Sunday, April 22, 2012

Joy the Baker.

Do any of you read Joy the Baker blog? If not you simply must go and pay a visit. Last year Joy launched her Enjoy! subscription gift promotion and I signed up . Every three months subscribers are sent a mystery gift selected by Joy (a small fee is paid by the subscriber before each delivery).

I had completely forgotten that it was around this time the second gift would be sent. A card was left in my letterbox notifying of a parcel for collection. When my husband went to the post office he was totally confused, as on the sides of the box was printed "King Arthur Flour"... "What on earth has she bought..." ran through his mind, with "... and who on earth is King Arthur" following quickly after. You see, down under we have never heard of King Arthur and his flour.

All I can say is you know it must be something good when you arrive home and your husband demands that you bake the espresso cupcakes immediately. And this guy doesn't even like cake!

Maybe the espresso powered had something to do with it.

A fantastic package, thanks Joy! Yum yum yum...

Sam xox

This blog post expresses my personal opinion only. 
I am in no way affiliated with the above mentioned company or blog author.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sometimes the thrifty Gods are smiling.

There have been a few good things about our move up to Newcastle. Definitely one of the best as been the quantity and quality of the antique and op shops in the Hunter region. The antique shops sell wares for very reasonable prices, and there are at least 4 op shops in every town, over flowing with random bits and pieces.

I recently visited one such shop and found a stack of vintage patterns stuffed under a counter table stacked with miscellaneous crockery. I was told patterns were 50 cents each. As I was on my lunch break I didn't have the time to sort through the boxes to check the patterns individually for complete pieces and instructions. I asked what price they would accept for the three boxes, and just about fell over when the reply was $10. 

$10?!? I normally pay this for one vintage pattern on Etsy! So I handed over my blue $10 note and left with three boxes of sewing patterns!

~ The patterns all boxed up ~

~ Mt favourite little boy patterns ~

~ My favourite little girl patterns ~

~ My favourite of the vintage patterns ~

I spent an evening sorting through the boxes. There were soooo many patterns (expect a few giveaways people!) that I divided them up into piles: vintage patterns, more modern patterns I would wear, and those 80's style patterns that are just scary... I am set for children's patterns, the only thing I am missing are the actual kiddies ;-) The ladies vintage patterns were all darling, and there were also some odd ball patterns that are kinda cool. I have checked over half the patterns I want to keep and they are complete, which I am thrilled about.

~ What is it with cats, sunshine, and boxes? ~

What has been your best thrift store find?

Sam xox

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Simplicity 5034 - epic fail.

This pattern looked so promising. A back-to-front wrap style dress with a high neckline and tied waist. I chose to make view 4 as I liked the shorter length of the skirt and the fact there were no sleeves.

Simple I thought. Simplicity. 

Oh... no...

~ Front View ~

See, I hated it so much I didn't even hem it (and Mill, you know how much I looove hemming)! The skirt was created using a mismatched combination of darts and pleats, which just added bulk to parts of the dress where I really didn't want it.

~ I did love the contrast bias binding ~

~ Side View ~

Can you see that? The terrible gaping at the back of this dress. I tried re-stitching and re-fitting but it just wouldn't stay down. Perhaps my back is shaped wrong...

~ Back View ... I don't need to say a word.. ~

You win some. You lose some.

Sam xox

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I came across this pair of watercolour paintings at my local thrift store recently. From the information on the back of the paintings, it appears both were painted by women named Joan (different maiden names and addresses) from a town on the south coast of NSW. No dates given, but they did name their works...


"Pink Posy"

These forgotten treasures are now being admired once again, taking pride and place on my living room mantle.

Sam xox

Monday, April 2, 2012

Banana bread.

I have made this recipe what feels like a hundred times of late, due to a recent combination of cheap banana prices and numerous afternoon tea dates. I stumbled across this recipe during my university years and it has been in my cooking notebook ever since. It is quick, easy, and turns out beautifully every time...

4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup butter - room temp!
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt

To Make.
- Preheat oven to 180oC.
- Use electric mixer to combine butter and bananas in a large mixing bowl until combined.
- Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined (mixture should lighten slightly).
- Sprinkle baking powder and salt onto mixture.
- Sift in flour and mix to combine.
- Pour mixture into greased loaf tin.
- Bake for one hour then cool on wire rack.
* Sometimes I like to add slices of banana along the top of the loaf.

Sam xox

Sunday, April 1, 2012