Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tardis Sweet Tardis cross stitch

I have been busy in every spare moment this week making this cross stitch for my friend's birthday. The design is by elfstitch on Etsy, although I changed the font and enlarged the entire design.

I had to modify the design because I was using a 6"x8" frame. I'm sure there would have been a more efficient way to get the same result but I redrew the entire design on Excel.

Close up of the Tardis.

Close up of the writing. The font is Alphabet #19 on the website,

Tardis Sweet Tardis all pretty and framed!

My friend was thrilled being a lover of all things Dr related. I love when something I make is actually loved and appreciated!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

How to make a magic wand

There was no way I could dress up as Hermione Granger without a magic wand! I found this AMAZING tutorial on It was ridiculously easy to make and it looks just awesome. I don't think it is actually possible to make a "bad" wand with this tute! Everybody thought that I bought the wand - I was so proud!

What you need:
+ A4 paper
+ Double-sided tape
+ Super glue
+ Hot glue
+ Scissors
+ Spray paint
+ Paint.

What to do (this is just a quick overview. Please go to the original website for the complete tutorial):

1. Stick double-sided tape diagonally across an A4 piece of paper.
2. Roll the paper and glue the end down.
3. Cut each end off the wand so that it is straight.
4. Fill each end of the wand with hot glue.
5. Decorate the wand using hot glue.

I covered one end completely in hot glue to make a handle.

Putting the detail in the middle of the wand was actually very tricky - i'm obviously not versed well enough in glue-gun!

6. Spray paint the wand. I used black paint and gave it 2 coats. I really liked the wand just like this and was extremely tempted to just leave it as it was.

7. Paint the wand. I used brown and gold paint. I didn't have to distress the paint separately as the brown paint I used was a wipe off paint anyway.

And here is the final product with my scarf, sweater and prefect badge!

I also made a miniature wand for Alfred's costume. It is so small!

For size comparison, here it is beside my wand.

Alfred and his wand.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Decked out for the Deathly Hallows~!!

Yes, I stole the post title from a Craftster swap but it was just too perfect to pass up!

Here is the complete ensemble that I wore to the Deathly Hallows midnight premiere. I love it all so much and am really proud of how well it all came together.

Hermione Granger (through the years)

Costume includes:
+ dark grey skirts
+ white collared shirt
+ light grey sweater
+ Gryffindor tie
+ grey socks
+ black mary-janes
+ bushy hair (that quickly fell flat)
+ Gryffindor scarf
+ time turner necklace
+ Gryffindor knitted wrist cuff (possibly a present from Molly Weasley)
+ Grffindor prefect badge
+ S.P.E.W. badges
+ S.P.E.W. donation box and badges
+ Wand - 10 3/4 vine wood with a dragon heartstring core
+ Hogwarts, A History textbook

Monday, July 11, 2011

How to make S.P.E.W badges

One of my favorite Hermione moments is when she campaigns for S.P.E.W. (The Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare). So instead of the 'Weasley is my King' prop I had been contemplating for my costume I decided that campaigning for the rights of House Elves was the best way to capture her amazing character.

What you will need:
+ colored paper (I used the 4 Hogwarts house colours)
+ scissors
+ glue/double sided tape
+ safety pins
+ empty tissue box
+ computer and printer/or excellent hand writing skills

What to do:
1. Create a document in Word (or a similar program). Using the shape toolbar make 2.25" circles - 12 circle fit nicely onto anl A4 sized sheet of paper. Inside each circle type the word S.P.E.W. using a pretty font (see photo below).

2. Print the circles on four different colored sheets of paper - one for each of the Hogwarts houses. Note: Don't forgot all your full stops when typing S.P.E.W. or you will have to reprint them all like I did!

3. Cut out all of the circles. I didn't cut mine exactly on the line as I preferred it with the slightly messy edges.

4. Arrange your cut out circles in pretty patterns and take lots of photos! :)

I also made a badge for myself in using all four house colours. Just cut 4 different colored circles in quarters and then glue them on top of another full circle. Easy!!

