Thursday, December 22, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Countdown

Eek 5 days left and due to being a busy baker I have not finished Christmas shopping. I've added this cheesy Christmas countdown widget to my blog for my kids of course. Click on the link under the widget to go to their site. There's some others to choose from and instructions how to add it yours - if you so desire!

I always have a moment that I yearn for a white Christmas. No chance of that in humid Durban. I don't long for the freezing temperatures. But the dreaminess of the snow and the whimsy it brings to Christmastime. Click on images for their sources.

Love this

Massive trees laden with snow

Snow Angel

Little snowmen in protest apparently

Caribou ~ otherwise known as reindeer

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Gift Boxes

I have been working on these gift boxes for Christmas. The box is hard to photograph ~ it is ivory with an elegant scroll design. It holds two packets of Tin Bird home made biscuits, that are preservative free. I will only have a few left to sell at the market this Saturday.

Glitter stars & Santa's biscotti

Delicious treats in an ivory scroll box & tied with ribbon

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Naked and Famous - Young Blood

Yeah yeah yeah!

Last chance for i ♥ Market shopping!

This saturday is the last i ♥ Market for 2011. There isn't going to be one in January, the next one will be first sat in Feb. If you still have stockings to fill with gorgeous hand made treasures, then the market is the place to be: Moses Mabhida Stadium, 9 am - 2 pm.

Tin Bird table of treats

Shoppers and stalls under the main tent

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I'm in Gianduia Heaven

My all time favourite Italian chocolate is Gianduia. The brand that I first tried is Perugira; I love their Pegasus logo. This cioccolatto is the most indescribable melt-in-your-mouth little pieces of heaven. I can't gush enough they are so good!

I nearly did the dance of joy when I saw the Gianduiotti sitting on a Dis-chem shelf, of all places a few weeks ago. Its the brown bag on the right with hazelnuts. The hazelnut flavour is sublime. My in-laws recently went to a family wedding in Italy and thoughtfully brought us back a whole tub of the plain chocolate. My husband may have to fight me for them! Please click on images for their links.

My precious stash of Gianduia (notice mine - no sharing)

Perugira Gianduiotti

Love this packaging in the Italian colours

Oh heaven ~ a Gianduia Christmas tree

Simple but elegant packaging.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Parisian Party

There's been a lack of posting, this is always when I'm busy baking in the kitchen. I've had a lot of orders recently; so blessed to have all this support. A friend commissioned me to do some baking for her daughters birthday party. It had a parisian theme with her little girl's silhouette as a feature. Her mom had 'a vision' for the party and I was thrilled to be a part of this special girls big day.

I made large eiffel tower cookies that were iced in deep pink and lilacs with a white piping decoration. I also made 3 tier cupcakes. There was some planning involved. The colours of the cupcake liners; the layers of fondant colours and what decorations to use and also their colours. It all came together with gold, mother-of-pearl and dusky pink balls set in the piping. Layers of white and pink fondant and finally a good dusting of edible gold glitter. 

Mom had some terrific ideas for the theme and all the little touches really made it special. The children played pass the parcel and other games. The biggest hit with the girls, (besides the cake) was a make-up station. I took a few photos to give you an idea how a simple silhouette added here and there can carry a theme. It was a lovely day and beautiful family memories were made.

Party table

Bubbles for children to take home

Bouquet of lollipops in a garden urn

3 tier cupcakes and pink paper
cups with silhouette decorations.

Silhouette bunting.
The pink & lilac pegs are so cute

Little Eiffel cookies

Eiffel Towers adorn some cupcakes

Simple but pretty decorations
with a garland of flower lights & ribbon

Close-up of 3 tier cupcakes

3 tier cupcakes placed in gold crown liners

Pastel vintage china.
Love the pink sugar crystals added to the sugar bowl

Found this charming pillow in birthday girls room

Vanilla sponge cake topped with
fresh cream & strawberries

So clever ~ cheesecake on a heart-shaped doily.
An ornate chocolate frame captures
birthday girls chocolate cocoa silhouette

Macaron tower on top of pink cake
with moulded choc silhouettes.

Birthday cake halfway through destruction

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Festive i ♥ Market Time

Well folks its that time of year again. If you are hunting for special treasures for Christmas and would like to support local handmade fare... you will be spoiled for choice at i heart market. The market is on this sat, the 10th and the 17th. Triple whammy ~ yay! Tin Bird will be there this sat and the 17th only. Look forward to seeing you there 9 am - 2 pm.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas Inspiration

I attended the Christmas demo held by Centre Piece last week. Champagne on arrival then a brief intro from Seán. Stuart from Centre Piece gave us some tricks of the trade for table settings. Not only did he speak about the basics of settings but also using what we have in our homes for making a special display.

Craig from Petals & Twigs showed us how a table comes to life with flowers; ivy from our garden and fruit! I didn't get a good shot but look at the photo with the urn of apples. On the table next to it is one apple which is speared with a large white rose. Then a rose leaf is pinned to the apple. Write your guests name on the leaf with a gold pen and you have an unusual place card for your guests.

Paula from Centre Piece showed us how to make a lovely trifle with cranberry coulis, vanilla sponge cake and créme brulee. What a love about this recipe, is you can make it the day before. You can change the ingredients to choc sponge, use blueberries or add vodka/rum to the cranberry coulis... there are so many options.

Then it was time for tea! What a gorgeous layout ~ vintage china, rose petals and pearls. The food made by Paula was dainty, from mint cucumber finger sandwiches to melt-in-your-mouth chocolate brownies. I left feeling very inspired for Christmas.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tick tock Tick tock

Competition for Christmas biscotti closes soon...

Have you liked the Tin bird page (not the photo)?
Have you come up with a fab name and posted it to Tin Bird's wall?
Have you crossed fingers and toes?

Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Demo by Centre Piece

Centre Piece in Durban is run by event managers Stuart Mitchell and Seán Madden. They provide irresistible food, drink, style and service. Vintage afternoon teas are their specialty. However they can transform any personal or corporate occasion to one that is memorable, professional and unique. Their service ranges from fairy-tale weddings to party platters delivered to your door.

What sets them apart is their combination of presentation, vintage china, exquisite glass and beautiful lace linen. I also love the story behind their vintage collection which was sourced by Seán's mom. All from British charity shops and shipped to South Africa when they launched Centre Piece.

Centre Piece is doing a Christmas Demo next week. I have included a pic of the invitation. The Demo starts off with a glass of Champagne. Then Stuart will do a Christmas Table setup. Followed by Craig from Petals & Twigs who will do Christmas table flowers. Next is the high tea buffet with a light meal served with tea or coffee. Finally Centre Piece's chef Paula will do a Christmas food demo. Should be a lovely two hours of inspiration for Christmas or any special occasion. 

If you don't want to miss out rsvp to:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pretty Pinwheels

Or pinspinners as Jenny calls them from Allsorts. I thought these will be a cool activity to do in the upcoming holidays with my children. We can make them modern, funky or vintage - should be fun! Visit Allsorts here on how to make these sweet wheels.