Friday, July 31, 2009

Congratulations Sayraphim!

pic from here

Thanks for entering the Polka Dot Rabbit winter warmer giveaway!

I'm a bit of a luddite with numbers, so I went to to use their random number generator. The winner is Number 4,the lovely Sayraphim !

thanks to everyone for entering xxx

Things i like today

Wonderful Helen Beard ceramics via Jars of Cute

Lovely apron tutorial by Living Creatively

Reminds me of my avatar! Another wonderful painting by lolbunnies

Yo-Yo Biscuits

Yo-Yo Biscuits
recipe and picture from here


  • * 125g unsalted butter
  • * 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • * 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • * 1/4 cup custard powder
  • * 3/4 cup plain flour
  • * 1/2 cup self-raising flour
  • * filling (see Step 3)


1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line base of a baking tray with baking paper. In a bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add yolks and vanilla. Mix.

2. Sift together custard powder and flours and add to butter mixture. Combine well. Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls. Place on tray and lightly flatten with a fork. Bake 12 min, or until lightly browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Sandwich together biscuits with a small amount of filling. Dust with icing sugar, to serve.

3. To make filling, place 40g softened butter into a bowl. Add 1/2 cup icing sugar and 1 teaspoon orange zest and mix well, adding extra icing sugar, if needed

My creative space...

As usual I'm working on lots of different projects at once: embroidery, brooches, a new logo....It certainly keeps life interesting! Want to share your creative space? Join us here

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I love Sausage Dogs!

So much I decided to dedicate a new Polka Dot Rabbit glove design to them!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things I like today

I was charmed watching the news today to see that the baby elephant at the Sydney Taronga Zoo has been named Luk Chai. You can read more about his progress and see some adorable videos here

I'm thinking of perhaps embroidering a pair of gloves with elephants and today's "Things i like" is dedicated to Elephants!

Gorgeous retro fabric by NurseSarah81

Eames style elephant stools (they're meant for children but I would like one!).

Adorable softie by One Red Robin

From ffffound

Monday, July 27, 2009


We had a brief stopover (something like 8 hours) in Munich. After the heat of Shanghai, it was a shock to arrive at 7am to the freezing cold and pouring rain! We found out later that there'd actually been floods nearby. Thankfully we found one of those cheapie clothing retailers that was open ridiculously early and bought raincoats and umbrellas. Here's me in my fetching number....

Fortunately after some searching we found an old school Beer Haus! complete with ladies with big arm muscles holding steins of beer, an accordian band and lots of sausages!

It was alot of fun and i enjoy several glasses of German wine and some fabulous Bretzels. Followed by apple struedel of course!
I also had a great day checking out the scenery. There were so many florists in Germany, and all streets had floral displays, just lovely and so unlike drought ridden Melbourne.

Love the old art work on this department store....

We visited an old toy museum up a huge spiral staircase....

Retro barbies....there were loads of them!

Several cabinets of robots also.I would've loved a robot poster but of course, posters are always a pain to travel with.

How creepy are some of these dolls?!

We enjoyed Munich but were thankful to leave the rain and journey on for Berlin!

Things i like today

Lovely garden chair by Rocket St George

This is like me in the mornings! Usually running late! via

A polka dot house! Woo! By Yyellow Bird via Holga

One of many brilliant musical embroideries by Ruby Khan

I love Charlie and the Chocolate factory and this bag by Helen Rochfort means you can carry the love with you everyday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Things i like today

Upcycled cardigan by AmberDark

Cloth to clean my glasses which Chris got me in Berlin :)

Floral Headpiece on Etsy. These were everywhere in New York and I want to make some for Spring.

Jonquils are in the flower shop near our house. I simply must get some on the weekend to cheer me up.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Polka Dot Rabbit winter warmer giveaway!

Winter is hard after an overseas trip. I suddenly find myself wearing layers of clothing and snuggling on the couch. Hot chocolate and mulled wine have made a re-entry in the house and I have a sudden urge to bake.

Well, it is said that giving is better than receiving and in honour of this I am giving away a pair of Polka Dot Rabbit fingerless gloves, loving embroidered by me in a new retro style design! To win these gloves, all you need to do is reply to the post about your favourite ways to stay happy in winter. I will announce the winner a week from today on July 30th.

Are these the best Oatmeal Raisin cookies on earth?

I had a lovely Oatmeal Raisin cookie in San Francisco and I'm keen to make some of my own. I had a hunt around the internet and found this recipe by Smitten Kitchen (she also took the photograph). I'm giving it a go this weekend. Stay tuned for my verdict!

