Friday, 18 February 2011

A rather varied week

Another week has flown by in a flash - I can't believe how fast! I've got lots to do this weekend too, so no rest for the wicked. So much so I've had to enlist the help of the lovely Mother-in-Law (who shall henceforth be referred to in my blog as 'MIL') to watch the littl'uns seeing as hubby has decided to returf the lawn *massive eye-roll*

Something new to try this week was Horrid Henry. Not sure if they're accurate (they look a bit sad rather than cross and could probably have done with a bit more hair!) but hoping they're not too far off. Here is the result, and my original inspiration.  

Last Friday's prizewinner of my donation to the FSID Charity Ball was very quick to put an order in. It happened to be her son's first birthday this week, and she asked very nicely if I wouldn't mind splitting her prize to send half to her husband currently serving in Afghanistan. I made her some Elmo pops for her son, and some Army helmets (desert colours, of course!) for her husband. Here are the results:

And I realised earlier that I didn't share last weekend's creations with you either, so let me make it up to you now! 

A late Valentines request - her husband likes fishing. Freshwater fishing, to be precise. I *did* also attempt a catfish (too long - broke in half after I dipped it) and a perch, but I made the fins too fine and they melted away when I dipped them. I'm sure I could manage them in the future now I know what I know, but luckily I made made enough carp to cover my behind and was able to finish the order! 

I also made some cutesy helicopters and some wine bottles. If we're being 100% honest, I think I could improve on them so they're both designs I'll be fiddling with in the future. I did actually spray the wine bottles with clear glaze after I took this picture, and it did make a bit of difference. Kicking myself for not taking a picture though - d'oh!

And finally, a funny little pop as requested by fellow September-mummy for her other half's Valentines gift! Ooo-errr missus!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Me & Mr Big - a true story

It all started innocently enough. I received an email asking for cake pops for a 7 year olds birthday. We discussed the sort of things he might be in to, and that was when I first heard his name - Mr Big. Oscar's beloved rabbit. 

Now, I really don't know why I thought that Mr Big would be a stuffed toy, but I did. And I thought I'd be clever-clogs and ask for pictures of Mr Big so I could try and make cutesy cake pops to resemble him. I thought it would be a nice touch to have a rabbit that actually looked like Mr Big rather than just a generic rabbit. I was envisioning big floppy ears, pastel colours, maybe some stitching. I did think that perhaps it was a little odd that a 7 year old might still be cherishing a soft toy, but still the penny didn't drop. 

And then the photos came. And Mr Big clearly wasn't a soft toy. He was a gorgeous little bunny with black ears, black bits on his face and legs and one white paw. 'Oh. Now this is going to be a little more challenging' I thought. But in for a penny, in for a pound. I'd already asked for photos so now I was going to have to follow through with it. So I set to work. I made ears out of toffee and carefully moulded cake into rabbit-ey shapes (one of them looked more like a goat foetus according to my friend who popped over to deliver some emergency vanilla extract. Yeah, the ears were too short - into the reject tin with you!). Then I mixed up the melts to make the taupe/grey colour, before dipping them carefully and giving them the power of sight. Well, giving them beady little black eyes anyhoo. Finally, I dusted with black powder and painted their paws. I stepped back to admire my handiwork.... 

.... hmmm... Not bad for cake and chocolate, I thought. What do you think? 

Mr Big
Lookit that l'il white paw!

They're a bit more brown in real life (the cake pops, not Mr Big). We'll have to see what the client thinks when she comes to collect them later. I think the most important verdict will be that of Oscar - have I done Mr Big justice? Ooooh, the anticipation!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Annnnnd relax!

Phew - Valentines rush is pretty much over! Was pulling some really long days there, and it feels good to sit down and rest for a bit. Dare I say, with a cappucino?

Well, my friends will know I don't actually like coffee, but these little beauties are choc-orange. Which may be a little weird for the recipient, but I'm sure they'll get over it eventually. The idea for these came to me one night as I was lying in bed (where a lot of my ideas come from - as I've mentioned before!). Everyone does the original Bakerella cupcake pop, and I've tried to make one (just the one, mind) and it looked cute, but I like things to be a bit more original. I'm thinking of trying a 'slice of cake' pop, which might be a little trickier but oh-so much more fun! Then you'll be able to send your friends 'coffee and cake' pops. Which to me sounds like a lot of fun, but admittedly I am easily amused. 

Am really looking forward to the next few days. I've got some fun new designs to do and I've got some cunning plans to make them work. Assuming they work. You never know, they may not. In which case I'll be despondent, but until then I remain upbeat - safe in the knowledge that Royal Mail have over 14 parcels. Whether they can deliver them in time for the big day, remains to be seen. Fingers crossed!


Monday, 7 February 2011

Good Morning, Thomas, said the Fat Controller...

Finally having a night off after three 12-hour days of popping! This Valentines rush is certainly not good for the feet, but it has been lovely to experiment. Some have turned out a lot better than others. Not happy with my Dr Who pops, so they will need to be redesigned at some point. Star Wars were mostly acceptable - Yoda was a bit questionable! Thomas was uber-fiddly, but I think I got there in the end so was well worth it! He looks a bit mardy though, so I think next time I might modify his face slightly!

I'd seen Star Wars pops here and there but knew I wanted to add my own spin - my Chewbacca has an open mouth complete with fangs, and Darth has a gloss to him that's reminiscent of the real deal. I put my features underneath the top coat rather than add them afterwards. I know I'm probably going to get hate mail from die-hard Star Wars fans as my R2D2 isn't quite true to life, but it's hard to work with melts that dry uberquickly and fondant that doesn't want to behave! The assembly is without a doubt the hardest part, as it's all got to be done within seconds, and invariably you drop the bits you need into wet melts and render them useless. My top tip: if you're trying your own - always make twice as much as you need! 

The Tardis and the Dalek were a bit of a challenge. I think I had the right idea with the Tardis, but my mixture was too moist and they didn't hold their shape well. They looked a bit more like the leaning tower of Pisa until I covered them in blue! Daleks were a bit too gold. Will be tweaking both in future.

Here are the results so far:

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The calm before the storm...

Valentines is coming and it's certainly going to be one busy week for me! I'm currently sipping a Baileys, replying to emails, chasing up any unfinalised enquiries and tweeting away. Have fully embraced the wonder of networking. Can't believe that I've gone from 24 tweeps 8 days ago, to 64 today! 

Have some wonderfully inventive Valentines orders - shan't share them all with you as I know some recipients may read this but definitely a sci-fi theme going! 

In case you've not spotted my newest creation yet, here's a little peek. Sorry to have neglected the blog this week - I promise will post lots of pics of my latest designs next week!