twirling betty cake bunting now available – and you could win some!

I have written and deleted this post 10 times now. Later on I have to talk about something yucky and I don’t want to. But I’ve decided I must. But first…

THE GOOD NEWS

twirling betty cake bunting is now available in my Etsy and Made It shops. Hurrah, hooray, hip hip and all that!

And if that didn’t toot your horn (or whatever it is you do when you’re happy – and I’m not judging) I’m giving one of my lovely blog subscribers a chance to win some twirling betty cake bunting. Read on for giveaway details after the photos.

So far I’ve listed these three designs in my shops:

More designs will be listed shortly. Here’s  a peek of what you can expect.

THE GIVEAWAY!

EDITED TO ADD: All comments on this post up to and including Heather’s on 11 October 2010 are eligible for the giveaway. However, no further comments on this post will be entered. Entry can now be gained by commenting on this post. Sorry for the inconvenience but it is important to me that the issue outlined below is clarified.

To enter, you simply have to be a subscriber to this blog and leave a comment on this post. EDITED TO ADD: SEE PRECEDING PARA.

Entries close Saturday October 23rd at 5pm Australian EST. One randomly picked commenter will win their choice of any one of the bunting designs in this post (personalised or plain). Good luck my little twirlers!

THE YUCKY BIT

EDITED TO ADD: The issue outlined below has now been totally resolved. That proces is explained in this post on my blog and I unreservedly retract the implication I make below that Kiki La Ru copied my cake bunting. Please do read it to make sure you have the full story.

So, I’ve written and deleted this bit of the post (both in my head and on the keyboard) many, many times over the last few weeks. After all that, I’ve decided simply to say the following.

There are a few people making, blogging about and selling cake bunting now. In fact, there seems to have been a veritable explosion of it in the blogosphere the last few months.

I first came up with the idea of cake bunting – a natural progression from the fabric bunting cards I have been making and selling in my online shops since late 2009 – back in January and blogged about it here. I then posted this tutorial for it which was featured on both Whip Up and One Pretty Thing both of which have over 10,000 subscribers each. In other words, it’s been seen by lots of people.

To be frank, it annoys me a great deal me that certain people are now passing this idea off as their own. I am TOTALLY open to anyone who can show me someone else had this idea before I did but as far as I know (I’ve done extensive searches of the web  both at the time I came up with idea and since) I was the originator of this idea.

And in the absence of any evidence of origination by anyone else, it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that there is some copying going on.

And it might seem a minor thing but it is important to me that you know about this. Otherwise there is the risk you might think I have copied the idea and just jumped on the cake bunting bandwagon – when it is in fact, I believe, the other way around.

I’m still deciding exactly what to do about the copying and commercial sales of this idea but in the meantime I’m going ahead and selling the ORIGINAL (!) twirling betty cake bunting, as I had always intended to do, and hoping people might slowly start to realise that mine was perhaps the original inspiration for the cake bunting that’s cropping up all over the blogosphere.

You can’t stop the flow of creative ideas on the web – and I wouldn’t want to. But pretending someone else’s idea is your own is just not cricket, people. It’s just not cricket.

Look, in the end I know it’s simply some scraps of fabric, some thread and two wooden skewers. We’re talking neither high-level art or design here but we are talking twirling betty’s little idea. And as I pointed out in my last post…from little things, big things grow.

What do you think lovely readers? What would you do? (You don’t have to respond to this question to be entered in the draw for the giveaway by the way, all comments, are eligible)

THE REASSURANCE

PS: Hello to all my lovely new subscribers who have arrived from Ashley Ann’s fabulous blog. I just want you to know (and I think those who have been reading this blog for a while would attest) that I generally try to keep the negative stuff to a minimum and the goodness to a maximum here on the old tb blog. But since I also work hard to make this a place where you get to hear the real me, I also need to occasionally recount the less lovely things that happen. But stay tuned, k?  There’s goodness galore on the way.

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Mini fabric bunting: a tutorial

A few people have asked me if I would show them how I made the mini bunting for Olive’s cake so I’ve decided to do a quick tutorial for one with a Valentine’s theme.  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric in a light colour or print (so you can make out the ink).
  • Scissors
  • Ink pad (I use archival because it is darker and lasts forever.)
  • Alphabet stamps and/or a permanent marker
  • Cotton thread in a complementary colour
  • Two skewers or small pieces of dowel.

Cut your fabric into little triangles making sure, if you’re planning to stamp on them, they are large enough for each letter to fit.

Stamp the name of your birthday person or whatever phrase you please. If you don’t have alphabet stamps you could just draw the letters on with a permanent marker. In fact, I used a  Sharpie to define and darken a couple of the letters I had stamped.

To begin sewing your flags together, first pull a length of both the upper and bobbin threads through your sewing machine so you have a nice long “tail” to play with later.

Once you’ve done that, carefully feed in your first triangle and sew across the top.  Here comes the part that might take a little practice.

What you’re aiming for is a small, even gap between each little flag.  To achieve this you need to just let your needle sew into nothing for about 6 stitches between each flag.

Don’t pull your threads with any force as you’re sewing into the void or you’ll force through too much thread and end up with a gap that’s too long between each flagette. Having said that, it sometimes helps to exert just the slightest pull on the long threads at the back  to keep everything moving forward. You might want to practise this on some scraps until you get the hang of how your machine behaves.

After 6 or so stitches into nothing stop with the needle down and then line up the next flag against your needle.  Once it’s positioned, sew across the top and repeat the process until you’ve sewn all the flagettes into place.

Remember after the last one to pull a good long length of thread again so you have lots to play with when you’re tying it to your skewers or dowel.

When I made the bunting for Olive’s cake I actually started sewing before I realised I had white thread in the upper and black thread in the bobbin .  It turned out to be one of those happy accidents because it gave the “string” a stripey bakers’ twine effect.

Now you need to tie the bunting to its supports.  First, trim the length of the skewers a little if necessary so the bunting will sit at the right height.  Then make some little notches a few centimetres from the top of each skewer with a pair of scissors so your thread will have a groove to sit in and not go sliding up and down the skewers.

I just stuck that apple cabochon in there so the picture wouldn’t be so boring!

Now tie your thread and either trim the excess thread or leave it longer for a bit of a festive effect.  And there you have it!

Gently stick your bunting into whatever you like and…celebrate!

Here’s a colourful version.

There are lots of ways these could be displayed and you’re certainly not limited to the top of a cake.  At the moment I have my little “love” banner strung between two candlesticks on the mantlepiece. You can use playdough (as I have in the last two photos) or even little ceramic ramekins filled with salt or sand. A few of these down the centre of the table at a birthday party or baby shower would look really sweet I think.

These mini strings are really just a variation on these bunting cards I’ve been making for my etsy shop for a while.

[EDITED TO ADD: As the photo directly below of the set of cards has popped up in a few links this morning, I must tell you that this is one of the shots taken by my friend Adrian of Adrian Tuazon Photography that I use in my etsy and madeit listings and is credited to him on my etsy site. All the others were taken by me.)

I hope you’re inspired to get your bunt on (FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD will someone please tranquilise me?) and if you do – I would love to see any photos. Of your bunting, that is.  Not of me tranquilised.  Just so we’re clear.

Send them to: christen@twirlingbetty.com.au