Maple & Pecan Cupcakes

May 17th, 2009 by Gilly
Maple Syrup & Pecan Cupcakes Maple Syrup & Pecan Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes as a trial run today (well, technically yesterday now!). The recipe is from Cupcakes by Susannah Blake. I loved how they turned out – the maple & pecan nut sponge is light and moist with a definite maple syrup flavour.

The buttercream also has maple syrup in it and really complements the cakes, but as it’s very sweet it’s probably better spread onto the cupcakes rather than icing it into big peaks like these ones. I couldn’t resist though – it looks so pretty :) I love the idea of caramelising the pecans but I found it tricky on my first attempt – need more practice! In the end, instead of coating each one in a blob of caramelized sugar, I drizzled it over each pecan nut, which I think still looks good.

Lemon Balm Loveliness

May 16th, 2009 by Gilly

Lemon balm, or melissa, has a gorgeous lemony uplifting scent. It makes me smile each morning when I pick a leaf to add to my mint tea. It’s volatile oils are sedative, so it makes a soothing drink before bedtime too.

I grow melissa in a pot so that it doesn't swamp my little herb patch

Growing melissa in a pot prevents it swamping my herb patch

I like to make a bottle of lemon balm oil each summer, by macerating the leaves in warm olive oil. It’s great to massage onto your temples to aid sleep, or can be dabbed onto cold sores, bites and stings due to it’s antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Bottled Melissa Oil

Bottled Melissa Oil

To make the oil

Finely chop 50g of lemon balm leaves and add half  to 100ml olive oil in a saucepan.

Chopped Lemon Balm

Chopped Lemon Balm

Heat gently for 15 minutes and then strain through muslin cloth.

Put the strained the oil back in the saucepan and add the other half of the chopped leaves.

Heat for a further 15 minutes and then strain again.

Your oil is now ready to be bottled and kept in the fridge.

Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil will give the oil a lovely fragrance and enhance it’s relaxing, healing and sedative effects.

Clematis Double Strand Bracelet

May 15th, 2009 by Gilly
Clematis Double Strand Bracelet

Clematis Double Strand Bracelet

Just relisted in my Etsy shop.

Wear a flower on your wrist :) This richly coloured bracelet features a handmade purple flower, set off by two strands of peach, purple and brown glass beads in an assortment of shapes and sizes.

I created the flower with purple glass drop beads, woven together with beading wire, and embellished with peach seed beads and a purple glass pearl in the centre.

After the rain comes sun….

May 15th, 2009 by Gilly
Alliums in my garden

Alliums in my garden

Well, it rained this morning, but now the sun has come out ! I grabbed a moment to sit in the garden by the bay tree, next to my lovely alliums. I’ve been thumbing through Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World – it’s a fab little recipe book for the vegan in your life, and the gingerbread cupcakes are highly recommended :)

New stock in my Etsy Store!

May 14th, 2009 by Gilly
Blue Anemone Long Beaded Necklace

Blue Anemone Long Beaded Necklace

Finally, new stock for my Etsy shop! It’s been neglected for a while but I’m starting to list more jewellery this week. This is a personal favourite – a lovely long black necklace with one of my handmade blue glass flowers set to one side. See it here

A handmade blue glass flower with black faceted beads

A handmade blue glass flower with black faceted beads

Coffee and cake….

May 13th, 2009 by Gilly
Banana muffin & soya latte

Banana muffin & soya latte

Made some banana muffins this afternoon from Nigella’s How To Be a Domestic Goddess. I added chopped brazil nuts to the mixture and finished the muffins with banana butter cream and little chocolate crunchy bits. So good with a soya latte!

Minty!

May 7th, 2009 by Gilly
Fresh mint ready to be dried

Fresh mint ready to be dried

I love a cup of fresh mint tea for breakfast, but it’s so handy to dry some for the winter months. This just-picked mint from my little herb patch is tied up with white ribbon, ready to be hung up and dried for a few weeks in a dark place.

Make Jewellery Magazine

May 4th, 2009 by Gilly
Gillyflower in Make Jewellery Magazine

Gillyflower in Make Jewellery Magazine

Ooh, the most exciting thing of the week – my Dahlia and Poppy asymmetric necklaces were in a feature on corsages in May’s issue of Make Jewellery magazine. I love that the model is wearing my Poppy necklace!

Dahlia asymmetric necklace with gift box

Dahlia asymmetric necklace with gift box

Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes

May 3rd, 2009 by Gilly
Delicious Chocolate Cupcakes

Gluten Free Brownie Cupcakes

I made these gluten free brownie cupcakes the other week for a friend who can’t eat gluten. I’ve tried the recipe before as a tray of brownies and it turned out so well I thought I’d try it as cupcakes. You can find the recipe here at the Doves Farm Website. I used pecans instead of hazelnuts and divided the recipe between 12 muffin cases, then baked at 180C for 18 minutes. The ganache topping of cream and fairtrade milk chocolate added a little bit of decadence and I topped them with chocolate curls. Mmmm. You’d never know they were gluten free!

First post

May 1st, 2009 by Gilly
Calendula Knotted Necklace

Calendula Knotted Necklace

Welcome to my blog :) I”m Gilly from Grantham in Lincolnshire, and this is my first post! My big passion is jewellery making, and this Calendula Knotted Necklace is probably my favourite piece. I love growing herbs so I’ve named it after calendula, also known as pot marigold, which is healing and soothing. I’ve just planted this year’s calendula seeds so I’m looking forward to their beautiful blooms in a few months – I have a cupcake recipe up my sleeve to try with the orange petals, plus a skin soothing cold cream made with the flower heads. Recipes coming soon…