Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bye bye little blog

Well, it was fun for the few brief months that it lasted, but it looks like I'm not going to have any time for little Leftymadness for the next few years. I've been accepted back into university in pursuit of my ultimate dream job. It's going to consume me wholly and soully from now on, so I'm shutting up shop and heading into the world of the mature-age student.

Thanks to all those who stopped by and said nice things and had a look.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm a (happy) little teapot

I would like to share with you my newest (and favouritest) impulse purchase. I'm usually pretty good at resisting the temptation of pretty things in homeware stores since my partner and I live in a 3 bedroom house with 2 other people. If I don't need it then I try not to buy it because the thought of trying to fit one more thing into the kitchen cupboard or the wardrobe has the potential to reduce me to tears some days.

This little set, however, grabbed me the moment I saw it. Thinking back, I realise that I must have presented the absolute picture of the stereotypical woman impulse shopper. I was walking past my local Robin's Kitchen and stopped dead when I saw these little beauties on sale out the front. Absolutely stopped dead in my tracks - if anyone had been behind me, they would have cannonballed into me with no way of preventing it. It would have been worth it.

How could anyone be anything but happy drinking out of these?

Pardon the stained, wrinkled tablecloth in the background
It's a Maxwell Williams set that was obviously not selling well - looking at the discount. I bought the whole lot - teapot, small plate and two cups and saucers - for $21.96. I adore Maxwell Williams (no one paid me to say that) and am surprised that these didn't sell well - the cups are a little chunkier than I would normally prefer, but the colours totally sold me.

This little set is now my companion for when I work from home (usually once a week), which happens to be today. Between you and me, it's 10:40am and I am coming perilously close to consuming my own weight in tea.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Shaken, not Stirred

To continue the pretty cake posts I thought I would share the cake I made for my stepfather's 50th birthday. The theme of the party was James Bond, so naturally I turned straight to Google Images for ideas.

I can tell you, some terrifyingly ambitious cakes pop up when you search "James Bond cake":

Sourced from
Sourced from

No freaking way. Additionally, I only had to feed about 50 people, so tiers were not what I was going for. Inspiration eventually found me with:

I figured that 3 solid colours, one being white, couldn't be too hard. I also wanted the cake to be something special in itself, and low on flour to cater for my mum's sensitivity to gluten. I ended up with an old-faithful rich, chocolate fudge cake.

The only photo here with decent lighting - be prepared for a (completely intentional) yellow filter

Close-up for fudginess

Believe it or not that icing is white, not yellow

All covered up in pretty red fondant

The decorations, all cut out

So proud of the little gun! Too cute

And the big finish!
The finished product weighed about 15kg. I believe the final tally of ingredients included something like:
  • 1.2kg dark chocolate
  • 600g butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 1kg sugar
Needless to say, it tasted really good!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Imma gonna scramble you!

I couldn't help myself! Hehe.


Look how big they've grown!

March 2011
Remember when I planted them?

Jan/Feb 2011

They've gone crazy, but that's not the best part.....coz look!


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Rainbow Cake!

A few weeks ago, LJ asked me if I would lend a hand in making a cake for a colleague's baby shower. She wanted an interesting cake but nothing too fancy, a nice simple design for the outside, but when it came to deciding on the filling I remembered a cake that I'd seen months ago here - the Super Epic Rainbow Cake.

Image sourced from
What makes this cake so cool is that it's creamy white exterior gives no hint to the total madness going on inside, which made it perfect for the baby shower cake - nice, plain and elegant on the outside, but crazytown when it's cut into.

So the plans were planned, the ingredients were bought and the aprons were...left in the cupboard (although in hindsight they would have been a really good idea)

Coloured cake batter waiting for baking

We only had one pan so each layer had to be baked, cooled slightly and turned out before the pan was cleaned and prepped for the next layer
 Being the intelligent people that we are we didn't start baking till about 9:30 at night. Consequently, we were up till about 11:30 waiting for the final layer to come out of the oven. As a result of the late night and subsequent sleep deprivation, no more photos were taken until we made it to the next night - icing night.

And the stacking began

Another layer

And another

And another

Until they're all stacked up


Another layer of icing for smoothness

And the final layer of rolled fondant - note the ridiculous quantities of icing sugar

A bit of smoothy smoothy action

A quick finish with a black ribbon and an expertly cut out stork sillouhette and we're ready for a baby shower

The cake was very well received by the mum to be and the rest of the party and only a small slice survived the journey home for the rest of us to try.

Post demolition
Yum! Tastes like rainbows!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Commissions Galore!

These last few weeks have been quite exciting on the knitting front (that's not something you'd hear everyday I'll bet). I received my first two commissions. Yup, people want me to make them things.

The first wasn't really a new commission, it was more of one that I'd agreed to prior the shop and my dreams of handicraft domination began being realised. I believe the deal was struck at the local pub one Friday afternoon during after-work drinks. But, regardless of the circumstances, the deal was struck and once I was reminded of it... I got to work making it happen.

And the results:

Charming Eyelet Handwarmers
Aren't they sweet? I'm quite proud of this pair - I had the idea of using rows of eyelets to jazz up an otherwise plain stitch and as I knitted along I decided on the wrist level row. You can't see the eyelets too well in these photos as my model has teeny tiny hands and they were knitted for a lady with more medium size hands, but you get the idea.

This soft snuggly little pair made up my second sale. Thanks Zelucie!

The second commission came from a friend of mine who is heading to Europe in a few months' time. Bec, who authors pour ameliorer (a blog for all things renovation) asked me to create some warm things to keep her from turning into an iceblock on Anzac Day in Gallipoli. We talked about what she wanted and came up with two items.

A cloche hat similar to:

Courtesy of

and a scarf based on this pattern,

but using kid mohair wool:

Courtesy of

it's like wearing a cloud.
I promise.

Try it.

Ask me to make you one.