Friday, 18 December 2009

Pretty Cake Madness!

I don't usually go in for making "pretty" cakes...but this all started when I was asked to make a 3 tier wedding cake decorated with Black Watch Tartan (if you've ever tried to re-create this tartan in 12th scale, you'll have some sympathy for me!!....eventually, I had to settle for simply marking each edge in black & putting black stripes vertically down the ribbon...this took me a WHOLE day to do!!)The end result though is quite effective.
Little did I know that this wedding cake was going to lead to an entire collection of "pretty" cakes! There are only 4 pictured here, believe it or not, there are another 2 3 tiered wedding cakes & 3 more "pretty" cakes loitering in my completed stash! I now have to somehow figure out how to create heather & thistles to complete the commissioned wedding cake! HELP!! Heather in 12th scale....OH DEAR..all suggestions welcome!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

More fun in the mini workshop!!

Guess who's been having more fun in the mini sweatshop! For some reason, I'm having real difficulty settling down to do what I HAVE to do & I hope you'll all be there to encourage me when I finally realise that I've got so much to do that I just don't know where to start! LOL
Another "little" cake that I just couldn't resist making in miniature! This one features a tiny woven picnic basket, topped with a gungham cloth & filled with marzipan fruits! It's sitting on a "grass" cakeboard & a couple of the marzipan fruit characters have fallen out of the basket!

The cake is 25mm high & the board 25mm

Oh dear...ANOTHER favourite!! I Love it!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The "Over The Top Cake"!!

Carrying on the theme of "having fun" in the mini sweatshop...despite the fact that I know I'm going to regret it over the next few weeks when the WHOLE family (all 3 daughters with attendant kids & husbands/boyfriends)descend for the Christmas holidays & I just KNOW that I'm going to be desperate to get to work to complete orders etc, I just had to re-create this very, very over the top cake that I'd seen in a book somewhere. I think the full sized version was made by Christine Smith....but, allowing for the ever creeping senility that's engulfing me, I wouldn't bank on that!! It's quite amazing how I'm capable of "rabbitting on" isn't, here's the cake! It took me 3 days off & on to complete &, as usual, my photographic skills just don't do the real thing justice! I Love the way it turned out, so thought I'd share it with you!

It measures 38mm in height to the top of the tallest flower...each flower at the top is individually wired & can be repositioned if required...& the icing covered base is 25mm in diameter. It really was fun to make!!

Saturday, 5 December 2009

My Critique From IGMA

My critique on the Fellow submission arrived this afternoon so I thought I'd share it with you. You never know, it might help any future candidates out there to be successful! Reading it gave me an even greater "High" than the email telling me that I'd made it! OK...enough prattling it is:-
Outstanding use of accessories.

Some of the most realistic food I have ever seen. Thoughtful & powerful variety & presentation.

Truly exquisite work. The pastries are making me hungry-fabulous crust on pie & the croissants are amazing. Love the asparagus.

Lovely to look at. Colors re unbelievable.Shading is perfect.

Clams are well done & love the sea urchin.

Absolutely love the cherry pie-cherries with pits! Very nice asparagus. Wonderful variety & presentation.

There is a sense of scale with the tiniest details that I don't often see in foods. Delicacy of berries, cherry pits, croissants-wonderful!

Beautiful shading & colours on most-lovely food choices/variety. Catch of the day-nice choice.

Areas of improvement:

Leaves in the fruit basket need more variation of shape & color & are too thick. The blackberries are a little large compared to the apples & the apple stems are too fine.

Diameter of the asparagus is large in scale, but borderline to the largest we've ever seen. Lemons on asparagus crown are too bright.

The fish seem to be an odd color. The fish are poorly detailed compared to the other pieces. The lobster is too bright blue & the body seems too narrow.

The seafood is the weakest part of the submission.

All the pastries, though lovely scale, look "burned" in the oven. The pastry dough seems too dark brown.

