Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas

Hope you all have a lovely merry Christmas and a happy New Year.  


See you soon!

Sue xxx

Recycling the Silver!

It has been a busy month or so since my last post.   Lots of stuff happening, keeping this old girl busier than a one armed fan dancer in a windstorm!!

First up:

I have been making pin cushions with bling.   Most of these are made from silverware I have collected.  Some have already sold, but if you are interested in any that are left, contact me (address on the sidebar) and I will get a postage price for you.    These were a lot of fun to make.  All have been given a couple of coats of clear lacquer so should not tarnish.
$15au plus postage

$15au plus postage

$15AU plus postage
 
$15AU plus postage
 
 
$25AU plus postage. SOLD
Handle detail below - fairy and a ladybug.
Top view
 
$15 AU plus postage (note - this one is not silverware)
 
This one (below) is my favourite.   I have only added a couple of bees - it didn't need anything else!
$30 AU plus postage.
Even has the scoop which hangs from the handle!
 
SOLD
SOLD 
SOLD 

 Next on the show and tell list is this little beauty.....first we had to dig through all this......
and then ta da.....out she came! 

Don't look too hard - the background is a disaster and it hasn't got any better!

Miss Sweet 16 travelled the roads from Rockhampton to Melbourne via Mackay. 

She has been service and is all ready to go.....tragically, with Christmas upon us, she is not likely to start work immediately.   Bit like this one below........


This bundle of happiness turned three.   He was very underwhelmed by sparklers.....
 

 
 My son finished high school and we now await exam results.   Valedictory Night was a formal affair that sent me in to a tail spin - I live in jeans and windcheaters.   Everything was black or didn't fit.  My son on the other hand looked a million bucks, here he is in his slim fit suit with 'lavender' bow tie and his gorgeous girl.
The young ladies of today seem to know how to dress, how to stand, they just look elegant - I have never been able to carry that off.   I spent ages getting my hair to a point where I was happy with it, and in the mere 500 metres we had to walk from the car to the venue, we found the windy spot in the city and my hair was all over the place.   Back to jeans for me!! 

I have found and made a super dessert that I need to share - it is so easy and looks delicious.   I will admit that the photo does not do the final product justice. No doubt it will be made again before Christmas so it is possible a better photograph will be forthcoming. 

I came across this in a magazine whilst waiting in the doctors surgery.   Gone are the days where you would try and rip the recipe out of  the magazine,  hoping no one noticed ( what you mean I was the only one.....).   Now I just take photo's with my phone.   A couple of people were looking at me oddly, but.........

I promise this easy.    You will need:

Filo Pastry.   (Follow the instructions about damp tea towels etc cause this stuff dries out quick)
Butter - Melted
Caster Sugar

Line your baking trays with glad bake or the like.   Pre heat your oven to about 190 c.   I put a clean tea towel on the work surface.   Lay one sheet of filo pastry on the tea towel and brush with melted butter (don't drown it in butter) then sprinkle generously with caster sugar.   Place another sheet of filo on top of the first and repeat with butter and sugar.  Place a third sheet into position and butter and sugar.    You are now going to cut this rectangle of pastry into 8 smaller rectangles.    Place on the baking tray and pinch and scrunch a little.   You want it to look a bit like a crumpled tissue - sorry, best description. Bake until golden.   Repeat with another three layers of filo.   You will need three of these baked rectangles per stack.    Do the math as to how many you are going to need and butter and sugar away  until you have enough.      Let them cool on a cake rack, so they stay crisp.  

To fill each stack, I used whipped cream, strawberries and frozen raspberries.   Take one rectangle, place cream and fruit.   Put a tiny bit more cream on top of the fruit and place second layer of pastry. Repeat with cream and fruit.  Place the third piece of pastry on top.   Dust with icing sugar.  You could also add another piece of fruit for decoration if you wish.    I usually mix my cream with custard for a lovely filling.   And that is it.   Really easy.  I wont say really quick because you will need to bake the pastry in batches and that takes a bit of time, but you can make the pastry rectangles the day before.  I would be inclined to reheat them through and re cool just to make sure they are crisp. 

I have been sucked in to the vortex that is Face book and have put lots of magazines, patterns, fabric and stitched designs up for sale.   I am trying to destash.    If you are interested in anything on my Tiramisue page, just write "sold pending" in the comment box of any item (do make a comment for each item) and I will be in touch.   If you aren't on Face book you should still be able to "see" this page.   Just send me an email - tiramisue at bigpond dot com and I will be in touch.   All prices quoted are for postage within Australia.   I am most happy to send anywhere in the world, just understand that postage will have to be re-calculated for each particular destination.    I have lots of Australian quilting mags, a number of Sew Beautifuls, and Inspirations Magazines, oh and lets not forget, Cross stitch books, leaflets and magazines...............I am happy to haggle.    You can find the destash folders here!, here!, and  here!

