Sunday, 29 March 2015

Easter Paper Pom poms

There have been both successes and failures in my easter decorating extravagant. My easter balloon egg sting things have so far been a failure, which is disappointing, but I'm working on it. The success came from some nice subtle paper decorations I made.

Haha, jokes they're not subtle!! Where'd the fun in that be?
To make them you need : tissue paper, wire, scissors and some thread to hang it up. 
First, take your tissue paper and fold it in half, or quarters if you want a smaller pom pom. I made varied sizes, but there's no exact science to it.

Next, concertina it until you have folded it the whole way. (By concertinaing it, I mean folding it like a fan.)

Take your wire and wrap it tightly around your paper strip. However tightly you've wrapped it, probably give it one more twist, just to make certain. Come on now, don't be lazy.

Now clip the ends with your scissors. This should be pretty exciting, because it's decision time! You can either make your ends pointy or curved - it's up to you! *yay* 

Now just sort of do this. (I can't really describe it, but basically spread your little wigs and fly away. Wait, not really, don't go)
Fluff up all the layers, trying to make it even because we don't want to make it, you know, messy or anything.
Make a whole bunch more, to make it look all arty farty, because my room so didn't have enough stuff it all ready. Add string to hang it up with, and Bob's your metaphorical uncle (I say metaphorical because I am unfortunately not lucky enough to have an uncle named Bob, so I don't know why I used that expression really.)
Isn't it pretty? And festive? It makes me happy, which is the most important thing (even if they do mean that I can't close my curtains. Oh well, it's a small price to pay.)

Friday, 27 March 2015

How to draw Magnus Bane, from the Mortal Instruments

Obviously, I'm a massive fan girl. I obsess over a lot of things, and I have a lot of people I love. On a list from one to five it would probably go: Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, Matt Smith, Magnus and Skullduggery Pleasant. Oh, and my family. Maybe. Anyway, today I fancied some glitter and high cheekbones, so here is how to draw the one, the only...

Begin with just a circle. Everything has to start some where, like a little acorn.
 Add a rectangle with the point touching the halfway line to your little acorn.
Begin shaping in his cheeckbones, cheeks and chin, as well as his jawline, using the rectangle as a guide.
 Add in some guide lines across the circle, being careful with the outlines.
 Draw the eyes, nose and mouth, on the guide lines. I had loads of trouble with the mouth, and had to tipex it out several times. With someone elses tipex. (I'm so professional)
 Pencil in the eye brows (for real.), using tiny little lines.
 Do some adjustments (I don't really know what I changed here, but just do it anyway.)
 Give him a shirt. It's cold out there.
 Add his luxurious locks, probably a bit thicker than me.
 Outline it all in pen, and do some contouring, providing that is what you call it on drawn characters. Look, your acorn is blooming (?) into an oak tree already! Aren't you proud?
 Do your final adjustments, rub out all the bad bits, and just generally make it a ton better.

Et voila! A beautiful warlock, to consume with your eyeballs as you please. As you can tell, I made this all up myself, so please excuse the rubbishy photos. Good luck!

Thursday, 26 March 2015

DIY Easter decorations

I love Christmas. Yes, I know it's over, and yes, I know it won't come around again for about a year. As there isn't another Christmas (when I'm in charge...) during the year I've had to learn to take festivities whenever I can get them. This means stretching easter to its fullest. I'm planning a huge eater hunt this year, so fingers crossed, but a certainty is decorations. Here are a few ideas, and I'll post what I ended up doing when I've done it.

  • Spray painted huge eggs

  • Amazing fake bird nests.

Handmade Spring Bird's Nest Craft

Tissue Paper Pom Poms in Shades of Pink
  • String balloon eggs, with little chicks inside.

Easter Chick Display

  • Little framed pictures. I thought that I could maybe make a whole load of these, and then change them around with the seasons. That, or just let them sit abandoned and crushed at the bottom of my huge and untidy cupboard. Like my dreams.

