Dance like no one is watching.
Blog like no one is reading.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Made a lemon cake for my Mum's birthday.

Had to send Mr HoffiCoffi out for an extra lemon and the local greengrocers put it in a small brown paper bag. I felt very fifties housewife and wished I had given him a little wicker basket to put the bag in! I am guessing Mr HoffiCoffi is very glad I didn't!

I used the diameter cake tin that was advised in the recipe but the cake did turn out quite flat. Luckily I had made enough buttercream icing to paint the fourth bridge which added quite a bit of height!

Happy Birthday Mum!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

When sorting through my craft cupboard (well I say sorting, I mean pushing things out of the way!) I stumbled upon a bag containing scraps of fabric.

These were pieces left over from other projects that were too small to fold up and put back in the fabric boxes but too big to bear to throw out. So what is it they say? When life gives you scraps - make a quilt.

Well I didn't go as far as making a quilt but I did try a bit of crazy patchwork and made a cushion.

I do have a bit of a problem with crazy patchwork. It's not as bad as foundation piecing but I still have an inability to figure out which way the fabric will lie once it is flipped over after completing the seam.

You need a nice straight edge to sew the seam and then you flip it over and trim the top and bottom of the fabric you have just sewn to line up with the previous pieces. This, for me, is the work of Einstein so what should be a fairly quick technique takes me some time.

It does, however, please me greatly that I have managed to make a bag of scraps into something usable so I think it is a technique I will keep practicing.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011


Since Christmas I have been trawling the Internet and wandering into shops looking for any good fabric sales without much luck. And then, like buses, two sales come at once!

So, I think to myself 'Gosh, I don't think I've got a lot of fabric (cough, cough)' and start putting stuff into a virtual basket and a real basket in a real shop.

Internet fabric shopping is a bit of a leap of faith - colours can never truly be depicted on the screen - but as none of the aforementioned fabrics were more than £5 per metre I didn't think I would be the fabric shopper that broke the bank at Monte Carlo so I clicked away.

My favourite fabric was a result of this.

Again I suppose I have got the same problem here. I can't really show how nice it is in a picture but the colours just sing together in real life.

I only got half a metre of each fabric (honest Governor) and I do use up every last piece... eventually. In fact I'm working on something at the moment to prove that which will hopefully be in my next post.

Now, where do I hide all this stuff????

Friday, 21 January 2011


I love fabric painting. As I have mentioned before I am no good at drawing but with the help of a freezer paper template and a stippling brush I can create something that looks like what it is meant to be (if you see what I mean)!

The shading on the butterflies was achieved by gradually mixing more colour into a small amount of white paint and the final touch was to, gingerly, add a black outline with a fabric pen.

One day I will attempt freehand fabric painting... perhaps!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Today I had my first ever attempt at making sugar paste icing.

It didn't quite work out as planned as I found it hard to get the right consistency but I am guessing that this is yet another thing in life where practice makes perfect! I used a recipe that called for egg white but I have found another recipe which suggests using gelatin which I think I will try next time. My apologies to any vegetarians.

The sponge was a lemon sponge which turned out quite nicely - I baked these individual cakes in ramekins as I don't have any small tins and was quite surprised that I managed to get them out in one piece!

I'm not going to win any awards for presentation but that just means that I will have to keep trying. More cakes? It's a hard life!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Last year I kept walking past sad, broken, discarded umbrellas. I live quite close to a secondary school and whilst walking the school run in the rain I would often see abandoned brollies at the side of the road. I would always think of them as fabric on the floor and feel sad that they would end up in landfill.

Well this year is obviously the year for turning up the eccentricity as on my way home from school I picked one up! It had been there for a couple of days and it was completely missing a handle - I don't think it will be missed!

My plan is to make rain hats but I am pondering the obvious problem that stitches make holes in fabric and holes don't tend to be very waterproof! I will probably fix this with a French seam which sews the seam twice but I'm sure a look in my numerous books will suggest a better solution.

Or maybe I could make a swishy, multi-layered (depending on the amount of broken umbrellas there are in the world) waterproof skirt and just nudge that eccentricity meter up a few more notches!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Started the New Year as I mean to go on by practicing my cupcakes.

These are vanilla cupcakes with a pink vanilla frosting and they are decorated with sweetened cranberries.

They were a gift for someone at school and I was worried they may get bounced about in the Tupperware box whilst I carried them on the school run. I have looked into proper cardboard cupcake boxes but they are so expensive I thought it was worth experimenting with my own transporting solution.

Yes, I did try and balance them on an egg carton and no, it didn't work! I'm guessing it's probably only me that is surprised by its failure!

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Making gift tags out of old Christmas cards is one of those things that every year I think I ought to do but never get around to. Well this year I have managed it as I had a poorly sick HoffiCoffi home from school today so was mainly sofa bound.

Still, I managed to amuse my 'Super Mario Galaxy' mad son with the stars punched out of the tags.

Ok, so it may not have amused him for as long as the computer game itself seems to but he did try to count them so I count that as a success!

Sunday, 2 January 2011


Meet Daisy and Buttercup, two owls made for my daughter's friends. I sewed up the owls and my daughter stuffed them and chose the colour of their eyes.

It was interesting to see how the same pattern changed when using different fabrics. One owl is made of fleece whilst the other is made from a shiny velvet-type fabric that had an alarming tendency to curl up. One owl ended up short and fat whilst the other ended up tall and skinny and I am sure I used the paper template I made in the same way. Still, they are very Laurel and Hardy like in their appearance and my daughter enjoyed helping me make them and it just reinforces the idea that homemade can be unique - every time.