Thursday, 16 September 2010


Nothing like leaving things to the last minute!  Here's a very quick illustration for this week's Illustration Friday theme.  The theme this week was Proverb so I went for 'barking up the wrong tree'. 

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

If you go down to the woods today........

.......beware the exploding debris!  At the weekend I went for a walk with my sister to Friday Woods in Colchester, being a Garrison town we're not short of soldiers and they often use Friday Woods for training.  I remember going there as a kid and regularly coming across bullet shells on the ground, my brother had a few that he collected after a trip there. 

There doesn't seem to be as much of a military presence in Colchester as there was years ago, maybe I just don't get out as much and don't notice, but even a lot of the military estates have now been turned into new housing estates.  And we're not short of those either. 

Thankfully on our walk we didn't notice any military debris, not even one bullet shell.  We're going swimming tonight so that shouldn't be as risky, but I will keep an eye out for that random plaster you used to get floating in the pool, the one with the hair on!

Friday, 20 August 2010

The latest batch of cakes

As previously warned, here's another cake post.  We've had another batch of cupcakes to do just like the last ones, a Rubik's Cube, a giant cupcake and a Garfield cake.

The Rubik's cube cake was our first go at doing a stacked cake using dowels, it's got a bit of a journey to reach it's final destination so it needed to be sturdy.  Also we had to consider how it was going to get cut up, we didn't think having a long skinny piece with either loads of icing or not much at all would be very good so it's basically two cakes on top of each other.  They'll be able to cut up the top layer, lift off the board that's nestled inside the cake, then cut up the bottom layer.  It was a whopping 40 ounces of cake mixture and 2kg of fondant icing to produce this cake!

The giant cupcake was basically a big version of the latest cupcakes we'd produced, pink and girly.  This is vanilla sponge with buttercream in the middle and piped buttercream on the top half and fondant icing on the base.  It's decorated with coloured sprinkles and wafer flowers and with ribbon round the base.  This is created using a special cupcake shaped tin which you can buy here.

And here's the Garfield cake.  He was good fun to make, he's a nice simple design and piping the black detail on really brings it all together, and we've used orange flavoured Matchmakers for his whiskers.  Of course we had to sample some of the Matchmakers to check they were OK!

More cakes to do next week, lots of cupcakes, a triple chocolate cake and a tinkerbell cake.  I guess August is a busy month for birthdays.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Pretty Cupcakes

So here's the first cake order of the month, eighteen cupcakes for a hen party in lovely pink, yellow and purple, all decorated with sprinkles and a few wafer flowers.  I hope the bride to be will be very happy with these. 

They're safely boxed up and ready for collection, one of these would go down very nicely with a cup of tea right now.......

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Birthday Cards for Girls

Here's a few card designs I've been working on, mostly inspired by my niece, Millie, who just turned two the other day.  The card I made for her turned out to be quite apt, she tends to carry her dolls under her arm like in my illustration, except it tends to look more like she's got them in a head lock when she carries them!

I thought I'd use the same character done up as a fairy for the next design.

And sticking with the fairy theme came up with this.....

And here's one I did a while back but had forgotten all about it.

I've not been making many cards lately, had other things going on and me and my husband have been busy making cakes, and we've got quite a few cake orders for August too so that will keep us busy.  No doubt I'll end up doing a few cake related posts during August, one of the cakes we have to do is a Rubik's cube, I'm hoping it will be fairly straight forward......I'll let you know how it goes! 

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

IF: Double

It's very rare but it's been known to happen, you select a yummy treat from a vending machine and two fall out!  So you end up with a double treat!! 

What's more likely to happen is once you've made your selection, your treat teases you as it dangles forward and gets stuck.  That's normally what happens to me, but Nutkins has had more luck, he's got two choc and nut bars to enjoy.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Chocolate and Strawberries

Here's the latest cake we've been asked to make, a scrummy triple chocolate cake and a dozen cupcakes.  There's six with chocolate buttercream and crunchy chocolate sprinkles, and six with strawberry flavoured buttercream (flavoured with real strawberries) and topped with a delicious white chocolate dipped strawberry......yum.

The triple chocolate cake is chocolate sponge, with a layer of chocolate buttercream and topped off with a generous helping of chocolate ganache.  The message and decoration has been piped on using white chocolate.......just in case there wasn't enough chocolate already!

