Sunday, 29 April 2012

Goodbye my babies.

Last week a very nice man came and painted over my nursery. We had won his services in an auction of promises at the kidlet's school, as I knew we would never get round to doing it ourselves.
The kidlets have been sharing a room for some time and I initially turned their nursery into a play room...which they never used! So it quickly became a storage room for all my boxes and cake equipment. But the time had come to paint over my memories.
I can still remember the week I decorated the room, heavily pregnant, dreaming about the little babies that were to come, blissfully unaware of how exhausting the next four years would be!

I've always wanted a yellow room and this was the perfect opportunity. A lovely colour for a new-born, bright and cheery to take it's mind of it's Mother's tears. I added some painted penguins for a bit of fun and made some appliqued penguins for a picture frame.
The curtains and chair cover were blankets from IKEA. I made the chair cushions with some fabric I had designed in my previous life as a textile designer.

I had many happy moments in this room, mostly watching them sleep, the only time they were quiet and still, but we won't be needing a nursery again so it is painted white to make way for a guest bedroom.
I did shed a little tear because it's the end of an era, but my two little people are getting bigger and they are getting more interesting and gorgeous by the day.


Here are some more pictures I want to share with you from my friend's hen party weekend in Bath.
If you have never visited Bath you really should. It is a fairly small city ,so easily walkable and there is the most beautiful architecture and history.

But of course, the day started with cake and hot chocolate, as all good days should.

Then once we had our sugar fill we wandered around the fabulous shops.
I visited the Makery (on the left) with a couple of friends, one of which was Marie from Heartfelt Handmade. We went a little doolally in the shop with all their beautiful trims and sewing paraphernalia. I purchased a fairly large amount of ribbon. Some of which is to use on my friend's wedding cake and some for a cake Marie has ordered, which I though was very appropriate.

For a special hen party treat, we were taken to a different Makery building. Led up a twisty staircase, to a fairly small intimate room and given a life drawing session! It was great fun, I really enjoyed the life drawing exercises, they took me back to my college years and made me want to take it up again!


Friday, 27 April 2012

Tilt shifting

Two weekend ago I visited Bath on a hen party. I shall share some pictures soon. But first...I took some photographs specifically with tilt shifting in mind and am very pleased how they turned out!
You can make your own tilt shift picture here.


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Fabulous cake toppers

I just love Miss Cake's cake toppers.
 'Such fun!' 
I'm trying to think what I would want on my cake. If I was getting married again (not likely) I would have 'It's such a perfect day, I'm glad I spent it with you'. Or for an everyday cake, the James Taylor lyrics slightly changed;
'Shower the people you love with..cake'.
You can purchase the topper from Miss Cakes Etsy shop here.
What would you have?

(Photos copyright Miss cake)


Monday, 23 April 2012

Painted baby shower cake

This cake was ordered by a friend for her sister's baby shower, as she is a good friend and trusts me, she left me to my own devices to come up with a design. Yeah!
Their refreshments at the party were mimosa cocktails, so I decide to paint a mimosa border. This is a great flower that lends itself to a more structured design. (I have taken some step-by-step photos as I went along and should have a tutorial out soon.)

When I was starting out I made a baby shower cake for a friend (see above) with a bird on a nest. I love this image for a baby shower cake, but for this new design I wanted a painted image, and more vintage.

It was gooseberry and elderflower flavoured cake which apparently went really well with the cocktails.
I loved this cake and it made me happy all weekend. I hope your weekend was just as sweet!


Friday, 20 April 2012

Book club cake of the month...April

This month we read 'War Of The Worlds' by H G Wells.
It is a science-fiction book, probably one of the very first, describing an invasion by Martians.
I really enjoyed the book, (I love an end-of-the-world story). I had never read it before, but I have listened to Jeff Wayne's version many times, so it was very difficult to read the novel without hearing Richard Burton's voice!
I have also seen the Tom Cruise film ,which while relating to the book has non of the subtleties or themes, plus has Tom Cruise. 
Wells trained as a science teacher, and uses this to great effect, the narrator describes the events in a detached scientific way, which I really appreciated.
At one point in the story the narrator describes the brutal slaying of men at 'the common' by the Martian's ray gun. He runs home in anguish, but then, after his tea and a lie down feels much better, and wonders if maybe the Martians were just scared and that's why they killed the men. Such British stiff upper lip, no unnecessary emotion! For the first part of the book there is no panic or mayhem just everyone carrying on with their lives. This would never happen now, not with Twitter!
There was a mixed response to the book. The sci-fi nerds amongst us (me included) really enjoyed it. Others found it quite hard going and didn't like the sexism and class values in the book. However when they realised it was written in 1898 the reviewed their opinions and though it quite a visionary book. We gave it an average of 8.

