Friday, 31 August 2012

Day 7 - Sandwich wraps

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for making it to the end of week one of this challenge! I'm not sure I could keep this up if I was working full time but for now its still fun! I just might have to cheat a little at the weekend when I'm away. I really shouldn't admit these things... :)

So today I finished off my fused plastic bag projects and made some sandwich wraps and snack bags!

I got the idea for the sandwich wraps from Chica and Jo's blog here: They are super easy to make and pretty useful! :)

If you're not sure how to make fused plastic (or have no idea what the hell I'm talking about!) have a look at what I was up to two days ago -

Make a square of fused plastic about 12" x 12". (Mine ended up being a bit smaller and it still fits a sandwich so don't worry if your melting plastic has other ideas!). Then cut a piece of fabric about 14" x 14". Put your plastic on the wrong side of your fabric and pin in place around the edges. Fold it over twice so you hide the rough edge.

Sew around the edges.

Then pin a 2" piece of fuzzy velcro on the plastic side at the top corner (12 o'clock) and a 2" piece of rough velcro on the plastic side at the  3 o'clock.

And pin a 1" piece of rough velcro at the bottom corner (6 o'clock) and a 1" piece of fuzzy velcro at the left corner (9 o'clock).

Then sew them on to secure them!

Make a sandwich and try it out! :)

I also made some little snack bags with some smaller pieces of fused plastic. I got the idea for the snack bags over at Owen's Olivia:

Oh but word of warning - if you're using fused plastic for your lining like I did then either use a stretchy jersey material (like my purple bag) or cut the fabric pieces bigger than the plastic so you turn them the right way out more easily! I ripped a seam or two on the little leaf one... :(

Things I've learnt:

- Don't try to sew self adhesive velcro with a sewing machine! It does not like it and may break multiple needles in protest!
- Blogging is way less fun when you have to put the photos in via html. ugh. Can't get my pics and text to line up properly. :( Hope Blogger gets fixed soon!!
- Plain white bread and butter ham sandwiches are delicious. And way under-rated. Yum. :)

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Day 6 - Inside Out Carrot Cake Muffins

So continuing my trend for hiding things inside cupcakes today I made some inside out carrot cake muffins. :) These are delicious - not only is the carrot cake recipe really light and cinnamon-y but the icing is baked inside the muffin! It even has less sugar than normal icing so you don't have to feel guilty when you eat way too many. Yum! :)

I found the recipe here - King Arthur Flour

Here's what you'll need:
Cream Cheese filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

Carrot Cake batter:
- 2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces) plain flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup grated carrot (about 2 medium carrots)

So first turn on your oven to 200 degrees and pop some muffin cases into your muffin tin. (The recipe makes about 12).

First we'll make the cream cheese filling.
Microwave the cream cheese for about 30 seconds. Then add the granulated sugar and vanilla essence. Stir until smooth and set to one side.

In another bowl mix the dry ingredients together - plain flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, baking powder, bicarb of soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger and salt. 

Set to one side.

In a third bowl whisk the eggs, water and vegetable oil together until combined.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until combined but no need to beat (unless you like rock hard muffins!)

Add the grated carrot.

Now the fun part! Spoon some of the batter into your muffin cases (about 2 spoonfuls). Then add a spoon of  cream cheese filling on top. And finally put another spoon or two of batter on top of that so the cases are quite full and all your cream cheese filling is hidden!

Then pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

The top of the muffins will feel firm when they're done. And don't worry if your cream cheese escapes a bit, tastes the same either way! :)

Yum! :)

Linked to these parties: Round Tuit @ Creating my way to Success
                                    Get Your Craft On @ Today's Creative Blog
                                    It's a Blog Party
                                    Foodie Friends Friday

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Day 5 - Fused Plastic

So today I decided to try and make some fused plastic. Pinterest seems to think it's easy and useful and who am I to argue??

First collect up some plastic bags. This process takes a lot of trial and error so you'll definitely need to practice!

Prepare your bags by cutting off the handles and the bottom. Depending on the size of the piece of plastic you need you might cut the bag open.

Lay a few pieces of plastic on top of each other.

Put some baking parchment on your ironing board, place the bags on top and layer with another sheet of parchment. Apparently ordinary paper works too but I didn't test it.

Turn on your iron and iron over the parchment. Make sure not to iron directly onto the plastic or you'll have a sticky mess on your iron that will be no fun to clean off!
Peel up the parchment and see how its doing!

There seems to be a lot of different opinions on the number of layers and heat of the iron so I can only suggest doing what I did - try and see what works for you! My first attempt had a lot of holes in it which could have been because my iron was too hot or I didn't have enough layers. I found that a about 5 or 6 layers worked best but it depended on the strength of the bags.

You can cut letters off other bags to write messages on your plastic or cut up bits of plastic to make your own. Place another bag on top of the letters to prevent them from peeling off later.

But watch out for static ruining your fun!!