Things I like today

Union Jack cushion from Not on the High Street

Apple globe from here

Adorable re-worked retro picnic set by Vintage Picnic complete with retro dinner set

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Holiday diaries...Shanghai

I've been away for the last month and am now back in Melbourne. I will endeavour a brief travel diary with some of the more interesting pics in each place we visted. Yes, like all travellers we took loads of pics and had lots of experiences that can't always be articulated succinctly.

The first place we visited was Shanghai. Perhaps the biggest things you notice about China are the disparities between new and old. Skyscrapers appear next to shacks. Old style colonialist influenced architecture is rapidly being replaced by shiny new buildings. The place was literally a building site. In preparation for World Expo 2010, Shanghai was a on building frenzy. You literally could not look anywhere without seeing construction. Complete with Chinese workers, incongruous in hard hats and plimsolls, climbing dodgy bamboo scaffolding . Weather wise it was roasting hot except for one day where, rain was a welcome respite as I literally thought I would faint from the heat. Quite a shock to the system coming from a Melbourne winter!

Shanghai is a scary place to get around. Crossing the road is a challenge when despite the 'green man' at the traffic lights, cars and bikes are allowed to cross also. The scaffolding everywhere often meant we were walking on the road which was a bit scary, particuarly around The Bund (the famed tourist precinct that was pretty much out of action due to construction) as we walked in ankle deep mud on the road! Besides foot travel,Shanghai was easy to get around thanks to an excellent public transport system and Chris' excellent map reading skills which far exceed mine.

Chris and I don't speak Mandarin(beyond yes, no and thankyou) which was a challenge. I felt quite guilty about this as a Westerner. It's interesting being somewhere non-Western as a Westerner. You feel very visible. People try to accost you to visit tea ceremonies with you (a scam where they leave you with a massive bill). People try to practice their english. People stare. Some of the beggars were quite confronting, especially outside our 'prestigious' Western style hotel. You wear your Western privilege with you very close to the skin, and I can understand the temptation some might have to cocoon themselves in their hotel. Shanghai in many ways feels non-stop. There's so many people, constant noise, traffic....almost like I imagine the sensory overload of autism to be.

China in itself still has the cloud of implicit social control. Upon the plane we were asked to fill in forms about our health, including any swine flu symptoms. Upon arrival in Shanghai the plane was boarded by health officials in biohazard gear with temperature taking ray guns which were pointed at our foreheads. It was quite unnerving really, as I had had the flu (whichever kind, as they were no longer testing) before leaving Oz. I wasn't surprised to read later that people on other flights had been detained by quarantine with a Chinese national who'd failed to disclose flu symptoms, receiving a disciplinary note in his national identity file. eek. Learning of the dififculty for Chinese residents to visit other countries for holidays was also quite surprising given the desire of most people we know to travel. It's hard to imagine living somewhere where you aren't allowed to leave the country whenever you like.

I read quite a bit about the annivesary of the Tiananamen Square massacre. I was told that most Chinese people were aware of it, but would plead ignorance or refuse to discuss it. The idea of facade is an interesting one. People would give us directions even when they had no idea, wanting to be helpful and possibly save face. Kind of like the idea that you feel people are telling you what they think you want to hear...

I really enjoyed visiting a Chinese political propaganda poster museum. It was literally in a guy's apartment. Finding things in unexpected places is always interesting

We visited a big public park which is used on weekends by local parents to matchmake their adult children. Parents would put up posters and give out flyers advertising the attributes of their sons and daughters. Kinda funny in a way.

Another example was that upon visiting a modern art museum, we found some of the most interesting art was in the bathrooms with the floral patterns tiles actually containing words...

We spent some time with our good friend Rhys who works as a teacher in Shanghai. I really enjoyed hanging out with him and his partner and we have some Australian goodies going their way. It's always wonderful getting a guided tour of interesting places you might not find on your own. Here we are at a old Abbatoir which has been transformed into a arty space meets boutique area.

Shanghai is definitely somewhere i would like to visit again. I would definitely like to visit other regions in China also. Next time, I'll do some language tuition first.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Things I like today

Vegemite toast. Sorely missed when I was overseas.

cute card featuring a dinosaur made from wire by Fold

Gorgeous pillows by VintageJane. I'll have to ask Chris only because they may be too girly for his liking...
Amazing silhouette portrait by Jenny Lee Fowler