There was just a little leftover dough in the fridge after the ladybug/leaf cookies, and after rifling through my cookie cutter stash, I found a bear head cutter that I had never used. Some earnest Pinterest browsing and I had some inspiration.
I suppose my Cookie/Cake board being called Inspiration and having 2500 pins might tell you I absolutely love the Pinterest.
Anyways….here’s some beary cookies for you.
I wanted to try to make these grey teddies look furry. The bear on the left has a bit of brush embroidery, where I’ve piped a line around the edge, and then dragged the icing in using a paintbrush. The bear on the right has its fur done by piping tiny lines quickly around the outside, and then going around it again. I wanted that rough, I guess, imperfectness which lends a more realistic look?
Stepping away from your traditional bear, we have some utterly cute polar bears. Their cheeks and ears have been brushed with pink petal dust. Oh I just want to squish their little faces!
Last, but certainly not least, more bears. I found it quite difficult to make a tan colour. The brown gel dyes I have are VERY brown, so I realised I needed to add yellow. When it didn’t work, I totally googled how to make tan icing and I was on the right track, just needed even more yellow! And then some more white icing to make it lighter again.
I sort of dropped a bag of icing on the chin of one of them, so he has a bit of patch job going on.
Jason thinks these guys look a little smug. Like they did something naughty and got away with it.
Oh, and I got these lovelies in the mail today, some more Stellar in Tourmaline for the blankie. Perfect timing as I will run out of the first ball today.
Until next time, have fun!
The Epic Pokemon cross-stitch is coming along nicely, albeit slower now I’ve started knitting a blanket. On the blanket front, I’m up to 17cm out of 150. Which is pretty awesome for six days work.
I did have a bit of a set back on day two when I moved from the blanket border to the pattern, and had to spend part of day three ripping out the six rows. The pattern I’m doing is a set of seven stitches, a combinations in knits, decrease stitches and yarnovers. I have not done yarnovers before, but they are a way of making a stitch, by putting the yarn…over the needle. Super original hey! It was going fine, until I realised that on row three I had forgotten a yarnover, reducing the stitches from seven to six. Uh oh! There was no way to fix it but to rip back to the border and start again.
Now, I have a stitch marker between each set of seven stitches and count them tirelessly to make sure I always have seven. It’s working! I’m almost finished the first ball of yarn and have six more being delivered this week.
But back to cross-stitch! I finished off another page and a bit and here’s the results.
I love the curls Jiggly and Wiggly have, they are just adorable! Zubat annoys me, as my home town is rife with these in Pokemon Go and they can be annoying to catch. There there *pat self* don’t take it out of the cross-stitch.
Nine and a bit pattern pages left. That’s so exciting!
Until next time, have fun!
Yesterday I started working on one of the baby blankets planned to be done over the next few months. I’m probably delusional at how long they will take but I do love a challenge and worse case scenario, it will be the midde of summer when all these babies arrive and no ones gong to need a blanket anyway. I probably won’t share too much of this until it’s finished so that it’s at least a partial surprise for the mummy and daddy 🙂 What you can see so far is the garter stitch border and I’m about to start the pattern.
I am absolutely in LOVE with this yarn. It’s Stellar from Bendigo Woollen Mills, in the colour Tourmaline. It’s this gorgeous heathery blend of white and dusky pink and it’s so squishy and soft and a dream to knit with and has absolutely no scratchy factor to it at all.
Stellar is a 50% wool and 50% bamboo blend. The bamboo adds this incredible silky softness to the yarn, while the wool makes it durable, and this version is machine washable as well which is a definite bonus for a baby blankie. It has breathability but has yummy warmth for when cooler weather comes along in 6- 8 months.
I picked up the 12 ply yarn which means this blanket is knitting up quite fast on 5.5mm needles. I’m using my longest circular cord which gives a total length of 60 inches with needles.
Unfortunately it’s ending up wider than I had estimated, especially considering that I knit a test swatch and calculated the stitches required to get the width of 120cm. Somehow, it’s 140cm wide….I’ve redone my math and it seems to be sound, so I think maybe I mis-measured my swatch. Rather than undoing a few hours of work, I decided to carry on in hopes they might get extra years out of it with it being bigger 🙂
I cast on 179 stitches because I wanted to make it larger than the original pattern (which I won’t share until it’s finished :P) and chose the Chained Cast On, which lo and behold, has a chain of stitches running along the edge. I did have to pull out my crochet hook to do this cast on but I fuddled through and I certainly achieve a more even and looser cast on than with a more traditional cast on, due to my tendency to pull it too tight.
