Saturday, 24 July 2010

I've nearly packed..... and I have a new hat!!!

The past few days have been bothersome for me!!!  Not only have I been thinking about what I should squeeze into our bags to take on holiday, catch up on washing, ironing and (erm?!) housework, but I haven't been able to get hats out of my head.  They appear to have taken over!!  The reason for this was I wanted to make my daughter a new hat to take away, however, my first attempt was absolutely dreadful and left me (and my other half) in stitches!!!  "That's it", I said.  Hmmm, could I leave it, oh no, I just couldn't concentrate as it kept appearing at the periphery of everything!!!  This afternoon I picked up pencil and baking paper.  Had a look at a few patterns and set to work.  My first was made from green cotton, and seemed to be going okay so I thought I'd use it as the lining of a hat for me.  It could do with a little tweaking and a careful press, but I like it!!  Lovely fabric by Amy Butler.

My daughter chose this fabric, a fabulous choice, again Amy Butler, but unfortunately I only had a tiny bit ....

... so she went for this ...

... and this.

I'm sure that much time will be spent choosing, and re-choosing, which way to wear the hat whilst we are away.  Maybe she'll let me borrow it!

Regarding our holiday... my plan was not to take any sewing.  However, I think I will sneak in a bit of felt and some embroidery thread and make a few of these...

... just incase I start getting withdrawal symptoms. 

Hope that the weather is kind to you all.  
Back in a few weeks x

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

How beautiful are these?

I am astonished at how beautiful these are.  I was just busy getting stuff ready for the holiday (hmmm, okay maybe not!) but I happened to come across these Crochet covered stones by a very talented lady called Margaret Oomen on Purlbee, a pretty fantastic site.  Please go and have a closer look.  What more can I say?  Fab!!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Beware of the weather - Fudge that won't set!!!

I thought it would be really nice to make some fudge and give it in some lovely handmade boxes as end of term gifts to some of the people I am working with, and my daughters teachers.  This afternoon I popped on my pinny to make the fudge.  It has been a flop.  Although it tastes great, it just won't set.  It is on the side now, hopefully drying out a little for tomorrow.  I had to find some excuse for my failed fudge, so googled 'Does the weather affect fudge setting?', just for a giggle really, but lo and behold it does!!!!

"making fudge (or any sugar-based candy recipe) can be tricky.  T.P. Skaarup (who studied ways to make better fudge) developed ways to prevent fudge failure and spread the joy of fudge. Here are some of his rules with my notes:
bulletRule #1: Water is the enemy of fudge
bulletRule #2: Add the butter after the boil 
bulletRule #3: Over boiling is as bad as under boiling Timing is crucial -- overcooking by just a minute may turn out dry, grainy fudge or the fudge may not set.Because of the relatively low boiling point of a fudge recipe, use a Candy Thermometer.
bulletRule #4: Make fudge while the sun shines, not while the rain falls. Sometimes fudge is affected by the weather. If it's humid the candy might not set. 
bulletRule #5: Follow the directions EXACTLY
bulletRule #6: Measuring ingredients has to be precise -- too much or too little of any ingredient could ruin this 
bulletRule #7: You can double the recipe, but it will affect the cooking time and temperature. Make sure you an experienced candy maker if you do.
bulletRule #8: When making fudge, keep stirring at the right time: Stirring gives you small sugar crystals in the fudge; it keeps them from growing too large, producing a gritty texture."

These rules and more information on fudge making can be found here. 

Ta Daaaa!!!

I have finally managed to make myself a skirt ready for my hols.  I'm not altogether happy with it.  The invisible zip isn't as invisible as I would like it be, it is perfect at the top and I'm not sure what happened at the bottom.  I will have to make another to perfect the skill.   It's also not as flowy (this really should be a word!) as I would like, I have a little too much fabric at the hem as I decided I wanted it a little shorter, even though I had already cropped the pattern. But, I don't think I have done too bad over all, and it passes the hubby test so it must be okay!  There were a couple more shots from different angles, but I am feeling a little shy!!!  The pattern was the Barcelona Skirt by Amy Butler.  A simple to follow A-line skirt pattern that already has a few alternate skirts within the pattern.    

Saturday, 17 July 2010

And the winner is .....

