Saturday, 17 January 2015

Coffee Table look for the Week

I just wanted to share my coffee table look for the week with everyone. I am really excited about this look. It's inexpensive but really is a feast for the eyes!

Some of the statement pieces:

My Gold Tea set from the Markets $25

Flower Jug from Witchery $4 on sale

Turquoise vase from Freedom approx $14


xx Mel

Clay Coasters & My Gold Tea set

Hi All,

I've been trying to come up with ways to entertain myself and add new and interesting things to my home that are practical and beautiful at the same time. 

Here is what I've come up with!

Homemade Clay Coasters! 

They are fun and easy to make , they are custom made to you and inexpensive. If you want a way to add a pop of colour to your table or spruce up your look this is a great way to do so. 

This is how I made my clay coasters!

What you need:

- Air dry clay
- Cookie cutters
- 2 thick sticks or skewers
- Rolling pin
- Acrylic paint
- Sealer
- Paint Brushes
- Baking paper

1. First roll your air dry clay out using the two skewers as a thickness guide so you get an even thickness. (If you get weird lumps or cracks just smooth it out with a bit of water)

2. Then use your cutter and cut out the shape you want (I used the fluted side of my cookie cutter)

3. To get my butterfly design I used a stencil and pressed it into the clay. (make sure you press all around the stencil so the clay is imprinted with the design)

4. You need to let your clay dry for 24 hours before moving onto the next step. You need to seal your clay before you paint it otherwise the paint will seep into the clay and you won't get a nice vibrant colour. 

5. Once your sealer has dried you can mix up different colours with your acrylic paint and paint the details onto your coaster. Once they paint has dried seal it again. 

And this will be your finish product! 

To make the Black and white design use different sizes of fluted cutters to make impressions on the clay. Once it has dried paint alternating rings with black with a fine tipped paint brush. 

You can also make other things Air drying clay is super versatile. I made His and Her's little trinket dishes. 

To make these , roll the clay out without the skewer guides to about 2 -3 mm thickness and line a bowl with plastic wrap then line the bowl with the clay and smooth and cut around the top to create a smooth edge. imprint on any design you like. For my "His" bowl I scratched lines into it and for my "Her's" bowl I used the back of a paint brush to press in a floral design. 

Once the clay has dried you can seal and paint it to your desired colour. 

Clay is a great way to get your creative juices flowing! If you have kids, precut, dry and seal some clay coasters and let them paint it however they like and that could be their personal coaster! 

It is also great for a pretty tea party ! lay out some homemade cookies, make some tea and your guests can choose their own coaster to use. 

I got my gorgeous gold tea set from a market for $25 !! what a Bargain!


xx Mel 

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Eat Your Heart Out ! ... From beautiful rustic jars

Today has been a day full of eating great food! However I have not been cooking all day long! How is that possible you say ??  I used some amazingly simple recipes that involved a large amount of flavour for a small amount of effort!

I started with Breakfast:

Baked beans with eggs poached into it, topped with ricotta and parsley. Maple bacon and of course some carbs to fill us up!

Baked beans with eggs poached into it:

This is such a simple yet tasty dish. Simple empty a can of baked beans into an oiled pan. make small wells in the baked beans and crack a few eggs into it. Plop a few lumps of ricotta/ feta/ mozzarella whatever you have and salt , pepper and parsley to taste! That is the prep done!
Now place the pan on the stove and let it bubble for around 10-15 minutes or until the egg only jiggles slightly when you shake the pan.. this will ensure a heavenly runny yolk.

The Maple Bacon:

There are two ways to do this, the slow easy way is to place a few rashers or streaky bacon on a lined baking tray, drizzle Maple all over it and place into an oven preheated to 180 degrees and bake for 15-25 minutes depends on the degree of crispiness you like.

The fast way of making maple bacon is to cook the bacon in a frying pan till your desired crispiness (around 5 minutes for me on med-high heat) and then at the last minute drizzle it generously with maple, cover it and take it off the heat letting it sit for a while for the maple to caramelize.

* Note: REAL maple syrup is a must! Imitation maple taste horrible! Trust me... I've tried.

