Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Easy Chocolate Chip Biscuits.

These chocolate chip biscuits have to be by far the easiest I have ever made.  They are a recipe my mum gave me and are labelled 'Nan's Lazy Day Biscuits' in her recipe file.  I'm not sure if they were originally my nans recipe or my mums nans but either way they are quick and tasty.  I won't say they are the most delicious, delectable biscuits I have ever tasted but they are yummy (especially with a cup of tea) and so quick to make when you're short of time.  I whipped up a batch today for a friend who's just got home from hospital.

Nan's Lazy Day Biscuits

125gm butter or marg
1 cup castor sugar
1 egg
chocolate chips - I usually use about 3/4 of a packet (or substitute for nuts, sultanas etc)
2 cups of SR flour

Melt butter and sugar and let cool.
Add egg and mix well.
Add chocolate chips and then the flour.  (May need a little milk if mixture is too dry.)
Roll into balls and drop onto tray.
Bake in a moderate oven until golden brown.

For those who love chocolate, add 2 dsp of cocoa into the mix to create a double choc chip biscuit.

These are so easy that anyone in the family can help!

Now time to get that oven on and start cooking.  Yum!

Some Things I Haven't Blogged Yet.

Firstly a car roll I made for my nephews birthday a couple of weeks ago (find my tutorial here).  He is mad about the movie cars and goes silly over anything to do with it.  He told his mum that all he wanted for his 3rd birhtday was 'cars stuff.'  I decided to stick with that idea and made his car roll out of cars fabric.

Next is some knitting.  Some time ago I decided that I wanted to get into knitting so I had something crafty to do away from my machine.  I'm still just learning the skills and haven't made anything exciting yet but I recently saw a scarf my mum had made and decided miss E could do with one.

I got the wool from the reject shop for $2 and the needles were some mum gave me.  I started to knit on the 9mm but decided it wasn't sitting right so went for a 4mm instead.

Here are some modelled shots, unfortunately the only ones I could get as she rips it off whenever I put it on her.  She's just the same with her hats too.  Perhaps I need to invest in some duct tape;-)

Big brother had to get in the photo by giving her a kiss.
Evil grin just before she ripped it off.  The toggle on the front didn't stop her!

It looks so soft and cuddly on, I just wish she's leave it there.

 The next couple of photos are of a few things that have been added to my stash over the past few weeks.  Firstly a bag of things from my mum.  I love visiting my mum as I always end up bringing something home with me to add to my stash.  In this lot were 5 different fabrics, 3 knitting books (I told her I wanted to get into knitting) and a very retro knitting bag with lots of different size needles (apparently she has more needles somewhere to give me).  Thanks mum.

This next picture is of a couple of books I now have in my possesion and have already picked things out of them to make.  The 'Sew' book I bought from a lady in one of the forums I'm in and the 'handmade beginnings' book was a birthday present from one of my big sisters.  I have only had a look through it so far but there are sooo many gorgeous things I want to make.  I'm thinking I might start with either the nappy bag or the baby jacket.  I can't decide.

New Sewing Machine.

Now let me just start by saying the title of this post is a little deceiving.  Technically the machine isn't new but it's new for me and I think I got an absolute bargain.

First let me show you what I was sewing on.  Please note that I LOVE this machine and am not in any way saying anything negative about it.  As my sewing machine service man put it, "it's a work horse and will last forever."  Mum got this for me from a sale the local high school was having the year I started uni.  It was probably one of the ones I learnt to sew on!

Good old Elna machine from 1960's or 70's.  Note the school grafitti all over it.

Close up of grafitti.  I have looked hard but couldn't find my initials anywhere;-)
Now to my new toy.  Obviously I love my Elna machine and an upgrade at this stage in my sewing journey wasn't going to be anything too fancy (although I would love a rather expensive machine that does all sorts of fancy stitches).  I decided that I wanted something that did a little more than my basic machine and so started searching ebay.  To my surprise I found the good old Elna machines (models up from mine) going for more than $200 each.  However, one day I stumbled upon a machine and put a bid on.  To my surprise I got it for the bargain price of $80. 

