Thursday, 31 March 2011

Blue skies coming

So in the March 2011 issue of Burdastyle magazine there are a pair of simple shorts that i thought i'd have a go at. Tried them first in this lovely bright blue medium-weight cotton. Sorry i should have ironed them before taking these photos!!!
They're a little on the snug side - i'll probably make the next pair a little bit more roomy!!
A problem with the tightness of these shorts with the slit pockets is that they tend to gape open like little wings - most annoying!
So i put little button holes in the outer pocket and buttons on the inside, so they can be held neatly in place. The little buttons also helped to tie in the big white waistband button which i used - i didn't have any other suitable colour! Two lines of white stitching round the hem of the legs, were done with a twin needle so that they are perfectly parallel.
And that's it - super-simple and all i need is the weather to wear them. And maybe a few jogging sessions to tone up my legs a little....and a bucket of bronzer and i'm ready for summer!! lol!

rubber bubble

Another useful stamp i thought i could use was the speech bubble! I also made a little hi! stamp so that the little matryoshkas could speak and show how friendly they are. And not only the matryoshkas...the mushroom also had something to say...
The main use i find for the stamps is in personalising napkins for dinner parties easy!


I don't know about everyone else, but switching sewing machine needles for different materials etc always gets on my nerves...i always get them mixed up (im not a put-it-back-in-the-right-box kindof person) and then i'm in the half-light squinting and trying to read the tiny numbers etched on the side, and then i need to get out the book to tell me which size goes with which material...bla bla bla...basically - it's a pain.

So i decided to make a quilted needlebug hanger to keep the needles in order. I made little spots for the different sizes of needle and separate ones for the jersey needles / leather needles and twin needles etc.
The little spots were made using the method of the padded magnet covers, and then just sewn on to the body of the ladybug. I embroidered the sizes underneath to keep myself right! No more confusion...let's hope!

bake for japan

Poog had a benefit morning for aid for Japan and we all brought buns and craft to sell (and buy of course!) I made simple fairy cakes using my mum's recipe:

4oz self-raising flour
4oz sugar
4oz butter
2 eggs

- 15-20 mins at 180C
- decorate with rolled ready icing mixing with colour as required

Over £200 was made and duly dispatched, along with our prayers, to aid the relief effort.

mix and match matryoshka

So having made a rubber matryoshka in one colour out of the plastic erasers, I had said that i wanted to bring a bit of colour to the stamp. I made one with a "hollow" tummy and carved a mini flower to fit inside, and then carved another in two parts allowing me to mix up the colours of the top and bottom. Quick, easy and great fun!
I'm hoping to get into lino printing next so that i can make larger stamps and customise some material...i've a pair of shorts in mind that would work well with a mad fabric.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

baby garden cardy

So i knitted another of the Baby Sophisticate cardigans - they're so quick and easy! I decided this time to make a girlier version in case "tot", poog's future bambino turns out to be a bambina if you get what i'm saying. And while i'm against blue being reserved for boy babies and pink being reserved for girls ( on a little boy baby, maybe is a bit weird...) it seems that the practice is so widespread that you'll have to constantly be correcting people-

-"o what a lovely little boy, he'll be so handsome - he's going to look just like your husband "
-..."umm actually, i hope SHE doesn't!"

I made the cardy with short sleeves this time as i thought it might be cute to see little fat baby-arms sticking out, and it would look so cute with a wee green and yellow stripey onsie!
ps sorry about the dodgy colour balance, the sun just came out with a vengeance as i started taking pics...typical!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

day-glo dunja

so this is another free pattern from the Burdastyle website - the dunja blouse. I think it might have turned out a little bit too clown-like for my liking...don't understand why my frills are so much more pronounced than the ones of the original!
It has a little camisole thing underneath but i abandoned that before finishing it because it was turning out much too fussy for under such sheer material. Luckily i had a sleeveless top in just this colour of yellow (what are the chances??!!) so i'll just wear that under it.
It would probably be a lot nicer in a pale pink or grey, but i'm afraid those colours just don't speak to me when i'm standing in the fabric this yellow was on sale - and i do love a bargain!
I'll probably wear it with something very plain to try and tone it down a little, although there's not much of hope of that - there's a hint of the victorian neck ruff about it....but i think i'm ok with that

silly shopping bag

Just a wee easy one this time - another reuseable cotton bag embellished with simple freezer paper stencil.
...well they do!!!

Monday, 14 March 2011

easy erdbeertorten

one of my mum's favourite desserts is Erdbeer Torte, preferable eaten while sitting on a sunny german patio at Kaffee und Kuchen time surrounded by assorted family members. So when she called a party, a "Salvation Celebration" to be exact, to mark the anniversary of the time she became a born-again christian (40yrs ago - yikes!), i knew that i had to have a go at making little mini ones for after dinner.
These are about 4" in diameter and are simply flan base topped with strawberries set in custard and decorated with fresh cream. I was lucky enough to find a baking tray with little ready shaped mini-flan bases, so was able to make the bases without much difficulty.
I made the bases using this recipe. I found it to be a little tasteless and perhaps a bit on the heavy-side too, but apparently they are supposed to taste like that....i think if making them again i will substitute the "official" flan base recipe with a simple cake one of my own....i'll just have to be sure to get the custard really stiff before putting on the base - otherwise it will wet the cake and lead to mushy-ness... yuck!!
mmm i could do with another one now....

Sunday, 13 March 2011

carpet of flowers

so i'm a little late in posting fact i wasn't going to post it at all but this month i am knee deep in muslins and fittings for bridesmaid dresses for an upcoming wedding, which obviously i can't post as one of this month's crafts - you can't give away the secrets of someone's wedding!!! So in order to make my (self-imposed) quota of 10 monthly crafts i decided to share my rug solution!

I wanted a rug for my kitchen floor - i hate the cold tiles when i've no slippers on! But i couldn't believe how difficult it was to get one the right size and shape!...and that's not to mention the difficulty of getting my colour scheme (red and green) and the sky-high PRICE of some of them!! yikes! So finally i improvised with a trip to ikea! These little mini-rugs are only like £6-£7 i think, so i bought 7 of them and made a rug of a perfect size!
A couple of stitches at each of the joins and voila! I have since carpeted my entire downstairs with these little rugs in different colours!! I've a chain of dark purple ones up the hallway and a scattering of different sized orange and brown ones in my lounge! Fun (+cheapidy-cheap-cheap!!!)
Makes my happy!