Saturday, September 22, 2007

Scrummy Yummy Easy Chocolate Cake

This is my easy-peasy recipe for scrumptious chocolate cake. I am not known for being a Nigella Lawson so, if I can make this anyone can!!
8oz self raising flour
8oz caster sugar
8oz butter
4 eggs
2 heaped dessert spoons of cocoa powder
Dribble of milk
4 oz Icing Sugar
2oz Butter
1 dessert spoon of cocoa
Drop of milk if needed
Big bar of cadburys chocolate
Baking Parchment or greaseproof paper
2 x 7" sandwich tins
Mix the sugar and the butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Mix the cocoa into the flour and alternate a spoonful of flour mixture and some beaten egg into the sugar and butter mixture until you've added it all.
If the mixture does not drop easily from a spoon add a dribble of milk.
Grease and line the base of the sandwich cake tins with a circle of greaseproof paper or baking parchment and divide the mixture between the two tins (leave enough mixture in the bottom of the bowl for licking!!)
Place in a preheated oven at 160 degrees in a fan oven (or equivalent) for approximately 25 minutes. When pressed with a finger the cakes should spring back when they are cooked.
Cool in their tins and then turn out on to a cooling rack.
To make the butter cream filling, cream the butter until soft and fluffy and gradually mix in the icing sugar and a dessert spoon of cocoa. Add a drop of milk if the mixture is too thick.
Remove the paper from the cakes and place one upside down on a plate. Spread the butter cream over the cake and place the second cake on top.
Over a pan of simmering water melt the chocolate in a bowl (making sure you've left a couple of squares for the cook!) and then spread over the top of the cake and decorate with icing sugar flowers, halved walnuts or smarties - or all three if you are extra hungry!
Try to wait for the chocolate to set before munching!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Simple Canvases

This is a canvas you can make in a few hours (including drying time).
Materials - photograph, mica tiles, gold leaf (or other sparkly material), text (stickers, printed text, etc), tiles (or other embellishments), paint, glue
Step 1: Paint the canvas background with gesso and other acrylic paints. Leave to dry.
Step 2: Add your photograph (mounted, or edge with paint or a Krylon pen - example below).
Step 3: Add your background text. I used baby-oriented stickers. You can see that I also painted over them, so some of the words are clear, and others are semi-transparent. Then I added some gold leaf on top.
Step 4: Add your mosaic tiles or other embellishments to the edge of the canvas.
Step 5: Add accents as you wish. (I added a heart at the top, and I edged it with white paint.)
Step 6: Peel mica tiles into corners to make a frame for your photograph. Layer them gently around the photograph.
Enjoy. :0)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Quick and Easy Card

Hello Everybody! Joanne here! This is my first post and I'm a bit nervous! From now on I'll be sharing the Thursday card slot with Andrea and today it's my turn. Here's the card I've got for you, super quick and easy and even better - it only takes one sheet of patterned paper!

The secret to one sheet of paper is to use the wonderful Scenic Route Scrap Strips. The one I have used for this card is Sumner Scrap Strip 1. So, here goes:

Here are all the elements you need. One sheet of cardstock to make your card (or you could use a blank ready made card), one sheet of Scrap Strips, a few American Crafts felt flowers, small chipboard frame or similar and two buttons.
Step 1
Cut your cardstock to 15cm x 22 cm and fold in half for a landscape card. Cut two strips of the patterned paper 5 1/2cm x 15cm and cut a smaller strip to go across the middle. Ink the edge of the smaller, middle strip for a little definition. Arrange on your card like so:

Step 2

Arrange flowers and stitch together with a button. Stamp a sentiment onto a scrap of the cream cardstock and attach to chipboad frame as shown. Ink the edges for a little definition:

Step 3

Arrange the flowers and sentiment on the card and stick down. There you have it! Super quick and easy card!

I hope you liked this card and have fun making it.

See you soon! Joanne x

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Good morning!!
It's a Caz here with a scrapping class and a side to scrapping that I find very important :)
I started scrapping in 2003 and not having had all my childhood photos scrapped, it is something that I am doing along with photos of my parents as children and the photos that I take now.
Often there is no story behind an old photograph, it's random.
BUT every now and again you will look at a photograph and memories will flood your mind, and this can often relate to the 'other things' in the photo!
In the photograph on the LO below, I am sitting on the grass, holding my poor dog around the neck with a patio suite in the background. Now I have no idea why this photo was taken, what date it was taken and who it was taken by, but what I do know is........
Memories flood my mind when I look at this photograph. That outside table and chair unit was so uncomfortable, the chairs where a silly angle so when you sat, it was like sitting downhill - backwards! And if you did not have a seat cover on, you got a waffle pattern on your butt, lol!!Tiger, who I am holding around the neck, came to live with us from grandma and grandpa. He was old and not so playful but I loved him and evidently he didn't mind having a cuddle!
At the time we lived in a house with yellow garage doors, a large garden, and a swimming pool. I remember it so clearly even though we left there over 25 years ago.
The second LO is slightly different. I actually went out and took this photo to go with a memory, that I have no photographs for.
Way back in 1986 when we lived in Kloof dad decided to keep chickens! He built them a really cool coop with a sheltered bit at the back for them to sleep and lay eggs in. Occasionally we would let them out to walk about the garden and surprisingly the cats, of which we had 6, never bothered with thm. Maybe one day we can have some again!!
When I found out one of our neighbours had chickens it triggered the memory and I knew it was something I had to document :)
Sometimes when a photograph seems to have no place in any of your albums, take a look at the surroundings and stop focusing on the subject. You may just find some memories tucked away!!
Thanks as always for visiting It's a Creative World, and a big TOOT TOOT from me to the rest of the design team for the continued inspiration :) haPPy creATing :) Caz xx

