Thank you for dropping by five brothers one sister, please stop for a browse.
Don't be shy if you enjoyed a post please leave a comment, join my followers list or follow by email.
I love hearing from anyone who visits.
God Bless,

Sunday, February 2, 2014

long time no see me!

Hi all my very patient followers,
sorry it has been long time no blog post.

There are lots of excuses why I haven't been in this space for the last 6 weeks.
1. busy
2. lost a months worth of photos in two computer change overs.
3. busy
4. frustration at loss of photos
5. busy
6. just can't seem to get my blogging mojo back
7. busy
8. having trouble uploading photos due to very slow internet. Techno boy (B2) tells me that it is due to the powers that be overloading the satellites in anticipation of the NBN satellite being launched. 
I can load stuff on to facebook from my phone, but a normal photo even after editing to make it smaller, takes forever, grrr, you people with broadband just don't know what you are missing having to deal with stupid satellite internet!
8. lazy
9. frustrated by all of the above.
10. did I say I had been busy?

I have been busy doing some redeemed commission pieces as well as a few other things, like desks and the like and then there has been the repainting of my bedroom furniture (a project just for me) which of course is leading to a whole makeover in that area!.
Now we about to fly the coop for a 2 week vacation at the beach, just 7 of us this year as B1 has to work, makes it easy for us in looking after the mail, cats and plants though!

I hope to get a couple of little things scheduled before I leave, if not I will endeavour to back in this space regularly in a fortnight.

(photo was cut and pasted from previous blog post)

Monday, December 16, 2013

nigella's chocolate cake

I have made this cake a few times now and it is always a hit.
It came about because I was having guests over to dinner and was considering what to make for dessert.
 A couple of days before I wasn't feeling well and was in my bedroom having a rest and was watching TV. Nigella Lawson came on and cooked this fabulous cake and also some coffee ice cream. 
I had a aha moment and knew this was my dessert.
It was a hit, and I have now made it a couple of other times when I have needed to take something.
It is great because it is gluten and grain free and dairy free.
It has however got nuts in it, but if you need to avoid nuts Nigella says you can substitute the almond meal for normal flour, though I haven't tried this.

Nigella's Chocolate Cake with Olive oil and Almond meal
2/3 C light olive oil
6T good quality cocoa powder
1/2C boiling water
2t best vanilla extract (I have substituted instant expresso coffee here for a change)
1 1/2 C almond meal (or 125g plain flour)
1/2t bi-carb soda
pinch salt
1 C superfine sugar (I use coconut sugar)
3 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 170 C. Grease a 22cm springform pan with a little oil and line base with baking paper (you can use any pan really lined with baking paper)
Measure and sift the cocoa into a jug and whisk in the boiling water until smooth (should be just runny). Whisk in vanilla then set aside.
In another smallish bowl, combine the almond meal (or flour) with the baking soda and pinch of salt.
Put the sugar, olive oil and eggs into the bowl of a freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment (or other bowl and whisk arrangement of your choice) and beat together vigorously for about 3 minutes until you have a pale-primrose, aerated and thickened cream.
Turn the speed down a little and pour in the cocoa mixture, beating as you go, and when all is scraped in you can slowly tip in the ground almond (or flour) mixture.
Scrape down, and stir a little with a spatula, then pour this dark, liquid batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the sides are set and the very centre, on top, still looks slightly damp. A cake tester should come up mainly clean but with a few sticky chocolate crumbs clinging to it.

Let it cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack, still in its tin, and then ease the sides of the cake with a small metal spatula and spring it out of the tin. 
Dust with icing sugar.
Serve as a dessert with ice cream or for morning tea with whipped cream.

Monday, December 2, 2013

spice angels revisited

Super busy this week getting ready for my final market for the year,
 making sure there are lots of gift ideas for my customers, 
I will be back to share them with you when I have time.
But just so you don't feel too neglected and to get into the Christmas spirit, 
I thought I would share this oldy but a goody, 
in fact it is my most popular post ever and is always at the top of my stats, 
nearly 10,000 people have looked at this post- amazing! 

