Hermione #2! This time I went for pink with rainbow mane and tail. I think this version looks even better than the last one.
Check out this free pattern on Ravelry. It’s SO freaking cute, it’s not too difficult, but I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. The original pattern does not come with the wings pictured as I added those myself. If you’d like to add them too I have included the instructions in this post below. Enjoy!..
Wings – 3.5 Hook (Make 2)
Sc in 1st chain, skip 1 ch, sc in next 15 to end, ch2 turn.
Skip 1 st, sc in next and following 10sts
Slip st in next st, ch2, turn.
Skip 1 st, sc in next and following 3 sts.
chain 1, work 3 dc popcorn st in next stRepeat x5 .. Chain3, turn.
Make 3 Trebles in spaces between the popcorn sts already made below, slip st inside next popcorn st belowRepeat x3
Tie off + Sew on ..OR.. Slip st straight onto side of the body along top edge of the wing.
On the second wing you will want to push the popcorn stitches out the opposite way to the first wing. So you get a pair, and not two the same.
Dinosaur costume from a t-shirt
This is an on going project so I’ll be posting as I’m going. Excuse the photos there hasn’t been much good light and I’m posting using my iPod touch. I’ll add more pictures and descriptions of my progress. To be quite honest there is no ‘plan’ per-say. But it’s for my sons birthday party at the weekend.
Reusing t-shirts that are going to be outgrown soon us an ideal way to get a costume started. This one is more of a vest as it has no sleeves, but any type would do!
Now I’ve started to add the spines , which are actually different sized ‘house’ shapes. And are stuffed with toy filler. As they are sewn so the bottoms are opened up, it pulls in the sides of the ‘house’ shapes and gives more of a stegosaurus shape.
Sooo pleased with this!
A little project just for me. I just couldn’t resist making myself this cute head band. The swan itself was drawn by myself, transferred onto felt and embellished with a lace ‘half’ yo-yo’, then decorated with seed beads. Other decorations I added were some little vintage black buttons, bugle beads and faceted glass beads. For the eye I used a vintage green Mother of Pearl button with a fish eye design. I embroidered a simple trellis on the chest too.
I’m so pleased with this, I’m going to make a few more animal designs. Next I want to try an octopus, I think this will look great too in those white and dirty vintage creams and off pinks. *squeals* can’t wait!
Oh, and to top it off.. I’m going to the NEC in Birmingham to the Sewing for Pleasure Craft Event at the end of March! Will be buying loads of fabric goodies and crafting essentials.
Let me know what you think of my head band below! Happy Crafting. =]
Gift for an avid reader!
These 2 bookmarks were made for my Grandparents. My Grandad is a WWII veteran and his father was in WWI. So a gift to show we still remember what they gave was lovingly received. My Nan, she just loves her flowers. At a risk of being boring or predictable, I designed a Peony flower in a Jacobean style. I guess it could also pass for a rose too. However, I thin it worked out looking nice. Let me know what you think below in the comments!
I want to share some tips with you about working with felt. Although I’m a relative newcomer to felt. I have taken some time working with it. Especially embroidering. It’s not too hard to embroider onto, altho if you tug at the work the felt will, over time distort. The worst is, you probably won’t notice until it’s too late and you’ve done all the hard work. Soooo.. my tip is to work with a piece larger than you intend to use for the end result. That way, the edges you’ve been gripping during any sewing will be trimmed off and you’ll have a lovely neat finish.
If your felt is thin or the acrylic type. You might want to strengthen the overall design by sandwiching a light card in between another piece of the felt. Sew close to the edge of the card. so that it’s trapped inside. A thin layer of PVA glue between the layers is a good idea too.
To finish I topped them with a button, and on my Nan’s, a bit of ribbon from my stash. These are around 6.5″ x 2.5″ in size. The poppy design ended up being a smidge taller due to the script.
