November 28, 2012

Christmas Mood Board: Brown & Red

It's time for another Christmas mood board! As much as I'm a fan of modern white and grey colour scheme for Christmas, I quite like the more traditional take with brown and red as well. I used mostly natural materials to create this mood board; paper rosettes made of the pages of an old book, brown paper wreath was made using craft tape, brown paper wrapping topped with decorative ribbons, doilies, coloured wooden beads, and wooden numbers and wooden scrabble tiles to personalise packaging and gift tags. Handmade red felt balls give a nice festive twist to my plain wooden beads.

The little cubes are made out of natural straw and are a part of 'himmeli', a traditional Finnish Christmas decoration I am still putting together! As you may know, I am a huge fan of good old plywood and those tags with little snowflake cut outs, as well as the plywood deer are amongst my favourites for this Christmas.

PS. I have a recipe for those rye ginger bread cookies you see in these photos. I will post that too soon!


November 24, 2012

DIY Felt String-Tie Envelope Advent Calendar

I'm continuing the grey & white colour scheme with this DIY Advent calendar made out of felt string-tie envelopes. It's an easy, but a little time-consuming project seeing that you will have to make 24 envelopes! I used this template on white acrylic felt and fabric glue to close the seems. This is much quicker than hand-stitching, but you can do that too if you have the time (and patience).

After cutting up and glueing 24 envelopes, I drew the numbers on grey felt using wooden numbers as a template. Then I cut them up and glued at the back of each envelope. Finally I cut 2 x 24 round discs out of grey felt and attached two on each envelope with silver brads and cotton string.

These envelopes are a perfect size for little Advent gifts like wooden Christmas decorations, lollies, and cute messages or pictures. I used white wooden pegs to hold the envelopes on a cotton string.

Hope you have a lovely (crafty) weekend!

November 20, 2012

Grey & White Christmas

This year I'm sticking to pure whites and different shades of grey for my gift wrapping. I'm using a variety of materials and textures, such as yarn, felt, paper and clay to create decorations and gift tags. I've used plain white paper with ribbons and strings, clay tags and buttons to personalise parcels. Hand stitched string-tie envelopes are another fun way to pack cards or even small cookies or lollies as gifts.

Yarn pom pom dotted with hand-stitched felt stars is a fun and easy project to make (you can look up yarn pom pom instructions anywhere online, there are heaps). I will do a round-up of different holiday garlands too sometime soon.

November 16, 2012

Friday Craft: Itsy Bitsy Clay Bunting

A fun little project using air-dry clay, teeny weeny cookie cutters and acrylic paint. Can be used as bunting or for gift wrapping! 

Happy weekend!

November 13, 2012

Decorations for the Festive Season

Time to start thinking of the decorations for the festive season! 
What are you planning to make for your home?

November 11, 2012

Oat and Rosemary Cheese Biscuits

After a busy week I've been hit by an unexpected cold and was forced to take it easy this weekend. I've taken naps, done a couple of light strolls on the beach and enjoyed some much needed R&R.

These oat and rosemary cheese biscuits are perfect for a quiet weekend. In fact, they would not be out of place at a brunch, picnic or even when those unexpected guests drop by and you have nothing to offer.

Feel free to alter the ingredients to your liking; rolled spelt or rye instead of oats, different herbs (fresh or dry) and experiment with stronger/milder cheeses. These are a tasty little treat no matter what and packed with flavour.

Oat and Rosemary Cheese Biscuits
(makes 7-10)
(recipe inspired by Valio)

50g rolled oat/spelt/rye
1/2 tablespoon wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 egg
25ml olive oil
50g grated cheese
pine nuts, poppy seeds or sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 175C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk in the egg and the oil and add the cheese. Stir to combine.

3. Use a spoon to form the batter into disks, leaving space between each biscuit. Sprinkle with seeds, if you like. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm and golden. Enjoy warm.

November 04, 2012

Quick Green Bean Salad

It's a sunny Sunday here in Sydney and there is no way I'm spending it in the kitchen! This green bean salad is perfectly quick to prepare before heading out to the balcony to enjoy some lunch and sunshine. Happy Sunday all!

 Quick Green Bean Salad
(serves 2)

a few handfuls of baby spinach
a few handfuls of green beans
3 tablespoons raw buckwheat 
3 tablespoons slivered almond
a good pinch of salt
pepper, to taste
1 small orange, juiced
a few tablespoons of good olive oil
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
feta or parmesan, to serve (optional)

1. Bring water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add the beans and leave for a couple of minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Chop the beans in half (or to bite-size pieces).

2. Toast buckwheat and almonds on a dry frying pan for a few minutes, stirring continuously. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. Whisk orange juice, olive oil and ACV in a bowl. Toss all ingredients in a large bowl and serve immediately. Add feta or parmesan, if you wish.

November 02, 2012

Marimekko Sydney Opens!

It's been a long time coming, but Marimekko has finally found its way back to Australia! I was so excited and honoured to attend the opening party of Marimekko's Sydney store last night - and what a party! 

Marimekko represents time-honoured design and exquisite quality, is functional and absolutely meant for everyday use. This is a brand that is part of our Finnish identity, a brand we all grew up with surrounded in our everyday lives from fabrics to accessories. 

Marimekko has found the most beautiful space in the middle of Sydney (located on 66 King Street) with high ceilings that enable multidimensional and truly unique shopping experience. Nordic style is well honoured with wooden floors and accents, beautiful light throughout the space and of course the most outstanding Marimekko products that would make any space look magnificent.

Last night saw many Sydneysiders, including fellow Finns and Swedes, showcasing their most colourful Marimekko outfits and wholeheartedly enjoying the launch party of the year. Everything was carefully planned, from the nostalgic Finnish music from the 60's and 70's, to staff outfits and product display.

Here are a few snap-shots from last night, hope you enjoy!

Marimekko Sydney
66 King Street
Sydney, NSW