Friday, March 30, 2012

"Three Little Birds" Cupcakes...

I've been meaning to make some "eggs in nest" Easter cupcakes for the last couple of years, but not got around to it.  The beginning of Spring is a busy time in my household - four family birthdays within a month as well as Easter - in other words, a very busy season of baking.

I've called these my "three little birds" cupcakes for a special reason (bear with me as I get a bit sentimental). Three weeks ago, we welcomed our third child into the world, our daughter Moxie.  During labour with her I couldn't stop singing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds", and it made me feel so calm and I had a very peaceful delivery.  And of course, now I have three little birds of my own. :)

So here's how I made them...

You need:

6 Cupcakes (whatever flavour you like - I used chocolate)
Buttercream frosting (about 1 cup)
Green food colouring
Piping bag
Wilton leaf tip (I used a #67)
50g fondant tinted in white, yellow and pink (or ready-made flower decorations)

For the nests:
1 & 1/2 cups cornflakes
200g chocolate
18 small eggs (I used speckled marzipan eggs but you could use whatever eggs you like)

To make the nests:

Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over a medium/low heat.  When it's melted, add the cornflakes.  Mix well - don't worry about breaking up the cornflakes a bit - the nests will be easier to make if the cornflakes are slightly broken up.

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases in a muffin tin and with the back of a teaspoon, drag the mixture up the sides of the cases to form a nest.  Refrigerate until needed.

Decorating the cupcakes:

Divide the buttercream between two bowls and mix up two different shades of green (you may just want to use one shade of green which is fine).  Attach your leaf tip.  Pipe leaves in the first green shade all around the top of the cupcake.

Fill in the spaces with the darker green.

Place nests on top and fill with the eggs.

Cut some daisy shapes from fondant and place around the base of the nest as desired.

Tip:  If transporting these cupcakes, it's best to leave the nests off the top and assemble them at your destination (so I discovered today!)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Monogram Canvas for Moxie...

I think I'm going crazy.  I've been out of hospital only a week after having my third child and despite the sleep deprivation and the ever-growing to-do list, I can't stop thinking about creative projects!

During one of those quiet moments where the children were all happy and occupied/asleep, and I should've been, by all accounts, cleaning, I was online and stumbled on some monogrammed canvasses for sale.  I thought to myself "I could make one of those!"  And so it happened that instead of doing housework I left the kids with their dad and dashed down to my local craft store for some supplies.

I don't know how the canvasses were made exactly, but here's how I made mine.  I used a square canvas, MDF letter, PVA glue and acrylic gesso (you could just use some white acrylic paint).  Actually, you could make this any colour you like, but I like the white as it emphasizes the picture's 3D quality.

Stick the letter to the canvas with plenty of PVA glue and run your finger around the edges of the letter to clear away where the glue squelched out from underneath.  Leave to dry overnight.

Paint the canvas and the letter together with your gesso or paint.  I used gesso because I like the chalky, matt-finish quality that it gives - (you could use leftover white acrylic ceiling paint).  Do as many coats as you need to get the desired finish.  I did two coats, leaving plenty of time for the first coat to dry before applying the second.

Hang on your wall.  You could spell a whole word, initials or name out using this idea, and display the canvas on an easel or bookshelf.  Such an easy, quick and inexpensive way to make some artwork for your home.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Congratulations Frau Muck, it's a...


One day old...

Introducing Moxie Rose, born at 8:29am on March 11, 2012, weighing 3.945 kilos (8lb, 11oz), 54cm long.

We had a really great birth (if there is such a thing!).  After labouring at home for nine hours my contractions suddenly got very close together and we headed for the hospital at around 5am.  I was so disappointed to hear that despite my very best efforts, (and taking into account this is my third baby) that I was only 1cm dialated!

So I had a walking epidural, on account of having already been up completely all night and having really strong, regular contractions.  Well, the epidural went in a bit late and only worked on one side, and not long after it went in, Moxie was born.  It was such a peaceful delivery, very gentle and calm.

I couldn't wait to get her home, but took full advantage of the Swiss maternity care system which gives you a five-day "Wochenbett", or hospital stay, where you are given all kinds of care including feeding help and consults, nighttime assistance, homeopathic medicines and teas, and, in my case, an amazing view of Lake Zurich :). Oh, and a professional photography studio onsite!*

With big brother and sister...

I am loving having her at home and look forward to being a family of five, challenges and all.  I am also really looking forward to all the creative projects that this little girl is going to inspire!

LM xx

* These professional photos were taken by Rikke Skaaning from Truevisual Photography.  For those of you in Zurich wanting a professional photographer for baby/pregnancy/family photos, check out her website:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Feathering the nest...

Miss S and Master J are officially sleeping in the same room, so it was time to start decorating the nursery for baby number three, who is, at the time of posting, due in less than one week.

Before...  Mess!

The challenge was: Keeping a lot of Miss S's old things in the room (nowhere else for them to go!), whilst keeping a gender neutral theme.  The other challenge is the endless white walls in our apartment which literally swallow any colours you put in the room - especially neutrals!

I had an Orla Kiely single duvet cover and decided to cut it up and use it for different sewing projects to decorate the room as the colours are both bright and gender neutral.  I am really pleased with the results.

I sewed a cot duvet cover (on the end of the single bed), bassinet blanket and pelmet, and a small soft pillow for the change mat.  My idea is that later on the small pillow and bassinet blanket can be used by my children for their dolly's bed.

I also covered an Ikea magnet board with some fabric too - just a simple case of tucking it around the back and then securing it with hot glue.  It took me about 10 minutes to make - a very satisfying project!

We are all ready to go now - unfortunately the baby's timing isn't based on the completion of my to-do list!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Baby thank-yous....

The very last thing I had to do in order to prepare for the arrival of our new baby (due in one week), was make some thank-you cards.

A few weeks ago I bought this linen/ crocheted heart from a gift store to hang on the door of the baby's room and it immediately gave me the idea for the cards.

I cut the circle out of some scrapbooking cardstock I had using my round scalloped punch.  The crocheted hearts were the medium size from this pattern I found on the internet, and after crocheting them I attached them and the buttons with hot glue.

It's a really simple design, but I am really pleased with them and it wasn't difficult to make six or more in one evening, once I got the hang of the heart pattern, that is.

And being that sitting is my preferred state at the moment (aren't these last few days of pregnancy so hard!), this was the perfect evening's activity for me.

Stay tuned for pictures of the nursery and for the announcement of the birth, which hopefully won't be too far away! In the meantime, here's the obligatory "bump" photo, taken last night at 39 weeks.

LM x
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