Beyond Recognition

 

The call of my people.

 
Decided to try a new recipe tonight, cause God knows I’ve had it up to here (I just pictured my Mum doing the action)  of making the same 20 things for the last 6981 days. Time for something new, I thought. So off to Pinterest I went, found a lovely recipe for garlic Parmesan chicken and, miracle or all miracles…I had all the ingredients. 

The recipe called for half a cup of mayo to spread over the chicken boobs…really?! Mayo, is that a hing people do? Put mayo on chicken and bake?  Well I was going to have a hard enough time trying to sell this to the kids anyway without the mayo part, so I substituted for natural yogurt. Everything else was pretty normal. Mixed in the cheese, and garlic powder (I think that can go in the bin, just looks weird and I always have fresh anyway) salt and pepper, spread it on the chook and chucked it in the oven.  Both kids expressed their doubt at this dish, at which I wittily remarked “just give chicken piece a chance!” Followed by the usual “get it, give peace a chance, chicken peace…pieces, get it”. No Dad jokes in our house, just pure gold from Mum. 

So after I finished explaining my joke it was time. My son was judging from the other end of the kitchen, which means he was next to me, we have a teeny tiny kitchen. I cut a small piece, smelt like crap, was not looking forward to this, took a bite, chewed, looked away from my son and indicated just how wonderful it was…then spat it in the bin. Crap. Mitch giggled as he got me a glass of water to wash out the taste. “So what’s for dinner Mum? ” By this stage they were getting something out of a box from the freezer, Bad Mother. Ah look, spring rolls and mini dim sims…into the oven with you guys. 

While I was waiting for these culinary delights to cook, I thought I would answer an Etsy inquiry. There’s a PC in the dining room so I could look after the, loosely termed, dinner. Typing away, bit more typing and send. Check dinner…open oven..”Oh for fuck sake, really!? Are you kidding me?” The dinner now consisted of little black nuggets, burnt beyond recognition.  Mitch came out to investigate and had a good laugh and well I couldn’t stop giggling, 2 dinners in one night! Are you kidding?  So Mitch called his sister for dinner and she had a laugh, we all laughed then went to McDonalds. 

Two hours later my husband got home and laughed also. 

Night 6982: Meat and three vege. 

Ruby Canoe Cake Topper in Top Australian Cake Decorating Book!

Well, it would seem that is been a while since I posted anything.  Truth is I just didn’t get around to posting anything.  I felt like I didn’t really have much to say actually.  But looking back now I did have a few things to say and share and show.

Late last year I was contacted by a very busy stylist from Sydney, Olivia Blackmore, who was very interested in a Happy Birthday cake topper I had made.  She bought. I sent. All good.  The End…Well no it wasn’t, cause a few days after she received her order I received a request for more.  So I busily thought of some new designs, cut them, glued them packaged them, and away they went.  They were for the possible inclusion in an International cake decoration book.  Well can you imagine how excited I was? Really, can you?  I was super excited! 

People that do this for a living probably don’t get excited about working on magazines or books, they probably get used to it. Or at the very least learn to hide the little girl giggles when they see their hard work published. Bit of a shame really, how wonderful would it be if you walked into a news agency and some man is jumping up and down on the spot with excitement yelling “Look, look, I did this! I picked this font! Woohoo, isn’t this a great font?”  Kids do this, they don’t know how good they’ve got it, do they?  Or maybe you go to Maccas (Australian for McDonalds) sit down to have your bacon and egg McMuffin and who is sitting next to you? The 17 year old girl that started at 5 am and made YOU a bacon and egg McMuffin. She suddenly becomes your Mother…watching the first bite you take…you chew…”do you like it?” Isn’t it great?” “I made that you know!” She said through her very (in my experience) expensive braces.  Well, anyway, do you get my point? I was excited that one, or more, of my cake toppers might be in a book. One thing I didn’t know about books. It takes a really long time to complete.  But I totally understand why they take a really long time to complete. Lots of magic goes on between the covers of a book. 

Olivia contacted me recently to let me know that the book has been published and that she was sending me a copy. Which was very nice of her. I received my copy soon after and the quality was amazing. I was hoping it was one of those fancy cookbooks where the cover has a beautiful texture and looks as though it is meant to be handed down through generations, and it was exactly what I was hoping for.  I am very proud to have something to give to my children to keep in their kitchens and maybe show my future far far far away grandchildren. It’s just beautiful.  Amazing Decorated Cakes. 

