Tuesday, 28 August 2012

only fools and horses cake

My first cake carving project...

today is my husbands birthday so I thought I'd surprise him with a cake. Quite an ambitious task for me as it was my first time cake carving! I knew I wanted to make the van from 'only fools and horse' so thought a loaf shaped cake would be easier to carve. I baked a madeira cake as this is apparently kinder to work with and a bit more dense than normal sponge cake. I used a recipe i found on the internet, a 2lb loaf pan and fondant icing to decorate. I presented the cake on an 8 inch cake board. 

Saturday, 18 August 2012

pirate ship birthday cake

Yesterday I had the challenge of creating a 'cake in a day', 
my other nephews birthday is today and I was asked last minute to create a cake to match his pirate theme birthday. 
I started baking at 11.00am and then with lots of breaks in between finally finished about 11.00pm last night.

I stuck to my tried and tested chocolate cake recipe and used fondant to ice the cake and decorate it.
I am going to create a new post to share the recipe, baking instructions and decorative techniques soon along with pics.

I researched a wide range of pirate ship cakes on the internet and took my inspiration from a selection, although most ships were carved from cake and I didn't have the courage to try this method with such a small amount of time.

I had to wait until this morning to make sure the icing was set on the cake before resting the pirate ship on top as it weighs a ton and I didn't want to crush my cake. 

I used muscavado sugar around the bottom of the cake board to create the illusion of sand. 
The cake is a 6 inch chocolate fudge cake and I used an 8 inch cake board. 

 I tea stained some handmade textured paper (which I bought) and drew the jolly roger design on with a fine liner and added shading with a pencil.

I made the scroll early yesterday out of fondant and wrapped both ends around cocktail sticks while it dried so it would hold its shape. I then used an edible pen to write the birthday message on. I left that until just before I packed up last night so i didn't crush the scroll. Also the pen doesn't work on wet fondant (i have made that mistake before). 
August is a busy birthday month in our family, along with my nephews birthdays it's also my husbands, dads and nans - so lots of possible cake projects coming up - maybe I will have a go at cake carving if i feel brave enough! 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

toy story cake

Here are some pics of the cake I made for my nephews 2nd birthday yesterday.
It's a 6 inch toystory cake -(chocolate fudge) covered in fondant with a vanilla buttercream filling. 

I have a pirate themed birthday cake to make for my other nephew ready for Friday - recipe and details to follow

Sunday, 12 August 2012

handmade diaper bag

I found a pattern for a nappy bag from an old edition of 'sew hip' (issue 34 Nov 2011), while looking for a new craft challenge, as I'm still on my hols. 
As my pram is black, I decided to use some black poly cotton that I already had in, so it would match (and it looks cleaner for longer!). 
As my nursery colour scheme is duck egg, I decided to use this 100% cotton fabric with this beautiful black and teal print, which I found at the local craft shop.  

I made paper pattern pieces using the measurements provided and then cut out the main and lining fabric pieces. The pattern stated iron on interfacing but I only had stitch and tear, which worked a treat but was a wee bit more fiddly when constructing the bag.  

Here I had just machine stitched the front pocket onto the bag

The handles were probably the most fiddliest as I didn't use iron on interfacing! No matter how many times I pressed the fabric into the centre before pinning and top stitching, it wasn't having any of it and I would have to start folding and pressing again. I did consider a handle-less bag for a short time!

Finally, I top stitched down both sides of each handle and then pinned and stitched them to the front and back of the bag. 

My cat - tom decided he would keep me company, for the day while I cut out and pinned my pattern pieces. 

After making the bag flap I hand stitched a magnetic button on and then machine stitched the flap onto the outside on the bag

 Here is an inside view of the outside bag piece so you can see the interfacing. When stitching the gusset plate to the bag panels it was a bit tricky around the corners. I made sure I pinned the fabric really well before machine stitching.

 I created inside pockets on the front and back panel of the bag. Each pocket consists of a folded rectangle of lining fabric, top stitched on the fold (raw edge at the bottom of the bag panel). By machine stitching down the centre it creates double pockets. I reinforced them with interfacing first.

After completing both the outside bag and lining, I pinned the lining (inside out and with a gap in the bottom) over the outside bag piece and machine stitched around the top edge. I actually forgot to leave the gap as I got a bit a carried away and had to unpick a hole- ooops!

 I then pinned and pressed the bag around the edges in preparation for top stitching. This keeps the edges nice, neat and flat and avoids the fabric looking bulky (as shown above).
The photo below shows the elasticated side pocket which I made. It has a pinch dart at the bottom to allow for bulky items. I stitched this onto the gusset plate before attaching it to the front and back panels of the bag, but got carried away so didn't take any pictures while constructing it.

Once I had top stitched around the edges of the bag, the last job was to slip stitch the gap closed in the lining

 Tada  ! - all done

Inside pocket in use

I'm really pleased with the results and cant wait to use it!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Thursday, 2 August 2012


my friends have just recently announced their engagement so i have made a card to mark the occasion

 I used a sewing machine to stitch the detail using white, natural and ivory threads. I then used my heart stamp to create decorative hearts in a variety of papers and card stock and attached them with craft glue.
I applied hot glue to the diamante and positioned them randomly.

I embossed some silver card using a brass stencil, light box and embossing tool. I then used a craft knife to cut to slits in either side so I could slide a piece of white ribbon through. 
I cut a piece of peach patterned card stock and a white textured handmade paper and glued them together behind the engaged tag.