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sweetliving Crafts • DIYs • Food • Green Living • Backyard Sustainability Issue 7 DECEMBER 2013 - FEBRUARY 2014

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Inspiring ideas for everyday living www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014 sweetliving

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sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


sweetliving Crafts • DIYs • Food • Green Living • Backyard Sustainability Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

Merry Christmas! Right now I’m up to my elbows in lace, tulle, silk fabrics, felt, yarn and crystal beads. I’m crafting my own Christmas cards this year, as well as my own Christmas gifts (well, I always do that), so my dining table is elbow deep in craft materials. There’s no room for visitors (just as well it’s summer here in the southern hemisphere – we can dine outdoors), and the cat has become a reluctant model for doll’s clothes alterations (he’s enjoying the festive titbits from the Sweet Living test kitchen though). How is your Christmas planning shaping up? If you need some inspiration, we hope this festive issue will get your creative juices flowing. We have everything from gorgeous vintageinspired paper dolls and decorations (from page 11) to healthy chocolates (yes! page 10) and decadent chocolate cherry tarts with walnut pastry (page 34). We’ve also added in a Christmas Gift Register this issue (page 42) where you can, with the click of your mouse, shop for some amazing goodies online. Another new section to the magazine is our Make Your Talents Pay series in which we feature some very talented entrepreneurs. If your spare room resembles a mini production line, or you dream of turning your hobby into a small business, flick through to this section for some fabulous tips on success. In the meantime, merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you have a safe and happy holiday.

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Jane www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

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contents 6

News, views, tips & snips Latest updates, inspiring ideas, thrifty tips and websites we love.

10

Healthy v. decadent chocolates

11

Handmade decorations

23 42 43 70 73 79

We have recipes for both. Which one would you choose? Make your own vintage-inspired decorations for the tree and table.

Sweet Christmas treats

A mouth-watering collection of festive goodies for you to make.

Christmas gift register Do your shopping online.

59 66

Handmade gifts

Gifts to sew, felt, embroider, crochet, knit.

For bookworms

Great books for the holiday season.

Make your talents pay

Learn tips from these crafty experts.

Backyard sustainability Antioxidant-rich tomatoes.

Contacts www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz Editor: Jane Wrigglesworth Designer: Geoff Fitzpatrick, grafix@fitzi.co.nz Editorial enquiries: jane@sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz Advertising enquiries: admin@sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz Readers’ tips: tips@sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz Join us on Facebook

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news, views, tips & snips Christmas tree wedges

Portable solar plug

Here’s a ‘must have’ gadget that we simply must have! A portable Window Socket. Powered by solar energy, you can effectively connect to power anywhere – at home, at a friend’s place, in the car, or while camping. Simply attach it to a window and plug in your device. This amazing little gadget is still in concept stage while designers Kyuho Song & Boa Oh, from Yanko Design, look to improve storage capacity and efficiency. We hope they do it soon – we want one now!

Add some festive fun to your cheese board this season with these adorable ‘cheese tree pops’. These easy-tomake edible Christmas trees will delight kids and adults alike. All you need are cheese wedges, some broccoli buds, chilli flakes and a savoury star to decorate. We thank the talented Smita Srivastava from Little Food Junction for kindly sharing this idea with us. Click through to her website to see how it’s done.

Start a preserving club

Here’s a fun idea for a get-together with like-minded cooking friends. Start a ‘swap’ or ‘preserving’ club. Similar to a knitting club, the idea is to get friends together at one another’s homes to demonstrate their preserving prowess. This can be a fortnightly, monthly or bi-monthly get-together - whatever works best among your circle of friends. Each person brings their own preserving jar and takes home some of the preserve. The host demonstrates and cooks the preserve, and the others in the club get to take home a jar each. You should end up with a variety of preserves, a few extra recipes and lots of great memories. A cup of tea or a glass of wine and some nibbles should complete the get-together nicely. Page 6

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Pretty lanterns

Turn old jars into pretty outdoor lanterns for garden parties. Stick a piece of lace to the inside bottom of the jar, wrap wire around the rim of the jar, insert a candle (you may need to add sand to the bottom of the jar to help the candle remain upright), then hang! www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


Master carpenter

If you’re handy with a scroll saw or jigsaw, why not make yourself a festive decoration out of a piece of tree trunk. Draw your design onto the wood, then carefully cut it out. All that’s required is a steady hand.

Posh ice cubes

Add a certain panache to your drinks with posh fruity or floral ice cubes. Simply add berries or petals to the water before freezing.

5 websites we 1. The Cutting Class

A fabulous resource for sewers, analysing key haute couture and ready-to-wear collections with a focus on construction techniques, design methodology and how patterns work.

2. Wallpapered

Choose from the many wallpapers available or upload your own design (a photograph, a drawing, or the kids’ sketches perhaps), and customise your own wallpaper. Then get it printed for one-of-a-kind wall art.

3. Stitchin Fingers

A forum for stitchers, fibre artists and textile enthusiasts to hang out. It’s really rather fabulous, we think.

4. This Rawsome Vegan Life

The food on this site is amazing. Even if you’re not a diehard follower of raw food diets, check it out; the recipes will have your mouth watering. Chocolate cream caramel bars, anyone?

5. Gazette 94

An enormous collection of free cross-stitch patterns to download, in all themes. A lovely website.

Champagne bucket

We think champagne and flowers go hand in hand. Pluck a load of pretty petals from a range of flowers from your garden and add them to your champagne bucket at any celebratory occasion.

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The thrifty cook Readers’ tried and true tips for saving money in the kitchen.

Homemade Baileys recipe

Blue cheese dip

Posh fruit salad

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.

This dip is superb at barbecues and dinner parties. It’s always a winner. Serve with crackers or carrot sticks.

I adore all the various melons, including watermelon, when they’re in season. To make a posh fruit salad, scoop out balls of the various melons and place them in a bowl, or melon shell, sprinkle over a dash of lemon juice and sherry (optional) and add a sprig of mint. You can sprinkle a little icing sugar on top as well if you like.

• • • • • • • •

1 cup of whiskey 3 eggs 1 tablespoon coffee 1 teaspoon runny honey 1 teaspoon vanilla essence 1 tablespoon water Small tin condensed milk Half tub single cream

Blend it all together for 2-3 minutes and chill, then enjoy. Anne Jordan, Camelon, Scotland

Melon martini Melons were made for martinis!

• • • • •

35g (1 ¾ oz) vodka 28g (1 oz) Midori (melon liqueur) 85g (3 oz) lemon or orange juice Ice Melon balls for garnishing

Half fill a shaker with ice. Add vodka, Midori and juice and shake. Pour into cocktail glass and add melon balls on skewer. Jane Wrigglesworth, SL Editor

Storing chillies If you have a surplus of chillies, store them in the freezer to stop them spoiling. When you need one, just run it under hot water to defrost. Pippa McCann

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• • • • • • • •

250g (8 oz) cream cheese ¼ cup light cream 3-4 tablespoons blue cheese 1 clove garlic, minced 1-2 teaspoons finely chopped onion 1 teaspoon lemon juice ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce Salt to taste

Beat cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Add cream, blend, then mix in remaining ingredients. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, but allow dip to soften out of refrigerator before serving. Louise Crane

Red wine sauce This sauce is delicious served with steak or chops.

• • • • • •

½ cup finely chopped onion 1 clove garlic 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon flour 1 cup red wine 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Sauté onions and garlic in vegetable oil until softened. Add flour and mix, then add wine and tomato paste. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half (about 15 minutes). P Daniels, Christchurch

December 2013 - February 2014

Jane Wrigglesworth, SL Editor

Use up leftovers Stuck with leftovers that are only enough for one serve? Freeze them, along with other leftover meals. Then have a ‘restaurant night’ at home, offering family members their choice of leftover meal. Alternatively, you can blitz them and use them in soups. This works well with leftover vegetables. Gaye Morris, Manchester

Flaming pudding Dishing up a plum pudding for Christmas dessert? Make it spectacular by setting it on fire! Cover the surface of the pudding, while still hot, with light brown sugar. Heat ¼ cup of brandy in a small saucepan. The brandy will light when hot. Light the brandy in the saucepan and pour, while still flaming, over the pudding. Make sure the lights are out when serving your pudding for a great show. Lauren Peters, Auckland

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Substitute for buttermilk

Crumbly-cake trifle

Many recipes call for buttermilk but I never have it in my fridge. I always substitute 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus 1 cup milk for 1 cup buttermilk. It works a treat.

Cake too crumbly, or a couple of days old? Serve it up as trifle. Use your favourite trifle recipe, but substitute your crumbly cake for sponge cake.

Jo Whyte

Jenny, Auckland

Slicing mushrooms

Chicken couscous

Use an egg slicer to evenly chop mushrooms and avocados.

You can choose to remove the skin from the drumsticks and drizzle a little extra olive oil in the pan to make this dish slightly healthier – but the kids prefer it with the skin on!

