About Me

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With the help of my friends, I co-ordinate "The Craft Group" which is a place for women to gather and do craft! We share a whole range of things, from craft to the small things that matter to us right up to understanding the whole meaning of life! I learn so much from everyone, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to record the memories! The "Plus..." is all about extra bits 'n pieces that I have found and would love to show you. Welcome to our Craft Group. Please feel free to say hi, leave a comment or become a follower! Enjoy!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Cola Cake

Today my culinary skills are soaring to new heights.
And I am gracious enough to share my secrets with you.
This recipe takes cake making to a whole new level.
2 ingredients.
That's right. Just 2 ingredients.
And today I am here to share the recipe with you:

Cola Cake
Ingredients: 1 packet cake mix
              1 can of Coke
Method: Mix and bake

There you are. That is it.
I am good at a few things and one of them is taking something short and simple and making it long and wordy. So here is my tutorial on making a cola cake!

STEP 1: Buy a can of coke and a chocolate cake mix.

STEP 2: Assemble on the bench everything you will need. The 2 ingredients, a bowl and a spatula, some spray oil and a baking tray. If I need to make a cake for a crowd or to take on a picnic, I often bake in a pyrex dish like this. It is easy to transport and I just cut and serve from the dish. 
Classy I know. (I took that idea from my sister-in-law in Canada. Thanks Audrey.)

STEP 3: Place cake mix in the mixing bowl and add the entire can of Coke.

STEP 4: Mix well (I did it by hand... or I should say by spatula because basically I didn't want to wash up my electric beater).

STEP 5: Grease your baking tin, or better still, grease and line with baking paper.
Pour the mix into the baking tin. 
Notice my swift technique here. This is an action shot to show you my skill and speed. I know... impressive. (No of course I didn't lick that chocolate off my thumb. I'm a professional!)

STEP 6: Bake according to the packet's instructions.
(No, my cake is not burnt. It is just a shadow!   ;)

STEP 7: Cover in chocolate icing. OK, I guess that was not listed in the recipe but I bought a cake mix which included a packet of frosting. Too easy.

STEP 8: Apply sophisticated decorations. I know my decorating skills are really up there with the best so don't feel bad about it if you can't cut a corner off a packet of 100's and 1000's and apply them as I did. It's part of an advanced cake decorating course somewhere I am sure.
(This cake was for my nephew Matt who had a farewell party at our house because he is moving to the country. The party was more fun than the cake lets on, believe me.)

STEP 9: Just so everyone gets an even amount of sprinkles, I covered my masterpiece. Cut and serve.

OK, now for some handy tips.

* Do not be tempted to add any of the other ingredients mentioned on the packet mix. There is no need for eggs or butter. A can of coke is all you need.
* This is the best tip... try mixing it up a bit. You can use a vanilla cake mix and add a can of lemonade instead of coke. The best variation is a vanilla cake mix and a can of passiona. Thanks for the idea Jenni.
* Using a home brand el cheapo cake mix works just as well ( but you won't get the ready made frosting).
* I spread mine out to make it go further but it is nicer if you use a normal round cake tin. Be sure to grease well and line the bottom with baking paper. The cake is actually very light and fluffy so can easily break apart if you try and roughly dig it out of a tin.

There you have it. The long drawn out version.

Enjoy making and eating your cake! Get the kids on board. Fun for everyone!
The"MoPS" mums are having a cooking demo of this cake on tuesday. Have fun Ruth!
(Please read the fine print below)

Cola Cake should be enjoyed in moderation. Consuming it in large quantities on a daily basis after every meal may have serious side effects.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Cake with Cola!?

Watch this space!
I am going to give you a glorious step by step demo of how to make this cake using a can of Coca Cola. Yes, you heard (read) it right! I'll get to it as soon as I have a spare moment. (which is not now, sorry!)

Saturday, 26 May 2012

How to make effortless Pumpkin Soup

There are not many things I love about winter. (I say the same thing at the start of every winter.) Today I tried to be positive and reminded myself that I do like wearing scarves and I also love soup. I guess I also like having candles on in the house in the evenings and..... um.... no, there is nothing else I like.

Anyway, back to the soup issue. Pumpkin Soup is the easiest soup to make, and cheap too. The only problem everyone hates is cutting up the whole pumpkin.
But... this need never be a problem again!
I always put the whole pumpkin, yes the whole thing, on it's own, in the microwave.
10 minutes on high.

I let it cool and then peel & cut it up. It's like cutting butter!
(It's especially easy when Mr Husband cuts it up... well, someone had to be on hand to take the photo. I can't cut pumpkin and take photos at the same time, can I?!)

I recently did a pumpkin even bigger than this one. I zapped it for 10 minutes and then gave it an extra 10. I tell you it was a monster specimen.

So, in a pan you place a chopped onion, the cut up peeled pumpkin, fill to just under the top of the pumpkin with chicken stock. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Boil. When it's well cooked, get the old hand blender into the pot and puree the soup. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Thank you winter for little pleasures.
And thank you microwave that I don't have to cut up rock hard pumpkins any more.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Craft Bags!

Bev has been at it again. She showed me these bags and one was placed inside the other.
Here is her big monster one. You have to focus first on the Sharpie Permanent marker to understand how big the bag is. This is the perfect size for taking that quilting project with you somewhere.

