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A Particular Shade of Blue There’s a lot of fun you can have with a tester pot of paint from a hardware store. This particular blue is called Dulux Tropical Haven and it has a great retro look about it. I used it to revamp a few plain wooden items including a foot stool, rolling pin and old cigar box turned jewellery box. I put a light spray of clear gloss over the finished paint to seal and harden it. It really is a cheap and cheerful way to give everyday items a new lease on life.

Dulux Tropical Haven

Make Great

Make Great

Last month I took the plunge and started a self-hosted blog on presentation design to compliment my professional work. I’d love you to pop by for a visit at makegreat.com.au.

Starting a self-hosted blog has been quite a learning curve. Here are a few of my thoughts:

  • It’s great to have a proper website address and building it up this way gives you loads of new skills.
  • You have much more control over the aesthetic elements of your blog…but there’s a huge amount of technical skills required to achieve even the smallest things (thank goodness for my husband).
  • It’s quite a lonesome world outside the wordpress community, with no ready-made audience to embrace you!
  • It’s been a juggling act wearing two blogging hats and trying to switch hats when commenting on different blogs. So for the most part I haven’t been commenting but have still very much enjoyed reading everyone’s blog updates in my reader!

BookI’m still on my journey and Make Great is a long way off looking the way I want it to look. I would definitely recommend The Creative Person’s Website Builder by Alannah Moore if it’s something you’re considering.

If you’re interested in presentation design or just like to look at animal pictures, I’ve uploaded my first slide deck to Slideshare and have had a surge of views thanks to the very kind endorsement of Chiara at Tweak your Slides. I’ve included my slide deck at the end of this post.

Oh and there will be more Roar Sweetly posts coming soon!

Happy Halloween

Halloween

Vintage Sacrilege

Vintage Sacrilege [ˈvin-tij ˈsa-krə-lij]

n.

1. The violation or injurious treatment of a mint-condition vintage item.

I love all things vintage, however it’s recently occurred to me that some of the behaviour I exhibit towards my vintage collection may be a little less than admirable. Today, in the spirit of honesty, I reveal my top six acts of vintage sacrilege.

1. Cutting up vintage sheets to make fabric tape for gift wrapping.Fabric Tape

2. Ordering vintage Thunderbird 3 online for my son to tear open the packaging and use as a…toy. Vintage Thunderbird

3. Drilling holes into the bottom of tin kettles to convert into plant holders.

Vintage Kettles

4. Bedecking my toddlers’ beds in beautiful vintage quilt sets (not injurious but high risk).Vintage Childrens Bedding5. Dismembering vintage atlases in the name of craft.

Vintage Atlas Hearts

6. Dismembering vintage dictionaries, and other vintage books, in the name of craft. Vintage Book CraftThere…I’ve fessed up.

My deepest apologies to any lovers of vintage offended by this post.

Carrot and Apple Ice BlocksSeveral years ago I attended the Newtown festival on an incrediblly hot day and was blown away by a stall selling 100% pure fruit ice blocks. I immediately went home to experiment with my own version. After a little trial and error I realised that the secret to making a good ice block was to create a mixture that doesn’t ‘separate’ as freshly juiced fruit is prone to do. The trick I came up with was to puree the fruit to mix with vegetable juice. This ‘fluffs’ up the mixture and creates lovely even ice blocks. With the warmer weather upon us, I thought I’d share my simple instructions for homemade ice blocks. These are pure wholesome goodness and the kids love them. The only drawback is the amount of equipment you need in comparison to your available bench space, but it’s well worth the time and mess to stock your freezer for summer.

Carrot and Apple Ice Block CollageEquipment Needed

Juicer

Steamer set

Food Processor

Ice Block Moulds (these are a few dollars in K-mart or discount variety stores)

Ingredients

2-3 Carrots

4-6 Apples

1/4 cup of water

Instructions

1) Peel and chop apples.

2) Steam apple pieces on stove-top until soft (approx 15 minutes)

3) Place apple pieces in a food processor and blitz until thick and smooth. Set aside.

4) Juice carrots.

5) Combine pureed apple with carrot juice. Add water to dilute a little.

6) Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.

Makes approx 6-8 ice blocks depending on the size of your moulds.

Cool Bath Toys for Kids

Bath ToysWhale Shark, Tiger Shark, Hammerhead Shark and Mackarel Shark.

Beats a rubber duck.

Making Me Happy

Blanket I discovered this crocheted blanket at a little church run op-shop. It’s one of those op-shops that’s only open one morning a week and only the locals know about it. I was told that the lady who made this blanket passed away peacefully at home two weeks ago at the age of 83. She had kept active with her crochet and was quite renowned for her handiwork in her church community. It’s nice to know the story behind a blanket. Lego My son keeps producing the most extraordinary lego creations. For some time he followed the instructions meticulously…but like every great artist has kept his style evolving. The past few months have been an era of unbridled creativity. His vehicular creations have extraordinary names like “The Flying Audiologist” in a homage to a recent medical check-up. MintOur mint plant was on death’s door so I gave it a generous scoop from our compost and a good watering. There’s obviously something magical in our compost, because here it is a few days later completely reinvented with a new lease on life. Kitty My daughter has become quite attached to this stuffed cat and sleeps with it every night. It’s called “Kitty” and is getting pretty worn and smelly…but I love this thing.Homemade Golden Rough

This is a wholefood version of a Golden Rough. It’s completely natural, raw, organic and vegan. But don’t let that put you off…it tastes amazing. I will be posting the recipe soon. BooksThese past few weeks I have been quietly amassing a little stash of books and get a ridiculous amount of pleasure at the thought of reading these. There’s nothing more decadent than ignoring the 1001 things that need to be done and reading a novel in bed.

Vintage sheets

And finally…watching vintage sheets hanging on the line in the sunlight. And how do you know that a gorgeous little floral number is vintage?

Vintage Sheet Tag

Check the tag. Made in Australia’s the giveaway.

May the force be with youAnd Happy Fathers Day to my husband, who spends way too much time deliberating on the perfect age for our son to first watch Star Wars.

Beetroot Cannelloni 1Beetroot Cannelloni 2Beetroot Cannelloni 3Beetroot Dip 3Beetroot Cannelloni 4Beetroot Cannelloni 6Beetroot Cannelloni 7

August Babies

August Babies

August is a special month for me as I celebrate both my babies’ birthdays. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we celebrated their last birthdays. It’s been an unexpectedly sad time thinking about my mum who is not with us this year. So we kept it low key, with the exception of a little bit of kitchen bling in the form of my new beverage dispenser. I saw one of these (with watermelon punch) featured on Like Giants and have loved the idea since. I did the lazy mum’s version with Nudie Juice and some sliced fresh fruit.

Beverage Dispenser

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