Farmyard Animals Cake

The cake I made ready for my fondant class this week. It is by no means an original design. If you want to see a gazillion versions of this, just google “farm animals cake”. I thought this would be a fun one to try, after seeing a friend post pictures of one (VERY cute one in two tiers) on facebook. That way the students could have a go at as few or as many elements as they wanted to.

I had the theme tune to Shaun the Sheep stuck in my head the whole day after…

 

Fondant Fun and Early Morning Quilting

Lately I’ve been busy with a few things including a quilt for Teachers’ Day (yesterday) where all the kids in my daughter’s class had written their name on a fabric heart each, which was then stitched onto the quilt. Sadly I only finished it at 3:40 am yesterday morning and thus forgot to take pictures (yawn…)

If you, like me, are an unexperienced quilter, here’s an excellent link my mum sent me to help with the binding -or finishing the edge of the quilt as I thought it was called…

Also, I am teaching a fondant evening class. I was so nervous at first, but it is proving to be lots of fun, and all the ladies in my class are just lovely! This is what we did this week: Roses…

Alexander Wang’s or Hummel’s Chevrons?

I was reading though Topshop’s blog, Inside Out, the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes, when I saw these images:

(Images taken from Inside Out post)

They are from a fashion show by Alexander Wang, who is known for cleverly mixing sporty and urban styles.

What made me do a double-take though, is the chevron prints and colours and their resemblance to Hummel designs. Hummel is huge here in Denmark. In fact, just the other day, I picked my son up from a birthday party and while there, three parents were frantically trying to figure out which of the six identical blue Hummel trainers belonged to their kid (needless to say, for once I was quite smug, that my son’s were the cheapo black and white trainers that none of the other kids owned). Actually, I usually never buy “branded” clothes, yet when I think about it we have quite a pile of Hummel clothes between us… There are all the T-shirts, that my husband wears for work, Hummel branded with the name of the physio clinic he works at on the back, The football kit and ball, that my son received while on a sponsored summer camp and the track suit that my daughter ended up choosing because I made the mistake of taking one of her friends along, when shopping for her gymnastics outfit;-)

Anyway, sorry, I’ve gone completely off topic here, trying to portray how common the image of those chevrons are around here. What I wanted to say was, if you’re not already familiar with Hummel, have a look at this:

(My daughter’s tracksuit top)

or this:

(one of my hubby’s work T’s -image taken from the Hummel website)

I realise they are only chevron shapes and that these and zig-zags are popular patterns in textiles at the moment, but chevrons of this size and direction down the sleeves, have been Hummel’s trademark almost from the beginning of their existence in the 1920’s.

(Danish football team in 1979 -image taken from Hummel’s website)

There always is an immense amount of copying (that is not to say that anyone has been copying here… I’m staying well clear…) going on in the fashion industry, as it is hard to determine ownership of designs that are not completely identical. It varies between countries how close (by percentage) designs may be, but how do you determine this… Also, trends make it inevitable, that very similar designs will emerge from different sides. However, in this case, it is notable that the design on one part has been around for so long and is such a big part of their brand identity.

I find this particular case very interesting though, as I cannot help wonder if it won’t turn out to Hummel’s advantage, even if no legal action is taken, to have a high end designer produce designs so close to their particular trademark, long since established?

I contacted Hummel, asking how they stand on this and was told, that they are in the proccess of making a decision on how and if to react to this. They promised to let me know, as soon as a decision is reached, so watch this space. I know I will.

Skirt

I made this skirt, after being inspired by the picture from the previous post and seeing ruffles on everything out there in blogland.

I wanted it to be classical and high waisted with a girly twist (i.e. the ruffles on the classical tailored skirt) and I used a remnant of a wool blend. It would probably have been better in a slightly stretchy fabric, but this was what I had lying around.

I know it is nowhere near perfect, but out of the many things I have sewn for myself, I think this is the one that I have already gotten the most wear out of.

