Funky flowers

Paper flowers in living roomA lot of my friends have very good taste, so when my friend Charlie mixed paper flowers in with real ones for the table at her wedding last year, it obviously looked great, whilst feeding her very real addiction to Etsy.

Continue reading

Polka dot cake: the reveal

I showed the preparation for Scarlett’s birthday cake in yesterday’s post.  A week later, I defrosted the cake and the decorations were dry; a few broken, mostly because I’m clumsy.

Lenka suggested that I watch YouTube videos on icing a cake with ready rolled icing before I started it – this is what I really should have done before icing the Spiderman cake.  That’s what I spent my lunch hour doing the day before I put it all together.

No idea what year this video was filmed, but this one with Pat Lock was the most useful one by far.  I wrote myself a checklist of everything I had to do based mostly on this video!

I’ve put together a little gallery of the various stages – the photos explain better than I can!  If you click on the first one, you can go through them in order (and captioned!).

What a lovely day, and the cake was enjoyed by all of us at the tea party, we took some to nursery and I took some to work.  Now to buy a cake smoother…

Polka dot cake

Cake idea

What a year it’s been!  To celebrate my daughter, Scarlett, turning a whole one year old, I thought I might make a cake for her birthday tea party.  Fine.  Then I started looking to Pinterest for a little inspiration.  This is where it all blew up, because there are some AWESOME cakes out there!  Up to now, my nephew’s Spiderman cake of ’12 was by far the best cake I’d made, and I really, really did not know what I was doing.  Yeah, I can bake a cake, but I really have little clue when it comes to icing and decorating.

Tweet tweet.jpg

I drew out the little doodle above after all of my Pinterest madness.  My bird actually ended up looking pretty much exactly like this!  Yes, it looks a bit like a duck.  As well as all the amazing cakes, I was inspired by the polka dot birds hanging in her room.

Luckily for me, I have a bona fide cake expert in my friend Lenka, who creates beautiful and yummy delights (check out her facebook page!) – she made Scarlett’s Christening cake.  She repeatedly set me on the right track.

A week before Scarlett’s birthday, Lenka dropped into conversation that I needed to be making the decorations for the cake so that they’d dry in time.  Cue panic stations!  To combat said panic, Lenka provided me with:

  • 2 x 12″ cake tins
  • 2 sets of letters to spell out Scarlett
  • The number 1
  • The top of a piping bag to stamp out polka dots
  • A cake smoother.  I’ll get to this, it’s BRILLIANT!

So, if Lenka hadn’t been involved, I would have pretty much had a plain cake, with whatever Tesco’s Dr Oetker display had to offer thrown at it.

Cake decorations 1A week before the big day, I baked four cakes.  Yes, you read that right.  I had a dream of a graduating pink creation.  We’ll brush straight past that one, because it didn’t work.  I didn’t put enough food colouring in.  I then stacked the cakes in colour order (I was still crossing my fingers at that point) and froze them.  With Barry’s family coming to stay, I thought I wouldn’t have time to bake, ice, and decorate a cake as well as clean, etc.

The following day, I started making the decorations in two shades of pink.  Here are the polka dots, along with birds, letters, numbers and I iced the cake board for good measure.

Cake decorations 2For the birds, I drew around the ones in her room onto greaseproof paper and cut them out to draw around.  I made so many decorations because I thought some may crack and break, which they did.  I do wish I’d had a bit more patience with the letter R, because it was very stubborn and ended up looking, erm, full of character.  My friend Jemima said I’m not allowed to say it was crap.

I then waited a week to put it all together, but I won’t make you wait that long…

My shameful secret

I may get lambasted for this by the pro-craft crowd, but I’m a bit embarrassed to admit… my name’s Michelle and I like to cross-stitch.  Lambasted for the embarrassment, not for the sewing itself.  I’m not getting any time to do it at the moment, but I started a baby sampler for Scarlett’s room before she was born and I am going to try my best to finish it soon.  Before she’s five.  Definitely before she’s ten.  Would it be a nice graduation present?

I love doing little bits as gifts for people, I’ve only ever had them gratefully received as I think you can see the time, work and care that goes into them.  I’ve sewn cards, bookmarks, and framed pictures, small and large.  I’ve made quite a few birth samplers, including one that I started when I was about fourteen or fifteen and took me years to complete.  It was around A3 sized and a lot of it was a deep blue – I remember clearly taking care over every stitch.  Couldn’t wait to start another colour.

Continue reading

Nursery wall

20130730-125604.jpg

I’ve finally got rid of my heinous work of art, and I’ve put up a photo frame that my lovely brother- and sister-in-law got Scarlett when she was born. It’s got 12 photos of her, so I’ll replace them when she’s a year old so that there’s one from each month.  It’s a lovely idea!

It’s a bit smaller than the car crash “artwork”, so we’re going to put some little hooks around or under it and hang some hearts on them to use the space a little better.

I found these polka dot bird hooks on eBay and fell in love with them (I’m finding I have more success buying than selling on eBay at the minute), I thought they look very sweet!

I’ve had this hand and footprint done since Scarlett was five weeks old, and it’s just been sat on her windowsill since then – I can’t wait to put it up on the wall!