kite purses by pocket carnival!

Pink & Green Kite Purse - Organic & Recycled Cotton at the Pocket Carnival store

These kite purses have been in the pipeline for the longest time, so I'm pretty chuffed I can finally show you! I have been wanting to make something fun & functional - something that would look just as pretty hanging on a wall, or on a baby's cot, as it was useful and handy. I can just see these kite purses hanging on a pram with a couple of pacifiers and face wipes inside?

Having learned from previous mistakes I made a mock-up of the design in calico - as you can see it's changed a tiny bit since then... I showed the calico version to a few people who were a bit unsure about it. Sometimes I can see something so very clearly in my head, it's difficult to convey that mental image to other people!

I am super happy with how these purses have turned out... hope you like them!

Kite Purses available
Pocket Carnival store
Pocket Carnival Etsy

One Little Red Fox

Arthur, the retro raccoon plush with woolen glasses

Gorgeous, no? One Little Red Fox is the creation of Julie who lives in France and likes crochet & cuteness. Don't we all!

Owl zipped coin purse with floral lining

I love her sweet little animals, they're all so adorable! I'm clearly a sucker for really unique and lovely purses - this owl purse is gorgeous!

Stanislas, the fox with a bow tie in mustard

I think One Little Red Fox makes such good use of different fabric combinations too - I love the simple houndstooth, the mustard wool, and the little pop of colour from the buttons and the floral tie. So good!

You can find Julie's blog here in French (or read it in English with Google translator!)
There's an interview with Julie on the Etsy France blog... the translation is a bit off though!

And, visit One Little Red Fox on Etsy

adzuki & kale soup

Each week I try and chomp down on a mix of grains, beans & vegies to make sure I'm getting a full set of vitamins & minerals. I think it's important to educate myself about vitamins & minerals - Nutrition Data is one of my favourite websites.

Bean or lentil soups are great because I can make a huge pot at once and I've got a healthy & yummy lunch for the next few days - especially good now it's getting cold in little Melbs. Eating a hot bowl of soup is like having an internal hot water bottle. Awesome!

Adzuki & Kale Soup (sort of recipe)
1 cup adzuki beans, soaked in water for 8+ hours
1 large onion
1 leek
2 garlic cloves
2 - 4 tbspns olive oil
1/2 cup diced root vegies
1/2 cup finely sliced kale
water/stock + soy sauce
salt/pepper/herbs to taste

So! Making bean/lentil soup is all about feeling. What legume do you feel like, what vegies do you feel like, etc.

Soaking your beans makes them way way way easier to cook. Soak lentils 4+ hrs, and bigger beans 8+ hours (overnight!). They're soaked enough when they're crispy and you can break it open with your fingernail.

Fry onion, leek & garlic in olive oil.

Chuck in your soaked adzuki beans, and cover by at least 3cm with water/stock + a bit of soy sauce to taste (I like to think of soy sauce + water as instant stock...) Bring to the boil and then simmer for at least 20 mins, until the adzuki beans are getting tender. (How to tell when your beans are done? Can you squish it between your fingers? Does it taste nice when you eat it?) Keep adding water/stock if necessary.

Chuck in your 1/2 cup of root veg and simmer for about 10 more mins, until the vegies & adzuki beans are cooked.

Add in your kale, and whatever herbs, salt & pepper you'd like and cook for 5 more mins. Done!

Adding salt at the start toughens the beans, making them take longer to soften & cook. Best to add at the end!

Adzuki beans
These cute little beans are a nice, healthy protein. Like all dried beans & legumes they're a great source of folate, which is important for our bodies to eat to keep our DNA structure healthy. Folate is especially important for ladies (and gents) who're thinking about or expecting kids - you want to pass on the good bits of DNA! Folate also aids in red blood cell production.

Adzukis also are a fairly good source of most of the minerals we require in our diet. They're also yummy - I always think of them as more of a winter bean, they're warm & hearty. They're also slightly fragrant & more flavourful than a lot of dried beans, so don't require too many additional flavours.

Read more about the nutritional info of adzuki beans here.
Read more about folate here and here.

