And a smashing time was had

I have mentioned before about my families (the girls) love of scrapbooking.  I have had a smash journal for a while but have only really started using it this year.  When I say I have a smash journal I actually mean I have 3, I cant help myself, they are so pretty.

The thing that I love about smash journals are the pretty background papers that are already picked for you.  Each journal is a different style, I have the pink one which is a pretty style, the blue one which is a baby style (I am a proud Auntie) and the orange simple style one.  You can add as much or as little to each page.  You can use them to get really creative or you can simply stick a photo in, the pagers are already that pretty that you can get away with not doing anything other than stick a photo in if you wanted.

Here are a few of my completed pages.

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We don’t have any local shops that sell scrapbooking and smash journals so most things I get from online or when we are on holiday in America.

If there are any other scrapbookers out there I would love to hear of some new places to try for products.

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We took a back road

Happy Halloween!

I have been waiting for ages to use my new Wilton mold.  I spotted this a few months ago and had a ‘just have to get it’ moment.  I know there is a huge choice of Wilton products on the internet but I got this from a local-ish shop to me  called Sweet Success.

I discovered Sweet Success a few years ago when I first got in baking.  This is the best shop in Nottinghamshire that I am aware of for range of products when decorating cupcakes and cakes, seriously this shop has everything!  If you are local to Nottingham and are into cake decorating then this shop is a must.  Not only do they have a huge range of products but their prices are the cheapest I have seen.  I normally stock up on candy melts when I visit as they are only £2.99 a bag and they have lots of colours to choose from.  The staff are super helpful too which I love, every time I go in I ask advice on something, there is always someone who knows their stuff and is willing to help.  A product which I will not buy from anywhere but Sweet Success is cupcake cases, they have lots of different colours and they are really good quality, not like the really thin supermarket ones you can get.  Sweet Success also bake cakes ready for you to decorate, the smell in the shop is so good it makes you want to eat the air!

These molds are really easy to use, it’s just a matter of melting your candy melts, pouring it in to the mold and sticking it in the fridge for half an hour or until it is set.  I know you can melt your candy melts in the microwave but I always end up burning it……stupid microwave!  I melt mine by boiling a pan of water and resting a bowl on top of the pan which has the candy melts in (I think there is a special name for this but I can’t remember it).

Anyway, back to my Halloween cake.  I have cheated with this cake as I have used a Betty Crocker packet mix, I know, I know, it is not proper baking but I love this cake and it is super quick and easy to make.

I used a square cake tin as I had got a really cute square black cake board (another Sweet Success purchase).  Once the cake was baked and cooled I cut a thin layer off the top of the cake and crumbled it into a bowl.  Next I covered the top of the cake with a messy layer of Betty Crocker chocolate  butter cream icing and sprinkled the crumbled up cake back on the top.  It was then time to place my candy melt skeleton pieces on top of the cake and there you have it!

Time is never time at all

Here goes, my very first post.  I really hope that my attempt to tell you how I made these lovely pumpkins is clear enough for others to follow.  I don’t remember where I first saw these as I know there are lots of versions out there, I seem to think that lots of people mention that it is a Martha Stewart idea.

So I thought I would try to do a step by step guide and try to keep it simple, please note, this is only about the 3rd time that I have used a sewing machine!  I love doing crafty things, especially baking (there will be more of that to come later) but sewing is never something I have really got into, hopefully this will be the start of many more sewing projects 🙂

If anyone does have any questions or I have been unclear about anything please do not hesitate to contact me and I will try an explain a little better what I mean.

I made three pumpkins, each one a little bigger than the other.  I got my material from a local craft shop, they did have some specialised Halloween material which would look really good but I wanted to use something a little different and went for some blue and green patterns.  So the measurements for the material that I used were as follows 6″ x 12″, 9″ x 18″ and 12″ x 24″.  You can make them any size you want, the rule that you need to follow is, what ever your width is double up for the length.

1.  Fold your piece of material in half, right side inside and sew down opposite side to fold.  Use back stitch if hand sewing or use a machine if you wish.

2.  Next you need to sew across one end of your material (doubled over) using running stitch, this will become the base of your pumpkin.  Before you secure your thread at the end, gather up your material, you have to hold on to your thread and kind of scrunch up the material.  Don’t forget to secure your thread now.

3.  Turn your material right side out and fill with stuffing.  Make sure it is filled well – don’t skimp on the stuffing.  I received a little help from my beautiful niece Honey for this step.

4.  Now you need to do a running stitch all the way around the open end.  As before pull the thread tight and gather up as in step 3.  For this I used embroidery thread as cotton snapped easily and you need to be a bit tougher once your pumpkin is filled with stuffing.  Finish this off with a couple of stitches to hold it in place.

5.  Now you have your basic pumpkin shape comes the bit I struggled with until I got going with it.  Thread your needle with wool, turn your pumpkin upside down, put your needle in the centre.  You are now aiming to get the needle through all the stuffing and out the other end.  You then need to pull it over the side and repeat this step until you have all the separate sections.  Make sure you pull your wool tight from the beginning.  Please be careful when doing this part as I did end up with a pumpkin/needle related injury!

6.  For the stalk you need to cut out 2 pieces of the below shape.  With the right side inside, sew around the arch leaving the bottom open.  Turn your stalk right side outside, stuff and then sew up the end.

I read several tutorials on how to sew the stalk on and then ended up doing it a different way which worked best for me.  I suggest you have a play around.

Well thats it.  I hope it was easy to follow for those who want to have a go.

Thank you for reading.