Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy New Year!
I hope your 2010 will be a year filled with creative make-it days, baking, adventures, dancing, laughter, feathered headbands, beautiful clothes, great cafe lunches, coffee, blessings, fun, family & friends!
Make sure you take time to stop to smell pretty flowers!
Dear Miss Pretty xx

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Breath of Heaven

Perhaps I ate one too many slices of that pumpkin christmas pie?
When I woke this christmas I suddenly was much much larger than I remembered. None of my clothes fit, so I decided to swathe myself in blue cloth. For some unknown reason everyone started calling me Mary? It was all very strange. Luckily I met a lovely fellow named Joseph!
Hmm seriously now...
I was lucky enough to portray the role of Mary in the christmas story at my church this year. A total childhood dream.  I was asked to sing a song for the service, the words speak for themselves.

I have travelled
Many moonless nights
Cold & weary
With a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father
You have come
Chosen me now
To carry your son.

I am waiting
In a silent prayer
I am frightened
By the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone?
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven

Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me, your holyness
For your holy, Breath of heaven

Do you wonder
As you watch my face
If a wiser one
Should have had my place?
But I offer - All I am
For the Mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

Breath of heaven.

Love you all
Dear Miss Pretty xx

Photos by The Fig Tree

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Oh My! Christmas Pumpkin Pie!

Christmas Spiced Pumpkin Pie with Cinnamon Cream.
2 x 9-inch pie crusts
3 Eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence
2 tablespoons golden syrup (you can substitute with mayple syrup, honey or any other sticky syrupy goodness) (mmm syrup)
3/4 cup (180ml) cream
1 1/2 cups (600g) cooked, mashed pumpkin.
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dutch cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
Star anise pods (to decorate)

Cinnamon Cream (OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH YUM)
250ml cream
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon dutch cinnamon

Pre-bake the pie crust for ten minutes in a moderate oven.
While that's adding a nice aroma to the kitchen, steam your pumpkin then pop it in the blender and whiz until smooth. (I actually just mashed the pumpkin with a fork). Set aside to cool.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and syrup together in a medium bowl.
Stir in pumpkin, cream and spices. This is where you can have fun taste testing your own special christmas spice mix! I like plenty of nutmeg, cinnamon & cardamon. Feel free to add other christmassy spices eg. cloves, ginger or anise.
Pour the mixture into your pastry case.

Bake in a moderate oven about 55 minutes or until the filling is set like a custard tart. If the edge is burning you can cover it with foil.
To make the Cinnamon Cream; whip the cream till delightful soft peaks form then add the vanilla, icing sugar and cinnamon. Whip it a little more.

Dear Miss Pretty xx

Big thanks to my dear friend Camille whom has been teaching me to cook, often against my will... I adapted/stole alot of this recipe from her blog. (Yes she is the Subway girl (the train subway, not the sandwich)...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all!

Christmas 09
Baking, baking, baking!
Eating almost an entire bowl of cinnamon cream.
Christmas tree glowing brightly.
Playing Mary at my church christmas service. A life long dream!
My crazy family wearing matching light up wrist bands, rings & whistles.
Carols by candlelight.
Emmanuel. The best present EVER

Wherever you are in the world & however you celebrate, I hope that this time of year is happy, safe & filled with joy for you!
Happy Birthday Jesus :)
Lots of love & christmas pudding,
Dear Miss Pretty xx

Monday, December 21, 2009

Salt Rose

"I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep."
- Sonnet XVII - Pablo Neruda -

Monday, December 14, 2009

Runaway heart

An old friend & I were reminiscing about school & the many 'romances'. There seemed to be an entirely different set of rules for flirting back then. Does anyone else remember any old school flirting rules or tips? A few that we remembered were...

*Wait at the drinking taps. Waterfights = flirting.
* If you like a boy, one never tells them directly. Send a note. (The best way to send this note is to give it to your best friend who can pass it to his best friend...)
Do you like me?
Please tick the appropriate box.
YES []
NO []
PS. Please tick yes, but if you tick no I was only joking anyways...
*Play hard to get - Walk up to the boy whom you are interested in. Pick up your skirt & twirl. Smile at him. Run away as fast as you can. If they catch you they are worth dating.
*Hair flirting - An ancient artform. A girl should never underestimate the power of 'the ponytail twirl', 'the flip flip', or 'the I am just casually untying my bun & swooshing it in the gust of wind'.

So to conclude this post. The next time I see a spunky boy I may just try the "smile, twirl & chase me chase me" technique! It cant fail... right?
Dear Miss Pretty xx
ps. I made this high waisted mini skirt entirely from vintage remnants. My favourite bit is the ric rac trim! I always feel a little frenchie whenever I wear it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Passionfruit cream sponge cake!

Anyone for some Passionfruit cream sponge cake? My great grandma used to make these for afternoon teas. I havent had one in years. It tastes so much better than it looks!

