Friday Favourites, the Cupcake Edition

Guess how we spent our Friday afternoon?

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Experimenting with different tips and ways of icing cupcakes!

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We had worked a little bit with icing before, but mostly we were learning as we went along. In the next picture, we have rose attempt #1 and attempt #2… practice really does make perfect🙂

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And speaking of practice… here’s a couple of pictures of us trying out other techniques. We really want an excuse to bake/decorate a cake now!

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Nothing like spending a Friday afternoon learning something new, especially when that something new involves eating a bunch of cream cheese buttercream icing!

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Wednesday Wonders, Another Woops!

So today I (Andrea) have decided to share the story of my home made snowglobes- all the trials and tribulations, and trust me, there were many.

Basically a two Christmasses ago, I saw in various places home made snowglobes, and was told by various sites that all you needed was a jar of some sort, something to put it said jar, fake snow, distilled water, glycerin and glue.

Oh so simple! Or so I thought….Here are pictures of my first attempt.

IMG_0860  Oh so beautiful, you say? Why thank you! Because, it didn’t last!!! Here I have my beautiful glass birdie sitting on it’s “nest” inside of a re-purposed pickled red cabbage jar.

IMG_0865And here, a range of cute characters. The Santa I had for years before and the other characters are those from the traditional Rudolph story. The little jars with snaps came from Michaels, but you can see a re-purposed relish jar peaking out there.

The adorable scene in this jar was actually picked up from the dollar store, it’s IMG_0858supposed to be for one of those Christmas villages scene. But I re-purposed it and the candle jar it ended up in for this project. To add to the pressure of getting this wonderful craft right, this gift was for the parents of my (now) fiance as it was the first time I was going to be meeting them!

Oh, if only they had stayed so wonderful. Unfortunately, almost none of the sites online could tell me specifically what glue to use, and those that did often were the waterless snowglobe type (which by the way also means they don’t have to worry about using only materials that won’t be ruined by prolonged water exposure). So I guessed, and I had to guess not only glues that would hold in water but those that would stick plastic and glass together. But, glue guns, jewelry glue, “cement” glue, model glue, krazy glue, super glue, gorilla glue…yea you guessed it…they ALL failed!!!

After waiting/doing my homework, I found that all these glues lose their hold after a certain amount of time in water…I found out the scientific-y reasons why, but really, when you’ve made about 6 snowglobes that are so beautiful and they have inevitably failed or will fail, you really don’t care WHY. So, I started on taking them apart, which wasn’t so easy when I had super glued the lids shut and because of lack of water around the lids, that glue actually wanted to hold! Which is how, my wonderful birdie snowglobes ended up in pieces all over my basement floor. It was a mess! A watery, glassy, glittery mess! If you’ve never cleaned up glass and fake snow in water, I’ll tell you now you really don’t want to!

So resigning myself to the fact that all glues suck and Christmas was coming, I decided to do the waterless thing, and stuck with my krazy glue.

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Aw, so purty! And after days (because by the way, this process takes days when allowing for the glue to dry entirely!) I was very content with my waterless snowglobe gifts. And the in-law’s gift did actually remain waterless. In a way waterless are really good if you’re giving them as gifts and transporting, or just really paranoid about when you pack them away until next year, because you can be sure they won’t break and spill everywhere. And, you can still achieve the same snowy effect as the glitter sticks to the glass jars when it’s shaken around.

However, when this past Christmas came around and I was unpacking my ornaments etc, my desire to beat (yes, beat) this project overwhelmed me, and that is how my dad ended up hearing my rant about the craft and how I discovered the solution from the most unexpected place! Now, some of you may be thinking you already know the solution, and to be honest, I feel I should have thought of this before and on my own, but I guess I was just having one of those mental blocks.

So, in any case it was my dad who just simply looked at me and said, ‘well why don’t you use silicone?’! DING DING DING, the lights go on! Silicone, bathroom, glue, water, humidity!!! And I’m sitting there just wondering why the heck I hadn’t thought of that by myself sooner!  I both love and hate these moments.

Thus, with a vengeance I went to the store, found myself a small container of silicone (you know, not what you would use for caulking in the bathroom or anything), got out my jars again, all the little figurines and set to work (because this project was also going to take a few days with silicone drying time factored in).

Since I just packed up my Christmas things not that long ago, I can tell you the silicone holds up, unfortunately, I should have also taken the time at the store to get distilled water like I had the first time. My snowglobes now look yellowy in comparison to those first pictures you saw because of my choice of straight tap water. So, for anyone else, use DISTILLED water, it does look noticeably better.

Here is a picture of how my birdie snowglobe ended up.

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I kept him out all Christmas long because of the hardship it was just to get to this point. But he’s really not all that good. When he smashed on the floor originally, he got a little hole in his head (see pic on right); I’m actually amazed he just didn’t smash to pieces like his container. Because of the hole in his head, when I filled this jar with water and turned it over most of it filled the hollow glass birdie up, hence the low water line on the snowglobe. As I had already glued the lid shut I couldn’t really just fill it up more, thus he looks like this and will be getting thrown out now. At least, the other ones I did worked out, though slightly yellowed. And now I know for the future.

So for those who would like to give this a go, whether for Christmas or something else, here is what you need.

-A plastic or glass container

-a figurine that fits said container (and won’t be ruined by water)

-glitter/fake snow (optional)

-silicone glue

-distilled water

AND patience!!!

Happy Crafting!

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Wednesday Wonders – March 13

Today’s WW post is… more coasters! I am a little hooked on coasters right now, not gonna lie.

Remember the cute white round coasters from our last WW post? I know, that was like a million years ago in internet time. So to recap: cute white coasters! Yay!

