Saturday, February 25, 2012

seeeing my shop and every moment of a special this just sleep deprivation?

This morning was like many a Saturday morning, but without the unforgettable buzz that one can only experience on a Friday night in some fabulous Sydney bar (ahhhh those were the days!)....I woke, totally sleep deprived...this time from bed hopping from toddler to baby and back again....she is teething, he has a cold - So with a heady wave we got the family dressed and kept them alive with the standard fruit and oats spread and got ready....for a looong lunch, to celebrate our wedding anniversary...!
Its our first wedding anniversary, well technically on Wednesday it will be our first, but really its our fourth as we chose the 29th Feb to get hitched....we decided that way we have less chance of getting sick of each other....if you get the whole leap year drift! Cue grandparents right on noon with the toddler down for a nap and the baby entertaining the grandparents with angelic smiles we barefooted it out the door, strung on my highest of strappy heels in the car, and hotfooted it to one of our local simple venues, yet boasting the most fabulous views in the Blue Mountains.
Rewind to the old days and such an affair would see us in some fabulous hatted restaurant, devouring world boasted delights and sipping some special labelled vino...but today we byo'ed, turned a brasserie menu into a 3 course feast and stared out into the wilderness that surrounds our locality. Then talked, for three hours, uninterrupted by toddler or baby....or business commitments, or television....just the old days....bliss!
When we got to dessert, I realised I wasn't even wearing makeup due to the giddy morning of sleeplessness....but you don't need it said the landscaper....awwww sweetness....
So tonight I am seeing stars....(and so is our shop!) check out our latest garland...which i also made for the toddlers bedroom...its been catching my eye when I pass his door and it really looks fab if I may say so myself! I can see why the garland is such a popular really is a unique and super cute way to decorate. I have always dug the blue blue and red palate, its perfect for a boys room...(a timeless classic)...well for this little garland we needed one more contrast and grey fits the bill a nutshell....I love it!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Big week, Exciting news of new designs and two more treasuries

Well! Two family businesses, lots of fabulous orders, two children (2 and under) and another crazy week in our Katoomba farm shack took its toll last night. After feeling quite giddy, I feel asleep with the baby, clothed and all at 6pm...not great for making stock for our first market...but this lil' red elephant obviously needed the rest! So I meet today, fresh as a daisy for a big day of work (the toddler is at daycare and the baby promised me she'd sleep) - raring and ready to go!
I have exciting news! Whilst we usually buy in pre-printed papers for our mini art cards, swing tags and party/cupcake picks, we have been working on some of our own designs....think bold colours, think chevron...think fun red elephant style! Be on the look out as we print, cut and create a new range of fabulous BIG tags...aka ELEPHANT tags! If your anything like me...and like to write a small novel on your gift card, well then these tags will be for you. They will be printed onto nice heavy quality card stock, red elephant flimsy tags in our house!
Also, this week saw two more lovely treasuries from fellow etsarians...

Little bird treasury including our bird notelets by Grace and Flowers, click on their name see their sweet little FIMO models GREAT for cake decorating.

Dots all over includes our lime green swing tags, created by Lithuanian felter Felting by Eglut who has oh so comfy felt slippers, perfect for our oncoming winter season...ahhh slippers and red wine by the fire...pure winter bliss!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Etsy treasury featuring our lime gift tags is a breath of fresh spring air

A breath of fresh air is this lovely etsy treasury...all in spring green. Thank you Charissa Laarman from Snippets by Design (check out her pretty paper crafts) for including our lime green gift tags...

Monday, February 20, 2012

red elephant creations in two lovely weekend treasuries

Oh, I just love it when people feature our products in their treasuries...we certainly feel the love....and today its all about pastels...for easter...and a love of lemon!

curated by: mr kittys soap shop - beautiful handmade soaps and beauty products...Mr Kitty has clever paws - absolutely indulgent!

curated by Jessica at Pretty Lil Pieces (and they are pretty indeed!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Our new little bird creations .... in a very clever treasury

Well! Within just a few short hours of posting up our new birds range, this little wing has already been featured in a very clever treasury....thank you jane ann from jane ann jewellery - who has a lovely little shop i might add!