**Passionfruit cream sponge**
* 50g butter, softened
* 4 eggs at room temperature
* 3/4 cup caster sugar
* 3/4 cup cornflour
* 2 tsp self-raising flour
* 1 ½ tsp baking powder
* 1 cup thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks
* 1/4 cup fresh passionfruit pulp
* 2 cups pure icing sugar

  • Preheat oven to 200C. (180 C for fan forced ovens)
  • Grease two 20cm round sponge tins with softened butter. 
  • Separate eggs. Beat whites with an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, until stiff peaks form. 
  • Add sugar gradually, beating on medium speed. 
  • Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating on low speed. 
  • Sift cornflour, self-raising flour and baking powder into a bowl. Sift & sift again. 
  • Fold into egg mixture in two batches, using a spatula. Be careful to not overmix. You want the sponge mixture to be light & fluffy!
  • Divide mixture between the sponge tins. 
  • Bake in oven for 20 minutes until well risen and light golden. Do not open the door during the baking time. 
  • To test if its ready, press the sponge cake lightly with your finger & it should spring back! 
  • Remove from oven and cool on cake rack for a few minutes.
  • When cool, fill with whipped cream. Be patient you dont want that cream to melt.
  • Make icing by mixing passionfruit pulp with icing sugar. (I made mine too runny, you want it to drip down the sides... If you have the same problem add some extra icing sugar).
  • Ice cake with a hot, clean knife.

    Happy cooking!
    Dear Miss Pretty xx

    Monday, December 7, 2009

    Purple Palace

    Has anyone else noticed that there is something so heavenly about light just before the sun retires for the evening? When everything is tinted a delicate rose hue...  After being super productive all day doing plently of sorting, measuring & listing. A whole batch of vintage treasures are almost ready for my etsy store. I always so tempted to keep the things I intend to sell! Including this floral dress I am wearing today! Hmm perhaps I shall keepsies after all.
    Dear Miss Pretty xoxo

    Thursday, December 3, 2009

    peacock party

    There is a strange phenomenon that occurs, you may have seen it?
    Sometimes when couples spend too much time together they begin to match each other. Immitating each others style, clothes, language & even the way they strut about. One of my favourite things to do when walking from point A to point B in the city is, watch out for matching couples. I would love to create a book filled with photos of matching couple street style. However is there any inconspicuous way of taking photos of a couple wearing matching 'the knitting machine exploded jumpers?' I'm not really sure that I could ever take a photo without giggling.
    Anyway, the reason I began pondering on this was... Very recently I discoved that everytime I get dressed I am choosing a shade of blue or teal. Including this vintage 1960s gown, which I fondly refer to as my galactic mermaid dress. Blue is my new boyfriend!
    DearMissPretty xx

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009

    The flower house

    There is a little old house right near where I live that has the most spectacular garden. Year round the garden is in full bloom. As a young girl I would play in the flower beds, marvelling at the wondrous colours of the garden & imagine flower fairy homes. I could play there for what seemed like hours & never see the owner of the house. Sometimes I would sneek up to the windows to see if I could catch a glimpse of the ellusive little old flower lady... Everyone knew she lived in the house & tended the garden but somehow no-one ever saw her. A real life suburban legend? It makes me smile to know that even 15 years later the flower house is still very much in bloom.
    Do you like my new vintage gold bolero? I call it my circus bolero! I had every intention of putting it in my vintage store, but when I tried it on... I just couldnt make myself say goodbye to the strange little thing.
    Dear Miss Pretty xx

    Here is my heart

    so please be gentle with it...

    I recently made a very brief appearance on the Television cooking show 'The Great Australian Cook-off'...
    Which inspired me to embrace my inner martha stewart! So I whipped up this super cute batch of love heart cookies for my grandma. For mine I created a coconut rose frost icing. They look gorgeous if you tint the icing different pastel shades. Oh if only I had become a domestic goddess before the cooking competition!
    DearMissPretty xx

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    I heart the postman xx

    My little motto is that every day should be an adventure!
    So naturally when I saw these pretty mailboxes, exploring was necessary. I think that I got my gypsy streak from my mother. She is an artist through & through.
    The type of mother who would stop the car when driving to school so we could get out and observe a beautiful tree. I love that about her. We only live once, so we might as well stop to make the most of the time we have here on this big blue & green planet.
    Perhaps it is that same artist streak in me? Whenever I roadtrip I have this overwhelming urge to take off into the countryside for good! I would become the crazy lady in a gypsy caravan with the beehive hairdo, eyeliner, fringed boots, butterfly wing shirts & fluoro nailpolish who sings to herself. I would tan on the roof of my bus & listen to nickel creek constantly!  Perhaps own a palamino pony? Definitely eat blackberrys straight off the bushes, paint, go rafting down the river, & sell my vintage wares out of my bus to any bush folk. The only potential problem with becoming a nomadic gypsy is... I wouldnt be able to have a a giraffe letterbox :(

