Thank you for visiting my world of all things lovely! What started as my creative outlet has turned into something even more exciting and I am now able to call this blog a portfolio for everything that Loryn Loves has to offer. Please have a browse... don't be shy to leave me a comment; if you feel inspired then I've done my job. Please do get in touch if there's anything creative I can help you with...
Thursday, 20 June 2013
I've discovered an easy way to hang a collage of picture frames. Too many times I've started hanging the pictures only to discover they’re completely crooked or unevenly spaced.
I think I picked up this tip from one of my many explorations through Pinterest and it’s been in the back of my mind since.
First things first, decide on your frames to be used and the layout you’d like. I just played with them on the lounge floor arranging and rearranging until I was happy with a display.
I then cut out pieces of scrap paper in the size of each of the frames. I transferred these pieces of paper to the walls using masking tape which comes off most surfaces without marking. Now you can move these papers around until you find the perfect arrangement to display your frames.
Once satisfied with the layout, start transferring your picture frames to the wall one at a time. I've used Velcro picture hanging strips which are amazing for rental properties as they come off without ripping the paint off the walls!
This frame collage has transformed our living room, I’m so pleased with the way it’s turned out.
PS. please excuse the poor quality of the photos, there wasn't very good lighting while I was doing this project.
Friday, 14 June 2013
So I see it's Father's Day in the UK this weekend. I've done a few projects for manly men on the blog so thought I'd do a quick round up for you... a little inspiration to help you spoil your dads. Just click on the links or pictures to see the original posts with more details.
Quick & Easy Fathers Day Ideas - this was a post I did with some quick (and most importantly, easy) ideas for you to DIY your father's day gift.
Biltong Jars - For those South African's out there, what dad doesn't appreciate biltong, right? And if it's in an army man jar even cooler! Check out these ones I made with chalk board paint.
A Very Manly Party - this was a 30th birthday I did for someone. There's lots of details you could use for father's Day, like the chocolate cigars or cookie mustaches. Click on the picture to see more.
Covered Chutney Jars - I made these for Mother's Day but if your dad's like mine and has chutney with everything then why not for Father's Day too?! Maybe a little less flowery fabric? And it takes less than ten minutes!
'Tache & Tiara 30th - this was for Hubby's 30th birthday. There are a few ideas you could take from this for Father's day. Like the chocolate mustaches, the entire mustache cake or the giant cookies in CD covers. Click on the image for more details.
Have fun you lot! Those of you lucky enough to have Dad in the same country as you, enjoy every minute!
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Being the huge fan of lemon meringue that I am, I couldn’t not try out this recipe I found in a magazine. I’m afraid I tore the page out and now have no idea which magazine it was to pass on credit.
The recipe for the cake was fairly simple. I know six eggs sounds a lot for a sponge cake but I’ve found that the cake is always fluffier the more eggs there are.
So I’m putting the recipe below and will add any comments as I go along.
LEMON MERINGUE CAKE
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 30 mins
6 eggs, room temp
¾ cup castor sugar
2tsps finely grated lemon rind
1 cup plain flour
50g unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup lemon curd (I would recommend more if you have it)
(I cheated here and just did regular meringue as you would for a lemon meringue pie, I didn’t have the glucose or blowtorch to do it this way)
¾ cup castor sugar
1 tblsp liquid glucose
2 tblsps water
3 egg whites, room temp
2. Beat eggs, sugar and rind in a large bowl of electric mixer for 8 to 10 minutes, until thick and triple in size. Fold in sifted flour. Transfer ½ cup of the mixture into a small bowl. Stir in the butter. Fold back into the egg mixture (no whisk or you will lose the frothiness you’ve created). Pour into the prepared tin.
3. Cook on moderately slow oven (160C) for about 30 minutes (mine were for less as they weren’t as deep) or until the cake is golden brown and coming away from the sides of the tin. Stand for 5 mins before turning out onto wire rack.
4. To make the Italian meringue, combine sugar, glucose and water in small heavy-based saucepan. Stir gently over low heat until dissolved. Bring to the boil. Place candy thermometer into boiling syrup. Boil, without stirring for about 4 mins, or until temperature reaches 121C (hard boil stage).
5. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites in a large bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Don’t overbeat. Beating on a medium speed, slowly pour hot syrup steadily into egg whites. Continue to beat for 8 to 10 mins, or until meringue is cold.
