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Clumsy Crafter: September 2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Easy Marzipan Pumpkins

Marzipan pumpkins are so easy to make and a great decoration for fall cupcakes. It's a great way to impress your friends with minimal effort. All that it requires is marzipan, which is available on the baking aisle of your local grocery store, red and yellow food coloring and whole cloves.
Marzipan is a candy dough made from almonds. In other parts of the world cakes are usually covered entirely in marzipan, in the same way that we use fondant here in America.

To start on the pumpkins, tint the marzipan orange using the red and yellow food color. Simply need the colors in the dough. I use gel colors but you can also use the liquid dye colors. I added a small amount of corn starch to help it from being too sticky but you can also use some powdered sugar if it is sticking to your hands.

Next you simply roll the marzipan into a round ball the size that you desire the pumpkin to be.

Take a knife and make vertical marks 5 or 6 times around the ball by pressing the knife deep into the marzipan. You will finish shaping it later so it doesn't have to look perfect.

Now take one whole clove and press it into the top of the ball. When you press it in, the pressure on the clove will help shape the pumpkin. Leave a small amount of the clove's stem sticking out to make the pumpkin's stem.

Voila'. Festive and very easy pumpkin that even I can't mess up.

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Bandana Dresses

Our oldest Princess has recenlty decided that she is too much of a princess to wear short or pants. So we are running out of clothes for her. I've been wanting to make a bandana dress for awhile and this has given me the perfect chance. These are great dresses that can grow with your child. If you take care of them, they should be able to fit them for several years, changing from a dress to a shirt. However, if you don't take care of the, them, they only cost about 3-4$ to make so you an just make another one! All you will need is two bandanas, coordinating ribbon and thread.

First I layed the bandanas down on the table with the correct sides facing each other. Next, I cut off the two top corners. A lot of people don't do this. They only sew 3/4 of the way up the sides and leave opening for the arms. This will work great but I wanted a little more tailored look so I choose to cut off the corners. I will hem them after I sew each side to make sure that I have the sides correct first. I wanted the dress to be more of an A-line dress than the typical bandana or pillowcase dress so I sewed each side in an angle. Then I had them each try on the dress, holding it up on them to make sure that the angle was enough and that the arm holes were large enough.

To finish it out, I sewed the top edge down leaving enough of a pocket between the stitch and edge of fabric to thread the ribbon through it. Make sure you have a large pocket or you will kick yourself everytime you have to thread that ribbon through a too small pocket. Thread one piece of ribbon into each side and then tie a bow to make the straps of the dress. I added a small pocket using the corners I cut off but again, it's not necessary.

Both princess really enjoyed their dressed and the grandparents like the pictures even more. I did both dresses in one evening and will probably make some for a a few friends in the future. It's the perfect project for beginners.

Just a note: If you are taking your children to the park to take their pictures in their new dresses, don't let the lady at the bank give them red lollipops unless you have industrial strength cleaner with you.

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