Then out of the big bag, came this quilted bag. Also very large and a perfect fit for cutting mats and quilting rulers.

Then out of that bag came these two cuties for all those sewing tools you don't want to loose at the bottom of a big bag!

Every quilter needs a big quilted bag for carrying around the tools of the trade.
This one is by Lin J.
It is the perfect size for her cutting mat.

Very inspiring Bev and Lin.
Bags are fun.
There is always a bag or two being made in my craft nook.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Scrapbooking for Boys

Scrapbooking doesn't have to be all girly and pretty. It can be boyish and gorgeous.
(Maybe I shouldn't use that word. I always say "hello gorgeous" when I see a particular little boy. The other week, hands on hips, he said "can you please NOT call me that word!" Oops point taken young man!)
Here is a gorg very handsome page by Judy K preserving memories of her very photogenic grandsons.

Nice textures Judy.
You could also make a page like this, go to a local print shop and ask them for a colour photocopy of it and keep it in an album that way if you didn't want the bulk. The photocopier would have to be big enough to do A3. But I do like the use of different materials. 

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cute Crocheted Ladybeetles

This outfit for a little girl is so cute! The red lady beetles are another creation by Nadia. 
She put one on the top of a crocheted beanie.

Some on the edge of a scarf.

... and more lady beetles on the edge of a poncho.

Do you call them "Lady beetles" or "Lady birds"?

Either way, they are gorgeous Nadia... and we are very excited about your news too!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Charity rug by Bev

At The Craft Group, I am always pesting people to make 10 inch squares for charity!
Now and then someone passes me a square and I am collecting them to eventually put together a full rug.
Bev G has found some time where her idle hands can be put to good use for warming up humanity.
Whenever she goes travelling in the car with her husband, out comes the knitting needles.
Did Bev pass me a few squares? No... a whole rug!
It is made perfectly according to the size requirements of the organisation collecting them.

Someone in the world will LOVE this rug Bev. Good on you!!!!!

Check out "Wrap with Love Inc." by clicking here.
Click  on "Patterns" to see the exact dimensions they recommend.
Go on, aim for just one 10" knitted or crocheted square this winter. You might find it therapeutic and make more! You can pass them on to me, or contact the organisation through their website to find a local collector.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Cute Crochet by Nadia... again

For Nadia, playing with crochet is like playing with modelling clay or with artist paints. Look what she created! Here's a bit of Disney for your day. 

Very cute!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Tea Cosies by Cheryl

I have a serious soft spot for a cute tea cosie!
I have never actually made one. 
Oh, I did make a felted coffee plunger warmer but that doesn't count.
These ones are made by Cheryl after she learnt how to crochet flowers.

So Sweet...

So super sweet!

I think the fact that I am actually cold right now as I sit and write this 
is what's making them so extra appealing.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A song for busy Mums!

Here you are Mums... The things you might say in 24 hours reduced into 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
It's been around on the internet for a while but I thought it was fun for Mother's Day. The video is not great quality but there are captions so you can know what she is singing. (Make sure you click on the cross in the corner of the ad when it pops up to get rid of it!)


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Crocheted flowers

Here are some crocheted flowers to inspire you.
This term at The Craft Group we are doing more crocheting.
Winter is great for woollen projects to keep fingers busy and warm in the evenings.

Click on the subject "Crocheting" in the list of topics on the right hand side of the blog to see what inspirations we have featured.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

How Ridiculous!

Be ready to be amazed.
These 4 teenagers from Perth have a passion for shooting basketball hoops. 
From VERY long distances!
They call themselves "How Ridiculous".
They also have a passion for promoting awareness of the charity "Compassion".
See what they can do.

Do you sponsor a child or aid project overseas?

Click here to find out more.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Maxine's first quilt finished!

Why do I love being involved in The Craft Group?
I love seeing women achieve something.
That something could be...
* learning a new skill
* making new friends
* finishing something off they started ages ago
* having a much needed break in a busy week
* understanding God better
* Getting to know Jesus... by hearing others share about Him
* taking on a project and being completely satisfied at the end by seeing a job well done... 
even if it takes 2 years.

And this last point leads me on to introduce to you Maxine's first quilt.
With kids in the creche to have loads of fun with Pam, Maxine started from scratch and learnt all the tricks of the trade from Elaine. (Well maybe not ALL the tricks of the trade, that would take an eternity.) She started with a fully hand pieced and hand quilted sampler quilt.

Well done Maxine!
I hope you enjoy your first winter with your pretty quilt!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Pretty handmade gift boxes - Advanced!

Elly makes these absolutely stunning gift boxes.
She then teachers other people to make them.
This picture perfect box is by Rita.

Don't you just love the packaging of a gift? 

The pretty colours, the ribbons and 'bling', 
the moment when the secret held within is revealed.

Don't you just love the classy undoing of a simple ribbon 
without the battle with miles of sticky tape and ripped paper.
Then.... the moment of revelation. The gift.

(Please Ooohhh and Ahhhhhh! at this point!)
Who needs a gift inside when the packaging is so gorgeous!

Elly & Rita make these boxes from scratch. Very clever and very precise!

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