Thursday, June 28, 2012

Felt Playhouse Introduction

There has been a myriad of playhouses out in the internet world that I have been admiring for some time now.  I've been meaning to make one for the kiddies for a VERY long time.  Here's one on Homemade by Jill's Blog that I absolutely love!

So since I started blogging again, I thought I would do another tutorial on how to make one of these cute houses for your kids that slide over a table (it's supposed to be a card table, but who has the time to open up a card table every time your kids want to build a fort?).  I'm making one for my dining room table.

So if you want to join me on my sew-a-long, please feel free to!  A few friends of mine will be joining in, so if they allow me to take pictures of their process, I'll post it here! :) Again, bear with me as this is the first time making one, so I'm sure there will be errors to come.. and I'm sure there are better ways to make one, but this is my way. :)

1) Let's start by taking some measurements.  You'll need the Width, Length, and Height of the table that you want your playhouse to go on top of.

2) Let's figure out how much felt you're going to have to buy.  I go to Joann Fabrics because I can use a 40% off (sometimes 50% off) coupon on one cut of fabric.  Felt doesn't go on sale that often.  The cheaper felt (non-wool) I think comes in a 72" wide bolt.  So let's do some math here.  You will need...
2 of these
2 of these
1 of these- perhaps in a different color felt?

Do you like my doodling?  Can you see the photoshop expertise? :)  Yup, that's about the best I can do. Let's add a 1" seam allowance to each edge (the bottom edge can have one too just to make the bottom neat if you'd like, but I'm too lazy to sew when unnecessary).  For me this looks like 36.5W, 60.25L, 30.5H.  Now here comes my handy dandy doodling expertise again...

I try to maximize yardage here so you don't have to buy too much felt.  I figure since it's felt and just a playhouse, you don't need to worry about the grain and can cut the pattern in any direction.  I calculated that I need about 2 and 3/4 yards of fabric to be able to cut my 4 sections out like the above doodle.  There will be a little excess that I can use for detailing.  I wanted the roof to be a different color, so I just bought another yard and few inches for the roof piece.

Ok, hope that gets you started to figure out how much fabric you need to purchase.  So go out and buy your fabric!! If you feel like you don't have a creative bone in your body, ask your child to draw out 4 walls of a house.. give him/her some suggestions and you'll have your blueprint ready to go!  I'll show you our blueprint on my next post! 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Little Pony Fluttershy

So my 6 year old and I were having this argument about what this My Little Pony character's name was.

 I INSISTED it was shutterfly.. like the website.  She INSISTED that it was fluttershy.  Somehow after discussing this for like an hour, I convinced the poor girl that it was shutterfly.  Mommy always wins.. then we went to this My Little Pony birthday party where the birthday girl herself told me the pony was Fluttershy.  AH! I led my poor girl astray because of my pride telling me that a 6 year could not know more than her much older and wiser mother.  Oh the young will shame the old.

So I was asked to make these cookies for a friend's daughter's party and so I thought I would do my first tutorial.  So bare with the me here if it's too wordy or boring. :)

First things first, draw the picture on a piece of paper.  Because I don't own a kopykake and didn't want to spend $ on a cutter that I might never use again, I did this all by hand.  I drew fluttershy and E embellished it with the butterflies and the stripe in the tail. :)

I put packing tape around the edges so that the image was a little firmer when cutting the dough, and so the ink wouldn't be in direct contact with the dough.

Roll out the dough

Lay your image on the dough and cut the outline with a knife.

Here's the cut dough.. Hubs says it looks like an elephant.  I usually chill for 20-30 minutes before baking simply because all the cutting can soften the dough a lot.


Now after I bake the cookies, when any design is intricate and has distinctive proportions, I like to use a food pen to draw out the design before I get to the icing.  It's more work, but it would kill me to ice freehand and then realize the proportions were incorrect.

Fluttershy drawn out with a food pen
 (Side note: Every time I type fluttershy, I first type shutterfly and have to backspace.. see, I still think I'm right! :))

You can see how none of them are perfect.  The one on the right front didn't have a good head or eye, so I drew over it to fix it.  That's the nice thing about drawing it first!
 Then I outline the image with black icing.  I used a 15 second icing when I outline or my hand cramps from trying to pipe when it's too thick.
I tend to stay real close to the cookie on intricate parts and pull up and away on  longer/straighter lines.

Fill in the hair
Fill in the body color. 

Using a #1 tip, Fill in the outer eye color (I filled in the black part when I was outlining)

Fill in the blue

Again with #1 tip, draw over the eyelash to make it stand out

The butterflies
Now, I was in a bit of a rush and didn't have any more clean #1 tips, and was trying to finish quickly, so I got sloppy here.  Tried to make little butterflies, and really should have used a much thicker consistency of icing, but because I already had the the 15 second icing  in the right colors, I just used that.  Why go through the trouble of taking it out of the bags and thickening it?  Well, it spread too much and didn't have the pretty detail I wanted.  Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

 Here are the cookies finished and ready to go.. I think there were about 18 in all.  They dry matte, but with a slight sheen.

