This past weekend I went on a short camping trip with my dad out to West Hawk Lake in the Whiteshell. We usually try and get out there at least once a summer and it's really nice to be outside and on the water. Fall seems to come so much faster out there, all the poplar trees were already turning yellow and every morning when I woke up it smelled clean and crisp like October mornings.
I love being out in the Whiteshell because of all the trees, going for walks in the forest/ Manitoba escarpment and especially collecting all the birch bark that has started to peel off the tree trunks - on it's own of course! I have always loved birch bark. It's a little weird. I think it's because of how papery and smooth it is. I always imagined writing letters on it when I was little.
I found a few good pieces over the weekend and brought them home with the intent of doing....something....with them. I didn't feel like just pinning them up on my wall, they needed something a little bit more...plus I really wanted to try writing on it. Turns out its a pretty good writing surface...and an even better material for embroidery! The bark is more brittle than cloth but it's super soft and punctures easily with an embroidery needle. I chose some words from one of my favourite She & Him songs and a few little green star flowers, just to try it it out. It made me excited for all kinds of other embroidered bark projects, I think another camping trip is in order!
So, when one of my friends asked me if I wanted to come over and bake carrot cupcakes with her and add ginger frosting I leaped at the chance. I love cupcakes. And I love ginger.
walnut carrot cupcakes (recipe modified from smitten kitchen)
2 C. all purpose flour.
2 tsp. baking soda.
2 tsp. ground cinnamon.
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg.
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger.
11/2 C. brown sugar.
1 1/4 C. vegetable oil.
4 large eggs.
3 C. grated peeled carrots.
1 C. coarsely chopped walnuts.
sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. in a separate bowl mix together oil and sugar. add in eggs one at a time. add to flour mixture and stir until blended. stir in carrots and walnuts. Divide batter among prepared cupcakes pans. bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean with only a few crumbs. let cool. makes approximately two dozen. more accurately 21.
ginger cream cheese frosting.
1 package of softened cream cheese.
1/4 C. butter, softened.
1 1/2 C. icing sugar.
fresh grated ginger.
in an electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy, five minutes. add sugar and mix. start grating in fresh ginger, tasting along the way until you find an amount you like. I know, super exact right? We really like ginger so we probably added about 1/8 of a cup of fresh grated ginger, but start with less, taste it and go from there.
once your cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with an offset spatula.
_silk flowers. i chose to go with one type of smaller flowers, but choose whatever your heart desires!
_floral wire. this is 26 gauge, it'll be in the same aisle as the other floral tools.
_floral tape. (stem wrap tape.)
ribbon. i chose mint.
_pearls, large enough to slide over your wire.
2_wrap the wire in floral tape. tip: floral tape gets sticker and holds better the more you pull it, so pull tight and wrap in kind of on an angle as you go. do not cover the ends.
3_prep your flowers. cut off the blooms from the stems and using three inch pieces of wire place the wire under the base of the bloom, cross the ends to opposite sides and continue twisting so that the bloom is secure.
4_wrap your blooms in floral tape.
5_prep your pearls. using needle nose pliers curve the end of a three inch piece of wire into a swirl to keep the bead from sliding off. slide the bead on and then fold the end up and wrap around the base of the bead to keep it from moving. pinch the wire loop that is created together to create the stem.
6_wrap your beads in floral tape.
7_start adding flowers! while wearing the wire crown decide where you would like your blooms to go. attach them by placing the stem of the flower parallel to the crown and wrapping both wires together securely using floral tape, doing one bloom at a time. since the flowers and pearls are wired their angle can be adjusted after taping.
9_attach as many flowers and pearls as you like. i wanted a bit more of a sparse look and used seven pearls and nine blooms taped in clusters.
10_you can either leave your flower crown as it with the floral tape as the finished surface, or, to add a bit of colour you can wrap your crown with ribbon. before doing this try your crown on one last time and adjust the sizing before secnurely twisting and taping the ends. i found it easiest to cut a long piece of ribbon, secure it with a bit of floral tape and then wrap the ribbon carefully and tightly around the wire before using hot glue to secure the final end.
joy the baker.
for the shortcake:
1 C. flour.
1 C. whole wheat flour.
1/4 C. sugar.
2 tsp. baking powder.
1/3 C. cold butter, cut into small cubes.
1 large egg.
1 tsp. vanilla extract.
1/2 C. milk.
sugar for sprinkling.
In a bowl sift together flours, sugar and baking powder. cut in butter with a fork or pastry cutter until it looks crumbly. mix together wet ingredients. form a well in the centre of dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients, slowly mixing together. Knead together and transfer to a floured surface, kneading and stretching a few times. Form into a rectangle approximately 6"x9". I made my cakes smaller than suggested so they weren't so thick. this makes nine shortcakes. if your prefer larger, thicker pieces then form the dough into 4"x 7" and cut into six pieces. sprinkle tops with sugar and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. let cool.
for the whipped cream:
1 C. whipping cream.
1 tsp. sugar.
in an electric mixer beat the cream and sugar on high until soft peaks form. don't overbeat. you can also do this by hand, it'll just take a while longer.
for the saskatoon compote:
2 C. saskatoons.
1 1/2 C. sugar.
in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat bring saskatoons and sugar to a boil, stirring constantly throughout. let simmer for a minute or two then transfer to a bow and let cool, it should thicken up quite a bit.