Time to stop rambling and show you my new toy.

Alright, I know it's not that exciting but I'm pretty chuffed with it.  It's in really great condition (no grafitti on this one) and sews beautifully.  It's even quieter than my original machine which I didn't think possible.  It has space for cams on the top so I can get some nice fancy stitches if I like and it came with 7 different feet, 9 cams and 17 bobbins (a sewer can never have enough bobbins).

This is the exact model my mum has and she bought hers new in the early 70's.  It's still going and has had a lot of use in it's life.  It's made 3 deb dresses (actually I'm pretty sure there were a few extra deb dresses she made for friends), 3 wedding dresses, 10 bridesmaids dresses, 3 mother of the bride dresses, a mountain of calisthenics costumes, quilts, patchwork crafts and clothes for her children and now her grandchildren.  I hope my machine fairs as well as hers and that one day I can be as good at sewing as my mum.  She's one very talented lady.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Themed Sew Along.

I'm almost embarrassed to put up these photos as I'm so disappointed with how these turned out but I've been involved in a sew along and everyone has to reveal their creations.  The theme for this months sew along was under the sea and for me this was an easy one to complete as I already had something on my to do list that suited perfectly.

A couple of months ago I told my nephew I would make him a hat, he just had to choose the fabric.  He was allowed to choose two fabrics as the pattern is reversible so of course he chose two that couldn't have clashed more.  Once I got the fabric home, I decided that they would become two hats with plain colour on the inside rather than the two prints together.

I used a different iron on interfacing to what I have used in the past and I'm so disappointed with how they turned out.  The interfacing puckered and changed the shape of the pieces and as a result, I was left with two hats that I'm not at all happy with.  I'm now thinking of re-making them before his birthday in late July.  The bands and brim obviously changed shape somewhere along the line and I've ended up with quite a few pleats on the the blue whale one.  I must add that it's not the pattern that's the problem here, it's the sewer!  I have made up this pattern before here and they worked so well.  I'm definitely going to stay away from the iron on interfacing for these in the future.

OK, I guess I can't put it off anymore.  Here they are:

Obviously the blue hat fits in with the theme and you can clearly see why I didn't put the two fabrics together in the one hat!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Won!

It's been a few days since I got on the computer and had a look around at blogs I follow and the like, so imagine my surprise when I discovered today I was one of the winners of a $10 voucher over at

I can't wait to spend it but somehow I don't think I'll be just spending the $10. They have too many wonderful fabrics and patterns to choose from.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Birthday Present

There seems to be so many kids birthdays at the moment so this is just the start of my handmade gifts.  This present is for my beautiful god daughter who turned 2 today.  She's a very beautiful, happy, easy going little girl and because I couldn't make it to her first birthday party, I wanted to make her something extra special this year.  Insert pants, pencil roll and matching carry bag.

All ready to be wrapped.
The pants.  These look like they're going to be too big but I have made them so I can take them up easy enough.  I used a vintage pattern from my stash for these.  Nothing fancy but great for wearing everyday.
My hubby is always complaining he can't work out the back of trackies I make so I thought a tag would help on these pants.  The way the tag's made means it's upside down, but it's on the inside so it doesn't matter.
Bag and matching pencil roll.  I love this fabric and it's canvas, so perfect for this project. 
I've made pencil rolls before but added extra height to create a flap this time.  I found in the past that if it's not rolled tight enough, the pencils fall out.  This will hopefully stop that happening.
Matching set.  Plenty of room for a note pad and a few other toys to keep little miss amused.
 I know this present will get lots of use and I will be making another in about 18 months time for her little sister.  That should stop any fights in the future.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's Not Too Cold For This Ice Cream

I have finally got around to making the Oliver + S ice cream top for Miss E.  I will definitely be making this top again and once she starts walking (which won't be too far away) I will make the dress for her too.  It's a very easy pattern to make and finishes off beautifully.  I love the Oliver + S patterns for their instructions and how easy they are to follow.  This is my second pattern of theirs but I can see quite a few more making it into my stash before too long.

