Unicorn

After I finished the pink piece I just posted about, I decided to tackle a much more difficult, and more SCA Period, pattern.

The pattern came from Les Singuliers Et Nouveaux Pourtraicts 1587 by Frederico de Vinciolo.

unicorn

I started out with the intent to do all the beautiful lace around the arch as well, but ran out of time (and patience) with it.  This was another learning piece.  One of the most important things I learned on this one was that while using a 50/2 thread (2 strands of thread at a 50 gauge) it was too big.  I lost a lot of detail in the inner scallops.

I ordered a finer thread (90/3) and was able to have the detail in the saddle before I finished this piece.

Unicorn

As you can see, I lost detail in the front leg, and wasn’t able to put any of the picots or the arches on half lozenges hanging on the inside of the arch.

The more I make lace, the more I’m learning about it!

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Trying to make a go of this again

I know it’s been a long time since I did any posting here.  Life became difficult for a while.

I think I’m back now.

 

While I haven’t been posting, I have done a few lace items I want to upload here.

 

Pink Punto in Aria2

This was my first attempt at doing “Punto in Aria” lace.  I took the inspiration from a plate I bought at the grocery store:

 

plate

I learned a lot in that piece, and there are things I would definitely do differently.  But it was a good learning piece.

 

Eggnog Cupcakes

eggnogcupcakes

Ready for our close up!

I have been searching for a good recipe for egg nog cupcakes for a couple of months, ever since eggnog hit the stores in October.  Each time I’d make them, the cupcakes would crater in the middle,

Ugh.

So, yesterday, after trying and failing with yet another recipe I came across, I decided to create my own recipe.  As you can see from the picture, the cupcakes rose beautifully, with no cratering or gummy middles.

eggnogcupcakes2

Eggnog cupcakes, with eggnog buttercream frosting, and just a little nutmeg sprinkled on top. How can you resist that?

So, here’s the recipe:

Eggnog Cupcakes

1 stick salted butter*, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup eggnog
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (you may omit the cinnamon and nutmeg if you wish to do so)

Preheat oven to 350* Line 12 hole pan with cupcake liners

Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a bowl. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla. Beat in the eggnog. Add the flour mixture, and beat until it’s all incorporated.

Fill the liners 2/3 full with batter. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes (until tester comes out clean) at 350*F.

Allow to cool completely, and frost with eggnog frosting, lightly dust with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Eggnog  Frosting**:

1 stick salted butter, room temperature
1.5 cups powder sugar
5 Tablespoons eggnog
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or cinnamon (to dust frosting with)

Beat butter for 5 to 7 minutes (until it becomes extremely pale, almost white).  Once it’s beaten, add the powder sugar gradually (in at least 3 installments). Beat until it’s all incorporated, and then add the egg nog.  Beat until light and fluffy, then frost the cupcakes with them.  After frosting the cupcakes, lightly sprinkle either nutmeg or cinnamon (or be wild and use both!) on top of the frosting.

*Please use butter and not margarine.  The butter gives a much better crumb, and makes the cake taste richer, and just satisfies better. Also, since I never use margarine on or in anything, I can’t guarantee how the cupcakes will turn out if you don’t use butter.

**This recipe will JUST cover the cupcakes above, if you use a pastry bag and large tip to frost the cupcakes with.  If you wish for more frosting, or you are making a double batch, just increase the ingredients to 2 sticks butter, 3 cups power sugar, and 8-10 tablespoons eggnog (checking taste at 8 tablespoons to see if it has enough eggnog flavor).

Enjoy!

New Lace

People are encouraging me to enter some lace into the State Fair.  I’ve decided I’m going to attempt it.  I have a little while before I have to commit to it.  If the lace turns out bad, then I just won’t enter!

I’ve decided I’m going to use this owl graphic.

I have it all printed out.  Tomorrow, I will cover the cardboard in clear contact paper, and start sewing the couching threads for the outsides.   Hopefully, by the time I have the cordonette couched down, I’ll have decided what to do with the big owl shape.

Hopefully, it’ll turn out well!

Strawberry Short Snake

(Hi world, I’m back!)

Last winter, I became hooked on Pinterest, a place for storing and sharing links to all sorts of websites.  The ones I tend to visit are mostly food and do it yourself sites.

While I was searching Pinterest one day, I found a cute recipe for “Strawberry Shortcake Snake” from Disney Family Fun.  At the time, I pinned it and thought I’d get around to making it some day.

That day was yesterday.

Of course, me being me, I changed it a little (I don’t really like whipped cream on strawberry shortcakes, and I like a bit sweeter of a biscuit for shortcakes).

Strawberry Short Snake


Shortcake biscuits:

2 cups AP flour
4 tablespoons powder sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400* F.

Mix the flour, powder sugar and baking powder thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.  Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter.  When it’s ready, the mixture should look like coarsely ground crackers.  Make a well in the middle of the mixture, and pour the milk into it.  Mix the milk into the flour.  You may have to gently kneed it at the end to saturate all the flour mixture.

Turn onto a lightly floured counter and press into a 6″ by 8″ rectangle (about 1″ deep).  If you want a huge snake (like shown) cut into four pieces 1/5″ by 8″.  If you want a smaller, single person serving size, cut into 8 pieces.

Transfer the dough onto your baking  sheet, and shape into a curved snake shape.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.  Take off the pan and let cool.

Strawberry American Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup butter (one stick) that is room temperature
3 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-6 cups powder sugar
2/3 cup strawberry preserves

In the bowl of you electric mixer, beat the butter until it is light and creamy (about 3 minutes or so).  Add cream and vanilla and beat until it’s all incorporated.  Add the strawberry preserves and beat until it’s incorporated.  Add the powder sugar, a little at a time, until the frosting is stiff.  Depending on weather conditions and how stiff you like your frosting, that can be anywhere from 4 to 6 cups.

Assembly

One quart strawberries reserving 4 to 8 nice strawberries for the head

Wash all the strawberries and reserve the 4 or 8 nicest looking strawberries for the head.  Hull and thinly slice the remaining strawberries.  Split the snakes open carefully.  Spread some buttercream frosting on the bottom layer, and then layer the sliced strawberries on top of the frosting.  Place the top of the biscuit on the strawberries.  Carefully spread some buttercream frosting on the top of the snake, and layer some strawberries on top of the buttercream.  Take one of your reserved strawberries and flatten out the hull.  Insert a toothpick into the flat of the strawberry, and attach it to the front of the snake, making sure the toothpick is in the biscuit.

For the eyes, you can either dab a bit of frosting on the top of the strawberry, or you can take two mini chocolate chips or two M&M Mini’s and attach them to the strawberry with frosting.

The original recipe is here: http://familyfun.go.com/recipes/strawberry-shortcake-snake-714506/