Here's my final products. Not quite perfect but good enough for a few projects I have in mind! This stuff is pretty strong and you can sew it and make all kinds of things! :)

Things I've learnt:
- Making fused plastic is not as easy as those videos look!
- Using the same type of bag works much better than just putting all the random bags you have together. Well worth buying some bin bags or something.
- This would have been way more useful/green/cheap a few years ago when we didn't have to pay for plastic bags in the supermarket!
- But... melting stuff is fun! :)

I've recently found a great blog where someone is doing pretty much the same challenge as me ... times 12!! I've linked up to her blog and you can to by clicking the button below!

366 Days of Pinterest

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Day 4 - Bell Pepper Fried Eggs

Day Four - Bell Pepper Fried Eggs!

Busy day entertaining little visitors today so my project was indeed small! For me to actually keep this project a day thing up I figure I may have to be less ambitious and do more like this though!

So I'd pinned this idea a while ago and hadn't got around to trying them out. Nothing too groundbreaking, but they sure do look pretty! And they only took a few minutes to make. :)

Chop up some peppers, nice thick slices! Orange ones would look pretty too but this is all I had in the fridge. Oh and the bigger the better, the red one was a bit too tiny!

Pop them in the frying pan with a little oil (or way too much by the looks of my pics now!). Crack an egg into each one.

Don't worry if they overflow! You can tidy them up later!

Ta-daa!! :)

Things I've learnt:
- I like quick projects. :)
- Cut the pepper slices thick and use the biggest peppers you can find (not the tiny ones in the back of your fridge like me...)
- Everybody cheats, these looked a mess at first til I cut off the egg white that overflowed!
- Don't forget to take pictures of the final product on a plate, doh!
- I need to learn to be inspired by easy projects not just super cute puppets that take all day to make...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Day 3 - Barnyard Animal Hand Puppets

Day Three -
Barnyard Animal Hand Puppets!

Well it's a good thing I have this little blog, otherwise I would have quit and gone to bed hours ago! But I've finally finished battling with the sewing machine and am proud to present my barnyard animal hand puppets!! They took way longer than I'd expected and there were a few touch and go moments where I feared I'd sewn the pigs ears on backwards and forgot to add the spots to the puppy's back but we got there in the end. :)

So first step was to cut out all the pieces I needed:


Next I sewed the pieces to the front and back of each puppet. Which took f-o-r-e-v-e-r!! Those little paws? Ugh!!

Then I pinned the front and back together and sewed them up!


Moment of truth - turn them the right way out and hope those ears are on right!!

 Here's the whole crew from the front and back:

They're from a set of Old MacDonald puppets that I found patterns and a tutorial for here but I haven't made them all. Maybe I'll add to my collection another day!

Love these two the most!!

Things I have learnt:

- Sewing machines are the devil!
- Bad sewing can be fixed by trimming off all the excess felt from where your straight line has gone diagonal!
- Sewing takes forever!! Maybe doing one project a day was a bit ambitious!
- I kinda love puppets!
- Oh and some stuff about adjusting tension, replacing sewing machine needles, how to sew a bit more neatly and I made a pretty delicious strawberry, raspberry and blueberry smoothie today. mmmm... :)

Small project tomorrow I think!

Linked up to Threading My Way

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Day 2 - Carved Initial Embroidery

Day Two of the 30 Day Creativity Challenge!

I had great plans for today's project, had everything cut and ready to be sewn but the sewing machine is broken!! So I'm going to cheat a little. I know, pretty bad for only day 2 but at least I'm keeping to the blogging each day part!

So I actually made this a few week's ago for a friend's engagement. I found a much nicer frame for it but forgot to take another photo before I gave it to them!!

If I was making another I'd do the heart a bit smaller but it did look better in its new frame! 

Anyway, it was a super easy gift to make, the only hard part is finding the tree bark fabric (this was a little square my mum happened to have). Then just draw on the heart shape with a fabric marker on the back and back-stitch over it with embroidery thread. Easy! :)

There's a more detailed tutorial here:

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Day 1 - Strawberry Brownie Cupcakes!

Day One of the 30 Day Creativity Challenge!
Strawberry Brownie Cupcakes

So I love making cupcakes, but don't actually love eating them that much. Brownies on the other hand I could eat all day!! So as you can imagine I've been wanting to try out one of the brownie cupcake recipes I've found on pinterest. But why stop there? Why not add strawberries into the mix and make the best rainy-day-stuck-in-the-house-feeling-sorry-for-myself treat ever! :) 

Unfortunately the 30 day challenge idea only came to me mid bake and my good camera's battery was dead so the first few pics were taken on my phone. Tomorrow will be better, promise!! 

So I tried this great brownie cupcake recipe: (very tasty!)

Next I cut out a little piece from each cupcake, just big enough to pop a strawberry in. 

Then I made some chocolate icing. I kinda estimated the measurements but roughly:
 1/2 stick of melted butter
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 cup of milk (add as you need it)
1/2 tsp of vanilla essence

Ice up the cupcakes:

And, once the icing has set, serve them on plate cut in half. Beautiful! And pretty tasty too!

Blog parties I'm linked up to:
The Trendy TreehouseFoodie Friends FridayScrumptious SundayMichelle's Tasty Creations


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