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Sunday, December 4, 2011

How To Make Eggnog (without using heavy cream)

Delicious, creamy eggnog is a christmas season favorite, and surprisingly easy to make. You can add a bit of rum to make this classic eggnog if you like, or you can keep it kid safe by just following the recipe I've given below. It's a wonderful treat, especially when served with freshly baked eggnog latte cupcakes. I'll be making a recipe post for those next, so save a bit of eggnog and vanilla frosting if you'd like to try them out.

Since it's holiday season I decided to give a try at making eggnog from scratch, but I quickly came across an issue. Most eggnog recipes call for heavy cream, which is a bit hard to find around my area. Any recipes without the use of heavy cream used milk, half & half, or whipped cream replacements, but it seemed that people were having a problem with getting that rich and creamy texture heavy cream recipes offer. In light of this I put together my own recipe on eggnog without use of heavy cream, which still allows for a very creamy texture. It only takes about 20 minutes to make.

What You Will Need:
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups of milk or 2 cups milk and 1 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • vanilla frosting
  • optional spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc ( i used 1/3rd of a candy cane stick which adds a peppermint flavor and a pink hue if you stir it for a moment)
Step 1:   Put 6 eggs in a large sauce pan and sugar. Whisk until smooth.

Step 2:   Add 2 cups of milk, whisk until blended. Place over medium heat and whisk for about 5-10 minutes or until the texture is thick/frothy and sticking to your spoon. Do not cook too long or it will become lumpy.

Step 3:   Take off heat, add 2 heaping table spoons of vanilla frosting and a cup of milk or half & half.

Step 4:  Add spices and stir in. If you want it to have a peppermint flavor, break up a candy cane and toss that in. Mix until the eggnog is pink, then scoop out the remaining bits of candy cane (or leave them in if you prefer). 

Step 5:   Taste. If you want it thicker, add more vanilla frosting. Let the eggnog cool for an hour or two in the refrigerator, then serve.

If you wish to have peppermint flavored eggnog, add candy cane sticks. Not only does it look nice, but giving a few stirs while the eggnog is still hot will give it a swirly pink look. Candy canes have the perfect flavor of sweet peppermint, and there are a number of different kinds available. A pack of candy canes only costs about a dollar or two and they can be found all over the place during holiday season. Other delicious spices you can add are nutmeg, chai, cinnamon, and clove. Many of these work well together or alone. I made my eggnog with half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a dash of clove. It tastes delicious, especially with the peppermint.

Friday, December 2, 2011


It's finally complete, so have a look. If you're a crafter and wish to swap links, send me a message and I would be happy to do the exchange.

All that aside, I'm fairly busy with commissions and cleaning up shop as of late, but I've tried to put in the time for various crafty ideas for all those lolita loving artists out there. If you have any ideas or have seen some lovely crafts you'd like to share, I'd be more than happy to list them here, too. I am still working on my star tutorials and will have a new one posted up soon. Probably today or tomorrow.

In the fashion world I've been oogling over Infanta's new winter coats like crazy. Can you imagine how nice the cashmere must feel? All those beautiful designs and perfect stitching and intricate embroidery just steals my breath away. I dare say I will be disappointed when winter comes to an end, because there is such an elegance in nice winter coats, lovely gloves and warm boots. I personally own a very nice long black suede coat with faux fur trim, but having one of those babies at Infanta would blow it out of the water. Alas, I've been saving up for Sakuracon and I don't think I could afford putting money away toward any fashion items just yet. Upon summer I should hope that will change, and I can post up some gorgeous new outfits I just might get.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How To Make A Snow Globe

Pretty much anything around the house that is clear and can be sealed is able to be a snow globe. Mason jars are a common option, but I personally like to reuse salt and pepper (or other spice) shakers. Depending on the size of your globe, these can be used for just about anything, including christmas presents. Small ones can even be used as ornaments; just attach a ribbon or sturdy string to the top in a hoop.

My own globes will be listed for sale on my website.

