I have finally made a YouTube Video on the basics of crochet. This video covers the slip knot, how to hold your yarn, chain stitch, and the anatomy of a stitch.
There are different ways to hold your yarn, this is just my way :)
I shall follow it up shortly with a video showing the basic stitches
You can find it by searching for my YouTube user name which is Carolyne Anne
Every year we make these chocolate lollies. They are the easiest thing to make, so easy that my children have taken over the job of making them.
They are fun and look impressive, too.
All you need is: chocolate, lolly sticks, baking paper, and spout bottles. (we stock these bottles here - they really are great to keep in the kitchen)
Melt your chocolate and spoon into a spout bottle.
Squeeze a heart shape onto the baking paper.
Fill in the heart with squiggly chocolate lines. Don't worry about being perfect, it's chocolate after all, it's hard to go wrong!
While the chocolate is still soft, add some sprinkles if you are using them.
Leave to set.
Once set, carefully lift them from the baking paper and turn over. Add a blob of melted chocolate in the middle, gently push on a lolly stick (I used a wooden skewer with pointy end cut off), and squeeze some more melted chocolate on top.
Leave to set.
And that's it!
I hope you enjoy them as much as we do :)
Making waxy pictures was something my brothers and I loved to do when we were kids. We had an ice-cream tub full of crayons and we were allowed to use up the broken crayons that always lived at the bottom of the tub.
We've all made paint prints before, this adds and extra elements by having to sharpen the crayons, the wax "dries" very quickly, and the finished picture looks like stained glass.
All you need is some crayons, a sharpener, greaseproof/baking paper, and an iron. If you don't want to use an iron you can always use a hairdryer and washing up gloves or the back of a spoon.
Because you are working with hot wax I would say that this activity is only for older children. Although my five year old daughter made loads of these hearts under supervision.
Your first job is to create some waxy shaving by sharpening your crayons.
Fold a piece of white paper in half and open it up again and lay it on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Only place the shavings on one half of the paper. You need less shavings than you think, and keep them away from the edges because they spread as they melt.
Once you are happy with your wax shavings, fold the empty half on the paper over onto them.
If you are using an iron, then place another sheet of grease proof paper on top (you don't want wax on your iron) and iron your picture. The wax will melt and smoosh around under the weight of the iron. Open your picture out immediately, before the wax has had time to cool.
If you are using a hairdryer you will need to use something to smoosh the wax around. This is why I recommend using washing up gloves or the back of a spoon because the wax will be hot.
Also, if using the hairdryer, before you open out the picture after smooshing it, place the hairdryer back on the wax to melt it further because if the wax cools too much and you open the picture the wax will only stick to one side of the paper. If the wax does stick to one side then just close the sheet and heat it again.
They wax takes no time at all the cool and harden so unlike doing to painting version of this activity, you can cut out shapes and hang up your pictures within a minute of making them.
The pictures look lovely just as they are but the magic really happens when you hold the pictures up to the light because the oils in the wax turn the paper translucent and you get a lovely stained glass effect.
Once the wax has cooled, fold the paper back in half and cut out your shape. We've made hearts because it's valentines day soon but these pictures make great butterflies and monsters.
The loss of my eldest child's first tooth was a complete surprise. He was only 5 and we hadn't noticed a wobbly tooth at all. He was eating an apple and came to me saying "mommy, I've just swallowed a pip". It turns out that it was his tooth! Luckily, the tooth fairy still gave him a coin that night.
I was determined to be more prepared for the next tooth so I sat and sewed a tooth fairy pillow out of felt the next day. He is 12 now and although his pillow doesn't get used anymore, he still keeps it in his keepsake drawer.
I have made a pillow for each of my children as there was no way that they would share :)
So after making the tooth fairy letter printable which you can find here, I thought that I would add a kit to make your own tooth fairy pillow to go with it.
The kit incudes everything you need to make your tooth fairy pillow:
You can put whatever design you want on the front of the pillow, you can even sew your child's name or initails. The kit is aimed at older children/adults to make. My children did help me make these pillows but if they are younger than 9/10 it would have to be with lots of supervision because of the sharp needle.
You can find the kits here
This is the tooth Fairy letter that you can purchase as a PDF here - The pdf can be ordered from anywhere round the world as it is emailed to you for you to print at home. It also means that you can print a new letter everytime your child loses a tooth!
I hope your children get as much joy and magic out of this little tradition as my children do :)
This heart is just as easy as the tiny heart tutorial, especially since it starts with that pattern!
I used these hearts as bunting for our Sprinkled with Love party
For this purple heart I used 4 ply cotton and 3.5 mm hook
You need to start with the tiny heart - find it here
Then ch 3
3 dc into 1st dc of the tiny heart
then 1 dc into the next st, and one hdc in the next 3 stitches
crochet (hdc, dc, hdc) all into the next stitch
1 hdc into the next three stitches, 1 dc in next, 3 dc in last stitch.
Ch 3 and sl st into the centre of the heart to finish.
You can make different size hearts with different hooks and different yarn. If you find that your heart curling over, it means that you need to use a bigger hook with your yarn.
The great thing is, is that this pattern is so quick that you can experiment without any stress :)
Simple, sweet, and loved by the kids, these cripsie treats are one to remember. I made them for our Sprinkled with Love party.
What you'll need:
This amount ^ is enough for a square cake tin/small brownie tin. If you only have a baking tray you can easily double the recipe to fill the tray.
Butter and line your tin with baking paper.
Place the butter in large pot and heat until melted. Add the marshmallows and stir until they melt.
Turn off the heat and add the rice cereal and mix well. Work quickly. Pour the mix into your lined baking tray.
