Taking stock [number 2]

Howdy! Here’s a wee glimpse at what I’ve been cooking, making, coveting, looking at and thinking about lately. Have really missed blogging and connecting with my cyber penfriends; but haven’t found any free time in yonks (mainly ’cause I no longer wake at 5.30am, and work/life have been super busy this year); so there are some Christmasy things listed below too!
The originator of the stock-taking concept is Pip at Meet me at Mikes, and she kindly provides a blank list at the bottom of her #takingstock posts for you to copy, if you feel inspired to join in. What’ve you all been up to? xx

YULE LOG by One Equals TwoEdible pine conesGalahs at Wilson PromontaryTidal River swimTsukune (teriyaki chicken balls) rice bowl. One Equals Two.Mushroom tea towelPeacamole dip (guacamole made with peas)COOKING: my first ever Yule Log, using Nigella’s recipe.
MAKING: edible pine cones! Found the idea at Handmade Charlotte. We don’t have the stipulated Chex cereal in Aus, but Milo Cereal worked a treat and looks exactly like ‘real’ pine cone pieces I reckon!
DRINKING: gin and tonic. Have rediscovered it after years and years.
READING: Purity. Finally! Loved it.
WANTING: to thank my mum publicly. She’s our Fairy Godmother, occasionally letting herself into our house while we’re at work; to tackle a stack of dishes. Thanks ma! You should leave a scattering of fairy glitter as your calling card.
LOOKING: at holiday snaps. Can’t believe our dream vacation was a year ago.
PLAYING: UNO.
DECIDING: to break out my renovator soon. Husband gave me one for my birthday after I’d expressed interest in trying log carving. Last night I was given a log!
WISHING: Summer hadn’t ended.
ENJOYING: rice bowls for dinner. Our fave is Tsukune (teriyaki chicken balls), pulled from the freezer and nuked, sticky sushi rice with quinoa (recipe from my guest post on Simple Provisions), kimchi from The Fermentary, sugar snaps, asparagus, avo, carrot, cuke, pickled ginger, black sesame seeds and a beer!
WAITING: to see Pee Wee’s new movie.
LIKING: Instagram. Joined last year, utterly addicted!
WONDERING: if I’ll ever get around to sorting 10 years (seriously!) of digital photos into albums.
LOVING: the sculpture walk on Herring Island in the Yarra River, accessible by punt. Utterly surreal, bush-walking so close to the city!
CONSIDERING: a holiday in Sydney.
WATCHING: our own Dean Jones mini-festival for our semi-regular Family Movie Night: That darn cat (family fave), Blackbeard’s Ghost and the first three Herbies. All highly recommended!
HOPING: to have another burger at Changz. They make all their own sauces too!
MARVELING: at my friend Chris’s amazing cakes! Check out Miffy ♥
NEEDING: a hair cut.
SMELLING: a bit woofy, after walking to work. 2.8km! Planning to do it once a week.
WEARING: my mum’s 60s ski jacket with fab sun pattern.
FOLLOWING: landscape/architecture/suburban life photographers on IG – Shit Gardens, Sad Topographies, Sublurb, Ben Blacket and Hayley Eichenbaum.
NOTICING: my boys growing up; and feeling happy, sad, incredulous and proud. They’re both lovely 🙂
THINKING: about my friend J, who has moved to Dubai after finding a creative dream job. Miss you heaps petal.
FEELING: well rested after our camping trip to Wilson’s Prom. Swam in Tidal River every day – it’s like a massive cup of tepid Earl Grey, brown-hued from the marinating leaves.
ADMIRING: Our local galahs (pink-chested Aussie cockatoos); and also Melbourne creatives like Anna, Sandra, Pilgrim, Alice, Esther and Neryl. Lady artists rule!
SORTING: my vintage tea towels (this mushroom beauty is one of my faves).
BUYING: more vintage illustrated cookbooks. Hellllllp! Can’t stop!
GETTING: hungry.
BOOKMARKING: Anonymous works.
DISLIKING: our Government’s inhumane policies on Asylum Seekers and Refugees.
OPENING: another issue of Epicurean. Scored a stack of these incredible 60s/70s Australian food/wine mags from a friend’s mum. Art Directed by one of my design heroes, Les Mason. Will share some pics soon.
GIGGLING: at the Katering Show (new episodes coming in April, 2016)!
SNACKING: on Peacamole – guacamole with peas in place of avocado. Recipe by Clotilde at Zucchini & Chocolate, one of the first food blogs I ever followed. PS. There’s an avocado shortage in Australia, blamed on rain, bushfires and conspiracy.
COVETING: one of Kirsten Perry’s hand-made rings.
HELPING: my 8 year old make (and eat) choc chip cookies.
HEARING: the Undertones right now (this track, one of my fave 80s tunes); and warbling magpies in our backyard (classic Aussie sound). PS. Did you know a group of magpies is called a Mischief?

Christmas gift guide for foodies. All made in Melbourne!

Call me crazy but I started my Christmas gift buying months ago. Last-minute Chrissie shopping gives me the heebie jeebies! If you’d like to get in early too, here’s some inspiration. Everything below is food-related, and made with creativity and love in my home town, Melbourne.
 Let’s support artisans and small businesses instead of the soulless multi-nationals. Happy shopping! xx

