Posts categorized "cupcakes"

easter baking

Easter is a great time to get a little creative with baking. This year's creations included a cake and a tart, based on the caramel filled easter eggs that are a long time favourite in our house.

The cake is a chocolate cake with a caramel mouse filling, covered with swiss meringue buttercream and chocolate ganache. 

Fiona Carter Easter Egg Cake

My Easter Egg tart has a caramel filling, covered with chocolate ganache and salted caramel swirls.

Fiona Carter's Easter Egg Tart

A few little tarts were made as well, with a little left over caramel mousse...

Fiona Carter's Easter Egg mini tarts

And lastly, a favourite baking treat I've been making for years, the Easter Egg cupcakes... pop a small solid chocolate egg into the batter of cupcakes, bake and you'll have a little chocolatey surprise inside. If you'd like to see more about these cupcakes, I wrote a post several years ago which you can read HERE.

Fiona Carter's Easter Egg cupcakes

Hope you have a happy Easter!

Thanks for visiting.



june = birthdays = cupcakes

Who really needs an excuse to make cupcakes? Not me, but a birthday in the family gives me a great reason to start up the KitchenAid and start baking in bulk.

Phoebe requested rainbow cupcakes for her birthday (for the soccer team, for school and for the school soccer team... thank goodness basketball training was called off or that would have been another lot}. My gorgeous girls like to set me challenges when it comes to their birthday cakes. Rainbow cupcakes is probably one of the good ones, not necessarily hard but a bit fiddly.

Phoebe chose the colour, but I limited her to three colours as I figured it would be impossible to layer a full selection of rainbow colours in a little patty paper of about 4cm tall. Pink, green and blue where the chosen colours.

Now going back to when I was a kid I loved marble cakes, remember the cakes with swirls of colour in them.  I loved when you cut into them each piece was different cause of the way the colours were mixed. These rainbow cupcakes were going to be made using the similar method, with the coloured mixture being layered, not swirled.

I made up my batch of cupcake mixture. Divided it into three batches and coloured each one. I used the Wilton icing colours (rose, leaf green and royal blue colours), these are a concentrated gel so you can get a strong colour but the mixture doesn't get too watery as it would with regular food colours.



I layered the colours into the patty pans...Fec-blog-cupcakes-1


And baked. 20 mintues later they were done....Fec-blog-cupcakes-4

Then iced in plain vanilla buttercream {no colour added!} And yes, the cake below does have pink at the bottom, I did mix the layering up in a few batches.Fec-blog-cupcakes-5

Done! The looked bright, colourful and happy, perfect for a June birthday.

Another birthday celebrated with cupcakes.

Thanks for dropping by.



the day the circus came to town

The year 6 dinner was a few weeks ago, and I'm finally sharing the photos of the school hall that we decorated for the kids. You've probably guessed by now, the theme was CIRCUS.

It was such a great theme to work with, full of colour and happiness for the kids. I had SO much fun working with this theme. I started with the colour scheme; blue, red, yellow, purple, green and orange. Anything that went into the decorations were kept to these colours, which worked to give an overall look to the hall.

The whole dinner event was certainly a group effort with lots of our year 6 parents helping out in many, many ways to bring the whole evening together.

So here's an overview of the evening in photos....

Here is the hall all decorated waiting for the kids to arrive.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Another mum (who was was so much fun to work with) and I made all the bunting for the ceiling space. We sewed triangles of cardboard onto ribbon. These lengths of bunting were then hung from the centre of the hall out to the walls to create the feeling of the inside of a circus tent.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

I love the coloured paper lanterns which can be purchased in many stores at the moment. I used them to "flood" the ceiling to hide the centre of the ceiling space where all the bunting and fairy lights were tied.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

The walls of the hall were covered with coloured fabric, and a large bunting was hung around the edge to form a border.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Banners and circus go so well together. This big banner was hung on the stage so it could be seen from the hall.
Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

The hall stage with the "farewell banner", the cake stand with cupcakes and a lollies stand (made from a polling booth).