Madeit front page...still loving being a cover girl!

Hi All - we madeit on the front page of madeit AGAIN! Looks like they love our tags there at madeit headquarters...this time we have our handstamped vine in stone swing tags....thanks MADEIT...we just LOVE being a cover girl....or cover elephant in this case ;)

The birds have come - NEW DESIGNS in celebration of joining twitter!

We have been dreaming this one up for quite a while and truthfully, it took me a little bit to photograph and post online...and I know you'll just love her!!! Meet little bird, designed to celebrate our joining twitter...One little ripper of a design if I may say so myself...we have one already sold and two listed on etsy treasuries...all within 12 hours of listing!

Think natural, neutral tones with a little edge.

The paper garland comes in lengths of 3 metres, or contact me directly for a custom order (redelephantcreative[a]

All available in our madeit and etsy stores online.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


I have been wanting to make some yellow and grey heart garland for a few weeks now, and when a couple of friends requested a custom order....I had no excuse! Here are two of the designs....they both look great, I am really happy with happy I can't choose my fav. So I am calling all you eager creatives...which one do you like? Winner will receive a strand of their favourite garland....
To enter 'like us on Facebook (see the sidebar for a link) and make your selection under the post....winner will be drawn tomorrow, Friday 10th February at 8pm.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Yummy vanilla cupcakes...just add toddler! ...a recipe and a how to guide to surviving cooking with little ones.

A week ago I promised one vanilla cupcake recipe with attached story of cooking with said week, an infant cold and whirlwind week it is!
Ealier in the week was week of the testy toddler...he hit an all time high on the richter scale of terrible twos....and with a new range of fluttering butterfly cupcake toppers to be launched, I need to turn his need for attention into something we cooked cupcakes.
We have cooked together quite a few times before...and armed with the right frame of mind, a little extra patience, its a lovely bonding experience. oh...and you need sense of humour....for anything can unravel.
Lacking a little sleep this day, I wasn't 100% prepared...we got through the loading of the cupcake tins, mixing the ingredients, and were on the home stretch licking the beaters...I turn my back and Mr Monkey who in a flash decided he would add the WHOLE very new and very full bottle of vanilla to the batch....nice...breathe..., lucky the batter was done and the mixer was off (at the switch) AND lucky alcohol cooks out, because they were quite potent from the essence...I picked up the bowl, emptied the pooling liquid from the batter...and moved onto the next task...hense I bring to you my tips for cooking cupcakes with toddlers....
*Be prepared, measure out your ingredients first, set up the bowls, the beaters, your equipment and pre-heat the oven...
*Dress them to get messy!
*Have on standby lots of paper towel or baby wipes, the bench and the toddler will get messy...and you, if you don't try too hard!
*Think about the tasks they can through the recipe and plan the execution in your anything can take place whilst you are up to your arms in cake batter...cupcakes are great as they can put the patty pans into the tins, pour the ingredients into the bowl and later spoon the mixture into the patty tins...easily little steps which keep them busy as little bees.
*If possible don't do this exercise at the kitchen bench, as every time you go to cook after this, they want in....and that isn't always ideal...particularly when your trying to bang out three different dinners for the family at witching hour...our laundry bench was perfect, sink at arms reach, and easily cleanable.
*Have ready a new game for distraction for when the cakes go into the oven...the last thing you want is said toddler opening the oven...every five seconds!
*Remember to Breathe!

This is our favourite vanilla cupcake recipe. Since the latest cupcake making episode I have purchased some vanilla bean paste, which I do actually prefer in this recipe...and its just that little bit more toddler proof...

Vanilla Cupcakes
125g butter, softened
1/2 cup (120g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self raising flour (sifted)
1/2 cup (125ml) milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 deg. F)
Line 12 cup muffin pans with patty pans
Using electric beaters, cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually add egg, beating well between each addition. Add flour alternatively with milk.
Divide evenly between patty cases.
Bake for 12-15 mins or until golden. Test by gently touching the top of the cake which should spring back.
Leave to cool into pans slightly before turning out onto cooling rack.

