December 31, 2011

Craft list - Day 291

2012 - wow, time does fly!! 
Seems the last year went very fast. 
Partly due to a growing teen, keep wondering how the time flew by so fast that my little girl is now learning to drive!! 
Now is the time to think about the coming year, and I will start with some craft wishes.... 
*fairy house  
*Castle set   
*New crochet blanket  
*3d birds  
*larger paintings  
*digital photo manipulation  
*dino set  
*finally make the origami tarantula

December 30, 2011

Dressed fairy doll - Day 290

A clothed fairy! I think the purple felt was too stiff though, and it doesn’t fit right. It showed my arms weren't stuffed enough, I had to jimmy jam the arms into the sleeves, which is okay if I plan to permanently stitch her into her clothes, but not very useful if I want to change them!! back to the drawing board!!

December 29, 2011

Mini fairy Doll - Day 289

A new craft attempt! Dangerous I know!! 
A mini fairy doll, with changeable outfit and a fairy house?! 
This doll is about 4.5 inches tall. Im not sure if the hair is right, and I may just stitch the eyes as the beads arent quite right. 
This isnt mine, my doll pattern skills are limited! This is from Nuno Life.  
I had in my head to make a fairy, but was unsure how to put it together. So after a search, managed to find this. Definitely a great start, now to research other doll making tips/tricks.

December 28, 2011

Fishing set - Day 287-288

Limited time and energy. Sketched out the ideas for a fish set, and then started to stitch the next day. I decided to use velcro instead of the traditional magnets, but so far have a pattern glitch. I thought the velcro would work on the felt, with a little help from the velcro eye. It does work a little bit, but takes a bit of effort to get the fish attached. requires a swish, linger and rub type movement to attach enough to lift the fish.
Swear words of your choosing can be added here!! Maybe the universes punishment for still being slightly craft crazy after xmas and not taking a break.

December 26, 2011

"Soft kitty" heat pack - Day 286

Another version of the keyboard rest/heat pack.
Big Bang Theory is awesome!!
This is a sleeping kitty with the Soft Kitty rhyme from Big Bang Theory stitched on it. This pattern has been adapted so it has a removeable rice pack inside. This means that it is washable.

December 25, 2011


CHRISTMAS!!!! Enough said!!

Made a non-traditional, but super yummy cheesecake. I have a household that dislikes xmas fruit based desserts (except me!).
Forgot to take pics. Will come back and add if I find the recipe.

December 24, 2011

Messenger bag lights up! - day 284

This is why the front flap of the bag had a clear window. It is a light up panel that lights up to music and sound. I am SO happy with how this turned out!! Now I need to start planning for a pillow version!!

December 23, 2011

December 22, 2011

Teen Sewing - Day 282

Was a craft guide today. Something nice about someone else making things! The result, a cute puppy for a younger sister. He has big eyes and a slightly stubby nose.

December 21, 2011

Messenger bag 2 - zip - Day 281

ZIPPITY ZIP - Zips are tricky at the best of times. Especially since I have lost the zipper foot on my machine! 
I looked up different techniques on line to work out how to do this, and was happy to find it was a tab system like the clear window pocket. Moments like this I love the internet! 

Its just a matter of cutting a line down the middle, the triangle ends, iron under and stitch on zip. Did have to play with the pocket lining, but worked out I could slip the front panel under the zip, stitch round the zip, then stitch the top stitched when doing the edge stitch. Then I just stitched the sides.

December 20, 2011

messenger Bag 1 - Pocket - Day 280

A messenger bag is on the cards. 
Big achievement today… adding a clear window pocket to the front flap. 
Was exciting to see it finished as I was concerned with how it would turn out. 

I was very careful with the measurements and took the time to iron the fabric tabs under before stitching on the plastic. Tommorrow, a pocket with a zip.

December 19, 2011

Xmas Taco Seasoning - Day 279

Taco seasoning trials from the start of November led to mixed results. So after tests, comparing notes and more trialling, we have a recipe that works. And works wonderfully. 

