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Pineapple Neck warmer

11 Apr

 

I whipped up this super cute pineapple neck warmer the other day in anticipation of colder weather.

I used this pattern.

It was so easy I might just make more of them.

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I used a gorgeous little pastel multicoloured wool, which has worked up beautifully.

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I only made 4 pineapples as that came to the size I was after.

I’m looking forward to wearing it, someone just needs to tell the weather we are almost half way through Autumn, it’s time to start cooling down.

 

 

 

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Little Boy Blue

20 Feb

bobblesI recently finished the blanket I have been making for my cousin’s baby.

I was surprised at how wonderfully it turned out, as while I was making it I was having second thoughts about the square and colours I had chosen and to be honest I really didn’t  like it that much.

However, joining the squares and adding the border really transformed it and I now love it.

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The square I used comes from Edie Eckman it combines bobbles with spike dc to create a peak a boo feel.

I joined them together with dc in the back loop only. This was something I had never done, I had always used both loops. By using back loops only the squares are really enhanced as they seem to get a little border around them.

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I was attempting to do a bit of stash busting when I started the blanket, so this led me in my colour choices. I already had the light and dark blues and the white. I added the gunmetal  for some sophistication and keep it masculine as the baby is a boy. It is all acrylic, the gunmetal is 8 ply, thick , squishy and will be so warm for the coming winter.

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For the border I mimicked the same style from the square, I toyed with a more embellished edge but in the end kept it simple and that was the perfect choice.

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I didn’t block the squares individually nor have I blocked the final product, since the yarn and pattern are quite sturdy I am happy with the way it sits, I may change my  mind on this though before April.

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I am really happy with this blanket, I love the tactile bobbles and I can imagine babies loving them too. I am in love with the colours too, the combination of neutrals and brights has to be my favourite.

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Balloon Print Monsters

7 Feb

I’ve recently noticed that my darling Duckman is quite artistically inclined, which is something I wasn’t prepared for. Rooster, although he does enjoy art when he does it, he rarely seeks it out. Duckie on the other hand draws on everything, I am trying to teach him, with out much luck, that we only draw on paper, however he is rather free spirited and draws wherever and on what ever takes his fancy. Yesterday I discovered a master piece on our newly laid timber floor, thankfully it was done in pencil and will be easily removed.

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So with this new realisation, my February goal of more kid art and some one on one time with Duckie now Rooster is at school we embarked on balloon printing.

This is so simply and such fun.

All you need is

balloons

paint

a small cup or bowl to hold the paint

goggle eyes (optional)

markers

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First of all you need to blow up the balloon, not too big as it needs to be easily handled by little hands and it also needs to fit into the bowl of paint.

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Add some paint to your bowl.

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Dip the balloon into the paint and press it onto some paper.

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It does slip around so you need to be firm.

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We placed the eyes on while the paint was wet so that they stuck once the paint was dry.

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 You don’t need to use eyes, you could just draw them on.

Once the paint is dry use the markers to add personality.

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Easy peasy isn’t it?

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I am totally in love with the tie-dyed effect of this printing, and the texture of it. I think it would make some pretty rad wrapping paper.

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Little Duckie had a great time. Watching his creativity is super awesome. He turned his prints into a mixed media collage with the addition of some washi tape.


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Bobbly citrus baby blanket

7 Jan

I finally finished the blanket I have been making for my husband’s cousin’s soon to be born baby.DSC_1173

New babies are so exciting. I love their squishy little miniature bodies.

I also love baby blankets. They are such an excuse to use bright, fun colours and patterns, although let’s be honest, do you really need an excuse to work with bright fun colors and patterns. I think that’s one of the best things about crochet, it lends itself so well to colour explosion.

When Choosing the colours for this blanket I had to go with gender neutral colours as these parents are the type that like to keep the sex of their babies secret. Also, since it is Summer here there isn’t a vast array of yarn available.

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Any way, I went with some spritely citrus tones (yellow, lime, orange and cream) and used 4 ply 100% merino. I hadn’t used merino before, it was lovely. I thought it was similar to cotton in that there was no fuzz on the yarn it was really smooth and soft.

The pattern I used comes from a motif book my mum passed onto me, it is called the pink square, I have made it before in all one colour. It is a large square, about 22 cm. It looked really different done in multiple colours. I think it looks like a big daisy.DSC_1174

I made 12 squares in total. I joined them together  using a slip stitch.

