Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Lots and Lots of Yoyo Flowers

I LOVE these yoyos! My stacked yoyo hair accessory have quickly become my trademark and I wear them all the time with every outfit. I am actually considering making some and trying to sell them on Etsy or Ebay or so. Of course now that I have shared this great news, someone is bound to swoop in and do the same... Yes, I am a little paranoid like that...

It's nearly midnight and I am still blogging! LOL. But I havent created anything big lately and I feel quite bad about that, especially as the bf is sooo active with his miniatures and really trying to reach his painting deadlines (he has a big game thingy soon) and I'm just surfing instead of working on my costumes that also need to be done.

Last night, for example, I finally worked out how to work the fabric that I had left from the ruffe skirt that I had altered. I still had some ruffles left over and wanted to make a matching flower and as the bf was busy painting, I thought I should do something creative as well. Since this was at around 11pm, I didnt exactly have the time to start making a petticoat or something of the kind. But despite the late hour, the flower looked really nice:

And I could wear it to work today:

All my flowers look a little crooked but that is because of the hair style, it means that one side needs to be squeezed into the nook of the rolls of hair. I really like it, especially the special fabric button (which is part of the massive amount of buttons I got off Freecycle a long time ago), and at work they even noticed that the flower was of the same fabric as the skirt :)

Tonight the bf was painting again so at about 10pm I started tidying my desk which was a disaster. No wonder I am not sewing, I dont have any room to sew! My stuff is EVERYWHERE. There is my desk, and around it are bags with fabrics for planned projects... OMG... I tell you, a few months of only sewing would be sooo good right now. So naturally halfway through I got distracted as I want to wear this skirt tomorrow that I made from a piece of fabric I bought for only 50p and made during the start of my frugal year around Christmas:

Isnt it cute? It's not perfect as it has two layers and one of the sides has actually been sewn together instead of flowing prettily over one another. It was supposed to be something else which totally failed and this was the best I could do. I was also one of my first attempts at 'normal' clothing in a while...

So anyway, I realised I dont have a yoyo hair accessory to match this dress so I dropped everything to make some. I wanted two small ones rather than one big one as I'm slowly running out of big hair clips but have tons of those little ones. Having a stack ofyoyos on hand from my obsession last month, I just had to select a few and grab some buttons and away I went! Not knowing the bf happily shot me doing this in between the big mess...

Yes, this is my area... I tend to work on the floor a lot as there is always something on the table... These are also my Halloween PJ pants that got on sale at Target when I was in Providence around Halloween ($5 only!). It is warm so am not looking very stylish. After some very concentrating sewing (how could I have missed the photo being taken?) I finished two small yoyo flowers to match the skirt:

They both have the small clip you can see on the small version, but the large flower is covering it up. I couldnt find any blue clips but green works also as the skirt also has green in it.

Once finished, I also tidied some more and at the moment this is what my sewing area looks like:

Not yet perfect but better than it was and at least I can access my desk LOL. The sheep skin on the floor is to keep my little feet warm :)

I'll take a pic tomorrow of the yoyo flowers being worn as I usually only wear one big one so I cant wait to see what this looks like! It's well past midnight now so time for me to go to bed...

Last Minute Top for the Game!

Last Monday, the Dutch were playing in the World Cup again. In my office, we are allowed to watch a certain number of matches during work hours if that's when the team of choice is playing. So I was allowed to go down to the cafe and watch the match! As we have a 'business casual' dress code at work, I couldnt exactly show up in my normal comfy stuff that happens to be orange like last time. What to do? I had an idea for a while to make a top of this piece of shiney orange fabric that I've had lying around for years and never really seemed to be using. Having already made the hair accessory out of it, I thought I could make a matching top. But in less than half an hour and at 7am? So I went online and found this really lovely tutorial here that really helped me out. Ok so the tutorial is for kids but it was the idea that mattered. After all, I didnt have a lot of time. And I managed to make it work! With the hair accessory and the black ribbons it looked really cute (or so I think anyway). I brought my camera and my friend from work took a picture during lunch but I was staring into the sun and she had already snapped the picture so please ignore the awful posture (it was so warm outside!) and try to imagine the top.

