Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Wrist Pin Cushion

Lately I have felt quite like a yo-yo bouncing up and down from my sewing machine and the floor where I have laid out patters, instruction and fabric. However, no matter how much I try to remember to pick up my pins they always end up in the wrong place!

To solve my issue and give my legs a rest I took to Google to find a pattern for a pin cushion that I could fix to myself and don’t need to think about too much.
I finally found this offset square wrist pincushion tutorial from PlanetJune. The tutorial and pattern that June provides is incredibly easy to follow and I had the cushion in the photo finished in no time at all. I even managed to use the left over trim from the lamp for the wrist strap. It is secured with Velcro which makes it very comfortable to wear and super easy to take on and off.

I am very happy with it and I think it will rarely be off my wrist from now on.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Custard Creams

I think there is a distinct lack of ideas when it comes to fund raising in my office. Every time there is a sponsored walk, run or cycle it is usually quickly announced that we will be holding another Friday bake sale. Now don't get me wrong I don't have a problem with baking for charity but on occasion cakes on Friday can be a bit repetitive. Never the less, last Friday was the turn of the Kiltwalk bake sale.

In an attempt to move away from my usual fruit loaf safety net that I will happily bake every day, I decided to go with an even older favourite Custard Creams.
As you can see I made quite a mess getting all my ingredients together. Why does icing sugar insist in going absolutely everywhere no matter how careful you are with it?

These humble little biscuits used to be a favourite when I was little and baking with my mum. They are nice and simple, quick to make and great with a coffee (essential when baking for the office).

I'm not entirely sure where the recipe came from originally but, my Gran and Mum have been using it for years.


6oz Plain flour
2oz Custard powder
6oz Marg
2oz Icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon Bicarb Soda 
  • Cream Marg and sugar together in a bowl
  • Sieve and mix together dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture a little at a time with a metal knife
  • Form small balls on baking tray and lightly press with fork (photo above shows half shaped with fork and half not)
  • Bake in oven for approx 15 min  @ 170 degrees
1oz Marg
2oz Icing sugar
couple of drops of vanilla essence
  • Wait for biscuits to cool down.
  • Cream together ingredients
  • Then sandwich a pair of biscuits together with creamed mixture.
My aunt was kind enough to buy me a heart shaped cake stand for Christmas and I have used it for just about everything I have baked since.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Science Festival Materialise Lampshade

Living in Edinburgh definitely has its advantages. There is always something happening. Just now we are coming to the end of the Science Festival and as part of it the Mini Makers Faire held a day of inventions, electronics and crafts. So a couple of weeks ago I spent an evening perusing the list of activitiess that they were running and decided on the make your own lampshade class. After all, we all need lampshades, I figured it could be a useful thing to know in the future.

Sitting at my bench when I arrived was a perfectly sized sheet of sticky back PVC and appropriately sized fabric, double sided fabric tape, lampshade frame and scissors. All of this was provided by the lovely people at Materialise. I believe they are planning to start a lampshade making class at their shop and were using this event as a test group. 

The next step was to pick out a few matching trims. I'm not normally a frilly sort of person but seeing as everyone else was happily snapping up the fringe, bobbles and other wacky trims, I decided to embrace the lace and quickly picked up a pink velvety ribbon and a mother of pearl buckle too.

The shade was incredibly simple to put together. We were supplied with some very easy step by step instruction and within about 40mins I had everything assembled. 

  • Simply put, the PVC is stuck to the fabric leaving about 1.5cm of fabric along the edges so it can be folded round the metal frame.
  • I then covered both the top and bottom frames in a row of double sided tape and rolled the frame along the 1.5cm strip of fabric until the two ends met.
  • Another row of tape held the two short edges of fabric together.
  • We were also supplied with a toothed triangular shaped tool which we used to tuck the raw edged of fabric under the metal frame so they were hidden.
  • At this point you have a finished and functional lampshade however we decided to accessorise our with the trims that we had selected at the start. 
And here is the finished article in action. Pretty good for a £10 class I think. By happy chance it also goes quite nicely with the rest of the furnishings in my room. The only problem is now I need to make another one for the other bedside table!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Hello Blogging World.

Welcome to my life! After gathering a zillion photos of things that I have made over the past couple of months I have decided that it is about time that I use them for something productive. So hey presto I'm starting this blog.

I wouldn't say that I have a particular talent in anything that I do but I am willing to give just about anything a try. As my mum has said so often I never start with the simple. Frankly I don't see the point. If you are going to learn a new skill/arty craft then every technique you need will be a learning process. So whether its a Victoria sponge or a three cake ski and rock climbing themed birthday cake for your dads 60th birthday you still learn something new.
Why not learn everything at the same time?

So a little about be, as an engineer I work in a very male dominated world. However, despite being surrounded by so much testosterone I have found myself increasingly getting swept away in the current girly craze of knitting, baking and sewing. I can frequently be found in the office kitchen knitting up a storm with the other ladies much to the dismay of many of our colleagues. Working the bog standard 8.30am to 6pm every day means that I use every second of my evenings to their full potential. With the seemingly never ending need for people to contribute to charity bake sales this often has me baking into the wee hours.

As a beginner knitter, baker and very recently added sewer (after receiving my first ever sewing machine for my birthday at the beginning of the year) I hope that if you stumble across this little blog you enjoy seeing what I make. I would also appreciate constructive feedback if there is anything you can add to help me on my way.

Thanks and enjoy! X