Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More Painting Things White: A Cane Table DIY

I've developed a thing for white cane furniture.  Surrounded by lush indoor foliage, some black and white and a dash of blue or yellow, it looks so tropical.

I have had the good fortune of scoring a few cane pieces from op shops, so I thought I would share with you the process I took to redo a little side table.

Here's the before:

Look, I scored another one from the local oppie! Still deliberating about colours to paint them. Will probably go with white. Though black lacquer is still a possibility...

I gave it a good clean up, using a brush to get all the dust off and then gave it a good clean in with some sugar soap.  Because the cane was lacquered and I had zero desire to sand it, I prepped with my old friend Zinsser.  Apparently you can get Zinsser primer in a spray can, but I have yet to find it at the hardware store.  I used a soft, round furniture painting brush to apply a light coat all over.  Fiddly.

Prepping with zinsser. Tricky sticks...

I purchased 3 cans of White Knight Quick Dry Satin Enamel in, well, White.  I was a little worried because we know that there are whites and there are whites, you know.  Happy to say this is a nice, fresh, soft white and the Satin was the perfect low sheen cover that I was looking for.


Spray painting is not the most efficient use of paint.  I only just had enough.  Make sure you are outside when spraying, this stuff stinks.  There are many things in life I don't understand.  The desire to sniff paint is one of them...

I grabbed a few big boxes from the pile at Bunnings and used this to surround the table and minimise painting my lawn.  Contrary to poplular opinion, I do not paint EVERYTHING white.

Will take a pic styled inside next week, but couldn't wait to show her off. Very happy with the result. I am going to do a blog post with the details next week!

Two coats, an hour apart and it was done.  I left it for 24 hrs to fully harden before bringing it upstairs to find it a home/styling it/spill my coffee on it.

Here she is in her new home. I am loving the white. Always a good choice I think.  I have been in bed all morning with the mother of all migraines. Thankfully up and about now and about to pour myself a double espresso to help keep the pain at bay. What a

I have another table in the pipe line and am currently stalking a few on Ebay.  Next project to tackle is a big old dark brown bookcase that I am sure really, really wants to be white too.  For that one I am going to overcome my fear of power tools and use my dad's spray paint compressor thingy...yes, I know all the right words.

Trace xx

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Reasonably Healthy Chocolate Muffins

Kid approved

I posted these on instagram yesterday, with the suggestion that apple puree is great to decrease the oil and sugar content of muffins, for lunch box friendly kiddy treats (not to mention handy to have with a cuppa yourself kind of treats).  A few people asks for the recipe, so here it is:

In a bowl mix one cup apple puree (I just buy it from Aldi ready done, because I am time poor, but feel free to make your own), one egg and 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil).  Mix him all together.

Then toss in 1.5 cups plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 tbs cocoa powder (I use dutched), 1 tsp Cinnamon powder and a splash of vanilla extract.

Mix them all together until just combined, then pour into muffin cases and bake in a moderate oven for 15-20 min until set.  They are dead set awful if over cooked, so keep an eye on them.

Trace xx

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little Apple Cake on A Rainy Day


I did not make this apple cake today - I made it yesterday in a hurry when I realised I had not thought to make a dessert for the guests coming for lunch.  Lunch without dessert is of course perfectly acceptable, but being the crazy rain and wind kind of day we had in Brisbane yesterday, I thought we could do with a bit of comfort food.

Today I am baking Nigella's sour cream Chocolate Cake.  It is no longer raining, but it is still gloomy so further comfort baking was deemed necessary.

Yesterdays  apple cake was such a success, I thought I would share it with you.  I am happy to report there was not a crumb left after lunch to photograph.

A Little Apple Cake

4 large green apples, skin on and thinly sliced (I use a mandolin)
2 eggs
1/2 cup double thick cream (I am thinking of using creme fraiche next time)
1 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon powder

preheat your oven to 180 degrees.  Layer the apple slices in a 25 cm springform round tin that is well buttered.  Mix all the remaining ingredients together (I popped mine in the blender) and whiz to combine.  Pour the batter over the apples, mushing it down a bit so it seeps through the apple layers.  Bake for about 40 min.  It will be golden on top and come away from the edges a little when done.

I served mine with the remaining double thick cream, but ice cream would also be perfect.  This is the kind of cake which is awesome with a nice cup of tea.

xx Trace

Monday, January 21, 2013

Adorable Video

I discovered these delightful videos a few months ago, during my searching for all things french.  The latest one caught my eye this evening, via Paris in Four Months.

Worth watching, a whimsical treat, to see Paris from the eyes of a child xx

Betty In Paris from Olive Us on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Instagram-ing over Blogging?

I am not hanging out here much lately.  I have kinda lost my blogging way, you know?  I am finding it way more fun over at Instagram, but I miss the writing and the musing.  

I think it got too hard when blogging went a bit pro.  I have a day job I am pretty good at, I don't really want to make money from my blog.  I have no problems with those who do, don't get me wrong.  But it  is pretty competitive out there.  I ask you, is there a place for a personal blog anymore?  One that more people than my mum and my bestie read?   Your thoughts people, I really want to know!

In the meantime, here are some of my fave instagram snaps, because you know I can't write a post without some pictures...

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


The Boy turned 6, it was over a month ago now.  I have been posting their birthday parties ever since I started blogging, so why stop now?

Mad Scientist Party.  Complete with resident Mad Scientist (known as Mr Bountifully to you).






Dinosaur Dig cake.  Great idea from the Mr.  Inside this explosive little cake I buried some plastic dino bones (after cooking of course).

Never one to reinvent the wheel, I used many of the ideas from this lady (who was kind enough to email me a copy of her science experiment booklet)

Happy Birthday Bock Boy, we love ya lots and lots (and some more again) xx