Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Sale!!

Hello friends!

Christmas is fast approaching and so is the Christmas Shipping Deadline! If you're outside Australia and you would like your order to arrive before Christmas Day then you need to place your orders no later than 6th December. If you're in Australia please place your orders no later than 13th December :-)

To help you along with your Christmas shopping I'm having a special SALE in my Etsy store! Simply use the special discount code XMAS2010 during checkout to receive 20% off your order!! Hurry, this special is only available until 8th December!

You can find my Etsy store HERE

Hope you're having a fabulous day, and thanks for visiting

xox Shara

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chunky Mitts Pattern

The pattern for these Chunky Mitts has now been published on Ravelry. And you can find it HERE & here
If you like to knit and/or crochet and
you're not already a member of Ravelry
I highly recommend that you join.
It's free to be a member and then you
will access to squillions of fabulous
patterns and reviews, ideas, tips,
and other like minded folks :-)

xox Shara

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mini Dachshund Laser Cut Brooch

Please welcome another new addition to my latest series of laser cut jewellery, Mini Dachshund! This brooch is made using sustainable Rimu wood, with a silver tone brooch pin at the back. He is wandering around my store with his friends Dachshund, Owl, Fawn, Fox and Whale. You can find them all HERE

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunset Fingerless Gloves

I have published another pattern for fingerless gloves, and this one is a crochet pattern :-) These fingerless gloves work up VERY quickly with the easy to follow pattern, so they are great to make for a last minute gift (or when there's a sudden cold snap in the weather and you realise you can't find your usual gloves, hehehe).
They are made using 5-ply (Sports weight) yarn, and can be made in 3 different sizes, Small, Medium and Large. The pattern is written in both British and American crochet terms. The pattern is currently available through Ravelry here:
The gloves in the image above have been made using Drops Delight yarn in colorway #10.

Stay tuned for more patterns coming soon :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Owl Laser Cut Brooch


This sweet little owl will be happy perched upon your shirt, whispering wise words all day long :-)

This brooch is laser cut from sustainable Rimu wood and has a silver tone brooch pin at the back. He is from the same series as the other creatures: FOX , BIRD, DACHSHUND

This Owl and his friends can all be found in my Etsy store HERE and my DaWanda store HERE

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Test Knitters Wanted!

I have been writing lots of new knitting and crochet patterns lately and am almost ready to publish this one for the Chunky Mitts you see in the picture above. All I need is two volunteers to test knit the pattern for me. If you fall into the category of confident beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter and you would like to try the pattern out for me please leave me a comment and I will email you the pattern. The pattern involves knitting in the round on double pointed needles, so that is one skill you will need :-) It's a good stash buster as it only take about 150m (165yrds) of yarn to knit both fingerless gloves. They work up very fast. I will need you to be able to test the pattern in the next 2 weeks (at the most). I won't need you to send me the sample knits, they are yours to keep :-)
I will eventually be publishing the pattern on Ravelry. If you're already on Ravelry you can find me with the user name SharaDesigns :-)
I'm looking forward to hearing from you soon!
P.S. If you're not a knitter yourself but you know someone who might be interested then please pass on a link to this post. Thank you! :-)

**UPDATE** Thank you to everyone who volunteered!! I no longer require test knitters for this project, but I will be looking for more in the future so stay tuned!! Thank you!!!

Dachshund Brooch

Someone new has arrived in my store! Meet my little Dachshund :-) This sweet little dachshund will be happy sitting upon your shirt keeping you company all day long :-)

This brooch is laser cut from sustainable Rimu wood and has a silver tone brooch pin at the back.

