Merry Christmas everyone, I should be back in the New Year!
Sunday, 21 December 2008
I find it really useful to see any professional on TV demonstrating their work. I think in the US, you get Martha Stewart, and therefore access to lots of creative people. Over here in the UK, we're not so lucky.
Anyway, on Wedding TV (!) no, I can't say I've watched it, there are a few interviews with some of my favourite cake designers, plus Rachel Allen also interviewed some amazing people on Bake on Living TV. Catch them if you can. I'll update this page as and when, and have it linked in my sidebar!
Peggy Porshen Wedding TV
Peggy Porschen & Eric Lanlard Wedding TV video 2
Elissa Strauss You Tube Reel - she has a few videos on You Tube under Confetti Cakes
Sunday, 14 December 2008
I made this last night, I don't know whether to keep it for me, give it to my sister or my best friend! It has turned out better than I imagined. I wasn't sure of the fabric, it's a very wide woven linen, that has a special name, which I have forgotten. I did a triple stitch to make sure it's really secure, and strong enough to hold lots of shopping!
As the linen was plain, I added this sweet little bird applique. I zig zaged it on, but my machine wasn't doing as close a zig zag stitch as I would have liked, but I couldn't find my manual!
I am really pleased with how it's turned out! Would you give it away?!!!
Friday, 12 December 2008
These are the artist's cases I have made from Craft Apples pattern (delivered in a week from the USA). The patterns I can confirm, are very straightforward and I'm very pleased with my results.
This pink one is for my niece, Inside has spotty and cupcake fabric.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Unbelievably I have all these different types of sugar in my house at the moment, and they all get used. (Camera is broken so having to take pictures from websites : ~( )
Caster Sugar = good for baking
Granulated = for sweetening drinks/ everyday
Icing Sugars - for decorating and baking
Molasses and muscovado = for baking
Light and dark brown soft sugar = baking
Posted by craftyclaire at 03:35
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Yesterday I took myself off to Lewes, which is a lovely town not too far from Brighton. There were a few reasons why I wanted to go and I was not disappointed.
My first stop was at the oddly named Patchwork Dog and Basket in the Needlemakers Mill. The Needlemakers is one of those lovely old converted mills, all exposed brickwork and beams, full of artisan shops and a nice cafe. If only I had lots of money to spend! Anywa, I had found this shop through the yellow pages, and did think the name Patchwork Dog and Basket makes it sound very fuddy duddy and old fashioned. But readers no! It was the exact opposite. It was a lovely, beautiful even, shop, with its fabrics displayed in colour order from floor to ceiling folded in rectangles, so it was very easy to see. And the ribbons they had were amazing. So obviously I had to buy some!
And guess who had made them? Jessica Jones , who does this blog, and has designed this fabric. I didn't even realise when I had chosen them, it wasn't until I picked them up to buy them that I saw her name. The shop assistant thought I was quite mad, when I started telling her about her blog etc etc!
I also bought this lovely pink and brown striped ribbon in 2 widths. A cool fabric in 2 widths, I just HAD to have it!
Plus some more loveliness in blue ric rac and more woven ribbon.
I was in heaven!
Then it was onto Harveys Brewery Shop in Lewes. Harveys are a local brewery, and my husband wanted a selection in for Xmas. (It's quite amazing how we have sorted out the drink first for Xmas and New Years!)
Then I popped into Waitrose (posh supermarket) and picked up some of this Willie's Cacao. Which I've never bought before, but I think it's come down in price (slightly).
I will make his cake from it - A Venezualian Cloud Cake, that sounds very romantic! He suggests to serve it with chocolate truffles, but I can't justify spending more money on his cacao! If anyone has used his cacao or tried any of Willie's recipes let me know your results!
I did go to Lewes to look for a walking foot for my sewing machine, for quilting but the patchwork shop did not sell them. So I need to know can I get away without one to do that meandering, curly stitch to quilt my quilt? Let me know!
I think I'll stop writing now, as I seem to have gone on far too long!
Monday, 8 December 2008
My husband always asks for certain things each year for Christmas. These all are food and drink related. Most of the time I ignore the requests, this is only the 3rd year I've made a Xmas cake. Anyway I have made 2 Xmas cakes, so that'll keep him in fruit cake until mid February, I'm sure (he likes it with a slice of cheese on top, stilton or wendsleydale I think).
Now he wants Xmas Pudding as dessert on New Year's Eve. I've decided that can be bought from a local supplier.
And on top of that a Stollen.
I'm sure you can see the similarities in these 3 things (fruit, almonds, marzipan, rum/ brandy!)
To my mind they are a variation on a theme.
Anyway, I've been googling for stollen recipes, if anyone has a good one, and can be kind, can you forward it on to me. I would suggest one with lots of the spice flavours and the marzipan. That feeling of Northern European Winter, I guess!
Thank you very much.
Friday, 5 December 2008
I know I don't normally talk about my children as a blog post (merely a mention in connection to sewing or baking) but my youngest, who is 2 years, 1 month and a few days old has just been staggering me lately. As a parent you cannot help but compare and see the similarities, and more often the differences between your children, but what I'm loving about my 2 year old is his belief that he can do the same things as his 5 1/2 year old sibling!
He will not allow you to leave him out of anything, whether it's food, a game, bedtime - he thinks he should go to sleep at the same time as the elder one - so we have to play a game of pretending the elder one is asleep just to get him to go down!
The sweetest thing that he has just learnt to do is to kiss properly. He's been kissing for ages, but just air kisses, now he has discovered contact kisses nothing is left alone! When we read a book he hugs the book and gives his favourite pictures or characters a big kiss to show his love. Not every book gets a hug and kiss!
He loves a cuddle and is very good at them! (I'm not making this up, every nursery worker comments on his cuddles!) He just buries himself into you. Sometimes I think he feels left out, as his elder brother is louder, more demanding and has a habit of taking over! So we both try to make an effort to share and give one on one time with the youngest.
You may wonder why I'm posting all this, but my children inspire me to make and do so much for them, for us as a family, and certainly show me the joy of sharing. My little one is making me smile so much lately with his sweet little ways. BTW he seems quite stubborn (like his dad) and always seems to know what he wants!
Thursday, 4 December 2008
The most decorated cake has to be this one:
Made by my eldest at the decorate your own cake stall! He couldn't actually finish it!!!
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
This is a tricky thing to make (as they are very delicate and like to break!) However if you can do them, they look great. Make them c3 days before you need them, as they need that time to dry out fully.
This is from Peggy Porschen's Pretty Party Cakes book.
You will need:
Ed Able art Hologram Glitter (I'm addicted to this stuff!)
Greaseproof Paper/ Baking Parchment
1. Draw out your tree designs on some white paper.
2. Place your non stick paper over tree designs, you should be able to see your design through the paper.
3. Very lightly grease the paper
4. Mix some Royal Icing to a soft peak stage and put in an icing bag. Cut end off icing bag to give a smallish hole.
5. Start piping outlines of trees
7. Carefully fill your tree outlines.
Monday, 24 November 2008
A Quick How to Use the Flower Veiner
All flower paste flowers can be kept for years in a cardboard box, so I've made lots ready to be placed on cakes for special occasions and school cake sales!
Friday, 21 November 2008
I found this site listing a lot of them!
Plus the one I just went to in Birmingham at the NEC in November.
It's a good idea to keep track of the one you want to go to, as the tickets for demonstrations and workshops sell out very quickly!! As soon as they release the tickets buy them!!!
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Bart van Vliet from Holland, was the second demonstration I saw. He was doing an animal parade from Marzipan.