  
Recently my Mum came to visit, all the way from Bagdad…not that one…the lesser known one in Tasmania (I still think they moved there because Mum and Dad love telling people where they live), any way, Mum was visiting, I gave my much treasured copy to my Mum. It’s still nice to see pride in your parents eyes, doesn’t matter how old you are. A few days after Mum had returned to Bagdad (not that one) I got a call from my Dad telling me how wonderful my cake topper was. Yes, you and I both know he couldn’t give a rats hoot about cake toppers it only mattered that his girl had something in a book…totally worth it 🙂

  

Arranger of Pretties (Stylist):  Olivia Blackmore

Clicker Extraordinare (Photographer):  James Moffatt

Iconic Australian Publisher:  Australian Woman’s Weekly

I don’t know who picked the font but let’s give a thought to the great font choice.  Great job!

Available at rubycanoedesign.etsy.com

And don’t forget about my other Etsy store bigbluecanoe.etsy.com (vintage prints, blueprints, patent prints and much more). 

More posts soon, hopefully. 

Like or comment any old time. 

Did you make it all the way to the bottom? Really? How nice are you? Oh and that lipstick totally suits you. xxx. 

Well, it’s almost the end of the second month of the year.  Time flies when you’re having fun right?  Time flies even when you’re not having fun as well…it’s all relative.  February is a good month for us in Australia, it means the hot weather is starting to be less than the temperature of the sun.  And, with any luck we are able to venture outside (without melting) and get shit done.  Yay!

For the last month we have had rain and sunshine, and everything is strangely green, bright green, hurts your eyes green.  And boy oh boy is the grass/weeds growing rapidly.  The lawns are being mowed 3 times a week at the moment.  I think if I sat on the front steps and watched the grass I would be able to see it grow.

I’ve been a little busy this week making a heap of Wedding Cake Toppers in preparation for wedding season, which apparently is March April and May (keep reading it’s not all about soppy weddings, unless you like soppy weddings, then it totally is about soppy weddings).  I’ve made a heap of these last week, as they will be featuring in a Contemporary Cake Book, along with 3 or 4 others that I’ve made.  When it is released I will certainly do a post or four about it and my cake toppers.

These cake toppers aren’t specifically for weddings, I can change the wording and certainly change the colors for you too.  Click HERE to go to Etsy

Very exciting, gunna be in a cook book, do dah, do dah.

These look just beautiful.  And there is more to come over the next few weeks. If you have any special requests please contact me via Etsy or my Facebook page and I will certainly try to help you with anything.

Just a special mention about the paper I use if anyone is interested.  Recently my supplier stopped supplying the KaiserCraft paper I used everyday.  I was royally pissed off to say the least, considering I had invested many hundreds of dollars in keeping up a good stock level of many different colors.  I even contacted the suppliers head office (which I usually do not do) to ask what the go was.  Anyway, long story short, the KaiserCraft paper was being replaced by AmericanCraft paper.  I looked online and thought the paper would be identical as the packaging was.  But I was delighted by the new AmericanCraft paper.  Just beautiful to work with, and I highly recommend it. And the colors are so so beautiful, I used mostly AmericanCraft paper in the above photos.

Whilst I love my paper, is doesn’t come cheap, and I have found when you want to only sell quality items you can not cut corners.  These are a few of the things that go into the pricing of my products…

  1. This paper I use is not cheap, using a cheap quality paper produces lousy cuts and a poor quality finished product.
  2. When running paper through my cutting machine, I have the machine set to quite a slow speed and I also do double cuts (cuts twice), this produces a perfect cut everytime.
  3. When I send my products I like to package them thoughtfully, so that when you recieve your package in the mail it’s exciting and like receiving a little present, even if you did pay for it 🙂
  4. And then there’s all the other stuff: electricity, glue, scissors, pens, rulers, skewers, tooth picks, books, sheet music, dictionary’s, atlases, upkeep on the machine, bought designs, and about one hundred other things.

So, rest easy my friends when you purchase a product from me, you won’t be purchasing cheap and nasty, you will be purchasing well priced (for you and for me) items that are well made and a product that I love too.  Oh and don’t forget you can tell all your friends that you purchased your cake topper from a shop that has cake toppers in an actually real true blue cook book.  (Little hint: It’s probably Australia most famous cake cook book company) We all love bragging rights, right?

Anyway it’s almost 1 am so I should go off to sleep.

Have a good day/night!

Ruby xxx

Where Is All Your Money Going?

Well, I have been MIA from my blog lately.  Had a little break.  I didn’t go anywhere, but just wanted a little break from spending so much time online, you know what I mean?