Last month we had another chocolate cake to do, this time we were asked to incorporate a motorbike, so what better than a chocolate motor bike to decorate a triple chocolate cake?  The recipient of this cake is a bit of a chocoholic me thinks!

Monday, 21 June 2010

IF: Paisley

I'm just back from my holiday and getting back to the old routine.  I had a fab time with great friends and lots of laughs, it sure was nice to have a break.  So I thought I'd get started with a quick illustration for Illustration Friday. 

Paisley is the theme this week and I rather enjoyed making my own paisley pattern, it was a bit like doodling but with a purpose.  Then I had to think what to draw to incorporate the pattern, what better than a paisley tie?  And seeing as it was father's day yesterday I thought it was quite fitting, I'm sure there were a few ties given as presents.  My dad mainly got beer and cider, he's well stocked up till his four days time!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Lampwork Bead Giveaway!

Look at all those lovely glass beads, and they could be yours to turn into some fabulous jewellery. 

Laura from Beads By Laura is having another giveaway, this time it's this rather generous strand of her Lonelies beads, that's a whopping 41 beads!  Laura's Lonelies beads are one off creations, experiment beads and leftovers from sets, all top quality, and this bunch needs a new home. 

All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog, and if you have a blog and want to blog about it and link to her giveaway post, she'll enter you into the draw twice.  It's open to anyone anywhere in the world and you have until 7pm (UK time) on Friday 4th June to enter.  So head on over to Laura's blog for your chance to win. 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

IF: Early

Little is known about the Bouffant-a-saurus, but it is said to be the early inspiration for the bouffant hairstyles seen today.

Thursday, 20 May 2010


I've been working on magnets recently, something else I like to make.  I've got a few different types, beaded magnets in the shape of flowers, cupcakes and flip flops, magnets based on some of my illustrations and I'm currently working on some magnet sets which will be made using resin.

I've started to add a few to my Etsy shop and will gradually be adding more.  For sale at the moment are a beaded flower, beaded flip flop, beaded cupcake and an illustration magnet.

My beaded magnets are made using tiny glass seed beads which are individually sewn onto fabric, then glued onto some funky foam to make it nice and sturdy, then a good strong magnet is glued to the back. 

And here's a sneak peak at my designs for the resin magnets, they will be sold in sets with different themes, here's a sample from my baking, fairy, monkey and knitting sets.  Each will be given a resin coating which will be slightly domed and then affixed to a magnet of the same size.  I can't wait to get these made, I think they'll look great once they're done. 

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

And now for something completely different......

.....well sort of.  Instead of my usual illustration posts of late I came across some old paintings I did as part of a course years ago that I thought I'd show you.  They're abstract paintings, not my usual style but I like the freedom of creating a random picture and seeing what happens as you go. 

Here's what I came up with.

This is my favourite, I was really pleased with how this one turned out.

Can you see a monkey face in this one?  It wasn't intentional but I can see it in red above the three white splodges at the bottom of the painting.

This one looks a bit like a landscape to me, or reflections on water?

This was done using the same technique as the red and green one above, but using four bold colours.

All these paintings were made using acrylic paint and without a paintbrush in sight, only a palette knife, so lots of scaping paint over the canvas in various directions, it's amazing what effects it can create. 

Thursday, 6 May 2010

IF: Cocoon

What goes on inside a caterpillar cocoon?  Preparing for the big change of course! 

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

IF: Detective

It's not going to take much detective work to figure out what happened to his dinner!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

IF - Linked

The Illustration Friday theme this week is Linked, so I started thinking of what I could draw that was linked together.  Then I remembered playing Red Rover at school. 

You'd have two teams, each forming a line linked by holding hands and each team would take it in turns to call out 'Red Rover, Red Rover, send somebody over', then someone from the opposite team would run at full pelt towards the other team and try and break the link between two players.  If they broke the link then they picked a team member from the opposite team to go and join their team, if they failed to break the link then they would have to join the opposite team.  The winning team is the one that ends up with most players.

Apparently this game is deemed too aggressive for school playgrounds these days and it's been banned from some schools.  The health and safety brigade have been out again! 

