Monday, 30 January 2012


Cake Pops are my favourite discovery of 2011. Whilst searching for inspiration for Dax's Lego birthday cake I stumbled upon the genius that is 'Bakerella' the inventor of the cake pop - these can only be described as 'bite sized brilliance on a stick'. I watched her tutorial on how to make them on You Tube (see it here) and I have been completely hooked ever since.

My first attempt, little bees for Darcey's first birthday, were far from perfect and I learnt an awful lot about candy melts and the consistency they need to be to cover the balls of cake cleanly. I used Wilton candy melts as these are the ones in my local shop but they are quite thick when melted and you do need to add paramount crystals to thin them and get the correct consistency for dipping.

Then, inspired by Amy Locurto's blog, Living Locurto I decided to give Lego head cake pops a go for Dax's 5th Birthday Party. The connectors on the heads are made from a circle of white marshmallow cut out using the end of a piping nozzle. I used small balls of black fondant icing squashed flat to make the eyes and the rest of the features I piped on with writing icing.

I had rather a lot of yellow candy melts left after this and when the school cake sale in aid of  'Children in Need' came along I decided it would be fun to make 'Pudsey Pops'. Yellow smarties worked perfectly for ears and I re-dipped the pops in white candy at an angle to get the bandage. The spots and faces were all piped on with writing icing.

I now have Bakerella's book and am happily working my way through it for various occasions. Dax specially requested these popcorn ones which were fun to do...

...and last week we had another school cake sale so I attempted the cupcake pops. These were a bit trickier due to having to shape the balls with a cutter and double dipping in the candy but I was pleased with the overall effect.

Animal Magic

I have been thinking a lot recently about a woodland themed kids bedroom and just happened to find these wonderful animal masks from Hedgehog. Perfect for the fancy dress box or just to hang on the wall as decoration. I have ordered the set as I know they will come in useful and at just £1.90 each, why not!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ferm favourites

I am completely in love with Ferm Living, and since I have been given carte blanche to design Darcey's new bedroom I have found myself lost in their world of wonderful muted colours and simple geometric designs. I will definitely be using one of these geometric wallpapers for her bedroom's 'feature wall' and think these cool house shaped box/shelves will be perfect to display her bits and pieces.

They also do beautiful bed linen for children. Ever since Dax graduated to a proper bed, I have been on the lookout for simple, yet cool, bed linen that will appeal to both children and their parents! There seems to be a real gap in the market for this but Ferm has definitely come up trumps with their collection. I really love the trees for Darcey and think that the robots would be great for Arlo.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Circus Ring

I have just discovered Old Gold Boutique. Great site, fabulous jewellery. This gorgeous big top ring took my fancy. Something bright and quirky for a grey January day.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

It's the thought that counts

Look what my amazingly talented friend, Alison Carmichael, sent me for my birthday. Of course, in true Alison form, they were beautifully wrapped in brown paper and tied with bakers twine ( I wish I had taken a photo, but I was literally too excited to open the parcels). Inside were two sleek black boxes, one containing these fabulous 'Alice Tags' and the other containing a set of 'Emergency Cards' for unexpected occasions. Inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland the tags are letterpress printed in stunning colours and are simply exquisite. The problem is I like them so much I can't bring myself to give them away!

The 'Emergency Cards' are equally clever and beautifully produced, with enthusiastic greetings 'to dig you out of any hole'. My favourite (and probably the most apt for me these days) is 'I have a tiny sieve brain'.

Alison is the most amazing hand lettering artist. Her work is awe inspiring and she is one of the most talented people I have ever met. Check out her other fabulous work at and visit her shop Made by Alison Carmichael to buy the tags and cards.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Blast from the past

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to see a piece of work that I designed back in 2003 featured on 'Justin's Amazing world at Fenner Paper' blog. The job was a series of posters and exhibition literature for the V&A Zoomorphic Exhibition. The exhibition showcased architecture based on animal forms and so the posters used the vernacular of an architect's plan but with illustrations of animals as architectural forms. I created the illustrations myself and am still rather proud of them especially as back in those days we used Freehand rather than Adobe Illustrator! This is one of my favourite jobs from the Johnson Banks days, so thanks to Justin for posting it and to Julia for the tip off.
You can read all about it here:

Sunday, 8 January 2012

At last

So I have finally got round to starting a blog and rather than sitting around worrying about what I should write about, I am just going to go for it. I am not happy with the way it looks yet, but rather than spend hours fiddling with its design and not actually blogging, this will have to do for now and I will change it in time. In my ongoing quest to find cool dolls for Darcey, I finally managed to track down 'Sofie' the fabulous Esthex doll. I bought one of these for my niece a couple of years ago from the lovely but they don't stock her any more, so I went directly to only to discover lots of new and exciting friends that the clever Esther Schuviens has created. I especially like 'Anna Ballerina' and tough boy 'Storm'.  

Sofie arrived safely today along with a little friend 'Sam' the duck and a beautiful set of postcards, so thank you Esther. Sofie is very happy in her new home, although she will have to wait a while for Darcey's room to be finished before she can really join in the fun!