Thursday, October 27, 2011

crochet potholder

I love this potholder... and crocheting is much easier than you think, especially this one, cause it's just a square, nothing technical!



To start off you need a roll of rope, you can buy it at your craft or hardware store, and a crochet hook.  Hooks come in many shapes and sizes but the 4mm one is the best one to start off with.



First you need to make a slip knot.  I use my fingers to make the knot, it's much easier! (and I'm sure you've made a slip knot before, you just didn't know that's what it is called)
Holding the rope in your left hand hanging over your fingers, loop it around.

Now take the loose end and push it through the loop that has formed around your fingers.
Holding onto the piece that you have pushed through, pull the two ends down.


You will see that you can now move the loop, make it smaller so that it can fit on the hook.




Now to do the chain stitch.
Hold the short end of the rope in your right hand just below the slip knot.



Bring the rope in your left hand, round the hook from the back to the front by passing the hook under the rope.
Keep the rope taut in the left hand, draw the hook and the rope through the loop on the hook, now one chain stitch has been completed.



Repeat until you have about 20 stitches (if you count your stitches you don't include the slip knot).  As you work, release the short end of the rope and hold closer to the hook.



The stitch I used to make this potholder is called a double crochet stitch.
Insert the crochet hook into the next stitch, passing it from the front to the back of the stitch.  Pass the hook under the rope in the left hand in the normal way, so the rope is wound around the hook.



Draw the rope through to the front of the first loop on the hook, you will have two loops on the hook after this.


Pass the hook under the rope in the left hand and draw through both loops on the hook, slipping the loops off the hook at the same time.  One double crochet stitch has been completed.



Now to start the next row, turn the work over so that the last stitch made is the first in the new row.  Work one chain stitch, this will count as the first stitch on the hook, and also produce the height of the stitch.
Continue working in rows of double crochet, working a turning chain at the start of every row.  The right side and wrong side stitch patterns look similar except in the foundation row.

Continue until your work is a square (about 20 rows).  When you only have one more row to go, at the last stitch work chain stitch to form the loop of the potholder (about 12 stitches).  Then continue as before with the last row.



There you go, your crochet part is done!

Now for the heart.
I cut a heart out of felt, and stitched it onto the one side.  When stitching it on don't push the needle straight through, just catch the top part of the rope.








Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Ouma Geline's Guava tart


I inherited my ouma Geline's handwritten cook book... very special to me.  She spent loads of time in the kitchen and was always known for her cooking and baking and keeping everyone's tummy's full.  I remember in the kitchen there was always bottled guava's and goodies, tins with rusks and cookies... a few recipe's I'll still share.  






One of her favorites to make for tea time was this guava tart.  I decided to make it after my mother sent me a whole carry bag of guava's from the farm. :-)





So I first peeled and halved the fresh guavas, and then quickly boiled them in a water and  sugar syrup, ready for the tart.





FYI:
A single common guava (P. guajava) fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guava)   

Serves: about 12 
Tart pan: 30x20x5 cm
Making time: 20 - 30 min
Setting time: at least 3 hours

What you need:
1 swiss roll
1 tin guava’s (825g)
60 ml custard powder
60 ml water

1 tin of condensed milk
250 ml smooth cottage cheese
125 ml lemon juice
25 ml red jelly
250 ml cream  (optional)
5 ml vanilla essence (optional)
Castor sugar (optional)


Cut the Swiss roll into thick slices, and arrange in the tart pan (about 30x20x5).





Mash the guavas with its juice in a saucepan and bring to boil for about 3 min.  Then mix the custard powder with the water and add it to the guava’s, boil for another minute or so, and spread the hot guava mix over the Swiss roll, and allow to cool down.





Beat the condensed milk, cottage cheese, jelly and lemon juice and spread over the guava layer.

Put in refrigerator to set.





When serving, whip the cream, castor sugar and vanilla essence together and serve a dollop with the tart, add a mint leave or lavender for a finishing touch.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

hook and hang

I "hate" it when all my necklaces get tangled, but I made one of these...and i love it! :-) I can see what I have and no tangling... and we all have a old wooden hanger lying around the house or an old covered hanger that isn't that nice anymore. Spring is here and it's time to spring clean...get those draws sorted out!



It's so easy and an added bonus is that it looks pretty on the wall... if you don't like it hanging on your wall, you can hang it on the inside of your cupboard door.

What you need:
wooden hanger
ruler
pencil
round cup hooks (12mm)
nail
hammer

Decide how many hooks you want on the hanger. Use the ruler to measure so that they are evenly spaced, and make a small pencil mark.



Then take the the nail and make small holes where you are going to screw in the hooks.




Now screw the hooks into the holes you have made, and voila... your necklace hanger is done!



I have taken a broach/hairpin and clipped it to the coat hanger hook just to prettify it a bit.







Tuesday, October 18, 2011

bobotie... proudly south-african



I think every South-African girl should be able to make and bake some of the traditional South African food... and if you not South-African you should just try it, guaranteeing that you'll love this one!
  



