Tag Archives: Polymer Clay

For The Love Of Bundt Cake – Time Travel Thursdays

Standard

Are you a fan of a good Bundt? Cake that is, Bundt Cake, that fancy looking tea-time cake that takes the shape of it’s ringed baking pan. According to the good old Wikipedia, the tern “Bundt” [pronounced as -bunt] seems to derive from the German word Bundkuchen, a ring-shaped cake. The adapted spelling as ‘bundt’ appears in print as early as 1901. So why, you may ask, am I going on about a cake pan? Well, it is Thursday after all, and that means a step back in time to take a look at things too good to be forgotten. The Bundt Pan is a beautiful item in and of itself, with new versions resembling Gothic Architecture, but I am still a fan of the classic style, the one my mother, and grandmother used.

Silver Bundt Pan by The Little Green Vintage Shop.

The cake pan shape itself makes any regular pound cake look so very lovely, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top really highlights the pattern of any particular pan. One of my favorite tricks from my Culinary School days makes any cake pan stick-proof, so cakes come out perfectly. Simply take a pat of room temperature real butter [or margarine if you prefer a vegan option] and coat the inside of the pan lightly, use a scrap of tin foil, clean paper bag, wax, parchment, or any kitchen paper to spread it easily. My mother saves the wrappers the sticks of butter come in for this purpose, which is totally brilliant of her. She keeps them in the fridge until she needs to grease up a pan. The next step is taking a small amount of flour, maybe a tablespoon or two, and then dumping it into the greased pan, do this over the sink to cut down on mess. Turn the pan slowly in your hands and let the flour ‘stick’ to the butter on the pan base. Make sure all edges are covered, then dump any excess flour out. Instant non-stick pan, especially useful for the vintage Bundt Pan. With all the concerns about new fangled non-stick coatings and health issues, it really is a way to go back to basics, literally.

Vintage Bundt Pan by The Rhubarb Studio.

Of course, you could go out and buy a brand spanking new Bundt Pan at any local Department Store, but why not rescue one with some lovely retro charm and vintage credentials. Not only do they make lovely cakes, but the shape is so iconic, people often hang them on walls, use them as planters, or up-cycle them into light fixtures and other amazing do-dads. The ones I have featured on this page are vintage finds from Etsy. These and others are priced so reasonably, often less than a new one, and have that rustic charm built in.

Vintage Stoneware Pfaltzgraff Bundt Pan by The Vintage Heiress.

You didn’t think I would just show a pile of cake pans without sharing my favorite recipe did you? This one is a family favorite, and despite a year of formal Culinary education, I would pick this cake over some of the most fancy schmancy pastries out there. This ones pulls me back in time to the 1970s, when my mother would whip them up regularly if we were getting unexpected guests at the cottage or if she wanted to fill out a large party buffet. This is what I refer to as “back-of-the-box” cooking. You know, those recipes most of us ignore on the packages of food we buy? Well I suspect this one was actually on the Jell-O Pudding box at one time, and I can just picture my mother in 1978, with four children under the age of five, trying to find fast and easy crowd pleasing fare. This is one of those recipes.

Yes, it is exactly that easy. It may not be vegetarian or gourmet, but it is delicious and inexpensive. It also bakes with a beautiful golden brown colour outside, but when sliced you can see a slightly green tinted moist and light cake. You can bump up the green with a little food colouring, just a few drops of green [if you are so inclined], to make the perfect St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

This cake has a story behind it in my family. It was a loved recipe, that somehow time forgot by the 80s, when the required Pistachio Jell-O Pudding mix seemed to vanish from the grocery shelf. When we rediscovered it in the 90s, the recipe was long lost and no longer on the package. This was before the great big “World Wide Web” and search engines, and we were sure it was lost forever. Then on a family trip to the ‘States’, we happened upon an old bookstore, and my mother and I were browsing cookbooks. My roaming hands fell upon a Jell-O recipe collection book, and I remembered that cake… and wouldn’t you know it, the recipe was in there! We (now quite guiltily) remember scribbling the recipe down on a piece of scrap paper, and hooray we had it again. Now you have it too.

Your New Collection. Vintage Bundt Pans. by Funretro.

Beyond the obviously Fab vintage Bundt Pans that can be found, there are a lot of lovely items other than cake, that are inspired by that great pan shape. Here are just a few adorable finds. Lovely artwork and miniatures, even jewelry. with the availability of the “Mini” Bundt Pan, people are using it for all sorts of things too, like some fabulous hand-made soaps. Any of these would make lovely gifts, but the gift of a home-baked cake for your family may just be the best thing this Valentine’s Day.

Persimmon Bundt Cake And Espresso- Open Edition Print by Janet Hill, http://www.etsy.com/shop/janethillstudio?ref=pr_shop_more on Etsy.

