Sunday, 26 December 2010


Due to confusion with my etsy shop name EnchantedCreatrix and the name of this blog Sensual Decadence, and the name of my otherblog EnchantedCreatrix (now Creatress) which has nothing to do with costumes, many people were misspelling and forgetting where my costuming/craft blog was. So although the previous posts from this blog will stay here for the time being, as well as all the links to other lovely bloggers who have kindly linked to me, the past and future posts of this blog will now be seen at
I have 2 gowns on order and in the making at the moment, possibly a third on the way, and will be making a medieval gown as well so all the photos and gown diaries will be up there and posted as I have updates. For those of you interested in patterns, I am currently making the two gowns with a modification of the Simplicity pattern 3782, the Elizabethan noblewoman's gown.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

New projects, old year

With the year almost out, I have found not one, but two jobs, only one of which I will be keeping after the new year (I hope!) and luckily it is my favourite! I haven't had much time to do any projects because of them though, I am working 6-7 over-full days per week! Finally I have found a little time to set up my etsy shop and one of my gowns in particular has generated quite stir! the Queen Mary of Scots gown, which is a fairly simple one piece gown has had 4 detailed inquiries, one custom order request already made, and a second  and possibly third one on the way! Two gowns are green, one is olive green with tan trim and the other is a light sage green with berry red lining and trim, and the final gown will be red or white so I will be filling my house with festively coloured swathes of fabric soon! I am waiting on a fabric sample to arrive so I can make sure that the fabric I'm getting is the correct colour, then I'm off on gown number one! There will be a few difficulties with this one, first being that I cannot measure the lady myself and have her in for fittings, secondly, I have to alter the pattern possible quite a bit, and third, she does not wear a corset and is on the more voluptuous side, and has chosen a very thin fabric for the gown, and I do NOT want it to sag and look unflattering so I will have to be very creative with extra lining, and some extra boning. Gown number 2 will be a heavier weight twill, and gown number 3, cotton, so the fabrics will be much easier to work with than gown number one, which is being made with false silk. It will be a learning curve for sure, but I'm going to do my damned best!!! I'm using French seams on all the gowns, the bodices will be lined, trim hand sewn, and luckily, the ladies seem mostly content to have me use a hidden far...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Random Recipes #1 & 2 Vegetarian Indian Style soup & Rosemary garlic loaf

I just threw this together (as I do with most of my meals) and I love it so much I'm writing it down! It makes a lovely fragrant, tangy and slightly spicy indian tasting soup. You could always add chicken, but the garbanzo beans add protein enough for a veggie meal. I sometimes add kidney beans as they are full of iron as well.
2 cups jasmine rice
3 cubes vegetable stock
6 cups water
4 tbsp basil
8 cardamom pods, crushed
Dash of mild madras curry powder
2 tsp garlic
1/2 chopped white onion
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
1 tsp crushed chili pepper
4 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
Frozen peas/corn/cubed carrots
1 can garbanzo beans
Olive oil

Fry the onions in the oil until slightly brown, then add the cayenne and chili and cardamom. Add the water, and bring to a boil. Crush the stock cubes and sprinkle in. Taste. Add salt. Taste again. Add the rice and boil, stirring occassionally for 10 minutes so the rice doesn't stick on the bottom. Add the vegetables, basil, garbanzo beans and simmer for a few minutes more. Add lemon to taste and enjoy!

I made some homemade garlic rosemary wholegrain bread and dipped it in this soup, and it was fantastic. For that you'll need
3 cups whole wheat flour
dash of olive oil
4 tbsp dried rosemary
2 tsp garlic powder
4-8 tsp salt (a little more tends to taste better, but do take a nibble of your dough as you can't take the salt out!)
4 tbsp sugar (to feed the yeast)
1 packet of yeast
warm water
1 tsp baking powder (optional)

Mix all dry ingredients together then slowly pour in the water and oil while kneading until it makes a firm, but moldable and smooth lump of dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes, then place in a lightly oiled baking dish and let rise for 30-35 minutes. Bake in an oven at 350F or 180C for 20-30 minutes, or until crust is crisp and browned and a knife/fork/toothpick in the center comes out clean and dry. Let sit for a few minutes before serving with butter. Yummmmmmmm. For a little more fun, you can make a rosemary/garlic tea, and use that as the water as well, or use diced fresh garlic, or fresh rosemary sprigs. A little more salt also usually tastes better.

New projects!

My awesome, colourful tropical fabric...

I've decided to start using French seams and rolled hems to finish my clothing and costumes, up until now, they only looked pretty on the outside!

A bit hard to see, but this is a dress I've almost finished for myself, made from an awesome shawl, and a beaded tapestry accent pillowcase. By far my absolute favourite!!

I need to get a dressmakers dummy...really, this is an awesome, asymetrical neckline dress with a full skirt (almost a full circle) and a cinched in waist. I made the belt in matching fabric per the pattern instructions, but I think a contrasting colour might go better. I've hemmed the armholes and hem with a cool embroidery stitch in the shape of a tulip with my new (old) machine.
I FINALLY have a sewing machine that works, and works well!!! After a scary little bit of incorrect tension (which I managed to fix on my own!!!) and a lot of perusing the manual, I've figured out how to use it! It's an older model Toyota machine with these cabs (plastic gear thingies) that you have to put in the top of the machine to change the stitches. I'ts got straight, zigzag, overlock, buttonhole, reverse and a lot of decorative stitch functions which I'm super happy about! so I've finally finished a 60's style sundress I started, oh, 2 years ago by hand...and I'm nearly done with another dress I made mostly by hand out of a cotton paisley shawl/scarf and a small accent pillowcase.

