Saturday, November 23, 2013

Easy felt flower diy

To complement a butterfly costume, I made a felt flower hair clip. It's really easy to make and versatile as you can make it in any color combo you like.
I'll make some more pics when I make another one.

Materials needed:

thread in the color of the top petals
Two sheets of felt in a color of your choice
A pom pom thingy 1 cm diameter (0.4 inch though 0.5 is fine too)
A hair clip (see pic) no larger than 5 cm or 2 inches

There are six petals to each level and all our the same size.
The bottom of the petal is 2 cm wide, 1 inch will work. The length is 5 cm, or 2 inches. 
Just draw a petal (with those measurements) that you find pretty on a piece of paper and use that to cut 6 petals of each color.

Cut a square out of the bottom petal color. The side should be the same length as your hair clip. You are going to sew your flower on here and attach it to the clip.

Bottom petal circle (light pink in pic):
Take three petals and sew the corners together. Do the same with the other three. You now have two circles of petals. Lay them on top of each other as seen in the pic above and center them on the square. Sew the petals on the square by whip stitching the inner circle.

Upper petal circle (dark pink in pic):
Take one corner of a petal and fold it over so the corner is now resting in the middle of the petal. See pic. Whip stitch back to the new corner. 
Take a second petal and attach the corner of the first to the bottom center of the second. Now fold the corner of the second petal as you did the first.
The corner of the second petal should be touching the new corner of the first. 
Whip stitch to the new corner of the second petal and repeat with the next 4 petals. The last petal should be attached to the first. You should now have a circle of petals that have one side folded over and are arranged as seen in the pic above. 

Center the second circle of flowers on the first and whip stitch on the square in the same way as before. 
Put the pom pom in the center and attach by pulling the needle through the square and the center of the pom pom leaving a good piece of thread behind. Then plunge right back through just next to where your needle came out. Tie a knot at the back of the square.

Your flower is done. You only need to attach it to the hair clip. 

Lay your hair clip diagonally on the square. My clip had a tiny hole on either side. I folded the corners of the square over and sewed them onto the holes. The other two corners I cut off .5 cm or 1/4 inch from the side of the clip. I linked these pieces by going under and over the clip tucking the corners in at the side. This way the clip is attached to the flower without being able to see it.

I probably should have made some more pictures to explain but it really is quite simple.

Let me know if you make one! 


Birds, butterflies and bees

It took me two days to make my daughter's wishlist for Sinterklaas and I don't mean two afternoons but morning to night. I've become one of those moms who tries to get every toxic thing away from my baby and subsequently spends hours a day researching anything from food and toys to lotion and detergent. Aaaaargh. The more I read the more I want to change what I buy and use. Between those tough and long searches for companies that still have a bit of integrity I did a bit of crafting this week and bought a lot of presents for others and for me :)


 I finished my nieces butterfly costume. Sadly I didn't have an appropriate sized mannequin to show it on so I hung it on mine.

The wings I got at ikea, I would not have been able to make them for that kind of money. They cost 5€!  I did embroider some swirls on them just to make them prettier. 

The hair clip is really simple to make, I'll post a tutorial of that later. It's made from felt and has a small clip on the back so it can easily attach to a small child's hair without the risk of it falling out or pulling too much.

The skirt is a layer of tule, a layer of organza and some more tule. I ruffled the top hem of each layer and sewed them onto some elastic. I hope she fits it.... Might have been smart to ask her size.

I started on these nice bird ornaments for the Christmas tree. I also thought of making penguins and snowmen but just couldn't think of something cute and easy that could be made in lots of different colors.

I was inspired by the bird ornaments that Larissa Holland of mmmcrafts makes so I thought I'd try my own version. Hope to have something pretty before christmas is over lol.


This made my day:

My Bee's wrap came today! I just couldn't stop smelling it. The combination of wax, jojoba oil and tree resin is intoxicating in a non toxic way :)
It's a "fresh, easy, natural" way to wrap stuff like cheese, sandwiches or veggies. You can also cover a bowl with it. I bought it to wrap cheese because it always comes in plastic and I just read those can be harmful. (Looking at the package I found it is toxic so good call!) The warmth of your hand will actually help mold the wrap and when it cools off again, it stiffens and seals. I love it! Now I won't be needing as much plastic wrap and this will last me a year! Yay!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Amazingly scrumptious chocolate pudding recipe almost sugar free

Oh my, I just made the most amazingly scrumptious chocolate pudding! It is based on this recipe by Joy of Baking but as has become my signature thing at the moment, it is almost sugar free. This by the way does not mean it is healthy like veggies or fruit. It just doesn't contain evil refined sugar... instead I have used maple syrup and stevia. Besides not being toxic, it is also dead easy to make! Yay!

