Thursday, 26 June 2014

Decorate a birthday cake? Sure - I can do that.

It's not my daughter's birthday for another 3 months, but I've seen some amazing examples of mama's giving cake decorating a go recently and I wanted to share them to inspire you!

My friend Sabi recently came up with this frogtastic beauty for her little girl...

This one is amazing.  Made by a wonderful mummy and daddy for their Dora-crazy little lady.

Joelle cake popped this for her princess. It was perfect!

And when my daughter turned 2 last September I attempted a bus, as at the time they were her favourite thing in the world! It was supposed to be all red but I hugely underestimated the amount of icing I needed so it ended up as a bit of a disco bus!

All of these cakes decorated by amateur cake decorators and loving mums and dads.  Good work girls and boys! 

And if you've tried and failed - don't worry! That's all part of the fun! And they're never as bad as you think. Looking at craft and cake fail blogs is one of my favourite pastimes, having experienced my fair few! Have a look of you ever need a little pick-me-up...

Cake Wrecks - how the professionals can get it so wrong is beyond me!  

This blog for Pinterest inspired baking catastrophes.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Probably the quickest and easiest DIY project you'll ever see!

I harbour a disproportionate amount of rage towards all of the wires and cables that occupy my world. As per usual, I'm full of good intentions to solve the issue with a flurry of searching and pinning for neat little cable tidies and holders. For which I then lack the motivation, time or inclination to execute. But whilst sitting and thinking about how I want to get the job done but can't be bothered right now (not lazy by nature - just work, toddler, pregnancy-inflicted fatigue!) something occurred to me. All you need is velcro! And it need only cost pennies! Velcro is something I seem to have lots of and I'm not sure why. I think it's one of those items that's easy to overlook but can halt a project in it's tracks. So it is useful to always have some available - I would definitely recommend that you buy yourself a metre or two just to have around for occasions such as these. 

1. For headphones I cut a 3 inch length of velcro. For bigger/longer cables and wires just increase this length, e.g 6 inches for laptop cable.

2. Pull apart and refix with up to an inch of overhang at either end. You can adjust this once you've tried it out if it needs to be longer or shorter. 

3. Wrap and fix around annoying and disobedient wire. 

4. That's it. Done! Neat, tidy, quick and super cheap. Now sit back and feel smug about the task you've just completed!

Monday, 16 June 2014

Dinosaur Dudes

There has been a sudden influx of newborns in my life!  I'm trying to keep up and came up with this simple yet super effective idea for a toy having seen some examples on Pinterest...

1.  I found an appropriate dinosaur silhouette shape to copy from an image on the computer.  Once you've found the shape you want, draw and cut it out using suitable paper, being sure to add half an inch for seam allowance - this will be your pattern.  I will do my best to upload my shape once I get it in the right format!

2. Cut 2 dinosaur shapes in desired fabric.  I've chosen one plain and one patterned print.  And yes, I did iron my fabric but it didn't seem to make much difference!

3. On opposite sides of your cut out dinosaurs use embroidery thread to stitch crosses for eyes.  I prefer doing eyes like this rather than using buttons so that I'm not creating a choking hazard!  Make sure the eyes aren't on the same sides on both pieces!   

4. A little personalisation is always a nice touch too!  An initial or a name on the tail looks sweet on these.

5. Take one shape and lay it right side up (ie with the eye facing upwards).  Choose 8 ribbons and cut about 3 inches in length.  Fold each piece of ribbon in half and pin alongside the dinosaur's back like in this picture:

6. Place your other dinosaur shape on top, right side down (so the eyes are touching).  Pin in place.

7. Using a half inch seam allowance stitch around the outside of the pinned dinosaur shape, removing pins as you go.  Leave a two inch gap at the top of the leg arch.

8. Trim corners and clip edges.  This helps the fabric lie correctly when you turn it inside out, otherwise it'll pucker and pinch.

9. Turn the shape inside out by poking it all through the hole you left in your seam.

10. Stuff your toy with suitable toy stuffing.  I also like to put a little bell inside to make it jingle!

11. I've forgotten to take a picture here, but neatly stitch up the hole in the seam by hand using a blind stitch.

12. Your dinosaur should be done.  Here's one of mine prowling through the garden...

I hope you enjoy making yours!