2015 Christmas Gift Guide for foodies. Via One Equals Two.1. Aacute Soy candle with gingerbread scent. $22 USD. Hand poured 100% natural soy wax candle, packaged in a miniature retro oven box. Available on etsy, along with the full Bakery Range of 24 scents, including Hot Jam Doughnut, Choc Brownie, Buttery popcorn and Crème brulée!
2. EAT.ME.DO Tea Time socks. $18 AUD. 100% cotton socks featuring your fave Aussie bickies! Available here and at these stockists, along with other delectable wearable treats like jelly baby earrings, Iced Vovo brooches and Cheezel rings!
3. BrewSmith Bacon-making kit. $22 USD. Yes, bacon you can make at home (OMG)! Contains cure, salt, sugar, meat thermometer, recipes, curing bags and instructions. Available on etsy, along with homebrew beer and cider kits.
4. Lene Kuhl Jakobsen Round square bowls. $55 AUD for a set of 3. Small bowls, each hand-thrown from a cube of clay hence the beautiful uneven rims. More info here, available from these stockists.
5. Full Tilt Nanna Hand crocheted fortune cookie with custom message. $11 USD. These cute little cookies can carry announcements, secrets or any other special wishes. You could place one on each Christmas lunch plate! Available on etsy, along with crocheted carrot, eggplant and chill pepper baby rattles!
6. Neryl Winter Harvest (detail). Limited edition archival ink giclée print. A3 size $95 AUD. Original hand-drawn illustration inspired by Australian label Gorman’s Winter Harvest dress. Hand-numbered and signed, printed on natural cotton rag art paper. Created by artist Neryl Walker. Available here, along with more beautiful art, cushions and stickers.
7. Evie Barrow Tooth fairy pouch. $14.81 USD. Hand-made ode to the most important food-eating tool! Cotton/linen, hand embroidered and lined inside to keep teeth safe and easy for the Tooth Fairy to retrieve. Comes with a hand numbered booklet. Created by Melbourne maker Evie Barrow. Available on etsy, along with gorgeous original art, one-of-a-kind textile characters and gift tags.
8. Lucy Folk Taco friendship band. $65 – $75 AUD. Colourful bracelet with silver or gold taco, by Melbourne’s queen of wearable food. Sterling silver, yellow gold plate, rose gold plate and cotton. Available online here, at these world-wide stockists and in-store at 1A Crossley St, Melbourne.
9. Kitiya Palaskas Chicken drumstick brooch. $20 AUDDouble-layered laser cut acrylic, gold-plated pin back, packaged on a riso-printed backing card. Available online here, along with Kitiya’s fab felt-cut food art, stickers, patches and jewellery.
10. WirelyHome x Zin+Bert Concrete platter and side table. $48 USD (for platter only, stand sold separately). WirelyHome collab with concrete artist Erin Devenish (Zin+Bert). Concrete platter treated with food-safe honeydew wax that fits on Wirely’s plant stands, converting them into side tables. Available here, along with Wirely’s stylish candlesticks, oven door hooks and tea towels.
11. Kirsten Perry Hand-built ceramic jug. $200 AUD. Imperfectly perfect sculptural jug by Melbourne ceramic artist Kirsten Perry. Available here, along with Kirsten’s uniquely beautiful cups, planters and cushions.
12. Arteveneta Pasta measure. $33 AUD. Never cook too much or little pasta again! American oak or walnut pasta measure hand-crafted in Prahran by a father/son team. Available here, along with cheese boards, pepper mills and salt cellars.
13. Emma Dilemmas Emporium Nautical gingham reversible apron. $33.32 USD. Classic red gingham self-backed half apron made from vintage cotton, with appliquéd anchor and ric-rac trim. Available on etsy, along with cute cushions and lots more vintage-style aprons.
14. Esther Sandler Fruit salad stickers. $2.96 USD. Stickers printed from an original hand-embroidered piece. Use them to brighten up your snail mail or decorate your Christmas presents! Each pack features 7 fruits. Available on etsy along with Esther’s colourful bags, purses, cushion covers and magnets.
15. Takeawei Fried egg brekky plate. $35 AUD. Handmade in North Melbourne. Fried egg plate to make your mornings sunny side up. Perfect for toast! Hand-painted, food safe, dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Available online here, along with lovingly hand-crafted mugs, tumblers, and plant hangers.

Footnote: This is not a sponsored list. These are all items I genuinely love!
Be sure to check item availability with the sellers and stockists; and confirm that delivery is possible before Christmas.

Etsy shop prices are in USD. All other prices are in Australian dollars. Here’s a currency converter
.

2014 Christmas giveaway. 11 foodie prizes! (closed)

YAY! It’s my blogiversary – One Equals Two is now 3 years old. It’s also time for my annual Food-related Christmas Giveaway, and this year’s prize pack is the biggest and best yet! One lucky winner will score eleven fab items; including an Arro Home geometric apron, Gorman socks and some ace stuff for kids too!
This competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. See official rules below the photo.
Here’s how to enter:
Head over to the Facebook competition link.
Submit your email address in the field provided (PS. I don’t store or use email addresses, they’re just for contacting the winner). The winner will be randomly selected via woobox.
Entries close 7th December at 10.30pm (AEST). The winner will be contacted, and announced right here on the blog and on Facebook, on 8th December.
Here’s the list of loot:
1. Ice cream notepad by Poppies for Grace, Melbourne.
440 sheets (220 circles in 11 colours + 220 triangles in 6 colours). Ideal for place settings, bunting, a giant confetti wall or combined to make paper ice creams.
2. Geometric apron by Arro Home (Beci Orpin’s homeware range), Melbourne.
Cotton geometric print apron with contrasting coloured binding.
3. Eco shopping tote by Mogu Takahaski, Japan.
100% cotton silkscreened tote with handmade button sewn on the nose. Great for farmer’s markets! PS. The cat is saying ‘Who are you?’ in Japanese.
4. Mouk in Australia plate by Petit Jour Paris.
Melamine kids plate featuring Mouk and his pals on Kangaroo Island by Marc Boutavant.
5. Jam jar ‘chalkboard’ stickers by Cocobohème, France.
Reusable stickers for your jars of homemade jam and preserves. Write on them with chalk and wipe clean! Dishwasher-safe. 4 pack of labels, 16 labels total.
6. Ice cream girl art print by Emily Nelson, Brisbane.
Original ‘ice cream girl’ illustration, A4 print on archival paper.
7. Doodle Cake Crayon kit by Alex Toys, Italy.
Recycle your old crayon bits into cupcake crayons! Includes silicon baking mold, 8 colors of crayon crumbles, spoon, doily and easy instructions. Age: 6+
8. Hundreds and Thousands (nonpareils) socks by Gorman, Melbourne.
Nude-coloured bobby socks with embroidered coloured dots.
9. Sugar Skull DIY bag-tag craft kit by Re-sew-cool, Melbourne.
Includes pattern, instructions, sewing needle, recycled felt, recycled buttons, trim, natural fibre yarn and swivel clasp. Age: 10+
10. Citrus pencil/makeup purse by Kikki K, Melbourne.
Cute purse, fully-lined with light pink seed-patterned fabric.
11. Christmas tags by Emily Nelson, Brisbane.
3 gingerbread men and 3 candy cane Christmas gift tags with natural twine.
PS. This is not a sponsored competition. I paid for everything all by myself!
Please see official rules below photo.
Update 8/12/14: Huge congrats to Lisa Rafferty, the randomly-chosen winner!

