Happy Pokémon Day!!

Pokémon celebrates its 20th birthday today.

I think the first time I was aware of the whole Pokémon phenomenon was in the 80s, when my younger sister had a poster featuring all 150 (yes, there were only 150 to start with!)

Teen1 dabbled a little in her early years, late 90s; then Teen2 discovered a liking in the early 00s.

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This was his favourite dress-up costume for quite a while!
He donated it to one of the Postpals kids a few years back, which was cute, but I must admit to feeling a little sad when I sent it off!

Turns out, a decade later, he’s still a fan…

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I got this Pikachu hat in my Loot Crate a few months back and the scoundrel pinched it before I had had a chance to wear it!

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Which Pokémon is your favourite?

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BabyCakes ❤

It’s getting to that time of year…

Day are getting longer, weather getting warmer (marginally!), birds are singing, and it’s nearly time for lambs and the likes.

And so it seems, it’s also time for lots & LOTS of new tiny humans.

Why does there seem to be such a huge number of pregnancies around me??
So many!!

Anyway, yesterday, myself and a couple of colleagues attended a baby shower for another workmate.

C., the mum-to-be, already has 2 boys and this little one is of the sugar & spice variety. As you can probably imagine, yesterday involved a lot of pink!

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Lil Miss C was a bit of a surprise, so mum & dad were pretty much starting from scratch when it came to baby goods. We had already organised larger collective gifts from everyone at work in the form of boring things like bottles & sterliser and changing units but obviously didn’t want to turn up empty-handed to the party.

If you’re a regular around here, you might remember my sock-cakes and that is where the inspiration for my little gift came from:

BabyCakes!!

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Similar to sock cakes, these are rolled baby items.

I picked up a couple of inexpensive multipacks of vests and a cute little all I one romper suit with matching hat.

Packaging is one of those cardboard cupcake boxes. Previously I have made these sort of cakes singly but babies call for an extra bit of spoiling, so this one holds 6 cupcakes.

Build up your box, and insert the holder.

I slipped the little romper suit in the base before fitting the sheet.

Next I rolled the cupcake wraps and taped the flaps.

For the first cake, I rolled up the matching hat (it was so cute, with little ears) and popped it in a case before inserting in the box.

The hat was pink, so I rolled 2 pink vests into cakes, then repeated with 3 white.

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I put each cake in the box in an alternating pattern.

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I finished them off with matching toppers.

A wrap of pink ribbon and a little paper doily finished it off prettily.

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Mum-to-be seemed quite pleased to receive my little gift.

Even if they weren’t as tasty as these cakes

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Have you tried any fun ways to present a less than exciting gift? Please share!
Thanks for stopping by,
Crafty
xx

1st Class are RED, 2nd are BLUE….

Yep, it’s THAT time of year again!

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Have you all made/written/sent your Valentines? If not, I have this super fast, easy & still very pretty idea for you to try

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What you’ll need:

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Card blanks & envelopes (or card, paper trimmer, bone folder etc if you are cutting your own)
Heart stickers
Pencil
Eraser
Sharpies (or other markers – we are an equal opportunities stationery supply using house)
Fineliners

How to:

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Write your chosen sentiment using one continuous flowing line, starting near the bottom left corner and finishing towards the top right. Make sure you leave enough room to fit your butterfly.

 

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Attach two heart stickers, side by side, to create ‘wings’. I find that overlapping the points slightly gives the best shape.

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Start following the pencil line with dots or dashes, using a fine liner.

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Next, add a sharpie body and fine liner antennae to the butterfly

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Finished!

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Repeat with different coloured butterflies and varied sentiments.

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By this point, I realized I could Bee changing it up some more…

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Then came another meow-vellous twist for a cat lover…

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And an outer space fan…

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My daughter started getting in on the action too!

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The person receiving this, drives me Batty:

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With a nom de plume like this, there was only one option…

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So that is possibly the best bit about this particular card (well, apart from the quickness, the easiness, and the cuteness…) Ok, possibly the next best bit is the fact that you can implement the same idea for all sorts of occasions.

Basically, anything that moves can take the place of the butterfly.

