Posts Tagged ‘quick’

Easy lemon curd meringues

The Man and I don’t do Valentine’s Day, but it is a good excuse to have a nicer than usual dinner at home and even indulge in dessert.

Being mid-week though, it needs to be simple, plus it’s really hot this week here so a no-cook dessert is definitely the way to go.

I bought these pre-made mini pavlova nests and filled with lemon curd (I had a homemade batch in the fridge – what, don’t you? – but you can buy it from gourmet supermarkets) then topped with blueberries.

Ready in two minutes flat, it’s the perfect dessert for V-Day tonight or for any summer dinner party where you’re short on time.

Whatever your plans, I hope you have a lovely night!

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green tea ice cream

Keen to get back into socialising after our time away from home, The Man and I invited some friends over for dinner on the weekend. The couple is mad about anything Japanese so it’s become a bit of a tradition to have themed dinner parties.

I’m generally a fairly confident cook but Japanese is definitely a gap in my culinary expertise, so it’s always a fun challenge trying new things. This time, I wanted to concentrate on the main course (I was cooking tuna for the first time) and just have a simple summer dessert.

I used some green tea ice cream from the local Asian grocer, topped with crushed ginger nut biscuits and served with sesame snaps (and sake, naturally). The combination of flavours and textures worked really well. (Although I have to admit to being more excited about using my new Anthropologie bowls than the actual dessert!)

Do you have any store-bought desserts that you tizz up to present to guests?

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As you know, I run my stationery business from home. With it comes a whole bunch of packaging and shipping supplies which I keep in one side of the buffet cabinet in my office. The shipping gear on the bottom shelf was working quite well, but the packaging on the top shelf? Not so much.

On more than one occasion I had ordered more cellophane bags, thinking that I’d run out, then finding I had them all along but they were buried. Or worse, I had gone to start packaging up some products in their cellophane bags, only to find I had actually run out.

packaging storage before packaging storage after

After a quick trip to Ikea, I added a couple of the Rationell Variera shelf inserts and my cello bags, labels and note card boxes are now divided up so I can easy see and access everything.

Only a quick and cheap hack, but anything that saves me time searching for things and makes my business run that bit smoother gets a huge tick in my book.

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Paint chips before

Do you come back from the hardware store with fistfuls of colour chips every time you embark on a new painting project, even though you know you’ve probably got half of them at home already? By any chance does it have something to do with the fact that they’re all in a big jumbled mess like mine were?

Paint chips after

I grabbed some hinged rings and a hole punch and ten minutes later, voila! Paint chips all sorted into their colours and brands so next time it will be easier to flip through to select. Bonus points

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I mentioned recently that my new printer doesn’t fit neatly inside my desk drawers like the old printer did. Sigh.

With no printer to accommodate, there was now a huge amount of wasted space in the drawer unit. I went to Ikea to find extra drawers but you can’t buy extras in this size (you can only buy the whole set with the door front like we originally purchased). I do need pull-out drawers for some items like the scanner, but I figured shelves would suffice for most things (bonus: at 20 bucks it was waaay cheaper than drawers).

Before & After:
Desk drawers before Desk drawers after

I picked up a pack of two shelves and they were installed within minutes. Add another couple of minutes to neaten things up and hey presto I have a much more efficient space to organise my paper reams.

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Votives before

We were given some fun, brightly coloured tealight holders as a housewarming gift. I do like a nice bright colour here and there, but a whole bunch of them together I found difficult to work into our decor and as cute as they were I was never quite sure what to do with them.

Votives during

Fast forward to last Christmas when I received a whole box full of craft supplies from my in laws (squeal!) including a silver leaf pen. I was itching to do something with it but couldn’t work out what, until I remembered the candle holders.

Votives after

As you can see, they’re more of a satin metallic rather than a true silver foil like the vase, but that’s fine. I think the pen is designed for small embellishments not to cover large areas like this so you’d definitely achieve a better finish by using actual leaf. But for ten minutes’ work and zero dollars I’m happy with the result. I think they’ll prove much more versatile now.

Akimbo birthday sale

Check out examples of my work or drop me a line to enquire or place your order.

