Saturday, October 29, 2011
Well peeps, after much thought and consideration, I have decided to take an extended blogging holiday. Nickel Pickel is feeling like it has run it's course, in it's current capacity at least. I originally started blogging when I moved to Australia and found myself insanely homesick and wanting a way to share what I was up to with my friends and family back home. It then followed me around the world and now 3 years later I am back in NZ, and feeling like it's time for a change.
At this stage, my plan is to be blogging again in the New Year, hopefully with a little more direction then I have now, some new projects and with renewed energy. It might be here at Nickel Pickel, it might be somewhere completely new and fresh! Wait and see, but I promise to keep you posted.
Don't worry blog friends, I will still be lurking and randomly commenting on all your online goodness, but from Nickel Pickel, it's bye for now, and thanks for all your lovely, kind words and encouragement over the years!
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I am the sort of person that, when seen entering a kitchen, will often send an oven running in the opposite direction. I can't cook to save myself, so this recipe is SO up my alley. No cooking required!
First, crush up 1-2 packets of vanilla/wine/milk arrowroot biscuits, and put into a large bowl.
Then, gently melt on the stove; 1/2 cup sugar, 125g of butter and 1 tbsp cocoa. Remove from the heat, and mix in 1 egg, and 1 tsp of vanilla essence.
Poor that liquid goodness over the crushed biscuits and mix really really well, ensuring you taste test globs of it as you go... you know, to make sure it's completely mixed in and all...
Press the mixture into a flat(ish) baking tin, making sure it reaches all the corners.
In another small bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups icing sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa, 25g butter and a splash of boiling water. Mix to make icing, and slather it all over the top of the biscuits. IMPORTANT: Lick spoon/knife/spatula/spreading utensil and also the bowl afterwards.
Put the slice into the fridge for a couple of hours to set, then wollah! Remove, cut and EAT.
I was never really aware of how essential sloppy weekend breakfast food was, until we lived in Canada. Things like 'Breakfast Sandwiches' and 'Breakfast Burritos' were completely foreign to me until I was working in a cafe on Salt Spring Island and having to make and serve them to customers! I slowly became accustomed to this greasy goodness, (my heart probably not so much), and now we have started a small tradition at home on Sundays - the ultimate breakfast sandwich. That's bacon, hashbrown, cheese, egg and tomato sauce, oozing out between two pieces of white toast. Oh yea!
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
I was so completely stuck for ideas at my last silversmith class this week - I needed to come up with something I could complete within my 3 hour time slot.What to do, what to do...I trawled through my blog for inspiration and, seeing as I've had sharks on the brain a bit lately... I made a hammerhead brooch, and I love it!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
A friend noted briefly to me not so long ago, that sometimes if you want to put together a really great outfit, you need to dig deep into the back of your wardrobe and revive some of the old things that haven't seen the light of day for a while. I agree, that it's often the unexpected collaboration of items from various different seasons and styles that makes for something so much more fun then a quick all encompassing shopping spree at Glassons.
Well today, without this being my intention at all, I think I've well and truely put together an international outfit.
Black long sleeved top - 'Target' Australia, purchased around 2 years ago.
Black tights - 'Primark' London, purchased 12 months ago.
Cord skirt - Thrifted from 'Value Village' in Victoria, Canada, 18 months ago.
Vest/cardigan - Hand me down from my Mum (originally from 'Sussans', NZ) 3 years ago.
Belt - Naples, Italy, purchased 12 months ago.
Shoes - 'Glassons', NZ, purchased around 6 months ago.
Turquoise necklace - 'Grace Anchor Finery', Salt Spring Island, BC, purchased 12 months ago.
And that people, is a pretty mad example of holding on to things for yonks, trekking round the world with your wardrobe and wearing garments to the grim death!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
It's been pretty quiet in my world this week; the constant rain we've had lately has made me hunker down and semi hibernate. But then today? Be-eautiful. We've had painters around at our place for the last wee while, so I've staked out a spot on their scaffolding and that's me. Got my computer, got my guitar, got my coke and a soft spot to doze in the warm sun. Best Sunday in a long time. Hope it's glorious wherever you are too!
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Mix together 1 1/2 cups brown sugar with 250g softened butter and 1 egg.
Add 2 1/2 tsp mixed spice, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 3/4 cups flour and 1 tbsp baking powder. Mix all together, then add 1 more cup of flour.
Mix again to form a dough, tip out onto the bench.
Roll out to 5mm thick, cut out circles.
Bake at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
Spread half with jam, then sandwich them together.
Mix together 1 cup of icing sugar, 1 tbsp milk and 1 tsp butter and a dash of pink food colouring to make icing. Dollop on the tops.
This recipe is basic - I don't muck around with colouring sugar granules etc for sprinkling on top, too much feffing around and not enough eating!
