pigeon post

yes our pigeon is still alive and well!
see you all next year! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

last minute makes for children to make...#4

peppermint creams - these are easy peasy and taste really cool and made extra special and extra fun to make with the drizzled chocolate...
makes about 20 using a 5cm/ 2inch round cutter. also you will need to make them a day before you want to give/ eat them!

1 large egg white
450g/ 1lb icing/ confectioner's sugar
few drops peppermint oil

for the drizzled chocolate topping:
100g/ 4oz of your favourite chocolate, i used dark
few drops of peppermint oil

beat the egg white with a fork until frothy.
add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time until a soft and not sticky anymore, dough is formed (you may not need all the icing sugar).
work in a few drops of the peppermint oil with your (clean) hands to taste.
dust a work surface with icing sugar and roll out (dust the rolling pin with sugar too) to 6mm/ 1/4inch thick,.
cut into rounds and lay onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment dusted with icing sugar.
melt the chocolate until very runny - either in a microwave or in a bowl set over barely simmering water - adult - may need your help for this hot water bit!. Then when it is all melty and runny, stir in a couple of drops of peppermint oil.
with a teaspoon allow the chocolate to dribble and scribble all over the creams... i then sprinkled a little edible glitter over as extra wintery sparkle effect.
leave then to dry out over night - the creams will go hard but still have the soft smooth minty creaminess  as you bite into them.
pack into bags with a hand written tag.

last minute makes for children to make...#3

my small son made these 3 kings cards for his teachers' cards - just simple folded paper dollies:

  1. take a piece of paper (8.5" x 11") and cut it lengthwise.
  2. fold it into quarters accordian (pleated) style.
  3. draw a figure of a person on the top layer. be sure that the arms extend beyond the edge of the folded sheet.
  4. cut the figure out and unfold. you will get a chain of dolls/ kings holding hands.

last minute makes for children to make...#2

knitted pink sugar mice
i know i've posted this one before but it's such and easy project for young knitters to attempt that i thought you may like to see it again although this pattern is knitted as flat knitting, not in the round as before - a bit easier for smaller hands...

ive used the instruction kfb throughout this pattern which means knit into the front and then onto the back of a stitch to increase - there is a good u-tube video here to show you how to do this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILcTB5hc0XM
using size 3 1/2mm or 4mm needles and a 4 ply, sock or fine dk yarn, cast on 2sts.

Row 1 knit into the front and then the back of the first stitch to increase (called kfb), do the same  kfb increase to the other stitch. 4sts
Row 2 kfb, k2, kfb. 6sts Row 3 P6. Row 4 [Kfb, k1] 3 times. 9sts Row 5 P9. Row 6 [Kfb, k2] 3 times. 12sts Row 7 P12. Row 8 [Kfb, k5] 3 times. 15sts Row 9 P15.
keep knitting in stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row) until the mouse measures (approx.) 7cm/ 2 3/4in from the tip of its nose. Bind off all stitches.
finger knitting with 3 strands or a knitting dolly tail with 4 strands works well for the mouse's tail, or  simply just  braid 3 strands of yarn. sew the tail on.
sew the seam from the tip of the nose to the bind off edge.
Cut a tiny 6mm/ 1/2in diameter (approx.) circle from the felt. Cut the circle in half for each ear. Oversew these to the top of the head. Work stitches over the tip of the nose in black thread. Sew on the beady eyes (or embroider them on with little knots if you wish).

last minute makes for children to make...#1

we have a week to go  so why not fill your time... because of course you have lots of it!!!  - er, yes, ok, start again - for children to read only - you have a week to go so why not fill your time with a few simple makes (secret pressies for your family perhaps?!) - first up, simplest dolly peg dollies, my daughter made these for her friends... take a dolly peg and with a fine tipped pen draw on a characterful face, one with attitude...  next cut a 15cm/ 6inch x 2.5cm/ 1inch wide strip of ribbon (or any strip of cloth or even a strip of pretty paper) and the same length of sewing thread or fine yarn. Wind the ribbon around the 'body' of the doll - May found that putting glue from a glue stick onto the body first helped the ribbon to stay in place. wind the thread around the ribbon starting in the middle of the thread, winding both ends around the ribbon dress then tying the ends of the thread together in a knot. Cut lengths of yarn for the hair. rub a blob of glue onto the top of the peg then lay the yarn over the glue and leave to dry. May tied the hair or braided it to suit.

...more Christmas fun...

ho ho pixie and baby outfits ready for you to knit - one pattern fits both and they are super quick to make - here's the links etsy  and ravelry (for baby) ravelry (for pixie)... merry Christmas to you all!

goodbyee sweet Sophie!

sweet sophie is off to lovely, lovely cardiff in wales today - i know she will be very happy there - i used to live there!... if you too (and you live in uk or europe) there is still time to get one before Christmas - it's last day for US, - the post goes at 4.00gmt! you could you know if you're quickety quick!

New shoes for Appley this Christmas

..or you could hang these teeny tiny shoes from your Christmas tree... the pattern for all three is available from etsy or ravelry

Off to the U.S.A...

no, not me (sadly)... her, lucky lady! my first ever handmade doll sale, i've only ever sold the patterns and i love making them.... and, guess what there is still time to catch the Christmas mail (p.s. my dolls do have little pants on too but they didn't want me to show you them - very shy...)