Monday, September 29, 2014

Sunday Summary Week 39

Happy Monday Bloglanders!!

Yes, I know I'm doing my Sunday Summary on Monday by yes - I'm IMPERFECT!!! No, the reason is that I spent most of last week sewing on Cara's metric dance dress and she only got to wear it today. I did not want to risk anyone seeing the dress before she wore it,

And here is the WIP pics:

How's that for an invisible zip?? It turned out beautifully and it's very, very vintage, Love it.

Right now I'm busy with dress #15 of 2014 and I still have 5 more to go before the end of the year, BUT, first my machines are going for a service, I'm having my eyes tested (10/15 were black dresses), my scissors have to be sharpened and I'm going to get all the different threads out of my carpets,

I did start a new online course with Big Picture Classes -. Art & Design from Wilna Frustenberg, Love  her stuff.

First week and we did grids, And what a huge amount of free cut files and printables you get for free when you enrol. I used one of the free grid cut files, cut it with my Silhouette and used the cut-out as a stencil. Here you go:

I used acrylic paints to do the blocks and then stamped away with the stamps in my stash, The die cuts are from Wilna as well,

And I did a layout as well - some more Wilna cut files:

I even made my own title. Used a Koki to write the words in Afrikaans, scanned, "trace and lift" with Silhouette and there it is.  I think I'll share the cut file with my fellow South Africans later this week as Afrikaans titles are hard to come by. And YES, I did use food colouring to colour the background. Like the tags here.

Back to Braai Day, This is what we had for lunch:

Lamb (from my father's farm), chicken wings (my fave), "boerewors", salad, onion rings and sweetcorn fritters. Perfect for a sunny spring day in sunny SA.

That's it. I'll be back to share some more crafting fun right here. In the meantime, thanks for looking at my blog today and remember to try something new,


Friday, September 26, 2014

HQ Hamman Sweet and Sour Chicken

Hello Bloglanders

Happy Friday to you all!!  I don't normally share recipes but this one is my very own and we all love it. Maybe someone out there has been making Sweet and Sour Pork / Chicken just like this but then I didn't know about it.

Wynand and I both love crispy Sweet and Sour Pork - yes, the fatty ones and I've been trying forever to recreate it.  Even now I just work according to my instinct and had to measure everything to give you the recipe. See what I mean?

Here are a few WIP pics:

Sweet and Sour Chicken (you can use pork / beef / veggies)

2 Chicken breasts cut into cubes of about 2.5 cm square. (that's about an inch.  it does not have to be exact)
1 cup Cake Flour
60 g of Selfraising Flour
Quarter of a cup of water
Quarter of a cup of BROWN Vinegar (I use the ordinary, cheap variety; this gives the golden colour to the dish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for deep fry

Coat the chicken cubes in the Cake Flour.  (I put it in a plastic bowl, close the lid and SHAKE!!! Your cubes should be WELL coated in flour.)
Now make the batter by combining the Selfraising Flour, water, Vinegar, salt and pepper. (I tend to under season as you can always sprinkle salt over afterwards. It should be the consistency of "flapjack" batter. See 3rd Pic)
Dip the chicken cubes in the batter, let the excess drip off and deep fry in vegetable oil. (According to my thermometer it's about 140 degrees Celsius; 275 Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer don't stress - it should be as for French Fry's.)
When they are golden brown, remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain off the excess oil on kitchen paper. Serve with sweet and sour sauce of your choice.

What's for dinner? Of course, Sweet and Sour Chicken!

Now I have to run to get my weekend organized. I'll be back on Sunday with my weekly summary. Please check back as I'm working on a few extraordinary projects and you don't want to miss out.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Midweek Update

Good morning Bloglanders and Happy "Braai" Day to my fellow South Africans

This is what Wynand and I had for breakfast:

"Boerewors" en "Braaibroodjies". I'll share our "Braaibroodjie" recipe later this week. Watch out - it's the best EVER.  Even if you don't live down under in Sunny SA - you should give it a go! (BRAAI = BARBEQUE; BROODJIE = SANDWICH; WORS = SAUSAGE)

With me working on metric dresses 24/7, I just don't get the time to sit down and write a blog post BUT this is about to change - come 1 October and I'll do a better job of prioritizing. It's going to be something like new years resolutions even if it's only October. Maybe it will turn into a mini book??? Watch out and all will be revealed right here. In the meantime, I'm doing a midweek update to keep you in the loop.

Anyway, here are the pics of Mauneen's matric farewell dress - I totally forgot to share this last week. Remember I told you about the invisible zip here. Seeing is believing:

I'm still trying to get up to date with my Project life. Here is my August page about the rehearsal dinner, kitchen tea and bachelors. It went on the back of a layout I did and therefor I didn't have PL page slots but I still tried to keep a "PL feel" to the page:

I added a dimensional flag to my journaling card. A scrap of paper and some craft foam and it's customized:

 And last but not least. An update on the flowers Pieter & Princess gave me:

They are totally awesome!! Maybe it's just because my beautiful son and his even more beautiful wife gave it to me!!

