Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Gingerbread House Cupcakes as seen in the docrafts Creativity Magazine

If you fancy being a little creative with your cake making this Christmas, then
why not have a go at creating this little collection!

The cupcakes and houses were all made using the Little Venice Cake Company Tools, 
which you can view at docrafts.com

I have to say, I really enjoyed this project - it was just a little tricky stopping the girls 
from eating them before they were photographed!

To see how to make them step by step visit my docrafts gallery here

Thank you for looking!

Jill x

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Jewellery Birthday Cake

Phew, things have been a little crazy to say the least – I have a backlog of creative projects to blog about and no time to do it! Anyway, here are some photos of a cake I made for my friend Kerry’s birthday the other week.  I wanted to try out using jewellery as a cake topper – I have seen some amazing designs by cake artists online, LindySmith for example. I have to say, I love the effects that you can achieve with a little jewellery wire and beads. I will definitely be using this technique again!

You will have to excuse the lighting - I have about 10 minutes to take the shot before I
delivered the cake and I had very little natural light!


To create the topper, I selected a variety of purple tones and crystal beads in an assortment of designs and sizes then threaded them onto some 26 guage gold wire. I then looped the wire around the beads to hold them into place. I made the twirly bits by wrapping the wire around a pen, then secured all the ends into a flower pic, which was already inserted into the cake. If you stuff the flower pic first with a little sugar paste, it will hold the wires steady.

The cake design was inspired from the label of a bottle of bubble bath! I used a mixture of
silicone molds and Little Venice Cake Company nozzles to create the paisley effect. I loved the dimensional result, but make sure you allow plenty of time for this technique as it can take ages!

 Thank you for looking!

Jill x

Saturday, 26 October 2013

For a special friend - a birthday bottle card

I have known Kerry for around 32 years since we were at primary school. She is one amazing lady and we have accumulated loads of funny special memories between us over the decades! We have experienced love, laughter, heartbreak, marriage, careers and have been blessed with four beautiful girls between us who are carrying on the tradition of female bonding.
The sentiment on this bottle card has been taken from the docrafts Creativity Club sentiments collection I designed and it so says how I feel...
"A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself."
Happy Birthday Hon!
I made the origami heart by following the fabulous Beckie Dreyer's origami heart
template which can be found here. Once you have had a play and mastered the technique it is
quite addictive, so much so, my Christmas cards are being designed around them!
I used the Owl collection printables I designed for the Creativity Club to create the
theme and embellished the heart with Papermania Adhesive Stones and Bow.
I am a little addicted to my die-cut machine and antiquing with inks, so once again,
these techniques have found their way in!

To finish the back, I added a blank die-cut heart so that I can write my message.
A Papermania Ribbon and Baker's Twine completes the design.

Thank you for looking!
I hope you enjoy the wine Kerry!
Jill x

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Cupcake Celebration Cake (as seen in the docrafts Bake magazine)

I have been lucky enough to be commissioned to make a series of cakes for the docrafts Bake magazine which was on sale with the newsstand September issue of the docrafts Creativity magazine! One of my briefs was to create a celebration cupcake design using the Little Venice Cake Company products. I am always looking for ways to challenge myself, so I decided it would be a good idea to push the boundaries of gravity! Here’s the finished result.....

There were about 45 cupcakes in total, both large and small, and it was a challenge to figure out how to assemble them into a tower! The theory was a type of helter-skelter, with bands of chocolate, violet and lavender cakes tumbling down the sides. 
After much experimenting, I decided upon creating a tower of polystyrene rings, secured together with glue. I covered them with two sheets of pale lavender and silver tissue paper, securing into position with pins, then stuck the whole creation to my cake board with butter cream.
Then for the fun bit! To determine how many cupcakes I needed to make, I attached cupcake cases to the tower with cocktail sticks, then played with colours by adding stickers/felt pens to the cases to get a feel for the design.
Full steps and instructions can be found in the September docrafts Bake magazine.
Have fun and thank you for looking!
Jill x

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Ombre Ruffle Rose 80th Birthday Cake

Hi, I feel a little rusty as have not had a chance to blog for a while but here goes!
I was asked a while ago to make a pretty 80th birthday cake using a colour palette of lilac
and pink and here's what I came up with...

