Thursday, June 30, 2011

My SENZ adventure

I'm just back this week from SENZ (Scrapbooking Expo NZ) in Auckland. It was a full on five days, delayed by one day due to the Chilean ash cloud and flights were cancelled. After a very expensive change of airlines (Air NZ were flying at a lower altitude to avoid the cloud) we finally arrived the next day. The stock had dramas on the way too and the train was derailed - everything arrived two hours before the expo opened to the public so it was utter chaos. Artfull Crafts not only had a fully stocked shop there, but we also ran eight classes. Melissa, Al and Christina from Kaisercraft in Australia were heaps of fun. They tutored some of the classes and helped promote their brand on the stall. Here is a photo of the Kaiser girls and our staff at the end of the event:

And of course, Liz never does things by halves so she thought she would would plan a bit of entertainment in the classes! Here we are doing a parody of Abba's Dancing Queen in the 'Makeup Madness' class. Oh boy, the things you do to keep a job......

We had great feedback from all our customers - it was fantastic to meet everyone from all over the country! What was a really great idea of Liz's was to have samples of the projects and papers made up. All the design team and staff helped out doing this over the weeks before SENZ, and the creations set the products to fly off the shelves. I've shown a few on the blog already. Here is the last one I did with the Kaisercraft butterfly album. The papers are Gabrielle from Bo Bunny (these are my favourite ones so far for this year) The photos are from Louisa's Year 8 Leavers Dinner.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I Heart Faces | Let's Hear It For The Boys!

My three youngest boys having a great time sliding at the local public gardens - don't you love the joy in their faces?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge | Bright and Vivid

This week's picture was a standout for colour when I flicked through my thumbnails. It was taken about 18 months ago at dress ups day at kindy - Jack was one of about five spidermen! If you look closely at his eyes under the mask, I think it reveals what he was's not so much fun when everyone had the same cool idea as you!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Macaroons for chocoholics

Would you believe the first time I'd ever eaten a macaroon (or even noticed them) was last November at the Arts and Plants Festival at Geraldine? Typically I avoid baking stalls for a number of reasons : 
1. It's probably not gluten free  
2. I'm highly suspicious about who made them and where they were made
3. I have unrealistic standards about baking and homemade stalls often have dodgy looking goods. 
I'm not claiming to be an expert myself but I can claim to being a past winner, and judge, of the baking section at the Mackenzie Highland Show! (and that is big where I come from...)

So it was lunchtime and I was hungry. These scummy macaroons with chocolate chips were labelled as GF  and I decided to ignore the ridiculous price that everyone seems to think is acceptable for GF food and try one. Yum! I ended up buying another to take home and try and replicate. 

Here is the recipe I devised with the assistance of google. I thought they would be better with a dip in chocolate, what do you think?

Double Chocolate Macaroons (GF)

3 cups coconut
2oz (3/16 cup) condensed milk
pinch salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup rice flour

Combine these ingredients then fold into the meringue mixture made from:
4 large egg whites beaten until stiff 
then slowly add 1/2 cup castor sugar

Spoon onto baking paper and bake at 160°C for 20 minutes
When cool dip into melted dark chocolate

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Heart Faces Photo Challenge | From A Distance

Today I'm starting a new direction for my blog by entering in the weekly 'I Heart Faces' photography challenge. I've discovered this cool website by trawling through other blogs late at night when I should of being planning lessons. It is open to all skills of photographers and all entries are listed on the website and voted for. Although many are professional I thought I'd have a go and I'm always open to tips from good photographers!

 This week the theme is 'From a Distance'. Here is one of my favourite spontaneous photos of the boys at Caroline Bay, Timaru, New Zealand.