Friday, 27 May 2016

6 Ultimate Birthday Cake Recipes

Regular readers of my blog will know that I recently celebrated my birthday.  Birthday cakes are a bit of a "thing" here at Two Cheeky Monkeys HQ, though I am not the best cake maker by any standards.  So, in the lead up to my birthday, I madly researched cakes to make for myself which looked delicious and weren't too hard to make.  This list of six are ones which, although they require a bit more effort than a plain old chocolate cake with buttercream, aren't too taxing on those who know how to bake and also look decadent and luscious.  Perfect for a grown up birthday!

image 6 ultimate cake recipes macaron chocolate layer cake tutorial diy recipe

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Whatever our souls are made of...

image locket necklace wing charm two cheeky monkeys silver beaded boho wuthering heights quote inset

I recently had the pleasure of creating a romantic locket necklace for a customer who, along with her husband, was very fond of Cathy Earnshaw's heartfelt "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same" in Wuthering Heights.  Although I found Emily Bronte's novel to be rather dark, mournful and depressing, I know that many around the world adore this same quote.

image wuthering heights locket necklace jewellery jewelry whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same two cheeky monkeys handmade quote literature typography

I quite like how this custom locket necklace fits in so well with all the other lockets in-store and am thinking of adding it to our regular range of necklaces.  What do you think?  Do you love this quote?  Or do you have another classic favourite?

Monday, 23 May 2016

Happy birthday to me, and a gift for you

image birthday cake sale two cheeky monkeys domum vindemia australia kit kat smarties

As much as I hate admitting that I'm getting older (but not necessarily acting older!), today I am announcing that it's my birthday and I'm celebrating it with a 24 hour sale.
For TODAY ONLY, receive 20% off purchases over $30 in either Two Cheeky Monkeys or Domum Vindemia.  The discount is not valid for special custom orders and is only valid when purchases are made in one transaction.  To receive your 20% discount, use the coupon code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at the Etsy checkout.  Why don't you spoil yourself with a birthday gift or two?  Or stock up on gifts for loved ones!

Friday, 20 May 2016

Creative sneak peeks!

In between all the custom work I've been creating and getting oldest Monkey ready to head off to school camp, I have been busily working away at new literature creations for both Domum Vindemia and Two Cheeky Monkeys.  A busy workload seems to fuel my creative juices, so I'm pretty happy to be able to sit down and spend at least some time turning my ideas into reality!

image chunky beaded bracelets two cheeky monkeys literature quote glass pearls mary poppins the princess bride

The first of my new creations was inspired by customers' requests for chunkier bracelets.  I have pretty tiny wrists (when you can look past the chubby flab!) and love more delicate bracelets, so I tend to forget that others have different arm party needs.  This was partially rectified with the introduction of my chunky chain literature bracelet which I introduced about a year ago.  But now ladies who love chunky bling are more fully catered for with the addition of glass pearl quote bracelets!  These bracelets come in a choice of five pearl colours, and six different literary quotes, ranging from Jane Eyre to The Princess Bride to Mary Poppins.

image cupcake toppers literature literary jane austen pride and prejudice handmade domum vindemia mr darcy elizabeth bennet

My second lot of new creations are these quirky cupcake toppers decked out with scalloped hearts hand punched from battered copies of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  Each heart is double-sided and features names of characters or locations in the book, including our favourite couple Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.  These will be available in the "cake bunting" section of Domum Vindemia and I think they're perfect for a wedding, bridal shower or perhaps even an English teacher's birthday party.  What do you think?

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

From vintage doilies to Voltron - special orders I'm creating

I have been so humbled in the last month or so to have been approached by a veritable stream of customers requesting custom variations of my usual creations.  And although custom work often takes more time and energy, I am always happy to take it on and amazed that there are so many people who trust me to turn their vision into a reality!

image voltron bookmark keith and allura domum vindemia handmade illustrated

Today I'm sharing two recent custom works, and they're as different from each other as are the proverbial chalk and cheese, but still exciting for me to be able to do both.  The first items were a custom order from my lovely Twitter friend Cubbie, who is a mad keen Voltron fan.  She commissioned several bookmarks with an illustration which I had previously used to create Voltron jewellery.

The second creations are a pair of matching doily buntings, created for a bride-to-be's big day in July.  The brief was to make two white/off white doily buntings, one larger and one smaller, to be hung as decorations on the special day.  My favourite part of making these doily buntings is always sorting through my doily stash to see which ones fit my customer's colour and style requirements!  Of course, sending off the finished product to its new home is very satisfying too.  What do you think of my latest custom makes?

Monday, 16 May 2016

6 Ways to Fold Table Napkins

So after my mega week of sewing dinner-sized napkins for a custom order, I got to thinking about fun ways to fold napkins for dinner parties and weddings.  Here are seven of my favourites, some are easy whilst others take a little practise.  Which do you like?

image diy tutorial napking folding fan cutlery holder server fleur de lis bouquet chef's hat

1. Simple but classic fan shape.
2. Beautiful bow.
3. Another classic - cutlery server.
4. An elegant option, the fleur de lis.
5. A napkin bouquet is perfect for a girls only high tea.
6. Go a little more complicated with a chef's hat.

Friday, 13 May 2016

I'm loving pineapples and mos

image handmade dinner napkin cutlery server fold moustache mo domum vindemia riley blake fabric aqua blue

There has been a flurry of sewing happening here at Two Cheeky Monkeys HQ with some of my favourite fabrics and colours pretty much living on the sewing table (aka the dining room table) this week!  Why?  All because a lovely customer, who ordered a stack of the pineapple and moustache cocktail napkins, got in contact with me to order lunch-sized napkins so she could have matching napery.

image handmade dinner napkin cuffed roll napkin fold pineapple pineapple slices domum vindemia riley blake fabric blue yellow

Both of these pretty fabrics are out of print now, unfortunately, but I did manage to find some last remnants from a variety of sources.  Even better, there is enough leftover fabric for me to make a few more cocktail napkin sets for Domum Vindemia!  Are you a fan of the current fruit print trend?  Or are you more a quirky mo/moustache kind of decorator?

image handmade dinner napkin serviette fabric moustache mo domum vindemia riley blake fabric aqua blue pineapple pineapple slices yellow
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