Thursday, December 29

Yellow Days

Summer is here, and it makes me think of one colour - YELLOW
A little while ago I had a yellow tea party and since tea parties are all the rage I thought I'd share some pix with you all.
I didn't especially go out and buy any yellow things - I just found whatever was handy. By a lucky coincidence I was given a whole bag of lemons by someone who didn't like them - fancy that, not liking lemons!

Also I found some other yellow parties for you, some a bit more extreme than mine that's for sure!

Wednesday, December 28

Christmas and a time for new things

Firstly you made me wondering what happened to Hobby Horses and Second Courses... I have now replaced it with this sparkling new-look blog - Sew La Tea! I have had the Sew La Tea idea for a while - and have many hopes for it. The Sew La Tea idea is bigger than just a blog, as I ultimately want to open a sewing cafe under the same name. It would be a place to bring along your projects, meet like-minded people, be inspired, attend classes/workshops and all while you enjoy a cuppa tea and some freshly baked treats. It is a long term goal and at the moment I am doing a fair bit of groundwork to make sure it will be a sustainable venture. Any ideas or feedback would be great! 

Anyway, it starts here - with similar stuff to my last blog but hopefully more of everything! I got a new phone for Christmas and it should let me blog on the go now - which is very handy.

Okay - so that's enough talk - on to the posting!

A Bittasweet Christmas

Over at my design company Bittasweet Creative, I designed a 2011 Christmas collection - Pomme Noël
It included gift tags, labels, stickers and greeting cards. The designs were french inspired, and the colour palette was drawn from the humble apple. I sold the collection on Felt, Etsy and at a craft market. 


For my own personal Christmas giving I teamed the Pomme Noël Collection with a beautiful gift wrap from Hands as well as some kraft paper, and finished the look off with a candy cane coloured twine from Typo
I used my modern chalk board Christmas tree that I made last year. 
My flatmates slowly added decorations on while no one was watching...

Every year I like to give some homemade gifts to my friends. This year I made jams and hot chocolate mix. The first jam was Strawberry, Apple and Vanilla - a recipe from Frankie. The other jam was one of my own invention: Raspberry, Peach and Pomegranate. I sourced the fresh berries from Berryfields in Christchurch. They were the best berries I think I've ever tasted. The Frankie magazine recommended using nice berries, not old over-ripe ones. I'm glad I did - both the jams tasted delish!

The hot chocolate mix consisted of two flavours - Double Choc Orange and White Choc Mint. I made them by grinding the respective chocolate down and adding milk powder, natural mint/orange essence and for the double choc some cocoa. I kept adding a bit of each ingredient and testing the drink until it was perfect. I was very happy to have leftovers for me to keep! I put the mix in jars - separating each flavour with a paper disk. I topped them off with mini heart shaped marshmellows from the newly-opened Ballantynes


Also from Ballantynes I picked up a Gingerbread house kit. Every year I make these - but this year there wasn't enough time to make it from scratch, hence the kit. It turned out way better than last years!


A few snaps from Christmas day... Charlie surrounded by wrapping paper, My Mum's Christmas tree extravaganza (big family, lots of presents!), good old sparkling grape juice. 


Hope you all had a lovely Christmas with friends and family. Happy Holidays! x

Wednesday, November 2


Sorry that I haven't posted in some time! Uni is finished now, and I'm all moved into a new flat in Saint Albans. I have been exploring around the neighborhood lots. It is a very interesting and inspiring area! I've collected many ideas for some short stories I'm working on which is good. 
I have applied for the craft fair at the end of the year, so here's hoping I make the cut! If so, shall be bringing my Creative Design business in on it too, hopefully with some posters, stickers, letter sets and maybe even a calendar! But I'll let you know more about that if I am accepted!

I am meant to be doing Nanowrimo at the moment, but of course, I'm letting myself get distracted! 

I wanted to do a little bit of a more personal post today (with a recipe attached)
so if you are a boy, you might not care to read any further! Ha ha!

For the last six months I have been medicine free! I was previously on various medicines for over two years, since starting on them I gained over 20kgs. All sorts of people, some professional, some just friends, tried telling me their opinion in relation to the weight gain, but at the end of the day, I knew it was the medicine's fault, as after stopping it, I haven't gained anymore. I spent many hours trawling through messages from other people who've had the same problem, so I wasn't alone!
I have never really been one to eat heaps of junk food or take-aways, I love veggies and healthy foods. As well as fresh baking! Om nom nom. Only I think I must of been having too much of even the healthy stuff and suffice to say, I have now joined up to Weight Watchers Pro Points online. It is awesome, and easy to use. You can even download this little app for your smart phone so you can track on the go! 