I did take some more photos while watching the game, most of all coz I was ALL ALONE in the cafe as not many Dutch people (read: NONE) work in my estate and I wanted to show you how empty it was. During halftime I also took some pics with my phone of the top as I had left my camera in the office but now the software doesnt work and the photos are stuck on my phone. Greeaaat.... dont we love technology? Says she who is currently blogging... anyway, am rambling on, nevermind me. Back to the subject at hand: when I finally get the pics, I will post it here.

But what do you think? I wasnt sure if I should feel like a 4-year old or just like an office person with a nice top. As it happpened, the Dutch team was also playing in orange and black so at least that fit in nicely :) Oh yes, it also looks better when standing up as I was wearing long trousers which made the top look better somehow. Let me know what you think! After all, I need to wear it again on Friday :) Maybe I will add some embelishments somewhere, I dont know yet...

Sunday, 27 June 2010

So warm....

It is nearly 30 degrees Celsius here which for London is unbearable... All houses are made for rain for insulation is pretty much non-existent and temperatures inside can be just as bad as outside... This morning the bf went out to do some archery (he was back by noon, it was just too warm!) so I opened all doors and windows and let in the cool morning air. How wonderful that was!!!

Sadly because of the heat my creation skills have decided to go on indefinite leave and I have yet to start creating something new. But since I had some free time (and some rare Sunday morning energy) and the weather was nice enough to do a handwash that could be left outside and dry within just a few hours, I decided to wash a dress that I bought at the charity shop sale for only £2!! It is a size 8 which miraculously fits me waist and length wise, but the bust of this dress is enormous! I need to adjust this but at least now it's clean and I can start thinking about what to do with it. For £2 I just couldnt let it go! It is a bridesmaids dress with a petticoat and lovely stiff fabric with a light purple sheen over it. Oh why am I explaining this? Here is a picture:

Isnt it gorgeous? Yes, not at all my usual, but I figured if I want to go as a fairy to the Elf Fantasy Fair next April, I might not have to work so hard and just used a purchased base. Yes, cheating I know but after last April I cant really be bothered... But it's not set in stone yet and it might just lie around for a few months until I come up with something. The skirt has just the right amount of poofiness though :) I'm so pleased to have found this for £2! Thats about $3 in case you're wondering by the way. I have now washed it and it is even more wrinkley but luckily I got a steamer for Christmas so am all sorted :)

Today I sold some stuff on ebay as well. Nothing I made, only my old clothes. I didnt do too bad... Quite sad though that ebay gets 10% and paypal gets another chunk so not much remains. But at least my closet is a little emptier :)

Dinner is nearly ready so have to keep it a little short today... oh yes, I nearly forgot! I now have 25 followers! Am so happy! :) Thank you all for reading about my creations, and I am really sorry for not having crafted for a week now. I will try to post new stuff soon I promise!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Wedding Witness (my first!)

It has been a while... this week I have not crafted AT ALL! Can you believe it? I surely cant... I've been so busy and stressed at work that I just went to work, came home, cooked dinner, ate said dinner, and then fell asleep on the sofa until the bf woke me up to go to bed where I happily continued sleeping. So glad I had today off :) One of our best friends here in London got married today. Now this guy is the ultimate bachelor and I'm so happy for him! He asked both the bf and myself to be the witnesses at the wedding which was a great honour and of course we gladly accepted :) So the wedding was today, and the reception is tomorrow.

