Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Bit of Catching Up...

The plan was to finish up outstanding projects but instead, I have started others along the way.  Some of the new projects, as well as some of the old (er) projects have been completed.  I can't say that I'm completely satisfied with how they turned out but, I now know how to make those less than ideal items better should I decide to attempt them again.  (I tried to make a small bench/box without measurements beforehand.  I need to take a photo of that one to share for sure...we all could use a laugh from time to time, right?)

 The pink and brown jumper was my most recent project.  It was completed in less than 3 days.  It started out to be this dress .  I followed the pattern and wound up unraveling it twice due to sizing issues.  Since I wasn't up to dickering with the stitches, I opted to save that pattern for another day and embark on a creation of my own.  It began with a crocheted rope or cord that was made long enough to go around the subject (my granddaughter) at mid chest area (think empire waist).  Then, working in the loops along one edge of the rope/cord, and using the shell pattern from the dress originally planned, I made the skirt portion, working back and forth for several rows before connecting and working in the round.  After finishing off the skirt, I began the bodice.  I made another rope/cord long enough for the neckline.  Working in the loops along one edge and with this type pattern in mind, made the bodice to fit her, working back and forth or side to side (however it's termed working from one edge to the other).  When the bodice was long enough, I attached it to the skirt and continued on to the pants (minus the waistband), again, working side to side until the length of the opening lined up the the opening of the skirt.  Then, worked them in the round.  I made a few decreases while doing the legs to taper them a bit.  Basic bow with contrasting disc were made and attached to one side of back.  A length of rope/cord was made and attached to opposite side from the bows at back opening so that there were two loops large enough to fit the bows through snugly...the bows and loops were the closures.
     I'm sorry I don't have a pattern for it but, patterns, like the ones above (hyperlinks), were pieced together to create it.


This sweater (you may have to sign up (it's free) for the pattern), including the assembly time,  is one of  the easiest, fastest working pattern I have ever made.  It can definitely be completed in one good (good = a long stretch of  time to devote to the project only) day.


These pants can be completed so quickly that, as long as the pattern is followed, one can have several pairs made by the end of the day (given, the day has been a good one)


These were made with the same pattern but instead of making a ribbing at the bottom of each leg, I incorporated a version of the crocodile stitch.


I still need to tidy up my tails of yarn and add a closure to this sweater.  I'm all for all in one designs...little or no piece work and fast working ones, like this one, are ideal for gifts and make for a productive donation season as well.


Another pair of pants using the above pants pattern (hyperlink shared above).  With these, I came to a crossroads.  Do I work in the discolored (another color had made its' way into the white during manufacturing) yarn or do I stop, tie a knot and continue?  I chose to continue with the discoloration.  As it turn out, there were multiple areas in the yarn that were discolored and I would've wound up with several knots that I would've had to disguise.  Either way, it would've resulted in a visual disruption.


I absolutely LOVE this pattern!  I kept buying yarn just so I could see it in another color!  I did have problems with the pattern.  The problems were actually with me, the reader, and not the pattern.  The pattern is perfect as is.  If you try it, there may be some trouble areas around row 5 and again at row 7.  If you find yourself getting aggravated 'cause it just ain't workin'...unravel it to the point before it jumped track, put the piece down and REREAD the pattern sloooooooowly.  The pattern is gorgeous and well worth the time it takes to understand and complete it.  I know not everyone has difficulty with it but for those who do, know the trouble is not in the pattern.


This is a fast working, interesting pattern


This is another pattern by the same creator of the cabled hat above.  I love all of her hat patterns!


