Being lactose intolerant is a complete butthole. Especially as yummy, shop bought cakes are generally packed full of lactosey things like butter, milk and whey powder. So the family and I were missing Mr Kipling's French Fancies, beautiful little pillows of sponge topped with some unidentifiable "creme" (think the filling from twinkies and you'll be pretty close) and covered with fondant icing.
I gave in. I attempted making them. I may never attempt this again!!!!
I used Mary Berry's recipe, but with tweaks. 1. I used lactose free substitutes. 2. I didn't use marzipan. 3. I used powdered fondant icing rather than the block kind she recommends, 4. instead of butter cream for the yummy blob, I made a Marguerite Patten mock cream an 5, when making the icing I used lemon juice and a little teensy bit of lemon oil plus a dash of tumeric for colour instead of using water.
they were horrific to try and ice, they look hideous, but my goody goodness they're tasty! about twice the size of the packet variety too!!!!!
I saw a doily dream catcher on pinterest and kinda thought, heck, I could do that!. I have a broken embroidery hoop and plenty of lovely to work with, pure cotton DK string......
So I set about it. I gathered together a 1960s craft book with some crochet motifs in it, made one then just kept adding layers to it until it fitted (more or less) in the hoop. the crochet only took me a couple of hours, but the binding of the hoop and finishing took me about the same again.
so here it is. my crochet dream catcher. it's in my living room right now, I am considering relocating it to the bedroom... but then nobody would see it..... oh the dilemma!!!
tutorial, it's REALLY INSANELY simple.
you'll need a small embroidery ring (you only need the middle part), some string (DK works best, use whatever you have) a string needle and a 4mm crochet hook.
find a doily pattern you like, or a motif you can build on. You can also use a ready made doily... I used a motif from a 1960s craft book and added a few rows on to it. just keep adding rows until it fits the hoop, this is why I've said use a small hoop. I made the mistake of using a 10" hoop for my first attempt!!
ok, do your doily is done. work out your centre point and 4 places at equal spacing on the edges of it. use 6 if it's easier. put some scraps of string through these points and tie it on to the hoop loosely. so it loosely so you can adjust it. some of mine are a little uneven, I was getting tired.
once you're happy with the placement, use the tapestry needle and some more string to tie the doily on properly; start with your first stabilising loops, then add more at equal spaces. remember your symmetry. don't worry it it looks scrappy, you're going to wrap the edge afterwards.
take more string, wrap the string around the hoop. i can't really explain how I did it without knots because I'm not honestly sure, but experiment and find your own way. I can also recommend card maker's sticky dots for holding your knots in place too, they're acid free and wont ruin your work.
you can either use a sort of blanket stitch, the kind used for wrapping hoops in jewellry etc, or just do what i did and just wrap around and around. make sure it's even.
once it's wrapped, its time for your tassels. for the plain ones I just used lengths of string, fold in the centre to make a loop, place your hoop on top, pull through the centre loop on the doily side of the hoop, and then pull the flappy bits up the outside and then through your centre loop.
the central dangly thing i made is just a chain which i threaded through the hoop, then completed an sc line (US crochet; in the uk this is a DC line) down it, knotting off at the end. the tassel was made using a tassel tutorial found on google.
I hope this helps, i didn't want to do a full pictoral tutorial because i believe they should be a very personal thing
my 7 year old is home educated. we do a lot of craft, home science, cooking and gardening and generally really messy stuff. She's been getting sick of having to ask me to tie aprons, or me having to find safety pins to make my adult aprons fir her. her dad doesn't wear shirts for work either so we'd no chance of an old one.
^^ teaser photo that's a felt flower, sewn over the pocket. it was an afterthought and sewing the felt onto the ticking while keeping my hand in the pocket to make sure it didn't go through both layers was nightmarish.
I was given two massive trashbags of fabric a couple of weeks ago, and in one of them was a huuuuuug quantity of heavy cotton ticking. on pinterest I found a tutorial for making a pinnafore/jumper with a crossover back and figured with a little modification, I could make one for Squiglet.
so I did. it took a couple of goes with newspaper, greaseproof baking paper and a permenant marker to get the dimentions right, but here it is.
pre flower, you can see how impressed she was. grrr.
I am thinking of undoing one shoulder and making it fasted with a button though as she's finding it hard to get it on and off which is a bit of a bottomburp.
oh, here's the blog link. I completely ignored everything apart from her picture of the pieces laid out flat. from that, using Child as a template, I was able to work out how to make the apron. oh, and rolled hems Yo *winky face*
and was given two massive trashbags full of fabric, one of the bags was almost entirely filled with yard upon yard of cotton ticking. Ticking is used for feather pillows and is incredibly hard wearing, completely washable and is also generally preshrunk. I'm hoping this follows the trend lol.