As the Martians invade they bring a red weed that covers the earth. So I decided to embrace the red, and made some red velvet cakes. Which were very well received from everyone.

Previous book club cake of the month

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Pottering about

Some more pictures from my trip last week. My Dad is a potter and he took charge of the five grandchildren for a few mornings. They love to be in his studio with a lump of clay, making and playing. He taught them to make some clay sheep. The light was lovely when the sun shone for a brief few minutes and I took some pictures of his tools.


Monday, 16 April 2012

All is lovely in the garden

I spent a lovely few days at my parents house last week. They have an amazing garden that was literally a rubbish dump when they moved in. It has been transformed through a lot of hard work. My Mum tends the flowers and my Dad grows the veg!

If you are lucky enough to be booked on my August class (see here) you will get to see it yourself.

Cake for favours!

No!..before you phone the newspapers, this is not another scandal about politicians.
It is just me, handing out cake for favours.
I have a very good friend who is a beautician. We have come to a great arrangement where by she treats me to a full body wax every few weeks (ouch!) and in return I make her family birthday cakes.
It was one of her young sons birthday recently and he requested a Star wars Lego cake. I don't normally make character cakes but as I wasn't being paid I did, and naturally being obsessed by metallics at the moment I got out my spray can.

My friend and her husband were also celebrating their tenth anniversary, with a few nights away. She didn't want a cake, so I suggested his and hers cookies to lay on the pillows. I went for a vintage/distressed Marie Antoinette look.


Saturday, 7 April 2012

You're a winner!

I was sorting through my photos and found these hidden away. They were for ITV Daybreak and Lorraine ( TV programmes in the UK.) They wanted cupcakes to advertise their competition. They were filming in a lovely house and asked that the cakes look homemade, so I decided to breakout my piping skills. 
Unfortunately I kept forgetting to watch the programmes when they were on, so I decided to watch on catch up TV, to see my cakes in all their glory. However, as it was a repeated programme, the competition lines were closed and to let the viewer know this they had placed a big sign over the screen, completely obscuring my cakes. The top of my cake stand looked lovely though! Fortunately some of my friends had seen it live and reassured me that the cakes looked great!


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Easter Wreath Tutorial

I wanted a quick craft project to make with the kidlets that would fill up five minutes or so. You may remember the Christmas wreath tutorial which was very successful (if I say so myself.) So I decide we would do an Easter version.
With this project the best way to proceed is to throw as much glue gun glue as you possibly can at it. Although don't let the kids go near the hot glue as I constantly suffer third degree burns when I get mine out! I took the kidlets to a craft shop and let them go mad with fluffy chick purchase. They chose some fabric and made strips to wrap around the polystyrene wreaths. This was really simple and quick, even for the little one. They then placed on the chicks - oh soooo fluffy - and I glued them down. I then went on to make a couple of my own. Do not under any circumstances get the kids to make the yarn wreaths, it takes forever!

I really enjoyed our crafty afternoon, although I still bear the scars, and am considering changing my career from cakes to wreaths!


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Beautiful blossom

I love this time of year when the blossom is blossoming and you find tiny buds budding everywhere. I always grab my camera for the school walk and snap away...we're frequently late for school, but I really don't mind.
I did consider posting these as a Silent Sunday but I find it very hard not to add my thoughts! that said I will leave my babbling there and just let you enjoy.


Monday, 2 April 2012

Painting classes

I have had two really lovely groups of ladies for my latest classes (but then my students are always lovely!) 
Both classes were the Basic Rose Class, where the students paint cupcake toppers and an 8" dummy cake.
Even though the majority of my pupils are beginners they are all amazed with their results.

I love reference and cannot have a magazine in my house without tearing half the sheets out! I always share my file with the students.

Last Saturday I had a student who has attended many classes and declared Nevie-Pie Cakes provided the best lunch! I can't lay claim to the sandwiches and savouries but I do always make my family-recipe flapjack and Martha's choc chunk cookies.

There is alot of concentration during the classes!

As you can see both classes were rightly very proud of their efforts.

I have just introduced a new cupcake class and a new venue in the North-West of the UK. You can look at my website here for class details, and you can subscribe here to be on the mailing list. Grab your place while you can!