Baking

Tigger Birthday Cake

The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things! Especially when they are made out of cake and icing instead of rubber and springs. I must confess, this isn’t a recent bake. I made it a couple of years ago for  my hubby’s birthday way back when we were dating and had totally forgotten about it. However, Timehop has a gift for reminding us about all sorts of things, so I thought I would share it with you guys now.
chocolate cake
For the sponge I used one of my all time favourite go to chocolate cake recipes from Mary Berry ‘s Baking Bible, I love her recipe for very best chocolate fudge cake. It has a strong chocolate flavour making it really rich and indulgent.  I used this to make 2 sheet cakes which I sandwiched with black cherry jam as I know its his favourite, Although the recipe makes enough icing that it could easily be used as filling as well.
Once assembled, I used a picture of Tigger  to trace around to get the basic shape. then covered the cake in a thin layer of the icing before decorating with fondant . I mixed the colours I needed to give Tigger his trademark look either by mixing 2 existing colours of fondant or by adding gel food colouring to white . I also used Black  to add extra detail to the face stomach, hands and feet and give Tigger his much loved stripes.
Tigger Cake

 

I’m pretty proud of how things turned out especially as he tasted as good as i think he looks. Although, i did feel bad when we started cutting bits off him. Let me know what you think or share your epic bakes in the comments.

Till next time make something with love .


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Papercraft

Nuvo Review

I came across these pens at  Make it 2017 and I just had to try them out. I’ve been looking for a Copic marker alternative that wont break the bank or overwhelm a beginner with every shade of colour imaginable and I thought these pens could be it.

The Alcohol markers come in packs of three easily blend-able colour sets in sets of primary and DSC_1108.JPGsecondary colours, skin tones and monochromatic colours (including a colourless blending pen).  For a beginner this is perfect as each pack contains a light mid tone and a darker shade. However, if you are n artist or love colouring it may be more prudent to start building a larger collection such as Copic Sketch pens which come in 358 shades.

The pens have a oval shaped smooth barrel which gives them a stylish look and ergonomic design. I sometimes have problems with my hands cramping up and dexterity but found that even using these pens for a prolonged period of time didn’t cause a problem. The other positive with the shape is that unlike other brands such as the Copic Ciao pens stay were they are on the desk and don’t roll around.

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The pens are duel ended including a chisel tip for broad colouring and a bullet nib for more detailed work.  Ideally  I would have preferred a pen which has the brush tip for increased control and the ability to colour finer more complex images, such as the Copic Sketch (or at least had the ability to convert to one like the Spectrum Noir). However,  after using these pens I was pleasantly surprised at their ability to get into the harder to reach parts of my delicate stamps without bleeding the colour everywhere.

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Like most other pens the caps are colour coded and match the true colour of the pens quite well. Although, the colour code written on the lids can be quite difficult to read on some of the pens especially compared to that of the Copic Sketch.

One of the major down falls of these pens is the fact that like Pro-markers they are disposable. So far  replacement nibs and brushes are not available and they can not be refilled unlike both Copic and Spectrum Noirs. Although this is not such a problem when comparing the price points of these markers compared to the competition; for a set of 3 pens at the craft show I paid £3.25. Compare this to the price of  individual Copic Sketch at £4/50, Pro-markers at £2.75 each, or Spectrum Noirs which have to be bought as a pack of 6 for £8.00;  it works out much cheaper at just over £1.08. Allowing you to quickly and cheaply build a useful working collection.

Below is an image stamped with memento  ink onto non-coated generic white card stock which I have coloured using the pens.

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What are your favourite ways to colour your stamps and images?

 


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Crochet

Iron Man

DSC_1128.JPGI made this version of Iron Man recently for a friend who loves all things super heroes. Like most of my Crochet projects it was a labour of love which inevitably  took me a little longer than I was expecting! However, I’m the first to admit I’m a fair weather crocheter so for someone less rusty with more experience it wouldn’t be as long.

I found  this metal buddy pattern free online. The design is part of a kids hero set by Mary Smith. It’s really easy to follow and the doll is made using the amigurumi technique of working in the round.

I used a combination of Cygnet Double Knitting Yarn in Red (1206)  for the head, body, arms and legs and Cygnet Double Knitting Yarn in Sunshine (C100/184) for the mask and banding. I also used up some white and black wool scraps I had left over for a previous project. To stuff  it I used an old synthetic pillow as a cheaper alternative to known brand soft toy filling but I feel it has done just as good a job and is also fire-retardant.