Being me (and most of you know this), I dont exactly have any pretty dresses that are eh how should I put this... discreet. Luckily I know the bride and I know she doesnt dress very glamourously so I knew what to expect. After all, I didnt want to upstage the bride! So I had three options, one of which was already ruled out by the bf as being not at all wedding-like (especially in the current weather). As two girls are work are in wedding preparations, they were the perfect people to ask. So with the help of many descriptions, they helped me decide. I chose a dress that was given to me by my friend from Berlin (we do a clothing swap whenever we see each other) that she bought but it was too big for her and she couldnt sell it on ebay. It was a full-length, orginal 1970s (vintage yay!) dress that used to have big poofy sleeves and which I altered only a tiny bit ;) Sadly I dont have a 'before photo' but these were the sleeves that I took off of it:

Of course today was all about the happy couple so here are a few pics:

I love this photo, they both look so much in love! I was crying my eyes out when they were saying their vows...

The lunch was at the Meat & Wine Company which is a lovely South African restaurant in West London. I was so full afterwards!

A little more about the purple dress: as you can see from the sleeve, it was not very promising... so I took off the sleeves and took it in a little and voila, it worked really well and was extremely comfortable, even in this heat. :) This is the end result (this was actually the last picture of the afternoon, after the wedding lunch)

Using one of the sleeves, I also made this hair accessory to go with the dress.

Which looked like this in my hair:

I thought it looked quite wedding-ey in the end :)

So had a lovely non-upstaging day :) Am so happy for my friends and wish them all the best of course :) Tomorrow is the reception so I can wear something a bit more out there. Especially since everyone today seemed a little disappointed by my relatively basic dress. LOL! I was in shock! Hahaha

And of course big thanx to my good friend Anja for giving me this wonderful dress!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Platform 9 3/4

Last week, my sister was here. On the Sunday, we spent the whole day in Camden Market and on the way home we went to Platform9 3/4 from the Harry Potter movies. The only photo taken of the both ofus was on my sister's camera and she finally emailed it over today so here it is:

I just had to share ;) By the way, I have no idea why my face is that shade of pink... LOL

Saturday, 19 June 2010

WorldCup Game - Netherlands vs Japan

I HATE football. That is, until the EuroCup or the WorldCup events are on. There is this song in Holland about 15 million people (quite old as there are now at least 16 million) containing one line which is so true (the whole song is true actually):

The country where no one lets go, unless we're winning
and then we're very passionate and no one will stay inside

And win we did! I know it was only a relatively unimportant game but still, we need every victory we can get :) Check here for a translation of the song (I just cant be bothered sorry). The video can be seen here, even if you dont understand it, it really shows what we (the Dutch) are like hihi.

Anyway, now that I have promoted this song enough, lets cut to the chase. My point was actually that I get extremely patriotic when the football (the soccer) is on. So naturally, I had to go out and watch the game in town. First of all, I needed a hair accessory to match as I didnt have any of the cool things that normally come with buying beer or so in Holland. Luckily, my passion for Halloween means that I have a lot of orange stuff anyway :) this is what I whipped up this morning before leaving:

The we (the bf who also hates football at any time of the day, and I) made our way into town and to De Hems which is the city's only Dutch pub.

We arrived about 90 mins before the game would start. Did I actually think I would be able to get in??

Obviously not... you might think that there are only a few people in this queue and you are right of course. Except that the pub was already packed to max and if you didnt have a ticket (which of course I knew but didnt actually bother to buy) you would have to show up extremely early to even get in! Even security said that these people had little to no chance of getting in. Last time, we arrived at 11am for a 3pm game, I was exhausted before the game had even started!
While trying to find a different pub, we walked through Orange Street, how appropriate!

We tried out the Sports Cafe which would seem like the best plan. Huge pub, comfy sofas... when we arrived, it was nearly empty with zero atmosphere! I mean, the main reason to leave the house would be to be surrounded by fellow Dutch people who shout at the screen and sing songs IN DUTCH right? So off we went to the Irish pub. Yes, it had been taken over by Dutch people so we were set. We even managed to secure a prime spot! Check me out:

I found the saxophone somewhere in my fancy dress stash and as it was orange it had to come. Great thing I own so much Halloweeny stuff so it all worked :) I also wore the contacts as normally it gets so busy I have to worry about my glasses being knocked off. Even the bf was there in an orange tshirt! The ONLY item of colour he own I must add, and check out the print!

