Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fifteen Followers! Fantastic!!

Very exciting stuff. To celebrate, I am doing three giveaways, one a week, all around the different things I make and do, so you can choose the giveaway that matches your own passion, or try for the hat trick! :)
This week's giveaway is all about cupcakes. There are well over 150 cupcake papers here for every occasion, including the stand alone ones, and five plastic icing bags (they are disposable but also very reusable).
Sorry to my lovely international followers but because this one is quite bulky, it's only open to kiwis. (sorry Duchess!) however, the next two are going to be sewing related and will be open to all! :)
All you have to do is to post a comment telling us all why cupcakes are better than [...] (which can be anything you choose) I will include my cupcake and butter cream icing recipes with the giveaway so you'll have everything you need to get started (or keep making if you are already a cupcake convert like me!)
I'll leave it open until next Sunday kiwitime. International followers and commenters are welcome to join in, you never know, it may get you brownie points towards the next two giveaways! :)

You learn something every day!

This is my mother's favourite tea pot and I have to say it makes a wicked cup of tea. Perched on its handle is a parrot made of fabric lined with some kind of batting. Apparently these were quite common once, as a sort of  'ovenmit' for the hot teapot handle. Who knew! If I had come across a parrot like that, I'd not in a thousand years guess what it was for.
As an aside, I wasn't trying to take a fabulous photo but overall I think it came out really well, don't you? And you can just make out the photographer and her mother reflected in the teapot's surface. :)

And finally...!

The finished cake. It tasted great and went down a  treat. Could have been half the size, but hey, the children of quilters all over Wellington are well pleased that I didn't make it smaller! :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Exterminate! One mouthful at a time...

I need practice, this one would never be able to take on the world!!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I just realised this blog has thirteen followers! I've just decided that when I get 15, I'm doing a prize draw. So if you are lurking and reading but not following, there's an incentive to do so :)

More cake things

 Well I made the rest of the HOF blocks, and took photos of the process. Not all came out, but enough to get the idea. :) 
 I rolled the fondant icing out between sheets of silicon baking paper, and trimmed to a 7 inch square.  I then scored the 'patchwork' lines onto it for guidance. Before starting on the red, I painted glitter patterns onto the bits of the white that will be showing on the final piece.

I then rolled out the red fondant in the same way, as thinly as I could, and marked and cut the pieces needed.

These red pieces then got the glitter paint treatment. I love glitter!!!
Lastly, I carefully placed the cut pieces onto the white background, using the score lines to get the positioning right. All done! :)
OK, this is not the same one as you can tell by the different pattern of glitter, but they all look the same otherwise, which is the whole point of scrappy patchwork ;-)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cake icing meets patchwork!

Wow. I said I'd make an enormous cake for my quilting club's 25th anniversary, and it's this Saturday so I've started already. Our emblem is the Hand of Friendship block, so it made sense to me to use it in a fondant icing quilt, in our colours of red and white. It's also the BOM for the same meeting. My contributions are all going to edible!
The cake is 24" square, divided into 3 x 3   7" blocks and a red border. Five blocks are the hand of friendship, the spacers are white and will have writing on them. Tonight I made two h.o.f's and one plain one.
this is how I did it:
I printed out the words in a nice font, and traced through the paper onto white fondant, pressing hard so the line showed on the rolled out icing.
Then I outlined it with this very cool edible felt pen I got from the cake supply store. They think of everything!
It looks cool like this, but I couldn't leave it alone!
Here I am filling in the outlines with glitter paint. This is just edible glitter mixed with a little gin, makes it east to apply with a brush and the gin evaporates.
I then scoured the icing to look like quilting, and used white glitter to paint some squigglies on the white - it's supposed to look like a tone on tone print.
These I made earlier and forgot to photograph as I made them. I've got three more to make so I may yet do so. It is really easy to do this. Much faster than I thought it would be. The red is fondant icing also, they make it for Christmas, it comes in green too. Amazing!
I may get time to do something else this week! Especially since I have farmed out the actual cake baking. It's actually going to be two cakes, one chocolate and one banana, butted together. MrC is making a BIG cake board for me :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quilting show approaching fast!

