How to: Thai Herbal Massage Ball (Valentine’s Day Fun!)

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We love anything romantic and Valentine’s Day is really just an excuse for pure, unadulterated romance.  Over the years we have shared our tutorials for sexy ribbon panties and our heart garland.  But this year we are sharing perhaps our favourite tutorial ever.

These Herbal Balls are a dream and a wonderful surprise for your lover on Valentine’s Day…. I spent five days in Kuala Lumpur having time out by myself a few years ago and had a two hour massage with these balls each day. Bliss. I still dream of that holiday.

I finally decided to make some and share the love with you. These balls take massage to a whole new level.  They are surprisingly easy to make.  When I made this batch I made four with the ingredients I had, used one and froze the rest.   You can use each ball three to four times.    What a romantic treat for V-Day!  A massage with one of these is bound to please!

Ingredients

IMG_8649 1 handful Kaffir Lime Leaves

4 Lemongrass stalks

1 large root of Galangal (Thai ginger)

1 large root of Ginger 1 large root of Turmeric root

1 handful Mint Rind of 3 Limes Rind of 1 Lemon

Materials

A good knife A food processor (use a knife to finely chop if you don’t own one) Unbleached

Calico Elastic hair tie or rubber bands

Scissors

1. Chop the roots and lemongrass into small chunks.  Rinse the kaffir lime leaves and mint in water.

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2. Cut the rind from the limes and lemons (keep the fruit in a bag in the fridge for cooking)

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3. Place all ingredients into a food processor on high for two minutes or until all the ingredients are finely chopped and mixed together. (Ahhhh the amazing aroma….. take a moment to enjoy).

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4. Rip or cut a 30cm square of unbleached calico and place a 3/4 cup of the ingredients into the middle.

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5. Gather all four corners of calico together and wrap the calico tightly over the herbs.

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6. Tie an elastic hair tie or band around the fabric, wrapping the herbs as tightly as you can into a ball.

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7. Rip a one inch strip of calico and secure it on top of the ball with a knot.  Wrap the stalk with it tightly and secure with another knot.  The stalk needs to be firm enough to get a good grip.

IMG_8692  Now you are finished your Thai Herbal Ball.  There are two things left to do.  Before you use it go and watch a video on Youtube about how to massage using one.

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Then, when you want to use it, microwave until it is warm and the oils and aromas fill the room.  This is amazing,  it is the most relaxing massage I could imagine.

If you like this, Pin it and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and spread the Valentine’s Day love…..

Inspiration: Magnificent Wales (Part 1)

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There is nothing more inspiring to the creative life than travel. Colours, textures, sounds, sights, people all different and all jolt the senses and open your eyes to the new. Our recent stay of nine days in Wales was a visual feast, so opposite in colour and sights to Western Australia. The vibrant, jewel colours, the muted light, often against a grey sky, the cold, the mountains covered in green, stone walls, green fields with sheep greyed by mud, water, rain so much rain and the small winding roads leading to quaint little towns. Nothing could be more different to the flat, sun-drenched oceans and dirt, the massive blue skies and the heat that I am used to.

Beautiful Wales, captured my imagination with her vastness, deserted roads, and ancient ruins of castles, spattering the landscape.  A language impossible to pronounce, that sounds like a song being sung and seems that it would be difficult to sound bitter or even bored.  The people so friendly I made acquaintances and had good, long conversations in many towns.  Wales has inspired revivals, poems and music, and it’s not difficult to see why.

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If you like this, Pin It and if you like us Like Us on Facebook. We will be back in the next few days with some delicious inspiration from Wales and some Valentine’s Day loveliness.

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How To: Celebrate Australia Day

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We are jetlagged and happy to be back home from an incredible three weeks spent in Europe.  Before we give you some European inspiration, we need to get straight to the point…

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26th January, Australia Day, is our favourite day of the year.  It is BIG in Australia, a much bigger celebration than New Year’s Eve.  Why?  Because we love our country.  Sun, surf, sand, and hardworking, laid-back, friendly people with great attitudes and lots of smiles……What’s not to love?  And our country is so beautiful it takes your breath away…  So much diversity, so big.

