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1  COOKING / Dessert / Rubber ducky cakes on: March 31, 2009 01:11:07 AM
There's a running family joke to do with rubber ducks between me, my mum and my stepdad, so I'm surprising him with a duck theme for his birthday. Nothing major as they're currently buying a house, so don't really have the time or money spare for a big party - so I whipped together some fun presents (even wrapped in some rubber ducky wrapping paper I tracked down) and made a little batch of cakes to take over tonight, just so he has some candles to blow out! I found these adorable rubber ducky candles and couldn't resist - he loves chocolate cake too so I have a batch of them with some other duck-themed candles but they weren't feeling so photogenic last night - I'll take a pic tonight once they're all lit up!

The blue buttercream turned a little green, but I had to make do with whatever ingredients I had left in my fridge still in-date after a week's holiday! I think the little fondant bubbles add the finishing touch though (and mm, eating leftover fondant, yumyum). They're even in rubber ducky cases, though unfortunately they got all greasy and it doesn't really show
2  COOKING / Dessert / Rocky road cupcakes on: March 08, 2009 09:06:47 AM
I felt like trying something new, had the urge make rocky road but also wanted to bake..so I made rocky road cupcakes!
They have a biscuit base, with a chocolate chip chocolate cake, topped with italian meringue for the marshmallow element, and a dollop of melted plain or milk chocolate on top. And they're deeelicious, albiet slightly rich for the undedicated cake eaters (personally, I could eat a dozen of them). I still haven't succeeded in a nice light italian meringue that keeps it shape well yet but the gooeyness suits this cake, and there's always another cake to try it out on  Wink  Cheesy

3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / What has two thumbs... on: February 18, 2009 02:59:51 AM
Couple of tees I painted over the weekend. I officially hate cutting out text! Sorry for rubbish webcam pics, my spanky camera failed me.

4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Sending and receiving food in swaps on: January 19, 2009 07:54:17 AM
I'm talking about homebaked stuff. I've done it before without even thinking about it, but it was mentioned on another forum that someone wouldn't want homemade food in a swap. Guessing this is for health/hygiene reasons and wondered what everyone else thought?
I always keep my kitchen clean (well, with lots of help from some very clean housemates!), I use my own bowls etc for baking so know there's nothing crusted on from a housemate using it, everything's washed up. If I'm baking for family I may pop a finger in the cake batter or lick the spoon but if it's for colleagues or anyone else then that's a no-no - other than licking a spoon clean before it gets washed! Food dropped on the floor doesn't get the 10 second rule, hands are washed frequently etc - so I'm a pretty 'clean' baker. And obviously I have a taste test of the finished product - just to make sure I haven't used rank butter or something of course  Wink
I wouldn't really take a second thought about eating a homemade cake or something I'd received - as long as it wasn't something that may have gone off in the post, or covered in dog hair, or contained strawberries (I'm allergic), I'd assume that they were polite enough to take the same kind of 'precautions' as me when baking for a stranger. Am I alone here?
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / Any UK members used this shop? on: January 07, 2009 01:24:46 PM
I'd probably pay by credit card for some extra cover incase it was dodgy, but anyone used http://www.sewingmachine-sales.co.uk ? Prices are good, special offers for buying online etc.
I've googled the name and can't find any forum posts or anything stating any problems but wouldn't mind a few customer reviews!
6  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / H-A-L-L-O-W-E-E-N on: November 03, 2008 05:39:33 AM
OK, I'm no real cheerleader but I got to pretend for the night!
I'm hoping this is OK as a matching set - we're both supposed to be the same character anyway (at different points in the series)
This is my first challenge entry, ooee. First time making clothing too!

Reconstructed top - hacked the arms off two tops and did a switch and sewed them back on. The logo was painted by me onto a spare piece of the red top and sewn on:

Skirt was made from scratch - cut out a few pieces from a Simplicity pattern and realised it wasn't quite the same so winged it myself.


(the loose bit on the left of the photo did get sewn in place)

This one was made from scratch too.

