Thursday, 20 February 2014

Roll on the summer ...

It might still be the middle of winter and the weather we have been having recently is so far from anything summer-like it's hard to remember what summer is like. But a crafting session making butterfly pictures and I can forget about the hurricane force winds and torrential rain for a short time.
I recently discovered affordable box frames from Ikea and have been having fun making pictures to go in them. I love the butterfly pictures I have seen in the shops and decided I could make even better versions of them.
 
I have a cute little butterfly sizzlit die which I used. The best, but most time consuming, part is playing with all the patterned papers I have and matching them with a background I think goes. They came out really well and I even got an order for a bespoke one.
I surprised the little girl by adding her name to the picture and she was delighted with it, matching perfectly with her newly decorated purple and pink bedroom!

If you like the pictures, check out my Folksy shop where you can buy them. The shop is a new venture - a place to sell my pictures and cards and allow me to expand my creative output! Don't worry if the pictures have gone though - mail me and I would be happy to create a new one just for you.
Now - back to dreaming about balmy summer days and fluttering butterflies ....

© 2014 Nicola Noble: Please observe the rules of copyright and blog etiquette. If you use my ideas or images, please link back to my blog. And do let me know - I'd love to take a look.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Explore, rescue, protect! It's the GUP A ...

Justin had an Octonauts themed birthday party this year. I searched the web for inspiration for his cake and fell in love with a few ideas, especially having a cake with the GUP A on it (you have to know the Octonauts to know what this is!)
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea
I wanted to make some of the characters myself too, rather than use the toys that Justin already had but I wasn't sure if my modelling skills were up to the task but they turned out so cute I fell in love with them! I started with Captain Barnacles and Kwazi but then Justin also asked for Peso and Tunip and, as they fitted really well on to the board, I was happy to oblige.
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea

I baked two 9" round cakes (which I coloured blue) and one 12" rectangular cake (plain coloured). The round cakes sunk a little in the middle (I always wonder if this is because of the colouring?) but it didn't matter as the GUP was sat right on top. I chopped the rectangular cake to make the GUP - it started out a bit small but with some jigsaw-puzzle-type skills, some judicious carving and the glue properties of buttercream, you couldn't tell once it was covered in fondant.

I used three different shades of blue fondant - two ready coloured and one I coloured myself for the board. I decorated the round cake with a strip of wavy fondant in two colours and decorated around the edge with brightly coloured seaweed and corals with some pearl sprinkles to fill in the gaps.
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea

The GUP A was actually quite straightforward to decorate: I did a strip of teal icing around the bottom half and a semi-circle over the top. The join was hidden by a rope of icing around the GUP. The cockpit comprised a small teal semi-circle on the bottom, a black semi-circle behind the characters and a raised strip to the front of the cockpit with some small controls for Barnacles and Kwazi to use. A couple of circles, some eyes and some shiny teal coloured sugar balls all around and it was finished, apart from the dangly bit, fins and propeller. I made these and added some pieced of cocktail stick then left them to dry for a few days so that they would hold their shape. The cocktail sticks were then used to fix the various bits onto the GUP.
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea
cake, octonauts, Gup A, Captain Barnacles, Kwazi, Peso, Tunip, under sea
© 2014 Nicola Noble: Please observe the rules of copyright and blog etiquette. If you use my ideas or images, please link back to my blog. And do let me know - I'd love to take a look.