Sunday, February 12, 2012


 Sometimes I wonder why I do swaps.  I get stressed out and often just flop in a heap or have a panic.
Then I get a beautiful parcel like this and I feel really lucky.

 I forgot how much I love matryoshka dolls until I got this box (on the left) the ribbon and the lovely material.
 Aren't these crochet doilies beautiful?  I think I might find some nice frames and put them on the wall of my craft room - or  I might put them on the front of some project bags, I can't decide.

And then this shawlette is just stunning.  In my favourite colour and in cotton too, I love it.

Beautiful Christmas presents.  Maybe I will do one or two more swaps this year, just remind me to do them when I'm on semester break!

Christmas PJs

 I may have mentioned before that I make lots of pairs of pyjamas that don't ever make and appearance here.  My kids love their handmade pjs - why they won't wear other things I make is still beyond me.

Here are a couple of pairs that I made for Christmas.
Master 4 is still going through his Kenny the Koala phase (will it ever end?) and I found this cute Christmas Koala material in Spotlight before Christmas.  
It's just a light cotton but perfect as the nights cool down.

 I tried to applique a koala on the tshirt - it looks a bit better in real life.
 Miss 7 loves shiny material (Master 4 hates it) so she got scotty dogs and a bone on her tshirt.
 The only problem with the satin ones is that she's so active in them the seams come apart even with over locking and running two or three rows of stitching down them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sticky Gee's

For Christmas 2011 we made lots of biscuits.  
I tried out a new recipe from Bakerella - basically it was this recipe before we tinkered with it.
And tinkering we did.  

 My dear daughter doesn't eat brown chocolate (and neither should I but she doesn't like it and I suspect it would do to her what it does to me) so we put in white chocolate and marshmallows.

 The problem (as I saw it) was that we put in too many marshmallows and they came out gooey and sticky.  With the white chocolate they also came out super super sweet, but dear daughter loved them.

So in her honour they were named 'Sticky Gee's'.

We made up other jars of cookie recipe to give to friends and I even made her another jar of cookie recipe full of dried fruit and nuts which she calls 'Breakfast Bar Cookies'.

It's a very easy recipe and although I've had to add more liquid in most of the versions I've made they've all turned out pretty yummy.  We made some for the beginning of school with dried fruit (the mix that has dried mango, craisins and dried blue berries) and white chocolate.  It would be extra nice with nuts but we can't take nuts to school.  They are yummy and seem to give DD the energy hit she needs during the day.

Vogue 1250

 I got hold of Vogue 1250 when Lincraft were having a half price sale on Vogue Patterns.  I had read on other blogs where people said it was an easy sew and worked up  nicely.
This was my first attempt.

Yes, I really am that white! I finished it in time to wear to the inlaws Christmas celebration. (Although my dear husband did say 'Are you sure you can sit down?'.... thanks!)

 The material was from Spotlight and is a stretchy cotton - off the top of my head I can't remember what it was.
 I made the facing of the neck larger as some suggested but I don't like the way the neck sits at the moment.  The material has stretch but not nice drape at the neck.

 Apart from that I like the rest of it.
Now that I've made one the next one will be easier - when I can find the time and the space in my craft room.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Just more bags

I made this bag for a Christmas parcel.
It's lightly padded

and has an internal pocket that has a tape measure attached to it so it doesn't float away like mine always do.
I made this one from an invented shape hoping it would work well.
It doesn't really.  I still use it but it's really too wide and not quite deep enough. 
Back to the drawing board.

My craft room

I think I'm going to leave these photos in small format.
My craft room isn't one of those beautiful, straight out of a magazine rooms, it's in a constant state of needing to be tidied up.  I don't create neatly!
Sometimes it's in a worse state than others, especially when things just get 'shoved in'.

 This is after a bit of work.

I did eventually get it very tidy, and then I did some craft and it got messy again. 
Then I had to clear a space for my husband's 'home office' so stuff is shoved down one end, but I am trying to go through and get rid of things not just organise the clutter into piles.

I'd like to say that one day I'll have it looking picture perfect, but when it's like that I know I won't be using it (in fact I didn't craft for ages once it was clean because I just knew that would make it messy again! Catch 22)

Rainbow Cake

 I was feeling very creative for my husband's birthday at the end of last year and the kids were only too happy to encourage me.

 "We" (and I use the term loosely as I did all the work and they did a lot of looking and licking) made this b-i-g cake...

 Which, when cut, had a lovely rainbow inside of it.
Yes it was a bit more work than usual, but it was worth it.
 I didn't put icing in between layers, it actually had jam and cream and I didn't even my layers out with a knife, I just added more cream in between.

Thankfully it froze well because we could only eat it slither at a time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Doll sized skirt

 I offered to test the Mini Floreala pattern seeing as DD loves her big Floreala.
Of course the fly in this ointment is that DD and DS don't really have any dolls to test the finished product on.  Lots of teddies and soft toys, just not really anything dolly like.
Still, I figured I could find something so I gave it a go.

 I did find someone to try it on!  She is/was mine and back when she worked she had a record inside of her (that you could change) and said various things.  Records long gone and I'm not even sure if she would work now.  [And just an aside, the only clothes I have for her are a pair of pjs my Granny made!].

 She is very tall 23-24 inches, so it's quite a long skirt.
(Not my colours but DD has unique taste and along the bottom is a gold metallic thread that she loves.) 

We tried it on Ruby the Build a Bear Bunny, but it's more mu-mu like on her.
The pattern was quick and simple and would be a good way to practise before you make the big skirt.

A special 90th birthday bag set

 My Nana turned 90 in September 2011 and Mum organised that I made her a bag (or two) and she'd make her a knitting needle and crochet hook wrap.
One is a mini sort of box bag with a magnetic closure...

 The other is more of a tear drop shaped bag with a button closure.

The material was a lovely raspberry colour and the lining a nice light pink.
I was happy with how they turned out.

PJs for a Little Guy

 I have been making the kids pjs now for quite a while, I just never seem to get around to photographing them.  
My kids love home made pjs and at the moment it's the only thing I make that they'll wear!

Anyway, one of my friends from Ravelry mentioned that her nephew was going through chemo so we all decided to send him some handmade things to let him know that we're all thinking of him.  He is about the same age as my son so I thought I'd make him some jammies to take to hospital.

I made a little bag to take his dinosaurs and books in too.  (His name begins with L, my kids love things with their name letters on them.)

 I was happy with how they turned out and I hope they make him feel comfy when he's in hospital.

How to keep your teapot warm

There is a tea cosy competition in Morpeth every year.
It's a great competition, free to enter and they send your tea cosy back.
Last year I made several tea cosies, but didn't end up sewing them together to get them up to Morepeth for the competition (or let's face it, just to be put on display for my tea cosy), but we did go up for a visit so you can enjoy some of the  tea cosies too.

The cosies don't have to be made of wool or knitted or crocheted - they can be sewn too.

Love the Grug one, might have to make one of those.
This one was beautiful - a warratah.

This one was the grand winner (there are categories).  I thought it was great, but my kids weren't impressed, they liked the novelty ones.
And this is what inspired the above tea cosy.

 DS loves koalas so this was his very favourite.

 Another Grug.
 I reckon this frog is unhappy because he has a teapot up his backside.

 The kids liked the penguin too.

 One of the ladies from my knitting group won a prize as well, here is her entry.

And downstairs they have a huge teapot display.... here are some to enjoy

Not quite teapots, but they'd love to be having a tea party with most of them.

Enticed by the teddies.

And the mini teapots for those that don't have room (or money) for the big ones.