Saturday, 8 November 2014

More Baby Knitting

Camilla Babe Sweater (pattern available on Ravelry)
The Emma Tunic (pattern available on Ravelry). I did a basic baby hat and added a tassel and embellished with the sheep.
Baby Booty Boots (pattern on Ravelry)

Leaf baby Booties (available on Ravelry)

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Spring Knitting!

So I've managed to knit some stuff the last month, thought I'd share.
Converse booties and Berry hat (patterns available on Ravelry)

Wellington Mitts - a pressie for a relative. Pattern: HERE

Strawberry booties, pattern available on Ravelry for free.

A Foxie Hat for my cousin for Xmas. Pattern by Ekaterina Blanchard

Squashed Rat bookmarks for my cousins for Xmas. Pattern HERE

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Massey Ferguson Cake

My friend baked this cake in a Nordicware shaped tin for her son's 1st birthday back in March. I offered to decorate and used buttercream. It was trickier than I thought, trying to get a smooth finish, in hindsight fondant would have been quicker! Anyway, everyone loved it and my friend popped the cake on top of a cake slab with green coconut grass and farm animals around it.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

First Knitted "Thing" For The Baby!

This was just done on the Milo Vest. The tree cable pattern is knitted top down, in the round. You can add any embellishments you like, some little bird buttons, hearts, stars or flowers. I'm going to leave it as is, until we find out what we're having! The written instructions have some errors from the software that converts the chart, this is due to be fixed soon.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

3 Birthdays in 1!

I offered to make a cake for my friend when she invited us to a combined birthday party, for her daughter, her sister and dad. I had no idea how I was going to combine 3 themes in one (Amber likes turtles, Preston likes bowling and Sarah (her sis) likes bunnies. I had no time to fully fondant the cake as I had another one to do for my daughter's teacher the following day. So I just used ganache around the outside. I wished I'd time to make some fondant rick rack for around the middle of the cake, but it the mould wasn't behaving and I was quite short on time, so had to leave it.

I made the name bunting flags from a free printable available HERE in a variety of colours.

The turlte is just made from fondant with tylose added for strength.

A great idea for Easter? I made Feijoa and Cream Cheese Muffins in cupcake cases, with a cream cheese icing and 2 little beady eyes from Sun Valley Foods banana choc sprinkles. A pink M&M for a nose. The ears are fondant with pink royal icing piped on to them. I made the fondant part with toothpicks in (for standing up in to cupcake), a few days in advance, so they were dry and sturdy enough to stand up. I made little royal icing "S"s to stick in too.

One little cupcake for a new baby (Astrid), attending the celebrations. I had fun trying my new mould out for the buttons, the other things are royal icing, dried. Mum seemed to enjoy it!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Little Birdy Cake

A good friend was recovering from a virus last week , but her daughter was turning 4. She threw together a small gathering and I offered to do her a cake. Thankfully I had frozen a chocolate cake for my family in advance, as I'd been working full-time hours that week and envisaged not having time to bake. So, I whipped that out the night before and made a '4', the name lettering and the bird (so they could dry over night). This cake took me only 3 hours to decorate, so pretty quick as far as cakes go. And the birthday girl loved it, thankfully!

The birds legs are wooden skewers - you need something to touch the cake board or the bird sinks, which is why there are biggish holes in the feet (from learning that lesson)!! The '4' has a tooth pick to stand it up. The letters are made with a Tappit. The birds tail has a toothpick in each feather to hold it in.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Citizenship Cake

We had a couple of friends gaining citizenship to our beautiful country this week. One is Hungarian-American, the other is South African.

We had a great time celebrating, with a great bunch of people, last night at a bbq for my friend's husband (the Sth African, now Kiwi). My friend is a food goddess, so when she asked if I'd help out with decorating the cake, I was honored, and a little scared!! Thankfully she baked the yummy chocolate cake and ganached it for me, so I just had to make the decorations in advance and do the flag the night before.

I thought I'd post it here, as there are very few cakes available online that encaptured the themes we wanted to embrace. We wanted Kiwiana, but with our flag, and of course a passport, representing the citizenship. We had a google and found a very cool kiwiana wedding cake, made by Cake Flour Studio in Nelson. They'd made some neat kiwiana elements, so I used those as inspiration for this cake and added a couple of my own designs in too.

I made the kiwiana elements over a few nights. I cut the shapes out a week in advance so they were dry enough to paint with food dye over the week leading up to the party. To get shapes, I just googled images of what I wanted, made them the right size on the computer, then traced them on to greaseproof paper, to use as templates for the fondant. I used a knife to cut around them. Once dry (you can't do this until they're solid, or they shrink after painting), I used food gels/ pastes mixed a with a few drops of vodka (you can use any clear alcohol), to paint. To make a wash, you add more vodka until the colour's really diluted. A steady hand is required for fine painting, but a food colour pen would've been better (one day I might invest in one). I used pearl dust for over the paua, once paint was dry.
I used 2 tones of dyes for the paua, green and blue in a 'wash'. I did while both colours were wet, so they blended.

I used this fern cutter HERE, it was fiddly, but not frustratingly so, I made them the morning of the bbq, so they didn't break when attaching to the sides of the cake.
The passport was easy to make, the painting is the tricky bit! I was so pleased with how it turned out though, as I was really nervous doing it! I was really hoping to buy a food colouring pen, but no silver or white was available anywhere, so I used my silver pearl dust, mixed with a few drops of vodka (to make a paint), and a teeny paint brush. I'm pleased I'm not a brain surgeon as my hand was SO shaky!! I did the ferns freehand. But the wording and coat of arms, had to be done with pin pricking first. I printed a passport picture out, the right size, then cut out the words and used a small, clean pin to lightly prick over the letters, to use as a guide for painting over. Same goes for the coat of arms, although I painted the people freehand.
For the flag, I googled round NZ flags and found some pics for an idea. Then I printed out a normal flag and used it as a template for cutting the white parts out first (it's one whole piece). Then I cut out the red parts and used as a template for the red fondant. I only had one star cutter, so gently rolled the white a little more after cutting, then once the red ones were placed on top, I cut the white to a neater appearance. The blue fondant was the trickiest bit, trying to get it the right size! I had some overhang on one side, to used kitchen scissors to trim. Thankfully we had a big bowl, almost the right size of the cake. I didn't have the empty cake tin as a guide, as I didn't bake the cake. The template I'd taken in advance, of the tin, didn't seem to fit! It worked out in the end.
And here is the very happy "Kiwi" recipient, who got the BEST surprise!
If I ever open a cake shop, my friend Kristin will just HAVE to be the baker! Good team work, I thought! :D

Sunday, 19 January 2014

A Monster of a Cake

My daughter recently turned 7 and we happened to be away with family at the time. We had a lovely time at the local pools and my daughter asked for a monster cake. I got the idea from HERE. I arrived at my in laws home with only one nozzle attachment for my icing tube which was WAY too small, but thankfully my mother in law had kept some old icing stuff and we found one at least big enough to squeeze the icing through. Had I brought the right sized nozzle, the fur could've been much thicker.

Everyone loved it anyway, especially the birthday girl, so that's what counts. :-) I used my usual Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe by Annabel Langbein (available online) and her choc ganache recipe for filling. Just used a water/sugar/butter icing for the fur and fondant for the rest. It was easy but time consuming to do the fur. I baked 2 normal cakes then one in a bowl for the top of the head. I wish I'd thought ahead about the bowl cake as I didn't fill the bowl enough with mixture and it didn't quite match the normal cakes in size once risen and baked. But it looked fine anyway. I used Tappits for the lettering.