Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

July 11th, 2010 by Gilly
Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

I made these cupcakes this weekend for the Autumn issue of UK Handmade magazine. I don’t get time to do baking at the moment, other than when I’ve committed myself to something, so it was really nice to have to make them for the deadline next week. The theme is Japonism, so I’ve topped green tea cakes (made with matcha) with fondant circles and fondant decorations – sushi, chopsticks and cherry blossom. I think they look really cute, although I think they looked a bit nicer in real life – a little set of Japanese-inspired cakes for a special occasion :)

Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

They’re not difficult to make, and the instructions will be in the magazine when it comes out in September. I quite liked the green tea, although it was a bit grassy for my taste, despite being a big lover of green or herbal tasting things! I made an almond cake base and added the matcha powder to it, so it had quite a nice almond flavour and then the hint of grass… I think I’d describe them as like eating sugared almonds whilst lying on a freshly mown lawn ;)

Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

Japan-Inspired Cupcakes

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

June 18th, 2010 by Gilly
Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

It’s finally strawberry season… I’m hoping to have time to make these for a family barbeque on Sunday. They’re simple to make and the strawberries take no time at all to dip into chocolate and leave to set, but the results are fairly impressive!  I originally made them for UK Handmade magazine (see the post below) – click here to read the recipe on page 27.

UK Handmade Summer Issue!

June 3rd, 2010 by Gilly

UK Handmade Summer Cover

UK Handmade Summer Cover

It’s going to be a long hot summer at UK Handmade! Our lovely new summer edition of the magazine is out online now, packed with summery features, articles and tutorials. Check out my picnic recipes for yummy outdoor food :)

Summer Picnic

My Summer Picnic

Volunteers’ Week Baking

June 2nd, 2010 by Gilly
Volunteers' Week Baking

Volunteers' Week Baking

It’s Volunteers’ Week this week! To celebrate, I baked some biscuits and cakes and invited volunteers in to have a tea party with me at Community Corner in Stamford Library. I made * a lot* – this pic is just some of them :)

Brussels and Bruges!

May 18th, 2010 by Gilly

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Lovely little weekend break in Brussels and Bruges.

Good: the real hot chocolate, the waffles and the company :)

Not so good: the wind and rain – was absolutely freezing!

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Birthday Cake!

April 12th, 2010 by Gilly
Polka Dot Birthday Cake

Polka Dot Birthday Cake

Ooh, lovely birthday cake! I didn’t make my own cake for my birthday in the end – my Mum made this pretty cake for me! It’s yummy fruit cake inside with a layer of marzipan, mmmm. The photo is actually only half a cake as we had an early birthday party on Sunday and ate half of it!

My Favourite Time of Year

April 5th, 2010 by Gilly

My Cherry Tree

I just love April for it’s fresh new shoots, buds and bulbs and the gorgeous blossom on the trees. The cherry tree in my garden has been slow in coming out this year because of the cold winter, but I cut a few twigs for my Easter display and the warmth of the room has brought out the beautiful pink blossom. The twigs are now adorned with homemade iced biscuits, along with some wooden hearts and eggs from a lovely little shop in Stamford called Rapport. I really enjoy display and decoration, so Spring is basically just a very good opportunity to make my tiny house look pretty!

Cherry trees are my favourite blossom trees, and we have always had a pink cherry blossom tree in every garden we’ve had. As a little girl I was adamant on having an outdoor wedding and planned on walking down an aisle of pink cherry blossom trees (in a light blue dress) as the breeze gently blew the petals around me like confetti!!

It won’t be long now ’til my tree has burst into full bloom again… I’m quite pleased that it’s late coming out – it should be just perfect for my birthday  in a couple of weeks :)

Happy Easter!

April 4th, 2010 by Gilly
Easter Baking

Easter Baking

This is the Easter baking I did for UK Handmade magazine last year. I really struggled to take a good photo as the light was so dull and grey on the day I needed to take the shot! The biscuits were very quick and fun to make – just butter biscuits decorated with some rolled fondant, stamped out in circles and flowers, or topped with mini eggs. The cupcakes were lemon sponge topped with lemon glace icing and fondant flowers. A fun project to do with the kids over Easter! Click here to see the tutorials in last year’s magazine.

Also, I just had to share a pic of the Easter gift my brother and his girlfriend gave me: chocolate shoes! How awesome is that? :D Shoes….. that you can eat! They are so cute and I’m now dying to try making some myself. Tempering chocolate is on my to-do list this year…

Chocolate Shoes

Chocolate Shoes

Makers Online Photography Competition

April 2nd, 2010 by Gilly
Wildflower Knotted Necklace

Wildflower Knotted Necklace

I entered this shot of my Wildflower Knotted Necklace into the Makers Online Photography competition a few weeks ago and I made the short list! Very exciting. The winner was announced today – Chloe Livingstone from Little Green Shoots. Her wonderful shot of her Suede Flower Necklace in Toffee Triangles won. Congratulations!

Suede Flower Necklace by Chloe Livingstone

Suede Flower Necklace by Chloe Livingstone

I was so chuffed to have been in the top 27 – I’m always frustrated with my photography skills and wish that my product shots were better, so it was really encouraging to be listed with so much talent. There were some great photos in the line up, including one by my lovely Flickr friend Anna Stassen of her stunning Dew Necklace.

Dew Necklace by Anna Stassen

Dew Necklace by Anna Stassen

Another photo I loved, that didn’t make the short-list, was Linen Pincushion by Namolio. The original photo has gone from the Makers Online Blog now, so I have chosen a shot of one of her pin cushions from her Etsy shop. I love the subtle lighting, and how the photo has enhanced an already beautiful handmade item. Gorgeous! If I didn’t loathe sewing so much, I would definitely be tempted to buy one :)

Pin Cushion by Namolio

Linen Pincushion by Namolio

Check out Makers Online for fantastic handmade items, ranging from jewellery to textiles and greetings cards to handbags, from Uk based designers and crafters.

UK Handmade Spring 2010

March 29th, 2010 by Gilly
UK Handmade Spring 2010

UK Handmade Spring 2010

Yay, it’s finally out! Yes, the spring edition of UK Handmade magazine launched today and the team have all worked really hard to get it out in time for Easter, especially Karen, Anna and Jo! I think it looks wonderful and feel really proud to be part of it. If you haven’t come across our fab online mag yet, celebrating the handmade revolution, visit our website to read it online free of charge: www.ukhandmade.co.uk. The magazine features interviews with talented UK artists and designers, business advice, make-it-yourself guides and more…

As you can see from my earlier blog posts, I’ve been spending some time in my kitchen making spring-inspired cookies, cakes and chocolates for this edition. If you’re in the mood for a bit of baking, take a look at my tutorials to find out how to make your own pretty Easter gift basket and don’t miss the simply delightful how-to by Laura from Lupin on making pastel-coloured butterfly decorations and napkin holders – love it! I also love Larissa’s post on buying handmade for your baby, and Anna’s article on Laura Mason – the creative and talented stitcher behind LAM Designs.

Easter Gift Basket

Easter Gift Basket

I’m joint-events editor with the lovely Bebe from nonsuch (who’s gorgeous purse graces the front cover). I have been a bit awol for the last few months though, due to my new job, but I’m starting to get back into events again so please get in touch if you have a lovely handmade craft fair or event that you would like blogged on our UK Handmade blog or added to our ning group calendar. We might even be able to feature your event in the magazine! ;)