05 February, 2016

DIY Gift Ideas For Your Valentine

Valentine’s Day is next weekend and its usually a pretty low key affair around here. We trade cards with sweet messages inside them and often use it as an excuse to throw on a pretty dress and indulge ourselves at our favourite little Italian place, but it’s never really involved grand gestures or expensive gifts. We prefer to spend that money on making memories together on our adventures around the world. In saying that, there’s nothing sweeter than a homemade gift that really shows you care by the time and effort you invest in it. So whether it’s something for your sweetheart or just a friend who deserves some loving, these DIY Valentine’s Day ideas are a personal yet cost-effective way to bring a smile to someone’s face.


Do-it-yourself Decorated Candy Mugs

Mugs are an excellent gift for all those coffee and tea drinkers in your life. This one, however, is made better in that it comes filled with chocolate and flowers, and perhaps even a little furry friend if you desire.  If you are feeling particularly artsy, you could find a plain white mug and paint a design on it yourself, or you could buy a pretty pre-painted mug. Fill the mug with a variety of delicious Valentine’s Day candies or other little presents. Then add in some decorative flowers that camouflage the contents.


Heart-shaped Confections

If your Valentine happens to have a sweet tooth (like me), another fantastic and simple idea is to make heart-shaped cookies, brownies or muffins. Start with the recipe of your choice (we’re not above using a store bought mix here). For cookies, cut or shape the dough into hearts. For brownies, bake them in a heart-shaped cake pan. For muffins, a simple paper case decorated with hearts will do the trick. When the confections are done and cooled, ice them with the frosting of your choice. Sprinkle them with tiny candy heart confetti or decorate them with conversation hearts for a cute message. To package these sweet treats, some small clear boxes or even cellophane finished with a red and white ribbon will look a treat. Put the confections inside and top with a handmade card.

There are many beautiful DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas out there. While these are only a few simple ideas, the possibilities are almost endless. Play up whatever it is your sweetheart enjoys the most. Whether you choose one of these or paint them a picture, or write them a song  - whatever you choose to do – the important thing is to have fun and show them how much you care.
If you are looking for supplies for all your DIY Valentine's Day needs, Koch offers decorative materials that are ideal for these types of projects.

14 December, 2015

How to Use Poinsettias as Holiday Decorations

Poinsettias are used the world over at Christmas. All around the world, Poinsettias feature as decorations in traditional Christmas scenes in both hot and cold climates. But did you know that Poinsettias actually originated from Southern Mexico? I didn’t, and I didn’t know why Poinsettias were so entrenched in Christmas celebrations either. Apparently it comes from an old Mexican legend about a poor little girl who didn’t have a present to give to the baby Jesus. Sad, she picked a small handful of weeds on her way to church. She placed the bunch of weeds on the nativity scene when all of a sudden the weeds burst into bright red flowers. Everyone was convinced it was a miracle and from that day forward, Poinsettias became known as 'Flores de Noche Buena', or 'Flowers of the Holy Night'.

The shape of poinsettia and its leaves is thought to symbolise the Star of Bethlehem while the red leaves symbolise the blood of Christ and the white leaves represent his purity. However, religious connotations aside, Poinsettias are also very beautiful and at the holidays, people often like to decorate with fresh or faux flowers to add a sense of Christmas cheer to the home.  There are many different types of flowers that work well during the holiday season, but poinsettias are perfect for Christmas flowers, as they combine a fresh look with the traditional red and green colors of the season.

If you are looking for Poinsettia this holiday season or any other occasions (Valentine's Day is coming up in February lovers!), flowers delivered by Flowers For Everyone is your best choice. Read on to discover some tips on how to use poinsettias as holiday decorations. 

Cups & Glasses

Choose fresh or well-made faux poinsettias that do not have long stems for this simple style.  Place a few blooms into differently-sized cups or glasses made of a quality china or glass, then arrange them together on a table or mantle for Victorian style holiday décor.  

Place Settings

Place settings are my favourite way of jazzing things up for Christmas, or any occasion really. If you are serving a formal holiday dinner to friends or family, consider utilising poinsettias in your place settings.  Use bright red blooms to match red napkins, and place the flowers on top of the plates at each setting around the table.  This is a very simple, but very elegant, way to set up for your Christmas dinner.  