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas 

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

The cupcakes were gorgeous and delicious, made and decorated by a talented group of year 6 mums.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Side show alley filled one corner of the hall. Each "side show alley" attraction is made from a cardboard polling booth.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Laughing clowns made from polystyrene heads. One of the very artistic year 6 students painted the clown faces for us.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Bendy mirrors. I was able to buy two sheets of bendy (perspex) mirror from Reverse Garbage. A year 6 dad took on the task of making the frames for these mirrors. They looked so fantastic and filled another corner of the hall.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

The "class of 2010" photo wall. Each child had a photo mounted onto a balloon shape on the wall.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

These silhouette carousel horses were on loan to us from Myer Chatswood. I was walking through the shopping centre back in October (obviously the start of spring carnival racing), and these horses were on display in one of Myer's windows. We were very lucky to be able to borrow them for our evening. The horses fitted the theme perfectly, and filled a few large spaces in the hall.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

Outside we had a "ticket booth" also made from a polling booth, and lots of balloons.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

There was a clown and two stilt-walkers entertaining the kids outside before they entered the dinner.

Fiona Carter's circus themed event ideas

The night went really well, it seems as though the kids and teachers enjoyed their night at the circus. Another mum was the coordinator for all the food served to the children and teachers. They enjoyed sausages in rolls, corn on a stick, fruit and marshmallow sticks and ice-creams. A popcorn-making machine was hired for the evening which, apart from spreading the smell of freshly popped corn across the playground, gave the kids a snack while they were gathering in the playground prior to the dinner.

To finish off this post I need to include a photo of my gorgeous girls. Big sis with little sis (who isn't that little anymore). I think they might be the same height now. Phoebe looked beautiful going to her dinner.

FEC blog photo

Thankfully one of the dads at the dinner snapped a photo of Phoebe with mum and dad at the end of the evening....

FEC blog photo 

Well, that's about all for this post. Thanks for visiting.




mid march catch up

We've been busy here since my last post. I've actually been on a road trip and driven to Lismore and Ballina since my last post. Paul and I drove Phoebe to Lismore to compete in the Little Athletics State Multi event. We had a lot of fun, even though it was very tiring driving such a long way in such a short time. Emily didn't come with us, she had a long weekend with her nana and poppa here in Sydney which everyone enjoyed (including Hugo the dog).

Last week Phoebe coloured her hair for the World's Greatest Shave. She went with blue hair and a purple fringe.


She had a few friends around to celebrate the event and help colour the hair.


We made colour co-ordinated cupcakes for afternoon tea ...


Phoebe has raised over $200.00 through online and cash donations. I know a few blog readers kindly sponsored her, thank you very much.


She has now washed her hair, and quite a bit of the blue remains, and possibly will for some time, I think.


Emily recently worked on a project for school. Her task was to make a photographic essay for her Connected Curriculum subject. She has been out and about on excursions taking photos of her local environment. This project was pulling all her information together. She used a Maya Road sheer tab binder album, and made this book while we wereaway in Lismore. Here's a few photos of her book.






A quick Ribbons Galore update. I have added a few very cute bunny ribbons which are perfect for Easter projects.

Bunny-015-01  Bunny-015-02  Bunny-015-03

Speaking of Easter... I have some exciting things lined up. But you'll have to check back in a few days to find out more.

That's about all. Thanks for visiting my blog.


Fiona x

long blog...

...but it is summer and school holidays.

It's been about a month since my last post. We've been enjoying the laziness of school holidays. I love having my girls home.

Christmas was nice and relaxing.

New Year was... nice and relaxing. We were at Hawks Nest for about a week... nice and relaxing. We packed a picnic and headed for Jimmy's Beach for New Years eve to watch the fireworks over at Nelson Bay. There were hundreds of people on Jimmy's Beach (busiest I've ever seen it!), many bonfires were blazing. It was a great night.

January has been nice and relaxing. Many trips to the beach, catching up with friends, movies, shopping, staying cool during our hot weather.

Here's a photo taken at Balmoral Beach. There have been several days spent sitting under the trees chatting with friends while we watch the kids enjoy themselves.


I have created a few projects during January. CHA-W 09 is just around the corner, and I have sent a few projects off to the US for the Maya Road stand. Here's one of the my mini albums... using a new chipboard suitcase book. You can view the new Maya Road catalog HERE.


I still have lots of photos on my camera which I haven't checked yet, once I have I'll post more project photos very soon.

These little cupcake cards {below} were made for the Maya Road Design Team blog. We, the design team members, are now writing posts on the blog. Every few days a new post is published over there. So far there have been lots of great ideas, so make sure you bookmark it and visit regularly.

I've used the Maya Road Cupcakes stamp set. Instructions are on the MR DT blog.




