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November 2014
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December 2014

DIY Christmas: our Christmas table with 3d aluminium trees


Hi everyone!! I can't believe Christmas is next week, eek! How are your preparations going? To be honest, I still haven't nearly completed my Christmas shopping and plan to strap on my shoulder pads to tackle the mall this evening. At least we have the house in order and table decorations made that I would love to share with you...


Recently we made a wreath from aluminium flashing (generally used as a building supply and available at the hardware). I love this product as it's inexpensive and you can cut it with scissors to form a variety of shapes. We made these cute 3D Christmas Trees from the aluminium sheeting and you can too! Here's the templates to download. Simply cut out and slide together. I don't mind it cut a little rough as it gives the tree some interest but make sure all sharp points are rounded

Aluminium 3d Christmas Tree diy

We love our Christmas accessories (the assortment of candles and glass votive holders, ceramic bird, chair, throw, tray and cushions). You purchase these items from Super Amart. By the way, they're having an awesome Boxing Day sale running from 24th December to 26th December !! The little blue robin looks beautiful sitting in chunky rock salt 


I'm sitting here writing this post stuffing my face with one of these fruit mince tarts. Oh, soooo good!! Here's Mum's recipe to make her famous Port soaked fruit mince tarts as shown below. Yum!

How are your Christmas decorations going? Are you running out of time too? Would love to see them! x Cate


nine diy Christmas gifts to make for under $20


Looking for some last minute Christmas gifts to make for friends and family? How about some Solid Perfume Lockets? If you don't have any lockets, you can use little glass jars like we've used in our Mint Coconut Lip Balm with printable labels


The kids would love an image of their pet on a pillow. See our version of a Pillow Pet


Plant colourful blooms into Teacup Planter Pots. Simply drill a hole in the bottom of the cup for drainage, add soil and plants. Too easy!


The simplest diy of all... Brooch or Button Magnets. Everyone will love these


Soy candles are an awesome gift! Make these in minutes using old teacups or seashells. They're going to love it


Add some feathers to a hair clip like our Guinea Feather Hair Clip or Jewelled Feather Hair Clip.


Or for a personal touch, how about making our Pina Colada Coconut and Lemon Scrub (smells divine!) or 
Mint and Green Tea Body Scrub?


Are you making any handmade gifts for Christmas? We would love to see what you make x Cate

Mum's port soaked Christmas fruit mince tarts recipe


Did someone say mince tarts? Or Port? Or Christmas?

This is the best recipe for fruit mince tarts. Ever. Totally delicious and one is more than enough (unless you're a total guts). Sure, soaking the fruit and nuts in an alcoholic liquid is important, but get the buttery pastry right and the you've got the best tart in the world. There I've said it, the Best in the World!

You lucky folks, here's Mum's recipe. I can taste them now. Her trademark tart is in the shape of a square but you can make them the traditional round shape too


{go make me} painted Christmas Tree mural diy


Do you have your Christmas tree up yet? I've love the idea of a painted Christmas tree mural as an alternative option to a regualr tree. Our daughter has decreed that we're going pastel this year, so a pastel blue tree it is with a touch of metallic. Our mural sits at our entry and is quite large but you can scale it down to suit 

I painted our mural in an afternoon and it's something that the kids can do too. If you don't paint within the lines, it doesn't matter. In fact, I think it looks better! We used an inexpensive Ikea curtain as a backdrop and blue and silver fabric paints. Here's the template to download


Painted Christmas Tree Mural

You will need:
Cyan Blue and Silver Textile Ink (ours are bought from Permaset Aqua)
Large semi-sheer curtain (ours is bought from Ikea)
Paint brushes
Template (image size is A0,  841mm X 1189mm)
Pencil, tape and scissors
7mm Dowel Rod(s) cut to width 
Removable hooks
Brooches (optional)

Download template and print pages A0 size (two in total) at Officeworks (or Kinkos if outside of Australia). Ours cost about $4 per page. Tape the two templates together

Iron curtain and lightly press a seam down the middle or use pins as a guide to centre. Place curtain over template and match centre lines. Lightly draw template onto curtain with a pencil

Starting at the top branch, paint solid metallic silver. Add 2 teaspoons of blue paint to silver pot until colour just changes to a slightly more blue. Stir to mix. Paint the second branch. Repeat with the other branches, adding blue to silver creating an ombre effect. Leave to dry

Cut off any length at the bottom if desired. I sewed a channel along bottom for the second rod but it's not necessary if you don't have a sewing machine. Gently iron curtain on the back taking care over the painted surface. Thread rods through top and bottom. Attach to wall using hooks

Optionally, I added some brooches (I have a lot!) as bauble bling. What do you think? I'm not so sure??


{go make me} illuminated metal Christmas wreath diy


Have you ever had an idea that lurks in the back of your mind, never seeing the light of day? It rears its head occasionally but quickly gets pushed into the 'too hard basket' and there it stays until the next thought bubble. Do you do this too?

One of my 'lurking' ideas is to make a wreath incorporating lights. I've always been put off by the sight of the electrical lead that strings bulb to bulb. On a recent trip to Bunnings Hardware, I recognised aluminium flashing that the builders have used on our house. Light-bulb moment (sorry for the pun)!! Perhaps I could hammer holes into the flashing and stick the lights behind. Hmmm, it might work....


The best part of the design is that the materials are so inexpensive. All you need is a styro foam ring, aluminium flashing, ribbon and battery operated lights. Of course you will need to set aside an afternoon to create your wreath but I think you'll be happy with the result. Would you like to give it a try?


Illuminated Metal Christmas Wreath

You will need
• One roll of aluminium flashing 150 mm wide x 10 metre length x .3 mm thickness (available from Bunnings or any hardware)
• Styro foam ring 10" or 25 cm total width with 6 cm wide ring (available from Koch)
• Silver ribbon
• Glue gun
• Scissors
• Battery or USB White LED lights 
• Hammer
• Nail
• Eye protection
Template Cutting Guide

* Please note: our front door is extremely wide and I made an extra large wreath to fit it's proportions (shown above). These specifications and instructions are for a smaller wreath (pictured below) to suit the average door width


1 & 2} Glue a length of ribbon to ring and wrap to cover ring entirely

3} Cut another small length of ribbon and tie a knot. Glue knot to ring and then glue ends down. Trim

4} Download template cutting guide. Using strong scissors, cut out 16 leaves, approximately 10 large scales, 10 medium scales and 12 small scales. Remember to use eye wear for protection!

5} Hammer pinholes into metal. Note a larger hole will allow more light to seep through. Try to avoid hammering metal that overlaps ring

6} Glue onto ring with hot glue gun. Leaves should butt to each other

7} Mark each leaf as a guide to placing the inner 'scales'

8} Starting with the outer large scales, glue slightly overlapping each other. Repeat with other rows ending with the smallest size

9} Wrap lights around ring at back. Use glue or bluetack to keep in place. The more lights will give a better glow!

10} Round points of leaves. Hang wreath using a hook or fishing line