Monday, 27 February 2012

Rose Cake!

First up, I should apologise for the photos. It didn't occur to me until we we're about to cut the cake that it might be a good idea to get photos of it. Which is why there really is only one good photo. The other one was a top down photo that I took for the sister to show her what I had been up too.

I love how this cake looks. Sort of. As long as you don't look too closely at one part of the upper layer. Where it caught slightly. The damn thing raised unevenly. I don't understand why. Also, ignore that the roses seem to have silver on top. It was supposed to be shimmer spray, but it was 11pm at night, the night before, and I wasn't overly sure how to use it. No-one complained though. In fact just about everyone loved it.

It was made for a dinner party a friend was having. I love to make cake, but when I make it generally, I don't really have much scope to play, as the cake tends to be the same, (chocolate, with the same topping as Momma used to put on), and buns are usually one or the other of two standard flavours. So the reason I offered to make cake was kinda selfish, so that I could PLAY! (Also, I totes love to bake cake)

It's a plain Victoria sponge, and the roses are plain sponge with red food colouring. I really wanted to do something kinda classy, and this idea was an amalgamation of an idea of mine, (the coloured roses), and one of Mommas, (putting the roses on to a cake) I have a silicon mould for the roses, but it seems to be hard to get them out intact. More practise is needed there methinks

The roses are held on the cocktail sticks, the leaves are placed on, or in some cases wedged under the roses. For some reason I also had to use cocktail sticks to hold the top layer onto the bottom, as it kept wanting to slide of. No more will that be a problem, as I have a cake leveller now! YEY! Ok, I might be more excited over that than I should be.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mr. Otter Moves House

A while ago, okay, maybe 6 months back, when I knitted my Cunning Hat, I asked on Twitter if anyone else wanted something knitting, totally not expecting a response. Two of my friends on there responded along the lines of, "Oooh go on then". One asked for a Cunning Linguist hat, (go on, say that one fast), the other didn't know what she wanted, but knowing that she loved otters, I offered to knit an Otter hat. 

I had an idea of what Mr. Otter would look like, but no idea of how to go about making him. I knitted a basic hat with ear flaps, using the same pattern as for my Cunning hat, then knitted ears doing a really simple decrease to make semi circle. The muzzle was what was concerning me the most. I didn't want to knit it directly in the hat as I went along, as I've never done intarsia before, and didn't want to risk screwing it up.

I tried lots of ways, knitting it as a shape from the top, from the bottom, as two halves, each time it was lopsided, or just wrong. In the end I knitted a rectangle in stocking stitch, then drew the shape I wanted onto a piece of paper, pinned that onto the rectangle, then sewed over it with my sewing machine, using a tight zigzag. I then Swiss darned that onto the front of the hat. The nose and mouth were Swiss darned on top of that, and the eyes are buttons.

Mr. Otter, pre-journey

Everything was sewn together, the ends darned in, then Mr. Otter was ready for his Trans-Atlantic flight to his new home, in NY State, USA.

I waited with bated breath for the day that he'd arrive, and for the reaction of his new owner. She had seen pictures already, but I was still nervous. He arrived safely (phew), and his new owner was positively ecstatic. 

Mr. Otter in use
 He is by far one of my favouritest things that I have knitted so far, and I'm so glad that he is loved.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Manatee? More like ManaTWO!!

Remember I told you about the Secret Cupid Exchange run by JRose over at the Cheeseblarg? Well, I know now that my Valentine received her package, so I thought I'd share with you what I sent her.

The person I got matched with was Eke, over at Candy For Breakfast, another incredibly talent artist, who makes me snort and splurt juice all over the computer screen. I was at a bit of a loss on what to send her, as her blog doesn't really give much away. But I noticed on her "about me" that she wanted to own a miniature manatee in a fish bowl, and call it Earl.

Now, sadly, my shrink ray is on the blink, and my manatee supplier is on holiday, so I decided that the only way forward was to make her one. In felt. I found a pattern. Well, pattern pieces, got some felt and set about it.

Earl and Randy
The one on the right was my first attempt. There were no instructions on how to put it together, so I had to figure it out as I went along. (That sewing degree finally came in handy). As I was stuffing it, I suddenly realised an easier way to put it together, so for the second attempt I changed the construction. Once I'd figured it out it was actually really easy. 

I made him a little tag, so that Eke wouldn't be like, huh what?

I also made a card to go in it, and included other Valentines day themed items.

Batteries not included
Sorry, but Love Hearts RULE!
Everything ready to go
 I didn't get a single photo of the bottom left item, but it's a large bottle of bubbles. 'Cos who doesn't love bubbles?

Everything packed and ready to go
So, there you are. Happy Valentines Day Eke, from your Secret Cupid, Mel. <3

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!!

Bah Valentines Day. The one day of the year that makes us that are single feel like poop, while those that are in a relationship are all lovey dovey with a *legitamate* reason. I say PAH to that.

There is a blog I follow. Well, no, I follow a lot. But this one is funny. And informative. No really, check out the guide to negative numbers. Anyway. It's written by JRose, who is incredibly talented and funny. 

About three weeks ago, she proposed the idea of a "Secret Cupid Exchange". Being UK based, I ummed and ahhed for about 3 minutes, before signing up to it. Luckily, there were enough people in the UK who wanted to take part, so I wasn't having to post abroad, and risk it not getting there in time. A week later I got an email confirming that I was taking part, and with details of who my match was. Excited is not the word for how I felt. The person I was sending to wouldn't be the person I would be receiving from, that would be someone else entirely.

Today, I got my package. Rather apt really, receiving my Cupid Package on Valentines Day!!

It was from Mollie, over at Mollie Is Ok In UK. You should go read her blog, it's BRILLIANT!

Ok, onto the goodies!!

The package on the right is chocolate toffee popcorn. I've managed to restrain myself so far, and only had a handful. This diet malarky sucks at times!

Pretty earrings. Sorry this photo isn't the best, my camera was being funny about wanting to let me use the actual macro setting.

Magnet. How did you know Mollie, that I have a shoe buying problem. No really, I do. From where I am sat, I can see 28 different pairs of shoes. That is only JUST scratching the surface!

I LOVE it Mollie, have no fear! Thank you!!