Tag Archives: art

In Bruges

27 Jun

What else could I entitle this post? Have you seen the film!?

This is in the film right?

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You should see the film.

But we saw him in real life!!! :3 He was very cute and very lovely, of course. A nice man took us to see him on a boat πŸ˜›

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Cos’ canals are quite prolific in those parts.

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But here’s an interesting fact for you: there’s only 5 boat owners in the whole of Bruges, and they are only allowed 4 boats each! I’d say that was a good rule – preventing canal blockage and all that…

So basically, we went to Bruges and it was delightful πŸ™‚

We ate a lot of food, but of course we ate that before we took pictures of it… For your imagination they included waffles with butter and sugar; steak tartare! (of all things!); rabbit cooked in beer sauce (yum! plus, rabbit is on like, EVERY menu around! Why are we English so anti-rabbit-eating?); banana split (not particularly Belgian but hey – bananas and ice cream are nice partners); raspberry beer and dark chocolate covered oranges… The eating was good.

Here are the non-food-related pictures that I’d like to share with you anyhow πŸ™‚

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Stunning buildings wherever you look. The city is steeped in history and this is obvious from the inscriptions on a lot of the buildings – many of which were built in the 1600s!

They have 21 museums! If I recall correctly… Something like 16 public and 5 private?

We went to the Salvador Dali one. It was disturbing, to say the least. Does anyone else think it’s odd that the work he’s most famous for isn’t his insane rudey works? Because if you saw a collection of what he’s done you’d be like ‘Woah, like 10% of his stuff isn’t creepy and erotic, but that minority percentage is the stuff I’ve always liked him for!’ Well, you might not. Personally I’m a slight bit prudish and the likes of this were a bit much for me.

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Sorry guys, I didn’t even know whether to include that one, haha. But it’s art right? And children were allowed in so…

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Give me a spindly-legged elephant any day. They had miniature ones of these for sale and I SO would have loved one if they weren’t 63 euros :/

Cos’ the city is kind of expensive! But the produce they have available just oozes quality.

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This is soap! Mmhmm πŸ™‚

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And of course the range of chocolate and other confectionery was fairly mind-blowing. I wish we got more pictures of that…

Another interesting discovery was that apparently, it is always Christmas in Bruges. Honestly, I really wish that we’d got pictures of the shop completely decked out in wreaths, full of toy soldiers and snow globes, but all I have to offer you in terms of proof is this:

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You don’t have to tell me this is awful and tasteless, haha. Blame the love. He found it ‘funny’.

We both found this funny:

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Sand-wishes :’) how cute! Cannibal toast!

I will leave you on that note. Goodbye! πŸ™‚

Decoupage Cows, Panda Cupcakes and Other Nonsense.

30 Apr

The time has finally come, dear readers, to unveil the astonishing piece of art I prepared for Dave’s birthday.

Feast your eyes on this:

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Yes! Gasp you should!

For those of you who are none the wiser about these ‘amoosements’ (one of Dave’s, not mine!), here is an excerpt from my Liebster Award post that hopefully explains the madness succinctly πŸ™‚

So I am very pleased with the result, only I do wish I’d gone for the jeans-style decoupage paper to give the little guy some comfy trews! Dave likes the 70s vibe he’s got going on though, so all is well. I also thought his shoes deserved laces, but… one can go too far…

So yes! The 30th is Dave’s birthday.

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And of course that means cake.

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BUT it is also my babe of a brother’s birthday!!! And that means MORE cake!

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I believe I mentioned howΒ inundatedΒ I am with birthdays this month (thank God it is May tomorrow – even if it is a bit ‘say whaaaaat? May already!?’) in my Celebrations of April post… Sorry about all the references to previous posts guys but this whole cownundrum (haaaaaa) has had quite a build up for me πŸ˜›

Yes, so as I was saying, a shed-load of birthdays, but I just want to underline the fact that I don’t mean to shadow all of the other special people’s birthdays in favour of Dave’s for any other reason than COWS!!! And LOOK WHAT I MADE!!! Sorry Dave, no offence πŸ˜€ cows.