It also matches the chaining I am doing along the sides of the blankets. This is achieved by slipping the first stitch of each row from the left needle onto the right needle (don’t knit it) and by purling the last stitch in each row. Tiny thing but it looks great!
The pattern I chose looks great but isn’t so complex that I have to concentrate completely. Yay for knitting and tv! I’ve recently zipped through The Last Ship during the last few weeks while working on the Pokemon cross stitch, update coming soon as I am nearly finished another pattern page, and oh my god, I love that show! There’s something about viruses and the end of the world that I love; add Navy guys and shooting and blowing stuff up and I’m in heaven! But now that I’ve finished that until Season 4 starts, I have moved onto House of Lies, a completely inappropriate comedy drama about management consulting. If I say I finished Season 1 in one day….you’ll figure out I’m enjoying this too.
So, until next time, have fun!
My dear friends, Angela and Jay, are having their first bubba in a few months, and to celebrate they had a BBQ get-together with friends and family this past weekend. It was a gorgeous spring day with lots of fun and good food!
Angela asked me to make some cookies for the event, which of course I would have to do! They’ve nicknamed the bub Bug, so there was a ladybug theme, though thankfully not over the top as some baby shower parties can get. Good job on a relaxed and fun party!
I thought I would show a few of my supplies and the process for this set of cookies, as it was pretty full on. The order was for fifty cookies, and due to friend status, I made them big!
Day 1 – I pulled out my DoughEZ rolling mat, trusty rolling pin, and my Baker’s Secret baking trays.
If I just have one batch of cookies, I usually don’t bother pulling out the mat but I had four batches to roll, hand-cut and bake. This mat and its guide rules, just make it so quick and easy to roll to the same thickness and to peel them off. Unfortunately it’s only available from the US via this website but they do ship to Australia. Still, if you make a lot of cookies, pastry, or roll sugarpaste, this mat is definitely worth the cost and I think it’s going to last a lifetime.
The rolling pin I purchased from my TAFE teacher when I did my cake decorating course years ago, so sorry…no idea where it’s from or what it’s called but it is the best rolling pin I have ever had.
The Baker’s Secret pans I have had for a few years now and they are still in great shape. They are non-stick, and just the right colour to not overcook the cookies. They don’t mind metal spatulas being used to lift the cookies after baking. They are reasonably priced as well, about $12-$15 each. I think I’m going to pick up another three to bring my total to six as it was a bit of a handful baking fifty cookies with only three trays.
Unfortunately, my rented house’s oven is utterly terrible. I have to use a oven thermometer every time to achieve the right temperature (not that that is a bad habit) but I have to put the gauge onto 175-180 to achieve 160 degrees C, because the thermostat keeps breaking regardless of how many times it has been readjusted. I’ve learned its quirks but I only feel comfortable baking one tray at a time.
So, four and a half hours of mixing dough, rolling, cutting, baking, and we have 54 cookies ready (always make a few extras in case you mess some up). Another hour to mix up the 1 and a half batches of royal icing and colour it.
Day 2 – Here is everything laid out and ready to go. I make my piping bags from baking paper myself, it’s cheaper than buying plastic piping bags and your icing stays cooler in them as well, especially if you have hot little hands. I pulled out my really good piping tips. I swear by PME!
I managed to get the bases piped in two and a half hours, colour achieved by Americolor Avocado, the darker “outline” lines with just a bit of black icing added to the avocado icing. I left them to dry, and later that night piped the green swirls and dots.
Day 3 – Ladybug time! These took about an hour all up to pipe. I did the bodies and heads, then went back and piped the tiny antennae. The white dots were piped onto the red using the wet on wet technique, just like the green outlines the day before.
The cookies were left to dry for another 24 hours. Look at these little cuties!
Day 4 – Packaging took around ninety minutes. Here they are ready to party!
I’d like to acknowledge Jill’s Funky Cookie Studio, whose design we appropriated for this cookie. She is just fabulous, so you won’t be disappointed if you go to check out her Facebook.
Hope you enjoyed this little journey. Until next time, have fun!
Crafting has been a little tough to come by lately for me. I pinched a nerve in my shoulder, so while that eased up, I couldn’t hold my knitting needles or cross-stitch for more than 10 minutes. I couldn’t even imagine rolling out cookie dough.
Then the flu hit a week ago and has wiped out the hubby and I. Feeling pretty poorly but have done a little cross stitching last night during a brief respite and some more today. I do miss keeping my hands busy with something. It’s a terrible line I’ve found between having no energy and feeling useless for doing nothing. I’ll try not to beat myself up about it too much 🙂
A few more Pokemon have managed to be found since my last update on the Epic cross-stitch. Diglett, and his evolution Dugtrio, and their catty friend Meowth, who is just the cutest!
