Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Kids placesmats, made out of scrapbook papers

I was setting the kids places out for dinner and thought I'd blog about about an old craft: their cool individual placemats - a quick crafty project with endless possibilities and that should keep everyone happy about their personal space at the dinner table. 
Basically all they are is 12x12 scrapbook paper, laminated. No tutorial required really, it is that simple. You just need access to an A3 sized laminator, and make sure the laminating sheet can get a good seal at all four edges. Given the wide range of papers available you are sure to find something to suit every child's personality or interests, you could even add some decoupage (although I do find the smooth surface of the papers makes for a more hygienic 'wipe clean' finish).

These are the kids place mats we made last year, I particularly love the double sided papers for these. And of course this idea isn't limited to just the kids, you can make some great 'grown up' placemats too. And why limit yourself to scrapbook paper why not make a whole set of placemats for your table using wallpaper samples or card mounted gift wrap? Happy crafting!

Feeling poorly & Mr S's cookies

We've all been feeling rather under the weather lately. In fact, I think the whole family has had some form of illness or another for the whole of march. I'm to rest up today and banish this flu bug before my birthday tomorrow, so Mr S thoughtfully made me and the kids some chocolate cookies (Perhaps the tag should have read: hand made by Mr S, lol).
There are yet more luscious chocolaty smells coming from my kitchen as he is attempting to make my Mother's Chocolate Fudge Cake recipe as my birthday cake :)

Promise to get better soon and get back to my crafting, have a few sewing projects in mind and will be doing lots of Easter crafts with the kids.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cards: Welcome to the world baby Freddie

Our close friends had a baby boy on Thursday and if course I made a card for the occasion. I added a twist to's standard Birth card, with the addition of this lovely 'Baby boy' printed Lining, I think it adds a bit more luxury to the card and I may be keeping it as a feature in the new collection:

Can't wait to meet the little guy :D

Please note: I have photoshoped out Freddie's surname for the family's privacy.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Mr Potato Head Goes POP ... [cake]

I've been busy exploring theme ideas for my daughters Birthday and my Son pipes up telling me he wants a 'Buzz n Duddy Party'. OK, his Birthday isn't till November and by then he'll most probably be into something totally different but it got me researching Toy Story related crafts and I came across Bakerella's Mr Potato Head Cake Pop Tutorial and I just had to try them.
I admit most of the ingredients listed on the tutorial looked like they weren't going to be readily available in the UK - and if they were, would probably cost more than I was prepared to pay (especially for a 'trial run'). But figured I could probably make do with the contents of the kids sweetie box for most of it. The big problem was the 'peanut butter candy melts', I discovered I could source some via eBay, but then yesterday at my local supermarket I spotted a little (100g) bag of "Silver Spoon Create: Orange Flavour Buttons" and rushed home to experiment.
I wasn't originally intending on attempting a Mr Potato Head straight off the bat. My original plan was to test out the process of melting the 'flavour buttons' and application tecniques ... but, I've always raced ahead of myself and before the buttons had melted I was raiding the sweetie box for potential 'body parts' :D
I had a little left over black sugar paste, so used this for his hat and moustache, blue smarties for feet, white chocolate chips with a chocolate sprinkle for eyes, pink chocolate beans for ears and a chopped up tooty frooities for the nose and mouth and cut up lolly sticks for arms.
Not a patch on Bakerella's but not bad for a first attempt, I shall keep practising!

Today's the day, the Teddy Bears have their ... cake-pops

While making my Mr Potato Head cake-pops, I decided to experiment with the left over  coating (melted Silver spoon orange flavoured buttons) and came up with this cute and incredibly simple Cake-Pop, prefect for any cake-pop novices out there (like me). Basically made with two milk chocolate buttons as 'ears', brown smarties on for the 'nose' and chocolate sprinkles for 'eyes'.

The only disaster was leaving them out to dry over night and the coating came up a bit splotchy, I'm hoping this isn't an issue with proper candy melts, but will be making sure I they go in an air tight container as soon as they set next time. This is exactly why I like test runs on all experimental baking projects, lol.

The kids' friends are coming over today, and despite the mottling effect I don't think they'll last long :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Bunny Bait trial run...

Another trial run, this time on Easter themed 'bunny bait' recipe from Bake at 350. The kids and I used smarties instead of m&ms as that was what we had to hand - considering making it for Easter weekend maybe using mini mini eggs, and possibly adding pretzels like Jaclyn's version at cooking classy ....Bang goes the diet!

Cakes go pop!

