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1  Pasties! in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by extremelycrafty on: April 29, 2009 11:13:53 AM

Inspired by the London Burlesque festival that happened a few weeks ago and the fact that I've been trying to sew my own lingerie because all of the silky lacy pajamas I want to buy were $300, I decided to try making a set of pasties. Surely theyd be easy. They were only circles. How hard could it be?

Well, I tried making them and of course messed them up. The next day, I flew home to the US to see my parents and asked my mother if she could help me because she's a crafter extraordinaire and likes a challenge! Thus, we set off to JoAnn Fabrics to find the perfect backing, figured out how to make the shape, how to make a tassel (I'm still working on this one), and the right size eyelets. My mother has a wicked sense of humor and really enjoys something if it's on the edge (even though she's 76!) so we had tons of fun making these. Some of the JoAnn fabric ladies were fairly amused as well.

Heres how they turned out. What do you think?

If anyone is interested in the instructions, let me know.

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2  Dolly Mix Chocies in Recipes and Cooking Tips by extremelycrafty on: March 26, 2009 01:29:51 PM

Need a special hostess with the mostest present? White chocolate and gummy bears I promise you were onto a winner here.      

As a thank you present for a special someone who likes dolly mixtures and white chocolates, I made these scrumptious home made sweets. Dolly mixtures in England are very popular with children (and some boyfriends). They are small extremely sweet candies in pastel colors. The flavours of these tiny pink/orange/green circles with white centers and mini gummy bears range from sugar to extra/extra sugar. Theyre probably supposed to taste of strawberry and orange, but they just taste of sugar and blimey, are they nice. Combined with Nestles creamy white chocolate Milk Bar (also very popular over here with children (and some boyfriends)) you may have to eat the entire batch in one sitting.


1.   Melt chocolate in microwave. (Do it the fancy way if you want with a thermometer, but were not going for a Michelin star here, so go wild and try the micro.)

2.   If youre like me you wont want to go out and buy a mould just for this, so use one you already have even if its one to make round choices with flowers on top.

3.   Just turn the bottom of the chocolate into the top by positioning the candies on top after pouring the chocolate. The bottom of the chocolates now happen to be shaped like flowers added bonus!

4.   Allow chocolate to harden. I usually stick the mould in the freezer.  

5.   Pop out chocolates.

6.   Resist temptation to eat. Theyre supposed to be presents, remember? Oh, one wont hurt. You should always sample what youre giving, right?

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3  Killer Russian Cocktails - Try if you Dare! in Recipes and Cooking Tips by extremelycrafty on: March 25, 2009 02:20:05 PM

Beware of the Russian cocktails (especially if youre eating sushi at Itsu in London and you happen to be an informant). One too many Rasputins Revenges or KGB 59s and you dont know what could happen. Here are some killer Russian coctails that I included in one of my Extremely Crafty Ideas ezines recently. They're to die for.

Rasputins Revenge
1.5 oz vodka (The name is revenge, so the higher proof the better.)
1 oz cognac
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz lime juice
Orange bitters or Angostura bitters

Mix vodka, cognac, Grand Marnier, juice and a few dashes of the orange bitters with cracked ice. Strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

KGB 57 Russian Cocktail
1 oz vodka
1 oz gin
1 oz white crme de cacao

Shake all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass. Add cherry for garnish.

KGB 59 Russian Cocktail
Dont ask. We wont tell.

Russian Bear
1 oz vodka
1 oz heavy cream
1 oz white crme de cacao

Shake all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass. Sprinkle the sweetened coconut on top. Its snowy this time of year in old mother Russia.

Black Russian
1.5 oz vodka
1 oz Kahlua

Mix, pour, and down. Another?

White Russian
1.5 oz vodka
1 oz white crme de cacao or Kahlua
0.75 oz heavy cream

You know what to do - Mix all ingredients with cracked ice and strain into a chilled glass.

1.5 oz vodka
0.5 oz cherry brandy
1 scoop of cherry ice cream
Maraschino cherry

Mix in a blender and pour into a glass. Toss the cherry on top. (Even better if its a chocolate covered cherry) Drink and think of the old country.

Pavlova Cocktail ♥An Extremely Crafty Favourite♥
1.5 oz vodka
0.75 oz light rum
0.5 oz strawberry liqueur
1 fresh strawberry

Put strawberry aside and mix all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with fruit.