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I wanted the border to resemble the squares in the type of stitches used. The first round was a simple little cream cluster of 3 double trebles in the spaces between the last round of the squares, each cluster separated by a single chain.

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 Following this I did a round of orange  doubles, 2 in each one chain space and a round of double trebles into each stitch. Both the cream and orange rounds had to be undone and redone with less stitches, as they rippled really badly.

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Next I did 3 rounds of double in yellow.

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I had found this super cute pom pom edging on Pinterest ages ago from Once upon a Pink Moon, and had been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use it. This blanket was that opportunity, so I finished it off with the pom pom edge in lime.

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I did a little happy dance and jumped up and down when I hooked that last stitch.

This is probably the biggest project I have finished. I am pretty chuffed with myself.

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The blanket is beautiful and soft, just right for a little squishy baby to snuggle under.

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Mermaid Tales

19 Sep

I feel so neglectful of my little blog. There has been so much going on in my house recently I hardly have time for basic human needs let alone blogging!

We have started on the next phase of our renovation, so I have been trying to organise our new front door, windows, other building materials, asbestos removal, the BA, Owner Builder permits, the new walk in wardrobe and the mortgage. In a midst all this we have had two birthdays, mine and Rooster’s.

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This was the front of our house at the start of last weekend.

 

Since Rooster has been around my birthday is usually spent preparing for his, this year I decided I was going to have a cake and a little celebration though. We had a few friends around for a BBQ and I made a Mermaid cake. In this post I will tell you the story of the cake, forgive me for the lack of photos, it just completely slipped my mind to take any during the making process.

For the cake I wanted something a little different from the usual stock standard chocolate so I chose a passionfruit buttermilk cake. Here is the recipe I used.

Passionfruit Buttermilk Cake

250g butter softened

1 cup caster sugar

3 eggs separated

2 cups S.R flour

3/4 cup buttermilk (if you don’t have butter milk mix 1 tbs vinegar to 1 cup of milk and let sit until curdled)

1/4 cup passionfruit pulp ( I think I used double this amount)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in yolks one at a time, stir in flour, buttermilk and passionfruit.

Beat whites until soft peaks appear fold into cake batter.

Pour into cake pan (I used a round 24cm pan) and bake in oven preheated to 160 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes or cooked through.

Due to the amount of cakes I am making for everyone’s birthdays I started colouring the fondant several weeks ago. For my cake I needed some variegated blue for the back ground. To do this I made a light and dark blue then made them into sausages and wrapped them around each other, then rolled it into a ball so that when it was rolled out the colours would swirl together.

Underneath the fondant I chose to use white ganache, which was something I have never done before. I made it in a 2:1 ratio like I do with dark chocolate ganache, however I have since read that white ganache should be made in a 3:1 ratio. So my ganache was soft but I forged ahead with the cake not knowing the problems it would cause later.

I rolled out the blue swirled fondant, rolled it up and put it on the cake, no problem, at least until I realised some of the fondant had stuck together and I had a big blog of unwanted fondant on the top of the cake. I tried to pull it off but it wouldn’t budge, I tried to smooth it out but due to the soft ganache it wasn’t providing the support I needed to be able to do that and I would have torn the fondant. In the end I just placed the mermaid over that spot and managed to cover most of the mistake. I also had an air bubble, put I was able to pop that with a skewer and there wasn’t much of a mark left.

To make the mermaid I just used a picture and molded the pieces on top of the picture then transferred it to the cake. I used little cut out stars,  silver cachous and some pearlescent edible powder to embellish it.

Then because of the softness of the ganache I put it in the fridge. This was the wrong move. I have put fondant covered cakes in the fridge before and not had a problem, but I think they did not have runny ganache under the fondant and the fondant may have been dried out before going in the fridge.

So a couple of days later I pulled the cake out and it was wet like someone had sprayed it with water. I panicked and ran to my best friend Google to ask “Why is my fondant wet?” and “How can I fix this?” Google suggested it was due to humidity and advised I put it in front of a fan to dry out and brush it with some corn flour.

So then my cake spent half the day in front of a fan and covered in cornflour. The fondant dried but the ganache got softer. I tempted fate by returning it to the fridge, and monitored it closely for any ill effects but it seemed fine, no more weeping. I was so relieved.