I LOVE this set of stamps, and I actually have ONE SPARE. So I'm going to start the new year off with a RAK. If you leave me a comment here on this post by January 31, your name will be included in the draw for this set of MAYA ROAD CUPCAKES STAMPS. I'll post anywhere in the world! edited: thanks for all your lovely comments, I now have a winner.

Good luck, have fun and thanks for visiting my blog.


Fiona x

Maya Road "Home for the Holidays" contest

Maya Road is running a new contest. It's called "Home for the Holidays". Decorate one or more of Maya Road's chipboard houses to enter the contest.

You can read all the details on the Home for the Holidays Contest page. The great news is international entries are welcome!

Edited to add: I'm trying to compile a list of stores/online stores here in Australia that sell the Maya Road chipboard houses. So far I have found two stores. They are:

Scrapbook Central : email Ruth if you would like to place an order, [email protected]



Earlier this week I wrote a quick step by step guide to making a simple cupcake card on the Pursuit of Craftyness blog. I coloured Maya Road chipboards with the new Maya Road Maya Mists. Here's a close up of the chipboard cupcake I created for the card.


Hope you have a great weekend. It's a long weekend for us here. Looking forward to some relaxation.

Thanks for visiting my blog.



cupcake pincushion and handmade bags

Last week I received a little box in the mail. Inside was this little bit of gorgeous-ness.


Lovely Kylie made this for me. I had admired Kylie's cupcake pincushion on her blog a couple of week's back. I was so excited to receive this little cupcake pincushion I took it out with me when I had coffee with some friends one morning to show it off! Thank you so much Kylie, you know I love it :-)

Last Friday was cold and rainy here, so it felt like a good day for some sewing and Kylie's pincushion was put to good use.

I started making a bag for a friend during the day, it's her birthday this week. When Phoebe arrived home from school she reminded me we'd planned on making her a bag. My friend's bag was sidelined for a while while we pulled out Phoebe's material and cut out her bag. She sat at the sewing machine quilting her fabric. Then I helped her sew the bag together. She likes sewing the straight lines, and isn't too keen on the curvy lines at the moment. Here's her finished bag, her quilting is so neat.




Saturday's weather continued to be miserable, so I finished my friend's bag. I used fabrics from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern Ohio Sky collection. This is the same bag as my pink bag I made back in July.




Last week I also received some gorgeous fabrics in the mail from the US. I'd bought some beautiful fabrics I'd been wishing for from a US store. My order arrived within a week. I'll post some photos of my new fabric stash in a few days when I've taken some photos.

Sophia sent me an award. Thanks so much Sophia.


There are so many wonderfully creative blogs out there in the blog world I find it hard to name just a few. As I come across blogs I like, I add their links to my side bar, so I hope that you might take some time to visit some of those.

One great list of creative blogs which I've discovered lately is this site:


{edited: I can't create a link from the button above, so here is the link to the big list of sewing blogs: }

Lots of my favourites are listed here, and I'm having fun visiting others on their list.

I've just made a big batch of cupcakes, which I need to go make the icing for now. Emily's school has a "system" (for want of a better word) where the girls take cupcakes for each other's birthday in their tutor group. At the beginning of the year a roster is worked out, and tomorrow it is Emily's turn to take cake for her partner's birthday. I love the smell of freshly baked cakes through the house.

Till next time.... thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

ice cream cupcakes

I had an idea to make ice cream cupcakes for Emily's birthday. Last year she enjoyed the ice cream birthday cake I made, and wanted it again. I thought it would be fun to try and make smaller ice cream cakes and came up with the idea of ice cream cupcakes.


OK, so they look a bit like homemade choc tops, but they were still well enjoyed at the birthday party.

Here's how they were made. I used both vanilla and chocolate store-bought ice cream.

STEP 1: Soften the vanilla ice cream. Place in your mixer and beat. While mixing add mini marshmallows and meringues. You need to work quickly so the ice cream doesn't melt too much.


STEP 2: Fill the ice cream cones with this mixture to the top of the cone. I like to add a "surprise" to these, so added a chocolate coated finger biscuit at this stage. Place in the freezer. I left these for 24 hours before I moved to the next stage.


STEP 3: Repeat step 1 with the chocolate ice cream, adding the meringues and marshmallows. This ice cream may need to be frozen slightly before moving onto the scooping stage. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up the ice cream.


And place the scoop of ice cream over the top of the ice cream cone.


You will have little ice cream cupcakes like below. These need to be returned to the freezer again for about 24 hours, to make sure they are really frozen before the next step.