Thursday, 8 April 2010


Nosegay – noun - a small bunch of flowers; bouquet; posy.

Today I woke with the word nosegay rattling around in my head, you may think this is a bit weird but this happens to me a lot.  Just like a song that can stick in your head, I can get words or names that I will say over and over in my head - and yes it is annoying.  It's not like you hear a word like that everyday so how did it come to stick in my noggin?  The wonders of the human brain.

Not sure why I felt compelled to share this with you.......I don't sound mental at all!

Anyway, thought I'd show you some quilled tulips I made.  I made some for some Mother's Day cards last month, I may make some more like this as they'd make good card toppers.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter!

Yes that is a yule log, but who said they were just for Christmas? 

We were asked to make an Easter yule log so here it is, complete with fluffy yellow chicks and Cadbury's Mini Eggs.  It's been decorated with chocolate ganache which has been made using Cadbury's Bournville chocolate and it smells amazing.  My husband's getting rather good at these logs now, he had plenty of practice at Christmas, he had quite a few orders for them.  The recipe can be found here, we use a different filling for our logs, just chocolate buttercream, but the sponge recipe is a good one, and so is the ganache topping. 

Happy Easter everyone.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

IF: Rescue

The Illustration Friday theme this week is Rescue, so I instantly thought of superheroes.  This hero is a bit smug but that doesn't deter the ladies!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

IF: Expired

Eight of his nine lives have already expired, if he's not careful, this kitty's ninth and final life is about to expire!  His ghost cats are looking on in horror.....well some of them.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

IF: Subterranean

It's movie night at Moley and Worm's place and they're all set with their bowls of popcorn.  I wonder what they're watching........

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Novelty cakes

Yep, more cakes!  It was our first time with doing a numbered cake, it went really well and Jay (my husband) did a very good job with icing that tricky number 2!! (;o) Hee hee!)  We had another Mickey Mouse cake to do (and we've got another one to do in a couple of months time) and a strange request for a meerkat cake.  Not just any meerkat either, Aleksander the meerkat from those compare the meerkat (market) adverts.

I had to use my painting skills for Aleksander, I'm pleased with how he looks but he does look more like a dog than a meerkat.  Our cake version is a bit fatter, otherwise it would have been a rather small cake. 

This is the real Aleksander

We've got a little rest before the next cake making session, the next one we've been asked to do is an Easter Yule Log!  I've had a bag of Mini Eggs stored in the cupboard for a while now, I'm surprised they've lasted so long!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Prize Draw winnings!

A couple of weeks ago I won a prize draw that was hosted by Laura Sparling on her Beads by Laura blog.  Laura is a glass artist and makes wonderful glass beads.  She put together a big prize draw giveaway featuring prizes that were donated by herself and other crafters.  There were three prizes to win, all comprising of three different items.  I couldn't believe it when I found out I'd won, and look what great prizes I won too.

I got some Art Clay Silver, donated by Joy Funnell.  Joy makes lovely jewellery and teaches classes in Art Clay Silver, click here to visit her website and here for her blog.

I got a handmade purse in a cute cupcake pattern, donated by Lyn from Florspace.  Lyn makes lots of these purses, bags, wallets and clutches, they are very well made and she uses a great range of cute patterned materials.  She also included a free foot keyring!  You can check out her great products in her Etsy shop here and her blog here.

And my other prize was one of Laura's cupcake bead dangles.  Her cupcake beads have been very popular and sadly is no longer making them.  Laura frequently has giveaways so keep an eye out on her blog for a chance to win some of her gorgeous glass beads.  If you'd like to know more about Laura and her beads you can visit her website here.

And thank you ladies for my fabulous prizes, I love them all. 

Thursday, 11 March 2010

IF: Brave

Mitch the monkey had to be brave to put a plaster on in the first place, now he has to be brave to pull it off!  Looks like he'll have a plaster shaped bald patch for a while!!

Saturday, 27 February 2010

IF: Perspective

From the scarecrow's perspective everything seems fine, little does he know there's a naughty bunny burrowed underground chomping through the carrots!

My elephant illustration is pick of the week on the Illustration Friday website!  Finding that out this morning was a lovely surprise, it's made my day and I have a huge grin on my face now.  Have a good weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

IF: Propagate

This weeks Illustration Friday theme is 'propagate'.  So here's an elephant and a bee, both helping to propagate the flowers.  Thought I'd try a different medium this time to give a different look.  I shall have to experiment a bit more.......