So without further ado, pop over to here to find out how to make your very own spice angels just in time for Christmas.
I recently demonstrated these at a Christmas craft night and they were a big hit. 
Great for the tree or as a little Christmas gift.

 The kids put the tree up on Saturday as I knew we wouldn't have time on Sunday, but the rest of the decorating is yet to happen, I am aiming for next week after the markets.
I will try to pop back later in the week with some makeovers.

And if you happen to make a spice angel or two I would love to see your piccies, 
just post them to my facebook page.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

thrifty thursday

Today I am taking a leaf out of my friend Catherine's book and doing a Thrifty Thursday post.

 Saturday was Second Hand Saturday in our area, and there were tonnes of garage sales to go to.
B4 and I hit the trail early, VCH had to work as they were having a sale at his business. 

 I bought these at a garage sale and paid $5 for them. 
The guy who was selling them is a collector so I was a little surprised at the price, but the coffee canister lid was a little damaged, (I started fixing it before I took the photo) so didn't think they were worth much.

On Monday I started painting them, then later as I was searching for some ideas for labels,
 I came across a set on eBay for sale for $60- oops!

 A metal peacock chair $5
I am debating about whether or not to redo the cushion as the cover is in perfect condition.
But if I leave it I will have to paint it in something that matches red.

This little table $3 from another sale, but I think I will do them up as a matching set.

A clock, I got it with the table.
It doesn't actually work, but am hoping I can fix it, or I will turn it into a cool piece of art, to go with the other two pieces.

 This cool trolley I got for $10, I am going to "redeem" it to hold things at my market stalls!

 Old magazine rack $5

 A paper towel holder I got this and a metal candle holder for $5,
 bundling as the American Pickers would say.

 I little table with storage underneath, $5
I just need to remove all the blu-tack from the edge first!

 $10 for this cute little trolley.

 A little kids deck chair $5, my two big boys had similar ones when they were little.

We paid $2 for this table and 2 chairs (not shown), the table top was chipboard that had swollen, with a laminate on top.
B4 has started to get the old top off for me.
Plus loads of other cool stuff, not bad for a Saturday haul.

This piece however was a Friday find.
I happened past an op shop on my way to get groceries and just thought I would pop in and have a look see, when I spied this beauty.
It has two drawers and is a lovely old timber piece, I thought by the wood on top that it may have been an old luggage stand, but I am not sure.
 I am hoping to be able to take those bits off and turn it into a cool ottoman.

Lots of work happening here at the moments getting ready for a Christmas market in a couple of weeks.
I will be back with some cool  makeovers, soon!

Monday, November 18, 2013

my favourite foodie blogs and websites

We have had our main computer blow up in some lightening strikes last week.
I was in town at the time and I asked B2 and B3 who were home, 
why they hadn't turned the computer off in the storm, 
but apparently it wasn't even storming at the time! 
Thankfully, B2 is a bit of a computer wizz and was able to put my hard drive into another computer and do some updates and all sorts of stuff, now we just need to get the other computer fixed and put it all back in and it will be sweet, in the meantime I have a computer to work from for which I am grateful.

So today....
I have been wanting to share with you for some time some of my favourite blogs and websies that are into clean food, healthy eating, some are gluten or grain free and where I often get recipes from to try.
The other thing about them is that they are Australian,
 well there is one New Zealand site, but near enough to count!
The reason why I like these sites is that because they are local, I know I should be able to get the ingredients, nothing like finding a recipe and then not being able to source the ingredients- teff flour anyone!
The recipes are simple and use fresh ingredients.
They are in our seasons, nothing like finding a recipe and then realising that the fruit or vegetable won't be in season for another six months, by which time you forget to try the recipe!
They also use Australian measurements, no converting from pounds or Fahrenheit! 
In no particular order:

Greek Salad Graded A-5784
This is Therese Cutters site also known as the healthy chef.