The blouse is made of recycled silk and recycled bow ties. The little “rosettes” are the actual ties rolled up and stitched onto the top. I made it for my part of this project.

Inspiration: Tailored Mens Wear Trend in Women’s Fashion

Another image from my “Inspiration” folder. (Again without a source, sorry!):

I just love this image and to me, it illustrates a trend, that has lasted a long time now; the influence of classic tailored mens wear on women’s fashions. I had to make a shopping guide (a leaflet, that designers take with them on inspiration trips with all the trend research they’ve collected, predicting the trends for the coming season) in 2009, and that was a strong emerging trend then. I just googled and found these as well:

Mens wear inspired pieces are all over the high street, certainly here in Denmark, anyway. This waistcoat demonstrates well how a classic mens wear item, becomes feminine with very little effort. The addition of the bow and the pleats on the pockets and of course the items you pair it with make all the difference. Then of course there are the shoes, a pair of flat brougues can dress down a pencil skirt or you can even get heeled ones:Next up, I reckon, are different takes on classic fringed boots (these are from Topshop):

 

It’s a style, that I continue to find very inspiring. I like the contrasts between the masculine and the feminine, and I find, that when you put something classically tailored for a man into a faminine context like this, it enhances the famininity.

Also, it is a trend easily adapted. -It can be dressy, casual, proffesional, or sexy.

Alphabet Cookies

My son is in year one and has a hard time remembering what the different letters look like. In attampt to help him with this, we made alphabet cookies last weekend. He loved it! I would say a letter, he then had to remember what it looked like and shape it out of cookie dough. While he shaped it, we came up with as many words, as we could, that started with that letter. He was so proud to serve up his very own alphabet:-)

It’s best to do these in a dough that does not rise too much. Something like a shortbread.

(Random info, -in Danish we have three extra letters, they are Æ, Ø and Å -Just in case you were wondering what that weird letter in the photo was.)

Star Wars Themed Wardrobe (On a Shoestring as Usual)

I promised to post about how I’d painted the Star Wars image onto my son’s wardrobe. -I should really stop doing that… promising to post about something specific. It leaves me with no desire whatsoever to then post about it:-) In any case, here is how I did it. I’ve since been asked about a million times, by people much smarter than me, whether I projected the image onto the wardrobe and traced it from that… Well I guess that’s what a clever person in possesion of a projector would do… but appearantly I am neither of those things and so instead I did this:

This is the image I used. Now remember those drawing books we had as children, where you had one image with a grid of squares across it and then you had a larger area with larger blank squares and you had to enlarge the image, using the squares as a guide? -Well I used to find them very uninspiring and always skipped those exercises. However, for this is worked well. I used a piece of tracing paper (actually I’d run out and used baking parchment!), that I placed on top of my son’s Star Wars folder. I divided the tracing paper into squares of 1 cm each. I then figured out how much larger I wanted the image on the wardrobe door and as far as I remember, the squares I drew on there were 15 cm (maybe 10…?) The all I had to do was trace the image, one square at a time, being careful for the lines to start, end and slope exactly how they did on the smaller image.

Here’s how it looked when I’d finished: I didn’t bother too much about shading at this stage, it was really only a line drawing.

Next, I painted it, using acrylic paints. The trick here is to start with the background and also, use the lighter colours first, adding the darker shades for shadows and texture later.

Also, remember to prepare the surface to be painted sufficiently first. It would be such a shame, if the paint chips off too soon. So sand it down and paint with a primer first.

Another tip: Let the children help, but withOUT paint…

Some other things we did in my son’s Star Wars themed room included these pictures, which we printed out in size A3 and mounted in the super cheap IKEA frames, which we’d painted silver on the front (all of them) and each a different accent colour on the sides.

My son’s favourite thing about his new room turned out to be this alarm clock, which counts down from ten and lauches the rocket. It turned out to be my favourite too, as he now gets himself up in the morning!

I’d love to see some of your painted furniture or Star Wars themes kids’ rooms too, so please feel free to leave a link!