Kale, curly kale & cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage, pictured) are becoming more & more popular, and hence easier to find. I usually prefer them to spinach, because they're easier to clean (no more grit!) and they can handle a longer cooking time. I always chop out the middle stalk, it's kind of a bit scratchy & hard to eat. I enjoyed this description of that by Vegan Dad...

Kale is really high in vitamin K, which is needed for a healthy liver & healthy blood. Vitamin K is fat soluble, so the general idea is when you eat a big plate of steamed kale at least have a little bit of oil with it. Your body doesn't keep big stores of vitamin K, so eat it often! Don't worry, kale is nice.

Read more about the nutritional info of kale here.
Read more about vitamin K here and here.


Be happy - 8x6 cute art print by atpalicis

These sweet little art prints by atpalicis are absolutely adorable! The clean, crisp & delectable photography is what first caught my eye - they remind me of candy a little bit!

The artworks have a bit of a Japanese aesthetic to my eye, yet atpalicis is from Ukraine - very one of a kind!

Fox on bike - 9.7x4.9 cute art print by atpalicis

I think they're so joyful & fresh - the colours have their own story, and it's all so cute!

Red riding hood - 6x8 cute art print by atpalicis

I especially love this Red Riding Hood - I hope she's okay in there!

atpalicis on Etsy
atpalicis Blog

studio photos: warm & snuggly softies

I just got myself a new camera (yay! thanks!), so of course have been taking billions of photos to try it out. I love it!

There's also something else new - pink kitten! More soon.

I like having 6 animal softies - it's much more symmetrical and a bit Brady Bunch - it's also way easier for my fabric printing requirements.

A while back I did a little quiz on Facebook to see which softies you'd like to see - kitten was number one. So here is!

Softie storage - seeing all their little legs sticking out amuses me :)

Something else new.... coming soon.

the my new roots cooking show

My New Roots - How to Cook Quinoa from My New Roots on Vimeo.

My New Roots is one of my fave foodie blogs - it's a vego, wholegrain, nutrional paradise for food lovers. In a blog. Sarah, the author, is a nutritionist & chef, and makes really healthy foods delicious.

I particularly love that most of her recipes are accompanied by nutrional info for one or more of the key ingredients - she really knows her stuff.

Sarah now also blogs over at the Martha Stewart Whole Living Daily website, if you needed another reason to check it out.

Pip pip!

manchester press cafe, melbourne

Manchester Press is the hottest new cafe in Melbourne - it's only been open a few weeks, and already I've heard so much about it! It's run by the same people as Loco Cafe in Elsternwick which is one of my favourites, so I was quite happy to go there for lunch.

It's down a little laneway of Little Bourke Street in the camping store district, and it's inside a building that used to be an old printing press office. So the decor is very reflective of this - lots of typography, cute shelves, tables made out of old printing equipment. Plus, amazing artwork by Montgomery. And a massive bowling pin.

The menu's short & sweet - just a few bagels, salads, and a couple of breakfast things. And, the bagels are $12. So, my buddy Deb and I said to each other, it better be a good bagel for $12. And it was! I got a guacamole, fetta, tomato, pinenut & rocket bagel, and it came with a really delicious salad (yes, there is a bagel underneath!) We were very happy campers.

I love me some coffee (hot chocolate) art. Cute!

The staff were all lovely, very hipster-chic.

If, like me, the promise of awesome coffee & a great space makes you speed down Rankins Lane you might not see their words of wisdom until the way out... Very true.

Manchester Press
8 Rankins Lane

Manchester Press on Urbanspoon

Artocrat by Pragya K

Pancakes, Limited edition colorful kitchen art print

I love how bright & joyful these pancakes are! Pragya K is a Philadelphia, USA based artist who clearly loves bold, saturated colour... her work is so much fun!

Sailing in a tea cup, Limited edition colorful kitchen art

I love how she takes everyday scenes or objects (or yummy food) and gives them such a distinctive style. The colour use reminds me of paper collaging!

Rainbow Magnolias , Limited edition colorful flower art

I think the magnolias are my favourite - rainbows + magnolias = awesome.

Check out Pragya K on Etsy, and her Studio ArtOcrat blog!

happy april 1st!

I tried to think up a funny April Fool's to post, but I couldn't. So, in case you haven't already seen it, enjoy this video of hysterical baby laughter :)