Recently, I’ve been experimenting with making lots of jams and preserves. Some are easy to make in the microwave like my lemon curd and some require more traditional methods.

You will need:

20 standard size roses (red/dark ones give a great finished colour but I only had pink in the garden).

1 1/2 cups of sugar

3 Tablespoons of lemon juice

4 1/2 cups of water

1/2 packet of Jamsetta (available at most supermarkets)

Remove all the rose petals and wash thoroughly, cut away any white or hard parts.

Bring the water to boil and add in the rose petals.

Simmer until the petals lose their colour, then add in the sugar and lemon juice.

Once the sugar is dissolved, strain the petals (keep aside) from the liquid. It should look like this.

Put it back into the pot and add jamsetta and watch it thicken.

Finally add the rose petals back in and mix until the texture forms a runny jelly. It won’t be like store bought jam but the consistency will be rather runnier.

Please in a gorgeous sterilised jar and eat, eat, eat!

 

The last time I made lemon curd was in high school Home Economics class. I do love the stuff and when cleaning my mother’s home recently I stumbled across a fool-proof microwave version which allowed me to make gorgeous home made spread for my family and friends. So easy and a great way to use up lemons!

To make this, you’ll need:

A clean/sterilised jar, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1 1/2 cups of caster sugar, 2 teaspoons of lemon rind, 75 g butter. (This recipe makes 2 cups worth of lemon curd).

I was lucky to get some fresh lemons from a tree outside my apartment. I squeezed them in preparation!

Add the butter and juice into a bowl and cook on high in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes.

Add in sugar and lemon rind.

Add in eggs and whisk well. Cook on high in the microwave for 7 minutes.

Whisk well for 1 or 2 minutes.

Pour into glass jar and cover when it cools.

Refrigerate and decorate! Give it away as a gift or enjoy it on your crumpets like I do! Yummy!

So soon the kids will be going back to school. When Spotlight Australia asked me to work with them on a “back to school” themed DIY for kids returning to school for their Get Creative Magazine I wanted to do something that was fashionable and that women could also use for their make up brushes.

You will need: Kaiser Kraft Table Tidys from Spotlight, pencil, leather-look fabric, cord of varying thicknesses, raffia and glue gun  and sticks.

Trace around the wooden cubes with a pencil.

Cut around the squares.

Glue the squares down on opposing sides of the Table Tidy.

Start gluing the cord onto one side of the cube and continue in a an inward spiral.

Cover the entire face of the cube and repeat with a different cord:

When the front faces of the blocks are covered you can then use raffia on the top of the blocks to finish them off nicely.

Once you’ve done all the blocks, leave to dry and then remove and remaining glue threads.

Happy back to school or work! These look amazing in your home office or to organise those pesky make up brushes!

So most of you know I have spent the last 10 years living away from my home country of Australia. Christmas this year was my first at home since 2006. It was also my first Christmas in a non-Muslim country (they don’t really go as all-out in Dubai with Christmas as the majority of people aren’t Christian) in 6 years and my first Christmas in a house instead of an apartment in 10 years, naturally my DIY brain went into crafting overdrive.

I wanted to share with you some images of my home made Christmas. Most decorations were hand made and I definitely shy away from red and green which I feel is a stressful colour combination and can often make a stressful Christmas Day more of a headache. It also doesn’t look very chic.

This year was my first cooking and decorating and hosting Christmas. It was very special for me to be back with my mother who has suffered a stroke.

I tried to work with colours my Mum’s house already had in the decor. Colours like gold, grey, beige, light brown and white.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. To my fans and followers from all over the world, thankyou for staying with me for all of these years.

You can check out my Christmas craft tutorials here, here, here and here. 

I hope 2015 rocks your socks off and the glue gun from your hands!

This is probably the cheapest and quickest Christmas present you will ever make. The best DIYs during the busy festive season are quick to make and have a great pay off. These jars look substantial but are really economical and make lovely gifts.

You will need:

Empty jars (One serving of this filled 3 large jars)

510g of normal white sugar

150ml cold water

250g cashews

Sea Salt

Olive oil

1) Begin by wiping a baking tray down with olive oil.

2) Place the sugar and water in a sauce pan and boil on low heat until the sugar dissolves.

3) Increase the heat and let it bubble until it turns the colour of honey.

4) Stir the cashews through the mixture as fast as possible as once the sugar mixture sets it will be hard as cement!

