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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

{create} the art of tunisian crochet with Anne Morel

Recently Anne Morel introduced us to Tunisian crochet. It’s a beautiful technique! The result looks like a cross between knitting and crochet. Anne enjoys this technique as it offers flexibility in creating textured fabric to make such lovely items like the cushions and scarf featured above.

Anne teaches beginners Tunisian crochet workshops in Melbourne. In her 2 hour workshops, Anne will introduce you to the basics of Tunisian Crochet, 5 different stitches plus the finishing technique. You’ll get to take home a workshop booklet plus a starter kit and a free pattern to put your new skills to use!

Today, Anne shares with us the basics of this beautiful crochet technique!
Let’s begin!

step 1 - foundation row

A row is completed by working the forward and the return pass.
You never turn your work!

Begin with a regular chain to length required (let's say here, 20 chains). Remember to work the base chain loosely.


Insert the hook into the 2nd chain from the hook picking up the top of strand of the chain.

Yarn over, pull the loop through, and leave the loop on the hook. 

[Insert the hook through the next chain, yarn over, pull another loop through & leave on the hook]. Repeat [ ] until the second last chain. 

At the "Far Edge" of the fabric, work this last stitch through the space between the front vertical bar and lower horizontal.

Yarn over and pull through the last loop leaving it on the hook. 

You have completed the forward pass of the foundation row.



Yarn over and pull through one loop only.

Then yarn over and pull through 2 loops on the hook. Continue until the end with 1 loop left on your hook.

The foundation row is now completed - 1 forward pass and 1 return pass.

Resist the temptation to turn!

step 2 - stitches

Tunisian simple stitch (TSS) is worked through the front vertical bar of the prior row. This is the most popular stitch in Tunisian Crochet.

Once again, a row is completed by working the forward and the return pass. You never turn your work.


Skip the first vertical bar.
Insert the hook from right to left under the 2nd vertical bar from the hook.

Yarn over. 

Pull through a loop and leave it on the hook.

Repeat until the one vertical bar remains.

At the "Far Edge" of the fabric, work this last stitch through the space between the front vertical bar and lower horizontal for a nice finish.


Yarn over and pull through one loop ONLY.

Then yarn over and pull through 2 loops on the hook. Continue until the end with 1 loop left on your hook.

You just completed the first row of the Tunisian Simple Stitch (TSS).

Keep going until you reach your desired fabric size.

tickle tried and tested!

Tickle assistant editor and owner of by Connie, Connie Trinh, tried out Anne's tutorial and this is her finished test piece!

Her thoughts...
"I need more practice to make the right edge neater, so this is where an in person workshop would come in very handy."  and  "I just adore the finished texture! This is just one of the many many stitches of Tunisian Crochet."

learn more...

You can learn more during a 2 hour beginners workshop with Anne Morel.

Book during September 2016 and receive $25 off!

Contact Anne Morel at her facebook page or email anou_nc@yahoo.fr

{out + about} Wedding Upmarket this Saturday at UWA

Wedding Upmarket will feature more than 50 handpicked local designers to help you create a truly bespoke celebration. Wander around our inspirational styled areas and meet Perth’s finest designers and discuss how they can help you transform all of those online inspiration boards into a reality. Free entry.

date: Saturday 27 August 2016
time: 10am - 3pm
place: The University of Western Australia, Winthrop Hall Undercroft

visit the perth upmarket website to find a full list of exhibitors >

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

{inspire} tickle your imagination by Kylie Loy

 - words and colouring page by Kylie Loy -

I love everything about 'tickle the imagination', as I am sure you do too, but I especially LOVE the name. As a creative business owner I believe tickling the imagination puts the beauty into the world, that gives ourselves and others the oooh & ahhhs. But it is also what gives us our own unique style as a person, it's the thoughts and ideas that lead us to who we are.

BUT, how many of us really use out imaginations today? Or truly living a creative life of what you love as an individual?

Let's face it, we are obsessed with movies, television, celebs, the internet & especially social media. I am not here to judge. I too, am guilty of all these pleasures. But with so much stimulation at our fingertips, it's easy for our imaginations and tastes to be influenced. Or even lose a little bit of it.

So ... let's tickle our imaginations.

