Life

Bad Influences, Beer, Baking, Boxes of Stars & Burgers!

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Stabby is a proper bad influence:
“You look tired Kimbles, let me run you a bubble bath and crack a bottle of wine open!”
“Cheers Stabby”
“Nee bosh! Come on, I’ll do your back…”

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Boyfriend has slowly but surely converted me over to the dark side of Indian Pale Ale’s & Craft Beers. I’ve been saving bottles from different varieties and wanted to make a bit of a display for them without being sticky‐bottled scruffy cluttered College chic, so I cleared a shelf on my bookcase in the Living Room, added pearly fairy lights, a decorative perfume bottle, my pine cone collection and my new Halloween candles.
On another note, he’s been an absolute Star when I’ve had to sneak into the Craft Room to do a bit of last minute printing – contentedly playing my Guitar and coming up with new songs whilst I’m stressing about Crutch measurements Haha! He’s The Grind Gentleman on Soundcloud if you’d like a mooch!

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I bought this daft Solar System kit from Wilkinson’s for £3 last week to put in the Craft Room. Now, I want to paint the walls and ceiling black and daub galaxies in purple, pink and silver everywhere ❤ Might be the next decorating project when I get a bit of time and spare cash 🙂

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I made these rainbow walnut muffins with rum & vanilla frosting, mini lovehearts sweets and grated chocolate. The rainbow inside didn’t *quite* turn out like the tutorial showed, but they are still super-yummy ❤

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Matt showed me how to make Burgers last week and I was quite determined to give them a go and put my own spin on them and made Spicy smoky bacon, cheese and peanut butter burgers. It was super-easy – just four slices of bacon cut into little strips, two handfuls of grated cheese, three shakes of allspice and two heaped tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter handsquished into the mix before shaping and grilling 🙂 Quite like this savory stuff!

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Life

Berries, Bunnies & the Blues

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W.h.i.t.e.C.h.o.c.o.l.a.t.e.A.n.d.F.o.r.e.s.t.F.r.u.i.t.s.M.u.f.f.i.n.s

I made a new batch of Muffins after the Dark Chocolate & Summer Fruits batch, replacing the Dark with White & the Summer Fruits with Forest Fruits, omitting the cinnamon  (and chucking a handful of walnuts in there for good measure ^.^ ) All feedback so far has been great and they’ve earned me a few new best friends on the Boyfriends side – Haha! This has been my first attempt with something squishy in baking and I’m well chuffed with how they’ve turned out. Proper soft, moist & awesome!

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R.u.n.R.a.b.b.i.t.R.u.n.R.a.b.b.i.t

I made an example vinyl print of a sketch that’s been lurking in my Scrapbook for years a few days ago and again, quite pleased with it! Wanted to see just how fiddly it would be to produce as an actual design on Clothing and the answer is LOTS OF COMPONENTS (23 separate parts to be exact, which had to be printed in layers)! I built a Rabbit today – Haha, and she’s only 20cm tall! The stitches were quite fiddly and didn’t look right to print so I want to test out my fabric markers on vinyl vs Fabric first to see how well they hold with wear before I start scribbling on my poor Bunny. Really happy with the weeny safetypins (despite being bastards to weed!) and the patch of actual Tartan vinyl I was finally able to use 🙂  The only thing I’d change for next time is popping a tiny black outline on the holographic eyes as this’ll emphasize the contrast between those and the white face. Really looking forward to bringing the rest of my other Dolls to print! ❤ It was just lovely seeing her go from a mad idea in my head to becoming an actual presence, something I’ve been lacking the confidence in for years :/

The Original:

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 G.u.a.r.d.i.a..n.A.n.g.e.l.R.e.q.u.e.s.t.s.A.D.a.y.O.f.f

This Angel came home with me after she fell off a Shelf in front of me in Newcastle. I think she knew I needed a hand.

Matt says Don’t worry & Stay Positive.

