I decided to take a break from all things sewing at the weekend, and give paper crafts a go. After all this blog is supposed to be about trying different crafts and I feel I have been doing a bit too much quilting as of late.
Quilling is very easy. You have to buy a small quilling tool, which you can buy from ebay for around £3, and some thin strips of quilling paper. I bought these 3 packs of varying sizes for around £5 from ebay, but you could just cut your own paper, if you have the time. The pieces should be the same width and length for neatness.
I decided to try and make a Spring Daffodil first. So I chose 6 strips of yellow paper for the petals and 1 strip of orange paper for the middle.
To make the petal: Place the end of the paper in the slot of the quilling tool, and begin turning the tool, so the paper wraps around it. Once you reach the end of the piece of paper, it should be tightly wrapped round the top of the quilling tool, into a coil. Hold onto the sides of the coil, and remove it from the quilling tool. Then loosen your grip on the coil, so that it uncurls slightly. Pinch the top of the coil, to form a petal shape, then glue down the loose piece of paper at the end, so to secure the shape.
To make the middle: Do the exact same as above, but do not uncurl the paper or pinch. Simply glue the loose end of the paper to the side of the coil.
All you then need to do is glue the petals and middle onto the card. I use bostik clear multi purpose glue, but I think pritt stick or any sort of glue would do.
Here are some of the flower cards I made:
These took no time at all, so I decided to then move onto butterflies, which again are so simple, and you just need to follow the same instructions as before
I won’t need to buy Mothers Day cards ever again. I wonder what other shapes and designs I could quill?
Its the Caterpillar from Alice and Wonderland! It has been needle felted! Genius!
Time to try out my needle felting kit I think. Shall post over the next few days, to let you know how I get on
How cute are these, really want to give them a go, looks a bit tricky though..
Macaron Coin Purse (via Sew | Macaron Coin Purse | Free Pattern & Tutorial at CraftPassion.com)
Possibly the comfiest shoes I ever owned, slip on vans. I had the shark print, hippo print and pellican print. Would LOVE a pair of these.
Are you getting bored yet? I’m still loving doing them :-D
Due to Valentines Day being right after my birthday and right before our anniversary, we don’t normally do anything OTT for it. So I decided this year it would be nice to make a romantic meal. I didn’t want it to be something I have made before, I wanted it to be special, so I set myself the challenge of making my very first Beef Wellington, or two to be precise. After looking at several recipes on the internet, I decided to go for it.
I used the Gordon Ramsay recipe which can be found here. I also frantically text my uncle while I was cooking for some advice (I did not want a soggy pastry!)
I kind of played about with it a bit, and adapted it to make 2 individual wellingtons instead of 1 large one- I used parma ham inside the wellington instead of prosciutto, the beef I used was fillet steak which was bought from M&S for £5, and the perfect size for an individual wellington and the mushroom duxelle I made using chestnut mushrooms, Shallots, butter and a splash of white wine.
KEY THINGS- The hardest bit I found was cooking the beef, I started by sealing the meat in a pan, but found this left it still dripping with blood, so then baked the beef for another 10 mins. I guess it all depends on personal preference, but I would not eat beef if there was blood spurting out it! The beef then has to be completely cooled before wrapping in the pastry. It should be cooled straight after cooking, then put in the fridge for a further 30 mins. Then again once the Wellington is made up, it must be put back in the fridge for 30 mins. I cooked the Wellingtons for about 20-25 mins in the oven.
I was really chuffed with the end result, and would definitely use Gordon’s recipe again.
To accompany the Wellingtons, I also made some rosemary roast potatoes. To make these:
½ bag of new potatoes (around 500g)
2 teaspoons of Very Lazy Garlic in White Wine Vinegar
For dessert I made Nigella’s Nutella Cheesecake, the night before to allow it to set. The recipe can be found here
Unfortunately my Springform tin is a bit too big, so the “cheese” layer is the same thickness as the base, when it should be significantly larger. For the biscuit base, I didn’t use Nigella’s recipe. I used crushed chocolate digestives instead of normal ones, and mixed these some honey to get a solid biscuit base.
