Alrighty guys and gals, you’ve had fair warning but the time has come; Google Reader is coming to an end on the 1st of July 1st (Ahh! that’s tomorrow!) Did you forget? Were you procrastinating before making the switch? Never fear, we gotcha covered, here are a few options so you can still follow High Walls without missing out on anything:
1. Follow on BlogLovin - this is how I keep track of & read all the blogs I follow. They have a really easy system which you can find here, that will allow you to import your favorite blogs from Google Reader in one easy step.
2. Follow via Feedly or RRS feed - I have finally managed to fix my RSS feed and there is a link in my sidebar for you to follow High Walls via RSS. I quite like Feedly if you are looking for a good reader, and they also have an easy ‘one click’ import option to transfer over all your subscriptions from Google Reader to their service.
3. Like us on Facebook - If you don’t follow many blogs or aren’t interested in creating a BlogLovin account, this might be the best option for you, I always link each post on my Facebook page as well as links to other blogs, websites and cool stuff. Once you’ve liked my page, just be sure to hover your mouse over the “Liked” button & check “Show In News Feed” - this will ensure that you don’t miss a single post.
4. Follow on Twitter - In the same vein as Facebook, I tweet whenever I have posted on the blog and I’m always keen for chat via Twitter, so why not come and say hi!
5. Follow by email - On the bottom right corner of the screen there is a little pop up window called ‘Follow’ where you can enter your email and have High Walls posts delivered directly to your inbox. No effort required!
There you have it, 5 possible replacements for the (almost) dearly departed Google Reader. Try one, hell, try them all! No matter which you choose, I promise to keep you updated with all the fun and games at High Walls xo
LINE ONE/ Mesmerized by this gif set on tumblr from Photojojo showing how the Face Changes With Shifting A Light Source (As spotted in the music video for Opale’s Sparkles and Wine) Makes me re-think my lighting options when taking photos.
LINE TWO/ Something for your literary buffs; To celebrate George Orwell’s 110th birthday, FRONT404 decorated several surveillance cameras with party hats in tribute to Orwell’s novel”1984″. The project aims to create public awareness of the omnipresence of surveillance by making these inconspicuous and often ignored cameras stand out. You can find out all about the project here.
LINE THREE/ Head over heels for these fantastic illustrations by Spencer Salbery (aka Hey Monster) of strong female characters depicted as patron saints. I can totally see myself praying to Buffy Summers - Our Lady of Protection or Liz Lemon - Our Lady of Having it All.
LINE FOUR/ I wont lie, Wildfox isn’t really my style, but their Clueless inspired lookbook really got me feeling the 90’s nostalgia! I’m in total need of a night of ice cream and cheesy teen flicks!
Did you ever wish you could make your own diamonds and gems at home? Just think of all the bling-bling you could have if you could! Okay, so these gems are made of paper, not precious stones, but with this simple DIY you can create a rainbow of gems with just a few clever folds!
How do you feel about a bit of spice? How about a lot of spice? When I was younger I could only eat the mildest of curries and spicy foods. My delicate little tongue couldn’t handle too much chili. Even as I grew older and started to appreciate chili flavours more and more, I was still on the mild flavours. But I had to harden up fast when I moved in with my boyfriend and house mates as they love love LOVE chili! Basically any dish that can have chili in it, does, without fail. It’s at the point now where we have frozen chilies on our freezer and a jar of chili sauce in the fridge for daily use. I’m proud to say I’m pretty good with a bit of spice these days!
The sauce we had was a batch made by the boyfriends dad, but we as we came to the end of our last jar I decided to have a crack at making my own for the house. How hard could it be?
We used a mixture of different chilies; regular long red and green chilies, birds eye and habanero chilies. I bought a big bag of mixed chilies (probably double what is in the first image below) and that made 2 jars of sauce. The measurements aren’t exact, we like our sauce extra hot so we left all the seeds in, but you can discard them or else use less chilies overall for a milder flavour.
What You Need:
Lots of Chilies!
1 small onion
4 - 6 cloves of garlic
A 3cm piece of ginger
1 bunch of coriander
1/4 cup of Red wine vinegar
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
What You Do:
1. De-seed the chilies according to your tastes. If you like it hot keep them in, or else discard.
2. Roughly chop the chilies, garlic, ginger, onion and coriander. Blend in a food processor in batches until all the ingredients are extra finely chopped and mixed together.
3. Transfer to a large pot over medium heat and add about 1/4 of a cup of red wine vinegar and the same of olive oil. Cook, stirring regularly, allowing the liquid to reduce as you cook. You want to let everything to soften but not burn.
