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!!