Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting to Know You..A CM in Profile

The Craftiest Mama of them all...

Getting to Know You - Lisa

1. What is your name and what do we call you at Crafty Mamas?

Lisa or Lisa the Crafty, previously known as Cinna and still am to many!

2. How long have you been around Crafty Mama and how did you find us?

I founded the Crafty Mamas forum almost 5 years ago now! I knew there were others out there like me..I was right!

3. What makes you a Crafty Mama – ie what is your activity(s) of choice?

I will give anything a whirl. I once had a friend request I stop saying to her “ you could make/do that yourself!” - so I am kind of annoying that way. Crafts I currently do- sewing, knitting, crochet, cooking, dyeing, stenciling. There are HEAPS more I would love to try! Soapmaking, cheesemaking, spinning, resin jewelery.etc....

4. Some people collect fabrics, others patterns…what’s your addiction in the crafting sense.

Euro patterns, fabrics and trims, and vintage patterns and books.

5. What’s your creative space like?

Absolute chaos. But I can generally find stuff!

6. What’s your favourite crafty tool ? your machines and why?

My BERNINA Aurora 430 machine., it’s like a 4wd sewing machine and has not let me down yet.

7. Tell us about the most dedicated act of crafting you have performed ie sewed all night, drove 2 days for a craft show…something bordering on silly!

With a brand new baby ( 4 day old) and recovering from a c section I was determined to make one of my sons a proper elf costume for the school play. I did it, with bells on, and even made him little elf boots. He was so cute!

8. Do you have a blog/website/business/etsy you would like to plug? Where the coolest and craftiest mamas hang.

9. If you were stuck on a desert island and had the choice of three things to take what would you take (doesn’t have to be crafty)?

Chocolate, coffee, a book!

10. OK – some one word answers to wrap up:

• Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds, baby, can’t wash dishes in pearls.
• Coffee or tea? Coffee, unless pregnant, then it’s tea all the way.
• Sweet or savoury? Both!
• Night owl or early bird? Both!
• Left or right handed? Lefty

Back to School Baking

Ahh its that time of year again where the kids go back to school and life returns to a somewhat more routined state.

One of the ways in which we are getting prepared here (Jack starts Pre Primary on Monday) is with some cooking for his lunch box.

I waded through my cookbooks and found these three to start with:

Lunch Box Muffins - Mac 'n' Cheese Flavour
This recipe comes from The Sneaky Chef To The rescue by Missy Chase Lapine.

4 large eggs
1 cup of Orange Puree (this consists of sweet potatoe and carrots)
2 cups cooked macaronni
2 cups grated low fat cheese
salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper liners. Lightly spray the liners.

In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs and puree. Mix in the macaroni and 1 1/2 cups of cheese. Divide the mixture evenly amongst the muffin cups. Top each with a sprinkle of the reserved cheese. bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

Each one of these contains 155 calories.

Yellow Cake
This recipe is from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

1 x 500gm packet mix of plain cake
1 cup of puree pumpkin
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons of veg oil
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
170g of non fat vanilla yoghurt

Preheat the overn to 180 degrees. Coat a cake tin with oil and lightly flour.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix, pumpkin, eggs and egg white, and yoghurt. Mix for 1-2 minutes.

Pour the batter into cake pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.

I cooked this in my slab pan and turned it out a little early! It broke a little!

Choc Chip Cookies
This recipe is from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup of marg
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 cups choc chips
3/4 chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup sultanas (optional)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking sod
1/4 teaspoon salt.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl or food processor beat the sugar and marg. Add in the egg whites and vanilla. Add the chickpeas and choc chips. Add the flour, oats, baking soda and salt - mixing on a low speed until a dough forms.

Drip the dough by the tablespoonful onto the tray spacing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Press gently with a fork and bake till golden brown - about 11-13 minutes.

Transfer to rack to cool.

Store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Note: I used wholemeal flour instead of white flour in this recipe.

The common theme is that they all conatin pureed veg - the cookies even have chick peas in them!

Do you have a fav recipe you whip up for the lunch boxes.....share it with us!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Getting to Know You..A CM in Profile

Here is our first CM In Profile for the year.

Getting to Know You - Sara

1. What is your name (first only is fine if you prefer) and what do we call you at Crafty Mamas?

2. How long have you been around Crafty Mama and how did you find us?

I joined the forum in May 2007 and starting posting at the end of July 2007. I found Crafty Mamas because I subscribed to Ottobre through Lisa, head Crafty Mama.

3.What makes you a Crafty Mama - ie what is your activity(s) of choice?

I have two main activities, sewing and dyeing. I do other little handcrafts here and there which is a by-product of being a parent of Steiner-educated children.

4. Some people collect fabrics, others patterns - what's you addiction in the crafting sense.

I have two addictions. Farbenmix patterns and European fabric. Farbenmix and Ottobre were the first patterns that gave me great results from my sewing. Ottobre is awesome, but I am not able to use their patterns for items that I make for sale. I love the way Sabine and the Farbenmix team support the home sewist. I have an accordion file full of Farbenmix patterns. I don't own every single one, but I have a very healthy collection, and I am eagerly awaiting Nancy's book in February.