I do confess...I cheated and looked to betty crocker to help me through icing these babies...done whilst the toddler was sleeping...topped with a little bit of shredded coconut...YUMMO!

If your brave enough to tackle this task with a share your!

ps below photo is from another cooking experience...but really, its priceless to see him lick the spoon...better than eating the cupcakes themselves!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The day vintage saved my life....

Lately I have been dreaming up a blog post called...'a slave to vintage'...every time I try to jam shut my old antique wardrobe, every time I trip over the renovation sprinkles of our old mountains cottage and every time I don't fit into my uber cool vintage brown leather jacket....(thanks pregnancy). For if you have a love for vintage, there is at one time or another that you become a slave to your love...for the love of vintage isn't one which comes easily.
I grew up in an old homestead, built in 1886 to be exact, one of the first orchards in our area. I went to school in an old chevrolet, and after that a pontiac. On Sundays my Dad drove a cadillac...and the music I grew up with was played on a Jukebox....basically I had no chance but to love things that are old...and dusty....and full of character!
So last night, when my whizz bang, digital, super shiny sewing machine inherited from my dear Aunt chewed, jammed and snapped the thread for the fifty thousandth time....I threw my usual 'this machine sucks' tanty and went to bed.
I awoke this morning with an fresh perspective. I packed the shiny bugger up and dragged up from the barn, old faithful - the vintage machine which I learned to sew on when I was a wee one. Covered in dust, I wiped her down with trusty baby wipes and threaded her up. Plugged her in and away she went....and in all honesty, the stitching is much more beautiful, even, more perfect than I have ever achieved with the other Mr Shiny, ever. As I sewed, I had flashbacks of my youth, sewing all sorts of wonderful creations with this beauty.
I am guessing from the style of chrome branding on the front she is circa, 1950's. She is pretty turquoise and all metal...and she purrs like a kitten. So here I make my the vintage machine, which saved my day...and made my paper garland that little bit more special. Thanks Mum for leaving her behind for me. I shall name her Martha, and she will stay and play with me in my little studio in my little old cottage on my little old timber table. As for Mr Shiny, off to the barn for you!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A front page listing, a miserable infant and a single moment of zen - all in a day at the house of red elephant creative!

We madeit on the front page of madeit today! YAY! It was a day for lime ... both on the madeit selection with our lime swing tags and in our house with a not so sweet, rather miserable and sour flavoured Miss Angel...snotty and blocked up...and tired after a night with no sleep...for any of us oh, except the toddler (thank goodness Mr Action Man sleeps like a log)!
Today being daycare day for Mr 2...I usually have a big long list of tasks for the Landscapers business and red elephant creative....not to mention the usual domestic chores of a superhero (sorry, SAHM)....and so the day became a jumble of School run, Toddler screaming to come back home, BAS, Attempting to settle miss grizzle, Filling orders, Attempting to settle miss grizzle, Paper supply orders, Nursing miss grizzle and Picking up toddler and so begins the evening routine, dinners, baths, feeds........Settling miss took nearly 2 hours to get her down....after vicks, panadol and finally the steamer mixed with a funny little settling sway thing going...we got there...and she settled....PHEW!
....AND THEN! I did something I haven't done for a very long time. I sat on the floor next to her cot....and stretched, in my favourite yoga pose, and breathed....for quite some time. Then I did another stretch ... and I found my inner sanctuary... for just one moment of peace.
I walked out to the landscaper, who asked me if I was okay....actually, I feel which he replied with a tone of surprise, You look very relaxed.
I am Nicole, and a lot of the time...I am a bit of a stress bucket. Rewind back to my former life as Event Manager extraordinaire, and the place of zen amongst a whirlwind of gigs, clients demands, meetings, airports and hotels was to stretch and breathe....My discipline was yoga and it grounded me (not to mention the fab things it did for my body)!
Fast forward, two little miracles later, two family businesses and a house under renovation - I seem to have forgotten the important place that Yoga holds in my life. A very dear family friend reminded me the other day to give a little to myself....and so I will make this remember to stretch, and breathe, and give to myself for just a moment of each everyone should, in their own little way (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).......