Category Archives: Crafts

There’s something fishy about this cake….

A few weeks ago I tried my hand at baking a birthday cake for a colleagues milestone birthday. It came about after I had an unfortunate incident with the microwave at work and a piece of cod I was reheating. Our office smelt like cod for days so the most obvious theme I could think of for the birthday cake was a fish.

Like a good baker I researched away on YouTube on what the best fish shaped cakes were out there. I came across this amazing video and decided I had to give it a go!

Looks impressive!

So armed with my apron, YouTube and enough icing sugar to last a life time I gave it a go!

I think it came out quite well!

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I should probably add we are still friends and she loved the cake!

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I Believe In Learning Something New

I love learning. Im not talking about capital cities or languages, but learning skills, crafts or just something new and a little different.

Over the years i’ve dabbled in a few things here and there…..such as running (One I probably should have kept up), dress making, knitting and even nail art (A personal favorite!). I just like to learn! What is life if we dont learn new things?!

Well to continue on my journey of learning I decided this weekend that I would like to learn to crochet with the goal of making a blanket!

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One Awesome Cake

I’ve been poorly now for a few days and that along with not being able to see has made me pretty cranky!
So, my sister came to stay for a couple of days. She brought with her some tasty biscuits from my mum to cheer me up and mountains of washing I left at home! She also brought her impressive baking knowledge.

I’m not a very good baker, my last cake came out part cake/part pancake.
It looked impressive but tasted awful!

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Anyway…we came across this beautiful cake on Pinterest and decided to attempt it. Pinterest is so great for inspiration like that!

We managed to find the original baker – you can have a look at her making it here

I didn’t get too close to the actual baking, it would have ended up a flu bug cake.
We followed a traditional sponge cake recipe. The one we followed was one of Delia Smiths, can you find it here.

Our extras

Chocolate ‘kit Kat’ style biscuits
Smarties
Chocolate frosting
Strawberry jam

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After baking our two layers we let them cool for around 30 minutes.

Once cool, we spread the strawberry jam out for the filling and put the two halves together.

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Once together we spread the chocolate frosting all over.

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We then stuck the chocolate Kit Kat biscuits all around the edge. They stuck well because of the chocolate frosting.

Once they had been stuck all around (it took 24 packets altogether!) we poured the smarties and chocolate eggs on top.

We finished off with a ribbon

And heres a little video. (My very first YouTube video!!)…

We didnt want to cut it – it just looked too good! It looked great and was really simple to put together.

It would be a great idea for a birthday cake or even an easter cake!

Paper Flower Wheels

Paper Flower Wheels

After seeing some beautiful paper flower wheels last week on Pinterest, we decided they would be a nice thing to attempt this weekend (I always like a crafty challenge!). Along with a little helper, we spent our Sunday afternoon attempting to make some.

Things we used:

  • Patterned paper
  • Super Glue (or a glue gun)
  • PVA glue
  • Scissors
  • Buttons
  • Kebab sticks
  • Guillotine
  • Ruler
To start with, we cut some strips of patterned paper into roughly 1 inch wide lengths (We found that the wider you cut the strips, the harder it was to turn them inside out later on!).
After cutting the strips, we scored along the paper, at 1 cm intervals using the scissors and a ruler. We were pretty lucky as the guillotine had 1cm markings already on it but you could just mark it out using a pencil.

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After scoring the paper, we folded it back and forth until we had an accordion shape going on. Scoring the paper beforehand made it a lot easier to fold and also made sure all of our sides were the same distance apart.

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My little helped showing off her fancy paper!

Once we had our accordion shapes, we used a little PVA glue to secure both ends together. We tried to hide any other flaps beneath the folds of the paper.

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After letting the glue dry, you fold it back on itself. Its a little hard to explain (I might make a video!), but if you gather it together (see below image) at the top, you can press down so the bottom fans out.

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Once it had began to flatten down, we used some more PVA glue to stick the middle together. We found that using to much PVA made them go a little soggy. If it didn’t stick, we resorted to the powerful stuff…..the super glue to hold it all together! We also placed some cups on top of them to hold them down whilst they dried.

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For the inside of the flowers, we found some old pretty buttons. We tied tread and twine to some to create bows.