He is from the same series as these other laser cut brooches HERE & HERE

You can find him and his friends in my Etsy and Dawanda stores :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Treasury Feature

One of my laser cut wooden brooches has been featured in a groovy Treasury on You can take a look at it HERE

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunshine Gloves on Ravelry

Hello friends :-)
Lately I have been busy with lots of new projects and one of those projects is writing more knitting and crochet patterns to put on Ravelry.
The sunshine gloves are one of my favourite patterns. It's quick and easy, uses very little yarn, so it's a great stash buster, and gloves make great gifts! Warm, woolly gloves are also EXCELLENT to make and donate to charities :-)
The Sunshine gloves are made using 8-ply or DK yarn and are knit sideways on straight needles, so no double pointed needles or knitting in the round :-) These are the thicker, faster, warmer version of my 4-ply Sideways Gloves.
You can find the pattern for the Sunshine Gloves on Ravelry by following this link
And you can find me on Ravelry with the username SharaDesigns

Stay tuned for more patterns coming soon, including Lace Beanies, knit and crochet berets, Pixie Berets, and lots of different fingerless gloves for men, women and children :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Crazy Like a Fox

Here is another creature that is part of my new series of laser cut jewellery. Just like the Bonjour Birdie and my other laser cut jewellery HERE and HERE this cunning little fox is laser cut from sustainable Rimu wood. You can find this little fox sneaking around with my other designs in my Etsy store HERE and my DaWanda store HERE.
Stay tuned for my new designs on their way int eh coming days and weeks :-)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bonjour Birdie Brooch

Well, I promised you some new Laser Cut jewellery, and here is the first of many :-)
This is a variation on the "Hello Birdie" theme from earlier in the year.
The Bonjour Birdie brooch is laser cut from sustainable Rimu wood, with a silver tone brooch pin at the back.
This brooch, along, with many other new designs are available in my Etsy store and my Dawanda store :-)
xox Shara

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Junior Hat

Well last week I promised you something new for the kids. And here it is!

The Junior Hat comes in sizes from 12 months to 5 years, with larger sizes to be available in the future :-)

The style is suitable for both boys and girls. I've made some summer hats from cotton fabrics, and some Winter/Spring/Autumn hats using a combination of wool and cotton fabrics.

I also have a selection of Junior Hats that are reversible!!

Available in my JoliBebe store.

Stay tuned for more new items in the JoliBebe kids range soon :-)

xox Shara

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Something new!

Something new is on it's way and this time it's for the kids!! Stay tuned :-)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dove Laser Cut Earrings

Here is another addition to the White Laser Cut Jewellery range :-)
Introducing my Dove earrings. Let them make your ears more peaceful ;-)
These earrings are laser cut from recycled pine mdf with a white melamine veneer, just like the Faux Diamond earrings, which you can find HERE
These are available in my Etsy store HERE as well :-)
I'll have more to show you soon!
xox Shara

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Laser Cut Faux Diamond Earrings

I said there was more... and here is another piece from the range :-)

These Faux Diamond Earrings are laser cut from recycled pine mdf with a white melamine veneer, just like the White Peacock Brooch

These are a variation on my other Faux Diamond Wood Earrings that are in this post HERE

You can find these new earrings in my Etsy store HERE

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Laser Cut Wood Peacock Brooch

I promised you something new and here is the first of many new things! Please meet my White Peacock Brooch.
The brooch is laser cut from recycled pine mdf, with a white melamine laminate on both sides.
You can find it in my Etsy store HERE
I'll look forward to introducing you to more new additions to my store over the coming days :-)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Something new!

Are you excited? I am! I will be showing you something new and exciting very soon! I hope you're looking forward to it!
See you soon xox

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hexagon Blanket

I initially started this blanket for myself because I had lots of little bits of leftover Noro Sock yarn from other projects. At first I thought I would just use all my scraps… but I have really fallen in love with the way it’s turning out so I have bought a few skeins specifically for the blanket. I’m not sure what size it’s going to end up being… it might keep growing with time (and when I can get my hands on more Noro Sock yarn). Ultimately it would be REALLY great if I could make it big enough for a double bed spread, but maybe that’s too ambitious? :-) I guess we’ll see :-)

You can see this project on Ravelry as well HERE

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Laser Cut Wooden Jewellery

While today we had a pleasant reprieve from our wintery weather, with some sunshine and blue skies, I have been busily working away getting a few new things ready for my stores. HERE

I have added a few new laser cut wooden jewellery pieces, with more to come soon.