So I will 🙂

Recipes

Dark Chocolate & Summer Fruits Muffins

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YOU WILL NEED:

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Few drops of vanilla essence
  • Pinch of Cinamon
  • 100g Dark Chocolate
  • 100g Mixed Blackberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants & Blackcurrants

[★] Heat oven to 180 C and line a muffin tray with cases. Melt the Dark chocolate in a bowl over a boiling pan of water.
[★] Cream the Sugar & Butter together, and mix all of the Ingredients together in a Bowl. Stir in the Melted Chocolate.
[★] Divide between the cases – I managed 20 with this Recipe!
[★] Bake for 25 mins, inserting a skewer to check they are cooked thoroughly. Cool on a rack.

[★] To decorate, melt a further 100g of Dark Chocolate over the pan and put 1tsp over each Muffin. Adorn with either a Raspberry or a Blackberry.

Enjoy 🙂

Life

Life is Sweet!

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I was lucky enough to be able to make another Dog-themed Birthday cake this year after making [ Sue’s Yorkie Cake back in March ] 😀

Our friends have two adorable Miniature Jack Russel/Teacup Chihuahua crosses (One of them sporting the hetero-chromatic eyes that I really dig!) and it was great fun to bake up a surprise cake featuring the two. It’s Devils food cake base with two handfuls of crushed walnuts thrown in the mix (With the usual cinnamon & vanilla extract) , chocolate fudge buttercream coating and filling, lashings of whipped cream covered in smarties and finished off with grated chocolate.

The dogs themselves were a bit of a challenge – I wanted to get the tinier head, longer body and large bat ears right, as the bunnies and Yorkies I made before were more rounder and chubbier. It took a few goes to get the ears and the backs of the heads sloping down at the back! I painted the markings on with melted chocolate, which stayed in place better than the coloured icing paste I used last time, and pushed a few chocolate drops in for the eyes 🙂

I also made them a ball, a bone & a favourite ice cream-shaped chew toy!

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Heroes Cookies from a Funsized bag of Heroes:

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There’s Fudge, Chomp, Crunchie & in there.
(The Crunchie ones didn’t like the oven very much and melted into little pools which them solidified but still tasted yummy!)

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Just thought I’d pop a few pictures of my Living Room in the Flat up here to fit in with the Sweetie Theme 😉

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Life

Stuff!

It’s been just over a month now since returning from Cuba and my tan shows no sign of fading! I miss the Country and the lessons it’s taught me – mostly never waste an ounce of your potential with the opportunities and freedoms I have, and also to be extremely *EXTREMELY* grateful for everything I’ve got.

I did enjoy the trip more when I came home, and had time and peace to reflect on things because there wasn’t so many new things to experience once I was back in the normal routines.It’s made me realise just how far I’ve came on my own, how many times I’ve fallen and how many times I’ve brushed off my bleeding knees and kept going and figuring things out on my own. Everything I’ve built – my Flat, my Job & The Wrestling Gear/Fashion design – I owe no-one for.

The best bit though, was reading my Sister’s two-week-old copy of Kerrang! #1525 on the Plane home and my eyes suddenly snagging on the feature of the Sonisphere Festival.

I recognise that Singlet 😉
Digging out my [ Smarties Cookie Recipe ], I did three batches – each with a different sweetie – and Cookie-bombed a few mates who were in need of cheering up! My favourite was the Snickers Cookies 😀
Smarties Cookies:
Mini-Snickers Cookies (With two handfuls of chopped nuts & 50g Melted Dairy Milk Chocolate):
Rolo Cookies (With 50g Melted Dairy Milk Chocolate) :
Have splashed out on a proper Sewing machine to finally make the step of proper Fashion Design, as well as Printing/Tie Dyeing Blanks. as well as helping out with the Wrestling Gear >^.^< Poor Sue will have her work cut out for her teaching me! We’ve already bought fabric for my first project – a reversable bag in cupcake print & Halloween Trick or Treat print – but haven’t had the time to begin it yet with work and our immense Gear load at the moment 😦
Kimmies got a Boyfriend! ♥
This is Matt. We’ve been seeing each other for two months now ^.^
Massive Wrestling fan, Art Lover, Guitar player, Bacon Enthusiast, Master of Cuddles & a Sweet Heart.

