MINIATURIZE THIS: HAPPY MAPLE

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Golly, it’s been a while since my last Miniaturize This post!

I’ve had such a busy time lately preparing for and trading at the first ever Adelaide Finders Keepers market! I’ve finally found some time to make for fun again, and I’m so excited to announce a kind of series-within-a-series for Miniaturize This! The theme is DONUTS! Or DOUGHNUTS! Donuts + Doughnuts basically. I’m going to miniaturize some of Australia’s best donuts! There will be 5 posts in the series, the rest are top-secret but if you have any guesses or suggestions for magical Aussie donuts, please let me know in the comments!

First up: Local faves Happy Maple!

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Happy Maple Vegan Donuts (image from Facebook)

Happy Maple is a dedicated 100% vegan, gluten free, ‘free from’ small batch bakery with no tree nut recipes + no peanut recipes. But you would never pick it from the taste! Seriously – they are still super fluffy and delicious!

For each donut biz in this series I will be miniaturizing 3 delicious treats. My choices for Happy Maple began with the first Happy Maple donut I ever tasted! Queen Freddie is a cruller donut with strawberry jam, white chocolate and pink sprinkles. I remember tasting this while holding a stall at the Flinders Street Market’s Sweet Tooth event last year – deeeelicious!

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Queen Freddie Donut (image via Facebook)

I thought this would be a fun mini to make because of the shape of the cruller donut. I carved it out of clay before texturing and shading it, adding the white choc icing and hand-making the teeny pink sprinkles.

My next choice was a classic Happy Maple fave that I’ve had plenty of time – the Yaytime! A magical donut based on the beloved Golden Gaytime ice-cream, the Yaytime is topped with a pile of delicious cookie crumb goodness. This is definitely the messiest to eat, but also ridiculously satisfying!

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Yaytime Donut (image via Facebook)

The crumb was definitely a challenging thing to make from clay. I used several shades of brown along with lots of needle and dotting tools to make it work, finishing with a little shading here and there to give that crumbly look.

My last choice was a new special-edition donut that I sadly missed out on during their recent pop-up in the Adelaide Central Markets! A donut that is bound to touch everyone’s heart – Sugarplum’s Diagon Alley! Yes, that’s right, a Harry Potter themed donut! I spy a scoop of Floo Powder!

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Sugarplum’s Diagon Alley Donut (image via Facebook)

This was another fun one to sculpt – you gotta keep that detail as realistic as possible, so even though it was gonna be covered in icing I had to sculpt the twisty pattern into this one! This donut had a lot of challenging yet fun elements to it; those black sprinkles? Individually hand rolled. One. By. One. WORTH IT! I loved making the tiny wizz fizz shovel, too! Childhood memories of hoarding every one I ever got as the mini obsession began to flourish!

All together I’m really happy with the results here, these minis were so fun to make and I really can’t wait to get stuck into the next donuts!

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You can follow Happy Maple on instagram and Facebook to see where they will pop-up next!

And don’t forget to follow me too for your sneaky peeks at the next donuts and other delicious mini adventures!

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Miniaturize This: Anna Polyviou

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Miniaturize This!

It’s been a while between miniature replicas! I have been so busy trying to make and re-stock tons of jewellery after a busy market season, as well as performing the usual juggling act that is the life of an artist with a day job! I hadn’t decided on my next ‘miniaturize this!’ project yet, when I saw the amazing Anna Polyviou appear on MasterChef Australia! I have followed Anna for a while on instagram, and was super excited to see what she would bring to MasterChef. I find her very inspiring, as she is a strong, unique and ridiculously talented lady who is making her mark in not only the Australian dessert scene, but worldwide! Not to mention that badass, vibrant, sweet-toothed ladies with amazing hair – well, lets just say they’re my people.

