Friday, 30 September 2011

Scrappy Tutu

I've seen a few of these around. And I happen to have a daughter who has more wardrobe changes in a day than Mariah. Plus I have scraps everywhere! (I mean seriously they seem to be gradually claiming more and more ground every day, they spilled out of the box long ago!)

Anyway, I thought the project was win win so I went and started cutting fabric at 10pm the other night. Lots of strips.

I tried to do as many as possible that were double length so I could cheat a little, but the cutest fabrics were smaller scraps so I just double knotted them onto a ring of elastic.

The next morning while Ethan napped Izzy passed me strip and I knotted them on. I amazingly managed to make just the right amount of strips. Apparently a butt load is the correct quantity.


I did end up giving it a little 'hair cut', left is post trimming.

And then I couldn't keep her from dancing and spinning!

A little note though, for those as wise as me.

You can't put it in the washer because of the raw edges. 

So letting recipient eat spaghetti bolognese while wearing brand new skirt is not advised. 

Just for those of you who didn't know...obviously I am a responsible and cautious mother who knows better.


Thursday, 29 September 2011

Two easy ideas

When Andy had his week off this summer one thing I wanted to try was fabric paints. Izzy is really into painting and clothes, so I thought it could be the perfect combination.



I just got some cheap fabric paint from the pound shop and we all had a go! Though I must admit that I was a mean mum and did this while Ethan was napping. I was a little too worried that we'd all get painted, including the kitchen, though I did get Izzy to decorate one for him so he didn't miss out!

Of course the only male involved had to get all mathematical!

And mine was super cheesy!

Not a bad activity for £1! (The tee's were old ones we already had.)

And lastly, my sister gave me this cute top.

I loved the fabric but the style did nothing for me, so...

I may have turned it into a scarf. Because of the fabric doesn't fray I didn't need to hem the edges, I just cut four evenish width pieces and sewed them together!

My husband didn't understand my excitement when I found out that the lining of my jacket matched the scarf! 

Easy peasy project! Ten minutes tops from start to finish. And to my lovely sister who gave it to me, thanks! Hope you don't mind that I hacked it up...

What have you done that's meant a new use for something good you had lying around? Or do you have a good upcycle I can steal ;)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

These are my favourite kind of cupcakes, first because they taste the nicest of any I've tried. They keep moist and have the most delicious strawberry chocolate taste I love. 

But also because you can use your not so nice, gone a bit soft and not very good for snacking on strawberries that will ultimately end up in the bin. (which makes me sad.) 

(I found this recipe and adapted it before blogging and so don't know where it came from, if you know please tell me so I can give credit!)

For the cupcakes:

2/3 cup strawberries
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature 
1 1/4 cups all purpose-baking flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

1. Puree the strawberries. (if you have extra puree them too but set aside for the icing later, you'll need another 1/2 a cup, or if you have lots, for a smoothie too!) Mix 2/3 of a cup of the puree with the milk and vanilla and set aside.

2. Cream the butter and add in the sugar. Then mix in the egg and egg whites. (I use my spare egg yolks in a white sauce or for scrambled eggs for lunch - good kid's portion!)

3. Gradually mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.

4. Mix in the strawberry puree and pour into cupcake cases, baking in an oven at 180 degrees C for 22-25 mins. (22 for my fan oven)

5. While they're baking try resisting licking out the bowl. If you manage it you have mad will power!

While they're cooling make the topping:

1/2 a cup of strawberry puree
3 cups of icing sugar
about half to a whole cup of butter (depending on preference)

1. Mix together adding butter until you get your desired consistency and top the cupcakes! 

Optional, add cute sprinkles and make tiny cupcakes so you feel like a giant/like you're not eating as much! (5 mini ones = 1 normal one right?)

Plus they're perfect for little girls...



Mmmm...wish I had some now.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

One Day Monday

It's been a while since I've done one of these, but if you follow me on Pinterest you'll know it's not for lack of some great inspiration! 

Honestly I've just been enjoying my family a little more and with summer holidays, our anniversary and Izzy starting full time nursery school I had to decide to let some things go.

Sometimes in my life I realise that things just aren't working the way they need to be, whether that's down to me (normally) or other situations, but I have to look at my life and decide what I need to do, and when I need to let it go. And for a while I had to cut back a little on other things (that I enjoy!) while I got/get on track in other areas.

Do you ever find that?

Sometimes I just come to a realisation that I've not been doing some things that would really improve our family life or myself and have just been filling my time with 'things'. 

Like doing lots of organising and blogging and crafting and Pinterst (which I still do), but forgetting the more important things like reading my scriptures, playing often with my children, reading with them (which this project has really helped with) and connecting with my husband (we spend a lot of time in the same room but sometimes get in a rut of not having proper conversations and just going about our lives near each other). 

