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Showing posts from September, 2012

Cake School - Week 3

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This week at Cake School, we learned how to make calices (singular: calyx) - the little green leaves from which the rose bud .... well ... buds... - and leaves of various sizes. Adding calices to my roses from last week certainly resulted in more life-like, botanically correct flowers...



I can't wait to see what they look like with the leaves added to them! The leaves were fun to make, if a little bit tedious. I especially liked pressing them in the 'veiner', which looked and felt like a dentist's mould of some sort and added all the necessary life-like character to each leaf. 


Our homework is to complete five sets of leaves consisting of one large and two small leaves and to wrap the stems of all of our leaves and roses in green floral tape. I'm also aiming to make a few more full blown roses and another few four-petal flowers to replace the ones that broke after class the first night. After that, I feel sure I'll be ready to accept commissions for ornate, flowe…

A photo from afar

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My brother-in-law in Zimbabwe sent me a lovely photo today of a baby quilt I'd made ages ago and given to him and his wife the last time they were here for a visit. They've got a gorgeous baby girl and another on the way, and it seems as if my quilt is going to be put to good use!


I just love how it looks with the flowers scattered all around it and the tambourine and wooden Noah's Ark strewn across it! It certainly seems as if it's being used and loved, which makes me very, very happy (and also a teensy-tinsy bit proud!) The pattern I used was this one from Moda Bake Shop, and, while you probably can't see it from the photo, this was the first and only quilt I tried FMQ on. I wasn't super happy with the results - too widely spaced and a bit lumpy for my liking - but from this angle, the quilt looks great (if I do say so myself!)

xx Tina

A little bit of culture

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Well, I didn't get around to the FMQ practice I mentioned in my last post, BUT only because it was another jam-packed weekend that started off on Friday evening with a jaunt into Belfast city centre for Culture Night. Hubby and I had gone through the programme and highlighted all of the events we wanted to try to catch while, at the same time, preserving the wander-about-and-experience-everything atmosphere of the evening. We started off by fortifying ourselves with ginormous burritos at Boojum and then headed onto the streets. We met these guys on our way to the Ukulele Hootenanny at St. George's Church...



Sadly, the ukuleles were a bit of a disappointment - not nearly as lively as we had imagined - so we bent our steps to the Belfast Print Workshop for a demonstration of some basic printmaking skills, including the use of this fantastic press...



I took a couple of print classes in college, so it was great to see a vibrant printmaking culture in the heart of Belfast city centre…

Cake School - Week 2

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This week in Cake School, we learned how to make sugar roses.... a time-consuming but surprisingly straightforward affair! It's really just a question of strategic layering of thinly rolled sugar paste pieces, so you start off with just two little petals folded around an inner core of paste and go from there.



Slightly fiddly, yes, but as with last week's simpler five-petal flowers, practice makes perfect! In the two hours of class time last night, I managed to make one 'starter' rose bud with just two petals, two medium sized roses each with two layers of petals, and one fully blooming rose. Not nearly a bouquet, but I'm getting there!


Next week, we're going to add leaves and other greenery to finish the roses off. Looking forward to it!

xx Tina

A quick recap

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This weekend was a fantastic one full of fun and relaxation - a perfect birthday weekend and a great way to unwind after the work craziness of last week! Saturday afternoon, I went to Bee Blessed, and it was just so nice to catch up with everyone after such a long break! (I can't remember the last time I was able to go, but it was at the very start of my pregnancy, so nearly 5 months ago!) What's more, it was amazing to see just how much we had on the go... Judith has a great summary of everything we're working on at the moment, and Ruth also posted a few photos of the quilt she's finishing up for gifting in the next little while. It's lovely to see so much getting done and to know that all of the projects will soon be going to new homes, where, hopefully, they'll bless and encourage their recipients!

After Bee Blessed, I was treated to dinner at the local Indian restaurant (Bengal Brasserie, for the curious) with several friends and my lovely hubby, who managed…

Friday Roundup

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Well, I've survived another chaotic week at work and am looking forward to a fun-filled weekend with a Bee Blessed gathering tomorrow afternoon, a friend from London visiting, and a low-key birthday dinner on Saturday with a few friends. I managed to get a bit of EPP done in the evenings this week but not much else. Nevertheless, here are a few snapshots (literally) of some of the cooler aspects of my week...

Hubby got me these super cute Converse earrings for my birthday yesterday.... for some reason, they make me want to sing 'These boots were made for walking'! 


Also yesterday, I started the second installment of Cake School. To explain: last Christmas, hubby bought me the gift that keeps on giving... enrollment in a baking class at the local community college! I had been saying that I really wanted to learn how to decorate cakes a little bit better, so he registered me for what he thought was a decorating class. It turned out to be a more traditional baking class, but I …

I'll be back...

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Last week was a hectic one with my new job, and the coming week promises to be equally chaotic, too, meaning that my long list of patchworking projects (and anything else not related to work!) has to take a bit of a backseat for the moment. Nevertheless, as Arnie might say, I'll be back shortly with updates on all of my ongoing projects, including baby quilts, Japanese charm swaps, Bee Blessed projects, and a few other fun and exciting things I haven't blogged about yet. In the meantime, though, have a great weekend!

xx Tina