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Thursday, 26 March 2015

Butterfly Easter Bonnet for Hobbycraft

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Punches are a great craft tool and can be used for all manner of projects, not just for traditional papercraft makes like card making and scrapbooking. This pretty Easter bonnet with butterflies uses floral pastel papers to create beautiful headwear fit for any celebration!
– Adult help and supervision will be needed throughout this make.
How to by Hannah Read-Baldrey

Suitable for : Beginners

Time to make : One hour

You Will Need

How to Make
Use the butterfly cutter to cut out an array of butterflies in different pretty pastel colours, enough to cover the top of your bonnet. Working from the rim of the hat, fold each butterfly in half, along its body, then glue to the hat using the glue gun.
Use wooden letters to spell your name across the front of the rim.

To finish, place the paper flowers around the rim.

Top Tip…
You may need to pick up more than one pack of letters to be able to spell out your name. For example Hannah, or Jessica would need more than one of some of the letters.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Happy Spring! DIY Decopatch Eggs

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Looking for a beautiful table decoration or even an alternative to an chocolate egg? Try making these simple to make Decopatch eggs. You could try threading a ribbon through them to make a cute decoration or making several into a wreath, they are so versatile!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Happy Spring - Meadow Wreath

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Spring wreath anyone? This will pretty little number will be the perfect accessory for your family Easter get together!

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Happy Spring! Kilner Jar Candle

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Every fancied making your own candles, you won't believe how easy it is. Choose the right scent and you will save yourself lots of ££££ in the process! Watch video below on how to...

Friday, 13 March 2015

Happy Spring! Bulbs in a Teacup

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I love looking at new ways to decorate my mantle, this Spring I am loving the combination of bright bulb blooms and vintage cups and saucers. See my video demo on how to...

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Summer Of Love Cake & other sweet musings

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Summer of Love Birthday Cake by Hannah Read-Baldrey
It seems to be baking season, for me anyway. I have made 3 cakes recently for family birthdays,  my sons first birthday cake for his Cowboy themed party, my father-in-laws Elvis cake for his 70th and my favourite, my mums Summer of Love cake for her 65th birthday. I think when you want to make an important cake for a family member don't think too hard on the theme, for example, when I got married, the wondrous Rachael Mount made our cake, it was an Alice In Wonderland theme ( before the book) this was obvious as it was at my 21st Alice in Wonderland themed birthday party we got together. Your idea should be obvious, something that should just spring to mind, like a good sponge! My mum always always always raved about a music festival that happened in hyde park in the late 60's, that was the summer they called the Summer of Love. Apparently at the end they released thousands of butterflies and it was exquisite. This is why for her birthday I made a cake to remind her of one of her happiest times.

The actual cake was a carrot and pistachio cake, purely because I didn't have all of the ingredients to make a pure carrot cake. I swapped the wholemeal flour for just self raising, orange for clementines, walnuts for pistachios and added giant rains instead of regular ones. Luckily it tasted amazing, could have gone either way! I used cream cheese frosting inside the cake and looked up a buttercream that becomes stiff for the outer layer. In the UK we don't really use shortening ( vegetable fat) for our baking, but in the USA it seems to be part and parcel. Its actually really easy to buy, I got it from my local Sainsbury's in East Dulwich & it works a treat for frosting.

I used Renshaw sugar paste, which comes in some wonderful colours to create the floral display on top. I purchased a circus font mould from eBay to make the letters, top tip is to dust the inside with corn flour (starch) so the letters come out more easily, it is fiddly anyhow. I dug in my cutter draw
(yes I do have one) and found some P.M.E. cutters from a Hobbycraft job it did a few years ago, they were used to create daisies of different sizes and the butterflies, which were also covered in gold leaf ( also purchased from Sainsburys).

I fell pretty pleased with the result, what next? Hmm... a Baby shower. (baby Heaver watch out!)