So stay tuned for more updates :-)

You may also like to look at this post about LASER CUT JEWELLERY

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Work In Progress 22.06.2010

I have a few friends who are due to give birth soon, which is VERY exciting, so I have been busily trying to come up with some special handmade gifts for the new arrivals.
Booties are so cute (there's something extra sweet about tiny shoes) and they are a great way to use small amounts of yarn left over from other projects, and, more importantly, it's very cold around here at the moment! I didn't have a booties pattern that was quite right as I don’t know if the babies are going to be girls or boys, and all the patterns I currently have are a bit lacy, so I decided to attempt designing my own pattern (writing it down as I knit, so I can make a matching pair). I wanted to knit in the round, to avoid sewing up too many seams and I like the look of having minimal seams on a garment. I started it last night and I think the pattern is going well so far… I’ll have to wait and see what the first one looks like before I decide whether it’s going to be a success :-) And of course, if it is successful, I’ll put the pattern up on Ravelry :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finished Scarf

Well, I had the knitting part of the scarf finished by the17th, but it took me a few days to complete the project by finishing it off with the picot crochet edge.
I’m REALLY happy with this scarf and the pattern used. I’m already thinking off all the other scarves I want to make using this pattern and some different yarns… I just need to find more time :-)
I'm pretty keen to get my hands on some more Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn and might have to make a trip into town to get some this week. I have been thinking about maybe using it to do some weaving on my Ashford Loom (which I haven't used for almost a year now! Eeep!)
Also this week, while I recover from my silly hand injury, I'll be finishing off some more designs for some new laser cut jewellery!! Hopefully I'll be able to stop being a little bit obsessive about the designs being "perfect" and actually have them made and in the store within the month :-) That would be nice!!
xx Shara

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Work In Progress 15.06.2010

I managed to do a bit more of my scarf/shawl last night (although I am a bit slow, as I have injured my hand). I think I'm about 25% of the way through to the finished product, so I can't really complain about that progress :-)

Maybe I'll have it finished sooner than I think?!

See my previous post for more information about this project :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Work In Progress 14.06.2010

I have had a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn sitting in my yarn stash for quite a while and I knew I wanted to make some sort of scarf/wrap/shawl from it, but I didn't have a particular pattern in mind. So far I have started (and almost completed) 4 things with this skein, and have frogged them all (translation for non-knitting folks: frogging means to pull out all your stitches and re-wind your ball of yarn and start again).

Last night while browsing RAVELRY I came across this PATTERN.

I think this is the sort of thing I had been searching for all along, so I have started it today and will try to keep you up to date with my progress, in the hopes of having it finished and blocked and ready to wear in a week or two :-)

If you're a member on Ravelry too you can find me under the name: SharaDesigns. I'd love to have a few more contacts on Ravelry :-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Aloo Gobi - Potato & Cauliflower Curry, Shara Style!

Here is a recipe for one of my favourite meals. I make this often and it's always very popular. It's really easy, cheap, suitable for folks who have special dietary needs such as Gluten Free diets, or who have fructose malabsorption and/or intolerances AND for vegetarians, and vegans (if you omit the yoghurt when serving, and use vegetable stock). It's also very easy to double this recipe when you need to feed a large group of friends (and great if you're on a limited budget). But most importantly, it's VERY tasty! (Even better the next day!!)

Aloo Gobi - Cauliflower and Potato Curry (Shara style!)

1 tbs oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbs minced fresh ginger
650g potatoes, diced
650g cauliflower, cut into small florets
700g Passata (Sugo di Pomodoro)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbs brown sugar
1 cup veggie/chicken stock
salt to taste
Fresh Coriander (or parsley) to serve
Fresh lemon wedges to serve
250g plain yoghurt to serve

Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over moderate heat. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, when they crackle, add cumin seeds and saute until cumin seeds darken a few shades. Add ginger, saute for a few minutes, then add potatoes and cauliflower.
Stir fry the veggies for 4-5 minutes.
Add passata, turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin, ground coriander, sugar, half the stock and salt to taste. Mix well, reduce heat to low, cover saucepan, and stirring occasionally, cook for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. Take care not to over stir the veggies as you might break up the potatoes.
If it seems a little dry or you would like the sauce a little more saucy add the remaining stock.
Serve with fresh coriander, yoghurt, lemon wedges, rice, a bit of salad and some flat bread or pappadams. Yum!