OK, I have to go. As it's a public holiday, Wynand and I have a bit of time to spend together. And of course we will have a "braai" and some good wine for lunch.

Thanks for looking at my blog today. Have a Wacky Wednesday and remember to try something new - TODAY!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Summary Week 38

Hi there Bloglanders

Happy belated Sunday to you all!!  And I'm back to report on last week. It's hectic at Hamman HQ. My parents came to visit. Mum hates cooking so I had to do my bit.  I think I unloaded my dishwasher X3 a day!!

AND Wernich came home for the weekend as a friend got married. And the couple and the bride's beautiful dress:

And  my wonderful son and his beautiful "date":

Pieter's Princess asked me to make her a dress exactly like her bridesmaid dresses. Remember, I've done them X8 for THE WEDDING??? Well, now I've done them X9!! And as she is allergic to wheat, I made and packed food for the weekend - all wheat free. Mini quiches, pies, meatballs, sticky chicken wings, muffins and some cookies.  It actually turned out very well. I'll do the quiches again and post the recipe here.

And then Pieter and his Princess surprised me with this:

A HUGE bunch of all my fave flowers and colours.

And as a wedding pressie, we gave money.  I did make a tag to personalize the gift:

I used shop bought tags, painted it with chalkboard paint and embellished it. To the back I added a glassine envelope for the money. Love it!! And my crafting companion - my neighbor's cat:

To free up space for my parents, Wynand and I finally moved to our new bedroom. We've been renovating for the past few months and everything is not finished BUT the room is beautiful.  I had to rush to get blinds made and up.  HUGE job but it's done.  These are the colours and fabric I chose:

I will do a separate post on my new blinds once everything is finished.  In the end IMPERFECT ME will probably add a bit of mauve or purple to the grey. But for now, I love the minimalistic look of my new grey and white bedroom.

In front of the new "suite" we have a beautiful courtyard and this is what I wake up to now:

Our previous room didn't have much of a view - now we can even see the beautiful Stellenbosch mountains when we wake up. Once the interior is sorted, I'm going to tackle the courtyard.

Did you see my "pegboard love" over at Craft Storage Ideas?? If you missed out, here is the link. And a sneak peek:

There you have it. Another busy week at Hamman HQ. I'm not sure that I'll get a lot of crafting done in the next week as I still have to do a lot of sewing for the new bedroom, the office is busy, busy, busy and we have a public holiday on the 24th. It's Heritage Day but unofficially we call it "braai day".  So, we will be outside enjoying the sun, good wine and a barbecue. I'll be back to tell you all about it - just check back.

Thanks for looking at my blog today - have a Wonderful Week and remember to try somethin new.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Shaker Box

Hello Bloglanders

Today I brought a FUN project to share. Don't you just love shaker boxes?? Well, once a year my whole family gathers at the beach house to spend some time together.  As both my brother and sister have children much younger than my own, we try to do projects that keep them (and US!!) busy.

And this is one of them:

I've taken a picture of my sister's son, Jandre, writing his name in the sand and used it as backing for my shaker box. Next activity - gather some small shells, sand, etc. and add to your box.

This one is mine but each of the children made their own. We added magnetic strips to the back and now it's proudly displayed on my fridge. Every time I look at it, I think about the good times we had gathering memories.

And this is how you can create your own holiday memory box:

1. Cut your backing. I've used a photo.
2. Glue a frame on top. Either use craft foam, Twin Stick or chipboard.  I actually used an off cut from "MY architect's" model building days. It's sort of a plastic, foamy board and I cut it with my craft knife.
3, Add sprinkles. The sky's the limit!!
4, Transparency. I recycled packaging material.
5. A frame to finish off your display.

If you want a fridge magnet like mine, add magnetic strips to the back. Once again, I recycled some - you know the ones that the estate agents drop in your mailbox on a weekly basis?? Well, they have been recycled. I've used Tombow glue but have tried it with my glue gun and it works just as well.

My parents are visiting - I have to go and spend time with them. Thanks for visiting my blog today and please check back as I've got lots more to share right here.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sunday Summary Week 37

Happy Sunday Bloglanders

And I'm back to report on all the activities at HQ Hamman.

My mum is coming to visit and Wernich is flying home for the weekend. Oh, I love having both the boys nearby. Can't wait for 15 November when he will be finished with is Masters degree in Architecture and return home permanently.

I'm still working on the metric farewell dresses and this past week I did try something new - an invisible zip!!! I used this tutorial and it works very well. If you want a hard copy, use this one.

And it should look like this once done - INVISIBLE!!


I can't take out too many craft items while I have all these sewing on my desk as I have limited space in my Craft Closet and it scares me to think that a drop of paint or glue might land on my sewing project. BUT, I did get a bit of time to make some tags. YES, all done on the kitchen sink!!!

I used food colouring and watercolour paper. Remember the mini tags I  mass produce to keep on hand??? The initial idea was the same.

I use all my scraps and practice my stamping and die cutting on them!!!  Here is the original post.

And my food colour died ones:

I just mixed red food colouring with water and started dipping the tags. No right or wrong here.