LOL hilarious isnt it? And so the match began...

(this got busier after a while but the camera didnt deal very well with all the orange LOL)

1-0!!!! Whoohoo!!! It was awesome! Suddenly there was this massive roar and cheering from the ENTIRE pub! I think I saw maybe three Japanese looking people? LOL. The goal was actually made a little before the time shown here, but I only thought of taking the photo a little while after. 1-0 it remained and after the game we decided to give the other pub another chance for some food. Fat chance, still packed as hell. We did get in, but I had a feeling that food would be long and bad... so we went outside and took some more photos:

Proud and very supportive bf :) 1-0, yeah!

Ok, I am quite skinny normally... this skirt is not a good look but it was orange! LOL

Then some Dutch supporters went to the policemen across the street (always plenty of police during matches) and they were a real sport which resulted in a massive photoshoot. After a while I just had to join in:

We ended the afternoon by having lunch at a Chinese restaurant who cheered when we walked in as they seemingly supported Holland over Japan which I thought was quite hilarious.

So yes, once every 2 years, I dont hate football/soccer quite so much ;)

Shoe Cookies

Remember my friend P. from work? Well, for Christmas I made some cookies for my mother as a Christmas present. This was prior to blogging so I dont have any photos of that. Anyway, as my mother loves shoes (and I mean LOVES shoes, she used to have them inside her closet, nightstand, behind the curtains, you name it and there were shoes), so I made her shoe cookies with a cookie cutter I bought in Salem when I was visiting there. Of course, shipping a ton of cookies isnt cheap, so I selected the best and sent those. My mother was very happy with custom made cookies (they were also purple and had sparkles so all great). My colleagues were also happy as they got to eat all the ones not deemed worthy for my mother. Ever since then, my friend P. has begged me for shoe cookies, but as cookies take time I just havent made them yet. Then, a few weeks ago, she resigned with a notice period of three months. So I promised her I would bake her shoe cookies before she would leave the company. After all, I had promised... Then suddenly, with 3 more weeks to go, it was announced she was leaving in two days!! (no fault of her I can assure you). With a busy day on Wednesday, I only had Thursday to bake, so there I was, in the kitchen, until 11pm making custom shoe cookies. P. loves pink so they all had to be pink. Well, about halfway in, I couldnt see pink anymore so I mixed it up with some blue ones as well. This is the result. A ton of shoe cookies! I'm awful in decorating, so I just used icing sugar with water and food colouring and then added some silver balls and ice-looking bits from a decorating pack. The pink ones got the silver balls (kind of like a princess shoe), and the blue ones for the ice-looking things (kind of like ice queen shoes). The photo doesnt show the shoes very well (try looking at it upside down, it might be clearer) which is a shame as the cutter is so cute as the shoe has a heel and everything!

Of course it also had to be presented nicely, so I used an ice-cream container that I still had and glued on this card I once received from a fabric softner sample (in pink of course!) and also added some of my stacked yoyos which are slowly becoming my trademark item. I think it worked out quite well and nearly all cookies fit in. The remaining ones I just put in a different container and handed out at work.

To close it, I added a dark purple ribbon around it, but this was early in the morning so I dont have a photo. P. loved them which made it all worth it!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Lemon Blueberry Muffins Recipe - with pictures!

Yay, blueberries were on sale! 125gr for only £1 :) As I still had lots of lemons (which actually had gone off and I had to buy more), I decided to make lemon blueberry muffins. Oh so good! I used a recipe that I once received on a mailing list and adjusted it. I even made a tutorial! My first ever, and I really tried to take photos of each step so I hope it's clear. I couldnt take pics of the actual actions like mixing and grinding etc because I was on my own in the kitchen, but it should be clear enough to copy. Here we go!