And pandas.

I thought they would please my brother as they are suitably kitsch and all the rest of it. Plus I made one of them a saaaad panda which correlates with one of his most often used quotes πŸ™‚

I would say that they pleased me too, but after laboriously decorating 3 cows and 3 pandas, I defy anyone to get tired of the repetition. Especially when you have a poorly shoulder and… enough moaning. I also made the mistake of stacking the finished articles in a cake tin. MISTAAAAAAAAKE I tell you! The eyes are the hardest parts to do and of course they were all smudged and had to be redone. These cakes are not stackable or easy to travel with. They take patience, love and strong healthy shoulders. But they are adorable :3

It took an awfully long time because the recipe I used did not state how many cakes it was for… So I assumed that if there were going to be enough cakes for two birthdays then I’d have to double the amounts. WRRONG! The mixture was enough for 48 normal-sized cakes. Please bear in mind that the aforementioned recipe was for MINI cupcakes.Β Mind-blown.

Boredom, by the way, did account for a few of the weirder cakes. I don’t know if you spotted the odd one out on the previous picture? Have another go:

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It’s a dolphin. Yes. Harry Potter also adorned the face of one cupcake, as did farm animals in a hot tub (also featured above) and the love’s artistic impression of himself.

So, moving on to the recipe which I will re-halve so that it is intended to make 24 normal-sized cupcakes πŸ™‚

Serves 24.

Oh! (sorry, so much to fit into this post!) The cake recipe is in cups, the icing isn’t – I hope that isn’t an issue. If it is, I will totally do the honours of converting things for you πŸ˜€

For the Cakes:

  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or other non-flavourful oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup hot water

For the Frosting:

  • 400g cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Decoration:

First of all, a note on decoration: if you’ve taken a look at the recipeΒ I used, you will see that the cupcakes over on there are super beautiful, perfect and all the rest of it. Trust me, if I thought I could find white sanding sugar, a black edible ink pen and pastel confetti sprinkles without too much bother then I would have. The effect is amazing. I improvised with caster sugar, leftover icing and black designer icing which comes in it’s own decorator bag… not as neat but it did the trick.

  • Icing (see above)Β 
  • Black designer icing
  • Caster sugar
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chocolate buttons
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  1. Preheat the oven to 180Β°c and prepare a cupcake tray with cupcake cases.Β 
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the dry cake ingredients together.
  3. Add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add the hot water, mix and DON’T PANIC! At this stage the concoction in front of you will look like a pool of… well, brown liquid. Have faith! Keep mixing until there is some body to the mixture. It will still seem too fluid, but the cakes turn out gorgeously moist once baked. Just go with it.
  4. Fill the cupcake cases about half way up. They rise A LOT! Then bake for 15-20 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean.
  5. While waiting for the cakes to cool, make the icing by mixing the cream cheese with the vanilla until smooth. Then sift in the icing sugar and fold gently to incorporate. This is my brother’s favourite icing πŸ™‚
  6. Prepare a plate of caster sugar and set up all of the other decorating bits in an assembly-line fashion. When the cakes are cool, top them with a heaped teaspoon of the icing, then turn them upside down and gently squish them in the sugar. This will spread the icing evenly over the the cake, so don’t worry too much about perfecting the smoothness of the icing beforehand πŸ™‚
  7. For pandas, use 2 chocolate buttons as eyes and 2 as ears. A chocolate chip for the nose and chocolate sprinkles for the mouth πŸ™‚ then use the handle of a little spoon (or something) to dip in the icing and dab a circle on each eye. Finally, use the black designer icing to draw on the pupils. For cows, it’s pretty much the same except I used 2 chocolate chips as nostrils and I halved chocolate buttons to make cow-like splodges on their faces πŸ™‚ I also chopped up chocolate buttons for their horns.

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Woop!

One last thing before I go.

I am ever, EVER so grateful for this beautiful badge:

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I have neglected wearing too many times. From now on it shall be pinned eternally to… my heart… if not my clothes.

πŸ™‚