2014 Christmas Giveaway. Everyone welcome!One Equals Two 2014 Christmas giveaway. Official rules.
Participation in this promotion is subject to the following terms and conditions.
One lucky winner will win the 11 items described and pictured above.
The competition is open to everyone, worldwide. Shipping/delivery costs will be covered by One Equals Two.
Only one direct email entry, via the official entry form, per person is permitted. Each entrant may also be awarded 1 bonus entry if the competition is shared on the entrant’s Facebook timeline and a user clicks and enters from the entrant’s shared link.
The Competition starts on 24/11/2014 and ends on 7/12/2014 (10.30pm AEST).
This is a game of chance, and the winner will be randomly drawn via woobox on 8/12/2014. The winner’s name will be announced on the One Equals Two Facebook page and the One Equals Two website.
To take part: please visit the official entry form link, and submit your email address via the field provided. Email addresses are required to contact the winner only and will not be stored or sold. One Equals Two will notify the winner using the email address provided. It is up to entrants to ensure the email address provided is accurate and valid! If the potential winner cannot be contacted or fails to respond to the winner notification within 7 days (by 14/12/14 at 10:30pm AEST), One Equals Two reserves the right to then randomly choose a new winner.
You must be a member of facebook.com in order to enter this competition; however this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to One Equals Two and not to Facebook. By participating in this promotion you agree to a complete release of Facebook from any claims.
Prizes are awarded ‘as is’ with no warranty or guarantee. One Equals Two is not liable for any damages or loss that may occur during shipping.
Good luck!

2014 Food-related Christmas gift guide. Handmade in Melbourne!

May I just say, in caps, that CHRISTMAS IS LOOMING. Don’t panic! Here’s my annual food-related Christmas Gift Guide. Everything below is made with love in my home town, Melbourne. Buying handmade creates a domino-effect of happiness – for you, the gift recipient and the maker. Let’s ignore the sea of mass-produced crap trotted out every year by those greedy multinationals and support our local artisans!
Overseas readers – you can buy locally by checking out these fab foodie creations: jikits mini ice cream mobile (USA), misako mimoko’s apple wall hanger (Spain), Fine Little Day’s tomato poster (Sweden); or make your own 70s Supermarket Play Set with Alice Apple’s DIY fabric panel (UK).
OK, here we go…
1. Able and Game Butter tea towel. $19.70. Able and Game’s super cute hand-drawn designs feature on cards, totes, tea towels and calendars. Available on etsy, and at these worldwide stockists.
2. Hamb ‘Fish barbecue’ mens tee. $69. Hamb’s quirky limited edition tees, library bags and plywood clocks are hand-illustrated and screen-printed in Melbourne. Available online here, and at these stockists.
3. Sandra Eterovic ‘Italian ingredients’ original painting on paper. $85. Sandra’s beautiful work is hand-made with care, using the best quality sustainable materials. Available on etsy, along with fabulous cards, OOAK dolls, cushions, mirrors, prints, scarves and wooden art! Sandra was recently profiled on The Design Files and Handmade Life.
4. Re-sew-cool Watermelon brooch kit. $15. Kit contains pattern, instructions, sewing needle, ric-rac, recycled felt, recycled buttons, natural yarn and brooch clasp. Available here and at these stockists, along with 5 more fab brooch varieties, and other kits. Handmade in Melbourne by the talented Sister Outlaws.
5. Made by Mosey banana cushion. $66. Made by Mosey’s colourful range of cushions, garlands, soft mobiles and quilts are created by Madeleine Sargent. Available here and also at Craft Vic.
6. Rooftop Honey Test Tube Gift Set. $19.95. This calico gift bag from CBD beekeepers Rooftop Honey includes a bee-friendly seed pack, recipe postcard and set of three honey samples (harvested from Melbourne rooftops) in glass test tubes, hand wax dipped and labelled with origin. Available here.
7. Neryl ‘Pineapple Mary’ limited edition archival ink giclee print. Medium: $95, Large: $160. Music-lovin’ juice swiggin’ Mary would jazz up any kitchen, dining room or den! She’s available here, along with her lady friends. Created by clever chick Neryl Walker.
8. Takeawei Origami serving board. Large $105, small $85. Handmade by Chela Edmunds in North Melbourne, this platter features a satin glaze star pattern and is dishwasher/microwave safe. Perfect for antipasto, sushi or cheese! These have sold out in the Takeawei store, but are available online at Liberty Trading Company. Be quick before they vamoose!
9. KaPow Kids Harem-style kids ice cream shorties. $32.95. Matching headband also available! KaPow Kids threads are hand-made in limited quantities and sell out fast, so run! Available online here, and at these stockists.
10. Evie Barrow Miss Pudding. $11.20. Available on etsy. Evie makes playfully-illustrated creations and one-of-a-kind textile characters, including the delightful Miss Pudding. The perfect Christmas ornament, Miss Pudding is made from cotton and felt with hand-embroidered features and a cotton hanging loop. She also comes wrapped in special Christmas paper, designed by Evie!
11. Lucy Folk Sugar Cube Clutch (Musk Stick). $295. The ultimate lolly bag! Melbourne’s queen of wearable food has just released her sweetest collection yet, celebrating sugar! Available online here, at these world-wide stockists and at Lucy’s flagship shop at 1A Crossley St, Melbourne.
12. Bridget Bodenham Pestle and mortar. $200. Bridget lives and works in her studio in beautiful Hepburn Springs, an hour out of Melbourne. Her work is organic, textured and just lovely. Available at Mr Kitly and these stockists.
Footnote: This is not a sponsored list. These are all items I genuinely love.
Before ordering, be sure to check with the sellers that delivery is possible before Christmas! Etsy shop prices are in USD.

