Wednesday, September 7, 2011

New Zealand's beautiful Paua shells...gems from the icy seas.

The New Zealand Paua Shell is a beautiful natural shell ( this shell has not been dyed or coloured ) that occurs in the icy cold waters here in New Zealand. It yields precious blue pearls in the same hues as its shell.Each blue pearl is unique and often has its own serial number.

With natural swirls of blue , greens, purples and even pinks- this shell has long been used in the making of fine jewelry and art work. The Paua shell often features in the eyes of natural Maori carvings.

The shells we sell  have been cleaned and buffed. Other than that it is in its natural state. There is no odour to the shell and its ready for you to use in your art or crafts.It is truly prized for jewelry making or in art and sculpture, gourd craft or pottery.

The ones we are selling are the small shell...about 5"-6" big...

we are able to get larger ones but they cost more..- message us if you are interested.

This shell can be used whole or cut into pieces as required. The shell is strong but you are able to drill though it..( ie its not too thick)

The listing on our Etsy site  is for one shell only - please let us know if you would like more. If you do not have an Etsy account message us for payment info. The shell in the picture is a the type of shell you will be getting ( not the actual shell) we will choose a beautiful one for you.

The Paua shell is gathered and cleaned near to where we live - in the coast of Kaikoura

The shells can be bought here.

We have had awesome feedback on the Paua shells we have sold -here is a few comments

"GORGEOUS!!! ... its going right on my specimen shelf! ... i had a wonderful experience with this fellow etsy member ... would most definitely buy from this shop again and again! ... thank you very much!!! :0)"

"I have never dealt with a more friendly and helpful vendor. If anyone is afraid to deal with someone so far away, don't be: Tammy is wonderful to work with. Tell her what you want, and she'll make it happen. I actually HOPE there will be things I need in the future so I can work with her again! Thank you so very much!"

We think this would make a awesome Christmas gift or anytime gift for someone who loves New Zealand or the sea or collect such treasures!!

Muddy Buddy The monster Doll

Ugly Muddy Buddy looks like he has been playing with the cows again....He just has to find a way to get his daily glass of milk!!

Muddy Buddy is a grungy monster art doll- made with upcycled fabrics , paint and buttons and wool. He is 8" tall or 20 cm!

Do you need some muddy footprints through your home?

I love making these monster dolls simply as it allows me to design and create with freedom and whimsy...I can stain fabric , position eyes in weird places...add buttons and notions from anywhere and best of all reuse and upcycle or repurpose fabrics and finds from charity shops and flea markets..Muddy Buddy can be seen and purchased from the link below.

Olive Oil in cooking and Baking

We have recently been trying to work on eating healthy and the onset of the warm balmy Spring days here in new Zealand seem the best time to start. We have been reading a book called the Pink Ribbon Diet by Mary Flynn and Nancy Verde Barr. Besides a weight loss book , the diet also promotes the lowering of the risk of breast cancer. It was a surprise for me to read that many women under going chemotherapy also put on alot of weight . This was not the standard picture of someone battling cancer.

One of the things the diet promotes is the use of olive oil in cooking and baking. Taking its cue from Mediterranean diet which tended to be rich in vegetables , whole grains and olive oil , the writers linked this to lowered risk of a number of cancers.

The diet or new way of eating seemed very do-able for us. We both love olive oil and lived in a area where locally grown olive oil was plentiful. We are able to buy direct from the grower , filling our old wine bottles with extra virgin olive oil. It is a delight to eat, especially with pan fried peppers and eggplant. I have found using it on warm toast in the morning also tended to make me feel satisfied and fuller faster.

We are experimenting with using it to bake as home baking cakes , cookies and pies are a regular thing for us. I have hunted thorugh olive oil sites and  am posting a table showing how olive oil can be used instead of butter or margerine. The reviews are mixed- some people raving about light pastry , while others citing the taste of olive oil dominated the baking...we have yet to try it our but I thought a batch of home made date scones may be a great for anyone interested here is the table - one of many we found.

Butter/Margarine Olive Oil
1 teaspoon 3/4 teaspoon
1 tablespoon 2 1/4 teaspoons
1/4 cup 3 tablespoons
1/3 cup 1/4 cup
1/2 cup 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons
2/3 cup 1/2 cup
3/4 cup 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon
1 cup 3/4 cup

I would love to hear for anyone else who is using  olive oil instead of butter for baking and what you have found out...enjoy all.