Funny thing is that I wanted to cut all the cookies around the wings individually, but after like 2, I got too tired.. so what started as this, turned to...

this. hehe I think it was fine. :)

Had to pack these bad boys in quart bags because they were so big!
Alrighty, hope this wasn't too picture heavy and your enjoyed the tutorial! Happy baking everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Violin Cookies

Here's another fun cookie!  Made Violin cookies for a friend this week to give to their kid's violin teachers.  They were simple, delicate and fun!

Some of them had 3 strings because I didn't think to look at a picture until I already did a few :)

Orchestra anyone?
Lately I've been cutting all these cookies by hand because 1) I'm too lazy to go looking for a cookie cutter, 2) There isn't a great selection of cutters anywhere near home.  I should probably buys some cutters, but you know the moment that I decide to purchase a select few, I'll never use them and then will be in need of other ones.. know what I mean?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Twin's Baby Shower cookies

I love the idea of "two peas in a pod".. So when a friend asked to make cookies for a friend's twin baby shower, I just jumped at the chance!

In retrospect I wish that I made the peas in a flesh tone.. oh well, next time! :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Hungry Caterpillar and a Dump Truck

Last week was a crazy week with two big orders.. One was for The Hungry Caterpillar Themed cookie and another for a Construction themed birthday party.

Love how they turned out!  The truck was a lot of piping work.. I think I don't charge enough for some of these detailed cookies.. ah well.  Next time. :)

So simple and cute.. Hope the family liked them as much as I liked making them.

Very simple cookies, but so cute.  They started out really small, but somehow got to be almost 6"!!  They were gigantic! haha.  I tried to make the watermelon color authentic with a little swirl effect, but it didn't come out as I would have liked.. ah well..

Don't they look huge?! :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Infinity dress (AKA: 100 different way dress)

A few weeks ago we decided to hit the outlet malls and came across a little kiosk that was selling these 100 way dresses.  There were ladies standing there pulling people aside to have them try it on and as I was watching with my daughter, I was really drawn in by the way it looked!  Beautiful fabrics and very cute styles you could turn this dress into.  Anyway... my daughter starts begging me to buy one for her (yes, she's only 6 and it's already begun).  I started to look at the fabric and realize that it's the simplest little thing that I could probably make at home.  So I decide to forego the $80 that they were charging (can you believe it?!!!) and try to make it myself.

E and I went to the fabric store and I said she could pick any 2 fabrics for her dress.  This is what she picks..

Haha.. tell me these fabrics don't remind you of Blanche Deverou from Golden Girls?  I kept trying to convince her that there were other fabrics.. but nope.. she was smitten with these. :)  So I reluctantly agreed and took the fabric home (oh by the way cost less than $10).  So here's what I came up with.

It's basically a half circle with a waistband and two layers.. How simple is that!  Now it did take a bit of calculations to figure out the whole circumference of a circle divided by 6.(something or other) to find the radius, etc.. but other than a little math, it was a very easy project and didn't take long at all!

Here's a closeup of the binding.  Because there was a slight stretch to the fabric, I used a stretch stitch to bind the waistband to the main body.

My husbands first words in reaction to me was, "What is it?" haha. After I told him, he said, "Oh.. ok.. E is going to be so excited when she sees it!"  I almost want to wake up her to try it on, but I will be a good mom and let her sleep.  Until tomorrow baby... it will be like Christmas morning.

Edit: So I showed E the dress this morning and she went crazy over it.  I'm telling you mamas... if you can sew, you DEFINITELY have to make one of these for your little girls!  Here's a few pictures of the different ways you can wear it.

The one shoulder

I don't know what to call this.. 
But here's the back of it.. maybe the criss cross?

The wrap
I have no more caption ideas, but you get the jist. :)
Basic Skirt
Different kind of skirt

She's such a ham.. haha. By the end she was getting tired of me taking pictures so I had to stop.  Anyway, hope you like it!  Go and make one now! :)

Ninjago Cookies

Had a request for Ninjago cookies.. Had NO idea who in the world was Ninjago and had to google it.  :)  Apparently it's this little ninja like fellow that's a cartoon/lego.  Very cute.  I think boy parties are so hard to think of themes, but this looks like such an awesome idea I had to do it!  I don't own a kopykake or projector that a lot of cookie decorators do, so I had to make due with drawing everything by hand..

I also had to cut these bad boys by hand too.  Cute right?  Looks like R2D2. :)

I thought they turned out pretty good considering I am really not an artist, and I had to freehand them!

His name is Kai.. looks kind of scary to me with those robot like hands. hehe

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flower Cookies

Such a simple cookie and so fun to make!  Made these for someone who was sending their condolences to a family who lost a loved one.

Three different variations.. one with blue sugar around the rim, one with yellow sugar in the center and one with filled in petals.

Got an inexpensive flower pot and filled it with the cookies to make it look like potted flowers along with a note for the family.

Wrapped and ready to be delivered.  Hope that a little cookie bouquet can bring a moment of joy to a grieving family.