Amazingly scrumptious chocolate pudding 

Makes enough for 4 people, it's very filling
Prep time: 1,5 hours including refrigeration

Goodness I need to learn how to make pics of food... Even mickey isn't looking too happy... It tastes much better than it looks, promise!
- 2,5 tablespoons cornstarch
- 30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 100 ml maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon stevia (95% steviolglycoside)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 315 ml milk
- 100 ml whipping cream
- 40 grams of dark chocolate in pieces (choose chocolate of good quality)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 15 grams of butter in pieces

Mix the cornstarch with the cocoa and salt in a heat proof bowl. Mix it really well by scraping the back of the spoon over the side of the bowl until there are almost no lumps of cornstarch left. Add the stevia and the maple syrup and whisk well. Then whisk in the egg yolks until it's a uniform paste. Set aside.

Put the milk and the cream in a saucepan and bring up to boiling point. Take it off the heat and slowly whisk it into the chocolate paste.

Pour the entire mixture back into the saucepan. Cook until it thickens, keep stirring! When it has the thickness of pudding, which it will be really quick, take it off the heat and beat vigorously for a few seconds.

Stir in the butter, chocolate pieces and vanilla extract until well blended.

Pour or scoop it into a clean bowl, press a piece of baking paper over the top and refrigerate for about an hour. (The baking paper will keep it from forming a film and it won't stick.)

After the hour take the bowl out of the fridge, remove the paper and beat vigorously again. Your pudding is now done and ready to eat! Yay!

You can eat it right away or cover it and refrigerate again until needed.


Friday, November 15, 2013

My Child doll restoration

Cleaned, make-up redone, but still missing fingers on her left hand

My Child dolls are so pretty! I've had mine since 1989 and after some hard core googling I found she was in pretty great shape for her age. She didn't have too much pilling, her skin wasn't sagging as bad as it could have, she still had clearly visible make-up and her hair was still in its original parting. The latter made me really happy because I saw the instructions for redoing a parting and it's a lot of work!

So to clean her up I used the instructions on Marisa's page.

To wash your My Child Marisa's preferred method is the washing machine but I had an inkling she didn't have a front loader. I certainly would not recommend washing your doll in a front loader where she (or he..) will tumble and smash around. I don't think that will be good for the head or joints.

Before, as you can see she still had a lot of make up!

First I bound the doll's hair so it wouldn't get tangled. As I have a My Child with two curly pigtails and an all-round fringe, I tied up both the pigtails and just let the fringe hang loose.

I put the doll in a dish washing tub with some mild detergent. I splashed her around a bit and then let her soak for 30 minutes. She had quite a grimy face so I left her face down.
After the half hour soak I did as Marisa instructed and pulled her out, squeezed her limbs and then put her back in to soak up the water again. It's a mild way of washing and strongly urge you not to rub the skin. This method works fine.
For the face I used a method that strongly resembled torturing. Not that I'd ever done any before but I almost felt sorry for my dolly! I pulled her up out of the water by her shoulders and then smashed her face first back in. It worked like a charm though! Her face is bright and clean again, and her make-up stayed on.

When I thought she had been cleaned enough I emptied the tub and filled it with clean water. I repeated the washing techniques just to get the soap out. I also just rinsed her under the tap.