6. To assemble, cut cake horizontally into three even layers (I had four as I had two cakes). Sandwich together with curd (I’d use more next time) on a serving plate. Spread 1¼ cups of meringue over the top and side of the cake. Using a 2cm plain nozzle, pipe the rest onto the top of the cake. (I just spread the whole amount and used a fork to ‘peak’ it). Use a blow torch to brown meringue just before serving. (You could use the grill but won’t really reach the sides of the cake).
Sunday, 9 June 2013
has been an expensive move to say the least.
I've tried to be very thrifty with certain bits of furniture and have
trawled second hand websites and charity shops to find pieces for our new home.
I found this dining table and chairs on Gumtree for just $50! What a bargain. I stupidly didn’t take a before picture of the table but you can see the original wood colour in one of the pics below. It’s a really fab solid wood table that had hardly been used and the chairs (love, love love!) are like new.
I knew I wanted a white table so of course set about changing it with the help of my ever patient husband. We found a very reasonable electrical sander at Bunnings (my new fave store) and Brad spent the afternoon sanding it down for me.
I taped the metal detail around the bottom of the table legs. The previous tenant painted the entire house without using any tape and I've spent weeks scraping paint off floors, counters and light fittings. So I've become obsessed with painters tape, it’s so easy to use I just cannot understand why someone wouldn't bother!
For an undercoat I used Taubmans Easy coat prep and then British Paints inColour Interior paint with a low sheen. I used a brush although a roller would give a smoother finish. I did start this project with a shabby look in mind and figured I’d be sanding after painting so didn't bother with the roller. But I love the table without sanding so it’s staying as is. And I’m not sure you can even tell a brush has been used rather than a roller.
It’s a bit of a long winded job because you have to wait hours in between coats of paint but its so worth it!
Saturday, 8 June 2013
Welcome to Hello Friday! We all know Friday's are the best day of the week, like EVER! So why not celebrate?
Hello Friday will be a post about something fun, something inspiring, or just something pretty that I've encountered during my week at Loryn Loves.
So to get things started this week, I'm going to talk about the Ikea Vanilla Scented Candle. Not only pretty smelling but useful too. We have two of these candles and they have become our new best friends this week as we've been without electricity now for four nights in a row! We had a generator put in at 10pm last night and it went off at 7pm this evening so was pretty useless considering we usually eat dinner after 7pm and before 10pm!
I've always been a fan of the vanilla scent of these candles but I've now learnt to appreciate the glorious amount of light they give off too!
Go on, give them a try - for only $1.49 a piece you'd be silly not to!
Friday, 7 June 2013
Old fashioned things are making a comeback - baking, knitting, crafting etc. But best of all, BUTTONS!
I am obsessed with buttons! I used to work near the famous Portabello Road Market in
and one Friday stumbled upon a stall selling its wares for just a Pound each. Included at their stall was a massive basket
of buttons where a pint glass full of them was just £1. Of course I couldn’t resist and came home
with five glasses worth. As usual I had
no idea what I would do with them but my imagination was running riot and the
possibilities were endless!
About a year and a big move to
Melbourne later, I found something to do with
them. I had these wooden letters of our
initials which were another bargain buy with no actual project in mind. I was dying for a project since our container,
including all my crafty bits, had arrived and my hands were itching to use my
And that is how I ended up with these pretty book ends. This project doesn't need instructions, I’m sure you get the picture. Start with the bigger buttons and fill the spaces with smaller ones.
And if you let your imagination go you'll find there are millions of projects to make using buttons. Here's a plant pot I customized with buttons in different shades.
Friday, 31 May 2013
This little lady will be known as Amy Farrah Fowler. Those of you that watch The Big Bang theory will know why.
We stayed in temporary accommodation for a month when we first moved to
and although I had plenty to do to get our lives up and running, I was missing
I came across this picture on Shiny Happy World and decided to try my hand at my own rag doll for Baby Girl Fijac. This project will of course be much easier with a sewing machine and I will be making more when mine arrives in our container. I had to hand stitch the whole thing so this project that would usually take an hour or two, in fact, took me a couple of days.
So the first thing I did was to draw a pattern for what this doll looked like in my head. I definitely wanted the long skinny limbs and the head and body were easy enough. I cut the fabric from the pattern, leaving a small border for sewing. I used a flesh colour for the legs but will try with a stripe next time so that she looks like she’s in a trendy pair of tights! The possibilities are endless with this – you just need an imagination.