Now, this might sound strange but it helps a LOT dealing with this sticky mix, grab some butter and rub it into your hands like you would with handcream, put it on quite thickly. Then use your hands to flatten the mix and push it into the corners. If it starts sticking to your hands then rub on some more butter.
Leave to set. The first time I made these I left them to set over night. In the morning it was so hard to push the cutter through them. It would be great if you're making squares because you'd have nice clean lines but if you want to use cutters then don't let them set too hard!
They look cute "naked" too :)
Chop white chocolate into little squares and melt in a small dish. Add your food colouring and stir.
Using a spoon drizzle chocolate over your crispie treats.
Pretty, simple, and yummy :)
Dipped marshmallows are so quick and easy to make! If you're planning a party, this is a great recipe to have up your sleeve.
Making a bouquet out of marshmallow flowers looked lovely in our Sprinkled with Love party. In fact, all the treats in this party were very quick to make.
All you need is:
Cut your chocolate into little chunks
Stick the toothpicks into the smaller end of the marshmallows using a twisting motion. If you don't twist, I find that that marshmallow can pop off the toothpicks after a while.
Now, you are going to want to stand your marshmallows up until they set. I found that poking holes into a tub created a perfect stand. I used a toothpick to make the holes so that they were the perfect size.
You could use a block of polystyrene instead.
Heat small amounts of chocolate in a small dish until almost melted but still has some lumps in it. Stir until completely melted and mix in the food colouring.
Dip in your marshmallows and allow some of the chocolate to drip off slightly before placing them in your stand.
If your chocolate is very runny, leave the marshmallows in the stand for a minute or so before adding the sprinkles, otherwise they'll run off with the chocolate.
Leave to set.
To make the bouquet, I placed some rice crispie treats in a jar and stuck the marshmallows into it. Again, you could use polystyrene instead.
When I posted the pattern for tiny hearts I said that they were part of a bigger project...this is it! A bag of hugs :) Below is the crochet pattern for you to make it and here is the pdf of the hug poem that goes with it.
For those of you who don't crochet but would love to learn, stay tuned as I am planning on doing an easy "how to crochet" series on the blog.
I used 4ply cotton and 3.5mm hook. You could, of course, use thicker/thinner yarn or larger/smaller hook, it's up to you.
Just another reminder that I use US crochet terms. Find the conversion table here if you use UK terms.
Make a magic circle. (If you're not a fan of magic circles you could always ch 2 and crochet Round 1 into the 2nd ch from the hook.)
You are now going to work in the round for this first bit so no slip stitching
Round 1: 9 sc into magic circle.
Round 2: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc* Repeat from *to* 2 more times. You will now have 12 sc.
Round 3: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc* repeat from * to * 5 more times. You will now have 18 sc.
Round 4: *2 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next sc* repeat from * to * 8 more times. You will have 27 sc.
Round 5: sc all the way around for 27 scs.
Round 6: *sc2tog, sc in next 7 sc* repeat from * to * 2 more times. You will have 24 sc.
Round 7: ch 5 (this will count as a dc and ch 2) and dc in next sc, *skip 2 sc, dc in next sc, ch 2, dc in next sc* repeat until the last 2 sc, sl st into 3rd ch.
Round 8: sl st into the first ch 2 space, ch 5 and dc into the same ch 2 space. Then dc, ch 2, dc in each ch 2 space around and then sl st into the 3rd ch.
Round 9: same as Round 8.
Round 10: (this is for the ruffle bit at the top of the bag) sl st into ch 2 space, *ch 3, sk 1st dc and sc into next dc, ch 3, sc into next ch 2 space* repeat around and sl st into the 1st ch 2 space.
Bind off, turn inside out and tidy up the ends. I turn the bag inside out because the base has better form this way
Now make your little hearts [click here for pattern]. I made one for each of my children. They put the little crocheted hearts to their chests and jumped up and down to get them working, they then kissed them and we put them in the bag.
We tied the bag, added the hug poem and sent their hugs to their grandmother who lives so far away
Don't you think that they would be perfect for Valentine's day? :)
Sprinkled with Love is a sweet, pastel-coloured party that would fit perfectly for Valentine's day, Christening, tea party, little girl's birthday, baby shower, big girls birthday..
My girls LOVE this party! My youngest asked if she could have this party for her birthday :)
The printable party set includes:
You can find the party printables here along with coordinated partyware
If there are other elements that you would like to see in this theme, please let me know and I will see what I can do.
The crocheted flowers were made using our easy flower pattern found here . And the pattern for the tiny heart can be found here. I shall add the pattern for the larger heart in the next couple of days.
If you don't crochet, the assorted sizes of hearts printable will allow you to decorate, make mini bunting, and labels. If you would like to learn how to crochet then watch this space as I'm planning on doing a 'how to crochet' series :)
See here for the vanilla cupcake recipe. The other recipes will follow shortly :)
Rich, buttery and vanilla-ry, this recipe is my go to vanilla cupcake recipe. Not only is it easy to make, it smells AMAZING and tastes DELICIOUS!
125g butter - softened
125g plain flour
125g caster sugar
2 eggs - room temperature
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 Tbsp milk - warmed slightly to room temperature
Heat oven to 200 oC
Plonk everything except for the milk into a mixing bowl, mix really well with an electric mixer until light and creamy.
Add the milk and mix well again
Place cupcake cases in a 12 hole tin and divide the mixture between them.
Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and baked.
Cool on a cooling rack
Once cooled, top the cupcakes with some buttercream icing.
Although these cakes are so light and soft eaten the day that they are baked, the vanilla flavour is so much stronger a day or two later :)