Thursday, 13 December 2012
Having a movie-night is one of those things in life which brings me great joy :) Nothing beats chilling on the couch with a succession of good ol' DVD's. My family has never been big into the whole snacking during the movie thing, but when they do it's usually chips, and chips don't really do it for me... So here's something which did do it for me, and it only took 10 minutes or so to make! It's "s'mores" crossed with popcorn, thus the moniker "sm'opcorn"!
The beauty with sm'opcorn is that you can make it however you like, and using whatever you have available in your pantry, as there are no rules! Below is what I did, but feel free to use any type of chocolate you like, any type of cereal, use rainbow marshmallows if you want to make it look pretty, and you could even butter the popcorn first (I know you thought about it!) =D
- Cereal (I used gluten-free nutri-grain, but you can use any cereal you like, such as branflakes, weetbix or milo cereal)
- White marshmallows (chopped in half)
- Dark chocolate (I used 100g, use more if you want it more like rocky road)
Line a large tray with some aluminium foil.
Make up the popcorn (I use a popcorn machine), and place a decent layer of it over the entire tray.
Sprinkle with the desired amount of cereal.
Place marshmallows on top, and grill for a couple of minutes until 'mallows are nice and toasted.
Meanwhile, melt desired amount of chocolate, and drizzle all over the mix when it has finished being grilled.
Place tray in the fridge until the chocolate is set.
Then you can break off chunks of sm'opcorn and consume as desired!
Happy Baking and Movie-nighting :D
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
So here is it, Temptation Tuesday. Just when you thought you had been doing sooo well, so far this week...I apologise in advance, but these recipes were just too good to wait until Temptation Thursday!
My idea is that with the recipes that I hardly amend, but still want to share, I'll post in groups as baking-inspiration for you, to add a little fairy dust to your day :) With the recipe title giving you the link to the recipe. This weeks' baking-bouquet candidates are real goodies, well, I'm not about to post non-awesome recipes for you am I? :)
I have had this recipe in my "to-make" stash for over a year, and always went for something else because I thought it was too hard, but one day I just said "let's make it!" And it is no-where near as hard as it looks! The basic process is: make the dough, let it rise, cut it into 64, roll into balls, dunk in butter, dunk in brown sugar, fill cake tin, let it rise again, bake, then eat!
And O-EM-G, do you eat! It is rather addictive...so I recommend making it when you have lots of guests coming over/or when you do not have an uncontrollable appetite/or when you are not trying to be healthy...for bringing this baby out of the oven will ruin everything. Just one, crunchy, buttery, morsel of this sweet brioche will end all of your adult rationality!
If the steps in Monkey bread still scare you, this one won't, as it's quick to make and bake. It tastes a little like gingerbread, but way more awesome, because it's dense and chewy like a brownie. Don't fear if the centre of the blondie looks uncooked, for it tastes amazing that way! This is one of those batter's where you can eat, without the need for an oven ;P The basic process is: melt butter, add that to sugar, mix in eggs, add the flour and spices before baking to dense-caramelly-spiced perfection! I also recommend that you have a few partners-in-crime around when making this one, as it is mighty fine straight from the oven also =D
Sticky Chocolate Date Loaf
This is a great vegan recipe, because it is quite fudgy with only a slight crumble to it, so you don't miss the eggs or dairy! This is really great when you have a beyond-edible banana (I know I'm not the only one who has neglected a banana in the fruit bowl before!), but not enough for banana cake. Some small amendments were that I used rice-bran oil (as not all canola's are from the canola plant but a harmful rapeseed plant), didn't add the salt (as when I do all I taste is salt in my cake :P), used seven rows of good chocolate (instead of the 1 cup of choc-chips) and baked it at 170°C for 50mins.
I hope you enjoy these recipes, and that you are tempted enough to try out one, or all of them sometime to make your day magical!
Happy Baking! =D
Monday, 3 December 2012
So, you know how with my last post I said I was unorganised when I attended that art class? Well, last week was worse...I was down to literally my last scrap of watercolour paper, which was not even A4 size, and grabbed like seven images I had in my inspirations folder to potentially use as my subject for the class, but was gonna miss the next bus anyway...So I just sat in my chair and looked through images on my laptop whilst waiting to leave for the next bus, when I came across this image...
Disneystore I found ages ago, and I decided then and there, that that's what I'd paint, a space-like sky with a mermaids' silhouette. It was such fun to do and quite simple, after so much self-induced drama. I just lightly drew a circle for the moon, then throughly wet the paper leaving the moon dry. Then made up lots of different purples, greens, blues, sloshed on areas of yellow and pink, before blotting on the darker pigments. It doesn't look really pretty until the paint and paper have done their magic, and then allowed to dry. I then made a dark red and purple and painted in the mermaid and rock. Then using white and the tiniest point of my brush dotted hundreds of dots to represent the stars :)
I hope you like it! It looks better in real life, as my camera does not do justice to attempted close-up photography (I'm working on getting a suitable one)...Hopefully your Monday wasn't too manic, and if so, remember there are so many little things you can do to still make it magical!