The stitches used are, running stitch, satin stitch, back stitch, heavy chain, trellis, split stitch, french knot and fly stitch.
Any questions about these bookmarks are welcome, please comment below!
I’ve been quite busy over the winter months, especially before Christmas. So I have a backlog of stuff I need to post. Most of the things you need for this are tools most people and almost definitely frequent crafters’ will have already.
The wall hanging is made from 2 x A4 chipboard (cardboard), cotton fabric, acrylic yarn and felt. Held together with fabric glue I used PVA glue as it does a good job, also I used some cotton embroidery thread. You’ll also need scissors, a hole punch suitable for heavy card and hammer, pencil, embroidery needle or a large sewing needle, iron, and last but definitely not least a decent craft knife/Stanley blade.
Made for my niece as a Christmas present. I wanted to include her name, Summah. The name is cut out using acrylic felt because it was what I had in my stash. But you could use any you have.
Draw out yourself a cloud design. To make it as even as mine you can cheat like I did and draw around something =] .
I used a plate and something else small I can’t remember, maybe a cookie cutter to draw the rainbow. You could just use a rectangle though instead of a rainbow shape. Cut both out with a blade.
At this point make sure you mark evenly according to the weight balance of your shapes the wholes and don’t punch them too close to the edge as it will not work very well. Important – Keep the bits you punch out. You’ll need them afterwards! Read the rest of this entry
Not as easy as they look!
I made it my mission to make some Minnie mouse cake pops. However, I didn’t anticipate this to be as frustrating as it was. With the overall waiting for the cake to cook, fair enough, but there was soooo much waiting for things to cool, set or cook. I was getting rather tired of doing them.
I followed instructions from another website that sounded like they had it in the bag. I started out with 20 cake pops. After lots of hassle with them staying on the stick I went through several techniques in coating these little babies in chocolate. I knew I couldn’t just dunk and pull it out all fresh-as-you-like. Cause the weight of the chocolate would rip the cake ball apart and stay put in your nice bowl of melted chocolate.
In the end the best technique I found was to use a heat proof silicone pastry brush and slowly coat the balls supporting the ball underneath with your hand so it didn’t shift down the stick. Place on its head on grease proof paper and don’t move it until it’s set. You won’t need to refrigerate for it to set. Plus it attracts condensation if you do.
Once I had a thin layer on and it had set and could be peeled from the paper. I was able to coat allot easier due to the chocolate acting like glue and it (mostly) stayed put. Your next layer of chocolate should include placing the ears on. I used chocolate buttons. Don’t bother trimming the side off like some websites tell you. This only inhibits the attaching part, which frankly is quite important! =D Push the ears in after the second coat of chocolate, as this will soften the previous layer just enough to help with that. Otherwise they just break up! These are then to be stood up on their sticks to set, a block of Styrofoam is useful here. A useful tip I did pick up is to make use of a cocktail stick. Just to pick define areas like the ears and to move the chocolate and to remove any excess. I coated mine until I was happy with them. Or at least, not so disappointed!
You only need to make them around 1 inch diameter at first, as the chocolate layers bulk them out. I was worried I wouldn’t get them inside the cellophane bags I had that were 3.5″x5″ I bought from Ebay. I chose 4.5″ lolly sticks or the plastic variety, if they don’t come with, you will need some plastic coated wires too to seal them. On my travels around my local town of Cannock, I picked up some lovely ribbon the I thought was just right, at 20p a meter I wasn’t complaining!
I just cut the ribbon a few inches long and tied once tightly. You could, with thinner ribbon tie a bow. But at this point in the baking and making process, I was ready to give up altogether. In the end, I managed to salvage 11 decent looking Minnie silhouettes. They didn’t taste bad at all either. My 2.5yr old son was happy to eat any disaster pops. Although to be fair they were very rich, so don’t worry if you don’t make a lot. I probably wouldn’t eat more than one at a time.
