Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The Charity Upcycling Clothes Project - some results - baby booties, a giraffe, tartan clutch bags and lots more!

I have to tell you, I am flippin' knackered. I think that this has been more exhausting than actually doing the volunteering in January and February! There is a *slight* possibility that I took on more than I bargained for, but overall, I’ve really enjoyed myself. The next challenge will be to get rid of this stuff!
So. I started off with this:
-pair of jeans  £3.50
-long tartan skirt  £3.50
-tweedy type blazer  £6
-grey pinstripe linen trousers  £3
-grey tartan/ plaid shirt  £3
-pink pinstripe shirt  £3
-navy floral top  £2
-tie  £1
-frilly woollen jumper  £4
-a mustard coloured top  £3
Total: £32

I’ve put a rough guesstimate of what you’d get for the clothes in your average charity shop beside each. It could be a little more or less. Seeing that, makes it a little scary actually… I’d like to make at least £32 on it all…Fair enough, I only paid £3 for the mustard top, the rest are clothes from a bag destined for donation from our house. All the same though, I’d like to be able to say that the clothes were worth more as a goose, a tartan bag and an apron etc.!

Here are my makings thus far:

The Tie necklace

This baby was inspired by this tutorial by my fellow blogger Green Eggs n Ham's tutorial: here

Personally, I really quite like it!

The jean leg apron
Inspired by a pinterest picture (unfortunately, the link didn't work to give credit!) I shall find a model to photograph!

Flamingo - from a clip art pic on google images

Tommy T-Rex
Bought pattern from Bit of Whimsy - available here

Tartan bag (No.1)
This was also a bought pattern. It's called the Katie bag and I bought it from Etsy - link here

I did make a second, slightly different version of this. Will put on facebook soon!

The Tartan Bib

I used this pattern and used the mustard top as a backing. Here is the (free!) tutorial

Tartan Clutches

I got the idea from this tutorial over at Craftaholics Anonymous. Strangely - i didn't use a sleeve...


This little guy came from a pattern i came across here. There are no instructions as such - just the patter

Lucy Goosey!

Pattern from the Long Thread, Love her.


The pattern from All Craft Blogs - another freebie!

These handsome little fellas are another Etsy find. You'll have to pay for the pattern, but they're so cute its worth it!

Pattern here

Made from my frilly jumper. Basically sewed round the cushion! Sewed some of remaining jumper into flowers. Undecided about frills - figure if someone wants it, they can choose!

Last, but, not least - my Welsh Terrier! Ok. Yes. I'm biased. Made myself one with sticky up ears just like Alfie! He's based on the Scotty pattern by another lovely crafter - link here. Hers is a Scotty dog, I altered it to look more welsh :) Kudos to her though!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Upcycling a £5 charity shop painting to hang jewellery on using Annie Sloan

I'd like to start by saying, this is not my idea, but it is a great one. I've a feeling I might have seen it on Pinterest... StumbleUpon... Reddit...Google... I dunno. If it was your idea, I take my hat off to you! Anyway, I'd seen an old painting, in a nice frame, painted and hooks on it to hang jewellery from. So, I'd decided to keep an eye out for a nice frame that I could do up.

A few weeks ago, I went on a wee Charity Shop shopping trip. I like doing those, you find really interesting things in Charity shops. This was my haul.

At the back there, you'll see a rather lovely, though antiquated scene of a horse and plough, little old houses and people in period clothing. Fear not, I'm not destroying a precious work of art - its a print. In a nice frame. Bingo. 

My bedroom is cream with wallpaper with sunflowers on it, so I decided I'd use the off white and yellow Annie Sloan paint I had. Step by step:
  • Wipe down with a DAMP cloth - not wet. Don't want to be taking any chances!
  • Paint the whole thing white with your Annie Sloan paint. Allow to dry.
  • Apply some frog tape (masking tape that doesn't take the paint off!) around the inside of the frame.
  • Paint the frame your secondary colour. Allow to dry.
  • Get yourself some sand paper and rub down some of the paint on the frame, just so you can see some of the frame detail coming through. Keep going till your happy.
  • Apply the Annie Sloan wax and allow to dry.
  • Get yourself some screw in hooks and mark out where you'd like to place them. 
  • I used a drill, with a drill bit slightly smaller than the hook, to drill holes.
  • Screw in your hooks.
  • Hang up your picture and then hang up your jewellery!
VoilĂ ! Here it is on the wall.
Love it! Though I've decided, given the wall is cream, I might paint the inside a dark grey. And add a few more hooks. A crafters work is never done... :)

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Scone Development! Its the butter in your batter... scone troubleshooting

I did it! I had a breakthrough - I made scones that actually tasted like scones! I've never really had any luck with scones before. In fact, normally, they could knock someone out at ten paces, but these were actually light and fluffy. I am so pleased! 

I had read this fantastic article, the link to which I have now lost... But, thankfully I remember the main point - where I was going wrong! It is important when your cake baking that everything is at room temperature - butter, eggs, sugar and flour. Every time I have tried baking scones before, I’ve used room temperature butter. However, with scone baking, the butter has to be COLD! 

From what I remember from the article, the cold butter is imperative to the process. It is the cold butter in the batter that help the scones to rise in the oven. When you make scones, the first thing you do is rub the butter, flour and sugar together. If the butter is cold, it will be more difficult to mix in – which is good. The little lumps of butter then react in the oven, producing carbon dioxide and making the scones rise. This is why they say that you should handle scones as little of possible – to maintain the butter in the batter!

To get the above scones, I used this Basic Scone recipe on the Nigella website. They tasted REALLY nice. Keep the butter cold. Rest the batter in the fridge for 5 minutes before you cut the scones. Beaut :)