The matching shoes are my own pattern (tutorial for these to come one day), they have a vinyl bottom to prevent slips when she's up on her feet which seems to be quite a lot lately.  The vinyl for these I picked up at spotlight recently on the clearance table.  I got 2 meters of it which should make enough shoes to get her through the early walking stage.

Front view.  I love the little 'V' in the neckline.
The button closure at the back is so easy to do and finishes off very neatly.
It's also a good outfit for dancing apparently!
The matching shoes, excuse the food spread across her pants.  I should have taken the photos before lunch.  
You can just see the vinyl on the bottom on the shoes in this one.  Excuse the pink socks, I know they don't really match.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Finally Something For Me.

I have been wanting a dress/long top for a while now that I can just throw on over some leggings or jeans to duck out to the shops if I need to.  I really wanted something in a knit fabric to cover any lumps and bumps I still have from Miss E and believe me there are quite a few.  With two young children, I don't get to the shops much to buy anything for myself so I decided to make a simple dress with some knit fabric I had in my stash (well actually it came from mums stash but is part of mine now).

I found a Burda pattern book at my local library which had the style I was looking for and set about tracing the pattern off, cutting it out and piecing it together.  It was a very easy dress to make but I can't put the details on here as I don't remember which issue it was and I have returned the mag already.  I'm pretty happy with the result but next time I'll be making it in a stronger knit so I don't have to use interfacing in the yoke.  It's a bit stiff and doesn't have much room to move.  I'll also be cutting the yoke out a size or two smaller than the dress as I ended up having to take it up a little on the shoulders to make it fit well.  It could actually come up a little more but I'd have to unpick everything and recut the underarms etc and I won't be doing that in a hurry.

Excuse the picture.  I'm no photographer and my camera is nothing special.
The best thing about this dress was the price:

Pattern  =  $0.00  (borrowed from the local library)
Fabric   =  $0.00  (some from my mums stash)
Interfacing  =  $0.50  (I had this in my stash left over from something else)
Thread  =  $0.00  (some mum gave me from her stash)

TOTAL COST  =  $0.50  (you can't get a dress that cheap in an op shop!)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Baby Sets.

There seem to be so many babies being born at the moment and I love nothing more than giving a handmade gift that is unique and one of a kind.  I was recently asked to make a couple of baby bib and shoe sets for a baby girl with a softie included in the set.  I decided to make a few extra sets to give away as gifts to all those babies that seem to be on the way at the moment.   Here are the five finshed sets.

All these fabrics (except for the spots) I purchased from this fabric shop.  It is such a beautiful shop to browse but I always end up buying something when I go in there.  The owners are just lovely too.
I think this one's my favourite set.
I love this set too but the poor snail didn't really work.  The fabric is this one designed by Deena Rutter.  The other fabrics in this range might end up in my stash very soon.

Oh the poor snail.  He really didn't work.  I used a bit of vintage green fabric for the body but it just didn't sit right.  I think it was too thick.  At least he's got a little bit of character!

I think I need to rethink this pattern too.  This poor bunny is going to find it hard to get pants to fit.
I love this bird softie.  Took a few tries with scrap fabric to get it the way I wanted but it's one I will make again.

Can't go wrong with an elephant.  The fabric on the ears is one of my mums and adds a different texture to the softie.

I think an owl softie would have worked better with this fabric but the elephant is still cute.
Now time to make some baby boy sets.  I just need to source the right fabric, or perhaps I should look through my stash first.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Playing Shops.

I'll have some chocolate please.
And one for mummy too.
Where did he go?