The afghan below was made using the beautiful pattern from yarncrazy.com and an absurd amount of green and rust colored yarn I had in my yarn box and had so long I don't even know why I bought it.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Back to the program

   In my attempt to create at least one item per day (striving for 4 though), I have fallen short.  I came upon this hat pattern on Ravelry.com and can't seem to stop making them.  I don't want to stop making them.  I keep buying yarn in order to make another one in a new color.  I find the hat to be THAT beautiful.  After I have a stash of completed hats, I plan to embellish them further with flowers, bows, or some other girlifying items.
     At this time, I am still busy with cakes and other baked goods.  So, project time isn't as plentiful as I'd like.
     As I am not one to focus complete attention on any one project, there are a multitude of side side (yes, two sides) projects going on.  One room is getting a makeover in a big way on a small scale for my grandbabies.  I'm excited about what I have in mind for it and can't wait to see it completed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Latest cake

This one managed to travel 7 hours, unassembled that is.  The pieces traveled as, the body (without arms/head/legs attached), the head, the arms, the board with feet in place (glued with royal icing).  There are items missing (like the band just below head(at top of body) and the arms were not in better proportion to the body BUT...BUT...I love the way it turned out and so did the birthday boy.
  With the exception of the required tier supports, it is completely edible. 
   The arms are constructed of royal icing pieces that were piped and flooded then stacked...fondant and royal icing accents added for detail.  The feet were made of sugar molded inside of mini loaf pans then details carved.  Details on body and head are fondant.  Camera lenses attached with spaghetti.  The body is comprised of 7" layers.  The head was carved from 1, 8x3 square. The body was wrapped in fondant (leaving the top of the body with a covering of buttercream only) and the head was covered with fondant separately and brushed with an Everclear and nu silver lustre dust mixture.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Crocodile Stitch?


It's so whimsical and fun...much like the flapper dresses of the 20s.  I've yet to try it.  I'd like to use it to embellish some items I've got lined up.  This stitch is worked bottom up but two of my projects are made from the top down.  I KNOW there must be a way to incorporate this technique working a piece from the top down, I am having difficulty achieving success. I spent the last several hours trying to make my hands do what my mind thinks should be done. Any suggestions on how to work it from the top down?

Update: 

     I did it.  But, I know there is questionable activity going on under those 'scales'.  The froggy turns and slip stitching back to the starting point will not be seen as long as no one investigates :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Yarn giveaway!

This looks like it's a yarn to inspire! 

Vickie Howell for Caron - Magenta(ish) Stitch. Rock. Love Sheep(ish) yarn giveaway!  This is for three skeins of 70% acrylic, 30% wool yarn.

Enter here

http://www.allfreecrochet.com/sweeps/Magenta-ish-Stitch-Rock-Love-Sheep-ish-Vickie-Howell-Yarn-Giveaway

I'm always on the look for yarns that are easy to use (from project start to washability) as my projects are made primarily for the very young, very old, or homeless.  I am looking forward to trying this yarn.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On A Roll

I had a plan.  It was going well.  "MeeMaw, I want you to make me..."  So much for the plan.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Time Flies

     I can hardly believe it's been 2 months since my last entry.  I've been working on several projects several of which have been shared by some very generous crafters online.  I will share them as they're completed. 
     Sometimes, I wish I was one of those people that could begin a project and see it through to the end before starting another.  I'm not nor will I ever be at any point in the near future.  Should I decide, here and now, that I will not start another project until all my others are done, I'd have enough started projects to keep me occupied for at least a full year...at least.

     I would like to share a completed project I took on recently. 

The Eiffel Tower completed in icing!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Other Sweets (an inedible kind)

I recently completed this adorable dress for my grand daughter.  I used this pattern from Berroco.com for the yoke.  I had to do some adjusting to downsize the pattern.  I think the yokes (I made two...the first was too small for her) and the dress turned out sweet.









and a cute little purse to match.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Miniature Square Cakes Tutorial Part 2

I opted to edit all the clips into one hyper speed version so it could be viewed as one video instead of 3.

Friday, July 1, 2011

More Minis On The Way!

The layers have been baked, the white and dark chocolate ganaches have been made, the white modeling chocolate is ready, and I'm waiting for the caramel cream to cool.

Due to the timing of the video, it will more than likely be another silent tutorial with text clips added.

These will be squares (mostly).  Iced similar to the rounds in the previous tutorials and hopefully, (I've never iced a mini with ganache and a spatula...only poured) I'll be able to also include icing them with thicker ganache...not just poured ganache.  We'll see....

