Friday, 24 May 2013

Birthday Cake!

Well... what can I say, my plan for one post a week is not going so well. I'd love to say it's because I've been insanely busy, but that's not really true. Truthfully the last couple of weeks in my spare time (and often not so spare) I've been reading like a fiend. If I start reading a good book, I just can't put it down, and all thoughts of sewing and knitting have rather gone out the window.
However I do have a little something to share with you tonight... a birthday cake idea. 
Last week it was my boyfriend's birthday and every year I make a cake for him. Usually I just do a round sponge with white icing and put a picture on it, but this year I decided to do something a bit different. 

football shirt cakeTo make this cake I used a rectangle baking/roasting tin, and twice my usual sponge cake mix for a round tin. I usually use 3 eggs, weigh them and then use the same weight of margerine, sugar and flour.

I printed out a picture of the Manchester United emblem from Google and the name and number in a suitable font from Word. I cut out the characters and used them as a template, placing them on rolled out white icing and using a sharp knife to carefully cut around them. I did the same with the emblem, and used writing icing available in any supermarket for the tiny details, such as the club name and border around the emblem. 

For the shape of the cake, I cut out a basic template from an A4 piece of paper, keeping it simple with no tricky corners in the sleeves. After assembling the cake with raspberry jam and butter icing in the middle, I placed the paper on top and cut away the excess cake with a sharp knife. I spread some excess buttercream thinly across the top of the cake and around the sides to enable the royal icing to stick to the cake. I then rolled out the red icing and carefully lifted it onto the cake. I used around 450g of icing to cover the cake, but it was a little too thin, and cracked in a couple of places when it was placed on the cake, so I would definitely recommend using a little more. 

All in all, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, as it was my first shaped cake, albeit a simple one.
And it went down pretty well with the man in my life too! (and yes that is how you spell his name... )

manchester united shirt cake

Emily Kate.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Book Clutch Bag

First of all... a bit of an apology. As you can see it's been a couple of weeks since I last posted, and I know my mum for one is clamouring for a new post. Things have been a bit busier with work, and in all honesty with all this nice weather I've not really felt too much like making things as I do in the freezing winter. But don't fret... I've been inspired by lots of things recently, and some lovely comments, so I will be making sure I keep to my regular posting from now on!

So... to the book clutch. I went to a wedding last weekend, and realised I didn't really have a little bag for keeping things in. I went shopping but couldn't find one I liked, so gave up and ended up in the magazine section of a supermarket reading Cloth magazine. Which is where I found an amazing little tutorial by the lovely lady at

Now by this time it was the night before the wedding, but I have another one this weekend, so I decided to make it as soon as possible. For those of you, like myself, who recoil in horror somewhat at the idea of cutting up a book, let me reassure you by telling you my book was/is infact the autobiography of a Mrs Cherie Blair. For those of you not from the UK, she is the wife of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and is perhaps not the most interesting of people (in my opinion of course). Needless to say I wasn't even distracted by reading the book, and perfectly happy to cut it up!

Erica's tutorial is really great so obviously there's little for me to say on the subject of actually making the book bag. I did use PVA glue, rather than Mod Podge, as it's much cheaper and easier to come by in the UK. I'm really happy with my book clutch although if you look closely inside, it's not particularly neat. If you have a really thick book like me, make sure your knife is very sharp, and you don't hack away at it in excitement like I did. I also found that PVA stuck to my wax paper so I used a cut up plastic bag between pages, which PVA can easily be pulled away from.

All in all I'm really chuffed with my bag, and so happy I found the tutorial to make it. So why don't you make one too... just make sure it's a book no ones likely to read!

Emily Kate