Thursday, 29 March 2012

How-to make a character pinata

As promised, some time ago, here is the Pokemon pinata tutorial. Yeah! I hear you all cry. At last!

These instructions could work just as well for any character. It is the same technique I used for the Hello Kitty pinata.

Apologies at the start for any 'moody' cardboard pictures, I got a little carried away!

I hope this all makes sense, as I am a visual person and sometimes find it hard to write instructions. I like to be able to wiggle my hands around when describing if you imagine I'm miming using a glue gun, scissors etc, it may help you comprehend my meaning.

Find a simplified picture of the character you want to make (in this case, Glaceon, one of the evolutions of an Evee, if you were wondering.) Try googling 'colouring-in pages' to get a nice clean image. 
I drew the outline free-hand but you could photocopy the picture up to the size needed. You need to draw and cut out two of the character shapes. If there are any protruding elements, like the tail and ears, cut them out separately. You only need one set of these.

(warning - gratuitous shots of cardboard ahead!)

(mmm, arty.)
Then cut out strips of cardboard roughly 10cm in width, enough to follow the outline of the shape. Make 2cm cuts along the length of the strips on either side. Bend the cut tabs on both side at right angles.

Using a glue gun, glue one side of the strip to the character shape. Keeping to the shape of the character work around any curves and corners. Secure corners with packing tape. Don't worry if it looks really messy.

Fill the pinata with the goodies, make two holes at the top and thread some ribbon through.

Glue the other shape to the cardboard strips. As you can see, I needed alot of packing tape to keep it all together but that really doesn't matter.

Cut strips of crepe paper or tissue paper about 6cm wide and snip a fringe on one side. Then, starting on the underneath of the pinata, glue the strips to the cardboard. Glue the strips closely together so you don't see any cardboard peeking through. Work your way up to the top, until the pinata is totally covered.

Then cover the add-on elements with the crepe paper, on both sides and glue them to the main body. Cut out eyes from card and glue them on as well.

Stand back and admire your handiwork...
then let ten small children beat it with a stick until it crumples!


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

A new-look website

Thanks to the fabulous Mr Lemon Drizzle. I now have a lovely new website. Well I did most of it, but he did the technical tweaking and proof reading (I can't use grammar!).
One thing he is impressed with though, is my idea for my flavours page. As I said to him "It came from my head!"
Go and have a look and see what you think (let me know if there are any glaring mistakes!)


Monday, 26 March 2012

The Edible Beach

I have some very exciting news! Remember the sneak peaks of the photoshoot I was involved with a few weeks ago? Well you can now see the first images!
They are for the Cake and Bake Show at Earls Court 22-23rd September.
Miss Cakehead and myself are creating an edible beach for the show and if you are looking for some tips on cake painting you may wish to attend! 
You can get your tickets here.

Nathan Pask is the amazing photographer and the models are the fabulous Miss Cakehead, Dan P Carter  Juliet Seer from Fancy Nancy Cakes and Luke Collings (the director of the Cake and Bake Show) . The Cake and Bake Show cake is by the wonderful Nevie-Pie Cakes (who could that be?) along with any painted cookies you may see. I can't lay claim to the bread though, that was made by my local artisan bakers Cakes, Cakes and More Cakes.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Sweet dreams

I made some cookies for a little girl's sleepover party last week. I couldn't resist a mini photo shoot!


Monday, 19 March 2012

Pokemon party #2

Time for the second post with the party was in full swing, and what did we find for the kidlets to make this year?
Well it was a cooking party, so first up we had all the guest decorate an apron. I had already drawn free-hand the chosen Pokemon and then each girl coloured it in using fabric pens.
We then had a photoshoot with everyone in their apron.

 Then everyone had their own bowl to mix up some cupcakes, I gave them each different coloured cases so there was no disagreements about whose was whose.

 We also made pizzas. I had made the bases the day before and froze them. The kidlets then spread tomato sauce and added toppings.
This was their party tea, along with copious amounts of hula hoops!

After pizza we made ice cream using the shakey bag method. It did work really well and ice cream duly  appeared in minutes. However due to some over excessive shaking there were leakages and some party guest had very salty ice cream. 
This put everyone off, even those with the delicious ice.
I would do it again, but I would use a Tupperware box to hold the milk mixture. 

After pass the parcel and the pinata, we finished off by decorating the cupcakes to take home.

And finally a very large glass of wine for both parents!
pinata tutorial soon.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Pokemon party #1

Well this post is only a month late! Not too shabby for me you may agree (or not). 

