Life in Pictures is our weekly mini-gallery of what our Little Buttons have been up to over the last seven days.
I don’t know about you, but I find that the only hair clips available to buy for toddlers are pretty hideous. Pink fairies, glittery flowers and gross plastic hearts. But its easy to make your own and it takes all of about ten minutes. I was only going to make a couple but I got a bit addicted and ended up making 7.
I made these a few days before I went into labour…All beautiful little items of procrastination when what I really should have been doing was digging baby clothes out the loft and packing my hospital bag. Oops. It is because of these bows that I had no pyjama bottoms on the hospital ward!
Here’s how to make your own.
You will need:
Plain hair clips (mine were little ones, about an inch)
1. Print out the template to your preferred size and cut out (NB The bows can be any size, but I included a tape measure in the template picture below so you can get an idea of the size I made).
2) Pin to the felt and cut out
3) Take the largest piece and fold together to create a bow shape. Glue in place on the back.
4) take the curved piece and glue in the centre of the back of the bow
5) Wrap the smallest piece around the centre of the two glued pieces and glue at the back, quite tightly.
6) Open up the clip and glue along the top. Attach the bow and leave to dry. If you want to make a few, its almost just as easy to layer up the felt and cut out a few in one go.
Much better than fairies. I think.
We’re really lucky here at Little Button Diaries to have been nominated by Karinna from Cheesy Biscuit and Simon from Spade Fork Spoon for a Liebster Award, and Jo from An Expat Abroad for the Sunshine Award. Both of these awards are given to blogs from other bloggers as a way of paying it forward. We are so thrilled that people enjoy reading our blog as much as we enjoy writing it. Thank you!
For each award we were asked a set of questions about ourselves. Here’s a small selection of our answers…
Why did you start the blog?
We started this diary of our life to document our Little Buttons growing up, and for them to read when they are old enough. We also wanted to start more craft projects and finish the existing ones, and having the blog gives us the motivation to do this!
What is your favourite book?
At the moment it’s Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. I know it’s a children’s book but my Little Button loves it so much because of all the flaps to lift up and explore.
What is your most prized possession?
We both love our photo albums and our cameras. They are like our other children!
What is your favourite blog post (provide a link)?
Our favourite post so far is our 100th post. It felt like such an achievement to reach this point as we didn’t know how long we would keep this up once we started. Now we can’t wait to plan our next landmark post.
What’s the worst item of food you’ve ever tasted?
For Tia it was a portion of fermented soya bean in Japan. She still shudders at the thought of them. For me, it’s any hot fruit. Even the ones disguised as a crumble.
Who (or what) makes you laugh?
Would it be too much of a cliché to say our Little Buttons make us laugh? I’m struggling to think who else makes me laugh more.
What thing do you do less, that you actually think you should do more often?
I always seem to have every intention of flossing my teeth because I know it’s good for me but never seem to get round to it. I also think I should step away from the iPhone/computer/camera more often and live in the present a bit more.
To where would you most like to travel?
I would really like to go to Hawaii so I can wear a grass skirt (in public) and play my ukulele, and Tia would love to go tango dancing in Argentina.
What motivates you to keep blogging?
We tend to motivate each other to keep going and spark off one another for ideas. Also the wealth of talent from other bloggers and the desire to create beautiful things is very motivating, as are the lovely comments and feedback we receive from readers.
Most embarrassing moment in your life?
For Tia her most embarrassing moment was when she was 12 and she accidentally wet herself on stage in her acting debut in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Damn that teacher who wouldn’t let her go to the loo!
On Wednesday George and I went away for a night – a last little break before baby number two came along. A little bit of seaside, a nice meal and a chance to read a PAPER (Apparently it has news and stuff in it?).
But it wasn’t meant to be. We had only been at the hotel for an hour when the contractions started, and our baby was born (mostly in an ambulance!) about two hours later. So… Here she is, little Lilah.
In a few weeks my Little Button will be one year old. I’m sure every mother says this but I can’t believe how quickly the year has gone. She has changed from a tiny baby to my sweet, characterful little girl.
We’re planning a small family party for her and I’m busily preparing decorations for the occasion. I apologise now if my next 50 posts are all birthday craft related!
For this project you will need:
- Sheets of glitter paper
- Bakers twine and needle
(My handwriting isn’t the best, and I wanted to make sure all the letters were the same size and style, so I used a computer to print them out. If you’re more artistic than me, you can skip the next bit and just freestyle!)
Begin by typing your phrase into a programme like Microsoft Word. I used the Arial Black font, sized 300, to print out my wording, and then cut each letter out.
This gave me nice clear template letters, which I could then place on to the glitter paper. The benefit (for me) of doing it this way is that I wasn’t wasting lots of pieces of glitter paper trying and failing to cut out neat lettering by hand.
To attach the letters to the bakers twine, I threaded them with a needle, putting two holes in the top of each letter. I started with the thread at the back of each letter, pulled it through to the front, and then passed it back around itself so the thread was at the back of the letter again. It took a bit of trial and error to get the spacing between the letters looking nice, and to make sure I had enough ‘hanging’ string left at both ends. I’d recommend adding a few letters at a time and regularly holding it up to check you’re happy with the look of it as you go.
