Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Travel chalkboard mats

I didn’t realise until it was too late!! I missed the 6 month anniversary of my little blog! My how time flies! To celebrate this milestone I thought I would set myself a challenge. I wanted to sew something that I have never tried before. It was hard to chose but now I have a new addiction! Chalkboard fabric! I have wanted to purchase some chalkboard fabric for a while but I have to be honest, I thought it might be a little too hard to sew with. Boy, was I wrong!! This stuff is amazing!


These travel chalkboard mats were, fast & easy to make.
Perfect for long trips in the car, keeping the kids amused at a restaurant,  pack in an overnight bag for Grandma’s house. camping, you name it & this mat is perfect!
It is lined on the back with material so the bright & funkier, the better!
I made one each for my chickadees.
These mats would make a wonderful birthday or Christmas present. Team them up with a packet of chalk & I am positive that any child would love one of these.
We have a couple of trips planned for the upcoming school holidays & these will certainly get a work out.
I purchased the chalkboard fabric & the backing fabric form a wonderful online shop here in Australia called

This is what they looked like all rolled up & ready to go!


Here is the steps to making a travel chalkboard mat….
Cut out the chalkboard fabric to the desired size.
I made these ones 33cm x 53cm.

Flip the material over & stick strips of double sided sticky tape.

Peel the backing strip off the tape & place it on top of the material you have chosen for the backing.

Trim the material to size & sew around the edges to keep it together. Stick as close as possible to the edge of the material.

Pin bias binding to the 2 long sides.
Sew the bias binding on.
Cut 2 strips of binding 20cm long to make the ties.
Pin more binding on to the short ends of the fabric & remember to also pin the ties in. Place them on the coloured fabric side in the middle under the bias binding.
Sew the binding down.
There you have it!


Monday, 12 September 2011

Crispy skinned lemon roast chook


This is my version of the perfect roast chicken. It sits on a bed of fresh lemons & herbs which keep it very moist, tender & the flavour of the lemon & herbs are just perfect.
This would have to be the chickadees favourite roast meat.

Here is how I do it.
Take one whole chook & cut along the backbone.

Place a roasting rack in a roasting tray with about an inch of water.

Cut 2 lemons into wedges.

Place the lemons on the roasting rack with fresh herbs from the garden.

I like to use chives, rosemary, sage, thyme, curry plant & whatever else is available.

Place the chook on top of the lemons & herbs.


Spray the chook with cooking oil (I use olive oil).
Sprinkle chicken salt & ground rock salt on the skin.
Spray again with cooking spray.
Cover the whole roasting tray with alfoil.


Cook in the oven on 180 degrees for around an hour.
Check with a fork that when the chook is pricked that the juices run clear.
If not, then cover & cook for a further 15 minutes & check again.
Turn the oven up to 200 degrees & cook for 20 minutes or until the skin is crispy & starts to split


I love to serve this with Potato bake

Sunday, 11 September 2011

No sew tutu fit for a birthday princess

I love to make homemade presents for kids birthdays. You know that you are giving them a one of a kind present & that you have put love into making it! We were invited to share in a special 3 year old birthday. Now this little miss loves Dora the Explorer so I knew she would be getting a lot of Dora presents. I wanted to make her something that was “Dora inspired”.


I made this “no sew tutu” in Dora the Explorer colours. It was very easy & was fun to make!
There are quite a few good tutorials on the Internet that explain how to make one step by step. I have made quite a few of these over the years & know that they are a big hit with all little princesses. Here is a few sites…..

Here is my step by step photo’s..


I also added the same flower to a lace headband that I made.

I love making anything pretty & these tutu’s are too too pretty!! Sorry, I had to say it!

Next time you have a party for a princess, why not make her her very own custom tutu!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Brisbane crafters, this is for you!


I have been wanting to join a sewing/craft group for some time. I couldn’t find the “right one”. So, I am thinking about starting one myself. If you live in Brisbane, north side, this could be for you! If you are interested, contact me via the Facebook wall for this page Sew, cook, laugh & live

I would love to have a craft group where we can share our ideas with each other, learn some new things, have a laugh & just enjoy craft.

Your craft could be sewing, scrapbooking, knitting, jewellery making or anything else that gets you crafty!

I am thinking that we could meet on a fortnightly or monthly basis.

We could then also look at doing a regular Mother Daughter craft group for those of us with daughters who enjoy craft too!

Once we can figure out how many are interested, I will look around for a hall, church or community centre that will let us use a room for as cheap as possible or even free! I just don’t want to be left paying the bill.

Remember, head on over to the Sew, cook, laugh & live Facebook page & comment on the discussion on the wall. If you want you can also leave a comment here with your email address so I can notify you when we have a venue.

If you do not live in the Brisbane area but know someone who does, pass this blog on to them! The more the merrier!
Looking forward to getting my craft on with some like minded ladies!!

Oreo cookies & cream bars

I tell you, when I found this picture

on Pinterest, I heard those tiny little angels singing in my head again!
Sweet Peas Kitchen is on to a winner with this one.
(click on the photo above to take you to the page)
With only 3 ingredients, this recipe is not only yummy but very simple too!

The only thing that I would do a little different next time is to put the mixture into a smaller tin so that the bars are a little thicker.
Bars…….hmmmmm…. I think it is more like an Oreo fudge actually.
This would be really nice served with ice cream for desert.
Here is the link to Sweet Peas Kitchen printer friendly version of Oreo Cookies & Cream bars

One last note, I think that next time I might put in a little more crushed oreo's than what the recipe calls for  too make it a little less like fudge.
It still was very yummy!

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Finally! The chair is ready for use.


A few weeks ago I picked up this chair at a local Sunday market. It did not look like this though. It looked a little more like this…………..


It was covered in a green velvet that had seen better days.

I knew that there was something special about this chair.

I was in for a big surprise when we started to take off the old covering.


I am unsure of the age of the chair but it is not very often that you come across a chair that has webbing & springs, not just foam & MDF.

I couldn’t believe it when we realised that the main cushioning in the chair was coconut fibre!


When you are going to reupholster a chair, make sure you take photo’s at every step so that you know how to recover it.


This is the blank canvas that I had to work with


Use the old fabric as the pattern for the new fabric. Make sure to label each piece with what it is needed for, which way it goes on & what number step it needs to go back on.


I used layers of cotton quilt wadding as the padding for the seat & back.


As you can see, I also painted the legs white.


Even our dog wanted to check & make sure I had enough padding on the chair!


Working my way from the top to the bottom of the chair, I stapled & tacked till I could staple & tack no more!

And this is the chair as it is now….


The colours of the fabric matches Georgia’s room completely!
It even has a hint of glitter through it.


Now that the chair is finished, I need to find another project!