Faux Snow

Choose a white poinsettia bloom for this beautiful decoration idea.  Use a tall candlestick to hold your long-stemmed flower, then surround the bloom with sugar in the bowl section of the candlestick to resemble a snowy garden.  This look works especially well with silver candlesticks, but can be done with other colors as well.


This is where my mum truly shines. She believes the holiday table isn’t complete without a gorgeous centerpiece, so why not bring poinsettias into the mix?  Choose a wide, clear vase, and fill it with cranberries and water.  Arrange red and white poinsettia blooms in the cranberries to create a unique decoration perfect for the center of the table.

Top It Off

What gift recipient would not love getting a present topped with a fresh flower?  Instead of bows, consider using big poinsettia blooms on top of your gifts. Your presents will really stand out underneath the Christmas tree and your friends and family will be delighted with receiving something different to adorn their gift. If you want the flower to become a part of the gift, place it in a small craft vial of water and attach it firmly to the present. 

The Tree

Last but not least, don’t forget the Christmas tree!  Poinsettias have long been a favorite way to brighten the boughs of a Christmas tree.  Attach them to the tree to bring a splash of color without the use of any ornaments at all. This looks even better if you happen to be using a real Christmas tree, as the fresh flowers look wonderful against natural branches of the tree. This is also a much safer option than glass ornaments, particularly if you have small children (or a new puppy!) around.


10 December, 2015

My Little Christmas Miracle

For a long time, almost ever since I can remember, I've dreamed of sitting in front of the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, opening a present and having a little, furry bundle of joy leaping out to lick my face. Countless times I've imagined it, imagined the surprise on my face, my shocked gasps of delight, the tears of joy streaming down my face. Sure I was open to the idea of receiving such a gift on other occasions such as my birthday, Valentine's Day, etc. But really, there was something about Christmas that felt right. I love Christmas. It's a time to celebrate family and giving. And what better way to do that than to give a little bundle of love a home, a new family all of his own? I waited and waited, hoping that one day my wish might just come true. And then I realised that *I* could make it come true!
Why wait for someone else to get you what you really want, when you can get it yourself!? I couldn't quite wait until Christmas, especially when I saw this little guy needing a new mummy. So this year, albeit a little early, I made my own Christmas miracle come true - and I am now the very proud new mummy of Churro, the fawn and blue Chihuahua! He is the most gorgeous little boy, and already so smart and well-behaved learning more and more each day. Now I know I've gone on and on about pugs and how much I love them, and I absolutely still do, but I also know that many of you will be wondering why I didn't get one. The simple truth is, pugs are high maintenance dogs and my living arrangements and bank account simply aren't suited to a pug just yet. But that doesn't mean Churro won't wonder have a little puggy brother or sister!
Where does the name Churro come from? Well, Chihuahua's are a breed that originated in Mexico, so I wanted my little amigo's name to have a Mexican theme to it. From all my daydreams about getting a dog, Chihuahua's weren't really on my radar until recently, so I hadn't really thought much about those kind of names. However on our flight home from the Melbourne Mai Tai Crawl (after arranging to meet him a few days later) I came up with Churro - because his colouring and markings reminded me of a little choc dipped churro (Mexican doughnut) and also because he is so sweet! Of course his unique colouring and markings also remind me of something else...yes, he also caught my eye because his colouring is a bit pug-esque!
So, why a Chihuahua? Well to be quite honest, Chihuahua's weren't really a breed that appealed to me. Up until recently that is. Some friends of ours both have Chihuahuas, one a short-haired little boy and the other a long-haired little girl, and after looking after them for a few weeks while they were travelling overseas I totally fell in love! And so I decided that perhaps a sweet little Chihuahua was for me after all. I've always wanted my dog to be a boy and I do prefer the short-haired variety so I had my eye out on all local rescues and shelters. However I ended up getting Churro from the same lady that both of my friends got their Chihuahua's from - so he'll have 2 little cousins to play with!!
Churro is 12 weeks old and weighs 1.8kg and is learning and developing so quickly. He brings me such joy, even though half the time I'm also stressed and terrified that something bad will happen to him haha He's such a sweet little boy and I am so totally in love!

