Thursday, February 19, 2009

My first time wrapping....

These were a custom order from husbands lovely Aunt, and my first time wrapping with 14kt gold fill, (and my second go at wrapping briolettes). I only bought just enough wire to do one pair, so lucky I didn't stuff it up! I quite enjoyed the change in material, and have already ordered the next lot of gold wire...can't wait to have a play! I can see how wire wrapping can be so addictive! Expect to see a lot more of it in my store :)

12mm Swarovski flat briolettes in Olivine, wrapped and hung on 14kt gold fill.

These are my first sterling silver wrapped earrings, which are for sale here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oz Bushfire appeals first donation....

I'm just so proud of everyone involved in the phenomenal effort that was seen this week. We've sold over 340 items and raised $5000AUD for the Australian Red Cross.
I'm in awe, it's truly heartwarming to see so many people from all corners of the earth come together with so much kindness.
There's still lots of beautiful things to buy, take a look here.

UPDATE: $10000AUD raised 500 sales and counting!

Friday, February 13, 2009

6th in the 6th....

I've been tagged by the lovely Erika of Incalesco to play 6th in the 6th. A blogging game where you locate the 6th photo in your 6th picture folder and blog about it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same.

So I open up "My Pictures", find the 6th's called 2004_05_15, which is the date format that my previous camera stored and uploaded photos...feeling a little anxious about opening it...oh it's a Zebra, that's not so bad!

So here it is! My not very interesting, (but thankfully not too weird), 6th in the 6th.

This was taken from the Safari bus tour at Werribee Open Ragne Zoo. It's nice place to visit, (when it's not school holidays). We go every year, sometimes twice...husband is a wildlife park junkie. And now that my little sister has started kinder, he's been asking when we can go again...sheesh! There's only so many times you can see the same things again and again and still feel enthusiastic about it, but I go and enjoy the walk in the fresh air.

I've tagged Erin Indidi Angie will do some more later!

Proximidade Award....

Proximidade is described as follows:

This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement!
Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

The rules are: This blog award should be sent to your favorite eight bloggers and they, in turn should forward to eight of their favorites. You should include the text for Proximidade (above) in your announcement blog.

Jan Allsopp has kindly passed on this Award to me, see her beautiful blog entry here.

My 8 Awards will go to these awesome bloggers:

Green Gracious

Persistent Green

Realisation Creations

Hannah Faerie




Sophism Press


You guys really have a great way of thinking, I love reading your posts. Well done!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

All Aussie Etsy

For those of you who missed it, here is the stunning all Australian treasury, made by moonmum, that made it to Etsy's front page today at around 3pm, no small feat! A tribute to the terrible bushfires that continue to burn in my home state of Victoria.

Waiting for rain...

And it was still there 30mins the difference...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Victoria's heartache....

Please visit our Oz Bush Fire Appeal store on Etsy and grab yourself something beautiful. All proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross, helping those who've lost everything in Australia's worst bush fires in written history.

My heart goes out to everyone in Victoria, every single person I know has been affected by this terrible tragedy. We have family who've lost their homes in the Marysville fire, and are so thankful that they got out in time, with their pets. They were the lucky ones. Several of my families friends are still missing in the area of the Churchill fires which are still burning.

Donate what you can to the Australian Red Cross bushfire appeal.
Stay up to date and know what's going on around you: CFA incident reports

The weather has finally turned, we have had a bit of rain, and it's now in the low 20's. Hopefully this will be enough to finalize the destruction for this year.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

my preciousss arrived....

My new Larvikite ring arrived from MsRose, so instead of the basic arty closeup of the ring I decided to use this opportunity to introduce you to our youngest fur kid, Marley the 1 year old Devon Rex. We we're toying with the idea of calling him Gollum, for obvious reasons, but he's just so laid back and loved up just like his namesake that it stuck with him. He's a chocolate spotted tabby point, and has the most gorgeous light aqua eyes, I'll get a decent photo of them one day, he doesn't stop rolling around long enough to capture them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sharing the things that make me smile....

I am not a coat - Fox Pendant by Christy Robinson Designs

This clever necklace is not only animal friendly, it's earth friendly too! Hand made buy Christy Robinson from recycled aluminum and ethically sourced sterling silver, this Fox knows that being Eco friendly will never go out of style. He and all his Eco chic friends will be giving 10% of proceeds to Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary this month, so check out Christy's store and let people know you care with some cute and stylish Eco friendly designs.
For even more Eco friendly goodness, visit

Real chocolate truffles...the healthy kind!