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Miniature Tiered Cakes

The remaining video tutorials are below.  The 2 coat, a third coat was added but not filmed, rolled fondant, and poured fondant.  There's no footage of the making of the poured fondant but I did add the recipe I used for it within the video.  The recipe I use for poured fondant can be found here (I just reduced the amount I made by 1/3)







Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Miniature Tiered Cakes - Filling and Crumbcoating

I hope you find these helpful.  If not, please, suggest how to make them better. 

(Most find my voice annoying...mute buttons are a good thing.)

All three videos below are filling and crumbcoating.  I'll upload the next steps once they've been edited.

part 1:


part 2:

part 3:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Video tutorials are in the works!

My first video tutorials will be about miniature cakes.  I'm sure there'll be gliches but, I do expect them to be fewer and fewer over time.

These are some examples of miniature cakes.  The designs in the videos will be different...maybe.
If you have a suggestion for a future tutorial on cake/cookie/dessert making or decorating please, chime in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Something In White

     Have you ever thought of something and were unable to get it out of your mind?  Well, that is exactly how it was with these two cakes.  I visited Sweet Creations by Stephanie.  When I seen her fondant dahlia tutorial and the resulting dahlia, I just knew I wanted to make and use them on a cake.  So, I began making the dahlias, using Stephanie's tutorial.  I went with white.  By the time I had the sugarpaste kneaded, I knew I was going to use silver dragees for the centers.  I made 9.

     I covered  12", 10", 8", 6", and 4" rounds with fondant.  Then, I rolled out fondant and cut 3/4"x18" wide strips, dampened with gum glue and folded over 1/4".  I applied the strips overlapping from the bottom up for 3 rows then from the top down for three rows.  A 2 1/2" strip was cut and dampened along both edges, folded over 1/4" on both edges.  The strip was then applied along the center to hide the edges and provide a 4th pleat.  The stylized dahlias were attached to the center of the band of pleats. This was done on the 12", 8", and 4" tiers.

     The 10", and 6" tiers got stenciled with pearlized silver lustre dust using this technique,  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH6YEUu6YAI&feature=related, except doing it on the actual tier sides.


The next idea came as I was stenciling the dahlia cake. 
12",10", 8", 6", and 4" fondant covered tiers were used.  Sugarpaste was rolled out quite thin and trimmed on all 4 sides with the finished width being 8"(The length really doesn't matter).  Using the same lustre dust stenciling technique in link above, this time doing it just as done in video...not on the tier, I stenciled the sugarpaste with pearlized silver lustre dust using a scroll stencil.  Using this tool http://www.globalsugarart.com/product.php?id=18438&name=FMM%20Textured%20Lace%20Set%203, I embossed and cut both edges of the 8"width.  Then, the sugarpaste was cut, using the little notches between the embossed scallops as a guide.  Then, cut the width in half so that there were 4" long strips with a scallop at one end.  These strips were placed over the small, Wilton flower former  set with the stenciling facing outward.  This tutorial will give you a visual on it.  While the strips dried, I started on the roses.  I used the Jem rose cutters, sizes 80 and 100, and the largest teardrop cutter, along with the technique shown in this video (it's part one of 6 parts so be sure to watch all 6).  I placed all of the largest petals in large soup spoons to dry.  The next day, make more of the largest rose petals and allow them to rest on the large soup spoons while assembling the remainder of the cake. Attach curved strips to sides of tiers using gumglue (royal icing may be used but you may wind up having to clean up any overage).  Attach the largest rose petals that were made the day before on the side of the upper tier.  Use the largest petals made the day of along the lower portion of the rose (the recently made ones won't be so brittle that they break and they'll be flexible enough to slightly drape/have a more natural looking limp over the edge of the lower tier).  Attach several rows, placing the petals of the next row so they are not directly on top of the preceeding petals.  Insert rose made the previous day in center.  I decided to use the giant roses as the focal flowers after seeing the incredibly gorgeous one made by Ron Ben-Israel.


Not So Blog Savvy

In an attempt to delete an item once used, I deleted my account which included my previous blog http://desertboots-wallabeesandmynewsneakers.blogspot.com .  I've informed google of my mistake and hope they're able to recover it for me.  I am re-entering some of the information previously found on that blog in the case that it's gone for good.  I apologize.