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Halloween Draco-Lanterns

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MATERIALS

  • For vampire pumpkin: Thumbtack or pin
  • Small white pumpkin (For a big bite, choose a small pumpkin so the plastic vampire teeth seem huge)
  • Plastic vampire teeth
  • Mouth template
  • For bat: Black construction paper
  • Small white pumpkin
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Wing template

STEPS

  1. STEP 1

    vampire-pumpkin-how-1011mld106876.jpg

    Print mouth template. Lay template on pumpkin, and poke thumbtack through, all along outline, to transfer design. Cut out with saw; remove excess flesh.

  2. STEP 2

    Wedge teeth into hole.

  3. STEP 3

    For eyes, pin map tacks onto pumpkin.

  4. STEP 4

    Print wing template

  5. STEP 5

    Trace onto construction paper and cut out.

  6. STEP 6

    Fold down flat ends of wings 1/4 inch, and attach folded edge to pumpkin with hot glue.

Home Office Ideas

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Is your office the dumping ground for everything miscellaneous in your house? Good organisation is they key.
Check out some of these ideas for some home office make-over inspiration.

I have recently had an office clean out and incorporated some new Ikea office furniture, I’ll post the pics soon, its not quite ready yet :)

home office traditional by Polsky Perlstein Architects

home office traditional by Polsky Perlstein Architects

home office built in storage AMW Design Studio

home office built in storage AMW Design Studio

elegant home office by KL Interiors

elegant home office by KL Interiors

craft room office space by Collaborative Design Group-Architects & Interiors

craft room office space by Collaborative Design Group-Architects & Interiors

blackboard wall office by The Cross Design Interior Designers & Decorators

blackboard wall office by The Cross Design Interior Designers & Decorators

Good use of wall home office by Robert Thomas Homes Architects & Building Designers

Good use of wall home office by Robert Thomas Homes Architects & Building Designers

Hidden office by Butter Lutz Interiors, LLC Interior Designers & Decorators

Hidden office by Butter Lutz Interiors, LLC Interior Designers & Decorators

office with a view by Merzbau Design Collective Architects & Building Designers

office with a view by Merzbau Design Collective Architects & Building Designers

studio shelving and office by Schmitt + Company/Poor House General Contractors

studio shelving and office by Schmitt + Company/Poor House General Contractors

Easter Recipes

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Cracked Egg Dessert

Cracked Egg Dessert

What appear to be cracked eggs are something better, or at least sweeter — scoops of mango sorbet in chocolate shells.

How-To
Use a sharp paring knife to split hollow chocolate eggs, available at specialty-food stores, in half, using the seam as a guide. Use a melon baller to scoop sorbet into each shell. Serve immediately, or freeze up to 2 hours.

Creme Egg Mojito

Creme Egg Mojito

Here is a great use for those Creme Eggs at Easter. Adults only of course.
The Creme Egg Mojito

To make one at home you will need…
• 25ml Bacardi Superior
• 25ml Mozart chocolate liqueur
• Sprig of mint
• 25ml sugar syrup
• Dash of lime juice
• Dash of soda
• 2 chocolate eggs
Just bruise the mint sprig and put in the bottom of the glass with the rum and chocolate liqueur. Then add the sugar syrup and lime juice to the mix, add some crushed ice and smashed up chocolate egg and give it all a stir. Top with a little more crushed ice, dash of soda on top and serve with an oozey half of egg.

Roasted Salmon and Spring Onions with Mint-Caper Pesto

Roasted Salmon and Spring Onions with Mint-Caper Pesto

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds spring onions or baby leeks, trimmed and halved lengthwise (if using leeks, wash thoroughly after halving)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 piece (3 pounds) skinless salmon fillet, preferably wild Pacific
  • 2 cups lightly packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons slivered blanched almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for sprinkling
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Coat 2 rimmed baking sheets with 1 tablespoon oil each. Divide onions between baking sheets and drizzle each with 2 tablespoons oil; season generously with coarse salt and pepper. Roast until bottoms of onions are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating pans and switching racks halfway through. Remove from oven; reduce temperature to 325 degrees. Let onions cool, then consolidate them on 1 baking sheet.