Christy Leabank

Exact eggs If you pierce your eggs with a sharp pin before boiling they won’t crack. Midge Seymour

Overcooked veggies I have been known to overcook my vegetables from time to time, so instead of throwing them out (my family is particularly fussy when it comes to overcooked food) I throw them into a food processor with a knob of butter or a dollop of cream, salt and pepper and herbs from the garden, and purée them. I then serve the meat on top of the purée. It then looks like one of those fancy restaurant dishes. Stephanie Palmay

Crispy chook Make roast chicken crisper and tastier by rubbing lemon juice over the skin before placing it in the oven. Penny Sanland

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• • • • • • • • • • • •

8 chicken drumsticks ½ onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or fresh if you have it) 1 parsnip 1 potato 1 medium kumara or chunk of pumpkin 2 large carrots 1-2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables 1 ½ cups couscous

the oven for around 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add chicken stock and cook for further 20 minutes. Mix in the frozen vegetables and sprinkle over the couscous. Give it a good mix so the couscous absorbs the moisture from the chicken stock. Bake in the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the couscous is starting to look nice and crispy around the edge of the pan. Serve straight from the roasting dish or arrange on a serving platter. Once you have made this dish a few times you can experiment with different vegetables. We have used aubergine (egg plant), mushrooms and capsicums. This is a great dish to adapt to whatever vegetables are in season. You can also try different herbs for this recipe, for example thyme and oregano. Pam, Birkenhead

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Cut the parsnip, potato, kumara and carrots into bite size cubes. Place the drumsticks in a large roasting dish and add the chopped onions and crushed garlic. Mix in the cubed vegetables and drizzle over the olive oil. Bake in

Issue 7

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December 2013 - February 2014 sweetliving

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Clockwise, from top left: Chocolates: decadent caramel-filled chocoaltes (left) v. healthy chocolates (right) – which would you choose? We have recipes for both (page 41) – and both are delicious; Frozen desserts are just the thing for a warm summer’s evening or a lovely light dessert after a heavy meal. Try our Creamy berry popsicles for an old-fashioned treat; Strawberry yoghurt pops are not only delicious, they’re healthy! Both kids and adults will love these fruity snacks. See recipes on page 41. Page 10

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sweetliving

Handmade decorations Be crafty this festive season and make your own vintageinspired decorations.

Festive figures

We’re head over heels in love with these delightful vintage-style dolls that Jenny Tidemo whipped up. They’re made out of simple materials – pipe cleaners, batting from an old quilt, brown paper, beads and buttons, and printed faces – yet they’re oh-so exquisite! Click through to Jenny’s website to see how it’s done.

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Crystal ball Convert hanging crystals into ornaments for your Christmas tree or a festive display. Alternatively, buy crystal teardrops from craft stores and hang them with ribbon or clear nylon beading thread.

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Handmade decorations

Back to nature

Make a simple ornament from your garden prunings. Cut ‘slices’ from a tree branch, leaving the bark intact. Sand the front and back sides smooth, if necessary, then stamp or paint a pattern onto the wood. Drill a hole at the top of the ornament and thread with twine.

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Print & supply

Print your favourite images onto adhesive or photographic paper and stick or glue them to plain white ornaments. A very simple but effective decoration.

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Handmade decorations

Cover-up Use a dome-shaped food cover or old-fashioned glass cloche to house Christmas ornaments and foliage (in this case eucalyptus) for a table setting. Make a wreath of needles at the base.

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On a high note

Cover plain baubles with old sheet music, patterned tissue paper or wrapping paper. Cut strips and glue onto the baubles using PVA glue.

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Handmade decorations

Burlap stocking Back in the days burlap made a very suitable material for creating festive stockings. These days burlap is back in fashion. Make a simple stocking shape and add a linen or cotton cuff. You can leave it unembellished, or embroider a pretty motif onto it – perhaps a child’s initials.

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sweetliving Issue 7

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Handmade decorations

Make a wreath

Christmas wreaths don’t have to be red. Make one from the fresh or dried flowers of lavender (above) for a delicious scent. Thyme flowers (opposite) work well too. Insert flower stems into wet floral foam and hang at the front door. You can add a bow or baubles for sparkle if you wish.

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2 3 4 On the side of angels Make an angel for your treetop or wall out of driftwood and other recycled materials. You will need: Selection of driftwood (suitable for legs, arms, body and head, and wings) | Old cloth napkin (ours measures 50cm x 46cm (20 x 18 inches) | 25cm (9 inch) length of bias binding | 2.5cm (1 inch) wide elastic | Machine thread | Sewing machine | Scissors | Wire | Copper wire for halo | Glue | Handsaw | Pliers | Electric drill

1

5

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Select driftwood pieces suitable for legs and wings, and lay in position. Fold your napkin in half to give you an idea of the right length for the legs. The driftwood can be cut to size if necessary.

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Fold napkin in half again, to more or less form a square, and cut a semi-circle at the corner, on the fold (centre of napkin). The diameter of our circle is about 4cm (1.5 inches).

Free

d nloa dow e er h click

Unfold napkin. With right sides together, stitch bias binding around circle. Using scissors, nick the fabric from the circle’s edges up to the stitching, being careful not to cut the stitching. Fold bias binding under to wrong side of napkin fabric and stitch around the neck close to the top edge. Stitch another seam, about 12mm ( ½ inch) out from first seam – or big enough to fit elastic, leaving an opening to thread the elastic through. Thread elastic through opening, then tie or stitch the ends together. Hand-stitch the opening closed. Turn dress inside out and pin the shape of a dress, with body and sleeves, as shown. Stitch, then cut, leaving a 10mm seam. Overlock or zigzag edges. Cut sleeves shorter if you wish, turn edges under and hem. Nick corners under arms, then turn right side out. Measure length of body and cut driftwood if necessary. The bottom of the body should sit about 2.5cm above hemline of dress. Drill a hole through base of body and around chest level. Drill a hole through legs and arms, 12mm ( ½ inch) down from top edges. Push wire through holes of body and legs and wind wire ends together to secure. Push body through neck of dress. Push arms through sleeves. Attach wings with a screw, screwing into the back of the wings and into the angel’s body. You may need to screw through the dress. Cut lengths of copper and bend into a semi-circle to form halo. Drill small holes into wings and insert halo ends into these. www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


Handmade decorations

Sparkle & shimmer

Buy simple cardboard shapes from craft stores and adorn with glitter and vintage jewels. You’ll find fancy cardboard shapes in the scrapbooking section. Spray paint these in gold or silver. Once dry, spray one side of the ornament with adhesive and sprinkle with gold or silver glitter. When that’s dry, repeat for the opposite side. Glue or clip a piece of jewellery in the centre.

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sweetliving

Christmas treats

Try your baking hand at this mouthwatering collection of festive goodies.

Banana fruit cake

Whether it’s a traditional recipe or a more modern-day one, Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Christmas cake! Try ours for a modern-day twist. It’s quick and easy – there’s no need to soak the fruit for weeks – and it contains some surprising ingredients, like mashed banana. Make one large cake or three small ones as gifts. Recipe on page 38.

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Frosted redcurrants

Pick your own redcurrants and eat them fresh, or poach them for 3-4 minutes, sprinkle with sugar and serve with cream or ice cream. Or frost them with egg white and caster sugar and use them to decorate cakes and cupcakes.

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Christmas treats Raspberry lime loaf This citrus-flavoured cake showcases fresh summer berries, although frozen berries can be used instead. Recipe on page 38.

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Gingerbread men

The festive season wouldn’t be the same without at least one batch of gingerbread men on the menu! Bake up a bundle for kids, or as party gifts. Recipe on page 38.

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Christmas treats

Decadent vanilla cupcakes With a deliciously intense vanilla flavouring, these cupcakes are the perfect treat for friends, family members or guests. Recipe on page 39.

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sweetliving

Citrus sorbet

Not too sweet, not too tart, this lemon and lime sorbet makes a refreshing dessert – and it’s seriously easy to make. Recipe on page 39.

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Christmas treats

Pistachio towers

These mini Christmas tree-shaped cupcakes are made with moist pistachio cake and covered in ‘fir tree’ icing. They’re also decorated with Christmas ‘baubles’. Recipe on page 39.

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Vanilla, white chocolate & coconut cookies These simple vanilla cookies are smothered in white chocolate and coconut. You can cut them into any shape for the festive holidays. Recipe on page 40.

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Christmas treats

Panforte

This traditional Italian Christmas cake is made with dried fruit, cocoa, honey, nuts and spices. Recipe on page 40.

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Rum & raisin ice cream Made with just three ingredients, this grownup’s dessert couldn’t be easier to make. Serve in bowls or waffle ice cream cones and sprinkle with crushed sweets or nuts. Recipe on page 40.

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Christmas treats

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Chocolate cherry tarts with walnut pastry Chocolate fans will love these rich chocolate cherry tarts. Conveniently, they can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days so can be made ahead of time. Recipe on page 40.

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Christmas treats

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Vanilla pudding An easy-to-make, light sweet is sometimes all you need after a large meal. This deliciously creamy dessert is just the thing. Recipe on page 40.

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sweetliving

perfect gifts for foodie friends and family

Buy online @ www.cuisinescene.co.nz or phone 07 8564828 Free delivery in NZ for orders over $35

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sweetliving

Recipes Banana fruit cake

Free

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• 1 cup sultanas • 1 cup dates, chopped • 1/3 cup glacé cherries • 450g (16 oz) jar traditional fruit

to downrecipes. free

mince

• 175g (5.5 oz) butter, roughly chopped

• 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind • 2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1/3 cup brandy • ½ teaspoon baking soda • 3 eggs, lightly beaten • 1 cup mashed banana • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons baking powder 1. Combine fruit, cherries, fruit mince, butter, sugar, lemon rind and juice, and brandy in saucepan and stir over medium heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Bring to boil, remove from heat and add baking soda. Allow to cool. 2. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees F). Grease a 23cm x 23cm (9 inch x 9 inch) baking pan, or use smaller round baking pans if giving cakes as gifts. Line base and sides with baking paper 3. Transfer mix to large mixing bowl. Add egg and banana and stir in. Sift in flour and mix. Pour batter into baking pan. 4. Bake for 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. When cool, remove from pan.

Raspberry lime loaf


• 2 cups all-purpose flour
 • 2 teaspoons baking powder • ½ teaspoon salt
 • ¾ cup granulated sugar
 • 2 medium eggs • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
 • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 tablespoon lime zest
 • ¾ cup milk • 1 ½ cups raspberries, fresh or frozen 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease or line a 20cm x 10cm (8-inch x 4-inch) loaf pan. 2. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, eggs, vanilla, olive oil and lime zest. 3. Add milk and half the flour mixture to large bowl. Mix well. Stir in the rest of the flour mixture. Add raspberries and pour batter into prepared baking pan.
 4. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the loaf.
Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before icing with lime butter frosting.
Decorate with fresh raspberries.

