First Steps in Bobbin Lace

In the spirit of ongoing learning and sharing of knowledge, I am going to design and create a Bobbin Lace course for those who’ve got no experience or knowledge of the art whatsoever.

My goal will be to follow MY lace teacher’s methodology and have each progressive assignment use no more than two new techniques. However, once you’ve put your first attempt at each assignment into your portfolio, I want to create patterns which can be recreated as something useful / decorative from the very first lesson.

Part of the course will include making your own beginner supplies.

I have five students lined up to test the lessons and help me perfect the class. Once I’m happy with the course, I will publish it on Skillshare to earn a small passive income. Skillshare is a fantastic site where you can study all kinds of creative classes and if you follow this link, you’ll be able to get your first three months of full access to thousands of classes for only $0.99 !

I’m working on perfecting the first lesson as we speak. Who’s in?

The very first handout, with a class description and materials list is available here:First Steps in Bobbin Lace – Introduction and Materials – EnglishIf you are interested in joining the waiting list so that I can let you know as soon as the course is available on Skillshare, please let me know !

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Homemade Caramel Pralines

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I promised you some recipes to use up your caramel and I keep my promises!

Before you can make these, you need to find something to use as a mold for your pralines.

I was lucky enough to inherit a box of baking tools from dear Marguerite-Marie, Philippe’s crafty great-aunt.

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You can easily find similar molds at just about any home-baking supply store (if you’re in Belgium, go take a look at Aveve or even LeDiscount). If you can’t find molds then it’s time to be creative. Do you have a mini-muffin tin? Do you have a small ice-cube tray? Look around your house, I’m SURE you can find something with the right sized cavities.

It doesn’t get much easier than this recipe, trust me!

Homemade Caramel Pralines

Ingredients

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  • 200 g Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • Whatever you have left of your Sea Salted Butter Caramel, I was down to about a fifth of my original batch but it was more than enough to make almost 20 pralines

Tools:

  • Double Boiler or Crockpot (the crock pot makes this recipe much easier)
  • Chocolate molds
  • Various spoons

Step-by-step:

1.

Break the chocolate into chunks and fill a glass jar

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2.

Place the jar of chocolate and the jar of caramel in the crock pot, fill with water just to the rim of the shortest jar and turn on low.

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3.

When the ingredients are melted, use a teaspoon to coat the bottom and the sides of the molds. Refrigerate.

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4.

When the chocolate is set, use a teaspoon to carefully fill the cavities with the melted caramel. You can always add more but it is difficult to remove without messing up the chocolate shell so don’t put too much. When you’ve filled all the cavities on a mold, put it back in the fridge.

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5.

When the caramel is firm, use a teaspoon to cover the cavities on the mold. Try to keep the outline clean by not putting TOO much chocolate. Refrigerate

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6.

When the final layer of chocolate is set, take them out of the fridge and pop them out of the molds. Personally, I found these white plastic molds to be rather hard to empty. I’m going to be keeping my eyes open for flexible silicone molds to replace them. If you have the same problem as I did, try putting the mold into the freezer overnight and then blasting the backside (don’t get the chocolate wet!) with some hot water.

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All in all, I got about 20 caramel filled pralines and even though my husband took them to nibble on in bed last night I still have a few to offer to my colleagues today. Sweet!

Organizing our Blue, Bronze and White Wedding

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April 11, 2015 was not only our seventh anniversary but also the date of our wedding. There were many DIY components to our wedding as we were trying to save as much money as possible.

I have decided to share with you all of the resources I used to plan our wedding as well as some tutorials for the various projects I made. Perhaps they may prove as useful to you as they did to us!

The first step when one is planning a wedding is to get organized!

I signed us up for The Knot right away. This website has many checklists and inspirational photos to help you get an idea for your wedding. I was really hopeful about this site as I know many other brides who have used it. Unfortunately only an American couple will get the full benefit of what they have to offer. Mostly we used this site to look for ideas and to organize our guest list.

The next thing I did was create a board on my personal Pinterest account to brainstorm everything about the look of the wedding.

https://www.pinterest.com/mistyrae82/wedding-plans/

Every time I saw an image or link that I liked, I would pop it into the wedding board. Every few weeks I would make Philippe sit down and look at the board with me so that we could eliminate ideas which didn’t please both of us. This also helped me narrow down our colors and theme until we had something definate.

In order to have a physical place to keep track of our plans, I downloaded this free wedding planner from Worldlabel.com’s blog. They have so many free labels and printables there that I’m sure I’ll be a frequent visitor.

These resources were invaluable. I don’t know how I’d have kept everything organized without them!

Setting a date was easy. The first thing we had to do after that was find my dress.

Once we found the locations for the wedding and had everything reserved, we needed to create the invitations and a website. The website took a lot of thought since I needed to find a wedding site provider which would allow me to create both English and French versions for our various guests.

I finally found a great service. Twowed is a fairly simple wedding site creator but it is the only one I found which allows multiple languages for a great price. $30 for unlimited use is just about unheard of these days.

Here is our site so that you can maybe get some ideas for your own. We even created a facebook event since it’s thanks to Facebook that we found one another.

After deciding on a location for the reception, we had to create a plan for decorating the reception hall.

I wanted to prepare some wedding favors to thank the people who’d been invaluable during the planning.

The ceremony had to be planned down to the last detail… though that is next to impossible in Belgium!

Then it was time to start thinking of what I would do for thank-you cards and gifts.

Now that it’s all over, I need to start thinking of what to do with the photos and what I can do with the leftover decorations.