I love the Euro fabrics from Hilco and Stenzo. The designs, the colours, the quality just make me happy, and I feel like I can't make anything horrible when I sew with them. I also prefer the European poplins over the American quilting fabrics because they wrinkle less in the laundry. I hate to iron

5. What's your creative space like?

Chaotic! We are undergoing a home renovation at the moment. I am still managing to sew some small projects here and there. My sewing cabinet is in the living room, and my cutting table is out in the new room. Some of my supplies are in my bedroom as is some fabric. And then there is the fabric in the shed and the rolls of fabric in the kids' room. When that dust settles (hopefully by mid February!!!), I will have a nook in the back room. It's near the back doors, so it will be easy for me to keep an eye on the kids. I will have my cutting table and sewing cabinet in that space, but will probably be storing my fabric in the study, so that it's not out in the open in our open plan living space.

6. What's your favourite crafty tool ? your machines and why?

I love all sorts of sewing gadgets and notions that make any job easier, but I absolutely love my sewing machine. I started out with a Bernina Activa, and as I started sewing more and more, I decided that I wanted a machine with a few more features and the possibility of doing machine embroidery. I upgraded to a Bernina Aurora 440, and have never regretted it. The machine sews so sweetly and does everything that I need it to. When I originally bought the Aurora I toyed with the idea of buying the embroidery module, but decided that I should really think about whether or not I'd use it. Back in April, 2 years after I bought my machine, I decided to purchase the embroidery module and haven't looked back. It's great being able to sew anything or embellish how I want.

7. Tell us about the most dedicated act of crafting you have performed ie sewed all night, drove 2 days for a craft show - something bordering on silly!

I don't do silly things like sew all night. I am now able to recognise when I need to stop! Too many mistakes late at night! But I do have a certain intensity when I am working. It's not uncommon for me to spend 8 hours tie-dyeing stuff or making 17 pairs of leggings all at once.

The most fun act of crafting that I've done is hop on plane and fly to Melbourne to meet up with some other Crafty Mamas for a crafty weekend. It was fabulous.

8. Do you have a blog/website/business/etsy you would like to plug?

I have a blog,, and I also have a neglected Etsy shop

I'm having a break right now because of the renovations, but I am hoping to be back at the machines and having purple hands (from my dyeing) in February. I get busy with custom orders which is why my Etsy shop gets neglected, so it's always worthwhile to ask me if you'd like something.

9. If you were stuck on a desert island and had the choice of three things to take what would you take (doesn't have to be crafty)?

Oh I hate picking just three things. And then the analytical part of me starts to kick in and I think, but if I was stuck on an island, I wouldn't really be able to choose what I was stuck with, and if I could, in reality I'd want things to aid my survival. And then I'd assume there's no electricity, so electronic gadgets wouldn't be useful. Oh stuff that rational thinking...

*my family

*my laptop


10. OK some one word answers to wrap up:

Diamonds or Pearls? Diamonds (can't break 'em. I'm a klutz.)

Coffee or tea? COFFEE!!!!!!

Sweet or savoury? Sweet

Night owl or early bird?
Night owl (would someone please let me children know to sleep in a bit more!)
Left or right handed? Right

Friday, January 8, 2010

What Ya Sewing!

I have come back from holidays raring to get into the workspace and fire up the machines. But what do I do first!!!! I have so many things swimming around in my head I dont know where to start...I am going to have to sit down and make a list I think.

Are you the same? Have you come into the new year all excited but dont know where to start.

I know that Carolyn over at My Favourite is having a challenge - 12 months 12 Challenges - that seems like a good way to structure ones attack.

I know I have some things to do like my PIF challenge from last year (I still have about 6 months on that one!) and there are a few orders to fill....but this year I really want to get into some of my new Euro patterns...and knit - I really want to knit better....Peta over here at Stitch Pixie and Tikki over here at Tikki Fabric Addict are my inspirtaion for that avenue...oh and of course I want to dye some fabrics this year...I have bought the fabric...just need to buy the dye and watch the dvd...Sara over here at willow & moo and Julie-Anne at Rainbows End are the inspiration for that challenge...

Oh and on a non sewing front I want to take the family to the Gold Coast in 12 months time for our annual I am being inspired by That British Woman Gill here with her wonderful saving idea....thanks Gill!

So where to start... I feel a list coming on...tell me what you have planned and how you're organising yourselves this year...maybe I can learn a tip or two!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Januarys CM Blog Giveaway

Happy New Year mamas and I hope 2010 is prosperous and safe and happy for you all!

Have you set your new years resolutions? Have you broken them yet!! I decided to not really set any this year - rather just decide to live healthier and happier. I think this year is going to be great.

And what a great way to start a new year - by winning our January giveaway. This month sees a return to the mama made giveaway with this months prize being an amazing bag hot of the machine from none other than the Queen of Bags - Andrea (Tas).

The pattern is the Keyka Lou City Tote bag.
The fabrics are:
Outer-Joel Dewberry "Sparrows"
-hot pink and white dot (don't know designer)
Lining- Alexander Henry "Toadstool"

And to finish it off there is a vintage button to close front outer pocket.

The hand is not included!

So - to get your hands on this amazing bag leave a comment and I will draw a winner at the end of January!

Best of luck :)