4. Reduce the heat to a low setting and continue to cook and stir until the mixture starts to form a thick paste. If it looks too dry or thin, add another splash of red wine vinegar and allow to reduce again. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Once the sauce has achieved a good consistency, take off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Then spoon into jars and store in the fridge overnight to allow flavours to mature.
Use your sauce when cooking curries, stir fries and even a little spoonful in casseroles and meat dishes will give your meal a little extra flavour. The vinegar will keep in the fridge for a few weeks, so depending on how much you make, freeze any left overs if you don’t think you will use it very quickly. Our first attempt turned out pretty well, we’ve already used up most of it. I’m looking forward to improving the recipe with future batches. What about you guys? Have you got a recipe for chili sauce? What are your secret ingredients?
So… apparently now I’m lusting after kids clothes! I came across this perfect collection of printed clothes from Bobo Choses and fell completely in love with the bold prints and bright colours. Then I realized they were kids clothes and my heart suddenly longed for the days when I could still squeeze myself into clothes designed for littlies.
Let’s be honest, my curves aren’t going to compact down any time soon, so I thought I’d try my hand at my own version of this awesome Lemon Print Tee. It also gave me an excuse to try out a new product that I bought recently; allow me to introduce to you Fabric Fixative. Essentially it allows you to turn any normal acrylic paint into fabric paint! Pretty neat huh? Finding it was a complete accident, but it now means that I don’t have to buy new paints if I want to use them on cloth and fabric. Hooray! A 250ml pot set me back about $15 which I thought was pretty decent considering I can now have fabric paints in whatever shade I want!
What You Need:
A Plain Cotton Tshirt
Masking Tape or freezer paper
Fabric Fixative (or fabric paint if you have it)
A sheet of Cardboard
A spare cloth
What You Do:
1. Start by taping off the shape of your fruit on to the tshirt using small pieces of tape to get a nice round shape. If you have access to freezer paper you can instead cut out the shape and iron onto the fabric as a stencil.
2. Place a sheet of cardboard inside your tshirt. This will stop the paint from seeping through to the back so ensure your cardboard is big enough to sit behind the shape you stencilled off. Wrap the excess fabric around the cardboard so that the area for painting sits flat with no creases.
3. Mix together equal parts acrylic paint and Fabric fixative and paint directly onto the shirt in an even layer. Cross hatch your brush strokes for even coverage.
4. Allow to dry and add another layer. Repeat this step until you have achieved the colour and opaqueness you desire.
6. Once the painted area is dry, carefully remove the tape and complete any touch ups/add ons you may need. I wanted to add some pitted spots on so, I mixed a small amount of black paint with the fixative and applied with a small paint brush.
7. Allow the paint to dry completely before ironing to set. Cover the painted area with some calico or cotton fabric – I used an old thin tea towel - and iron over the painted area. Do not allow the iron to touch the paint or it will stick to your iron.
Ta da! A printed tee! I found a bit of cardboard stuck to the fabric on the inside, but never fear, it came off easily after a quick run through the washing machine. The paint held up fine to washing as well. Hooray! Have you ever used this product? Any tips?
LINE TWO/ The Awesome Project is a collection of beautiful porcelain goods designed and hand-decorated individually by creative duo illustrator Madalina Andronic & designer Claudiu Stefan. There are so many stunning bowls and vases, but my favourites are these incredible necklaces.
LINE FOUR/ I just discovered the online design community Dottinghill where you can find a great selection of temporary tattoo designs. As someone who loves tattoos but has never been able to commit to a design, this is totally something I can use!
Ahh breakfast, the most important meal of the day, or so they say. I’m gonna be straight with you, I very rarely actually eat breakfast. I just don’t really dig toast or cereal or any of the traditional breakfast foods. If I could have bacon and eggs every morning however, I’d be
big as a house the happiest person alive. But really, who has time for that? Most days I forgo breakfast completely and settle for a mid-morning snack once I get to work.
Then I discovered Breakfast Pizza and my whole world changed.
Look, I realize that breakfast pizza is possibly more suited as a brunch type meal. It’s not exactly super healthy. I’m not suggesting that you have pizza for breakfast every day, that would be crazy (yeah, crazy delicious!) but c’mon. How great is it that we live in a world where you can combine two things as delicious as breakfast and pizza? And the best part is it’s a mobile breakfast. Just grab a slice as you’re heading out the door and you’re good to go!
What You Need:
|For the dough…
3/4 cups of lukewarm water
1 teaspoon of instant yeast
2 cups of plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
|For the sauce…
400g diced tomatoes
2-3 cloves of garlic
Dried Oregano & Basil to taste
|For the toppings…
200g of bacon, diced
Plus whatever you want!