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So, how to celebrate Australia Day?  Here are some of the things that we do to celebrate:

  • Have an Australia Day party with mates and family.  It can go all day, starting all in the morning and finishing early the next morning.  That is no worries.  Make sure that there is plenty of food and drinks for everyone.
  • Drink Beer.  Australian beers are great to try.  On this day it’s ok to drink a little more than you would otherwise because… it’s what we do.
  • Remember the original owners of this land.  Remembering Aboriginals as the original owners of this land is important to us, recognising that they looked after this land for many tens of thousands of years before we arrived — just over 200 years ago.
  • Have a barbie in the backyard with all your mates.  This is what we all do.  But please don’t put shrimps on the barbie.  We call them prawns….. and we don’t cook them on the barbie.  We cook lamb (Australia is full of sheep) and sausages.  A typical Aussie barbie goes for hours and everyone brings their own meat and a salad to share.  The men cook the meat and the women fuss over the salads and bread.  When it’s time to eat, all the salads are put onto  a table and the meat is piled up on a platter, and everyone fills their plates.  There is a lot of food as there would be nothing worse than not having enough.  I’m not sure why, but at an Aussie barbie, usually the women and men socialise separately.  Probably because the men talk about the cricket and footy while the women talk about other things.  When I’ve taken people from overseas to Aussie barbies they usually find this really weird, but to us it’s so normal that we barely notice it.  Beers are a must at an Aussie barbie.  Men stand around the barbie drinking.  Women might drink wine instead of beer.  But the beer never runs out.

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  • Go for a swim at the beach.  We all do.  The weather over here has been as hot as hell (we were lucky to have missed 47 degrees celcius in Perth by being in London).  Because we have so much sun and a massive hole over the Ozone layer, we go for a swim and a boogey board in the early morning for an hour or so and then again in the evening.  Australians (particularly those on the West Coast) don’t go to the beach for the whole day.  It’s too hot and you just get burnt and dehydrated.  While you’re at the beach.  Don’t forget to make a sandcastle.
  • Eat lamingtons.  Lamingtons are gorgeous little squares of vanilla sponge cake, dipped in chocolate and coated in coconut flakes.  We grew up on lamingtons, our grandmas had a plate of them waiting for us when we visited.  They are delicious and melt in your mouth.  Usually it is so hot that the chocolate melts all over your fingers making a big mess.  Yes, they are a must for Australia Day.
  • Eat pavlova.  Pavlova is a meringue pie, covered with cream and usually topped with fruit.  Once again this is a very sweet and sugary dessert.  It is so good.   We often put strawberries on top because the tartness of the berries counteracts the sickly sweetness of the meringue and it is delicious.  We eat pavlova at a lot of our celebrations and the person who makes the pav is pretty popular with everyone.
  • Listen to Australian music.  Some radio stations play 24 hours of the best Aussie music of all time.  We listen iconic musicians like Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, INXS, Crowded House and even Kylie.

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  • Watch fireworks.   In Perth we have a huge fireworks display over the Swan River, and a few hundred thousand people line up along the river to watch them as the sun goes down.  It’s spectacular.  We bring picnics, drinks.  We tend to go together in big groups and make a whole day of it.  You will find people setting themselves up on the banks of the Swan River from the early morning until late at night.  Many people bring cricket bats and have a game of cricket with their mates.  We bring big eskies full of food and drinks, sunscreen, blankets to sit on and fold up chairs.  In Perth, many people now catch the train to the event or even ride bikes.  It’s one very hot day so if you are going remember to wear a hat, sunscreen up like nothing else and drink water, then some more.