Let's step up and be authentically you. If you're feeling a little like there is more style and brilliance to you, it's time to step up and own it. You know you were born to secretly show your amazingly authentic style.

Then let's do this.

Let's get real.

Be you. Only you.

 + Become conscious of your true inspired loves, whether they are in vogue or not.

 + Inspire yourself and develop your own style.

 + Take notice of what you naturally gravitate towards, in the form of shapes, colour, texture, imagery, photography, cooking, concepts etc.

 + Take notice of how you feel when you see something you adore. Does it give you butterflies?

These are intuitive signs of who your really are, what you truly love - they're indicators of your style.

Thinking about what ignited your imaginations as a child. What was it you loved to do? Tapping into this, using a little imagination and becoming visually aware of this, is a wonderful way to discover your own unique style.

It's perfect for creative business owners so you can develop a product range, that is 100% uniquely you. It's also brilliant on a personal style level. From the way your dress, to how you style your home, even what you cook. Using your imagination, rediscovering your unique style is so rewarding & not to mention whole lotta fun.

Enjoy being you.

Click here to download a copy of Kylie Loy's colouring page - we'd love to see your finished artworks!

And visit Kylie's website at www.kylieloy.com to find a lovely collection of instant download colouring books

Friday, June 24, 2016

{create} tips for working with wool felt

- words and images by Lauren Wright of Molly and Mama -

Hi everyone! It’s Lauren here from Molly and Mama. I’m so excited to be part of the tickle creative team as a guest contributor this year! If we haven’t met before, you can read my 'meet the maker' feature on tickle to find out more.

But let me just start by saying that I am a huge fan of hand sewing and stitching. And what better medium to use for this kind of handiwork than wool felt? It’s so versatile and very easy to work with.

So I’m really looking forward to bringing you some fresh new felt projects, ideas, inspiration and more. But before we get to that, I thought it was pretty important to give you a bit of an idea about what wool felt actually is, and how it can be used. It’s surprisingly interesting! 

so, what is felt?

Felt is made by matting, rubbing, pressing and condensing fibres together. Different fibres are used for this process, including acrylic, rayon and wool. The result of this process is the creation of a non-woven textile fabric. Because the fibres lock together in the felting process, this fabric won’t unravel like woven fabric does. This makes it ideal for sewing, and it’s especially suitable for hand stitched projects.

what is felted wool?

Wool felt is not to be confused with felted wool. This is actually wool fabric that has been washed and then dried with heat. The drying process shrinks the fibres, thickens the fabric and gives it a soft and fluffy appearance. Felted wool is still a fabric though, so it doesn’t lend itself to hand sewing as much. It’s great to use for machine-sewn toys and softies though.

what is needle felting?

To add to the confusion, there is also needle felting. Special barbed needles are used to transform regular fibres (like wool) into felted fabric, by tangling the fibres together. The maker can create something flat, or even a dimensional sculpture, using various fibre types in different shades. Wool felt can actually be used for this process. Needle felting however, is very different to sewing with wool felt.

So you’d like to stitch a felt pin cushion, make a soft toy or embroider a felt project you’ve been wanting to try for ages.

Where do you start? At the very beginning!

1. choose good quality wool felt

You’ve seen those wonderfully colourful squares of felt at your local craft store, haven’t you? They seem so bright and cheery and come in such an amazing array of happy shades. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that this sort of felt would be great for your toy making or hand stitching. This acrylic felt certainly has its place, and is great for kids’ craft projects. But if you’re going to spend your precious time stitching up something special, you want it to last. Be sure to honour your work, by using the best materials you can afford.

I recommend wool felt. And the higher the wool content, the better your creations will be! Products may be described as wool felt, but are often a blend of wool and another fibre such as rayon. Blended wool felt is still great to work with and a little more cost effective. But if you’re only creating small projects, and you’d like your creation to last, then 100% wool felt is the way to go! It is such a beautiful medium and it really makes a difference to the look and feel of every piece you’ll make. It will last longer, and keep its shape better. It’s strong and durable. It’s less likely to pill or bobble, so it’s great for hand-making toys or pin cushions. It cuts well, doesn’t fray like fabric and can be easily shaped and moulded. Wool also has a natural resistance to staining, fire, water and mildew, so it’s great for those projects that you really can’t clean by throwing them in the machine.