My daughter incorporated the naughty kitten with the ball of wool into a birthday card for a Crazy Cat Lady aunt

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I love the cute cat stickers!

Other suggestions:

Someone passed their driving test?
Spell out “you passed” and finish off with a car.

Graduation? Start with a hand ‘throwing’ a mortar board up to the opposite corner and adapt the wording accordingly.

Anniversary? Pop the cork from a bottle of bubbly.

Wish someone Bon Voyage with a little jet…

What other ideas can you come up with? I’d love to hear, and if you post pics of your makes, tag me in them so I can oggle them 😜

Thanks for reading!
TheCraftyLass
xXx

Flippin’eck! It’s Pancake Day!!

Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday; if you are so inclined) is traditionally celebrated on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday; which signals the beginning of Lent.

Shrove, derived from the word shrive, meaning to confess; was traditionally a time for Christians to confess & serve penance (not being religious, I’m afraid we just serve pancakes!)

Pancakes were traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday, as they used up a lot of eggs, milk & sugar; rich ingredients which were omitted from your menu for the duration of the 40-day long fast.

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Of course, like so many other events throughout the calendar, the Christians weren’t the first kids on the block to celebrate it.

Pagan festivities included eating these delicious warm round sun-like cakes in the belief that it would invoke the gods of Spring and fertility, and banish the cold dark winter months. Which sounds pretty good to me!!

Anyway, as I mentioned, we aren’t a religious family; we do however usually make pancakes on Pancake Day.
We used to do it when the kiddos were…well…kiddos; in fact Teen2 was a bit miffed last year that we didn’t (the fact that this was probably due to the fact that it was one of those nights where he had three social engagements between school & bed was almost definitely lost on him!) and its a tradition that has carried on.

Usually we make thinnish crepe-like pancakes, and everyone takes a turn of flipping or tossing theirs in the pan.

When I was young, my parents told me it was good luck if you managed to get your pancake to somersault in the air and land back flat in the pan.
I had no basis to believe or disprove this, so decided it was most definitely true.
Teen2 may disagree after the year he grabbed the hot pan rather than the plastic insulated handle and ended up with a trip to A&E (I know, I’m a terrible mother!) but I still stand by my belief that it is most definitely lucky.

TOP THAT!

After the making and the tossing, the next step is the topping.

Usually this starts rather sensibly, with a sprinkling of sugar and a dash of lemon juice; or perhaps a spread of jam, maybe even a drizzle of honey or syrup.
But, before long, Someone instigates nonsense and they end up covered in all sorts of things…
Generally there is a combination featuring some (or all!) of the following…

Nutella
Ice cream
Banana
Syrup
Cherry pie filling
Cinnamon
Lemon juice
Sugar
Whipped cream
Jam
Marshmallow fluff
Chopped nuts
Honey….

…and anything else He thinks he would get away with!!

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If I remember correctly; this monstrosity contained ice cream, hazelnut chocolate spread, sliced banana, chocolate syrup, whipped cream & chopped nuts; a few years back.

THIS YEAR, WE TOSSED TRADITION

This year, instead of our usual large thin pancakes; we had Scotch Pancakes.
This was not a decision made through some patriotic fervour; in actual fact, I was running low on flour after making a couple of batches of pizza recently.

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TheTeens were suitably impressed that their mum actually knew how to make Scotch Pancakes, something normally just bought and eaten from supermarket packets and; after revering me as a living god; polished off *some*

MY SUPER EASY SCOTCH PANCAKE RECIPE

Ingredients:

200g Self-raising Flour
100g Caster Sugar
Pinch Salt
2 Eggs
120ml Milk

(If you don’t have SR flour, replace with 200g plain and add 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder)

How To:

Sieve flour, sugar, salt (& baking powder if using) into a bowl.
Make a well in the middle, crack in the eggs, add the milk, and mix.

The batter will be thicker than a regular pancake batter, but not as dense as a cake batter.

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Allow to stand for 20 minutes then heat a lightly greased frying pan over a medium heat.

Drop a tablespoon of batter onto the pan for each pancake. You will fit 2-4 in a regular size pan.