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

IF: Adrift

This clever frog has found a safer way to cross the river, still better keep any eye on those hungry crocodiles though!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentine's cupcakes and Mickey Mouse

Here's the latest cakes my husband's been asked to make, some Valentine's cupcakes and a Mickey Mouse cake.  As usual I've lent my hand to decorating, he prefers to bake (and is very good at it - very tasty cakes!) and seeing as I love to make things, I'm best at the decorating.  So we make a pretty good cake making team.

The cupcakes are vanilla sponge with pink buttercream, decorated with fondant icing discs and I've piped letters on spelling out 'I Love You' and decorated them with a few hearts.

The Mickey Mouse cake took a bit longer to do!  But at least he's relatively easy to make, quite simple features so nothing too complicated to make.  


He's all cake too, the mouth is sponge (not just masses of icing) and the ears are simply miniature cakes.  Only his nose is a lump of icing.  Everything's cut out by hand too, no special cake tins have been used or any templates, and what you can't tell from the pictures is just how big this cake's BIG, beats any shop bought cake any day!  


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Mittens or gloves? Why not have both.

Here's a pair of gloves I've knitted for my sister, fingerless gloves which have a mitten cover.  They're so useful when you're out and about as you don't need to keep taking them off when you need a bit of grip to pick things up or take things out of your bag or wallet, simply flip back the mitten cover and voila, fingertips at the ready.  There's even a lovely sparkly button to hold back the mitten cover if you want it held out of the way.

They're knitted with Sirdar Escape DK yarn, which is self patterning, and has such vivid colours.  It's also really soft and as it's a bit on the chunky side, it makes the gloves very cosy and warm.  I used a Sirdar pattern for these gloves but had to make a few adjustments.  When knitted up according to the pattern for a ladies glove, it turned out rather small (and yes I did knit a tension square), so I used the pattern for a man's glove (I guess we must have man sized hands!) made the cuff a little longer and knitted a complete thumb rather than leaving it fingerless.

Think I might knit a pair for myself one day, first I have to finish a pair of long wrist warmers....... 

Friday, 5 February 2010

IF: Muddy

Lots of options for this weeks theme but it made me think of a story that was in the paper last year about a pig that didn't like getting her trotters all muddy (a bit out of character for a pig!).  So her owners had little wellies made especially for her so she could walk about in the mud without the fear of getting muddy.  Click here if you'd like to read the article and to see a picture of the little pig wearing her new wellies.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

IF: Focused

Oh Deer!  Looks like someone's focused in on these two chaps noshing on some tasty leaves, luckily one's been spooked so I'm sure they'll get away!

Saturday, 23 January 2010

IF: Clumsy!

Another illustration for Illustration Friday, this time the subject was Clumsy.  I immediately thought of dropping things and I was reminded of an incident years ago on a walk home from school. 

It was around Easter time, and my Mum was meeting us after school to walk us home.  My sister had been at playschool and all the children had been making little card and paper baskets, stuffed with cotton wool, and they were all given a Creme Egg to go in their basket.  My sister came out all pleased and happy with her Creme Egg nestled safely in her basket. 

Whilst walking down the road, my sister trod on something squishy - a Creme Egg - how unfortunate we thought, someone must have dropped their egg on the way home and now my sister had stomped on it.  That is until she checked her basket and there was no Creme Egg!  Once it dawned on her what had happened, she looked a bit like the girl in my picture.......just before she burst into tears!  

Thursday, 21 January 2010

IF: Wilderness

I've been absent from the blogging world for a couple of months, what with the break for Christmas and New Year.  I've just found it hard to get motivated again.  I'm gradually getting into the swing of things though.

I've been wanting to get back into doing more drawing and I'm going to be doing an Illustration course soon - very exciting (for me at least!).  So to get some practice in I'm going to start contributing to Illustration Friday, each week is a different subject and the latest is Wilderness.  So this is what I came up with, it's just a quick illustration using pencil, as today is the last day to post pictures on this subject.  Poor Squirrel Nutkins, he's found some tasty acorns but hasn't seen what's waiting at the end of the trail!!


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