So here is the cake

You can see it is not perfect. However, it was delicious and my friends were suitably impressed!

 

 

Doll number three

4 Sep

Here is my third doll from the petals to picots CAL. I was late getting this one finished.  I am a super slow embroiderer.

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Pac man cupcake toppers

3 Sep

My plan had been to make PacMan cupcakes for Mr Minx, however Rooster had other ideas.  Yesterday I made these cupcake toppers from fondant.  They were so easy, although a little labor intensive.  They turned out better than I expected.  They just need some finishing touches and they will be off to Daycare for Rooster’s 5th birthday!

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Pinecone Art

9 Aug

Before starting this blog my Minimen showed very little interest in creative activities and when I started doing crafty things with them it could be difficult to gain their interest.

Now, after around six months later they are initiating activities themselves, like this afternoon on our way out of daycare, Rooster picked up a pinecone from the ground and while we were driving home he asked if he could paint it . Of course I was delighted and said yes.

As soon as we were home they bounded out of the car and ran upstairs to find some paints and brushes.DSC_0777

Rooster set everything up himself and both Rooster and Duckman happily painted away for all of about five minutes and together they created a lovely painted pinecone.DSC_0780

DSC_0786Duck man missed the pinecone occasionally, getting a bit more paint on the table

 

 

 

 

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Duckman really hates dirty hands at the moment, this is him showing some concern over the paint on his hands.
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This is the end result
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Snap Painting

14 Jul

During the week I promised The Minimen we would do some snap painting, we ended up being to busy during the week to do it so from early this morning Rooster was onto me to do it today.DSC_0714

So after a visit to the farmers markets, a quick Facebook check in and a lot of nagging I finally set them up to do their painting.

Snap painting is so easy and you should have most things you need around the house.

Gather some rubber bands, something to wrap the bands around, we used a plastic container but a shoe box or even a cake tin would also work well, paper that will fit inside your chosen box and of course paints.DSC_0695

Put your paper in the bottom of your container then wrap the bands around the container at varying intervals.

At this point it the kids will love to explore the sounds the rubber bands make when being snapped. Both Rooster and Dukman are really into music, so they both had a blast playing their “guitars”.

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After the musical diversion we used our fingers to smother the bands in paint, DSC_0699

then it was time to flick away!DSC_0704

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Even Duckman joined in with this activity, usually he is distracted by being outside when we paint, but this one

was right up his alley.

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Both Minimen really enjoyed this art activity and stayed focused the whole time and they ended up with some really great paintings! I had been expecting this to be really messy with all the flicking bands flinging paint everywhere, however, it wasn’t any thing like that. All the paint managed to make it to its desired destination, which left a super easy clean up. This is something I really like.

This was a great activity. It provides tactile and musical experiences and it was really interesting to watch the way the paint splattered when the band was flicked and it will be engaging for a range of ages.

Here’s some of the art works The Minimen created

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Autumn leaf Printing

30 May

Autumn is just about over here and sadly, unlike other parts of the world, in Brisbane we don’t get the explosion of red and orange leaves all over the ground.

This week we wanted to make our own Autumn inspired paintings.DSC_0633

A few days ago I took The Minimen down to the park to collect some leaves of different shapes and sizes. It was a really wonderful experience for them running through the field and looking at the different plants and their leaves, they even encountered a dog on the walk which as always is a highlight of any day with these boys.DSC_0559DSC_0562

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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As we were too late getting home and it was dark outside we were unable to make our prints right away so I pressed the leaves in a book to keep them from curling up.

This morning we set our printing up, we lay out several sheets of paper on the table, squirted acrylic paint onto plastic plates (each colour got its own plate to avoid mixing them)DSC_0617

and we had a rolling pin.

We pressed leaves into paint and then onto the paper leaving colourful impressions when we peeled the leaves away.DSC_0618

We also sandwiched painted leaves between two sheets of paper and rolled with the rolling pin.DSC_0622

The prints worked best when the leaves didn’t have too much paint on them and had already been used for several prints.DSC_0625

I ended up doing most of the printing as The Rooster, although initially very excited about the project, once he had had a turn,  became distracted by creating “prints” with a wet washer on the deck instead and Duckman showed no interest at all, preferring to jump on the trampoline in the rain.DSC_0630

This project gave us some wonderful bonding time during our walk through the park and the printing allowed colour experimentation and gave them some simple print making skills.

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