I can't wait to spend our first Christmas together, with my little Christmas Miracle!

01 December, 2015

Dakam The Halls

It’s the first of December and I simply can’t contain my excitement for Christmas any longer! If it wasn’t for all the hate mail I anticipated, I would have been posting about Christmas in November! If you know me, you know I LOVE Christmas and this year is no different. Whilst I haven’t put my tree up just yet (I think my housemates would kill me) I know it’s just around the corner, and I’ve already been shopping for Christmas presents and treats.

For those who don't mind being on Santa's naughty list
Something I was adamant I was not going to miss out on this year, are the incredible baubles produced by Dakam. I’ve been following Dave’s work for quite some time now and last year I spotted the amazing bauble sets he was producing, which feature hand-painted kustom pin striping. The ideal ornament for the hot rodder in your life, these beautiful baubles add a touch of badassery to your Christmas tree. I was lucky enough to have Dave create a very special set of baubles for me, kustom coloured and decorated with Sheri Bomb – and I can’t wait to hang them on my tree!
Whether buying for a gift or simply to add a touch of ‘rockabilly’ to your festive season, these baubles are painstakingly hand pinstriped with 1 shot paint and come in a variety of colours and designs. Choose from the existing range of baubles, or contact Dave Dakam to place a custom order. You can choose your colours, choose your design and even get names or messages put onto them. Shipped with the most delicate care, the bauble sets are presented in clear boxes that make storage safe and easy. The only problem is, they look so great you’ll want to have them out all year round!

Located in the South East suburbs of Melbourne, Dakam is a self-described ‘wannabe’ artist, however I think his work speaks volumes about his ability. Despite only being able to dedicate part time to his craft, Dakam has been pinstriping and creating art for the last 5 years. Despite enjoying art in high school, he waited another 20 years before he unleashed his talent on the world and although he had misgivings in the beginning, afraid he would be wasting his time, his art has been well-received, boosting his self-esteem and spurring him on to continue to create more.

That is great news for us! It means we get to benefit not just from Dakam’s baubles, but from his myriad of other influences and creations which include hand painted kustom retro coolers, flying eyeball artwork, classic Rat Fink designs, incredible skate decks (including one showcased in the GreazeFest art show) and tiki inspired artwork including a VERY cool set of hand painted ‘tiki time’ bamboo drinking glasses.
Because Christmas is the time for giving, Dave Dakam has been very kind to offer a set of 6 kustom baubles to one lucky Sheri Bomb reader just in time for Christmas.

To WIN a set of 6 baubles with your choice of kustom colour combo and pinstriping simply:
Each method gives you another to chance to win!
Winner will be drawn at random on Friday 11 December. Winner will be notified via email. Winner must have bauble order to Dakam by 5pm Monday 14 December in order to receive their prize before Christmas.

Don’t forget to check out Dakam’s Etsy store for more of his fantastic art and if you’re interested in ordering your own kustom set of baubles, email dakam1@bigpond.com

14 October, 2015

KISS Army: They Want You As A New Recruit

If you’re not a KISS fan, you’ve just never been to one of their shows.

