Step by Step, How to make an owl cake decoration.

I would like to share with you, this step to step guide for how to make an owl  for a cupcake topper or as a cake decoration. I made it as a guide for a Brownie activity (7-10 years old) and the Brownies completed this task very successfully, with some fantastic looking cupcakes to show for their efforts at the end. It was a very fun activity.

I will upload the biggest possible image for the instruction sheet so it will be printable on A4 should anybody wish to try it out for themselves.

Here are the step by step instructions:

Naomi Jameson- step by step brownie owl cupcake decoration

Some Tips:

This would be a very simple way to make an owl decoration for an adult making a batch of cupcakes with an owl theme, it will also be a good activity to do with children of 5 and over. Younger children could require more help, but older children could make them fairly independently. It’s an ideal Brownie craft and could also be a fun idea for a children’s party.

To save some time, I had pre-baked and piped butter cream onto enough cupcakes onto 36 cupcakes, enough for all of the Brownies and adults. I had also pre-coloured some fondant icing so we had lots of colours and everything was ready to use.

I then made each brownie a little kit on a paper plate, with all of the right amounts of fondant icing shared out ready. This way none of the owls would end up too large and heavy for the cupcakes.

For each owl you will need, a small ball of coloured fondant icing (marzipan would work too) an even smaller ball of yellow or orange fondant for the beak and feet, an even smaller ball of white fondant for the owl’s eyes and an EVEN SMALLER ball/ pip of black fondant for the pupils of the owl’s eyes.

Dust the surface that you are working on with icing sugar so that the icing doesn’t stick to the surface. But try hard not to get too much icing sugar on to of the owl or it will get too dry and will look a bit pale and dusty. If the icing does get too dusty you can brush it off with a food paintbrush and a tiny amount of warm water. Or if you’re an adult baking for adults, brush a bit of vodka onto the owl, it will clean it up a treat and will dry in an instant.

Also, Don’t poke the straws too hard into the icing to make the feathered pattern, or else you might end up cutting holes into the owl’s belly by accident.

Here are the pictures from when our Brownie unit made them:

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I hope this will be useful to some people!

Thanks!

Naomi xx

 

(Inspiration for the owl technique came from this source: http://zszywka.pl/p/sowka-2096416.html .)

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World Thinking Day – Brownie Uniforms from around the world.

World thinking day is on the 22nd February each year, it’s a time where brownies, guides and scouts are encouraged to think about brownies, guides and scouts in other countries all around the world. 

This year, as part of my leadership qualification, I ran an activity with our brownies which focused on the uniforms of brownies around the world. I found that resources and websites with clear images of the different uniforms were hard to come by, and it was even more difficult to find a website which had all of these different uniforms arranged on one page. So, to tackle this I had to try to make my own! Using Google images and http://www.waggsworld.org/ourworld , I drew out the uniforms onto a paper doll template with pen, and scanned these drawings into Photoshop to be coloured in electronically. 

I have decided to post an image of my efforts, on the off chance that other brownie leaders looking for some pictures of brownie uniforms of the world might stumble upon it. If that happens, then you’re welcome to use it and I hope you find it helpful. I will try my best to upload a good quality image. 

Happy Thinking Day! 

Brownie Uniforms of The World. Thinking Day. 2013

New Year’s Resolutions..

playing on paint

It wasNew Year’s Eve 2012, but something went wrong with this post, so here it is in 2013 instead! It’s been a good year, but  slightly stressful. The highlights of the year being Graduation, holidays in Belgium and Dublin, a couple of trips to London, lots of 21st birthdays, and good times with family and friends. I can’t remember if I ever made any new year’s resolutions last year, or if I kept them, but I remember that my main aim was to get onto a PGCE course.   Sadly that didn’t happen, and it continues to be the main source of stress in my life. .. Although, thinking about it, I may have also vowed to stop biting my nails again, and I can proudly say that I have (more or less) achieved that!

Instead of merely giving myself an extension on last year’s wish/ target of getting onto a PGCE course, I think i’ll decide on a few less-important resolutions. Some little things that should make me appreciate and enjoy 2013 that little bit more.

Instructions for Naomi 2013

1. Don’t worry so much about things before you’ve even tried to sort them out. So often things turn out much easier to sort than you’d imagined them being. – E.g. When you found out that your MA course was on Saturdays, you didn’t sleep for about a week because you were worrying you’d have to leave your job, but then wouldn’t be able to afford the course as a result. You worried about asking your manager far too much, and all she said was “Yeah, that’s fine, ” that is all it took, you massive numpty. And you bloody love that course now, don’t you!?!

