Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Swirls of cream cheese icing (and a wee carrot cupcake)

Children have a way of bringing me down to earth. Just when I thought I was top stuff making these carrot cupcakes for a child's birthday party recently, I quickly realised that cakes decorated in lollies and coloured icing rule. Iced confections in candy colours flew off the plate, while my carrot varieties were slow to find fans. Even then, one little girl ate half and left the rest on the plate!

Swirls of cream cheese icing on portion-controlled morsels of moist carrot cake, what's not to love?! Enticing for the kiddies and a nice option for the adults next to all the pink icing, or so I thought. Apparently pink icing holds its appeal through the ages.

Nevertheless, this was a nice recipe from the Australian Women's Weekly Afternoon Tea cookbook and the Mister and I rated the cakes highly. Yes, they did have poor street cred with the youngsters but that was more poor judgement on my part (and they were eaten eventually). The only trouble with the recipe, aside from it not being a unanimous hit with the kiddies and throning me king of the kids, was that it didn't make as many cakes as stipulated. It made up for that glitch with the tasty and visually appealing topping to be sprinkled over the icing (a simple mix of chopped pepitas, apricots and walnuts). Of course, squeezing a piping bag and making swirls of cream cheese icing made me infinitely happy and softened the blow of kiddie rejection. For the recipe, click here. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunny cushions to break up the monotone

The great thing about a black and white or neutral base for a room is that it's easy to change the look by adding your current colour/s of choice. It's no secret that yellow is the hue of the moment for me so its no surprise that I've added some cushions with yellow tones to our living room. 

Renowned interior designer, Patricia Gray wrote on her blog that "yellow wakes up a room like the rising sun, it is cheerful and uplifting" and I follow her sentiment. For a little uplifting sunshine in our own living room, I started by adding some yellow wooden beads from Bali (see more here).

I'm now working on some abstract artwork in pink and yellow (see more here). 

Textiles were just the obvious thing to add next. After plenty of practise with other cushions (here and here), I sewed four 30 x 50cm lumbar cushions in a yellow and white striped fabric and a floral fabric with yellow, pink, white and a touch of purple.

Both fabrics were found at a nearby Spotlight and were around $10 and $12 per metre.

I am partial to a fresh flower and yellow orchids are a real fave at the moment, for their longevity and their vibrant colour. 

Once the artwork is complete, that should be enough yellow. I don't want to go overboard, just a few pops of colour to bring some life to an otherwise monotone space.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sartorial Sunday: Pixie cuts

Last weekend, the Herald Sun ran an article titled Melbourne women dare to go short beginning with the words 'The love affair with long hair is over'. As one with very short locks, this is music to my ears. Eventually everyone's style comes into fashion. Might as well bask in your sartorial genius before the tides turn.

I first had the big chop in 2005 but grew it out for our wedding in 2008. Last December I ditched the long locks again and I'm still enjoying this easy, breezy style. Here are some of my fave very short or pixie haircuts. Some of them are on some of my favourite celebs, some just have really good cuts ;)

Natalie Portman

Audrey Tautou
Michelle Williams
Emma Watson
Kate Moss
Keira Knightly
Victoria Beckham
Sienna Miller
Sarah Murdoch (when she was O'Hare)
Winona Ryder
And some other golden oldies proving that this style is timeless.

Audrey Hepburn
And moi in April, reading at SJC's wedding in Bali.In my next life, I'll be gutsier and do a Ruby Rose. 



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