I'll start out by saying that despite enjoying their outrageous get up and knowing about 3 of their songs (the big hits) the extent of my knowledge of KISS was that God gave rock n roll to us so that we could rock all night and party every day. Or something like that. I remember having a KISS shirt when I was in uni, but I don’t know what ever happened to it. Or why I had it in the first place. Knowing all of this, you might think I was a bit crazy for handing over $140 to go see them. I wondered if I was. But I had it on good authority that I would not be disappointed, and they had a reputation for putting on the greatest show on earth. So along I went, not really knowing what to expect or if I’d enjoy the music, but keen to catch a glimpse of this promised spectacle.
The Dead Daisies had the tough job of warming up the crowd. There was no mistaking that everyone was here to see KISS and so seemed rather unenthusiastic about the Daisies, despite their all-star line-up. Featuring members of Guns n Roses, Thin Lizzy/Whitesnake, Motley Crue and more, the band was joined by a couple of Aussie members including Dave Leslie of the Baby Animals. What crowd that had already gathered was appreciative but no doubt it wasn’t the rousing reception these rock stars are used to. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the support act, regardless of who you are.
By the time KISS was ready to take to the stage, the venue was packed to the rafters with a full cross section of age groups. Having been rocking out for more than 40 years, your music is bound to span the generations. Suddenly a voice boomed over the crowd “You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world – KISS!" and with that the arena exploded with the roar of thousands of fans as the band descended down onto the stage on The Spider under a hail of flames and fireworks, ripping out crowd favourite Detroit Rock City.
The pyrotechnics were outstanding, the kind of thing you’d expect to see at the climactic finale of a huge act, but these were just the beginning of the onstage antics. I was hooked from the get-go and it was very clear to me where my $140 had gone – on all the flame throwers and glam rock fireworks – and I didn’t mind one bit. Despite their age, the guys rocked out, and offered up a great sounding performance that was the best they’ve sounded in a while according to some of the diehard fans.
Paul Stanley, sounding very charmingly Jewish, chatted with the crowd throughout the night showing a humility and kindness that went beyond rockstar ego but still managed to keep the crowd pumped. Gene Simmons performed fellatio on his guitar all night, spitting blood and quite obviously enjoying his cheeky rapport with the crowd. While the creases underneath their makeup were evident, not once did they seem out of breath or struggle to keep up with the rollicking pace of the show. Paul Stanley didn’t even bat a star-painted eyelid as he shredded his guitar flying hundreds of metres above the crowd.
My cheeks hurt from smiling, and as the lights went out and crowd began to shout for more, I wondered what could possibly be coming next. Of course it was their mammoth encore, featuring a touching rendition of Shandi (a song I vaguely remembered before tonight) that saw the crowd singing along audibly over the band, lit up phones swaying and held high, while Paul Stanley simply said ‘Wow’ over and over again. It really was beautiful. More pyrotechnics signalled a rip-roaring trifecta of their biggest and best-known hits Shout It Out Loud, I Was Made for Lovin' You and Rock and Roll All Nite that saw the crowd covered in cannons of confetti, singing til they were hoarse.
As the house lights came back up and the smoke cleared, we slowly made our way out of the pits to the strains of God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You being piped over the PA, it occurred to me that just maybe I am a KISS fan after all.

18 September, 2015

Rule The Races: Quirky Fashion Tips For Spring Racing Season

It's almost spring racing season, and for a lot of us that means one thing: time to dress up! The spring racing carnival offers a great chance to get out and celebrate the new season, not just traditionally with the trendiest new collections, but with a chic, fun and interesting take on the typical fashion of the occasion. It seems there's almost a general ‘uniform’ for horse racing events; Punters even supplies criteria for those hoping to have their outfits judged (a dress just above the knee, an intricate head piece, etc.).

But this is exactly what I want to address before the horses start thundering down the tracks. The uniform is all well and good. I like getting into race day fashion as much as anyone else, and generally speaking the crowds at the tracks look pretty spectacular. But as you know I also appreciate individualism, and beyond the fact that each spectator has a different intriguing hat, this is actually somewhat lacking at the racing carnivals! So here are a few tips—some inspired by current ‘trends’ and some just my own quirky ideas—for how to give your race day outfits some unique appeal.

Get Some Cat Eye Sunglasses

Vintage inspiration can almost always be considered fashionable, particularly at the moment, and because spring racing carnivals are often places where it's almost necessary to wear sunglasses, I say go for some cat eyes! These '50s-style glasses are always playful and chic, and they can add the perfect touch of mystery to any race day outfit.

Rock A Tiara

This is a glamourous twist on traditional horse racing headpieces, which generally fall somewhere on the hat-to-ribbon spectrum (which I just invented). I stole this idea from the model Gigi Hadid, who was recognised in a News Au article as one of the best dressed at last year’s Melbourne Cup. Hadid's piece wasn't quite a tiara, but it had the same delicate, sparkling quality. It was an interesting alternative to the same old horse racing hats.