When you read the areas of improvement it's amazing that I ever "made it"!!! The committee have obviously never seen my homemade croissants!!!!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Time for some 'Fun'!!

I know I'm going to regret this in a week or two when the family all arrive for Christmas, but now that the pressure of making pieces for Kensington is over, I've been enjoying myself in my mini 'sweatshop' by actually making something that I wanted to do rather than what I Have to do! A couple of months ago,while flicking through a cake decorating book (cake decorators are SUCH talented people!) I came across a cake by a lady called Karen Goble that she had called 'Santa's Sleigh Ride'...I just couldn't resist trying it in miniature!...I LOVE the result! It measures 40mm x 25mm x 25mm

The photo just doesn't do the cake justice I'm afraid (& if you look carefully you'll spot the deliberate mistake on this one..yes, Santa is facing the wrong way!)AND, instead of the traditional 9 reindeer pulling the sleigh, there are only 3....the others must be taking a day off! LOL. I made 2, one for my own collection & one to sell but I'm still trying to decide whether or not to list it on eBay as I'd hate to see it sell for less than I think it's worth! A dilemma!! LOL

Monday, 30 November 2009

My submission!

I'm still patently waiting for my Fellow submission to arrive back. It was apparently posted last Monday so I've got everything crossed that it arrives soon...I just don't trust our postal services too much & despite asking for it to be sent insured so that it could be tracked, it was sent ordinary airmail! I was cleaning out some old files on my comp today & came across pictures that I took to send with the pieces...I had forgotten all about them! What it is to be going senile!

If I could only learn to work with Photoshop, I'd have put them all together in one of these days I'll get round to it, but at the moment I try, swear like a trooper when it all goes wrong & then bin hours of work that's got me absolutely nowhere!
I know I've said it before but Zara Thomson Ribeaud makes the most fantastic baskets, 2 of them are pictured here( & I might add, the pics just don't do them justice!). The plate displaying the asparagus was handpainted by Christopher Whitford & supplied by", the beautiful crystal cakestand was made by Jim Irish, a former master cutter at Waterford Crystal & the cooling rack for the cherry pie by Carol Lester in UK.
It was an expensive business applying & I'm not sure that if I hadn't succeeded, I would have been submitting again! :-))
Keep everything crossed for me that this parcel is not one of the thousands that go missing!

Friday, 13 November 2009

We are Jolly Good FELLOWS!!!!

Whey Hey! Sorry no photos with this posting..I'm so snowed under trying desperately to make stock for Kensington...but I just had to let you know that both my GF Kiva Atkinson & myself are now Igma FELLOWS!! While she's celebrating with one or two beers..I have to console myself with a coffee as it's only 9.30am here...but when tonight comes.......
Congratulations very well deserved!! :-))))

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Feathered & Furred!

OK, I shouldn't be here doing this, I've suddenly realised that I've only got a week & a half before I have to be ready to up sticks down to Kensington! HELP!! So I'm going to have to work my butt off from now on!
Last year as soon as the doors opened a lady came literally running across to my table looking for a gutted & furred rabbit or hare &, guess what...I hadn't made any!! Oh dear! Sooo, this year I was determined that I would have some to sell...what's the bet she's not there this time :-)). The following is a photographic record of ONE WHOLE WEEK of down from mallards & pheasants & fluff from rabbit skins flying all over me & my kitchen! ...I can't possibly do it in my workshop as the fluff would be all over my UFO's & that would be no good at all....far better that it gets into everything that we eat! :-))...I've been doing a whole lot of sneezing as well as feathering & furring!!

Feathered & Furred!

There's one thing that's for sure & that is that I won't be making any more of these for a good while!!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

If I have to think about do you!!