The range of colours that wool felt comes in these days is truly inspiring. You can find deep and vibrant hues and pretty pastel shades, and lots in between. So you’re sure to find a collection of colours that suits the needs of your project, or that inspires your imagination.

Look for wool felt at your local sewing or quilting store (it’s always lovely to support the local small businesses in your area). Or, see what you can find online. Having bought felt from a varied range of sources, I have to say that you do really get what you pay for. Sometimes it’s worth spending that little bit extra, to get just the right colour or the best look for your softie, pin cushion or special piece. Once you’ve stitched with 100% wool felt, it’s hard to go back.

2. tips for care

Whether you have purchased pre-cut felt squares or felt by the yard, be sure you store it well. It is best to keep it flat. If possible, place it in a lidded container to be sure its protected from nasties, like wool moths (or little ones who love to ‘help’ mummy cut shapes for sewing!).

You can iron 100% wool felt if you need to. Just use a wool heat setting and cover the felt with a press cloth so you don’t damage the wool fibres.

Don’t use wool felt on a project you wish to machine wash. Wool felt and washing machines don’t mix! Dry cleaning is your first option. Spot cleaning wool felt is also recommended. If dry marks don’t brush off, use a damp cloth to gently dab away at them. Don’t rub the felt, or add soaps or cleaning products. These will affect the look of the wool felt fibres.

3. tips for cutting

The best way to ensure you have a beautiful felt creation, is to be careful when you’re cutting. Precision is the key. Use small sharp scissors with a short blade and pointed tip to get a neat finish and those wonderfully crisp edges. You don’t want to pull the felt pieces out of shape by using blunt tools. A sharp blade on your rotary cutter is also a must.

When cutting shapes from a pattern, there are several methods you can use. The most popular by far, is to trace your template piece onto a product called ‘freezer paper’. The shiny side of the paper will adhere to felt when ironed, making it easy to cut around the outline of your shape. You can then just peel the paper away.

But what do you do when ‘freezer paper’ isn’t readily available? Traditional paper templates can also be effective. Don’t cut the paper template out on the line before you start, but leave a small border around the template edge. Pin the paper template to your felt and cut out your shape on the line. If you need to cut more than one shape from the same template, use the piece of felt you just cut as a template, rather than the paper. You’re more likely to get more uniform shapes that way.

What if your paper template is too small for pins? Invisible Sello tape (that seems less tacky than sticky tape) can also be useful for sticking the template down for cutting. Carefully remove it after use.

And if you really want to cheat, you can also purchase pre-cut die cut shapes online! Or use a cutting machine like the Brother Scan-N-Cut.

4. tips for hand sewing felt

Choose the best thread for your project. If you’re just starting out, a fabulous product to use is cotton embroidery floss like DMC. It’s readily available and comes in a huge array of colours. The skeins of floss or thread are made up of six strands, which you can separate according to the needs of your project. Two or three strands of floss work really well. Which thread colour do you choose? I love to coordinate my thread with my felt colour. If you can’t get an exact match, choose a thread colour that is a shade darker than your felt. Or select a contrasting shade to really stand out!

Choose the right sized needle. Large needles can leave holes in your work, so choose a needle that accommodates your thread type, but also treats your felt well too. Embroidery needles are great for felt. They have larger eyes so they can fit larger floss through them.

Learn to master ‘whip stitch’ and ‘blanket stitch’. They are terrific stitches for felt. Whip stitch joins two felt pieces together. Blanket stitch gives a decorative finish and can edge fabrics by forming a ‘hem’. For this reason, it’s a great stitch to use to create a strong bond between two felt edges. It’s also wonderful for appliquéing one piece of felt onto another.

Blanket Stitch

You’ll need to master a few embroidery stitches if you want to give your work some personality too. But these can also be very simple. Straight stitch, back stitch and French knots are some wonderful stitch types to start with. They’re quick to master and very effective. Here's a link to my Back Stitch Tutorial.

As with all sewing, practise makes perfect. Be careful about your stitch size, length and consistency. If you’re not happy with the finish of your stitching, don’t be afraid to pull it out and start over. Wool felt can be very forgiving like that!

5. what can you make with felt?

