Arts and Crafts Time

The weather outside has been a bit frightful today so it seemed like a great day for project time. 

We took it down a notch though and just did fun Arts and Crafts type projects. Inspired by the hand prints of our children, the early foot prints we did of Annabelle and my young colleague’s marathon of footprinting her little guy I was keen to have a go. 

We turned it up a few design degrees from the simple handprints done in our children’s preschool. So armed with a kit from a craft store because its apparently not possible to buy white mix for the big bags of quick mix we set up. The artistic design part was pretty easy to figure out. A heart for love, her footprints and her initials. The rest was icing on cake so to speak as long as the baby cooperated with the footprint part. 



That was a quick project so it left time to get back to work on the unicorn mobile. It’s been about 4 months since inception and about time to finish it. Her eye sight and time focusing has increased amazingly so it’s time to give her a mobile. 


Momma has a vision and eventually we’ll have it all done. Let’s just say that it gave both of us new respect for fisherman who tie lines and flies. That stuff is hard to see and harder to work with. So we are still working on it. 

I also spent some time up in the attic working on a series of special gifts but can’t post that project just yet. I’m pleased with my progress as the deadline is fast approaching. 

All in all a very satisfactory easy kind of day except for the part where the Toronto Maple Leafs lost in overtime.  

Bernie 

Finish It Friday (on Tuesday)

Finishing work is only 10 % of most projects but takes 90% of the time. It’s easy to lose momentum and not get to those little details. 


I’m pleased to report that I have finally completed the main baby quilt. I had the piecing and quilting done before the baby was born a month ago today. It has taken me this long to get label completed. 

First I learnt a thing or two about monograms which my daughter taught me. Then I mastered my fancy machine and learnt to use the memory keys and played with different sizes and styles.  

                      A B C

                  Feb 7 2017 

BUT, although my test patch was perfect, my end result was ugly. Like really ugly. Like no pictures exists because I may have had tears in my eyes. Lots of skipped stitches. Retrospectively found out a few things I didn’t do. Meanwhile we painstakingly ripped it out. 


Then decided to go rustic. My daughter liked that I always put hearts in my free motion quilting so wanted a heart. That was overly easy compared to the satin stitch monogram. Loads of ripping out and going back a few stitches to start over. Then I tried French knots for the a and c which are little. Then I ripped that out and went back to satin stitches. Not super happy with the size variations as the B is supposed to read bigger and somehow that C ended up too big but Grampa said that Baby A won’t care. 

I used some “vintage” labels I found while cleaning out my sewing drawers. Circa 1992 when my daughter was small and I did lots of sewing for her. 


 It’s not perfect that’s for sure but it’s #madewithlove and now it’s finally complete! 

Bernie 

Piecaken 

I had a request from my son for a special birthday cake. I was so pumped it wasn’t an angel food cake (see previous posts about how much I dislike making, icing and eating this “cake”) that I instantly said yes to the challenge.

He wanted a piecaken. Never heard of it?  You know the turkey stuffed with the duck stuffed with the chicken. I think it was created by the same crazy person who invented turducken. It could also have been invented by someone who just couldn’t decide if pie or cake was their favourite for dessert. Obviously we live in a world of over indulgence.


So the flavours chosen were raspberry and chocolate. Works for me as I have lots of garden raspberries and make a killer chocolate cake. I did do a little bit of internet research about creating one of these. Retrospectively not enough! 

We made a small pie it had to fit into the 9″ springform with space along the sides. It cooked up well and the parchment paper meant it was going to slide into the cake easily.

Chocolate cake is like one on my signature dishes. So the next part of making the cake is easy. Until you get to the part where you marry them together. There are no photos of the actual process because all hands were kind of busy.


So that was the tough part right? Now to pop it in the oven, pull it out and ice it. Or so it seemed. But if you have ever cooked a cake you know it can be tricky to get it cooked perfectly. If you over bake it then it’s dry, too little and it will fall and be gooey. So I checked it several times in assorted places. All seemed to be cooked so I left it too cool in the oven. The hash tag on Instagram was #whatcouldgowrong. Ah yes well…



It was interesting to note that the middle and outside were cooked and the ring of the pastry was gooey. Hm. Not good. We cut the top off, patched the hole with cake from the top and put on the ganache toping. The theory we worked off of — we’ve all eaten raw cake batter off the spoon.


The verdict was that it tasted good but more work is required to get it perfected. I suspect strongly that my next dessert club offering will be a piecaken. More research is a prerequisite to the next attempt though. If you’ve successfully made a piecaken please share your tips with me. If you want to come for left overs of this one let me know!

Bernie