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Although the pattern recommends a hook size of 2.25 mm, I used a 4.00mm one and it still turned out great my version is a little bigger than the 18 inches in the Patten standing at nearly 25 inches. However, this just means there’s more of it to love.

Have you had a project that has become larger than life? What are your Crochet achievements? Let me know in the comments I always love to here from you.

Till next time make something with love .


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Papercraft

Make it Farnborough 2017

This weekend I went to my first craft fair; I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very excited to be going. As it turned out I was lucky enough to get two for the price for one as Make it the paper crafting show ran along side Knit & Stich it which catered for all my sewing, crochet and knitting needs. The Show was based at Farnborough airfield and housed over 100 exhibitors which meant I was spoilt for choice (great for me but not so great for my wallet!). As someone who is relatively new to card making it meant I could pick up lots of the everyday basic tools I need but have so far been borrowing off friends.

I was excited to see so many different stamp designs and particularly loved those by Little Claire and Stamposaurus craft supplies, both of which produce good quality stamps handmade in the UK . Something else which caught my eye were the NUVO alcohol markers. I have been looking for a less expensive Copic alternative for a while so I  just had to get them to try.

There was also a lovely range of wool and fabric on offer but my favourite stall was Toft shop who had a collection of animal amigurumi crochet projects including an Afghan Hound which I definitely should have now regret not buying (however they have an online store so I can always fix my mistake).

Overall it was a really good day out and will definitely be going back next year.  I think I was really quite restrained in my purchases as the choice available was quite overwhelming. Here are some of the exciting things I bought:

I think my next big purchase will be a stamp positioner like the Tim Holtz Stamping platform, MISTI or the Hampton Art Stamp Perfect once my stamp collection has expanded a little. Does anyone already own one of these and if so would you recommend it?

Do you enjoy going to craft fairs, or do you prefer to shop online?

Till next time, make something with love.


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Papercraft

Valentine’s Day Card 2017

 My husband and I don’t really celebrate this holiday too much as even in England it has become really commercialised so this year we decided to just send cards which we personalised in some way. cropped-cropped-card.jpgI wanted to share the card I made for my husband with you.

Its a simple Box card with embossed red and black panels. The die cut hearts  are layered and decorated  with ink, jewels and glitter and foil. To attach the hearts to the box  I used strips of clear acetate  which attached to card folded into a Z shape and suck to the  inside the box . This allowed me to position the hearts at different heights and depths giving the allusion of the hearts bursting from the box and floating in mid air.

Overall I am really pleased with how this card turned out and I know Hubby was really impressed with it too. I hope you have a lovely valentines day whether you spent it with people you love or doing something you love.

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Till next time make something with love .


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Crochet

The unexpected Christmas gift

Christmas can become a bit of a commercial holiday with mass produced gifts which are available everywhere you go. It can start to lose its meaning a bit. Which is why we started a thing a couples of years ago that has fast become one of our favourite Christmas rituals. As well as the store bought presents we try to set each other a present challenge. Last year we decided we each had a day to make a gift that we thought represented the other person. My hubby made me a spice rack as I love to cook. It was both pretty and practical and capable of holding together a multitude of things (which I thought was quite sweet). I decided to go with something a little less practical and made this…..

IMG-20151224-WA0001When deciding what I though would sum my beloved up perfectly and what he needed most in the world I knew it could only be one thing… a crochet festive Lobster bedecked in a tinsel scarf and a tiny Santa hat. After all who doesn’t need one of these little critters in their life!

I remembered the episode of friends where phoebe was talking about how lobsters mate for life and my husband is definitely my sole mate so I went for it and I’m so glad I did! Just like him my project turned out to be cheeky, full of joy and completely adorable.

I used A free Crochet lobster pattern from red heart which was actually part of a set including a mermaid. I adapted the pattern slightly in order to make it longer in the head and body. I used a 4mm hook instead of the recommended 3.75 and Marriner DK acrylic wool in claret to give him a deeper red colour. For stuffing I used an old pillow although any soft toy filling would work well. I gave him brown safety eyes used for soft toys and I sewed on a nice cheeky smile. This was a really cute little project which took on a personality all of its own. As you can see below it has definitely evolved from the original patterns picture but it is still just as cute.

 

Do you like to make gifts for loved ones?

I hope you had a very merry Christmas and have a happy 2017!

Till next time make something with love


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