5) Quickly pour the mixture onto the baking tray and let it cool. When it is warm loosen the brittle.

6) When the brittle has cooled completely use a meat tenderiser over a clean tea towel to break up the brittle into bite-sized pieces.

7) Put your gift into a nice jar and label it nicely for the one you love!

Happy DIYing and let me know if you make this for anyone! Merry Christmas.

I recently visited the Perth Upmarket and noticed a vendor called Zozo Handmade selling beautifully knitted cacti. It got me wondering if I could create something similar yet with an easy tutorial that even a child could follow. A quick google revealed heaps of knitted cacti done lots of different ways but none of them using a knitting loom or french knitting nancy.

This cute little beauty is currently keeping my mother company in her nursing home. The cacti look best grouped so I created 3 and have included as much information as possible in my tutorial. They are great for a housewarming gift.

To create this project, you will need: circular knitting looms in various sizes, green wool, a wool needle, crochet-type hook for looms, potting mix, small jars, stuffing, terracotta pots, permanent marker, rubber band and small rocks.

I started by creating the “fingers” of the plant.

Wrap the wool around the loom as shown above and then sweep the outlying strand across and lift the loop below over the top:

Continue until a long tube is created. When you are happy with the length, grab your wool needle and thread the outlying strand. Loop this in and out of the wool on the loom as if doing a running stitch:

Once all the loops have been threaded, unhook them:

Pull the outlying strand tight and it will turn your tube into a finger:

Stuff it with stuffing and continue to create the “fingers” in varying lengths.

If you want to create fatter cacti, simply use wider looms. I also created the pots by re-purposing some old mini terracotta pots:

This is how I filled the jar with rocks and stones:

Here is the final product:

I think they look very cute! Tell me what you think!

My sister recently go married and I want to dedicate this blog to her. She took so much leave after my mother had her stroke that she didn’t have much annual time off for her own honeymoon. It’s been postponed to this week when there are public holidays on (she’ll be missing my 30th birthday which makes me sad).

Things were hectic up until the wedding, I was a bridesmaid, so I just wanted to put together a little box of goodies so that her honeymoon was postponed but not forgotten. I will get her something bigger than this when she returns.

I started with a nice box and some tissue paper:

I placed some faux rose petals on top (you can buy these from Dusk here in Australia):

I laid another layer of tissue paper on top of this and then placed the bride and groom’s initials which I had spray painted. You can buy these letters pre-done if you don’t have time to do them from scratch.

On top of this, lay some more tissue paper down and place a scented candle:

And then because I wanted to keep “Love on Top” like Beyonce I placed the gilded “love” sign I crafted on the top of the pile before I sealed off the box:

At the end of my sister’s wedding, I went up to change out of my bridesmaid’s dress in her room. I opened the box and set the initials onto the bed along with the rose petals and placed the scented candle on the bed side. I hoped it would make Tamara and her groom feel their honeymoon wasn’t forgotten.

Thanks to my sister for being a wonderful daughter to my mother and making those big sacrifices. Hope you also love this DIY for something heartfelt if you’re on a budget.

 

I am just astonished at how many great creatives are roaming around Dubai, Singapore and Perth. I met Sangeeta from Paper Couture online when she started following me on Twitter. Later, at one of my DIY workshops, she introduced herself and gave me a whole bunch of free printables which she had designed. I was so impressed that I am still using some of these today.

Sangeeta is a graphic designer/art director by profession, and a self claimed writer! She’s also a busy wife and mother who loves creative print design, interior design, DIY, contemporary dance, fashion, and Dubai.

After having her little girl she realised there was a niche in the market for classy, stylish and fun designs for wedding invites, birthday parties and more.

Like many talented DIY-ers, Sangeeta had been designing all of the above for friends for the past 12 years, so she finally decided to go ahead and offer her services to a wider audience? And voila! Paper Couture was born.
Her work was so gorgeous that when I needed to get tags and stickers for DIYnamicstyle.com, I knew exactly where to go. I finally met Sangeeta on my last trip to Dubai and there she was, heavily pregnant and still dishing out her beloved printables. I love when I see that passion in people.
You can see her tag on my latest bag which is on sale at Neon Pony.
If you want some amazing work for your next party or wedding you can contact Sangeeta below. Even if you are not in Dubai, she can do the design work for you from overseas.

Sangeeta Kumar D’souza

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