I needed a decent covering apron because I'm a mucky pup. I cook a lot, make my own bread every other day and tend to rub my dirty hands down my sides. I garden a lot, I kneel in mud, and among other things I get all manner of things caught on my boobs.
I have a much more padded body than lelyonna who wrote the tutorial for her beautiful apron, so mine had some darts put at the boob and I dropped the waist a bit.
anyway, on with the pics (taken by my 7 year old on my DSLR )
spinning!!! it has such a satisfying spin!!! it drapes surprisingly nicely for a heavy cotton, and although I've not tried it over trousers, I assume it'll work as well lol.
front, by the way, all of the hems are rolled and most of the seams are flat fell..... yeah. improving my skills.
back: I cross my shoulder straps and decided to button them rather than having them fixed at the side. also, I got to use my button hole thing on the sewing machine which is AWESOME. the one on my old machine was convoluted and involved a lot of mathematics to calculate sizes, widths etc, this one's damn near automatic. pop in the button you want to use at the end, fit the foot properly and the machine does the rest!!!!
My child has more faith in my cake decorating skills than I do, and every year asks for something odd or out of the ordinary.
this year with all of 4 days notice for her birthday, she announced she wanted an effigy of her 5 year old, blind guinea pig called Chocolate.
I produced. mwaaaaa.
so I made a pair of chocolate loaf tin cakes, trimmed and sandwiched with ganache and buttercream between them. I then trimmed and carved the cake, applied a crumb layer of buttercream and let it harden while I went to make some features from coloured marzipan. features made, I made another batch of buttercream, coloured some orange and left some white, coloured and flavoured the rest chocolate.....
this pattern is Lavanda by Elena Nodel. my birthday was in December and my friend bought me the pattern for it
My daughter chose the yarn and buttons, and I flogged my guts out to have it finished for this morning: her birthday.
without seeing the pattern and knowing how to read it, you'd never notice the cables on the sleeves are wrong. I didn't notice until I was more than halfway through and as it's a one piece, raglan cardigan i would have meant unravelling it back to the armpit which i was not prepared to do.
it needs blocking, but I only finished weaving in the ends at midnight lol.
i actually wanted this finished by Yule (21st) but various things like fights with our ex landlord over our deposit, arthritis and a broken needle got in my way. finished it at 11am today though!!!
ok, a few things 1.this is the first and only time i am ever knitting to a deadline. 2. make sure you buy enough yarn to start with. I ended up having to call and email soooo many companies to get one more ball of the right dye lot!! 3. intarsia is hard. 4, making your own chart for freehand christmas trees is also hard. 5. converting a vintage pattern to hold a modern chart, and having to rejiggle the stitches to try and mathermatically match the basic shape of the original pattern is VERY hard...
husband is, however, VERY impressed. and yes. they are.
yeah. it may be christmas day here, but chores need to be done still!
fun fact... depending on the time of year this particular snapshot of reindeer animal behaviour was taken, they could be two females.... males lose their antlers in around november at the latest. females keep theirs over the festive season. this also explains why santa is able to deliver all of the presents in one night, without a map: his reindeer are all ladies!!!
so... whadya think?!
oh, and husband says: Merry Whatever Doesn't Offend You.
first off is an owl. I made him to sell, but if he doesn't, he'll be a baby gift for one of my various pregnant friends lol... (minus his head tufts, unless I can find a way to attach them REALLY well) he's a self drafted pattern, crochet and knit.
and I made a set of these. One for my friend's little boy and one for my daughter who hasn't been more than 6" away from him since I gave him to her about a month ago. This is Zingy, the mascot of an energy company here in the uk (EDF). again, self drafted.
I decorate my mum's christmas cake every year. this year, it's penguins.
so, it's a cute, snowy scene with penguins on top. awwww. except... the guy on his back is flipping the bird to the one laughing. my camera didn't pick up on that too well though all of the penguins have differed hats, scarves etc. the one flipping the bird has an ear hat
awww! the little skiing dude falled over!!! (and in the background you can just see another penguin who has mittens on a string around his neck. silly penguin, you don't even have hands!!)
cute? hideous? better than my santa peeing in the snow effort a few years ago?!
ok, so you've probably clicked on the mature thumbnail to see this, muuuuwahahahaha it's cake!!!
and before anyone gets at me for killing a reindeer or poking fun at animal death, I'm not. it's marzipan. it'd be different if I'd stuck an actual dead deer on a cake. anyways, on with the show...
i've marked it mature for obvious reasons. this was going to my my mother's cake this year, I started making a rather cartooney dead reindeer then things sort of got out of hand and my sick, twisted mind took over. antlers made from broken pretzel, marzipan coloured with cocoa powder....
so anyways, it's now plonked atop a Madeira cake for my brother and sister.... and mum's getting a fruitcake with cutsey, adorable penguins on it.