Find Unconventional Jewellery

Certain types of pieces are typical of spring racing crowds. At a major carnival, you may see more pearls than you're used to, and brooches seem to be falling out of the sky. But jewellery is ultimately one aspect of race day fashion that's not quite as strictly defined as outfits in general, and for that reason I say find something bizarre. Lyst has some great inspiration in this regard, featuring various nose rings, upper ear cuffs, and strangely ornamented rings. Any piece along these lines can be worked right into a race day outfit for a unique touch.

Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark

I'm not suggesting you attend a spring racing carnival in all black (although when it comes to Derby Day classic black and white is the go), but it doesn't have to be all about whites, pinks, and yellows. Darker tones (like those worn by Anna Heinrich in the aforementioned News Au article) can work just as well, and they're certainly more unique for the occasion. At the very least, I'm a huge fan of going with a black mesh veil or black opera gloves to accent pretty much any look you like and add a bit of drama.

Opt For Wedges

I just can't abide heels for a full day walking around outside on uneven ground and you DON’T want to be one of ‘those’ girls you see on the news every year, stumbling around heels in hand. Fortunately, wedges are all the rage this spring and offer the perfect footwear compromise for race day. Elle pointed out a number of fashionable options specifically for this season, including selections from Miu Miu, Vince Kyra, and other noteworthy designers. But more than brand names, it's the versatility of these shoes that stands out for the occasions I'm talking about. Firm soles, warm weather bodies, and limitless style options just add up perfectly.

None of this is to suggest that I'm not a fan of the more traditional spring racing looks. Bright sundresses and extravagant hats are the name of the game, and they welcome the spring season appropriately. But some of these ideas can be pretty easily incorporated into more traditional looks to help you stand out from the crowd.

08 September, 2015

Tattoo Tuesday: There's Evil In All Of Us

I'm so excited to share this week's Tattoo Tuesday with you, it's one of the biggest and best pieces I've gotten in a long time. I am so in love with this new tattoo and with the weather just starting to warm up again, it's healed in perfect timing to show it off - something I can't wait to do!! It all started with the incredible artist Leighderhosen. I've been following her work for a long time, and she creates some incredible illustrations and black velvet paintings. Her work is really unique and inspired but all the things I love - vintage, kitsch, whimsy, tropical, nautical, pop culture, mid century and low brow art. If you aren't already familiar with her work, you SERIOUSLY need to be.
When I first saw this illustration by Leighderhosen Art I knew one day I would have it as a tattoo. I was in love with it instantly. I love the wording Leigh chose for the banners, because I do believe we all have a bit of a dark side, but also that courageous side that lets us be bold and daring. I've always loved the daredevil attitude of Evel Knievel who, from 1965 to 1980 completed 75 death defying ramp to ramp motorcycle jumps including famous jumps at Caesars Palace, the Grand Canyon and Snake River. Throughout his career he suffered more than 433 broken bones, earning him an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the survivor of 'most broken bones in a lifetime'. As someone who is quite accident prone myself, I love Evel's attitude - his determination to complete some of the most heart-pounding jumps despite the risk involved and despite the fact that he wasn't always successful. He just kept dreaming up new challenges for himself.
So with Leigh's blessing, I headed off to see my main man Mark 'Suicide' Beatnik at Voodoo Tattoo, knowing he would do this piece justice. He stuck pretty closely to the original illustration and did a killer job on the pinstriping-esque border and all the tiny little details on bike, but added his own flair with the kick ass hot rod flames to replace the cobras and a punchy background with plenty of colour, that made the design pop and is also similar to the background on my chest piece. It took a total of 3 sessions with one session solely for the outline and pinstripe border, another session for colour in the top half of the design (with so much blending and shading we split it into two) and a shorter third and final session to fill in the flames and shading at the bottom of the design.
I love love LOVE this tattoo and I'm so glad the warmer weather is here so that I can show it off. If there are any tattoo comps in the future I will definitely be entering this piece as Mark deserves to be recognised for the incredible work that he does. If you live or will be visiting anywhere near the Brisbane/Gold Coast area I highly recommend you get some work by Mark. He's done so many of my tattoos and he always does such an incredible job.
Swimsuit season is looking brighter than ever before!