*You can also substitute some of the potato for some sweet potato/kumara for something different. It's delicious!!

*This recipe can easily be made vegan by omitting the yoghurt and only using vegetable stock.

*To bulk up this recipe you can add a tin of chickpeas, as long as that suits your dietary needs :-) Some folks with fructose malabsorption or intolerance can't have legumes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Laser Cut Wood Jewellery

So, in my last post I told you I was super busy making some prototypes for some new designs… remember? Well, here are a couple of them.

I've been playing around with laser cutting some of my designs into wood. These particular ones are made using New Zealand Rimu wood, which is sustainable and not on the list of endangered plant species :-)

As the lasers burn through the wood, etching the designs into the wood, it leaves a warm romantic scent of campfire behind, which I love. I started out with some very basic designs as I needed to see how this medium lent itself to my designs.

Now I know what works and what doesn't work so well… it's made it easier for me to go mad designing a whole bunch of new pieces. Lots of animals, lots of new words, lots more fun, lots of people. I'm looking forward too more new designs being ready for release. Hopefully in May!!

So see you soon with more designs and styles including brooches, necklaces, earrings, bangles and rings :-)

If you're after a particular initial on a brooch or earrings, let me know before April 16th, 2010, and I should be able to accommodate your custom requests :-)

You can find these designs and others in my Etsy store HERE and my Dawanda store HERE

Tune in next time for some more updates on what I've been up to and the new designs that are on their way :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gluten Free Ginger Cake with Caramel Icing (Fructose Friendly!)

Okay friends, here is another one of my recipes that is not only delicious, but can also be enjoyed by folks with special dietary needs. This amazingly moist and rich ginger cake is gluten free, and suitable for people with fructose malabsorption or intolerance. Although, just remember that not everyone is the same, so some ingredients may still irritate some people with these conditions, so if you're making this for a friend, perhaps just ask them about the ingredients first to make sure they are suitable for them :-)

Gluten Free Ginger Cake with Caramel Icing (Also Fructose Friendly :-)

3/4 cup (165g) firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup (110g) Gluten Free plain flour
1/2 cup (75g) Gluten Free self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
125g butter, softened
2 eggs
2/3 cup (160ml) buttermilk

Caramel Icing
60g butter
1/2 cup (110g) firmly packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup (120g) Icing sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 170C (150C fan forced oven). Grease a deep 20cm ring pan or bundt tin.
2. Sift sugar, flours, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg into a medium bowl. Add butter, eggs and buttermilk. Beat with an electric mixer on low until all ingredients are combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat for another 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth and paler in colour.
3. Pour mixture into prepared tin, bake for about 35 minutes. You'll know it's cooked if you poke a skewer into it and it comes out clean. Stand your cake in the pan for about 10 minutes before turning out, and let it rest on a wire cooling rack. Note: If you have used a ring pan, let you cake rest with the topside up. If you have used a bunt tin, let your cake rest topside down :-)

Caramel Icing

Gently heat butter, sugar and milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil then simmer, stirring for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in sifted icing sugar. Drizzle warm icing over cake.
Now your cake is ready to serve :-)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Roller Skating Peacocks and a Busy Week

I have had a great week, including being featured on the gorgeous Calico & Co blog HERE, and I've been very busy working on the prototypes for a new project, a new direction that my work has taken. I'm feeling confident and hope it all works out, and of course, if it does, I'll show you all here on my blog.

In the meantime I thought I would talk about some of the clothes I have been making using rescued, recycled, upcycled and reused fabrics.

I made this top using a combination of fabric that I rescued from a fabric factory before it was sent to landfill (phew!) and some thrifted fabric. I really love the patterns and colours and wished I had more of these fabrics, but this was it. SO this is the only top that will include these patterns. I'm hoping I might JUST have enough left to make a baby top or perhaps some pants.

