Monday, January 11, 2016

Der Papierfuchs, My new paper bead jewelry brand

Lately I have given away the crochet hook and taken up the art of paper bead making. I have found it to be very interesting and satisfying artistically. As a result I have started making paper bead jewelry to sell and have even opened my own Etsy shop Link here----> (Papierfuchsjewellery)

My actual love for making paper beads started with the viewing of a random video on Youtube. Those 'how to' videos can sometimes be addictive! I just love how the bead forms right under your finger as you twirl the paper around.

Here are some photos of some of my products that are currently available on Etsy.

 All the pieces for sale are handmade by myself. A lot of the papers have also been hand-painted and embellished with gold or silver acrylic artist's paint. I have sealed all pieces using 2-4 layers of high-gloss varnish making these pieces durable and moisture proof.

If you love a bit of jewelry please feel free to check out my Etsy shop or leave a comment here. Some of the most valuable things one can have when starting out are comments, so please leave a comment and let me know what you think, what do you like, where can I improve!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Recipe for Paleo Chocolate Milkshake

Here is something I am making quite often at the moment. It is a super healthy chocolate 'milkshake' that tastes amazing. It's great for people doing the paleo diet or who are vegan or vegetarian.

What you need
A blender
A cup to soak almonds in
1/2 litre water
2 ripe bananas
1 big handful of raw almonds to make almond milk. You could use bought almond milk but please make your own. (how to make almond milk included in recipe) Do not buy this stuff! If you look on the packets at supermarkets you will see it's got more than just almonds and water in the ingredients.
1 full tablespoon manuka honey
1 level tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon - optional

How to make it 
  • Making the almond milk first 
Note you will need to prepare your almonds by soaking them  in a cup with water over night or for a minimum of 8 hours. This helps them plump up and makes it easier to make more milk from them.

Once your almonds have soaked rinse them in fresh water and put them in the blender. Add the 1/2 litre of water to the blender and then blend it for about 2 minutes. You will notice the liquid becomes white and milky. Now traditionally you need to pour this mixture through a sieve and just keep the 'milk'. I personally think that's a waste of nutritious almonds, and they are not cheap! So my preference is to not strain and to leave everything in the milk. You can choose what you want to do.
  • Making the milkshake
Now that you have the almond milk finished, yes that's all it takes!, add the bananas, raw cacao powder, manuka honey and cinnamon. Blend till it is nice and smooth and serve.

I am guessing this recipe is not great for children with nut allergies, though some people like my cousin have an allergy to other nuts but not almonds, go figure! If the people you plan on serving this to have allergies please be careful and replace the almond milk with rice milk. You won't get all the nutritional value from the almonds but at least it is still a healthier alternative to a normal chocolate milkshake.

Almost forgot, I should probably tell you why this chocolate milkshake is so healthy and nutritious!

Banana's contain a good dose of vitamins such as B6; Manganese, vitamin C, potassium, copper and biotin.
They are sweet but low GI and are a great source of fiber. Bananas can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Almonds are high in vitamins E, Folate, B2 and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorous and potassium. They are also a good source of protein

Raw cacao powder
Is a good source of minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron as well as calcium. Surprisingly it is a good source of fiber and protein too. 

Manuka honey 
Manuka honey is antimicrobial and antiviral. It is also an antioxidant that can help to increase vitality and immunity.  These capabilities are stable and it doesn't lose its potency when exposed to dilution, heat or light.

Is an excellent sourse of manganese also a good source of calcium, potassium and iron. Also 1 tablespoon is equal to 16% DV for dietry fiber. It is good for controling blood sugar, anti microbial activity and it has anti clotting actions.

Fondant Nature cake for 60th birthday

Thought I'd just share some photos of a cake I made recently. It was for a 60th birthday party and the lady who it was for is into crystals, healing stones, flowers and other things from nature. The cake itself is a chocolate orange mud cake with ganache layer under the marshmallow fondant topping.The flowers, stones and butterflies are all made with fondant with the details added with watered down gel food colouring. The stones and top of cake have also had a bit of sparkle added to them with some silver edible glitter.

Here is the final product with candles and silver wooden 60 held in place with royal icing. I was lucky enough to be a guest at the birthday party and I must say chocolate orange mud cake is my new favourite flavour!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Like Riding a Bike...

Up until a few weeks ago, the last time I had attempted to ride a bike was in 2007, after not having been on a bike since I was 6 years old or so. I let a colleague of mine convince me to join her on a bike tour around the peninsular in Melbourne. Ha! I didn't even last for half an hour trying to get up the hilly streets of Geelong. I remember getting off the bike so puffed out that I threw myself onto some stranger's front lawn and  almost blacking out from exhaustion.

Now, having newly arrived in Germany to start our new life, I am in a position where getting on a bike is kind of necessary. Since we've had to leave our cars back in Australia, here in Germany we are without any means of transport other than the local bus, hitching a ride with Oma and Opa or getting on a bike.

The bus is quite limited, it will take me into town and there is one every hour on weekdays but it costs me €2.50 just to go into town which is a 5 minute drive and €2.50 for the ride back. So €5.00 for 10 minutes worth of bus service? I don't think so! I can take the same bus into the closest 'city' Wessel but to visit our relatives in Alpen I have no clue how many different buses or trains we have to catch just because Alpen is in a different direction to Wessel.

