Thursday, 31 December 2009

salt-dough signs

A couple more salt-dough things to finish up december! Loved making this little plaited less delighted at the way the varnish dissolved the brown paint on the twin hearts...i persuaded myself that it looks "worn-in" in a nice let's go with that.
This little varnished plaque was given to poog along with a permanent marker wrapped in a ribbon, so she can write a little love message of her own to hang up in her house.
Happy New Year to you and yours!!!

it's rrrrRRROCKY reindeer!

So last year i made Rudy the rude (and weedy) reindeer and was less than impressed with his muscle development and general overall "buff-ness". This year i decided to pile the pounds onto my pattern and have come up with Rocky the more robust reindeer.
He has a lot more meat around the chest and the...the...the boo-tay!!! lol

I'm happy with this size and shape...maybe have to rethink the stuffing i used since he looks a bit "bunchy" in certain areas!! Instructions and pattern are available here for download

Ooo Rocky! You are so "built"!! I'm feeling weak at the knees over here......Give us the good old bodybuilder staple pose...the pectoral clench....

ooooOOOoooo!..look at those bunched muscles...the camera loves you Rocky!!!

Monday, 28 December 2009

pressie placenames!

So i always like to have new placecards for each dinner party and my favourite ones to make are always christmas ones!! This year i was using the beloved medium ( and decided to make little presents. Here are a couple of examples:I made them reuseable by making a slit with a knife (before baking) for the name card to slot in. Then i just popped each one into the bell of the wide wine glass and i was ready to go!

festive florentines

I LOVE florentines, but had never made my own, until this year that is! They were delish, just the right balance of chew and crunch in my view, and they looked well too.
50g butter
50g caster sugar
2tsp golden syrup
50g plain flour
40g chopped mixed candied peel
50g crushed toasted almonds (i used crushed mixed nuts for more variety)
chocolate to decorate
oven: 180°C
Melt butter, sugar and syrup in a pan over a medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and cool to room temp. Stir in flour, peel, and nuts.
I put 1tsp of the mixture into each of the wells of a mini muffin tray, but you can make little bals on baking paper on flat trays if you want bigger, flatter florentines.
Bake for 7-8 minutes, leave for 5 minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Melt your chocolate and dip half of each florentine and set out to dry.

Lets have a close up for the crunchy, chewyness...mmmmMMM!!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

dangly dough decorations

Bring on the salt dough!! I needed to make party favours for my christmas table and thought little dough decorations would do very i made all the festive things i could think of. I made holly with light and dark green acrylic paint just to see which one looked more christmassy...
haha..these little trumpets were so much fun to make!! lol
the work of 5 mins is just so gratifying with this medium!!
stars..because i love them!
candy canes (they were more difficult than they look....and i kept getting flasbacks from nursery school....rolling out big clay sausages!! lol)
these were fun and i used little letter cookie cutters that i bought ages ago, that unfortunately are no good for cookies because they are so small that the cookies turn out dry and crumbly!!

Great fun was had, especially at the painting and varnishing stages...this is a really easy craft!!!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

lovebirds house!

On request SuperD rustled up another little birdhouse...i've posted a pic of one before but i just adore the little chimney on this one and the little twin hearts!!! lol...CUTE!!!The birds certainly nest in style in our area!! lol

Friday, 25 December 2009

Advent candles!

so my mamma has one of these gorgeous advent candle holders, with 4 candles which are lit one-by-one on each of the 4 sundays of advent. I requested one from SuperD, but as he was working extra hours, making Christmas pressies, wasn't feeling very well and choose a really detailed style of carved candleholder...something told me i wasn't going to get it in time for Christmas!!

So i made my own from salt dough!!! Warning: I am now in love with this medium and it will feature quite heavily this month as it is quick and easy and we in houseofspoon have been incapacitated by ill health for most of December - Quick and easy crafts are in high demand here!!
Ultra simple style made from a large square of salt dough, with the rounded-off corners just folded in. Then 4 circles are "cupped" slightly and placed on each of the folded corners to hold the candles. I added little hearts on the outside just to help to steady any wobbling candles!