What You Do:
1. Set the oven to as hot as it will go and allow to preheat for at least a half an hour.
2. Mix together the yeast and water in a large mixing bowl until dissolved. Add the flour and salt to the bowl and combine until a shaggy dough starts to form.
3. Turn the dough and any excess flour out onto a flat, clean working surface and knead together until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and springy. If the dough starts to stick to your hands or to your work surface, add tablespoons of flour until the dough becomes smooth. The end result should be moist and slightly tacky but solid.
4. Cover the dough and allow to rise until it has doubled in size (around an hour and a half). Once it has risen you can refrigerate it until you need it. It should keep for 2 – 3 days. If your short on time you don’t need to allow it to rise, just set it aside while you prepare the toppings and it will cook as a thin crust pizza.
5. To make the sauce, combine the diced tomatoes, garlic and dried herbs in a bowl. Blend together if you prefer a smoother sauce. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for a week. Prepare your toppings at this point.
6. Divide the dough in two evenly sized pieces. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, form into a flat disc, either by hand or using a rolling pin. Work from the middle outwards, using the heel of your hand to gently press and stretch the dough.
7. Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of the pizza and using the back of a spoon spread the sauce to the edges. Evenly spread on your toppings, ensuring the bacon is on the top so it cooks properly. Crack the eggs into individual cups or small bowls and set aside.
8. Transfer the pizza’s to baking trays and slide into the oven. Carefully pour each egg onto the pizza one at a time and close the oven to bake. Turn the oven down to about 250 degrees Celsius and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or until the eggs are just set.
9. Remove the pizza from oven and allow to cool for about five minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs.
Maybe its because of the nature documentaries the boyfriend and I have been watching, but today I’ve been thinking about whimsical woodland scenes. Nothing fancy, just grass, timber and flowers. Wednesday isn’t really a fancy kind of day anyway, so here are some simple pleasures to get you through to the second half of the week:
THREE/ I had a hard time choosing my favourite of Peaches and Pebbles striking Silhouette Necklaces, but the woodlen madien silhoutette won my heart in the end. (Also check out the teeny minature hobbit house necklaces - adorable!)
Ever since I made that Terracotta Food Cover a few weeks ago, I’ve been having these strange dreams. Dreams of terracotta pots as dinnerware. Strange huh? Pots (with the exception of the aforementioned food cover) are not really the most practical of items to have at ones dinner table, so what gives? I wasn’t really sure what my brain my trying to tell me.
Then I spotted these terracotta bases being used as plates and suddenly it all made sense. As soon as I saw them I thought, ‘now there’s an idea!’ Bri was using the bases with baking paper to separate the food at the base, but I wanted something a little more permanent, so I came up with a cimple method of sealing the inside of the saucers so that you can eat straight off em!
This project takes a little patience and the right materials,but in the end you will have a lovely set of unique plates to add to your kitchen. I chose to start with a trio of medium sized bases as I think these work best as serving dishes. A paint and acrylic base will protect your plates from food etc, but with use you will start getting marks from knifes and forks so I would avoid serving steaks off of them (Besides, have you ever scraped cutlery over terracotta? Yikes! I can’t stand that sound!) Foods that can be eaten with your hands or a simple spoon or fork are probably best bet to ensure the longevity of your new plates.
What You Need:
Terracotta Bases - you cant get these from your local gardening or hardware store
Enamel Paint (or clay glaze if you have it)
What You Do:
1. Take your terracotta bases and give them a thorough wash. As discussed before, unsealed terracotta is super absorbent so you want to wash it with hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly before using to make sure there is no dirt or nasties going to get in your food. Allow to dry completely before going on to the next step.
2. Using a large flat brush, paint the inside of the plate with a thin even layer of paint. You can paint the whole inside up to the outer rim or just the base as I have done. Don’t worry too much about making it perfect, the look of the ‘plates’ lends itself to a rough, imperfect feel, so just paint it on free hand. Repeat with as many coats as necessary until you have an even solid colour.
3. Mix together your acrylic as per the instructions on the bottle; mine is a simple 1:1 parts of each mix. Pour a small amount onto the center of the plate and using the back of a spoon or a spatula, gently move it outwards until the whole of the painted area is covered (add more acrylic to the center as needed). Go slowly around the edges – any acrylic that comes into contact with the unpainted terracotta will discolour so try to stop at the edge of the painted area.
If you find you still have any air bubbles gently pop them with a tooth pick and smooth the area over. The acrylic should settle and smooth out after a couple of minutes of sitting. Leave to dry completely overnight or longer.
I loved how my first set of plates turned out. I’m already planning a couple more. My next set will include little palm sized bases for serving herbs and spices, in a range of colours. I may even make a few sets to give away as gifts, they look so lovely on the table. (Stay tuned for this weeks recipe to see these babies in action!)