OK..If I'm being forced to realise that Christmas is on the way, again...& too quickly for my liking... I thought you should all be made aware that, once more ....IT'S on the way!!
Don't get me wrong, when it actually gets to Christmmas eve, I LOVE Christmas, I just can't stand the way we have it forced upon us earlier & earlier every year...for goodness sake, time goes quickly enough as it is! Bah Humbug...LOL is my 1st mini, a little bundle of sugared snowflake cookies, acknowledging the rapid onset of the seasonal nightmare of trying to get organised for that 1 day...all the presents to buy, cakes & puds ("real" ones!!) to make, turkey etc ordered...& all that before the arrival of the family necessitates more food shopping, more cleaning, more washing & worst of all..LESS time in the mini sweatshop!

I love Christmas......really!! LOL

Monday, 2 November 2009

I think this has put me off chocolate!

I have spent 3 WHOLE nights & 2 days rolling thousands of little balls to make these truffles ( well it seemed like thousands, maybe just the high hundreds!) I had a request to recreate a chocolate parcel that I had made a few years ago & like the nut that I am I thought, "well if I have to make one, I may as well make a couple & then I've got one to take to Kensington on 21st!" Then, as always, I'd mixed too much of each colour clay & I thought "NO! I'm not going to waste that" there I was, rolling these damned balls until I was nearly blind!...It was enough to put me off chocolate for a while! Happily though, I'm now back on it(the "real" thing, that is!)..I don't really think I could survive too long without it. Well,maybe for a day.....half a day...perhaps!! LOL

So then I had enough of those blasted little balls to fill a couple of jars too!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

2 posts in 2 days..what's wrong with me?

I rather think I'm like a wait for hours for 1 & then 2 come along at the same time|! :-))
It's definitely Autumn here now...grey days with wind, rain & leaves blowing everywhere ....& as a result my thoughts have turned to the wonderful, hearty, warming dishes that only the British can produce(to cheer them up of course over the winter months! :-))..)
This is a wonderful stew that I remember from my in the bleak North East of England we needed these wholesome stews to see us through the long winters!! LOL On this litte, aged board are the ingredients to make one of the nicest meals you could ever "chefiness"..just good old fashioned food!!

Ingredients to make a "Jugged Hare"!

A version of this in the Kaye Browning Museum in Maysville, Kentucky & I have seen the odd skinned hare made in miniature since I first made them...sadly, I think the makers haven't actually seen a real life skinned hare & don't realise just how dark the meat is & how much fat is left on the carcass once the fur is taken off..which, of course, has to be performed while the hare is still warm!! I've done so many over the years & only stopped when I got a segment of tapeworm stuck underneath my finger nail! I've never skinned a rabbit or hare put me RIGHT off!! LOL..If anyone wants a "sick bag" just yell!!!! LOL

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Ooops! Half term has crept up on me!

Oh dear...half term has crept up on me! I've been so busy in the mini sweatshop fulfilling commissions & trying desperately to make stock for Kensington, that I hadn't realised just how quickly the time was going! My oldest, hubby & 3 kids will be descending this weekend so all mini making will stop for the next week & then I'm really going to go into the "pulling hair out" & panic mode as I realise that I have to get enough made to fill the table on 21st November...thank goodness it's only a 1 day people manage so many shows each month is beyond me..I think I must be too much of a perfectionist for my own good! :-((
I had to share with you a miniature version of an old fashioned English suet pud that I made "real size" last night for the hubby & myself...a Sussex pond pud..if you can find a recipe it's simply fabulous! The lemon is surrounded with brown sugar & cooked in a rich suet..when cooked & cut into the delicious, lemony caramel sauce oozes out...YUM!!

Then, instead of concentrating on making pieces for Kensington, I really fancied trying my hand at basket making agaain..having done so, I had to then fill it with rustic breads!

Somebody please make me get "my nose to the grindstone" because once half term week is over I just know I'm going to be in real panic mode!

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I was set a challenge by a very talented "virtual" friend..who shall remain nameless! She knows who she is recreate the food served at a mixed culture wedding! There were to be starters, main meals & desserts, one from each culture & 1 of each course had to be half eaten! After much umming & aahing over the not too clear photos I was provided with, at long last it's finished!!