For 12 normal-sized muffins you need:

  • 2 cups of self-raising flour (or plain flour with 2 tsp of baking powder)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon (2 if you want extra lemoney taste but I only had one and it was fine)
  • 5/8 cup of milk (this recipe was adjusted from a different amount and I normally add somewhere 1/2 cup and a little bit extra so 5/8 would be close enough)
  • 1 ounce of melted butter

Stir together the flour, sugar, and salt (and baking powder if you're using plain flour)

Grate lemon rind into flour

Squeeze lemons into seperate bowl and whisk together the lemon juice, eggs, milk, and melted butter. (I didnt take pics in between here, but this yellow bit is the mixed mixture)

Mix blueberries into dry ingredients

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated (as I never know when I've reached 'just incorporated' I normally happily mix along until it looks like above)

Line muffin try with baking paper or these muffin cases

Divide the batter over 12 cases. If you've stuck to the amounts, this should match perfectly and each case will be filled a little over 2/3rds as shown here.

Bake at 375F or 200C for about 15 mins or until brown and spring back when touched (my oven is ancient and I need twice as long, so best to check your oven. Above time given is for decent working ovens)

Leave to cool for a few minutes

Then display nicely if you get the chance before small (or big!) hand steal them all away!

I hope you make these, they are amazingly good!

Some of you who have been following my blog for a while might know that I looove Halloween so dont be surprised that I have Halloween muffin cases and a Halloween cake stand in the middle of summer ;) On the other hand, it is pissing rain here at the moment so it might as well be October... Let me know what you think of these if you make them and enjoy!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Great Invention - Quickachips

A few weeks ago, I was in the Poundstore, and found this strange contraption that I just had to give a try. It's called Quickachips. I mean, £1 is ok if it turns out to be nothing right? I figured if it's bad I can sure change it into a hat or something... The day before yesterday I actually had a chance to test it.

Basically it works like this: The Quickachips is a large flat net basket which goes into the oven. Fill basket with chips as you would any oven tray (so dont overfill), place in oven on the normal on the oven shelf and bake as normal. The good thing about it? Because it's a net basically, you wont have to turn anything over and everything cooks the same on all sides. I love it! Very easy to clean as well which is always a plus. I didnt have a chance to take a photo beforehand, but this is what it looks like in the oven:

Taadaa, lovely fries baked to perfection :) What do you think?

Happy Birthday Mom!!

Today is my mother's birthday. Since I'm not in the country (and actually seperated by an not insignificant Channel) I sent her some stuff and it arrived in the nick of time today. Well, I did pre-warn her and she actually stayed home to wait for the mail! How sweet is that?

Do you remember the Clutch Bag I made for my sewing stuff? Well, I still had all this shiney and sparkley fabric leftover and my mother looooves sparkley and shiney so I made her one of those as well. Lined with leftover purple polycotton (not shown) and decorated with what seems to be becoming my trademark stacked yoyo rosette, this is the bag (the star cotton actually has silver glitters on it so it sparkles):

Of course I also needed some contents, so I bought her some nailpolish as she has a very particular colour she always wears and which seems to be discontinued pretty much every year by all lines imaginable. I also found the coolest card ever with a cat that actually quite resembles her LOL. She thought it was funny also :)

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM, I hope you like your presents!!

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Cupcake Fleece - Ideas Please!

So during the whole shopping weekend with my sister, we went to one of my favourite stores (yes, I love Primark! I'm not really into brands and they sell nice things for cheap. For US readers, it is similar to Target I think). Anyway, I found these baby sleeping bags with such cute cupcakes on them!! They were only £3 each so I just had to get one (and another one the next day). So now am wondering what to do with them? Obviously I wont be using them for a baby since I dont have one, but I was thinking of maybe turning them into a bathrobe? I've had my current one since 2003 so I could do with a replacement. Each sleeping bag measures 63x25" and has a long zipper on the side, and I have two of them so that's a lot of fabric for only £6! Does anyone have another (and possibly better) idea?