Salt Shaker Snow Globe
What you will need:

  • a salt shaker with the lid
  • cotton stuffing
  • something to put inside (I used a doll charm I made out of poly clay)
  • glitter
  • a hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • decorations (ribbon, cloth to cover the lid, etc)
Step 1.  Carefully squeeze a generous amount of glue into the shaker. Make sure it only touches the bottom. Drop a chunk of cotton in and use a stick or pencil to stuff it down. If the stick gets stuck, carefully use another one to pry the material off before pulling it out. Let dry.

Step 2.  Add more glue on top of the cotton, then add your charm. Using tweezers can help you to position it. Let dry.

Step 3.  Fill with water, then add a decent amount of glitter.

Step 4.  Squeeze a good amount of glue into the inside of your shaker cap, making sure it fills the little holes. Then coat the insides of the shaker with glue and quickly screw or press it firmly onto the top of the shaker. Let dry.

Step 5.  Turn the shaker upside-down to check if water leaks. If it does, fill the leaking spots with glue to seal it.

Step 6.  Decorate your globe as you wish!

How To Make A Paper Star - Crafts

Last night I was looking over some ideas in various online magazines and came across a basic paper star craft idea. It inspired me to make my own, so I've decided to post a couple of my paper star craft ideas. The first one was mostly for an experiment. I really wanted a reason to cover newsprint cutouts of stars in glitter and since I love sleeping 'under the stars', I thought an elegant, simple mobile would add a nice touch. You can add a lot of stars or extra detail if you like, but I opted for something modest with mine. I do not suggest using these for baby beds because the glitter could fall off in bits and land in a baby's eyes.

These mobiles could also easily be used to make chimes if you have weatherproof material. Even random seashells or pieces of driftwood rather than stars would sound and look beautiful. I have seashells all over my own house, and they're very useful for various crafts.

First, if you wish to learn how to make a paper star, you can do so here. There are a lot of options for different sorts of stars you can make. Once you have your stars cut out (I just used a bunch of newspaper and ads I receive in the mail) you can follow the tutorial below, or one of the other tutorials I will be listing next.

Stars Mobile
What you will need:

  • paper stars
  • glitter
  • craft glue
  • hot glue or strong tape
  • string/ribbon
  • decorations
  • wire or something that can hold the stars (a bent coat hanger, etc)
  • a thumbtack

  1. Take your stars and coat one side in glue. Then cover this with a thick layer of glitter. I mixed some glitter to make different shades. Let dry.

2.   Get your wire and bend it to a circle. You can also use a paper plate or some sort of similar circle. Decorate this as you wish, then hot glue or firmly tape strings of different length to it. One string for each star. 

3.   Hot glue or firmly tape the tip of each star to each string. Make sure the stars are far enough apart that they don't bump into each other when hanging. 

4.   Add as much decoration as you want. I used a ribbon to hang my wire, and put a cluster of feathers hot glued to a ribbon in the center of the piece. 

5.   Hang it wherever you please. Mine is going above my bed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monochrome EGA mini hat

Yet another one of my mini hats. This is a black and white EGA mini top hat, made of cotton with a plastic canvas base. The ribbon used it a fine grossgrain, though it looks a bit like satin. The tiny all black bows are just typical thin grossgrain ribbon. On the bottom of the hat there is smooth black velvet with an attached comb to secure it to your hair. I would personally wear this hat, since I love that classy, victorian gothic look. I think it is pretty gender-neutral as well, which spices up the collection. It's a fairly simple hat, but I believe it speaks of elegance.

I will be listing it with all of my other hats on my website. I've been revamping my website as well as my blogs over the last couple of days, so things should get more active. However, it will probably be a bit chaotic until it's all settled and cleaned up. I've got quite a lot of hats I plan to list, as well as a stuffed animal (I am debating making more of these) and some bows. I've also been thinking of making bloomers/breaches, but that will have to wait until I have enough material. Unfortunately I am broke.

Ah, which reminds me, if anyone wishes to donate to my artist endeavors (donations will be used to purchase supplies) you may do so using paypal. :)
Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.

