5/29/2011

Exciting deliveries...

Have you ever had a tough week that all seems so worth it thanks to someone amazing?

My little lady friend Sarah 
who if you've ever read this blog before, you'll know is my very best baking and crafting accomplice, 
turned up on my doorstep the other day,
holding these...


If you didn't already know, I love daisies!
These are straight out of her garden, which makes them even more beautiful.


A perfect excuse to further learn my way around my camera.
I think I'm getting somewhere?


And as if they weren't enough, Samm bought me these home after being away on my brother's stag do...

My room smells so incredible right now!


That's enough exciting deliveries for one week right??
Oh ok one more...

I'm going to see the Subways!! (again)

 Life is sweet right now =)

P.S. I've been making new things that I'll share soon...


5/25/2011

Rainbow cupcakes

I'm now only one exam away from graduating from University!
These few weeks have been the most crazy stressful of my life.
How have I stayed sane?
Regular breaks to drink tea and bake cakes with one of my favourite little ladies Sarah.

We recently made the most delicious beetroot and chocolate cake 
that we posted the recipe for here.

To follow that, we needed something equally exciting.

Nothing says happiness like rainbow cake!!

I'd noticed though that EVERY tutorial I've seen to make rainbow cakes is essentially 
1. Buy instant cake
2. Add some colours.
Stuff that! Let's do this properly...







So... If you'd like to give these guys a go... (They're SUPER easy!!)

You will need...
100g unsalted butter
130g granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130g flour
1 and a half teaspoons baking powder
60ml milk
a pinch of salt
and of course... LOTS of food colouring

We topped them off with butter icing and sprinkles... but you don't have to. 
(you'll need more butter and some icing sugar if you want to ice them like ours
... and sprinkles)

So... first, Beat the butter and sugar together until it's light and fluffy.

And the eggs and the vanilla extract. 
Beat again.

Now, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt.

Next, slowly add the flour mixture into the first mixture, adding the milk at the same time.
This works best if you add a little mix, a little milk, a little mix... you get the idea!


Now, you need to separate the mixture into some smaller containers...



Then go nuts with the colours...


Then go even more nuts in your pouring them into cases... 
The great thing is that the colours don't mix in and go murky, 
so you can shove in as many as you want to one little cupcake.




Now bake for 15 minutes on what I'd guess to be 220C
(Our oven is pants, so we just crank it up to full for everything)

When they're done, don't be disheartened if the colour doesn't look very bright on top!!
The inside will be fabulous, I promise.

Once they've cooled a little, mix up some butter icing 
(Just smush in icing sugar and butter until it's the right consistency)
Then... if you are so inclined, throw in the colour of your choice....


Ice the buns...


Shake ya sprinkles...


Et voila!!

These little beauts taste best when shared with friends,
especially accompanied by a pot of tea and a gossip!

Enjoy.



5/24/2011

Go and check out....

...this little post that I was involved in over on Isle of Tea,
along with the lovely Sarah.

The recipe for possibly THE tastiest cake I have ever eaten =)
Beetroot and chocolate cake!



Have a lovely week

x

5/20/2011

Daisy, daisy.

Hello love.

I've been creating something new.



I have a massive thing for daisies.
I think they're the most beautiful of all the flowers.


So I decided to make myself this hairpiece. 
It bugged me that I didn't have any slightly larger hair things. So now I do!


I think I may make more... Maybe on headbands next time.
What do you think?
A contender for my coming soon Folksy collection?


(Sorry about the terrible quality photo of me! Maybe I should stick to "things")

While I'm on the daisy love... 
Here's a picture I adore that Samm took for me during the first Summer we spent apart... 
because it reminded him of me, n'aww! 


P.S. I must say a proper THANK YOU to Claire from Heart Handmade UK for giving me some really useful photography hints a while ago. 
I hope my "skill" is slowly improving - if so - it's thanks to her 
(go check out her blog if you haven't... it's TOO pretty!)

Also... I'm excited to say... I will be posting a special little something here for Mollie Johanson's virtual tea party next week. All I shall say is there's hundreds and thousands EVERYWHERE!

5/16/2011

Dear readers...

Am I the only one sad enough to be totally heartbroken at losing two days worth of comments after the blogger meltdown?
I feel like I lost an opportunity to say hello to lots of new people, and thank them for their encouragements. So to whoever those 7 or 8 people were who I never got the chance to get back to...
Hello and thank you!
(Plus selfishly, my most commented on blog post ever quickly became a post with just 1 little hello)

On a brighter note!!

I've been making a "graduate list" ...
Have I ever mentioned how much I love to make lists?
...of things I want to do once I graduate from University (which is scary soon)
A BIG thing on that list is to open a Folksy shop.
It's something I've been wanting to do for months now.