I sewed the head and limbs first, turned them inside out with a long poking device (a pair of scissors in this case) and shoved them with stuffing. I then marked the holes for the arms, legs and heads on the body/dress. So when I stitched around the dress I had to leave the openings for where I’d add the limbs later. Once I turned the dress the right way around, I sewed on the arms and head before stuffing it. Once stuffed I was able to add the legs.
You will of course need lots of pins for this project and even if you use a machine you’ll probably have to hand sew the legs on.
And then for the ‘personality’. I had very limited supplies so had to improvise with this. I’d bought a bit of brown wool for the hair. The flower in her hair is from a bracelet I’d broken a couple of days earlier. The glasses are from a piece of black elastic that I think was from the hangar straps inside a top I had. The lips are just a little heart shaped piece of fabric cut from the patterned fabric used for her dress. The necklace is also from a stretchy bead bracelet I had.
How does that grab you? This one is a little strange looking but I hope to make a few of them and will post more pics as I do.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
As I said in my last post, I'm without all my creative bits until our container arrives so bear with me while I post other peoples ideas rather than projects I've done on my own!
So below is one image from each of my Pinterest boards. I have boards just in the categories that I'm interested but when you're creating your own you really can let your imagination go. And it's not just for the ladies, there are so many men on Pinterest too - I've seen plenty of awesome boards on photography, graphic design, home renovations, DIY, Fitness and plenty more.
At the moment I'm obsessed with the Home Decor category. Probably because I know we're moving into our new home next weekend. I'm constantly searching decorating tips, DIY ideas and especially decorating on a budget. Pinterest is just a jungle of awesome ideas for doing up your home at whatever budget you have to work with. My board is called Home Is Where The Art Is.
This fabulous wall collage is made from Ikea frames and Instagram pictures. In fact, this creative lady from Daffodil Design has used one picture from every day in a year. Click here for instructions on how she went about creating this artwork.
My next board, Nifty Projects, also includes a lot of project ideas for (but not only for) the home. I collect any ideas that I think are something I can create or use as inspiration for something I want to make or do. This includes gardening tips, home decor, gift ideas and gift wrapping, storage solutions etc.
I love love love this idea and there's a pretty good chance I'll be doing this in our new home. I've seen loads of second hand fridges for cheap and if they're in good working order but not good looking then a lick of chalkboard paint will do the trick - I love the chevron pattern but a plain black or grey would be great too. See Apartment Therapy's blog for instructions on how to do this.
Next board is Marital Bliss. I started this to collect ideas for our wedding but I still love trawling wedding websites for ideas that can be used for other occasions as well.
These flags are a really cute idea for a wedding. They would make some really great pictures of guests socializing after the ceremony or during the cocktail hour. Or a group photograph of all the guests waving their flags could be fab! Click on the picture to see more...
Next up: Feed Your Face. Now you all know I'm partial to a spot of baking so this board is full of ideas for sweet treats. But it takes a bit to get me excited about cooking. So I try to collect some savoury ideas for when I'm feeling adventurous. There are so many simple ideas that look fantastic. My favourite savoury dish that came from Pinterest is this Veggie Bake.
But my newest pin to this board is these super Pancake Pops. What a good idea for kids parties, desert tables and Pancake Tuesday. And they're quite easy to make too, for instructions visit Number Two Pencil. For another fun version of these sweet treats see my Doily Pancakes.
Let's move onto something which is very exciting for me right now. Being 23 weeks preggers, I'm of course over the moon that I get to decorate a nursery! So I've been collecting ideas from all over.
Unfortunately almost everything for little girls is just pink pink pink! Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of pink, especially for a little girl but it doesn't mean I want top-to-toe pink in her nursery. That's why I love this one in particular. I love the pops of colour against the stark white background. This image comes from a site called Varpunen.
While we're on the subject of Little People, that's the name of my next board. I've had this board since before I was pregnant, just because there were so many fabulous kid-related ideas that I wanted to remember for when I had my own. There are endless ideas for kids crafts, homemade toys, activities, child friendly food and even great tips to help you from pregnancy till your kids are in their teens.
Here is a super example of the clever things that make you wonder 'Why didn't I think of that?' What could be easier or cheaper than buying a pool noodle and cutting it into small pieces for your child to play with in the bath. I love this! This image comes from Bath Activities For Kids.
