Monday, 27 April 2009

Wrapping paper

Cavallini and Co wrapping paper
Yesterday, I discovered a great gift and stationery company called Cavallini & Co. I'm really loving anything with birds on at the moment, and they do the most exquisite bird-patterned wrapping paper.

Cavallini and Co aqua wrapping paper
Cavallini and Co gold wrapping paper
I bought two sheets of wrapping paper; one a pale aqua with bright pink birds and postage marks, and the other with gold birds, birdcages, and nests. I have some plain cardboard cases that I have been considering decorating. This wrapping paper is perfect as I think the cases will look gorgeous covered in it, and it totally matches the colour theme in my office. Now I just need to find some pink and gold ribbon for the edges of the cases.

Cavallini and Co sticky notes
Cavallini and Co erasers
I absolutely adore their new sticky notes and really want to find the bird eraser.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Easter basket

Easter basket with M&M's
I had originally filled my Easter basket with shredded green grass and Easter chocolates. Then, a friend gave me Easter M&M's she'd picked up in the US. I just had to put them out and thought the basket was the best place for them. I placed a ceramic green spot spoon in for easy serving.

Easter basket with Easter chocolates
Easter M&M's close-up
I love the fact that in the US the regular candy comes in pastel colours and themes for Easter. For example, the M&M's above are in wonderful pastel colours with little chicks printed on the back.

Easter Kit Kats
The Kit-Kats above were also bought in the US at Easter time.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Easter table setting

Easter table setting, table scape
On Easter Sunday I was so excited at the thought of decorating my dining table ready for my guests.

I laid out my Easter table runner and six side plates, placing my Easter bird houses on top of the plates. I put my Easter bird tree at the end of the table, next to my white ceramic bunny. I tied a ribbon around the handle of my ceramic basket, filled it with Easter M&M's, and placed a ceramic green spot spoon in for easy serving.

My cupcake stand is in the centre, with the four Easter mushrooms around the edge. There are three love bird candles in pink, green and white at one end, as is my glass bunny. At this end of the table, I put a plate of chocolate nests and my ceramic bunny egg holder filled with Easter chocolates.

When one of my guests arrived and just stared at the table, took a deep breath, and said "it looks sooo pretty!", I knew it was all worth it.

I hope you like my Easter table setting. It's been a really fun project. Now, onto the next one...

Friday, 24 April 2009

Easter cupcakes tower

Easter cupcake tower
Traditional 3 tier cake stand with my chocolate mallow, raspberry, and toffee apple cupcakes.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Chocolate mallow cupcakes

I have moved to

You can find me at Gluten free chocolate mallow cupcakes

Raspberry cupcakes

Raspberry and almond cupcake
Raspberry and almond cupcakes (makes 12 muffin size cakes)
125g butter, softened
2 eggs
150g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
90g dried raspberries
100g ground almonds
150g self raising flour
60ml milk

  1. Preheat oven to 160-180 deg C.
  2. Line muffin tray with paper cases.
  3. Beat flour, butter, milk and eggs in a bowl with an electric mixer until the mixture turns a pale colour.
  4. Stir in ground almonds and dried raspberries
  5. Divide mixture between cases.
  6. Bake for between 25-30 minutes.
  7. Place cakes on wire rack to cool.

Decorating the cakes
  1. Using pre-bought vanilla butter frosting, add a few drops of both blue and yellow food colouring to the butter cream and mix until you achieve the required colour.
  2. Fill piping bag with butter cream and pipe in swirls on top of the cakes.
  3. Place fondant flowers on top.


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Fondant flowers

Easter fondant flowers cupcake
Easter fondant flowers
Petal daisy cutters
To make fondant flowers you'll need:

  1. Divide the white ready to roll icing into four smaller pieces.
  2. Knead the icing to soften, then gradually add food colouring until you get the desired colour. I used yellow and blue to make green, red and blue to make purple, a little red to make pink, and blue with yellow to make pale mint blue.
  3. Lay out some baking parchment on your work surface.
  4. Sieve icing sugar onto your work area and rolling pin.
  5. Roll the icing out to about 4mm thick and, using a cutter, cut out the petal shapes. For the centre of the flowers cut a circle and then press into a small measuring spoon, like the one pictured, to get a button-like shape.
  6. Wet back of flower centre, place on top of petals, and allow to set.

These will last for at least six months if stored in an airtight container, but for best results use immediately.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Glass bunny

Glass bunny butter dish
I saw this glass bunny butter dish and had to have it! I filled it with the tiniest Cadbury Mini Eggs.

Cadbury's Mini Eggs
On the left is a normal sized Mini Egg, and on the right a tiny one.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Bucket of chocolate nests

Bucket of chocolate nests
If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know I love everything in my kitchen to colour co-ordinate, so I have several storage buckets in pale blue. I thought the 'EGGS' one would make a great container to put my chocolate Easter nests in to take around to my family.