Both these fabrics are buttery soft cotton/elastine blends, so they have great stretch and recovery as well as being breathable and super soft :-)

I'm not sure why, but when this piece was finished it made me think of the title: "Rollerskating Peacock". Nope, I don't have an explanation for this name, it's just what popped into my mind :-)

This top can be found in my DaWanda store as well, HERE.

What's coming up on my blog? Well, I have a few more delicious Gluten Free and Fructose Friendly recipes from my successful cooking experimentations. And, with any luck I'll be showing you the results of my prototype experimentations as well!!

Chat soon xox

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gluten Free, Fructose Friendly Rum Balls

So, here it is, as I promised, my recipe for Gluten Free and Fructose Friendly Rum Balls! I make these quite often and whenever I take them with me to a party/picnic/etc they are always a hit.
I have Fructose Malabsorption (Fructose Intolerance), which means I can't eat lots of common foods, one of which is wheat, so I often miss out on delicious things. These Rum Balls don't contain any wheat, and incidentally any gluten either, so they can be enjoyed by a lot of people, even those with dietary restrictions.
I took them to a party this weekend and they were very popular. I even had a woman who I didn't know come and sit next to me with a handful of my Rum Balls and exclaim : "Oh boy! Have you had some of those Rum Balls!!!?? They're so good! But you better hurry, they're going fast!" Of course, I was pretty chuffed :-)

Okay, here's the recipe:

Gluten Free/Fructose Friendly Rum Balls

500g Gluten Free Chocolate cake*
1 tin Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups desiccated Coconut*
1/2 cup Cocoa powder*
1 tbs Rum*
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whizz the chocolate cake in a food processor until it is fine crumbs. In a large bowl place your cake crumbs, tin of condensed milk, cocoa powder, rum, cinnamon and 1 cup of coconut and set the other cup of coconut aside in a small bowl. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. If your mixture is very moist add a little more coconut. Now using about 1 heaped teaspoon of mixture roll it into a ball with your hands then roll it in your remaining coconut to coat, place on a baking tray that you've lined with baking paper. Continue doing this with the rest of your mixture, then place the tray of balls into the fridge for about 1/2 an hour. You can then pack them away in an air tight container for later, or you can eat them all now with some friends :-)
These balls will last for about 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge (if you don't eat them all!)

Makes approx. 40 balls, depending on the size you choose to make them.

*Instead of buying a ready made gluten free chocolate cake, which can be hard to find and quite expensive, you can either make your own from your favourite recipe or you can make one from a packet cake mix (this is what I do). In this case I recommend not using a Mud Cake mix as this is often too moist. Regular Gluten Free Chocolate cake is best. You will also find that a lot of Gluten Free cake mixes will give you instructions for using Egg Replacer instead of fresh chook eggs, just incase you need to avoid eggs.
* You may find that you need a little more than 2 cups of coconut if your mixture is very moist. Coconut is not suitable for everyone who needs to avoid Fructose, so check this beforehand if you are making these balls for someone else.
* Not all cocoa powder is gluten/wheat free, so make sure you check this. Use one that you're familiar with that you know is suitable for you and your dietary needs.
*You might like to add more or less rum to your balls, or use Rum essence instead, or omit the rum or rum flavour all together, the balls are delicious whatever you do!
*If you're not a fan of getting too messy you might like to wear powder free disposable gloves when rolling the balls.
*Of course, this recipe can be made using regular cake too, if you have no dietary restrictions :-)

*If you're making these balls for a children's party you might like to try rolling your balls in a mixture of half coconut, half hundreds and thousands, instead of straight coconut to add a bit of colour and fun!
*Try making the balls with a vanilla cake instead of chocolate cake, omit the cocoa powder, add a dash of vanilla extract and a little more coconut for Vanilla Coconut Rum Balls!!! Oh yeah!!!!!!

I'd love to hear from anyone who tries this recipe, and of any delicious alteration you try!!

Now lets get cooking!!