Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Winter Wonderland Advent House

Winter Wonderland  Advent House by Torie Jayne

When I saw the wooden advent house on Panduro Hobby's site I just had to buy it. The only problem was that time was getting on so when it arrived at the weekend I quickly got on with decorating it in time for tomorrow! Once I had painted the house and filled it with the pretty patterned drawers I fell in love! This is something I want in my house all year round; I think it would look great in my craft room and is an ideal place to store my bits and bobs! I decided to go for little glittered number labels that could be removed after Christmas instead of my original idea of numbered stickers.


Advent House to decorate

Winter Wonderland Advent houseTools and Materials


Advent House, How-to step by step

Advent House steps 1-4

Remove the drawers from the house, and carefully pull out the handles that are glued in. Paint all sides of the drawers in white paint excluding the already painted white front, and leave to dry. Then paint the inside of the drawers in a colour and leave to dry (I painted mine in pink, duck egg blue and teal).


Advent House steps 5-8

Cover the exterior of the drawers in strips of patterned washi tape and trim off any excess with a craft knife. Brush a thin layer of PVA glue over the top of the washi tape to seal it and leave to dry.


Advent House steps 9-12

Place the drawer front onto a sheet of printed card and trace around edge. Cut the traced out shape from the printed card, leaving a 7mm border around edge. Brush PVA glue onto the front of the drawer and stick in the centre of your rectangular pattern piece and leave to dry. Brush PVA glue onto sides of drawer front and fold card over each edge, hold in place for a few seconds until card begins to bond. Trim off excess card at corners. Using a sharp pair of scissors, punch a hole through the card to the pre-existing hole in the drawer front. Dab the end of the drawer handle in PVA glue and push into hole. I covered mine in 24 different patterns.


Advent House drawers
Advent House steps 13-16
Place the house on its back and masking tape around the edges of the roof to get a clean painted edge on the roof and chimney. Paint two coats of duck egg blue onto the roof and the top of the chimney and leave to dry.

Lay the tag on a flat surface and rubber stamp a number to the front using a glue pad. Liberally sprinkle the tag with glitter, tap to remove excess and leave to dry. Repeat rubber stamping until you have 24 number tags.

Tie the tags to the drawer handles and trim off any excess string. Place drawers back in the house in a random number order.


Day 1 - Mint lip balm



Adding gifts - hand-made lip balm


Have a sweet day!
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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Candy filled stars

Candy filled stars

I love hanging candy on my Christmas year and this year is no exception. I loved how my candy filled Easter eggs turned out, so I bought some plastic stars and filled them with juicy pear, vanilla, bubblegum and blueberry flavoured Jelly Belly beans to match my colour palette.

Candy filled stars

Tools and Materials


How-to, step by step
Jelly Belly stars steps1 - 4
Wash and dry the plastic stars before you start. Fill half the plastic star with as many jelly beans as you can, and carefully push the lid on top. Starting at the top of the star, wrap washi tape round the closed sides and trim off any excess. Thread ribbon through the two holes at the top of the star, and knot ends together.

Have a sweet day!
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Monday, 28 November 2011

Hand-made cake stands

Hand-made cake stands

I love cake stands and have collected quite a few over the years, from pretty pastel pressed glass ones to scalloped edge china ones, all in a variety of sizes. I also made a decorative china cake stand a while back using a cup and plate.

For my Winter Wonderland dessert table this Christmas I wanted a pink one to put my bird cage Christmas cake on and two duck egg blue cake stands for my Gingerbread bird house and bakery tree. So when I saw these mini wooden pedestals from Lacoli and McAllister, I decided to make my own using a wooden candle stick holder and a small wooden bread board. Now I just need to finish my Christmas cake and start designing my gingerbread bird house!

Hand made cake stand

Tools and Materials


How to, step by step
Making a cake stand - painting

Remove metal candle holder from top of wooden candle stick with a pair of pliers and discard. Carefully paint entire candle stick holder and chopping board in two coats of undercoat white paint, leaving an hour in between coats, and leave to dry. Then paint entire candle stick holder and chopping board in two coats of coloured paint, also leaving an hour in between coats, and leave to dry.


Making a cake stand - Gluing

With the chopping board placed upside down on a firm surface, use a pencil to mark the centre of the underside of the chopping board with a cross the width of the top of the candle holder. Apply a thin layer of wood glue in a circle over your cross. Place candle holder upside down and place over glued circle and press firmly down. Remove any excess glue with a damp cloth and leave to dry. Voila! A cake stand to match your decor.

Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Nevie Pie Cakes

Nevie Pie Cakes

This week on Flickr Faves Sunday, I bring you the gorgeous hand painted sweet treats from the talented Natasha of Nevie Pie Cakes. I just adore her work ! To see more of her beautiful baking check out her blog Amelie's House.

Some beautiful shots from my Flickr favourites (clockwise from top left):

Have a sweet day!
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Saturday, 26 November 2011

How to marzipan bird cage shaped cake

How to Marzipan bird shaped cake by Torie Jayne

Yesterday I shared with you my Christmas cake, shaped like a bird cage. Today I am showing you how I marzipan it. I decided to place each cake section on a 15cm diameter, 2mm thick cake board so that when it comes to serving it I can cut manageable slices instead of very thin long slices. I am pretty happy with the results and definitely found my new rolling pin measures gave me a more even layer of marzipan. Next up is icing it! Not looking forward to that.....

How to marzipan bird cage shaped cake
Ingredients


Method
Marzipan bird cage shape cake steps 1-4
  • Lightly sieve icing sugar on to your work top
  • Knead 500g of marzipan until soft and pliable, and roll into a ball
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out marzipan, turning the marzipan around after every few rolls so it stays in a rough circle and does not stick to your work top
  • Roll until about 5mm thick. I used rolling pin measures to get a super even layer of marzipan


Marzipan bird cage shape cake steps 9-12
  • Place half ball cake onto cake board
  • Get cake level on board and fill in any gaps by pushing marzipan into them
  • Gently heat jam in microwave
  • Brush jam over entire cake


Marzipan bird cage shape cake steps 9-12
  • Carefully lift up marzipan and place on cake
  • Very lightly run your hands over marzipan so it adheres to the jam
  • Using a sharp knife, cut off excess marzipan from bottom of cake
  • Place to one side


Marzipan bird cage shape cake steps 13-16
  • Lightly sieve icing sugar on to your work top
  • Knead 500g of marzipan until soft and pliable, and roll into a sausage shape
  • Using a rolling pin, roll out marzipan, turning marzipan around after every few rolls so it stays in a rectangle and does not stick to your work top
  • Check it will fit the height and circumference of your cakes (the height of my two cakes was just about the size of my cake smoother)
  • Roll until about 5mm thick


Marzipan bird cage shape cake steps 17-20
  • Place each cake on to a cake board and stack on top of each other
  • Gently heat jam in microwave
  • Brush jam over entire cake
  • Carefully lift up marzipan and place on cake. Very lightly run your hands over marzipan so it adheres to the jam


Marzipan bird cage shape cake steps 17-20
  • Using a sharp knife, cut off excess marzipan from top and bottom of cake
  • The ends will overlap, so using a sharp knife cut a straight line down through both layers of marzipan and remove excess marzipan from either side of your line
  • Using a cake smoother, smooth ends together so that join starts to disappear
  • Place marzipan half ball cake on top of marzipan stacked cakes and gently smooth marzipan at bottom of half cake to marzipan at top of the stacked cakes


Have a sweet day!
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Friday, 25 November 2011

My birdcage shaped, gluten free Christmas Cake

My birdcage shaped, gluten free Christmas Cake by Torie Jayne

This Christmas I am planning on a making a birdcage-decorated cake to sit on my Winter Wonderland dessert table. To get the shape I need, I have baked two 15cm (6") round cakes and half a 15cm (6") ball cake. Below you will find my recipe for a rich fruit cake that is gluten free.

Fruit cakes are ideally made at least a month before you need to decorate and eat it. They should be fed regularly and left to ripen. I feed mine every week.

