Saturday, 30 January 2010

Can I Eat It?

Mmmm it looks so yummy but sadly the answer is no, you can wear it though! I made this marshmallow bracelet from fimo, as clay projects go it was pretty straightforward and I got lots of practice wire working (although I realised after that there was a much simpler way I could have made the adjoining wire pieces).


However once put together with the middle bead sections it's actually a bit too big for me. I could take it all apart and start again but to be honest I'm too lazy to do that so will probably just try and sell it instead. I took the photo using my new homemade light tent and I think it really does look much better than some of my previous attempts.

Also had a bit of a panic this week, my camera has been playing up. At one point it seemed to completely stop working, it wouldn't turn on and when I put it in its charging dock none of the lights came on or anything. I was convinced it was completely dead and as much as I'd like a shiney new camera I don't really want to spend any more money at the moment (I've had a pretty frivolous month *blush*). So after a very unhelpful call to Casio I decided to have one more poke at it today and it is now in its dock with the charging light on. Not really sure what I did, think it might be a problem with the memory card but fingers crossed otherwise the blog will be having crummy phone pics for a while!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Shopping, Plans and Traingles

So what have I been working on lately? Nothing major, just a few things but I've been thinking lots about what I'd like to do, particularly for this blog. I wonder if I ought to try and post on a more regular schedule? I'd also like to do some tutorials/videos/recipes of my own and I have a couple of ideas the first of which hopefully I'll get round to this week.

I went to ikea this week and got these cookie cutters. I think they're pretty unusual and should make some really fun biscuits to decorate! I mean how often do you see a hedgehog shaped cookie :3



Nothing special but I thought I'd post it as I think the photo of it turned out nicely, I madeassembled this headband to match one of my Lolita dresses for a meet I went to this the weekend. I just bought a plain headband and then super glued on some cardmaking/scrapbooking embellishments. I also covered my fingers in glue in the process, I knew it was a bad idea when I bough it :D fortunately though I'd done some reading before I started, yay for the knowledge that nail varnish remover (containing acetone) also removes super glue. Also speaking of photography, that's something I'd really like to improve on this year.



I've also made the ratties a new house this week. Following this amazing tutorial for a reversible triangle, I have no idea how she ever figured out how to make this in the first place, it's like magic. There were a few steps where I had to read the instructions several times wondering how on earth this works but then you do it and "ta-da" it all comes together, I love moments like that. It's not quite finished yet, you can probably see from the pins in the picture that the edges of the opening just needs sewing up. The outside is cotton and the inside is a nice snuggly fleece.



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Monday, 18 January 2010

Alien Scarf

Remember the alien scarf that I first mentioned here? Well here's a progresss report!

Unfortunately I had a bit of a falling out with it before christmas. I was about 40 rows in and dropped a couple of the stitches and couldn't rescue them >_< So I ended up just ripping the whole thing.

I started it again on my christmas travels but have only really been working on it in earnest this last week. I've almost finished one whole alien face now, it's supposed to be six faces when complete however I would like to make it longer if I have enough wool. I would really like to have it done before this winter is over and if I can just keep at it I think I might be able to.

No pictures yet, you'll have to wait until it's done as otherwise it will kind of give it away :D

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

First Ever Sugar Cookies

After hours of drooling over gorgeous pictures of cookies from the likes of the Sweet Adventures of SugarBelle and Sweetopia I decided it was about time to have a go myself.

I can't seem to find the recipe I used for the biscuits but there are tons out there on the web. I used the trick of rolling the dough out between two sheets of baking paper and then refridgerating before cutting out the shapes. It's amazing doing it this way as you dont make any mess on the worktop or rolling pin, only need to refridgerate them for about half the time and when you cut out the cookies they keep their shape really well.


Baked Cookies

After they were baked and cooled I left them in an airtight container as I wasn't going to have time to ice them right away. A day or so later I came back to do the icing, helped in huge part by this tutorial from CakeJournal: How to flood cookies with royal icing. I liked the idea about the squeezy bottle for the runny icing but didn't want to spend a lot of money and have to order online and wait for it to be delivered so I just got some cheap sauce bottles which actually worked out great!

So first you have to outline the cookies with a thick icing to create a barrier to hold the flooding in. This took a bit of practice, the first half of mine looked like they had been done by a toddler with the icing wiggling all round the edge of the biscuit! However the more I did the better I got and by the time I got to the end I was chuffed by how professional they (almost) looked :D After leaving that to dry for as long as I could resist (was dying to see how good they looked finished) the final step was flooding. Easier than the outlining but it took a while, I really need to learn to not slouch over the counter so much as my back was killing me by the time I finished.


I only have christmas cookie cutters at the moment but I thought stars, snowmen and pink wellie boots (from the stocking cutter) would still be ok! I love how smart and neat they look. The only bit I couldn't figure out was how do you make the join from the start and end of the outline nice and neat?


Pink to match my own wellies

Will definately be making these again in different shapes and designs and will try to be more adventurous and do some further piping on top of the cookies as well as practicing more to get my outlining looking lovely and smooth. And not only did they look great but they tasted fantastic too!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Phew! Happy New Year!

Wow, it's been a while hasn't it! Happy new year everyone and hope you all had a fun festive season. I can't believe how busy I was in the run up to christmas. I managed to finish 3 of the 4 cross stitch cards I bought to do though and had some very nice complimets on them :)

Unfortunately didn't end up with much time for baking, all I got done was my first ever gingerbread house, although it was a pretty mammoth project! I made it from scratch including modifying my own template and making the gingerbread dough. it took over 5 hours from start to finish but I was so pleased with how it turned out, it was definately worth the effort. I can't vouch for how it tasted as I don't actually like gingerbread but it got completely devoured at work so I'm taking that as a good sign. I used this recipe, I'm not sure if I did it right though as the raw dough seemed really oily/greasy but it was fine once it was baked. Also I've not made royal icing before and I didn't make it thick enough so it was taking ages to dry, I had to stand there holding bits and pieces whilst the icing set and ended up wedging some of the bits in place with sweets so that I didnt have to stay there holding them for hours. I was also pretty convinced that the whole thing was going to collapse but it stayed standing.


 


I was travelling all over the country over the christmas holidays so didn't get much done then apart from a bit of knitting (I'd messed up the alien scarf so had to start again). Back home and back to normal routine now though which also means back to work *sigh* And I have absolutely no energy at the moment but I'm going to try and force myself to do some baking this evening. I want to have a go at making sugar cookies and decorating them using the flooding method with royal icing (need to make it runny on purpose this time).

I also got a couple of crafty gifts for christmas which I can't wait to try out and hopefully I will write some reviews once I have done. First was the Polymer Clay Cookbook which I has asked for and the second was a lovely surprise, a cake tin in the shape of a giant cupcake similar to this! I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out ^_^