What with the celebratory week I have just had: birthday parties and mother’s day, I have been baking just a little.
But on the flip side we have been quite overdoing the green smoothie (frozen peas, pineapple, ginger and spinach – trust me — it’s good!) and the homemade muesli thing too – just to add some balance to all that cake.
For my 12 year old’s (second) birthday party this year, I was commissioned to make a double layer marble cake filled with vanilla cream. It was actually incredibly delicious and light (I adapted a sponge cake recipe instead of making a butter cake). And for a different kind of treat bag I made giant chocolate chip cookies. I don’t know about you but I am so sick of the treat bags full of junk – so I decided to take a stand and the giant cookies were much loved and admired by all.
Recipes: For the cake and cookies I adapted recipes from two of my fave cook books: Milk & Cookies and Gran’s Kitchen. But I did a little online search and found a few recipes that might fit the bill if you don’t have these two fantastic I-don’t-know-how-I-would-cope-without-them books. Giant chewy choc chip cookies :: Marble butter cake :: Victoria sponge cake :: Kale and pear smoothie :: Monster smoothie :: Homemade muesli
Quilt market: for those non-quilters and others who live in a different universe – Quilt market is on and reports have started to filter in: Spoonflower :: Uhandbag. If you can’t make it – you can join the Blogger’s quilt festival.
At whipup this week the creativity series continues: A failed attempt to control the chaos :: Healing through craft :: The stream of inspiration runs both ways :: Crafting brings the joy :: I’m mostly a self taught creative type. Please share your stories by commenting at these posts.
On my book pile:
Sunday Morning Quilts by Amanda Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. Published by Stash April 2012. Favourite quilt bloggers + favourite quilt book publisher = great quilt book! Super ideas for using up your scraps and some really fun quilt designs too. Beginner quilters will love the sections on sorting your scraps and quilting techniques, while others will want to just get stuck into the quilts themselves. The quilts are mostly simple in design and constructions and take advantage of the ad-hoc nature of scraps to create quilts that are a little bit improv and a little bit structured. And of course the best thing about scraps is that they don’t rely on any particular fabric line — they are about playing with colour, which I love.
Making Mini Books with various contributors and published by Lark Crafts April 2012. Oh the wonderfulness. The variety. The inventiveness. This book contains a whole bunch of diy mini book book projects from the sweet and simple to the complex and artistic. Using different materials, paper, leather, recycled junk, wire and twine — to teach you how to make traditionally bound books, or more unusual books. You’ll be inspired.
The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids By Whitney Cohen and John Fisher (from life lab). Published by Timber Press May 2012. A bunch of gardeners, educators and parents got together to create Life Lab, a nonprofit organisation in Santa Cruz, California in 1979. Life Lab’s mission is to teach people to care for the world and them selves and each other through garden based programs. They have camps and internships and classes where they not only teach kids but also parents and teachers. So now Life Lab has written a book about their philosophy along with practical stuff from years of experience and classes – such a fantastic resource. With projects from designing play friendly gardens to getting creative with your planting pots, learning about what to plant where and when and how to test your soil. These activities are all aimed at families working with their kids and would make for some great homeschooling projects too. There is too much in here for this short review – so I urge you to go and grab a copy for yourself.
[Thanks to publishers and distributors for sending me books to review, I don’t get paid to post reviews but I am an amazon affiliate] (Australians can purchase craft books online through can do books or booktopia or else browse booko for the best prices.)