Chocolate nests

Dark chocolate nests
It's a tradition in my family for my Mum to make chocolate nests every year and hide them in the garden for us to find. I decided to make some of my own this year. Now that my siblings and I are adults I decided to make "grown-up" Easter nests with dark chocolate instead of the usual milk. Here's the recipe I used:

Chocolate Easter nests (makes 24 muffin size nests)
200g 85% cocoa dark chocolate (I used Green & Blacks)
125g cornflakes
250g mini eggs

  1. Line muffin tray with paper cases
  2. Break up chocolate into small pieces and place in microwave bowl.
  3. Melt chocolate in microwave on full power for about 1-2 minutes (the exact amount of time needed will depend on the type of chocolate being used so remove and stir the chocolate every so often to ensure it heats evenly).
  4. Once the chocolate is melted, remove from microwave and gradually stir in cornflakes so they are completely covered in chocolate.
  5. Spoon mixture into paper cases and make a hole in the center.
  6. Fill hole with mini eggs and leave to set.

Eat and enjoy. Yummy!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Kitchen wish list

Today, I looked for pale blue and pink kitchen utensils to match my existing sets. Here are some of the items I found that I'd love to add to my collection one day. It's nice to dream!

Blue rolling pin from Sil-Pin
Rolling pin from Sil-Pin.

Miniamo Pastels silicone cupcake cases
Set of 12 Miniamo 'Pastels' Silicone cup cake cases.

Tiered cake stand
Triple-tiered cake/fruit stand in pale blue. I already have this in pale pink but would like to combine the two in a display.

Pastel jelly moulds
Traditional jelly moulds in pastel colours.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Kitchen baking utensils

Cute kitchen baking utensils from Cath Kidston, Nigella Lawson and Marks and Spencer
I love everything to colour co-ordinate, like my cute kitchen cupboard, so all my baking and kitchen utensils are mainly in pale blue with hints of pale pink.

The tray above was my first purchase from Cath Kidston, over 10 years ago, from her first shop in London’s Holland Park. I fell in love with all things Cath Kidston that day!

On the tray is a lavender bunny cutter and a pink floppy bunny cutter. The small whisk is from Nigella Lawsons Living Kitchen range, which I love as she does lots of kitchen accessories in pale blue. The measuring cups and spoons I picked up in Woolworths in South Africa because I thought they would match my colour theme. The pink spatulas are from Marks & Spencer, but sadly they only stocked them in that colour for one season. The pink and white spot muffin cases and edible shimmer powder I found in a local store.

Pink Princess baking utensils
If you are looking for pink kitchen utensils then you have to check out Pink Princess (all items above).

Nigella Living Kitchen and CKS kitchen utensils
If it's pale blue you're after try Nigella Living Kitchen range (top row) and CKS (bottom row).

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Luxe loungewear

Luxe loungewear from Hush
I received my new Hush Summer '09 catalogue last week and wanted to share just how lovely their stuff is. This year I am definitely buying the beach bag!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Easter bird houses

Easter bird house stack
Easter bird houses from above
As it's coming up to Easter, I thought it would be fun to make myself some Easter-themed decorations. I'd already made some Easter birds and Easter mushrooms, but I also wanted some place settings for the table.

Thinking about the place settings reminded me of some mini wooden bird feeders that I'd bought and decorated for Christmas a few years ago. But that's another story, and one that I'll come back to later in the year.

As birds are synonymous with Easter, I bought another six of the bird feeders thinking they'd be perfect as the place settings. So, here's how I went about decorating them...

Plain bird feeders
The feeders come in a pack of six. I ordered one box as I wanted one for each table setting.

Primed wooden bird feeder
Primed wooden bird feeder
I removed the rope from the top and painted each feeder in a water-based white wood primer. A couple of coats were needed.

Painted wooden bird feeder
Wooden bird feeders in Easter colours
I decided to paint the roofs and bases in colours from my Easter sketch book. I took it with me to the DIY store, and found tester pots in the following colours: Woodland Glade, Willow, Ice Pink, and Amethyst (all Focus matt emulsion).

I painted the roof and base of each feeder a different colour, and masking taped the areas I wanted to keep white.

Gluing nests into wooden bird feeders
Easter wooden bird feeders with nests
Continuing the bird theme, I found some mini birds nests, which I attached to the centre of each house with PVA glue.

Ribbon hanging loops
Attaching the ribbon hanging loops
For the tops, I made some new hanging loops using ribbon. I knotted the ends together and PVA glued a bead in place to stop the ribbon slipping through the hole at the top of the feeder. After feeding the ribbon through the hole in the feeder, I glued it in place.

Completed Easter wooden bird house
Completed Easter wooden bird house
Finally, I filled the nests with mini foil covered chocolate eggs and, Voila!

Now my place settings are ready for Easter. I can't wait to decorate the table this Sunday!

Monday, 6 April 2009

Easter tree

Easter tree
I finished making fifteen of the Easter felt birds today. Having already gathered twigs in a nearby wood, I arranged them into a cluster and then wrapped silver wire around them to hold them together. To hide the wire, I covered it with a pretty striped ribbon. The 'tree' sits in a white enamel bucket, filled with pebbles to counterbalance the top-heavy tree. Green straw and chocolate foil-covered eggs hide the pebbles to complete the look!

Easter tree close-up
Easter tree base

Easter table runner

Easter table runner
I had been looking for a pretty white table runner for a while now, but all the ones I found were out of my budget. Instead, I bought a plain linen one and hand stitched broderie anglaise down each side using embroidery threads. To finish off, I threaded some of my leftover ribbon from the felt birds through the broderie anglaise trim on each side. Now I have a table runner that matches the rest of my Easter decorations!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Easter door

Easter egg wreath from John Lewis
With Easter just a week away, I hung my Easter egg wreath from John Lewis on our front door today.