Archive for the ‘Decor’ Category

{Decorate} Artwork with punch

Months ago I teased you with this photo of a project I was working on…

I’m proud to say I can now (finally) show you the finished result!


More than a year ago I saw an inspiring collage Ali Edwards had made  and immediately added the link to my favourites file. I’m a butterfly fanatic, so I just had to make it… once I located the specific punch she used, of course. My perfectionist streak meant it took me a while to commit to the design you see before you, but now it’s done I just love the end result.

(Even if some of the butterflies are a little wonky, despite my careful measuring…oops, there’s that perfectionist streak coming through…)


The papers used include scrapbook paper scraps and pages from old magazines, so it’s a great project if you want to do some creative recycling. I stuck the butterflies to a piece of textured white card stock, using double sided foam tape to give the butterflies a little “lift”.


For the framing, I printed out a photo of Ali’s collage and took it into my favourite framing shop here in Penang. The end results speak for themselves…he did a fabulous job (Jeff’s Art Deco, for any Penang people interested). Interestingly, when I was in the store Jeff told me to use thicker foam tape next time I make a collage. Next time, Jeff? Hmm, that’s very optimistic… since arranging those butterflies drove me just a little bit nutty. I’ve seen collages like this in home decor magazines, priced at well over $100… I now realise that price includes a “this will drive you bonkers” tax.

Fiddliness aside, this piece of colourful art now sits behind my sewing machine and makes me happy at the very sight of it. Hopefully it inspires to attempt one of your own (or if you’d like me to make you one, I can do…for a price. Bonkers tax included…)


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Happy New Year! I took a bit of a blogging break to spend time with the handsome Mr B over the Christmas holidays, but now that he’s gone back to work, I’ve got a lot of “me” time again, which equals blogging time (or as my friends call it, time to post pictures of cards and waistline-expanding “food porn”…)

Speaking of food, here’s some pics of what we B’s ate for our Christmas dinner in 2010. It was our first Christmas in Penang and while a lot of people we knew chose to head out for hotel buffets for lunch, the idea of not cooking our own Christmas dinner was unfathomable to me. Designing and cooking a Christmas menu is one of my favourite ways to celebrate this festive season as an adult, so I had to do it. That, and I needed an excuse to justify ordering in a massive Christmas ham. I can’t imagine Christmas without a gigantic ham in the fridge to turn into sandwiches for the next few weeks afterward.  We ended up with about six kilos of pig – apparently that was the “smallest” size. Hee hee…

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure:

Homemade cranberry sauce…went a bit crazy on the orange zest but it still tasted fabulous. It was surprisingly easy to find cranberries (both fresh and frozen) in Malaysia.

The groaning fridge. It was a case of “if you find a space, stuff something in it”. Oh, and for those wondering why I don’t store veggies in my veggie crispers…I use them to store flour, sugar and basically all my baking supplies. I can’t store them in the cupboard as the bugs jump in for a tasting party within days. One of the “perks” of living in a tropical climate, I suppose.

Our table settings. Lame set up, I know…anyone got any tips on napkin folding? I bought the napkins, the rings and the (obviously unironed) tablecloth on my trip to India. Note to self: work on learning how to set (and photograph) more inspired table settings.

I may suck at table settings, but when it comes to roast chicken…I’m just a bit awesome, if I do say so myself. We had chicken for our feast because we forgot to order a turkey (and couldn’t be bothered to go looking for one in the shops just a few days before Christmas!) I use Nigella Lawson’s Lemon Roast Chicken recipe as my blueprint for juicy, golden chicken goodness.

Clockwise from left: Herbed  yoghurt sauce (you may have noticed the yoghurt draining in the fridge!), homemade cranberry sauce, mustard, steamed carrots and broccoli, Crash Hot Potatoes (a Jill Dupleix recipe, squashed potatoes with a crunchy, herb and salt crust topping. Yum!

Beautiful ham and succulent roast chicken. Of course there were leftovers. Leftovers are the best part of Christmas lunch – the amazing sandwich potential is enormous!

Roasted asparagus with lemon and seasonings. The best way to cook asparagus – so tender and flavoursome.

Season’s Eatings! Nothing like a full plate of home-cooked Christmas goodness.

It wouldn’t be a “B” Christmas without dessert, and this year I tried my hand at Buche De Noel – that French patisserie of flourless chocolate sponge and rich chocolate icing shaped to resemble a Yule log. Oh my, this was incredible. The icing and sponge melds together to create a dessert that’s both feather light and chocolatey gooey. I used a Nigella Lawson recipe (really, are you surprised?) and added some spices to the chocolate mix. It was an inspired move.