Framed Paper Easter Bunnies
  • An easter tree. I see absolutely no reason to make trees exclusive to Christmas, and I'm going to do my best to right this injustice, and free the trees.

Easter Branch Bouquet

I'm going to make a trip to the 99p store and some charity shops this weekend (I'm classy like that) to pick up the crafting necessities, so I'll post back when I've done so. Let me know if you're decorating or easter, and I'd love to hear any ideas you have. (Unless they're better than mine, obviously.)

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Easy healthy spinach pasties

These are not entirely of my own invention, don't worry, but they are very yummy, very easy and pretty quick. You don't have to leave them to prove or anything fancy like that (is that something you do in baking?),  so even I made them successfully. They are even nice cold (packed lunch opportunity, hint hint...)

For the pastry:
350 plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
85g butter
3tbs olive or vegetable oil
1 egg yolk (keep the white!)
5tbs water

For the filling:
1 onion
1/2 tbs olive oil
1 pack of spinach
100g cheese
20g parmesan
2 large eggs
Pepper, salt and what ever the hell else you want. It's a free county.

Makey makey:
  1. Put the onions in a pan with the olive oil from the filling list. Leave it till its soft, and slightly browned, or see through if you're using the onions that aren't red. This will probably take about 10 minutes, so meanwhile get some pastry going. PS. do not burn these onions. They basically have a death wish, and want to take all the rest with them - they go all carbony if you stop watching for even a second. Do not take your eyes off them, and watch those buttercups with a all of your death stare glare.
  2. Pour the flour into a blender, along with the butter and baking powder. Switch it on till it looks like veeery fine bread crumbs, and then add the oil, egg yolk and water. Switch it on again until it goes doughy. Flour a work surface (this is very important, unless you enjoy using power tools to remove pastry mix from your work tops. I didn't have to do this of course - they're not my worktops, and therefore not my division*) and tip the dough out, making a ball. Leave it alone now, just step away, and get back to those onions.
  3. Seriously, what the hell were you thinking, leaving those onions like that! They're probably burnt, the poor suicidal dears, and its no bodies fault but your own. Yes, you should feel ashamed. Anyway, filling. Put the spinach in the pan with the onions. The spinaches will look like it could feed all of Africa, but it will shrink, I swear.
  4. Let the leaves 'wilt' - ie. go all floppy and squishy. Put the spinach and onions in a bowl and mix in the cheeses and eggs. You can also put in nutmeg and pinenuts, if you fancy.
  5. Take your pastry and divide it into about 6 little balls. Roll out the balls, putting a large spoonful of filling in each one, and then sealing the top shut. Take your egg white (see - I hope you read the instructions. Don't throw it away, I said.) and brush the pasties with it, to make them go all golden and shiny in the oven.
  6. Put them in the oven at 200c, and cook them for about 20 minutes, or however long they take. Use your common sense. 

These end up delicious, and you could even put mushrooms in. Like I said, it's a free county.

*brownie points if you recognised the Sherlock quote. If you did, you are the best bit of humanity.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

My favourite things on the web this month

As per usual, I have perused the internet a lot this month. To make sure all that time hasn't entirely gone to waste I have compiled a list of the creme de la creme of the world wide web this month.

   1.  Of course, I love Harry Potter. Who doesn't? (No person certainly, because you're not quite human if you don't) This, though, will completely ruin your mind. I never knew JK Rowling was a genius, as well as fond of ruining people's lives, but she is.

The entrance to Dumbledore's office...

      2. Um. It seems like this is Harry Potter related too. Oops.

    3. Now, you may be aware of my current healthy lunch obsession. This would just make eating boiled spinach so much more enjoyable. I want it.


   4. I love healthy recipes, for some reason. Most of these look pretty easy - easy enough for even me to be able to cook them!

Weight Watchers Honey-Glazed Wasabi Salmon
   5. Now, shoot me if it's wrong, but I would love to be able to control people with just my words, like some sort of creepy hypnotist person. In our boring, un magical society the best you can get to that is brainwashing, so I was delighted to find some very useful tips on how to steamroller freewill. Watch out world - I'm coming.