I spent a fair bit of time lately getting my house, therefore my life, under control.  The difference in just great.  I did the usual clean out of the linen press, donated some things and threw out other things, just generally purged the linen closet.  I was just amazed at how much room was actually in there, and let me tell you it is quite small.  It is very easy to clean out and purge things out of your life, you just always have to remember NOT to fill it back up again.  You are not making room for more shit in your life.  While I was cleaning out the linen press I was thinking, thinking, thinking…all about how much money we waste in our lives.  I have said for years that every time I leave the house it costs me $100, which is almost true.  Go up to the shop for one thing, come back with a whole lotta stuff you really only wanted because the store set it up that way.  The first port of call for saving money in our house was electricity, unfortunately you do have to spend money to save money, so we bought an energy reader thingy.  It tells you to the cent how much your electricity is costing you.  I had suspected, for a while now, that our old fridge and freezer were the main culprits in our house, so that’s where we started…sad face…I was right…sooo much waste…such old technology, we actually calculated that they were costing around $1200 a year to run !!

Where is all your money going?  You'll be amazed where it is all going!

So…need…to…buy…a…new…fridge/freezer…wa wa waa. We shopped around (which we would never do before) got the best deal online, so we went to the local retail store and negotiated, yes I negotiated and scored $50 less than the online price (which also happened to be more than $1500 off the recommended retail price).  So it can be done, I used to be the one that saw the price on the price card and go “here’s my money, I’m buying it!”.  Well not anymore dude.  That’s my money and we work damn hard for it too.  So we picked up the fridge/freezer and laughed a little watching my husband and my son and my sons mate trying to get it up 13 steps and into the house…a big fridge it certainly is!

Well I thought I was on a roll, in the saving money dept.  And I had a giant fridge/freezer to fill, because most of the food in the old fridge was only mildly coolish, I am actually surprised we are all still alive, because the difference in temp between the old one and the new one is astonishing.  Anyway, back to filling the fridge.  Went to the shops, kids were at school and Uni, so I could take my time, and did the shopping.  I created 2 rules for that shopping trip:

  1. Don’t buy unless I really need it
  2. Don’t buy unless it is reduced and I need it, or it is essential

Where is all your money going?  You'll be amazed where it is all going!

Finished shopping and looked at the docket, due to my expert shopping, I saved $101.  I also got a years worth of laundry detergent (on special at $9 off) a months worth of cat food ($30 cents off) and a few other things I can’t remember.

Ok now that sounds great doesn’t it…yep, until you have to put all the shit away in your teeny tiny pantry 😦 Okay so next thing to do was to clean out the pantry and organise everything so I can see everything so I know what I have and don’t have.  I had a hell of a lot of miss matched containers and half empty packets.  So, going from shelf to shelf, I took everything out and placed it on the bench, and wondered what to do with it all.  I couldn’t just reorganise it and shove it back in, because clearly that isn’t working for me.  So, off to spend more money to save money.  (This takes place over 3 days, I am not a miracle worker you know).  I did the rest of the groceries sticking to the two rules mostly (had to be realistic) and also bought 2 trays of mason jars (24).  I just gotta say I love mason jars, and it is not really a thing in Australia, but let me tell you it should be, pretty and functional too.  So anyway, groceries are done, so many bargains, oh so many. And now for the crappy part…organising it all.  Crap.  What have I started.  So I took my time, thought about placement of items and got stuck into it.

I have 50% more items in the pantry and have 25% more free space than before and have eaten 50% more healthy food, just because I am organised.

Okay, realistically, I know that everyone can’t just go out and buy a new fridge just cause the old one is crap, I really know that.  The fridge was at least 25 years old and the freezer was 16 years old, so let me tell you I have put up with crap. The real point of this article (can I call it an article?) is this: know where your money is going, you earned your money, keep a hold of as much as you can. Think about how much it cost you to run the dryer, when you could just hang it out, think about how much it costs to run the washing machine again, because you forgot about the clothes for the third time, it all adds up.

For example:

I have started buying 3lt of milk on a Friday from Woolies, 3lt of milk is $3, because when we ran out over the weekend (which happened 4 weeks in a row, yeah we are real quick to act in our family) we would buy the milk from the convenience store which is conveniently (as the name would suggest) place 200 metres from our house.  When buying the milk from the corner store, it would cost $6 and then there is a $10 minimum at that store as well, so already we spend $7 more than we should and of course the extra items wouldn’t always come out at $10 so we spent up to $20 to get milk and all the other stuff we don’t need.  Over 4 weeks that was between $60 and $80, and that is crap.  Let’s look at that again my 3 lt milk just cost $60 when I should have spent $12…what an idiot.

