i just sat down to write a quick post about the hallowe’en treats i’m making for tonight’s party and i realised it’s been a whole year since we started the crafty muthas blog. i set it up at the beginning of october 2009 and i clearly remember adding photos of the hallowe’en biscuits i’d made just a few weeks later. a quick review of the blog tells me that there have been 107 posts and 16,661 site views in that time. a quick look on google analytics also tells me we are truly worldwide – people in over twenty countries have peeked at our little makes and read our crafty mutterings. more importantly, we have been able to keep on going even though we’ve all been incredibly busy just getting on with our lives and even though half of us have had truly awful years. well done my fellow crafty muthas! keep inspiring me. so now to my sweet treats…
i had some cake bits and vanilla buttercream frozen – leftovers from august, the month of cake! i’ve been wanting to make cakeballs for ever and had set these aside for when the time was right. so here’s what i did. with reference to quantities, i used a medium ziplock bag full of sponge cake, a cupful of buttercream and 300-400g of white chocolate. i think you can use a bit more or less of everything.
1. i defrosted the cake bits and buttercream (you could obviously use fresh but i think the idea of leftovers suits the cakeball because you’re just basically mushing everything up and it’d be a shame to do that with fresh ingredients)
2. mix cake bits and buttercream in a bowl until well mushed together
3. melt white chocolate (i added a bit to the sponge/buttercream mix because it seemed a bit dry)
4. mould mixture into desired shape (for cakeballs that’d be ball shapes. but i made a domed sort of shape because i was making ghosts)
5. freeze moulded shapes for 15 mins just to harden slightly
6. if you were making balls you’d dip them in the chocolate at this stage but i spooned a small amount of chocolate onto greaseproof paper and placed a moulded shape on each
7. spoon melted chocolate over shapes until covered (you want a little pool at the bottom to provide a sort of skirt for your ghost)
8. place in fridge to harden
9. pipe ghostly face onto each cake. i used writing icing
i did find the ghosts came out a bit better with warmer chocolate. when it cools it doesn’t pour as easily. but you probably knew that.
it is happening! we’ve just taken delivery of 5000 flyers to help promote our much dreamed of christmas craft market. the flyers, designed by our own cm erin look amazing and we can’t wait to start spreading the news. we’ve taken lots of table bookings already, but thought we’d give one last chance to our blog readers. click on the ‘handmade christmas in bearwood‘ link in the sidebar to contact us and we’ll send you an application form. tables are just ten pounds and we’ve already got a wide range of handcrafted goodies to offer the shoppers of bearwood and beyond. but the more the merrier….it is christmas after all!
an old friend came up at the weekend with his beautiful son and new baby. when i say new, i mean 10 months old! we hadn’t seen her and we hadn’t given her a present for being born either. when i say we, i mean i hadn’t given her a present for being born. the present giving is my responsibility in this here house and being a good bit more miserly with the cash than my panic buying husband, and also a tiny bit more talented in the making department, i put my thinking cap on and came up with this little bird mobile. it’s 99% upcycled – i only bought the ribbon to hang it from.
the twig came from the woods (have a look at how beautiful they are herewww.warleywoods.org.uk) and the birds i made from yet more felted jumpers. i didn’t use a pattern, just drew a bird freehand and cut it out. then sewed on wings and blanket stitched the two halves together. the purple one, there is a purple one, believe me, was an inside pocket from an old mexx cardy of mine and i was particularly pleased to have made something sweet out of it. i even stuffed these little tweeters with old cushion stuffing.
i’m going to put one of these mini owls on the next branch, with little birds hanging (flying) below and then i’m going to make a whole bunch more for a handmade christmas in bearwood.
a sweet young girl had a birthday recently, so i knitted her some little fingerless mittens as a gift.
i was inspired by my mother. she knitted some for my little girl who loves them so much, she has barely taken them off since they came off the needles. i think she even slept with them on a few times.
so i think these little mittens are crowd pleasers because the young birthday girl’s mother commissioned me to knit her a matching adult version. luckily, the mini version was adapted from a pattern my mother had for an adult, so it was an easy task to complete.
believe it or not, i only use one 50g ball of Sirdar Click yarn for both of these projects. not bad, if i do say so myself.
just a brief note to upload some photos that have been languishing on my camera. The doorstops look cute don’t they? I made 6 in one evening last week but sense prevailed and I only filled the one for now! It will be easier to store 5 flat ones until I need to fill and sew them up, I figured!