When stitching felt projects, you are only limited by your imagination. And if your imagination doesn’t really feel like a work out, Google will always help. Having such a love of wool felt, I also have a range of lovely free felt tutorials on my blog at Molly and Mama.

I have also found lots of lovely ideas on Pinterest (but of course). So feel free to have a browse through my Felt Fun board. You can also see ideas and inspiration on my Instagram feed. I'm there almost every day (please tell me I'm not the only one!)

I hope you've found these tips helpful. If you've got more tips to share, please leave a comment.

Happy stitching, Lauren x

words and images by Lauren Wright of Molly and Mama

Molly and Mama is the home of whimsical, original PDF patterns... and designs for appliqué, felt craft, embroidery and stitchery. With lots of photos, simple to follow instructions and clear directions, these patterns are ideal for the beginner and suit all sewing levels. They're easy to follow, fun to make, and great to get the creative juices flowing. So go ahead and start your creative journey today!


Monday, June 20, 2016

{out + about} Perth Upmarket

who 180 of the best local designers, artisans, craftspeople and gourmets
what Perth Winter Upmarket
when Sunday 26 June 2016 // 10.00am – 4.00pm
where The University of Western Australia’s Winthrop Hall and Hackett Hall

Peppermint Willow

Perth Upmarket is Perth’s premier quarterly market for original and handcrafted wares and brings together 180 of the best local designers, artisans, craftspeople and gourmets from the west.

Shopgirl in Print

The product mix is diverse ranging from handmade clothing, cupcakes, chocolates, wall art, cards, homewares, jewellery to skin care products. Junior Upmarket features handmade toys, children’s apparel and bedroom decor to name a few. A great opportunity for market-goers to see a broad range of local products all under one roof. And there are plenty of options for lunch in the gourmet section.

Arabella's Vintage Wardrobe (image credit LoveHer Photography.)

The market allows Perth shoppers who appreciate handmade to connect with the talented creators. Products from Perth Upmarket are not only unique, but most of them have a story behind them. Instead of buying something that is mass produced, conscious shoppers can buy a gift that is made by an independent West Australian designer.

Spirals Cinnamon

Perth Upmarket is held at The University of Western Australia, which provides a great location to spend a day out in Perth so come along for a coffee, wander around and spoil yourself. Parking and entry are free and the venue is easily accessible.

Games to Go

Perth Upmarket is proudly supported by The University of Western Australia and Junior Upmarket is proudly supported by Buggybuddys.
get all the details here 
and the full gallery of retailers here


Thursday, June 16, 2016

{food} milkbar memories

review by Lyndel Miller

Born in the 60's or 70's and a little nostalgic? Then you are going to love Sydney chef and renowned cookbook author Jane Lawson's newest incarnation 'Milk Bar Memories'. It's 'bang'in! as we used to say. Cool Beans!

When I discovered this months theme was 'Lost and Found', I was excited. It couldn't be better timing to introduce you to newly published Milk Bar Memories. It's a culinary trip down memory lane. I love it, as I'm a hopeless sentimentalist. Sort of comes with the territory, as a hardcore foodie.

I resonate greatly with this book. Like author Jane, I grew up in Manly on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, back in the 1970's. Literally, my Dad was a lifeguard.

Such fond memories. Sun kissed days, the smell of salt, frangipanis, Reef coconut oil, dips in crisp ocean water pools, collecting shells on Shelley Beach (now called Cabbage Tree Bay- whose idea was that!) to skipping off to our beloved local Milk Bar for either a deliciously frothy and welcomed sickly sweet milkshake or bag mixed lollies (the ones with musk sticks included of course !).

Remember them?! Milk Bars. Conjures up feelings of joy and excitement for me.

Photographers Brett Stevens and Maree Homer
Styling by Mart Page and Louise Bickle

Jane awakens our memories of what treats we used to love to eat growing up. Ones discovered at our local Milk Bar, usually within walking distance of home that we would happily frequent with coins in our pockets and sweet anticipation. Giddy with excitement !

This collection of recipes will made you smile widely and reminisce of times past.

Apart from sweets of the day you'll find good old fashioned sausage rolls (no comparison on today's take), battered savs, pineapple and banana fritters! 

