Thursday, 21 March 2013

Goodbye for Easter

After a good few years of doing this blog, and posting sometimes sporadically and on many different things, I have decided to retire Simple Things To Make And Do.  This will probably be my last post.

The original idea behind this blog was to document a number of simple activities, and demystify a lot of crafts which people assume are difficult to learn and to master.  I hope I've done that.

Sadly, due to my inbuilt ambitiousness and impatience, I have tended to make things which are as far up against the limit of my abilities as possible - and I haven't always thought to pause while making them and document their development.  For example, I'm sure any of you could make the above Easter bunny, which is based on one I saw being made on YouTube back when I first discovered needle felting.  But I haven't got the photos to show you the order of the pieces, because I made him on a whim in one evening and only later thought 'damn, I should have blogged him.'

I'm glad to see that some of my posts are presumably being useful to people - my most popular posts are on the Grandmother's Flower Garden patchwork pattern and the Gingerbread House template.  I've also got a good few hits now on the League of Legends cake, which I hope is being imitated by baking gamers across the English-speaking world. 

On the other hand, the latter item is a perfect example of this blog going astray from its original purpose - although I felt that the construction of the LoL cake was simple, it took a long time, needed careful meringue piping (which again, I forgot to document), and was generally intended as something to show off to my boyfriend's mates.  I have felt myself straining not to show off in some of these posts, to maintain the 'you can too if you go on YouTube and get tips from these websites and have a little patience and only don't do this one thing...'

There is nothing wrong with 'look what I made' tumblrs.  They can be very inspirational.  But I don't think  my ego needs to do any more of that.  And I can't, now, find the time I once had as a student and then unemployed person to post very regularly about the little, genuinely Simple things - mostly cooking things - which I actually do every day and might be useful.

So, goodbye, loyal Simple followers - I doubt I'll stop blogging entirely myself, but I think I'll be finding a new topic next year.  If you've just joined us, please check out the archive for cool things you can Make and Do yourself, the sidebar for useful (mostly UK-based) craft supply shops and resources, and keep being ambitious in your crafting and cooking!  

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Needle Felted Dinosaur - Hadrosaur

Make your own duck-billed dinosaur! like this cheeky chappie based on the Parasaurolophus which my brother and I loved to make in our Jurassic Park PC game.

You Will Need:
felting needles and mat;
cuddly toy stuffing, thread;
base colour
tummy and legs colour
two detail colours
black darning wool and wool needle, beads for eyes

Using a large puff of cuddly-toy stuffing, make a base.  Wrap white cotton thread around the fluff until it holds its shape.

Cover the base in a fine layer of base colour; add a long fat piece on one end for a tail


Make a wiggly neck and head and attach to the body

Tidy up underneath the neck so that there is no join visible between body and head, by over-felting a thin layer of base colour 

Roll leg colour into four cylinders - two big ones for back legs, two small ones for front legs.  Felt them onto the body.

Add a big waft of leg-colour to his tummy.

Make a head-crest out of a very thin cylinder of detail colour; felt the other, fluffy end down over the top of his face.

 Add more detail colour across the joins of his legs, to hide the join and strengthen it.  Make narrow stripes of accent colour to disguise this purpose.

Passing the thread through his head three times to secure the end, add a bead on each side of the head, slitted nostrils, and the mouth.  To make the mouth, pass the needle through to where you want to start, loop the mouth around the front of his head, and finish the stitch at the end of his mouth.  Now make two more stitches from the left and right ends to the centre of this large stitch to fix it in place.