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Slow cooking with Maria

Hi, it's Maria here once again. Thank you so much to Di for yesterdays post I certainly learnt something new there.
As the nights are starting to draw in and there is a nip in the air I start to look forward to some comfort food. But, I don't always have the time or the inclination to be slaving over a hot stove and on days like that my slow cooker comes to the rescue. I love my slow cooker and it has paid for itself many times over so I thought that I would share a few of my favourite recipes with you.
Today I have two variations of my girlie wirlies favourite, cowboy stew. They love this and even asked for it during the summer. Mind you there were days when you needed to eat some stodge to warm you up.
Beef stew meat
Potatoes cut into cubes - I prefer to leave the skin on
Half a chopped onion
1 can of BBQ baked beans
1 can of baked beans
A big ole splosh of Worcestershire sauce
Bung it all in the slow cooker, stir and leave for about four hours or until beef is tender. My cooker doesn't have a high or low setting so you will need to check your own cooker for timings.
I also have a skint student or store cupboard standby version for you.
Tinned stewing steak Tinned new potatoes Half a chopped onion 1 can of BBQ baked beans 1 can of baked beans
A big ole splosh of Worcestershire sauce Method Bung it all in the slow cooker, stir and leave for about two hours.
These recipes easily transfer to a crock pot in the normal oven and can be stretched a bit further with some crusty bread.
I have a fair few slow cooker recipes so let me know if you fancy anymore.
Toodle pip

Monday, September 17, 2007

So you think you CANNOT draw ???

Hi again from Di.
Now you have heard me say before that I am NOT an artist, but, thanks to some great techniques I CAN actually draw and paint when I choose. And how do I choose? I do a brain switch. So if you too think you CANNOT draw here are a few techniques that just may change your mind.
I discovered this book in 1983 (I know because my name and the year are on the inside cover!!!)

It changed my ability to draw dramatically!

If you know anything about the brain you will know that it consists of 2 hemispheres, the right and the left hand sides of the brain. The left side is the ‘logical’ side and the right side is the 'artistic' side. Many of us work using the ‘logical side’. Now I am not going to rewrite the book, just point out a few of the techniques that the book describes.

Technique number 1: Vases and Faces

Whenever I sit down to draw I do this exercise. It makes me physically feel and experience the switch from the left to the right side of the brain. First draw a profile of a face, as simple as possible. Now lift your pencil and create a mirror copy of the profile. This time you should experience the switch to the right side of the brain. You will find yourself drawing lines and angles that hopefully match the original profile. and you will not be drawing eyes and a nose and a mouth. Did you experience the shift?

Now try again this time drawing a really grotesque witch like profile. Same again copy the profile.

Technique number 2: Upside Down drawing
I love this exercise because I manage to copy something that in my wildest dreams I would NEVER have been able to reproduce. OK I was tasked to copy this!!

As you can see the picture in the book is actually upside down so you copy it using the same technique as we used with the vase, we copy the lines and the angles. When the picture is upside down you are less aware of noses and ears and ties and chairs, all you see are lines and angles!!!

And this is how mine turned out!!! OK he is a bit BIGGER in my drawing but there is no disputing the likeness.

Just recently I rediscovered the book and decided to try to paint with oils!!! Cezanne is one of the artists I admire so I decided to copy one of his pieces. I use a book to do the copy.
OK this is still a work in progress, but for someone who CANNOT paint or draw, I am quite pleased with it so far! There are lots of techniques in the book and it is well presented and easy to read. I hope that this helps you discover and extends your hidden and creative talents! Oh and one last thing I have taken up Caz's challenge and have started a new blanket. Am determined to be finished by Christmas!!! Thanks for visiting and love from Di XXX

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Bags of fun

Hi, it's Maria here with a little project that I worked on with my girlie wirlies.
But, first of all I must say a huge thank you to the lovely Karen for her fab post yesterday. I shall be sending Graham up into the loft to dig out all my tired old picture frames.

The girlie wirlies had plain cotton bags in their Brownies kit and rather fancied zhuching them up a tad. They knew what they wanted but as it involved some sewing they enlisted my help.

They selected some felt from the fabric box and cut the shapes with the Sizzix. Then they raided the button jars and set about planning the design.

I printed their photos onto some canvas that I found at the bottom of the fabric box. I stuck it to a piece of plain paper with repositionable Herma before putting it through the printer.

I whiled away the wait for them at drama class sewing the buttons around their pictures. I then sewed the picture to the bag and attached the heart. A few flowers along the top were attached by sewing a button in the centre.

Now, I'm no fantastic sewer but it only took an hour or so to put one together. And, most of that was spent trying to thread the needle!!!

Now, I just need to help them with their sewing and they can sew those Brownie badges on for themselves.

You can get plain bags from Baker Ross rather cheaply if you fancy giving it a whirl. I quite fancy doing a couple of larger ones to use when I go shopping. Please remember to share any of your creations with us as we always love to see what everyone else does. Ok, we're just nosey really.

Toodle pip