Friday 28 February 2014

How to Make the Ultimate Pancake Stacks

The day of only being allowed to eat pancakes is just around the corner and I've been thinking about my toppings since last year, as though I couldn't have made pancakes at any other time.......

Have you ever been to Center Parcs?  You should, even if just to visit the Pancake House - it will blow your mind.  Combinations of ingredients you wouldn't even think of together, let alone to have on a pancake.  Today, I'm taking a little inspiration from their flavours and the towering presentation of the pancake 'stacks' to make mini dessert treats which might also take your fancy for next Tuesday.
I made my batter the night before - 100g plain flour, 1 egg and 300ml milk, whisked together,
covered with clingfilm and left in the fridge overnight.  As I was going to stack my pancakes,
I kept their size small and decided to take the time to make them all as even as possible,
so used a metal ring to keep them consistent, but you really dont have to do this.
Make a batch [my mixture produced around 20] and then after every 3 or 4 pancakes,
layer them with these ideas [if the pancakes are still a little warm, the better]:

Eton Mess:
layers of white chocolate, dried strawberries, double cream and crushed meringue
[you've put on 10lbs just looking at it]

Chocolate Nut:
a generous spread of Nutella, topped with mixed chopped nuts

Millionnaires Shortbread:
milk chocolate, topped with crumbled shortbread biscuits, then a drizzle of caramel sauce

...and if all fails, the Traditional option will never let you down:
What are your favourite toppings?
see you next time x

Thursday 27 February 2014

How to Make an Easy Infinity Scarf

Long scarves look great, until it gets a bit windy.  Then, the ends start to wrap themselves round your neck like a cobra, or untangle Rupert the Bear style until you give up with them all together.

I finally get to put my ridiculously large collection of scarves to use.  Ideally, I'd like to go out and buy a whole collection of new ones, but to get more wear out of the ones I have, I've been transforming them into the style I love and wear most often: the infinity scarf.  It's really easy and you don't have to own a sewing machine to create the same effect - just a scarf/large cut of fabric and fabric glue.  Infinity scarves give you a 100% better chance of looking like you did when you first left the house.
I chose a large fabric cut of 197cm x 115cm in a pretty Spring-is-on-the-way pattern.   The steps I followed were based on using a super-extra-long length scarf, already hemmed [from Primark].
To create my infinity scarf, I started by folding the material lengthways and joining the fabric at the hemmed sides and entire length with fabric glue [creating a size of fabric 98.5cm x 57.5cm]:

You can be fairly generous with the glue and don't worry if it's not the neatest - it all dries clear:

...I left to dry completely.
Bringing the two ends [unglued] round to meet each other.........
....I glued the inside seam of one side:
....and lay the opposite end along the glue:
...continuing across the length and then leaving to dry completely
[you can repeat this step as many times as you want, continuing to fold and glue along the seam to gather the fabric - this would be especially useful if your fabric will not be long enough to loop round and will instead be more like a snood].  I hope that this has made sense - please let me know if not!
The fabric is now a lovely large loop:
.....that you can gather, fold and twist in half to create loops:
Bring on the wind!
see you next time x
  • You can continue folding your fabric lengthways and gluing in place at the hems as many times as you like to create more folds of fabric.
  • Use the main seam created where the two ends have joined together as your guide for the back of the scarf and centre of any twists or loops to keep it hidden.
  • This can be applied to any type of fabric - if you don't have hems already sewn in place, neaten any edges by folding and ironing the edges to the inside of the material and then gluing the insides together to hide them.  This starts as a good base to then continue to fold lengthways and join the ends together. 

Tuesday 25 February 2014

How to Make a Monogram Tote Bag

Hello Monday. You have quite an act to follow after Friday.  In case you missed it, I was over on the lovely Claireabellemakes blog, guest posting a little glittery foam word art - pop over if you fancy a little shine and sparkle for your walls too - its simple and easy.
Today, I am sharing an equally simple and easy project: monogram tote bags.

What I Used:
Tote Bag
Dylon Gold Fabric Paint [£1.99 The Range]
Monogram print out / Acetate sheet / Paintbrush

The tote I'm using for todays project is a cheap and cheerful bag I picked up from Dunelm, but I've had a search and you can find these for as little as £1 at craft store like HobbyCraft.
Total bargain and makes it the perfect personalised present/gift bag option too:

I created my monogram template from 'Academy Engraved' font, A4 size on to plain paper:
 ...and my weapon of choice, was Dylon gold fabric paint:
I placed an acetate sheet on top of the template and then placed both inside the bag, 
in the bottom left corner.  The acetate would protect any transfer of the paint:
 ....and then I traced the template with a simple paintbrush, freehand and not worrying
 too much about the straightness of the lines.  If you would prefer a crisp finish, you can use masking/washi/tape to paint against and then remove once the paint is dry:
 Leave to dry for at least an hour [or as long as the paint you are using instructs]:
...and then cover with a cloth and iron on a high heat to 'set' and 'fix' the paint.
You are now good to go: 
[might have benefited from ironing the entire bag before I took these photos......] 
 It's not perfect at the edges, but I'm really happy with the hour I spent creating this - it's currently helping me carry my work files with a little more style than my usual plastic bags:
 see you next time x

Friday 21 February 2014

Guest Posting on Claireabellemakes: Hello

Good Morning! Today, I am so, so excited/honoured/nervous and happy to be guest blogging over on the fabulous Claireabellemakes blog.

I'm sure you already visit her blog, but if not, pop over to see my quick how-to-make a glitter hello sign for your walls.

Thank you so much Claire - I loved doing it x


Wednesday 19 February 2014

Bag Tags

No-sew pretty for your bags? - come on down!

I have a serious bag habit - £35 on a pair of shoes?! No way!! £300 on a handbag....yes, that seems fine. No problem.  It's not a healthy habit for my bank account, so I've been bringing some bags a bit more up to date with some bag tags made from some faux leather from Dunelm. 

What I Used:
Navy faux leather [Dunelm £6.99 for 2 metres]
Hi Tac glue

I love a tassel - I've made simple ones as a keyring, and others as garlands [here and here], but I fancied another - you can never have too many - and the method is simple, simple.
I cut a section of pleather measuring 7cm x 10cm and marked a 1cm line on the inside from the top: 
With scissors and no real uniformity other than by sight, I cut strips across until they met the pencil line: 
 Cutting a thin [0.5cm] length [15cm] of the pleather for the loop, I folded the material
 in half and secured in place with tape at the ends and at the edge of the cut fabric:
 Hi-Tac - my friend.  I applied a little glue in dots across the top line:
 ...and rolled the fabric around the loop from one end to the other.  
To keep in place as it dried, I used a bulldog clip and left the glue for around an hour [however long it took to drink some coffee and lose myself in Twitter and Instagram for a while ;)]:
Once dry, remove the bulldog clip [the pleather will be dented at first, but 
will quickly regain its smooth surface] and you have an easy-peasy tassel: 
 I also made some even simpler tags, initials and a heart, both created free-hand and sandwiching
 a loop in between two pieces of pleather, securing with fabric glue and then trimming the edges
 to ensure they were neat and tidy:
 Loop them on to your bag handles, zips or buckles: 
 You're it.
Perfect for little gifts as well - I'm buying some smaller off-cuts from eBay to have a range of 
colours so I can make more.  The pleather is so easy to work with - easy to cut, mould and move around, no fraying and available in a whole range of finishes.  I highly recommend and I'm thinking of some bigger and better projects that I can use the rest of my 2 metres worth with.
see you Friday - I am very, very excited about Friday! x
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