Thursday, 31 May 2012

Smoothie Ice Lollies

Smoothie ice lollies

With all the nice warm weather we have been having recently it seemed the right time to make some ice lollies to cool us down. I have been buying lollies and choc-ices from the shops which is great - but they make you feel rather unhealthy and often taste a bit chemically with the artificial flavours.

So here is my healthy alternative: smoothie pops!

My Mum bought me some really cute bunny rabbit ice lolly molds last summer and I have used them a lot. Sometimes they simply double-up as an ice cube tray alternative.

My smoothie ice lollies are really simple to make and to customise to your tastes. Best of all they are made from real fruit.

Here is the recipe for the one I made this week (it makes a large quantity):

What you need:

2 bananas
340g of pineapple
160g of peaches
250g of mixed summer fruits (already frozen)
180ml of pineapple juice

What you need to do:

  • Place all the fruit and the juice together in a blender
  • Blend until the mixture is smooth and will easily pour
  • Pour into ice lolly molds
  • Freeze overnight
  • Enjoy while sitting in the sunshine the next day!

It is as simple as that - and they are so yummy!

Bunny Rabbit Ice lolly Molds

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Yellow Tulips

I was very excited today to find that I had a comment on one of my posts - my first comment! Thankfully, it was a positive one too! Anyway, it was an invitation to a 'blog hop' by ♥ a little of me♥  (there are some really yummy looking recipies on this blog!) - now, it is so obvious that I really have a lot to learn about this whole blogging malarkey as I have no idea what a 'blog hop' is. If anyone can explain this to me I would really appreciate it.

It is also really exiting to see that pictures that I have put on here are being pinned and repinned on pinterest. I have had a few really sweet comments on those pictures as well - I love the fact that one of my photos has been repinned with the description as "SUPER CUTE!"

Aside from my blogging excitement I was also given flowers today!

Tonight S went to the shops to pick up some things for dinner and came back with a bunch of flowers for me - yellow tulips. Yellow tulips are my favourite flowers - I am not sure why but I just love them! Yellow flowers are the best! On the theme of yellow flowers... daisies are great too!

Here are a few pictures of the tulips:


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

An Accessorised Bag

Here are a couple of pictures of my Big Blue Bag complete with the accessories I made - the Bow and the Rosette. I have also attached a keyring from the British Heart Foundation charity shop. It is so cute and totally appropriate! If you look closely you can see that every other petal is shaped like a heart.

Here are the links to the tutorials explaining how to make the bow and the rosette:

Monday, 28 May 2012

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Abbey Baby Dress

Bunny modeling my finished dress

I found this really cute dress tutorial on and I just had to have a go at making it. One of my friends has just announced that she is pregnant and that she is going to have a little girl. What more of an excuse do I need?

I used the tutorial on the website to draw out the pattern and sew it together. However, in places I got a bit confused by the tutorial (most probably simply down to my inexperience) and so I just made it up in places. At other points I decided to do something slightly different simply to 'make the dress my own' so to speak.

I have attempted to write out the tutorial of the changes I have made to the method and show how my way differed. Apologies for the orange colour of the pictures that were taken in the evenings - I will edit them to make them look better.

Here are the photographs showing how I made the dress:

First, draw out the pattern on paper. I followed the instructions on the Shwin&Shwin website and found that I had to draw out the bodice template again as the written instructions contradict the picture of the pattern pieces.

Follow the measurements from the written instructions:

For the bodice. I make a rectangle that is 3.5 X 4.5 inches. Then marking in 1.5 inches from the top and 1 inch up from the bottom I cut in a curve for the neckline. All of these measurements can be adjusted for any size you are making.
For the Skirt. I make a rectangle that is 8.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Then I angle one edge slightly and on the other side I cut a small curve for the arm opening so I measure one inch over and one inch down and curve between them.

So the bodice template length is 4.5 inches rather than just 4 inches.

Cut out the fabric pieces as shown in the above photograph.

Next, stitch the bodice pieces together at the shoulder seams. Do this for both bodice pieces (so you have two separate bodice shapes).

Place the two bodice pieces right sides together and stitch the neckline and the back opening seams. When turned right side out it should look like the above picture (less yellow though - sorry about the pictures - I will sort them out).

Now topstitich around the neckline - it holds it in place and adds a little detail. I was actually quite pleased that my stitch line was relatively straight... well curved - what I mean is that it was not wonky.

Now sew the two skirt pieces together at the side seams. At the centre of the top of the skirt back piece cut down two inches to make a slit. This will match up with the split in the back of the bodice. I almost ruined the dress cutting into both pieces - perhaps I shouldn't have the tv on in the background...

I then used a rectangle of fabric to make the underarm piece - see Shwin&Shewin

The above picture shows the outside of the underarm and side of the dress.