I've got new neighbours and wanted to give something to the kiddies. I bought beautiful cupcakes and they came packed in these gorgeous boxes -  just had to add the tag.

My inspiration came from SimonSaysStamp - "Make your own Background". I do this a lot for layouts and Multi Media pages but I did want to give it a go on tags. Another "try something new" for me!

And I made some plans for Halloween treats.  This year, I'm going to make the bats that I found on Pinterest.

I'll add my own twist to it - they are going to be TINY (not more than 2 inches) for mini Chocolate bars and to save on time (and work space in the CC) - I'm going to cut them with my Silhouette. I will show once it has been done.

In the meantime, I made a collage of some of my past Halloween treats.  Even though we don't celebrate this holiday down under in Sunny SA, I just can't help joining in the fun. Love the black and orange.

                          LINK                                     LINK                                              LINK

It's Sunday and a beautiful spring day. I'm off to spend some time outside in my garden. Think I'll take my notebook with and start planning my new bedroom's blinds.  It's FINALLY finished and we will be moving once the blinds are up. Busy, busy week ahead @ HQ Hamman.

Thanks for looking at my blog today and have a WONDERFUL week. Remember - try something new - TODAY!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Make a List

Good morning Bloglanders

I hope you are having a Wonderful Wednesday!!  Every year during September the whole Blogland goes into "list mode".  What a GREAT idea to say something in a quick and easy way! BUT, it's totally too boring for me to commit to keep up for a whole month - IMPERFECT ME.

I've done "Learn Something New Every Day" a few years before and it just didn't work for me.  However, I did finish the project and have a mini book to show:

Now you probably think I don't do lists - SO WRONG!!! I choose my own topics and do them whenever I want to. And my inspiration?? Pinterest, reading lists from other Bloglanders ...................... there's list everywhere.  And this is what my list book looks like:

I bought it from Monika's Etsy shop back in 2012 and since then I've been adding lists to it.  Here you can see a 2014 list next to a 2012 one:

And another golden oldie - "words I live by". You can see that I'm still adding to this list  as I go:

If you want to see more of my lists, just click here and here. I can't seem to find my "Learn Something New Every Day" mini book on my blog - I'll cover that in a later post because it's a true labor of love and a total once off.

Of course I've customized my book.  The front and back covers were blank when I bought it but in a jiffy I converted it to my own personality and style.

Everything that I've used, came from my "goodie box".  I keep all the freebies that I receive, bits and bobs left over from other projects and embellishments gathered in my non-crafty life here.

I'll be adding some journaling to my cover pages soon - we will revisit the List mini book then. Keep checking back and all will be revealed. In the meantime: I love these list ideas, my friend Monika has a whole list board on Pinterest and then there is kiki K.

See, no commitment needed.  I'll be back with some more crafting fun from the Play as U Go playroom. Thanks for joining me today in my quest for easy list making.

Have fun and remember to try something new - TODAY!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sunday Summary Week 36

Hello Bloglanders

I can't believe that Spring is in the air and I should start on my Christmas pressies right now.  What a busy, busy year!  I'm catching up with my Project Life and did this layout over the weekend.

It's all about August being such a weird month - from my appendix up to THE WEDDING. I wanted to add a few pics to zuss up the layout and had them all printed in thumbprint size and black and white. I never use the overlays in the project life kits SO, "waste not, want not" decided to use one in every single pocket!! That's IMPERFECT ME - if I try something NEW, I pull out all the stops. I did need a bit more space for journaling so I added a 3x4 SNAP Photo Flip Pocket. I opened it up and marked it with the pink arrow for U 2 C.

I totally love them. Have you seen them before?? I got mine from Citrus Twist and this is what they look like:

Oh, my garden is BEAUTIFUL. I wish I could sit outside and soak up the sun all day long but I'm SO snowed under. The office is busy, we are planning an overseas trip and everything must be booked and sorted ASAP, my house needs me ................................................ Do you think crafters can order longer days somewhere??

That's it. Back to my "to do" lists!!  Thanks for looking at my blog today. Keep checking back as I have lots more to share right here. Have a marvellous week and remember to TRY SOMETHING NEW!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Mini Cake box Pressie

Hello Bloglanders

I hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday.  My first metric farewell dress is cut and ready to be sewn. The office admin is sort of sorted and I had my first spring walk in the park!!

As promised, I took some pictures of one of the mini cake boxes that I filled for a miniature pressie. I just love combo's - a bit and a bob of everything.

And a pic:

I used the same Silhouette cut file that I've used here. The rose was the Silhouette free shape two weeks ago and I've since used it a LOT. Want to to see inside:

Stacked up you really can't really so I took another pic just 4 U:

A pencil and notepad, a smiley face badge, a cookie and loom bands to make your own friendship bracelet. Just what a tween ordered!

I'll be entering my project in the SimonSaysStamp Wednesday challenge - Anything goes. If you want to see what the rest of Blogland did with the same inspiration, just click here.

That's it. Back to the sewing machine. Thanks for looking at my blog today and please come back to play as I have lots more to share right here.