    Love you all a bushel & a peck!
    DearMissPretty xoxo

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    Oh enchanted afternoon

    I recently visited Monsalvat. Monsalvat would be best described as a gorgeous wonderland of old French Provincial inspired buildings, complete with secret passages & turrets. It was created by a French artist as an artists colony...
    The kind of place where I was utterly content to meander about completely lost (of course I got lost). Enjoying the fabulous artworks, sculptures, magnificent architecture & gorgeous gardens. Somehow in my lost vague daze I made my way to a Monet style iris garden, where I met my new best friends forever! A lovely older couple from Sydney. They were an absolute hoot!! We chatted about God, Melbourne, theatre, surfing, travel & boys for hours. They even told me their love story. The fateful afternoon they met! We exchanged emails & digits. They even offered me a beachside place to stay in Sydney! How amazing is that? I loved them! Oh how I love making unexpected new friends.
    Dear Miss Pretty xx

    ps. Did I mention the peacocks on the property? I was lucky enough to catch one saying hello! Isn’t he rather spectacular? Yes, if ever I own a castle I must make a note to own peacocks for the gardens. How incredibly decadent!

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    What a wonderful world!

    Today I got paid to play with kids!
    Who knew that fleuro coloured rice & hopping competitions could be so fun? I even mixed up some strawberry scented bubble mix & used carboard cylinders to blow mega bubbles. It was amazing fun & smelt fabulous!

    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    ponies, ponies, ponies...

    When I was little...
    I dreamed of one day owning my own talking palamino pony named 'starbright'. I would wear a red tutu dress with a black waist sash when riding her. Eventually I would train her to race & win the Melbourne Cup. Nowadays I realise that perhaps some dreams are... best kept dreams.
    My love for horses has not diminished one iota. Except that these days I prefer to eat them! (Never fear I am vegetarian). So in honour of the Melbourne cup races I decided to spend a few hours baking & taste testing the different flavours of icing (definitely the best part). These cute little racehorse cookies were the end result!  Perfect for that races bbq! Mmm!
    Dear Miss Pretty

    ps. love you all

    Wednesday, October 21, 2009

    A ninety year old called me funky

    So the groom may be long gone...

    But the roses remain!

    Aparently my very lush flowers inspired me to create this latest rose crown. I have been wearing it nonstop for the last week...
    Lets face it, there is always plenty of room in my heart for flowers. I seem to have an insatiable need to dress like a desperately romantic 70s woodland fairy at all times.

    Anyway, I was meandering about my locale hangouts, when a bloke randomly shouted 'I see your off to see the horsies darlin!' to which I replied 'Why no, no I just dress this way! Its fun!' Honestly, I had about 12 people ask me if I was going to the melbourne spring racing carnival... nope. Merely posting my etsy orders.

    ps. The little old ladies at the post office put in their orders for customized floral crowns. Haha! No really!! A frail ninety year old called it 'very creative & funky.' Perhaps I should start a new store?

    Dear Miss Pretty xx

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Buttons & bows

    So this week I got married!

    Ok so not really... I did however, model for a photography conference in the city. Which meant dressing up in a beautiful Wendy Makin gown and pretending to marry a lovely fellow named Grant. Unfortunately it rained the entire day & we were confined to the kodak building so as to not ruin the dress... Such is life. Hubby & I still managed to have a grand time, frolicking about in our wedding finery while 30 plus photographers took snaps.
    My favourite moment of the day:
    I managed to sneak off into the coffee room when noone was looking. So there I was, sitting at a cafeteria style table reading new idea magazine & munching on an arnotts biccy when a random walked in. He stopped in his tracks and said "WOW! You look beautiful!! But you do realise that people at the office wont judge you if you dress a little more casually... right?"
    Anyway, here are some of the first snaps & a behind the scenes view!
    lots of love,
    Dear Mrs Pretty? xx

    ps. Next time I promise to send out the invites well in advance

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    the fire is wild and the summer's red

    So dust off your short shorts, throw on your favourite pair of wedge heels & come frolick about town with me! Really and truly isnt there something sensational about the warm sunshine rays coming out after a long winter hibernation? The world seems a happier place when the world begins to defrost & flowers come out to play.
    Oh by the way, so you know. My latest creative idea is to create super cute playsuits in beautiful vintage prints. Way excited!!! Now to find the perfect vintage pattern to adapt...
    with all my heart, dear miss pretty. xx

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Todays theme is...

    Snow White Sunday?
    I decided to embrace my inner woodland fairy when dressing this morning. In retrospect, an off the shoulder dress was probably not the wisest wardrobe descision for a very windy melbourne day... Perhaps it was worth the goosebumps, because a group of young girls did come over to have a look at my pretty dress. Apart from frolicking around woods picking flowers with my own minature fan club, I found time to look at my pile of sewing jobs, not actually sew, write some letters & listen to hamish n andy podcasts. One of the laziest sundays ever!
    What did you do this sunday?
    Dear Miss Pretty xx