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Have a wonderful Australia Day! If you are not in Australia, feel free to celebrate still. If you have Aussie friends, they are sure to be homesick on this day. Why not take them beers, mates and have a barbie, while listening to loud music and getting rowdy? Enjoy! We will be back with more European inspiration in the next few days.

If you like it Pin It (hover over the images) and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and let your mates know.
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Happy New Year, Looking Back then Forward…

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2013 is coming to a close.  I will be celebrating with some friends, a dip in the ocean and sitting around outdoors sipping on some Moet and nibbling on some sushi.  Perfect, non?  And then packing my bags as we leave for Paris in two days.

2013 has been exciting and amazing… and I’m sure that 2014 has many more in store for us here at One Hour Craft. It has been fantastic to have this blog up and running again. I have appreciated the input from so many sources, the encouragement and the feedback. I have felt more like I personally know what I am doing and there has been a flow to that has made it seem easy and natural to be back.

2014 will see us expand and take on more challenges over here…. But before we reach there let’s look back at some of our readers’ favourite tutorials from the past three months…

  • Our Chai Cleaning and Room Spray proved to be a big hit with our readers.  It is lovely and we have found that bugs including mosquitoes really don’t like the spicy fragrance.  It has been fantastic on hot, mosquito-ridden nights over here and we use it all the time.
  • We loved sharing one of our favourite drinks The Roasted Toasted Almond, which would be a great addition to any New Years Eve party.
  • Our ColourBurst necklaces are so fun to make and look fantastic.  When we gave all of ours away as presents, our friends and family loved them.  Always a great sign!
  • We gave away one of our most cherished recipes for Thai Pumpkin and Fish Curry.  This is a such a versatile recipe, great for a tv dinner or outdoor quick meal and equally special for an intimate dinner party with friends.
  • We loved making our whimsical little Cherry Necklace.  A great, quick little present to make and adore.
  • We continued our love affair with tassels, including this great little tutorial to make Simple Tassels and our great party decorations, Paper Tassel Garlands.
  • Our recent Fabulous Fringe is a personal favourite and looks great on so many different sorts of jumpers…. and possibilities for so many more looks.  Love.

And our personal favourite posts….

  • We loved getting on our bikes more often.  Love bike riding and love encouraging others to get on theirs.  What a great New Years Resolution, to ride your bike as much as you can.  Great for the environment, great for your bod, great for your head, also there’s even a study which says that people who ride bikes have better marriages.  What’s not to love???
  • The Dior-Inspired Double-Sided Earrings may be our favourite earrings of all time and they have been worn to death.  They are the perfect mix of edgy sophistication.  The bomb.
  • Open-Fire Cooking is a passion and one we hope to do more in 2014.
  • Our Orange Power Cleaner is by our favourite cleaning product and keeps our home smelling delicious.  I am obsessed by it.

Looking ahead.  In 2014 we will be…

  • Connecting more with our readers….Can’t wait.
  • Running several awesome workshops in collaboration with different artists.
  • Collaborating and connecting with many more gorgeous creative friends, artists and artisans.  Can’t wait!
  • Expanding with more contributors.
  • Blogging from our various travels, the first being Paris, Beautiful Paris.
  • Writing another book?!?
  • Writing for some of our favourite magazines.  Again.  Yay!
  • Bringing our readers much more inspiration and creative love…

Cheers to a bright and happy 2014!

Maria xxx

DIY: Fabulous Fringe

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This fringing is the easiest thing to do but it looks so awesome and can make a plain jumper (Aussie for sweater) look a million dollars. It is good for both summer and winter weight sweaters. This fringing took more than an hour but not much longer. It was relaxing to do and we love the finished product. The jumper is a very inexpensive cotton jumper from Target. You can use the same technique to add a fringe around the bottom hem of a jumper or on a pillow, a cushion, a tablecloth. It is very versatile.