 

Life

Allsorts Part 2

D O U B L E . C H O C O L A T E . B A I L E Y S . B U N N Y . M U F F I N S
 
YOU WILL NEED:
275 g Plain Flour
25g Cocoa Powder
3 Teaspoon’s Baking Powder
150g Sugar
75g Butter (Melted)
150ml Bailey’s
3 eggs (Beaten)Vanilla Essence
200g White chocolate (Chopped)
200g Milk or Dark Chocolate (I used Cadbury’s Wholenut)
Optional: 5 Hobnob biscuits, Pinch of Cinnamon,
[★] Preheat Oven to 200C. Sift the Flour, Cocoa Powder & Baking Powder together in a bowl. Add the Sugar and stir together.
[★]  Add the Melted Butter, beaten Eggs, Vanilla Essence, Bailey’s and Optional: Ingredients and mix together. Stir in the Chopped White Chocolate.
[★]  Spoon into cake cases (I made 15 with this recipe!) and bake for 18-20 minutes until well risen.
[★] Melt the Brown Chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and drizzle over the cooled cakes.
[★]  I drizzled some leftover White Chocolate over the Brown for contrast and added Mini Eggs and little rabbits I’d made from Ready-to-Roll white icing ^.^

M E R M A I D S !
I had a Splat day last week with Sue being away and took a break to adorn my sketchbook with some funky colours! I quite like the one above, and gave her opaque fins and suckers down the front of her tail to contrast with her rainbow hair and black eyes. She’s probably the most tropical one that’s jumped out of my head so far ^.^

A Selkie! She’s plainer, chunkier and much less colourful than the Mermaids but is more good-natured, practical and modest.

An Orca Mermaid! I had Killer Whales and polar icebergs on the brain when I started her.

This one got scarier as I started colouring her in.
She’s a Plague Mermaid – lives in the Dark and see’s nothing but the Future and can’t speak to tell it.
When I eventually (Ha-haaa!) finish the Romance Story I’ve been working on for three years, I’d like to illustrate each new Chapter with a full-page plate before the Story resumes.

E L I S S A B A T
I treated myself to an Elissabat a few weeks ago and only got the chance to unbox her properly last night. She is bloody gorgeous! It’s lovely that Monster High have released Dolls already in their ambitions rather than not quite getting there yet, plus I’ve been waiting a while for a Gothic-Lolita styled one 😉 If they release a Monster High Wrestler Doll, I’ll be over the Moon 😀

Shelf is getting a bit full again…no? 😉
S E S S I O N S . I N . T H E . S U N
Put together Twylla’s outdoor run this morning and had her out for a few hours in the Sun this afternoon whilst I drew for a few hours. Gonna take some tunes out next time and maybe have a spare Bunny-sitter so I don’t need to pack up everytime I need the loo – haha!

She doesn’t look impressed, Bless her!
Phew – That’s all for now!

Life

Phwoar – Allsorts!

M A D E . W I T H . L O V E

After the Happy Hamster Cupcakes I made last month in my Valentine’s Day Cupcake haul, I wanted something a bit more challenging in my next Baking spree! I made this Yorkshire Terrier Birthday cake for Sue – the other half of Sukiwear – a few days ago modeled after her pet Yorkie cross – Bart!

A mooch online for ‘Marzipan Dog’ didn’t bring up any of the shapes I wanted (Although there were a few awesome lifelike ones that made my piping bag droop in shame!), so I rolled up my sleeves, popped some Orange food coloring onto a handful of Marzipan and used my imagination!

I mixed a lot of icing sugar with a tiny bit of water and black food coloring to get the thick paste I wanted, and painted the back markings on with a clean paintbrush (Wiping it vigorously with kitchen roll to remove any loose bristles!) and the eyes are chocolate drops with the points facing inwards. I made Bart’s green ball and placed it in the middle before decorating with cream and Smarties.

