• Baking,  Cake Decorating,  Tutorials

    The Power of the Crimp

    Last night’s cake decorating lesson was all about sugarpaste. We covered boards and polystyrene dummies with a layer of sugarpaste and also learnt about embossing and crimping. The picture shows my crimping practice on a test dummy. I’m still a beginner with the crimper but here are some tips that helped me improve: 1. There’s no need to push the crimper right into the sugarpaste, a milimetre or two is enough. 2. Hold the crimper as shown in the picture. Gently squeeze the crimpers together slightly – squeezing too hard makes the indent stick out and look silly and untidy. 3. Move the cake so the section you are crimping…

  • Fashion,  Nail Art,  Tutorials

    Rose & Polka Dot Nail Art

    Through the magic of nail art pens I’ve created a homage to the Cath Kidston shabby chic style on my fingernails. I used hot pink on three nails and used a Model’s Own white nail art pen to make the polka dots. For the remaining two nails I used a nude base and then drew the roses using nail art pens sourced from eBay. To create roses I drew a small hexagon with a pink pen and filled it in. Whilst still wet, use a lighter coloured pen (I used a nude colour) and swirl in a dot of colour into the pink. Repeat 2 or 3 more times over…

  • Fashion,  Knitting,  Tutorials

    Knitted Headband Tutorial (Reblog)

    truebluemeandyou: DIY Three Strand Knit Cable Headband Tutorial from Concreate here. This is a clear how-to cable tutorial using 8mm or US 11 needles and she tripled the yarn (instead of one strand she used three while knitting). *For lots more knitting projects (including more headbands) go here: http://truebluemeandyou.tumblr.com/tagged/knitting

  • Crochet,  Interior Design

    Owl Be There: Crochet Doorstop

    Here’s my latest crochet doorstop. This one sticks pretty closely to the original pattern but uses ombré wool instead of two different yarns. I used a 5.5mm crochet needle and the wool is Patons Colour Works Aran in shade 82 both from Dunelm Mill. His eyes are beak are felt and the stitches are hand embroidered and he’s stuffed with wadding and a 1kg bag of rice to weigh him down. Thinking about making a hippo next – will soon have my own doorstop zoo!

  • Cake Decorating,  Tutorials

    A Sugarpaste Rose by Any Other Name…

    I recently bought some FMM Petal Rose Cutters from partyanimalonline.com and couldn’t resist testing them out. First I mixed some Gum Tragacanth with sugarpaste to make flower paste and then coloured it with Sugarflair Pink paste. I made a small cone for the centre of the flower and stuck it onto the end of a cocktail stick and set it to one side.  Next I rolled the sugarpaste to roughly 2mm thickness and cut out one shape each with the 65mm, 75mm and 90mm cutters.  Taking the 65mm cutout, I scored the lines between the petals to make sure they were fully cut out. I then placed it onto a firm foam…

  • Baking,  Cake Decorating,  Tutorials

    Topiary Cupcakes

    These cute cupcakes use a chocolate cupcake and buttercream recipe from Juliet Sear’s Cake Decorating Bible. They are baked in silicone flower pot muffin cases from Lakeland. Using Holly Green coloring I tinted the buttercream and applied it to the top of the cupcake using a palette knife, creating small peaks to create a grassy effect. The bushes are made from vanilla cake pops (made using the Lakeland cake pop tin with icing applied in the same way. I coloured a small amount of the buttercream pink and used a piping bag and a #13 nozzle to pipe small blossoms onto the cake to complete. (Not shown).

  • Baking,  Cake Decorating,  Tutorials

    Christmas Cake Design

    I’m currently enrolled in ABC Level 1 Cake Decorating at Trafford College. This is my first assessment piece – a Christmas cake. The assessed elements of the cake are: Coating – the ‘cake’ is actually a polystyrene dummy coated with three layers of royal icing. The top has to be done and dried before the sides and then opposite sides must be covered and dried before covering the final two sides. The layer must then be dry before repeating this for the next layer – a long process! The icing must be even, without hesitation marks and have no air bubbles. Shells – piped in blue around the base of…

  • Crochet

    Crochet Cat Doorstop

    I’m particularly proud of this one as it’s my own adaption of an existing pattern. Using Patons Smoothie DK wool and a 4.00mm hook this is crocheted in the round, padded out with wadding and filled with a bag of lentils for weight. I added a bendable tail for extra cuteness!

  • Knitting

    Owl Mug Cosy

    Mug cosies are a really cute way of adding personality to plain mugs and make huddling over a winter brew a pleasure without burning your hands! This is another quick make that takes an hour or so (depending on how fast you knit). It involves knitting from a cable needle so is a little tricky but reasonably straight-forward. Fits the average mug but could be easily adapted for smaller or larger mugs or cups. Be careful to keep it a little pushed down from the drinking edge though, otherwise you’ll be straining your tea through soggy wool!