Overall, I’m happy I gave it a go, but I won’t be in a hurry to try this again. Maybe plain round ones with decoration on top to disguise the dodgy coating of chocolate. Let me know if you have tried this and how it worked out.
Knitted Gifts Fast
This super chunky knitted scarf took less than a day start to finish. Including figuring the style and making the buttons. The pattern was one I thought of that would work best for this project.
You can use any alternatives but these are what I used and would bode best for this pattern. Plus the quality of the yarn speaks volumes on this project. Ideal as a winter time gift.
Dimensions 7.5″ x 28″
What you need
1 x ball of Sirdar Denim Ultra Wool (super chunky)
8mm Knitting Needles
3 x 15-18mm Odd but similar sized buttons with preferably 4 sewing holes.
Small piece of colour coordinating Wool Felt to cover buttons
Needle and thread
Using the 8mm knitting needles
Cast on 18 sts
(Rib pattern row)
[Row 1 -K2, P2 until last 2 stitches, K2]
[Row 2 -P2, K2 until last 2 stitches, P2]
knit Row 2 of rib pattern
knit Row 1 of rib pattern
(Body of scarf)
(right side row)Knit row
P2, K14, P2
K2, P14, K2
Continue scarf body pattern until you reach 26″ ending on a wrong side
Knit Row 2 of rib pattern
Knit Row 1 of rib pattern
Knit Row 1 of rib pattern
Knit Row 2 of rib pattern
Cast off and tie in any ends not weaved in.
The buttons were made using a simple technique. With leftover yarn from the scarf. There should be more than enough if you have good tension.
Cut 3 lengths of yarn at around 8″
3 x 2″ diameter felt circles, or big enough to cover the buttons as pictured.
Tie knots in the centre to make a bobble. Split the yarn so you have 4 tails (see picture below) and thread each through the 4 eyes of the button.
Using small stitches, make a running stitch around circles of felt. Do not knot yet.
Pull slightly on the thread so that it creates a slight dome shape. Place in the prepared knotted wool and button. Pull the thread and make sure the thread covers the back of the button centrally. Tie off the thread after sewing over the felt and yarn to secure the back, as these will be pulled at when used.
Using the picture to help you with placement, use the tails of the buttons to tie onto the rib of the scarf. Making sure they line up with the natural holes created by your stitches.
You can’t argue with cake
I can’t let a birthday pass without having a bit of cake! I really treasure my Aunt so I thought I’d try something I hadn’t done before and just go with it. She loves a vintage look and feel, so I tried to get that feel. It didn’t turn out as I imagined, or aimed for as I’m not an overly experienced cake decorator. But I was happy with the end result non-the-less. But needless to say, it went down a treat, as it was filled with high quality chocolate butter cream with a vanilla sponge.
To get a box and lid look, you need to use two cake boards. As my cake was 6″ in diameter the ‘lid’ needed to have a matching size of 6″. The one that holds the whole cake should be at least 1″ bigger than the cake so it’s easy to carry. ‘Glue’ the cake to the base with a touch of frosting and cover it all in your fondant base, board and all so it’s hidden.
Pre mix your colours and wash your hands really well as that dye gets everywhere if you’re not careful! You can use a pair of latex gloves if you have some. Let your coloured fondant cool back down as it will stick to your roller if it’s too warm. But don’t let it dry out, cover it with a cup or wrap it in foil. Don’t try to refrigerate it to be quick as this will only make your fondant go horrible! Just be patient, it doesn’t take long to go back to temperature on a cool surface like a chopping board.
I use gel food colouring to dye my fondant. I have only ever used supermarket fondant as I find it perfectly fine to use and it tastes good as well. To get the paisley look I used my round pastry cutters with the fluted edge usually used for mince pies and tarts. I dotted holes around the edge of the shapes to give it some detail and brushed it with gold shimmer dust.