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After they had dried, we stuck on the buttons using the superglue and attached the kebab sticks to the back of the flowers.

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How pretty! Im going to stick mine in an old vase I have , my little helper hasnt quite decided where hers are going yet…I think she just like looking at them for now!

You could put them in a vase like I will, or you could use them….

  • In a cake
  • In with dried flowers
  • On a card (without the stick)
  • In cocktails

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Best of all….they won’t wilt and die 🙂

 

Yarn Bowl for Knitting with small owls

Sunday Pinterest Miscellany 29.01.12

Another Sunday – another reason to share some of my Pinterest finds from the week!

'Without you my life would pretty much suck' Bowl

'Without you my life would pretty much suck' Bowl

Lightbulb Flower Hangers

Lightbulb Flower Hangers

 

Katniss's Mockingjay Pin from the Hunger Games

Katniss's Mockingjay Pin from the Hunger Games (With an added Pearl)

 

Yarn Bowl for Knitting with small owls

Yarn Bowl for Knitting with small owls

 

Door Knob Necklace Holder

Door Knob Necklace Holder

 

Everytime I go on Pinterest I see something I would like to attempt to make! Ive been working this week on the paper flower wheels from last week (A post might be appearing about them very soon!).

Have you had any lovely Pinterest finds this week?

Vintage Sewing Pattern 4024

Vintage Sewing Patterns

This post is really an excuse to show some lovely vintage patterns i’ve been acquiring!  They have come from a mixture of places, charity shops, eBay and of course my beloved Etsy! Some have been cheaper than others (I think the most was about $8?).

So far i’ve completed one of the patterns, i’m just beginning to sew so it was a steep learning curve! Some parts weren’t followed exactly as they should have been but it turned out pretty well and didn’t fall apart so I was very pleased! It felt very satisfying to wear something that I had made. (Pattern 4745!)

You should take a look at Sewaholics blog on following vintage patterns which was a great help. A lot of clear photographs and tips which was really useful.

I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Restoring Vintage Suitcases

I posted earlier in the week about 3 lovely old suitcases I picked up from the junk shop. They are pretty battered and beaten but it just all adds to the character.

I was looking for some old suitcase for a while but searching ebay they always seem so expensive or too far away to collect.

So it was lucky that I found these little beauties! My sister and I decided we would spruce them up. Photos taken by my sister – you can see more of her work here!

I know nothing about restoration so we did a little research before hand online. We came across quite a few posts where people have also tackled the same sort of thing. Ill post the links at the end!

1. We started of by hoovering out all 3 cases. They all had little bits of ripped paper, dust and one even a rusty nail!

2. We filled our sink with warm soapy water and gave each case a wipe over. For the insides, I gave them all a wipe down with a cleaning cloth as they all smelt a little musty. None had any immediate signs of mold but its better to be safe than sorry!

3. To tackle the smell……They all smelt pretty bad, after how many years shut up they had the tell tale musty smell that comes along with anything old! To tackle the smell, I crumped up some old newspapers into the bottom of each case. I filled a small bowl with baking soda and some drops of lavendar oil.

3. After leaving them shut for a couple of days, they smelt alot better! I hoovered them out again afterward to pick up any more dust.

5. I spruced up some of the locks and corners using wire wool and a polisher. It was difficult to get into every nook, so some ended up looking better than others. The green case came up the best as it had the most rust on it

6. After cleaning the rust off, I gave all the locks a wipe down using silver and brass polish, this took off any last bits of dust that were still there.

8. Looking a bit better now!! I didn’t do much to the out side of the cases, I was worried I would damage or discolour the leather so I used some leather shine to help protect them a little more. I did consider using some shoe polish to go over areas where they had been worn but thought the colours might not match.

9. I’ve left the insides in tact for now. In a few weeks I might tackle replacing them but they dont seem to bad!

It doesnt seem as if ive done much to them but they feel and smell alot cleaner than they did before. Heres hoping they last another 30 years!

I cant wait to fill them!

Our Research:

http://www.dearlittlehouse.com.au/2011/07/how-to-restore-fabulous-vintage.html

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_7597639_refurbish-vintage-leather-luggage.html

http://highplainsthrifter.net/2010/04/06/how-to-clean-vintage-luggage/