Friday, December 11, 2009

Old piece of embroidery

WWhile I was rummaging through a pile of old pics on the pc I came across this table cloth I did years & years ago. Took me months to do it & was my first major piece of cross stitch.
Just wanted to show you guys.


Pics courtesy of MiddleChild. Yep she took pictures then too.

BookBaker Out!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A little black dress for my sister

AA little black dress for my sister. I sew this a few months ago out of a piece of black satin that was lying around.

I know, I know, It's far from perfect. But I think it looks good on her.

It obviously needs to be ironed. And in retrospect, if i were to do this again I would probably change a few things.

1. Use fusible interfacing for hems. ( I've just discovered them & am using them for everything.. :D)
2. Not use so many darts.

But for all the imperfections, in my defense, I designed, made the pattern, cut & sew this all by myself. And my sister looks gorgeous in it. And when I make something for her, that's all I can ask for right?

Pictures courtesy of MiddleChild. Thank you. :)

BookBaker out!. (dorky much? I'm just watching Stargate Universe & it's catchy) :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chocolate Crescent Rolls

I I love these chocolate filled rolls. They are perfect for a rainy afternoon like today. Or for any afternoon or occasion for that matter.

I found the recipe at LittleBirdieSecrets and couldn't wait to try it out. Their original recipe can be found here.
I did a few minor adjustments so that I could use whatever ingredients I had at home at the moment and trust me, they were perfect. LittleBirdieSecrets intended these little wonders for thanksgiving. But, as 1. we have no thanksgiving in Sri Lanka 2. These are great for any time of the year,  I made these for my sister's birthday.

Ingredients I used (please refer the post by LittleBirdieSecrets to see what the original recipe calls for)

As you will see I halved the quantities for my use.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
a sachet (2 tbsp) instant yeast
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup powdered milk
1/4 cup sugar
A little water
a pinch of salt

a bit of softened margarine
a few chunks of chocolate ( I used caterer's chocolate, but I guess any kind is fine)

How to

Mix all the ingredients except the margarine & chocolate in a large bowl. It will be sticky. But don't mind it. Let it to rest for 45 minutes. Taking a tip from the LittleBirdies,  you can put the bowl in a large kitchen garbage bag, tie the opening & leave it. Or else you can cover the bowl with a wet tea towel & leave it to rest. (I use the tea towel technique when making bread)

After 45 minutes, punch down & leave to rest for another 45 minutes.

When the time is up, break the dough in to a several pieces. I make bite sized rolls. If you want to make bite sized ones, on a floured surface roll out the dough pieces into circles of the size of a dinner plate.

Spread softened margarine on to rolled out dough.

Cut into wedges. Like this

Put a piece of chocolate on the wide end of each wedge and starting from the wide end, roll inwards. Tuck the pointed end underneath & shape the roll like a crescent. Something like this

And yeah, I forgot to shape my ones into crescents. So they're not exactly crescent rolls. anyway, moving on,
place the rolls on a baking sheet & bake in a preheated oven at 400 F for about 10 minutes or till they're golden. My crescent rolls were small, so they only needed to be baked for about 7 minutes.

When they bake, they smell so yummy & yeasty. I love the freshly baked smell of buns & breads. yum yum.

That's about it. My folks loved it. But MiddleChild for whose birthday I made these & exon wished I had put something savoury or spicy in them instead of chocolate. Oh, well.

The pictures courtesy of (as always) MiddleChild. Thank you very much.

Let me know if you make this. :) Happy baking!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Really easy beaded necklace


This is a simple necklace that's super easy to make & is really pretty. All you need to make this are the following simple things.
1.  Crochet yarn or pearl cotton (floss) of the colour of your choice
2.  Tiny shiny beads

3. One big bead of the colour of your yarn for the clasp

How to make the necklace

1. Decide how long you want your necklace to be.
Overall, mine is around 44 inches before clasping it, so once I wear mine it becomes 22"& reaches down to my waist.
2. Decide how many strands you're going to have in your necklace.
I made mine with three strands. You can make yours with starting from 2 strands to as many as you want.
3. Add around an inch or two to your overall length of choice & cut the number of strands you want from your yarn.
I used brown pearl cotton & used three strands of yarn of 45"
4. Tie one end of all three (hypothetically) strands together in a knot. Make sure that the knot won't come off, unraveling the necklace.
5. Here's the fun part. Beading.
I used tiny shiny metal beads. But you can use anything you like.
Start inserting the strands of yarn through the beads. (To make beading easier you can thread the yarn through separate needles if you wish)
To begin with insert the only first yarn through first bead, then the first & the second yarn both together through the second bead, all three yarns together through the third bead, the second & the third yarn through the fourth bead & so on. You can mix the order as you wish. See the picture.