One birthday craft down… only another 4,736 to go. Yikes!
If you like our crafts then please vote for us for Best Craft Blog for the MAD Awards. Click on the picture below to nominate us. Thank you!
~ Laura xx ~
It was Tia’s birthday recently and I wanted to make her an extra special cake. When she mentioned she liked the toffee and banana half birthday cake I made last year, I thought I’d make a new version with a slight twist. Instead of toffee… I used fudge! Lots and lots and lots of fudge – all topped with banana buttercream.
For the sponge:
- Ingredients for a sponge cake
- 150g fudge chunks
For the banana buttercream:
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 100g of unsalted butter
- 375g of icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp of lemon juice
For the topping:
- Banana chips
- A sprinkling of fudge pieces
Follow your recipe to make a sponge cake. Once the mixture is made stir in the fudge chunks. Keep some aside for the decoration.
Whilst the sponge cooks make the banana buttercream. Begin by mashing the banana and mix it with the butter, lemon juice and vanilla extract. In small batches mix in the icing sugar until everything is combined.
Once the cakes have cooled, sandwich them together with the banana buttercream. Spread the remaining buttercream around the whole of the cake and garnish with banana chips and fudge pieces.
Whilst this cake is simple to make, the combination of flavours works really well… and with that much fresh fruit on the cake you can even pretend you’re getting one of your five a day!
~ Laura xx ~
Welcome to our new-look Little Button Diaries website! We’re celebrating the launch of our new-look blog with a cupcake or 4 (…any excuse really!)
We’re very excited to have a different look for our blog. The content is the same, it’s just easier to view and more accessible to browse through our craft and baking archive. We think this style suits us much better and we hope you like it too!
We’ve had heaps of feedback about our site since we went live last summer and we’d love to hear what you think of the site – good, bad, ugly – any comments would be happily received.
To celebrate our new look, and the arrival of a new Little Button (any day now!) we’re working on a super-duper giveaway. So watch this sparkling, shiny new space!
Tia and Laura xx
With my endless piles of fabric scraps and impending due date peeping round the corner (yikes, where has it come from… I’m so unprepared), I decided to settle down and do a little relaxing evening sewing by making a baby quilt for little button number two. I’ve never quilted anything before, and I wasn’t really sure how to do it! But I learned from my mistakes as I made this blanket and was happy with the outcome.
Making the blanket was quite easy, just time consuming.
I cut 77 squares of colourful fabric, each measuring 11cmx11cm. I then sewed the squares into strips, making 7 strips each made of 11 squares (this is obviously very flexible depending on the size of blanket you want. And the amount of time you want to spend!). I sewed each square with a 1 cm seam allowance and ironed each seam open.
I then took the strips and sewed them all together in the same way, again with a 1cm seam allowance that I pressed open with the iron as before. I now had a piece of fabric measuring 99x63cm. I cut a piece of backing fabric and wadding to these dimensions.
Then I placed my backing fabric face down on the floor, put the wadding on top and put the squared fabric on top, face up and pinned in place securely.
Okay now THIS was the bit that I found a little challenging – the quilting bit. The common method is to sew along the seams of the fabric, and this would have been time saving. But for some reason I picked spirals. Which was NOT so easy. Mainly because I started from the corner of the blanket, so naturally the fabric started to puff up in the middles and didn’t lay flat. So if you’re quilting yourself, I would recommend starting from the middle and working your way out! I had to cover up some bumpy bits but you probably would only notice if you were within three feet of the blanket (ahem…). Make sure you use a free motion/embroidery foot for the quilting.
Finally I sewed bias binding all the way around the blanket. I’ve struggled with binding corners (“mitered bias binding”) in the past, but this time I decided to learn how to do them properly! I watched this really useful video on youtube and discovered binding round corners is ridiculously easy. All these years I’ve been doing it wrong…
So now I have a baby blanket. I just need to pack my hospital bag. And buy a double buggy. And get the mountains of baby crap out the loft. Gulp.
Cake pops have always been a bit of an enigma to me. I always thought you needed a special mould to make these cake delights, which had put me off trying them. But after having spare sponge left over from this cake recently, I bit the bullet and decided to give them a whirl.
You will need:
- Sponge cake with red food colouring in
For the buttercream:
- 175g unsalted butter
- 350g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp vanilla extract
For the decoration:
- 200g of milk chocolate
- 100s and 1000s sprinkles
- Floristry foam (or similar) to keep the pops upright
Make the sponge and the buttercream. Allow the sponge to completely cool, then break into chunks. Mix the sponge and buttercream together.
Using your hands roll the mixture into balls. Don’t make the balls too big as they will be too heavy and will fall off the stick (learn from my mistakes!). Pop them in the fridge to harden for 30 minutes.
Whilst the balls are in the fridge, melt the chocolate. Once melted dip the end of the stick in the chocolate and push the cake onto the stick. Dip the cake into the chocolate and roll them in the 100s and 1000s.
Whilst the chocolate set, I put the pops in floristry foam to keep them upright.
For a first attempt these pops went down surprisingly well with my husband, who barely bothered to take them out of their foam stand before eating them So, cake pops – not the enigma I thought they were!
~ Laura xx ~