Ages ago I showed you very quickly how I decorated my tray table. I love this thing to death because it means that I can work out in the lounge room without having a gigantic burning laptop scalding my legs! Because it’s adjustable I can make it flat and do crafts and nail art on it too :D
The problem with it is that on tiles every time you move it scrapes and make horrible noise. This is what the bottom of the feet look like, the tiles have actually worn through the paint! So my solution is to make it some socks to keep it’s feet warm :D
Needle and possibly pins
Similar coloured yarn
Lace for decoration
First detach the legs so it’s easier to work with. Lay your felt underneath it so you can measure how long you need it. You are aiming to have a long tube which will fit around the legs all the way up to the first hole in the side. My felt wasn’t long enough to do that so I had to use two pieces to make it long enough.
The cut out pieces, one for each leg.
To join the two pieces together I used a shoelace style stitch. This is to make sure it lays as flat as possible, you don’t want a wobbly table!
All sewn together into one piece:
After you’ve sewn them together, just make sure it’s still the correct length…
Now sew the other one :D
Now thread your needle with the yarn. Wrap the felt around the end of the leg and stitch (or pin) it in place to hold it.
Using a blanket stitch start sewing the felt into a tube around the leg.
It should look something like this:
Keep going all the way up!
When you reach the top where the hole is poke the needle through it then wrap the thread around a few times. This will secure the sock at the top of the leg so it doesn’t wiggle down while you’re using it.
Now at end you started at use the yarn to close up the hole.
Looks like this:
So this is what it looks like with the socks fully on..
Now it’s time to decorate :D I sewed a ring of lace around the top of the sock.
Finished! Heehee they remind me of cute little Lolita style socks :D
Much safer for the tile and a lot less of that irritating scraping noise!
On another note, with all the questions I’ve been getting lately about nail art I’m going to do a FAQ like the Hime Style one I did a few weeks ago. If you have any questions you would like included just comment or contact me.
I’m here to distract you with nail art but I’m sure you’ve all noticed a few of the changes I’m making around the blog by now ^_^
I’ve been quite busy over the weekend and fixed a lot of the issues we were talking about last post, there is still more to come so when I’m finished (probably in the next few days) I’ll do a round up post of what has changed. Please keep in mind that I’ll be tinkering so if something doesn’t work, don’t stress just wait a little bit and try again :)
So it would seem that my heart shaped measuring bowls and spoons are a bit of a hit! I was inundated with emails and comments asking where you could all get one. So here are two websites that apparently sell them or very similar to them. These sites both stock the spoons and other cute things as well.
Now onto what you all really want to see: NAIL ART!
Because I’m going to be spending the day making a heap of sets of nail art for my Etsy store I though I’d treat you to some eye candy ;) I know a lot of you have only just started reading my blog recently so I wanted to show you some nail art I did quite a while ago, most likely before you all started reading ^_^ If you’ve been reading for over a year feel free to skip this one :P Apologies for the size of the photos, these were all edited back when my blog was even tinier on blogspot.
These ones are all done with a Konad stamper for a competition, there are non-konad ones at the end.
Omg back when I had red hair :D
Hope you enjoyed and look forward to the nail art designs I’m doing today, some of them are pretty spectacular ^_^
But today’s post is mostly an outfit post so let’s get to that now!
Dress- Target Stockings- Myer Cardigan- a gift, maybe from Myer? Shoes- Bodyline… yes I’m wearing them yet again because they are so good for lots of walking. The black shoes in the other pics are oxfords from Payless. Scarf- Op shop
The story behind these photos is that whenever Jameswants to try out a new photography technique I get roped in to posing for him so he can practice. This time he was making a tutorial on how to do “dramatic cross lighting with only one strobe”. This is the end result of that:
I always feel like such a wanker posing so seriously though!
Look I am all dramatic because photography is SERIOUS BUZINESS.
This is definitely more my style! We’re back to Popteen rather than Vogue ;)
Go team gigantic scarf bow :D
That’s enough pic-spam for now ^_^ Last thing before I run off to the shops to get some more false nails to decorate… I want to get your opinions on a couple of things about the blog and the direction it’s going in so please take my quick poll! It’s only 3 questions long <3
I blame Lolita brands for this obsession. If they didn’t keep including them in prints or in sweets deco maybe I could forget about how melt-in-your-mouth-delicious they are… maybe I could ignore the fact that they are incredibly pretty… and maybe I could stop thinking about how I desperately want one for breakfast today with a cup of tea…
And so it goes on until one day I got so frustrated I decided to make them myself. I suppose that’s in keeping with the spirit of this blog ^_^
I searched and searched for a recipe. Many were too complicated with things like measuring the temperatures in the room and comparing the humidity to get the correct amounts for different parts of the world!? Macarons are apparently the most fickle of all deserts.
