Sunday, April 26, 2009


I spent yesterday afternoon at Toronto's CreativFestival mainly looking for beads, but at this show small beads were missing. There were lots of larger ones for jewellery. There are lots of classes offered and I spent one doing a little crochet rose in wool, which I am going to try in a crochet cotton. I signed up for another - Cast on stitch, and for the first 15 minutes I was the only student. The instructor was very good, Erla Wilson, and I certainly improved under her guidance. I began with 2 strands of DMC floss just to get the idea of it, and then progressed to Iris (the wriggly stuff!). She tamed it by running it through a little moistened folded piece of sponge. After the last cast on stitch goes on the needle, she advised me to bring my thread under the needle to the back to help stop the "petal" from twisting. Also, keep a firm hold on all the stitches on the needle until the thread has been totally pulled through and the petal is sitting where you want it. Cost for materials and instruction $3.00 for an hour - well worth it in my book!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

East End Cake Decorators - April 2009 Meeting

At Sunday's meeting Lyne Coderre demonstrated how to make this barrel cake. (Thank you June from Katie's Cakes for permission to use this photo.) Lyne began with three 3" high, 8" rounds which she carved to make the barrel shape, then iced with buttercream.To make the aged wood slats, she began with fondant that had been coloured with three different brown shades, then rolled the fondant into a long sausage and twisted the sausage shape to mix up the colours. After that she rolled it out in long uneven strips. The outcome looked like slices of bacon! These strips were laid onto a rolled out piece of cream fondant and pressed into it.
She used a wide strip cutter to cut this into about 2" wide strips which she attached side by side onto the cake, adjusting at the top and bottom where the strips overlapped.
Next she added the "metal" rings around.
And painted them black to resemble iron.
Here's another photo of the original cake. The grapes and leaves add a nice finishing touch. Thanks Lyne for a good demo. Next on the agenda was a "Show and Tell" by Jean, one of our most talented members. She brought some items that she had made many years ago. One of the plaques could be a workshop at a future meeting.
Our members like to get their hands into something during the meeting, and those who wished to participate brought iced cupcakes and decorated them with cut up fruit roll ups. It was a little warm in our meeting room and the flowers drooped a bit!
Next meeting will be on Sunday May 10th. There will be a garage sale of character pans. June and Lyne will demonstrate some of the different ways to use the character pans.

CQInternational FFT#7, RR

Never a dull moment in this house! I've just finished my stitching contribution to Cathy's block, and I'm ready to begin Mary's block. Here it is completely bare of anything! But shiny as can be, just waiting for something to happen!

My favourite things RR, Cathy's Pines block movin' on!

Cathy's Cowboy block will be on it's way later today to it's next stop on our RR. Here it is after it's visit to my place. I posted before, about a week ago, on it's progress. Now I am finished and I have to say it was fun to do. Brown is definitely not a colour I like much, but Cathy's various brown fabrics were really interesting. She has some lovely Japanese satin, leather look fabric and gorgeous brown heavy lace trim. Before I began stitching I flipped through one of my stitch books and found two stitches that would be perfect - the wheat ear and the fly stitch. I used the wheat ear behind the fence to look like cattle. And the fly stitch looks good on the stacks of wheat.
Below is the fence, the cows and the re-worked trees.A flowery seam and some wagon wheels Stacks of wheat (oats? barley?).

Tiny Tatting

I've mentioned before that I get lots of interesting bits and pieces from the ladies at the Seniors club that I belong to. These two cards are the latest treasures. They measure 3 1/2" x 6" and the little tatted pieces are so small and dainty. Really tiny thread was used, the leaves and stems were inked.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Baby Competition Cake

CSSA's 2009 Cake Competition was held past weekend in Toronto. There were a total of 48 entries in the various levels of Wedding Cakes, Baby Theme, Birdhouses and Sculpted Cake.
It was an amazing show of talent and pictures of the cakes have been posted on CakesCanada's website, and will also be on the Canadian Society of Sugar Artistry's website.
I participated with a baby cake and received a 3rd place in the Master's Class.

Even with sugar, I can't get away from stitching! If you look closely, there is a patchwork blanket and the hood of the cradle is battenburg lace.