Lime butter frosting

• 70g (2 ½ ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

• 1 ¾ cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar • Pinch salt Page 38

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• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon lime juice • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest Beat butter with hand mixer until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in icing sugar. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the salt, vanilla extract and lime juice and beat on high speed until frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the lime zest at the end.

Gingerbread cookies • 125g (4 ½ oz) butter
 • 1/3 cup sugar
 • 1/3 cup golden syrup
 • 3 cups flour
 • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
 • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 • 3 teaspoons baking soda
 • 1 egg
 • 1 teaspoons vanilla essence

1. Place butter, sugar and golden syrup in saucepan and heat gently until butter melts. Allow to cool, then add baking soda. 2 Add sifted flour and spices and mix well, then add egg and vanilla. Mix to form a soft dough. 3. Roll dough out thinly, cut into shapes then bake on a greased oven tray at 180 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack, then ice.

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Pistachio towers

Decadent vanilla cupcakes

• 250g (9 oz) butter, at room temperature • 2 ¼ cups granulated sugar • 3 large eggs • 4 cups all-purpose flour • 3 teaspoons baking powder • ½ teaspoon salt • 1 cup milk • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract • 1 ½ tablespoons vanilla bean paste

Frosting

• 200g (7 oz) butter, at room temperature • 170g (6 oz) cream cheese • 3 tablespoons milk • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 5 ½ cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). 2. In food processor, or with hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until well combined. 3. In separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. In separate bowl, combine milk, vanilla extract and paste. 4. Alternating between the dry ingredients and the wet, add to the butter mixture. Fill muffin pans about 2/3 to ¾ full. Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. 5. In medium bowl, combine all frosting ingredients and beat until smooth.

Citrus sorbet

• 200g granulated sugar • 275ml (9 oz) water • Zest and juice of 3 limes • Zest and juice of 3 lemons In a small saucepan bring the sugar and water to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool a little. Add zest and juice of lemons and limes, then pour everything into an empty ice cream container. Combine with a whisk, then place in the freezer for 1 ½ hours. Remove and stir with whisk, then return to the freezer for another 2 hours, stirring every ½ hour. The more times you stir, the more air will be incorporated, resulting in a lighter sorbet.

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• ½ cup blanched pistachios
 • 1 cup caster sugar
 • 2 large eggs
 • ⅔ cup sour cream
 • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
 • ½ teaspoon pistachio extract (or almond)
 • 2 cups sifted flour
 • ½ teaspoon baking powder
 • ½ teaspoon baking soda
 • ½ teaspoon salt
 • 170g (6 ounce) unsalted butter, softened • ¾ cup blanched pistachio nuts, slivered or coarsely chopped
 • 10 Cape gooseberries
 • Silver cachous For cones you need:
 • Standard cupcake tins
 • Baking beans (or dry beans, dry rice or dry lentils) • 10 party hats
 • Baking foil
 1. Cut party hats to size. Ours reached 12cm (4 ½ inches) high. Fill cupcake tins with baking beans. Cover entire tin with foil and make holes in centre of each cup so that the end of each party hat can slip into it and stand up. Staple the tops of the party hats together for extra strength. Line cones with baking paper or baking foil. 2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F)
. 3. Place pistachios and sugar in food processor and pulse until finely ground. Remove and set aside. 4. In medium bowl, and using hand mixer, mix together the eggs, half the sour cream, vanilla extract and pistachio extract.
 5. In large bowl, mix together the flour, ground pistachio mixture, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add softened butter and remainder of sour cream and mix on a low setting until ingredients have a moist consistency.
Increase speed to medium setting and beat for further 1-2 minutes.
 6. Gradually add the egg mixture, increase speed and beat mixture for around 1 minute to ensure it is well combined.
Gently spoon mixture into prepared conical cups. 7. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of cakes. Let cakes stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. When cool cut off bottoms so cakes sit flat, and ice.

Cream cheese icing

• 4 tablespoons butter, softened
 • ½ cup cream cheese
 • 2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • Milk if needed Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
 Slowly add icing (confectioner’s) sugar until combined.
Add vanilla extract and beat to a smooth consistency.
If you want a thinner icing add a small about of milk, a teaspoon at a time.
If you desire a thicker icing add more icing sugar. Spread onto cakes then sprinkle pistachio nuts and a few silver cachous. Using a toothpick secure a cape gooseberry on top of each cake.

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sweetliving

Free

Recipes Rum & raisin ice cream

• 200g (7 oz) raisins • ½ cup dark rum • 1 litre (approx. 2 pints) good quality vanilla ice cream

1. Remove ice cream from freezer, place in large bowl and allow to soften slightly. 2. Meanwhile, place raisins, rum and ¼ cup freshly boiled water in bowl and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid. 3. Add raisins and half the reserved liquid to softened ice cream and gently mix through. Pour back into ice cream container and return to freezer to set. Serve sprinkled with nuts or chopped candies.

Chocolate cherry tarts with walnut pastry

Filling • ¾ cup cream • 200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped • 3 tablespoons cherry liqueur • Fresh cherries 1. Make pastry. Place flour, walnuts, sugar and a pinch of salt into a food processor. Process until walnuts are finely chopped. Add diced butter and process until mix resembles breadcrumbs. Add egg yolk and water and mix until a dough forms. 2. Remove dough from processor, roll into a ball and flatten slightly, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Roll pastry out to a thickness of 3mm. Cut into circles and line tartlet tins. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. 4. Using baking paper and baking beans, blind bake for 8 minutes. Remove paper and beans and continue to bake until golden. Cool on wire racks. sweetliving Issue 7

Vanilla Pudding

• 1/3 cup granulated sugar • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) • ¼ teaspoon salt • 2 ¼ cups whole milk • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract • Nutmeg for serving

Pastry • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour • ¼ cup walnuts • 1 tablespoons granulated sugar • 90g unsalted butter, chilled and diced • 1 egg yolk • 2 tablespoons iced water

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5. To make filling, heat cream • 2 egg yolks d nloa until just before it bubbles. dow here • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence clickload your Remove from heat and add n w o d to pes. free reci chocolate. Leave to stand for 1. Place flour and butter in a food 2 minutes while chocolate melts processor. Pulse until it takes then mix until smooth Add liqueur on the form of breadcrumbs. and mix. Spoon chocolate mixture into 2. Add icing sugar, egg yolks and vanilla pastry cups and place in fridge to set. essence and mix until smooth. Wrap Serve with fresh cherries. dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1

1. Place a mesh strainer over a 1 litre (4 cup) measuring jug. 2. Add sugar, cornflour and salt to saucepan (off heat) and mix well. Slowly pour in ¼ cup of the milk, and mix until smooth. Mix in the egg yolks and remaining milk. 3. Turn heat to medium high and cook, constantly whisking, until the mixture thickens and boils, about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture down the sides. Reduce the heat to medium low, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms ribbons when drizzled onto surface, 3-5 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted. Pour through strainer, then pour into small serving bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours in fridge. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

Vanilla, white chocolate & coconut cookies

• 350g (12 oz) all-purpose flour • 250g (9 oz) butter, cut into cubes • 125g (4 ½ oz) icing (confectioner’s) sugar

December 2013 - February 2014

hour. 3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F). Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and grease. 4. After chilling, roll dough out onto a floured work surface and, using a cookie cutter, cut out your desired shapes. Place on baking trays. Bake 5-10 minutes or until golden brown. 5. Let stand for a few minutes on baking trays before transferring to a cooling rack. The biscuits will be soft at this stage so handle gently to maintain their shape. They will become crisp once cooled. To decorate:

• 150g (5 oz) white chocolate melts • 1 cup desiccated coconut • Couple of red liquorice wheels, cut into small strips

1. Melt white chocolate melts in a double boiler/microwave according to manufacturer’s instructions, then let cool slightly. Place a cooling rack onto baking paper and place biscuits on the cooling rack. Drizzle white chocolate over the biscuits and spread. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut while still wet. Place a strip of red liquorice along neck to give the effect of a collar.

Panforte

• 100g blanched almonds • 100g blanched hazelnuts • 150g sugar • 150g honey • 1 cup all-purpose flour www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


• ½ teaspoon mixed spice • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder • 250g mixed dried fruits • Icing sugar for dusting

• 1 cup raw cacao butter or raw, extra

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease and line a 20cm round tart pan. 2. Place nuts on a baking tray and roast until golden. 3. Place sugar and honey in a heavy-based saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Continue to boil the mixture over a medium heat, without stirring, until the temperature reaches the soft ball stage, 115 degrees C (240 degrees F). 4. Meanwhile, sift the flour, spices and cocoa powder into a bowl and add toasted nuts and dried fruit. When the syrup is ready, pour it into the bowl and mix with dry ingredients quickly. If you leave it too long the syrup will thicken and it will be hard to mix. Tip into the prepared tin and press down with fingers to level. 5. Reduce oven to 160 degrees C and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from pan. Dust with icing sugar.

1. Slowly melt the cacao butter or coconut oil over a very low heat, in a small pot until just melted. 2. Mix in the cacao powder and agave until your mixture is smooth. If it needs help to fully mix together, it’s best to use a stick or full blender. 3. Pour into mini cupcake baking cups or chocolate moulds. Place in the freezer or fridge to set. 

Caramel-filled chocolates • 100g dark chocolate • 4 tablespoons Highlander Caramel Sweetened Condensed Milk

1. Melt chocolate over a double boiler, or in the microwave. 2. Using a small paint brush, paint chocolate moulds with melted chocolate, making sure to cover quite thickly. Place in freezer for 2-3 minutes to set. 3. Remove from freezer and fill moulds with caramel almost to the top. 4. Fill the remainder of the moulds with melted chocolate, making sure to seal the edges. Place in freezer for 5 minutes or so.