Ok, it's not clean living but I take the 80/ 20 percent philosophy. 80 percent wholesome food / 20 percent - lets eat what we damn like. Life's short, right !?

It's beautifully photographed, designed and styled..

Jane explores the suburban milk bar story also. Brought to us by Greek immigrants as far back at 1930s.

If you don't recall them they were small stores usually found on corner streets. They would sell ice creams, sweets, chocolates, soft drinks ('fizzy drinks' back then), newspapers, and occasionally fast food. Oh, and milkshakes of course!! A festival of flavours.

Destined to become Australian institutions. A social venue now sadly replaced by fast food chains and supermarket malls. Only a few remaining nationwide often serving as convenience stores.

A perfect cookbook to share with loved ones, giving them a little insight to what it was like as a child of the seventies. Retro in style but contemporary in approach. It's pretty damn cool! a must have! and it's super fun ...

p.s. I hear also the marshmallows melt in your mouth! But I'll be making the custard tarts next. And the milkshakes rock! 

Photographers Brett Stevens and Maree Homer
Styling by Mart Page and Louise Bickle

I chat with Jane about her newest title, bound to become a fave in Aussie homes.

In past interviews you express your love of cooking stemmed from memories with your mother and grandmother. What are your fondest food memories with these special women in your life?
You know my mum is not the world's best cook. It's not that she can't cook - she just isn't that interested - probably because I pushed her out of the kitchen at a very young age! But I do remember her attending some French and Chinese cooking classes back in the late 70's early 80's and I was always fascinated to see what she brought home with her - as I sampled new tastes and textures I wondered what exotic countries in which they developed (that possibly kicked off the travel bug in me too!). I guess it really was my grandmother who initially taught me some much appreciated and well utilised food skills - she used to make cakes for an old bake shop in Sydney (her father once owned a fish shop too) and would teach me the odd icing technique like how to get a smooth finish or how to pipe little rosettes. It was her I’d visit after school for a cuppa - I’d pick up a neenish tart and a vanilla slice on the way and we’d enjoy them together in her sunny kitchen, chatting and laughing. My nan was always smiling.

This book resonates deeply with myself having also grown up on the Manly Beach/ Northern Beaches of Sydney, around the same time. I love it ! I personally had a love affair for such treats as Musk sticks, and cobbers. From memory I think I used to pay a whopping 2 cents for five lollies. I'd look forward to visits to my local Milk bar. A favourite ritual. Why do you think preserving these memories are so important ?
We are so busy moving forward these days, time skips ahead so very quickly and precious moments seem to be swept away before we’ve really had time to process and enjoy them. Taking a breather to stop and consider your childhood and a quieter, more simple time - when going to the milk bar was the highlight of your week - is unexpectedly pleasurable . Talking to people about the foods we ate at that time, what the local milk bar looked like, what it sold, the characters behind the counter, how much things cost and who would steal what from your lolly bag provides a little snapshot of our history and one that is quite possibly enviable for it’s uncomplicated bliss - looking retrospectively. Since the book released a few weeks ago I’ve been so touched by the childhood stories that have been shared with me - everyone has a milk bar memory of some kind - as a child it was the pivotal moment in our little lives when we perhaps walked to the shops without an adult for the first time, we could select our own ‘food’ and quite possibly made our very first financial transaction ! Of course many people talk with great fondness about sharing a bonding milk bar adventure with a family member too.

Photographers Brett Stevens and Maree Homer
Styling by Mart Page and Louise Bickle

What's your favourite recipe in the book and why?
Oh, that’s like asking me which is my favourite child. In fact it is an entire book of favourites! I spent a lot of time perfecting every recipe in the book - I made sure each food tasted every bit as delicious as my, perhaps idealistic, memory of them.

You have had an undoubtedly stellar career in publishing realm, having worked as a food editor for several years and cookbook publisher on some awe inspiring titles. Some of my favourites. In addition, you have published 10 (yes, 10 folks!) titles. Publishing a book roughly every year. What drives you? Can we expect another to follow next year?
Ha! I’m probably just crackers. Honestly it is a love job - I thoroughly enjoy the process of creating the concept, researching , writing, testing recipes, shaping up the manuscript, sometimes taking photos, working with designers and other clever people to bring it together visually and then seeing it come to life. However it is a lot of hard work and it can be tough these days financially in a flooded market!