Let's move onto another passion of mine - parties. Party decor, party foods, party games, guest books and of course the cake!! I love the research part of planning a party. Thanks to Pinterest there are millions of ideas in one place which means hours of fun finding new and unusual ideas.
One of my favourite parts of a party is the balloons. They can become tacky if not done in the right way but if you get it right they can transform any event! I absolutely love this image where the party planner has gone completely overboard with the balloons. What a brilliant atmosphere this creates and means you really wouldn't need much else in the way of decor. And the balloons are high enough that they don't get in the way of conversation. I would have done without the balloons on the floor. This image comes from My Cup of Te.
Jolly Holidays. We all know the biggies but Pinterest will always remind you of the not so obvious ones. There will always be a creative lady somewhere in the world who is crafting for Movember, Teachers' Day, or Cupcake Day.
As we've just immigrated to Australia, it is only right that we celebrate Anzac day tomorrow. And oh my word are the Anzac cookies good!!! I haven't been able to make any of my own as the oven in our temporary accommodation is the size of a microwave but the ones from Coles are to die for!! Find the recipe here.
And, finally, last board on the list is the Bit of Bling celebrating all things jewellery! Of course this one is coming from the always fabulous Stella and Dot. This Juniper statement is a brand new piece from their summer line. They also do amazing tote bags now so check them our here.
And that my friends is that! I hope by now you're itching to get onto Pinterest and see what they can offer you!! They've also introduced secret boards which means only you can see them. I used this for when I was newly pregnant but couldn't tell the world yet. You can also use them for wedding ideas when you don't want the anyone to know what your wedding will look like before they arrive. Also good for hiding your Christmas gift ideas.
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
So for now, here a few snaps from our first week in Melbs...
It started with an extremely long journey from UK to Melbourne, via Singapore. Not that comfortable being twenty weeks preggers but it did have it's perks. I received lots of smiles, we got waved through a few queues and I got to go to the loo when the seat belt light was on (only after I threatened to wee in my seat). But the frequency of loo visits is a major downside, as are the awful pressure stockings my doctor insisted I wear - ugh!! Ugly and oh so uncomfortable! Anyway, we got here in one piece and oh what a good decision we made...
This is the view from our balcony taken just this afternoon. The sun is shining but the wind is howling... the kite boarders are out in full force.
We've got a little studio flat in St Kilda which as you can see is very near the beach. It's been great as the weather's still warm enough for us to enjoy. It's getting chilly in the evenings though so autumn is definitely on the way.
I've been going for walks every morning - trying to keep off some of the inevitable baby fat. This is the view I enjoyed along the way. It's so much easier to be active in this climate. This winter in London was just too much for me and I became extremely lazy! Hopefully this will be the start of an active and healthy lifestyle! I'll report back to you when I'm in the throws of Melbourne winters which are known for reaching single figures!
The trams which seemed a novelty to start with have become part of everyday life. They don't run as often as the tubes in London but they are bang on time, every time which has been a pleasure!
And just a little tummy update at 21 and a bit weeks. She's moving around like a crazy lady; especially when I drink tea or coffee and when I'm having a conversation with someone. But most of the time she just sleeps - hopefully a sign of whats to come when she's born!!
If you're interested in reading more about what we've been up to in Melbourne then please take a look at our blog/diary over here.
Monday, 18 March 2013
I've spent the last few weeks in South Africa hanging out with my folks. Hubby's been travelling for work so I went to spend some time with them before our big move to Melbourne. It was wonderful to be their baby for once last time before I have my own! This project was a thank you to my parents for putting up with me for so long and for spoiling me rotten!
The shelf unit belonged to my dad's father. I'm not sure how old it is but we think its probably from the 50's. It wasn't being used for anything exciting so I decided to give it a chance at a new life. First thing was to give it a good scrub!
Mom and I had been doing some de-cluttering in the kitchen and she had a few bits of crockery that she was willing to part with. I found some other pots and the fab lily tea cup (on the top shelf) in the Mr Price Home clearance section.
I hit the local nursery in search of some pot plants that didn't need too much attention from mom. Considering the shelf would be undercover outside, the plants needed to be happy in the shade. The guy at the nursery suggested a selection of cactus plants. Perfect for mom considering they only need to be watered once a month!
And that was the hard work done, all I needed to do was replant the cacti into the crockery, display them in a pretty way and there you go! I found these cute 'home' blocks to top it all off and now mom has a pretty view out the kitchen door instead of just the ugly wall!