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Materials

1 jumper

Scissors

Cotton or acrylic yarn for the fringe

Large upholstery needle

Method

1. Cut about twenty pieces of yarn to begin with.  Ours are about 20cm long to begin with.
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2. Thread a piece of yarn onto the needle by doubling it over. Do it this way so you can remove the needle easily.

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3. Starting right near the armpit of the jumper, push the needle through from the back to the front, just above the bottom seam of the jumper arm.  Obviously this jumper is easy to do because of the large holes it has.

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4. Once the needle is through, remove it.

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5. Open the thread into a larger loop, then push the ends of the yarn through the it.

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6. Pull the threads down and tight. This secures them onto the jumper.

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7. Repeat these steps along the bottom of both jumper sleeves.

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8. When the yarn has been attached down the both sleeves, you are ready to start knotting, To knot start with the second thread. Tie the second thread and the third thread with a knot, a few centimetres under the sleeve. Continue knotting down the whole sleeve, the threads which are side by side until you reach the end. Repeat this step for the next sleeve.

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9. To complete the second row of knotting take the first piece of yarn and tie it to the second. Continue this until you have done a second line of knots along both arms.

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We hope you like the completed jumper. We love it and are envisaging evenings at the beach wearing it, maybe with a glass of wine, after a swim watching the sun disappear over the Indian Ocean. If you like, Please Pin It and if you like us then Like Us on Facebook and tell your mates. Join us for a few last minute NYE cocktails recipes and fun in the next few days.

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Christmas Eve in Collage

collage11. Aviators love. 2. Lemon juice in water for breakfast. 3. Sunnydale Banana Milk  4. Gluten-Free toast with banana for breakfast.  5. Our colourburst necklace, great for the beach.  6. Grubby yellow thongs we live in (yes, flipflops are thongs to us!).

We thought we’d capture our Christmas Eve (so far) in collage…. I know that the idea of spending Christmas at the beach is very foreign to most. This year the weather is a few degrees cooler than sweltering and incredibly pleasant. We spend a lot of time in the water, eating outdoors, going for walks, eating fruit and light foods and soaking up the sun.

collage21. Our reindeer antler card ready to give to a friend.  2.  Banana Milk.  3. Cane hat by Stella McCartney for Target.  4.  Wrapped.  5.  Me, Calvin + Millie  6.  Bikini  7. Bling from Indo 8. Candy cane from our advent calendar  9.  Aviators love.

collage31. Sarong to wrap up in for lunch.  2.  Australian flower pendant designed by a friend (now departed)  3.  Niulife Coconut Vinegar – delicious  4.  Mango!  5. Flowers delivered by lovely friends.  6.  Favourite Spanish heels.  7. Our delicious Roast Vegetable Salad.  Good enough to live on, recipe coming soon.

collage41. Bathing suit.  2.  Real Living Magazine for a bit of afternoon relaxing.  Presents all done.  3.  Coconut water with guava nectar.  4.  Bright pink mirrors love.  5. Wrapped and ready to go thanks to Millie.  5.  Our tassel and bone necklace.

And still to come, another dip in the Indian Ocean, meeting up with friends for drinks, dinner with other friends and Midnight Mass…. followed by a mad rush home and me staying up well into the night wrapping presents and making a few extra cards. We hope your Christmas Eve is relaxing and wonderful.

If you like this Pin It, and enjoy!

How To: Cocktail To Warm You Up!

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This is a quick post for the adults during this festive time to share our favourite cocktail. This is a special treat, mainly for our readers in the Northern Hemisphere. I learnt about this cocktail while I was living in Switzerland and frequenting North Carolina, where my boyfriend at the time attended college. On returning to Australia, I have always served this to guests, who all agree that it is delicious!

We’d like to show you how to make the Roasted Toasted Almond, it is nutty and tastes exactly likes its name. And it warms. And it is moreish so be careful.  This is a wonderful way to warm up by the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve when the kids are tucked safely into bed.

