Project Life 2018 – January pages

Hello, 2018 – it’s time for a new year of documenting! This year, I’m continuing the monthly approach in a 9×12 album, and today I’m sharing my January pages!

all the little happy things - Project Life 2018 - January

all the little happy things - Project Life 2018 - January

For my 2018 title page, I went with a 3×3 grid. All of the square cards and those cute plastic shapes are from Messy Box kits, and the embellishments are a mix of past Studio Calico kits and bits and pieces from my stash. I also included a shaker pocket – something I’d always wanted to do, but never got around to trying!

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Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

After the success of my dinosaur print Ultimate Shift Dress, I felt confident enough to cut into the textured geo-print cotton I bought in Japan. And the result was a lovely comfortable shift dress with a delightful 1960s feel!

all the little happy things - Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

I again opted for the sleeveless version and omitted the sleeve frills. The drape of this fabric suited the pattern much better than my dinosaur print fabric, so it looks much better without a belt!

all the little happy things - Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

The fabric is nice and lightweight, which suits the intense Australian summer, and I love the texture and the colour palette of the print!

all the little happy things - Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - Geo print Ultimate Shift Dress

I am so, so pleased with how this turned out – it’s exactly what I imagined when I spotted this fabric in Nomura Tailor! I’m looking forward to wearing this dress on many date nights and casual Fridays to come!

Scrapbook layout: Hello Darling

This year I’m trying to push myself creatively a little more by making some traditional scrapbook layouts! I used to make traditional layouts when I was a teenager, but haven’t really made any since discovering pocket pages. I often have a few random photos in my desk drawer that don’t fit in with my normal Project Life albums, so I’m going to work on using those up on traditional layouts!

all the little happy things - scrapbook layout - Hello Darling

Since designing one single page is not my forte, I looked through the ‘Sketch’ tag on the Studio Calico blog, and picked out an old sketch from April last year that worked with the story I wanted to tell with this photo of my niece. I’ll definitely use the same technique for designing my next few pages, until I feel more confident designing something from scratch!

all the little happy things - scrapbook layout - Hello Darling

all the little happy things - scrapbook layout - Hello Darling

all the little happy things - scrapbook layout - Hello Darling

Supplies used:

  • Striped paper from the Maggie Holmes ‘Open Book’ 12×12 paper pad
  • Patterned paper from wrapping paper scraps, originally purchased at Nook
  • Plain silver and corrugated turquoise cardstock from my stash
  • Patterned vellum and mint brads from my stash
  • Die-cuts and ‘darling’ chipboard word from the 1 canoe 2 ‘Hazelwood’ collection
  • Pink letter stickers, pink enamel dot, die-cut washi sticker and phrase sticker from past Studio Calico kits
  • White enamel heart from the Amy Tangerine ‘Finders Keepers’

I had so much fun putting this page together – can’t wait to make more traditional layouts!

Dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

I bought a gorgeous textured geo-print cotton in Japan that has ‘1960s shift dress’ written all over it, so I’ve been on the lookout for a good, basic shift dress pattern. I stumbled across the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress Pattern and immediately fell in love. My in-laws were nice enough to buy me the physical pattern for Christmas, so during my holiday break, I decided to make a wearable toile in fun dinosaur-print cotton!

all the little happy things - dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

I opted for the sleeveless version and omitted the sleeve frills. The size 8 pattern fit very well, though the fabric doesn’t hang super nicely due to the shape of the dress and the lack of drape in the fabric itself (I used a quilting-weight cotton). My geo-print fabric has a lot more drape to it, so I think it’ll look much better. I do, however, really like the way the dino-print dress looks belted!

all the little happy things - dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

all the little happy things - dino-print Ultimate Shift Dress

This was a very quick make – only 4 pattern pieces, no zippers or fasteners to worry about, and it only took up about 1.5m of fabric. The pattern instructions were clear and easy to follow – I think I’m a Sew Over It convert now! I’m happy with the fit and look of this dress, and can’t wait to make it in my geo print cotton!

Double-gauze Bettine dress

My first sewing project of 2018 was also my first project with the fabric I bought from Japan – a lovely Bettine dress in snuggly blue double-gauze!

all the little happy things - double-gauze Bettine dress

The fabric was from Nomura Tailor in Kyoto, and it is just perfect for a Brisbane summer dress – so soft and light and comfortable! I’m definitely a double-gauze convert – I just wish I’d bought more while I was in Japan! I love the woodland/forest print of this fabric, with all the little houses, foxes and rabbits scattered among the trees.

all the little happy things - double-gauze Bettine dress

all the little happy things - double-gauze Bettine dress

I made the pocket skirt version, because I just can’t resist a skirt with pockets!

all the little happy things - double-gauze Bettine dress

all the little happy things - double-gauze Bettine dress

I also opted for the tab on the sleeve, finished with a couple of fabric buttons I found in my stash.

all the little happy things - double-gauze Bettine dress

The whole dress came together in about half a day, and I am super pleased with it! I really love the Bettine pattern – it’s both flattering and incredibly comfortable. I’m looking forward to wearing this dress on casual Fridays to the office!

Chai Tea-ramisu

Merry Christmas, everyone! It’s actually Boxing Day already here in Brisbane – I’m spending the day relaxing, shopping the online sales, and recovering from all of the delicious Christmas meals I shared with my family yesterday!

My mum put me on dessert duty for Christmas this year, so I made a delicious Chai Tea-ramisu, based off of this recipe from Cook Republic!

all the little happy things - chai tea-ramisu

The recipe gives directions on how to make chai concentrate completely from scratch – but I made mine using the delicious Chai Harder concentrate from Chai Addict! I mixed 150ml of the Chai Harder concentrate with two cups of hot water and three tablespoons of soft brown sugar. It resulted in a delicious, strong, sweet and spicy chai concentrate that was perfect for this dessert!

all the little happy things - chai tea-ramisu

The Chai Tea-ramisu was a hit at my family Christmas lunch! The Chai Harder concentrate gave it a lovely ginger-cinnamon kick, which complemented the sweetness of the savoiardi sponge and the mascarpone mixture very nicely. It really was one of those ‘Goldilocks’ desserts – not too heavy/rich, but not too light – just right!

all the little happy things - chai tea-ramisu

I highly recommend this recipe if you’re serving up dessert for a crowd – it doesn’t take too long at all to prepare, and will definitely be a big hit at your next party!