Friday, 27 September 2013

My growing up girl

My little lady is growing up a bit more every day before my very eyes.  I savour every moment that she still wants to spend with her mummy; all too soon my little girl will be too busy with her friends and her activities to want to spend too much time baking cakes and helping her mum.

When we go out for a walk I love to hold her hand and to listen to her chatter on - about her day, about her aspirations, about her plans for the holidays and about her thoughts on just about every subject in between.

Her 8th birthday came around this week and whilst we are eagerly planning her first ever birthday party this weekend, I can't help but feel a little wistful that my wee girl is changing and is not my wee girl any more - she's growing up now, with independence and confidence.  The time passes in a blink of an eye!

Everyone repeats the mantra, "enjoy them while they're small" and this is so very, very true - enjoy every precious minute with them, listen to their chatter, engage in their games and stories... all too soon those days will be gone and they will be grown up!!

Lizzie insisted that she simply must go to dancing class on her birthday, as "all" the dancers have a cake brought in by their Mums when it's their birthday on a dancing day.... so, not to disappoint, I hastily pulled this cake together so that she could enjoy her moment at dancing with all the dancers singing happy birthday to her.

It wasn't my best effort!  Even Lizzie said herself, "it was a nice cake Mummy - even though it looked a bit rushed".  Thanks Lizzie...!  But it did the trick and she was pleased as punch to be the birthday girl and be the centre of attention for five minutes!

Best wishes

Thursday, 19 September 2013

A dumper truck of chocolate!

My stepson turned five recently and I decided to try something different for his birthday cake this year!

The cake is a basic chocolate sponge, filled and covered with chocolate buttercream (I've posted the recipe for chocolate frosting before, if you fancy giving it a go). I then placed the dumper truck on top and piped swirls of buttercream down one side, to attach piles and piles of broken chocolate as "rubble" being loaded out of the truck.  I used Twirls, Crunchies and Flakes, which I'd bashed in a bowl first before assembling on the cake.

I made two cakes (the other one can just be seen in the photos) as we were having a lot of visitors that day - and I wanted to ensure there would be plenty to go round!

The advantage of making a cake with a toy incorporated into the design is of course that the toy can be kept after the cake is cut up - a bonus extra present.

I originally found my inspiration for this cake on Pinterest (you can follow my boards here) - if I ever get round to making and creating all the things I've pinned I will be very, very surprised!!  There are some extremely talented people out there!

Best wishes

Friday, 6 September 2013

Baby Bunting

When I was decorating the baby's room I knew I wanted personalised bunting hanging along one wall and I set about making this myself.  I'd opted for a grey colour scheme with dusky pink highlights, so I chose a selection of greys to make the flags from and I used pinks for the lettering.

This project started way back at the start of the spring when I ordered ready-cut lettering online.  We'd chosen the name Molly for our little girl and I knew I'd have plenty of time (ha!) to finish the bunting before her arrival.

As I wasn't using a pattern and was pretty much making up this design as I went along, there were lots of changes along the way!  I'd originally planned to make triangular flags, but when the lettering arrived the capital M was really far too big to sit comfortably on a triangle.  So, I needed to change the shape of the flags to accommodate the letters.  This meant that the pieces of grey fabric I had originally bought were too small, and I needed to buy another selection of greys in bigger pieces in order to make these new flags.  Not to worry, all the spare grey fabric went to use in the baby quilt I was also working on at the time.

I made the flags using grey patterned fabric at the front and white cotton fabric from a fitted sheet for the backing.  I cut rectangles the same size and cut out a triangle to make the points.  I stitched them right sides together then turned them round the right way, using a pencil pushed from the inside to make the points sharp.

Once I'd ironed on the lettering I felt that the fabrics were all a bit too busy and that the lettering didn't really stand out as much as I'd have hoped.  My mum kindly offered to embroider around each letter with pink embroidery thread, to make the letters stand out a bit more.  It certainly made the lettering look more polished.

I attached the flags to cotton binding tape.  I folded and pressed the binding tape in half and then pinned the flags into position before sewing them together.  Two fails here - firstly, the binding tape was quite narrow (19mm) which meant there wasn't much room for error when attaching the flags.  Second fail - I didn't measure as I was going along, I just made sure there was equal spacing between the flags.  Sure enough, when we went to hang the bunting, it was too long and I had to unpick all the binding and do it all again, much to my frustration, as we were just days before Molly's arrival at this point and I was desperate to complete the bunting!

After some adjustments we finally got there in the end with the right size of flags, the right number of flags, the right distance apart - and got the bunting hung up in Molly's room.

Whilst it's nothing like what I had originally envisaged, I'm happy with the finished result!  With hindsight I'd have used the same colour of grey fabric for each flag and a solid colour of pink rather than different patterned fabrics for the lettering.  I'll know next time....

Best wishes

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Crayola Art

I saw the idea for Crayola art whilst on my Pinterest travels and I've been desperate to give it a go.  Boxes of crayons were on special offer in the supermarket recently (a box of 24 for 90p) so I picked up a couple of packets with a view to trying this out.

The canvases were from my local B&M store and I used two smaller ones rather than one big canvas.

Firstly I sorted out the crayons into the colour order I wanted them to appear on my canvas, then I used a hot glue gun to attach the crayons along the top edge, facing downwards with he Crayola logo showing to the front.  Then, using my hairdryer on a low heat setting, I slowly melted the crayons until the wax began to run in rivers down the canvas.  I angled the air from the dryer to keep the drops of wax running as straight as possible, although I wanted the colours to blend with those on either side.

I left the canvases propped up at an angle until the wax had completely hardened again.

I'd been posting pictures as I went along on my Facebook page and finally I got round to hanging these in Molly's bedroom.

Here's the finished result.

You can follow me on Pinterest here:

Best wishes