© Please note photos are the property of their respective owners.

2014 food-related Gift Guide. Handmade in Melbourne.

Taking stock [number 1]

Here’s a little snapshot of what I’ve been making, baking, admiring and thinking about lately. Love this concept by Pip at Meet me at Mikes. Pip shared her most recent #takingstock here, and there’s a blank list at the bottom of the post for you to copy on your own blog or Facebook, if you feel inspired. Oh, and if you participate, leave a link in the comments so we can read yours too!

Barry Gibb doll. Saskia Ericson.Abominable snowman cake. One Equals TwoHello possumPickled turnipsEvie Barrow pack!Making: a Barry Gibb doll for my 7-year old Bee Gees fan. I used this Woman’s Day rag doll pattern for the upper body, winged it for the beard, pants and boots, and followed a fab hair tutorial on this Lincraft how-to card (thanks Michelle).
Cooking: an Abominable Snowman cake for my 7-year old’s birthday, loosely based on the yeti from Komaneko the Curious cat.
Drinking: hot chocolate with fluffy milk – did you know you can make creamy, frothy milk in a coffee plunger (French press)?
Reading: Anorak.
Wanting: more time in a day. Even 25 hours would be good. Thanks.
Looking: at Pinterest before the rest of my family wakes up. A daily ritual!
Playing: Pictionary.
Deciding: which Country Show to visit this year – Birregurra or Cobden.
Wishing: the sun would come out.
Enjoying: my girlfriends company. Lady friends rock.
Waiting: for Spring.
Liking: Maruyama Asami‘s embroideries of people eating, especially this one.
Wondering: why there’s a big possum on our fence at 6.30am. He should be asleep.
Loving: my boys, all three of them.
Pondering: how to balance life and social media. I shared my tips over at Kidspot, along with some other ace bloggers.
Considering: having a Garage Sale.
Watching: Jarvis Cocker’s 1998 doco series on outsider art environments. So good!
Hoping: to have dinner at The Moor’s Head again. Soon.
Marveling: at my 10-year old’s cactus and succulent collection.
Needing: a proper holiday.
Smelling: sweet, vinegary pickled turnips! Here’s Michelle’s fab recipe. Mine turned out bright magenta (see photo) as I doubled the beetroot!
Wearing: blue things and these hand-made shoes – so comfy, they’re like slippers.
Following: Shit brick fences of Melbourne.
Noticing: grey hairs! Yikes!
Thinking: about Christmas presents. Only 5 months to go!
Feeling: mostly happy, but sometimes sad. Missing my dad.
Admiring: my clever husband’s portrait drawings.
Sorting: fabric pieces from Amitie.
Buying: lovely hand-made goodies from Evie Barrow. Look at the beautiful packaging! I almost didn’t want to unwrap it.
Getting: into a jam-making frenzy! Help!
Bookmarking: this soup recipe by Simple Provisions, after reading this post about the nutritional powerhouse that is watercress.
Disliking: Tony Abbott (Australia’s Prime Minister).
Opening: old letters from my lovely Oma in Holland (she died recently, aged 105).
Giggling: at my son’s texta vandalism of my husband’s rejected life drawings; especially the elderly nude man, now wearing a mankini and boater hat.
Snacking: on Pana chocolate.
Coveting: one of Kirsten Perry‘s planters.
Helping: my 10-year old as he makes our pancakes.
Hearing: my playlist of favourite Australian tracks by Dick Diver, Go-Betweens, Architecture in Helsinki and Eddy Current.

Food-related gift ideas [handmade in Melbourne]

18 SLEEPS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS! If you’re stressing over gift ideas, and are in dire need of inspiration, may I present my inaugural food-related Christmas Gift Guide! Everything below is available online and handmade in Melbourne. Just look at what these clever folks have created. I’m in awe.
For even more inspiration, check out the quirky/foodie/crafty gift guides at Craft Vic, Broadsheet, Simple Provisions and Meet me at Mikes. International readers should visit Kickcan and Conkers, Fine Little Day and of course, etsy. There is also a fab round-up of upcoming Melbourne craft markets at handmade life (a must-visit blog for news and views on everything crafty). OK, here we go…
1. Sandsmade Stix for Cooks. $14.95. Stix are ideal for stirring, blending and beating; made from satin box timber. They’re also kind to saucepans and bowls and naturally anti-bacterial. Made in Northcote and available here.
2. Sandra Eterovic ‘Ms Mortadella’. $88. Beautiful original artwork, hand-painted on recycled plywood, with a sturdy hanging device at the back. Available from Sandra’s etsy shop, along with her fab cards, mirrors and paintings.
3. The Hungry Girls’ Cookbook. $25 (special price – was $35). This is more like a work of art than a regular recipe book. Cloth-lined, hand-sewn and filled with scrumptious recipes, illustrations and photography; these books are the work of three friends – Rachel Pitts, Leah Holscher and Katherine Bird. Available here.
4. Neryl ‘Josephine’. $75/$95. Homage to Ms Baker, the queen of fruit. She would look fab in any kitchen! Original art by Neryl, available in A4 and A3 giclee prints. Limited edition of 50, printed on 300gsm natural cotton rag art paper using quality archival inks. Available here.
5. Kirsten Perry ‘tea and whatev’ mug. $60. Handmade ceramic mug that holds a massive amount of tea or coffee! Kirsten’s ace ceramics are available at Mr Kitley, Craft Vic and her online shop.
6. Penelope Durston oven mit. $32. Made from felted wool and finished with bright binding and a loop for hanging, by renowned Fitzroy textile-designer Penelope Durston. Available at Craft Vic.
7. Greg Mann Princess Me pin. $30. Greg fashions recycled cutlery into amazing jewellery. This pin is made from a vintage teaspoon. You’ll find Greg at Rose Street Market.
8. Lucy Folk Supreme Pizza bracelet. $88. No food-related gift guide would be complete without reference to Melbourne’s queen of wearable food! This flavour-packed bracelet is made from crochet metallic thread, mother of pearl, glass beads, powder coated steel, sterling silver and gold plating. Available here (along with Lucy’s pizza, bento, feast, spices and taqueria ranges)!
9. Urban Cartel handmade porcelain replica vintage milk bottle. $23. Glazed internally and left raw on the outside, these are perfect for holding liquid (food safe glaze) or a floral arrangement; or just displaying by themselves. Available from their etsy shop.
10. Vonda Retro leaves tea towel (detail). $20. Hand-printed on 100% cotton. Methinks this gorgeous Australian gumleaf design is the perfect gift for friends and family overseas. Available here.
11. Spinspin Tree Towel. $20. Designed and screen-printed in Melbourne using eco-friendly, water based ink on European linen. Available here.
12. Blank baked goodies packaging. Various prices. These gift boxes are the perfect size to package an entire batch of cookies. Blank also stock translucent wax paper glassine bags, wood berry boxes and all the tags and wrap you’ll need. Visit Blank here.
Footnote: This is not a sponsored list. These are all items I genuinely love. I must fess up though – some of these makers are my friends!
Etsy prices are in USD, so these have been rounded down to the nearest dollar.
If you’re buying from overseas, be sure to check with the sellers that delivery is possible before Christmas.