Mushroom soup!

Goat's cheese tarts!

Cajun chicken!

Tikka Chicken!

Irish Lamb!

Bread & butter pudding!

Meringue nest!
It was certainly a challenge & I hope I've got it right for the customer...having just sent the photos to her, I have no idea or not whether it's what she wanted or not...just keep everything crossed that it is. otherwise you'll all hear me screaming & cursing in blogland!!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

A new award!

OK, I received this award from MiniC
& as I'm so hopeless at working the blogger system, I hope I get it right!
Firstly, thank you Rosa! I just hope I can work out just how to get the award picture up there! Anyway, i'll try that one later! For now here are the rules!

1) Display the image of the prize and publish the rules.
2) Post the link of who won the prize.
3) Give 10 blogs dream to which award the prize.
4) Notice blogs listed. to the hard part...the blogs...10 of them, that's a lot!!

1) To Paloma:-
2) To Jeannette:-
3) To Christel Jensen:-
4) To Teresa:-
5) To Kiva:-
6) To Rachel:-
7) To Donna:-
8) To Linda:-
9) To Kim:- Kim, I know you've already had this one, but your work shouldn't be so fab!! :-))
10) To Ana:-

PHEW! That took some I've just got to remember to add a note on all these blogs!...I think I need a glass (at least 1!!) of wine before I attempt that one!...Now, can I manage the award there's a challenge for me!
WHEY HEY!!!!...I DID it!!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Branching out into basket weaving!

As it's almost impossible to source decent basketware...apart that is, from Zara Ribeaud Thomson, whose baskets are breathtaking in their appearence & execution...a level of craftmanship in basket weaving that I can only ever dream of reaching..I decided to try & create my own version..humble though it might be in comparison..I was relatively pleased with the result!

I filled my humble 1st attempt at a basket with an Italian Dolcelatte, French Brie & the King of English cheese, A Stilton & added some fresh English apples, bread buns & a rustic bread! All in all, I'm quite satisfied with the result, although it would be SO much better in one of Zara's fabulous baskets!

If you get a chance, check out her fabulous work on

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Back to reality!

Well, here I am, back in the cold NE of seems such a long tiime ago that I was melting in the heat of the United Arab Emirates desert!
Since I got back I don't seem to have had any time to do anything at all other than cut grass & clean the house...yet again...a man on his own for 10days is not good news!! LOL.
As I haven't had too much time for mini making I thought I'd show you Dubai in all its glory (as it's my birthday in October, my good old hubby paid for us to stay in the fabulous Mina A'Salam at Jumeirah,Dubai for 2 what luxury!) It was simply fabulous!!

So here is photographic evidence of myself (I'm the really rough looking one with the silver hair!!)& my youngest & her partner & the middle daughter, Brie, who makes sure I get my ass into gear to get out there! In the background is the fabulous Burj Al Arab & The Wave. The Emiratis are single handedly producing enough carbon dioxide for the world with their lights! The Burj at night is truly AWESOME! It goes through the colours of the rainbow & has laser lights at the top too...ALL night long!
This is my favourite photo from the holiday...totally politically incorrect of shows my cigs, a glass of raspberry mojito & the Burj reflected in the marble of the bar surface! I'm thinking of sending it to Embassy as a promotional photo! LOL

Maybe soon, when I've finished the backlog of commission work & trying to build up stock for Kensington on 21st's not too far away, I might have some miniatures to show you!
At least the escalator didn't eat me this time!! That could be because Brie made us get a taxi from Paddington back to Kilburn...just so her "not to be trusted Mum" was nowhere near the escalator at Kilburn! LOL

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

It's NEVER too late for a picnic!!