4. Now cut out small strips of paper about 2 x 1 cm - in the same colours as your circles. Attach them to the back of each S.P.E.W. circle using double sided tape on each end of the strip - remember to not tape down the middle of the paper strip! Put small safety pins through the not secured down section on your paper strip. Pin your badge to your Hogwarts uniform and you are done! Now make some S.P.E.W. badges to share with your friends!!

To make the S.P.E.W. collection box I simply covered an empty tissue box with yellow paper and then glued the a sign which I had typed up.

The Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare
Found 1994
Membership fees: 2 sickles

Fill your box with badges and don't forget to hand them out at all your local screenings of The Deathly Hallows. Perhaps you can also have wizards, witches and muggles sign a petition demanding equal pay for house elves!

And always remember, support S.P.E.W. and protect Elfish welfare!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How to make m&m pretzel Rolos

My family taught me to make these when I was in America and I have been teaching sharing them with people ever since. I just love how easy they are to make! Plus they are incredibly delicious and if you are willing to hunt for the correct m&m's you can make them fit ANY occasion!

What you will need:
+ Mini pretzels - don't use regular size ones or the Rolos will melt through the gaps. In Australia our mini pretzels come in different shapes - only use the pretzel and star shaped ones. I've had trouble with the others.
+ Rolos
+ Peanut m&m's - although I sometimes use a mixed bag so that people who don't like peanuts get the regular and crispy m&ms instead.

What to do:

1. Preheat oven - 300° Fahrenheit or 130° Celsius. I know this isn't a correct conversion, but these are the two temperatures I use when i'm in Australia or the States.

2. Cover a baking tray with mini pretzels.

3. Place a Rolo in the middle of each pretzel.

4. Put the tray in the oven. Leave in the oven until Rolos have softened - but before the caramel bursts out!! At 300°F they take about 3 minutes, at 130°C it takes about 2 minutes 10 seconds.

5. Take tray out of the oven and immediately start putting m&ms on top of each one. Don't press too hard or the Rolos will burst. I put the m&m's lightly on top so the Rolos still hold their form, however when i'm making these using pecans I do squash them more.

And now you are done! Enjoy!!
Remember to eat a few while they are still warm - yum!!

The wonderful thing about these is that you can make them appropriate for any occasion! Pastel M&Ms at Easter, red/green/white at Christmas, blue/red for 4th of July and Australia Day. And every colour when you are just making a quick snack for afternoon tea!

Sorry about the poor quality photos. I didn't have m&m's on hand (or even pecans which are a good alternative) so I couldn't make any. Instead I dug up old photos that my friend took so that she would remember how to make them! :) I'll repost better ones when I have next make them.

Getting ready for the Deathly Hallows

I'm extremely busy getting everything ready for the midnight screening of the Deathly Hallows Part 2 which is tomorrow night! As you know i'm dressing up as Hermione Granger and i'm just making a few more additions to my costume. Although i'm not sure if going as Hermione is the best idea anymore... I cannot get Danger Granger out of my head!! :)

Here is the Platform 9 3/4 sign that I made the other night just before my friends came over for a HP movie marathon. I made it very quickly and the whole thing is held together with Blutack so that I can pull it apart and reuse the paper. Oh yes, i'm that cheap.

We ate a lot of junk food and I wrote little signs for them so give them more of a Wizarding feel. I definitely want to have a proper HP party one day and put lots of effort into the decorating, these are rather pathetic.

Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans (Jelly beans)

Cockroach Clusters (Clinkers)

Cauldron Cakes (not even cauldrons, instead cute little stars)

Honeydukes Chocolate Frogs (Freddos)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I don't know what that means

I've signed up for the Bones swap on Craftster!! I am so excited! I've already bought my supplies and now I just need to get started. I also need to stop watching A Very Potter Sequel and instead watch Bones! :)

3x13 Verdict in the Story
Booth and Brennan mocking Sweets *love*

Monday, July 4, 2011

The blue, red and white

Happy Independence Day!! Here are a few of the yummy homemade snacks we made and then ate at our party today.

M&M pretzel rollos

Pigs in a blanket - with a few original designs mixed in!

