Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just fiddling

I've been dabbling with a few projects in the last week or two. The first of these was a grown-up variant of my rainbow toddler pants - I saw the fabric and immediately thought of my recipient, who happens to currently be 6 months pregnant and thus in need of comfy pants (I don't know a pregnant woman who isn't).

The second project is kind of a recon mixed with some bits and pieces - a gorgeous little card we got from the BIL for Christmas, a wooden photo frame, some mounting paper and white paint (plus the enamel spray I've been hoarding in my cupboards for almost eight years now, and finally got the chance to break open and use).

You know how you pop over to a blog like Soulemama and marvel at the serene, beautiful spaces which the blogger inhabits?
My spaces are not at all like that.
As you can see.

My spaces are more a welter of baby toys, car keys, mobile phones, fabric scraps, tea mugs, letters half-written and letters unfiled, safety pins, jewellery I took off wherever I was and random items that I swear, have a purpose! Sometimes.
(For instance; right now, in front of me at my computer desk is a spare USB cable, a six-sided die, a pin, some nail scissors, two pens, a bracelet, my digicam, a tea mug, a wheat pack, a paid creditcard bill and some leaflets from the Stampin' Up! card party I was at last weekend.)

Anyway, this is the finished project. Very shabby chic.
I think it's going to be a present for my MIL. But I can't decide - random just because, or birthday present?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Crafting to help victims of the Victorian bushfires

Meet Me at Mike's has started a blog to encourage crafters to craft items for the victims of the fires that have devastated the state of Victoria recently. You can find a local drop-off point for your crafted items, or auction off items with proceeds to go to those people who have lost homes, family and friends.
Alternatively, you could contribute a favourite recipe or some artwork themed around "eating together" to the fundraiser book.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Pink & Yellow Prefold Nappies

I have just this very minute finished ironing some prefolds that I have made for friends who are expecting.

I've never used them, nor seen one in person, so after googling and examining a bunch of different tutorials I dove in.

I pulled out some of the flannel sitting around in my stash, which just happened to be pink and yellow (that being what was on sale). Found some REALLY cute cotton print that matched the colours. Pulled out some old towels donated to me by my MIL, and acquired a couple of microfiber car towels (that 'pull' the moisture away) for the padded panel.
Baby-To-Be has no determined gender, so hopefully I won't get too much guff about the pink if it ends up threatening to shrivel baby's penis by its abstract femininity or somesuch.

I have no idea if what I've ended up with are newborn or toddler size, I cannot draw a straight line to save my life, and that has sadly translated into sewing. So they're somewhat wonky (for that authentic "handmade!" look), very adorable and delicious, my first prefolds!
Now to find some instructions on how to fold them, to include a printout of for the Parents-To-Be.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Experimental Cake Making

So I've been fiddling with that white cake recipe I posted last month, and come up with a sweet, dense variation that is a little moister than the original recipe. I didn't get a picture of the finished product (with peppermint buttercream icing) because we ate it ALL before I had a chance. It was that good.


* 1 cup white sugar
* 125g butter
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
* 1 1/4 cups plain flour
* 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 cup cocoa powder
* dash of milk
* 1/3 cup coca cola or cola drink

what to do
The order seems to make a difference to the final texture and taste of the cake.

* Preheat oven to 180C.
* Cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. essence. You could substitute this for peppermint essence if you like.
* Combine flour, cocoa and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
* Stir in the milk and then cola, a dribble at a time, until mixture is smooth. Pour or spoon into a prepared pan.
* Bake for 35 minutes or so.

Peppermint Buttercream Icing
This is adapted from the Buttercream Icing recipe in Jane Price's the home guide to cake decorating.

*125g of softened butter, margarine or (in my case) soy-based margarine substitute
*Approx 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar, sifted
*1 teaspoon of peppermint essence
*food colouring

what to do
*Use an electric mixer to beat the butter until it is light and fluffy.
*Slowly add the icing sugar, beating all the while, until it tastes 'right' (ie, like icing, not soy-based margarine substitute)
* add peppermint essence, beat well.
*add food colouring, beat again.
*Smush on cake. I used a spoon and then a butter knife but it's up to you. Really.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Little Piggy tunic

I hate most little boys' clothes in shops.
I hate the restricted colour palettes. I hate the lack of cute prints. I hate the boring lack of imagination in the basic design and shape. I hate graffiti-esque designs. I hate attitude slogans that proclaim your child is violent, materialistic, misogynist, or aspiring to be any and all of these things.
So I'm working on making my son some of his own wardrobe. To mix things up a little.

It's a start.