To get a satin inlay inside the box just roll out a sheet of coloured fondant. I folded mine inside to get a luxury feel of fabric, dust with a white shimmer to give it luster. Of course, to make it look like a jewellery box, you need jewellery draping out of the box. I used some strung pearls that you can buy per meter, you only need one meter. I also used some nice sheer ribbon too. Get them to stay put by putting the cut ends between layers of fondant.
A tip I like to share when trying to transport your tasty treats, especially ones you’ve worked so hard on! When you only have a container that is just about big enough. Use a triple folded piece of baking paper underneath as pictured – that will go above the sides of your cake to retrieve your cake once inside the tin. Or else you’ll never get it out in one piece!
Happy baking everyone!
Personalized Fathers Day Gift
I said I’d update you all on my Father’s Day project for my hubby from my 2yr old son. I started the embroidery yesterday afternoon. I was surprised how quickly it grew. It’s pictured here with the mount i intend to use. I used two shades of a silvery grey. The canvas I used is slightly off-white. But that’s ok, it’s not as contrast as it looks in the picture.
Below is a picture guide to how I went about this. Any suggestions for the bottom right hand corner would be good. Or even if this should be filled in. I did want to reference the year and a father son quote that relates to the hands.
Please let me know what you think below.
A Birthday Gift for my Mother
If you remember an earlier post about me going to the craft fair in Birmingham. I posted about purchasing lots of wool roving, silk and embroidery threads along with a few other things. Well, this is one result of this shopping spree. Let me know what you think below with a comment. I love to hear peoples opinions!
I was inspired by some of the work created by the people who run 21st Century Yarns. I created my own bag pattern to work from, and for anyone who knows me, would know how much of a perfectionist I am when it comes to planning and executing my craft projects. It took me a while to figure out how I wanted it to look. In the end I was very happy with this design. Although if I could change one thing I would have added even stiffer interfacing. I did think it would be heavy enough though. Something to learn from I guess.
As you can see by the pictures, I used my machine to fix the threads that I layered over the cotton fabric. I took time to make sure the placement was right. I used a wide silver coloured ribbon as an added accent which I really love. The background layer is calico that has been dyed in different tones. The colours are subtle but really work well. It’s lined with a silver coloured hand woven silk that I picked up from a different stall.
I am going to make a cushion in this similar fashion. Except I’m going to work in wool felt to add a bolder texture. This will be in a red/plum and a selection of greens. Any questions about my crafts are welcome! Happy Crafting!
Personalized Fathers Day Gift
For Fathers Day, for my husband, I’m going to try something different. I will be making something sentimental rather than purchasing something already gift wrapped from the store.
So, my idea is to mount and frame an embroidery of my husbands and my sons hands using the contour lines. One inside the other. With an appropriate quote like ‘always close at hand’ or ‘in safe hands’… You get the idea. I would like it in a black and white theme with the mount painted with finger marks in a grey/white.
I will post my results a bit later on in the week. Whether this ends up exactly as I’ve described is another thing. I do tend to tweak as I go along. So come back here soon to see what it’s like. Can’t wait to start. Leave a comment if you have any ideas for fathers day. Would love to hear them!
Yummy cake mix
225g Softened Butter
225g Caster Sugar
4 Medium Eggs
2 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
170g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda (Baking Soda)
Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4. Line your cake tin with butter and place a sheet of baking paper on the bottom. This recipe is enough for a round 9″ pan.
~Using an electric mixer combine butter and sugar until light and pale. Add eggs one at a time, mix well between eggs. Stir in vanilla and set aside.
Into a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder and soda together. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture in several batches adding milk in-between batches. Mix only until you can’t see any flour.
Set out into cake pan and bake for around 35-40mins or until springy to touch. Set out onto cooling rack before decorating. Don’t cut the cake until the it has cooled or you’ll loose alot of moisture.
Never open the door to the oven until at most ten minutes before recommended baking time or your cake may sink.
This recipe was used in baking this Mickey Mouse cake.
Mickey is number one!