I have been considering making a DIY/tutorial on how to make a mini hat using my own techniques. I know there are some out there, but most seem to be a bit on the less-than-professional side. I have been making these for quite a few years, so maybe I can contribute something useful. Once I have some down-time I'll see to pumping one out. Pretty soon here there will be a list of tutorials I've made available for easy access on the blog, so please bare with me while I put things together. It's quite untidy. 

Cupcake Hat

Here's my finished cupcake hat. I'm pretty happy with it. This is a remake of an older design and I think it came out quite well, though it certainly took a while. The entire piece is hand-made. The base is made of plastic canvas and overlaid with soft pink cotton decorated in little white hearts. a ring of lace and organza accentuates this, and little pearly pink candy beads circle the cupcake. The cupcake itself is made of polymore which was hand formed, hand painted, and then lightly glazed. I also made the heart candy at the top of this, which is likewise topped with a pearl.

It's a very intricate and delicate looking hat, but surprisingly sturdy. I manhandled it quite a bit as I made it. The bottom of the hat is fixed with a smooth surface of the pink/white heart cotton, and a strong black comb is secured to it so you can seamlessly slip it into your hair and go.

I don't normally make hats like this as they tend to be the hardest for me, but they're also satisfying. My design is completely made by me, so it is guaranteed one of a kind, which is a nice feeling. I will be putting this up on my website for sale. It is made of the same material as my teacup hat.

I've also been working on some of my other hat designs and getting things in order to list quite a few other items-- specifically, I'm working on a bonnet design. It's a busy time of the year, so posts may be a bit sporadic.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Unique Plant Holder

This is probably my best invention yet, and there really isn't much to it. I've had vintage teacups laying about and so Ii wanted to do something with them. I use clippings from plants around the house. I have also used large seashells to hold plants, and they make wonderful gifts.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Locked down

So sorry for the lack of posts, I have had a rough time trying to get into blogger and it seems things are finally fixed. I will update very soon with new things!

Sorry again!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Cotton Lace Woes

It's probably clear by now that most of the time I'm building sweet lolita items, but I also cover EGL, Steam Punk, victorian gothic (generally men's attire) and cosplay. Yesterday I went to my beloved Jo-Ann Fabrics on a quest for some good, quality foam for the Neon Genesis Evangelion suit I am custom making my fiance. Since I am on a budget I had to lecture myself to not buy anything else.

But I failed terribly and ended up buying some lovely, fine grossgrain white ribbon and a nice black, white, and subtly smoky purple flower pattern cotton.

If only they had decent lace. One thing I have noticed about my favorite arts and crafts store is that they never have decent lace. Ever. It is always scratchy nylon or cheap polyester. They have rows and rows of the stuff, and it's such a shame. I saw a heart pattern that was beautiful, but the lace was terribly scratchy.

The quality of lace can easily make or break a lolita outfit, no matter how lovely that outfit is otherwise. The problem is that most craft stores have no clue at all. So where do we go to get our fine lace? As for me, I go to ebay. It's a risky business I don't recommend unless you've already got specific sellers you use who's stuff you know is good. I generally order from a nice older woman who handcrafts all her lace, and it is the softest, most beautiful lace I've ever purchased. But you don't need to go to ebay for it. Check out some local bridal shops and you might find yourself surprised that they often sell gorgeous, quality lace.

If you want to buy lace online, however, here are a few highly suggested shops: (only has a few good quality, so be careful) (gorgeous section of tulle lace) (chinese) (check out their cluney lace, very nice)

Links credited to:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cute Lolita Deco Charm Sets

Posting up a few more sets of deco charms. The largest of these is only about an inch tall. The small items are roughly the size of a pea. See the below post for information on these and how they're made!

They are very, very tiny, too.

Deco Charms

Someone recently asked me about deco and I was reminded of the bag of charms/deco I've made that's been laying around. So I thought I'd take a few pictures. This set is my 'Alice in Wonderland' set and includes variations of the white rabbit, Alice's blue bow, a mini mad hatter hat (complete with a tiny sash and card) and a carrot for the bunny because, you know, bunnies love carrots.