Decided to have a quick trial run on making cake-pops this weekend. It's against my baking nature to buy a packet mix' but for this type of receipe I relented. Mr S however convinced me against spending money on candy melts or melting chocolate for a trial run - which is where I think I went wrong, lol. I learned the hard way icing is just no good for the job: it's either too thick to dip or too runny to stay put, they actually looked alright when hardened - but lesson learned for next time :D

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Invites: Minnie Mouse Theme Tutorial

My little girl's 2nd birthday is coming up and I'm planning a Minnie Mouse Party, but hoping to do as much of it myself and avoid the commercial partywear as much as possible, so keep your eyes peeled for a party special. But first I need to send out the invites, they're so simple to make I thought I'd share a quick tutorial on them for all you crafty parents out there - in fact this one is so simple older children will be able to help too.
* Friends and family please spot the 'deliberate mistake' with the date on this first batch of invites, lol

What you will need:
 White A4 paper
Black Card
Pink dotty ribbon
A circle cutter (optional)
Adhesive (eg- high tack tape)
5"x5" Envelopes
The below template (click to get original size)

Firstly print the mickey mouse template (click on image to get original size and then save or copy and paste into word). Then on a new word document use the 'insert shape' tool to draw 6cm circles and the text box tool to add your party information and print. I can recommend the fun Disney style font Walter. Alternatively, cut 6cm circles with your cutter and write the information by hand.
Next use your circle cutter to cut out the party information panel. Cut out your mickey mouse outline, and use a pencil to draw around it as many times as will fit on each piece of black card (I think I managed 4 per A4) alternatively use your circle cutter to make one large and two small circles and overlap slightly.
Now take a length of ribbon and tie into a bow (I ended up getting them to the right size and then adding a single stitch to hold them in place but this isn't essential). Now simply take your three elements and stick together, I used a high tack tape roller mouse to attach the information panel and glue dots to attach the bow. Now just repeat the process as many times as required.

[For the full party details CLICK HERE]

Cards: Teen Pink and Lace

Here is a sneak peak at a card I've made for my Niece for this Thursday, she's going to turn 11 but thought I'd give her a more grown-up 'Teen' style cards.
I often prefer to use double sides patterned card as this makes this inside far more premium. And as always my little butterfly tag at the back.

Cards: Mother's Day 2012

The vast majority of my crafting these days are my handmade cards (many of which will soon be available in my shop ( althou while working on the wedding plans the only cards I make are for my nearest and dearest and commisions from friends and relatives.

Here is a sneak peak at my Mothers Day cards for this Sunday. One for my Mum (left) and one for my future Mother In law (right). We are having both Mum's over for Sunday  Lunch and I quite liked the idea of giving them co-ordinating but unique cards. I've keep them quite simple, and accecented them a little photo charm of Me and Mr.S when we were little - we'ren't we cute?

Monday, 12 March 2012

Preview: My Heirloom Bouquet

As we're almost at the 100 days mark towards the wedding, I thought I'd post a preview of one of the many bridal projects I have on the go. Normally I prefer to only post completed projects, but just this once a little sneak peek can't hurt ;)

I've decided to shun the traditional floral bouquet, because it seems a lot of money for something you are just going to throw away and ... well, after seeing Heirloom Bouquets in a wedding magazine I just had to have one. Once complete I'll post some photos and the tutorial I've been using, but for anyone who hasn't heard of these fab items's here's a handy link, perfect for magpies like me.

Here is part of my the collection of 'heirlooms' so far, some are already wired up ready for use, and now I've finally located my gluegun progress should be a bit more rapid.

I've had great finds at carboots, charity shops, ebay and very generous friends and family.

 Itching to get going with the glue gun, can't wait to post the finished item.

Brooch: A Tinkerbell in Paris

Like most people, I spent the lead up to a few days in Eurodisney with the kids sewing this Tinkerbell brooch for my daughter (ok, ok so it was me who ended up wearing it as a bag charm, but the thought was there). I have to admit its far from perfect, I didn't have the right skin or dress colour in felt to match the proper Tinkerbell. But for something basically whipped it up in a few hours the day before and finished on the way to the ferry, its not too terrible. 

I took the above photo to prove she travelled all the way to disneyland with us (although it was impossible to get the castle and the fairy in focus in the same shot on my little compact, lol). Not bad for a first attempt, but hopefully some lessons learned and a nice momento of the visit.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Brooches: The ladybirds and the bees

Today I've been sewing in the garden, while watching the kids make mud piles, and 'carpetting' their tent with grass. These cute bumble bee and ladybird badges for the kids were quite straight forward to make, and again, only using things I already had in the cupboard - just need to get brooch backs, once completed I'll share a tutorial on how to make them.

I also replicated the process in miniature and made some mini clips for my daughter, just waiting for the glue to dry, before road testing them :)