Moscow Mule
3 oz vodka
1 tsp lime juice
Ginger beer
Wedge of lime

In a highball glass stacked with ice, pour lime juice and vodka. Stir and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with lime. Beware of the kick! This mule will soon have you on youre a**!

p.s. - The skull was on another of my posts in Craftster. It's a holiday stocking. Not sure how you find my original Craftster post for the stocking instructions and pattern. I think it's here  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / The Bones of Christmas Past
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4  Tutorial - Learn how to Twist a Dog Balloon! in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by extremelycrafty on: March 23, 2009 12:56:54 PM

To make your first animal balloon, a dog, you will need a long, skinny #260 pencil balloon. These and small hand pumps may be purchased at www.centurynovelty.com. (This book does not endorse this company and is in no way linked to them.)

#260 Pencil Balloon

The nozzle end of a balloon is where the knot is tied. The nipple end is opposite the knot.


To inflate, stretch the balloon a few times to soften the rubber, then stretch the balloon to about twice its normal length and begin inflating by using your cheek muscles to force air and start a bubble, then blow up the rest of the balloon by blowing with your chest muscles.

Balloon blowing is serious exercise. Not quite as much as a marathon, but it takes almost as much lung capacity. Try it, you wont laugh. After a few weeks of practice, the dizziness should subside. Some will say its technique and not strength, but dont believe them.  

If you would prefer not to pass out, use a balloon pump to pump the balloon by hand.

Remember not to inflate the pencil balloon all the way to the end since each twist pushes air toward the nipple end of the balloon. If a balloon is fully inflated, you will only be able to make a couple of twists which is not enough to sculpt much of anything.

Once the balloon is inflated, it is easier to tie a knot at the end of the balloon if you let out a little bit of air first before tying a knot.

Basic Bubble Twist

The basic bubble twist is the most commonly used in balloon sculpture. Holding an inflated pencil balloon in your hands, twist your hands in opposite directions and a bubble is formed. Each bubble should be twisted 360 degrees to ensure the bubble does not untwist.

The Dog

To sculpt the dog, first, inflate a pencil balloon almost full and tie at the nozzle end. Leave about five inches not inflated.

Twist three equal sized medium bubbles. Each one should be about two inches long. To form the head and two ears, twist together at points A & B.

Next, twist three more equal medium-sized bubbles (4, 5, & 6). The neck and front legs are formed by twist connecting together at points C & D.

Twist a long bubble for the body (7) and two equal medium-sized bubbles (8 & 9) for the legs. To form the body and back legs, twist connect together at points E & F.

The remaining balloon is the tail (bubble 10). Its suggested to always leave some part of the balloon empty because every twist pushes some of the air to the end of the balloon. Once youve made a couple, you will get the feel for how much empty balloon you will need at the end. Experiment with some tails being almost fully inflated and others that are only a small bubble with a long empty tail.  Done. Enjoy!

 This is copyrighted by Extremely Crafty.
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5  Want to see my underwear? in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by extremelycrafty on: March 22, 2009 07:27:34 AM

I needed underwear. Preferably fancy with lace and ribbon and silk. Something like the gorgeous night set I saw in Harrods for 200 pounds, so I set off last week to John Lewis and bought some lovely hot pink silk and a lingerie pattern. I also bought a lingerie book which was delivered though the post in a brown wrapping. My boyfriend wondered if I had been buying pornography. No, thank you very much. After studying this book on the tube all week, trying desperately hard not to look at the pictures of knickers when anyone was looking over my shoulder, I learned about sewing lace to silk and matching darts. Yesterday, I sat down to make a pair of tap pants(little sleeping shorts).

Well, you'd think I would know better, but I made every mistake possible. I forgot to flip the pattern which meant I had two left sides for the shorts. I started again and flipped the pattern to cut the mirror image, but somehow managed to cut a third left side. I didn't have enough material and going to the store would waste another two hours, so I sewed together the pants - one side shiny silk, the other side the underside of the fabric. Of course, if ever questioned by the boyfriend, I will say I designed them this way.

I then managed to sew seams on the outside so I had to unpick everything. Later, when ironing down the top to create a tube for the elastic, I melted the fabric on the iron, so had to cut off a large chunk of the waistband. The shorts now are actually quite short and actually quite cute. Don't know if I'm ever going to tap in them though. I hear this is how Catherine Zeta Jones seduced Michael Douglas.