Heavenly bites - healthful chocolates Everyone knows we need to eat as well as we can, although this can be challenging at times like Christmas when there are so many ‘treats’ around, especially when it comes to chocolate! Fi Jamieson-Folland shows us there’s such a thing as a healthful chocolate, packed with antioxidants, flavonoids and serotonin. www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

virgin coconut oil (or a combination of ½ cup of each), melted • ½ cup raw cacao powder • 2-4 tablespoons agave, to taste

Optional extras: • Experiment with flavours by mixing in bee pollen, sesame seeds, raw cacao nibs, or goji berries before placing your chocolate in the mould. Or sprinkle with any of these once your chocolate has begun to set in the fridge. • Include organic and go with raw options where you can – they often have more active ingredients. Bonus giveaway If you’d like a summary of the health benefits of raw chocolate, then email Fi direct at fi@fijamiesonfolland.com for your copy. Remember to put ‘Heavenly Bites - SL’ as your email subject line.

Strawberry yoghurt pops When choosing yoghurt, don’t be tempted to pick a low-fat one; it won’t freeze as well.

• 250g (9 oz) fresh or frozen

strawberries • 30-60ml of honey • 500ml whole milk yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt) • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1. Wash and hull strawberries. Place strawberries together with 30ml of honey in a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste to check sweetness. Add more honey if needed. 2. Add yoghurt and lemon juice and blend until combined. 4. Pour into popsicle moulds and freeze for 3 hours or until firm. Remember to add an ice cream stick in the centre of your mould if it doesn’t come with one.

Issue 7

Creamy berry popsicles There is a bit of time involved in making these, but the results are worth it. That said, you can cheat time by using store-bought vanilla ice cream. Leave it on the bench for a few minutes to soften before layering it into the moulds.

• 1 ½ cups raspberries (fresh or frozen) • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar • 1 tablespoon water • 1 cup whole milk • ⅔ cup granulated sugar • Pinch of salt • 1 ½ cups cream • 5 large egg yolks • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 1. Place raspberries, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring regularly. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the raspberries have broken down. 2. Strain mixture through sieve to remove pips. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze all the juice out into a clean pan. 3. Bring the juice back to the boil and l et simmer until the mixture thickens. The syrup will thicken even more once it cools down, so don’t overdo it. 4. Set raspberry syrup aside to cool 5. Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a saucepan. 6. Pour the cream into a separate bowl. Place a clean sieve on top of bowl and set aside. 7. In another bowl beat the egg yolks and slowly add a couple of tablespoons of the warmed milk, stirring constantly. 8. Add the egg and milk mixture to the rest of the warmed milk, whisking constantly to get a smooth mixture. Continue to whisk on a medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken. 9. Pour the mix through the sieve into the cream and stir well. Add vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. 10. Allow to cool before adding to your popsicle moulds. If you are in possession of an ice cream maker you can make up the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Then scoop mixture into your mould. This will give a more defined layer. 11. Start with the ice cream mixture then follow with the raspberry syrup. Continue layering until you have achieved the desired look. Remember to leave a bit of room at the top as the mixture will expand slightly when frozen. 12. Insert an ice cream stick and freeze for around 3 hours or until firm. Indulge your taste buds!

December 2013 - February 2014 sweetliving

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sweetliving

Christmas gift register

Save time, save money, save hassles - do all your shopping at home at these wonderful online stores.

gift ideas gift vouChers seed seleCtions Catalogues Click here to find out more n etitio Comp

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www.kingsseeds.co.nz Creating New Zealand inspired clothing within Aotearoa

Handmade Gourmet Condiments Gift packs and baskets made to order

shop online at www.jusju.co.nz

– any price, any size

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Fresh fruit syrups, ideal for summer and handmade by us.

Creating New Zealand inspired clothing within Aotearoa

See our range for a perfect gift

shop online at www.jusju.co.nz

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December 2013 - February 2014

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Handmade Gifts

sweetliving

Sew, felt, embroider, crochet, knit and build gorgeous gifts for friends and family.

Hand-crafted card

Fashion your own cards using mixed media for a very special touch. Fold a piece of cardboard in half to form your card base. Glue a piece of tulle, the same size as your card, to the front. Machine stitch a thick piece of contrasting card, slightly smaller than the card itself to the front. Stamp your season’s greetings onto the card and any other embellishments, such as snowflakes. Use a craft punch to cut out several leafy stems and glue them onto your card in the shape of a tree. Glue pearls on as ornaments and a star at the top of the tree. Cut out a house from textured card and attach with glue. Finally, glue a strip of tulle, lace and wool to the bottom of the card for embellishment.

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sweetliving

Make a beaded collar These vintage-style beaded collars complement almost any look, be it casual or classy. It’s a simple matter of cutting out a felt collar template and gluing strands of pearls or other beads to it. Click through to stylehive to see exactly how it’s done. Alternatively, glue or sew a web necklace to the felt collar and glue large crystal beads in between.

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Handmade gifts

t

r u o 1h c

p r o je

Bling up a bag Add sparkle to a plain bag with sequin ribbon. It couldn’t be easier. Make a flat bow out of the ribbon and either glue or stitch it in place. Voila!

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sweetliving

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sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


Handmade gifts

Holdall bags We love Kiwi crafter Melissa Wastney’s book Sweet & Simple Handmade, which includes 25 projects to sew, embroider and knit for littlies, including these lovely bags.

Free

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Finished bag: Any size; example is 13˝ × 14˝ These are useful bags or pouches that can be made in nearly any fabric and any size you can imagine. My children have pegs in their bedroom to hang up bags of laundry, swimming gear, library books, and Lego bricks or other toys. You could make small pouches with oilcloth linings for lunches or snacks or little bags from special fabrics to keep treasures like marbles and jewellery safe and organised. Just use your creativity. The dimensions given prove useful for shoes or toys.

You will need: 1/2 yard of fabric for the bag exterior 1/2 yard of fabric for the bag lining 1/4 yard of fabric for the drawstring casing 2 yards of ribbon or cotton tape Safety pin Cutting Exterior fabric Cut 2 pieces 13˝ × 14˝. Lining fabric Cut 2 pieces 13˝ × 14˝. Casing fabric Cut 2 pieces 2˝ × 15˝.

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sweetliving

Let’s make it

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Bag linings

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Sew the bag exterior pieces together, right sides together, leaving the top 13˝ edge unsewn. Repeat with the lining pieces, but leave a 3˝ opening in the bottom seam (Figure 1). Press under 3/4˝ on each short end of a casing strip. Fold each end under another 3/4˝ and press well. Stitch along the folds. Now fold the casing strip in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, and press (Figure 2). Repeat with the remaining casing strip. Turn the bag exterior right side out. Centre and pin 1 of the folded casing strips to the top edge of the right side of the bag exterior, aligning the raw edges. Pin in place and repeat with the other side of the bag exterior (Figure 3). Stitch the casings in place using a 1/4˝ seam allowance. Make sure that the bag lining is still inside out. Place the bag exterior inside the lining so that the right sides are facing and the casings are sandwiched between the layers. Match the side seams and pin around the top. Stitch around the top, about 1/2˝ from the edge, taking care to include all the layers. Turn the bag right side out through the opening in the lining. Hand sew the opening closed. Push the lining into the pouch and press well so that the lining and exterior sit flat and the casings are standing up and away from the bag. Cut the ribbon in half and attach a safety pin to an end. Thread a length of ribbon from a side seam through one casing, around the bag through the other casing, and out again where you started. Tie a knot to secure the ends. Attach the safety pin to the other piece of ribbon. Begin at the opposite side seam of the bag and thread it through each casing and back around to where you started. Tie a knot to secure the ends (Figure 4). Now, see what you can find to put in the new pouch!

Extracted with permission from Sweet and Simple Handmade: 25 Projects to Sew, Stitch, Knit and Upcycle for Children, by Melissa Wastney. Published by Stash Books (C&T Publishing), San Francisco. Sweet and Simple Handmade is a companion to author Melissa Wastney’s blog Tiny Happy which has been a creative journal spanning family life in Norway, Nelson and Wellington. Her book includes instructions for 25 delightful projects – bags, quilts and adorable clothing for little ones, with projects categorised into three ages: infant to 12 months, ages 1-4, and ages 5-10. The book includes reusable full-size graded patterns on tissue paper. Book available via Tiny Happy and C&T Publishing. Page 48

sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

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Handmade gifts

Leather purse This leather purse couldn’t be easier to make. Use leather offcuts from emporium stores – you’ll find leather in all colours. Cut a strip of leather 30cm (1 foot) wide x 45cm (1.5 feet) long (or bigger if you want a larger purse). Divide into three sections, each 15cm ( ½ foot) long. With rights sides together, fold bottom 15cm section onto middle 15cm section to form a pocket. Stitch together on sewing machine. Turn right side out, cut top section into a curve to form a flap. Glue or stitch leather ‘petals’ and ‘leaves’ onto the flap (a fabric glue is ideal for this). And that’s it! If you wish you can sew on a dome clasp.

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sweetliving

Felted scarf

Wet-felt a gorgeous wool scarf for yourself – or as a gift for a friend.

