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Rockmelon and Proscuitto Summer Salad

When I get obsessed with an ingredient, I'll eat it until I can't stand to look at it anymore. Lately, it's been Proscuitto. I've been enjoying it in a refreshing summery salad with rockmelon, its sooo good! This recipe takes next to no time to make and it really hits the spot for lunch on a hot summer's day.

This recipe serves 2.
You will need -
- half a rockmelon
- 100g proscuitto
- handful of fresh basil leaves, torn
- 100g rocket leaves
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
- a drizzle of honey
- a good crack of black pepper

1. De-seed the rockmelon and cut into large cubes.
2. Tear the proscuitto into large pieces.
3. Divide the rocket leaves and rockmelon amongst 2 bowls, layer the proscuitto on top and scatter the basil leaves over it all.
4. Place all the dressing ingredients in a container and shake vigorously to combine them. Adjust the dressing to your own taste.
5. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!

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A Belated Merry Xmas

Here's a belated Merry Xmas to you all. Hope all of you guys had a great weekend and celebrated with lots of food, booze, presents and great family and friends. This year our family spent Christmas down at my auntie's house on the Gold Coast. I spent the weekend lazing around by the pool, drinking my new obsession - Rekorderlig cider. My 10  month old niece had her first swimming experience, it was sooo adorable! On boxing day, my older niece and I took my dogs to Dreamtime Beach to hang out with some other relaxed dog loving people. Ahhhh... I wish that every weekend went something like that. My work buddies and I are having our New Years celebrations in a house on an acreage in Montville. I'm reaaaally looking forward to it. Great chilled out company, lots of food and drinks, hot tubs, picnics on the grass, looking for the nearest swimming hole, attempting to make pavlova and drunk face painting... oh it's going to be fantastic. I'll keep you guys posted on our shenanigans. New creative posts will come after the New Year break. Wonderfully carefree getaways = wonderfully inspiring posts, I promise!


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Colourblock Rope Necklace Tutorial

Recently I've become obsessed with tribal accessories and bright colours. I made this necklace last week for my work's Christmas party. I couldn't believe how easy it turned out to be. It only took about 30 minutes to make it and the materials cost around $10. I definately feel inspired to make more.
You will need -
- 50cm of rope or cord
- different coloured embroidery thread
- tape measure
- sticky tape
- sewing pins
- 2 lengths of chain approx. 16cm long each
- 4 jump rings
- 1 lobster clasp
- embroidery needle
- pen marker
- long nose pliers

1. Tape together the two ends of rope with sticky tape.

2. Move the taped ends into the centre of the loop where your embroidery threads will cover it. Using your tape measure, decide on where you want your colour blocks to start and end then mark with your sewing pins. The pins will also keep the rope in a curved shape.

3. Tape around your desired colour block area to strengthen the necklace and keep the ropes in place.

4. Use your tape measure and mark out where you want each colour.

5. Using the embroidery thread, tie a knot around the start of the colour block. Move the thread ends into the colour block area where you can cover it. Start wrapping the coloured  thread evenly around the area keeping the tension quite tight. Wrap around the area until you've reached the thickness you've wanted.

6. When changing colours, tie the thread in a knot with the original thread end and cut it off, leaving a tail. Then tie the second coloured thread to the first coloured thread ends.

7. Continue wrapping the coloured threads until you've reached the last colour block. Tie the last coloured thread to the other thread ends then cut them short so they don't poke through the ends of the necklace. Continue wrapping the thread until the end of the colour block and then tie a knot around rope at the end.

8. Leave about 10cm at the end of the thread and thread it through the needle. Push the needle under the coloured threads and through the rope. Holding the thread tight, cut the end of the thread off near the necklace. By holding the thread tightly, the thread end should spring back into the rope once you cut it. Rearrange the threads to cover the hole or thread end.

9. Open the jump rings and pierce it through the top of the rope loop.

10. Connect the chain ends to each jump ring. To create the necklace opening, connect a jump ring to the open ends of the chains and then a lobster clasp to one ring.

Ta da! It would be fun to experiment with different colours, different lengths of colour blocks or different lengths of chains. Good luck :)

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Bananas Did Good

If you haven't heard about my big banana project then have a quick peek here. We had our work Christmas party on the Saturday and I was up until 3am in the morning trying desperately to finish my outfit. It turned out exceptionally well, if I do say so myself. I'm feeling quite proud about it as it's probably one of the most challenging projects I've done so far. I printed the bananas myself then made a padded bustier, cuffed shorts with pockets, added elastic for a better fit and then lined the entire thing. It fitted really well and was unbelievably comfortable. I'm so glad I decided on shorts because there were so many moments after a few too many drinks where I could've accidently flashed some poor people. I thought the Colour Blocking theme turned out great, we all look amazing in the photos. All in all, it was a fantastically fun night. I love the people that I work with, they really make my 38 hrs of work per week the most enjoyable!