Finally just as I was about to give up a friend sent me a link to Not Quite Nigella’s Recipe. It seemed easy enough but I wasn’t too keen on the idea of pistachio as I wanted James to actually eat them too. I kept searching until I found the Tasted By Two version. Seemed easy enough… and so the experimenting began! After maybe 10 batches I have modified the recipe for our kitchen/temperature/humidity/what ever other ridiculous things macarons are scared of. I am not a baking purist, I just did what worked! These techniques might not work for you but I assure you that my result was freaking awesome :D
So here is everything I’ve learned about macarons and my modified version of the Tasted By Two Recipe:
What you need:
Ingredients for chocolate macarons with chocolate filling-
For the outside bit:
65 grams Almond Meal
80 grams Icing Sugar
40 grams Caster Sugar
1 table spoon Cocoa Powder
50 grams Egg White at room temperature
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
Piping bag/Small plastic bag
Gather everything together :D
Line your trays with aluminum foil. Yes in the photo I’m using baking paper… and you know what, it sucked. Every recipe I found said to use baking paper but EVERY batch that I did using baking paper failed miserably. So what I ended up using for the successful batches was aluminum foil *very* lightly sprayed with olive oil. I’ll talk more about the failed batches and how to avoid that later!
Measure out your almond meal. Having the correct weights is very important so be quite careful. Now about the almond meal… many recipes I found said that you should crush the meal even further in a food processor to make it extra fine. I don’t have a food processor so I used it straight from the pack. No problems so far.
This is how fine it was:
Do the same with your icing sugar and sift them into your bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
Then mix them together very well and make sure the consistency is even.
Now weigh your castor sugar.
And your egg whites. Egg whites are another highly debated point of this recipe. Some say you should leave them out over night, some say leave them for a week. I made macarons with eggs right after cracking them, over night and week old… and they were all exactly the same in my opinion. I really don’t think it makes a difference. Just make sure they aren’t too cold or else they won’t froth well.
Put your egg whites into a mixing bowl.
Add a pinch of salt to them
Now using your electric mixer beat them until they become slightly frothy.
When they look like this you should start adding the castor sugar a little bit at a time…
… until it looks like this :D The eggs should be light fluffy and peaky.
Now this part is quite fun! You should take your mixed up icing/almond and add 1/2 of it to the egg mixture.
Mix it up carefully, don’t be over zealous otherwise it will end up like cake. Once the first half is mixed in, add the rest and repeat.
According to a lot of recipes it should form ribbons off your spoon when you’re done. XD
Now mix in your spoon of cocoa
Ok time to get ready to pipe them. You can use a proper piping bag but if you’re not keen on cleaning one you can just use a plastic bag and throw it away after ^_^
Put your mixture into the bag!
And tie a knot into the top of it.
Now cut off the corner with a pair of scissors and pipe circles onto your tray.
Apparently some people will actually draw circles onto the baking paper to make sure they are completely perfectly shaped… I don’t really think that is necessary. If I wanted perfection I would go and buy them, I like he idea of mine being a little individual ^_^
Ok! So we’ve done the hard part! You should take your tray and bang it on the counter a few times to get rid of any air bubbles. Then leave the macarons on the counter for 1 hour to settle. While they are settling let’s talk about some other variations!
James doesn’t like chocolate much either so he asked for some blueberry flavored ones.
I used tinned blueberries, crushed them and added to the mixture just before piping.
This is easy enough, you just need to add slightly more of the dry ingredients to counter the wet of the blueberries. If you’ve made a couple of batches you should be able to roughly guess at what the correct consistency should be.
My absolute FAVORITE flavor is green tea with pistachio filling. OMG this is seriously awesome. All you need to do is add 1/2 a teaspoon of matcha powder to the mixture instead of your chocolate powder. I’m using one from Tea2 but any will work.
They all look so pretty!
When you come back to the macarons the icing should have formed a very slight shell, you should be able to touch the top without getting your finger wet. Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. When the oven is ready you can put in the tray and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes you should be able to see the little crinkly bottom feet, if not something has gone wrong! Cook for another 4 minutes and then allow them to cool on the bench.
This is a picture of the first time I tried to make them, they weren’t very pretty but you can see the little crinkly feet I’m talking about…
Leave the macarons to cool while we make the filling.Basically all that is involved in that is melting chocolate in the microwave, adding a little cream, butter and a little icing sugar so it doesn’t go solid again. Very delicious. Be sure to taste it along the way ;)
The pistachio variation on this is basically crushed pistachios with butter and icing sugar to make a delicious paste:
Now it’s time to remove the macarons from the tray and turn them over… the bottoms should look like this:
Below is a good example of failed bottoms. The reason this didn’t work is because they weren’t cooked long enough so the insides were liquidy. They stuck to the (stupid) baking paper and collapsed when being removed. Still tasted good though.
Take a half and spread some filling on, pop another half on top and you’re done :D
And here are the delicious green tea ones:
So there you have it! No longer will I be a slave to sweets deco and brand prints! Next time I crave macarons I’ll bloody well make some! :D Mine may not be the prettiest ever made but they tasted damn good and nobody complained so I’m happy!
Hope you all enjoyed the adventure as much as I enjoyed eating all of the failed and successful batches of macarons!