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Handmade gifts Materials: • 250g wool roving/top (we’ve used a mix of corriedale and merino-silk blend) • 1 x 90cm (35 inches) x 210cm (83 inches) roll-up bamboo blind • 2 x net curtains • Plastic squeeze bottle • Dish detergent • Dressmaker’s scissors

Free

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Remove strings and fittings from bamboo blind. Lay it on the ground (outdoors in a wind-sheltered spot) and place one of your net curtains on top. Start to lay out wool fibres for centre of scarf. Pull off pieces of fibre and lay them down lengthways, with the fibres running in the same direction and overlapping slightly. Lay them reasonably thick – you don’t want any holes in your scarf. Once laid down, press your hands onto the fibre to check for any weak spots, which may lead to holes in the felting process. Fill in if necessary. Make the scarf longer than you want it, as it will shrink when felted. We laid ours out 160cm (63 inches) long. The finished length was 146cm (57 inches). The width of the central piece we laid out at 18cm (7 inches) wide. Lay out the edges. Lay fibres (same colour or different colour) at right angles to the centre piece, to ensure they form ruffles. The fibres at the centre of the scarf, if laid out in the direction of rolling, will shrink faster, causing the edges to ruffle. Overlap the edges onto the centre piece. At this stage you can also place more fibre in the centre of the scarf if you wish, for either colour or depth. Trim the edges with scissors to ensure an even finish. Or you can leave the edges wispy if you like. Place the other net curtain on top of the fibre. Fill bottle with warm water and 2-3 drops of detergent. Sprinkle soapy water over the netting and fibre. Do this gently to ensure you do not disrupt the fibres, which may leave holes. The fibre should be reasonably wet but not soggy – something akin to towel-dried hair. Roll up the bamboo blind, then roll backwards and forwards, like a rolling pin, 100-125 times. Unroll the blind, then roll it up again from the other end. Roll backwards and forwards another 100-125 times. You need to do this 5-6 times for the fibres to knit together. Once you’ve completed a reasonable number of rolls, unroll the blind and pull back the top layer of netting. Do a pinch test. Pinch the fibres together and lift slightly. If individual fibres come away on their own, the felting process is not yet complete. You will need to roll some more. If, when pinching the fibres, the entire piece lifts, it’s ready. Now you need to shock the fibres. Place the whole scarf in a tub of hot water and swirl it around a bit, then place it in a tub of cold water. You can do that once more if you wish the scarf to shrink further, or leave it at that. Then rinse in a tub of lukewarm water with a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar added. This eradicates any soap residue. Rinse once more than hang or lay the scarf on a towel to dry. Once dry, iron scarf on wool setting.

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sweetliving

Free

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Crocheted charm bracelet

Sweet Living crochet expert Lisa van Klaveren designed this gorgeous charm bracelet. We love the neutral colour, but it would look equally fine in bright hues – a mix of colours or a single one. Check out Lisa’s website, Holland Designs, for more patterns, but first, download your free one above.

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sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

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Handmade gifts

Silk bead necklace Add a pop of colour to your wardrobe with these gorgeous silk accessories.

You will need: Silk (can use an old silk scarf from thrift store) Wooden beads, for covering Decorative beads of choice (make sure they have a fairly large hole) Clasp Matching embroidery thread Needle Sewing machine

1. Cut a strip of silk 12cm (5 inches) wide x 140cm (55 inches) long. If using a silk scarf, cut strips 12cm (5 inches) wide and join ends together to get a length of 140cm (55 inches). 2. Fold strip in half lengthways and stitch together, leaving ends open. Turn right side out. 3. Take first wooden bead and slip it inside the silk tube. Let it fall to the middle of the tube (fold the tube in half to find the middle). Take two decorative beads and thread onto the outside of the silk tube, one on either side of the wooden bead. Slip a wooden bead into the silk tube, then, holding the bead in place, tie a knot immediately after it. Tie it tightly so the beads do not move. Repeat the process on the other side, inserting a wooden bead into the silk tube and knotting it in place. Repeat with wooden beads and decorative beads until you have the desired outcome. 4. Leave a length of fabric unembellished on the ends, making sure the length on each side is equal. If not, trim to size. Then fold the ends inside the tube 1.2cm (½ inch) and stitch across the top edge. 5. Working on one side at a time, pinch end together and sew, using embroidery thread, into a point. Take one end of the clasp and sew to necklace. Repeat for other side of necklace.

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sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

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Handmade gifts

Tablecloths & napkins Sarah Moore’s new book Vintage Home provides some super stylish ideas and more than 50 handmade projects from furniture to decorating, including these gorgeous linen pieces. Back in the day, a bare table was a rare thing. Starchy damask was ironed immaculately and set in place on the dining table before dinner settings were laid upon it. Squares of linen were edged with hand crochet and lace.

You will need: Fabric dye and dying equipment | Weighing scales | Tablecloth with lacy edging | Fabric scissors or stitch picker | Iron | Pins | Sewing machine or hand-sewing needle | Sewing thread

Hours were spent embroidering flowers and garlands and ladies in crinolines onto tea cloths. Seersucker wrinkled on the tables in the fifties and sixties and then, suddenly, we pretty much stopped using these previously essential items of sophisticated dining. A consequence of their previous ubiquity is that there are hoards of tablecloths to be gathered up and used, but not all are in perfect condition. The ideas here will help you to breathe new life into old cloths that have been damaged or marked over the years. You can experiment with different fabric dyes, from little chemical sachets that you mix with salt and water for instant rainbows of colour, to using cauldron-like pots with onion skins, beetroot and roots all set with natural mordants such as alum.

To add trimmings you will also need: Fabric scissors | Stitch picker (optional) | Lace trimming | Fabric dye (optional) | Tape measure | Fabric for tablecloth | Iron | Pins | Sewing machine | Sewing thread

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Decide what type and colour of dye you are using and weigh the fabric to ensure the quantity of dye you have is enough to colour the entire cloth evenly. If there are lots of marks on the fabric, choose a shade that is richer and darker than the existing colour to mask them. Unpick the edging of the cloth if you would like a contrasting coloured trim. Follow the packet instructions for your dye and colour the cloth and the edging in different shades. When you have completed the process, wash and dry both the fabric and trim to make sure they are colourfast. Iron both the cloth and the trim really well, then pin the trim back in place. Sew it onto the cloth using a sewing machine or by hand, if you prefer, removing the pins as you go. Iron the fabric and trim again, and fold it up neatly ready for teatime.

Extracted with permission from: Vintage Home By Sarah Moore Photography by Debi Treloar Published by Kyle Books, distributed in New Zealand by New Holland $49.99 www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

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Make a felt doll These delightful dolls are made from mixed media – felt, wool fibre and cotton fabric. You can make a boy doll by leaving off the eyelashes and fashioning spiky hair. You need: White felt squares | Coloured felt square for hair bow | Patterned cotton fabric for legs | Wool rovings for hair and heart | Black wool roving or felt for eyes | White machine thread | Machine thread for patterned fabric | Black embroidery thread | Red embroidery thread | White embroidery thread | Pink colouring pencil | Needle for dry felting | Air erasable pen | Stuffing Page 56

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December 2013 - February 2014

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Download template and cut out. Use pattern to cut out doll body. Cut the top part of hairline from pattern. Place hair pattern onto felt body and, using an air erasable pen, draw hairline on head. Needle felt wool to head to form hair. Needle felt small circles of black felt roving to form eyes. Hand-stitch eyelashes with black embroidery thread. Hand-stich mouth with red embroidery thread using simple back stitch. Using pink pencil, draw on nose and cheeks. Needle felt a heart to body of doll. Cut arms out of white felt and legs out of patterned fabric. To make legs, place right sides of fabric together and stitch a 6mm ( Âź inch) seam, leaving opening at top. Turn rightside out and stuff. Make arms. Using three strands of embroidery thread, blanket stitch sides of arms together, leaving opening at top. Stuff. Pin legs and arms to back body piece. Pin front of body to back piece and stitch around body, leaving opening at neck. Do not stitch head yet. Stuff body. Hand-stitch head together, leaving an opening on one side. Stuff head, then hand-stitch opening closed. Make a simple hair bow by cutting a piece of felt 5cm (2 inch) wide x 8cm (3 inch) long. Cut the short ends on a slight curve using pinking shears. Pinch middle together and stitch with matching thread. Stitch bow to doll.

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Handmade gifts Knit a cardigan Dress your doll in this delightful cropped cardi.

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You need: • Size 3mm needles • 8-ply acrylic yarn Left Front Cast on 12 stitches. Row 1: K. Row 2: P. Continue in stocking stitch, increasing one stitch at the end of the needle in the next and every alternate row until there are 18 sts on needle. Work 1 row without shaping. Cast on 8 sts at beginning of next row. Work 3 rows without shaping. Decrease one stitch at neck edge in next and every following 3rd row until 20 stitches remain. Work 2 rows without shaping. Cast off. Right Front Work to correspond with left front, but complete shaping at opposite ends of needle. Back Cast on 40 stitches. Row 1: K2, * P1, K1, repeat from * until end of row. Rows 2-4: Repeat row 1. Row 5: K. Row 6: P. Repeat rows 5 and 6 six times. Cast on 8 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Continue without shaping until armholes measure the same as front armholes. Cast off.

Cuffs Sew up shoulder seams. With right side of work facing, pick up and knit 24 sts evenly along sleeve edge. Row 1: K2, * P1, K1, repeat from * to end of row. Row 2-3: Repeat row 1 twice. Cast off in rib. Repeat for other cuff. Front band With right side of work facing, knit up 98 sts evenly along fronts and across back of neck. Row 1: K2 * P1, K1, repeat from * to end of row. Row 2-3: Repeat row 1 twice. Cast off in rub. To make up Place a cloth over cardi and, using a warm iron, press lightly. Sew up side seams.

Tutu skirt

• 188cm x 22cm white tulle • 50cm x 50cm white satin • 14mm wide x 18cm long elastic 1. F old tulle fabric over twice to get 4 layers and a total width of 47cm (18 ½ inches). Stitch down one side with seam of 6mm ( ¼ inch). Sew a gathering stitch at the top and pull threads to gather slightly so you have a finished width of approx. 36cm (14 inches). 2. C  ut 2 pieces of satin 18cm (7 inches) wide (top edge) x 23cm (10 ½ inches) long. Cut the bottom of the fabric 2.5cm (1 inch) wider on each side so that it flares out. With right sides together, stitch down one side with a 6mm (¼ inch) seam. Fold top of satin over 2cm and stitch. 3. S titch tulle to satin at top along the gathering stitch. Stitch elastic to back. Fold right sides together and stitch seam down side.