The cradle hood

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Amy's Ride to Conquer Cancer

Marie Alton's creative mind and busy fingers have produced 50 different beaded fobs that she is offering for $5 each. Funds raised will go towards her niece Amy's 200km Ride to Conquer Cancer from Toronto to Niagara Falls, on June 13 and 14th. There's also a really special draw for those who participate!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cathy's Cowboy Block

Cathy's cowboy block has made it's first stop at my place. It's part of the "Favourite Things Round Robin". It's totally brown except for a great picture in the middle of a cowboy on a hill with his horse, looking at his cattle in the distance. The all brown block was intimidating at first, and it took me a few days to get going on it. I'm not finished yet, but here is some of my stitching. The trees are wrong, they should line up with the posts on the fence, so they will have to come out. Also I see a few red tacking stitches that I missed. I still have some more to go on the block, but rather than be a worry to do, it's become fun!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A day with Jack

Jack is my 5 (nearly 6) year old grandson. His daycare was closed today so I had the whole day with him. The day started at 7am when my daughter left for work. Jack was up and raring to go, I was yawning!
I had a few rules to follow: a quarter of an hour of reading or writing earned Jack half an hour on the computer or half an hour of TV. No easter candy before lunch and Nana (me) can give "time outs" just the same as mummy and daddy.
Jack wanted to empty out his piggy bank and count his money, so it became a math lesson. He sorted all the coins, counted them and wrote down the totals. In my books, he rated an "A" in finance!
It amazes me that he is so comfortable around the computer. He knew exactly how to load the disk for the game he wanted to play, and moved around buildings, people, roads and roller coasters with ease.
After that it was lego. I saved all the lego my three kids played with, so now there's an enormous amount of bits and no end to the fun you can have with the retro pieces. I also saved the set of "Ladybird" books that I used to teach my kids to read in the '70s. Jack is reading Book 5 really well.
After lunch we made fondant spectators to go on his Hot Wheels Racetrack birthday cake I am making for this Saturday. We were at this for over an hour and he didn't realise that the fondant was sweet and edible!
We ventured outside for some fresh air and sunshine, but it was still a bit cold and stayed only long enough to do a bit of chalking on the driveway. In between all these activities I did manage to get a bit of crazy quilting in. I'm working on Cathy's cowboy block from CQ for Newbies.
It was a lovely day, and Jack was great company. It's nice being a "Nana"!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Eggs

  • My friend Sonya's family heritage is Ukrainian. For years her family has got together on Good Friday to decorate eggs the Ukrainian way.

  • Today was my second Good Friday visit and I had good fun joining in with family members four years old and up, playing around with raw eggs, wax and dyes.

  • Decorating the eggs takes lots of time, patience and a steady hand. The basic idea is choose a pattern, (on the left is the one I chose), lightly pencil it on the egg shell, draw a fine line of hot melted wax over the pattern you wish to have white, then set the egg in a bowl of light dye colour for 10 minutes. (The 10 minute waits were handy as there was lots of food to snack on.)

  • My first dye colour was red. So the whole egg shell that did not have the was lines took the red dye.

  • I drew more hot wax pattern lines on the red egg. Under these lines the pattern will stay red.

  • Next the egg goes into the black dye for 10 minutes. At the end of that time, the egg goes into a 250* oven for 15 minutes to gently melt the wax buildup. Taking it out of the oven and carefully wiping off the soft was to reveal the finished egg is quite exciting. I made two during the afternoon. The secret is to keep a steady hand! I definitely need more practice!

  • !

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Baptism Cake

I sure needed some sympathy yesterday!
  • I had just put the 12" x 18" cake in the oven, and two loads of laundry washing in the laundry room in our condo......and the power failed! There was a howling gale outside, it actually picked up a bench in the outside lobby and moved it about 8'. The power was out for as far as we could see, so it didn't look good for a quick fix by the electric company.
  • The cake was my biggest concern. This is the first time I've had this experience and I was thinking that the outcome wouldn't be good. I left it in the oven, didn't open the door, and waited for the power to come back on, which it did after about 45 minutes. I can't remember how long I left it baking, but it did cook all through and ended up a little darker and a bit lower than usual.
  • I had decided to bake another one anyway, but getting it out of the pan clinched my decision. For some reason, probably the fact that it had sat in the pan runny for so long, the sides stuck to the edges of the pan and it came out losing big chunks of the sides.
  • Anyway I cut it in four and have frozen it for family! And, by the way, the bits I sampled were good.
  • The laundry took care of itself, it had an extra long soak and carried on the washing cycle to the end.
For your information, the roses, cross and letters are all made from gum paste.
Click on "baptism cake" in the labels below to see two more baby cakes on my blog.

Friday, April 3, 2009


Her name is "Sparkle" and she's my newest dotee, made from a baggie swap at Swapbot from Sandy. In the baggie was everything you see and more! My swap partner made the adorable face which I just love.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sugar roses

Sugar roses for a Christening cake this weekend. It's amazing to see these little guys take shape over a couple of hours. They are not finished yet, they still need that little seed bud under the calyx, dusted with petal dust and steamed, and the wires wrapped. I'll post a photo of the finished sprays.