I had lots of the fabric leftover from the dress project. So I figured a skirt wouldn’t go a miss! Nor would a matching hair bow! Check out the pictures below. Super simple elasticated waist. For a 14 Month old I had a 19″ waist and 7″ length for above the knee. I’ll be posting another project that I have done putting more of this fabric to use. It was originally bought to match a custom made cloth nappy my niece had. One metre of fabric has gone a long long way, and there is still more of it left!
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!
Free Knitting Pattern for a Doll 17″ Tall
3mm Needles – 4 ply yarn
Make 2 c/0 34sts
k2, p2 to end
p2, k2 to end
k2, p2 to end
p2, k2 to end
(Knit Row, Purl Row) x 5
k4, k2tg, k8, k2tg, k8, k2tg, k5, k2tg, k1
k4, k2tg, k4, k2tg, k6, k2tg, k4, k2tg, k4
k2, k2tg to end
k2tg to end
Cut yarn leaving 6 inches of thread, use this to thread through the loops remaining on the needle using a darning needle. Pull Tight and knot. Fold to join edges right sides together and sew up the seam. Additionally you, so they don’t get easily lost. Braid, or using a crochet hook create a chain long enough for your doll and tie to each wrist of the mittens. Thread through the clothing of the doll, just like you would for a child.
Hope you have fun knitting these easy cute mittens! They make a lovely gift, I will be posting more patterns for 17″ dolls soon.
Suitable for Chou Chou, Baby Annabell, Walk and Learn Doll and dolls of similar size.
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.
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!
Knitted Gifts for Kids
I made this dinosaur from a magazine pattern, I forget which one, in September. It’s taken me a while to post on here as I’ve had a few distractions keeping me away. The magazine also features another dinosaur and can be knitted in any colours you like, even girly pinks and purples. My dear son loves this dino, and takes it to bed with him!
You can buy poly stuffing quite cheaply. This was an easy pattern, however it did seem like an eternity sewing up all those ends for the back plates. But was fun and glad I gave it a go.
Remember to always be extra careful sewing up toys for toddlers as they can be quite rough and tough on your knitted gift. Use a crochet hook to pull all the loose ends into the toy and firmly into the stuffing.
If you gave this pattern a go, let me know how you got on, I’d love to see the different colours you used. I used Hayfield fantasy in the green tones with orange and yellow toy yarn for the plates and spots.
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.
Marble Cake Recipe
Come 9:30pm yesterday, I really wanted a yummy treat. So, like any crazy person, I decided to bake one right then. I searched my cupboards and decided on marble cake with butter cream and as I had some leftover walnuts from another baking session, I thought I’d try it out. To my Hubby’s delight it turned out just as I’d hoped.
Ingredients for Cake
225g Plain Flour
225g Caster Sugar
225g Softened Butter
2 tsp Baking Powder
100g Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Medium Eggs
2 tbsp Milk
Ingredients for Topping
200g Icing Sugar
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
½ tsp Milk
Using a pre greased and floured 8-9″ spring release cake pan. (Phew, that was a mouthful)
Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
Cream butter and sugar in electric mixer until pale. Add one egg at a time mixing thoroughly between each addition. Stir in Vanilla.
In a separate bowl sieve flour and baking powder together.
Add spoonfuls of flour into butter mixture along with milk. Mix briefly until flour is incorporated.
Using a large spoon place half the mixture into the pan in 4 individual spots. Add Cocoa to the remaining mixture, stir thoroughly and fill in the gaps in the cake pan with the chocolate mixture.
Using a skewer or something similar, swirl the chocolate into the vanilla and vice-versa. But not so much that you lose the vanilla too much.
Bake for 40 Mins or until firm to touch or skewer comes out clean.
Once cooled on a rack prepare the topping.
Mix together butter and icing sugar and add in milk.
Spread over the top of the cake generously and sprinkle on the walnuts, or a nut of your choice.
Now all there is to do is let everyone enjoy and appreciate your hard work!
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!
Pasta Salad Recipe
Ok, so I needed a recipe for cold pasta salad that wasn’t too …fussy. I did search google for recipes, cause I wasn’t too confident with flavours at the time. But came up with nothing that really appealed and fit what I needed; which was to satisfy many different taste buds for a BBQ. So here’s what I threw together. Simple flavours, but big on taste! Leave a comment if you try this. I’d love to know what you think.
Serves 8-10 buffet portions
400g Dry weight Cavatappi (spirals)
8 Heaped Tablespoons of Light Mayonnaise (using regular dinner spoon not measuring type) Approx 600g
340g Drained Salad Crisp Green Giant™ Sweet corn (large can)
5 Large Spring Onions
12 Rashers of Streaky (or any that you prefer) Bacon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Large pinch of Paprika
Cook pasta and bacon in your usual, preferred way. Pasta should not be overcooked. Drain pasta and let sit to cool in the drainer, washing with cool water to help speed up the process. Let bacon cool on a plate.
Roughly chop the onion and place in a large mixing bowl along with the sweetcorn. Add cold pasta and mayo and lightly mix together, being careful not to break up the pasta shapes. Sprinkle on most of paprika.