There is however another book coming out later this year (yep 2 books in one year - seriously MAD) but it’s not a cookbook!

I read you were a chef in Sydney ? and worked for Japan Airlines. Tell us a little about your career from the beginning to present date. Especially, your culinary background.
How long do you have? My first job was working part time at a gourmet fish and chip shop when I was 14 or 15 and not long after that started catering for friend’s b’day parties occasionally on the side. I’d been cooking and experimenting with food since I was 8 so it made sense to earn a few dollars working with food but I didn’t take it too seriously at that stage and went on to try other things -including a 2 year stint at Japan airlines in their inbound travel subsidiary. After living in Japan for a short while when I was 20 I returned to Australia and decided that I quite liked the idea of making food my career and did an advanced certificate in business catering which lead me to cater for a law firm for 7 or 8 years where I was able to create to my heart’s content as they had rather sophisticated palates and were always up for something new! There was a really healthy budget so I got to explore some amazing quality ingredients and the foods of many cultures - with someone else’s money! I’d never wanted to work in a restaurant as I’d heard all sorts of horror stories about how women are treated so this in-house scenario was perfect for me. At 29 - a degenerative disc disorder which had first raised its head at age16 decided to shake it’s finger at me - which meant that long hours in a kitchen on my feet, carrying heavy pots and pans etc. was no longer an option so I worked temporarily at a well-known Sydney hospitality staffing agency (plus doing occasional catering gigs) while I thought about what I was going to do long-term.

How did your position come about as a food editor ?
While I was considering my options as per above a friend who worked as the managing editor at Murdoch Books suggested I apply for a food editor job they had going. At the time I’d never even heard of such a thing! But I went for it and…well the rest is history! I worked hard and moved up through the ranks over a period of about 12 years or so to become the Food Publisher. 

Photographers Brett Stevens and Maree Homer
Styling by Mart Page and Louise Bickle

Did working in this realm tickle your imagination? Was it a natural progression to exercise your innate talents to produce works of your own?
At first I never considered writing my own books - I mean back then we were predominantly producing Family Circle Cookbooks and our only authors were Donna Hay and Bill Granger! But as our list grew along with opportunity for new authors I threw my hat in the ring. I had very little confidence in myself in the early days but I’d had so much experience helping make other people’s books successful I though - why not give it a shot?

Is it an easy process for you now to write a cookbook? Where did your love for cookbooks and print media stem from?
Every book is different and I do like to challenge myself so while it is probably a lot easier for me to achieve than most people starting out writing cookbooks - it is still a tonne of hard work and pressure to do something really special and different! I’m a perfectionist so I don’t tend to make things as easy on myself as I possibly could! My love of cookbooks came hand in hand with my love of cooking, a hunger for knowledge and a passion for sharing!

What would you say to any budding cookbook authors out there? Do you think you have to have something extra special to get noticed these days in a saturated market?
Getting a title across the line these days is much harder than it used to be and, sadly, you are competing with every person who ever walked onto the set of a reality food tv show (whether they are talented or not) - so yes, you need to do something that either is very timely or hasn’t been seen before - and it needs to be authentic. Very carefully consider what you want to write about and why - and make a highly detailed plan about how you see that panning out before you entertain submitting a book proposal to a publisher - you may only get one chance. Even if you have a brilliant idea - if there is no market for it - there is no book.

Let's say you wanted to take a trip down memory lane one evening with a few old childhood friends. What would you make for the ultimate nostalgic night in? What would you plan to eat, make ? What would be playing on the stereo ?
Naturally I’d crack open my copy of Milk Bar memories… and probably start with some finger food like prawn cutlets or calamari rings with home made tartare sauce and lemon wedges, there would also be some kind of cocktail made with the old school fruit syrups or cordials from the book topped up with champers. We’d then dive into Burgers with the lot and potato scallops or double crunch hot chips (with homemade chicken salt!) . There may be a pre-dessert by way of a booze laden mini milkshake before we’d head to the make your own sundae counter where all the homemade ice creams and toppings from the book would be lovingly laid out alongside diced marshmallows, broken honeycomb and peanut brittle or Vienna almonds for crunch. Of course I’d send everyone home with a paper bag filled with homemade lollies from the lolly counter! But not before there was dancing to the splendid tunes of the various artists on my old Bacon and Eggs Album circa 1979 (which I still have somewhere) - including my all time favourite from the 70’s - Abba! and the classic Knock on Wood by Amy Stewart! We’d mix in a bit of Stevie Wonder, Blondie, The Emotions, Earth, Wind and Fire, the Jackson 5, The Knack, Sly and the family Stone, Chaka Khan, the Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Aretha Franklin. For old times sake there may be a bit of blue light disco inspired acca dacca, (ACDC) The Radiators, and Sunny Boys taking us nicely into the 80’s! Look I could go on and on ...