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The dish that Anna presented on MasterChef was her Carrot Cake. This cake is not just any old Carrot Cake though – it’s a 13 element SUPER carrot cake, comprising of the following elements: apricot and carrot sorbet, carrot cake, apricot insert, rice bubble disc, carrot cake crumble, praline cremeux, caramel glaze, cream cheese foam, caramelised walnut crumble and candy carrot strips, topped off with a splattering of yellow ‘graffiti’ and baby celery leaves to garnish. PHEW. And if that sounds like a challenge you’d like to take, you can find the recipe here. The dish is so beautiful and complex, that I decided to try and make a miniature version.

I began with the plate, which was arguably the most time consuming element, using a black glaze with a dash of pearl powder to get that slightly metallic look.

I approached this challenge quite methodically, creating each element one by one, pre-curing certain pieces. I initially tried to make the cake from a cured piece of clay, actually glazing it in the ‘caramel’ like in the recipe, but it didn’t work out too well. I remembered that the ‘graffiti’ is supposed to sink into the glaze, creating a completely flush texture, but with the technique I ended up using the ‘graffiti’ does sit slightly raised on the cake. This was my only real trouble in creating the miniature, as although it took a long time and a huge amount of concentration and attention to detail, things came together quite nicely.

The candy carrot strips were a challenge, having to be sliced so super thin, and then gently textured to create the look of the carrot’s core.

I was excited to find that my initial plan for the quenelle of sorbet worked perfectly! I made a quenelle shape from orange clay, cured it and then coated it in a brighter orange liquid clay to create that slightly melted look.

I am very pleased with the way this one turned out, and so glad that I decided to give it a go, even though it was a little intimidating! I would love to try creating another of Anna’s many incredible desserts one day – there are so many to choose from I am glad that MasterChef helped me to decide!

If you have a suggestion for something you’d like to see miniaturised – a particular chef’s work or a classic dish, let me know in the comments!

P.S. I will be having a stall this Saturday at the special Etsy Craft Party edition of Flinders Street Market, so come and say hi! Yay!

Miniaturize This: LuxBite

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Miniaturise This After the enjoyment in completing my first ‘Miniaturize This’ challenge, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the next one! This time I decided to challenge myself by making not just one – but three pieces! It was only natural that the next desserts to miniaturize would be by the ever inspiring LuxBite! For those who are not yet familiar, LuxBite is a restaurant in South Yarra, Melbourne that produces some of the most magical desserts in Australia, and some of the best macarons I have ever tasted! They have also recently opened a new restaurant – T by LuxBite – in the Melbourne CBD which I cannot wait to visit next time I’m over there! It wasn’t too hard to choose which desserts to miniaturize – I have always wanted to make a mini version of their amazing Lolly Bag Cake, which I was bewildered by when I saw it featured in a challenge on MasterChef. The Endless Love Cake is so beautiful I couldn’t resist recreating it – even if the thought of making all those raspberries was a little daunting! Choosing my third item was the trickiest part, but I ended up choosing the Epic Chocolate Cravings – mostly because I remember how amazing it tasted and wanted to look at pictures of it all day! 05_endlesslove I started with the Endless Love Cake. Mixing the right colour proved to be quite difficult, and it has turned out slightly darker than the original, but it still looks beautiful! The raspberries were a challenge – just as I had expected! I made seven raspberries completely from scratch, no molds here! Once the raspberries were done (around 3 or 4 hours work!) the whole thing came together really nicely! I’m very happy with the result which measures approx. 2cm in height and diameter. SONY DSC SONY DSC 02_lollybagcake Next was the Lolly Bag Cake! Colours were fairly easy to mix up, and I created a layered piece before texturing each layer to represent the different elements, from the banana lolly jaconde to the musk mallow and of course the redskin glaze. The biggest challenge with this one was the sprinkles for the freckles crunch layer and on the top of the cake. These are the smallest sprinkles I’ve ever made! They are super duper tiny and each on was individually hand rolled. I’m so pleased with this piece, it really looks amazing! It is approx. 1cm x 1.5cm x 2.3cm. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC 04_epicchoccravings Finally, the Epic Chocolate Cravings Cake! As this piece is fairly simple, I wanted to focus on getting the shades of the different chocolate elements as accurate as possible. I also glazed the sides and added tiny details to make it look like it was soft and had just been cut, as well as some teeny air bubbles that I had noticed in the original piece. The white chocolate stick was more of a challenge than I had expected, making it so small but with that twirl detail took quite a few tries. I was so happy to add the detail of the cocoa texture on top as well as the little gold leaf piece on top! This one is approx. 1cm x 1cm x 2.2cm. SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC I had so much fun with these pieces and can’t wait to do the next challenge! If you have a suggestion of what I can miniaturize next please share it in the comments! Do you have a favourite LuxBite treat? I’d love to hear about it so I know what to try next time I visit! SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC

