Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Wow. Impressed doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now! There have been so many amazing entries in our DIY competition over the last week, I've been left feeling a little weak at the knees....out of awe, and because I simply don't think that any of the entries deserve to miss out! Everything was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. SERIOUSLY. I thank you so much for sharing your creative masterpieces with us all, I am in awe of the talent, the labour, the patience, the skill, the love! But a competition it is, and so there had to be some 'stand out' performances....

So with the help of the other Maisy & Grace team members, some 'professionals' whom I sought out via some good social networking, and in some cases (as you will see soon) the assistance of random.org....we have some WINNERS!!!



1. Wood Category Winner - Vanessa Iti
Simply impressive. Like WOW. I'm sure you will agree that this is an absolute masterpiece, and every little (and big) kids dream come true!  Truly a labour of love, this husband and wife team designed and made this stunning 'mini mansion' for their daughter Bella.  I'd love to live here....I'm sure Bella is quite the hostess as well!  Congratulations Vanessa!

There were SO many entries in this category, so we chose 10 finalists because there was simply too much awesomeness.  Out of those 10 finalists we let Mr random.org choose 4 at random to receive a super cool mystery prize each....
So, the 4 winners of a mystery prize from Maisy and Grace are:

2. Amy Van Den Ouden
Description: "Lest we forget"... I had this unsightly pile of unpaired socks beside the bed & a boss/father who wanted his workshop tidied out! For the Department of Missing Socks I made this from an old fire alarm panel (circa 1950's?) sanded & sealed with some scrap rope from the boot of Dad's car.
What a clever and great looking idea! (I'd like one, in jumbo size please!)

3. Sam Davison
Description: Outdoor pallet coffee table
This is just stunning, fabulous application for an old pallet!

4. Jocelyn Brewer
Description: Entertainment Unit made from pallets
Another fabulous use for pallets!

5. Susie Gregory 
Description: This is my DIY recycled beer crate magazine bin which I have now discovered also doubles as a walker for my 1yr old son!
Simple yet so cool, effective, and functional.  Beer crate on castors. Grandad never would've imagined this!


More incredible entries here!  Most of them so detailed and intricate, and a lot of work gone into each.  This was another hard decision as it was all so amazing.  We chose:

6. Saskia Nickless
Description: Colour study, experiment piece to see how colour and paper layers would look. Materials used- Water colour paper (Paper cut-out hand cut), gouache, scrapbooking paper, foam core. 
We thought the detail and precision in this was something else, gorgeous use of colour with the gouache, and the 3 dimensional quality of this bird brings it to life.  Stunning!



Some clever ideas here! How to choose, how to choose?!! Another hard one, so we had to enlist the help of random.org again!!  We chose 3 finalists (we just couldn't decide on ONE only)....and from these 3 random.org chose:

7. Glass Category winner - Vicki Ryan 
Description: Bottles from my favourite iced tea, used as photo display.
Love this! A little memory in a bottle almost. So sweet, and such a lovely way to showcase some precious pics.

And the other 2 finalists in the Glass category each receive a super cool mystery gift:

8. Cathy Pyle
Description: Chandelier with glass bauble tea-light holders and painted twisted willow branch.
Stunning, don't you think? This would look beautiful lit up!

9. Melissa Fisher
Animal Jars (collection of jars, plastic animals, super glue and spray paint)
Super cute and so much fun! Colour love right here.


Another HUGE category with so many incredible entries....We also decided to make a few sub-categories as we thought it was only fair!

10. Textile category winner - Jenny Webb
Description: An autumnal quilt for those cold days in Naseby, Central Otago
I don't know how long this took to make, but the detail and intricacy of the design is amazing, and labour intensive!  A simply stunning piece, and quite clearly a labour of love.  Congratulations Jenny!

11. Textile category - "Child" - winner of a lovely mystery gift from Maisy & Grace is:
Amie Amosa
Description: I made this fabric birdie mobile for my baby boy, made from different odd pieces of fabric I had & sticks from the local park (that my 3 year old loved collecting). I have had many lovely compliments on this craft project so much so I have now made 2 other bird mobiles for my lovely friend's babies!
Love these! Just beautiful, and so clever and effective how they sit perched on these branches, which are suspended in mid air.  Lovely Amie!

12. Textile category - "Furnishings" - winner of a very cool mystery gift from Maisy & Grace is:
Erina Ellis
Description: My Grandpop was a chair maker - and I wanted to do something special with one of his chairs that needed a bit of repair! So I enrolled in an upholstery class and brought it back it back to life with some cute fabric and restoring the wood!
Beautiful job Erina! Your Grandpop would be so proud. Lovely restoration, and superb upholstering. Love.

