Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Quilled Father's Day Card

For us, Father's Day is just around the corner! 
So I thought I'd share the quilled card I made for my Dad's birthday back in July.

What You'll Need:
White glue
* Plain paper
* A "base" card
I made one using a square of patterned vellum paper attached to coordinating cardboard using brads.
I used gold wrapping paper and gold 'heart' stickers

What To Do:

Assemble your "base" card. Mine looked like this:

I just attached my vellum paper using brads in each corner - easy peasy!

Next cut your plain paper into thin strips. So I could cut them into strips of even thickness, I folded the paper into a 'fan' first then unfolded it and cut along the creases. I did quite thick strips because I folded them in half to give the paper extra thickness before I glued it down. 

If you don't fold, then you'll just have more delicate quilling, so it's totally up to you!

Lightly drawing with a lead pencil, sketch your letters or whatever shape you're quilling onto your card as a guide to where to stick you paper strips. 

Roll one of the folded strips into a tight coil then let the coil unravel. Work out how you want the strip to sit, coil any 'straight' ends if you want and trim the excess paper. Apply glue to the underside of your strip and attach it to your card. You might need to hold it in place a little until it's tacky and keeps its place.

Repeat this process to finish your first letter.

Then do the remaining letters. 
I also did a strip above and below my letters, with some curly embellished edges.

I decided this looked a bit plain, so to fancy it up, I cut out a large heart from wrapping paper, put a little bit of glue on the back of it and carefully slipped it behind the vellum paper.

I also added some gold heart stickers behind the vellum.

Then I decided I didn't like the brads I'd used, and swapped them over :P

Next time I'd do the quilling in black or something dark to make it stand out more, 
but Dad thought it was pretty cool, so that made me happy! 

Have a great week!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Card Making Resources: Wordle for Parents

In preparation for making a Father's Day card for Dad, I've been playing with Wordle! Have you checked it out yet? It's great fun! Here's one I made with words relating to my dad:

 I thought I'd share a few of the graphics that I made using Wordle that relate to parents so that if you want, you can print them out and use them on a card too! 

To save an image, click on it to bring up the full-sized version, 
then right click on the full-sized version and save it to your computer!

Wordles for Dads:

Wordles for Mums: 

Wordles for Parents:

I hope you find some of these useful! I'll share the birthday card I made for Dad with you next week :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday: Nutella Cupcakes!

I've been addicted to Pinterest lately, a lot of the time I've spent has been pinning yummy foods that we can have at our engagement party - whoo! In my hunting, I found a recipe for Nutella Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing - can anyone say YUM?? I absolutely LOVE Nutella, I could eat it all day!

Now, I will openly admit that I've only just started cooking in the last few months (the shame of it all..!) and so these are the very first cupcakes I have ever cooked in my entire life! And they are YUMMY!

Can you believe I actually cooked and decorated that?
On my own?
Without any help at all?

I take no credit for the recipe of course, you have to go and visit Tartelette for that! Helene's version is gluten free but I made the flour version - mine were a bit heavy because I misread the instructions and included cornflour when I shouldn't have. Boo! They were still yummy though!

Here are the ingredients you need for the plain flour version (note the lack of cornflour ;)):

Cupcake Batter:
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground coffee
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup Nutella
2 large eggs
200g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Icing:
(This icing is diviiiiiine! I love cream cheese based icings!)
250g cream cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar
60g Nutella

It's only fair that she get credit for her awesome recipe!

Please ignore the cupcake in the top-right corner - I stuffed the icing up on that big time!!

I made some little tiny cupcakes that I cooked for only 15 minutes, and big ones that I cooked for 25 minutes. I think both sets could have come out a bit earlier though.

Update: At my fiancĂ©'s request (wow, I have a fiancĂ© now!) I made these again - without the cornflour and they were PERFECT. I only made mini ones and 15 minutes of baking was spot on. Of course, it may vary depending on your oven!

Happy cooking!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I'm kinda sorta nearly back! And I have some news to share!

Hello again my wonderful bloggy friends! 

Well, we're getting closer and closer to the end of August which means my schedule is slowly but surely returning to normal - one more full day of Uni related marketing work tomorrow and then we should be right - I should even be able to do some blogging and crafting again if I'm lucky! ;) I've really missed checking out everyone's blogs and link parties!

You might have noticed that we have a new link on the side bar - I've signed up as a Shabby Apple affiliate! I'm so excited, I just LOVE Shabby Apple's dresses!

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Here are some of my favourites (click the picture to visit the page!)

Gorgeous! I'm hoping to buy one of these to wear to our engagement party.

What? Haven't I told you yet? That's right, we're engaged!! Whooo!!