I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to lose a little, or even maintain a certain weight. It costs a little bit to sign up, but I don't regret it one bit! It's such an investment, why it's the cost of your health at stake! I really enjoy finding out what foods are better than others and I like how it makes me stop to think before eating just any old thing. I think it's not something to be embarrassed about, because it's making healthy people, and I think that's a good thing. You've gotta remember there are two kinds of people, firstly people whose fatty tissue stores on the outside, and the other whose stores on the inside - skinner doesn't always mean healthier, the former luckily has a visual warning. 

So I'm going to be putting up my own recipes for foods that fill you up, are high in nutrients and low in points!!! Better living everybody! (LOL) To find out more about the Pro Points system click here!

Today, a light lunch: 
Insalata Caprese Salad

You will need:

Two Tomatoes (0points)
Basil (0p)
Mozzarella (50g=4p)
Olive Oil (1tsp=1p)
Salt and Pepper to taste (0p)

Cut the tomatoes into thick slices and place on a lunch plate. 
Slice cheese and place on top of tomatoes.
Add Salt and pepper.
Drizzle oil on top.
Finish by placing a basil leaf on top of each.

I have been wanting a drink to replace the copious amounts of juice I drink. 
Normally I would drink soda water with lemon, which is nice.
 But today I found this yummy little number: 
AROHA Ginger and Honey Cordial. 

I mixed it with soda water. It was yum, quite spicy. 
Ginger and Honey Cordial (80ml=1p)
Soda Water (0p)
Total = 1p
(Where as your average juice starts at 3p. That's the same energy as a piece of steak!)

In case you are wondering, I get 29+ points per day

Until next time, ciao! x

Friday, October 7

Rosy Antiques

Usually I don't do reviews but this was too good to miss...

Up the Northlands end of Papanui Road is this cute wee antiques cafe... 'The Rosy Antiques & Cafe'

You sit in amongst the antiques, and drink your tea! 

Shop front...

Only downside is that the food looks a bit like unappealing tea room food, 
but, I didn't actually try any - so I'll let you be the judge!

Regardless, you should check it out and buy some cute antiques. The prices are really reasonable. I'm not sure the women running it know the value of some of the things they have! (SHHHHHH!)


Thursday, September 15

An armadillo, frogy surprise, crochet critters and ginger meggs,!

'The Armadillo'

-4 small apples
-A handful of grapes
-1 inch round of pineapple (skin cut off)
-1 tamarillo

Cut into small pieces, blend and drink!

'Frogy Surprise Spread'

-Large handful of baby spinach
-Several basil leaves
-Tbsp olive oil
-Small handful pinenuts
-3/4 Tbsp cream cheese
-Salt and pepper to taste
 (no REAL frogs!)

Blend finely

Spread on bagel! Nom! 

'Ginger Meggs' 

-2 Carrots
-2 Apples
-3 Oranges 
-Small piece of fresh ginger (depending on how much you like it!)

 Blend, pour into glass and drink straight away!

'Crochet Critters'   

These are my first two Amigurumi critters! 
I recently bought a book on how to make them, and heaps of wool.
 I plan to try and sell them at a stall at Christmas time! 

They take quite a long time to make (at least two evenings each) because they are so small, 
what do you think is a good price?


Sunday, September 4

Springtime gastronomy.

Well, last week it was my birthday and where your average girl may spend all her birthday money on pretty clothes... I got bored after buying one dress and opted for something I really wanted, a juicer.

I was very proud walking out of Briscoes with my new Breville Juice Fountain. When I arrived home I began juicing immediately, and haven't really stopped since. Within reason, I have decided to only drink fresh juice. NOM NOM.

I highly recommend this juicer and think everyone should get one. (Or even buy one amongst friends?) I am ever so looking forward to blending up little summer fruits, but until then I shall stick with apples and the like.

Today I made: 'Twice Apple and Kiwi'

I used
3 Granny Smith Apples
1 really large Lemonade Apple (new to NZ apparently!)
And 3 ripe kiwifruit.

I blended and got this delicious concoction....

I may just post a few more yummy drink recipes over the days....

For dinner I made an Orzo salad. I've been eating so many of these recently, as they are so versatile! 
This salad has blanched spinach, pan roasted cherry tomatoes, salami and parmesan cheese. Simply cook the Orzo, cool in cold running water, then toss with a few TB of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Then add salad ingredients and presto! A simple, tasty meal. 

It tastes really nice with chicken or chorizo sausage, basil and pinenuts too. 