© Please note all photos are the property of their respective owners.

2013 Gift Guide

2013 Christmas giveaway (closed)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY 1=2! My blog is nearly two years old so it’s time for a Christmas Giveaway. This competition is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. Feel free to spread the word. I’ve loved putting this little prize pack together. One lucky winner will score seven fab food-related items; including a Gorman tea towel and Re-sew-cool gingerbread man craft kit. Yay!
Here’s how to enter:
Head over to the 1=2 Facebook page.
‘Like’ 1=2 on Facebook (if you don’t already)!
Leave a comment on the Facebook post about this competition, posted Monday 18th (pinned to the top of the Facebook page, above the other posts).
That’s it! I’ll drop all the names into randompicker and Voila!
Entries close 5pm Thursday 28th November AEST. The winner will be announced on the blog and Facebook on Friday 29th November.
Here’s the list of loot:
1. Hand-made vintage Christmas gift tags x 6, made by me from deceased Little Golden Books. Each is backed with kraft paper, and features butchers twine for fastening.
2. Gorman x Rhys Lee tea towel. What more can I say? Two of Melbourne’s best, Gorman and Rhys Lee, designed this beautiful linen tea towel for their collab range.
3. Derrière la porte picnic tote bag. Made in France. Holds 6 bottles! From French Bazaar.
4. Give What You Grow jam jar kit. Contains 20 lid covers in 3 designs, 20 coordinated tags in 4 designs (pictured), elastics and twine. From Lark.
5. L’épicerie des bidules child’s unisex gingham appliqued apron. Housed in a fab bag with appliqued fabric letters. Made in France. From French Bazaar.
6. Re-sew-cool make-your-own felt gingerbread man kit. Contains instructions, pattern, buttons, natural felt, yarn, needle and ric rac. Made from 99% recycled materials. This kit makes two gorgeous gingerbread men, and is suitable for beginners. By the fabulous Sister Outlaws.
7. Not Quite Nigella: the book! By the super talented Lorraine Elliott, one of Australia’s most popular food bloggers. Lorraine shares the story of her journey from corporate advertising job to full-time blogger; as well as reviews, recipes and tips, including the key to baking perfect macarons! Published April, 2013.
PS. This is not a sponsored competition. I shopped for this little lot all by myself!
Terms: Please check-in here, or on the 1=2 Facebook page, on 29th November to see if you’re the lucky winner! If prize is unclaimed after 2 weeks, I’ll re-draw the competition.
29th Nov 2013: Congratulations Yael Zalchendler. You are the randomly-chosen winner! 

2013 Christmas Giveaway

Tree-mendous

Hellooo! Wow, I haven’t been here for ages. The school holidays are over and I dragged myself back, kicking and screaming, to work yesterday.
I spent most of last week with my boys, 3 lovely lady friends and their kids in beautiful Trentham. With tongues firmly planted in cheeks, we refer to ourselves as the GMC (Groovy Mothers Club), and our 8 children have known each other since they were babies. Coming together as a big clan for 5 days was noisy, nurturing and bloody fantastic.
Although we had one big burst of glorious sunshine (on our last day), it rained virtually non-stop; so the days were spent doing a helluva lot of crafting – twig bows n’ arrows, dream-catchers, little air-dry clay pots, cardboard swords and shields, blanket forts and home-made lanterns for the obligatory spooky twilight stroll to the local cemetery.
We all love our food, and the menu was excellent: baked breakfast oatmeal, dried fruit salad with honeyed nuts, home-baked sourdough, brownies, cookies, börek, pizzas, chilli relish, lasagne and Janet’s pièce de résistance, loved by all the adults and kids – Taiwanese rice and chicken in banana leaves (that’s me, gleefully serving it up below).
We spent an afternoon at the charming RedBeard Bakery, where the baker generously showed the kids around his kitchen, and allowed them to peer into the huge 19th century woodfired Scotch oven. Such a beautiful place and it’s for sale. Someone buy it, quick!
The kids were rapt to discover an abandoned mine whilst bushwalking, and almost every morning we were greeted by a couple of grazing kangaroos, rosellas and fat cockatoos.
When the children collapsed into bed; there was wine, long chats into the night, a game of Cards against humanity, and did I mention the wine?
Thanks ladies. I’m finding it hard to muster up the care-factor at work after such a gorgeous week. *sniff*.