The other pic is of my rock chick make up rolls. I sold the skull one at the Handmade Birmingham market, but have a commission to make another so will crack on with that next week.
PLenty on the go at the moment – mohair wristwarmers in hot pink, a wristwarmer in plum (one done, one to go!), Tillie’s baby blanket (3/4 way finished now yay!), some egg cosies, various flowers, a crochet bag and many many projects I’d love to have a go at….
Oh and those wooden hearts arrived and were wee! Too wee for writing a massive missive to Father Christmas on, so I’ve found some bigger ones and ordered them for that – will do something else with these boys.
Been seeking inspiration for my Christmas presents from lovely brochures I can’t afford to shop from, so just off now to try and find a cheap half used scrabble set from the local chazza shops to do a picture for Mr Crafty for his birthday…! night night x
birthday cocktails with a crafty friend last night. and very lovely brownies and blondies to accompany my moscow mule. i know she loves cats. and thought her tastes for cool neutrals were pretty similar to mine so went with this little cat cushion. i’d felted the slate grey sweater an age ago and sewn it up. i was very lucky with the oatmeal fabric. i drew out a cat template and then went to look for a contrasting colour in my scraps bag. i found this piece that just fitted and it meant the knitted stripes fell on the diagonal which i think makes it look extra nice. i looped the tail around the back as an extra detail, just wish i’d had enough fabric for a bit of a curl. i asked the kids to tell me what it was (i always do that when i make stuff just in case it looks nothing like i imagine) the eldest said kitten and he’s spot on. somehow between drawing a cat and cutting it out it turned into a kitten.
apologies if i’m not in the most fluent of moods today. my hands are FREEZING and i’m having trouble typing my sentences. time for hot coffee.
is my daughter’s birthday – oh, and Christmas. So all my preparations need to be finished WAY before then (gulp!)…
At this rate I am slowly panicking as it’s taking me longer than I’d like to finish things once I’ve started them. Add into the mix that between then and now I have 1. smallest daughter’s 4th birthday (which ought to mean a proper party as she hasn’t had one yet and now has legitimate friends of her own….!) and I want to make her a Peter Pan costume and a cake as she is currently obsessed with him and insists she is going to marry him, 2. 2 weddings, including my cousin’s where I have offered to make around 20 organza corsages which involves cutting many layers, singeing them over a flame and sewing together with sequins and adding safety pins to the back…, 3. our very own Handmade Christmas in Bearwood fayre on 20 November, for which I would like to make gazillions of new things, plus all the prep that will entail in planning it, 4. my Mum’s birthday, 5. Mr Crafty’s birthday, 6. my goddaughter’s birthday (present bought, wrapped and handed over, but plan on making her an “Everything’s Rosie” doll from cbeebies for Christmas, so back into the mix she goes!), 7. my niece’s birthday just after Christmas, 8. my brother’s 30th, again, just after Christmas day….. oh and in the middle of all that me and Mr Crafty have been together 20 years (you get less for murder, he can often be heard to cheerfully mutter (if that’s not a contradiction in terms!))…
so there we have it – no cleaning in the house, kids barely washed, clothed and fed, Mr Crafty fed up, a never-empty dining room table and no interest in my proper work for next 12 weeks…..
so on the basis of a small scarf taking me on average 3 nights to complete, but wristwarmers longer, perhaps I need to focus my attentions on sewn goodies? I am going to make some doorstops for the fayre, and have some beeyootiful fabric in babycord and denim to do that on order. I have also ordered some plain wooden hanging heart decorations which I intend to paint and maybe add some detail for children to hang on the tree and leave a message for Father Christmas – trying to decide between blackboard paint and a piece of chalk or a peg so they can attach a note…what’s the consensus? Here’s the blank heart for inspiration:
Also want to make a bunch of gift tags for Christmas – have lots of lovely papers and embellishments, and can offer people the opportunity for me to personalise them with initials or specific colours. Better clear a weekend to get that lot started too….!
Ok off now to clear the decks so I can come in to Birmingham tomorrow to visit Sausage-Cats stall on Handmade Birmingham market, and check out Erin’s photographs again on Sunday. If you’re in town and trying to dodge Tories from the conference, you could do worse than heading down to the Rag Market and checking out the best handmade goodies that Birmingham has to offer x