Friday, 24 April 2015

Just for fun

It's been a long while since my last post - a short break turned into over a year! I've still been crafting bits and pieces though! 

My most recent project was a Christmas present for my little niece, who was 2 in September. I decided that I'd like to try my hand at making some felt food. I've always admired the felt doughnuts and cupcakes that I've seen on Pinterest. 

I started collecting patterns and soon amassed quite a few! Patterns for ice creams, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches, pasta, pizza, hamburgers, .... The list goes on! So then I had to narrow it down!

I loved these ice cream patterns so decided that I'd make a little cafe set with ice cream, cakes and biscuits. 

The pattern is genius! The underside of each scoop has a piece of Velcro so that it attaches to the cone - you can even create double, or even triple, scoop ice creams! Yum (here's me, demonstrating how tasty it is)!


Very soon, I had made 4 cones and 9 scoops of ice cream (in colours to represent mint-choc-chip, chocolate, vanilla, lemon and strawberry. My amazing OH painstakingly cut the round holes for the stand before I covered it with gingham and white sticky-back plastic.
  

 Next I started on biscuits. I made some gingerbread men...


... and a selection of favourites...


The gingerbread men, "nice" and digestives are from my own patterns but the chocolate-creams, pink wafers, ring biscuits and ginger snaps came from this pattern. These were great fun to make too and I'm really pleased with how well they came out!

I then added some doughnuts based on this tutorial and some cupcakes adapted from this tutorial. Then, with the other half of the box divided into shelves, the little cafe was nearly complete! All of the cafe items can be packed into the "shelves" for storage (since they were just an old box to begin with!).


Of course, a cafe wouldn't be a cafe without a special flip notepad and a pen with which to take all the orders! And every good cafe needs a good name!


I had a ludicrous amount of fun making these, even though sewing Velcro is VERY hard on the fingers! I was just a teeny bit sad that I had to give them away but it seems the family have been enjoying lots of ice cream and cake since, so I suppose that makes it worthwhile!

(Thanks to my brother for taking the photos, I completely forgot!)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Creativity Challenge - Round Up

I can't believe we have already reached the end of October! I'm not sure where it went!

My month of creativity is also over and I am pleased to report that I have managed to spend at least 30 minutes every day on a creative project. Yay!

I haven't completed half of the projects that I intended but they will wait for me. It's not helped by the fact that things kept getting added to the list!

So how have I got on for these last ten days? 

I have been ploughing on with my scrap quilt and I now have 26 completed blocks. I have a further 7 blocks sewn the first time, cut into strips and ready to be sewn back together. that just leaves 3 blocks to start. I was hoping to get them all finished yesterday but the sewing machine was having a funny 5 minutes so I gave up and got some other jobs done. Photos to follow when I have all the blocks completed.

Heather and I took a trip to Westonbirt last week to see if the Acers had started to change colour yet and I took a few photos as usual. There were some lovely colours already (click on the photos for a larger view)....







After all the high winds this week, I imagine there aren't many leaves left on the trees by now!

This week I baked a fruit cake ready for Christmas. There is something very cruel about slowly baking a cake over 4 hours. The whole house was filled with the tempting aromas of fruit and spices. And we don't even get to eat it yet!! 

It looks pretty good though - a tried and tested Mary Berry recipe that Mum's been using for years. 

 

I might have lied slightly about not getting to try it yet...


... our tin was a little smaller than the recipe called for so there was a little mixture left over for a dinky "test-cake". One to eat and one to keep. How does it get better than that!?! Taste testing will commence over the weekend: notes to follow.

A few things crossed off the list then...

...but a little way to go yet before this list is finished. I need to buy some fleece fabric before I can make the felt slippers - that's my job for next week. I think I'll make the peg bag out of the leftover fabrics from my scrap quilt.

Heather's been struggling a little to fit in the challenge around a new job, so I only have a few things to show from her this time. She made a mega chocolate cake:

 

The recipe, Devil's Food Cake, looked similar to Heather's cake until she went a bit overboard with decorations...


It was really good. And I have to confess that it was even better warmed up with a smidgen of ice cream. Heather renamed it the "Spawn of the Devil Cake" as we dread to think the calorie content of this creation! Mmmmm.... cake!

She also completed a couple of paper cuts and has been experimenting with backgrounds:


She's very clever! The little birds are so cute!

Well, I think that's it for our creativity challenge. I hope you have enjoyed finding out what we've been up to - I've certainly enjoyed committing time to creativity. It is definitely something I'd like to keep up if possible. After all, I have a quilt to finish and several other projects to start....

Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Creativity Challenge - Progress Report 5

I can't believe quite how fast we are steaming through October but I am managing (just about!) to keep up with my challenge, although I have been a little lax about posting my efforts.

Last week, I met up with a friend from many years ago who was visiting from Japan. I haven't seen her in 11 years and it was sooooo good to see her. It's funny how, with some people, it seems like no time has passed and you can get back to where you left off. Her visit was way too short so I'd really like to save up my pennies and visit her in Japan - I wonder what it would take to make it possible.... must look into that!

I have been ploughing on with my quilt blocks. I now have 12 completed blocks and 4 more at the strips-sewn-together stage. It's looking really good and I just hope I can continue to make progress without too many mistakes. 