Trentham holidayTaiwanese chicken

The icing on the cake

Our boys had a combined birthday party recently at St Kilda Adventure Playground, one of the most magic kid’s spots in Melbourne. Just look at the place! It’s fantastically old-school – a little bit dangerous (no soft padded surfaces), amazing hand-built cubby houses, fort, flying fox and two trampolines. There is even a leopard-print fur clad ‘birthday throne’ in the party area. Best of all, the place easily accommodated the 30 kids we invited, and they had a ball. I talked about some of the food we served here.
I’m a bit embarrassed to share my wonky birthday cake creations with the world, but ah… what the heck! This blog functions as a bit of a diary for me. I have years of unsorted photos on my desktop, so it’s nice having the blog as a forum for our special occasions, creations and holidays.
My eldest is into everything technical and scientific so his cake this year was a 9-volt battery. My youngest is completely obsessed with the Thunderbirds so he scored a Thunderbird 1 rocket cake, and I made him a Thunderbird hand puppet too.
The cakes were decorated with ready-made fondant icing. If you’ve not used it before I highly recommend it. It’s simply rolled out like pastry and draped over the cake. You can cut letters and shapes out of it and it can be coloured with food dye too. While I’m rabbiting on about cakes, I might as well post my eldest’s cake from last year, an old-school computer keyboard cake. The base is white fondant, the keys are blocks of white chocolate, the space bar is a piece of white chocolate KitKat, and the writing was done with an Americolor Gourmet Food Writing pen. So easy! I did giggle though when my son’s friend pointed out how ‘incorrect’ some of the keyboard keys were. The fondant icing and writing pens are available from Something for cake, Amazon or Merryday cakes.
Last but not least, I wanted to share these fab tiny little bags of Lego which I used in the treat bags. They’re cheap as chips and available on Ebay (search for ‘Lego party favours’). I reckon they’d be great in pinatas too.
Have a lovely weekend folks. Recipes coming soon…

St Kilda Adventure PlaygroundEnergizer Battery birthday cakeThunderbirds cake and puppetOld school keyboard cakeTreat bag Lego

8 sleeps

8 sleeps ’til Christmas. No time for cooking, so thought I’d share a little montage of Christmas bits and pieces at our house.
Our silver tree sets off our green elves rather nicely don’t you think? If you’re an elf-lover like me, and you’d like to know what they get up to when you’re asleep, check out the fab, slightly creepy, photos on Craft It Bake It. The second photo is of my fave tree decoration, a little elf, made in Japan, that I discovered last Saturday at the local Op Shop.
Our rocking deer has been in the boy’s bedroom since they were little. They’re way too big for him now, but we can’t bare to part with him. We gave him a wonky Christmas tail this year as he has no tail of his own. Over the years the boys have posted all manner of items in the empty tail hole, so he rattles when ridden. I found him at Mornington Op Shop – just about had a coronary when I spotted him in the window.
Made the stockings a few years ago. They were fairly tricky as they’re fully-lined. The typewriter-font letters are ironed-on and from Spotlight. I thought I was so clever maximizing the Santa fabric, and niftily cutting 4 stocking shapes out of a small piece. Didn’t notice that Louis’ Santas are upside-down! D’oh.

Found the skinny Santa candles at the local Op Shop last weekend too, in their original packet! Too cute.
Made the little Advent box years ago, from matchboxes. It starts on the 15th as I’m too lazy to do Advent stuff for 25 days. Each drawer contains two tiny chocolates and a little message, or suggested activity for the evening. I stole the message idea from Loobylu’s ace blog.
Vintage Christmas tags – made a mountain of these a while ago. I know vintage storybook tags are all over Pinterest, but they’re just so damn cute! I’m a confirmed hoarder (or ‘bag lady’ as the husband likes to call me) and have been snaffling Golden Books at School Fetes, Oppies and Garage Sales for years now. The idea of cutting up old books is a bit sacrilegious but some had been scribbled on, others were water-damaged, and others had great illustrations and crap stories; so I feel quite good about giving them a new lease on life. Bought a tag stencil from Spotlight, glued brown paper on the backs and my 8-year old helped with the guillotining, so they were quite an easy project. I reckon they look pretty ace! Especially love the alphabet book ones.
Seasons Greetings lovely readers, and a very Merry New Year.

Christmas at our houseVintage Christmas wrapping

Completely crackers!

DIY super-easy Christmas crackers 
……………..
I love this time of year. It’s completely crazy, in a good way. My boys are counting sleeps ’til Christmas already. Santa will have his work cut out for him this year – I do hope he shops on Ebay as one son has requested the entire set of back issues of a UK Make-your-own-robot magazine from the early 90s, and the other is coveting a rocket from the Thunderbirds. Sheesh, sorry Santa, no bikes or nerf guns required at our house.
The Silly Season is craft-a-palooza at our house. I hope you’ll indulge me sharing a few of our Christmas craft creations over the next few weeks.
If you’ve ever considered making your own Christmas crackers, these go off with a bang. They’re named too, so they make fab place holders at the table.
There’s no need to purchase a special kit. You’ll need a packet of cheap-as-chips ready-made crackers (ours were from Aldi). They’re simply deconstructed and re-wrapped. You can fill them with all manner of goodies – I do suggest you retain the crappy jokes and paper hats though. Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Using an alphabet stamp pad for the names looks great, and is the perfect task to give children (excellent incidental alphabet practise too)!
You can save the cracker off-cuts, and other scraps, for the kid’s craft box. The inner cardboard circles from the organza ribbon make great ‘car wheels’.
Are you making any special decorations, or doing anything exciting for Christmas? Do share!
PS. We have a winner for the 1=2 Christmas Giveaway. Congratulations Alicia Boarts!