It is a combination of the best bits of 2 recipes and seems to be the closest to the brought seasonings we used to like. I have pacaged these up for xmas presents, partly cause I made to much, but then because I thought it would be a good extra for some people.


This is enough for a large jar of it. (or 3 small 210ml containers)

12 Tbl Chilli
10 Tbl Paprika
9 Tbl Cumin
5 Tbl Onion Powder
5 Tbl Garlic Powder
3 Tbl Oregano
1 tsp cayenne
3 Tbl black pepper
8 tsp salt (optional based on your views on salt)
4 Tbl cornstarch

Mix together very well  (at this point, singing "shake, shake shake...shake, shake, shake...shake your booty" works if it all fit in your jar. Otherwise mix in a bowl)

December 18, 2011

Frog finger puppet = day 278

An extra addition to the old McDonald set (maybe) 
Not sure if a frog fits on the farm?!

Also have pattern for an owl as an extra. 

Xmas present making frying my mind, so just quick posts the next couple of weeks I think!

December 17, 2011

Xmas Pressie two - Day 277

Another present in the making, so just some key shots of the process. I think I will need to practice my satin stitch, mine is a bit uneven. I am making a couple of these, so will hopefully get better.

I do give thanks to Urban threads though. Am starting to think I chose way to many sewing projects for this christmas!!
Full pics posted later.

December 16, 2011

Rangitoto Island - Day 276

A more cutesy simplified picture. But I'm getting the hang of layers.

For this one I had to import an actual photo of Rangitoto Island into Manga studio and use the layer tool to copy it since it has a specific shape. I like this tracing ability, has given me a few more ideas I might try later! Also a great tool to use for tricky shapes like NZ map.
Also used extra layers and masking for this piece so I didn't have the black outlines. And made good use of the light brush and blending tools for the shading.

December 15, 2011

Animal Finger Puppets - Day 274-275

Am a bad friend! I promised a finger puppet set for a friends birthday, and started it on day 197, but then, didn’t really touch it again. Other things came up. So the birthday present is now a christmas present!!

I now have a duck, chicken, pig, dog, cat, sheep and cow. I also have a design for a couple more animals, but maybe 7 is enough! They all fit fabulously down Old Mcdonalds trousers!! (Wheres your cat?  down my trousers!! hehe!) And its a bonus that he doubles as a hand puppet too.

December 13, 2011

Pressie 3 - Day 273

An extra present. I have been needing something extra to make for a 12 yr old girl. In the end, I have ended up with one of these to go along with school book covers.

The monster holds a school diary, but would fit standard notebooks as well. I made a couple of these as there is someone else who may get one. I had to change the pattern after the first. I forgot to add the width of the book to the overflap, so it didn't sit quite right. Am hoping it stretches?!

December 12, 2011

PUPPY HOUSE - Day 271-272

I had a complete artistic space out while sitting down and completing another bunny set. My brain just phased out and came up with this instead. It was like being possessed, as I couldn’t stop until it was done. 

The bunny set was delayed a day, but it was worth it. This is such a cute little set! I love it when I surprize myself! The bones come out of the dirt patch, there is a water bowl that can be placed anywhere, and a big dog (mum or dad) and a puppy. the set then closes into a house.

December 10, 2011

Kiwi Cover - Day 270

Part of a main present, here is the outside decoration. 

I had several different ideas, but this one seemed right on the day. Was originally going to add a map of NZ, but a bit tricky late at night when I just wanted them completed. I am so happy I get to wrap them now! HAve had to spend a chunk of time on Bunny Playsets that have been ordered for Christmas, and these obviously took priority.

December 9, 2011

Mini xmas angels - Day 269

A little extra on our tree… little angels. Scruffy and quick, but seems to fit the style of our crazy house.

December 8, 2011

NZ Design - Day 267-268

I am experimenting with the masking tool in Manga. 
This allows each section to be decorated and played with, without risking overlap and ruining another section. Basically, it means you can't colour over the line!! 

Another tool I am enjoying is the symmetry rulers. The 12 point symmetry ruler is just fun!! Reminds me of the spyrograph fun from the early days. Even the teens have had a bit of fun with this. Looks really good with a mix of colours.

