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10 February 2016

The Pizza Cake

Last week, my baby boy turned 10. Yes, 10! I can hardly believe it myself. It feels like he was only born yesterday and this past decade has flown by in a crazy blur.



We marked his day with a surprise breakfast of his favourite, waffles, gifts... and then he was forced to go to school. Yes, I'm a mean mum making him go to school on his birthday. 

While at school, I made his birthday cake. Each birthday, I let the kids choose what cake they'd like and this year, inspired by a cake in a magazine, Sam asked for a pizza cake.



Now, in all honesty, it wasn't hard to make, but I didn't have any brown food colouring for the "pizza base" icing, so I used yellow... and possibly a little too much yellow, but the birthday boy was pleased.



Here's what I used to make the pizza cake (just incase you'd like to make one too):

A basic round butter cake. Use your own recipe, or a packet mix is fine. This is all about the decorating, rather than the cake itself.

I used a tub of frosting with a few drops of yellow colouring. If you can find brown colouring, a combination of brown and yellow would be ideal. 

Cover the cake in the frosting - this is the pizza base.

For the sauce, I used raspberry jam. I used a strainer to remove the seeds. Spread the jam on top, leaving approximately a 1" border un-jammed. 



Now for the toppings... I used sour strawberry straps for the pepperoni, green jubes (cut in half) for the capsicum and black jelly beans for olives.

I grated white chocolate which was sprinkled on the top as "cheese".

And there it is. One pizza cake which made my boy really happy.



02 February 2016

50 Fat Quarter Makes {Book Review}

Before Christmas, I gathered quite a number of new crafty books. Over that crazy, busy time of the year and the summer holidays, they sat in a pile on the end of my cutting table, waiting for my attention. Not just the hurried flick through which I gave them, but to sit down and enjoy them properly.




50 Fat Quarter Makes compiled by Ame Verso, was one of these books. I have a lot of Fat Quarters (FQ's) in my stash. I think that they're just a great size - especially when you like a fabric, but aren't sure what you'll make with it. Plus, you can buy a few FQ's from a range of fabric, without necessarily breaking the bank.

This book is filled with lots of great ideas on ways to use up those FQ's in our stashes. Each chapter is separated by the number of FQ's required to create the projects. 

For example, and as a rough guide: 

1 FQ and the project options include a pincushion, a coin purse, or even a dog bandanna. 

4 FQ's projects include an apron, a pretty patchwork skirt, a hedgehog family (CUTE!!).

10 FQ projects include a table runner, pillow and even a couple of quilts.

There are more projects in between, with various amounts of FQ's required.

If you follow my on social media, you may have noticed that I've recently discovered garment sewing. I've made my daughter a dress and a number of skirts. In the 2 FQ chapter, I found a Girly Twirly Skirt pattern by Emily Levey. 






It's a simple design which only required 2 FQ's and will create a skirt for a girl up to 6 years of age. My little miss is 8, so I made my bottom strip section a little wider than the pattern, which gave this little skirt some extra length. 

She seems pleased with the finished skirt, especially as I used the cutest fabrics from the Woodland Spring range by Riley Blake Designs. Foxes, deer, bunny rabbits and squirrels. Super cute!




50 Fat Quarter Makes has sooooo many great projects to make as gifts. Sure, there are a lot of projects which I'd probably never make, but there are also many that I would love to work on (either for myself, family or friends). That's always a good thing when choosing new books - whether you'll be able to create more than one project from the book. This book is certainly a great addition to my crafty book library.




There is one other thing which I think needs mentioning; 50 Fat Quarter Makes is compiled by Ame Verso, but the projects are contributed by a number of different designers. There is something in here which would suit just about any taste. Projects range from the more vintage inspired like crochet rolls and cute pillows, to more modern designs like the place mat sets by Kevin Kosbab (whose style with modern design and bias binding, is quite distinct).



If you're interested in purchasing this book, it's available in Australia from Booktopia or internationally from amazon.com. 