DIY Christmas crackers tutorialDIY Christmas crackers bonbons step by stepMake-your-own Christmas crackers

FOR 20 CRACKERS:
20 store-bought inexpensive Christmas crackers
3 packets 50cm (20″) wide x 2 metres (80″) long, gold crepe paper
20 metres (65 ft) red organza ribbon, cut into 40 lengths of 50cm (20″)
20 patterned paper pieces (I used vintage wallpaper), 110 x 160 cm (43 x 63″) each, or as required
20 red shipping labels (available at craft stores, etsy or ebay)
Alphabet stamp pad (or you can hand-write the names)
2–3 goodies to stuff inside each cracker; such as chockies, tiny bags of sweets or Lego minifigures

1. Grab your ready-made cracker.
2. Carefully cut off the ends of your cracker, taking care not to cut the snap.
3. Re-position the snap in the centre of the cracker.
4. Push an extra couple of goodies into each cracker. You can customise them for adults and kids.
5. Roll a piece of crepe paper around your cracker, and glue the join. You can cut the paper short, but I like to leave them long as they look très elegant.
6. Tie organza ribbon around each end, and fasten your shipping labels.
7. Voila!

She’ll be apples

[Recipe 1] APPLE, LIME and COCONUT CAKE transforms into 
[Recipe 2] MINI APPLE and COCONUT BAKED DOUGHNUTS (DONUTS)
……………..
The School holidays have come to an end and I’m back on the school lunch and kid ferrying treadmill. We didn’t get up to anything fancy, but there was quite a bit of bike-riding, crafting and baking. Took the boys to a Bruno Munari mask-making workshop at Rae Ganim’s fabulous store. Munari is one of my biggest design crushes. His incredible book Circus in the Mist is one of my most treasured possessions (you can scroll through it here), and his kid’s book ABC was well-thumbed when my sons were little.
My boys and their Munari-inspired masks are shown in photos 9 and 11, and below! In the first photo on the Ganim store website you can also catch a glimpse of the exhibition they hosted, Hot Potatoes, with 40 artist’s interpretations of Mr Potato Head. Just gorgeous! There are more great photos of the show on one of my favourite Melbourne blogs, handmadelife. Check out Beci Orpin’s cutie.
My boys love baking and this moist Apple, lime and coconut cake we made for morning tea on the School holidays was a winner. We’ve been making variations of this cake for years – it’s also fab made with pear. The sweet, buttery aroma that fills the house as you bake it is an added bonus, as is the batch of fab Mini apple and coconut baked doughnuts (donuts). When my boys were toddlers I was a purist-mum and fully-fledged member of the food police. Nary a grain of sugar passed their little lips. I’m still a carrot cake/muesli slice kind of gal, but now the boys are strapping lads, I say there’s nothing wrong with the occasional sugar-rolled doughnut, especially if it’s home-made and full of apple! These are delicious and much lower fat than regular doughnuts as they’re baked, not fried. We like to call them no-nuts.
The cake is best baked separately from the mini doughnuts. You can bake the cake first, but we usually cook the doughnuts first, and slice the apples for the cake while we’re waiting.
Enjoy the rest of the week folks.

Bruno Munari masksApple coconut and lime cake[Recipe 1] Apple, lime and coconut cake

185g (6 oz/1½ sticks) butter, softened
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup caster (superfine) sugar
3 eggs
2½ cups (375g) self-raising (self-rising) flour
¾ cup milk
¾ cup (70g) moist flaked coconut
3 peeled apples (any variety); 2 grated, 1 very thinly sliced
1 lime, zested and juiced 
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Beat butter, vanilla and sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
Add flour gradually, alternating with milk, and mix well with a wooden spoon. Stir in the coconut and two grated apples.
♦ Reserve 2¼ cups (approx. 550g) of the apple cake batter for the Mini apple and coconut baked doughnuts.
To the remaining 3 cups (750g batter), stir in the lime zest. Pour into a lined 23cm (10-inch) round springform cake tin. Don’t worry if it looks like a small amount of batter. It will puff up as it bakes.
Place thinly sliced apple on top, drizzle with lime juice and scatter with brown sugar.
Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack.

  • The apple, lime and coconut cake will keep well in a cake tin for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Baked apple coconut donuts

[Recipe 2] Mini apple and coconut baked doughnuts

2 tablespoons (30g/1 oz) butter, melted 
550g (about 2¼ cups) reserved apple cake batter

¼ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Grease 2 x 12-cup mini muffin pans with the melted butter.
Fill 20 muffin pans with reserved apple cake batter.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of a doughnut.
Mix caster sugar and cinnamon together. Place hot cupcakes on a large plate. Scatter cinnamon sugar on top, and roll cupcakes around until well coated with cinnamon sugar.
Makes 20 mini doughnuts.

  • The mini apple and coconut baked doughnuts will keep well in a cake tin for up to 3 days. You’ll probably polish them off in one sitting though – we do! They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Darn it!

The husband is away for the weekend, and I’m at the computer with a wee glass of red and Green & Black’s dark chocolate. Bliss. Thought I’d share a fun craft activity I did with the boys. Firstly though, I must sincerely apologise for bringing more monster dolls into the world.
These little dudes do fit the one equals two philosophy though, as they began life as toe socks. The toe section makes excellent monster hair, don’t you think? We used to call these socks Bobby Dazzlers when I was little. I was given a pair of lurid rainbow ones for my birthday when I was a young whippersnapper and they went so beautifully with my aqua iron-on-transfer astrology sign tee-shirt (Libra, if you must know).
Back to the monsters. I’m no sewing expert and these are a bit wonky and weird-looking, but the boys love them. They were super easy. It was a real group effort – my 5-year old is a dab hand at the stuffing; and the 8-year old works the sewing machine like a pro.
The arms and legs were cut from the bottom of the socks, as you would do with a sock monkey. Send me an email at oneequalstwo.blog[at]gmail.com if you’d like more info.
We made the mouths and teeth out of a hideous red vinyl bag from the local Op shop. The buttons came from my massive odd button collection. My 5-year old is asleep with ‘Tootie’ as we speak. Have a lovely Sunday.