We've been together for over 5 years now, chose the ring together and have been paying it off together, so it wasn't a surprise ;) but it was wonderful just the same! We had a fantastic night staying at a fancy hotel in the city, eating tapas, drinking cocktails and walking by the river under the starlight sky. Ahh, lovely!

So, I guess this means you'll be subjected to engagement party related crafts and recipes in the near future ;)

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Whip It Up Wednesday [Guest Post Repeat]: Fold Up Baby Change Mat

A little while ago I did a guest post at Vanilla Bean (thanks Ellie!) so just in case you missed it, here it is again!

If you're a regular reader, you probably already know that I'm going to be sewing a baby bag for my friend who's expecting. In preparation for this, I thought I'd practice working with oilcloth by making this change mat. I'm so glad I did, because I learned a LOT!

I based my change mat on this tutorial from Polka-Dot Umbrella, it's great!

What You'll Need:
  •  Two 25" x 16" rectangles of oilcloth
  • One small scrap of coordinating fabric
  • One snap fastener 
  • Coordinating cotton thread (I used upholstery grade thread for extra strength)
  • Binding/hemming clips (like these)
  • Air erasable pen
  • Sewing machine (I used a leather weight needle)
  • Optional but recommended
    • Old CD, plate, etc (something round!)
    • One 25" x 16" rectangle of sew-in interfacing or batting (some kind of padding)
    • Coordinating bias tape
What To Do:

Prepare the mat pieces - Cut out your two large rectangles of oilcloth and one of padding. Round the corners of the rectangles by tracing around an old CD or other round object and cutting along the line.

Prepare the tab - Cut two pieces of coordinating scrap fabric, each approximately 2.5" x 3", and pin them together with the right sides facing in. Round the corners at one end if you wish, then sew around the two long edges and the rounded edge, as shown, and turn it right sides out.

Add one side of your snap to your tab. I followed the instructions in the kit ;)

Sew all your layers together - Make a fabric "sandwich" with your two pieces of oilcloth right-sides together, then your padding on top. Use your hemming clips to hold all three layers together. 

Note: You can use normal pins, but make sure you only pin inside the seam allowance because you won't be able to get rid of the holes the pins leave.

In the centre of one long side, clip your tab in. Make sure that the sewn, rounded edge is facing the inside of the "sandwich", and the open, unsewn end is sticking out.

Use your sewing machine with a heavy weight needle and strong thread to sew around the two short sides and the long side that has your tab clipped into it.

Now comes a bit of a challenge! Carefully turn it right sides out. I say carefully, because it can tear and it's not a very soft/flexible material to work with.

Add the other side of your snap - You could do this before sewing the three edges, but I prefer to do it after as I get a better sense of where the other side belongs!

To work out where it goes, fold your mat up just as you plan to when it's complete. Here's my finished mat being folded to show how:

1) fold both sides into the middle, 2) fold up the bottom 1/3, 3) fold the bottom up again.

Use your air erasable pen to mark where the other snap needs to go. I photoshopped this to show where you need to mark, as my pen is a bit light and didn't show up in the photo well.

Unfold your mat and attach the other side of your snap to the marked location, as per the instructions in the snap's kit. This is why we left a big gap between the three layers when we sewed before :)

When you've done that, roll the edges of the open gap in your layers inwards and use your hemming clips to hold it in place.

Top stitch around the entire edge. I had some trouble and mine looked incredibly messy and so I won't show you a picture ;) But I've learned how to avoid this now (lucky you, you get to learn from my mistakes!)

Rissa's Hot Tip: The "right side" of oilcloth is slippery and doesn't feed evenly through your sewing machine. To stop this being a problem, clip tissue paper to the underside of your material! Now it will feed evenly and sew like a dream! Just tear it off when you've finished.

Reinforcing fold lines - To make it easier to fold up, we'll sew along the fold lines. To work out where to sew, fold your mat into thirds and press down gently along the folded edges with your fingers. Unfold the mat and you should be able to clearly see your folds. Use your air erasable pen and a ruler to mark these neatly, then using a long, straight stitch and sew along the lines, back sewing a little at each end for strength.

Here's another picture of the finished mat to show you roughly where the fold lines will be:

Thanks for your input "Photobomb Benny"

OK, now you can add bias tape if you want to. 

If you use my tip and your top stitching looks tidy you can skip adding bias tape. I only used it to hide my horrible top stitching. There are lots of tutorials on the web about making and attaching bias tape so I won't here.

You're done!

Just wondering - if I want to waterproof the stitching, how would I do that? Beeswax pencil, some type of glue..? Ideas would be very welcome!

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