December 6, 2011

Fairy Skirt - Day 266

This was a joint craft with my daughter. In fact, I started her off but she finished so I could complete bunny sets. 

 Oh the joys of a no sew fairy skirt!! 
I have seen a few of these around, and after a slightly disastrous fairy skirt last year that frayed horrendously, I opted for the tougher tulle. No fray!! 
This couldnt be easier really. The only stitching you need to do is the elastic waist band.
Once that is done, you just get a mass of strips cut from your coloured net, some matching ribbon strips and start adding them. With each long strip, double it and then slip knot around the elastic. Alternate colours and ribbon till you run out. Then settle down for a while because you need to tie the strips togehter. You take one strip (light pink) and tie to one strip of the colour next to it (dark pink), just keep going around like this. Once done, you can trim any extra long bits (my white was a much softer netting and was longer). 

Another xmas present done!!

December 5, 2011

Finger Misery - Day 265

A random craft born from slight stitching misery. I have been stitching LOTS the last 2 days, completing 2 orders for the bunny playset. But I have had issues. My left wrist has developed a niggling ache, so that cant be good! And I have cut the side of my finger, ouch. On top of that, I have managed to mangle the top of my middle finger while trying to hand stitch on super stubborn velcro. Silly me, I had the sticky back velcro, which was great for placement and temporary stickiness, but with use wont last so needs to be sewn. It turns out this is not so easy!! My sewing machine was not impressed, the glue was transferred to the needle, which then became sticky and stopped the thread from working. Many battles and a new needle later, I had to move to handstitching. Again... silly me... I dont have a thimble, I needed a thimble!! The needle took a fair chunk of effort to push through. I bent 2 of them pressing against the table to get the needle through. But my finger kept slipping and the back of the needle kept stabbing me. The next day, cursing brilliantly, I brought sew on velcro!! So much easier. But, a couple of areas still needed handstitching, and my finger is so sore. I had to whip up a makeshift thimble/finger guard. This is scraps of felt, with a double layer of felt sandwiching cardboard on the top and sides. I had to add an extra piece at the bottom so it stays on my finger. Ok... this is a rant based post. back to work!!
And I am aware I could have brought a thimble when I brought the velcro but i forgot!!

December 4, 2011

Hot Chocolate Sticks - Day 264

Christmas and chocolate. Can't beat them! 

 I saw a very fancy package at an exclusive shop selling these cubes of chocolate on a stick, that you swirl into hot milk for a decadent hot chocolate. A cute idea I thought, but not at $3-4 per choc. 
So I researched on line at may different recipes (links soon) and opted for this one. I chose this one because there were less ingrediants, but the condensed milk based ones will be my next batch so I can compare. 
I think the choc and cocoa ones last longer too. But I managed to make 11 x25g hot choc sticks for $5. Me and z tested these, and yum! Will wrap up all pretty with wrap and ribbon.
Probably could have got the same level of choc by adding an extra spoon of hot choc mix, but swirling and watching the choc slowly melt, as well as the little extra nibbles of the melting choc, does make it a bit more special. The marshmallows turned out to be just for decoration though, as they melted with the choc and disappeared. Probably need the big homemade marshmallows to have a marshmallowie layer on top.

December 3, 2011

Beaded bracelets revisited - Day 262-263

These are extra stocking stuffers. 

A number of shops around here are selling versions of these, but as usual, its so much cheaper to make your own. I tried on of these back on day 120-121 (my tutorial that I'm following here) , but the yellow one turned out longer then it was meant too.  I think I was crocheting too tight, as it twisted up as well. These are just crochet, so quick and easy.

December 1, 2011

NEW JOB - Day 261


Just found out! I am now a Technology facilitator at a local Intermediate. I like how the word they used was 'facilitator' not teacher, it sounds better somehow. This is a big shift from normal primary teaching. This job entails working with and guiding the students to create their own designs/projects across the key technologies. So hard technology (woodwork), soft technology (eg sewing) and bio tech (eg food production). Lots of creativity in an "organized chaos" environment!! Perfect!!

So a celebration picture today!