Thursday

This week's cafe eye drawing


 


Yesterday, I had 2 hours to kill before a dinner appointment so I popped into a Starbucks, ordered a camomile tea and zoned out for a bit in my coloured pencil world. *winks*


This was 2 hours into the drawing...


And I finished it today. :)


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Tuesday

Christmas cakes 2020


 


This month I got invited to be guest designer over at Stick It Down and here is my page! :)


I decided to document my Christmas cakes since I put in so much effort to make them. *winks*


The poinsettias and banners were fussy-cut from some wrapping paper I got last Christmas (perfect for all my Christmas 2020 layouts).


 The titlework was created with stickers. I did outline the letters with a white gel pen for a little more interest and dimension.


In case you missed the post about my Christmas cakes, I made chocolate Christmas tree cupcakes with M & Ms and a Yule log. :)


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Monday

Make Stuff Monday - a pretty decorated paper bag


 


Hello friends! Today's Make Stuff Monday is a pretty decorated paper bag! :)



I started with this Kiehl's paper bag. I haven't gotten this in ages because I usually bring a bag with me when I go shopping. But recently, with all the online shopping, the paper bags in my stash have been increasing. So I guess you can expect to see more decorated paper bags from me this year. ;) 


Then I covered the front, back and sides with pretty patterned paper.


And then just added bits from my stash, some stuff from happy mail and upcycled items.... :)


I think it turned out quite pretty eh? *winks*

Happy week ahead friends!


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Friday

Valentine's Day inspired decorated box


 


Last week, my sister-in-law passed me this red heart-shaped gift box to upcycle and make pretty.

Because the box is light, I decided to keep the decorations really simple so that it is postal-friendly. Yep, somebody might be getting this box (filled with goodies) via mail this Valentine's Day. :)


The design came together very quickly because I decided to use a pack of old dimensional stickers which had pretty flowers, glitter and bling! :)

I just finished off with more bling because you can never have too much bling, right?  *LOL* Now to fill her up with some goodies and send her off to make someone happy. :)

Happy weekend friends! :)


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Thursday

My first box of decorated Christmas cookies


 


Last December, I wanted to make some homemade edibles as a Christmas gift for my cousin. It was my first time making sugar cookies and decorating them.


Of course, I had to challenge myself by making different flavours too. Because you know how much I love to up the ante for myself, right? *winks*


And I bought the colourful sprinkles and decided that the snowflake cookies should be all white. *LOL*


Playing along with Let's Get Sketchy.


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Wednesday

Workspace Wednesday - January eye drawings


 


This year, I'm prioritising my art. By squeezing in some time in the day to zone out and draw. And simulating the atmosphere of a "cafe" at home....soft background music, a cup of tea and lots of natural light. Here are the January eye drawings so far. 

What about you? Are you changing things up in your life to have a little more creative time?


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Tuesday

What are we having for dinner ? Leftover lunch pizza! *winks*


 


Like most mums, my mum fears that there will not be enough food when her grandchildren come over for a visit on Sundays so she cooks a lot. Which often results in leftover food from lunch. That I have to somehow incorporate into dinner which I am in charge of. *challenge accepted*


So the other day, we had leftover lunch pizza! A bit of fusion with cheese, tomato slices and soy sauce pork belly. It was pretty tasty! *LOL*


Playing along with The Studio ChallengesThe poinsettias and the banners were fussy-cut from some recent wrapping papers and the rest all old stuff from my stash.


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Monday

Make Stuff Monday - recent cake adventures


 


Hello my friends! Happy new year! Today I'm sharing some of my recent cake adventures!

First up...Christmas cupcakes! I saw some cute decorated Christmas cupcakes at Preppy Kitchen where he used inverted ice-cream cones as trees and just piped frosting on them to decorate them.

Of course, my icing was too runny to pipe successfully because I refused to use so much icing sugar (this was when I made American buttercream). So I just brushed the icing on the ice-cream cones and added sprinkles. The cones were not empty either, they were filled with M & Ms too. 

However, they were pretty labour-intensive so the neighbours got just ONE Christmas tree cupcake and 6 regularly frosted cupcakes while I kept the Christmas trees for the Gangster Gang (aka 3 nephews + 1 niece). It was a hit! :)


Well, I've always wanted to try my hand at making aYule log.  So I did. I went with the recipe from Delish.com with slight modifications (I reduced the sugar for everything).

It was of course, my first go at making a roll cake because you know me, let's not try a simple sugar roll cake, let's go with the more technically difficult one. *LOL* Anyway, my roll wasn't perfect but there wasn't any cracks on the cake so that's a win! (yay, go me!) And I think I did a decent job with the chocolate frosting - it looked like a log, right?

It was really really good. Since nobody in the Yam household liked Yule logs, I thought I would be able to eat this all by myself over the course of a week perhaps. No such luck. They ate it all! 



