#make365somethings: Complete!

January 12, 2016

If I may say so, I think this self-challenge was a success. I was diligent for many of the days and on others where it was a push, I managed to get something done. 365 days of showing up and doing something with my hands.

How I Thought It Would Go

  • Somewhat dismally. That it would die off within a month of me starting it.
  • I may have ended up taking pictures of the sky everyday… though that is not a bad idea….
  • I would be able to clear off some of my burgeoning craft supplies.

How It Went

  • Seriously better than I expected. I “showed up” everyday keeping myself accountable. When I went on holiday, I tried to keep the momentum going by posting pictures of scenes around the area.
  • It started off with some baking, some attempts at calligraphy, and some sketching…
  • It evolved into a calligraphy journey and towards the year end I opened up an old set of watercolours and decided to have a go at them again. This year has opened me up to both of those mediums and I am going to pursue them more.
  • I did not clear out my craft supply cupboard. In fact I think I added to it! When I had to buy a new table for my room I decided to get a bigger one so that I could lay out the paper more and not be so cramped.

Some of my favourites from the challenge:

365 days creative challenge

One of my first pieces for the ‘challenge’. One of my favourite songs by Mindy Gledhill.

65 days creative challenge

One of my favourite pictures taken on my trip to Tokyo, Japan.

Continue Reading…


Calligraphy: Getting Started

June 22, 2015

I have always loved beautiful writing and pens and art and calligraphy is basically a combination of all that. Having very little experience or idea of where to start with it I did a little bit of googling and decided that I liked the copperplate style. I liked it because of the lightness and the “class” that it seemed to exude…. (ok, I admit that I am a bit of a snob when it comes to ‘refined’ things). But with a little more research I found that maybe learning something as structured as copperplate could help also form a foundation for the more modern calligraphy styles which I was also attracted to.

Getting Started

I decided to start exploring learning calligraphy in August 2014. After some online searching there were unfortunately no classes around my location. Alot of calligraphy studios in my location taught Chinese calligraphy and though a lovely art form, I would have been at a distinct disadvantage as I do not speak or write Chinese.

Happening upon Melissa Esplin’s ‘I Still Love Calligraphy’ online course I was sorely tempted. The price was a little steep and I was not sure if I would achieve anything during the 30 days set but I decided to treat myself a little and to get  the Calligraphy Kit and Workshop set. I decided to spring for the kit as well as the tools were hard to come by and it was just generally easier. The course itself was short but the feedback which Melissa gave was great. It helped me prod myself along and see how my writing could be bettered bit by little bit.

Calligraphy practice

Some of my very early work

As you can see, there was nothing really astounding about the work that I put forth but it was the effort that counted (at least that is what I told myself).

Make 365 Somethings Challenge

When the course finished I did continue to practice but there was no real impetus and slowly the calligraphy tools got put aside.

At the  beginning of 2015, I decided to challenge myself at a Make 365 Somethings challenge – something to while away the time and to make a little bit of a dent into the craft cupboard that I have. Calligraphy would be something that I would be able to work on during this challenge. To improve my calligraphy I also decided to invest in a couple of books: Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters and Modern Calligraphy by Modern Suber Thorpe. Continue Reading…

Baking, TWD

Tuesdays with Dorie: Rhubarb Upside Down Brown Sugar Cake

May 26, 2015

Rhubarb is not indigenous to where I live and it is fairly expensive. From reading Dorie’s blurb before the recipe I realised that initially she was going to make this cake with strawberry as well so I decided to put that mixture to the test.

I prepared the topping the same way – caramelising the sugar, adding the fruit and then cooking it a little, draining the juices from the fruit mixture and then finally pouring it into the tin. I used a springform tin and forgot to line it so a reasonable amount of juice seeped out but maybe that was for the better (as you will see later).

rhubarb upside down brown sugar cake Continue Reading…

Baking, Food

Vanilla Muffins!

May 21, 2015

Everyone has their go to recipes for certain baked goods.

I still have not found mine for apple pie. I may have found it for brownies. But I have definitely found it for vanilla muffins!

The ‘favorite’ vanilla muffins out of Carole Walter’s Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More: 200 Anytime Treats and Special Sweets for Morning to Midnight (gosh! what a long title!) are my go to.

Vanilla Muffins Carole Walter

They are not too sweet, light and have a nice vanilla-y flavour. I usually chuck in some chocolate chips and call it a day with these. The oozy loveliness of the chocolate really comes through.

Vanilla Muffins Carole Walter

Generally, I think this recipe book is under rated. Most of the recipes that I have tried here have been winners but the vanilla muffin recipe is definitely why I keep on going back to it.