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Showing posts from November, 2011

Make your own Christmas Crackers!

Each year I end up making my own Christmas crackers because I can never find the right colours to go with my table or because I want to customise or theme the gifts inside! Its quite easy and almost as cheap. I always end up spending more than I would have on 10 deluxe crackers from the shops but then I usually put in a gift/toy worth 2-3 dollars and a nice chocolate (or lolly if its an outside Christmas lunch!) in each one! I recommend giving it a go for your table this year - or maybe as a novel way to enclose a gift for teachers or friends at the office!
Here's what I did!
For these ones, I collected 12 cardboard tubes and then used plain white copy paper (but you can use any paper that suits your Christmas table) for the base. I then used 6 paper serviettes (that I cut in half and already matched my Christmas colours) and a piece of plastic "lace" table cloth that I got from Crazy Clarkes for $2 (and am using for a number of "craft" projects!)
I also managed …

Succesfull homemade bread rolls - Fun to make, easy to make recipie!

Who doesn't like bread?? I got a bread maker for Christmas one year ages ago and made breads of the world for years - I loved it and so did the family! I wore my machine out and needed replacement parts, that I never got around to getting for it and so bread production came to an abrupt halt. One day - I decided to have a go at making the bread with one of my almost never fail recipes but by hand instead of in the machine and voila - It was good! And almost as easy!
Here's what I did...
I put 310mls of water into a bowl.

Then I added 2 tablespoons of sugar (you need this for the yeast to feast on and do its thing), 2 teaspoons of salt (to inhibit too much activity of the part of the yeast!) and one large egg.

 Then I added 2 tablespoons of olive oil.


Then 4 cups of flour. In this batch I  have used white flour but you can use up to 2 cups of wholemeal. If you use more you will end up with very heavy rolls that you might not like too much. This recipe is for white or part wholeme…

How to make yoghurt, yogurt or even yoghurt! No Easi-yo? Still Easi-as!

I like yogurt (no matter how you spell it) I just think its awfully expensive for what it is and I never know what to do with the containers when you ahve fininshed it. If you go through a litre a week, that's 52 containers a year to find a project for... I tried a few times to make it but ended up with a bacterial soup that I wasn't game to eat. Then I stumbled upon Easi-yo. Its a yogurt making system with a flask and containers that you buy and then use their powdered yogurt mix to make up cheap yogurt in various flavors. My issue was that when Aldi opened down the road they were selling a litre of Yogurt for the same price as the mixes - ready to go!


So the flask and containers were relegated to the back of the cupboard until last year, when I discovered a recipe that is really easy, cheap and gets me the results that I want!


Here's what I did...


I used Aldi's full cream milk powder (about $6 a kilo and I get about 5 lots of yogurt of of a bag) with a tub of cheap &quo…

What else can you dye??? Dying teatowels, mats and cushion covers!

The dying bug is hard to shake! I had intended to do the towels and if that was successful, then give the curtains a go. Then of course if you are doing the curtains and the cushion covers on the couch match the curtains - it makes sense to do them as well doesn't it?? I thought so too! and the extra dye for the purple ones was a whole $4. I thought the budget could stand that and so I went ahead and did them as well.


Here's what (else) I did...


These are the original cushion covers...
And this the new improved version - The purple was a good match, they are just brighter. The green ones are an entirley different colour. If I was going to do this again, I would WASH the cushion covers in the machine and try to get out any fabric protector that hadnt worn off, off. I think that that is the cause of the patchiness.

The $5 cotton IKEA mat on the kitchen floor. Its on its last legs and has been washed many many times...
The mat after it was dyed. This mat just got the left over dye in …

How to dye curtains at home! Lots of fun, but not a total success this time...

Since I dyed my old-ish bath towels so successfully, I decided that I would have a go at the curtains that were sun bleached and very faded. They were 100% cotton (lots of man made fibres wont dye well if at all) and needed replacing/updating/refreshing. So I thought I would give it a go.

Here's what I did...



First weigh your item - you need to do this so that you use enough dye to get the colour you are aiming at. I rolled this curtain up and popped it on my kitchen scale. For the Tintex dyes that I used - you need 10gms of dye powder for every 500gms of material.


Thoroughly wet the fabric - this step tuned out to be more important than I originally thought. On my first dye attempt - I did bath towels. They soaked up the water so well that the issue that will become apparent further along didn't arise. At any rate, I think a lot of curtains and pillows will have been coated at some point in their manufacture with some sort of fabric protector and will be harder than you think to…
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