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Gymnastics is a happy part of Lydia’s life at the moment so it seemed like a fun idea to make an appropriate cake topper for her 6th birthday. I wanted to use a medium that would dry hard and keep it’s shape. If only the gum paste had lived up to my optimistic expectations! It dried hard, but also seemed dry, hard to work with and cracked like crazy. The only thing I had on hand was vegetable shortening which kind of worked to make it more pliable, it wasn’t wonderful but was better. Anyhoo, next time I might try modelling paste, apparently it doesn’t dry out as fast.

The rainbow sponge cake went better. Gel colours gave a good strong colour to the batter and cream cheese icing made everything taste good. Lydia was happy and that’s the main thing!

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Adding vegetable shortening made it a bit easier to work with but wasn’t completely successful.

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Knitted up one of my favourite vest patterns (Sublime’s Henry Tank) and used this train chart from a thrift shop magazine, I think it must be from the 80’s. Knitted to fit a three year old and cut the chart down so it fitted onto a smaller vest.

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Had a lot of fun making up this cot quilt to go overseas. Used the ‘tracing off internet pics’ to make up my applique pieces. I recommend using a pencil rather than a sharpie marker or you’ll have permanent marker all over your screen!

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I just had to try doing this ‘cos I haven’t been able to find any fit overs that are light and don’t look like grandmas… oh, I am a granny! I found a cheapo $4 pair of sunnies that became the sacrificial prototype. Choosing the right size and shape is critical to the sucess, spend some time checking they will cover up both the glasses and ear pieces.

Don’t tell Stan but I started cutting the nose pieces off with a serrated cheese knife before I remembered that there might be a tool in the shed that would do the job. Hey, so that’s what a hack saw must be for! Be really careful not to scratch your lenses. The photos below show the process step by step. The Loctite instant adhesive worked brilliantly to glue the nose pieces back on in another place. Might try on a pair I actually like now.

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Choose sunnies that will cover lenses and ear pieces

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Choose solid nose pieces that you can cut off in one piece.

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Don’t use a cheese or steak knife, you might ruin it…

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Use a hack saw to cut off the nose pieces in one piece.

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Now spend hours carefully sanding out the roughness, (shhh, also used an iron to melt smooth)

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Glue the nose pieces inside at the very top to make a shelf to sit on your glasses

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Kind of looks like this

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Camo’s not my thing but they worked, also didn’t come off during a day at the zoo!

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Woohoo, Ari turned 3 years old! One of his choices this year was for a train cake and Cath Kidston’s blog had an awesome cake idea to try. I bought a chocolate log roll for the front engine and made a 20cm x 20cm black forest cake which gave me enough cake to make the three carriages and the cab part of the engine. Happy Birthday little one xx.

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Last year we had enormous fun getting ready for our daughter and son in law’s wedding.  It was a privilege for us to do some hand crafted things as a way of showing our love and support of them. There are so many ideas of what you can do, it boils down to what suits the bride and groom and how much do you can and want to do. Fortunately family on both sides combined their talents to do these special things. I have some of Ruth Gilmour photographer  amazing photos to show the efforts that made it to the day.

hydrangeas drying

Great friends who let me raid their gardens

drying hydrangeas

The variety stuns me, these are only a few of the hundreds we dried for the day.

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Using tins and hessian twine for the tables

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Bigger bunches went into galvanised buckets for floor decorations


Tubs of pampus and hydrangeas went at the entrance

chair hydrangeas

Chair bouquets of hydrangeas wrapped in hessian and twine

chapel inside

outside grain exchange

Pampus at the Grain Exchange entrance.

seating plan

room over view

Inside the Grain Exchange. As night came on the twinkle lights looked better and better.

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Mr. and Mrs. stenciled bunting

table setting

Hessian runners, cut rounds of wood and ivy down the middle

twinkle lights on table

Bent wire table number holders

twinkle lights in jar

Twinkle lights make everything look cool!

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Little raspberry jam jar name tags

wedding cake

And the cake on a hessian covered table with an awesome heart carving.

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This cot quilt idea came from a block by April Mazzoleni. I love her cute elephant and the patch-worked hill. She had 1 inch squares which I switched out for 1.5 inch squares. Thank you April.

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