Thursday, June 9, 2011

A New Weaving Project

Completing my first Saori project definitely gave me the weaving bug. To make my Saori I used a wonderful tutorial posted by Pam on her blog Gingerbread Snowflakes. It was easy and fun and really relaxing. I highly recommend it!

In the middle of that project inspiration struck. The idea for a woven picture frame started forming in my head. The thought of covering a frame with all that woven, yummy, yarn texture seemed gorgeous.

However, the thing about Saori is that it's supposed to be random. No planning, just impulsive creativity. Which normally sounds good, but I have a very specific look in mind for this frame- So I don't really think I can call this weaving a Saori. But it's certainly Saori inspired!

The yarn I'm using is one of the first I ever dyed myself. The colors are some of my favorites and they mixed exactly how I'd intended. These tones remind me of being at the ocean (a place I love) on one of those bright breezy perfect early summer days. When the clouds are high and puffy. And everything sparkles from the light of the sun and movement of the water and wind.

I had this yarn for almost a year waiting for it to speak to me- and it turns out it wants to be a woven frame. Who knew? Certainly, not me!

I've just started weaving. It's a big frame. I also have to account for the weaving shrinking when it comes off the board so the board is even bigger than the big frame.

There's a long.



way to go before I'm done.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Turn a birthday hat into a graduation party hat!

If you have a graduate in your life and your having a party here's how to turn a birthday hat into a graduation cap.
The hardest thing about this project was actually finding birthday hats! Seriously, I went to 4 different "super stores" and 1 party store before I finally got them. Did any of you know that most stores carry almost every party supply except party hats these days? Is it me or does that seem crazy!

Anyway, back to the project.

I really wanted to make a black cap - and black isn't really a common party hat color so I painted my red hat with two coats of black craft paint and let it dry overnight. It was easy to do but not necessary- you could always make a cap the graduate's school color.

Next I cut the top of the hat off leaving about a 2 inch band.

Then I unfolded the hat to even up the cut edge.

When cutting the hat it's likely at least one of the tabs that originally held it together is now gone so when folding the hat back together it's a good idea to add a little glue or tape to help it hold.

If you have a cutting board with a grid- it's easy to line your cap base up and see how large the square for the top needs to be.

I cut a 6x6 square out of my craft foam.

The hat will have a tassel coming through the top top so I found the center of my square and made a tiny hole.

To make a tassel I wrapped a few lengths of embroidery floss (yarn would work great too). together, tied a knot one one end and pulled the other through the top of the cap using some tweezers.

Once I had the floss in place I glued the knotted end to the cap (luckily this will be the side that gets glued to the base because as you can see my knot and gluing job were very messy). Cut the other end of the floss to the stands hang loose.

At this point the tassel could have been complete but I really wanted it to hang down over the side so I added a bead- but this part it definitely optional.

The last step was gluing the base and the top together. I used regular clear craft glue around the top edge of the base, set it onto the center of the square and weighed it down to be sure the glue really adhered to the foam. I left it like that for a few hours to be sure the glue thoroughly dried.

My model was kind enough to show the hat off.

Luckily she was a graduate of obedience school- and sat still long enough for me to snap these pictures.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Father's Day Golf Cupcake

My sweet of the month for June is this Father's Day golf themed cupcake.

It's really easy to make- you could even start with store bought cupcakes if you wanted to. That's what I did to demonstrate the cupcake for this post (I didn't want a whole batch of cupcakes hanging around weeks before father's day. Between just having had hubbies birthday, memorial day- my mom's birthday and father's day coming up I didn't need anymore sweets than necessary in the house!)

Here's what you'll need:
  • Cupcakes- I chose vanilla but chocolate would be great too.
  • Decorating Frosting
  • Green Food Coloring- 2 shades a light green and a dark "grass" green
  • White Fondant
  • Grass Piping Tip
  • White Chocolate Melts
  • Dark Chocolate Melts or Black Food Writing Marker
  • Chocolate Cookies for crumbling (1 for about ever 4 cupcakes)
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Large Straw
  • Chopstick
  • Parchment Paper
  • 2 piping bags (or sandwich bags in a pinch)

First step is to make the flags using white chocolate candy melts. Pipe a small triangle of candy onto some parchment paper.

Here's a tip if your out of piping bags- use a plastic sandwich bag. I reinforce the edge with some tape so it's stiff like a piping tip would be then snipped off a tiny edge of the corner and pipe away. You could also insert a piping tip and use it exactly like you would a piping bag.

While the chocolate is still melted place a lollipop stick into the edge of the flag. To help the stick stay in, give it a little roll (while keeping the stick in the same place) so the melted chocolate covers over the top of the stick.

Once the white chocolate has hardened and the flags can be lifted off the parchment you can add the flag number. I used dark chocolate and a toothpick to write mine but you could also use a food coloring marker that works on chocolate (mine don't- I wish they did).

But while your waiting for the flags to harden, it's a good time to move onto another step like making little golf balls with fondant. Take a pinch of fondant and roll it into ball.

Make indentations using the tip of a chopstick. The trick is to make the dents deeper than they should be. Once you've done that all the way around re-roll the fondant into a ball and you end up with a only slightly dented circle that looks like a golf ball.

Then it's time to frost your cupcake. If you are making these from scratch start by giving the middle of the cupcake a smooth coat of green frosting in the middle then pipe grass around all the edges. You need frosting under the center to help hold the fondant. Then set aside a small amount of frosting for assembly.

Since my store bought cupcake started out with vanilla frosting I just scraped that off leaving enough in the center to hold my fondant and added my green grass.

Last but not least make the golf green.

Start by tinting fondant a lighter green than the grass so there's some contrast. Roll it out flat, then using a craft knife (or even a butter knife if you don't have anything else) cut a blob shape big enough to cover the middle of your cupcake and touch your frosting grass on all sides.

Make the hole using a large straw.

Now the best part- assembly!

Place some crumbled chocolate cookie wherever the hole in your fondant will be on your cupcake.

Add the fondant green and lightly press it into the frosting.

Stick the flag into the cupcake and attach the ball using a small bit of the green frosting that was set aside.

There you have it little golf greens. Cute enough to eat...

Close to the perfect shot...

But definitely the perfect treat for all the those golf loving dads!

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