Happy painting =D
Thursday, 29 November 2012
When we had to do our own subject in watercolour class the other week (I'm doing a short local course), I had not planned or prepared anything. Every week I tell myself that I will organise myself the night before, so that all I have to do is get up, dress, breakfast and out the door...but no, I always end up doing something i.e. studying to the wee hours, and then regret doing so the next day...
So this particular morning I was lost, sleep-deprived (aren't we all) and getting annoyed with myself for having nothing impressive to do in class. Upon rifling through my "artistic space" i.e. mess, I found a sketch I had started a couple of days earlier, grabbed it and power-walked to make the bus...
However, like Buddy from Cake Boss, as soon as I sat down in class, laid out my paints and brushes, got fresh water and started painting, my mind cleared, and I was in the zone, my happy-place. I tell ya, it's a really lovely place to be :)
So, this is the result...it was inspired by Amy Mebbersons' "Pocket Princesses", where she creates cartoons using in-jokes with the Disney Princess characters...so in my attempt at art-humour I used Crysta from the animated film Ferngully, and Tinkerbell, naturally :) The basic premise is that Tink is jealous, because Crysta's fairy dust is more impressive than hers (yes, flowers do grow wherever she goes in the film), and Crysta knows it :) If you are not familiar with Ferngully, I recommend you watch it sometime, as I feel it is a cartoon where the plot holds depth even when you grow-up! And with Robin Williams as "Batty Coda" and Tim Curry as "Hexus", you can't go wrong for entertainment value! :D
Happy Illustrating =D
Monday, 12 November 2012
Just wanted to share a little watercolour owl I painted a little while ago to help lift my mood...it is the first owl I drew since my Hedwig-drawing-obsession back in the good ol' Harry Potter days of 2001 and 2002...I'll see if I can find any remnants of those drawings to show you sometime :)
Although the image makes it seem large, the owlette is only 2 inches in size, thus why there isn't as much detail as others illustrations i've posted :)
I think I might brings owls into my art-repertoire a bit more, as they are really cute, fun to illustrate and are a more grown-up and socially acceptable option if you are secretly obsessed with fairies ;D
Happy Hooting! :D
Friday, 9 November 2012
So I like seriously love chocolate. I can’t even deny it. If I can’t decide what I feel like baking, it usually ends up involving cocoa powder or a block of 70%...the other day was no exception.
I haven’t baked for ages, and for someone who used to do so minimum weekly, it’s rather shameful to admit my falling-out with the mix-master. But, in that time I have gotten surprisingly fitter, which is probably a tell-tale sign of my inability to stop at one piece/slice/square…
So I decided it was time to get my baking-on, admittedly ‘cus I had cravings, but I wanted to make something I haven’t made before…So I tried these, and it turned out that they tasted pretty awesome. So awesome, that I decided straight-away that I wanted to share the baking love (thus why the photos aren’t exactly artistic, as it was a spur of the moment decision!)
So enjoy some chocolate-baking-love today…it is lifting for both the spirit and the waistline!
Recipe lovingly adapted from Bakerella’s Black-Bottom Cupcakes.
250g Light Cream Cheese (room temperature)
½ cup Sugar
½ cup Cream
100g 70% Chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1 ½ cups Plain Flour
1/3 cup Cocoa (unsweetened)
½ tsp Bicarbonate Soda
1 cup Brown Sugar
3 Medium Over-ripe Banana’s
1/3 cup Rice-Bran Oil
Pre-heat fan-forced oven to 160°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin-papers.
Beat cream cheese until smooth.
Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add egg and beat in well. Add cream, and beat in well.
Roughly chop chocolate, add to cheese mixture and mix well. Set aside.
Into a bowl sift in flour, cocoa and bi-carb. Add sugar and combine well.
Beat banana’s until smooth. Add flour mixture and mix on low, whilst adding the oil in a stream.
Once well combined, evenly spoon into muffin-papers and press to fill the bottom.
Then top evenly with the cheesecake mixture.
Bake for 25 minutes, until cheesecake top is just set.
Will give a scrumptiously moist cupcake, cooking for longer will dry it out, so don't fear it being wobbly when you remove it from the oven :)
They taste great straight form the oven when the choc bits are all melty-gooey goodness, but equally delish straight from the fridge, no re-heating required! So you get the best of both worlds with these, a yummy fresh one now and a yummy cold one for later =D
Happy Baking :D
Monday, 5 November 2012
This is for those of us who don't do Monday's, or mornings for that matter.
This is a watercolour and ink illustration I made upon setting out to try my own version of the gorgeous piece by Ewa Ludwiczak. I discovered her illustrations by chance, when conducting a random image search (for fairy-inspiration of course!). I'm so glad I did, as she is one of my favourite artist's! Ewa's work is so beautifully exquisite, and I admire her skill for intricate details, bold use of colour and cute imaginative characters :) See Ewa's website and facebook page, for many more amazing illustrations...
|Illustration © 2011 Ewa Ludwiczak|
Replicating works you love by other artists' is a great way to experiment with new skills and techniques which are not a part of your repertoire! And because art is so one-of-a-kind, it's almost impossible to do an exact copy, as your own style reveals itself in all you do :)
Happy Illustrating :D
Sunday, 4 November 2012
I had always wanted to create a night-time background, but with a glowing fairy...and I'm rather proud with this, my second attempt at the look (no-one is ever going to see the first, besides yours truly!).