Diglett leads to a fun little story about one of Jason and my early Pokemon Go walks. We planned to be out for maybe an hour maximum, and ended up chasing Diglett around for over two hours. I nicknamed him Diggles, (I was watching Arrow at the time which has a character called John Diggle) which caused me much amusement as Jason just hated me doing it.
“His name’s DIGLETT!”
He gave in eventually, and Diglett shall forever be known now as Diggles.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know at the time that Pokemon Go didn’t clear out the de-spawned Pokemon (now since fixed) and it was just after the three footprints glitch happened, so we were basically chasing a ghost. We got a lot of steps that afternoon!
Anyways, enjoy this little update, and I hope that I’ll be feeling better real soon and back to crafting more.
Until next time, have fun!
Spelling dachshund is pretty hard, don’t you think? I can see why they get called sausage dogs, it’s just easier.
This lil guy was the inspiration for these cookies that I FINALLY made for my sister Lisa. I always say better late than never. This is Mustard, my sister’s cutie of a dachshund.
I have been out of practice with making cookies, so I tried to keep it simple, and sometimes that works out to be super cute. I can imagine Mustard doing a lot of napping and begging like these guys below, though a soccer ball is probably bigger than him!
Hopefully you can see in this closeup I used a pink luster dust on the cheeks. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have used a sparkly one 🙂 Poor puppies, all prettied up and nowhere to go.
I painted on their eyebrows with a little black powdered food colouring.
I wanted to show you two types of balls I did. The lower soccer ball is a more traditional pattern, but I think it just looks crap, really crowded and lacking definition. So I simplified a bit more and I think they look great now.
Definitely not my best cookies by far, but made with love! There’s some air bubbles in the royal icing, which caused a hole in the foreleg of the above dog cookie and dimpling in almost all of them. I couldn’t find my best piping tips, so everything just looks a little sloppy to me. I guess I need to do a sort of my cookie supplies! But even if my skills are lacking, it was fun to get back to this. Now I need to decide what to make with the leftover cookie dough and icing 🙂
Until next time, have fun.
As promised, I’m sharing my progress on the Epic Pokemon cross-stitch. It’s going well, many hours of The Wire have been watched, in so far as I’m on the last episode of Season 4.
I managed to do these two guys – Growlithe and Arcanine. Loving their hair, rock on puppies!
Here’s the total progress so far. It’s getting there. Last week I made a quite outrageous claim to Jason that I was going to see if I could finish by Christmas. I understand the importance of reasonable goals but occasionally the crazy ones can push you to achieve as well. Even if I don’t make it, the amount I will have done will still be pretty impressive. The challenge is on!
It still amazes me with the level of detail each Pokemon has with just a few colours.
I decided after the Pokemon puppies, I would focus on getting rid of some of the pattern pages, rather than focusing on one or two. That’s why you can see like part of four different Pokemon above.
Because it feels like absolutenheaven when you go from this:
Until next time, have fun!
A few days ago I finished knitting the first of two socks. I’m going to call it the Zanzibar sock after the name of the colourway, Zanzibar. To any that don’t know, colourway just seems to be knitter’s fancy schmancy way of saying the name of the yarn’s colour. I suppose thinking about it now, a lot of yarns aren’t just one colour….
I didn’t get this post up earlier with looking after a sick hubby and then me feeling crappy with a pinched nerve in my neck/shoulder. But here we are now.
I was nervous about doing a cuff-down sock because of the possibility of running out of yarn. I cast on 68 stitches for what was calculated to be the size i needed, and I went with two inches of 1 by 1 ribbing on the cuff, followed by another half inch of stockinette before I started the heel flap. This is where you knit only half the stitches to go down the back of the heel. You then do a heel turn using short rows, but not the same wrap and turn ones I tried on my first sock. No holes here baby!
I think the sock looks a little weird here, as if it doesn’t sit flat, but note it hasn’t been washed and blocked yet.
There’s also that super unfortunate line across the ankle where the blue transitions to yellow. Booooo!
After the heel turn came the part that I had read a lot of people hate – picking up and knitting the gusset stitches. I think it’s because they don’t know how many to pick up, or are afraid of holes that can appear. I think i did pretty good, I can’t see any holes, so yay! I did watch a few YouTube videos demonstrating the gusset pickups, that really helped.
