diy monogram mugs

I'm not sure if it's the soul-sucking effect of uni, but lately I've been feeling the urge to make something. Anything. I used to draw all the time and would usually be dubbed 'most creative' by my peers, but I could hardly live up to that name anymore! Anyway, a combination of itchy fingers and pining for these Anthropologie monogram mugs made me want to try making the infamous Sharpie mug I see so much on Pinterest. I just have an innate need for things with my initial printed on them, okay?

The mugs I got were from a White Elephant stall, and at $2 for a box of stuff they basically cost next to nothing! As you can see they're not in the best condition, but I kind of like the marble effect they have going on. If anything, I think cheap mugs will work better in terms of the ink adhering to the glaze. I used oil-based permanent markers (mine are from Daiso) because I heard they'd last longer, but I guess only time will tell.

The font I used is Roman Print and happens to be the same one used on the Anthropologie mugs (downloaded from here)! It takes a bit of guesswork to get the right sized letter, so I printed out two just in case...

Here's a trick I learnt way back when I was in primary school! To trace the letter, shade the back of the printout with lead pencil, tape it to the mug's surface then go over the printed lines. A faint outline should be left behind, just be careful not to smudge it with your hand.

This is the bit that requires the concentration of gods. Ever so carefully trace the outline with your pen, and take your time with it! If you slip up don't panic, just get a cotton bud and remove the offending mark with nail polish remover. Do it as soon as possible before the ink gets a chance to dry though, otherwise you risk being left with a greyish cast.

Once you're finished bake your mug at 180°C (160°C fan-forced) for 30 minutes, leave it in the oven to cool before you touch it then voila! I found this project takes a lot of experimentation and I'm a bit scared that the dishwasher will erase all my hard work, so hand wash only it is for now. Or I could never clean it and make it a glorified pencil holder, either's fine. Have you been DIYing anything lately? I'm already thinking of a pattern to draw on my second mug!
Posted by : Mani

french navy

Thrifted t-shirt, Table Eight blouse, Ladakh skirt, Dotti boots

If I haven't made it already clear, it's now official – transitional weather will be the death of me. Lately the cool change has been teasing us (well, maybe just me) with the possibility of wearing knits and tights, but nope! It always turns out to be too hot to do so without boiling to death. In the meantime, I've been wearing open shirts over t-shirts instead of real jackets since it's always cold-but-not-really whenever I'm at uni. Truth be told though, I just want to bundle up in tons of layers already!

Anyway, I wore this to walk around the city and spend five hours looking for boots, to no avail. While I love my go-to Dotti ones, I'm on the lookout for a pair that's a bit more basic for everyday use. Unfortunately, finding something is nearly impossibly considering how picky I am! The boots I saw yesterday were either too expensive, too high-heeled, too narrow for my ginormous feet and so on. This doesn't mean I'm about to give up my search, though. Hopefully I'll find them during my upcoming holidays... after all, knowing Australia the real season for boot-appropriate weather won't be coming soon anyway!
Posted by : Mani

homemade pizza

Whenever I'm delegated the role of home chef, my first instinct is to make pizza. Despite the hassle of preparing all the toppings, it's become such a common thing that I've never thought to photograph it before now! Anyway, in trying to up our game we recently tried cooking it on our barbecue and it works a charm (who would've thought?). With the help of a pizza stone you can get a crispy base that can't be replicated in the oven, but never fear! It still tastes good if you don't have one handy. The following pizza base recipe was inspired by Smitten Kitchen, although I did take some liberty with the method...

Makes one pizza:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 tbs olive oil
Toppings of choice
1. Place the lukewarm water and dry yeast in a bowl, and let sit for five minutes.
2. Stir the dry ingredients in a large bowl with the yeast mixture and olive oil, then mix until well incorporated. Dump onto a floured surface and knead the mixture until it comes together into a ball.
3. Lightly oil the bowl with cooking spray, place the dough in there and cover with cling wrap for 1-2 hours. It should double in size.
4. Gently press the air out of the dough, and divide if you're making more than one pizza.
5a. If using an oven, preheat at 180°C for 15 minutes. Roll out your dough on a baking sheet, and add your toppings of choice. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
5b. If using a barbecue, let your pizza stone heat up with the barbecue for 15 minutes on medium. Roll out your dough on either aluminium foil or a metal tray, and add your toppings. Place on the pizza stone in the barbecue and cook for 15-20 minutes.

The result? A really good pizza, except with the sweet satisfaction of it being homemade! It's not like I even used to order pizza a lot, but since learning this recipe I've been having it a little too often and obsess a bit over all the toppings I want to try. For one, I've always wanted to make breakfast pizza complete with sunny-side up eggs, since I'm a fiend for them and two of my favourite things in one can do no wrong. So, what are your pizza toppings of choice? I'd love to hear and try them for myself!
Posted by : Mani