These are made with poly clay, and are really quite easy. If you're interested in making deco you can get some clay for fairly cheap at most arts and crafts stores (Joanne Fabrics is my all time favorite). It comes in different colors, but I prefer to get white and then just paint it as the natural color of the clay can be altered when baked. The particular charms I made are -very- small. The hat itself is only an inch tall.

Tip: If you want your deco/charms to have a polished and 'glossy' look without getting expensive, apply some clear nail polish over them. Let that coat sit, then once it's totally dry, apply another coat. It works very well and is a cheap alternative to gloss paints out there. :)

The 'I Love You This Much' Bunny

A plushie that informs you just how much she loves you. Never mind those teddy bears when you've got bunnies like this. She is made out of some left over cupcake material, with a mildly shirred yellow heart fringed around the edge to give that 'bursting' look. Her eyes and nose are sewn on and made of black thread with three little eyelashes on each. I prefer this method sometimes because it has a more 'old fashioned' appeal that just aids the adorableness, don't you think? She is stuffed with soft synthetic fiber and stands at about a 8" tall (though technically she doesn't stand-- she's too round for that and I had to prop her a bit for the top photo). I've always loved the childish sweetness of shouting, "I love you this much!" with arms thrown wide open, and I wanted to encompass that.
My apologies for the bad lighting since this was taken at night. I've been thinking of making a lightbox to fix this. They're very easy to create and great for photographing things at any time of the day with minimal effort-- perhaps I'll put up a tutorial on it later.

Should you be mesmerized by her cuteness, she is for sale.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Spring Theme Mini Hat

A little project of mine. I decided to add my recently made strawberries (from the tutorial below) to this adorable little mini hat. I usually list these (and other various goodies) in my shop, if you're interested.

Mini hats, oh boy. They're getting quite popular. I remember years ago that it was only the goths and really old english women who wore them, but now they're all over the place. I'm one for cotton myself, but it seems straw ones are getting out there. What are your thoughts on straw mini hats? Ever made a mini hat? I personally prefer to use plastic canvas rather than felt or cardboard. It is cheap, durable, and very light weight. Cardboard warps over time and felt just seems so tacky to me. Hatting itself can be very addicting and fun to do. The amount of variation possible from just a bit of material is pretty astounding.

As always, comments, thoughts, ideas, and suggestions are welcome. If you make any mini hats I'd love to see some of your work!

Tutorial on How to Make a Cloth Strawberry

Here's a little tutorial on how to make a cloth strawberry. You can opt to make a flower instead by not stuffing the strawberry and using it as a 'petal'. Four to six petals sewn together make a very adorable flower. My flower has a cotton filled center so that it can be used as a pincushion. I do not suggest making a felt strawberry as felt tends to be a bit too thick. Something thin like cotton (in fact, I always make cotton strawberries) is much better.

On with the tutorial!

Step 1: Draw and cut out a circle from your fabric. Fold this in half and then cut along the crease so that you have two halves.

Step 2: Fold one of the halves in half, so that you have a quarter of a circle, with the face of the fabric on the inside. Sew along the straight edge, leaving the curved edge open.

Step 3: Turn it inside-out. The face of the fabric should be showing (mine is the same on both sides). Now run a small, relatively tight gathering stitch along the open edge, and do not tie it off as we will do this after stuffing. You will already see your strawberry taking shape!

Step 4: Stuff the strawberry with cotton. You can also use very finely cut up bits of fabric if you don't have any cotton. Just make sure it's well shredded. If you are making the flower, skip this step.

Step 5: Pull the gathering thread tight, this should seal up your strawberry. Stitch it securely so that it doesn't come open.

Optional step 6: Make some leaves to add to the bottom of your strawberry. If you are making the flower, just connect these petals (unstuffed strawberries) together and place something in the middle. I used a little stuffed ball of yellow cotton.

And you're done!

Be sure to leave comments, I'd love to see any ideas and finished projects involving this!

From Scraps to Scrap Box Gift Package - Perfect for Mother's Day

I don't know about you, but I save every little scrap I can, so long as there's more than just a few threads to it. While I've gotten some funny looks for it, I have always figured that you never know when you might need the oddest little bit. Well, this morning I was looking at my pile of scraps (or rather, a grocery bag full of them) and felt it needed to look a bit nicer.