Sue xxx

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Transfer Ink for Hot Iron Transfers

Does anyone out in the land of all things art and quilty know the name of the transfer ink used to make Iron On Transfers.    I don't want the transfer paper/sublimation type because they leave a plastic film.   I believe you can print on 80gsm plain paper and then with print side down, iron your chosen design on to cotton.   Just like in the olden days when you bought the packs of transfers that are printed on tissue paper type products (along the lines of the Aunt Martha range).  It is some sort of ink for either ink jet or laser (not sure which printer type).   I am talking about doing multiple copies of one design.   Some people have had luck with laser print straight from the machine but this particular ink seems to give consistent results.


If you know what the magic is, would you please drop me a line either here or tiramisue at bigpond dot com!!

Thank you.

Sue xxx   

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ham Bag Tutorial


My husband loves ham.   Every Christmas he comes home with a very large ham.   So, I have made him his very own Ham Bag.  He can keep his prized ham wrapped to perfection, until three days after Christmas when I can face ham no more and make him chop it up and put it in the freezer......


To make a ham bag or two, you will need:

Tea towels - calico also works but one hot wash and getting the wrinkles out is more work than I can stand.
I bought a four pack from Safeway for about $8.   I needed some right there and then: you can no doubt get them cheaper, just make sure they are cotton.

The embroidery was completed first.  I used two of the four co-ordinating designs for the bag.  The one I thought would stand out the most became the applique and I have one left - I will make a smaller one for use as the ham shrinks!

The bag is made with the applique being on the 'flap'of the bag.   Once you have decided how big you need to make your Ham Bag, iron a fold above the design area and set up your machine to embroider the applique and position the writing where you like.   Each design has a basting stitch to keep the tea towel in place if you are not hooping.

Once the design is complete, stitch two tea towels together across one end.   You now have the embroidered towel and a second towel together.   I used the hemmed ends as a guide line for stitching ( in the picture you can see the label).  Make sure you secure each end and then trim off the hems.
press to one edge and stitch down.   If you want you can overlock this edge, but it is inside the bag and won't be seen.  

Place the joined tea towels wrong side up  and once you have decided on the depth of the bag, trim the second tea towel and re-hem. 


  (You can see in the photo that I used some clear elmers glue to keep the hem folded until I have stitched, this will wash out).   With the wrong sides together, I simply ran a seam up each side to create a bag.   The embroidered part of the tea towel now sits over the top as a flap.  

 
Of course, if you really want to keep it simple, embroider the design on a tea towel, fold tea towel  in half and ta da, Small Ham Bag!!! For the bigger design, embroider on one tea towel and then stitch together with a second tea towel and  double ta da!!!
 

I would recommend giving the bag a good wash before use.   I used spray starch to keep the fabric crisp whilst stitching, but I don't want starch on my ham!!  

HOW TO USE THE HAM BAG

After the ham is removed from its packaging, the best way to keep it from drying out, is to simply soak the Ham Bag in the following solution, wring it out, and place the ham inside the bag and store in the coolest part of the refrigerator.  Change over every couple of days and repeat the soaking.

SOAK SOLUTION:  4 cups of water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.  That's it!!

These are a neat little hostess gift at Christmas time - and take no time at all to whip up.  


The applique and wording is now available over in my Etsy shop - Ham Bag.  Comes in two sizes -   5 x 7 (Pig 6.93 x 3.76inches /Wording 6.94 x 1.76inches) and 8 x 12   (Pig 10.84 x 3.02 inches/Wording 11.50 x 6.22 inches).

And remember, it is only 70 days to Christmas as I write this........

Sue xxx

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

SANTA

Santa is up and ready to go over at Etsy.   Sizes are 4x4 filled, 4x4 applique, 5x7 applique, 6x10 applique and 8x10 applique.   There are two styles of applique for each design.   One the standard satin stitch and the second is a more open satin stitch.  


 
And remember, there are only 76 days to Christmas!!!
HO HO HO
Sue xxx

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NEED A HAND???

Finally finished test stitching the skeleton hands.   They are now available over in my ETSY shop.
Designs formats are PES, DST, EXP, JEF, SEW, HUS, SHV, VIP all in one zipped file for $3. There are four designs (right hand bent thumb, left hand bent thumb, right hand and left hand)   in each size which include 4x4, 5x7 and 6 x 10.

Sue xxx

Sunday, October 6, 2013

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES

Haven't posted a recipe for a while.  It was my turn for afternoon tea at quilting this past weekend.   As luck would have it, I had just picked up some heart shaped muffin/cake tins on Friday - as the man in my life will tell you, after fabric, thread, beads and well before vacuuming, housework and dinner, I do love me a mighty fine collection of cake tins!!

