White warmth ... when cool hues warm the heart and soul

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wintry White Cake

I saw this cake in "Southern Living" magazine, 
which won first prize this year.

It's called "Mrs. Billett's White Cake", 
and the recipe can be found here:  

It looked delicious, but I was taken by its beauty.  
So I decided to make one.

My cake turned out a bit different (not a surprise).  I didn't cover the cake with fondant, as the magazine version did, so the effect isn't the same, but I kind of like the difference.  I don't like that it's not as snow-white, but I do like the effect of "peaks," like little snowdrifts under the big snowflakes. 

I was only able to find one snowflake cookie cutter (in a Wilton pre-packaged box to make peppermint bark), so I only had one size.  If I'd decided to do this sooner, I'd have had time to order different sized snowflake cutters online.

I used the tips from an icing decorator kit and an X-acto knife to create more elaborate shapes than the ones in the magazine, and I was happy with that.  It was great fun to make, though a lot of time involved.

And it really was delicious!  The icing was over-the-top sweet, 
but the cake was incredibly rich and moist. 

My snowflakes

My finished cake! 


And now I'm inspired to try a Spring flower cake in a couple of months!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Velvet Pumpkins

So luscious and plump!  The first time I saw them, I had to have.

So I purchased one from Rachel Ashwell's 
Shabby Chic Couture website.
There were three sizes, all for sale at 75% off 
with free shipping!
Well, naturally.....

So I chose this beauty.  
Superb quality! It seems to be stuffed with sand.
And, oh, that stem!

Well, one was not enough, but I couldn't afford to buy many,
and most that I found for sale just weren't the colors I wanted.

So I searched online for a "how-to" and happily found 
great instructions at a delightful blog, "Nest of Posies."

Pumpkin stems are very hard to find, 
but I managed to find some short ones. 
M pumpkins are stuffed 
with fiberfill and dry beans (for weight).
I splurged on gorgeous silk velvet,  
which can be purchased as fat quarters or by the 1/2 yard at:  

 These lovelies stay out all year round!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


No, not white, but pink ... not a usual choice for me these days. But as I roamed through a local antique shop on a rainy afternoon recently and spotted this vintage galvanized steel milk box, chippy and oh-so-pink, I was completely charmed! I envisioned a woman in a ruffled apron, decades ago, happily painting her milk box to add cheer to her small covered porch. It was on sale and I really had to have it.

Though I loved it, still I thought to myself, "If only it were blue..."

Two days later, I curiously went online to price-check these lovely old boxes, and lo and behold, what did I see....?

Only one blue milk box on all the Web, and there it was, waiting for me!

Ah, serendipity and simple pleasures ... reason to smile.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Swirling like snow in my thoughts

Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose.
For whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed.

~William Shakespeare

The red rose whispers of passion,
And the white rose breathes of love;
O, the red rose is a falcon,
And the white rose is a dove.

~John Boyle O'Reilly