Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The ties that bind

Hi everyone, just a very short post today. I shared a snippet of a journal page on social media and I haven't shared the whole page so here are both.

Manchester is my home city....I had a piece of material stamped with the Lynne Perella images already to hand from some previous dabbling. I decided to tear it in half so it would fit in the journal and fold and really the piece evolved from there. A little bit of journalling and there are what look like quirky hearts...they are 22 of them and they are made from 22 with the first number reversed, random acts of kindness are also represented by RAK.

Linked together by mesh and thread that can't be torn apart... I'd been playing around with the word and realised that Manchester has the letters of heart in it and placed them so you can read it across and then link it. Art is a form of expression and sometimes you can't move forward until you've put your feelings and thoughts down. Take care. x

Saturday, 13 May 2017

...anyone for cake??

Hi everyone, nice to be back in blog land and with something a bit different today. I've still been busy creating but took some time out recently as we had a wedding in the family, I've been busy dusting off my cake and sugar flower making skills to make a wedding cake for my son and his bride who got married last week....and yes it was a lovely, happy, perfect day.

I thought I'd take this opportunity to go down memory lane and if you fancy reading on you may want a cuppa to go with your cake as I thought I'd share some of my previous creations. I haven't chosen to do this before because it's nearly 20 years since I made many of them and digital photos weren't around but I recently found an app that's enabled me to scan in a few of the pictures. The photos aren't great quality and it was still a challenge taking photos this time around as cakes are big and cards and pieces I usually make are small and flat and soooo much easier to photograph.

What started me off on my cake decorating journey nearly 30 years ago was finding a book called 'Finishing touches' and I saw a wedding cake in it unlike anything I'd seen before...which I wanted for my wedding...well if possible...well at least like it...and I did.

Our wedding cake 1988
I bought the book and was inspired to have a go, I never set out to make wedding cakes and started with a cake for my mother's 70th, I haven't got a picture of that one but I did make a rose...which looked more like a cabbage if truth be told; as my mum said blood, sweat and tears went into making the cake (I hasten to add not literally). Like all craft/art, you need to practice, practice, practice.

I made all sorts of fun birthday cakes for our children and, communion and nativity cakes for their school. I've come to the conclusion that I prefer to model or sculpt with my hands rather than draw.

I practiced piping and started to wire flowers, the honeysuckle cake was for a 50th Birthday and is still one of my favourite creations.

Then someone asked if I could make their wedding cake.

3 tiered ones followed and as they say every picture tells a story and these are a sign of the times - flowers on all tiers, drapes and swags were in and stacked cakes certainly weren't the fashion then.

Then life threw a curved ball and I went from part to full time work and cake making being quite time consuming had to take a back seat except for special occasions...but I discovered something that was easier to do in the time available and fulfilled my creative need. I was at one of the sugarcraft shows and next door at the craft and hobby show there was 'The Stamp Man'....card making and stamping became and have stayed my thing with a short hop across to mixed media. I genuinely love all the creative journeys I have been on and revisiting them is a treat too.
One thing I had forgotten is how much making flowers affects my shoulders, I do tense up. It's something I know I have to pace myself at and know I couldn't do regularly.

So if you are still with me, I thought I'd share a few close ups of this years model. My daughter-in-law chose a purple and ivory theme. She too had seen a picture of one she liked which was stacked, flowers on top and some decorative piping. In case you're wondering all the tiers are fruit as there was no way I could make and keep sponge fresh enough to decorate in time...but I did make a chocolate ganache cutting cake as well.

I knew she had chosen peonies and vintage lilac toned roses and that the bridesmaids were wearing mid length dresses (Monsoon) so took inspiration from there.

The flowers are made from 'petal paste' and start off like this before being shaded with edible dusting powders....not that they should be eaten! They will keep for years  if stored correctly and make a lovely keepsake. Freesias and Roses I've made before but it was a first time for making Peonies.


'Pearl drops'
Finally it was a simple wedding card in keeping with the theme...

Thanks for stopping by I really do appreciate it and hope you enjoyed a slightly different creative post. You may be pleased to know that after that sugar rush I will be back next time with some more cards I've been creating. Ruth x