30 November 2013

Brick Garden Plant Labels...

I saw this idea on pinterest, 
and I thought it was a goodie!
Brick garden plant labels...
How simple!
How sturdy...
won't break in hurry!
Won't blow away in the wind!
So I set about makng a few.
First stop - the builders supply store to purchase some bricks...
 All you do is write your plant names on the bricks using a pencil...
The pencil just rubs off if you make a mistake.
Then simply outline over it with a marker pen.
 Calligraphy is not one of my finer skills... 
but even with my atrocious attempt at lettering,
 the outcome was pretty darn cool!
 My font was a little bit gothic....
 But the beetroot didn't mind!
 Basil is my favourite one, as it turned out the best!
 I think I'll definitely be making some more of these...
DIY brick garden plant labels...
welcome you your new home
 in the glasshouse at Mia Bella Gardens.

26 November 2013

Kereru...

The Kereru is a very large wood pigeon that is native to New Zealand.  
They are one of the largest pigeons in the world, 
weigh 650 grams and are 51 cm long.
Mia Bella Gardens Aviaries had the privilege
 of temporarily caring for one who had flown into a window and stunned itself.
It took a few days to recover, 
but he was soon released back into the native bush area near where he was found.
Here is a painting by New Zealand artist Craig Platt 
showing the Kereru in its natural habitat.
They are eating the berries from a nikau palm.
For more information about the New Zealand Native Wood Pigeon (Kereu)
visit 

23 November 2013

The List!

I read an interesting article today about keeping lists.
Have a read of Louise Thompson's article here:
http://positivebalance.co.nz/just-don%E2%80%99t-do-it-how-to-cure-your-to-do-list-addiction/
Are you a list person?
What do you have?
A To Do List...
Or a To Do pile?
I have both...
This is the to do pile...
I think it all started with having a child with Aspergers, 
and I cottoned on to the idea of a whiteboard.
Aspergers people need systems and routines, 
so it was the easiest way to have the home school day of activities planned.
The secret truth is I am a listaholic!
And even now - 
way past the homeschooling phase, and child an adult,
I still have a whiteboard list and a clipboard list.
The clip board list has EVERYTHING I want to do on it.
The whiteboard is - the 'little' list...to do today.
The clipboard list is always HUGE,
pages and pages long...
Oh and then I have a DREAM book.
(Actually it's just another list!)
It contains my goals...
my dreams...
and all I am grateful for,
which are written in list form.
Some people detest lists...
But they work for me.
I LOVE crossing off the things I have achieved...
It keeps me motivated and focused.
It reminds me to have 'ME' time...
It gives my life organisation...
I don't think I could live without my lists!
I don't think a list is a devil...
Because I have always accepted the fact you can never get everything done...
so if you cross only one thing off the list, that is ACHIEVEMENT!
And that is such a good feeling.
And if you don't cross anything off,
there is another day tomorrow!
What's on your written or mental list today?
Revamp something!
 Sew something...
Bake or make something...
spend time with family or friends...
 plant seeds...
 paint something...
OH MY...the 'list' of possibilities is simply endless.
So are you a List person...
Or do you agree with the article by 
Louise Thompson?
I think Louise is fabulous,
She is a Life Coach in Auckland, New Zealand.
Her articles are always fun and full of thought inspiring information.
Have a look at
http://positivebalance.co.nz/
Where you can explore her web page, sign up for her weekly e-newsletter,
and access loads of interesting freebies.






20 November 2013

Honey Vanilla Pannacotta...

I am still creating and taste testing recipes 
from Annabel Langbein's fabulous cookbook,
'The Free Range Cook'.
This book is based on her television series, of the same name.
to buy her cookbooks visit:
http://www.annabel-langbein.com/books-and-reviews/

The Honey Vanilla Pannacotta is a slightly healthier version 
of the full cream pannacotta desserts usually made.
It has 2 cups of cream and 2 cups of buttermilk in it...
which is what I used.
 Annabel says you can lower the fat content further, 
by using 1 cup cream and 1 cup of milk in the 2 cups of cream portion.
It was divine...
smooth and creamy...
served with fruit...
It had a subtle tartness, 
which was a nice change from the usual pannacotta sweetness. 
 Of course I just had to add roses to this photo shoot!
 with fabric in a gorgeous embossed leaf design....
 Annabel Langbein's 'Honey Vanilla Panna Cotta'
 made with buttermilk...
Glorious to eat...
Glorious to look at!
And that my friends is the name of this rose, 
picked from Mia Bella Gardens.
'Glorious'
A Hybrid Tea rose with an equally glorious fragrance.



