Monday, August 31, 2009

Its Birthday time again

We celebrated this gorgeous little boy-scout's birthday this week.

This is what he chose for his birthday cake. Chocolate swirl cake. Milk, white and dark chocolate ganaches swirled together on top. The filling is white chocolate butter cream and the outside is toasted almonds. YUM!

The girls strongly encouraged him to blow out his birthday candle despite most of the cake having been eaten already. You can see how many layers of buttercream and chocolate cake there are!

We've given up on the right amount of birthday candles and have started again. Happy Birthday Richard!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Travel Activity Pack Tutorial

I’m taking my girls on holiday tomorrow to see their Nanna and Grandad in Australia. Rich is staying here to work and I have to say that I’m dreading the flight just a little bit! I did all our packing a couple of days ago so I decided to spend today making a couple of bits and pieces that would make the flight easier. I made this bag from Kwik Sew pattern 3612 but added pockets to hold all the bits and pieces that I can never find in normal bags.

I made myself a matching passport case with an appliqué bird on it.

And I made the girls these activity packs to hold all their colouring bits and pieces. I got the basic idea from this tutorial but changed it to suit my needs.

Here’s how you make one big enough to fit a couple of A4 size colouring/reading books, 6 felt pens, a pencil and a pocket for other bits and pieces like stickers and treats.

You will need:
Fabric, small piece of velcro, interfacing or thin wadding, Scissors,
Sewing machine
Straight edge
Rotary cutter and mat (optional)
Tailors chalk or disappearing ink pen

Cut out 2 oblong pieces of fabric. Mine were 23"x16"
Cut out one piece of thin batting or stiff interfacing (I used stuff for handbags) in the same size as the fabric
Cut out a long pocket piece the same length as your outer and lining pieces and about half the height.
Cut out a smaller pocket piece (about 8 1/2“ x 6 1/2” )
Cut out a long d-shaped piece for the outer flap (see pic further down)

1. Take your lining piece and pin it to the wadding or attach fusible interfacing. Fold over the top of the long pocket twice and hem the edge.

2. With the right side of the lining face up, pin the pocket to the lining piece. With your ruler, mark the middle point with tailors chalk or disappearing ink pen.

3. Mark vertical lines over the rest of the pocket wide enough to fit your pens or pencils. Mine were thick pens so I spaced them 1 ½ “ apart.

4. Turn the top of the small pocket over twice and press. Turn over the other 3 edges once. Pin the pocket on to the left hand side of the folder, above where the pens will go. (see above)

5. Stitch the pocket in place and stitch along the vertical lines of the pen pockets. This is what it will look like on the underside of the wadding/interfacing.

6. Stitch around the d-shaped flap piece. Clip curves and turn right side out. Press and top stitch close to the edge. Attach a piece of Velcro (the rough side) to the top edge of the flap.

7. Place the flap Velcro side down in middle of the right hand edge of the lining piece. Make sure that there is a bit of an overhang from the flap piece to make sure it stays there securely. Put the cover piece face down so the pieces are right sides together and pin

8. Stitch all the way around the rectangle leaving a gap for turning. Trim edges and clip the corners. Turn right side out and press tucking the turning opening edges in. Top stitch all the way around catching the opening as you go.

9.Fuse a piece of felt to double sided fusible webbing. Cut out a letter shape of your choice. Peel off paper backing and fuse it on to the closing flap piece.

10. Mark with pins where the soft part of Velcro needs to go and hand stitch it in place.

You’re all done! Fill it with pencils/pens and books and give it to your favourite kiddliwink. Let me know if you make one of these and come across any problems.
Eloise's activity pack has a purple felt strip that she can put fuzzy felts on (which I found in an op shop).

Monday, August 10, 2009

Crafters everywhere

I couldn't resist opening today's post with this pic. This gorgeous vintage Fisher Price set was mine as a little girl. Mum and Dad brought her over to me recently (actually, I think they were bringing her over for my children but I can't see them ever getting their hands on her!). I think she may well have had a large influence on my current self-image. See how important kids toys are? Guess why Bratz dolls are banned in our house!

I've been doing an awful lot of hanging around with the crafty crowd over the last week. My poor husband has been seriously neglected in the evenings as I've been out or busy most nights. Its actually been a good thing though as he has been pretty busy himself. The magazine he publishes, New Zealand Musician, turns 21 years old this month. He has published this free magazine for all but 2 issues over the last 21 years and I am incredibly proud of his achievements.

The crafty week started with the first of my community education classes in screen printing on fabric. There are 4 Devonport Craft Market stallholders in a class of 8 which makes it a lot of fun.

Tuesday night was a night out at the movies. Helena and Wendy of Wellington Creative organised a screening of this fab documentary which focussed on the origins of the American Indie Craft movement. Lots of laughs and very interesting too. We had the opportunity to have a last minute stall there and Bronwyn of R.W.Scissors very kindly ran the stall for us (thanks Bron!). We managed to hand out loads of flyers and sold a few bits and pieces too. I sold one of my tape measure brooches and got another order out of it so I was a happy girl.

After the movie. We went along to the new Lucky Penny craft club which has been started by Heleen of Ruby in the Dust . It was lovely to get together with the ladies who came along, drink wine and find out more about what lead them to the crafty existence they now lead. We discussed how we fit crafting into our lives and I was particularly impressed with Helene Dehmer's discovery that she can knit whilst walking to work. What a gal!