So to nag Oma and Opa or not to nag? That is the question. At the moment we kind of have worked out that Mondays are shopping days and so we often go together to the shops. Sometimes I forget the half a kilo mince that I need for the next day's meal and nagging Oma to take me into town for some 'hackfleisch' well I'd rather not bother her.

So behold my new love the humble bike! Included is an old child's trailer which can hold two children and a bit of shopping in the back.
my little monkey all rugged up in the trailer.

Here are the top 5 reasons why I love my bike. There are many more!

1. Freedom (part 1)
As I said before I don't have a car at the moment and having a bike with child trailer means I can go shopping and pick up cousins from kindergarten without depending on the bus or relatives.

2. Freedom (part 2)
This time from expensive petrol prices. It costs me nothing but the fat off of my chubby butt and legs to get that bike moving! I have spent around €250.00 on pimping an old bike from my husband's sister-in-law but hay that will end up serving me for at least 10 years as long as I, I mean my husband, keeps bike maintenance up.

3. Free Exercise
 I remember doing classes in a gym and doing hours on treadmills and stepper machines etc. at a local gym. Bored out of my mind as I walked and jogged like a friggen hamster on those electricity guzzling machines. Fluro lighting, crappy MTV or news on the big flat screen T.V's surrounded by beefcake Schwarzenegger wannabees. NO MORE! Beautiful German country side, fresh air, beautiful sunlight and real things to look at while I ride to get somewhere!
 Just to add I think I will soon have the best legs and buns in all of Birten!

4. Me-Time
I say me-time because when I am on that bike and my child is sitting in the trailer watching quietly the world go by, I can just mentally chill out and take in all the beautiful scenery. I can enjoy the light breeze in my hair and just look around looking out for potential places for foraging chestnuts or nettle. I don't have to talk to anyone, I don't have to worry about what Zara is up to, I can just ride.

5. The Romatic lifestyle
Rinding a bike through the backstreets of small villages in Germany reminds me of those romantic foreign films on SBS that I watched as a teenager and wished that I was a part of. The sense of freedom and adventure!

Jules et Jim 1962
And God created Woman 1956
Unfortunately the weather in Germany gets cold in winter like much, much colder than in Australia so it looks like my bike ridding days will be limited until spring comes again. Until that time I'm going to make the most of it and ride most days, even if it just means picking up the kids from kindergarten.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Belly Cast finished!

Around the 37th week of my pregnancy my hubby and I decided to make a belly cast. I've used modrock before but Axel had little idea of how to use it. Considering he took to it well and did a great job finishing just before I fainted from kneeling on my knees for too long. :-O

I did a lot of image searches online, looking at what other people did with their casts. Sooooo many beautiful casts out there with beautiful whimsical designs on them. I decided to go for something a little more realistic and a little symbolic. The flower is a water lily. At the time I was just drawn to it for some reason, thought a rose might be more appropirate but nope I decided on the lily, just before bubs due date I discover July's birth flower is a water lily! must have been a sign that she wasnt going to come late June. The leaves around the edge are birch leaves for protection and new beginnings according to Wiccan symbolism.And then there is the photo of the parents-to-be. Looped around us is the umbilical cord that connects us to our baby.

While it's technically finished tomorrow I will spray it with a clear vanish and Axel will add some device so  we can hang it in bub's room. I am very pleased with the finished belly cast. Now we just need the baby to put in the nursery. I'm sure it won't be too long now. Here are some photos from different angles.

Yep there are little stars on my nipples! Thought it would be a laugh!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Granny blanket for Baby

It's been a long while since I last wrote. Not sure if I mentioned that we are having a girl and have already named her Zara Artemis. There's only 4 more weeks till her due date, but you know how babies are, they come when they want to come! I have been making oodles of things for Zara including 3 crochet blankets. I've already posted about the first one which was the large white granny square. I never did end up making the bunny one. But as you can see below I managed to make a typical granny square blanket. I wanted to use some of my stash and make it fun and colourful.

 Other things I've made include a heap of crochet caps/beanies, burp cloths, bibs, burpkerchiefs and a cute red corduroy pinafore. I have a few more things I want to make like some simple track pants but I'll wait to see how big she is before I make them. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

First Baby Blanket

I have finally finished my first baby blanket. It's not what I hoped it would be but it is kinda cute all the same. I actually bought this yarn to make another pattern with little bunnies on it. Here is a photo of what I wanted to make.

But with all the nausea and exhaustion I could only muster enough brain and physical strength to make a large granny square blanket which I can practically do asleep. I finished it off with a simple scalloped edge. Here is a photo. 
Maybe a little later, now that I'm getting my mojo back, (blessed 2nd trimester!) I can attempt to make the bunny blanket.

Speaking of bunnies I would like to introduce you to our newest fur child, Gloria! We adopted her when friends of friends found a rabbit who two days later gave birth to 4 kittens. They couldn't keep them so we helped out. Our George is not impressed about sharing his house with a new 'girl' bunny! 

Gloria was a very scatty rabbit, scared of any movement or noise. She would take ages to catch and would not let you pat her. With a few treats and lots of patience I have manage to tame her. She is now actually the most affectionate out of the 3 bunnies we have! 2 weeks ago I would never have guessed!