  2. STEP 2

    Place salmon on top of onions. Brush with 2 tablespoons oil and season with coarse salt and pepper. Roast on lower rack of oven until partially opaque in center, about 20 minutes.

  3. STEP 3

    Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup oil, mint, almonds, capers, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor or blender, and puree mixture until smooth.

  4. STEP 4

    Remove salmon and onions from oven; carefully transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt; serve with lemon wedges and pesto.

Easter Egg Puzzle Cookies

Easter Egg Puzzle Cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Royal Icing
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

  2. STEP 2

    Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Add vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

  3. STEP 3

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out egg shapes with a 2 1/2-inch oval cutter . Transfer cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Bake until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Upon removing from oven, cut into pieces with a sharp knife (if they’re cool, it will be difficult to create clean edges). Let cool. Using a pastry bag fitted with a 1/8-inch tip and filled with royal icing, decorate as desired. Sprinkle with sanding sugar while icing is wet. If adding dots or stripes, let base layer dry first.

 

Sources: Martha Stewart and The Jewel Bar Piccadilly Circus

 

Screening Alfresco Areas

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In the U.S. screened in patio’s or screen rooms have always been around. I can’t help but wonder why they haven’t caught on here in Australia considering that the size of some of our insect friends can be quite scary.
What do you think would you screen in an entire alfresco area or is this not for you?

Waterside screen room

Waterside screen room

A frame screen room

A frame screen room

screen room 2

multi zone screen room

multi zone screen room

Hamptons style house screen room

Hamptons style house screen room

Ikea Hacks

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I love IKEA. I could easily furnish my whole house from this one store alone, so it was while searching the IKEA site for some home office furniture that I came across a number of sites and pics that are dedicated to customising your IKEA purchase. These are termed IKEA Hacks.
At first I thought this was IKEA furniture idea heaven as the possibilities are endless, but be warned you will lose hours of your life once you search it and this won’t make your decision any easier.

Expedit Bench

Expedit Bench

Liatorp Cabinet Hack

Liatorp Cabinet Hack

Ikea Table Hack Bathroom Vanity

Ikea Table Hack Bathroom Vanity

Built in Hemnes Unit

Built in Hemnes Unit

IKEA Hemnes Desk with 2 x Hutches

IKEA Hemnes Desk with 2 x Hutches

Hemnes Office Hack

Hemnes Office Hack

Sources: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=ikea%20hack

http://www.ikeahackers.net/

Outdoor Decking

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I love decking outdoor’s and recently I have developed an unhealthy obsession with the new range’s of composite decking that is available on the market. These all weather composite decking materials require very little maintenance and are resistant to pest’s and doesn’t require painting or staining. I must say when it all comes down to it I don’t mind admitting that I’m far too lazy for that type of ongoing maintenance. One of my favourite products at the moment is a product called Trex  http://www.trex.com/au/index.html
What’s your thought’s? have you used it or do you prefer the real deal? below are a few photo’s of both options.

deck 1

deck 2

deck 4

deck 3

deck 5

deck 6

Picture sources from Houzz.com  and Trex

BBQ Area Design

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We posed this question on our facebook page a couple of weeks ago. What do you like in your outdoor area and what is too much? Some people love the idea of an outdoor kitchen whereas others prefer something a little less permanent that can be moved to suit the season. Either way there is no shortage of inspirational pics out there to suit your style.

Hampton style Outdoor BBQ area

Hampton style Outdoor BBQ area

Classic stone built in BBQ

Classic stone built in BBQ

 

Rustic Outdoor area

Rustic Outdoor area

Modern BBQ area

Modern BBQ area

Exposed beams outdoor area

Picture source: Houzz

 

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