Monday, 28 February 2011

rubber matryoshka

Just a little quickie....a hand-carved rubber stamp made from simple plastic eraser.
I think i'll make a bigger one...but in different pieces so that i can use more than one colour.....hmmmmm...

tattoos to work

so i had to do a web vodcast with work and i wanted something new and interesting to wear. I bought this tattoo print cotton last summer in Germany and have been rationing it because i haven't seen a print as nice since.
I love the contrast of the informal material and the more formal style of a button up shirt with a tie.
The mother heart tattoo is my favourite - so kitch!
And the frilly half-puff sleeves are so much fun.
They are made using the same pattern as the ooh! at the office 3. The body of the shirt is based on the JJ on the Burdastyle website, but i take out a lot of the fullness at the lower back, so that it fits much closer.
And this is it all dressed up and ready for the camera!

knit dolls for Africa

so my wee mamma loves her little bit of craft too, but she usually does her crafting for good causes, while i tend to do it all for meeeeeee!!! One thing that she makes a lot of (i mean 100's of...) is the little knitting one-piece doll. These are given out to local children who come in contact with missionaries out working in mission hospitals across Africa. I saw for myself how well they are received in Zambia. Toys are scarce there and for those kids in hospital, many days walk from their villages, it can be pretty boring sitting around all day with nothing to play with.

Sorry about the colourless photo....her usual batches are much more fun colours....i might update this photo in the future if she can give me a better pic.
So mamma has very kindly passed on the pattern, which i've attached here, so you can have a go yourself. She can knock out a couple of these dolls in one evening so they are the perfect quick craft!

colour explosion hat

So it's not quite springtime yet - evidenced by the frost encasing my car this morning..annoying! So i still have time to fit in a few other winter-y weather crafts.
The body of this hat was done using my giant crochet hook (thanks superD!) and the little flower and leaves decoration was done using standard size hook.
I love the fit of these hats, they're so comfy.
It was done in the same style as a previous scarf, but they are so madly coloured i really couldn't wear them would be waaaay too much neon!!

mmm macaroons!

so we had an italian meal here on saturday night with a crowd of friends round. I wanted to make a recipe that i recently saw on tv... french macaroons (see the recipe on the bbc website). They recommended that you add food colouring and it struck me that they would suit the italian flag very well, being that you have to fill the centre with cream...which would be white.

I may have over-done the food colouring a little bit, these look quite eNumber-tastic.....but it had to be red, and if i used less colour, we would've had a green, white and pink flag!
They were a bit of a pain to make, there's lots of silly steps like weighing out exact amounts of egg white...and you have to add the sugar in syrup form so it needs to be dissolved and boiled etc...
But they worked out quite well at the end. They were surprisingly light and not too sweet.
so i do actually recommend making them, only you may want to pipe them out into little neat shapes...i sortof went natural and just spooned it out and they do look a bit home-made. Or maybe that is the crazy neon colour! lol!

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

reindeer ritardo!

So after seeing the previous baby cardy, poog asked me to make a reindeer jumper for "tot" who has yet to be born, but is accumulating a wardrobe already! I should specify that she asked me to make this at christmas and i've just managed to get around to yeah, it's a little out of season....but with all the time spent on the Lady Grey and on making bridesmaid dresses for an upcoming family wedding (shiver of delight) i'm struggling a little to get my traditional 10 posts blogged for this month!
This is the Baby Sophisticate pattern by Linden Heflin again, just with the collar and cuffs done in a different colour and the body blocked using a reindeer pattern that i drafted. Download the reindeer and snowflake design pattern here.
Have a go, it's really quick and easy!! It makes perfect traffic-jam-craft!! (i should add that i only knit in traffic jams when i am a passenger, and not driving..i promise mum!)

how far for the planet??

so i'm super positive about eco-friendly stuff, mainly because i HATE waste of any kind. So a while ago, when i was offered the chance to do a pattern-test of a very environmentally friendly girly product...i jumped at the chance.
I was pretty apprehensive, i must admit, but having carried out a trial run....i must honestly say that i am completely convinced - it feels like such luxury. I wouldn't go back to plastic (unless in certain circumstances where it is absolutely necessary)...horrible scratchy, rustle-y, noisy, sticky plastic.

Get the pattern in Sylvie's store Chez Plum.

Now if you don't know what i'm talking about...feel free to read on by clicking on the text below....i would suggest that it is GIRLS ONLY!!!!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

loved up log

so i never did post my valentine present from superD, mainly because it involved a KISSING PICTURE (!!) which i usually completely refuse to have taken, or at the very least hide the evidence of having had it taken. But he commented on the fact that i hadn't put it up....and really, what did i expect? - i did marry an italian after here goes....
He carved out an actual tree really! Although it's a cork tree so it's actually suprisingly light!
And he set a picture frame inside and put in a photo taken last summer by my hot italian nephew Dani.
This is my favourite bit, the carved heart...and the arrow!! (oh D, you are hilarious!) - it's so 50s-kitchy-romance!
Thanks D! i it!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

hollow-heart shortbread

so i know it's a bit late, but we're going to a valentines party tomorrow night and i wanted to make something quick and easy to bring with me. Decided to make heart shortbread with a sugary window in the centre.

Basically you make your shortbread (6oz flour / 4oz butter / 2oz sugar) cut out hearts and cut a hole in the centre. Bake for 10 mins (@ temp 180 C) while still empty. Then remove from the oven and fill the hole with crushed boiled sweets (i used fox's glacier fruits - yum!)
They look like crushed precious stones!...maybe just in my head...
And back into the oven for another 5 mins.
This is the same technique as we use for the stained glass windows in our hexen hausen.
Isn't it pretty? Now hopefully it tastes good too!

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

brocade bracelet sleeves

I've been loving this pattern for a while, it's the Lady Grey from Colette Patterns....but i just wasn't up for spending the money to get it sent from the US....and then i found it on a UK site...cliiick! (that was me selecting the "Buy it" button)
I bought a turquoise/pink beautiful wool tweed with ribbons woven into the fabric, but it was expensive and i didn't want to make any costly mistakes so this cream brocade was my first try at this pattern. I got the heavy brocade fabric at an upholstery warehouse...i love working with upholstery's so stiff and yet still drapes just enough.
I'll probably wear it for posh occasions because a cream coat is a bit too risky for my everyday wear! The short arms are so that you can show off your long gloves or chunky bracelets!
I'm going to tailor the wool tweed one when i get round to making it, using hair canvas and pad-stitching to the get the collar and lapels to drape etc, but this version was made using just medium fusible interfacing and the odd tack to keep the shape of the cape-collar.
It is also super-neat inside with every seam finished to perfection and bound and the lining secured with invisible stitches....shiver of delight!
phew...that took quite a to start the real one!