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sweetliving

Ruffled bag Add a ruffled rosette to a child’s backpack for the prettiest bag in school.

You will need: 15cm (6 inches) x 6.5m (7 yards) fabric of your choice (join strips of fabric together to get required length) Matching thread Sewing machine

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With right sides together, fold fabric strip in half lengthwise and stitch together, to form a tube. Turn right side out, and iron. Turn ends under (inside tube) and stitch. Lengthen your machine stitch to its longest setting. Without backstitching at either end, sew one line of stitches 1.5 cm (5/8-inch) away from the edge of the fabric, leaving a 7.5cm (3-inch) tail of thread at the beginning and the end. Stitch a second line 6mm (1/4-inch) away from the edge of the fabric, also without backstitching and leaving a 7.5cm (3-inch) tail of thread at each end. Starting on the left side, gently pull the two top threads. Slide the fabric towards the middle of the fabric strip. The fabric will slide along these threads, forming ruffles. When the gathers reach the middle, shift to the right side, again pulling the two top threads to gather the fabric. Continue pulling and adjusting on both sides until the fabric is gathered evenly along the whole length and is the finished length you want. Test the length as you go, winding it into a rosette on your bag. When finished gathering, tie a knot in the threads. Pin the ruffles to the bag, starting on the outside and working inwards. Start with one circle only, and machine or hand-stitch in place. Then pin the next circle, covering the seams of the first circle, and stitch in place. Continue pinning circles and stitching, making the circles smaller and smaller. The last circle should stand up more than the others.

sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


Handmade gifts

Felt accessories

Make these cute little critters out of felt, then attach to bags, hats and hairbands, or craft into brooches and wrist bands. The world’s your oyster when it comes to felt toys. Simply cut out animal shapes (one front and one back) and handstitch felt limbs, ears, eyes and noses, etc, to the shapes. Partly stitch together using either a straight or blanket stitch, stuff, then finish off stitching. The animal shapes need not be perfect – the quirkier the better when it comes to kids. You can leave the animals as is, or attached a band, Velcro or brooch clip to the back so each can be worn as an accessory.

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Oils & balms

Donna Lee of Cottage Hill Herb Farm shares some of her most popular skincare recipes. Dry skin massage oil This luxurious oil may be used for a whole body massage, or use on the face and neck area. Shea butter adds more nutrients and body to the blend. For best results use daily after bathing.

• 15g shea butter (melted gently in a double boiler) cool slightly and then add: • 25ml macadamia or walnut oil • 30ml jojoba oil • 5ml rosehip seed oil • 10ml hemp seed oil • 5ml Wheatgerm oil • 10ml meadow foam oil • 20 drops sandalwood essential oil

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Handmade gifts Coffee sugar scrub

This is a great scrub to wake you up in the morning and suits both men and women.

• • • • • •

 cup raw sugar
 ½ ½ cup white sugar
 2 tablespoons freshly ground coffee
 1 teaspoon vegetable glycerine
 1 ½ – 2 ½ tablespoons jojoba oil
 10 – 12 drops roasted coffee pure essential oil

Mix essential oil into sweet almond oil, stirring well. Combine dried ingredients thoroughly in a bowl, then slowly add the oil mixture and mix well. Ensure mixture is not too wet or too dry. Store in a sealed container. Use this scrub once or twice weekly anywhere on the body. Including the face for an overall improvement in skin tone, texture and general health of skin.

Gentle exfoliating nut, oatmeal & sugar scrub

This is a lovely, effective, but extremely gentle scrub – suitable for even the most sensitive skin types.

• ½ cup ground rolled oats (this is a softer product if you grind the oats, rather than purchasing ground oats) • ½ cup ground almonds • ½ cup white sugar • 2–3 tablespoons sweet almond cold pressed oil • 40 drops gardenia pure essential oil Mix essential oil into sweet almond oil, stirring well. Combine dried ingredients thoroughly in a bowl, then slowly add the oil mixture and mix well. Ensure mixture is not too wet or too dry. Store in a sealed container. Use this scrub once or twice weekly anywhere on the body. Including the face for an overall improvement in skin tone, texture and general health of skin.

Chocolate lip balm This delicious balm is in liquid form and contained in roll-on bottles.

• 1 teaspoon shea nut butter
 • 1 teaspoon mango butter
 • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
 • 6 drops lip balm sweetener
 • 8 drops chocolate flavour Melt butters and oil together in a double boiler until fully blended. Remove from heat and pour into a jug. Add sweetener and flavour. Stir to combine and pour into roll-on bottles.

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These cute tin can butterflies could be stuck onto a piece of folded card to make a whimsical greetings card too.

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Handmade gifts

Peppermint & lime lip balm

Joanna Gosling is author of the bestselling Simply Wonderwoman. Now she has released another gorgeous book, Homemade Simple, featuring stylish, practical makes for living and giving. Try this delicious lip balm.

Homemade lip balm makes a perfect little extra gift for a friend, or is ideal as a little thank you present. It’s incredibly simple to make, and once you know how, you will never want to buy an overpriced pot of balm again.

You will need: (for 1 small pot of lip balm) 1 heaped teaspoon refined shea butter 1 heaped teaspoon solid coconut oil 4 drops peppermint essential oil 8 drops lime essential oil Suitable containers (see tip) Wire wool, paint (and small paintbrushes) or spray paint

This lip balm smells and tastes delicious. Unlike a lot of the stuff that we buy to put on our lips, it literally is good enough to eat, as it’s made from only natural ingredients. It’s also great for moisturising cuticles, dry skin on hands, and even your face – a real multi-tasker when you’re out and about.

TIP: The thin metal used for soft drink cans is great for decorative use as it can easily be stamped or cut into shapes. Just cut the top and bottom off the can using sharp scissors, then cut down the side of the metal tube.

Method

1 2 3

Put the shea butter and coconut oil in a clean heatproof bowl set over a pan of boiling water and heat to melt. Once they are about 50 per cent melted, take the bowl off the heat and stir well to melt all the solids. Now add the essential oils and mix. Pour into a small, clean pot. Mini jam jars are perfect – the sort you get in hotels and restaurants. (In fact, those little jars are always useful. They are great for decanting small amounts of product for travelling so stash them whenever you can.) If you’re using a recycled jar, either sand or scrub the paint off the lid, or spray paint it. I scrubbed this lid using wire wool and then decorated it with little butterflies cut out from an old drinks tin using a butterfly punch, stuck on with superglue. If you’re decorating the lid in this way, it’s a good idea to make a little slip pouch to keep the pot in, to protect the butterflies. NOTE: This lip balm will stay hard in the pot in temperatures up to about 23°C. In hotter weather than that, you might want to keep it in the fridge overnight.

Extracted with permission from Home Made Simple: Stylish, practical makes for living and giving by Joanna Gosling, photography by Rachel Whiting. Published by Kyle books and distributed in New Zealand by New Holland, $49.99. www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

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Wooden gift box Make your own wooden gift box and cram it full of food and drink. It’s the perfect gift for a bloke.

Materials 2 x 200mm x 135mm x 10mm dressed pine (sides) 2 x 180mm x 135mm x 10mm dressed pine (ends) 2 x 220mm x 90mm x 10mm dressed pine (bottom) Copper nails | 2 x nuts and bolts | Old belt, for handle Fabric hole punch | Wood glue | Saw

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1. Make up box, gluing and nailing together. 2. Cut belt to a length of 500mm. 3. D  rill clearance holes for bolts 70mm down from the top of box edges in centre of side panels. 4. U  sing a hole punch, make holes in the belt for bolts and attach to box. Paint or stain box if desired.

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Handmade gifts

Give a gourmet gift A gourmet Christmas cake makes a delicious gift for friends and colleagues. Make the cake on page 23, and instead of cooking it in one baking tin, pour the batter into two or three small, round baking tins and reduce the cooking time. Present the cake in a lovely ceramic bowl that can be used in the kitchen.

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We love cross-stitch

Free

d nloa dow ere h click

Frame your needlework in an embroidery hoop and give it as a gift. Either frame a previously stitched piece or download our free patterns to stitch. Alternatively, download one of these cute designs, buy all the supplies (embroidery hoop, embroidery thread, needle and fabric (Aida, linen or evenweave), then put it together as a kitset for someone to stitch.

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Handmade gifts

Download free gift tags Free

d nloa dow ere h click

These fun gift tags are perfect for adorning homemade gifts. Download and print onto white cardstock and cut out.

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Free

d nloa dow A4 Click or A3

Printable Christmas card and wrapping paper Need some festive cards or paper in a hurry? We’ve got it covered. Download this cute Christmas card onto white cardstock and cut out. The giftwrapping paper can be printed onto A4 or A3 paper.

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Free

d nloa dow e er h click

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Handmade gifts

Free

d nloa dow SET 2 y Part

Free

d nloa dow SET 1 y Part

Master of disguise Add a touch of silliness to your festive celebrations by donning a crafty disguise. Download and print these paper get-ups onto white card stock and glue to sticks. Let the fun begin.

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For bookworms

Homemade Simple Joanna Gosling Kyle Books, $49.99 As a full-time news reporter and mum of three, Joanna Gosling’s motto is ‘minimum effort, maximum return’. In her new book, Homemade Simple, Joanna provides a guide to creating and making simple but stylish things for your home and for others – for a fraction of the cost of buying something similar. The book is divided into three chapters – Homemade for the Home, Homemade Giving, and Homemade Celebrations. Practical as well as pretty. Distributed by New Holland, available from bookstores.