click on pic to see a bigger image
I made this quilt for friends last year - it is dupion silk and I wanted to work both of their colour spectrums (spectra?) into it. One is definitely paua colours (that's blues, greens and purples for those who don't know about paua) and the other is into warm reds and hot colours. Their home reflects Mr Paua more than Mr Warms however!
The block is a traditional Amish one, but I don't think it looks very Amish here!
This quilt is one of two I am entering into the Capital Quilters 25th Anniversary Exhibition, on 14-16 of May, Horticultural Hall, Lower Hutt. It's quite funny to think that I've never exhibited before, so I get to qualify for the novice award! But really I've only been at this about three years, and there hasn't been an exhibition to put anything into in all that time. I am also entering a challenge, and La Vie en Rouge, which is the quilt on my bed.
Now the one above doesn't have a name. Any suggestions? Something a bit cheeky I feel, as it looks a bit too serious really :) I'm thinking, how about Dramish?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Before and after - extreme stash makeover

Followers, meet my stashes. I have two, quite distinct stashes - one for quilting and one for clothing and costuming. My quilting stash is the 'good' stash. It has been well behaved in a cupboard since the week we moved in. This is the stuff that is half a yard or more, the fat quarters, fabrics already dedicated to a project and scraps are all on shelves around the top of the room.

my colour preferences get a bit obvious when you see it like this...

My 'bad' stash has been occupying a series of storage bins that have been moved from one inaccessible spot to the next, finally landing in a big stack in the corner of the studio. It used to be twice as large but I have sold a lot of stuff about which I am ambivalent - oh yes and of course I DO occasionally make something out of it! :)
Anyway, this mess is finally sorted out. I liberated a big cupboard elsewhere in the house that was just not working. It will be replaced with a smaller cupboard. The result is this:
Isn't it fab!! I can see everything and get at everything! And I have just one storage box left as it is full of bits and bobs that aren't really fold-up-able.
I reckon that if I started sewing up my stashes and didn't stop until they were used up, I would be 307. I may yet have to liberate some more. But today, I'm just enjoying owning it ;-)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Forgotten China

MrC and I have been a bit more nomadic in the past few years than originally intended. Moving from a large a tiny our larger but not as large as the first house house, some things never got unpacked. One such box was full of china and other ornamental fripperies from a display cabinet we sold. Last night, I finally unpacked it...

It is a huge box, I wish I had thought to photograph the clever way in which they packed the stuff, in rolls of corrogated card and paper.

Anyway! As a result of much unwrapping, washing and drying and arranging, I now have a dresser full of my favourite china trios (cup, saucer and plate sets) I may have to blog about some of them , which have lovely stories behind them.

Kitchen done, Living next

Well now it's been a while since I posted about our renovations. That's because it's gotten dull after the excitement of our new kitchen.
The next interesting job was the living room. I wanted to go for a fairly neutral look, by my standards, (which really just means not painting everything red and gold for once) that showed off the interesting ceiling lines and simple modernness of the room, while still honouring my maximalist tendencies.
MrC had already painted it before we moved in, on account of the huckery wallpaper.Before - this frieze and wallpaper combo was actually worse than it looks in the photo...
The wooden curtain rods had to go too. I'm not opposed to them entirely, but while this wee house may be cute, it is undeniably modern in style and line, and such cutie pie touches do not belong within it! So, curtains also gone. In their place, we put plain calico roman blinds, coincidentally from the exact same fabric. Not my first choice, but on account of the World's Loudest Wallpaper, I chose something simple, for once. HOWEVER, there is only so much simple a gal can take, so the blinds have rods and swags to frame them, which I finished today. This is the finished result:
This shot shows the end of the living room next to the kitchen. The WLW is only on the end and side wall there - a little goes a long way. The swags are of the most delicious slub-stripe fabric with a hint of metallic on one side, and a taffeta-like shot fabric on the other. We've just wound them loosely around the rods, which are gorgeous antique brass ones with cage finails. I love the effect, but am contemplating adding tassles to the end drops.... I know, I can't stop. I am a maximalist, and more is more!
We had lined up a fabric and wallpaper combo originally that was far less eye-catching, but having found the WLW while out buying paint recently, it has been relegated to some future do-up of the office and workroom.
I do sometimes wonder if being able to make one's own soft furnishings is a false economy. I fairly regularly buy two or three fabrics for just one room before committing, instead of paying through the nose for someone else to make them once. Still, the fabrics that get "Klummed" (our word for things that get rejected, c/o Project Runway) generally end up being sold for a good price, or redesignated to other projects.