...  number 10.  I put little folded pieces of paper with the numbers 1-15 on them in a pretty box (too tired to take photo!) had my little prince waved my daughters wand over them whilst shouting shake shake shake.  The little princess (sorry big princess) then delved in and produced the number 10.  When I looked at those who had left a message Kerry was the tenth person, well done you.  Contact me and let me know which small cosmetic bag you would like and where you want it to go to.

That's me for the day.  Managed to survive six six year old princesses for two and a half hours (just!) and now my princess and prince are tucked up in bed it is time for a glass of wine (or two!), my tea and a quiet evening.  I planned to make myself a skirt for my hols .... been meaning to find time for weeks, but too exhausted.  Bath, a read and bed!!!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Hey lady... where did you get your frock?!!!

I haven't had much time for crafting this week.  I had a busy weekend selling my wares last weekend (which went well), and this week it has been my daughters birthday.  Today I got into cake crafting mode and conjured up Cinderella for THE princess party tomorrow.

This is what she looked like before I started...  I wasn't a happy chicken, and less so when my husband walked through and laughed... it was at this point I reached for the bottle and stuck it in the fridge to cool  ready for a nice glass of wine when I had finished!!!

As you can see I used a pudding basin, but the lining got all crumpled.  If anyone decides to make one make sure it is lovely and smooth.  Not that it actually mattered, as once covered in glorious pink butter icing (butter MUST be used!!!) and pretty sprinkly (is sprinkly not a word?!) bits, I was onto a winner.  Even my hubby on his return visit to the kitchen said I was clever!!!  her hair will be let loose tomorrow when it has set a little.

Oh, and by the way, I know the doll is dreadful but it was the right height (or so I thought when I bought it), the right price and my daughter still thinks they are called Barbie-Rats.  What a perfect name for them!!!

If you are planning to make one of these and want advice, please feel free to contact me.

NB If you haven't done so already, get your name down for one of my pretty bags!!!

It's the last day!!!

Don't worry, I'm not making predictions about the end of the world or anything, it's just the final day you can enter my first blog giveaway.  If you want one of my beautiful bags for nothing have a look here to see what you need to do (and do it before the carriage turns back into a pumpkin!!!).  Talking of Cinderella  I had better go and start preparing Cinder's ballgown ready for tomorrows princess party (my daughter was 6 earlier in the week!!!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Just to clarify

To have a chance of winning one of my lovely cosmetic bags, you MUST leave a message at the bottom of  the giveaway post.  Only those who have left a message will have their names drawn.  Sorry if I was a bit unclear with my instructions!  

Monday, 5 July 2010

Sharing some love - my first giveaway

I just wanted to share some happiness before I jet off on holiday for a well deserved break.  

I have been very busy the past few weeks on various projects, some of which can be seen in my Folksy shop.   Here are a few examples of a few of the cosmetic bags I have been making.  I thought that someone out there would love to receive one as a gift from me.  

The giveaway is for one of my small cosmetic bags (your choice, from the selection in my Folksy shop), and no purchase is necessary...


... however, there are a couple of things that I request that you do in order for you to qualify entry in the draw...

... firstly you need to follow my blog (by clicking on the Google follow button on the bar at the right hand side of the page)... secondly you need to hop over to my Folksy shop have a look around and then report back.  You will need to leave a message on this blog telling me what is your favourite item in my shop, and why.

If you feel like sharing some love also, you could 'favourite' my folksy shop and the item(s) that you like.

The names of those who have entered will be drawn (from a hat... if I can find a suitable one) on Friday 16th July 2010 and announced on the evening of Saturday 17th July 2010.

Your name can be entered into the hat more than once.  For this to happen, you need to let your friends know about the giveaway, and ask them to mention your name when they leave a message on my blog.

This giveaway is open to everyone.  Good look and happy browsing.

* Just give me a shout if anything is unclear.

Blowing in the breeze

Actually, breeze is an understatement, this photo was taken on Saturday and it was pretty blustery.  I had to take several photos of them and wait for lulls in the gusts before managing to get a reasonable shot.
I have been making pinnies recently with patterned tops, and these two I decided to make all out of patterned fabric.  I have been contemplating this for a while, but the extra cost of fabric put me off a little as this would obviously have to be passed onto the customer.  However,  I've gone for it... and I just love the one with the birds.  I didn't want to take it off, and I would certainly pay a little extra for such loveliness.  You can have a closer look on my Folksy shop