Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chocolate Truffles and Winter Storm

this is it for us here!

The big winter storm ended up just being a slushy mess...
It is still pretty, but terribly wet!
And not very cold neither.

We don't even have a inch of snow...

The cats, on the other hand, really think it's very cold.
Earlier this morning there were five of them
all snuggled up togheter on the same chair...
lol... and they were hungry too...

Anyway... here's some cat prints on the snow.

it just feels like staying inside.

trying to fight away this cabin fever days...
I felt like I was needing something sweet!

Considering I am getting really really low on my groceries supplies
(I have not been able to go to the grocery store since early October),
I had to decide for some chocolate truffles.

I found the recipe on my recipe's binder,
and since I had all the ingredients... I went for it!

They came out really good.

And it's a very easy recipe...

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • powdered sugar
  • dessert sprinkles

Over low heat melt the butter on a saucepan.
Add the cocoa powder, stirring until smooth.
Then add the sweet condensed milk, stirring constantly until mixture is thick and smooth, about 4 or 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Cover and refrigerate for about 3 or 4 hours.

Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar or dessert sprinkles.

Et voila! Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How to make a Lolita doll

I've finished another Lolita today.
If you remember, here and there is where I first told you about my Lolitas.

Today I've decided to show you how to make one.
Remember, this doll is just a crocheted/knitted tube or rectangle,
and for me that's what it makes it so fun and magical to do.

So... first you'll need a Tunisian crochet hook

(or you can just single crochet it or knit it, but I find the Tunisian crochet to make a much sturdier type of fabric and that's why I rather prefer it for this type of dolls)
and lots of yarn colors
(the Lolitas are a great way to use my leftover yarn from other projects).

Start by crocheting a chain of 30

(like for regular crochet),
and then just start crocheting regular Tunisian crochet.
I've started with brown yarn to make the shoes.

Make 4 or 5 brown rows
and then it's time to start with the socks
(all the Lolitas have striped socks).
Insert a new color and crochet one row,

insert the second color and crochet one row,

and keep going like this
till you have 3 completed rows of the first color (white)and 2 rows of the second color (blue).

Now we're ready to start the pants or culottes.
Insert a new color (lavender in my case) and crochet 7 or 9 rows
(it all depends how tall you will want Lolita to be).

Insert a new color (green in my case) and make 2 rows for the belt.
After the 2 green rows
insert a new color for the sweater (pinkish for my Lolita).

Make about 10 rows
(again, it all depends on how high you'll want Lolita to be), and then insert the color for the head (white on my case).
Now, here starts the difference I've made for this type of dolls:
after the 1st row,and as you start the 2nd row, you'll have to increase the number of stitches

(I've increased it for the double, so I ended up with 60 stitches).

To increase:
make the first stitch, pull the yarn over the hook,

do the second stitch, pull the yarn over the hook and keep doing it till the end of the row.
Proceed the normal way when you coming back, pulling out all the stitches just the regular way.
Don't forget, for the next row you'll have to insert the hook on every stitch
(that would be 60 stitches on my case).

Make has much rows as you'd like the head to be,
in my case about 16 rows.
Do not make any decreases
(that's the reason the Lolitas look the way they do, they have big rectangular heads).

Now, it's time to make the skirt.
Insert your Tunisian crochet hook on the first stitch of the 1st row of the green belt and pull one, and keep going all the way to the end of the row.
Crochet the first row and on the 2nd row you'll start increasing like you did for the head, ending up with the double of the stitches (that's what will make the skirt look like ruffled).

And that's it!
Now it's time to start making magic!
That's the part I really like.
It's when you give birth to Lolita,
you make decisions
and make Lolita look the way she will.

First you have to start with the shoes.
Fold your tube and with brown yarn sew the seam in the back,
just the brown part.
Sew the bottom part of the shoes also.

Still with the brown yarn, sew the middle section of the shoes together (you'll have 2 small tubes).
Pick up another strand of yarn (one of the colors you used for the socks) and do the same as for the shoes.
It'll look like this

You will have to do the same with the belt and the sweater.
Now, for the sweater, after it's sewn in the back,

you going to sew the arms:
two seams on each side of the sweater will do it.

Then you have to close the head
by sewing the back seam; then run a strand of yarn
(same color as the head)
by the head first row: pull and tie with a strong Knot. This will be the neck.
Then fill it with fiber fill,
and then
just run another strand of yarn
trough the last row of the head and pull:
with your fingers shape it like a oblong ball and tie it with a strong knot.

Et voilà!

Now you have to finish the skirt.
Sew the back seam and it's time to embellish it.
With a crochet hook make a single row of single crochet stitches
all around the bottom, like this.

And then the face: eyes and mouth.
For the eyes I made two blue crochet circles

and then stitched two black pupils.
For the mouth I just used red yarn and embroidered half a circle.
Put some hair, crocheted a hat, a bag and a scarf
(whatever your fancy will be).
And a new Lolita has been born!

Enjoy it|

And if you decide to make a Lolita,
will you please email me a pic?...
I'd love to see your creations!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lolitas, Tunisian Crochet Bracelets and Humbags

This past week was quite busy.

After our home coming from the hospital stay,
there were a thousand and one little things
needing to get done around the house, phone calls to make, bills to pay and lots of other small things to do.
And of course taking care of J takes most of the time,
specially now with that horrible open wound after the surgery...

Didn't really had much time to craft,
tough at night time, while watching a little TV,
I've finished 3 more dolls

just like the one I called Lolita, shown also in here
(shall I just call Lolita to this type of doll?,
I really do enjoy the sound of Lolita... ).
OK... That will do it!,
from now on all this type of dolls shall be called Lolitas!

So... as I were saying... I've made 3 more Lolitas
and a hat for the original Lolita.
I really like them!

A bunch of Lolitas, like the sisterhood of the Lolita dolls!

Yesterday, my niece decided she wanted to spend the night with us.
She had some problems
with her algebra and equations and asked me for help.
It has been so long since my high school,
that I had to kinda refresh my knowledge for a while
till I finally was able to explain it to her.
But we both did good!
She understood and was able to complete all the exercises correctly.

And because she is a very sweet niece,
I gave her a Tunisian crocheted bracelet

and a hum bag for her whatnot's, that I had made a while back.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Some of the stuff I've been working on...

Just before J had to go to the hospital,
I was working on a new post that didn't had the time to publish.
It was about some of things I had been working on for Xmas.
I've decided to publish it now as it was.

Some of the stuff I've been making...

More rageddy totes...

Some needle felting...

I had bought some pre stuffed fabric dolls from a sewing supplies website
and I just loved their cute face.


... and after I dressed them up!

I've been making more felt felted coasters to give as stocking stuffers.

Red series...

Orange series...

Green series...

Blue series...

... and purple series.
You can check out how they are made by looking in here.
As you can seee, I'm still working on them.