Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Making beeswax wraps with Jen

Hello! A couple of weeks ago my friend Jeneva and I made beeswax wraps, and it was really fun and easy! Beeswax wraps can be used instead of plastic wrap to keep food fresh and they are reusable and washable in cold water. You shouldn't use them to cover meat though, since you can't wash them in hot water.To make your own beeswax wraps, you'll need:
  • beeswax (we brought ours from Riot craft stores)
  • jojoba oil (you can get this from chemists)
  • cotton fabric
  • a cheese grater
  • a saucepan
  • an oven safe dish
  • an airing rack 
  • newspaper (to catch drips under the rack)
  • pinking shears
  • healing mat, rotary cutter, quilting ruler (optional)
  • iron 
  • oven

We started off by grating the wax; Jeneva ended up grating up about 375 grams of beeswax. Grating the wax makes it melt quicker and more evenly.

While Jeneva was grating the wax, I cut the cotton fabric into squares. First I ironed the fabric and then cut it into squares using my healing mat, quilting ruler, and rotary cutter. Then I used my pinking shears around the edges of each square. I thought that making sure the fabric was cut into squares with straight edges before I used the pinking shears would be easier than drawing out the squares and the pinking them, but you could really do it either way!

We melted the beeswax in a small saucepan over a low heat and then added three teaspoons of jojoba oil per 100 grams of wax; we added a total of 11 teaspoons of jojoba oil. We put all of the fabric squares in an oven safe dish, poured the melted wax over it, then put the dish in the oven for 15 minutes at 100oC. The low heat of the oven keeps the wax liquid to give it time to really soak into the fabric.

Then we pulled each piece of fabric from the dish, and hung it on the airing rack to cool down; because the beeswax stiffens the fabric, we didn't need pegs to keep them on the rack. Some of the fabric had too much wax on it so I would hold the fabric up over the dish and Jeneva would use a butter knife on either side of the fabric to scrape off some of the excess wax.

After the fabric was cool, we folded it into little packs and tied them with twine - we think they'll make lovely gifts! We made 28 beeswax wraps altogether, and I'm already using mine!

- Lisa xx

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Pug plushie

Hello! Oh my gosh, I've been gone from here a while! If you follow me on Instagram then you'd be pretty caught up but I've just finished my post-graduate studies and become qualified to be a librarian! I start my first ever librarian job on January 2nd 2018, but in the meantime I'm hoping to get lots of crafting and skating done ^___^

First up: this adorable little pug plushie! I found this pattern on Cut Out + Keep and thought the cute little puppies could easily be cute little pugs. The pattern is free to download, but there are no instructions included; you will have to get hold of the book "Palm Sized Softies" by Hitomi Takahashi if you need them. However, I didn't find it too difficult to complete the plushie without instructions, so maybe give it a go even if you can't get the book ^____^ I do kinda want to look at the whole book now though, since this pattern is so cute!

I used polar fleece to make my puppy, in tan and black for that pug colouration. To try and make them look more pug-like I also added black rings around the eyes and a black muzzle. For the nose I glued on a tiny piece of black pleather. Black on black is hard to see, but I think the different textures work well together.

This puppy does have a black leather collar on, but I thought they should look a bit more cheery so I also tied on a bright red bow!

I added a short piece of pipe-cleaner in the tail to try and make it curl like some pug tails do, but I don't think the tail itself was long enough as it didn't really work. It does curl upwards, just not in the corkscrew way I was aiming for.

I also think the ears turned out a bit bigger than how the ones in the original pattern picture look, which is odd because I followed the pattern exactly! Still, I think this little pug turned out pretty darn cute! 

What do you think? Pug or not? Cute or not? ~___^

I'm working on a big blanket project (ummm, when am I *not* working on a big blanket project?) but hopefully I'll be back soon with some smaller projects too! I've got something in the works for those who wear helmets (can you guess?) ^____^

- Lisa xx