Archive for the ‘Baked goodness’ Category

I’ve been procrastinating over a commission piece I’m supposed to be working on …I’m a little burnt out after the last one – Because it was a rush job with a window of only 3 weeks, I ended up working both days and evenings to complete it on time.

So instead of painting New Zealand birds and bush, I’ve been watching The Mighty Boosh – Which I have somehow never seen before – And making Red Onion jam.

I seem to have used up all my blank sticker paper, so had to make do with labels made out of the brown tape I usually use to back my canvases and picture frames. That meant I needed to come up with a sort of longish image to fit the tape, rather than the swamp monsters I did last time.  I think Narwhal jam is totally awesome! No Narwhals were harmed in the making… Though my finger came out a little worse for wear, after a run in with the serrated knife on the very very last 1/2 onion, of the 2kgs of onions I chopped up. Ouch!

Luckily the deliciousness of this jammy sticky oniony process way out-weighed the damage… I’m thinking now I need an excuse to make these cute as and uber tasty looking bite size Brie pops. Or maybe I should just go all out and bake a whole brie wheel and eat it with fresh baguette instead!?!

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Birthday girl

My Tui has just turned a big three today… So this is my Happy Birthday for my darling.  It means her sleeps are almost non existant in the daytime now, and with the waiting lists for pre schools here being rather long it leaves me with no daytime space to create and just way too tired in the evenings.  Its something I’ve got to work on fixing. But I guess there just may be a few less posts in the meantime. Anyways. This is the extent of my making at the moment : Jungle cake, complete with a jelly lake with m&m pebbles and edible glitter. It was supposed to have palm trees too – But now that it is warming up here in Melbourne I couldn’t get the chocolate flakes to cool down enough where I had melted them to fuse with the leaf canopy parts, and our fridge was way too full of party food to fit the cake in *read : cheerios and beer*  Ah well. I’m pretty pleased with the result anyways and Tui was pretty stoked.

Today was a trip to the zoo. Tui got to see Lions, Orangoutangs, Elephants, Snakes and some pretty big Spiders. So the theme tied in pretty well.

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After writing my last post I went to bed and ended up dreaming about shopping for china plates.  So I thought I better follow through…

I would really like to be painting these birds on beautiful white or cream vintage saucers with gorgeous ornate detailing – A bit of embossing, Scalloped edges or gilt. However first I need to do some basic testing and fully work through the idea, So I picked up these basic white saucers from our local Sally Army shop.  I found a set of three, which is a good start. Here is the first one along with the Chocolate-Vanilla cupcakes Tui helped me bake … Mnnnn they look so good with the piped frosting and sugar hearts I think I may need to paint them!

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So here is the finished result of my Friday brightness… Tui is having on and off again daytime sleeps so its taken me until now to finish the linework for it.

Unfortunately its just a no go for when she’s up… She love love loves my paints. Even though its less complex than the native birds I’ve been working on of late, its still taken a bit of time to finish off – Missing that guaranteed two hour block each day *sigh*

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And here is the last of the Kotare set *for now* that I’ve been working on – It’s taken me a bit this week to get it done… Tui has dropped her daytime sleep, so the only painting time I now have is in the evening, If I’m not too exhausted.So next I get to focus on getting another almost-finished commission piece done, done and sent, and then I’ll let myself start on a new idea thats been in my head for a week or so.  Exciting!


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A couple more small gouache works on handmade flax paper in my new Kotare series.  These little ones are 10x19cm masked, with a 3.8cm flax border.The one with cupcakes on the left was for a friends birthday today… She got those red velvet cupcakes last night, so felt appropriate to add them into the pic… oh so cute!

Notice how the flax paper on the left is darker? Thats the difference between varnished and non-varnished like the one on the right. I’m going to seal that one too to prevent the gouache cracking an flaking off, but the varnish makes it a bit tricky to photograph at night with all the spotlights in our kitchen.

I likes how her cupcake piece turned out so much, I thought I’d add another to the series too.

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Rocket cake

Today was a cooking day. I made delicious gnocchi with roast paprika pumpkin, baby spinach, beetroot leaves, Kalamata olives and garlic crumbs + more fresh baked bread. Then moved on to this rather-delicious-looking-I-can’t-wait-to-eat-you dark chocolate and beetroot cake for my little bros birthday *Thanks Deb for the help! *   I had a bit of an icing disaster in the process… Damn you Australian dairy products that have been thickened with gelatin – I have never had my cream cheese and dairy milk chocolate icing fail before, but today it definitely did. Luckily, nothing like adding a bit a milk and way more cocoa to fix the problem!  And I’m rather pleased w how the rocket turned out, even if the purple/grey part did stick to the bench in a rather epic way. …Now just to keep my paws off it until Duncs gets back from work!

I’ve put the recipe up on my food thoughts page – But without the failed icing, its not hard to google a good chocolate cream cheese icing though, Jamie Oliver does a good one…

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