For my son’s first birthday (last year) I baked him a Mickey Mouse theme cake. I used 9″ and 6″ cake tins to do this 2 tier cake.
I baked the cake base using this recipe or you could choose your own. You only need 1 and half times the recipe. One for the bottom and half is for the top. I halved my tiers and layered butter cream in the centre. You wouldn’t need to do this. But you will need to make a batch of butter cream to ‘stick’ the fondant to the cake.
To get the top cake, not to sink into the other cake while it’s on top, cause that just wouldn’t be pretty! Use 3 or 4 cut down straws or wooden skewers to the height of the fondant layer. Rest your cake on its own 6″ base or if using a different size tins it should measure the same as your cake so you can’t see it. It will be easier to remove it after for cutting that way. The bottom layer should probably have one at least an inch larger base than the bottom layer cake.
Ok, so you’ve baked your cake and let it cool, added butter cream to the outside and you’ve rolled out the fondant and placed it neatly over the top. Once it’s all smooth and square with the cake, you’ll want to start decorating. I only used supermarket fondant that is fairly cheap, but tasty. With the white you can also dye it any colour you like using gel colours. For mine I’m sure I used Ruby Red, Violet, and Christmas green and licorice black. Of course with any dying process you will have to add a bit at a time to get the colour you want.
The best technique I’ve found for blending the colour the best is by making a well in the white fondant ball and using a cocktail stick to control how much I put in. Place in a small amount and close the well up so the dye is inside. This will help stop the majority of the dye getting straight all over your hands. Cause it doesn’t come off your hands easily. Now roll, just using your hands, the ball into a sausage shape. You want it to be long enough to turn back on itself. Now just rinse and repeat until it is all blended. This method will help stop it sticking all on your hands too. If you add too much dye, try adding icing sugar powder to soak up the extra moisture. Now let the coloured icing sit aside and cool down. You could now dye another batch and so on. Once you have all the colours you want, return to the first colour as it should have cooled enough. Don’t leave it a long time or it will start to dry out. If you plan to use it later that day you can wrap it in cling film to stop it from drying up.
I used letter fondant cutter for his name. The Mickey heads were about 1.5″ in diameter. If you don’t have a tiny cutter for his ears (assuming you don’t just have a mickey mouse cutter) you can roll a small piece into a ball and press into shape straight onto the cake. You may want to test your sizing before going straight to the cake and make all your ear balls before applying them so they are uniform in size.
A way to get your fondant shapes to stick is to use an edible glue or make your own by using good spoon full of icing sugar and add drops of water until a glue consistency. Remember though, it takes more sugar to water to fix it if you put too much water in. So do it gradually.
You can finish of (or hide any messy edges) by using ribbon around the bottom of each layer. Hold in place with a tiny piece of clear tape or like I did using butter cream as a glue.
You should end up with an awesome, but more importantly, handmade cake! Enjoy giving and eating together! Hope you found this guide useful. Let me know if you try this! I love to share others photos too. Post a comment to contact me.
Stash Buster Project
So, I was given a free book of crochet patterns. It was from the May 2010 ‘Let’s Knit’ Issue. I hadn’t picked up a crochet hook for a long time. Since I struggled to complete a blanket for my unborn son at the time. But as this seemed quite quick, I referred to my ‘how to’ book of crocheting and finished it in a flash! These would make excellent stocking fillers. You could easily convert them to look Christmas-ee. Sorry I mentioned the ‘C’ word already. But hey, you gotta be prepared. So many crafting options, so little time.
The beads I used were glass, but I should have used more or chosen a heavier bead so that they would weigh it down to bring out the shape better. You could, of course, use any colour combination. I just used what I had, and I just happened to only have white in 4 ply. The suggest you can use ribbon, but you could use any yarn you like. Just choose an appropriate hook and if your yarn or yarn substitute is much thicker then make reduce the amount of rounds you make.