Doesn't this look yummy and would you believe this is actually sugar free and full of healthy ingredients,
 I am making some of this today as a trial for Christmas.
This is from Sarah Wilson's, I quit sugar website, found here:

Another favourite is Lee Holmes of Supercharged Food.
She has just released a kids cookbook too.

PCMonkeyBread Shot Sandwich
This is a new to me website, but Tania is from the Sunshine Coast and is quite well known in that area for her grain free recipes and cookbooks.
I actually made this bread and it was very nice.

Finally our New Zealand friend, Eleanor from Petite Kitchen.

Why not pop over and spend some time having a look at some of the delicious recipes these ladies produce, they may become your favourites too!

Monday, November 11, 2013

kids collection

Just thought I would round up my market coverage by showing you some lovely kids items I did.
The table and chairs were originally made by VCH when our oldest two were little.
 They have been redeemed several times in their life,
 however as all our children have grown out of kid's tables and we don't have room to store furniture for years on end waiting to give them to grandchildren or such, I decided it was time to pass them on.

Here they are previously in The Girl's room.
So for it's final makeover I chose to keep the white that they had been painted and to just give them a good distressing and a good scrub.

I then recovered the seats in an aqua polka dot Mexican oil cloth.

The table top I repainted in a light aqua and lightly distressed it.

 The other cute item I did was to redeem two old bedside tables into a little retro kitchen.
The tops were an old laminate so perfect for a kitchen.

I painted the sides on both and front on one with Rustoleum's 2x sun yellow.
VCH made the backs and the oven door and I painted them and the legs in grey. 
An old tap and a metal bowl were added to make a sink unit and I finished it with a cute curtain.
The oven dials were from an old BBQ, that the kind man at the dump gave me, and the hotplates are old CD's painted black.
VCH fixed the handle on the oven after the photo was taken.

They were greatly admired at the markets and went home with a new owners.

By Stephanie Lynn


Thursday, November 7, 2013

dandelion dreams

 Today I thought I would share a piece I did recently and just loved.
In fact if I had a smaller family I would have been tempted to keep it.

It started out when I picked up 6 chairs at a local op shop for $40.
 I decided to find a table to match them.
I found a table on a local buy swap and sell Face Book site, it was extendable, although I don't think it would work well to sit 6 around it as you would have to sit with your legs either side of the table leg.
(sorry can't seem to find a piccy of the original)
I decided that I would just do up 4 chairs to match and keep the other 2 chairs for something else.
I had it in my mind that I wanted to paint the chairs black and have the seats in a white fabric with a black motif. 

When saw this dandelion fabric I fell in love!
Thinking about the table I decided I would do black legs with a white top.
With my mind whirring away (as it tends to do at times) I thought it might be cool to go one step further 
and put a dandelion on the table top.
This was quite a huge step for me as I am no artist.
But I decided that a dandelion should be simple to draw so why not give it a go, 
if it didn't work I would just paint over it and no one would be any wiser!

I tried keeping the dandelions fairly similar to the fabric,
 painting (or rather drawing with a thick black sharpie) two large dandelions on either side of the shut table.

I then opened up the table and  drew two smaller dandelions, 
again similar to the fabric as it also had dandelions of various sizes.
I took this piece to the markets on Saturday and it was greatly admired.
It didn't sell on the day but a lady who saw it and loved it, rang me on Monday to see it had sold and has since purchased it and VCH delivered it to it's new home this morning.

(apologies if you notice the watermarks say redeemed, I usually watermark for both when I edit them, but I must have been in a hurry and only did the one and couldn't be bothered to go back and edit all the photos again this morning)

By Stephanie Lynn


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

happy birthday B3

Happy Birthday today to our wonderful B3.
Hope you have a great 14th birthday today.
We are so proud of you and the young man you have become!