Sock monstersSock monster dolls detail

Taking it on the chin

My lovely youngest had his birthday on the weekend. Happy 5th birthday Sidney! We celebrated with a Beard Party. I promise this was a request from him and not an attempt by us to leap onto Melbourne’s bearded hipster craze – which incidentally I am still loving, even the bushranger thing. The husband has sported a rather fetching beard for years.
My 5-year old, mimicking daddy, has worn stick-on beards in various configurations over the past year. We’ve made them from cardboard, cotton wool, faux fur, fabric, paper and even the pointy bits inside an egg carton. For a while there, he had a collection of them taped to the door-frame, so he could make his selection for the day.
The party was a hoot. With all that facial hair, at one point it looked like we were hosting a mini Spanish inquisition. Lots of kids brought their own beards – the blue beard drawn on with pastels and the brown knitted woollen one were personal faves. A girlfriend of mine sacrificed some of her own hair which she adhered to her chin and upper lip with eyelash glue. She was a terrifying, living vintage circus poster and frankly, she creeped me out.
We eased into the party with some craft. I found ace blank cardboard cut-out faces at Riot Art and we supplied paper beards, textas and glue for the kids to make their own bearded faces. It was a nice calm start to the afternoon. The peace and quiet was soon shattered with shrieks though when 
the husband bounded in, having reprised his popular role as El Camino, sombrero-toting balloon-animal-maker extraordinaire. We also played Pin the Beard on the Anthill Mob Dude (photo below). The weather was totally crappy so indoor games were an absolute necessity.
The beard cake was super easy to make. I made the beard hair by pushing ‘sausages’ of fondant icing through my son’s playdough string-maker. Ready-made fondant icing is fantastic. It’s super easy to use, and makes such an impressive, smooth coating. It’s simply rolled flat like dough and cut to fit. I used it for the bearded cupcakes too. You can buy fondant icing online (even on Ebay!) or from Merryday Cakes, Something for Cake or CakeDeco on Flinders Street.
The treat bags contained a mini bag of lollies from Aldi, stick-on moustaches from Ebay, a colour-your-own people paper chain from Riot Art, and bearded character badges (or ‘buttons’ for our American friends). One of the badges features a photo of my son’s favourite Thunderbird doll, with a beard and moustache made from plasticine. The girl’s badge features a fab bearded lady illustration found on Pinterest (who looks spookily like my aforementioned girlfriend). My 8-year old and I caught the train to Sticky Institute to make the badges. It’s in the beautiful Campbell Arcade in De Graves Subway – without a doubt one of my favourite places in Melbourne. Sticky Institute have an online badge template on their website, so you can pre-make your artwork. The 8-year old had a ball making all the badges, while I perused the zines and quaffed a perfect coffee from Cup of Truth.
The party food was nearly all eaten, which was a relief as I nearly always over-cater. We had popcorn, little sausages, fruit, guacamole with crackers and carrot sticks, honey joys, bearded cupcakes (I made my sneaky pumpkin chocolate muffins in oval-shaped friand pans), tsukune (teriyaki chicken balls) and cheese and spinach pastries from Oasis Bakery.
Jeez, didn’t mean for this post to become such an epic! Sorry guys. Ciao for now. New recipes coming soonish…

Beard cake

Beard party ideas

A well-crafted weekend

Hey guys. If you live in Melbourne and you’re looking for a way to (ahem) easel into a relaxing Sunday, may I suggest the Dandenong Ranges Open Studios weekend. It started today and finishes tomorrow. I spent today at the beautiful studio of my friend Jacqui in Upwey (see the photos below). Jacqui and I met on the first day of our Graphic Design course in the 80s; she sporting short white asymmetric hair and a love of OMD and the Tom Tom Club; and me resplendent in a men’s paisley pyjama top, mohair cardigan and winkle-pickers. Jacqui now makes gorgeous bespoke embroideries (featuring typography, vintage apothecary labels, machinery and bird cages), custom-printed fabrics, cushions, paintings and cards; all under her fab-named label, Vonda. The girl is so prolific! Her studio is to die for with incredible views, chooks and a lush rambling garden.
You can see the list of artists and their addresses on the website. Jacqui is number 3 on the list. You must also visit number 11, Joy Serwylo. She makes hand-bound artist’s books and zines, including tiny little intricately-bound books about 3 cm (1-inch) high, on subjects as diverse as bus shelters and cemeteries. Her studio is eye-poppingly amazing, filled to the brim with mini dioramas, dolls and other stuff. You can sit in her lounge-room and make your own little book with her – for free.
The Dandenongs are so beautiful at this time of year, the paths peppered with red and yellow Autumn leaves. So lovely to stroll around and have a peek into people’s studios and workshops. Highly recommended.
Have a happy weekend. Recipes coming soon…

Dandenong Ranges collage

Cheat’s craft – cushions

I’m still experimenting with this week’s recipe, so thought I’d share my tapestry cushions with you. They follow my 1=2 theme actually as the backs started life as shirts. I made the guitar-man cushion for the husband for his birthday a few years ago, and finished the forest scene one at my Stitch n’ Bitch night last year. Found the guitar-man tapestry at Brunswick Savers. Isn’t it a ripper (I love that he’s also carrying a loaf of bread)! The forest scene tapestry was found on Ebay. I also made an accordion-playing sad clown cushion but the husband thought it might alienate my readers as it’s pretty scary. I used to share a house with a guy who painted large canvases of clowns which he displayed down the hallway along the picture rails – still gives me shivers thinking about it. I digress… back to the cushions…
They were REALLY easy to make, and are the ultimate cheat’s craft activity. The tapestries were removed from their frames and trimmed at the edges. The cushion backs are made from men’s shirts, as I HATE doing button holes. The front pockets were unpicked from the shirt first; and the tapestry was laid on top of the button-through front of the shirt, and used as a guide. A large rectangle was cut from the shirt-front, buttons and all, and sewed to the back of the tapestry, fronts to the inside. They were folded out the right way (I didn’t bother to over-stitch the frayed edges as they’re hidden from view and the tapestry fabric is quite firm). They’re stuffed with $5 pillows from Coles. That’s it!
The shirt brand I used is Field and Stream. I found the first one in my local Salvos; and bought the other two on Ebay. Field and Stream is a US brand and the quality is gorgeous; pure cotton but with a felt-like finish. Perfect for cushions. I used XXL size.

Hand-made tapestry cushionsCushions backs men's shirts