The ruffles are really easy to make (and quite addictive too!). I simply cut lengths of sugar paste then used a ball tool to ruffle the edges. I then stuck them to the cake sides from top to bottom using a little water as adhesive. To create the depth of ruffle, I concertinaed the strips as I stuck them on.
To create the ombre effect, I used a graduation of colours from top to bottom.
To get the colours right, I found it much easier to create a range of coloured sugar paste balls first and lie them next to each other on my worktop. Start light then darken to suit until you get the perfect colour mix.
I created the roses by making a cone of sugar paste for the centre, then wrapping cut circles
of thin sugar paste around it, tweaking the petals as you go to achieve a natural shape.
The roses were left to dry on greaseproof paper in a Yorkshire pudding tin, then dusted with
edible pearl lustre for a pretty sheen.
The 80 was made but pressing a Papermania 8 and 0 clear backed stamp into a thick section of rolled sugar paste, which I then cut out, left to dry, added the sheen and mini flowers.
I made the mini flowers using a metal cutter and molded them to a 3D shape and
used these to decorate the 80 and fill in any gaps!
Thank you for looking!
I would like to enter this cake into the Craft Blogging Central August challenge (I know it is not specifically craft but it is sugar craft so it may count!)
Jill x

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Happy Birthday Mum Booklet Card

Well, it's July 13th and today we celebrate both my daughter's 6th and my Mum's (something!) birthday, so a busy day all round! It seems like only yesterday Mum was urging me to 'Hurry Up!"
as her birthday was nearly over and baby still had to make its entrance - luckily, I was able to
 give her the best birthday present ever, a healthy Granddaughter, the delightfully lovely
(sometimes tricky!) Evie Mae.

Here's the booklet card I made for Mum, designed to contain her gift vouchers. I created it using a mix of  Floral and Paisley papers I designed for the docrafts Creativity Club along with a mix of
Papermania Vintage Notes and Capsule Pastels collections.

The heart is the gorgeous Papermania Vintage Notes Filigree Heart die.
The 3D flowers on the front were made by rolling and scrunching a length
of burgundy paper, then securing the base before attaching to the
card with silicone glue.

I made the letter templates by printing them out from my pc then cutting
the shapes from the Floral rose papers. I love the dimensional look so I have used
loads of 3D sticky pads and layers to create depth.

The vintage effect was made by swiping a dark pink
dye pad over all the card edges. 

On the last page of the booklet, I created a mini open envelope
to house  the vouchers.

Thanks for taking the time to look!

Jill x 

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Father's Day Bottle 'All Tooled Up' Card

Hi! With Father's Day imminent on Sunday, here is a card I have designed to wrap around a bottle of wine - specifically designed for my hubby using the docrafts Creativity Club 'All Tooled Up' printables which I designed last month.

The concept is simple - create a wrap, then decorate it! For this card, I have made an opening card, secured with a large washer and craft string, which hides the sentiment...


I am going to get Beth and Evie to write their messages on the inside of the 'doors' (I thought it best to photograph the card first in case it gets covered in felt pen drawings!).

I made a simple ring of paper (mounted onto card), to sit around the bottle neck and 
added a Father's Day sentiment to finish.

I hope this has given you some ideas! 

Thank you for looking

Jill x

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Happy Father's Day Booklet Card

I have had this idea in my head for a while and finally got a chance to have a play 
(just in time for father's Day!).

Photograph by Louise Jolley
 The card has been created using the collection of papers I designed for the docrafts Creativity Club called 'All Tooled Up Father's Day Printables', which can be downloaded by Club members for free!

Photograph by Louise Jolley
The card is created using three different length pages and bound together using Papermania Brown String. I mounted all the cut out elements onto card first to give the booklet strength and stuck them on using Stick it! 3D Adhesive Foam Pads for dimension. 

The following shots show each page from front to back (excuse the quality of the photography, I was taking these late last night on my ipad and my lighting is shocking at home!)