6. Continue beading until you come to the other end of your yarn. Like me, when beading you can leave space between the beads or insert beads so that the yarn won't show.
7. Tie the loose ends in a knot & trim.
8. Sew the big bead you selected to one end.
9. To the other end, sew a loop with the same yarn to clasp the bead you attached.

That's it. See how easy it is. I wear mine. So should you. You made it yourself.

Pictures courtesy of MiddleChild. Thank you very much. :D

I'm sure this can also be made with really thin metal wire & beads. When I make one, I'll put it up here. :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shopping alone

I I went shopping in the morning. You can't call it a proper shopping spree exactly but well, I had to go.I had downloaded a few dress patterns & didn't have good fabric to make them with. I saw this shop on Galle road with a nice name & it looked like they'd have a good stock of material. Guess what!! Big surprise! They didn't have anything good.

Well, not anything. I found a lovely crepe Georgette (I still don't know what I'm going to do with it) and bought silk in 2 colours. Maroonish brown & navy blue. I know exactly what I'm going to sew with them. So when I'm done I will post some pics in here. And guess for whom one of them is? 

You know how shopping is boring when done alone. You need a partner to go shopping with. In my case if I shop alone not only I tend to shop faster (Who wants that?) I scoot through everything so fast that Im not having half the fun I'd be having with another person. And when I'm alone I don't go to the same shop twice and don't back track. (Oh humanity!)

People I usually shop with.

1. My man
Awww.. He complains. Of course he does. But I think he likes to complain about my shopping & I like him complaining about it. What endears him to me most is when he sits in a shop while I'm parading  in front of him in different "costumes" (heh hee...) or browsing through all the shoes/clothes/fabric/paper/jewelry/etc/etc/etc (depending on what shop we are in) and manages to look so bored but answers all my questions in rapid succession, never missing a beat.
(Do you think I'm fat?- No darling, Are you sure?-yes of course, does this make me look fat?- No, maybe you should pick white)
One of the reasons I love him so...

2. Nangi

We have so much fun shopping together. We strategically don't whine about the things we can't have ("Oohh.. Isn't that a gorgeous top?" Look at the price tag "Nah.. The colour isn't all that flattering".
Something I've noticed, my sis & I manage to have the most philosophical conversations while we shop.(Contrary to the popular belief that shopping & deep thoughts don't go together). Sometimes we fight. But there's no argument that a good shopping spree can solve between the two of us.

3. My self (The topic being people I usually shop with, I shop with myself)

Moving on from shopping news, I've decided to have a craft resolution for every month. That's gotta be fun. This is apart from all  the sewing & what not.

And my craft resolution for this month?
I'm going to learn wire crochet. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Banana Chocolate chip cake

This is something very easy to whip up with a few easy to find ingredients at home. Although when one thinks about it, bananas & chocolates don't go together, this one turned out to be rather nice.


250 g plain flour
150 g white sugar (No need to be Castor sugar, granulated is just fine)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp ground cinnamon (Or not, according to taste)
120 g caterer's chocolate, broken or cut into little chips/chunks. (The quantity of chocolate can be varied according to how chocolaty you want the cake to be)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (115 g) butter melted & cooled. (I actually used margarine) (And a little more for the baking tin)
3 ripe large bananas (approx 450 g) mashed well. ( The 1st time I made this I didn't mash them properly & the little chunks of banana in the cake weren't too bad either)

1 tsp vanilla extract
about 1tbs cocoa powder


Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
Grease the baking tin with butter & dust with cocoa powder
Mix all the dry ingredients except the cocoa powder together (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon & chocolate)
Mix all the liquid/wet ingredients together ( eggs, butter, bananas, vanilla)
Pour the liquid ingrient mixture into the dry ingredients & mix.
Pour into the baking tin & bake for 55 to 60 minutes.

Serve with chocolate melted with a bit of butter. (It gives a nutty taste)

Thats' all. :)

And, the pictures, courtesy of MiddleChild. (Who happily gulped down half of the cake)