And one more category we created....WALL ART.  There was so much of it, and it was all amazing.  We felt it needed a category of its own.  The winner of this category receives a set of 4 vintage bird prints on canvas!

13. WALL ART Category winner: 
Leana Buton
Description: Painting on Custom wood frame
Adore this....just stunning.  Would be perfect in my entrance, thank you!

THEN....there were just some entries that I couldn't let go of, 15 of them in fact.  They were pulling at my heart strings. So I put them all into random.org, and came out with FOUR winners of a $20 Maisy & Grace voucher each.

Here they are! I'll call them SPOT PRIZES :-)

14. Danilyn
Description: Mini House Renovation!

15. Mel McKenzie
Description: MDF box. Painted with black undercoat and some shade of left-over Resene testpot. Photocopied images 'transferred' onto painted surface with nail polish remover and LOTS of dabbing.

16. Stella
Description: Child's play kitchen, made from an old desk.

17. Annett Burgess
Category: Textile
Soft toy bunny from old and new fabrics

PHEW! This has been amazing. Seriously, I would've given 50 prizes had the budget allowed it.  But I hope you all agree with us in that these were the stand out entries, and I know there were many, many more that could've been added here.  Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you all SO much for entering and sharing your talents and creations with everybody. I know I'm not the only one who has been inspired.  

Much love and happy creative vibes!

Christall x

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Mother's Day. I really wanted to make something that paid tribute to not only the Mother's celebrating today, but also all those who no longer have their Mum's around, or who never got to meet their Mother, or who have lost or never got to meet their child. I know it's just a cookie, but (if you like), something simple can have so much significance. I call it my "Always in my heart, LOVE COOKIE SANDWICH", and it goes something like this.....

Make sugar cookie dough. Knead with love. Shape, cut and bake. Add chocolate. Insert sweet treats *here*. Decorate. Remember. Give. Enjoy. xx


1. Make a sugar cookie dough, here's the recipe I use:

3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (225 grams) butter, room temperature
1 cup (200 grams) white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.

2. Roll out dough and using 3 DIFFERENT SIZED heart shaped cookie cutters, cut out the following:
- 16 large hearts
- 8 medium hearts, with a smaller heart cut out of the centre (as shown)

3. Place onto two oven trays lined with non-stick baking paper, and bake for 6-8 minutes at 170 degrees celcius, or until just browned around the edges.

4. While you are waiting for them to cool, melt a handful of white chocolate melts - this is your glue, and works better than frosting.

5. Apply melted chocolate to the underside of the medium hearts and 'glue' each to the top of a large heart. It doesn't matter if you can see the chocolate, or if your cookies look a bit rugged like mine did!

6. Once the chocolate glue has dried (will take just a few minutes) fill the heart shaped cavity with sweets (or a little note!)

7. Carefully apply chocolate 'glue' to the top of the medium heart, taking care not to let chocolate drip into the centre.  It is better to apply the 'glue' more to the outside edge, as it doesn't matter if it drips down the outside (it will be covered up!).  Then put a large heart on top to make your 'sandwich'.

8. Decorate the tops of your cookies (I used Royal Icing, see recipe below), and using a piping back with a star nozzle, pipe buttercream in between the two cookie layers, concealing the inner cavity.

9. Present! Your recipient will have no idea of the delight hiding inside this cookie sandwich.  What a lovely surprise, and a beautiful way of saying 'always in my heart'.  

I made these for my Mum, Nana and Sister.  And myself and my biggest boy polished off the rest.  I think they are delightful, and of course can be made in any shape (as long as you have 3 different sized cookie cutters or other devices to achieve the same thing), and for any ocassion.

Christall xx

PS - Royal Icing recipe - 1 egg white, juice of 1 lemon, 1 1/2 cups icing sugar. Beat egg white and lemon until smooth, add icing sugar and beat until smooth and of 'flooding' consistency.  Add water or more icing sugar where necessary to achieve this. Pipe the edge of the heart, and 'flood' the heart with icing using a spoon.  This will take overnight, or at least 8 hours to harden, so that you can pipe the design over the top. For the coloured designs add another half or so cups of icing sugar until it is 'piping' consistency.  Add colour of your choice, and pipe using a fine nozzle.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Feijoa Fiesta - Part 1

I'm not particularly a fan of Autumn (don't like when it starts to get cold!)....BUT, I do love the wonderful 'fall harvest' - especially feijoa's!  Last year I bottled up quite a few jars of feijoa's, and managed to save them until summer time when they were PERFECT with ice cream.  This year I'm doing even more.  It's a real treat!  
So today I made this Feijoa & Ginger Cake with brown sugar glaze....it really is quite something.  Light, with a hint of that feijoa texture, and the warm 'bite' of ginger (completely optional of course, you can omit it - I just happen to love the stuff)


75 grams butter 1 cup mashed feijoas
10 small pieces crystallised ginger, chopped finely (optional) 2 eggs 1 cup brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla essence 1 tsp baking soda ½ cup milk (warmed) 1 tsp baking powder 2 cups flour 1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger (optional)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius, grease and line a 20cm round cake tin (or similar)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter
Stir in the feijoa and crystallised ginger, sugar, and vanilla essence
Whisk in eggs
Warm the milk and add the baking soda.  Add to mixture
Sift the flour, spice, and baking powder into the wet ingredients and mix
Pour into a greased and baking paper-lined 20cm cake tin
Bake at 180°C for 50 minutes.