After dinner, since I forgot all about Father's day I whipped up a Apricot Crumble, which is one of my Dad's fav puddings.

Did you do anything for Father's day?

Tuesday, August 16

Snow more work done...

Today instead of doing anything productive, I built snowmen (in true calvin and Hobbes spirit).

I made a really rad business-snowman too but some mean people ran it over just as I went inside to get my camera. :-( So I have drawn it for you instead....

I was disappointed that everyone in my house was so reluctant to go outside and have fun with me, they are turning old and boring.

Keep warm x

Monday, August 15


So it happened to be a snow day... and I happened to get lots done, except that none of it was work. Sigh.

I spent my day up to my elbows in glue again... the papier-mache is coming along really well! 

Then to celebrate progress I made a snow-cocktail.
Snow, lemonade, raspberry cordial, vodka and a splash of cointreau.

Now I better get cracking - got those essays due BOOOooo.

Sunday, August 14

Birthday season

If you know me, you know I love birthdays, and in my family, August marks the start of birthday season. There are many birthdays and parties, many presents to be given and received. My friend Rosemary had her birthday party last night (as did my brother), I made Rosemary this little weighted owl:

This inspired me to stop being so busy elsewhere and start making crafts again. This week I shall order some tags for my products methinks. 

In more birthday news, I have begun work on my party decorations. I am having an Alice in Wonderland themed party (at the suggestion of Alex), which surprisingly I have never done before. All going to plan (ie. uni work permitting) I will have several papier-mache masks to wear and tea-cups to decorate! Photos of course will come in due time. 

I am really looking forward to by party and also my birthday which is on the 30th. I've instructed my family to source present ideas from my Pinterest page haha!

But for now,  it's time to work - boo. 

Stay safe in the snow.

Wednesday, August 3

New food blog!

I started what I like to call a 'sub-blog'... and it's about the food I eat. I hope you will follow and submit your own pictures of food! 

Also, I've very disloyal as I've done it on tumblr, just to see what it's like. (So far it's not very good for customization.)

See what you think!


Friday, July 29


So a while back I bought some tasty Dutch 'Letter' candies from the sweet shop in Hanmer, and I decided I could make Tutti-Frutti cupcakes to put the candies on.

Using a plain vanilla cupcake recipe, but instead of vanilla I added a mixture of lemon, orange, raspberry, blueberry and strawberry flavourings. I did the same with the icing, only par-mixing the flavours  together.

The result was delicious!

I also made these apple cookies a while ago...

I modified an Edmonds recipe for Orange biscuits, into Apple using Apple juice.

They were a strange texture biscuit because the called for the butter to be rubbed into the flour. It made them almost pastry like.
I then painstakingly drew the apple flavoured icing on them...

They were very scrumptious!

Wednesday, July 27


It's high time I did a crafty thing, as I haven't posted one on here in ages (I blame all the illustration I've been doing)

Anyway, I woke up this morning and got ready to go out, (including getting my Mum to plait my hair!) then upon seeing the snow still on the ground and observing my bare ears I thought: 'Gee, I would really like a pair of earmuffs today.'
I have many times picked up a pair in a shop and considered buying them, but for some reason never did.

It quickly dawned on me that I could probably make my own... so I did.
Here is a little tutorial about just that.

I used:
An old headband, stripped
Sticky backed felt
Fluffy material
And a few ice cream containers
(Thread etc)

Draw around a cup to get circles for the ears

Cut the circles out

 Cut a long, thick, strip of the sticky backed felt

Stick it onto the band, making sure to overlap it. (It is really sticky, and once you peel off the backing it's frustrating to cut, so make sure you have it the right size before sticking it on!)

Cut two thinner strips, peel, and tightly wind one around each end.

Using the circles as guides cut four circles from the fluffy material. (Allow approx 1cm for a seam!)
Also cut two long strips about 4ish cm wide.

Sew the strip onto the circle, and sew down the join. Sew only half of the top circle on.

Fill the earmuff with dacron (I packed mine quite firmly)

Make sure the plastic disk fits in

And prepare a thin layer of dacron for the outside section

Glue, tape or stick the plastic disk onto the covered band. I actually used some of the sticky felt as I couldn't find any tape or glue, and the felt is rather sticky!

Put the ear muffs together and hand stitch the seam closed. Make sure when you stitch through the sticky felt to only grab the top layer... as the sticky layer is very difficult to stitch and leaves a residue on your needle.


I was pleased with my efforts this morning, and proudly showed them off this afternoon.

I am keen to make a few different types/colours now. I recall having a furry teddybear material somewhere...
Good luck making your ones!

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