    6. I, unlike my friend Bronwin ( , am no voodoo make-up expert. I find it difficult to deal with anything other than eyeliner, so I can use any help I can get. (I have green eyes, which is why this page was useful)

      7. Finally, something summery. It was bound to happen - summer is my favourite time of year, and I start feeling irrational urges to wear flip flops and a maxi dress around December sort of time. I may not be able to make the seasons turn faster, but I can certainly start preparing, and these ideas certainly make it feel a lot less like this awful wintry spring will never end.

I hope you enjoyed the post, and I've got a couple of DIY's coming up soon. Till then, stay safe and wear a seatbelt (sorry, I'm just not very good at *choked up* good - good ... byes *sob*).

Thursday, 19 March 2015

All that glitters

Glitter gets way too much bad press. Maybe once it was only for hyper active reception kids with the attention spans of gnats, but now it is so, so much more. It is basically the last hope for humanity, the only shining light in a world of dullness, with the possible exception of the carrot cake cookie I'm eating right now, which is delicious. Plus, let's face it, even that could be improved by edible glitter. I reckon I'd be a great PR woman, and now it's time to put that to the test. Bring out your glitter, because here are 5 glitzy DIY's to get glitter's career back on track.

  1. Glittery nails:
DIY Glitter Manicure.

Isn't this fabulous? Ok, so it's more of a life hack than a diy, but seriously? Stuff like this makes me feel so stupid - just put clear nailpolish on, then dip your nail in some nail glitter. Perfeection darling. Wear your glitter on your nails; don't be afraid to hide the real you, and yea.

  2. Give nasty ornaments new life:

Glitter Sculpture
It goes without saying that you wouldn't use green, but covering things in silver or gold glitter makes even plastic rubbish look classy.

  3. Glitter candles:

DIY craft  candles glitter by michael
Well, I'm not quiet sure what would happen when the candle started to melt, but never mind. It definitely looks stunning, so it's going on my list of DIY's to do.

  4.Glittery mason jars:
DIY frasco para galletas glitter ~ glitter mason jar for cookies ~ from Ahora también mamá   #diy #craft #howto #glitter #jar #masonjar
I love mason jars. I LOVE THEM! So this is the perfect combination, and would be so cute, not only for storage but also for giving little gifties in. Or giving them in (hint hint.)

  5. Glittery flower jars:
Yes folks. Another mason jar. I really can't help it if I just want mason jars everywhere now can I? Besides, a mason jar is another all too unappreciated thing, although glitter has now officially left the ranks. (If you want pr I'll take cash or cheques, whichevers easiest.)

Monday, 16 March 2015

How to make a Helena, the Stuffed Mouse Ballet Teacher

Last Sunday it was mothers day, as I'm sure everyone with a heart, or mother, knows. I mean, I forgive you if you don't actually have a mother, because that's pretty rough, but forgetting your mother on mothers day? Unacceptable. I am an unbelievably unorganised person, and yet I not only managed to do a breakfast (which was probably edible) but I also gave her flowers and this stuffed mouse. I reckon that pretty much exempts me from doing anything for the rest of the year, right?
Now, you may think that it's odd to give a grown woman a stuffed toy, but seriously, can you not see the appeal of a little stuffed mouse, full of character and wat not. No? Well, I can. So can my mum - she genuinly cried when I gave it to her (they were tears of joy, I think.)                  

Well, this is the pattern I made, which is pretty self explanatory. I just did it with hand sewing. Using white felt for the body, and gingam fabric for the inside of the ears. The leotard was a stretchy material, the skirt was a long piece of floral fabric, which I hemmed. The shoes are gingam fabric, and a hemp material, and they're a little more complicated, but not much.
That's my extremely proffesional design, by the way. Here's the pattern:

The shoes, which are just so adorable I want to die, are easily adapted from this tutorial :

Aren't they just the cutest things?

Good luck, if you try to make something similar to this. Please post a picture or something if you do, and I'll let you guys know if I make any more of these little creatures, and soon I'll