So sit back and have a bit of a think about your money…YOUR MONEY…IT’S YOUR MONEY.

 

PICARD says it's your money, so find out where it is all going for heavan sake.

Some quick tips:

  • Turn off the lights when no one is in the room (yeah obvious and easy)
  • Make lunches
  • Take water with you when you leave to go shopping
  • Get a banking app on your phone and check it every day, from home, not while you are out
  • Get the local supermarkets app on your phone, check for super specials every Wednesday
  • Go over your junk mail and know your prices
  • Treat your pantry like an organised mini supermarket, including checking used by dates
  • Any coins go in a jar, or in our case, a vase.  It can add up over the year
  • If you see a significant super special try to get a years worth
  • Keep an eye on the local paper for free activities for adults and children alike
  • Try and do all your shopping in one day and try to keep away from the shops
  • Buy magazines from second-hand book shops.  Can start at 10 cents for a recent magazine
  • When cooking try to turn off the cooker just before the items are cook, it will continue to cook and you won’t waste your gas or electricity
  • Know your finances, do not leave it to one partner to do
  • Shop around and negotiate
  • If you have bought something from a supermarket and it is not satisfactory take it back. I bought a kilo of bacon from Woolies and it had no taste, so instead of throwing it away I took it back, I got a refund and a replacement pack.  How’s that?  🙂
  • Try and understand that not everyone you know needs a Birthday present every year
  • Have a special dinner at home
  • Make extra for dinner and have for lunch, saves money and time
  • Know when the sales are on and wait for them
  • Write lists, grocery lists, things to do lists, people to call lists, bills to pay lists ect
  • Always try to eat at home or eat home made…kinda like some other points but it is important
  • Remember cheaper is not always better
  • Do maintenance checks on cars, appliances etc
  • Before you need to buy things post a request for the item on your Facebook page, maybe a friend would like to get rid of it, you never know until you ask
  • Buy yourself a pressure cooker, I prefer these over a slow cooker any day, fast means less electricity (well in my mind it does)
  • Follow rules, sound weird doesn’t it…don’t speed, don’t park in the wrong place, don’t pay bill late, these all cost money, and sometimes they cost a lot of money…follow the damn rules!

So if you want to add to the list or have anything else to say, feel free to comment or like or share 🙂

Thanks for staying until the end,

Ruby C xx

Most Views On My Blog Ever…

So, I need about 40 more views today to achieve this months goal.  The goal, this month, being to obtain the most views on my blog and to obtain the most view of my Etsy shop and to achieve the most sales on my Etsy shop…

Results:

Etsy Shop:  Most views achieved 2110 views.  Most sales achieved!  Apparently if you treat your Etsy shop like a shop you make a little bit of money!  Who would have thought that huh?

Blog:  The most views I have received was in May last year.  So I picked this month to try to top that, completely forgetting February has 28 days.  Cursed you February.  A pox on your house Feb. Just 40 more views.  11.5 hours till the end of this Australian day.  And if you are reading this you have helped so here is a picture of an ice-cream.  Enjoy and Thanks! xx

Picture from bighoneydog.com^ great picture too.  NomNomNom

Easy: How To Make Butter Tutorial

I was very lucky after Christmas and the local supermarket had marked down lots of units of cream.  So I bought about 5 large (600ml) containers.  I didn’t have a clue what I was going to do with all that cream, but it was Christmas/New Year and we were having guests and some nice dinners.  But still 5 containers of cream??  And I really hate cream.  Seriously, even when I have to decorate the odd Pavlova (the Pav itself is not odd) I usually substitute the cream with vanilla yogurt, which is yum, you should try it…and if you have never had Pavlova, you should try it…yum!

Anyway back to the cream issue.  It is the 3 of January and I had one bottle of cream with the used by date of the 5th, and it’s 9 o’clock at night… so I said to myself “self! I think it is about time I made butter” so here is what I did…

  1. Pour cream into the mixer.
  2. Turn mixer on.
  3. After a few minutes, when it is a bit watery you can drain the buttermilk and save for pancakes.
  4. Add about a quarter teaspoon of salt (optional) mix for 20 seconds more.
  5. Drain more buttermilk.
  6. Put on fresh toast and add some jam.

