Monday, August 30, 2010

Crafts and Cooking.

The photo below was taken when preparing for a demo. At the front you see a pack of 6 Scotch Pancakes (aka drop scones). Ingredients to match the cost of the bought pancakes were mixed together then cooked to see how many Scotch Pancakes could be made (and of the same size - that's important when comparison costing), and you see the result below.

Had written on the back of the
photo that 30 had been made
for the price of 6 bought,
but it appears to show only 25.
Maybe there is one more hidden at
the back of each row. Not
important, for it is obvious
that home-made is far cheaper.
These pancake freeze well.

This last photo today shows a Xmas 'Sampler'. Have made many such 'samplers' (some have been copies of samplers made centuries ago, and they all looked very authentic (unless you stand close enough for your nose to touch the glass). To make these, all you do is find a frame that still has glass, and some linen type cloth (if using old sheeting, rinse in a little tea to make the fabric look 'old').
Take some marker pens (the sort that teachers use to write on celluloid), and lay the (clean) glass over a chosen picture. This can either be copied from a magazine onto graph paper, or the glass laid over a page in a magazine that already has a cross-stitch diagram printed.
Then carefully make little 'x's on the glass using the chosen coloured pen. What has to be remembered is that because the glass will be turned over so that the marks then lie against the linen, any lettering has to be written back to front. The best way to do this is write the letters on the front of the glass, and then turn the glass over and then copy over them on the 'inside'. When completed, wipe the letters off the front of the glass.
If wishing to form straight lines, do not use a ruler. Ruled straight lines look false, and the slight 'wobble' when drawing short straight 'stitches' by hand gives the appearance of real embroidery (a reminder of this given at the side of the pic).

Fit the backing fabric over some firm card that fits into the frame, lay the glass on top with the painted side against the material), and then fit the frame over, making sure the whole lot are fixed firmly together (as when framing a normal picture).
Full details of how to make these cheat's samplers are given in 'Have a Goode Year'. On the back cover of this book can be seen another 'sampler' hanging on the wall.

We used to bring this sampler out
every Christmas, and hang it on
a wall. Later,when all the
grandchildren had grown
up, gave the sampler away.
Wish I hadn't now, but at least
am able to remember it, now
I have found the photo again.
When making these 'sampler's
it is not necessary to use a
ruler, a little 'wobble' here and
there give the impression of
'real' stitching.
So no need to throw an old
frame away. Use it!

Pictures to come will be not just mats, but doll's furniture also made from old clothes pegs. Some more foodie pics, and even a wedding cake (I did the icing, the cake was made by my daughter).
Even managed to scan some photos of the christening dress made for our grandchildren, although not THAT clear, at least gives a good idea of what can be made from a length of white lawn and some basic embroidery stitches, and a length of cheap lace.

Many readers do have 'craft skills', and myself - although not very good at most of them - do enjoy trying to find new ways to use these. So hoping two of the above pics will have shown that if we can't have the real thing, by cheating we can often end up with something very similar, and possibly more enjoyed because of it.

Over forty years ago did make a proper 'stitched' sampler (my daughter in Ireland now has this), and although not very big, it took weeks to complete. The 'cheat's version (above) - once the design has been chosen need only take an hour (couple at most) to complete the whole thing - including framing.