The most fantastic thing I think about domestic arts is their utility as gifts. I mentioned previously how my knitting project had been motivated in part by the desire to make an eco-friendly present for a friend, and I've drawn on some of my new domestic arts skills recently.
Last week it was my fiance's grandmother's 90th birthday; it's often difficult to know what to give as a present for such a significant occasion. She had a select birthday lunch, so I decided to utilise my cake decorating skills and send along a little cake for her to share with her guests, or to have at home afterwards. I wasn't quite sure how to approach this as my smallest tin was 6", so the cake making started with a mission to find a suitable tin. Luckily Boswells in Oxford came up trumps with a 4" Pork Pie tin (an interesting piece of kitchen kit for a vegetarian!) - obviously this was quite deep so I didn't fill it to the top with mixture. They also furnished me with a mini cake drum/board and some number cutters - I was ready to go! I used the same madeira recipe as for my other cake, only made 1/6 of the quantity (and that was slightly too much). I was very pleased with how the mini cake turned out, and set to work utilising my new found skills. I levelled the top of the cake, split it and filled it with jam, and put a layer of buttercream on the top, and then covered it with sugarpaste. It's not any easier sugarpasting a small cake, and I still committed some cardinal errors (making thumbprints in the paste once on the cake, and getting crumbs in it), but luckily it was easy to cover these up with the decoration. I used a mini blossom plunger cutter to make the flowers and my new number cutters to make the 90. I then put ribbon around the bottom of the cake to disguise where I had cut off the paste unevenly. But overall, I was really pleased with the result, and I think the recipient was too.
I'm currently in the middle of making a cross stitch card as a thank you for a friend; unfortunately I've been so tired recently that I haven't been able to focus on the pattern, and am back doing Forever Friends kits because they are nice and easy. Hopefully I'll have the card to show you soon.
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