• Other stuff

    Red Velvet… cupcakes, not the film*

    My Autumn/Winter sewing plans are coming along nicely…. Twinkle nearly done and other bits and pieces cut, traced etc.

    But I decided I needed a different creative outlet this weekend.


    I love baking because I get to work out my stress and then I get a sweet reward at the end.

    I wanted to make red velvet cupcakes for several reasons. Here are just three:

    1. I’ve been pinning and reading about lots of buns/cupcakes/muffins lately. Guaranteed to make me feel jealous and want to pick up my whisk.

    2. I was telling my mum off for not updating her website with more of her creations and got inspired/hungry. I mean hello?! The “Jimi Chew” Grand Marnier chocolate cupcake, with choc cream cheese frosting and chocolate straw heel that she made as a joke for her W.I. friends!

    3. Because there’s nothing nicer than when you’re saving money (so can’t buy loads of foodie treats or go out to nice restuarants or for yummy cocktails) to make something using everything in your cupboards and end up with a delicious treat. No buying necessary.

    So I got out my trusty fairy cake recipe. It’s on the side of the Tate and Lyle Caster Sugar packet and is the most straightforward and simple recipe I’ve ever tried for buns. Better than a lot I’ve tried from cookbooks.

    They never go wrong and you can adapt as you need! I added one tablespoon of cocoa powder and a LOT of red food colouring. You don’t need to add a lot of chocolate as you just need a hint of the flavour and best not to interfere with the colour coming through.

    When the buns were done I added cream cheese frosting which you make by adding icing sugar to cream cheese and whipping it lightly to sweeten it. Throw some sugar sprinkles on top and you get yummy cupcakes!

    Perfect to enjoy as dessert after a nice dinner or with an afternoon cup of tea.

    I wouldn’t recommend after 9pm though, in case like me you are very susceptible to e-numbers! All that red food colouring had me awake twitching all night.

    And I’ll be enjoying the last one (I altered my recipe to only make 6) tomorrow night while I watch Sunday’s Downton Abbey.

    Mmmmmm can’t wait…

    *For those of you who aren’t familiar with the film “Red Velvet”, it stars Henry Thomas and it is about a man and woman who have a chance encounter at a laundromat type place which then leads onto him telling her a story about a birthday party where everyone has been killed by a madman in a white jumpsuit…

    So good family fun basically. NOT

    It definitely shouldn’t be confused with Henry Thomas’ actual family friendly film, E.T. (He was Elliot!)

    And here ends Almond Rock’s review of films NOT to watch!

  • Other stuff

    Surrounded by sewing

    It’s nice to be surrounded by your hobby with good happy little reminders that make you smile and your eyes widen as you get a bit giddy. It’s kind of how I feel reading lovely people’s sewing blogs but other things trigger this too.

    Why the focus on this (probably obvious to everyone) obsession? Well Project Runway Season 10 starts TONIGHT in the US and I can’t wait until I can see a clip of Tim Gunn’s little face as he spies something truly horrendous being made.

    I have a pinterest board called “Things that make me smile”. It does exactly what it says on the tin people. And I don’t always put sewing related things in there but a few have made me smile lately:

    Decorated sewing machine! No credit I’m afraid as I repinned it from someone who repinned it and so on. Creative though, right? Done with Sharpie pens!
    Queenie — (c) Karen Nicol. Monkey with pearl button embellishment.
    Words cannot properly explain what she does given the variety of techniques used. You must check her out here
    The fabulous Lionheart Project is too far away for me to go see but if you’re near London go check it out. Details here
    Cross stitch cookies — a super cute idea cooked up by Megan DeKok. See details on how they made these here!

    Other things making me smile is my new sewing compendium bought by my mum for me.

    Such cute funny pictures (unintentionally of course)… got to love 80s photography.

    This one is just generally awesome.


    I also want to go to the Yorkshire Fashion Archive at Leeds University soon but with the silly opening hours I need a day off work. Hope it’s good! I want to wander round in a jealous glazed stupor at the beautiful garments on display.

    Hope these little bits made you smile too!