Original Painting -Red Velvet Bundt Cake at Bookclub 9×12 inch by S. Kim Graber, LaurenFaythe on Etsy.

Dollhouse Miniature Food Raspberry Bundt Cake Slice by Fairchildart.

Strawberry Bundt Cake Pendant by Christina Cainan, Mini Mia Accessories on Etsy.

Bundt Cake Pan Pendant Lamp by Spoken Stitch on Etsy.

Set of 3 Handcrafted Goatmilk Soaps Applejack & Peel Bundt Cake Soaps by Marcia, Adirondacks Soaps on Etsy.

White Truffle Raspberry Bundt Cake Candle..Made with all natural soy wax by Danielle, Pookaberrys Candle Bakery on Etsy.

Advertisements

Wacky & Wonderful Wednesdays – Let The Games Begin

Standard

If you’ve read them, you get it. If you haven’t read them, what the heck are you waiting for? No, I am not talking about the *shudder* ever popular sparkling vampire meets girl meets wolf sappy teen pulp series that shall remain nameless, yes that one. I am talking about a series of books that redefines Teen Fiction as a genre, and doesn’t wrap up in the end with a shiny pink bow. I am speaking of The Hunger Games, the must-read three book series by Suzanne Collins that is soon to be a must-see movie scheduled for release in late March of 2012. Wednesday’s are all about the things that fall under the heading “geekery”, and today… book geeks shall rejoice!

I read, a lot, and I have read a lot of Teen Fictions. The Hunger Games is unlike any series of books I have read before, it presents a cruel vision of the future where the vast difference between the classes is for some, quite literally, a matter of life and death. Before this becomes a book review, something this blog is not about, I need to say that praise for these books, and the passionate following they have garnered is absolutely well placed. As I said to my 14 year old niece in a recent “book club” phone call, these books are not about happy endings, they are about reminding us to appreciate the good things in life, the people we love, and about the horrors of war.

They are not for everyone, particularly every teenager, but if you love The Hunger Games series, or love someone who does, you will understand the flourishing market for items that remind readers and fans of their heroes and the messages these books highlight. I would go further to say that handmade, one-of-a-kind [OOAK], and unique items are more likely to delight true fans of the books. Forget the licensed and mass marketed items that will no doubt be flooding stores soon. I believe Katniss Everdeen, the hero of The Hunger Games trilogy of books, would be the first to tell you that it is the rare finds that are often are the ones worth having.

This selection of Hunger Games inspired items would be a dream come true for any fan, and make a perfect Valentine’s gift or birthday present. This is a something that means something more than yet another mass produced something. That is a lot of somethings. Call it geekery, call it being a book nerd, say that it is fanatic fandom, but you just have to love someone who loves to read.

All items featured here were found on Etsy, and all details and links can be found at the end of this post. Whether you are a fan of the books or not, you can certainly appreciate the appeal of these beautiful, handmade, and OOAK items. Enjoy, and pick up a great book that you can get lost in today. May the odds be ever in your favor.




  1. Golden Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen Mokingjay Pin by  Ryanrunsriot, A Weary Wandering Etsy Shop.
  2. Vintage Linen Czech Military Bag, Hand Painted Mockingjay – Hunger Games Inspired by Cindy, CLP Studio on Etsy.
  3. The Hunger Games Inspired Rue’s Lullaby Hand Stamped Silver Necklace With Charms by Shelby Issac, shelbyissac on Etsy.
  4. Hunger Games Books Fringe Charm Bracelet by sophiesbeads, Sophie’s Beads on Etsy
  5. Mockingjay Headband in Double Braided Leather by Michele, quirk shop on Etsy.
  6. The Hunger Games – Katniss Arrow, Mockingjay, Freshwater Pearl and Key Charms – Ladies Working Watch Necklace by Twilight Eyes Studio on Etsy
  7. Hunger Games Altered Book Purse Featuring a Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins by Erin Strauss, Make Believe Books LLC on Etsy
  8. Hunger Games 74th, Filigree Mockingjay Katniss Necklace by Jackie, geraldsbargains Movies & Books That INSPIRE on Etsy

Teeny Tiny Tuesdays – Wee Patisserie

Standard

I am the kind of girl that never says no to a great cheesecake. I never kicked a cookie out of bed, and I have never tossed a cupcake wrapper without making sure I got every last crumb of yum. Yes I love my sweets. Sweets rank right up there with my other loves, such as fun fashions, cheeky geeky goodies, and itty bitty joys. When I this eye-catching creation by DIVINEsweetness on Etsy came up in a recent search, I knew I had to share it with my fellow Fab Foragers.

This amazing Crimson Red French Macaron Ring is just one of the amazing hand sculpted polymer clay accessories created by Ciara of DIVINEsweetness. It measures just 3/4″ in size, but is big on style and would make the perfect gift for your Valentine, priced well under $20 USD. Macaroons are all the rage with the fashionable set, they are stunningly attractive to look at, and divine to eat, and what better way to show your appreciation for this member of french pastry royalty than by wearing it on your finger for all to see.