To serve cut short cakes in half and layer on whipped cream and saskatoons to your hearts content.
_glasses. i used 500ml mason jars.
_glass paint. i used martha stewart all surface paint from michaels. it is apparently dishwasher safe on glass, but i have yet to see.
1_choose your designs and practice drawing them out a few times. i suggest not picking anything too complicated since you are going to be free-handing it on a curved surface. i chose to do three with the word "drink" and some little flowers and three with a pattern of leaves.
2_clean glasses with rubbing alcohol or window cleaner to remove oil/grease, let dry then start painting. go slow and take your time. if your jar has a pattern on it i suggest sticking only to the smooth portion to make it a bit easier. embrace the fact that this is your own personal set of glasses and that they won't be perfect and that each one will be a little different.
3_to get a more opaque design i suggest doing multiple coats, letting the paint dry in between. i did two coats.
4_continue painting all of your lovely glasses with as many designs as you like. try using the back end of your paint brush to create cleaner looking polka dots.
5_you have a lovely set of new glasses! let dry according to manufacturers directions. for this paint it has to cure for 21 days before being washed or filled with liquid. apparently they are dishwasher safe, but i will let you know how that goes when i have the chance to try it.
Now all I need is a cute little apartment, and maybe some cutlery.
Have a beautiful week! xo, T.
|peacock parleur letterhead and detail.|
If you would like to view more of their lovely paper work you can visit their shop here.
|Time Machine letterhead and Masked Bird Skulls letterhead.|
all images from here.
Baking time is super important with these cookies. Our first batch got left a minute too long, and although still delicious, they were a little hard. The second batch on the other hand came out a minute early and were absolutely perfect, crispy and sugary on the outside and fluffy on the inside. So the point of all this is that you really need to watch these. Or, maybe that's just me because my oven has a mind of its own....it's quite possible.
adapted from Smitten Kitchen. who adapted this from Martha Stewart. Clearly well tested.
2 3/4 C. flour.
2 tsp. cream of tartar.
1 tsp. baking soda.
1 C. butter, at room temperature.
1 3/4 C. sugar, plus more if needed.
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon, plus more if needed.
2 large eggs.
Cream the butter and 1 1/2 C. sugar in a mixer until fluffy. about 5 minutes. in a separate bowl sift together dry ingredients (do not add cinnamon yet). add eggs to butter mixture and then slowly add dry ingredients, mixing every once and a while. in a small bowl mix remaining sugar and the cinnamon. shape dough into 1/2 inch balls, roll in sugar mixture and place on a baking sheet, pressing down lightly with the palm of your hand so they are a little flattened. bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, turning the tray at the half way point. cool and eat. makes roughly 2 dozen 3 inch cookies.
Enjoy the rest of your week! xo, T.
If you're my mom this will remind you of terrible 70's jute planters. If you're me it probably reminds you of hemp girl guide bracelets. And if you're younger than me you may have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. But you will, soon.
_other supplies I decided I needed after took this photo: ribbon and glass beads.
2_tie the four threads at the top with a knot and secure to your work surface with a bit of tape. starting with the far left thread cross it over the two middle threads so that it looks like a "4."
3_then tuck the thread under the middle two threads and over the rest of the far left thread, pulling on the end until the knot tightens. don't pull it extremely tight otherwise the knot will look strange and won't lie flat. this is a d knot.
4_repeat the mirrored version with the far right thread, then the far left thread, etc., alternating sides so that this pattern is formed. you may need to press it down lightly with your finger as you go to keep it from twisting/
5_ if you would like to add some beads slip them onto any of the threads and then continue knotting as normal. (left, right or the two centre threads together.)
6_once you have reached your desired length tie the threads off and trim. i made mine long enough to wrap around my waist once.
7_cut two lengths of ribbon long enough to tie in a bow. i made mine long enough to start in the back and then wrap around my waist so that I could have the bow in the front.
8_place a bit of hot glue on one knotted end and wrap one end of the ribbon around it, making sure it's secure. repeat for the other side.
and there you go, you're very own sweet little knotted belt, perfect for all your summery dresses and fall cardigans! (yes, I'm already thinking about fall!) I think a shorter version with smaller/no beads would also make a very sweet headband.
ps. this weekend marked the one year birthday of the most delightful adventure! This year has completely flown by and this blog has been such a fun little project, thank you to all my lovely readers!
here) I realized two things: that I missed Brazil and that I hadn't really gone through any of my pictures. This is an attempt to fix that. While in Brazil for three weeks in December and January our group visited rio, santos and sao paolo. It was crazy to all of a sudden be in a super warm, super dense urban environment, but I loved it. It was so colourful, so busy, filled with samba music and delicious mangos.