Thursday, 28 November 2013

Baby Boys cards and Gifts 2

We seem to know lots of people having Baby boys recently, and not being one to make identical cards I made variations on a theme for each of them. The main theme was a Silhouette cut name (my preferred font is Segeo Script as it welds really well for cutting), ribbon strip, sentiment and stamped background in matching colours. 
The first card is a stamped gingham background and little punched footprints. I even added tiny star button embellishments to the name for extra depth.

Stamps: Waltzingmouse Offbeat background, Hero Arts Baby sentiment
Ink: Broken China Distress ink
Embossing folder: Swiss dots
Ribbon: Fantastic Ribbons Organza Aqua dots
Card base: White A5

The second card follows many similar ideas. I stamped a background using the concentric circles from the Waltzingmouse Teeny Trees. I did it by eye as I was in a rush, but it is better if you measure out the circle centres properly. If you have a gridded acrylic block its definitely possible to do this by eye like I did.

Stamps: Waltzingmouse Teeny Trees, Hero Arts Baby sentiment
Ink: Broken China Distress ink
Embossing folder: Swiss dots
Ribbon: Fantastic Ribbons Organza Aqua dots
Card base: White A5
This third card I didn't use a stamped background, but used a That Special Touch of Mica mask and sponged it.

Stamps:  Hero Arts Baby sentiment
Ink: Broken China Distress ink
Embossing folder: Swiss dots
Ribbon: Fantastic Ribbons Organza Aqua dots
Card base: White 5" square

This final piece is a gift I gave to some friends whose little boy was being dedicated. I made each of the cut files and combined to create this image which I framed.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Yum Yum Sticky Buns

My default setting when I got the TV to myself used to be Create and Craft. Unfortunately recently 9 times out of 10 the stuff they show isn't really my style, and so I end up switching straight over to my new default - Food Network!

My favourite shows are Man V Food, Triple D, and Barefoot Contessa (and Cupcake Wars when its on).

Last week I saw an episode of Barefoot Contessa where Ina made some glorious looking sticky buns, something I've been meaning to make for a while.

So I headed out and bought myself some ready rolled pastry - yeah, I'll get round to making my own puff pastry one day, but not today!

It sat in the fridge for a week as we had pumpkin pie in there that needed eating - remind me to tell you that story another time! - until I had some other things to bake and remembered those sticky buns were calling!

They are so easy to make, have very few ingredients, and literally take 35 minutes from start to finish.

Go and get Ina's recipe from Food Network and give these a try. I can feel my clothes tightening as I even think about how many I've eaten these past 2 days!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Fall Leaves Wedding Card

Here is the wedding card I made for one of my best friends who recently got married. She wanted a vintage Autumn theme wedding, complete with Fall Leaf cake and all the vintage extras. I decided to make a card which tied in with both these things. I think the little love birds in the tree work well for a wedding card, but this card could easily be adapted to have 1 or no birds in the tree, and with an alternative sentiment.

I even used some of my precious Nana's buttons from her button tin, but they definitely set the card off.

Stamps: Waltzingmouse Teeny trees, Papertrey Ink Leaf prints
Ink: Tim Holtz Distress inks- Tea Dye, Antique linen, Spiced marmalade, Barn Door, Walnut stain
Twine: Fantastic Ribbons Gold and Ivory Bakers twine
Card base: Kraft 6" square

Please let me know what you feel about my alternative style wedding card!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

CAS summer Thank You card

A simple yet classy card to say thank you. A little bit of embossing goes a long way, especially on white card, and swiss dots is one of my favourite embossing folders.
As you may realise, green is my go to colour, and this great polka dot washi tape from Fantastic Ribbons really works well.

Stamps: Waltzingmouse Country Labels 4
Ink: Memento Black, Bundled Sage Distress ink
Dies: Spellbinders Labels 4
Embossing folder: Swiss dots
Washi tape: Fantastic Ribbons Green Polka
Card base: Cream A5

This is being entered into the Lawnscaping Challenge #70 - Polka dots

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Lego Brick Wedding Cake

When one of my best friends asked me if I'd be able to help her with her wedding, I automatically thought she wanted me to make her wedding stationary. However, she had something else in mind - Cakes!
Having never made anything more than a birthday cake I was a little apprehensive, but am always up for a challenge. Part of the challenge also lay in making 2 wedding cakes (a brides and a grooms cake) and 120 cupcakes...oh and they only had to be taken 200 miles to the wedding!

Here is the Grooms cake, as per request I made a Lego Brick cake (It was vanilla sponge with buttercream and raspberry jam) and made fondant lego wedding figures of the bride and groom.

I piped the lego logo onto each brick top as each lego piece has.

To make the fondant figures I started with a lego ice cube tray and placed yellow fondant in the head and hand locations, and then either black or white fondant where the clothes would be. I put them in the freezer to make them easier to remove from the mold, as the fondant alone wouldn't have come out cleanly other wise. I made 8 different figure (4 of each) to have more choice of which ones turned out best. Once they had dried for a few days out on the side I added the features using a food colouring pen and the hair, tie and lapels and wedding dress using extra fondant. 
The cylinders on the top of the cake ended up being Oreos covered in icing, as my sponge circles cut from an extra cake I made crumbled into a thousand pieces when I tried to butter cream them!

I added Trex to my fondant to make it look nice and shiny like a plastic lego brick, I think you can see the shine on the picture above.

I hope you like my Lego wedding cake!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Cappuccino Cupcakes and Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC)

Today I made some De-licious Cappuccino cupcakes for a cake sale to raise money for a Christian charity called Caring For Life.

Because I like to stick to my old favourite cupcake recipes most of the time I usually do vanilla, lemon or chocolate, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do something a little different. Cappuccino cupcakes!

I have a great Cappuccino cake recipe that has a white chocolate frosting, but its a loaf cake, and a bit heavier than the texture I like to have for cupcakes, and the topping is quite thick. I decided to lighten it up with some Swiss Meringue buttercream.

Now I've only made the swiss meringue buttercream once before, and I didn't really like it that much, but I've used the same method to make some meringue which doesn't need cooking for a number of other recipes. I found a great blog with a very comprehensive recipe, (she gives all the hints and tips I've ever heard about doing this all in one place). Go over to Happy Cakes Bakes for her top advice and recipe.

Unfortunately I didn't take the advice of using fresh eggs, so my first batch didn't whisk up at all. After sending out my husband to the shop for more eggs I successfully made a batch of coffee flavoured SMBC. It was AMAZING! Its so light and fluffy, my son described it as marshmallow icing, which it really does taste like. The thing I like most about it is that its not at all sickly sweet as it takes much less sugar than normal butter cream. I think looking back I probably used salted butter the first time I made it, which is possibly why I didn't like it.

Now I admit it is alot more effort than standard buttercream, but I really believe its worth it.I also worked out it has, surprisingly, slightly more calories per cupcake (about 25) and does cost a little more - again this surprised me as you only need granulated sugar, but the butter content is higher.

All in all you HAVE to try this buttercream. I'm looking forward to doing some nice piping work with this as its SO smooth, but I ran out of time after my egg mishap and just piped blobs on top and sprinkled with chocolate powder. Amusingly I made a fatal error with my first two cupcakes. I was in such a rush to get out the door I picked up a small pot of ground black pepper instead of the chocolate powder, and had liberally covered 2 with pepper before realising!!! Maybe I could have created some inspiring new flavour, but I didn't wait to try them and scrapped the icing straight off and set them aside for my husband!