I know I've been pretty lax recently with my blog posts...just blame the pressure of old age & commission work! There just aren't enough hours in each day..PLEASE somebody give me more!! Between running the house & the garden (although there are only the two of us at the moment, my dear old Hubby counts for at least 3 people on his own!! LOL)& trying my very best to keep up with orders, I just run out of time every day!
I'm heading out to the UAE again at the weekend to spend some time in the sun...oh &, of course, with my youngest & her "partner" I've been desperately trying to finish all the UFO's (for the uninitiated..."unfinished objects"!)that are littering my is one that has been "work in progress" for at least 2 months!! :_)) last, I've finished it! As summer (did we actually have one here in the UK?!) has now gone I decided to give it the title of "It's never too late for a picnic"! Believe is too late here in the North East of England, unless, of course, you were to put on thermal underwear & ski-ing gear...then perhaps.....!! LOL

By the way, to all those who read my blog (& I thank you!!)remember my last visit to UAE when on my return the escalator "ate" me.....please pray that this time it decides to eat somebody else & leaves me in peace!! LOL

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A nice change from the "Sweet Stuff"!!

Even though there seems to be an inexhaustible market out there for the "sweet stuff", I get so very sick of just making cakes, chocolates, pastries etc etc ad infinitum & I was really craving a meal of fresh scallops. Having lived for so long in SW Cornwall & having my own supply of fresh scallops & mussels, I guess I became complacent about just how good they were...sadly they are part of what I miss the most about not being there anymore! So, to try & make myself feel more "at home", I decided that if I couldn't have the real thing, a miniature version was better than nothing!

What I wouldn't give to have a basket like this..maybe a few more mussels, & DEFINITELY "real" right now! For once, I wouldn't mind being in the real kitchen cooking them! mmmmm...seared scallops in a wine & cream sauce with a few mussels...a fabulous dream!

Friday, 28 August 2009

A cake challenge!

Over on CDHM, Marlene challenged us to recreate in miniature some simply fabulous "real" cakes. I've been itching to have a go at quite a few of them & today, having far too many commissions to complete, I decided I was going to have some "me" creating time & decided on trying to make a mini of the most fabulous Mad Hatters Tea Cup cake & here's the result!

It measures just over an inch in height & was such fun to make.....even if I did a whole lot of cursing when trying to make the tiny Alice, Hatter & Queen of Hearts! LOL

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Wind in the Willows!

As I'm wasting valuable mini making time with photos right now I thought I may as well show you an "ongoing" work that is so very nearly finished now! All that remains is a bottle of lemonade & then this is a mini recreation of the picnic in Kenneth Grahame's Wind In The Willows. I was asked to make this by my good friend (although we are only "virtual" friends as she is "Down Under"!!) Rosy... It will be winging its way to you VERY soon!

PLEASE let it rain so that I can re-enter the minisweatshop without feeling guilty about all the gardening that needs doing...I just CAN'T shut myself inside when the sun is shining...but I'm SO far behind that I need another 48 hrs in every day!! LOL

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Good Old English Breakfast!

I seem to have been making a whole lot of English fry-ups for the grandkids over the last 3 weeks & I must admit, it is one of my favourite meals, but ONLY if someone else has cooked it for me.....somehow when I've done it myself it never tastes quite the same! The nicest is always after spending the night in a hotel, sadly, I don't get to do that very often!
I wouldn't suggest eating this "Brunch On A Griddle" would probably break your teeth, not to mention the fact that you'd still be hungry!

There has been absolutely no time for mini making or much else really, the last 3 weeks have flown by in a haze of playing with & tidying up after 3 little pests under 7! They leave tomorrow & although it'll be good to get my house back to some semblance of normality & get back into the mini sweatshop, I know I'm going to miss the little charmers like crazy!!

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Mini making withdrawal symptoms!

