Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Egg cozies

Hello lovely peeps!

The ABCD (Artists, Bloggers, Crafters and Designers) meet-up is tonight in Sydney, and I have been busy making something cute for the goodie bags.

That's right - egg cozies! Thinking about Easter coming up, and keeping in the cozy spirit, I thought these little warmers would be a great gift to receive in the bags. I used this tutorial by Sew Christine.

Hope to see you there.

Oh, and don't forget my blog-iversary giveaway, ending in a few days.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My blog-iversary - and a giveaway!

Break out the champers and light the birthday candles, because today is the Stitchybritt blog's 2nd blog-iversary! Yup, I've been typing away here, showing you my crafty madness for two years.

Now, to show my appreciation for your readership, emails, comments and general kindness during that time, I am giving YOU the chance to win this Stitchybritt teacozy.

This is a handmade teacozy made from eco-friendly fabric and vintage buttons. It will fit a small 2-3 cup teapot (the teapot pictured has a 36cm/14.2" circumference). It has spout and handle holes so you can pour your tea whilst the pot is still in the cozy.

Feel like a nice warm cuppa? All you have to do is be a follower of the Stitchybritt blog, and leave a comment below letting me know your favourite cup of tea. Is it an earl grey? Orange pekoe? Maybe a peppermint tea?

Make sure you leave your comment before next Sunday 3 April 2011 (Sydney time) as that is when the winner will be drawn!

Oh yeah, and you get an extra entry if you go to the Stitchybritt facebook page and leave a message on my wall! Bonus!

Good luck everyone xxx

Thursday, March 24, 2011


In my previous post I mentioned some embroidery I did for my mum for her birthday. I wanted to give something handmade and I haven't had much experience with embroidery so I thought I would give it a whirl.

I adapted a pattern I had cut out of a magazine (and have since discovered the original artist - a collective called Rinzen) and sketched by version onto paper, within the traced embroidery hoop.

I then laid my calico over the sketched design and traced it in pencil. There are probably more sophisticated ways of transferring embroidery patterns, but this method worked for me.

And this is the finished product! For my first attempt, I think it is ok. Mum certainly liked it. She described it as "sort of Ikea style, but much nicer", which I think is a compliment (especially considering my love for Scandi style).

Just a quick note before I go - Sydney-siders, are you coming to the Artists, Bloggers, Crafters and Designers (ABCD) meet-up next Thursday in Rozelle? If so, I am busy stitching away at something for your goodie bag! But you will have to wait and see...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Beer-grain bread

Long time no blog! I had been hoping to blog about some embroidery that I did for my mum for her birthday recently, but, being the clever person that I am, I forgot to take a photo of the finished product before sending it off. So I am waiting on good old mum to send me a photo.

In the meantime, I would like to show you an experimental style of bread that I've been baking lately, with much success! It is beer-grain bread, using spent grain from the homebrew process. You see, boyfriend is a keen homebrewer, but usually after each brew kilos and kilos of used grain go in the bin. But I have found a way to incorporate it into the breadmaking process, making for extra yummy bread. Here is what the grain looks like after the brew...

I never use exact measurements when making bread, so my recipe is approximate. You can try it with a little less or more of anything and you will still get bread. Then you can experiment and make it taste the way you want. So, to make beer-grain bread, put in a bowl:

3 cups of flour
1 cup of spent beer grain
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of sourdough culture (there are lots of how-tos on the net for making sourdough culture)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 teaspoons of dried yeast
approx 200 mls of water (add it slowly to the mix and check for consistency along the way)

Mix all the ingredients together until you get a fairly consistent wad of dough. Then turn it out on a board and knead it for about 15 mins. If the dough is so sticky it sticks to your fingers, you need a little more flour. If it's crumbly, add a little more water. You should end up with a ball of dough that looks something like this:

Lightly oil a bowl and pop the dough inside, cover it and let it sit for 2 hours, after which time it should have risen and will look like this:

Turn your dough out onto the board again and give it another quick knead, then shape it into a loaf shape. Pop it on your baking tray, and leave it to rise for another 45 minutes.

Now you are ready to bake your bread! Pop it into a 210 degrees C/410 degrees F oven for 30 mins. When you pull it out of the oven you will have a yummy, grainy loaf of bread!

If only this blog had smell-o-vision! The baked bread will put delicious smells in your kitchen, so be prepared to feel instantly hungry. When it is cool enough to slice and butter, do so...

and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Award

Guess what? Guess what? I have been given an award! Yup, the Versatile Blogger award.

I was given the award by talented belly-dancer and vaudeville-style clothing and accessory maker, Leanne from Prairiesque. Thank you, Leanne!

Now, how this award works is that I have some tasks to undertake:
* Thank & link back to the person who gave you this award
* Share 7 things about yourself
* Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers
* Contact these bloggers and let them know about the award, and let the giver know you accept the award

Ok, so here we go. Seven things about me. Well, umm...

1. I love the circus. I take acrobatics lessons and I just got a circus themed tattoo.
2. I have two pet guinea pigs, Winston and Clementine. They are best buddies.
3. I just completed a Masters degree in Commerce. Hooray for finishing uni!
4. I have started writing a book about my grandma's life. I interview her when I visit Queensland (where she lives). It's a work in progress. We aren't rushing.
5. I collect Paul Jennings books. Maybe you read them when you were a kid - Unreal, Undone, Uncanny etc. They are still fun to read as an adult.
6. I really like mountains, but don't really like the ocean. I'm an earth sign. Books about mountains (like Heidi) are awesome.
7. (Shameless self promotion) I have just started selling some vintage sewing patterns online here. I just don't have time to sew them all!

And now (drumroll) I am pleased as punch to pass this award onto 10 other wonderful bloggers:

1. Scandi Foodie. Maria makes the most drool-worthy meals, Finnish-style, right here in Sydney.
2. Hello Sandwich. It's not fair. Ebony gets to play in Tokyo making fun crafty things. I am jealous.
3. Pepperstitches. Pepper makes life seem easy and simple, and a little bit stitchy. I need to take a leaf out of her book.

Pepper's flea market finds

4. My Darling Darlinghurst. Violet's wonderful blog about one Sydney suburb has been excellent for me, a Sydney newbie.
5. Km-17. I have no idea what this blog says - it's in French and I don't speak any French. I love looking at the French boheme-chic sewing creations though.
6. Copenhagen Cycle Chic. I actually had to unsubscribe from this one because the pictures are too beautiful and it hurts my heart. Search for Cycle Chic in your city though - you are likely to find one.
7. Fia Lotta Jansson. She rocks and she thrifts. Sofie is a superstar.
8. aMoment. Is this a blog? Nevermind, it's wonderful.
9. Tilly and the Buttons. This girl can sew! Love her style.
10. Paperklip. Melinda cuts paper and makes it beautiful. She has an eye for vintage lovelies and is raising a family of little vikings.