I had the pants. Now I needed a top. I didn't have much fabric left, but cut it out the best I could. Again, I forgot to cut the mirror image of the pattern piece that fitted over the bust. How can I do this 3 times in one morning!!! Yes, I had had my cup of tea. I sewed and gathered it, pinched and pulled. Finally when I tried it on, the back was gaping open and the top in general was far too short. I forgot I had a long body and usually have to add extra fabric. Not that I had any. Anyway, I added elastic to the back so it fit. The sides kind of stick out to the side, but again, I of course meant to do this. Yeah right.

I tried making the straps the fussy way the pattern company did - sewing a seam on the wrong side and pulling through to the right side. How the heck anyone can pull it through, I have no idea. After stabbing myself with the needle six times and straps that look like rags, I threw them out and dug out my ribbon box. I found some lovely bright pink ribbon I had bought in Amsterdam and sewed that on. It wasn't exactly the right shade, but it'll be dark when I'm wearing it and if anyone says anything different, I shall snap them with my knicker elastic.

Your thoughts?

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6  Hanging with the Ancestors in Winter Holidays by extremelycrafty on: December 24, 2008 05:35:30 PM

If you can't hang out with your family this holiday season, why not hang them from the tree? Luckily, I am with my mother this Christmas, but I thought I'd make an ornament out of her too. This is her on the ship to Canada. Below is also my mother when she was a little girl. I've hung her from a wine bottle (even though she doesn't drink) because it was such a great shade of blue.

The instructions are:
Hang with the family this holiday season by creating unique Christmas ornaments using photocopies of your old family photos. They can double as gift tags and Christmas tree ornaments.

Balsa wood Pre-Cut Ornaments
Acrylic Paint
Ribbon rose
Family Photos
Photocopy Machine
Sanding paper may be needed


1. If balsa wood ornament is already cut in the shape of an ornament, such as the above, just sand down any rough edges and paint.

2. If ornament is has extra detailed ornamentation, carefully cut it out with a knife and sand rough edges. The blue ornament below had a delicate wooden Santa in the middle. He didnt resemble any of my family, so I chopped him out and threw him away. Paint ornament.

3. Glitter ornament as desired.

4. Photocopy old photograph. Cut to fit frame.

5. Add embellishments such as sequins or rhinestones to the photocopy.

6. Glue photocopy to the frame. Be careful edge of paper does not overlap the back of the frame.

7. Add ribbon and rose.

p.s. Another idea is to frame your photo with paper blossoms. For more photos, please see http://www.extremelycrafty.co.uk/Ezine3p9.html
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7  Russian Doll (Matryoshka Doll) Cookies - Free pattern in Winter Holidays by extremelycrafty on: December 24, 2008 05:24:52 PM

I've been working on a Russian doll theme this Christmas - from stockings to ornaments to cookies. Here are some photos of how the cookies turned out.

The instructions are as follows:

4 eggs
14 oz (400g) sugar
22 oz (625g) all purpose flour
12 oz (340g) softened butter
1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
1/3 oz (9g) baking powder
1/5 oz (6g) salt

Tip - To convert ounces to grams, multiply ounces by 28.35.

1. Cream until smooth the sugar and butter.

2. Mix in vanilla and eggs.

3. Add the salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir really well.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and chill the dough between 1 hour and overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Flour work surface and roll out dough approximately to inch thick.

6. If you dont already have a babushka cookie cutter (who does?), have no fear! Download and print this template, roll out the dough, place the pattern on top, and cut around it with a knife. Gently lift and place on baking tray. If you are planning to make hundreds of cookies, build a cookie cutter out of an aluminium foil tray.

7. Bake cookies for 5 to 8 minutes depending on the power of your stove. I seem to have an old super stove, so baking time is always less.

8. Allow cookies to cool. (If using a tray and making multiple batches, go wild and slide the cookies off the pan as soon as it comes out of the oven or better yet, use greaseproof paper and just lift them off the tray. Reline the tray with more paper and youre ready for another batch.)

Sugar paste
Gel food colors
Silver balls
Small paint brush
Wiltons floral garland cutter/ejector set

9. Now for the really, really fun part, you will need to make colored sugar paste to embellish the babushka. We suggest using gel food colours (rather than liquid) because they do not change the consistency of the sugar paste.

10. Visualize how you would like to decorate your cookies and knead color into sugar paste. Be careful not to mix a huge batch of yellow paste and then realize you only need that for the centers of a few flowers. While youre working, keep paste in a seal tight box or under plastic so it doesnt dry out.

11. I like to cut hair first. To do this, I locate something in my kitchen with a round bottom (no, not your boyfriend) that is the right size for the babushka face. I used the bottom of a cupcake sprinkles container.