Almost finished with a dark maroon stretch velvet ghawazee coat, and a little cream cotton nightdress for Lily as well.....
Happy days...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Easy-Peasy Fall Papier Mache Candy Bowl Tutorial- Kid's Crafts

So, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with my nearly two year old daughter one evening, and suddenly remembered doing a papier mache project in school. It was simple enough, it was easy, and best of all it was cheap! She and I had a brilliant time, and she made her very own candy bowl in time for Halloween!

For this craft you will need

A small round balloon, or a small bowl as a mold
Vaseline, if using a bowl
Non toxic Glue-Elmers' works great or you can make your own by mixing flour and hot water thoroughly into a paste. I added glitter to ours.
Construction/Craft paper (the rough kids colouring paper) in your choice of colours. Expect to use at least 10 A4/8.5 x 11'' pieces
Another small bowl full of warm water. A wide shallow one works best
A paintbrush to brush on the glue

Step 1 Blow up your balloon, or grease your bowl with vaseline
Step 2 Rip the paper into shreds- my daughters' favourite part!
Step 3 Soak the paper for a few seconds in the warm water
Step 4 Lay the wet paper on your mold and press or smooth to help it mold to the shape. Remember if you are using a bowl to not curve the paper over the rim as you will find it very difficult to get it off after it's dried!! If you are using a balloon, remember to leave a wide hole at the top for the opening of the bowl
Step 5 Paint the paper with your glue, getting all of it
Step 6 Repeat steps 3-5 until you have a coating of paper about 1-2mm thick at minimum.
Step 7 Leave to dry. If using a balloon, wait about 2-4 hours, or until it is just barely damp, but still moldeable and will hold it's shape, then pop the balloon, soak just the bottom, and flatten the bottom on a hard surface (I used a jar to tamp down the bottom on the inside). Add another coating of glue, and let sit until thoroughly dry and hard
Step 8 Trim off any rough edges around the opening, and smooth the outer surface of the bowl (you can gently use a fine sandpaper for this if you want to do it) and glaze with one final coat of clear glue, or clear spray paint, or glittery spray paint and let dry.

Additionally, you can glue on fall fabric leaves, buttons, or other decorations once the bowl has dried! I am going to be making one of these in all orange, and then cutting out a jack-o-lantern face. I will be using the flour glue method as a glaze, and making a wide hole at the top to reduce the flammability factor.

Photo of finished bowl coming soon!

New and Permanent Etsy Shop is Open, and Costumes are in!

Check out my listings here:

Elizabethan Gown
Baby Elizabethan Gown
Tudor Gown
Italian Renaissance Gown

Monday, 18 October 2010

New Etsy shop will be up soon! The Enchanted Creatrix

My old Etsy shop under the name AnimaInvicta is being made redundant. All the products currently in there will continue to be for sale, however any new products I make will be under the name EnchantedCreatrix on Etsy. I have decided that Sensual Decadence will continue to be the name of this craft/project blog, and will also be the name of my line of essential oil perfumes and massage oils which I will be relaunching in a few short weeks (on my new Etsy shop of course! will soon be the new url for this blog.
The Enchanted Creatrix will be the official business name blanketing all my new creations including the SD line of fragrances, as well as encompassing my potions, wands, costumes, handbags, accessories, jewelry and everything else I make. The reason for this is that not all of my products fit under the name Sensual Decadence. Not all are sensual, like my line of little girl clothes and costumes I'm working on for instance. Not all are exactly decadent, like some of my more shabby chic and country craft themed things (like some decorations I'm working on and some of my natural handmade soaps and bath salts). I'm going for a more natural homemade look for some things. The decadence will still be there in the costumes, clothing and jewelry of course! But the name seemed to fit best the products it was originally designed for, my perfumes.

The Enchanted Creatrix came about as a name ( and are taken, by those annoying search engine sites) due to inability to get the urls I wanted, and also as a sort of description of me, the one who is creating these objects. I've always lead a bit of an enchanted life, not in the fact that I've had all lovely experiences, by far no! But by the fact that I have magical coincidences and lovely things that are unexplainable happen to me frequently. And it fits better with my faerie wear, wands and potions which I'm making! It is also a bit more catchy, and doesn't put some people off like the 'sensual' part of Sensual Decadence which many people assumed was some sort of sexual product reference. Prudes. But oh well. there is my long winded introduction!

I have 2 emails and either one will work to get in touch with me. I am just getting two so I can sort out paypal on one and webmaster and seller help and tutorials on the other.

As for other updates, I will be posting Halloweeny blogposts this week. Several in fact. To make up for lost time. The hubby is away on exercise so there's no help with my toddler, and I've been having issues with Ebay and the bank (which cancelled and closed my account, oddly) so I have been too busy to make anything, furthermore, I'm STILL waiting to receive my sewing machines so my hands are tied. Ugh. It's driving me nuts. I did begin to hand sew a little old fashioned cotton nightie for my daughter, and took a few photos. That should be done by the end of the week so I'll be posting a tutorial on how to do that. I used an old white sheet for the fabric, and leftover lace from a $.99 sale. Brilliant. I also learned why it's better to fuse on satin ribbon than to hand sew it, and that I am not very good at doing buttonholes.

Oh, and while my daughter was at the creche last Tuesday, I met up with a local photographer just for fun, and ran around in the woods in some of the gowns I've made and we took some stunning photos, they're the ones you see on this post. I'm waiting for the CD which will have the rest of them, including ones in different outfits. I'm so excited! To see more of Az's work, check out his site at He does mostly weddings, but can also be found at Really nice guy, very talented, and very creative, it was awesome, I haven't had that much fun at a shoot in years!