17 November 2013

Felt Rose & Book Page Butterfly Wreath...

What's your colour theme for Christmas this year?
Every year I plan my decorating around a colour theme...
and this year I have decided to keep it more traditional 
with red, white and green.
Christmas wreaths are so much fun to create,
so using the willow wreath previously made
I made a ton of gorgeous wee felt roses to decorate it with.
All you do it cut strips of felt using the adage...the thinner the strip, the smaller the rose.
Roll a centre, 
 
then twist the felt as you tightly wind it around.
Hot glue the end and hold until the glue firms.
I made green, red and white ones... 
Which will be perfect for this years Christmas colour theme.
 I LOVE Christmas creating...
don't you?
 Once you have made your roses,
simply hotglue them around the wreath.
For the focal bow,
I made a bow out of red satin ribbon, but this was not quite right.
So I made another bow from green felt.
And it was perfect!
The book paper butterflies made the other day
were added...
If you want to know how to make these follow this link...
http://miabellapassion.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/diy-book-paper-butterflies.html
And it was finished!
A rather large but beautiful Christmas wreath.
Next on the list of 'Christmas Things To Do' is...
A porch sign.
What super fun Christmas is!





15 November 2013

DIY Book Paper Butterflies...

Such a simple idea...
And simple to do!
Butterflies made from old book pages.
First:  find a butterfly template you like on the net...
Print it on your home computer in the sizes you want...
Pulling pages from the book...
was extremely difficult for me to do.
As a book lover there is no such thing as an 'old' book'!
And I think my Mama taught me well as a small child to respect books.
You see,
I had rushed into the op shop 
and grabbed this book without a second glance, 
so on the day of the butterfly making project 
I actually stopped to look at it...
Sigh!
An hour or so later,
the book page butterflies began...
(because I just had to have a little read first,
great book it was too...
 about Scotland,
full of history, short stories and poems.)
I 'saved' pages of poetry for future use.
(A way to compensate my destructive behaviour!)
and then proceeded to pull pages.
I used four book pages for each butterfly.
Next cut out your butterfly templates.
Using it as a stencil,
With a pen draw around the outline.
You can have the print running vertical or horizontal,
it is up to you.
 Gather together some brads and string.
 I used Christmas brads.
Large red stars...
red jewel sparkles..
and little gold stars
 So all you do is:
Holding your pages book pages tightly, 
use craft scissors to cut around the drawn outline of the butterfly.
 Pop a brad in the centre to hold it all together...
 Or use string...
Then fold the butterfly wings up so you get a 3D effect.
I've made these in two different sizes to use for Christmas decorating.
But you could use them for anything, and for any occasion.
Just use your wonderful imagination!

13 November 2013

DIY Silver Tray and Button Heart Art...

Isn't it so much fun re-purposing things?
At the moment I am enjoying being creative with old silver trays.
Combine silver,
and...
some glorious old buttons...
with a little creativity,
and you get a new artwork!
I needed a little something for the wall above the washing machine,
which is for the Laundry revamp (ongoing project).
If you want to know why that is an ongoing project,
It is because I am the sort of person who is easily distracted.
The laundry revamp is fairly minor, 
as there is only a wee bit of touch up painting required,
no major wall painting...
and a little bit of décor changing.
Very difficult to complete when life is so full of distractions like...
photography, other craft projects, my wee grandson and tea parties...
'Never mind', I say, 'I LOVE distractions... 
there is another day tomorrow!'
So to create this:

DIY Button Heart Art
----
You need:
An old silver tray (mine is just a small one)
A heart template (Many shapes to choose from on the net-
Link to the one I used is at end of this post.)
Marker pen.
Scissors
Paint in a colour of your choice.
Paintbrush
A selection of buttons in chosen colours
Glue.
-----
Simply cut out your heart template with the scissors.
Place it in position on the tray.
Draw around the outline of it with the marker pen.
Select the buttons to fit in the heart outline...
Paint the heart in your desired colour.
When it is dry,
Glue the buttons on it.
Dry overnight...
and hang on the wall.
(I used those fab velcro 'easy to remove' picture strips)
(Heart template:  Resize to the size you need on your printer)