Mr B, a die-hard Christmas pudding fan, loved this alternative Christmas dessert and I know both of us enjoyed slices of it from the fridge for the next few days.

So that’s our Season’s Eatings for 2010…afterwards we went to a friend’s place where we ate the best Christmas pudding I’ve ever tasted (and I’m not a fan, believe me) accompanied with some delicious, boozy brandy butter. Awesome. We then chatted, ate and drank our way into the wee small hours. A very enjoyable way to celebrate.

I’ll be back soon with some delicious recipes I’ve been dying to post for ages…I promise they will help you break all those New Year’s Resolutions you made 😛

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A few weeks ago I shared with you some punch art collages I made for the babies of two friends of mine. At the time I had a third waiting in the wings to show you but I was waiting to find out if my friends have received it. They have, and now I can share this collage with you.

It’s a completely different colour scheme to the other two, but I love the rich vibrant colours. This collage was for friends who have three beautiful daughters who all love PINK! I’ve mixed in some orange and lime green too for a fresh combination of colours.

This was the very first one I made and in hindsight, I would have centred Layla’s name and put butterflies either side. Oh well, they say hindsight is 20/20…I added a little heart in this one to fill up some dead space, which was a nice touch.

I definitely see myself making more of these…there’s Layla’s two sisters to start with 😛

I must admit, I briefly contemplated making these collages to sell, be it online or elsewhere, but decided it would be too much of a pain negotiating with people about colours, patterns, etc.

By the way, I’m still working on the collage for our home. Once I get off my butt and get it framed, I’ll show you that too.

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A few weeks ago I told you I’d post the results of some recent “creating”; since the recipients have now received the fruits of my labour I can now show you! I’m really happy with the end results.

The inspiration for this was a punch collage made by the incredibly talented Ali Edwards. I have plans to make a collage similar to Ali’s for our own home decor, but first I made these ones as presents for some recently birthed babies. I feel these are pieces that can grow with the child, rather than dating quickly as being “babyish”.

 These were very simple to make and are an excellent way to use up scraps of patterned paper…or any paper, really. I used sheets from magazines as well as scrapbooking paper to create unique patterns on the butterflies.

I measured out a piece of white cardstock to 8 inches by 10 inches (I used inches as that is the measurements on my paper cutter) then placed the punched stars and butterflies on the paper to create a grid pattern around the name. Once I had a feel for how many shapes would fit on a line and the page, I marked out a rough guide in pencil for where to place the pieces (believe me, this does help), and stuck them down with some adhesive. You could also use raised dimensional foam tape to give the punch pieces some lift. I then mounted the finished product on some Stampin’ Up Designer Series Paper and put it in the frame (some simple, but classic frames from a Malaysian department store)

I cut out the letters with my Timeless Type Sizzlits in my Big Shot, and matched the letter colour with the background for a unified look. Abigail’s room is blue, so I went with the SU colour Baja Breeze as a base colour and mixed in other blues and greens. Marcus’ room I wasn’t so sure about, but again went with Baja Breeze and a mix of blues, browns and red.

Oh, and the most important detail…the recipients loved them (aside from the fact both the frames broke in the post – very frustrating!).

Hope you’ve enjoyed this burst of inspiration!

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Haven’t blogged for a few days (oops) as I’ve been busy…creating!

I’ve been tackling a few items on my list of “gunna do’s”, and it’s been really satisfying to finish some projects. I wish I could show you them as I’m so happy with the end results…but they’re presents and they have to make their way to the recipients first so I can’t show you just yet (on the off chance they might like to read this humble blog).

But the above photo shows a project that’s been on the list of “gunna do’s” – I finally framed a piece of wall art I made for a little bub that was born a few months back. Hopefully I can give it to the parents soon (here’s the part where I hang my head in shame that it took so long…)

I used SU’s Big Shot Timeless Type Sizzlits die cuts to make the letters, and stamped and cut out some Fox and Friends animals to go above the name. All of this was stuck to a piece of Certainly Celery Patterns Designer Series Paper (it’s sadly retired now, luckily I have a BIG stash!)

Add a frame (I got this one from Ikea) and you’re done! A cute, crafty, personalised touch to a nursery or child’s room. 

Really, this sounds so simple when I write it out… why did it take me so long to finish this wee project? Oh, and that’s a rhetorical question, don’t answer that. I already know why…

Hope to bring you some more creative goodness in coming days!

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