Gluten free Christmas cake (makes one 15cm (6") round cake)

Ingredients
225g (8 oz) currants
90g (3.5 oz) sultanas
90g (3.5 oz) raisins
650g (2.5 oz) chopped glace cherries
50g (2 oz) cut mixed peel
3 tbsp cream sherry
50g (2 oz) chopped almonds
175g (6 oz) plain gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
150g (5 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
150g (5 ounces) soft brown sugar
3 medium eggs
grated zest of half a lemon
grated zest of half a orange
3 tbsp brandy

Cooking instructions
  1. Place all dried fruit and mixed peel in a bowl, pour in sherry and mix well. Cover with a clean cloth. Leave for 12 hours or overnight so fruit can absorb the sherry
  2. Preheat oven to 150 deg C (300 deg F)
  3. Grease and line tin with baking parchment
  4. Wrap newspaper/brown paper around tin and secure with baker's twine
  5. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture turns a pale colour
  6. Beat in eggs slowly on medium speed
  7. Sieve flour, salt and spices into the mixture and mix slowly on low speed
  8. Fold in soaked fruit, almonds, lemon & orange zest until well mixed
  9. Pour mixture into tin, level with spatula
  10. Place sheet of grease proof paper on top, and make sure to leave a small circle missing from centre
  11. Bake for 3 hours and 15 minutes on middle shelf
  12. Place cake on a wire rack to cool
  13. When cake is completely cool, remove cake from tin
  14. Pierce cake several times with skewer
  15. Pour 3 tsp of brandy over the top of the cake (feeding)
  16. Wrap in baking parchment
  17. Wrap in foil or store in an airtight container
  18. Feed at regular intervals over the next few weeks


Soaking dried fruit in sherry ready for Christmas cake
Cake tins for birdcage cake

Cake tins are available in my store on page 2.

After at least a few weeks comes the fun part - decorating it!

In case you missed it, here's last year's Winter Woodland Christmas cake with full instructions on how you can create it yourself.


Winter Woodland Christmas cake

Have a sweet day!
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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Hand-made cool mint lip balm

Hand-made cool mint lip balm by Torie Jayne

On Tuesday I showed you the sparkly strawberry lip balms I made for my Christmas cracker gifts. They'd be great for the gals, but I also needed something for the lads so I made cool mint lip balms with a white leaf atop.

Christmas gift : Cool mint lip balm
Ingredients

Packaging

Equipment
  • Mini leaf mould
  • Pipettes
  • Microwavable glass jug
  • Microwavable small glass jar
  • Metal spoon
  • Scissors
  • Sharp knife


Cool mint lip balm labels by Torie Jayne


Cool mint lip balm, How-to step by step
Hand made cool mint lip balm
Hand-made mint lip balm - steps 9-12
Start by placing the beeswax pellets and oil in a glass jug and heating in the microwave on low to medium power until the beeswax pellets have melted. Remove jug from microwave and stir with a metal spoon. Using a pipette, add a few drops of mint oil. Add a tiny amount of food colouring to jug of liquid. Stir mixture with metal spoon and continue adding colouring till you achieve desired shade and colour is even. Using a clean pipette, transfer lip balm to pots.

In a small glass pot, melt half a teaspoon of beeswax with a teaspoon of oil in the microwave until beeswax pellets have melted. Add a drop of cool mint oil and stir with a metal spoon. Then using a clean pipette, fill leaf mould with lip balm. As soon as the lip balm turns white, use a sharp knife to remove excess from back. Wait a minute then turn out leaf on to top of aqua cool mint lip balm. Repeat until all cool mint lip balms have a white leaf atop. Leave to set for one hour.

Wrap washi tape around each jar to secure lids. Double click on the artwork above, which will open it up in a new page, and print onto a sheet of P1 address label. Cut a rectangle of self adhesive film large enough to cover all the labels and adhere to printed labels. Carefully, using a sharp pair of scissors, cut around edge of labels then remove backing paper from the labels and attach to bottom of cool mint lip balm jars.

See hand-made strawberry lip balm here, with fully illustrated photos.


Hand-made lip balms for Christmas

Have a sweet day!
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Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Camel & Yak Winter 2011

Camel & Yak Winter 2011
Camel & Yak Winter 2011
Camel & Yak Winter 2011
Camel & Yak Winter 2011
Camel & Yak Winter 2011

Today on shops I love, I bring you the latest gorgeous goodies from one of my favourite stores, Camel & Yak. A great place to find fabulously bright and colourful gifts like the bird hooks, melamine cups in an array of colours and gorgeous tins of bunting.