Oh dear! Remember the 4th photo from my 4th folder? Well, they have landed again for 3 weeks AND they've been back in the bubble making bath!! In between, "real" cooking, washing, ironing, general cleaning up after them all there hasn't been a lot of time for mini making & I'm getting severe withdrawal symptoms! LOL
I did make them all a "real" bread & butter pud the other night as I'd made this one just before they arrived....Far more fun than making the "real"thing!! LOL

In nearly a week, the only other piece I've managed to make (& that meant working until 3.00am!) is a Farmhouse Pate & Bread! I wouldn't change it for the world though..I love having them all here!

Monday, 3 August 2009

A challenge from Kim......

This is a fun challenge sent to me by Kim of the fabulous blog It's a miniature life
1. open the 4th file where you store your photos...
2. pick out the 4th photo & publish it to your blog...
3. explain a bit about it...
4. pass this challenge to 4 other blogs

So here it is, the 4th picture from the 4th file of my photo folder...& I suppose it is about miniatures in a way!! LOL

These 3 "miniatures" are my grandchildren who, when visiting over May half term, decided that they would have a bath in "Nonna's" bubbly bath (it's a jacuzzi bath fior all my aches & pains!!)however, they also poured in half a bottle of bubble bath too....the result is clear...there were bubbles everywhere!
Thank you Kim I'd forgotten I had that one & it was good to look at it again!

Now to find 4 other blogs to challenge.....

Sumaiya at Exotic Dolls
Teresa Martinez at Tiny Ter Miniatures
Christel Jensen at
Mags at
Sorry girls...but now it's your turn find a photo you had forgotten about!
Thanks Kim, that was good!

Saturday, 25 July 2009

donuts & cupcakes

Yes....yet more damned pretty cupcakes! To go with the cupcakes are some pastel pretty donuts. For someone who has a sweet tooth..give me chocolate at any time of the day, I really just don't understand the fashion for cupcakes or even iced donuts..(Sigh!!)
Here are just a few of the ones I've been working on over the last week!

Then there are some of the iced donuts!

Now I need CHOCOLATE! :-))

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Lobster last!

How many months ago now did I say that I had the urge to not only eat, but also make a miniature version of a lobster thermidor..too many to remember!
As I've just taken on a commission to make loads of the dreaded cupcakes along with donuts, I needed to make something savoury before I know how I just LOVE cupcakes, real or mini!! So here it is at last! A lobster thermidor with lettuce & quarterd tomato!

Now I'm hoping that I might get to eat the "real" thing tomorrow as it's my 30something wedding anniversary...I gave up counting on the 25th anniversary...just think I could have murdered my good old hubby & been "out" by now! :-)). Sadly though, I think the only lobster I'll be seeing is the polymer clay one as there's very little chance of the hubby remembering never mind taking me anywhere to celebrate!! Oh well!

Sunday, 12 July 2009


Things are so very quiet round here now that my youngest, Kim & her boyfriend Dr Tom, have left to travel back to the UAE so I've been keeping myself occupied in my veggie garden. After the disastrous summer (or rather, lack of summer!) last year when absolutely everything, except the broad beans, drowned, this year everything is looking so good that I can't wait for the time to pick all the goodies!
I'm so desperate for the beetroot to be ready that I disappeared into my mini sweatshop last night & to make up for lack of the "real" thing I made myself a bunch of beetroot......

....& then decided to make a representation of my all time favourite way of eating beetroot...pickled in deliciously aromatic pickling spices!!...Roll on harvest time!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Independence Day USA!

Here's to all my friends across "The Pond"...have a wonderful celebration today!
Thought you might like to share some little nibbles I made for last year's July 4th! Things have been just so hectic this year that I haven't actually made anything for the celebration. But...I haven't forgotten about you all...Have a GREAT day!
An "Uncle Sam" hat cake!

....& some patriotic cookies!

My work rate will be severely stretched this week as my youngest & her boyfriend have braved a visit back to good old Durham for a week...even though we are having the hottest weather we've seen for 3 years (thank goodness..I LOVE it!)...they are COLD! I suppose when you think they've left 49-55 degrees C & have come to 25 degrees C it's understandable! :-))