Saturday, December 3, 2011

Project Photo Dump

I have a couple photos of some projects I have worked on. No tutorials or anything, sorry.


 Another Doctor Who scarf!  The knitting is actually 100% done (not 75% like when this pic was taken), but edges and tassels still need to be done. This is a full size version of Season 14 with the 4th Doctor - it is much larger than pictured.

Hello Kitty Plush/Stuffed Animal - I made this from felt, thread, and poly fiber fill (fluff).  I sewed it together using a blanket stitch and a whip stitch.

Back of Hello Kitty


Sushi! It came out okay for my first attempt ever, but definite improvements to be made.  It is supposed to be a California Roll, so it is made of rice, nori, avocado, imitation crab meat, and cucumber.

Fun Geeky Hobbies:

I bought this D Gray Man puzzle at a convention. 1000 pieces way too much black, grey, and navy! I could only do the puzzle by natural sun light because the colors were too close and the indoor lights put a glare on the pieces.  It took me forever to finish, but I did it and it glowed in the dark.

I have a couple more pictures and will be working on some sewing - clothes - projects soon.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Long Time with No Posts

It has been a long time since I have posted anything new - sorry about that.
Work hasn't left me much time to cook and I was asked for a 4th Doctor scarf, so I've been working on that.

I have a whole bunch of photos of past projects I need to upload, so look out for those in the next week.

New projects, mostly crafting, to come in the near future. Mostly sewing projects.

Thanks for sticking around!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fleece Blanket

For my sister's birthday, part of my gift to her was a home sewn blanket.

We were at Hancock's Fabric and she found a dinosaur printed fleece she liked, so I offered to make something out of it.  I have a flannel blanket with a silky border, which needs repairs it is so old, and she asked for a blanket like that.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take progress pictures, but I plan on making another one around Christmas.  Then I'll remember the progress photos... hopefully.

Fleece Blanket:

1.5 yards of fleece or flannel
2 packages of blanket binding/border
Thread matching blanket binding
Sewing Machine

I did an extremely simple blanket.  I had 1.5 yards of my sister's chosen fabric cut.  I left it in the shape it was in from the store - my sister approved of the shape, since it was large enough to cover her.

I purchased blanket binding in a color that went with the colors in the fabric; I purchased only one package at first, but found later that I needed two. My process for attaching the binding will be different on my next blanket.

1) Lay out the fabric so it is flat. Iron flannel if necessary, be careful with fleece - it can burn

2) Pin binding to fabric. Make sure not to bunch fabric or pull to tight. The fold of the binding should match up and touch the edge of the fabric, so all the binding is on top of fabric.
Instructions I found say start pinning on a side not a corner, but I don't really like the look of a seem in the middle. I haven't tried starting at a corner, so I can't honestly suggest it.

3) Corners take a little practice. I'll post how to pictures next time since I'm sure my instructions won't be clear. Anyway, on both sides of the blanket, fold fabric over so it makes a point  over the corners point.  There will be a fold line down the middle of the corner. Doing this on one side should  cause the other side to do the same thing, but, if not, then repeat.

4) Finish pinning all the way around

5) Sew the binding on. I used a normal straight stitch, but I meant to use a zig-zag stitch to keep the edge of the binding from flapping up. My sister didn't care, so I kept the straight stitch at 1/4 inch from the edge of the binding.

When I revive my camera, I will take pictures of the corners.  Then I will add a better how-to for blanket binding corners.

I won't be cooking much in the near future due to my work hours, but I do have some past sewing and crafts I am going to try to post more regularly.  I also found this great knitting book, so I have that to work on as well as my Halloween costume.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cute Fabric Bows

I have an obsession with cute things, especially accessories, clothes, and fabrics.

Bows fall in that category. This is what led me to making my own bows out of my fabric scraps.

Sewing bows is actually much easier than it might seem; at least I thought it would be harder.

Above are the bows I have made so far.  The argyle and brown/tan bows were the first two I made. The fabric is a little loose around the middle, but practice makes perfect.

The bows don't have anything attached to them, which makes them a versatile accessory.  You can slip a bobby pin through the fabric loop for a hair bow or use a safety pin to attach the bow to a bag or outfit.