Pretty Pastel Style Selina Lake Ryland Peters & Small, $49.99 Pastels are enjoying a comeback and this exquisite book showcases them in full glory. Forget the sugary pinks and bland blues of our childhoods; the best of the bunch have a rich intensity or a subtle sophistication, allowing us to fill

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a room with colour. Selina Lake shows us how modern pastels can look feminine without being girlie and colour-rich without being garish. There are beautiful interior design ideas and furnishings for every room. Distributed by Bookreps, available from bookstores or Bookreps.co.nz

Embrace your space Janet Luke New Holland, $45.00 The trend for urban living has inspired Janet Luke to encourage city-dwellers to create productive green growing spaces, no matter how small. With step-by-step instructions using recycled materials and simple tools, Janet shows us how we can create low-cost easy projects suitable for a variety of spaces. Her book is packed with lots of helpful advice, including the pros and cons of using different pots and planters, how to hand-make your own containers and methods of pest and disease control. Imagine growing your own potatoes, mushrooms or tomatoes on your balcony! Available from bookstores.

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There’s nothing like a stack of books to while away the Christmas holidays. We’ve scoured the bookstores for crafty new releases ideal for gifts.

Julie Biuso at Home Julie Biuso New Holland, $65.00 This fabulous book is a culmination of many of Julie Biuso’s signature recipes. An award-winning food writer, Julie shares more than 270 delicious meal ideas, everything from simple home baking to cocktail snacks and dinner banquets. At the back of the book there is a 32-page Cook’s Notes section where Julie shares her extensive food knowledge and a host of useful cooking tips. A fabulous book to add to your collection. Available from bookstores.

Cloth Cassandra Ellis Kyle Books, $59.99 Cassandra Ellis uses her talents as a designer and her life-long love of cloth to create this beautiful book. Organised into five sections – Cotton, Wool, Silk, Linen and Hide – Cloth provides insight into their craftsmanship and history and includes striking projects that make the most of

each fabric’s properties. Projects include a cotton tote bag, silk sari curtains, wool oven gloves, linen bedcovers and leather purses, to name a few. Full-sized templates are included. Create unique pieces for your home that will rival those of the finest homeware designers and retailers. Distributed by New Holland, available from bookstores.

Sugar Flower Skills Alan Dunn Quarto Publishing, $24.99 Alan Dunn shares his 26 years experience in cake decorating and sugar crafting to bring us this fabulous guide on making exceptional sugar flowers for any occasion. Suitable for both the novice and the more experienced sugar-flower maker, the book has clear written instructions and step-by-step photographs to take you from a ball of flower paste to the finished bloom. The resulting flowers look so lifelike your family and friends will be truly amazed with your new-found skills. Distributed by New Holland, available from bookstores.

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The Little Book of Home Sewing Techniques Cheryl Owen New Holland, $24.99 This beautifully styled book will give you all the skills you need to make individual furnishings for your own home. Each technique is clearly explained in step-by-step fashion then applied to a range of contemporary projects. The book starts with techniques aimed at complete beginners, then slowly introduces slightly more complex skills. A must have for people looking for simple decorating solutions which take little time and money. Available from bookstores.

Felt Fantastic Sarah Tremelling, Projects by Morven Jones David & Charles, $39.99 Sarah Tremelling is a self confessed feltaholic. She set up her online store Blooming Felt in 2007 after much research and testing of wool felt supplies. Morven Jones became one of her regular customers and her ability to create amazing projects www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

using felt inspired the creation of this book. It is filled with fabulous felt projects to create: cute gifts, accessories and home decorations.. Distributed by David Bateman Ltd. Available from bookstores.

The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook Erin Coopey Quarry Books, $39.99 Erin Coopey is a chef, writer and food photographer in Seattle, Washington. Her love of food has many facets, from recipe development to food photography, and catering to teaching. Here she shares her skills, showing us how to create our own condiments to complement our meals. You will soon be making your own staples – fresh, delicious and just the way you like them. There are more than 90 recipes and variations to personalise your pantry. Stock up with condiments, nut butters and spreads, salad dressings, stocks, relishes and refrigerator pickles, chips, dips and dunks. A delicious book for yourself or a friend.

You’ll never go back to shop-bought items after this. Distributed by David Bateman Ltd. Available from bookstores.

Making Fantasy Cloth Dolls Jan Horrox Search Press, $22.99 Using clear, step-by-step instructions and fabulous photographs, Jan Horrox shows us how to make exquisitely crafted fantasy cloth dolls, including fairies, mermaids, a witch and a steampunk doll, among others. You’ll learn just how to sculpt and colour a face, form hands, feet and wings and create costumes using a variety of fabrics, paints and embellishments. Fullsize templates are included. Everything you need to know about making cloth dolls is in this delightful book. Distributed by David Bateman Ltd. Available from bookstores.

Bazaar Style Selina Lake Ryland Peters & Small, $34.99 If you love decorating with market Issue 7

and vintage finds, this is the book for you. In Selina Lake’s beautiful book you’ll discover the exciting world of creative decorating: putting together inspirational furniture and accessories that will make you feel comfortably at home in every room. We love the vintage fabrics, accessories and enticing eclectic style that she uses to complement high-street basics. Be inspired to create a beautifully individual home combining vintage, retro and fleamarket finds. This is vintage boho chic at its best. Distributed by Bookreps, available from bookstores or Bookreps.co.nz

Alphabet Collection David & Charles, $18.99 For cross-stitchers, here’s a fabulous book of 9 intricate alphabet patterns from leading designers and authors. There’s a small stitching techniques section at the back for beginners, then it’s on to the designs, with clear, fullcolour cross stitch charts and easyto-follow sewing instructions. A lovely book. Distributed by David Bateman Ltd. From bookstores.

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Freshen up your next paint job with Resene Zylone Sheen VOC Free, which combines the popular low sheen of Resene Zylone Sheen without the unwanted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) for better indoor air quality. Improved air quality can help prevent headaches, asthma, nausea, respiratory complaints and allergic reactions. And to suit all tastes, Resene Zylone Sheen VOC Free is available in a wide range of popular Resene colours using Resene non VOC tinters. Now that’s fresh thinking. Available exclusively from Resene.

0800 RESENE (737 363) www.resene.co.nz

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Make your talents pay Does your spare room resemble a mini production line? Do you dream of turning your hobby or passion into a small business? Our new series profiles crafty entrepreneurs who have created their own successful businesses.

Tara Lorigan, founder of Co.OfWomen An Irish immigrant, Tara completed the latter part of her secondary schooling in New Zealand. She started out in the IT industry as a marketer, and progressed into a range of senior roles in NZ and the UK for multi-nationals such as Apple, Sun, IBM and 3Com. She moved to working with smaller businesses during the dot com boom, in fab start-ups such as TheSkillsMarket in London. She came www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

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back to NZ when the boom went bust and founded her own business to support smaller home grown businesses like Pita Bread Ltd and the iconic Bookabach grow. Things took a further turn when she took up the role of running the country’s award-winning business incubator, the AUT Innovation Park, where she worked alongside start-up entrepreneurs and developed the incubator’s highly successful Rapid Growth Programme (they won the Vero ‘Excellence in Business’ award for that). It was at the end of her time there that she decided to try to develop a business that could grow beyond herself, and started a research project that led to the launch of Co.Of Women.

the most was my Co.Of Women idea as I was personally interested in finding other women growing businesses (and couldn’t) and I realised that the needs of this group were not being met. I completed the research on this, which indicated there could be a business opportunity there. However, as I considered building a business just for women, I felt conflicted, as I didn’t really see myself as ‘the girls’ champion’ – I liked all the genders! To cut a longish story short, I went ahead with my other idea and 18 months into the business I realised it would never scale. But through the support of my four male (!) advisors, I came back to my Co.Of Women idea and the rest, as they say, is history.

What sparked your business idea?

How did your idea become a reality?

I had had my own business before, a consultancy, and really enjoyed both the work and the lifestyle it afforded me, and growing a big business was not something I had any ambition to do until I finished a 4-year stint running the AUT business incubator. As I prepared to move on from that great experience, I was considering my options and decided that while I had all that entrepreneurial thinking and support around me, I should at least consider if there was something I could grow beyond myself. It was during that time that I came up with two ideas that I thought had some merit and that I could be interested in, and I did some research. The idea I researched

I consider myself a good model here as I’m pretty sure I made every single mistake possible. I realise now that, having worked with and alongside entrepreneurs for years, I thought I knew it all and not in an arrogant way but in that authentically ignorant way! When I started the journey, I realised how much I had to learn and that it takes longer than you think or want. Ultimately my business became a reality because of four really important things. Firstly, I worked out early on that while I could earn more, have more fun, buy more lovely shoes, that what really motivated me was making a difference. Selfish, really – it just feels awesome when

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something you do makes another life better, easier or even less hard. I worked out that if my business came off, I would have the opportunity to do that on a large scale. Knowing that got me through many, many, many days of self-doubt, no income, and slow progress. Secondly, I was up for learning and took on every bit of learning possible to become the person who could deliver. Thirdly, I learned how to build a great group of people around me. I refer in particular to Co.Of Women’s board who have been pivotal in my progress and our success. Not just because they are smart, savvy women – they are – but because they have been on the journey themselves and it creates a generosity of spirit that is simply inspiring to be around. Last, and certainly not least, I learnt how to trust and love myself. This internal journey is one I’d be working on for my whole adult life, but building this type of business afforded me the chance to do some deep digging. It’s been the greatest gift to me on this journey.

What were your first steps in setting up business? I crafted an offering. I did a business plan. Formed an advisory board and off I went. It was all so academic – it’s what the experts would have advised (and as I’d just come from being one, that’s what I did!). What I realised after a while is that the stage I was in was R&D (research and development). It’s the stage any business who is not certain

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Make your talents pay

of the offering, market and growth path is in (you only move out when you start to create reliable, sustainable income streams.

What was your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge was me. Becoming the person who could deliver a great business. I realised I couldn’t sell. I realised I would have to deal with my love of spending and general lack of financial acumen. I realised I’d have to stop thinking like an expert and start to become the CEO of my biz, and what that actually meant. I realised that my gut was right every time and I had to pay attention to it. I had to work out how to believe in myself, build more and more resilience… I could go on and on. Frankly, at times, I’m amazed I got this far. The business bit for most of us is easy to learn, actually. Sure, there are complex parts (but there are lots of people who can help with those) and that surprised me.