If you missed this issue and would like to get this pattern. It can be found in the book ‘Two Balls or Less’ by Jenny Hill. It’s RRP is about £12.99 and has over 30 simple crochet and knitting projects.
As an added note, the hook used is 3.5mm.
Super idea for a recycling project. Why not raid your Nan’s kitchen cupboard for supplies for this cake stand?
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Gingersnap and Butterscotch Cookie Recipe Gift Box
This is a super cool way of giving home-made cookies as a gift. You can recycle containers or gift boxes you have received. If you have the budget you could use a mixing bowl as your ‘basket’ and line with tissue paper. See below for more ideas for your ‘basket’.
To pad out a very deep bowl or basket you can roll tissue paper into flattened balls and stick them with very small pieces of double sided tape just to anchor them. Cover with shredded tissue or a raffia and layer your cookies on top.
Knit your own case
A cute little case for your Fuji camera. This only takes a couple hours at the most, including sewing on some decoration and adding the snap fasteners.
The stitches you need to know are casting on, knit, purl and casting off. If you don’t know how to do any of these stitches I advise you to search for a video tutorial. YouTube is usually a good source for this.
This is an ideal gift because you can use left over yarns and spare sequins and beads from other projects to decorate.
Here is how I did it.
Valentines Personalized Magnet
What could be more manly than a magnet? Ok, maybe a few things, but as far as valentines go, there isn’t much choice for men. Men, in general, don’t really care about flowers, chocolates and cute teddy bears. So I decided to make a magnet for my hubby.
It was a relatively easy as far putting it together. If you have a crafty stash this will be an ideal project to use those scraps and odd ends up.
Small scraps of lightweight fabric
Iron-on fusible webbing
Buttons or embellishments
Polyester toy stuffing
2 – 12mm dia x 3mm thick – (110 grams pulling force each)
Sewing Machine (optional)
Cut out two heart-shaped pieces of fabric, they don’t have to match. You can experiment with different colours or just use a plain coloured fabric on the back.
Print out a name or a word you want used on the heart, such as; love, xoxo, ur gr8, txt me, nicknames would work great too, etc. What word you use all depends on the size you choose to do. Remember the larger the piece the stronger the magnet you need. To be safe, I used two on mine.
Cut out the letter on fusible webbing and arrange them on your hearts. Make sure you leave room for your seam. ¼″ is usually enough. Press for a couple seconds, long enough for it to bond.
Sew the magnets on the inside of the back heart fabric. I don’t have a picture but just sew over the magnets until they are trapped in a web of thread. This way you won’t have magnets showing or messy glue to deal with.
Here is detail of the back so you can see how it looks with the magnets sewn in.
Next you will want to embellish the front of your heart with little ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’. I used tiny buttons as ‘O’s’ and threaded them on using a coloured embroidery thread. You can embroider anything you feel right to your valentine.
Turn the right sides of the two heart pieces together. Pin to secure and sew straight stitch to seal, remember when you sew up to leave at least an inch so you can turn it out after. I recommend leaving the gap on the straight edge of the heart so it will be easier to sew up. For best appearances trim the inside corners and curved edges, where the fabric is likely to make the outside look crumpled.
Stuff as much stuffing as you would like inside into your mini cushion shape. Sew up the gap.
You’re done! An intermediate sewer could do this within the hour too!
Garter Stitch Bib
Created using yarn leftovers, this bib is as easy as they come. I wanted to make something that would finish quickly as I haven’t knitted for a while. Still being a beginner I didn’t want to overwhelm myself. I embroidered the front with left over wool from my stash. I used DK and 4mm needles. You can get this pattern from ‘Simply Knitting’ Magazine, issue 64 March 2010.
I created the embroidered design myself and used a blanket stitch as a decorative edge. You could do the same using the template below. Simply print out to size and pin to the garment and use back stitch or split stitch to outline the design. Fill the flower using laid stitches from the centre out.
Please note this bib is for keepsake only.