It took absolutely ages to layer washes of watercolour to get the smooth graduation, but the result is worth it :) This piece also gave me confidence that I can draw a pose straight-away, without too much pre-planning, to just go for it! And see, the proportions aren't too bad for painting straight, with no pencil prep at all!
Happy illustrating to all my fairy-loving-folks =D
Monday, 29 October 2012
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
This is an illustration I gave my sister for her birthday...only 4 months later :P *artist's problems*
I took her love of africa and the letter of her first name as my starting point, and then I found a picture of a zebra-print shoe and knew I wanted to incorporate zebra-print into the dress somehow...I was surprised with how easily the design for this piece came to me, seeing as how with some which seem simpler take so much more planning!
I'm rather pleased with it, design-wise, there are flaws I see, but I didn't want to re-start it for a third time! And yes, painting the stripes did take as long as it looks! Hope you enjoy it :)
Happy Drawing :D
Monday, 22 October 2012
Finally, my second party-theme post! I’ve had these photos since last October (when I threw the party), but I was good and waited to show them until the relevant planning time :)
This was such a fun theme to do, and I didn’t really spend much money, by using many bits and pieces I’ve collected over the years. So have fun with it, and use the Halloween season as a great excuse to throw a get-together with your friends!
I went with a slightly glam look, using black, white, orange and silver, as the colour scheme. Here’s a list of what I used to create the look, but by using what you have access to, your party will be uniquely yours!
· Various paper lanterns for roof (newspaper, tissue paper)
· Branch (painted black) in vase with baubles
· Cauldron (old cooking pot)
· Antique looking cake stand
· Antique teapot with black fake flowers
· Mushroom, owl and hand ornaments
· Different silver cutlery
· Orange candle holders
· Large fake spiders
· Black and orange plates and napkins
· Silver teacups and milk bottles with ribbon
· Sweets displayed in jars – Liquorice, black jellybeans, caramel popcorn
Planning the food is lots of fun! Halloween is perfect to get creative with giving normal foods a whole other creepy interpretation :) Here’s what I served:
· Eyeballs (meatballs) with Pumpkin sauce on Maggots (risoni pasta)
· Witches brew (raspberry and lime punch)
· Eyeball cookie-dough pops (coated in white choc, and smarties)
· ‘Vampire bite’ red velvet cupcakes (poke holes, and drip jam for blood)
· ‘Spiders’ (Chang’s egg noodles mixed into melted chocolate)
· ‘Ghosties’ (Milk arrowroots with glaze icing, smarties and half jellybean)
Games and Activities
Last year, we just ended up dancing like crazy-dressed-up-people to really loud Halloween-themed tunes! But here are some other activities, if your not keen to jump around the room like a kid on cordial!
· Boo boxes (Bowls containing food items (spaghetti, gherkins, porridge etc), covered by a box with a hole just large enough for a hand, then watch your guests squirm whilst they guess what they are touching!)
· Costume Competition
· Cluedo Board Game
· Spooky celebrity heads (Lady GaGa, Michael Jackson, Agent Kay etc)
Definitely recommend a themed playlist, adds a nice element to the event.
· Purple People Eater
· Monster Mash
· Ghostbusters Theme
· Sweet Transvestite
· Wild Thing
· Born This Way
· Bad Romance
· Time Warp
· Phantom Overture
· Werewolves of London
· Don’t Wanna Let You Go (5ive)
· Poison (Grove Coverage)
Happy Haunting! =O
Sunday, 29 July 2012
Hello to all my fellow little pinch of fairy dust followers! I know it has been far too long since we have been able to hang-out, and I am very sad for it :( Alas, here we meet again!
I have been meaning to post this artwork for some time now, but time has slipped past at an alarming rate! I can't believe that we are nearing August already!
The works of Shirley Barber were my first exposure to the realm of fairy-art, as a wee four year old. She uses such intricate and beautiful detail in her works, and brings the mysterious world of fairies to life! I love her exquisite butterfly wings, and dresses which drip with gorgeous gold embroidery and transparent sections, reminiscent of lacewings and spiderwebs...
She is also known for her fairy-alphabet, where there was series with a fairy accompanying each letter of the alphabet. I have always loved the idea of making a gift of art personal, thus the concept of incorporating the letter of the recipients' first name is perfect :)
Here is one that I gifted earlier this year which I love. In addition using my friend's first letter, I also modelled the figure's hair on her colour and regular style, and made the dress her favourite colour :)
I hope that you like it, and that it makes up for the absence!
Think about all the little things you can do to make gifting art or baking more personalised... it is easy to remove gift-card guilt by adding a handmade card or even just writing a non-generic message can lift someone's spirits! (I rely on this often!) And if you're a keen baker, I also love the idea of baking something scrumptious, including the recipe and boxing it in lovely packaging :)
Happy Drawing :D