What were your three best decisions? 1. Taking the risk and starting. 2. Being prepared to love myself (which happened out of this). 3. Forming my board.

Best tip/tips for start-ups? Join Co.Of Women. Seriously! Ask any one of my board why they joined the board and they will tell you, they wish there was something like this when they started. Ultimately it’s about getting the right people around you. Not just any people. You need people who understand the journey, people who can add to you from their skill and experience – but most importantly, people who believe in you and in what you are trying to achieve.

Greatest achievement? Learning how to love myself, learning how to have a great marriage, and learning how to parent the world’s most beautiful English bull terrier, Co.Of Women (and I hope to add more to that). Visit Company of Women

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Mel Adams, owner of Natale, the home of handmade Christmas decorations During the day Mel Adam pushes paper around her desk as she helps students at the local university in Dunedin, NZ, achieve their academic dreams by helping them apply for scholarship funding. When not being a dream catcher, Mel spends her time pursuing her own dreams, creating traditional-style Christmas decorations with a modern twist.

What sparked your business idea? It was a combination of things. I have an aunt (Kiwi born) who lives in Denmark and over the years, as a way of keeping in touch for her, she sent me Christmas ornaments or kits for making Christmas decorations from Denmark. The Danes have a wonderful way of celebrating Christmas and I love their design aesthetic (lots of red and white). The other factor was a couple of Christmases ago I was shopping for Christmas ornaments and I came away rather disheartened at what I was finding, a lot of mass produced, impersonal items trying to look handmade. Using the Christmas ornaments my aunt and I had made as inspiration, I thought I would have a go at making some things and see what happened. It has become a rather wonderful creative outlet for me and a lovely way to connect with people who love Christmas as much as I do.

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What was your biggest challenge? I guess balance. The balance between work, home and the little business is something I have been struggling with and I think this year I finally worked out a balance. I am working on the idea that less is more.

What were your five best decisions? How did your idea become a reality? Basically I have just pottered. I had been selling handmade books online prior to selling my decorations so I was familiar with the online spaces such as Etsy and Felt. Because I work full time I tend to fit the craft business around what is happening at work and have found I do most of my making in winter as we bee keep in the summer. My skills are fairly basic and over the years have improved with practice and I am mainly self-taught. I will use online resources if I have an idea and need to learn a new way to create it. There is a fantastic wealth of support and ideas on the internet which I consult often.

a matter of organising this. I did a couple of markets last year which was a really good way to reach a new audience. I have a website which is a pretty basic one that I generated from standard templates (with a bit of cursing and help from my inhouse IT expert (my partner). I dabble in Facebook and I do blog a bit. I know with prompting my work there is a lot more I could do, but I don’t want to become a slave to social media!

1. Getting on Felt or Etsy– it is easy and it has grown to be a great place to sell your work. 2. Opening my own bank account for the business - it gave myself some legitimacy, even if I am small I can still say I run my own business which means a lot to me. Having a bank account also made me see how much I spend and encourage myself to price at a correct price. 3. Creating a business plan. There is an awesome resource called the right brain business plan, where you make a

How did you get your products from the kitchen table to buyers? Because I only do small runs of my work (it keeps it personal and handmade), the best way for me to sell is online. My markup on my work is pretty small so there is not much financially in selling through stores, so I mainly sell online via Etsy and Felt. I hope to expand and sell directly to folk via my website in the future. It is just

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scrapbook business plan. I did it earlier this year and it was fun and incredibly helpful. It helped me work out what it is I actually wanted to do in a creative way. If I had sat down with a list of questions about what I wanted to do as part of my business plan I would have freaked out and done nothing. Much easier to scrap book your way to a business plan I say. 4. Know yourself/admitting my limits. If I can’t do something well then

get someone else to do it. You can outsource things like packaging, website design, managing your paperwork (thanks, Mum), etc. Most people’s time is precious, so why waste hours struggling to do something half as well as someone who could do it for you in half the time and better. Also, acknowledge your personality. Acknowledge your weakness and work to your strengths. You have to be honest about these in order for things to work out well. 5. Doing a craft show. I was rather nervous about it – what if no one buys my stuff?! But it was great. You get to have a one-to-one with people, and you also get to meet fellow crafters, which was awesome. It can get a bit isolating when you make stuff on your own and it is great to chat with others who are in the same boat as you.

Best tip/tips for start-ups? I think it is a bit of broken record this one, but do a business plan and learn about your market before you jump in. It will save you time, money and give you the chance to actually figure out if it is something you want to do. Remember

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that all those success stories edit out a lot of tough stuff that happens – like the late nights, no money, that it takes a long time to turn a profit, etc, so you need to match up what you want to do with realistic results. The craft world is booming at the moment and there are so many awesome ways to be part of it, whether it is to start a business that supports your lifestyle or whether it is a little hobby business that might grow into something more in the future. Remember that it is the journey not the arrival so make sure whatever you do you are enjoying yourself. I am all for hard work but enjoyable hard work.

Greatest achievement? Having someone purchase one of my wee treasures and leaving a super sweet comment. I remember at a market watching this rather stern-faced lady’s face completely change when she came up to my table. Her smile (and subsequent purchases) really made my day. Christmas for people is such a special time to celebrate being with friends and family and I love that my little treasures become a part of their traditions that make them smile.

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Visit Natale

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Make your talents pay

Sue Graafland, Cordial Designer, Kapiti Kitchen

What was your biggest challenge?

Sue Graafland makes delicious, out-of-the ordinary syrups that are to-die-for. She began from humble beginnings, creating daring concoctions with unique ingredients such as rhubarb, elderflower and tamarillo. One hundred and fifty recipes later, she and her family have a stunning range of creative combinations that they can be truly proud of.

Probably finding the right brand look and feel. I didn’t give this any thought at all at the start, so I needed to revisit this to grow, which meant a lot of work and expense. It’s certainly an important part, much more so than I ever realised. I had focused entirely on getting the taste right, and given the branding aspect no thought.

What sparked your business idea? It all started at the kids’ school fair eight years ago when I’d made some syrup for a lemonade stall and realised it just tasted so much better than other offerings on the market at the time – made with fresh lemon juice was what made the difference.

How did your idea become a reality? To be honest I just got going – made some batches, found a bottle, and my brother did a label for me. Then I headed down to Moore Wilson (a great Wellington deli grocery store) and they took some! I pretty much believed that was that, but I got a call a week later wanting two cartons, and the following week four more. The profit from those sales went into more stock to gain some more customers and so on until today. Not wanting to loan lots of capital has meant building the business has been slow, but I’ve learnt loads on the way, and we’ve got a great wee business now.

How did you get your products from the kitchen table to buyers? We approached retailers to stock the product and took part in local fairs, and did tastings to build awareness.

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Best tip/tips for start-ups? Get your product or idea to market to test the waters before getting too obsessed with it being perfect. Once you know there’s interest you can still fine-tune things, but you can waste a huge amount of time and energy building the perfect thing only to find no one’s interested.

Greatest achievement? Being an employer – this has felt like a huge responsibility for me. Visit Kapiti Kitchen

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Backyard sustainability Grow your own vegetables for health

Antioxidant-rich tomatoes Did you know that certain heirloom tomatoes have higher levels of antioxidants than others? According to Central Tree Crops Research Trust in New Zealand, two types of lycopene can be found in tomatoes. All-trans-lycopene is commonly found in red (and other colour) tomatoes; and tetra-cis-lycopene (also www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

known as prolycopene) is found in some orange heirloom tomatoes. “It has been known for some time that all-trans-lycopene is not well absorbed by the human body: hence the advice to eat cooked tomatoes so the body can better absorb the lycopene…However tetra-

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cis-lycopene is much better absorbed by the body — in fact two and a half times better!” They’ve identified 12 heirloom varieties that contain this highly beneficial antioxidant compound. Click here to find out which varieties they are.

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Summer blooms Baskets make lovely ‘vases’ for romantic or shabby chic floral displays. Place a shallow dish in the bottom of the basket with a soaked piece of floral foam on top (a dome shape is ideal) and insert rose stems into it until the foam is covered.

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www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


Backyard sustainability

Growing in wicker baskets Old baskets make excellent, if temporary, herb and flower planters. Raid your local charity shop, school fair or inorganic rubbish collection for cheap baskets. Wicker will rot after a couple of seasons, so stock up on back-up baskets. To get the most out of your basket, line it with plastic. Poke some drainage holes in the plastic before potting up. Or you can simply keep your herbs or flowers in their original pots and place these inside your lined basket. Plant with herbs and colourful annuals, or choose compact perennials such as patio roses or dwarf rhododendrons and azaleas. Pelargoniums are great for trailing in hanging baskets.

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014 sweetliving

Page 81


sweetliving

Page 82

sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz


Backyard sustainability

Festive flowers A simple floral display for the Christmas table can make your dinner look like a million dollars. Go on the forage and see what’s in bloom for picking. As well as flowers, rosehips, seed heads and berries look great. Place a small dish like a ramekin at the bottom of a plant pot that has no drainage holes, then place a candle into the ramekin. Pour water into the plant pot (not the ramekin). Arrange flowers and berries between the pot and candle. www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014 sweetliving

Page 83


next issue

sweetliving

Out March 2014 Gorgeous gifts to make for Mother’s Day Breakfast and brunch ideas Delicious sweet treats Hand-crafted cards Felt, fabric and beaded DIY projects Make your own leather gloves Gift tags and other printables to download Readers’ moneysaving tips

Page 84

sweetliving Issue 7

December 2013 - February 2014

www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz

Sweet Living Magazine 7  

Crafts, DIYS, delicious recipes, green living, backyard sustainability - a free online magazine

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