FYI...
Bobotie (pronounced /b’bo ti/) is a South African dish consisting of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping.  The recipe is likely to have originated from the Dutch East India Company colonies in Batavia, with the name derived from the Indonesian Bobotok. Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobotie)

What you need 
1/2 cup      dried apricots
1/3 cup      pitted raisins
1/2 cup      dried apple rings
500g          mince
1 slice         white bread
 2 cups        milk
3 large        eggs
1 large        onion (chopped)
2 Tbs          butter
3 tsp           curry powder
2 Tbs          sugar
2 Tbs          vinegar
2 tsp           salt
1/2 tsp       black pepper
3                 bay leaves
handful      blanched almonds



Pre heat oven 180°C

Cover the apricots, raisons and apples with water and leave to soak till they swell (for a different taste you can also soak the fruit in lemon juice instead of water)



Soak bread in 100ml of milk
Mix the mince and the bread together and place one side



Braise the onion in butter till soft, then add the curry powder and stir for another minute over the heat
Now add the sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper and mix
Drain the fruit (keeping the water) then chop it roughly and add to the mixture in the pan along with the drained water
Simmer for about 5 minutes till mixture starts thickening



Whisk left over milk (400ml) and eggs together

Remove from the heat and mix fruit mixture with the mince
Spoon into ovenproof dish 
Push the almonds and bay leaves half way into the mixture and pour the milk mixture over

Bake for 45 – 50 min (or till firm and the milk mixture on top is golden brown)

Bobotie is usually served with salad and yellow rice, but I like serving it with a green salad and basmati rice. 


 Lekker eet! :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

felt hearts

I made these hearts a while ago for an awesome Christmas market in Cape Town called "Kamersvol Geskenke" (translated in english... "Rooms filled with gifts")




They are lovely as decorations on your  Christmas tree, to put around the back of a chair, around a door knob, or just anywhere that you want to hang them!


What you need:
Felt square (you can buy all colors of the rainbow at you local fabric or craft shop)
Embroidery floss
Embroidery needle
Quilt stuffing
Buttons (optional)


I think the most difficult part of making these are cutting the felt neatly.  It is important that the two "cheeks" of the heart is the same. To get this even I fold the felt in two and cut the heart with the fold of the material in the middle. You can use a half heart template to make sure of you heart form.




You need to cut 2 hearts. 




When you open it up it's a lovely symmetrical heart.




Now decide what design you want on your heart.  The design is on the front heart and done before the two hearts are put together.  Here's a few example of what you can do:







Now the next challenging part is the blanket stitch, it's easy once you get it so I'll try my best to explain.


You'll use the blanket stitch to put the two felt hearts together.  To start off, you thread the floss (with a knot at the end) through the top felt heart only, threading towards you. When putting the two hearts together, the knot is hidden away in between the two. (Here I used two different colours, for you to see the difference between the front and back, red front and green back)






Now do that again threading from back to front, but through both felt hearts. Before you tighten the floss, push the needle through the loop that has formed.  Then pull it through from bottom to top, and pull tight. You'll see the first stitch looks odd, but not to worry you'll fix it later. :-)






Now carry on putting the needle through both hearts from the back to the front, then pulling it through the loop before you pull tight.  Make sure that all your stitches is same depth and width, otherwise it looks untidy.


Continue till you have only about two centimeters to go.  Using the quilt stuffing, stuff the heart as fat as you wish it to be.  Then continue the blanket stitch to close it up.  The last stitch you must try and stitch it in as close to the first one as possible.  With the needle coming out the front, loop it through the first stitch from right to left (if right handed and you are working from right to left), then pull it through the loop as before.  This will pull that first stitch so that it is straight. 






To end off push the floss in between the front and back parts where you did the last stitch and pull it through to the other side of the heart, cutting off the floss level with the hearts edge so that it can't be seen.


To finish off use a thin ribbon and thread it through your needle.  Pulling it through the top of the heart, then just tie the ribbon at the top, ready to hang up!


If you are planning on making them to hang on your Christmas tree, I would suggest that you choose a colour scheme and make them different using the same colours.  


Have loads of fun!





Thursday, October 6, 2011

button up

I just love buttons, especially these fabric covered ones.  There is just so much you can do with them.

Alright I know there are some of you that has never covered a button in your life :-) so to start this project I will first teach you how to cover a button with fabric, the snap together type. Easy peazy...



What you will need:

  • uncovered snap together button form (they come in 2 pieces, front and back)
  • scrap material (remember that the button is small and big prints will "get lost" on the button so if you want print, remember to choose small print)
  • pliers if you are going to make something that you are going to stick to the back (you'll see what I mean later)
To start you cut a piece of material about a centimeter or so bigger in circumference than the button

Now turn the material face-down and place the button on the material




If you have a motive that is going to be on the button, make sure that it is the middle of the button (you can use a drop of glue (pritt or something similar so that it doesn't go through the material, this will secure the material and prevent it from slipping)

You can then start folding the material around the corners and secure it in the teeth of the button - I use my one hand to hold it and the other thumb's nail to push the material around and under the teeth of the button





Make sure that there aren't big folds around the sides, and that the material is evenly folded in all around the button

Now you can take the back part of the button  "and "click" into the back...(you will see that there is a rind, that must face the button) push down till you hear a "click" sound



Other suggestions:

If the material you are using is thin and you can see the shiny button through the material you can put a quilt batting on the top part of the button. Cut it as big as the button and don't let it fold over to the teeth, otherwise you won't get the material in and the back clicked in. It is easier if you stick the quilting to the button before you cover it with the fabric, because if it is not stuck down it shifts around.

If you are going to stick the button to something, I suggest you remove the loop at the back that was made to sew the button to something. You can just take pliers, squeeze the loop sides together and this will release the structure that forms the loop...now you go ahead as above and the surface is smooth, just with a little hole at the back.


So as I said, you can do a lot with these buttons...today I used them to make fridge magnets. All you need to do is get round magnets from your local craft shop. Make sure the magnets are strong enough to hold the button and the note under the button. Then simply use superglue of something similar to stick the magnet to the back of the button, remember to remove the loop structure before starting.




Wait for them to dry and there you have your beautiful magnets.



I used white felt and  red embroidery floss to sew a heart on the button.  This is done before you cover the button.  Remember when you cover the button that the heart must be placed in the middle.


Enjoy these fridge magnets - may they prettify your fridge and bring you loads of pleasure!