Skirt in-progress
7  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / Heroes cheerleaders on: November 03, 2008 01:22:46 AM
Being avid Heroes fans (partly because of all the eyecandy I expect!), me and my friend decided to dress up as Claire for Halloween - in each of her cheerleading costumes. I made them both - so glad my friend's fitted as she wasn't around for me to measure or to try it on until it was done! Plus this was my first attempt making clothes  Shocked Posted pics of mine (the red one) the other week but this is it completed, avec fake blood. Top was two jumpers/tops combined to get the red sleeve effect, logo was painted on. Lovely coffee/paint fake blood (my friend kept sniffing me as I smelt of coffee!) poured all over my hard work, that was a bit heartbreaking! Skirt was made from scratch/based very loosely on a Simplicity pattern which I abandoned after realising how many alterations I'd need to make anyway!

And my friend's - I took a few shortcuts with this to finish it on time (like not sewing the top of the skirt properly - hence it bunching up a bit), but it looked good enough! Again made from scratch as the pattern I bought wouldn't quite work out the same.

Obligatory Myspace-type photo  Wink
8  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Sewing a tank-style top on: October 30, 2008 02:43:00 AM
Almost finished the two halloween costumes I'm making. Sewed up the last bit, the top, last night, but I now don't like it!
The pattern looked ridiculously huge and I didn't have enough material to do it that way, so I got a top of a similar style and size to what I wanted and used that as my "pattern" instead. All went well, but the material has no stretch and where I've doubled up the fabric to give it a bit of thickness, it now sits like paperbag and I hate it.
I gave up as it was about 3am by this time and I had to be up at 7 for work, so I'm going to unpick it tonight and have another go. However, I'm debating popping into the fabric shop on my way home to get something with a little stretch. Never made a top from scratch before though so I'm even more worried about sewing something stretchy than something not! If I do grab some, is there a particular method/stitch I need to use? Or am I best sticking to the stuff with no stretch? It's a top like this:

Another complication is that it's not for me, but the friend who'll be wearing it lives 2 hours away - I'm staying with her for Halloween weekend but I don't fancy lugging my machine all the way over the underground and everything if I can avoid it!
9  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / 'Heroes' cheerleader costume on: October 24, 2008 12:10:41 PM
Technically the top is sort of a recon - yoinked the sleeves off a thrifted red jumper and stuck them onto a white jumper/top I hacked the original sleeves off. But I made/painted the logo patch and sewed that on too so it had a bit more work done to it!
But the skirt was made totally from scratch - and my very first piece of homemade clothing!. Well, I bought a Simplicity pattern, cut out the pieces then made it half the length  Wink plus altered two panels completely to get a more Heroes-esque skirt than the pattern one was. Plus I made it as two skirts, sewn right-side to right-side and flipped out to make a double layered skirt, as I didn't have/have never used interfacing or lining or done hemming like the pattern required. It made it just the right thickness, it falls nice and is really comfy to wear. It's not perfect - adding the two bits of ribbon at the end wasn't the most professional bit of sewing but it'll do for Halloween - especially as I'll be chucking a ton of fake blood over all my hard work!

Pic of the skirt almost-done (excuse camera phone quality!)
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Scaling up patterns on: October 20, 2008 01:00:49 AM
Apologies if there's a sticky or something about this but I still get a bit lost on here!
I've volunteered to make my friend's halloween costume, we're both going as cheerleaders from Heroes. I managed to find a Simplicity pattern which has both our skirts on it, but in my excitement I didn't notice until I got home that it only goes up to my size, not hers (never bought a pattern before so didn't think to check)
Is there any easy way to scale it up? I only need to go up a size or two so no big difference. Problem being is she's not local enough to try it on beforehand so I need to get it right - I've asked her to post me a skirt and top that first her perfectly so I can doublecheck against those but as it's only 11 days to Halloween I don't have much time for second attempts. I'd go out and buy the other pattern but I'd never use it again and having spent money on train tickets to her, and her being a starving student (almost.. Tongue) we're trying to make them as cheaply as possible.
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