how to make

beetroot cured salmon

I am always very impressed by beetroot cured salmon. It looks so amazing, don’t you think?

So, I had a crack at making some myself. In the rush around Christmas eve I looked up a couple of recipes for the vibe.  I think I looked at a couple of Jamie Oliver’s recipes.  And then true to form just made it up with what I had.


Here’s what I combined:

  • 1 cup rock salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 bunch chopped coriander
  • 1 beetroot grated

I skinned the salmon fillet, and covered it all over with the mixture. I then wrapped it in glad wrap and put it in the fridge for 3 days. I had to keep draining off the very pink liquid, so if you make it DO put it on a plate with a lip. Then, when it was done I washed it gently, to get rid of as much salt as possible. And sliced it thinly.

We ate it with a cream cheese dip on bread and crackers. I just mixed some light cream cheese with milk (to make it more spreadable) and added grated lime rind and juice and also garlic salt and chopped parsley. I was going to add dill, but I didn’t have any. So parsley it was.

And we also had some blanched fresh asparagus. It was good!

And the December issue of Country Style magazine which I read yesterday has a cured trout recipe that’s really similar (sans beetroot) but with dill.  Yum!  Are you inspired?

i’ve been making … stars

Here’s how it goes. I start a crafty project, get enthused, make heaps … and then I move on. So the old project gets finished up and the associated bits and pieces get packed up and put away.

I do this all the time. So my studio is full of little tubs of things like extra macrame string (remember that project) and a few tea towels (a good box full) for upholstering with …

And blue beads I made with Japanese transfer paper that have been sitting quietly in the cupboard for a whole year.

But then, inevitably I come up with another new idea that sees me digging into my leftover supplies … and thanking my lucky stars that I had just the right thing on hand when I needed it.

Hello blue beads! I was so glad to see you this week. You were just what I was wanting for my new star dangles* project.


I bought the stars at the Bed, Bath and Table factory outlet on Lygon Street, East Brunswick. Big fat chunky wooden stars painted white. I was instantly attracted. With a metal loop in the top. They were Christmas decorations. But they had all this fussy ribbon on them, which had gotten tangled and frayed. So they were on the bargain table and I got them for 50 cents each.

I came home and took all the ribbon off and threaded the now tidy stars on a long piece of wire. And I added a touch of me with beads. The white ones were my first addition. I bought them at an op shop on a necklace. I just knew they’d come in handy. Then I added the blue beads for a bit of colour. And finally I added some grey polymer clay beads. Just for a bit of interest (only blue and white is boring right?).

I am pretty happy with the outcome. What do you think?

* well it’s not a suncatcher and it’s not a kids mobile …




love in a terrarium

Ever since I took photos at Mich and Drew’s house I have been thinking about making a terrarium.  Because Mich’s terrarium was so fun.  Pimarily because of the scene it depicted …  if you’ve forgotten, or missed it, you can read it here.

So I was super happy when my friend Wendy gave me nearly all the bits and pieces to make one myself.  She found a round glass fish tank at the op shop for herself (I was jealous) and then chased around and bought activated charcoal, sphagnum moss and gravel and made her own.  And she had lots of supplies left over at the end, so she gave them to me.

I have been consciously on the look out for my own second hand bowl ever since.  But then I found a first hand one in Kmart for $9.  So I bought it.  Given that the supplies were free and I had been cultivating some succulents in the garden along with an orchid (that looks a bit tired but will hopefully revive itself) for when I found the perfect vessel, I didn’t think it would break the bank.



Here’s the activated charcoal sitting at the bottom of the terrarium. Then I added potting mix and planted the plants before adding sphagnum moss and small stones to cover it all up.  I hope I did it right?


And ta-da, now I have made it … my very own version of love in a terrarium.  And my story goes like this …

See the princess with the long hair dancing on the podium at Retro Nightclub (at the St Frances Hotel in the city)?  That’s my uni friend Katrina (although actually she has blond hair, but never mind). See the other princess dancing on the other podium?  That’s me (although I was wearing an aqua blue chinese top that night, details, details)!  See the handsome prince on the dance floor wearing a tux … that’s Clive.  He was wearing a really tatty ‘stop the embargo … something about Cuba blah blah blah’ t-shirt the night we met so a tux isn’t exactly right, but he does have short brown hair!

So, what happened next?  Well Katrina knew Clive, and introduced him to me.  And it was love on the dance floor (so early 20s) … and a wedding … and three babies!

So beautiful!?

I raided the kids toy box for the tiny figurines.  I might recreate the scene with smurfs next …

It’s so fun … I am loving my terrarium.