Perhaps cupcakes are more your pastry of choice, well Ciara makes a toppling plate of those as well, aptly named the Marie Antoinette Cupcake Ring. Named for the Queen associated with lavish excess, you can have your “cake” and wear it too. Handmade from Polymer Clay with decorative touches of pink sugar dragees, sculted roses and flowers, displayed on a ceramic look plate on an antique serving tray. the total height of the tray is just 1″, and the ring is adjustable to fit practically any finger.

Beyond her delightful selection of rings, Ciara also crafts some downright sinful looking earrings, like these Cherry Cheesecake Frenzy Earrings. Beautiful in their bright Cherry loveliness,these handmade sweets are made to look like the real thing, and they do! Sugary sweet cherry sauce dripping over lovely white New York Style Cheesecakes with Graham Cracker Crusts, and all packed into the size of just 1/2″. Gold hooks let them hang just over an inch from your delicate earlobes.

For the man in your life, or for yourself if you wear French Cuffs, DIVINEsweetness offers not only your morning pastry fix, but also your morning caffiene fix with her lovely cufflink sets. Snap up a pair of Croissant in the Office Cufflinks, or the equally charming Coffee To Go Cufflinks. If I were buying them for myself, I would be just as likely to snag both pair and make a mixed set for an instant chic breakfast. One to keep, one to gift – WIN WIN!

While Ciara’s DIVINEsweetness Etsy Shop offers primarily food related jewelry and accessories, she also has some lovely miniatures of tiny animals, nature scenes, and other whisical items. Every piece is handmade, making them all one-of-a-kind [OOAK], and having slight differences in color and design that add to their charm. I personally am partial to the wearable sweets, like this great Just a Spoon Full of Ice Cream Sundae Necklace, but all of Ciara’s minature work is exceptional. Tuesday really is the perfect day to appreciate the little things.

Link: DIVINEsweetness by Ciara on Etsy.

Teeny Tiny Tuesdays – An Octopus’s Garden

Standard

It’s true what they say, it is the little things in life that make it worth living. Now, when people refer to the little things, I am pretty sure ‘they’ are speaking of the smiles, the moments of joy, the small wins. When I say little things, I mean something a little more… literal. I mean small, as in teeny tiny, itty bitty, teensy weensy, and miniature. Yes, I have always been a fan of the impossibly little and detailed things that make you celebrate your ability to see them. They are sometimes funny, often ironic, and certainly cute, but there is one thing you can be sure of, everyone has room for something tiny.

For instance, on my desk I have a little pocket mirror compact (some promotional item from a cosmetics store), and it sits open to reveal a miniature sized family of Pugs. A female, male and their two puppies. Yes I am close to forty years old, yes it is basically a toy, but you know what? It makes me happy. I see my little Pugs, not a one over an inch tall, and I smile. My current lifestyle doesn’t accommodate owning a real dog, so these little Pugs remind me of something I love, something I aspire to have in my life in the future, and are just plain cute. That is the power of having something small around. It doesn’t take up much space at all, it may be functional or fanciful, but it can really be special. Tuesdays are all about the power and joy of the little things..

In Kenora, Ontario, Canada there is an artist that shot to the top of my “Teeny Tiny Tuesday” To-Blog list the moment I saw this offering on Etsy. The hip kids call it up-cycling, it is basically recycling or re-purposing items, but adding a touch of fabulous in the process. It’s just past the winter holiday season, and most people are about to pack away their holiday lights, but Adrianne Kinsella does something absolutely amazing with those old glass holiday lights that I just had to share. Adrianne turned little old burnt out light-bulbs into the ultimate in fab home decor by making what she calls “Lightcatchers and Birdhalts”.

These adorable “3 Octopus with first tooth” Recycled Lightbulb works of art are available at Ms. Kinsella’s Kissinglass Recycled Glass Shop on Etsy. The set of three have the most charming little Octopi that could be found, and include hand painting and sculpting work that make them truly one-of-a-kind. Beutiful, whimsical, and functional. Who could ask for anything more!

Adrianne describes this set as follows; “These recycled lightbulbs are dead Christmas lights measuring 2 inches in height and a half inches in width. The octopus are all about the size of my thumbnail. The lightbulbs have been coated with a translucent paint and will glow when the sun hits them. They can be hung in your window to detour birds and as light catchers to catch the light. The relief pattern, making up the octopus, has been painstakingly sculpted by hand and baked onto the glass.” Coming it at less then $30.00 CAD/USD a set, they are also an affordable indulgence and would make a wonderful gift.

Head over to Kissinglass Recycled Glass on Etsy to see more of Adrianne Kinsella’s work, and snag some tiny works of art to hang in the sun.