Brown sugar syrup:
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
2 Tablespoons milk

Simmer together in a pot until sugars are dissolved, drizzle over cooled cake

Drizzle with brown sugar syrup

Enjoy. YUM

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lemon & Rosemary Yoghurt Cake....easy peasy lemon squeezy

Lemons and Rosemary are rife in the garden at the moment, and what better combination for a deliciously moist cake - zesty lemon with a subtle, fresh, evergreen rosemary scent.  This is an adaptation of a recipe I was given by a work colleague quite a few years ago.  I have no idea where it has come from as it was a photocopy of a photocopy!  No butter, just oil (unless of course you top it with buttercream like I did!).

(Recipe below)


1 3/4 cup sugar
Rind of 2 lemons
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup yoghurt
2-3 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tsp fresh and finely chopped rosemary (optional)
2 cups self raising flour

Beat oil, eggs, sugar and lemon rind well, and then add the remaining ingredients.
Pour mixture into greased and lined 24cm spring form cake tin.
Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Leave to cool for about 10 minutes before turning out carefully onto a rack.

Can be sprinkled with icing sugar, or, when completely cool, smothered in lemon butter cream frosting (mmmmm)


Friday, February 10, 2012


Something super cute - "mini" cookies in a jar!  These would make the sweetest wedding favours.  A swing tag was just a bit too large to hang off the side of the wee jelly jar, so I wrote the instructions in these paper scrolls and tied them to the jar.

Layer the following into a quilted jelly jar (or a regular jam jar) - it needs to be packed down quite firmly:
1/2 a cup of flour, 1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder, 1/8 cup of white sugar (all mixed together)
1/8th of a cup of brown sugar
1/2 a cup of chocolate chips

Cover lid with pretty fabric or paper if desired, bind with twine and tie on a tag or scroll with the following directions:

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
Empty contents of jar into bowl.
Melt 50grams of butter, beat one egg, and add to dry mix.
Drop tablespoons of mixture onto oven tray.
Bake for 6-7 minutes.

They are deliciously chewy and buttery, mmmmmm



Here's a sweet little take on our Brownie in a Jar - It's a wee "Cookie in a Jar"! Made in our smaller Pint Mason jars, they are super cute - perfect for gifts and wedding favours. 

Layer the following into a Pint size jar:
1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 cup white sugar (mixed together)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips
Cover lid with pretty fabric or paper, bind with twine and tie on a tag with the following directions:
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
Empty contents of jar into a bowl.
Melt 100grams butter, beat one egg, and add to dry mix.
Drop tablespoons of mixture onto oven tray.
Bake for 6-7 minutes.
Makes approximately 12, delicious, crunchy and chewy cookies!!!
(Mine turned out more chocolatey, as the melted butter melted my chocolate chips!)
Enjoy. x

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Brownie in a Jar

This idea was such a hit at the end of last year that it almost made the charts.  Facebook went into overdrive and little old 'Brownie in a Jar' went viral, finding its way into all sorts of Christmas stockings, parties, wedding tables and teachers end of year gift piles.  Amid the frenzy I forgot to even blog about it!  So, here's the Brownie in a Jar recipe (Ball Quart Mason jars available from our store)....

I first saw this idea about seven years ago when I purchased one from a school fundraiser.  Unfortunately the brownie wasn't that nice, as it had a whole heap of oil in it, so I searched around for a good, simple recipe and adapted it slightly to make a 'jar full' of mixture.


BROWNIE IN A JAR - The perfect homemade (and cute) gift idea ♥

This recipe fits into our Ball Quart Mason jar and our vintage 'Agee Special' jars. Layer the following into the jar:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup walnuts/pecans (optional - replace with chocolate if necessary)
1/2 cup chocolate chips/chunks/buttons

Cover lid with pretty fabric or paper, bind with twine and tie on a tag with the following directions:
Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius
Line an 18x28cm (or similar) baking tin with baking paper
Empty contents of jar into mixing bowl, mix in 3 lightly beaten eggs and 1 cup (225g) of softened butter.
Spread into baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes

Lovely cake like crust with gooey moist centre - and did I mention rich?! The perfect homemade gift. x
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...