I didn’t take any photos of the making of the butter but just imagine…

a picture of cream here…

now imagine…

a picture of lumpy yellow cream here, with watery stuff all around…

and here is some butter, that I made for $1.13 and it is really really nice.  Um I also added some toast crumbs for effect.

It is really simple, you don’t need anything fancy and you only really need one ingredient.

Have a great day or night.  Ruby Ruby Ruby xxx

Define: “Food Drunk”

(copy and pasted from Wiki, because…well..the title says it all really, hope you had a lovely Christmas and got totally food drunk)

Historical meaning

The use of “drunk” to mean overcome by substances other than alcohol is long-established, e.g. drunk with opium (1585), or with tobacco (1698).[2]

In October 1905 Thomas Edison (then 58 years old) declared that “the country is food drunk…. the people eat too much and sleep too much, and don’t work enough”.[3]

The phrase was echoed by Dr J E Rullfson of Toledo after fasting for sixty days from January 5, 1907. He holds that the entire human race is food drunk, saying “the dinner eaten by Napoleon just before the battle of Leipsic proved so indigestible that the monarch’s brain was clouded and as a result the battle was lost and a pie which King Philip failed to digest caused the revolt of the Netherlands.”[5]

The state of being food drunken

When people overeat, their bodies have the tendency to chemically change including metabolic shifts. There are also electrolyte imbalances due to the process of digestion that occur once the massive amounts of food have entered the body. This can also cause a feeling of depression, emotional attachment to food, fatigue, and even boredom.[6]

Work In Progress.

600978_526776334024737_332649629_nJust started this one today.  I never like a picture in its first stages, so I am not too excited by this pic, but it has potential.  A lot of hours and a lot of detail to go.  I will try to do a bit more tomorrow, but in the mean time…I am off to “try” to make the famous pinterest pinata cookies…my version anyway…lets see what slop I can create tonight, “insert maniacal laughter here”.

she-knows-pinata-cookies

Hhhhhmmm, I don’t think they are going to turn out quite like this…

The Lazy Mums version is:

  1. Buy cookie dough
  2. Cut off the ends and bake
  3. While still warm, cut with a cookie cutter,  trim every third one and hollow out (for the middle of the horse/donkey creature)
  4. Cool
  5. Sandwich together one side and a middle bit and fill with mini M&M’s and then put the lid on.
  6. Take photo and put it on blog.
  7. Stand back being all proud or ashamed, depending on result.

Well it is 7.43 pm, I suppose I better get crackin’.

Ruby “biscuit, biscuit” Canoe.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EDIT*** So, just finished the cookies…anything I just wrote about the pinata cookies, please disregard.  Crapity crap crap!

I had a thought though…I could make the first inside out pinata cookies ie. cookie with mini M&M’s thrown on top.  It did not go well.  I was going to make them for my daughters best friend…well she is getting plain old cookies.  But at least you can look at the nice photo of what they should look like ^

THEY CAN’T ALL BE WINNERS, WA WA WAAAA

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Cupcake A Day, For A Whole Month.

il_570xN.435947792_n93e

This illustration can be found in my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/RubyCanoeDesign?ref=si_shop

Oh My! Just couldn’t resist posting this (very long) pic of a Cupcake For Everyday Of The Month…

It, conveniently, provides the recipe too! That is so nice.  So give some of these a go and let us all know how it went. Most don’t look to complicated.  I think I will have to jump to day # 23, it always my “go to” cake!

cupcakedaily

Enjoy your few days off and why not have a crack at some of these little beauties.

Sweet Dreams Cupcakes!

Sweet Little Ruby ❤

Hhhmmm Hot and Tasty

1-DSC_0014 2-DSC_0019

Ham and Cheese Scrolls

It’s easy peasy my friends.  Just takes a little time.

  • Go and get some bread mix from the supermarket
  • Follow instructions; after the first stage of rising lightly knead and roll out, about the thickness of a thick rectangular pizza base.
  • Sprinkle with shredded ham and cheese all over and roll up
  • Cut up into approx 3 cm (converts to 1.18 inches) bits
  • Lay in a pan (I used a cake pan)
  • Let the pan of goodness rise again
  • Put a little extra ham and cheese on top and pop that awesome pan of buns in your oven at 180 degrees Celsius  (350 degrees Fahrenheit) until it is the colour of the second photo (golden brown).

Variation: Salami and Cheese (this is the one I usually use)
Ham Cheese and Pineapple                                                                                         Any sort of pizza filling etc etc etc.

This is going in the family’s lunches tomorrow 🙂

Have a great night! Ruby Canoe xx