Monday, 30 January 2012

RicRac Rose Rings

Try saying that three times fast!

A while back, I saw a mini tute online for roses made from ricrac. I thought 'oooh, pretty', but it wasn't full enough for me. The 'petals' were a bit sparse. I decided to have a play at plaiting/twisting two strands of ricrac together, to get a fuller looking flower.

It took a couple of attempts to get the twisting of the ricrac right, but once I'd got the hang of it, it was pretty simple. I don't know how much I used for the first one, as I just kept twisting until I thought I had enough. I then rolled it up, secured it with a few stitches and felt proud.

It sat around in my little box of tricks for a few days, until I decided that I really ought to do some thing with it. So I decided to make it a ring. I crocheted a basic leaf, then hit on the task of how to attach it to the ring base. The glue I use you have to clamp the items together while it dries, for it to hold properly, but I didn't have anything that would open wide enough to go over the ricrac. In the end, I glued a circle of felt onto the ring base, then sewed the flower and leaf onto the felt.

I bent back the outer few rows of 'petals' to give it a bit more personality, but in all honesty they look just as nice closed up.

I'd shown my Mum the ring, and she promptly asked me to make one for a friend of hers, but in blue. I did the same thing, but this time split a 1m length of ricrac into 3 lengths, using two lengths of dark blue for one flower, two lengths of light blue for another flower, and the remaining lengths of each blue for a third flower, and did the exact same thing

Yeah, these photos aren't the best. This blue is actually darker.

I was hoping that the petals on the mixed flower would be more random, rather than falling in lines, but I have a feeling that is because the two ricracs I used were actually different sizes, and the darker blue pulled the lighter blue in. I want to try it again, this time using the same size ricrac.

The light blue flower I made into a brooch, attaching it the the brooch back in the same was as I attached them to the ring bases. I'm not so keen on the leaves on this one, the seem a bit big and floppy for the flower.

I love how these look, and how quick and cheap they are to make, and can see them becoming a staple gift for my friends.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, Death by Chocolate Cake...

Apparently yesterday was National Chocolate Cake. At least, it was in the US. Not sure if it was over here. Sadly, I didn't know until late on, when it was too late to make one, which didn't impress Dad. I've said I'll make it up next week though.

Instead, here is a Chocolate Cake made for The Sisters friend last year. It WAS supposed to be her birthday cake, as I had promised that I would make her one, but when we saw each other it wasn't with enough time for me to be able to make her cake. She had asked for a chocolate one, so I immediately started making plans. I'd seen something similar to this on the internet, and just KNEW it would be perfect! The fact that it took me 6 months to get round to it is a bit of a moot point really...

Apologies for the slightly dark photo. It was taken in the pub after I had presented the cake to her :)

It's a chocolate sponge, with a chocolate butter cream filling, with Betty Crocker's Chocolate Toffee Topping on it, topped with Malteasers, Smarties and edged with KitKats.

It didn't stay looking like this for long. We kept picking bits of the top of it.

Luckily, the recipient managed to get some photos of when it was cut, from a section that hadn't been slightly demolished by us.

I think I might have to recreate it for us at home. Nom!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

2012? ALREADY?

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. I never stick to them. They're always gone outta the window by dinner time at least. I used to make them, but the only one I ever stuck to was to stop biting my nails. That was, urm, 11 years ago. The last time I managed to stick to one.

In my defence, January is the WORST time to make resolutions! Christmas is over, (ah Christmas, only another 11 months to go. Yes I'm counting down. Shush), the weather is still wet and cold and windy, the days are still short, and there is a total lack of anything to do. Making the resolution to get fit/go jogging/running every day, is just daft. Who really wants to go out in 90mph winds, (yep, we've had them that bad just here in the last couple of days), contend with the rain and sleet, just to get to the end of the road and think sod it? Not me. I'll stay in with my books and old films and antique shows thank you very much!

At least towards the end of January things start to look up. Days get longer, weather usually settles down a bit, AND IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! Ahem.

Rather than resolutions, I prefer to look back on the year, and be grateful for what I have. Meeting new friends via twitter, keeping in touch with old ones, getting commissions for handmade goods from people, spending time in one of the most beautiful places I've seen - Kilchoan, and spending quality time with my family.

Last year had it's ups and downs, but every year does. This year is shaping up to be good, seeing Black Sabbath at Download, (complete with Ozzy) and my sister 's wedding so far, and we're only 4 days into the year!