Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adventures in Egg Making

This Easter I was determined to get crafty and make some sort of chocolate related gifts for my friends. I embarked on several days of research and was utterly inspired by all the pastel, spring coloured candies I found - But my only problem was, its not spring (in Australia anyway) I got so carried away with my ideas and imagination, that I forgot about that one important point! Once I put my (somewhat) sensible head back on I ran across these golden eggs posted on The Kitchn. What a fantastic idea! and the gold felt more Autumn appropriate to me.

So I ran with it! I made either a full or a half carton for my friends and tied them up with a ribbon, and a small tag that said " I found the Goose that lays the golden eggs.."

And this is how they turned out -

I must admit, when they were all complete and wrapped up, I was pretty thrilled with the end result. BUT, if I were asked to make them again, I would flat out refuse. And the likelihood of these being requested is little to none.

The idea of these eggs is fantastic, its dreamy and quirky and fun - On the flipside the execution is tedious and fiddly, and the consumption is far from enjoyable.

I started with about 3 dozen eggs. I had my apron on, soft jazz crooning and a whole day set aside for some easter fun. First I poked small holes in the eggs and blew out the insides (my check and neck muscles actually hurt the next day, what a weakling!) they then needed to be rinsed out, then boiled, then dried, then painted, then dried..... and all this before I could even get to the chocolate part!

This is the Martha stewart inspired contraption I made for all that egg drying -

I covered two styrafoam cubes (that I got in MY NEW OVERLOCKER box..... but that merits a whole post of its own that is soon to come!!) in paper towel and stuck in rows of flat head pins for the eggs to sit on. The eggs took about 2 hours to dry, and I had three bacthes going! and then there was the edible lustre paint that never actually dried! I gave up waiting in the end and just went ahead and filled them with chocolate.

I read several articles about these eggs, the majority of which instructed " pipe in the melted chocolate and roll it around to coat the inside" - there was no coating going on here, and I can't help but wonder if this ever actually worked for anyone else. In the end the eggs were half full... but in this instance, I feel I can say that they were half empty.

When the time came to actually peel and consume them it was was just a mess! and I actually felt sorry for those that who felt obliged to eat them. Their hands were covered in gold glitter and paint (at least it was edible) chocolate stuck under their nails, crunching on stray bits of egg shell - I must admit it wasn't the presttiest of pictures, but at least it was good for a few laughs!

Did you have any easter disasters?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Swan Frock

Do you ever have those days where you feel like you have NOTHING to wear!? Even though your wardrobe is overflowing? Everything feels tired and old, you’ve seen it, done it, worn it… it’s all just a little meh?

That’s where the “The Swan” frock was born. I’d love to say that the initial design came from the sublime inspiration that Black Swan provided, but I must admit that it was somewhat of an afterthought.

I whipped this number up on Saturday with the intention of having something new to wear out that evening. I’m not at all happy with the construction, it has more frayed edges than…well, something that has lots of frayed edges? In fact, I didn’t even hem it on the night, but it was dark and no one could tell, that was until I had a few drinks and started telling people about it in loud whispers. But I was very happy with the overall look in the end.

The crochet lace on the bodice has been in my stash for a while. I was given just over 2 meters of it from a colleague at my work, and it has been sitting in prime place on the fabric shelf waiting to be stitched into something fabulous. Originally I had planned on dying the lace red and making a smokin’ hot wiggle dress, but after much deliberation and closer inspection I decided against it. Look closely at the lace pattern and imagine it in red – Does a close up of the cellular structure of red blood cells come to mind? Hmm thought so!

After treasuring it and hoarding it for so long, I was surprised that I decided to use it for such an unplanned project! The bodice pattern didn’t require much yardage though, and with some nifty pattern placement, I managed to use only a small strip of the end, leaving enough to make a skirt or a dress out of in the future.

I used the same old pattern combination that I’ve used for so many dresses. The bodice belongs to a vintage 60’s pattern, of which the envelope and corresponding pieces were lost long ago. For the skirt I used a large rectangle and simply gathered it. I love this shape, its so easy to manipulate and alter. This time I cut a v in the back and kept the skirt long.

In the end it was the way the long slinky skirt moved when I walked that reminded me of a ballet dress – then the black swan / white swan thought came to mind.

I have recently started taking beginners ballet lessons too, so I took the chance to practice my moves in front of the camera. I dragged out some old Pointe shoes that a friend gave me, and did my best. I figured it wouldn’t be too much different to canvas slippers, just a little more difficult. Well, I was very wrong. Picture after picture showed me loosing my balance ungracefully. The three photographs I have put up were the best I could do, and all I’m doing is standing there!
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