Working on the padding for my itty bitty boobies
My photo for Anna telling her 'Omg! I'm half way through!'

Oh and I also made the necklace too. Remember to check back for the tutorial :)

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Going Bananas For Bananas

I've been working away like a busy little bee. I'm one of those people who always leaves things to the last minute. Fortunately, I'm also one of those people who work better under pressure... or so I keep telling myself. Our work Christmas party is on this weekend and every year we have a theme. This year the theme is Colour Blocking, which I'm actually quite pleased about. If you've been following my blog for a while, you might've noticed already I love colour and print because I usually wear black for work 5 days a week.

Pretty shimmery lemon silk dupion from Etsy
To save a few pennies and create more material to blog about, I decided to make my outfit again. One morning I woke up and decided I wanted yellow, I wanted a playsuit and I wanted bananas. Don't ask me why, but when I get stuck into an idea I just have to have it. After googling a few pictures I assured myself that bananas weren't TOO weird of an idea... I mean if Prada approves, then it's got to be cool right?

I wanted my bananas to be more abstract and more Pop Art like the Andy Warhol banana. The craft-wise Anna gave me a few tips on how to paint on fabric as I've never done it before. We both agreed it would be easier for me if I made a stencil and used a sponge roller to apply the paint. I cut the stencil on card first, but after a few applications it got too wet and fragile so I made a stencil out of some Transparency paper (which is actually plastic). Let me tell you, the process took a loooong time and it got pretty messy. I don't mind some of the smudges here and there on the fabric, I think it adds to the abstract, graffiti feel of the print.

Cutting out the stencil... very tedious

Make sure your roller evenly dampened or you'll get some bleeding

I added a little bunch-o-bananas print to fill in the gaps and did some highlighting
with white paint to add some dimension which I really like.
This is the second pair of shorts that I've drafted. This time I followed the instructions for the Cuffed Shorts on Weekend Designer instead of following my Pattern Drafting book. The instructions are fantastic and the first shorts were actually not a bad fit. I've figured out that pants are just one of those things that you've got to keep trying on and adjusting. I'm starting to understand how to correct pant patterns so there's no more crazy crotch. Yay! The second pair turned out perfect. Here's a tip - If your butt looks like its been glued together, the pattern needs more fabric allowance at the back seam. If you've got camel toe, take out some fabric allowance at the crotch seam. Very attractive choice of words...

I was up until 3 in the morning painting on these damn bananas! I got to the point where I started to hate them and thought it looked like a joke. Now that the pattern pieces are cut out and the banana print is broken up and less literal, I am warming up to the idea again. 

I've still got to sew it, line it, pad the bust, add elastic to the back, attach the zipper.... It seems that this is the most ambitious project yet. Check back soon to make sure I haven't gone crazy!

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DIY Fruity Ice Blocks

The last two days in Brisbane have been killer hot! There's no better way to cool down than with an icy cold treat. I walked past a $2 shop the other day and found the best summer-kitchen-must-have EVER.... Ice block moulds. So that was it, I was determined to make my own gourmet tropical ice blocks. 

I used the organic yoghurt and the mango I bought from Sourced Grocer. You could use regular ingredients, but I really feel that using as many good quality ingredients as possible is definately going to separate these ice blocks from the average 50 cent ones you can buy at the corner shop.

You will need -
  • 8 hole, 1/4 cup capacity ice-block moulds
  • 1/2 cup honey yoghurt
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1 medium mango, cubed
  • 1 cup tropical juice (Mine had apple, orange, mango, banana, passionfruit and lime....)
  • 1/4 cup passionfruit pulp (I had to use canned as they were not in season :( )

1. Mix honey and yoghurt together in a small bowl and spoon 1 tablespoon of yoghurt into each mould. Cover in cling wrap and freeze for 1 hour or until just firm.
2. Mix mango, juice and passionfruit together in a jug. Carefully pour over yoghurt in moulds.
3. Place lids on moulds. Freeze for 4 hours or until frozen. Serve.

Simple, easy and sooo refreshing. You could try other variations by using different yoghurts, fruit and juice, the options are limitless!

Happy Monday! :)

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