To make the bows I went through a process similar to that of making a tiny pillow except, after flipping the fabric pouch right-side out, I sewed the hole closed without filling the pouch will fluff.

The square/rectangle was then folded or scrunched and sewed down in the middle in order to get the bow shape. Lastly, a thin piece of fabric was wrapped and sewn around the middle of the bow.

There are real tutorials and patterns around the net. The patterns range in materials and skill level required - there are even no-sew an minimum sewing tutorials - so find the tutorial that is right for you if you are interested in the little DIY project.

In the future, after some more practice, I might try selling these with some of my other craft projects. I'm going to try adding details - like button charms, lace, ruffles, etc. - in order to create different styles.

Speaking of details...
I went craft supply shopping a couple times this week. There were sales and coupons that demanded my attention.

I came out with a decent haul that will help in my goal to create a crafting stock pile.

Fabric: Fleece, flannel, and felt. Rose fleece was on $2 a yard!

New storage box and patterns ($1.99 yeah!)

Crochet hooks, buttons, ribbon, thread, needles, and binding

Up close view of my cute buttons

I'm looking forward to using my new supplies. So many possibilities.

I leave you with pictures of my bows in use:

Next time: Fleece blanket

Friday, July 15, 2011

Striped Birthday Cake

I lied - more food!

It was my sister's birthday, so I made her cake.  We came across this tutorial for making a vertical striped cake and thought we'd attempt it for her bday.

Since this was a new technique, I save myself some trouble and just used boxed cake mix and canned icing.  I even bought Betty Crocker Cupcake Icing to decorate.

It didn't come out as nice as the tutorial because I am not an amazing baker. I'm good, but I don't have awesome skills.

First I made round cakes. My 2 boxes of mix made four 8 inch cakes, you will have 2 cakes or just extra cake at the end.
I used strawberry and chocolate cake.

After baking, removing from pans, and cutting off the tops to make the cake flat, I stacked cakes of the same flavor on top of each other (both strawberries together & chocolate together) and put them in the freezer to cool.

After freezing for a couple hours (3, I think), I took out the cakes and cut them into circles, so the cake looked like a bullseye.  Next time I will make a proper template; for this first attempt I tried measuring, which didn't work out. I had a gap I had to fill because my measurements were a little off from one cake to the other.

After cutting, I switched alternating colors between the cakes. Now you have a bullseye with alternating colored rings. I wrapped the cake in saran wrap and put in the freezer to try and mold the cake together. That didn't really work, mostly because my circles didn't fit each other properly.

After an hour in the freezer, I took the cake out. If frozen, thaw cake in the refrigerator; if not (like mine), go ahead and add icing.

I spread on white icing as normal, but tried to add decoration with the Betty Crocker Cupcake Icing in pink.  The Cupcake Icing is a whipped cream like can of icing. It comes with decorating tips, so you can try different designs.  It worked okay.  The tips worked perfectly and the icing tastes great; however, I had trouble stopping the flow of icing once it got started. This caused some extremely messy designing.  Fortunately, the cake was tasted good enough for my sister to forgive the mess.
If I was to use that pressurized icing again, I would first have to figure out how to control the flow better.

Now for a bunch of pictures:

The whole cake


Details and sprinkles

The inside:

The first piece served

Half the cake

 The candles:
I found special "Rainbow Glow" candles at the grocery store. The burn colors!

Back row, L to R: White, Green, Red
Front Row, L to R: Orange, Blue

Next time I try a cake pattern I am going to do a checkered sheet cake.

Next post will be crafty. I got a great haul from a craft store shopping out, so I'll be showing that off with some completed projects.
Then... probably more food in the near future. My friend and I want to have a Harry Potter themed baking day. The movie release has been quite inspiring!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mousakka & Recipe Tips

I haven't written about cooking in a long time, so I'd do a small post.

Fun cooking has not been happening lately because I usually bake for fun, and there has been a constant supply of baked goods lately.

I did make Moussaka a couple of weeks ago. I absolutely love mousakka.
Moussaka is a dish made up of layers of eggplant and minced/ground meat as well as tomato paste or sauce. The is also, typically, a Bechamel sauce on top. There are multiple variations depending on the chef and origin of the recipe.