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I was thinking about other patterns and colours that I could do, because like I said, I’m obsessed intrigued with all the possibilities for coasters/trivets/potholders etc. Then I realized that coasters would probably be a great project to learn about switching yarn colours – armed with a quick Google search and some blue and white yarn, I decided to make some simple variations on the same round coaster pattern I used for the white set.

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And I love how they turned out! (Sorry for the picture quality – my camera battery died on me and I was way too impatient to let it charge, so used my phone instead.)

What I love about this set is that it’s fun, and bold, but still quite simple. And you could easily make a set of 4 (or however many) of only one pattern, to make a completely matching set. I like how all four colour variations look together though.

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Or you could pick only one of the bullseye pattern variations–say colour, white, colour–but use four different colours to make a set. Since Spring is on the way (hopefully? we think?), what about beautiful, bright colours like pink, green, purple, and blue?

-Lillian

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Friday Favourites- Free Form

TGIF!

And for all those who have casual Fridays or feel that Fridays should be more laid back, this post is for you!

Today we’re featuring some beautiful free form crochet pieces from the blog Le petit nuage de Marie.

Free form, for those who don’t know, is exactly that, creating something without a preconceived form or design. Now, I don’t think it’s cheating to use a pattern nor un-creative, but there is something about free form anything that is just so beautifully artistic to me. I believe it’s the unique nature of each piece and the inspiration behind each piece that I love seeing.

The inspiration behind this piece was clouds, see full post here.

This inspiration behind this “square” was the sun, see full post here. Even if you can’t read French you can see the beauty of these pieces.

Eventually her pieces will come together to form a bag, these being only two of the four designs. However, you could do so much with pieces like this; you could stitch a bunch together for blankets, pillows, etc, or just use a few as the focal points in such work. I also particularly like the idea of turning one into a piece of artwork for your wall, either more as a tapestry or in a frame. It would be a beautiful way to show off your own creative talents, personalize your home and add colour to it.

If you do speak French and you like the idea of free form but need some inspiration, maybe check out Crocheter en libertĂ©. There they have monthly “challenges” and you can post your creations and see others.

For those who have no set plans this weekend, enjoy free forming it! Enjoy living in the moment and going with the flow.

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Wednesday Wonders – Feb 27

Well, the calendar might say we’re heading towards Spring, but I’m not sure Mother Nature cares… Although yesterday was warm enough to make all our giant icicles crash to the ground (side note: am I mean person for laughing at my cats freaking out about that? cause it was hilarious), it then snowed all night and most of the morning, so we are back to a lovely winter wonderland.

I don’t know about you, but to me days like this with snow falling steadily and all the tree branches outlined in white mean only one thing: curling up with a mug of tea or hot chocolate. Which is perfect for the newest addition to our crocheted items for sale page: coasters!

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coaster 004These ones are simple but elegant in white, but they would look adorable in any other colour too, depending on the colour of your mug sets or decor.

This set is a fairly simple pattern, double crochets in the round, but I’ve seen a bunch of others that I’m curious to try – flower or scalloped shape, granny squares, lacy ones… the options seem endless – so I doubt this is the only post featuring coasters that will appear on QC!

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Friday Favourites – Amigurumi

This week’s Friday Favourite is not something we have made, but rather something we want to make.

Amigurumi, aka crocheted stuffed animals. Free amigurumi patterns can be hard to find, so we were happy to stumble on to this pintrest board: amigurumi free patterns. Pintrest to the rescue! Now we have lots to choose from as we start to explore this form of crochet — so exciting!

Like this giraffe, for instance, from I love Buttons by Emma. Love this pattern, he is so cute!

Or what about these adorable bear Christmas ornaments from All About Ami? (Yes, yes, we know it’s almost the end of February. We can’t help it, we love all things Christmas!) These little guys are so cute, they could be anything, not just Christmas ornaments.

Or this cheerful little penguin, from ageingyoungrebel.fi! He reminds me of watching Pingu as a kid.

We could keep linking adorable patterns all day… how are we going to pick one to try out as a first amigurumi project?

How about you – which ones do you like best? Have you tried or do you want to try amigurumi? Do you have a favourite place to go for amigurumi patterns?

It’s a pretty safe bet that some of our own attempts will start showing up soon in blog posts here!

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Wednesday Wonders- February 20th

Hello all!

Today’s post was very much inspired by my (Andrea writing, by the way) fiance’s trip to Montreal; with him gone, I have been left to tackle the dishes myself. Yes, that’s correct, when fiance is here I don’t do dishes. We have a deal. It’s awesome.

So basically what I’m saying is, I’m going to try to make as few as dishes as possible! Which brings me to the subject of dishcloths!! Exciting, no? Well, maybe not, but I still have preferences when it comes to dishcloths. When we moved in together, most of our linens etc came from my mom’s place, good old hand me downs. Somehow dishcloths and kitchen towels seem to be one of those things that you can collect a lot of and quickly! Thus, I know that when I grab for a new dishcloth I tend to pick out the same ones- the knitted or crocheted kind. I like that they are soft but good for scrubbing because of their bulk and they don’t wear down like those paper towel thin ones that always end up with holes.

And so, I present to you my crocheted dishcloths!

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(Say hello to my snowman! Yes, I insist I can have winter decorations up if there is still snow on the ground!!)

 

 

This is a beautiful blue/teal mix set, which is machine washable and dryer friendly! These guys have a fun bumpy texture which will hold up to years of scrubbing. I am also picturing a pinky set, a white/grey set, and a green set.

Happy sudds-ing up!!

 

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