Jun 21, 2014

D308: Recipe - Easy Strawberry icing

This is an easy recipe for a lightly flavoured strawberry icing.  It's enough for a tray cake of about 23x30cm.

200g pure icing sugar
3-4 tbsp spoons of recently boiled water
2 tbsp strawberry jam (preferably a conserve, chunk free)
Red or pink food dye (optional)

This is made the way most glazes are made but with added jam.  It's that simple. But just in case it's new to you, it goes like this: 

Boil the water.
Sift the icing sugar into a bowl.
Add 3 tbsp of water to the sugar, one at a time. Stop when it's still quite thick and hard to stir.  
Add the jam and stir well.
Add one more tspn of water if required.
Add a drop of food colouring if you like.

Jun 18, 2014

D297-307: Back in a tick...

Sorry... sorry.  I know.

I finished the ring stacking toy.  It's not perfect but meh good enough.  I did not enjoy doing the base.  Bub does enjoy playing with it though.

I haven't gotten any further with the bell capsules, although the toys that they're to go in are sewn and awaiting this.  My sister suggested I buy a heap of Kinder Surprises and keep the toy container... very sensible and tempting.  I could also buy a pack of 30 for a bit over $30, which is a comparable price against the chocolates, per capsule, and also save me having to faff around with teeny toys.  Something about the website puts me off though.  I'm not sure what... it just took a long time to find a supplier who sold them in batches smaller than "500pc" or "3kg" and they're unfamiliar...  I'm so precious.

I have also basted the gifted quilt mentioned here.  I ended up getting some rather thing cotton batting and a plain mid dusty green fabric.  It's quite a heavy fabric with an open weave (I can't even remember what its called, for shame) but it matches the greens in the front quite well.  So far I've done about two thirds of the ditch stitching.  It took some adjusting of the tension before the lower thread stopped breaking when sewing at speed, even with a new needle and the bobbin case freshly oiled.

I also mended some pants for a friend, including using the blind-hem foot.  It wasn't quite as hidden as I'd have liked, but time and suspecting it wouldn't actually be better without pressing, re pressing, and possibly leaving a ridge there anyway.... I just didn't want to over engineer the whole thing and make it worse.  such the optimist.

In other news, Bub has slept through three times now.  THREE!  (Not in a row.)  And I don't mean one of those ridiculous 5-hours-is-a-technical-sleep-through but an actual 8pm-7am sleep.  She's 22mo this week and she's slept through the night three times in her life.  I'm hoping it's a trend.

D296: Toy bells!

No, not bells that are toys, but bells that go into toys.  I need cases to put around my bells so that they're not muffled by the stuffing.  A friend of mine has them - they're like big pill capsule cases. I went to my local spotlight this morning after having called to get something like these...

They were there, apparently, but after looking and looking their local craft lady said they didn't have them.  They had squeakers, but not bell casings.  Humph.  So I bought some cheap plastic shot glasses instead and thought maybe I could get some sticky tape or glue involved...

Poxy, I know, but desperate times... 

D295: Stuffed and stuffed

Today I learned that when a pattern says it 'uses' a 3/8" seam allowance it means that it's included that allowance in the pattern pieces. Sad face.  Had to chop some bottom off all my pin covers.  I'm not sure it's going to fix the problem but I'll make it work somehow.

Here is a different but related example.  Sewing the rings on the ring stacking toy are clearly explained in the text, but lots of pictures, but not in the pattern.  The sewing vs cutting lines in the four base pieces are less clear.  I think dotted and dashed lines could've been used more consistently and it would've been a great help.

So, a general request to pattern makers, please be as consistent as possible across pattern pieces. Note things on the pattern pieces: "6mm SA included" for instance, or even the name of the pattern! As it is, when it dig up this very simple pattern in the future, I'll still have to go back and scour the instructions to be sure I get it right and I'm sure pattern pieces can be more helpful on their own.