STEP 4: Melt chocolate. I used dark chocolate. Stand your ice cream cupcakes over a wire rack with a tray underneath (this step gets a little messy). Drizzle the melted chocolate over the ice cream cones and sprinkle with 100's and 1000's (this is a good job for an assistant if one is eagerly standing by).


You do need to return these to the freezer as soon as possible, as the ice cream does start to melt. I worked on about 6 ice cream cones at a time, then returned those to the freezer before starting on the next batch.

That's it. Ice cream cupcakes.

A couple of things to point out about these. Firstly they are not the type of "cake" to be made at the last minute. They do take a few days putting them together and freezing in between. Secondly, they are top-heavy and were difficult to arrange nicely. I placed them in a big bowl and handed them out from there.


I'd like to find the little plastic bowls used in the gelato stores if I were making these again, and use those instead of the ice cream cones. I think the gelato bowls would look similar to the patty papers used for cupcakes.

They were very nice and enjoyed by everyone at the party, and were something a little different from the traditional birthday cakes I usually make.

Thanks for visiting. Hope you're having a good weekend.


Fiona x

catch up time

Life's busy as always. Everyone says the same thing.

Firstly, thank you for all the lovely comments and emails about the pouches/pencil cases/make up bags I've been making (see my previous post). I've had several inquiries about making custom pouches or cases. Yes I certainly can make these up, you can choose the ribbon from Ribbons Galore, and I'll match fabrics. Just email me, and we'll go from there.

In other news...

Emily has turned 13! I am now the mother of a teenager. She hasn't changed much in the last few days... being a teenager now, she's still as lovely as ever. She is home sick this week though, with the latest bug that seems to be going around the schools here.

She had her party last weekend. We made the invitations...


Used lots of scraps and sewing for these.


... and we made the thank you cards while we were printing and sewing and creating...


20+ girls arrived at our house last Sunday for the party. We walked to a local Thai (Bai Yok, Castlecrag) for dinner. The restaurant was great, its our favourite local for delicious Thai food. Then we walked home for Ice cream Cupcakes, which were a big hit. One of the girls at the party grabbed our camera and took this photo on the night.


On Saturday night we went to Broad at the Sydney Opera House. Five female singer/songwriters of very different genres singing, playing and chatting on stage for a couple of hours. Fantastic.


Phoebe's soccer season continues... Last weekend was Gala Day  and her team won. All the games were great and well matched. I think it was the hair ribbons the girls wore on the day that increased their enthusiasm.


This should have marked the end of the soccer season for Phoebe, but no, she's been picked to play in the under 11's girls representative team for our region, so the soccer training continues a little longer. She is so excited to be in this team, she loves her soccer.


I have a few other things to catch up on. I've been tagged by Miki (I'm getting there, Miki) and I've received an award from Sophia (very exciting). I'll work on these two in new posts very soon.

Hope you have a great week.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x

maya road projects for CHA-S 2008

Maya Road is making some gorgeous stamps, both in sets and single stamps (which are called singletons). You can see the stamp sets (including new CHA releases) in the Maya Road CHA-S Catalog.

A couple of my favourites have features in some of my projects which have gone to CHA.

I've used owl stamp (below) on a few little projects.

Owl Stamps

The tiny owl stamp and the 'what a hoot' have been used below, with Pink Paisley paper on the background.


The owl stamped on acetate and coloured and mounted on a round tag with Scenic Route paper:


These owls were stamped on linen fabric then embroidered:





And while I was making little fabric hanging ornaments, I used the new Maya Road cupcake singleton stamp for these:


I love cupcakes. And now Maya Road have several new cupcake themed products. There's the stamp (which I mentioned above), but also there's

  • a cupcake stamp set (with six cupcake stamps plus more),
  • a cupcake chipboard album,
  • cupcake rubons sheets,
  • a cupcake sheer ribbon,
  • a cupcakes chipboard set and
  • a cupcake coaster album.

Below I've used a chipboard cupcake shape from the cupcake coaster album as the base for the felt cupcake below. This book is a Maya Road sheer tab binder book, which I covered with fabric slip cover which I sewed.



And a few pages from inside my cupcake book. This book holds most of my cupcake secrets, the recipes, the frostings, the fun stuff. Being the binder style book, I'll be able to add more pages as I go along, with more fun ideas.





This book was lots of fun to make.

That's all for today, I'll gather some more photos of my Maya Road projects and post very soon.

Thanks for visiting.


Fiona x