New Hobby!

I was given a sewing machine for Christmas, and am quickly finding it a favourite hobby.

 

I’ve only made a few things so far, including a cushion, a duffel bag, and a small quilted bag. I’m working towards making clothes, so I’ll hopefully have lots to post soon!

Marbled cupcakes

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I had seen marbled cakes a few times, but had never quite got round to making them. So I decided to try vanilla and chocolate marbled cupcakes. Start by making the vanilla batter, then fill the cases about a third full. Then make the chocolate batter- doing it this way round means you don’t have to clean your mixer between batters – and fill the cases another third. Marble the batter using a skewer or the wrong end of a spoon, then bake till springy and cooked through. Once the cupcakes are cool, put chocolate frosting on one side, and vanilla frosting on the other, before spreading with a palette knife and mixing the two frostings together.

These are perfect for giving to friends – pretty simple to make, but quite impressive looking!

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Cranberry and White Chocolate Bagels – Recipe

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Thought I’d add this recipe after my last post – bagels are pretty easy, and no one seems to make them at home!

Ingredients –

  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour, and extra for flouring your surface
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing your bowl
  • 7g sachet instant yeast
  • 240ml/9fl oz warm water
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • 75g/2¾oz dried cranberries (you can swap this for any dried fruit)
  • 140g/ 5oz white chocolate, roughly chopped

Glaze

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl, and turn out onto a lightly floured worktop. Knead for ten minutes, until smooth and stretchy.

Divide into 12 equal pieces, and roll into balls. Allow to prove for half an hour.

Make a hole in each ball, and stretch each piece out into a circle using your fingers. Turn and work the dough, and don’t be afraid to make it quite big. Prove for a second time, for 35 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Bring a large saucepan of water up to the boil and add the bagels, about 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Poach the bagels for 1¼ minutes per side. Scoop them out, let them dry a little, then brush with the beaten egg.

Line two baking trays with parchment and grease with a little oil. Lay the bagels on the trays, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until they are a darkish golden brown. (Swap the top and bottom trays after 10 minutes. ) Take them out of the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy! These really don’t need anything on them, they’re already sweet and full of flavour.

I’d love to know how you get on with them!

Folly

Baking and owls.

So, I’ve been kept pretty busy recently.

I volunteered to bake for a charity cafe, and made some of my favourites – chocolate cookies, cranberrry and white chocolate bagels, and a mocha cake.

 

The recipe I used for the mocha cake was meant to be for cupcakes, but I just used a single tin and piped on the swirl design.

I really like the owl motifs that have been around recently, so I decided to make little felt ones to add to Christmas presents, just to give a little hand-made touch. Here are the two I’ve just made:

Hoot!

They’re really so simple – I just sketched out a basic design, then made templates for the pieces, cut them out and started stitching. Stomach, then eyes, then nose, then sew on the back, filling with a little stuffing before you close it. If you wanted to make it a Christmas tree ornament, just sew a ribbon on top before you put the back and front together. I’m going to be making robin and penguin variations, and I’ll add those pictures later.

Mixed Pastel Manicure

I’ve really been loving pastel nails recently, and decided to go for mixed-pastel nails for an on-trend look. I also wanted to get in one last bright-nail look before I start with darker autumn colours.

This look works best with short nails, so start off by trimming, filing and general tidying.

Apply a base coat, followed by your first colour, and give it plenty time to harden. If you go on to the next stages with soft polish, it’s going to get wrecked.

Time now to apply your nail guides – I got mine from eBay, and there are so many designs to choose from! At this point, I applied one nail guide, painted the nail, removed the guide, and then moved on to the next nail. Here’s a tip – play with your nail guide a little to make it less sticky. They are a little too strong for their purpose and might take some of your polish off otherwise.

Finish off with a top coat to smooth everything off, and you’re good to go!

A pretty and slightly unusual look, but simple, yes?

Polishes used from left to right – Collection 2000 2 in 1 Base Coat and Ridge Filler, Eye Candy London Core Colours in Naughty but Nice, Barry M nail polish in Blueberry and Bloom Top Coat.

An Effective Creative

This is what I want to be!

An Effective Creative.

I want to cover a few areas in this blog – fashion, beauty, baking, and all things vintage. I love my creative side, and really want to give it an outlet. In the past (and still!), other blogs have inspired me, and now I want to start writing something all my own.

So, I’m off to get started on my first real post, in the hope that in a few months, there’s something here worth reading!

Folly