Recycled !!!

A while ago I was in Topshop and I saw a top which was covered in small material flowers. It was such a simple idea, but looked great. So... I thought I would have a go. I didn't have much money saved up to make it so I had to keep to a budget.

My design was inspired also by a display at my college of one of the second years work, in the theme of flowers and "The Secret Garden".

I used an old top that I found hiding in my wardrobe, Flowers from the 99p store and the pearls in the middle of the flowers were from a broken necklace from Primark. Altogether it easily cost under £10 to make...
I also found a little label with "Make Do And Mend" on it, so I sewed it on to the top as I thought it linked well...

The flowers and pearls were all hand stitched onto the top, which took ages but was worth the time ...

I had quite a few flowers left so I decided to make a matching head band...

Half of a great festival outfit for under £10 !

Making this top and headband really got me thinking about possibly starting up my own recycled clothing business, using all recycled materials and charity shop clothes...

So watch this space ...

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Birthday !

It was my mother's birthday the other day, and me and my sister gave her a shared present. We thought it would be nice to give her a basket full of goodies. These included vintage items, handmade items, locally sourced smellies and items from London.

We also bought a wicker basket and sewed flowers on to it, which came from a scarf of mine that had broken. I also had a pearl necklace that had snapped and all of the beads from this went into making a pearl heart to hang on the basket handle...


Full basket...

On her birthday we went to a beach in Lepe country park in the new forest for a pic nic. It was beautiful there but VERY windy. I managed to get a few nice pictures before being blown away! We also went on a walk round the Lepe loop, which took us through fields, woodland, farm land and along the coast...


Having a bit too much fun in the corn fields...

Looooooooong !

I saw a Lama/ Alpaca! (not too sure how to tell the difference)...

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Cup cakes < 3

In July we are always bombarded with Birthday's. One of thoses Birthday's is my Mum's, and I always like to do something different for her each year. So this year I made cupcakes. I found an amazing recipe for strawberry cupcakes...

I can't remember where I found the recipe but here it is...

Strawberry Cupcakes
For the sponge:

125g butter, very soft
200g caster sugar
3 eggs (about 168g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
300g self-raising flour (or 300g/2 cups plain or all-purpose flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder)
20ml lemon juice
140ml milk

Heat the oven to 160°C, fan/350°F, convection.
Cream the very soft butter and sugar until almost white and fluffy.
Add the eggs and salt and mix until fully incorporated.
Add half the flour until just combined.
Add the juice and milk and mix until combined.
Add the remaining flour.
Scoop an ice-cream scoop of batter into paper baking cup-lined cupcake tins.
Bake for about 22-25 minutes.
Remove from the tin and set on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, make the icing.

Strawberry Buttercream:

100ml unstrained strawberry puree (about 150g of unhulled fruit)
185g very soft butter
1000g - 1500g icing sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon rose water

Rinse any sandy earth off of your strawberries. Hull them with a spoon or paring knife and puree them in a food processor.
Cream the butter with 200 g of icing sugar on a low speed of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Gradually add the vanilla, lemon juice, rose water and strawberry puree.
Then add up to 1000 g of the sugar. The speed must be kept slow so as not to incorporate too much air into the buttercream. Let the mixture go for about 3 minutes to get to the proper texture and to allow the sugar to dissolve. Three minutes is longer than you might think, so I always set a timer. At this point you can add more sugar if the icing seems too soft. This varies with the temperature of the air and with the acidity of the fruit you use.
Spread onto cooled cupcakes and serve.
Will keep in an airtight container in a cool part of your kitchen for three days. Do not refridgerate.

I halved the amount of Icing sugar and added dried strawberries in the sponge.
THEY WERE DELICIOUS!!! The recipe made about 30 cupcakes and they were all gone in 3 days!
Also this recipe could be used with other fruits; mango, banana, cherries! Just swap all the strawberry ingredients for other things.

Here are some photos...

My make-shift piping bag made from baking paper !

I also had a go at making some sugar paste flowers and hearts, which looked really nice but tasted awful ! I will definately try home made sugar paste next time...

My little sister gave me these cup cake earrings, which I thought I would show you as they are relevant to this post ...

I am about 90% sure that these were made by little pixies, as they are SO small and detailed that I don't think a human could of possibly made them!

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