Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Vintage Home Inspiration

Just taking a break from the madness of wedding orders and neverending emails.  The kids are both having an afternoon nap so I'm feasting on a little bit of eye candy.  Here's what I've been pinning lately on Pinterest.  I definitely have a recurring theme going on here - turquoise, teal, shabby, repurposed, touches of yellow and orange....Feast your eyes on this....x

Source: etsy.com via Christall on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Christall on Pinterest

Sunday, October 30, 2011

COLOUR LOVE - Turquoise & Yellow - Part 2

Here I go again.  It's become apparent that I cannot stay away from these colours.  Yes, they still keep me awake at night (just when the baby has been sleeping well too!) which means it is officially a full-blown colour obsession.  There's something about the calming cool of turquoise and the happy 'instant cheer' of yellow that go so well together.  It is indeed a cheerful combination.  I like cheerful.  Mixed cleverly with whites, greys and neutrals these colours sing - a gentle lullaby or a vibrant summer party mix.  Cool and happy.  Break out of the winter doldrums I say!
Source: etsy.com via Christall on Pinterest
Source: dottieangel.blogspot.com via Christall on Pinterest

Source: etsy.com via Christall on Pinterest
Source: louiserastall.com via Christall on Pinterest

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chocolate Cake & Ruffles - What a girl wants

Poor little neglected blog, it's been a while!  Facebook has been going into overdrive and poor little blogger's not getting any action.  Well, it's about time I posted the recipe for that delish and super easy ruffle cake I made a while back for the special morning tea I hosted for my sister.

Well, I'm no pro, and pro cake decorators out there that are reading this, please don't look too closely!  But these ruffles are mighty easy to achieve if you have the right nozzle and the right consistency of butter cream icing.  So, the cake!  THE EASIEST and yummiest chocolate cake in the world (that I have come across so far).  My 4 year old has been making it since he was 2.5!  And here he is, demonstrating how super easy it is to make - only 5 minutes prep.  Recipe from Annabel Langbein's "The Free Range Cook".....


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Makes one large or two small cakes

3 cups self-raising flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda, sifted
200g butter, softened or melted (I melt mine)
1 cup milk or unsweetened yoghurt
3 large eggs
1 cup boiling hot coffee

Chuck the above ingredients into a large bowl and mix with a spoon.  Seriously.  Put AWAY your egg beater. Here's Enosh demonstrating how it's done - that's ma boy!

Mix it so it's all nice and chocolatey and smooth, and don't forget to lick the bowl when you're done pouring it into the cake tins ;-)

For this cake I used two medium sized cake tins, bottom lined with baking paper.  Easy peasy.
Bake at 160 degrees celcius for one hour or until cake springs back when pressed.
The other great thing about this cake is that it rises beautifully and doesn't end up with a 'dome' top - so it's perfect for layering up!

BUTTERCREAM ICING - the way I do it

400grams softened butter (yes I said 400grams)
1 kg icing sugar
Vanilla extract
A few tablespoons hot water
Few drops of food colouring/gel/powder

This cake with all the ruffles definitely requires this much icing!  You may have your own buttercream version, but this is what I make and it pipes well, holds its form - as long as you get the consistency right.

Cream the butter using electric egg beater or cake mixer, slowly add icing sugar and keep on creaming, adding hot water only a tablespoon at a time just to help with the blending, and not too much as to make the mixture runny.  Just keep beating and beating until it's a smooth creamy mixture.  Test it by putting some through a piping bag, make a shape and wait a while to see if it holds its form.

I made three batches of colour - pale green, pale yellow, and PALER yellow.
Join the two cakes together by gluing them with some icing.  Then cover the whole cake with the buttercream icing using a spatula/knife.  This is the crumb layer, just to cover the cake and provide a good surface to pipe the ruffles onto, and needn't be flash.

To pipe the ruffles, well I'll leave that to someone who's actually recorded how to do it - very easy and the ruffles are very forgiving.  And by joes you will need all of that icing!  So, take a look at this video:

There!  Now you're all ready to make something spectacular looking but super dooper easy for your next celebration or tea party :-)

Christall xx

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

An OBSESSION with Yellow & Turquoise (and pops of orange)

v. ob·sessedob·sess·ingob·sess·es
To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic

You know when you've been looking at something for so long that when you go to bed and close your eyes it's all you can see under your eyelids?  That used to happen to me when I would spend my late nights playing online word games (geek I know but had to beat those high scores!).  Now when I close my eyes at night I get flashes of: yellow door. teal wall. yellow stripes. teal stripes. yellow flowers. teal shelves. rugs. curtains. yellow. teal. turquoise. yellow. white. grey. sofa. wallpaper. teal. turquoise. shot of orange. stripes. teal. PLEASE CAN I GO TO SLEEP ALREADY?!
That's when I know I've become obsessed with something.  No matter how hard I try to think about other things (chocolate, babies, the colour red) I cannot get rid of it.
Anyway, I hope my home and current big project 'My kind of home' starts to come together with hints of this style and colour soon! Enjoy x

Source: housetohome.co.uk via Christall on Pinterest

Source: None via Christall on Pinterest
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