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES

2 CUPS S R FLOUR
1/2 CUP CASTER SUGAR
250 GRAMS BUTTER - cubed/chunks 
1 EGG
1/4 CUP CREAM
1 TEASPOON VANILLA ESSENCE

THICKENED CREAM FOR FILLING
VANILLA ESSENCE TO TASTE
SUGAR TO TASTE
STRAWBERRIES, HULLED AND CHOPPED

Pre-heat oven to 200c or 180c fan forced.   Grease chosen cake tins. 

Place flour and sugar in food processor and give a quick "whizz".  Add butter pieces and whizz again until mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Add egg, cream and vanilla and mix until a soft dough forms.  If necessary, you may need to add a bit more cream to make the mix come together.   Add 1 tablespoon at a time.   Be Gentle with the Dough. Don't over mix.   As soon as the mixture comes together, stop the food processor.  

If your are making one big shortcake, line the cake tin with baking paper and place dough into cake tin.   Press gently  and spread the dough over the base of the cake tin.   Place in the oven.

If you are making individual shortcakes, I got very techy here and weighed the whole ball of dough and then divided by 24.   This gave me about 33 grams for each cake.   I know, I know, fussy fussy, but it kept them all the same size and depth.  Again, gently press the dough into the tin base.  

Cook until golden.   The individual cakes took about 12 minutes or so, and the bigger cake will take somewhere around 20 minutes.  Just keep an eye on them and don't over cook them.   Once golden remove pan from oven and leave cakes in tin for 5 minutes to cool a little.    Turn on to a cake rack to finish cooling.

Use a serrated knife to carefully split  the shortcake/s.   With the heart shape, I did a small cut from the pointy end of the heart, and then working from the opposite end, sliced the hearts open.   Less bits fell off doing this!!

I finished mine with a custard and cream filling and added strawberries.  Whipped cream will be fine.

Place on a fancy plate and dust with icing sugar.   


Now, some craftiness.   I left the men in my life to fend for themselves for a couple of days last week and went up to Merimbula.    Naturally, there is a breakfast shot:

This lovely concoction is smoked salmon croquettes, cheese soufflĂ© (hidden underneath) and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce finished with a drizzle of red capsicum sauce.   Delicious. 

Have any of you been to the New York Public Library site?    There is the most amazing collection of prints that are down loadable.    I had been looking for sea life pictures and put these together in plain white frames.   The photos are ordinary, but you can see what they are.   
The prints are from old text so are quite yellowed with age.   I cleaned these ones up and took them back to white, then using the colourise feature in my Paintshop Pro software, gave them a teal green tint.    I printed them up on textured paper and they look great.    You can find the site here.   If you are looking for images to use in your art, this is a great place to start.

I took a small suitcase with me, filled with a few crafty things to do.   Mostly seaside tackiness, but a bit here and there is okay.     I am inspired by Pinterest frequently and had seen a variety of letters done with a beach theme, so did mine in my usual over the top style. 


These are now hanging in the bathroom.   
 
My next piece was also Pinterest inspired.    I bought the stick from a home dĂ©cor shop and it has been languishing around the garage for some months  (I know, I live in the bush but I bought a stick - I don't trust the ones in my backyard not to have a flock of critters living in them).   I have been collecting sea themed beads and charms.   Having used lots of my stash up for these pieces, it means I now have an excuse to go buy more.    The mermaid that is in the letter above and hanging in the middle of "the stick", was a book mark I picked up at one of the craft shows.    The beads sparkle in the morning sun.   
 


 
I did the butterfly strand, just to use up some more of the beads.  This is a single strand.    I used a dab of E6000 in between a couple of the beads.   I figured if the nylon thread gave way, not every single bead would be able to escape.  Again, in a sunny spot and sparkles very prettily.

I took Bernice with me so in between the beads and seashells there was also a jelly roll quilt top in the process of being completed.  There are not enough power points where I was working so the ironing board was in the kitchen, the machine was on the table with half finished sea shell letters, paint brushes.  It was all good!  My husband flew up to Merimbula on Tuesday last week.   He had a shocking flight.   The weather in the eastern states has been a bit wild.   I had to drive down and pick him up at the airport - I saw him get off the plane with a white bag........his face was grey.      When we got home, his only comment was, "good to see you have the place looking like home".

Whilst we were waiting at the airport, O'Reilly thought he might try the front seat for size.   He was very happy when dad arrived.  

  We went for beach walks every day.   It was very quiet most days .

 Friends joined us for dinner one night.   Sir Pester Alot ended up being blocked by the clothes airer.     He is not happy with the new "no snacks for you" regime.  

 The ride home to Melbourne is a long one, good job for split fold rear seats.   He has 2/3 with the matching boot space.  The phone camera makes it look squishing in the back, but he has loads of room.   One day I will learn to travel light.  Bernice (the Bernina) needed the seat to herself.  

 So it was a nice few days away.   Suitcase came back a little lighter and a roll of fabric got used.   Still have a few seams to stitch.   I remember when I have sewn about 8 seams that I hate piecing, but at least I have a nearly finished quilt top and then I can applique all over it.
Sue xxx