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Once the top has evenly bubbled, flip them over

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Repeat until you have used all the batter.

You can keep them warm on a tray in a low-heated oven, whilst you finish cooking the rest.

Ready to eat? Time for TOPPINGS!!

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Jam & Cream

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Marshmallow fluff

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Butter

Yuuuummmm!!!

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They made me do extras, so they could have some for breakfast tomorrow (totally against the rules of Lent)

Do you have any Pancake Day traditions?
Perhaps a favourite pancake recipe or topping?
Please share! And, as always, thanks for stopping by!
Hugs,
The Crafty Lass
xXx

Pinterest Fail? Perhaps….

We’ve ALL done it.

We see an idea floating around the interwebs, and eventually, we give in and try it.

We know it probably won’t work, but we go ahead anyway….

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These Sharpie Mugs were mine.

Now, let’s be clear; I KNOW there are perfectly good ceramic paint pens out there (confession: there are probably perfectly good ceramic pens IN HERE too, I probably have some kicking around my craft avalanche corner but that’s not really the point now is it??)

So, the theory is that you can draw on a mug with Sharpie, oven bake it, then it should be perfectly usable and will survive (gentle) hand washing.

The theme for PostPals January’s Monthly Project was Nighttime and Nocturnal Animals, and as I was including midnight feast kits featuring some of my Hot Chocolate Stirrers and sweets; a personalised mug seemed like the perfect addition.

The first thing I did was buy some plain white mugs.
The theory is that the cheaper the mug, the thinner the glaze, and the better it will allow the ink to ‘melt’ into it.

Then I found a selection of fonts that matched some of the kids likes (I have my glamorous assistant to thanks for this)

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Next I used the old “scribble on the back with a pencil” trick to transfer the design onto the mug.

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I held the template on with a little bit of washi

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And traced the outline

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Then I went over it with Sharpie, before solidly filling it in.

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Just in case you didn’t know, Alfie likes Harry Potter.

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Zech is a Doctor Who fan, whilst Kaleb likes Spongebob.

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And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appeal to Freddie.

I set the mugs aside to dry for 24 hours before baking.

Next day, I baked them to heat-set my designs.
This was one of the parts I wasn’t too sure about as I had read conflicting advice.

The consensus seems to be:
Put mugs in a cold oven
Turn on the oven & allow to come up to temperature
Bake for the allotted time before turning off the oven and allowing the mug(s) to cool slowly

So this is what I did!

I baked them at 180°C for 45 minutes.

and kept my fingers crossed that the ink wouldn’t do the weird colour change thing I had read could happen.

I was reasonably happy with how the plain black one turned out and figured that after a 2nd coat and re-bake, it would be great.

The colours looked pretty faded on the TMNT-inspired one, but there was only a slight change in the colours of the eyemasks so, again, i was pretty confident with how a 2nd coat would turn out.

I was less impressed with the Spongebob one as the colours came out looking a bit muddy. I managed to patch it up and whilst not completely satisfied, I didn’t feel it was too horrendous to send!

The biggest disappointment was with what started off as the perfect TARDIS blue.

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I knew another coat wouldn’t fix this so I had to rethink.

I picked up a porcelain pen in our local craft superstore. It was the correct blue but had a glitter finish.

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I went over all the parts which were blue but now looked sepia.
The application wasn’t too great, the paint tended to retract into pools and I felt I had to reapply a huge amount. Eventually I felt it was as good as it was going to get, and so I set it aside for the 4 hours it advised on the pen before baking (this time @ 160°C for 30 minutes, again, as instructed on the packaging)

The Final Product

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Now the mugs were completed, I set about filling them with tasty treats for a midnight feast!

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Another handful of marshmallows, a presentation treat bag & a ribbon added the finishing touches….

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Although the decorated mugs are no longer microwave or dishwasher safe, they should survive at least a few months of gentle hand washing.

I was quite pleased with the final result and hopefully the kids will like them!

Have you tried Sharpie Mugs yet? If so, how did yours turn out?

What’s your biggest Pinterest Fail (or success!)?

As always, thanks for stopping by!
Hugs,
The Crafty Lass
XXX