tilly makes & bakes

Always striving to achieve a state of domestic bliss!


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View through my window 2/2013

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This handmade cat and her kittens resides in my little girl’s bedroom. I bought it because she just looks so happy and never fails to make me smile when I see her.

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Learned something new: sugar craft!

I recently went on a sugar craft workshop and learned how to model jungle animals from sugar paste. It was a 3 hours lesson and was actually really relaxing. I’m not normally great with activities that require attention to detail and excellent fine motor control… more of a slap dash sort of girl! However, making these animals was strangely relaxing! Very pleased with the end results… taking into account that it was my first time!

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I incorporated two of these little fellas into my little girls’ fourth birthday cake– will post about it in a few days. I can reveal that it was a fairy princess castle cake as requested by madam herself! Can’t quite believe I have now made four birthday cakes for her. Four years! Wow.


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I redecorated the whole house!

Luckily, I am talking about the doll’s house and not our own, life sized house. That would just be a task too big to even contemplate. Not to mention expensive!

The doll’s house for my girls was a bargain that I got second hand for about £10. It was well used and just in need of some TLC to bring it up to date and ready for two little madams to start playing with.

P1000912The “before”.

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Work in progress! I decided to give the whole house an off-white base coat first.

The finished article:

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I used a few Dulux tester pots to paint the whole house, including the base coat. I was lucky as I got them when they were on offer as 3 for a pound. I probably used less than £5 worth of paint for the whole project.

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Not the neatest paint job- I haven’t got the patience!! Besides, I knew it would soon be bashed, chipped,  played with!

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The wallpaper is ordinary craft paper and the curtains are bits of scrap fabric glued into place. Really pleased with all the colours and how they go together!

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Doesn’t Granny look right at home in her new pad?


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View through my window 1/2013

I am a very homey person and I take pride in making my home lovely for my little family. So I came up with this category which will allow me to share little insights and snippets on how we live and the bits and pieces that just make me happy. It also allows me to post more of the pictures that I’d like to share but that don’t necessarily fit into a topic or other blog post.

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This kind of sums up the summer we have had. We are now ready for Autumn and this is actually my most favourite season of the year!


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Sandy footprints

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One day this summer we decided to use up some plaster of paris from my crafty drawer and made some foot prints in the sandbox. It is so easy and yet the results are very impressive. It’s not just a fun activity that the lil’ uns will be able to join in with, but it also creates a really sweet keepsake that will be yours to treasure for ever!

You need:

cardboard boxes or lids from shoeboxes

some plaster of paris powder

clean cold water

wet sand

box frame, decorative papers, sticky pads

1. Pack some wet sand into your cardboard container/tray

2. Get your little person to make an imprint of their feet (or hands) in the sand. You might want to do one at a time and you will also end up trying a few times until the print is just right and smooth.

3. Start stirring some cold water into the plaster of paris until it is a thick but still pourable consistency.

4. Don’t waste any time! Before the plaster of paris goes hard, gently and slowly fill your sandy imprints with the mix.

5. Wait!

6. Wait some more and when the plaster has hardened, gently remove them from the sand. This will be about 30 minutes or so after pouring them (maybe longer depending on the consistency you used).

7. Admire your sandy footprints and then keep them in a dry place to completely harden and dry out (ca. 2 days to be on the safe side, especially if wanting to keep in a frame)

8. Leave them as they are or box them up in a pretty frame!

My little girl loved getting stuck in with this and she loved seeing the end result even more. Ours came out a bit wonky because the imprints in the sand weren’t perfect and we could have been more careful pouring in the plaster mixture. But that only goes to show how easy they are to make, even if you are 3 years old or a bit heavy handed! The results are still pretty brill!


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Redcurrant crumble cake

Behold my redcurrants in early summer

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Well, what with the AWESOME weather we have been having in this part of the world, they soon turned red, juicy and plump and my little girl and I harvested a whole colander full of the little beauties.

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Picking them was easy but removing them from the stalks turned out to be a three person job.

They were gorgeous and tangy eaten fresh but I wanted to use them in something special as they were my first ever redcurrants since planting the shrub a few years back. So I decided on a crumble topped cake.

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I used this trusty crumble recipe that is also brilliant on top of just apples or other fruit in the traditional sense of a crumble.

Crumble topping

120g self-raising flour

90g butter

3 tablespoons vanilla infused sugar

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

Rub the butter and flour together with your fingertips until they resemble oats. Stir the sugars in with a spoon. Keep covered in the fridge until use.

For the cake base I just used a simple sponge cake recipe.

Cake base

200g butter or margarine

200g caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 pinch salt

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

500g plain flour

1 sachet baking powder

250 ml whole milk

Cream the sugars, salt and butter in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Gradually beat the flour into the egg mixture and loosen up with the milk every now and again until both flour and milk are used up.

 

Spread the cake mixture onto a large, lined and greased baking sheet pan. Put your washed currants on top and sprinkle on the crumble mixture to cover the fruit. Bake at 200 Cº for about 30-40 minutes or until the crumble is golden and a skewer comes out clean.

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Yum!