Here is a picture:

Isnt it cute?? Yes, it has pink in it and it ueber-girly but I just had to have it. Again very different from all my Halloween stuff but maybe cupcakes can be for summer :)

Any ideas are welcome!

Sister Weekend and Anniversary

It's been a week... OMG the first week without blogging! LOL But between work, hospital stuff, and trying to get my sister over here, there was just no time...

Yes, my sister visited... for the first time in 10 years!! This is mainly due to the fact that I live too far away to visit usually (she has a family with 3 kids so 'swinging by' is not that easy) as she lives in Germany. So this weekend she was here! Her first time on the plane and everything so she was a little nervous *grin* but she made it ok in the end. Can you believe we didnt actually do anything except shop? I kept to my frugal schedule and only purchased a few things that I couldnt make or were just really good deals. One of which I will ask your opinion on later in a different post btw.

As I have this thing for cupcakes right now (I am normally the total Halloween fan and most of my stuff has cats and pumpkins and witches and stuff on it) my sister got me this super cute mug as a present. Isnt it cute???

We went shopping A LOT, and a lot of it was for toys and stuff so naturally I had to take her to Hamleys, London's biggest toy store. She didnt really find anything but we sure had fun! Check out this guy I spotted outside, he looks really tough and piratey/goth (especially with that beard!) and then he was holding these bubble-maker things. It was so funny!

We also went to platform 9 3/4 but the photos of that are on my sister's camera so I have to wait for those.

Then on Saturday, it was my 5 YEAR ANNIVERSARY with the bf!! I cant believe it, 5 years!!! Of course, a present was difficult to find... I mean, technically we dont need anything... and then I found the perfect gift :) A table! Ok, I know what you must be thinking... who would give someone a table for an anniversary gift, let alone a milestone anniversary like this one? Well, we dont have a dining table. We used to have one but we could never use it as my sewing was always on it. So we decided to each have a desk and no dining table. So I went on Amazon and found this really good folding table that we can just use as needed and would fit perfectly in the kitchen. This is it Gelert Double Roll-Up Table.
I was planning on taking pics as it was in my kitchen but those will come later at some point. For some reason am not really taking any on time right now LOL. It's a double roll up table and takes up minimal space in the kitchen :) We already had breakfast at it in the morning which was nice. Yes, I think it is a nice gift :)

I got a lovely gift also. When I was in San Francisco, I bought this Snuggie Gift House Int Snug Rug Lite Adults, Pink.
The bf HATES this thing and calls it 'the Monster' as it is an awful shade of pink. I have to agree, it is pretty ugly. BUT it was cheap and part of the proceeds when to breast cancer research. Anyway, the bf really really doesnt like it, so while shopping with my sister and him, I spotted the Slanket which is basically the same but much thicker and warmer and better. Plus they had it in the coolest design! So this was my present Walk the Slank Pirate Slanket - The Slanket Adult Size.
Of course I look better in it than the guy ;) but again, am not really photo-ey right now. I also got some wonderful flowers :)

So we had a great weekend with lovely presents :) Better pics will come, I promise!!!

Oh wait, today I also found the blood bath shower gel that I had bought for the bf for his birthday but it never arrived! I was doing some last minute shopping with my sister and there it was! Plus I had a small benefit as the cashier gave me incorrect change and no I didnt say anything (which might not be a nice thing to do but a lot of the time they give it incorrect to my disadvantage). Check it out Blood Bath Shower Gel!
It looks so cool! The actual shower gel is cherry scented and smells really sweet so I guess it will be hanging around as decoration more than anything else but I still love it. Even if it is a bit morbid... ;)

Must dash now, have one more idea-fishing post to write up and then I will have some Dr. Oetker chocolate pudding with snowflakes (which is beaten egg-whites mixed in). Yumm!
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