Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kraftbomb is here


Wow, I've been too busy to take any photos of my new work, or tell you all about my awesome op-shopping in Hamilton last weekend! Will do that on Monday, but now I'm off to do some more work for Sunday's Kraftbomb (ooh, I've made gorgeous things...). We're going camping this weekend, so there'll be no crafting from tomorrow afternoon; only sitting in the sun with a Summer Ale, yay. Catching up with some good friends, eating an early Christmas dinner, secret Santa pressies, cooked breakfast, what could be better? See you at Kraftbomb!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Inspired

I've been too busy talking about myself; it's time to move the spotlight to some deserving others. First on my list is Thrift to Fantasy , a book I've been meaning to write about for a while now. It's mainly about NZ textile handcrafts in the 30's to 50's, but there's so much more to this book than just pretty pictures of embroidery. Rosemary McCloud is a very experienced journalist and collector of handcrafts from this era, and tells a very personal story of the women in her family and their reasons for crafting. It's a beautiful book, and the only local one I know of that looks at textile craft from a social historical point of view. Read more about it here. I've scanned a couple of pages, one containing tea cosies. Sam, your nanna would love this :)










You might have noticed an emerging fascination with embroidery in my recent posts. It's now almost full-blown, but I haven't done much about it except read. Tomorrow I will do something constructive, when I try to locate a local shop with crewel wool. I find cotton embroidery thread so hard to work with with my limited skill level, and crewel wool seems to be the answer. Just look at the beautifully simple designs in this inspiring book:




Finally: if you like sewing/quilting/knitting/crochet, but feel you need some help, I've found the best site with loads of great, easy-to-follow tutorials using Really Beautiful Fabric. Some projects are very simple, but so effective, like this bunting, or party garland, as they call it. I'm a fan. Of the Purl Bee.
Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Been busy

This past weekend I made two monkeys, one successful snowman after many failed attempts, one bag, and not much else...



Friday, November 14, 2008

Heirlooms

I blew my op-shopping budget a bit today, but there was no way I was going to leave these in the shop...


I got a tablecloth with 4 matching napkins and 2 tray cloths with 3 matching napkins, all for $18. What really blows my mind is that somebody thought these amazing pieces of embroidery were worthless enough to just give away. Somebody must have spent weeks making this and I find it so sad that her relatives can't appreciate the value of such beautiful handcrafts (surely it's not the embroiderer herself who's clearing out the good linen...). Just in case you're wondering, these will not be cut into, but remain part of my 'good' collection that will be aired at the next tea party.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shopping


My friend Nonnie went on a bit of a spy mission today, with camera in hand. Here's a couple of photos of my girls hanging out in TC Kids.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First new angel


I finished the first tree topper today (she's the front naked angel on the photo in the previous post). I'm still deciding on a name and whether she needs a flower in her hair (I think so). But I do know that I love the skirt... That green is one of my favourite colours. The belt is hand-embroidered cross-stitch I found in an op shop a while ago, while the flower on her top was cut from a bigger crochet doily and the trim around her neck from a frayed old tray cloth. Amazing what you can find in second-hand shops! I'm thinking of putting her in my shop, but am not sure of a price yet; she took so long to put together. I might work on the other angel tomorrow, but then again, I might just lie on the hammock with my boys, enjoying the beautiful spring weather...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Some more angels

It's been so long since I've made the last doll, so I thought I'd better blog the progress of my new dolls. I had a lot of trouble finding a good stand for my first angel; had her standing on a pasta-sauce jar for ages! Then I found a good tutorial on etsy on how to make a cone for a tree-topper, and now I'm sorted. I made two more angels, and here they are, ready for outfits and hair. Can't wait to work on them tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Breakthrough


Today I'm having a little celebration: I've finally opened my Etsy shop, and it wasn't nearly as painful as I expected it to be! I'm adding stock over the course of this week, so it's still pretty empty. I've listed some handbags and stickers, with books and badges to follow soon. With all the rain and overcast weather we've been having, I've been finding it hard to get enough light for good photos.

Another reason to celebrate: after a lengthy delay, my dolls are finally in the Trelise Cooper Kids' store. I cannot begin to describe the angst I've had over those little ladies, but it seems it was unnecessary. The buyer really seems to like them, and let's hope the customers do too :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This is...a recipe I'd like to share


I love this cake so much, I had to bake it again just to make sure it's still as delicious as I remember. And now I can guarantee you it is... It's a moist coconut and pineapple cake, and can easily become a dessert with the addition of the very rich and delicious sauce. By the way, when chilled, that sauce tastes and looks just like the caramel you can buy in cans (cooked condensed milk?), so would be a good cake topping or filling. Anyway, here's the recipe. If anyone tries it, please let me know what you thought of it :)
Pineapple coconut cake
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1 1/4 cups dessicated coconut
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
125g butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
440g can crushed pineapple, drained
1. Combine dry ingredients, make a well in the centre and stir in butter, eggs, milk and vanilla essence until combined.
2. Spread half the mixture into a greased 22cm cake tin, scatter pineapple over the mixture, then pour remaining mixture on top.
3. Bake 60-70 min at 180 degrees Celcius, until cooked. (test with skewer; although it's a moist cake, skewer needs to come out clean)
4. Serve by itself, or with sauce.
Caramel sauce
1 tablespoon custard powder
375ml can evaporated milk ('light' is fine)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
Combine custard powder with 1/4 cup of evaporated milk in a small saucepan. Add remaining evaporated milk, sugar and syrup. Stir over low heat until sauce boils and thickens.