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Ingredients

1 ounce Galliano Amaretto
1 ounce Vodka
1 ounce Kahlua
Cream or Milk

How To:

Measure and pour all the alcoholic ingredients into a glass. Fill the glass with as much cream or milk as you like. Stir. Serve on ice if you wish.

If you like, this Pin it.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.  We’ll be back tomorrow with a last-minute Christmas recipe and a few more cocktails…..  Only two more sleeps….  So exciting.

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How To: Sparkly Baubles Christmas Cards

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We made the Reindeer Antler Cards earlier in the season. But we ran out. We love giving out and sending handmade cards. Now, we need at least 20 more cards and have very little time left and a million things to do… What to do? We decided to just use what we had at home. Then in less than an hour and a half we made over twenty more cards that are ready to send this afternoon — well not quite, they still need to be written on.

These cards look great and are really easy and quick to make. Each card takes about five minutes or less… And they look like they would take a lot longer which is great.

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Materials

A4 Watercolour paper (we used a whole book, guillotined every page in half)

Ecoline Inks in Blue/Green, Moss Green, Yellow Green and Gold

4 paintbrushes in different sizes (very small for the glue)

Mod Podge or Craft Glue

Multicoloured round acrylic rhinestones

Method

1. Paint three dots on the card where you want the three points of the tree to be.  Paint these in the yellow green colour, using a pointed brush.

cc32. Roughly paint the Christmas tree shape between the three dots you have painted.

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3. Using the larger brush, paint the darker green roughly onto the tree, leaving the yellow-green as an outline.

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4. Take the big round brush and put a few splotches of blue-green onto the the tree.  This will really spread so do it sparingly and don’t put it too close to the edge of the tree.

5. Watch the Ink spread and the colours to gorgeously blend.  Wait for it to dry.

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6. Place a dab of glue onto the rhinestones and stick them randomly onto each card.  It looks better if it’s not too uniform.  Place a rhinestone at the top of each card.

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7. Use the gold ink, to paint a star at the top of each tree, if you like.

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We hope you enjoy making beautiful Christmas cards. I know that friends and family love to receive them. I love receiving cards from people too. If you like this, then Pin It. In the next few days we will have more Christmas tutorials coming, mainly for food and drinks.

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How To: Wrap Small Awkward Presents

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This post is the second in our gift wrapping series. The first post to learn to wrap a perfect present is here.  That is a great way to wrap books and easy to wrap things.  But what about awkward things?  We don’t like wrapping gifts that are odd-shaped, far too time-consuming.  So for these items we repurpose different packages to use as gift wrapping.  For this tutorial we used Chinese Takeaway containers, bought at an Asian supermarket for 20cents each, which makes this an inexpensive way to wrap.  We used scraps of fabric from making our gorgeous Colour Burst Necklaces (the tutorial is here). Here’s how we did it…

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Materials

Chinese gift boxes or any other box available
Mail tags
Marker
Ornamental Tape (we used this gorgeous lacey tape but washi tape would look great too)
Fabric scraps – from gift making, you could easily use bits of lace, twine, string…

The photos really tell the story for this tutorial. If you like this, please Pin it and if you like us, then Like Us on Facebook. Join us for more Christmas goodness, food, drinks and more gift wrapping in the next few days.

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Colour Burst Necklace – More Ideas…

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Our Colour Burst necklaces are now complete, along with embellishments and we love them. If you missed our tutorial to make these necklaces it is here. So excited to give these as Christmas presents. We wanted them to be colourful and happy and gorgeous but also be casual enough to wear to the beach with a pair of bikinis or to the shops to do the groceries. Basically, to fit in with our beach, outdoor lifestyle they had to be perfect for a BBQ. And they are.

We embellished them with crystals, leather tassels, shells, curtain tassels that we pulled apart and altered and these really cute little charms. We just hung them onto the necklace using a large silver split ring.

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If you like this please Pin It and Tweet it. We hope you enjoy making them. Let us know how you went…..on Facebook or Twitter.

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