I went from 34 stitches on the back up to 66, with 34 stitches on the front, or instep of the sock. It felt very awkward with that many stitches for a while, but they go down as you do the gusset decreases to reduce the number of stitches back down the original number. Once it was down to normal, it was just knitting in the round until I got to the toe, where it was the same type of decreases to cause the curved shape.
Here’s a close up of the toe decreases from the side of the sock. You can see the strange ridge all along the sock up the foot where these stitches were the middle of the round so they have a different tension, but when it is washed the stitches will adjust and the line should disappear.H
This picture below shows the sock as it was knitted, working the stitches up towards the toe. Decreases were done one before and one after the side stitches. These are basically knitting two stitches together in different ways to give the sloping effect.
It was scary and exciting to try it on at the end. Good news – It fits perfectly and even on my fat ankle foot, so I won’t need to adjust anything for sock number two. I’ll definitely show you how they look on when I finish the second one.
I’ve already cast on and down a few rounds of the cuff for the second sock. I shall not succumb to “second sock syndrome” 🙂
You can also see my leftover yarn from ball one, compared to ball two. In all, I used 33 grams out of 55 grams (ball two is 50 grams). I guess i’ll have to make some baby socks to use up this yarn….?
This was a very enjoyable knit. Even though it’s plain, seeing the colours change frequently kept my interest as well as learning some new techniques. I learned to knit decreases, in the form of k2tog (knit two stitches together) and the ssk (slip slip knit) and also how to knit through the back loop, which causes a twist in the stitch. Picking up stitches no longer seems as scary either. Well that it’s for now. I’ll be back probably tomorrow with a Epic Pokemon Cross-stitch update!
Until next time, have fun!
This week’s treat is Sesame Honey Slice! It’ll make 12 but be careful, they are so more-ish.
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup SPLENDA Granulated Low Calorie Sweetener
175g rolled oats
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
My adjustments – Used butter instead of margarine, used white sugar instead of Splenda and added 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds. I sort of thought when making this they should have called it “Honey Oat Slice with a little bit of sesame”. So feel free to add more more more!
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/160 degrees C fan-forced. Grease and line an 18cm square baking tin (I used a rectangle slice pan, it really doesn’t matter).
- Melt the margarine in a saucepan with the honey. Stir in the Splenda, oats and sesame seeds.
- Press the mixture firmly into the tin and bake for 20 minutes or until golden.
- Set aside to cool completely. Cut into 12 squares. Store in an airtight container.
You really do need to let the slice cool completely as it’s really soft and will just crumble if you try to take it out. But as it cools, the honey will harden and make it really firm, and you’ll have to get your muscles out to cut through that thing.
As you can tell from the photo, I am terrible at cutting equal sized pieces. But it’s all good, because I am now eyeing off that largest one 🙂
Apologies, I do not know the source of this recipe, it could be from one of the Coles free recipe magazines you can get in stores?
Until next time, have fun.
Recently I’ve been trying to make a sweet snack once a week in attempts to keep the sugar cravings away for Jason and I. I’m on week two of trying to get fitter so please ignore if you can hear my muscles screaming from where you sit.
You may think it’s counter productive to have sweet snacks around but I behave better when I can have a little something, sometimes even resist it completely! I’m aiming to make something on the healthier side (last week it was Fruit and Spice Muffins) or that comes in a smaller portion, as well as avoiding random snack buying costs due to my current unemployment status. I’m prone to having icecream weaknesses….but that really doesn’t help the getting fit goal.
Yesterday I made Spiced Ginger Cookies, which are just delicious. If you like a chewy cookie, you may want to make these. I found this recipe in my August 2012 issue of Super Food Ideas when I recently went through my stash of recipe magazines and yanked out everything I may actually make.
I’m not an enormous ginger fan usually, less is more for me, but I do love gingerbread so I thought these would be a hit. Jason on the other hand, loves it!
170g butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup raw caster sugar
2 tablespoons sliced glace ginger
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees C/150 degrees C fan-forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and golden syrup. Beat until combined. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined and a soft dough forms.
- Place raw caster sugar in a shallow dish. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls. Roll balls in sugar to coat evenly. Place on prepared trays, 5cm apart, to allow room for spreading.
- Using the palm of your hand, flatten slightly. Lightly press 1 piece of ginger into the top of each cookie. Bake for 15-18 minutes, swapping trays halfway, or until light golden. Cool on trays fr 5 minutes Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
I didn’t bother with the rolling in extra sugar or the glace ginger. It certainly doesn’t need it. I also didn’t read the instructions close enough and used heaped tablespoons of mixture per cookie. Be warned, they spread a LOT!
The hardest part is to try not to eat them all at once because they are just too yum.
Until next time, have fun.