Lastly, what tickles your imagination?
Anything and everything.

And now, we are excited to share one of the delicious recipes from 'Milk Bar Memories'...

Photographers Brett Stevens and Maree Homer
Styling by Mart Page and Louise Bickle

Musk sticks

These musk sticks taste like the ones we had as kids. A little crisp on the outside, and tender in the centre, these are the ‘goldilocks’ of the musk-stick world — the aroma, flavour and texture are just right. I must warn you they are rather more-ish, and all my guinea pigs agreed ‘they taste like musk sticks, only better’. You can double the batch if you have a big kid’s party on. Or even a big-kids’ party.

Makes about 32 sticks

mild-flavoured cooking oil spray
4 small gelatine sheets (6 g/¹⁄₈ oz in total), each about 7 cm x 11.5 cm (2¾ inches x 4¼ inches)
1 tablespoon liquid glucose
½ teaspoon good-quality musk essence
a few drops of pure vanilla extract
2 drops of red food colouring (optional)
250 g (9 oz/2 cups) icing sugar mixture, sifted

Spray two baking trays with cooking oil spray. Line the trays with baking paper. (Oiling the trays first will help the baking paper sheets adhere, so they don’t slip around when you’re trying to pipe the musk mixture onto them.)

Soak the gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 minutes, or until soft and pliable. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.

Put the gelatine in a saucepan with the glucose and 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) cold water. Stir over high heat until the gelatine sheets have melted. Remove from the heat and tip into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.

When the mixture is cool, add the musk essence, vanilla and food colouring, if using. Add 125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) of the icing sugar and beat at low speed until well combined. Increase the speed to high and whisk for1 minute, or until smooth and evenly coloured.

Turn your machine off and add the remaining icing sugar. Mix in slowly, then increase the speed to high for about 3 minutes, to ensure it
is all well incorporated, and a little like a thick, raw meringue mixture.

Put the mixture into a piping (icing) bag fitted with a 1 cm (½ inch) star-shaped nozzle and pipe 10 cm (4 inch) lengths onto the baking trays. (If your mixture is too firm to pipe, simply tip it back into the electric mixer bowl and add extra cold water, just 1 teaspoon at a time, until you have a pliable consistency. Just be careful not to add too much — a little water goes a long way in this recipe.)

Leave in a cool, dry place to set overnight. The musk sticks should be crisp and dry all the way through. They will keep in an airtight container for several months, but will soften over time, as sugar is a fickle medium and its natural moisture content depends on the weather.

You can purchase Milk Bar Memories by Jane Lawson ( Murdoch Books) RRP $39.99 at all good bookstores or online.

Lyndel Miller is a commercial and editorial food, stills and lifestyle stylist and published cookbook author. Lyndel is in the biz of creating appetites and telling stories and our new food editor.

Have some food news that may tickle our imagination? Lyndel would love to hear from you. Email admin@lyndelmiller.com

You can find her at www.lyndelmiller.com

Friday, June 3, 2016

{gallery wall} geometric

Some of our favourite geometric inspired artworks...

top row:
Printable Diamond Engagement Print by Coco & Ella Designs

middle row (l-r):
Geometric Heart - a hand stitched artwork by William & May
Coral Turquoise and Yellow Abstract Geometric Print by Victoria Fitzgerald
Love Birds by Arli Design
Triangle Print by Exile Printed

bottom row(l-r):
Geometric Marble Reflections by May & Belle
Geometric Diamond by Love a Rhino
Marble X by Shopgirl in Print




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