I have uploaded this project into my docrafts gallery with more detailed step by steps so 
pop on over if you fancy reading more.

I want to try and make a card for my hubby by the weekend using my bottle holder 
card idea so watch this space!

Thank you for looking

Jill x

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Best Dad in the World Card & Papers

This week, the docrafts Creativity Club have part 2 of my ‘All Tooled Up Father’s Day' printables collection available to members to download. My Dad is due to go in for a back operation today, so I used a selection of them to create this card to wish him luck…

I used a Papermania recycled A6 Kraft card blank as a base them added a series of layered die-cut shapes (mounted onto card for strength). The top rectangle was created by running the distressed cream paper through my die-cutting machine with a lovely little dotted embossing folder I found in my craft bag!


I created a distressed effect by dragging a Papermania brown die ink across all the edges, then assembled the pieces onto the card using Stick it 3D foam pads for dimension. To finish, I wound some Papermania string around the card, then used a blob of silicone glue to attach the 
sentiment on the top.

I loved creating this collection of papers – it was a refreshing change to design something out if my comfort zone. The initial sketch were done when my kids were zooming around at a soft play – all the other Mums were gossiping or reading their kindles, I was sketching from a box of mixed nuts and bolts! I had a few funny looks! Here are the initial sketches…

I scanned them into my pc and worked them up before converting some of them into 
paper designs in illustrator using this colour palette...

I used last week’s blue collection to make this digital card layout...

I would love to hear your comments - it is such a help when designing papers to hear 
other people's opinions. Thank you for looking! 

                     Jill x

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Fordson Super Dexta Sugar Paste Challenge!

My lovely husband has an interesting hobby - he spends most weekends in the autumn (a few are creeping in in the spring now as well!), ploughing up farmer's fields, along with many others, the aim being to win a trophy!

It may sound a little mad to many of you - these boys go out regardless of weather - but I have to say, after having a little dabble pre-kids, I do get it. It is exhausting but the sense of satisfaction at the end puts you on a high! There is an extraordinary sense of community, support and encouragement from the fellow ploughmen (and women), and at the end of the day, these colourful characters are helping to preserve a tradition, which would soon otherwise be lost.

To celebrate this, I set myself the challenge to create my hubby's Fordson Super Dexta and plough in sugar paste as the centre-piece of his birthday day (45, bless him!). It had me up late but I loved every minute of it...I used the modelling tools from the Little Venice Cake Company which were fabulous when constructing the tractor and plough! I also used their Deep Circle Cutters to create the wheels.

I made a few mistakes along the way - I was too eager to get going with the model that I tried to use a liquid food colour to get the blue. After using nearly half the bottle, the resulting sugar paste hasn't dried quite as I would have liked it, but it worked (note to self - concentrated colour next time!)
I also forgot to take off the plastic wrap from the cake board in my haste to get on with things!
I would also have covered the board with a square of textured sugar paste before
I put the cake on; it would have been so much easier!
However, I was pretty pleased with the overall effect, and every cake made is another
lesson learned for next time!
I used the following Little Venice Cake Company piping nozzles...
No. 22 To achieve the ploughed earth effect.
No. 47 To achieve the wooden fence effect.
No. 233 To achieve the stubble effect.
I find that it's the little details that you add to the cake that give it it's character. In this case, my hubby's faithful lunchbox, sighting poles and match contestant number (his age) that did the trick!

I made a plaque from two layers of sugar paste to add my message (although the writing could have been better, I did this very late at night with tired eyes!).
The girls added their own touch at the end - some personalised trophies and plaques!
The cake itself was a gluten free chocolate sponge with chocolate frosting, buttercream and sugar paste used to fill and decorate it. Every slice is filled to the brim with calories, but it did taste good!
Jum was really chuffed with it which made all the work worthwhile! A rough guess would say it took about 15-18 hours in total (this includes a lot of washing up time too!).

Adding the candles actually brought the tractor to life!

The sad bit...!

...and there it was, going, going, gone!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. It would be lovely to hear what you think!
Jill x

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