Miniaturize This: Katherine Sabbath

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MINIATURISETHIS

I just HAVE to tell you about my favourite person on instagram!
Her name is Katherine Sabbath and she is a high school history teacher. She also bakes. Oh how she bakes. All of the amazing flavours with her own super creative colourful decorations!

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Yeah that’s right, she BAKED that. It’s for eating. And it is called her unicorn cheesecake which combines my two favourite things in the universe.
So let me recap: Katherine Sabbath is a crazy talented creative baker.
She is also a prime example of someone thriving on the day job/successful hobby juggle; and here’s one more thing: she is stylish as all hell, and is often sharing and shouting out about local Aussie designer/makers.

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All of these things combined make her my favourite person on instagram! If I’m feeling a bit uninspired, one visit to her colourful and sugary gallery of photos will always make me feel super inspired.

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These little ice-cream pops – how could this photo not bring a smile to your face?!

Ok so getting to the point here – I have embarked on a new regular bloggy special. I am going to pick an iconic baker, pastry chef or dessert and then I am going to make a miniature version of it! Yay! I get to share with you all why I love it so much, and then I get to challenge myself by creating my own tiny version!

There are so many bakes to choose from in Katherine’s arsenal that I am pretty sure this won’t be the last of my recreations when it comes to her work! Here’s what I chose:

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This dropped ice-cream cake makes me so happy. Mint is just the most amazing colour, and the hot pink ganache contrasts in such an insane way! All of the amazingness.

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The biggest challenge here was definitely the sequin sprinkles. There was no way I could make them small enough to be to scale, and slicing canes didn’t work for me as they were just so small they wouldn’t hold shape. The only answer was individually rolling and flattening them, so that’s what I did. You can see my fingerprints on a few, but I kind of like that added texture and reminder of the work involved!

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I was excited to make the crushed up musk lollies! My plan to make them worked perfectly and I’m so happy with the texture in comparison to the actual cake!
The dripping was not easy with liquid clay! It’s such a sticky, oozy medium to work with, but I’m happy with the result and how it retained the colour so well!

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I’ve borrowed some teeny musk lollies in the photo below to give you an idea of the scale – don’t tell my little sister!

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I’m super happy with the end result and can’t wait to complete my next Miniaturize This! challenge! YAY!
If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment, I’d love your imput! And I’d love to know, if you follow Katherine Sabbath, what is your favourite thing she has baked?!
(if you don’t follow her, you go do that now or live with the drab, colourless consequences)