Cowboy Theme Cow Hyde Cake

Elvis Cake


Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2015 this is your year

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2014 has been a crazy ride for me, having my first child in February! It was a difficult birth, then with a very ill mum and a slipped disk it was a pretty testing beginning. However, I got my beautiful Ted who I can't imagine life without, a recovering mum, who I can't imagine life without, a wonderful husband, family and friends and oh so much to look forward to next year. There are a couple of, can I say, unbelievably exciting projects on the boil, which, if they happen, could make it an amazing year indeed. So don't wait, don't think too hard, if you've got an idea just do it. I really believe 2015 is your year! 

Monday, 22 December 2014

DIY CHRISTMAS: CANDLE WREATH

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I love these festive candle decorations at Christmas, they are simple to make and can really add some magic to a table centrepiece. You don't need may bits to make them, a few pine cones, christmas tree cuttings, decorations or cinnamon from your spice cupboard. Grab yourself some oasis from a local florist or online, big enough to fit comfortably into your plant pot or jar (always buy a little bigger as its super easy to cut with a butter knife), place a candle in the middle. Twist wire around your decorations and stick into the oasis. 

I made this video for Love Your Home. For full instructions please follow the YouTube link below.


Monday, 15 December 2014

LIDL vs ALDI CHRISTMAS CAKE TASTE TEST 2014

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This year I thought it would be fun to try a blind cake taste test on my family. Judges consisted of my mum, dad, husband, aunt and uncle. I presented them with these two cakes, without them knowing where they were from and here are the results. 



LIDL CHRISTMAS CAKE

The Lidl cake is described as A luxury Christmas Cake: A luxurious moist and rich fruit cake laced with brandy, wrapped in almond marzipan and sweet icing. Hand finishes with edible decorations.

Serves 14, weight1kg, calories per 14th 268Kcal, fat 7g, sugars 39g

APPEARANCE:  8/10 - Good, festive and traditional. the best of the two. We liked the wreath design, although felt the little ribbon bow was a bit tacky. Out of the two this designs, this would have the most visual appeal and would make us buy it.

TASTE: 7/10 - Nice, very fruity, but could be moister.

OVERALL SCORE: 7/10

WHERE DID THE BLIND TASTERS THINK IT WAS FROM? Waitrose

COMMENTS: This is a good looking cake and has shop appeal, however the sponge was a little dry comparably.


ALDI LUXURY ICED FRUIT CAKE

The Alidi Cake is described as Rich all butter Luxury iced fruit cake, infused with cognac hand decorated with soft icing. Baked with sultanas, raisins, glace cherries, almonds, mixed peel, hazelnuts. Selected by our experts. 

Serves 16 (although it is the same size as the Lidl Cake) , weight 1kg, calories per 16th 232 kcal, fat 5.8g, sugars 34g

APPEARANCE: 6/10 - Not great, Aunt's comment " Whoever designed this needs to go back to art school" The reindeer was a bit of a strange shape, there could have been more to this rather basic and simple design.

TASTE: 8/10 Delicious and moist, the better of the two. You can really taste the cognac and the icing was lovely and soft.

OVERALL SCORE: 8/10

WHERE DID THE BLIND TASTERS THINK IT WAS FROM? Tesco Finest

COMMENTS: Although the actual cake design is pretty bad, the taste is so good it is a winner.

FINAL COMMENTS
We thought the Aldi cake had the edge on taste, so much so that it outweighed its terrible design, making it our winner by one point. The Lidl design was so much better and would sell better due to the pretty wreath. However, on taste, it wasn't quite as moist. These were both good cakes though and we would recommend both.

DIY CHRISTMAS: COOKIE CUTTER CLAY ORNAMENTS

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These decorations are so much fun, I used air-drying clay for the first time to make them, it worked a treat. Just choose a cookie cutter shape you love and grab a good letter stamp set. Easy peasy.

I created this video for Love Your Home. For full instructions click the YouTube link below.