Teapots

Tea party teapot shortbreads

Teapot shortbreads are like a cookie dream come true – a whole tea party on a plate!  These were made from a standard cut-outable shortbread recipe (flour, rice flour, sugar and butter), with a little cocoa powder in half the batch.

Did you notice the size of the regular cookies alongside them?  These teapots are huge!

 

 

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Meant-to-be Crochet of the Week

I love cable designs but my knitting is less than fabulous.  Looks like this crochet pattern is the answer!  Accidentally uncovering this super-fancy free pattern, with two balls of the right yarn floating around my yarn box, it looks like I have no option but to try this ambitious little bag.

Ribbon-Weaved Crochet Handbag

New stitches, here I come!

Knitty Kitty

Cats are amazing.  Yarn is amazing.  Knitted kitties are just too amazing for words.  I can’t take the credit for the creation below, which was carefully crafted by my mum from the book, ‘Best in Show‘.

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Last weekend, we dropped by the Stitch & Craft Show at Olympia, where we caught up with the designers and admired their original knitted cats and dogs.  On our way round the fair, we picked up plenty of inspiration, heaps of supplies and some great tips from the Simply Knitting and CrossStitcher teams.  Held across three levels, there are kits, materials, books and magazines, and demonstrations in every imaginable craft form.  I can’t wait to get started on some inspired new work.

With several projects a fraction from finished, I’d better finish up before I start anything new though.  Here’s a peek at one of my nearly-dones:

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For now, ciao and miaow!

Textile Teacup

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Another way to enjoy tea? Yes please! I just finished sewing wooden beads and buttons onto this teacup batik – it started out as a simple teacup design, then evolved into a representation of that cosy, cup-of-tea feeling.

The palest lines are the areas the wax masked all through the dye process, pink sections were masked after the first dip and the purple colour was created by layering blue over the original pink.

Mint Magic Cupcakes

My new favourite appliance – the Mini Cupcake Maker!  Who’d have thought you could go from goopy batter to perfectly risen tiny cakes in 5 minutes?  My mum gave me this piece of kitchen sorcery for Christmas, and it’s so addictive!

Tomorrow I’m planning to make a batch of chocolate orange mini cupcakes (they’ve had a bit of an interval after taking over the world in Autumn), but in the meantime, here are some snaps of my mini vanillas with peppermint icing and sprinkles.  To me they look a little like soft serve ice cream – too bad I didn’t think to add a miniature chocolate flake.
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New Year Yumminess

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Happy New Year!  Let’s celebrate with treats.

These little pastries are my favourite variation on the mince pie, originally from Good Housekeeping Christmas magazine.  If you’re not familiar, these sweet pies are made from shortcrust pastry and filled with a blend of dried fruits and spices. Eaten warm, they’re even more yummy, but do observe Pop Tart safety measures as the jam-like filling can get hot.

The cutters are German, sent to me by a friend, and are perfect for gingerbread and other seasonal snacks – they’re amazing for these mince pies as they allow quite a favourable pastry to filling ratio.

If, like me, you want to combine eating lots of pastry with another outlet for snack appreciation, here’s a cute pattern by Donna Yates for amigurumi mince pies.  Perhaps there’s still time to make a quick fuzzy pie before packing up the Christmas decorations?

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/christmas-mince-pie-amigurumi-crochet

Et voila!

Let’s take a few moments to love things that look like other things.  I just finished a cross stitch from the cute French book, ‘Sweet Treats in Cross Stitch’ by Tinou Le Joly Senoville, which captures the fresh, fun chic of French design, with the wonderful advantage of charts based mostly on whole stitches.

Cafe et croissant

By chance, I dropped by Le Pain Quotidien while working on it.  I felt like I’d fallen inside the book, sitting at a wooden cafe table, drinking hot chocolate from a French-style bowl.   There are various charts in the book for motifs like teaspoons and ingredients, so once my seasonal projects are under control, I plan to put together some stitched table arrangements.

Maybe like this one?

Le Pain Quotidien

More Chocolate Orange than previously anticipated…

Hummingbird Chocolate Orange Cupcake. These sprinkles are the brightest orange I've ever seen! And notice the tiny black bats?

More Halloween baking!  Chocolate orange again, from the Hummingbird Cake Days book.  If you try it, be warned, the frosting recipe makes an absolute ton.  Love these sprinkles too much, they are such an amazingly bright orange, and the little black shapes on there are (I think) bats.  Or tiny vampires?  Who knows, but either way they’re pretty cute.

I picked up these black polka dot cake cases on Saturday, they’re perfect for Halloween but I’m not sure what I can use them for in between.  Hoping they would make a chic compliment to a pink and black combination sometime?

Aside from chomping my way through the cake mountain, I have nearly, nearly finished this lil mug cosy.  It’s primarily rich purple acrylic DK, with a couple of lavender stripes, for maximum washability and minimum visible tea-stains.  The pattern was originally devised for a special commission, in royal  and bright blue.

I’m debating how much detail to add  to this variation – the original included a crocheted company logo, so there’s room for some fuzzy fun on this one, but it’s also kind of nice as a simple design.

Mug cosy - my own pattern. I'm calling this the Tantallon colourway.

Autumn Bake Race

Wooooo! Spiced shortbread ghosties, scary right?

After a mini blogging break, I’m excited to catch you up on my latest makes and bakes. I have some cute Halloween baking supplies that, for obvious reasons, don’t see the light of day that often. So I’ve spent most of October making (and eating) Halloween treats.

I’m in love with these cookie cutters and cake cases! Spiced shortbread ghosts, witches, pumpkins and crescent moons, versus black-and-orange-cased chocolate orange mini cupcakes. Maybe don’t look too closely at the shortbread ghosties, some are a little well-fired at the edges!

Loving combining October treats with Halloween films.  Gory, gross Halloween stuff is really not my thing – my favourite DVDs this time of year are Casper and Hocus Pocus – which is why my Halloween treats are cute not creepy!

Super-easy chocolate orange cupcakes