Project time.

So I made a box, slathered it with fabric glue, and stuck little bits and pieces of scraps to it. Topped it off with two bows I hadn't found any use for and a bit of ribbon from an old gift wrap (also used for the handle), and viola! A scrap box made of scraps. :)
I will make a tutorial later of gift boxes, as this spurred me to make some more.
I actually used this for the 'package' for my mother's day gift since it's perfect size, and included a set of the teacup and cupcake pincushions. I lined the box with a red satin and wrapped the smaller items in red tissue paper. Both her giftbox and her pincushions will hopefully be useful to her newly growing craft room.

If you make one of these or a variation of it, I'd love to see, so please comment!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Cupcake / Teacup Pincushion Tutorial

Thought I'd make a tutorial on how to make adorable cupcake pincushions. These are roughly 1.5 to 2 inches tall and about an inch across, or 4 inches in diameter. They are very easy, not at all time consuming, and take very little material. I made my own from scraps.
These little cupcakes make great gifts, especially passed out at Lolita meet-ups!

Step 1: Choose your material. You will need at least two; one for your cake and one for your cupcake wrapper. The one for your cake must be plush, or you will end up using a good amount of material. I am using some leftover brown velvet for my 'chocolate'. It is perfectly plush. You can probably get away with a thick cotton, but velvet, felt, or even wool would be better. Make sure it is something that can handle a whole lot of needles without being ruined. The second fabric (for the wrapper) must be something more thin, such as basic cotton, which is what I've used.
** You can also opt for a third color if you wish to make a swirly cupcake. I have used a mint-green cotton for this in my tutorial.

Step 2:  Cut a strip from your cake fabric (and a matching one from your swirl fabric if you're using it) measuring 2 inches tall by roughly a foot long. The length is determined by how thick your fabric is. You can determine this by rolling the fabric (or if using a swirl, roll them together) until it measures 4 inches in diameter (about 1 inch across) at the widest. Fold these in half and sew each along the bottom of the length so that you have a tube (or tubes).

Step 3: If using a swirl, place the swirl fabric on top of the cake fabric with the cake fabric sticking out just a little so that you can tuck it over the swirl fabric and then begin rolling. Then fold (in the picture below, please ignore that my swirl fabric was not quite the height as the cake- it was made from a scrap so I had to make it a bit smaller than normal) If not using the swirl, just start rolling the fabric. You want to be careful and not have the center collapse. As you roll, slowly pull the fabric down a bit.

Step 4: If using swirl fabric, cut a bit off the swirl piece so that it is slightly overlapped by the cake. Pin and sew the end so it's snug against the cupcake. I used a bit of fabric glue to add some extra sturdiness, but you don't have to.

Step 5: Cut off any extra material on the bottom of the cupcake so that it's nice and flat.

Step 6: Measure your wrapper fabric. It should be 4 inches tall by whatever the diamater of your cupcake is plus 1/2 inch. My cupcake was about 4 inches in diameter, so I measured my wrapper at 4 x 4.5 inches. The extra 1/2 inch is going to be a 1/4 inch seam allowance for each end.

Step 7: Fold the 4 inch length in half and sew the bottom to make a tube as you did with your cake.

Step 8: Now fold the tube in half and sew the pieces together along the 1/4 inch seam allowance. You should have a small tube matching the diameter of your cupcake. Turn it inside out.

Step 9:  With the sewn end at the bottom, slide the wrapper up over the bottom of the cupcake. It should be nice and snug. If it is not, tighten the tube up by sewing it a little more, so that you've made your seam allowance bigger.

Step 10: Now fold the bottom of the cupcake wrapper. It is pretty much how you fold the end of a gift-wrapped package, but I will try to demonstrate. Otherwise have a look at step 4 of this for an example. We are folding it this way because it makes the bottom pretty flat, so that the cupcake can sit upright without falling over. Once folded, pin in place and sew it really well.

Step 11: Decorate!

If you wish to add a handle, they can easily be turned into teacups!