Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Altered art Tins

I am a hoarder. Greg calls me "his little Weka " cos I love to save stuff...bits of pretty paper, trims, tiny treasures etc . It is hard to find something to do with them but I cant bear to thrown them away. Lately I have been playing with the idea of altered art tins.Inspired by the beautiful work I have seen from other artists online - altered tins have provided me with hours of quiet pleasure as I sit and sift though paper and lace and create. I got these beautiful little tins from the US - Altoid tins are just the right size for altered art -art shrines some folk call them. These tiny mint tins are hinged and perfect for creating little dioramas or a collage of stuff that inspires.

My supplies as I work

Some artists paint and then distress their tins , blowtorch off the paintwork or sandpaper it off. I wanted to keep it simple - so I simply added a layer of paper or card to cover the tin tops and bottom . I used a lovely trim that my friend Belinda from the US sent me. I have used old birthday cars and Christmas cards for some if the images. layering them to give a 3D effect. This was done with thick double sided tape. I also used little charms and stickers when necessary.

These are two of my first attempts...and one I am still working on...
Lid of the tin with vintage gift wrap paper in old roses , layered with card and stick on velvet sticker and charm. The lovely oval was a plastic gift  in a cereal box with local rugby players. I saved it - covered it with my sticker and added a lace trim

Revealing the inside of the tin...My favourite things...dolls and bears...included a tiny minature teddy beat

Old Christmas card I love , cut and layered with images from a old teddy bear calendar again  in layers

Inside lid of tin with layer images from stickker with vintage doll, father from my chicken Ethel

Cover of the tin with a NZ artist work on a mini gift tag as the covere

Inside of my little Fairy tin

inside lid of tin with lace and layers images.

Added a little brass dragon fly charm

Another close up of tin with fairy and flowers..all taken from old greeting cards.

Work in progress - my little tin with vintage images.

Still working on the altered tin - two vintage pictures. The one on the left is an original picture.I tend to form stories in my head as I work on these. 

Using an old 1949 newspaper to collect pictures and images to add to a mini album in the tin
I hope you have enjoyed my creations- they were great fun to make and a wonderful way to use up saved treasures....these are the first I have made and I am looking forward to making more. Leave a comment and let me know what you think....

Sunday, August 28, 2011

ANZAC Buscuits Recipe

This is another favourite Kiwi recipe - Anzac Biscuits. These simple biscuits have a much loved history as they are linked to the  New Zealand and Australian soldiers from the first World War.

 New Zealand and Australia share a tradition of Anzac Biscuits. Both countries claim to have invented them, but Anzac Biscuits are similar to many other older biscuit recipes that are designed to produce crisp, hard and nutritious biscuits that keep well.

One of the food items that women in both countries sent to soldiers during the First World War was a hard, long-keeping biscuit that could survive the journey by sea, and still remain edible. These were known as Soldiers' Biscuits, but after the Gallipoli landings in 1915, they became known as Anzac Biscuits. Soldiers themselves may have made a similar form of biscuit from ingredients they had on hand: water, sugar, rolled oats and flour.

The traditional Anzac Biscuit is hard and flat - ideal for dunking in tea and then eating. During the First World War, some soldiers used broken biscuits to make a form of porridge to add some variety to their diet.
Over the years, softer and chewier versions of the biscuit have appeared. There are many recipes for Anzac Biscuits. Common to most is the inclusion of rolled oats, coconut, butter and golden syrup. Eggs almost never feature. This may be because eggs were in short supply during the First World War. Many varieties of biscuit do not have eggs, however, and like Anzac Biscuits rely instead on chemical rising agents such as bicarbonate of soda (baking soda).
There are stories of ladies baking these biscuits packed with goodness to send to their men folk fighting in the war- a tradition that still continues to this day. One of the reasons I love this whole story of these biscuits is its typical of the Kiwi simplicity and do-it -yourself way for caring. In times of disasters , its not uncommon for boxes of these biscuits to be made and sent to those in need.I think its due to the fact that these biscuits keep well and are hard crunchy ones- so they ship/post well. I hope you enjoy the recipe and think of the joy of the soldiers as they unpacked parcels from home of ANZAC Biscuits.

  • 1 heaped cup of sifted flour
  • 2 level teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 small cup of sugar
  • 1 heaped cup of coconut
  • 1 heaped cup of rolled oats
  • 4 oz/110 gm butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water

Mix all the dry ingredients well together. Put the butter, golden syrup and water into a saucepan to melt and then add to the mixture. Take spoon fulls of the mixture and roll into balls and press down on a cold greased tray. Bake at 350 F/180 C for 15 to 20 minutes (if you are using a fan-forced oven  then you will need to lower the temperature by up to 10 degrees centigrade and/or adjust the time). Leave to cool on a rack.