12. Roll out paste (hair color) approximately inch thick, position container on top, cut around the circle with a knife, then cut so hair appears to be in a sweeping parting (see photo).

13. Roll out different colored paste and cut with a knife around the babushka headscarf pattern. Size pattern to cookie first as cookie may have expanded. If it has, just cut the headscarf a little bigger. Use the same bottom of the container you used to cut the hair and cut out a hole for the head.

14. Position hair and headscarf over it. Hair should fit exactly in the opening of the scarf.

15. Cut from sugar paste the bottom of her dress. Remember to measure pattern to cookie before cutting because you may need to cut a larger piece.

16. Dip a toothpick in a dark gel color and paint face directly onto the cookie.

17. For the flower embellishment around her hair and dress, we used Wiltons floral garland cutter/ejector set to quickly stamp out the flowers, bows, and doves from sugar paste. Use a small paint brush to add a drop of water, corn starch, or Royal icing to the back of the flower and stick it to the cookie.

18. Add silver sugar balls to the center of each embellishment with a bit of water or Royal icing.

For more pictures and the template to cut out the Russian doll cookies, please find them here at

Happy Holidays!
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8  The Bones of Christmas Past in Winter Holidays by extremelycrafty on: December 24, 2008 05:17:15 PM

Was feeling a bit rebellious and made this stocking. If you know any rebels who might be in need of an alternative stocking, find the template at
and the instructions below:
yard pieces of navy felt for stocking
White felt for skull and bones
Ribbon for bow and hanger
Rhinestones, beads, and sequins as desired
Rose embroidered patches (for A Rebel Christmas Stocking)


1. This stocking would be perfect to fill for someone you know who has a rebellious streak. Possible stocking stuffers could be all black candy liquorice, blackcurrant fruit pastilles, and grape Jolly Ranchers (well, theyre almost black).

2. Cut out two of the large stocking patterns. We used navy felt rather than black to give the stocking a slightly softer touch. (Can a skull and cross bones really be softened?)

3. Cut out the top and bottom of the skull, as well as four bones.

4. Glue glitter to all bones and allow to dry.

5. Make a ribbon bow and sew to top of front stocking.

6. Position rose embroidered appliqus, rhinestones, skull, and bones.

7. Tack into place. Note that it is easier to sew through the sections of the bones that arent stuck with glitter because its hard to stick the needle through the dried glue.

8. Tack the rhinestones into place. The ones used on this project were actually rescued from the trash when a fellow millinery student picked them off her hat and threw them away. Embellishment can be found in the most unlikely of places.

9. Sew the stocking together. Who said Christmas colors had to be red and green? Navy and pink works just as well.

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9  Russian Doll (Matryoshka) Christmas Stocking - Free Pattern! in Winter Holidays by extremelycrafty on: December 20, 2008 05:43:25 PM
For my first post, I made a pink Russian doll Christmas stocking this year and would love to know what you think. The instructions are below and the pattern is here to download. http://www.extremelycrafty.co.uk/Ezine3p3.html.

yard pieces of felt for stocking
Various small pieces of felt for face, body, hair, and flowers
Assorted rick rack trim
Black embroidery floss for eyes and nose
Pink embroidery floss for mouth
Rhinestones, beads, and sequins as desired

We made the stocking reversible so on one side theres the Russian doll and the other is the Christmas blossom. This can easily be made into two separate stockings.


1. Cut the larger stocking pattern out of the light pink felt. We cut a slightly smaller stocking out of the darker pink felt and made it reversible. Do this or cut out two same sized light pink stockings. Remember to scallop the edge with your scissors.

2. Cut out other pieces (face, hair, doll body, skirt, headscarf and scarf ties.

3. Cut out various sized flowers. We started with the larger flower pattern and then cut the second flower a little smaller.

4. Attach sequin with a bead to the centers of the smallest flowers. Tack flowers together with a few stitches.

5. Position the scarf over the head of the doll and arrange placement of hair. Tack hair and scarf in place, then tack the ends of the scarf and the knot.

6. Embroider face. French knots were used for eyes and a single stitch for the mouth.

7. Tack the bottom skirt to the doll. On the body of the doll, sew the rick rack ribbon. Fold each piece of ribbon over the back so the raw edges dont show.

8. We suggest completing the doll and flowers separately and then sewing them on the stocking so it is easier to make changes if needed.

9. Sew rick rack ribbon to inside of stocking to use for hanging on the mantle.

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