Parties are getting trickier as the kidlets get bigger, and I have to relinquish my design control (not easy for me to do!). As anyone who has worked with me can confirm, I like to be in control. My heart sank when big kidlet decided on a Pokemon theme (not at all inspiring). They are not the easiest characters to turn into something pretty and unique. Also big kidlet has become increasingly demanding in her participation, so I had to let her lead the crafting. There were further complications when a cooking party was also requested.

Anyway I have many pictures of the day festering in my "photos to edit file"so I have split the post into two with a bonus pinata tutorial on it's way too.

This post is dedicated to the party decorations.

As the party guests were making most of their own food, I couldn't really design a dessert table.

So I packaged up the ingredients for the cupcakes, they were to make, gave them Pokemon names and used these as decoration. Big kidlet made the bunting and illustrated the lesson plan.

Of course I couldn't host a party with out my signature iced gems (when does a dish that you make constantly because it is so easy, become a signature dish?)
I also made some chocolate pocky sticks (because of the name obviously).

The cake was made in a speedy half an hour, so probably is not very representative of my work. And to be honest I felt I had cheated the party girl. She, however, was absolutely delighted and ushered her first guest in to see it immediately. The guest gave a big sigh, looked at kidlet and said;
"You're so lucky to have a cake like that!"
I felt very happy!

The party bags were designed and made by big kidlet, and contained her own mix CD, a Pokemon cookie (each guest had a different one chosen by the party girl), Japanese sweets, a Pokemon figure and a felt head band by the fabulous Heartfelt Handmade.

I don't think I can add much more. I will get the next batch of photos edited asap and you can see the party in full swing soon.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Wedding favours

For the recent wedding fair I attended (More pictures to come, I promise!) I created some wedding favours.

This is based on a vintage tea set.

An old favourite, for the people who make the day magic.

Butterfly cookie

Gold cookies, for a special sparkle (these are my favourite, if I was getting married (again) I would have gold everywhere!)

Iced gems, which can be packaged, but how sweet to have vintage tea cups filled with these goodies on every table?

Named cookies for each guest.

I hope you enjoyed this quick trawl through some favours, I am still playing catch up, so lots of deliciousness to come!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Book Club Cake of the Month...February

This month (OK last month) we read 'The Observations' by Jane Harris.
The book is written from the view point of Bessy, who happens upon a 'castle' (farm) in need of a house keeper. She has a dubious past that is sooo tragic, but her wit and humour prevent it ever becoming depressing. She works for  Arabella ('Missus'), a beautiful but equally tragic figure with her own secrets.
We all really enjoyed this book and it got 8-81/2 from everyone.
However, for some reason, it didn't really make for the most interesting discussion we have had. Sometimes the books that work less well elicit the best response. That said I would definitely recommend it, as it is pacy, witty and intriguing. The reason I liked it so much, was that I continually changed my opinion of Arabella. I dislike stories where I form an impression of a character and it is consistent to the end, I like to be challenged on my prejudices and kept on my toes, all of which this book gave me.

As for the cake, I was once again frantic with other work. At one point Bessy eats a cone of hokey pokey. So that is what I made, using Nigella's recipe. It literally took me five minutes and went down a storm.

The next book on our list is 'War of the Worlds'

Previous book club cake of the month

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

World Book Day 2012

Another year, another World Book Day!

Unfortunately this year I really didn't have time to make any cookies. But I feel it's become a tradition and I didn't want to  let the kidlets down. (I suspect they wouldn't have cared at all, but Mummy guilt is a powerful force).
So I asked the teachers what books the classes were reading that week to save me spending time thinking and researching ...'The Gingerbread Man' and 'Treasure Island'. In half an hour two class loads (thirty in each class...thank God I stopped at two kidlets!) of cookies were ready! (The time schedule explains the excessive use of Photoshop.)

If you want to see previous years cookies (I had so much more time then!) you can look here and here and here.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Photo shoot sneak peak

On Friday I had the great pleasure of being the official food stylist for the Cake and Bake Show photoshoot. It was a really fun day with loads of lovely goodies being photographed, made by myself and others. Hopefully I can show you the finished pictures very soon. I know you'll love them!
ps, the graveyard was the view from the changing room, not just a random picture I threw in!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Bieber fever

Hello my lovelies and a big smack on the hand for neglecting you all for soooo long. I can only offer profuse apologies.
I have been crazy busy and have so much to share with you.
 So I thought I had better work backwards as I have missed so many exciting events in the last few weeks.

So first up today's cake. For a Justine Bieber fan!
Still to come a sneak peak of a photo shoot, the vintage wedding fair, a Pokemon party, world book day and book club cake of the month...stay tuned!