Using scissors or a knife if you prefer, cut the bacon into slithers over the pasta mix. Stir to incorporate the bacon, add more mayo with you feel you need it. Place pasta salad into a container with a lid and finish off with a sprinkling of paprika all over. Cover and store in a fridge.
Best eaten 3+ hours after making, to give the mayonnaise a chance to absorb the flavours otherwise it can taste really eggy.
You could substitute the bacon for ham or chicken. Spring onion can be subbed with chives too. When including any meat, please make sure it has cooled thoroughly before you mix into your pasta mix.
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.
First of my seeds planted
I’m super-excited to say I planted my first few seeds to start my raised bed with. Hopefully my hubby will build my raised bed this weekend or before. I just can’t wait to get started. I still need to buy quite a few supplies to help along the way.
My lovely Aunt gave me a head start by supplying me with seeds and pots, and even some books to read! Isn’t she lovely?! I think I somehow agreed to crochet a scarf for her tho in return. lol. I don’t mind tho =] She gave me Sweet peppers, chilli peppers, tomatoes in different varieties and runner beans to plant now. The romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and mixed salad leave will have to wait as they need to be planted where they are to be cropped. Thanks Aunty!
Anyways, back to planting. As you can tell by the picture, I have used recycled grape and tomato containers to create a makeshift propagator. I put several seeds in each pot. I shall pull out any that are really weedy looking. I just hope that it’s right! I only placed one seed of the bigger runner beans. I used an egg box for these, as I want to try planting straight into the ground in the box. Anyone else tried this?
Now placed in a really sunny spot on my kitchen shelf. They should do really well before I re-home them in my garden. I shall be using mostly reclaimed building materials to make my raised bed. My only fear is that it’s too shaded in my back garden and I’ll get zip veggies! I get early morning and late evening sun. Any advice would be great!?
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.
Fusing Plastic, is not so, fantastic!
Armed with my plastic bag supplies, which consist of Asda, Superdrug and Card Factory. Chosen mainly for their colours. Green and Pink =D . I followed the guides of the likes on youtube.com but it didn’t really go all that well. I think I may have had my iron on too high. Although, some tutorials were saying you need 8 ply, others were saying that’s not necessary, and that you can have the iron on full, others on a wool setting. Other than the slight difference in opinions, I thought that the general ‘rules’ of fusing the plastic were fairly easy.
I did start with a cool setting, such as the wool temp on my iron. I used the recommended baking paper and made sure the inked side of the plastic was always topped by another plastic to stop bleeding.
A few passes with the iron on Wool for about 15-20 seconds, but it seemed to do nothing at all. So I turned up the dial and it seemed as though the plastic just didn’t want to fuse together.
Until… it all went horribly wrong and started to shrink at a rapid rate. You can see my results below. Any tips would be great. I really would like another crack at this. As I’d like to make myself a knitting bag using the ‘plastic fabric’. But at the moment. I’m passing this one by. Like I said, any tips on where I may have gone wrong. Also, there doesn’t seem to be much guide on whether some plastics don’t like other plastics and just WON’T fuse together, rather melt upon each other leaving air pockets galore, like in my case. I was disappointed with the results overall, but I did like the composition. You live and learn!
I also wanted to experiment with yarn fibres fused inside. If anyone’s had success with this (or not), please let me know.
Knitted Hair Bow
Hope you like my latest crafty project. Including the time to figure out the pattern and write it down, this took about 10 minutes. It can be attached to any kind of hair accessory base. Hair clip, band, barrettes, slide, …you get the idea.
The yarn I used was a random ball from my stash. I’m not entirely sure of the yarn type but it is very similar to kid mohair. It felts very easily, but this will only help stabilize the design.
The pattern I used is below. Let me know if you use it. I’d love to see your take on it. Btw, I use standard abbreviations in my patterns. So you can refer to any knitting magazine or book if you’re not familiar with the terms.
Kfb = Knit into the front and back of stitch. This increases your row.
What you’ll need
10mm Knitting Needles
Mohair or similar yarn
Hair accessory base
C/o 2sts (make sure you leave at least an 8in tail, this is used to attach your button later, and used to attatch to your hair accesories)
1- kfb, kfb [4sts]
2- kfb, k2, kfb [6sts]
3- k2tg, k2, k2tg [4sts]
4- k2tg, k2tg [2sts]
5- k2tg [1st]
Keep last st on needle
Repeat Rows 1-5, cut yarn leaving 8in to fasten off, threading back through to the centre of the bow with both tails.
Position button in the middle of your bow and sew on using the tails of yarn. Pull tight and secure at back.
To attach to your clip or slide, use a multi-purpose glue that sticks fabric and metal, HT2 would be a good choice.
Quick Cactus Egg Cosy
If you would like to try this project here are the directions to make one cosy.
What you’ll need
2.5″ x 9″ Green Felt
Scraps of Coloured Felt for the Flower
Selection of Embroidery Thread in Beige and another coloured thread.
45 Silver Lined Sead Beads or whatever colour you would like
Felting Needle will help with the hand sewing, they are pyramid-shaped.
Cut out 3 arches that measure 3″ in width and 2.5″ in height. These templates should print out to size. Read the rest of this entry