Thursday, 20 October 2011


A present for Dad who is a wine gum fanatic!!

They are easy to do and you can make them with all different kinds of sweets. The maltesers versions look really good too.

What you need
Florists oasis
silver foil
cocktail sticks
wine gums
plant pot

My son decorated the plant pot with fingerprints. You can paint or leave it plain.
As this is quite a big tree and top heavy I used cane in the end, if your oasis is small then you can get away with using dowling for the trunk.
I also got my husband to put some cement in the bottom to stabilise the cane but you can pack it in using stones, newspaper etc depending on the weight of the top of the tree.

Cover your oasis in silver foil to stop the particles coming off.
Put the oasis onto the stick supported in the plant pot and make sure it's stable.
Cut your cocktail sticks in half and place a wine gum on the end of each small stick.
Push the sticks into the oasis making sure the sweets are really close to each other. You want to pack them in as much as you can so there are no gaps inbetween the sweets.
Finish off the plant pot with a ribbon and cover the top of the plant pot with some tissue paper to hide the packing material in the pot. Scatter over a few extra sweets.

Monday, 17 October 2011


After making the little gingerbread men last year I was hoping to find something I could make again this year. We had a trip to some of the local garden centres at the weekend and they are already starting to stock Christmas items so I had a good look around to give me some inspiration.
I have decided to have a go at making some reindeers this year. Definitely with felt but maybe flat rather than stuffed ones. I could use them to make a garland to hang over the fireplace or individual ones to hang in the windows, I've yet to decide! I have loads of bells left over from the job lot I bought for the elf clogs last year so I can use some of those to add detail to the reindeers. Time to restock on some felt I feel!

Sunday, 16 October 2011


I've not been baking much recently so it's been good to get back in the kitchen over the last couple of weeks. There's nothing like a birthday or two to spur me on.
My dad's birthday is just under a week after my sons but I couldn't face making another maderia cake so I found a recipe for a chocolate sponge which I though would look nicer once the cake was cut into as I was planning on using brown for some of the decoration. The sponge turned out to be the perfect base for this cake too as it turned out of the tin well and gave the cake a nice smooth edge (which was really what was needed for the geometric nature of the pattern)
I bought two packs of blue sugarpaste thinking I might need a double layer of it but as the sponge held the shape so well I didn't need it all.
Once the cake was covered I used a variety of cutters to make the circles in white and brown to finish off the cake.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


I started off with the animals on this cake and had a go at a different variety each evening over several days.
I did the snakes first as they were the easiest, then hippos, monkeys, lions and cheetahs.

The cake was made of two tiers of maderia crumb coated in buttercream and covered with green sugar paste. To add a bit more detail to the cake I made some jungle trees and a waterfall with rocks to border it a bit. To bring the joins together I made some grass by pushing the sugarpaste through a grass effect nozzle. I am sure a garlic press would work better here but mine was broken!! 
There were plenty of animals left to make a cupcake tower for the family birthday party the day after too. 
My (not so) little man was really pleased with his cake so it made it more than worthwhile.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


I had planned on making this hobby horse as a Christmas present for my little man but when my husband decided he was building him a play castle for his birthday I thought the horse would go well with it.
I enlarged the outline of a horses head on the photocopier and then cut out two heads using dark brown cotton. Once they were pinned together back to back I made a start on the mane (which actually took ages!). Using lots of lengths of different coloured wool I lined them up on a long piece of card ready to position. 
When the mane was finished I slid it off the card so that the wool lengths had a loop at the top of them and were lying in the correct place on the horses head. Next the head was sewn and the mane sewn into place at the same time. 
The head was then ready to be reversed and stuffed. Ears were sewn on with hidden stitching, eyes made out of felt were added as was a bridle made of east of india ribbon and curtain rings. The finished head was then stapled into place onto an old broom handle and we had one finished hobby horse.