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Monday, 23 November 2009

Man hat

After suffering frost-nipped ears last year, I promised M that I would make him a suitably 'manly' hat to keep him toasty. This seemed the obvious choice to me, recommended strongly by P who I believe made a rather cute purple version last year.

Have started the creation early this year, it was bumped by various other projects until recently when I rediscovered the sad little project bag at the back of the cupboard. Thankfully it knitted up pretty quickly (mainly because it was a bit dull) and M seems pleased, although initially a bit hesitant about the 'relaxed' fit. We will see what happens when it starts to get really cold...

Here is M, looking ready to rob a bank. Perhaps online.

Creative cupcakes

Anyone who knows me will be aware of my affinity for the dear old cupcake. Oreo cupcakes, buttercream-topped cupcakes, cupcakes with iced cacti and chili peppers - I have done it all. Not exactly with a professional hand, but with just enough enthusiasm to make up for any fudging.

So when offered a chance to learn some more advanced decorating skills, well it was a no-brainer really. We met with the lovely Arianna of Bittersweet Bakers at her cosy flat and were promptly given a small bowl (to call it a 'cup' would be an insult) of tea and cheesecake brownies to get us in the mood - it was hard to imagine a more promising start.

After a quick intro, we sat down at the table and tried not to ogle the array of decorating paraphernalia which was spread before us. Edible glitter! In over 10 different shades! Sprinkles in the shape of red lips, hearts, gingerbread men, butterflies and flowers danced before our dazzled eyes. There were even edible *pearls*! Ok ladies, breathe..

We managed to contain our excitement and concentrated on piping royal icing, which we created in eye-popping colours. We were never much for subtlety.

This was followed by tips of how to colour and spread buttercream icing - the vanilla scent of it was most enticing. We also resisted to urge to stick our fingers into the soft, shiny chocolate ganache.

Finally it was time to try some piping. Piping was good. In fact it was hard to stop. But then I remembered the edible glitter. Here are some of my decoration-encrusted creations.

I have a feeling that we will be back for more very soon. Thanks to Arianna for a gorgeous afternoon!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Sew pretty

It was another very relaxing weekend, spent with my parents in the country, but this time there was a crafting bonus. My dear granny has recently moved out of her old house in Sweden and into a nearby care home. She seems to have settled in well, and only occasionally moans about being made to go for walks with 'oldies' and being served new fangled food like lasagna.

In any case, my granny was known for creating an old crochet bathrobe or two in her youth (my sisters were the lucky recipients) and hence had a trove of crafty bits and bobs in her basement. My mother very kindly gathered some of them together for me and brought them back to the UK. Apparently there was also a considerable fabric stash, so it was probably lucky that I was not there for the clean-out or I might have ended up exploding the already burgeoning sideboard in my flat.

More pretty-coloured threads to add to my sewing box, as well as some interesting woolen tapestry (?) thread:

Even more thread!

Some rather cool trimming which I'm scheming what to do with..

Lots of BUTTONS! I have now managed to fill my recycled gherkin jar to the top!

These tiny frames originally hung on a little tree made of similar material and showed pictures of my sisters, brother, cousin and myself. Maybe I can think of something Victoriana to make with them..

As a bit of a thank-you I have sent her a pair of cabled cashmere wristwarmers which I finished over the weekend (and of course forgot to photograph).
From one crafty soul to another.