Kinda bumpy, but so very tasty!
Dairy, Gluten, Soy and Nut free Chocolate

These chocolate truffles are made with real cacao and cacao butter, nothing compares to the taste of REAL chocolate! It's healthy for you too, so no need to feel guilty, and because these are dark and rich, one or two is enough to satisfy even the most rabid of chocolate obsessions. I don't use a recipe, I could never find one, but I can give you the basics of making chocolate at home. It's really very simple, and after you taste your own, you'll wonder why those big commercial brands are so popular. That C word is a swear word in our house!

All you need is a few basic ingredients, cacao powder, cacao butter, honey (or maple syrup might work for a vegan version), vanilla extract, agave nectar, and any other flavours that you like. I used a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg in these ones. I've also used chili, coffee, nuts, dried fruit...pretty much anything naturally good for you will work!

You can read about all the wonderful health benefits of real chocolate, and buy all the cacao ingredients here: Cacao Power

I'm not going to call this a recipe! It's up to you how sweet you like it, the fun part is experimenting and tasting along the way!

This is what I use as a guide:
1 part cacao butter
2 parts raw honey - I use macadamia honey, any mellow flavour will do.
3-4 parts cacao powder
1 splash of vanilla extract
5-6 splashes of dark agave nectar

To give you an idea of quantity, I used about 60-70g of cacao butter, 120-140g honey, around 250-300g cacao powder, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and about 60ml of dark agave nectar to make 20 truffles.

There are a few things to remember when making chocolate, no water must touch it (it becomes grainy and can't be fixed), you shouldn't overheat it, and it will always taste better than store bought commercial stuff! (I do have a soft spot for Lindt, but only at Christmas!)

So now you are thoroughly confused with my "recipe", time to get started!
What you need: a medium saucepan, large glass mixing bowl (ceramic would work too), spoon or spatula for stirring, and a thermometer is handy but not absolutely necessary.

1.Using the double boil method, get some water gently simmering in a pot, and place a glass bowl inside, making sure it's large enough that it doesn't touch the water.

2. Roughly chop the cacao butter and put it in the bowl. It will melt at around 35C.

3. Once melted, stir in your honey and vanilla extract.

4. Add about half of your cacao powder, stirring it in until smooth, then add the other half. I don't like to get the heat above 44C, don't let the water boil and you should be ok, just a very gentle simmer.

5.You might find that it's a bit grainy and thick, this is when I add the agave nectar, a bit at a time, continually stirring until it's smooth and shiny. This is the point that I will taste and adjust the sweetness and flavour, add any other bits you'd like now.

6. Once it's looking gorgeous and glossy, turn off the heat. Continue to gently stir for around 10 minutes. Now remove the bowl (careful it's hot, and make sure you don't get a drop of water into the mixture). I "temper" the chocolate by gently stirring to evenly cool, until it starts to thicken. This may take another 10-20miutes, depending on your ambient temperature. I've found that this is a pretty important step for a smooth and consistent ganache.

7. Put the bowl in the fridge, I don't cover it for fear of condensation dripping in and ruining all my good work, but if it's cool enough I think it'd be safe. Leave for about an hour. I'm impatient and stir it every 15 minutes, so I can bring it out sooner. Once it's firm enough to handle, it's time to roll some truffles!

8. In any bowl, add a tablespoon or so of cacao powder. If you're not keen on the slight bitterness of raw cacao powder, you could add a little cinnamon too. For this batch I added crushed hazelnuts, though they didn't stick too well. If you have a mellon baller, now is it's time to shine, I don't and used a teaspoon instead. Depending on the size you want your truffles, grab some ganache, and with clean, dry hands, quickly roll into a ball, then roll it in the powder. Continue until you're out of ganache, try to resist eating them now! Pop them on a plate, cover with gladwrap, refrigerate, and you're done!

Enjoy with a freshly ground latte at morning tea....heaven!

There you have it, my first food post! I am no Nigella, but I have a great love of healthy, natural and delicious food! These truffles may cost a little more than a block of $4 supermarket "chocolate", but I don't believe one should sacrifice the enjoyment of eating quality food for the sake of getting a cheaper alternative, what price would you put on your health?

Do you have a raw chocolate recipe to share? I'd love to hear some! Post your recipe or links in the comments :)

Psych Test

I've just finished this personality test, recommended by Natalia at RealisationCreations .
It's really very well done, I thought my results were spot on. It took around 25 minutes, so if you have the time, it's worth a go!

Here's the link:

My result was "Considerate Creator"

Husband was very impressed with it, his result was "Considerate Inventor" what a match!