Salt dough recipe: 2 mugs plain flour, 1 mug salt, 12 fl oz of boiling water
Add as little water as you can to make it into a pliable dough; knead for at least 10mins before moulding, and work quickly...salt dough doesn't keep well and can dry out and crack within the hour; into a cool oven (100 ° C) for at least 2 hours.

I painted it gold, because i'm not afraid of tackiness, especially at christmas! The space in the centre can be customised by filling with glitter, little 3-D stars (that's what i did!!) or with sprigs of Christmas greenery.

easy-peasy pressie!

Another little cute pressie that has now been passed-on...little hair bobbles made from covered button forms. Just embroider anything you fancy, or take a piece of fun material...use the button forms as directed and attach to a piece of coloured hair elastic...and you're done!!

What a suave "Cave" you've got!!

So have you seen this label around anywhere?? No??! You're obviously not dining at the right places! lolYup, it's finally time to start posting christmas pressies without ruining any surprises!! This one is for jo, wine-maker extraordinaire!! Since his family is French and actually have a Cave (pronounced "cav", i.e. a wine cellar) I thought i would make him up a little goodie pack of insignia emblazoned accessories for his new hobby!!!
Firstly we have the all-important recipe and procedure book for all his copious notes on what made each batch great/less than great. And i made up a little wine bottle label that he can casually sling round the neck of a bottle as he brings it to the table!
Then 3 fleecy demi-john cosies for keeping that wonder-working yeast warm and hard at work making alcohol!! I put the little insignia label on each one along with a little clear PVC pocket for the wine label to go, in case he gets them mixed up!
and then we have a bottle cuff for easy serving and a double-layer decanting cloth on a hanging ribbon, for catching any deposit that may be floating around!
The labels i just free-motion-quilted with gold embroidery it was good for getting a chance to practice my limited skills in this area!!
Look out for this name next time you're eating out in style!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

skully scarf

First a wee apology for the lateness of december posting and the obviousness of the craft...i've a lot on at the minute and we're both sick and are having real difficulty dragging our germ-ridden selves to the craft room to get busy!!

These are festive kind of gifts you get to make at Christmas if you've got nephews who are obsessed with gothic metal and skull couture! Here's a wee close-up, doesn't he look very jovial??
Yes well, it was a nice easy pattern to make, cutting the shape of "the punisher" (no really, that's what he's called!..nice!) emblem and crossbones from clear acetate and then stamping the template with white fabric paint.

Needless to say it went down well...well, with the recipient at least!!

Monday, 30 November 2009

skating with the stars

That is a tv programme right?
I tend not to watch those kindof celebrity shows....because the people who i consider to be celebrities never show their faces...if Kid Rock was to take up ice-dancing...I'D WATCH THAT SHOW, and i know two other girls who'd be joining me on the sofa!

Anyway, back to the craft....looking for little acknowledgement pressies for work colleagues this year i decided to make a couple of the little felt ice-skates from the christmas collection that i designed. See the full sheet of patterns.
The other decorations from the sheet were made up and included in this post. They make great gift tags too, that can be hung on the tree once the present has been opened. I even made a little baby's 1st Christmas one this year!


So is it just me or does anyone else have an uneasy feeling of being watched, when you are blogging or surfing craft blogs in your skimpy pjs late at night while munching on massive bags of nachos and chilli dip....and the webcam is just staring you full in the's creepy right???

A connection to the voyeuristic world of the internet and a working camera pointed at you during your "personal time"... it really isn't particularly comforting to say..."the webcam programme isn't on, so just relax!". But iiiis it off?? Are you suuuure??

Enough of this! And enough of the scrap of ripped CD case that i drape over it when im feeling its little lens boring into me! Enter camera cosy!! This is how it creeps up beside a webcam that it sees just hanging about innocently on the top of your screen, you know, inching along...bit by bit...