The actual cake is Devil’s food with Cinnamon, a few drops of vanilla bean and two handfuls of muesli to keep things interesting, and has a chocolate butter-cream filling and coating.

Feedback was really good – I took a cheeky slice home and went halfies on it with my friend from work who says I should make a career of it – Haha! 🙂

C O L O U R . M E . H A P P Y

My Happy Scrapbook remains a constant enjoyment and a work in progress. I cut out all of my daft little illustrations, cut out and stick them in and do them up in the pages. The girl above is my newest one and is littered on the right amongst the mermaid and the cuddling girls I drew in biro a few years ago – I’m really diggin’ drawing Goth Girls at the moment, and I’ll be so chuffed when the book is full!

G O O D . M O R N I N G

This is one of the many feline friends I have around my Flat. I usually see them on my way home from a Nightshift. This one loves cuddles, she’ll have a few minutes stroke from me, then rub up against a Post, and then roll around on her back for a bit on the path before going on her way.

Silly Kitty – She’s such a sweetie! 

C H A R I T Y . S H O P . H A U L S

SCOPE: The Scope in Peterlee sells books at four Paperbacks for £1 or Two Hardbacks for £1. This is partially the reason my Monster High Dolls had to upgrade to their own space recently! All of the above are a 4-for-1 deal, and I got the Crimes & Criminals book to make up the 4 – I’ll probably donate it back without having a flick through as I’ve read hundreds of books of the same nature. I’m making an effort this year to get through Classic Novels so we’re starting with two Jane Austen ones 🙂

I actually had a copy of the Vagina Monologues from the now defunct Musiczone when I first started College but this was confiscated (and probably burned) along with my “Dip me in Chocolate and throw me to the Lesbians” Tee that I bought with my Paper route money for being ‘Inappropriate’ (There’s a reason I don’t talk about my Child/TeenageHood folks!)

It was wonderful flicking through the pages and questioning my feelings on it 10 years later and how they’d changed – maturity is a responsible and more empathetic perspective.

I can’t believe someone actually gave away a copy of a Studio Ghibli film! I first saw ‘Princess Mononoke’ at Christmas just gone, and it was mine for a mere £1 😀

BHF: BHF is excellent for Bric-a-Brac, and I’ve had many an exciting find there over the years. Part of me questions whether they’re all about image and quality, and scrutinize every donation bag they get – giving the faded worn jeans and the net curtains to the other shops.

Anyway, the Harry Potter book was a brilliant find – explaining the daft little Easter Eggs within the HP Series, giving out extra info about the fandom and explaining a good bit of behind-the-scenes information about myths, legends, histories, Latin derivatives and gives a nice literature understanding of the Series. It was only written halfway through the release of the entire Series, but nice nonetheless.

The Twits continues to be my favourite Roald Dahl book. I laughed out loud whilst reading it in Costa and startled astonished fellow patrons but I didn’t care one bit 😉

I’m a bit late getting into Avril Lavigne – being greatly apposed to the popularity of her music at the time it came out, but I wanted “Under My Skin” after being impressed with “Let Go” which I bought down South at Christmas. I haven’t listened to it properly all the way through yet, but I’ve always loved “Nobody’s Home”.

I really dig fans at the moment – must be a channeling an Inner Geisha!

PDSA: I got this sensibly-priced Claire’s necklace (ie £1 instead of RRP: £4.50!) as it reminded me of the Smartie Cookies I made a while ago, and a good wodge of Indian Jingly bangles. I love the way they slide up and down your wrist and have that awesome tinkly sound 😀

Phew! That’s all for now 

Recipes

Cupcake Attack!

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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FROM THE MAD HOUSE ♥

Not fancying a solitary bottle of wine & a chick flick yesterday, I made 24 cupcakes to give out to my nearest & dearest (Which consists of three people – Haha!) and spread a bit of the Appreciation Feels.

Get Loved. Get Cake. Get Fat. Get Happy!

YOU WILL NEED:

100g/3.5oz Butter
100g/3.5oz Sugar
100g/3.5oz Self Raising Flower
2 Eggs
Optional: Pinch of cinnamon, Vanilla extract & a Handful of Porridge Oats.