For my version of Moussaka, I mix recipes.  Therefore, I do not have a recipe to share - sorry.  I have compiled the parts of different recipes I use into one.  I will do that next time though, it would probably be helpful and cut done cooking time, haha.

I remembered to take a picture of my finished product... of leftovers the next day.  It isn't as pretty as when it came out of the over; plus, it isn't melty and gooey looking since it is cold.

It was delicious!

Since I have to recipe to share, I thought I'd share some tips for recipes.

1) Improvise if you feel comfortable - If you don't like something in the recipe or would like something added, do it.  Recipes are a lot of testing and altering when you are trying a new one, so you might as well try the changes you'd like.

2) Check for seasoning in recipes: Sometimes recipes do not give you seasonings to use.  Remember to add appropriate seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, herbs) to your dishes. I have become so wrapped up in doing all the steps of a new recipe correctly that I forget salt & pepper because it wasn't listed. Don't make my mistake.

3) Finding info: Speaking of seasonings, you may be unsure what types to use if it isn't listed. Check your cook books, online, and even the herb/seasoning containers for helpful info.  You can find info about what types of proteins go well with different herbs or what type of seasoning is found in certain types of cuisine.

4) Lastly, if you're not sure of the instructions while reading the recipe, look for other recipes or tutorials to supplement.  One of my Moussaka recipes has confusing instructions for making the Bechamel sauce. Luckily, I use a Bechemal type process for my homemade mac & cheese, so I used those instructions.  Some one out there will explain the instructions in a way that works for you. Everyone understands differently.

I hope some of those were helpful or made you see you aren't alone in not getting something right the first or knowing info on all sorts of techniques and spices.

More crafting in the future - if I can get motivated to iron and cut fabric. I love sewing; I dislike the prep.
I would really like to do an Artist Alley at a convention or have a booth at an art fair sometime in the future; however, I need to practice more and come up with more designs. So, that is what I'm working on now.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hetalia Mochi Bean Bag and (yet) Another Stencil

Updating just as I promised ♥

For another gift I made a Hetalia mochi bean bag.  Hetalia is a Japanese Anime, so you are not wrong in your confusion if you are someone that does not watch anime much or at all. For those who don't know: Hetalia is a show made of short segments where countries are given human forms and personalities, which are typically based off history and ridiculous stereotypes. It is a specific type of humor - lots of sarcasm, history metaphors, and jokes based on the crazy stereotypes people create. I don't recommend it if that type of humor is outside your comfort zone.

Now, I digress; the Hetalia characters have mochi (wiki it) forms. I made one character, France, from white flannel, plastic stuffing beads, thread, felt, stamp ink, and fabric paint pens.

The pattern is a circle for the bottom and 4 rounded triangle/half petal shapes.  Google "mochi pattern" and you can find one if not multiple templates.
I used my sewing machine for the 4 triangles things and part of the sewing the circle to the connected 4 triangle things. I left an opening so I could flip the fabric right side out (since you sew things with the wrong sides facing out, so the seems and ugly stuff are later on the inside). I used the opening to poor in the beads too.  After filling the mochi, I hand sewed the opening closed.  After sewing the base was complete, I added details. I cut out a rose from red felt and sewed it to the bean bag.  A mouth, eyes, and France's flag (on back) were added with fabric pens.  Lastly, some cheek color was added using pink stamp ink.

I think it turned out cute. I would do his mouth a little better and not add fabric marker to the inked cheeks next time, but overall I was very pleased.

Kissy France face

Back of mochi. 
Flag to indicate country - I didn't know if people would be able to tell

My second craft project for today.... Another Stencil!

This is actually the box I sent the gift in. I decorated the top with an image from the Ministry of Silly Walks.
I found the pattern through google [here].  The normal procedure followed: tracing, cutting, ironing, painting.
I don't recommend boxes for stenciling with freezer paper.  The paper doesn't always want to come off.  I figured it might be like that, but I didn't have anything else at the time.

The completed piece.

For those that may be interested in following me another way or just want to look at my photos of my projects, I have a Deviantart profile [right here].

If you plan on coming back for future posts, please follow through blogger, a reader, or on Deviantart.  It will give me a better idea of my small reader group (friends, crafters, cookers, etc.).

Be back soon!