Wednesday, 31 August 2011

I have had the most wonderful week - Our middle son did us proud by playing trumpet beautifully in the youth orchestra for the Lights Down Theatre Company's Wiz production. It was one week of many round trips to rehearsals, but the end result was absolutely amazing. We also enjoyed some days away which allowed us to relax and to meet up with so many of our amazing family and friends on the weekend - something we will continue to reflect on for many weeks.

Last weeks challenge from The Sugar Bowl Challenge is a sketch along with the theme One for the Girls. I love this stamp from Sugar Nellie as it allows me to indulge in my favourite colour mixes of pinks and browns from my promarkers and the must have white gel pen!! The light pink papers are from Nitwits, Threads and Thimbles collection, the dark pink from an edition of Papercraft Essentials Magazine, and brown card stock, gems and flowers from my stash.

Nut Free Blueberry Bakewells Tarts (Puddings)

I am not sure if you can call a bakwell tart, a bakewell if it is almond free? But the man of the house has a nut allergy, so I decided to bake these nut free ones. I made a rich shortcrust pastry and filled the cases with blueberry conserve and a vanilla victoria sponge cake mixture. When they were baked and cooled I decorated then with a swirl of royal icing an a fresh blueberry! I know its not the best of pictures but they didn't hang around long enough for me to try taking pictures from various angles.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Today its dull and gloomy, and a perfect day to be at home! The boys are busy doing their little projects - oldest son practicing music for his forthcoming performance and the little one has hijacked the pegs, some of my papers and sellotape and making puppets!! The challenge over on Stamp Something this week is to create a thank you something! I have made this thank you card using an Elisabeth Bell stamp which I had from Funky Kits a long time ago, coloured with my trusty promarkers, red cardstock from Crafters companion and these gorgeous background papers from Nitwits Cherry collection. The lace comes from a local haberdashery shop, which I must admit manages to make me go weak at the knees when I go there and behave like a child in a candy shop!!

Vanilla Sponge, with Swiss meringue buttercream and raspberry conserve, wrapped in
Belgian Chocolate Paste and topped with fresh raspberries!

These were so yummy. I have a tin in which I bake these individual rounds of sponge cake. I split them in two and filled them with some raspberry conserve and a little swiss meringue buttercream. The buttercream was also spread around the outside to hold the belgian chocolate paste in place. A piping of swiss meringue on the top and these local fresh raspberries, and they vanished from the kitchen within minutes!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Anyone who know's me well enough, will know that I love to bake (calorie wise I cant do it on a daily basis)!!! When I saw this free digistamp at Paper Garden Projects, I knew it would be perfect coloured as a chocolate sponge with layers of pink frosting! I coloured the image with promarkers, decoupaged the frosting so that it stood out from the card (ahh no photo) and it looked pretty good If I must say so. The papers came free with an edition of Papercraft Essentials Magazine, the sentiment stamp from Craft Stampers, ribbon and cardstock from my stash and some faux stitching. What better way to layer a cake card than on a doily - just perfect! Having finished the card, I toyed with the idea of adding some "sprinkles" - it's a cake after I tried some glittered stars, they looked good but just didn't seem right, so I scraped them off. I hunted through my box of stash, but nothing seemed to fit......then I had an idea...... real cake sprinkles - white non pareils (posh name for hundreds and thousands), mixed with some clear glue and yes, they complimented the card perfectly! My seven year old thought I had really lost the plot "What! Sprinkles on your cards?" he exclaimed as he walked past!!!

Ice Cream Cupcake!

I had a go at baking these some time ago, but just came across the pictures again! The sponge was baked inside the cones, cooled and then iced with vanilla cooked flour butter cream, cadbury's flake chocolate and sprinkles. These cones were the smallest I could get in the supermarket with a flat base so undoubtedly, they contain too much cake for a little one, but they could be filled with less cake mix, a load of chocolate and then the buttercream - yeah they would go down well with most little ones!! The cones managed to stay crisp for several hours, although the one I kept until the next day (just to see how long the cone would stay crisp for), was rather chewy!! Best advice - Bake and Eat on the same day!!!!

The Inside!

Friday, 19 August 2011

This week has been about keeping it simple! Sometimes we spend so much time rushing backwards and forwards, that we don't know when to stop and appreciate the more finer things in life. I am proud of my roots and we were lucky to be gifted some St Helena Peaberry Coffee, which is available from here - the aroma flowing from the cupboard was amazing and this little bag of stuff don't come cheap either - £15.50 for 125g!!! I however am not a coffee or tea drinker, so the oldest guy in the house took it to share with work colleagues who said it tasted exquisite!!

Card making this week has been productive - started making some christmas cards (a bit of a mass production) and some clean and simple cards. I love these tulips which came free from Paper Garden Projects and the sentiment was free from Create with TLC. Some purple cardstock, and promarkers for colouring with some purple gems, finished of this sleek and simple card.

It was my birthday this week - just two years off a very big number now!!! The guys decided they wouldn't/couldn't bake me a cake. I was offered a lump of cheese by the youngest guy in the house though...which was clever and funny! I did however in the evening give in to my weakness for baking and baked this moist spiced apple cake, layered with a cream cheese frosting, which tastes even better the day after!!

St Helena Coffee

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The past two weeks have past in a rush since we broke up for the summer holidays. We we able to catch up with our family who we hadn't seen for five years........and it was wonderful. Many nights of chatting until late over numerous cups of tea (which I don't drink)!!!

I am slowly finding my way around my craft stuff and finding my way around some of my favourite blogs online......only to see more nice things which I can only add to my wish list!!

This weeks challenge from Cupcake Craft Challenges is Sew Mad - Stitching either real or faux!! The youngest son had a birthday party to attend so it was the perfect opportunity to use Birgitta from All that Scraps for this card. I have coloured her using promarkers and some finishing touches with a white gel ink pen, the papers came free with Papercraft Essentials Magazine, the brick wall cardstock is Kanban (found in stash), and the sentiment is a digi download....but I didn't save the link where I got it so it remains nameless for the moment. The lace is from the local embroidery shop. Oh and my stitching faux of course....the sewing machine is still on the wishlist!!!

Inside with a mini Birgitta and handwritten sentiment.

Chocolate Cupcakes with a Belgian Chocolate Wave and a Elizabeth Shaw Dark Chocolate Mint Crisp.