PINK CAKE CASES: 100g White Chocolate
BLUE CAKE CASES: 150g Cadbury’s Wholenut

[★] Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Pop cake cases into the holes in a muffin tin. If you’re between muffin tins like I am, any sort of baking tray is fine.
[★] Cream the Sugar & Butter until smooth, and beat the eggs in a separate bowl before adding these. Stir in the Chocolate and Optional: ingredients. Sift in the Flour and fold.
[★] Divide between the Cake cases and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

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HAPPY HAMSTER CUPCAKES!

Using Marzipan & Food colouring, I followed this Tutorial:

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I had such a laugh making these, the Lady in the video makes them look so effortless whereas mine look a bit confused – and NOT like stripey poo’s – Haha! I popped them on a bed of Pink Strawberry Frosting and delightedly showed the other half of Sukiwear when she popped over in the evening for another order swap, before sending her home with a tin.

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CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM & HEART SPRINKLES

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VANILLA & WHOLENUT HEARTS

I used a can of the Squirty Vanilla frosting for these – don’t ever buy it. Ridiculously expensive waste of money as it only did 6 cakes! I melted the remaining Wholenut chocolate into these heart moulds and sprinkled the top of the frosting with chopped nuts.

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Recipes

Smarties Butterscotch Cookies

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YOU WILL NEED:

100g/3.5oz Butter
100g/3.5oz Sugar
175g/6oz Self Raising Flower
25g/1oz Porridge Oats OR dry Rice Crispies
2 tbsp Golden Syrup
Smarties to decorate
Optional: Pinch of cinnamon & Vanilla extract

[★] Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line two Baking Trays with Paper and/or Butter.
[★] Beat together the Sugar, Butter & Golden Syrup until smooth, and add the Optional: ingredients. Sift in the Flour and mix together, before folding in the Oats/Crispies.
[★] Roll the sticky mixture into walnut-sized balls and place spaciously across the baking trays and flatten the tops slightly – these babies will grow outwards as they cook so be generous with space! I had enough for 11 cookies. Decorate each ball with Smarties.
[★] Bake for 25 mins until golden. Leave on the baking sheet for 1 min before removing to a wire rack to cool.

Recipes

Gelatin-Free Bailey’s & Chocolate Cheesecake

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FOR THE BASE:

250g Biscuits – I generally use Hobnobs
100g/3.5oz Butter
50g/6oz Sugar
Optional: Handful of Porridge Oats, a few drops of Vanilla extract & a pinch of Cinammon.

[★] Preheat Oven to 220C/Gas 7. Lubricate (Heh!) a round baking tin. I never use baking paper but it’s all personal preference!
[★] Wrap the Biscuits in a parcel with clingfilm and bray them enthusiastically with a rolling pin until mostly crumbs remain.
[★] Melt the butter in a medium pan over a low heat. Add the biscuit crumbs, sugar and the optional ingredients to the liquid butter and heat gently.
[★] Once the butter is dissolved, remove from the heat and press the mixture evenly into the baking tin. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, and pop it in the fridge to set.

FOR THE TOPPING:

400g/14oz Cream Cheese
100g/3.5oz Chocolate
1 pot Double Cream
As much Bailey’s as you fancy (Keep testing this to make sure the quality is okay 😉 )

[★] Snap the chocolate into squares and melt in a bowl over a pan of hot water, and leave to cool slightly. Pour a quarter of the pot of cream into a mixing bowl and begin to whip using a hand whisk. As it stiffens, gradually add the rest of the melted chocolate and the cream (a bit at a time) until you have a lovely chocolate cream compote.
[★] Add the Cream cheese and the Baileys and beat together with the whisk. I’ve found Electric whisks murder it at this point 😦 You should have a lovely liquid gloopy mess at this point. A finger dip will confirm that it’s lovely.
[★] Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and freeze.
[★] To serve, defrost in the Fridge for 15 minutes & decorate with whatever you fancy!