Have a sweet day!
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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hand-made sparkly strawberry lip balm

Hand-made sparkly strawberry lip balm by Torie Jayne

This year I want to make my own hand-made Christmas crackers to match my Winter Wonderland colour palette and theme. This got me thinking it would be nice to fill them with hand made gifts. The gifts would have to be small enough to fit inside the crackers and ideally match the theme. So, I decided to make pink coloured strawberry lip balm with a smattering of pink glitter. To fit in with my theme, I added a vanilla flavoured mini deer shaped lip balm piece which I placed on top of the strawberry lip balm. I finished them off with a pretty printed label I designed that I covered in clear film to protect and to make it shiny. The jars were sealed by wrapping them in pink washi tape.

Christmas gift : Sparkly strawberry lip balm
Ingredients

Packaging

Equipment
  • Mini deer mould
  • Pipettes
  • Microwavable glass jug
  • Microwavable small glass jar
  • Metal spoons
  • Scissors
  • Sharp knife


Sparkly strawberry lip balm labels by Torie Jayne

Sparkly strawberry lip balm, How-to step by step
Hand made strawberry lip balm - steps 1-4
Start by placing the beeswax pellets and oil in a glass jug in the microwave. Heat on low to medium power until the beeswax pellets have melted. Remove jug from microwave and stir with a metal spoon. Using a pipette, add a few drops of strawberry oil.


Hand made strawberry lip balm - steps 5-8
Gradually add lipstick shavings to the jug of liquid. Stir mixture with metal spoon and continue adding lipstick shavings until you achieve desired shade and the colour is even. Using a clean pipette, transfer lip balm to pots.


Hand made strawberry lip balm - steps 9-12
In a small glass pot, melt half a teaspoon of beeswax with a teaspoon of oil in the microwave until beeswax pellets have melted. Add a drop of strawberry oil and stir with a metal spoon. Using a clean pipette, fill deer mould with lip balm. As soon as the lip balm cools and turns white, use a sharp knife to remove excess from back. Wait a minute then turn out deer on to top of pink strawberry lip balm. Repeat until all strawberry lip balms have a white deer atop. Leave to set for one hour.


Hand made strawberry lip balm - steps 13-14
Wrap washi tape around each jar to secure lids.


Hand made strawberry lip balm labels - steps 1-4
Double click on the artwork, which will open it up in a new page, and print onto a sheet of P1 address label. Cut a rectangle of self adhesive film large enough to cover all the labels and adhere to printed labels. Carefully using a sharp pair of scissors cut around edge of labels then remove backing paper from the labels and attach to bottom of strawberry lip balm jars.

Have a sweet day!



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Monday, 21 November 2011

Pink and Turq Christmas decor

Pink and Turq Christmas decor

Over the past few weeks I have been sharing with you my inspirational pins for a Winter Wonderland Christmas. Today, its all about pink and turquoise Christmas decor. To see more inspirational pins for a Winter Wonderland Christmas, check out my board on Pinterest.


Have a sweet day!
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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Beautifully Wrapped

Beautifully Wrapped
This week on Flickr Faves Sunday, I bring you some beautiful packages in lovely neutrals from some of the most creative people on Flickr. I can't wait to start wrapping my gifts!

Some beautiful shots from my Flickr favourites (clockwise from top left):
Have a sweet day!
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Saturday, 19 November 2011

Original gift - Vintage Playing Cards

Vintage Playing Cards framed "Samuel"
Vintage Playing Cards framed "Samuel"
Vintage Playing Cards framed "Samuel"
Vintage playing cards

Looking for an original, design conscious gift? Look no further!

I had been looking for a gift for my sister, who is the proud mum to my adorable nephew Samuel. When the sweet folks at Vintage Playing Cards offered me the opportunity to review one of their creations, I jumped at the chance and asked for the word "SAMUEL". I love it and my sister was delighted with her stylish gift, hanging it in Samuel's new room.

The name is spelled out in individual cards sourced from a 1930s spelling game. The cards are double mounted with cream and black, and presented in a stylish black wooden box frame. I love how it is very sleek and timeless and I am sure Samuel will love it when he is older. A real conversation piece that had 'Gramps' telling us all how the 1930s game was played! So, today I am sharing it with you as a great gift.

As well as bespoke names, they also do vintage playing cards framed clocks that spell out ‘time’ and ‘tick tock’ and a VPC teatime range of stylish clocks made from vintage china. They also have a vast collection of stylish greeting cards that feature vintage playing cards. My favourite for Christmas is the Deers under the Tree greeting card made from an original art deco playing card depicting deers under a tree.


Deers under the Tree

Have a sweet day!
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