All our love Mum, Dad, your brothers and sister.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

easy homemade granola

This granola is becoming a regular at our house. 

I will usually make it on one of my cooking days.
I start at night after the kids have finished cleaning the kitchen. 
I mix up a double batch in a large bowl and put it in my largest oven tray, in the middle of the oven, it takes about 1/2 hour for a normal batch, I cook it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour for a double batch, every 15 minutes I give it a bit of a turn. 
When it is done I turn the oven off add any nuts and coconut and mix them in and then leave it to cool in the oven overnight. 
The next morning I take it out break it all up and we serve it with Greek yoghurt and some seasonal fruit. 
To make the yoghurt palatable to the kids and me (I only started eating yoghurt about 2 years ago) I stir in a little rice malt syrup and some vanilla powder.

I store any leftovers in a glass jar for another breakfast- if the kids don't snack on it all first!
The original recipe comes from The Sweet Poison Quit Plan Cookbook
My improvements are in italics and I double this recipe.


Crunchy Granola
1/2C rice malt syrup
1/2 C olive oil (I often use coconut instead)
3 C rolled oats
1/2C sunflower seeds
1/2 C pepitas
1T ground cinnamon 
my additions
1/2 C macadamias
1/2 C walnuts
1/2 C coconut (dessicated, shredded or chips)
or anything else you like to throw in, goji berries are good too!

Pre-heat oven to 180C or 160C fan-forced
Put oil and syrup into a saucepan and heat over low heat for 2 minutes to warm through and mix together.
In a large bowl combine oats (you could use quinoa flakes or something else grain free if you prefer), seeds and cinnamon.
Combine liquid with dry ingredients and mix well.
Spread on a tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden giving it a stir halfway through  
(I find it takes 1/2 hour in my oven for a batch this size, but I keep the temperature a little lower so it doesn't burn).
When cooked turn off oven and add nuts and extras and stir, leave to cool in oven, the residual heat will toast the nuts.
Serve with yoghurt, milk and fruit of choice.



Monday, November 4, 2013

market makeovers

 Here are a few  make-overs that came to the markets with me on Saturday.

This box came to me without a base, bit it was solid and heavy.
We put a new base and some castors on it and painted grey inside and used homemade white chalk paint on the inside.

It was then heavily distressed and I applied decals to the front,

and the back, with a grocery theme.
If it didn't sell I was going to bring it home to use to store wood next to the fireplace, but someone loved it and it is on it's way to a new home.

 I picked this stool up at an op shop 

 and repainted it grey and added this Parisian fabric,
 it went home with a little girl who happened to have a quilt in the same fabric.

 I can't seem to find a before shot of this chair, maybe because we has to fix the front legs so it sat upside down on a table for a while.
The original fabric was green and while it was in fairly good condition on the top it was ripped at the bottom.
I sprayed it charcoal with an upholstery spray paint.
I sprayed the woodwork with a an almost identical colour and then I painted on Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint in Ironstone over the top and then distressed it.

 We reupholstered the base in the same Parisian fabric. 
VCH has bought a staple gun for the air compressor and that made the job super easy, I held the fabric and he stapled it on.
  I covered up a couple of little holes on the top part with a small piece of the fabric.
It has gone to a salon in town.
 Here is a lamp that we were also given. It just needed a little gluing to get it right and then I painted it in the same charcoal colour,

and made a new lamp shade for it.
This was the tricky part, but I think it came out OK for my first time.

 Here is the completed lamp.
It came home with me, but that's OK as there is always a next time!

For those of you who are going to ask, 
I had a fabulous position at the markets right on a corner where everyone has to go past and that meant a two sided frontage. 
The sites are huge 5m x 5m so plenty of room to spread out!
I sold quite a lot of stuff and made a nice profit.

shared at:

By Stephanie Lynn

Shabbilicious-Friday Christmas
Antique, Vintage and Repurposed Decor Knick of Time Tuesday link party at