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

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2015 Resolution RoundUp: Week 1: 1st – 7th January

So, how have those daily/ weekly/ monthly challenges been going, you ask? Bloomin’ Brilliantly!!

The twice daily flossing hit a snag the night I got to bed around 4:30am but Operation Drink-loadsa-water is going altogether more swimmingly (tea counts as water, right?)

On the Weekly front, things are going much better; having managed both penpal &  letters, at least one new recipe (MUG CAKES! – more about those later) , a couple of blog posts and a wee make. Wheww!

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So yeah, MUG CAKES! Yes, they ARE a thing and YES, they involve what is QUITE POSSIBLY THE MOST DANGEROUS CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE IN THE WORLD (partly due to to posserchancity of it exploding in your microwave; but mostly because you are never more than 4 minutes away from Chocolate Cake and that my friend, is a very dangerous place to be.)

Essentially, they are a single(?)serve cake that you make in a mug, in the microwave. In under 4 minutes. Cake. In under 4 minutes.

Vanilla Mug Cake. This is mine. Mine sagged a little. Teen2, who had the first one (which turned out perfect!) , stuck his spoon in before I could snap a picture...

Vanilla Mug Cake.
This is mine.
Mine sagged a little.
Teen, who had the first one (which turned out perfect!) , stuck his spoon in before I could snap a picture…

It involves a fair bit of trial & error but our first attempt worked out surprisingly well. Teen2 had just swum home from his first day back at school (possibly using his euphonium case as some sort of canoe) and was mooching for a treat to go with his lemon tea.

So, first, some Do’s & Don’ts

Check your mug is microwaveable : you want a large mug (350 ml is ideal) and you can check it’s suitability by heating on high for a minute : if it comes out HOT, try a different mug. Obviously, steer clear of your fine bone-China teacup or Granny’s best tea service with the gold rim 😉

Got a mug? Great!! So, without further a-do, let  us proceed with the diabolical plan….

  • Into your mug, scoop 2 tablespoons of butter and melt on high for 20-30 seconds.
  • Add 1 tablespoon milk , 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 egg then beat together.
  • Next, add 3 tablespoons caster sugar 4 tablespoons self-raising flour & a pinch ofsalt . Mix thoroughly, taking care NOT to beat in too much air.

Cooking times are dependant on your microwave and temperature of your ingredients etc, but as a guide:

  • min 50 sec @ 600W
  • 2 min 30 sec @ 800W
  • 2 min 10 sec @ 1000W

If you try these, remember to come back and tell us how you got on! In the meantime, we’re planning chocolate peanut next 🙂

The Weekly Make: did make something, but as it is a gift for someone, I don’t want to let the surprise out until they’ve received it.

The big Monthly challenges have yet to be addressed this month but I’m sure helping edit Teen1’s 6000 word History assignment counts as a little bit of studying.

Does anyone else have a scheme to win at New Year Resolutions? Did you make any? And how are they going?

Thanks for reading, and pop back soon!

One Down, FiftyOne To Go….

RESOLUTIONS and the likes… 

Well, that’s the end of the first week of January already! The holidays certainly whooshed by and Christmas seems like a distant memory. Have you ever noticed how it takes wayyyy longer it to put the whole ruddy thing back IN the box than it does to put up? We don’t overly decorate but it still looks so bare when the trees & decorations come down 😦

Christmas, back in the box till next time!

Christmas, back in the box till next time!

My day job certainly has the holidays going for it (well it has to have some sort of positive, and it sure ain’t the snazzy uniform, fantastic pay or the little animals angels!) I finished up on the 23rd and didn’t start back until today (to choruses of “it’s only 5 weeks till the long weekend!” )

I never really get the whole NEW YEAR RESOLUTION thing, I always think if you really want to change or improve on something, you should just do it. Indeed, whenever someone asks what mine is, I usually reply “Oh, I resolved to not make one…whoops! Broken it, oh well!”

But this year I’ve decided to do something different. Instead of one BIG Resolution that will no doubt be abandoned by February, I have made a list of smaller (i.e. more ‘do-able’) challenges & ideas in the hope that at least a few might stick!

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MONTHLY CHALLENGES include:

  • Learning a new skill (candidates so far include crochet & calligraphy )
  • STUDY!! After completing a thoroughly enjoyable MOOC last year on Archaeology, it was my intention to do more but things & stuff got in the way… Anyway, Roman Architecture starts 5th February 🙂
  • SPEND MORE QUALITY TIME WITH MY OH : sounds kinda dumb but generally anytime we do ‘something’, the kids are involved too. I mean, they even tagged along when we went away for our anniversary!) I resolve to arrange a ‘date’ at least once a month, just for us. A meal out, night away, tickets for a gig, even just a takeaway & a movie on the sofa. But NO kids, NO laptops, NO work. GAH!! How will we cope?? 

Some WEEKLY CHALLENGES are 

  • Letterwriting : I have a bunch of penpal letters awaiting replies and I NEED TO DO IT rather than continue to put it off! I challenge myself to write at least ONE letter, each & every week.
  • Try A New Recipe
  • BLOG : I set this up then was wary of publishing anythinganything (I have a ton of draft posts loitering that I didn’t have the guts to post :/ ) I MUST write (& publish!!) SOMETHING on here weekly. Who knows? I may even get the bug and do it more often!?!
  • Make SOMETHING: I have a huge amount of crafting stash but haven’t really done a huge amount of crafting recently. I challenge myself to make at least ONE thing every week.
  • PostPals! : I already participate in this great project by sending off monthly mail packs and also random envelopes but I’d love to commit to more regular participation.

DAILY RESOLUTIONS:

  • DRINK MORE WATER : I used to drink loads of water but judging by the number of plastic bottles we’ve recycled recently, I’m clearly not!!
  • FLOSS MORE – I’m lazy!

Well, that’s probably more than enough of my ramblings for now…. Feel free to pop back later for Week 1’s RESOLUTION ROUNDUP!