2. Don’t be lazy. You have lots of ideas,  things that you fancy making, books you fancy reading, essays to get cracking on with  a bit earlier than a week before the deadline, blogs you keep forgetting about, diaries you start, a camera you still don’t know how to use properly. Don’t spend too much time just sitting still in front of the telly having a coffee. Have a coffee and finish some more of your 40000000 little projects.

3. Be more confident and get used to the sound of your own voice.. so you’ll start to feel a bit more adequate and try to feel as grown-up as the older staff when at work and when working at school and at brownies. I know you’ve not got a lot of experience but you’re not that bad! Speak with more confidence and just try to be who you want to be a bit more.  This should help with those dreaded PGCE/ job interviews!

4. Enjoy now more. Instead of thinking of now as time in limbo between university and the rest of your life, appreciate that this year is just as important as the year when you finally get a proper job, your own house and go on your holiday to New York to celebrate the first summer of working full time. Try your best not to hate having to go to work at Debenhams, enjoy studying, don’t worry about the fact that you’ve spent way more than you could afford on your new course. Think about other options if it turns out that teaching just isn’t for you. In short. Stop worrying about the future already.

5. Sort your room out.  I mean it this time. Grow up.

6. Don’t grow up too much. 🙂

Oh and, 7. Find some more interesting things to write blogs about.

Happy New Year!!! xx

2012, Personal Highlights.

I found that 2012 was a pretty good year, I’m just going to post a few pictures of the highlights:

1.  Beer in Belgium. 

A brilliant week with the ale society, it was like no holiday i’ve ever been on before.

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Brugge

Cantillon Brewery! C’est si bon!

Moeder Lambic!

Delerium Cafe!

A La Mort Subite

It was just such a good trip!

2. Wingsum’s 21st- London

it was hillarious.

3. Going Down Gaping Gill, Ingleborough. (see previous blog post 😀 )

4. Graduation! Getting my 2:1 honours degree in Popular and World Musics! 

5. Dublin with Charlotte! 

6. When Grandad went gliding. (Just after I had acquired a new, really good, camera.)

7. The work Christmas ball. It was nice. 

8. Penny moved in!

*woof*

9. The cake i’m most proud of : Dad’s 50th.

10. This pumpkin.

11. Starting my MA at Huddersfield. I love it.

12. There are probably a few more things.. I liked the Olympic opening ceremony… things like that. 

So, Happy New Year one and all! I hope this new year will bring you so much fun. x

Going Underground, Gaping Gill.

This Wednesday (6th June) I visited the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, Ingleborough and the astounding Gaping Gill pothole, where we got winched down 334ft into the massive underground chamber.Inside the chamber you can see tall underground waterfalls and daylight beaming in through the small opening high above our heads, through which we entered the cave, sat, suspended in a little caged chair hanging on a wire.

Gaping Gill is the UK’s highest unbroken waterfall (bpc-cave.org.uk) it is the point where Fell Beck ends and drops abruptly into a great gaping hole in the ground. Bradford Pothole Cub’s annual winch meet enables us non caving folk to get down and see the cave, which is normally inaccessible to the general public who are unable to climb a rope. It only costs £10. There are lots of experienced cavers around to explore the cave system down there, and they have a motor powered winch and a chair set up on a platform and the chamber is illuminated with spotlights.

When we went, there was a three hour wait for the winch. Normally this would be perfect as it’d leave enough time to hike up the rest of the mountain. Sadly for us the weather was not at all on our side, after ten minutes of hiking we were soaked through, and the visibility on the mountain was horrific. There would have been little point in climbing it, risking getting lost, getting cold and half drowned to get to the summit and not be able to see anything, plus we had climbed to the top in the past. So instead we sheltered with about forty others in a white tent, a pop up real ale pub called ‘The Fell Inn’ until it finally stopped chucking it down. We put on our muddy waterproof suits and waited for our turn for the winch. It was pretty cold to be honest, I was wearing my spare socks on my hands.

The actual winch ride is awesome, they ask you to sit as far back in the seat as possible and keep your feet tucked under the seat so that you don’t hit the wall of the pothole, which gets really rather close  at some points on the way down. The trip down is a good distance, i.e. it doesn’t go so quickly that it’s over before you know it. I tried my best to look around as I descended, but movement is pretty restricted in the chair, it’s pitch black below and looking up you get a face full of water from the waterfall. At the bottom I was struck by the sheer size of the chamber, and I was excited to see how far i’d just traveled from the surface. Once my eyes had adjusted to the darkness we walked around the chamber, and I tried to get some half decent photos. My little camera did me proud, after a bit of brightness and contrast adjustment I got some pretty good shots.

When we got back out in the open it was like a completely new day, it was bright and sunny and we could see the mountains. We hiked back down the hill to Clapham and got some fish and chips on the way home, it was a really good day.

Link- Bradford Pothole Club – http://www.bpc-cave.org.uk/gaping_gill.htm

My Photos

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