TITLE:  50 Fat Quarter Makes
ISBN:  9781446305911
PUBLISHER:  David & Charles


Disclaimer: I received this book for the purpose of review. All opinions and images are my own.

01 February 2016

EASY Scone Recipe (Tefal Cuisine Companion)

Do you love scones? I thought I'd share this recipe for EASY scones, which is my go-to recipe. It is fast. It is easy. And best of all, I usually have all of these ingredients in the refrigerator. I found this recipe online a while back and have tweaked it a little, so that I can mix the dough in the Tefal Cuisine Companion.




EASY Scone Recipe

Ingredients

(Makes 12)

3 cups of self raising flour
3 tbsp of caster sugar
3/4 cup of thickened cream
1 cup of lite milk




Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius (or 180 degrees fan forced).

Place all of the ingredients into the CC bowl fitted with the kneading/crushing blade. Mix at speed 9 for 20 seconds until the ingredients are combined. 

The dough will be in a ball - lightly knead the dough on a floured surface. 





Flatten out the dough to approximately 1" thickness and cut out 12 scones. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 12 minutes until the tops are golden.

I always end up baking a double batch of these scones. The last quite well in an air tight container for a couple of days.

Serve with butter, strawberry jam or cream... 

What is your favorite scone topping combination?





27 January 2016

Teacher Appreciation Pillows


I've made a lot of teacher pillows over the past few weeks. I made pillows for my children's teachers and a few extras for people who loved them and ordered some. I finished my latest teacher pillow a few days ago (for a friend, who is a teacher and wants it for her classroom)... and realised that I shared progress shots and pillow pictures on social media, but never actually blogged about them. Whoops!









I love these pillows soooooooooo much! The basic pattern is by Amy of NanaCompany. Stop on over at her blog for the free pattern. It's really sweet and perfect for Christmas. I used the basic idea and added my own wording to make these especially for teacher appreciation gifts.








I forgot to take a full finished photo of this Teacher Pillow - Whoops!



I've had great feedback from the teachers, who all loved them. Apparently there were even a few happy tears... which is always a very nice achievement, right?


26 January 2016

The Delectable Sparkle Quilt

A couple of weeks ago, I joined The Fat Quarter Shop in sharing their 10 most popular video tutorials of 2015. It was fun to revisit some of these patterns... and to add a new twist. You know me, always looking for twists on originals.






One of the blocks was the Delectable Mountains block. I blogged about it HERE and included links to the block pattern.

It's an interesting block. With half of the block being blank space, I decided that I'd create a wall quilt with 4 of these blocks and a border.

I positioned them so that the blank halves were all joined in the centre and then appliqued some words. The Michael Miller fabrics which I used for the "mountains" are gold and silver shine on black, so I really wanted my words to reference shine or sparkle or glitter... I found this this little line on Pinterest, and loved it and they way it would fit on to the empty space. 

To create the words, I chose a font which I liked on a word-art document - Google documents are my favourite way to do this. The program is simple to use and includes a large selection of fonts. 

Then with my chosed font, I enlarged it. Outlined it. Flipped it. Printed it. Traced it on to bonding paper (eg Vliesofix or Heat n Bond etc). Fused it to the bright pink fabric. Cut out the letters and removed backing paper. Arranged the words to the centre of the space. Fused in place. Appliqued with matching pink Aurifil thread. Does that all make sense?

After adding a border, it was time to quilt. I chose a neutral thread (#2309) and quilted pebbles around the wording. I love pebble quilting. It's a great space filler, but geez it takes time... and a lot of thread.



I decided to NOT quilt the 'mountains' and echo quilted straight lines around the borders. I "stitched in the ditch" (URGH!!) and then I used my 1/4" machine foot to keep the lines even. This also took a little bit of time, swiveling the quilting a bazillion times, but I really like the result of the straight lines in combination with the free motion curves of the pebbles.




This wall quilt is now hanging in my home. It's a great reminder to us all - add a little bit of sparkle to everything you do and everywhere you go.