Clay Gift Tags

19.12.14

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I’ve been completing a night class pottery course with the Mosman Community College recently, so I decided to use clay for my gift wrapping efforts for Christmas this year. I’m going to pursue pottery for a second term in 2015, as I find it so therapeutic and something that I can really ‘zone out’ from.

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The tags were helped along by a few modern cookie cutters I purchased from Printmeneer on Etsy, and the very handy decorative chalk paint from Annie Sloan – the paint goes on to pretty much anything! I added a bit of Christmas bling with some gold glitter spray paint, and then tied the tags to gifts that have been wrapped with brown paper that Sunday (and I) painted.

If you don’t have access to a kiln, air dry clay is incredible handy – just make sure you leave it for a solid few days to dry properly. Now I’d better get started on the next mountain of presents that need wrapping. You really notice you’ve got a big family around Christmas time, that’s for sure!

Briar x

Sunday’s Gift Guide

18.12.14

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I’m sure playing Santa is never going to get old (I think that must be why my Mum spoils the grandkids so much at Christmas time). To be honest, Sunday doesn’t need anything this year – so I didn’t go overboard. We also simply don’t have the space for anything larger, so I thought I’d purchase items that will either last a long time, be educational, or somewhat useful* with her playtime – the girl just loves stickers!
1. A set of ceramic teatime cups from HoneyBee Homewares
2. A baby ‘grown up’ set of Laguilo cutlery from Mozi
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. Puffy stickers from kikki.K
4. Harmonica, Mouse on wheels, Rice pink egg cup and pencils all  from Pulp Create
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. Letter blocks and Before + After book from Berkelouw Books
6. Watermelon purse from Sportsgirl
7. Bath duck and Peppa Novelty cup from Kidstuff

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The book ‘Before and After’ deserves it’s own post – purely for the beauty of the illustrations. It’s a gorgeously simple concept with no words. Right up a two and half year old’s alley – Sunday’s latest question on repeat is ‘What’s that???’

See you back here soon – I want to share my wrapping efforts this year!

Briar x

*Don’t worry…Santa has got the useless thing covered – he’s bought her a Peppa Pig Jewellery carry case that holds important things like a Peppa crown and necklace. I bought a matching gift to place under the Kidstuff Charity Christmas tree, so hopefully another little girl in Australia will  have accessories covered for Christmas Day too.

 

Gifts from Sunday

16.12.14

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Every year at Christmas time, I like to include a few gifts under the tree that are either homemade or have sentimental meaning. As I’m a fan of crafting, the homemade part is never a chore – and a gift with meaning for people like my parents is pretty easy now that there are grandkids in the family.

It was with perfect timing that Officeworks invited me to try out the Kodak Picture Kiosk, which you’ll find in all stores (the little yellow photo stations you may have seen), and online. You can create so many things through the kiosk – from fancy printed photo-books, photos on canvas, to personalised coffee mugs. I was originally just going to print some photographs from the recent family shoot with Gui Jorge, but I decided to have some fun and also ordered coasters with photos of Sunday’s recent paintings. I chose to visit in-store, but you can also simply transfer the photos you’d like to use from your Facebook and Instagram account to your smartphone, connect to the Kodak Picture Kiosk via the Kodak Connect App through Wi-Fi and away you go.

The process was also very easy in store. I simply snapped photos of the art on my phone at home, added the files to a USB that I then loaded on to a self-serve kiosk at Officeworks. My order had been placed within minutes, and the metal coasters were ready for collection a few days later. I’m so happy with how they turned out. I wrapped the gifts with one of Sunday’s original paintings and voila! Sunday has her very own gifts to give to her loved ones on Christmas Day. Note: I ordered four sets of coasters (RRP $29.95 each), and split the selection up so each recipient ends up with a mixed set of Sunday’s paintings.

For more inspiration, check out this video on creative Christmas gifting produced by Officeworks or join in the conversation on social media via #creativechristmas.

I hope you are all having great week,

Briar x

Summer Grape Salad

15.12.14

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With the festive season well and truly upon us, I’m conscious of eating healthily for the next week or so, as I’ll be sure to be eating my body weight in glazed ham and fresh prawns very soon. It was with perfect timing that the Australian Table Grape Association contacted me and asked me to come up with a light lunch using grapes. I love a bit of a challenge, and short of adding grapes to a cheese plate or slicing them up for Sunday, I hadn’t thought of grapes in a lunch time meal for a long time. When I was a kid, my mum included green grapes in her salads often – but that trend at our family lunches phased out a long while ago. I thought it was time to bring the grape salad back. Let me tell you, the combination of the flavours and textures listed below is totally delicious!

In creating this blog post, I’ve also learnt a little bit more about table grapes, which I thought I’d share with you here. Warm, dry summers and deep, rich soils provide an excellent environment for Australian growers to produce world-class table grapes. Rich in vitamin C and a good source of B6 + potassium, the skins and seeds are high in magnesium and dietary fibre. They are also made up of around 80% water, so it’s a good way to stay hydrated. 120, 000 tonnes of table grapes are grown in Australian annually, over a land mass of 8,000 hectares. That’s a lot of grapes – so let’s get eating!

I’ve named this salad my own, as it’s a combination of a few different recipes out there. I hope you like it. Please let me know if you are already partial to a salad that you include grapes in  – I’d love to hear the recipe.

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Briar’s Summer Salad – Serves 4

In a large salad bowl, combine the following ingredients:
1 bunch red seedless grapes, sliced in half
2 green apples, chopped in to small squares
2 larges sticks of celery, sliced finely
1 avocado, chopped in to small squares
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
2 handfuls of rocket
1 cup of walnuts, chopped in to quarters
2 poached chicken breast fillets, sliced (see method below)

Toss all ingredients in the aioli vinaigrette* – see method below

Poached Chicken
2 chicken breast fillets
Place chicken in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes or until almost cooked through. Remove from heat. Stand for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan. Cool. Slice.

Aioli Vinaigrette
1 egg white
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
In a blender or food processor, combine egg white, garlic, vinegar, salt and mustard. With machine running, add olive oil 1 tablespoon at a time. Makes 1/2 cup.
*Dress the salad to personal taste, but the addition of garlic and vinegar brings a nice little kick to the combination of ingredients.

Enjoy. I hope you all had a great weekend!

Briar x

PS. On another note, all these ingredients were chopped using the best knife I have ever used. Seriously! From the shaped ebony handle to the razor sharp blade…Kai Shun Japanese knives are a new firm favourite. Shop for them here.

Lion and the Huntsman

11.12.14

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The arrival of a box of gorgeous letterpress invitations in the mail earlier this week got me thinking about Sunday’s 3rd birthday in May next year. Before you all think I’m a crazy lady – I have good reason! My clever cousins from Zed and Bee have just launched a lovely new range of fill-in-yourself invitations under their second business, Lion and the Huntsman –  and as a surprise to me in my letterbox, one of the designs was named after my little lady (and their second cousin), Sunday.

I really feel like these invitations have filled a gap in the market – fun and quirky (without a cartoon character in sight) letterpress invitations for kids or teens that are stunning quality – all packaged with matching envelopes in a beautiful box. Trust me, after making a fair few invites at home – you spend more than their asking price once you have purchased the bits and pieces.  It’s not all about the small people in your life either, there are also sweet options for a Baby Shower. Shop the range here.

Briar x

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