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Yesterday I shared how I updated a tired old buffet, but the interior still left a lot to be desired.

buffet drawer before

Can you imagine storing your cutlery on that scungy green felt? Yech. I’ll be using to store craft and packaging supplies so it doesn’t have to be good enough to eat off but still definitely needed to go.

buffet drawer during 1

I assumed the felt was inserted separately into each section, but it was actually one whole piece so it was a little trickier than anticipated.

buffet drawer during 3

It also left a lot of residue, but that was easily removed with a damp cloth and a paint scraper.

buffet drawer after

I swear I drove all over town looking for some decent wrapping paper that would suit the room’s palette of yellow, grey and white (and now blue). I didn’t find what I was looking for, but this silver and white contemporary lace pattern will do (it is only inside a drawer after all). I just cut it by eye (if anyone has any tricks please leave them in the comments!) and stuck on with some double-sided tape. The metallic finish was hard to photograph, so here’s a closeup:

drawer liner detail

I suspect all the other drawers in the house are feeling a tad jealous.

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Hi, my name is Alicia and I’m addicted to dangly earrings.

When I still lived at home, I stuck a couple of cork tiles (leftover from a reno project of my parents – forgive them, it was the 80s) inside my wardrobe doors and arranged my earrings with pins. In our home now, though, we have a built-in wardrobe so there was no door to utilise, which left my lovely sparkly things in a tangled mess in a drawer, prone to being lost, forgotten or damaged. It is, however, very deep which left loads of unused space on the wall inside.

jewellery rack

I screwed eye-hooks straight into the wall by hand (after making a pilot hole with a metal skewer) and strung picture wire between them, wrapping the end back around itself to secure. Let’s just pretend that the critical part is in focus in the next shot, mkay?

jewellery rack 2

It’s perfect for light jewellery such as earrings and chains, but I still keep bangles and chunky necklaces in my dresser drawer. The project cost only small change… which means more money to spend on jewellery.

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12 Days of Christmas crafts

Update your Christmas tree ornament collection without braving the shops by making this cutie from supplies you probably have already lying around.

Button wreath ornament tutorial materials

You will need:

  • A large handful of buttons of the same colour
  • Thin ribbon
  • Thin-nose pliers
  • Wire

Instructions

Atypical Type A - Button wreath ornament tutorial1

1. Bend one end of the wire into a loop.

2. Thread the buttons onto the wire until you’ve done enough to make a decent sized circle.

Button wreath ornament tutorial

3. Cut off the excess wire.

4. Loop the end of the wire, tight enough to be snug but not so tight that the wire won’t bend into a circle.

Button wreath ornament tutorial

5. Thread ribbon through the loops at each end of the wire; tie off.

6. Wrap the ribbon around the loops to disguise the wire; tie and trim off excess ribbon.

Button wreath ornament tutorial

7. Take another piece of ribbon and tie around the top of the wreath to form a hanging loop.

8. Finish the hanging loop off with a bow.

Alternative uses
Omit the ribbon loop and these would be great as napkin holders.

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Having a cosy winter home is not just about cranking up the heater. It’s about creating a welcoming and comforting environment.

Start by designating a place for coats, umbrellas and gloves near the door so the cold weather accessories don’t spread through the house. If you’re anything like me you will be more likely to crave a hot drink to ward off the chills, so leave out your tea and coffee supplies near the kettle. Warm yourself up from the inside and create an irresistible aroma by cooking a hearty meal such as a roast, curry or casserole.

By now you will have ditched that thin blanket in favour of the heavy winter doona. While you’re about it, change your bedlinen to a set with a more season appropriate colour and design. Still on textiles, add a rug to warm up those cold floors – make it a shaggy one for ultimate sink-your-toes-in bliss. Winter is all about curling up on the couch. Up the comfort factor with a fluffy throw and switch the cushions to touchy-feely fabrics such as wool, faux fur and velvet.

Create a nook for indoor activities such as reading, craft or games. All you need is a corner with a comfy armchair, a side table and a lamp (granny knee rug optional). Speaking of lighting, light some candles for instant atmosphere.

Curl up and enjoy the best parts of winter.

Images from Bloesem.

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A collection of pretty meets practical ideas to inspire a happier home

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