...and then POUNCES!! The creepy little peeping-cam is enveloped inside a cosy...won't that make interesting viewing for the hypothetical people spying on me during "personal-pj-time"
Haha! O the satisfaction there is in foiling fictional conspiracy plots! I'm on to you webcams-of-the-world!!

Monday, 23 November 2009

this little light of mine..

One other thing that i wanted to make for a birthday tea party i was having, was teacup candles. I hadn't made candles in a reeeeally long time so was sure that i had forgotten all the important stuff and would probably make a mess....turns out, wow, they are SUPER-easy!!!

Wax pellets are pretty expensive here, and i only managed to find a little bag of left-over pellets long-forgotten at the back of a cupboard (thanks mamma!) So i actually melted down chunks of wax from candles that were past it, or just plain ugly. You need to double boil wax (ie put in a metal bowl inside a pot with some water) I also has some stearin but couldn't remember how much to use so i just fired a teaspoon in and hoped for the best. Then just stir until it goes clear.See all the newspapers...i was convinced that i was going to make a mess....but i didn't even drip once...too easy!! I anchored the bottom of the wicks with some metal foil and bluetack and tied the top of each wick to a pen across the top of the cup to keep it straight.

Pour the wax in and leave to might want to keep a bit of wax to fill in the dip that will appear as the wax shrinks...i didn't won't notice when you've lit it!!
Snip the wick and light!
soooo kitch, i just had a little shudder of cuteness!!

Banana Buns!

So another thing that poog loves is banana...i remember she used to buy banana sweets, banana milk (ewww!), chocolate covered jelly bananas (double ewww!)

So i had to incorporate some banana snacks in there somewhere...was totally out of ideas having found no palatable banana recipes until i came across one on apparently jessie's cute cupcake and craft blog for banana caramel cupcakes. Thanks for the inspiration! Here's the result...

SuperD is loving them...i made several hundred (or thereabouts...) and he has decided that it is his breakfast food of choice from now on!!

On a related's a pic of my beautiful new cake stand getting some traybake action at the party!! Thanks D!!

Friday, 20 November 2009

party-dressed poog!

So it was poog's birthday and we had a tea party at houseofspoon and i needed themed place-names. Poog is a lover of Disney princesses and orange so what i was going for was an orange Disney princess...logical right??

So i took a photo of poog wearing an orange mean, stuck her head on a picture of an orange balldress and copied and pasted the edges of the dress over and over to make a big semicircle shape. Justify FullThen i cut out round her head and torso and bent the edges of the dress round to join at the back!! Doesn't she look glamourous?!! I then stuck a little name on the front of each skirt so everyone knew where they were sitting!
She also has enviable stomach muscles to be able to hold that poker-straight, leaning-back position...i can feel the muscle-shudder from here!!! lol

Thursday, 19 November 2009

slipper fiend!

It seems that i can't get enough of the slipper-making!!

Everyone is coming to houseofspoon for christmas dinner again this year so i can wear comfy slippers while rushing about pouring drinks, stirring bubbling pots of polenta and checking on the marinaded beef in the oven (we're having a traditional italian christmas dinner this year!) and and so obviously i needed a christmassy pair!! Pattern is as before, see the original post with link to the pattern. And again i used upholstery suede for the sole. seeing the pictures i think they look a little boring...perhaps they need a little holly branch on the top or something?...hmmm

Wednesday, 18 November 2009


So i saw in a material advert that someone had made an ice-skate for a little girl's room and i thought how cute would that be done in christmas-style hanging over my fireplace?!

I made these life-size, so that if my feet get cold on some december evening spent munching and chatting by the fire, i can whip these down and put them on!! YAY!

Like the pom-pom buttons??!
I made the blades out of a double layer of white felt and double layer of interfacing on the inside.
I had to do a Miss Santa version....could've done with using a less shaggy fur...or maybe i'll just give these a haircut!!