Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rag Wreath instructions

1 12 inch foam heart, or wreath shape of your choice
Several yards of fabric
a crochet hook, or chopstick
I used 2 old french earring hooks, and a length of thread for the hanger because that's what was laying around

Cut many, many 3inch by 3inch squares or diamonds from your fabric with pinking shears. You can also use circles to give a slightly different appearance, but the squares and diamonds waste less fabric.
Start at the center front.
Fold a square around the tip of the hook or stick, with the tip in the center. Dip the tip in glue, press into the foam heart, remove hook.Try to keep the squares in a straight line. Starting in the front helps to keep the line straight. You can veer around a bit as you get to the sides to create the fullness you like.
This is the back. I left it empty so it will hang flat on the wall, but they can be covered all around if hanging in a window.This is one of the French hooks. I just tied some doubled thread between them and inserted the hooks into the foam for a hanger. You can also use bent wire to make a hook. The wreaths are quite light. I have made other wreaths for fall, Halloween, Christmas, I even gave one for a wedding present that was made from antique lace!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Here are some Coconut Cranberry Chews I made for last Thanksgiving.
I added thinly-sliced preserved papaya and red currents to the dough as part of the fruit measure. It didn't say to, but I chopped the dried fruit. (I put the orange zest in by eye, as there is no measurement for it in the recipe.)
A half recipe made 50 cookies - YUMMY!
Coconut-Cranberry Chews makes 7-8 dozen cookies
1½ cups (¾ lb.) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 large egg
3¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups dried cranberries
1½ cups sweetened flaked dried coconut

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a large bowl, beat 1½ cups butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg until well blended.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, stir to mix, then beat on low speed until dough comes together. Mix in cranberries and coconut.

Shape dough into 3/4 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered baking sheets.

Bake at 350° F until edges just begin to brown, 11 to 15 minutes. If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then use a wide spatula to transfer to racks to cool completely. (sunset magazine)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's chilly today, so we made some Spring flowers
pipe cleaners (chenille stems) - 7 each of pink, yellow, green, blue, and violet; 3 white, 1 orange.
1 4 inch Styrofoam circle - I used one dismantled from another project
white glue

Starting at the bottom of the foam circle, apply pipe cleaners. Bend each end slightly, add glue and insert into the foam. They will not reach quite all the way around. I started with pink, then yellow, blue and purple to mimic the rainbow. You can glue the whole length if you want to.When the side is covered, take shorter pieces of stems, bending the ends, and insert them with a blob of glue ( into the bottom and into the top surfaces) around the circle from top to bottom. This will help to hold the horizontal stems in place. I made my first upright opposite the gap in coverage. Insert 2 more equal distances between front and the back gap. Fill the back gap the same way, I used one pink in the middle of the gap and continued out in the rainbow. (My daughter made hers with the filled gap in front, she said it reminded her of a bow.)
Twist the 3 white stems together to make a strong 'trunk', fold one each of the colors in half to make the petals of the umbrella arch; and twist together at the ends to create the arch. Add a blob of glue and insert into the foam near the back.
Extra pipe cleaners can be made into the garden flowers and the pink butterfly.
Make sure the weight is balanced, as the back umbrella rainbow arch is quite heavy and could cause it to tip over. The purple flower on the front along with careful placement of the garden flowers was enough to keep it quite balanced.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1930's girl retro cut-up cake

I decided to try a retro cut up cake. She was made with a 9 x 13 cake and a small round.
First I trimmed the edges, then cut away for her waist. Cut triangles to give her a nice bust and some skinny shoulders, used part of the cut away triangles to make her arms. I made the icing white, so you could see where she was glued together. Her head is big like a cartoon.
She was frosted in 2 main colors, dress and body. Used a little Nestle Quik to make her skin color, I wanted the little freckly imperfections from the cocoa in it. Squiggled yellow through a #81 Wilton tip for her hair. The details are made from Wilton Cocoa Candy Melts. I just outlined her like a cartoon with a small round tip (you could use the tip snipped from a plastic bag). Her neck fringe used a leaf tip. And the result - a little cartoon 1930's girl.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This is the first post of Leah's crafts and doodads. I will put craft instructions and pictures here, along with a few recipes.
I hope that people get some enjoyment out of my blog, and find some new and interesting things to make.
This is a teddy made of yo-yo balls, that my daughter made many years ago. I've been searching all over for the instructions for it, but came up empty. However, the family member she gave it to still had it. I will be posting the instructions for this toy first.
I wanted to make them for an ornament exchange, but we didn't find it until a short time ago. Maybe next year...