Chocolate walnut fudge

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Alfred the elephant

My Little Visitor, Alfred arrived today! I know that we are going to have a great winter together. Hopefully we'll get to do plenty of exciting things that he wouldn't have the opportunity to do in Florida!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Day 28 - summertime

It's very difficult to think about summertime when I am currently experiencing a very cold winter! However, I am going to be living vicariously through my little visitor, Gus T. Turkey, while we spends the next three months on vacation in Florida!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day 26 - love


It is a Samsung Galaxy S. I desperately wanted to get the S2 - the new model which has just been released, but I just couldn't justify the $25 extra per month!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Little Visitor Challenge themes

I am hosting the Little Visitor swap over on Craftster and since it is such a long swap, each round running for three months we almost always have at least one flaker :(

We are doing our best to ensure that doesn't happen this round and I have a team of wonderful ladies helping with many different tasks so that we can stay on top of any potential situations. I have also introduced a photo challenge to try and encourage the swappers to take and post photos! At the moment it is just for fun with no winners or prizes. I'll see how well this goes and if seems to be successful I will let the swappers vote for a winning photo each week. The winner can receive a prize in the mail - maybe a postcard?

So with a weekly challenge that lasts for at least 3 MONTHS I need a LOT of challenge themes!
Here's what I have so far:

Week 1 - something blue
Week 2 - water
Week 3 - magical
Week 4 - childhood
Week 5 - something crafty
Week 6 - architectural detail
Week 7 - something beginning with the letter 'C'

I made the cute banners at puresilvabannermaker. They are just so adorable as well as very simple to put together!

Do you have any ideas for some fun themes that we can use?
Pirates? Baking? Stripes and spots? Science fiction?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day 24 - orange

I love the colours in this photo. Fresh fruit is just so pretty - I wish it tasted as good as it looks! Sadly my taste buds are not really a fan of anything healthy, with the exception of red delicious apples.

Today's challenge really helped me to recognise the lack of orange in my life, something that needs to be remedied asap. I was very close to giving up since I couldn't find anything orange anywhere!

Note: No oranges were harmed during this photo session. And let's not talk about the mandarins...

Can you build snowmen in Antarctica?

The kids at school are studying Antarctica so today I made them snow-people cupcakes. The kids were thrilled with them (although I really doubt that they'd turn anything away that contained sugar) but I wasn't particularly happy with my work - despite slaving over them for HOURS!

This is what they were supposed to look like:

And here is my version:

As you can see, there is quite a difference! :(

My sister was given some adorable Miniamo icing tubes (pictured below) for her birthday, so I planned on creating the hat trim using those. Unfortunately, they turned out out to be REALLY difficult to use! Hopefully with practice, they will become easier. But that was just the first problem with these cupcakes.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Chocolate mug cake

I found a recipe today on Maker*land's blog to make a cake in a mug. Since there was nobody home and my plan for dinner had consisted of toast and honey, I decided that this would be the perfect desert.

I stayed true to the Maker*land's recipe although I did consider switching the oil for butter. The only time that I have ever used oil for baking a cake is when I lived in the US and made packet cakes. I much prefer to use butter, but as this was my first microwaved cake I decided to not mix things up just incase I messed things up!

The ingredients

Mix 4 Tbspn plain flour, 3 Tbspn sugar, 2 Tbspn cocoa and 1 egg. This is what the ingredients look like before mixing.

After mixing you are left with a VERY thick mixture.

Add 3 Tbspn milk, 3 Tbspn veggie oil and a few drops of vanilla essence. Eww. Oil floating on top of milk, floating on top of cake batter.

Stir well until it actually resembles cake mix!

The recipe said to microwave for 2 minutes 15 depending on your microwave. I had no idea what my microwave was like compared to others so I decided to stick to 2 minutes thinking it would need longer. It didn't, the cake was perfectly cooked in that time. If fact, it was overcooked. Or i'm assuming that it was. It was rather chewy and rubbery, although not in an awful way. But also not in the 'I want to try this recipe again immediately' way.

It was yummy, but not as great as I expected. Next time I try this I will microwave it for less. I'm positive that's the reason it didn't turn out as great as Maker*land's.

Still, i'm pretty excited that I just baked a cake in approximately 4 minutes!! I just wish i'd had chocolate chips and marshmallows to add on top! Cookies and cream ice-cream had to do.

Thanks for the recipe Maker*land!!