
Set aside to dry.
My leaf bowls were left for two weeks to dry.
(Hey, life is busy!)
But air dry clay dries much quicker than this, 
so you don't have to wait that long until you paint them.
Choose your spray paint colours...
I used gold for the large leaf and a mint glitter paint for the small leaf.
I love the way the paint makes the leaf veining pop!
Leave to dry.

Place in your home decor...
The large gold leaf is perfect for the mantel!
And the little mint green leaf blends into the vintage pottery collection.
A contrast of smooth vintage and handcrafted rustic in green blue hues.
And a perfect ring holder too!

#clay #craft #leafcrafts #diy 

18 February 2016

Salted Caramel Peanut Squares...

Ok folks...if you do not have a SWEET TOOTH,
Because this slice is ONLY for the SWEET SWEET Lovers!!
Did you ever put brown sugar (when no one was looking ;) ) on hot buttered toast when you were a child?
Well this is what it tastes like.
With the added bonus of salty peanuts!
 The base is made and baked first.
 Meet Nonna's little helper - Quinn, 
we bake together every Monday.
 While the base is cooking, you melt brown sugar and butter together...
 Which is slightly caramelised...
 Then you add the chopped salted peanuts.
 Pour on top of the hot base. 
Return to the oven for 10 more minutes.
Then when it's cold cut into squares.
 A soft base with custard flavours topped with a salted peanut caramel.
Just for the SWEET lovers!
Recipe HERE.

14 February 2016

Venus Flytraps - How to grow & all that stuff!

Venus flytraps are the most fascinating of plants.
  The are carnivores...
Resembling little aliens with their bi-fold jars and spiky teeth, 
when a fly or small bug lands on the pink tinged centre, 
the 'jaws' snap shut with lightning speed.
Venus flytraps botanical name is 'Dionaea muscipula'.
They are perennials plants which are native to the bogs of Coastal North and South Carolina in the US.
They are perfect for terrarium growing.
And can be potted in an acidic soil or sphagnum moss.
Which is what I grow my plants in.
I filled my terrarium with sphagnum moss...
Make a nest of it, and then carefully placed the venus flycatcher in the middle.
They must be keep moist and have access to sun.
Water with distilled water or rainwater,
as tap water may contain too many chemicals for this special plant to cope with.
If grown outside, bring the pots indoors over the winter.
Venus Flytraps have a period of winter dormancy.
And it is best to reduce watering during this time of rest.
But if grown indoors, and the conditions are to their liking, they tend not to completely die back.
Venus flytraps are carnivorous, eating flies and small bugs.
They can go a month or even two without food.
If grown outdoors they will catch they own prey.
But if grown indoors you may need to help, by putting small live flies in their terrariums and placing a temporary cover on top until the prey is caught.
As a child we had so much fun with these little alien plants,
And I am sure your children would too, just as mine did, and even as adults still do!

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