Now that you have your breakfast , you'll have plenty of energy to read on :)

Over the week I ordered some beautiful rustic jars from Peter of Kensington and my idea for them were to house my flour, sugars and sprinkles; But also I wanted them as containers for my food on picnics

Here are two ways I will be utilizing my jars :

Le Parfait Jars from Peter of Kensington 500 ml

My shaved fruit salad. This is an elegant way of serving fruit salad, this way when you grab a mouthful you get a shaving of multiple fruits at the one time.

I have in this jar, rockmelon, pear and apple shaved, peeled fresh lychees and halved cherries. The shaved fruits soaked in the flavour of the lychees and it was delicious !

Next I made a blueberry and plum crumble that took me less than 10 minutes!

Le parfait jar 250 ml

The sexy crumble

My quick and easy Blueberry and Plum Crumble

The Berry Mixture:

2 Tablespoons of frozen blueberries
1 Red Plum sliced into 8 pieces
1 1/2 Tablespoon of caster sugar
1 strip of lemon rind

Combine all the ingredients and microwave for 1 min and 30 seconds
Mix  and remove the lemon rind, also pour away some of the liquid (about half) .We are using frozen blueberries so there is more liquid than we need.
Spoon into the jar and set aside.

The Crumble:

2 Table spoons of desiccated coconut
2 Table spoons of sliced almonds
1 Table spoon of cold butter
1 Teaspoon of brown sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoon of Caster sugar
1 Table spoon of SF Flour
1 Teaspoon of Plain Flour
A drizzle of honey

Combine all the ingredients using your hands
Spread the mixture out on a baking tray making sure there are some big and small chunks
Bake in a 180 degree preheated oven for 5-6 minutes until slightly golden
Let it cool slightly until it is crisp and crunchy

Spoon over the berry mixture in the jar, pop on lid and it is ready!

This is perfect for a warm sunny day on a picnic and will impress your friends and loved ones when you pull it out of the picnic basket. They will love the crispy sweet crumble onop that compliments the slightly tart juicy berry mixture on the bottom.

Oh it also makes a great gift....


xx Mel

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Coffee Table Styling

Happy New Year ! :)

I wanted to start the new year with a post on my coffee table decor. Everyone has their own taste when it comes to coffee table decor, some people like the minimal (nothing on the table) look and some like me like their coffee table to be filled with beautiful things .

My home has a very neutral palette, It has a calming beach meets chic look. My rule is to keep my stable elements neutral (sofa, coffee table, pieces that will stay) and my decor fun and fresh .

I’ll show everyone in my next few photos how I change things up slightly to create a sense of freshness when I get bored with what’s on my coffee table which is an antique wooden  trunk I bought off someone online for a great price!).

Look 1. 
When I’m in the mood for colour... Fresh flowers are my go to instant pop of colour. I always go to a roadside truck down that road that sells flowers for a very low price. Fruits that last a while like Limes and lemons also add a great pop of colour just find a nice dish to put them in. I placed mine in the vintage milk glass dish that cost me $4 from a thrift store. Lastly… Candles! Candles are the go to decor piece for most people. And why not they smell great and they add an instant comforting feeling when you light them. I placed my candle in a tall clear cylinder with white pebbles. 

Look 2. 

When I only want a slight pop of colour I turn to a lot of silver and neutral pieces to help mellow out my coloured item. I used my new hedge hog that I got for Christmas. It is an interesting piece that adds a little funkiness and texture to my coffee table. I added some tall candles with a carved wooden dish for it's neutral colour. I also like to change my coasters to some silver ones I got for $6 from a market for the set. I also like to place things on my silver tray, it just makes things neater and ties my elements together.

Look 3.

When I’m out of flowers I use things like a small bowl of candy to add a hint of colour. Whether it be a small dish of pricey chocolates or a nice inexpensive alternative of coloured jellybeans; that way your guests will also have no issues to dig in and feel at home.  I also added a few more candles to warm up the space. 

Look 4. 

Lastly when I want everything to be a nice calming neutral. This is for when I feel cluttered and I just want something simple and elegant.. It happens every now and then...not often! :)

So there you go changing a few small things up can give a completely different vibe, The next time you feel bored with the look of your place change a few small things here and there and it will make a huge difference.

My next step is to find an old looking lime wash ladder for my stack of cook books currently next to my coffee table and in their place get an amazing ceramic Chinoiserie stool or Chinoiserie footstool .  

Here are some that I Love Love Love! 


xx Mel