I really enjoyed making this meal, but it took me hours to do, so isn’t realistic for a normal after work dinner. Would definitely make those Wellingtons again one weekend though, they were very tasty even if I do say so myself :-D
Well I have been somewhat unproductive over the last week, considering I spent most of the weekend indoors after all the snow. We only ventured out twice- to Hampstead Heath to look at the frozen ponds and to Primrose Hill to walk in the snow. We were greeted with a sea of snowmen and lots of children sledging. I really love the old fashion wooden sledges.
The rest of the weekend indoors in the warmth, was spent doing a little bit more patchwork. I decided to make the Hexagon Patchwork Pin Cushion from “Queen of Crafts” by Jazz Domino Holly (My new favourite book). It is fairly simple to make, although not for the complete patchwork novice, as precision again is key. I started off by cutting out 12 hexagons in tartan (using a template I printed from the internet. Drawing a hexagon freehand I discovered was very difficult) I then cut out 2 hexagons, the same size as the others in a red spotty fabric). It is then a case of sewing the pieces together to form a flower shape. Six tartan hexagons form the outside of one side, with one spotty centre. I found it easiest to sew the tartan hexagons to the spotty centre first, then to sew the tartan hexagons together. I repeated this again to form the other side of the “flower”. I then sewed the 2 pieces together inside out, so the top neat side is facing inwards, leaving an inch unsewn (this is so the “flower” can be turned inside out again). I then stuffed with toy filling, and sewed up the gap.
Here is the end result:
The difficulties I ran into were using the tartan fabric (noooooooooooo!). I find this often that the once cut, the ends fray very easily. Normally this isn’t a huge problem, but as the pieces were so small, it meant it was harder to sew the pieces together without any fraying occuring. So when it did fray I had to sort this by hand.
I did this project using my sewing machine, but you could quite easily do it by hand too.
Promise to get more crafty this week :) I have no excuse, as my second delivery of “Art of Quilting” arrived yesterday too
I find that I am very easily influenced by adverts and from a young age especially the magazine adverts and even more especially , those with a free gift- “Money of The World” and “Calligraphy for Beginners” being two I tried and soon bored of. So I really couldn’t help myself when after Christmas a new crafting magazine was advertised “The Art of Quilting”.
I’ve always fancied making a patchwork quilt, but was really unsure how to begin and what sewing techniques needed to be used. So this magazine sounded ideal.. a little pricey at £3.50 a week, but I figure I can just keep buying it until I’ve mastered the techniques. The magazine came with 4 patterned fabrics, and very clear instructions on how to make my first square.
The key is to be very accurate with your measurements of the squares, also measuring out a seam allowance on each and carefully lining each up when sewing on the machine.
Here is my first go:
I enjoyed doing it so much, I got carried away and made some more squares with scraps of fabric I had in the house. I need to be a bit more careful with the way in which I sew each smaller square together, as you can see they don’t all follow the same pattern. I think if all these squares were made into a blanket,there would have to be some degree of continuity, otherwise it wouldn’t look as good. Also the yellow and orange one is proof that patchwork quilting cannot be done quickly, I tried and it ended up a bit wonky. Precision is everything with patchwork.
Will post some more photos as I progress with the actual formation of the blanket
Wednesday was Burns Day, a day to celebrate the Scottish national poet Robert Burns. I should explain, for those who don’t know me, I am Scottish and very patriotic. So I see Burns Day as a day to celebrate all things Scottish. Here are a few of my favourite Scottish exports: (I could write a huge list, but these are the most relevant to the blog!)
To make Balmoral chicken (serves 4)
You will need:
4 chicken breasts 1/2 a shop bought Haggis (around 250g)
For the sauce, I must admit, I tend to use a powder bought from the supermarket for quickness, Colmans or similar and mix it with warm milk or cream. But if your feeling Adventurous, here is a recipe I found online:
PS: It wouldn’t be fair to not mention my greatest love…