For the back slit in the dress I decided to use the same method as the bottom of the arm holes on the skirt piece - using another rectangle of fabric.

At this part of the tutorial I got rather confused as to the order and how things were done. As such I made up my own thing which I think works.

  • First, take the bodice - fold and press all the edges in on themselves to make neat edges. Do this at the shoulders, along the front and back of both the inside and outside pieces.
  • Pin them in place and the shoulder seams together.
  • Place the bodice face down with the inside up.
  • Fold back the inside piece.
  • Insert the front piece of the skirt.
  • Pin it at the two edges and at the centre.
  • Make eight pleats in the fabric working from the centre out to the sides - four each side of the centre pin. 
Back/Inside of dress (so far)
Front of dress (so far)

  • Now pin the inside of the bodice in place over the pleated fabric of the skirt piece so that it is sandwiched inside.
  • Stitch two lines over the join. This secures the sandwich of pleated fabric
  • Use the same method to attach the back of the dress to the bodice - inserting the top of the skirt between the two bodice layers. The pleating and pinning it into place - securing with two lines of stitching

  • Now, having already folded and pressed the edges of the arm holes; stitch around the arm holes on the bodice to secure the two layer together.

Back of Dress

Front of Dress

Now I just need to hem the dress:

Add a bow to the back using THIS technique.

 I also need to add the buttons at the back and make loops to secure them.

For the loops I found some really good instructions on Ysolda original patterns. Check it out by clicking on the link.

Finally, Bunny was chosen to model the dress as the intended recipient has yet to be born - I will have to wait a few more months to see how it looks!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Chocolate Lime Cake - Retro Sweet Theme

Chocolate Lime Cake

I have decide to try and make a retro sweet themed cake or pudding each week so here is my first attempt...

Chocolate limes are one of my favourite retro sweets so I thought I would start with them as the theme for a cake- yummy!

Chocolate Limes
Retro Sweet of the Week- Chocolate Limes
Picture source:

At first, I thought of making a chocolate lime cheesecake - but I didn't have any cream cheese in the fridge and I was too lazy to go to the shops... perhaps next time (I supose it is ok to have two cakes on the same theme).

 Cake Mix:

75g cocoa
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
100ml boiling water
100ml cold water
300g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 teaspoon of orange essence
180ml light olive oil
200g self raising flour
1 lime

To Decorate:

300ml pot of fresh whipping cream
Cadbury flake bar
1/2 a lime
Lemon curd

What to do:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degree's C
  2. Mix the cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water - once dissolved add the cold water and the juce of the lime; leave to one side
  3. Prepare tins
  4. Beat sugar and eggs together until light and creamy.
  5. Add vanilla and orange essence and continue beating
  6. Add the flour
  7. Add the zest of 1/2 a lime
  8. Add the cocoa/lime solution - beat until consistency of double cream
  9. Pour batter into tins
  10. Bake for 25-30 mins
  11. When cool decorate put a layer of lemon curd and freshly whipped cream in the middle
  12. Decorate the top with the rest of the freshly whipped cream, slices of lime and some of the crumbled flake bar!
  13. Enjoy! 

The Finished Chocolate Lime Cake

Friday, 25 May 2012

How to Make a Simple Rosette

Here is yet another decoration for my big blue bag! I have attached a pin to the back of the rosette so I can move it around - the same as my simple bow. I had lots of fun drawing out the instructions for making both of these accessories. Paint is a fantastic programme! If you look at the scrap book page you can see some of my other drawings that I have done using paint.

© 2012

I have been looking on google and apparently broach is a variant of 'brooch' which is by far the more popular spelling. I have always used the spelling 'broach' and I didn't realise that there was another spelling... you learn something new every day!

Finished Rosette Broach with dark blue ribbon

Thursday, 24 May 2012

How to Sew a Simple Bow

So I wanted to make some things to decorate my big blue bag. I decided that it would be a good idea to attach a broach back to the accessories. This way I can move them around on the bag or even use them separately.

I decided to start with a simple bow accessory:

© 2012

Now you can sew it onto your item or like me, use a glue gun to attach it to a broach fastening.

I used rather thick cord fabric when making my bow - if you choose a thinner fabric lightly pad the bow before you stitch up the gap and wrap the strip of fabric around the centre.

The Finished Bow Broach

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Easter Cookies

About to make cookies

S gave me this cookie cutter and mix set for Easter and I just haven't got around to making them. Well last night we decided to give it a go. 

The mix is from Whittard - one of my favourite shops! I love all their cute mugs!

All I needed to do was add a an egg, butter and some milk.  Mix it up!

My heart shaped bowl is super cute!

Making the dough up was easy enough and the little egg shape cookie cutter was  a nice size. Now fot the fun bit - decorating them!

Now they are ready for the oven...

And finally we have the finished cookies! The one on the right is mine!

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