Maybe it's just me. I seem to have quite a bad memory, maybe one time of forgetting would be enough for most people! 

But now that I'm really trying to do these things life seems to be flowing a little easier. But don't get me wrong, there was a point last week where this post would have been taking a much more ranting tone!

Anyway, where's the eye candy?!

How cute is this tutu? Izzy would LOVE this! I'm actually going to make this after I've typed this up, because my scraps are taking over my kitchen! And yes it is made of scraps! Find the tutorial at The Wiegand's guest posted by adelynstone.

These look so easy! Only two pattern pieces you can cut yourself, and can even use old tees to make them! Plus there's even a variation for boys/wider leg for a stretchy trouser too! I'm thinking a great (dare I say?) Christmas present for babies and toddlers? Only an hour to make a set of three according to Ashley at Make it-Love it.

This would be a perfect present for either of my kids (maybe both). A matching game where you can even use fave characters, photos, alphabets etc. Find the how to at Martha Stuart. (But can someone tell me where I can find wooden tiles like these?!)

And because you know I've been going map crazy recently, a great idea with a little Mod Podge and a map from Maybe Matilda.

Enjoy your week!

And please let me know it's not just me who gets distracted by the 'things' in life...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

The Top Secret Project

Last month I showed you my daughter's room.

We went to the beach at the weekend and thought it would be nice to take the play house.

The house didn't like it. At all. So now we have a space that needs filling, and I had the perfect idea. A little book nook (I love that it rhymes!). 

We don't have a play room so it's really for both of them! But the colours needed to match Izzy's bedroom. So that's why there was so much pink in the cushions from this post!

I also did a little bit of building. With a LOT of help from my husband.

The 'shelf' was actually all things we already had (except the white paint).  

The wood is from our old bed slats (our first bed!). And even the screws were spares from something from Ikea.

The only cutting I did was for these end pieces. And yes I cut them myself, and sanded!

The kids love it! But I haven't had a chance to take a picture of them in it yet. I We finished it this morning (Andy may have been late to work...) and I'm writing this at lunch time while Ethan sleeps and Izzy plays at nursery school. 

Which is also why it is so tidy :) 

They both loved sitting on the cushions and emptying the shelf. 

I'm still hoping to make more cushions and have a piece of art which is drying and will go above this area. 

I love that there is now space for them to read and play and have a story together at bed time.!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Patchwork Pillowcase and more!

So I have a 'little' project in the works...I'm keeping it under wraps till it's finished (because there's a good chance it will be a complete failure!) but these cushions may give you an idea:

Any ideas?

Anyway, the striped cushion is simple. Two rectangles sewn three and a bit sides, turned, sewed along the same lines again but half an inch in (leaving the gap), stuffed and sewn the hole shut.


The patchwork one is a little trickier (at least for me!). This was my first attempt at patchwork so pro sewers look away now! Here's how I did it:

Get some rectangles of fabric of a similar size. My pillow form was 20cm x 20cm so my rectangles combined were about 50cm long when laid side by side but only about 20cm deep. (I just guessed it though by laying my pillow form on top of the rectangles.)

Now that I have the cushion I wish I'd done all grey or all pink on the block colour rectangles, but I still love it! 

Lay it out how you want the pattern to be, but you want your main 'patches' in the middle. This will be the front of the cushion.

Next sew the furthest left bottom rectangle right sides together, on the long side that touches when arranged how you want them. Repeat with the others in the row until you have a long line of your bottom rectangles sewn together. 

Do the same for the top row.

Then arrange how you want it to look. As I knew mine were never going to all match perfectly I went for the 'purposefully off centre' look.

Then lay your top row on top of your bottom row, right sides together and sew again.

Trim the edges so they match. 

Then my least favourite step. Iron.

Iron all your seams open so they fold back onto the same fabric.

You can see it a little better in this picture. Then iron the short sides up a cm or so (I guessed) and then again so the raw edge is underneath.

Sew along that fold on both the short sides.

Next you need to lay out your fabric and fold it in on itself, making sure there is a good overlap around the mid point (wrong side facing out).

Pin it in place where the overlap is and then sew down those two sides.

Clip the corners near to the sewn line and turn!


And when you look at all the pretty seams you'll be glad you ironed them!

The pink cushion from the beginning is made in much the same way, but cut your rectangle to 20cm x 45cm (for a nice snug fit). Then follow the steps from 'iron the short sides...'.

Hope that made sense! If you make any yourselves I'd love to see, I have even more I need to make for this top secret project so if you have any other designs send me your link!