Finally, there was the Devonport Crafty Get-Together last night. We had a green-themed craft swap challenge that was due to happen last night but so many were sick or otherwise occupied we've moved it to 13th September. Time to get your thinking caps on girls! As a result of the green theme, I've been spending a lot of time recently browsing the web for green themed ideas. These are a couple that I really liked:

Bottle PET purse
I love this idea but can imagine doing myself real damage when poking holes in the plastic (don't let me near sharp implements!).

Wallet sized fold up grocery bag
I really like the way this folds easily into a little pouch. I will definately be having a go at that one. I was also thinking of just making a simple fold over pouch to contain the existing shop bought bags I have and stop them from distributing themselves all over my car and house (I swear they have legs!).

In the end, I decided to let myself be inspired by the amazing Betz White and her recycled felted sweater crafting. Her tag line is Stitch Beautifully, Tread Lightly so it definately fits in with the eco aspect of the green theme. I had a wonderfully soft and fluffy green felted sweater in my sewing room that I've used for lots of other projects but still had a few scraps left. This is what I came up with:

2 peas in a pod. The pod is made from a felted sweater which makes it a double dose of green. The pea babies are made from scraps of craft felt.

It tried really hard to make the babies look identical but as with all handmade things, this is impossible!
I will have to make another of these to keep for myself. I'll post a tute when I do that one. The next Devonport crafty get-together will happen on Sunday 13th September at the Devonport Community House. Everyone is welcome so if you fancy coming along, just contact us via the blog or via our email address .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Big Day

I was woken at 5.30am this morning by an extremely excited little girl desperate for her party to begin. Our beautiful Eloise had her 3rd birthday party today. I normally get extremely stressed by my kids' birthday parties because I always try to do too much in too little time but this time I made a plan, stuck to it, kept it simple and small and it was wonderful. Here are some photos:

The Dora cake. I made the cake in a bunt pan. I always use packet cake mix for birthday cakes as it is always moist and lasts about a week. I had to use nearly 4 packets to fill the pan. I then used 4 quantities of butter cream which I divided into 3 bowls and coloured. I used all of the butter cream. I then simply piped rosettes all over the cake and doll's bodice and added shop bought icing flowers. I sprinkled edible glitter and butterflies over the cake and voila, done. Oh and I wrapped Dora's legs and body in the soft plastic bags you get your veggies in to protect the cake and help her to stand upright. This is an age old party cake but it always looks so impressive.

Heart cupcakes:

Place setting (Stephanie of Liberty Lane made the beautiful crowns which were a great take home present that will actually last!)

The finished bunting (Happy Birthday Eloise):

The table. I used gorgeous pink and yellow primroses as a centre piece. I covered the plant pots with yellow crepe paper and tied them with offcuts from the purple felt table runner and pink fabric table cloth (just hemmed pink fabric). The pink and purple balloons are on sticks stuck into the flower pots and are tied with yellow curling ribbon.

Another shot of the party table

Each child had a cupcake with their initial on it at their place.

Here the kids are having their party food:

We played traditional party games. Pass the parcel, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Musical Bumps. As it was a Dora themed party, we also played a Dora adventure game that came to me at 6am this morning (so it was handy I was woken so early!). We planned to have a normal treasure hunt but I decided to make a Dora style map of the garden and we did a Dora treasure hunt.

The kids had backpacks filled with small balloons, musical instruments and plastic knives (one for each child). We put the slide in the middle of the lawn and that became Slide Mountain. Two wonderful friends sat on the bench by the wendy house and became the Grumpy Trolls. I tied paper streamers to our washing line and that became 'Paper Forest'. Finally, I put my jewellery box filled with bags of lollies in the sandpit and that became the Tiny Desert. The kids followed the map, found the relevant tools from their backpacks to help them over the obstacles and tried to stop another wonderful friend who played Swiper, from swiping their stuff. They had to sing Happy Birthday to the Grumpy Trolls to send them to sleep which was hilarious. The kids loved it, so did we and my girls have spent all afternoon playing it again and again (my poor jewellery box is looking a little worse for wear!). I had so much fun today. Small, simple and sticking to the plan is definately the way to go in future!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

Our beautiful youngest daughter, Eloise, turned 3 today. I can't believe that those 3 years have gone so quickly. She is such a wonderful child. So easy to be around, so quick with a smile and so happy. Today was a quiet family day as her party is on Saturday but I still wanted to make it special for her. I've been working on a birthday bunting which will hopefully become part of our family's birthday tradition. Here's a sneak preview but it isn't quite finished yet. But it will be by Saturday (party day)!

I made her a chocolate cake to share with family and her Godmother who can't make it on Saturday.

Can you tell she is quite keen on Dora? Her lovely godmother Melanie bought her a sleepy time Dora which was a huge hit.

Melanie also brought some gorgeous cupcakes so Eloise got to blow out 2 lots of birthday candles today!

Yum! Chocolate!

She got a Sleeping Beauty dress from us which I didn't make.

and a dolly called Rosie which I did.

Eloise asked me to make her a dolly called Rosie to share her birthday cake. How could I resist? She is my first attempt at soft sculpture and I love the way she turned out. She has white lacy undies, lace topped party socks, Pink and yellow felt shoes and a party dress with icecreams all over it. I really did enjoy making her but I may well have palpatations when Eloise tries to feed her chocolate cake. I don't think that curly hair would survive a trip through the washing machine! I will post more pics of her and the bunting when I get the chance to take them.


Related Posts with Thumbnails