UK Handmade Winter Issue

December 11th, 2010 by Gilly
UK Handmade Winter Issue

UK Handmade Winter Issue

The sparkling, festive Winter issue of UK Handmade magazine is out now! Why not stick on the kettle, make yourself a cuppa, take a well deserved break and have a browse over on the website http://www.ukhandmade.co.uk.

Christmas Pudding Cookie Decorations

Christmas Pudding Cookie Decorations

My tutorial for making your own Christmas cake in the style of a Christmas pudding is on pg 80  and see how to make my cute Christmas pudding cookies on pg 30… Both projects are fairly easy to do, and the cookies are fun to make with the kids as gifts to Grandparents or friends.

Christmas Pudding Cookies

Christmas Pudding Cookies

Mum’s Birthday

December 10th, 2010 by Gilly
Mum's Garden Birthday Cupcakes

Mum's Garden Birthday Cupcakes

Back in November it was my Mum’s 60th birthday, so I made her a batch of flowery garden-themed cupcakes to celebrate! This shot is just a few of them….  The green blob is supposed to be a wellie ;) The cakes are coconut, topped with lime cream cheese and finished with pink fondant and handmade decorations.

Sunday Blues

October 31st, 2010 by Gilly
Cornflower Double Strand Bracelet

Cornflower Double Strand Bracelet

Today’s theme appears to have been blue: the sky was a perfect bright Autumn blue when I woke up (although sadly not for long!), I chose a blue stripy scarf to keep the chill at bay, felt a little bit blue about the clocks going back and the darker evenings ahead, and squeezed in the opportunity to make several pieces of blue-toned jewellery this evening…

Sparkling Blueberry Necklace

Sparkling Blueberry Necklace

I rarely get a chance to make jewellery at the moment, but the pliers came out this weekend! I fulfilled an order (the blueberry necklace), made a birthday present (the cornflower bracelet), and finished off some earrings to wear to work that I began earlier in the week. Obviously, the latter being the most important ;)

I’d planned to bake some spicy pumpkin cupcakes for the family to celebrate Halloween but with no time to spend in the kitchen today it was lovely to be a little bit crafty for an hour or so instead.

Shell Drop Earrings

Shell Drop Earrings

Seeing the deep blue beads scattered across the table, the little discarded snippings of wire curling around each other and the sparkling crystals catching the light made me long to get back into it again. So many beads, so little time!

Weekend Baking

October 17th, 2010 by Gilly
Christmas Pudding Cookies

Christmas Pudding Cookies

Its always nice to slow down and chill out – I’ve been racing around lately taking on so many different things, so this weekend I had a quiet one catching up with a friend and doing a spot of baking. Oh, and I cleaned my little house from top to bottom – sparkly!

The baking is for a couple of Christmas tutorials for the Winter edition of UK Handmade. So now I’m in the festive spirit waaay too early – have been humming “The Christmas Song” for the last two days….

I’ve made a Christmas cake decorated as a Christmas pudding (looks cute!) and the above Christmas pudding cookies – some have ribbon for hanging on the tree. As its only October, I’m going to restrain myself from posting the pics so early, so the cookies drying on the rack are just a little sneaky peak.

Chocolate Heart Cookies

Chocolate Heart Cookies

As I had some chocolate dough remaining, I whipped up a few heart cookies for the family yesterday. I have loads of heart decorations covered in *awesome* red edible glitter left over from Valentine’s day, so they made instant decorations for the cookies. They’ve turned out well, with a nice dark chocolate flavour due to the Green and Blacks cocoa powder. I nearly always use Green and Blacks: its good quality and more intensely chocolatey than most cocoa – and more importantly, its organic and the farmers get a fairer deal. You’ll be able to find the recipe in the Winter issue when it comes out sometime in December :)

UK Handmade Autumn Issue

October 15th, 2010 by Gilly

UK Handmade Autumn Issue

Oops, totally forgot to blog about our new Autumn issue of UK Handmade magazine when it launched a few weeks ago!

So…. I may be a bit late with this, but hurrah, its out!!  Packed with all sorts of Autumnal tutorials, articles and fab interviews with great UK-based designer makers such as Hetty Rose (such beautiful shoes!), the magazine is available to read online here. There’s a lovely tutorial on carving butternut squash lanterns, and my favourite page : some gorgeous paper “finds’ on page 76.

I posted about my Japan-inspired green tea cupcakes in July – the tutorial is on page 38 :)

Green Tea Cupcakes

Green Tea Cupcakes

Ruby Anniversary Cake

September 23rd, 2010 by Gilly
40th Ruby Wedding Anniversary Cake

40th Ruby Wedding Anniversary Cake

I made this for Mum and Dad’s ruby wedding anniversary on 5th Septemebr – can’t believe they’ve been married for 40 years! We had a 70s party to celebrate, was so much fun :)

The cake is three layers of fruit cake, covered in marzipan and ivory sugarpaste. Its a small 3 tiered cake, so the largest bottom layer is only 6″ (usually the smallest top cake), and the middle sized and smallest cakes I baked in DIY tins – washed out sweetcorn and baked bean tins, lined with brown paper! The cake is covered in burgundy rosebuds, as requested by Mum, and as a surprise I made a little teacup in the style of her favourite teaset  and filled it with sugar roses.

Happy Birthday Jez!

September 4th, 2010 by Gilly
Apple Computer Cupcakes

Apple Computer Cupcakes

My little brother was 27 this weekend, and he came up to visit to celebrate our parents wedding anniversary (also this weekend!). He’s a visual effects artist and has done films like Harry Potter, Stardust, 2012 and Inception – how cool is that? So computer cupcakes seemed like the way to go…. They’re lemon sponge, filled with lemon curd and topped with lemon butter cream, finished with blue fondant icing and my handmade sugarpaste decorations.

Handbags and Shoes Cupcakes

August 11th, 2010 by Gilly
Shoes and Cupcakes

Shoes and Cupcakes

I made these girly shoe and handbag cupcakes on Monday and took them into work today as it was my boss’s last day – she loves shoes and bags. I made the decorations at the weekend, and really had fun with them although they took quite a long time to do as I cut the shoes out by hand. I’m definitely going to get a shoe cutter set to make the process quicker and easier. I tried a new chocolate cake recipe, but was not very impressed with the results – will stick to my normal recipe in future!

I also made these record and headphones cuppies to coordinate with the shoe and handbag cupcakes for another colleague leaving on the same day. He DJs, so I thought these would be appropriate, even if they are a bit pink and girly, lol!

DJ Cupcakes

Baby Shower Cookies

August 8th, 2010 by Gilly
Baby Shower Cookies

Baby Shower Cookies

These are practice cookies I made for my friend and line manager who leaves this week – I’ll really miss her! The real ones had tiny lilac flowers on the pram instead of the white flower and the wheels turned out  a bit better that the practice ones but I still found them hard to do! On the babygrow, I replaced the white flower with a little lilac flower and left off the “baby” writing as I felt it wasn’t up to scratch. I went for all lilac wrapping rather than the pink spot paper and yellow ribbon as she doesn’t know if she’s having a girl or a boy…

I got the cutters and cookie presentation box from Cakes Cookies & Craft Shop who I use quite a lot for supplies.

Racing Car Cupcakes!

July 18th, 2010 by Gilly
Racing Car Cupcakes

Racing Car Cupcakes

It was my friend’s little boy’s birthday on Saturday, so this is what I made for the party. He was six! Aw :) The board is covered in fondant with a track and little boulders and flowers, most of which you can’t actually see in the photo. The cupcakes are chocolate with chocolate buttercream topped with racing cars, sixes or candles and checkered flags.