I have lots of beautiful friends and family all encouraging me endlessly,
but I feel I've also "met" some very smart and lovely people through this blog.

So... I would LOVE some advice from people who've been doing this longer than I...
or from people who have a Folksy or an Etsy already...
or from people like me who just love to shout about their opinions...


At this point, I stop to consider my question.
How's my blog doing?
Like my header?
Would you buy what I create?
Do I need to grow my blog more before launching a Folksy?
?

Do you know what... the floor is open... I have SO many questions for you... whoever you are...
So please - feel free to answer whatever it is you think I may be trying to ask.

Much obliged,

Nikki Joy x

PS. Thank you - for whatever kind words you may have given me before, for following me, or even taking the time to read this. You're lovely.

5/11/2011

5 minute DIY - "To do... save the planet"

I love a good recycle, restyle, refasion, reuse, re-anything. 
It's SO important to look after our world.
So... today I finished my final final final piece of work for University  (A whole day and a half before deadline. Yaaay!)
... but on my return from getting it printed and bound, 
I realised that the project has just left me with tonnes of paper, mostly only used on one side. 
and I mean TONNES!! 
Half way to the recycle bin though... a thought struck me. 

Not only do I love great planet saving ideas.
I LOVE making lists.
Actual weird levels of love.

So... what better than a reused-paper to-do list pad!
It took only a matter of minutes, and I still have lots of paper left.
Nothing fancy, but I'll share in case you like our world too =)

You will simply need... 
Paper. Any amount, any type, any size, colour, lined or plain.
A little piece of card.
A paper guillotine. Scissors will do if you have more patience than I do.
A sewing machine. A needle will do if you're less prone to stabbing yourself than I am.

The leftovers of my dissertation.. 



1. Decide some arbitrary size to chop up lots of paper into. And chop. (I cut A4 into thirds)
2. Stack your papers neatly
3. Chop up a piece of card so that it's the same width but longer than the paper...
4... Like that. (I told you this was easy!)


5. Fold the excess over the top (This is too much excess, I cut some off afterwards)
6. Make sure your machine needle is not threaded (to make perforations, not to stitch paper together).
7. Allow your machine to do a super speedy perforation job for you... 
(Don't put too many through at once, for the sake of your poor needle)
8... Like this!

At this point you should line the fold of the card with glue to hold the paper in.
(apologies for the lack of photo at this point... I was too busy taking pictures of my silly bunny taking a nap)
Until you have a little something like this...


OK so I may have also had a doodle and a fancy cut while I was forgetting to take photos...

But look...!!


...forgiven??

x

5/05/2011

I just had to share the cuteness...

It's been a long week in my world. 
I graduate from university this Summer so I'm fighting against deadlines at the moment, 
hence the saddening lack of creating!

BUT... Through the clouds of dissertations and word counts, shine...

1. My brand new sewing box...


How sweet is it??
The French means "workshop of style" if I'm not mistaken?
 I am totally in love with it... and the best part is, it only cost me £5!
My gorgeous friend Hannah took me to this ridiculous craft-meets-cash-and-carry warehouse, 
I could have spent SO much money!
I will DEFINITELY be going back before the big day =)


2. Coming home from a long day at the library to these from my lovely man...


(Not only these, but a big SLAB of moist toffee cake... He knows me so well.)


3. THIS article about a rabbit jumping competition in Germany made my day...


I'm SO taking little Lilly next year!
If she ever gets out of my sock drawer...


Bless her wonky little nose.

Anyway... I promise it won't be long until more pictures of my creating
...and hopefully a picture or three from a potential open mic performance soon! Excited!!



5/03/2011

Bridesmaid planning (1) Shoes!

I'm soon to be a bridesmaid!

Which is especially exciting as it's the wedding of my lovely housemate Liz and my big brother.

We're getting our bridesmaid dresses handmade by a nice local lady, 
but it's up to me to accessorise however I wish... FUN!

So... I thought I'd share some of my ideas...

First... Shoes...


1. top left - Barratts
2. top right - Barratts 
3. bottom left - Schuh
4. bottom right - Schuh

In the end, one of the other bridesmaids decided on pair 1, 
pair 2 were just too white,
my lovely man is the best man, and not the tallest guy, so may have cried at pair 3,
and pair 4 were just slightly beaten by my final choice...


Aren't they so elegant??
I have been parading around the house in these ever since I got them home. 
They go just great with my PJs!
I would LOVE to show you you bride's shoes but I'm under a strict vow of secrecy.


Now I just need to sort out...
earrings,
necklace,
hair accessories,
and... maybe a bracelet.

Any ideas?

I kind of want to stick with handmade for the jewellery, so I'll be scouring Folksy. 
I promise to share my findings...