Friday, September 30, 2011
It's Friday! Hooray! And Wellington has well and truely turned it ON today, summer is coming...
I think for the first day since May I'm not wearing a thermal top, woot!
Last night I made some brass earrings to wear with my brass ring (seeing as this 'brass' thing is new territory for me). They are made of two triangles; one large one small, one in front of the ear one behind, and I love that it sort of looks like it's hooking right through my ear! I can't take full credit for the concept, I've been majorly inspired and madly pinning as of late, but I'm still pleased with them all the same!
In even more exciting news (hah! cos' new jewellery is always exciting, especially when I made it!) I have decided to 'invest' in myself and am now starting to put together my own set of silversmith equipment so that I can continue to make pieces at home once my course finishes next week - so excited!! This is a big step for me, as it is definitely not a cheap hobby, but I'm hoping that it's going to lead to future ventures. I've had so many awesome comments from people both in blog land and in my day to day life so I'm excited to see what's around the corner!
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Trying my hand at colour blocking today - this outfit would be 100 times better if I owned a mustard colour cardi like this one! But oh well, navy will have to do...at least I managed an entire outfit with no black, go me!
It's also my first attempt at the 'stockings in open toed sandals' thing... it's always weirded me out a bit until now, but like I've been saying, I'm staying open minded!
Oh, cute wedges too, eh?
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
I'm covering a fair bit of ground in this post - first up - a little about my outfit today. This post should probably be titled something like 'What I Wore Thursday' except Thursday doesn't have the ring to it that Wednesday does, and obviously, I missed Wednesday...so meh!
I've been experimenting a bit more with my personal style lately, my style being that thing that I don't think I have one set version of. Just the same way I like a huge range of music, I like trying out different styles in fashion too, just depends how I feel! Today's outfit is a new combo for me - OK so it's made up of black, black and more black, but I dug out an old Supre singlet from the back of my closet that hasn't seen the light in over 3 years - and combined that with my bear claw necklace and new 'X' ring... I'm pretty happy! I'm going for comfort at work today as I've got a pile of upholstery sewing to get through, (using an industrial sewing machine in heels is a co-ordination nightmare!) so got the brogues on and a 'House of G' blazer. Noooice.
And yes the ring! It got a little bit of a patch extender put in the back of it last Thursday night, so it is finally wearable, hooray! I never wear brass, but this has grown on me a lot since I made it, so I'm thinking of making some earrings I can wear at the same time. I've been a silver/white gold girl since day dot, but, along with my explorations into clothing style lately, I'm feeling like changing it up a little. Cool huh?
Oh and on one more completely random note - you will see in the background of my mirror shot photo (taken at work) some styling in a visual merchandising context behind me, all done by moi. Just another area I'm having fun playing with a bit more these days. Maybe I should do a bit more posting about my V.M. work... another day perhaps...
Monday, September 19, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Last night I finished my druzy ring. It's a monster!
I ended up setting it quite deep in the bezel as the stone itself is a really awkward and uneven shape.It's all finished, and though it's an absolute top heavy whoppa on my finger, I like it. Well, I think I like it because I made it, but it's perhaps not something I would buy for myself... it may grow on me some more!
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I went to the New Zealand Jewellery Show this weekend, and to be honest... I was kind of underwhelmed. The big glitzy jewellery companies had all the good display cases in the centre of the exhibition space, and there, with their shmoozy sales lines and fake laughs, they tried to sell me diamond rings and necklaces. I mean, really people. Do I look like someone who can afford to spend $40,000, just randomly, on a piece of bling that I'm never going to wear? I don't think so. I was THIS close to telling some of them to stick their shmancy sales pitches and jewels somewhere nasty. But I didn't. Bet my mum was glad of that! haha
What I did love, was all the smaller, boutique jewellery designers who were wedged into these tiny little aisles around the edges, in ways that made it practically impossible to see their stuff, and much cooler stuff I must add. So unfortunately, I missed a lot of it because I wasn't going to feff around waiting my turn to look at things.
BUT my favourite designer that I found was Little Sister Designs (L.S.D) by Charlotte Burkhart.I have a thing for bones and animal parts in my jewellery. Yup, maybe a little weird I know, but this chic's stuff was very cool. Some of it was a little too grim for me, (human teeth and hair in some pieces!) but I still appreciated it all the same, especially because it was different! So above are some of my favourite pieces...
All images from http://www.charlotteburkhart.com/#!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
It was exactly 12 months ago that I was in New York, enjoying some beautiful late summer weather with both old friends and new. Isn't it crazy how fast time flies!?
And of course as everybody knows, the end of this week marks 10 years since the September 11th tragedy, so I decided to post/re-post some photos from our 4 days in the Big Apple.