We followed the White Rabbit

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On Saturday, my friend Shianna and I set up shop in Rymill Park for an amazing event! ‘Follow the White Rabbit’ was an Alice in Wonderland themed art exhibition run by Espionage Gallery, and co-organised by a friend of mine, Ashleigh. The exhibition itself was set up on the island; artworks tied to trees and a bridge the only path to get there. The feel of the day was so wonderful! People were dressed up, there was amazing food, great music, theatrical performances and the weather was perfect (apart from a breeze or two every now and then).
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I was a little late in getting set up (so unusual for me…), but once I was, the Alice nails began! I designed a special Alice themed nail wheel for the occasion, and was delighted to paint so many teapots and bunny ears on people’s digits! The warmth and wind did present a few polish-related struggles, but hey, what’s art without a challenge?!
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After my first couple of clients I was able to take a moment to soak in my surroundings – by that point there were many people around, some rowing tiny boats around the island, others just relaxing on the grass or playing a giant game of chess. I ran away to visit Emma at the Fakery Bakery – I always need sugar by this point in the day! There were all sorts of magical Alice-themed vegan cupcakes on display! And gingerbread playing card houses – so flipping cool!
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We got a Red Velvet – very Queen of Hearts!
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And also a Raspberries + Cream ‘Flamingo Bum’ aka the best thing ever.
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I made a few special Alice pieces myself, too! The necklaces were quite a hit – I only have 1 or 2 left of each, which I will take to future markets until sold out.
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We ended the day with a little face-paint thanks our lovely stall-neighbour! I wish I never had to take it off! I have a flamingo and Shianna is a dragon!
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It was such a great day, I hope to do another event in that location sometime! Did you visit us at the White Rabbit? Perhaps you even bought a piece of art or got dem nailz did! Let me know in the comments!
Kara x

 

Christmas Custom Orders

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Does your BFF have a macaron addiction? Has your sister been dipping French fries into ice cream for as long as you can remember? Has your mum made iced vovos from scratch for every birthday since you were teeny? What better way to immortalise these memories than to get a custom miniature made for them?! Just jump onto http://www.picnicfortea.etsy.com and hit the ‘custom’ tool, attach a few photos and a description including what type of jewellery you want it to be (or not!) and I will get something special made up for you! Get your orders in by Dec 10 to guarantee* arrival before Christmas Day!
*Sometimes Australia Post are a bit unreliable but just think Christmassy thoughts and it will be ok!

here is a recipe for the cheesecake in the photo above – deeeelish!

http://www.treats-sf.com/2013/06/raspberry-pistachio-cheesecake.html

Keeping Calm and Pushing Through

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C A L M

I am busy.

Like, really busy.

All of the time. Really busy always.

It’s exhausting, and it’s not easy, but I’m really not willing to give up any of the things that make me so busy. I gave up study thinking I would have lots more time to follow my dreams, but it didn’t make much difference time-wise! I don’t know how I managed to do assignments on top of everything else! At the moment I work full time and then work on my business in basically all of the spare time I have. When I have spare time and don’t do productive things I make myself feel bad and guilty about it. I need to stop this. Everyone needs to relax sometimes; everyone needs a day off. I want to spend time with my family, my friends, try out different projects and do some baking. I don’t usually feel too guilty about these things, they’re a little bit productive really, because they make me feel inspired and refreshed. The times I feel the most guilty are the times I spend doing nothing. Even if I am super tired or have just worked lots of days in a row, I feel like I have wasted time. The thing is, I know there is no point dwelling on things you can’t change, but I still find my thoughts becoming negative and they just don’t help anything, so I am going to make a little pledge.

A pledge to guilt-free downtime.

1. I solemnly swear to feel GREAT about a little sleep in on a day off. An extra hour or 2 of treasured sleep is what dreams are made of (between pressing snooze) on an early work morning.

2. If I am feeling too tired to make jewellery, I will relax and do some idea generation or future planning instead. Resting my body and inspiring my brain is NOT a waste of time, and maybe it will help me to get into the creative zone later on.

3. If it gets to the end of a day off and I have done nothing businessy, it’s ok. The things are still there to do and there is always another day off around the corner. I will write a prioritised to-do list and take it bit by bit. No guilty thoughts – everyone has days off!

4. If I am feeling uninspired I won’t dwell on it. I will read a magazine, go on pinterest or read some blogs. There’s nothing like other people’s creativity to make me feel positive and inspired again.

5. If I am feeling at a standstill I will look back at how it all began and how far I have come. It’s really far. I will then pat myself on the back.

Phew. It feels good to shake off the negativity!
Are you struggling with productivity or guilty feelings? Maybe you need to make a little pledge too! Post your positivity pledge in the comments – however tiny or big it may be, you will feel better for it!

Kara