(And yes, I know this is only six blocks but the photo of the other six didn't come out well at all!)

I also made ginger cake...



... it won't be winning any Bake Off challenges but it's goooooood!

I also spent a pleasant half hour (or so...) pinning pictures of butterflies. 

I like butterflies.

 

There's something joyful and exuberant in their colours and patterns. And the weather has taken a definite swing winter-wards so I needed joy and exuberance! You can see my collection of pins here. I strayed into butterfly related crafty-ness too - who knows when I might get a chance to add butterflies to our decorations...

I seem to have missed posting two of Mum's posts - she been making labels and seems to have got a teeny-bit hooked on covering things in fabric. Sadly Heather has been working rather hard and hasn't managed to give me photos of what she's been up to - hopefully on her days off this week. 

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Creativity Challenge - Progress Report 4

It is quite strange the way sometimes creativity involves destruction. 

I now have a pile of over 200 fabric strips (16" x 2.5"). I have finished cutting strips for the time being and I am slowly beginning their transformation from this....

 

to these...


I think they look really good! I'm so glad I decided that my first real attempt at patchwork would be with scrap fabrics: it gives me the opportunity to be more relaxed about mistakes as I know that I am only playing with scraps. And the technique is so clever! Rather than messing around with loads and loads of tiny squares you sew the strips, cut them up and then sew them together again - easy peasy! The pattern is one from Bonnie K Hunter's lovely site "Quiltville's Quips and Snips" (pattern here) where there are so many fantastic ideas for scrap quilts (many beyond my abilities!). I'm sure she can explain the magic better than I can!

I have 3 blocks finished...


...only another 33 to go! 

Mum's finished another set of "Moppe" drawers - I think she may be hooked! I wonder what will be covered in fabric next!?! Her latest post is here.

Heather's been doing some paper cutting - she's promised me a photo so I'll share when I have it. 

It's quite refreshing this whole creativity thing - I like being able to learn something new. If you could learn a new craft, what would it be?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Creativity Challenge - Progress Report 3

We've all been very busy with our creativity projects and Mum's done 2 large fairs over the weekend too!

For all our hard work, I don't seem to have very much to show you this time: Heather and I seem to have been bogged down in preparation.

Heather has been attacking her huge pile of charity-shop-find wool jumpers (it's so hard to find 100% wool jumpers these days) and has turned them into a pile of wool squares...


...here with the lovely Milo to show the size of the pile. She makes quite a good guard-cat. 

Forty-two squares. Heather will be sewing them back together again when she returns from a week away. She's taken pens and pencils, plus the tools for papercutting, to keep her busy while she's gone.

I've been deconstructing too. I have cut up 3 shirts, 2 skirts, a pair of trousers and 3 blouses to turn them all into these...


... over a hundred strips 2.5" x 16". I have more to go but I have a suspicion I may decide I want more variety of fabrics. Perhaps a trip to the charity shop is called for... Although it would be nice to say that all the clothing used in this project had been worn by us... I wonder if the other half still wants all his shirts?

I'm sure Mum will have an update soon. Can't wait to see how all our projects turn out!

What have you made so far this month? I'd love to see your makes if you would like to comment below (please label your comment clearly so that I can tell it's not spam!).

 

Night all.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Creativity Challenge - Progress Report 2

Here's the update for days 3 and 4 of our creativity month.

I'm having lots of fun already and I'm feeling slightly jealous of Mum's and Heather's makes so far! Oh well, I've got a whole month to make some more lovely stuff...

Heather's finished her first creation:


She's sanded, painted, glued and decorated this house from Panduro Hobby:




 Looks lovely, doesn't it?

Mum's been covering boxes too - she's used fabrics to cover a wooden IKEA drawer set. Check it out here.

I've been doodling, but it's not finished yet. I'm having fun though!



Today, I've been helping Heather prepare for her next project. We have been deconstructing this huge pile of jumpers - it's amazing how much fluff is produced when you cut up knitting.


Roll on the weekend!

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Creativity Challenge - Progress report 1

So far, so good.

We've all got off to a flying start and managed at least 30mins on the 1st and 2nd October. 

I have been making bracelets from my immense stock of Liberty bias tape. I think this one's my favourite this time.



It would make a good choker as well. All the others are pretty too (I don't think I've come across a Liberty print I don't like yet). So far, some have charms, others I am still deciding what looks best.











 

I have also been playing with my new bread machine - bought as a "moving to a new house" present to myself (I've had one before but we've been without since the last one broke about a year ago)! I used the 'dough' setting to do the time-consuming bit and then shaped the dough into rolls ready to be baked in the oven. 


These are a blend of 1/3 white and 2/3 wholemeal flours with a little bit of ground seed mix for added interest. Heather and I were waiting for them to bake so that we could eat them with our homemade tomato soup. So I forgot to take a photo before we ate the two middle ones!


They were very yummy though!

Heather has been busily varnishing, painting, cutting and sticking. She's nearly done and would prefer to show the finished article rather than stages! She expects to be finished today though....

Mum has been busy too. She did some Free Motion Quilting on the 1st and blogged about her efforts yesterday.

It's such fun to see everyone's progress!
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