Em’s Horrible Histories Party Part 2

Em’s parties are the stuff of legend at Quirky Towers.  This year’s theme was Horrible Histories. You may remember my attempts at making her a dress for the party. Well we had a great time, with lots of history inspired crafts from Yellow Moon, history games invented by Em and the usual themed baking from the Quirky Kitchen.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the day.  Apologies for the lack of quality – we were too busy having fun!

Roman Empress Hannah, WWII Mummy and Restoration Princess Emily

The wrap the mummy game – great for Halloween parties too.

What else could you possibly eat other than Pepys Pizza – pizza in the shape of Samuel Pepys face!

Personalised Horrible Histories Cookies

Horrible Histories Wax Seal Cookies

Of course there had to be cookies!

The cake had scenes from the Great Fire of London, topped with Charles II holding a bottle of champagne as a nod to the Mathew Baynton in the Horrible Histories Charles II song.

Great Fire of London / Charles II Cake

Party anyone?

HotCan Cake

Every now and again I get a commission which I really, really enjoy making. Recently, I was approached by Amber Locke of Derbyshire Life magazine and Bear PR who asked if I could make a replica of a HotCan tin.

HotCan are a locally based company who make self-heating cans. The geek in me absolutely loves how these cans work, and so I was thrilled to be asked to make the cake.

There’s some more great photos on the HotCan Facebook page. I especially love the “Angry Chef” photo with the cake instead of the original can.

Thanks to HotCan and Amber for a really fun commission.

Em’s Party Part 1

This year, inspired by a school topic on the Great Fire of London and Horrible Histories on CBBC, Em has requested a Charles II themed party. Preparations are now well underway, and so I found myself sat at the kitchen table last week, pondering on how to adapt a witches costume pattern to a restoration style dress.

I knew the witch costume was do-able, as I’d made that dress for H some 9 years ago.

Witch Hannah
W Staples 2003

Here she is wearing it, being all mean and witchy.

The bodice design was easy to adapt.  I simply changed the angle of the ribbon detailing and added a triangular lace overlay. Unfortunately, in my haste I forgot to add an allowance for the seam joining the bodice to the skirt, hence the rather cut off triangle shape.

copyright W Staples 2012

The original witches dress design had overlay over all of the skirt, but after a quick look at some google images and my history books I decided to leave a front opening with the overlay as this seemed to be the prevailing style.  After a bit of searching around the house for a suitable circle shaped something with which to adapt the pattern, I settled on our lounge rug!

Full sleeves are, as yet, a bit beyond my abilities, so I decided to keep the original sleeve pattern, but substitute the original full sleeve overlay for a gathering of the overlay material at the end of the sleeves.  This was more in keeping with the style of the period, if not completely authentic as the sleeve shape itself wasn’t quite right.

Then Em suddenly brought out this dress…

image copyright W Staples 2012

I realised that if I did a simple dart then I could get the puffiness I was after in the sleeve like this….

Sleeve Detail
copyright W Staples 2012

After that, it was a simple job of sewing the hems on the skirt and putting it altogether.

Emily wearing her finished dress
Copyright W Staples 2012

Now, sewing is a hobby for me. It’s one which I enjoy, but I’m not very proficient in, especially when comparing myself to such great friends as LoveHector, Housley & Co., HWR Designs and KittyEden. But I had a go.  All in all the dress took me around 8-10 hours to make, and was a fabulous distraction from H’s exams.  Em was very pleased with the finished dress, and really, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

The Inventive Invitations

This month Quirky Tower has been in quarantine with the pox….chicken pox actually as our youngest has been infected! Once the worst was over however we used the time to plan her 6th birthday party.  Em loves to share what she’s been doing with you, so this is her blog about making the invitations.  As usual, the words are hers…I just help a bit with the typing.

How to Make An Invitation

Hello everybody.  Today I’m making my own invitations for my birthday party in July.  We thought you might like to make some too, so just follow the instructions and then you will know.

First you need to cut some card.   I am having an under the sea party so we used blue card.  Measure the envelope first so then you know how big to put it in.

The next thing you need is some double sided tape if you have some.  If not then use some glue.  You need to put the tape on the card like this.

Then we used a guillotine and some deckle edged scissors to make the sand from some sandpaper.  You can use any sandpaper.  The deckle scissors make the sandpaper look really like the sand at the bottom of the sea.

Then you need to draw the seaweed and the archway on the invitations.  You can colour it in if you want to.  I used different colours of glitter pens and mummy helped.

The next day we woke up and we cut out grey rocks from grey felt.  You could use any colour.   Next you put some double-sided tape on them, then you peel the tape off and stick it on the card.

You can do any animal but I am having a jellyfish.  If you are not good at drawing them then go to google and find jellyfish images.  Then pictures of jellyfish will come up.

Then you can use the arrows to go up or down until you get to the bottom of the page.  When you find a picture you like then click on it.   If you just wanted some colour ideas then don’t click on it.  You  can use  any colour.

We used holographic card for the head and ribbon for the tentacles.  Draw some circles on the card then cut the circles out and cut them into semi-circles.  Use double sided sticky tape and stick it on the back at the bottom of the semi-circle.  Then stick the ribbon on the sticky bit to make the tentacles.  When you have finished doing that then put an extra layer of double-sided sticky tape on top of the ribbon.  Then peel the backing paper off – don’t worry if you miss a bit – then stick the animal onto the card.  If the tentacles are too long then cut them.  If you want to draw some fish on the invitations.

You need some googly eyes and stick them on the card.  Then leave the glue to dry.  Then if your animal is saying a speech bubble and you have printed it out then cut them out and stick them on.  Do the smile on the jellyfish with a 3-D glitter pen and then leave them to dry.

Next you have to do the information on the back.  If the smiles are not dry then just wait and print the information out.  We used a background paper which was blue.  Then we did the information.  It is where, what number your house is, where you live and when your birthday is.  Then you tell your friends or the people that you have invited what time the party is.  Make sure you include an RSVP.  Stick this on the back of your invitations.

The you have finished your invitations.