Next we celebrated my sister E's birthday. Now I made FOUR 8 inch cake layers - 2 chocolate and 2 vanilla but had to improvise and just went with 2 layers instead because I underestimated the amount of frosting that was needed to frost a cake of that size. It happens when you try to Frankenstein a cake - I went with a chocolate cake recipe from one site, a vanilla cake from another, chocolate frosting from my Yule log recipe and chocolate ganache drip from another site. 

Anyway, I present to you my first attempt at a chocolate drip cake! The vanilla portion of the cake helped to temper the chocolatey parts and I added some crunch by adding a layer of crushed Kit Kats between the cakes. Yep, empty plates all around *pats self on back*. 


Of course, since I had two cake layers that were unused, I decided that my sister would get a second cake to celebrate her Chinese birthday. So I tried my hand at an island cake. (Clearly your gal here watches way too many YouTube videos..*winks*)

There were many technical challenges with this cake:
1. I decided to cut down my cakes to 6 inches so that they would fit my 6 inch spring form pan and I could make a taller island. 
2. Of course, there was a "landslide" and the island lost some of its mountainous regions in the freezer. And I had to patch up as much as possible.
3. As I patched up the cake, it got bigger at the bottom and it wouldn't fit into the 6 inch spring form pan. And of course, I only had a 9 inch spring form pan. So I had to use that.
4. But I had already made the jelly (for the ocean) for the 6 inch pan so  I didn't have enough to fill a 9 inch pan.
5. Then of course, the pan sprung a leak so we lost even more water. 

Hence I present to you - my first island cake at low tide. (Also with no sea foam because I didn't have white gel colouring).

And did I mention that the nephews asked, "Why is there broccoli on the cake?" *LOL*

In case you were wondering...the whole cake is covered with chocolate ganache so that the jelly would not seep into the cake. I used lychee flavoured pastry cream with lychee pieces in the cake and the jelly was also lychee-flavoured to tie everything together. I also used agar agar instead of gelatine because agar agar sets at room temperature while gelatine needs refrigeration to set. 

It was surprisingly good. I am contemplating making another one. With a lot more "ocean". *hehehe*

What do you think?


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Thursday

My first attempt at sugar cookies *winks*


 


Would you believe that your gal here has never made sugar cookies and made them pretty? *dramatic music plays in the background*

So I made my first batch on Sunday and got some "assistants" to try out the consistency of my royal icing....


Nephew #3: working hard on spreading his icing....


The niece was very pleased with her creations. And of course my assistants were paid handsomely - they ate all the cookies they decorated! *LOL*


So I thought I might attempt a Christmas cookie box as a gift for my cousin. But of course, nephew #1 ate most of the remaining undecorated cookies so I had to make and bake some more. 


I also got a food container box from Daiso for my Christmas cookie gift box. Well, I found out that the decorating part was way way way harder than I thought and I had to simplify to get a somewhat decent box of cookies. Alright, brace yourself. Don't forget that this gal is new to sugar cookies and decorating them....



Tada! My first decorated box of Christmas cookies! Hahahaha!:) They don't look that great but they are quite yummy! :)


Here they are all wrapped up and as I am typing this, digesting in the stomachs of my cousin, her husband and their son.:)

Happy holidays my friends! I know this is a tough year with many of us unable to spend the festive season with friends and family. But this difficult time will pass. Let's just stay safe and protect those around us. 

Meanwhile I'll be taking a bloggy break...see you in 2021! 


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Tuesday

The other day's girl in my sketchbook


 


Hello friends! It's almost Christmas! How are your preparations? I've been busy baking cookies all day. Tomorrow will be the fun part of actually decorating them! Yes, it's your gal's first time making decorated sugar cookies. And she intends to give them away as gifts. *winks*

 But here's the other day's girl in my sketchbook. I went in with a white gel pen to define her features and I like how she turned out. :)

Happy week ahead friends! :)


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Friday

Living Room #2 finally got some love


 


So, with all the staying-at-home I've been doing in 2020, it was inevitable that some furniture was going to get moved around. The family living room is a decent size so I decided to create 2 living room areas in the space. Living Room #1 would be the cosy area to foster conversation while Living Room #2 would be for watching tv. Unfortunately, everyone in the household has their own mobile devices to stream their own interests so Living Room #2 has been quite neglected.

Until the Gangster Gang (3 nephews + 1 niece) got an early Christmas pressie from their parents in the form of a Nintendo Switch set. Now, Living Room #2 is the most popular living room because of its sheer proximity to the tv. *LOL*


Now all the 4 kids love hanging out in Living Room #2, hoping that their siblings will fare badly in the game so that it will be their turn to play! Hahaha!


I used the bits and bobs I got from my recent happy mail and just added more washi tape and of course, an owl, because no layout would be complete without a bird (right, Julie???)


And yes, I even got my border punch out for a quick play! Go me! *winks*


Can you believe that this is the first layout of the kids together in 2020? Yep, I haven't seen the nephews #2 & 3 and the niece since March. So, even though the photos aren't great, I'm glad they made it to the Yam family album for 2020.

Playing along with More Than Words.


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