After having washed out the soap I let the doll soak in fabric softener solution for about 5 minutes after which I started on the hair.  
Washed and combed
(to see examples of different hair do's and make-up see HERE)

Marisa said it would take patience, and she was not kidding. I recommend using gloves to do this. It is not good for your hands.
 I hung the doll with her hair over the now empty tub (like they do at the hairdresser) and poured fabric softener onto her hair. I splashed a little water on it and worked it into her hair. I left the pigtails in.
After leaving the fabric softener in the hair for 5 minutes I got a comb and started brushing the fringe first. Starting at the tips and working back to the roots a little piece at a time. The fringe is short so it went pretty quick.
Next I took one of the pigtails out and started brushing the same way. I used my fingers to separate 1/4 inch pieces of hair. I found that combing tiny pieces at a time actually went quicker than trying to comb through bigger parts at once.
Take care not to comb the fringe into the pigtail!
After combing all the pieces of one pigtail I put them all together and combed it all at once into a nice pigtail again. I then kept it together with a hair clip. Repeat for the other side :)

If needed I scooped some fabric softener water out of the tub still under her head and poured it onto the hair.
After I was able to comb through all the hair with ease, I washed the fabric softener off and squeezed as much water out of the doll as possible.

Yay all done cleaning!

I decided not to put the hair in curlers so it has remained slightly frizzy. My doll's hair is just very curly. I cannot seem to find pictures that resemble her. All the My Dolls I can find have a much straighter fringe... Putting the hair in curlers might work to give it a more styled look. Might have to try that sometime.

After leaving her siting on a thick towel in front of the heater for 2 days it was on to the make-up!

I used make-up to redo the doll's make-up but I have seen people mention watercolor pencils. Whatever you choose don't try any type of pen. The lines will be way to hard, the make-up should have a soft look to it.
There were two types of US doll make-up as the guide on ebay will tell you:
"Lips could come in a shade of pink or peach, and eye makeup was either peachy brown or grey/black. (They [sic] grey/black eyeshadow only came with pink lips.)"

My doll had the grey/black eyeshadow and pink lips. The lips were ok and I only lightly touched them up with a corresponding rouge I had. I also used this to slightly highlight the cheeks.
For the lashes I used brown waterproof eyeliner pencil as that seemed to match the original and the eyeshadow I accentuated with a bit of grey shadow brought on with a tiny brush.


Good as new!
   After restitching her left hand where the thread had come loose leaving her with no fingers, I put her back in her original dress. She comes from the last US series, so she doesn't have shoes...

The only downside of all this: now she is too pretty to let my one year old play with her! LOL. O well at least she will be able to when she grows up and in the meantime she sits on a shelf in my bedroom looking pretty :)

I intend to make her a new dress though. If I ever get around to it I'll let you know!

Do you have a My Child laying around or have you restored any? I would love to see what they look like! The dolls are so pretty and should definitely be treasured. They don't make them like this any more!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sugar free marzipan

I'm surrounded by tule en organza. My baby's playpen is filled with it as she happily swims through it loving the feel of it. With Sinterklaas on the way, Christmas not long after and carnaval in the new year I've been caught up in the making of ballet type petticoat skirts.
It requires a lot of sewing and gathering... Luckily that's what you read all over the internet so I was prepared. Mine aren't as much work as most tutorials online and after I'm done making all 4 of them (!!) I'll be sure to post my version.

Right now though I want to share my recipe for sugar free marzipan. As the season of eating lots of candy has started I wanted to make some responsible snacks for the holidays. The first of which is this great marzipan!

Sugar-free marzipan

200 grams white almonds, ground to a fine powder
150 grams fresh mejool dates, without pit or skins (see below)
1/2 to 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons of dutch cocoa powder 

The skin of dates can be pretty tough and if you are not making this in a food processor it's especially important to remove the skins. It takes a while but the result is way better. Also remove the pit of course and take care to have the correct amount of dates. The weight is without skins and pits!

If you have a food processor go ahead and put all ingredients except the maple syrup in there and ground to a fine paste. If you don't have one mash the dates with a fork, add the almond powder and extract and knead it by hand to a nice dough. Lastly add the syrup a little at a time until you get a nice marzipan that's not too dry and not too sticky.
Wrap the marzipan on plastic and leave in the fridge for an hour. 
When it has firmed up roll small balls from the marzipan and dust them with cocoa. 
Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. This helps the marzipan set and gives it a nice texture so don't skip! ( I know it's hard...:)

You can also dip the marzipan in tempered chocolate or color it and make figures.

I'm planning on using natural foodcoloring to color the marzipan next time. I'll show the result of that in a few weeks. 

Make it pretty and enjoy a guiltless snack!

My room right now, just three more to go hahaha

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