Thursday, April 28, 2011

All About Bathrooms

I was shooting a very lovely modern home yesterday, and we got to talking about bathrooms. I see all kinds, so I thought I'd share a bit of a variety with you. 

This bathroom was designed by Rebecca Lapres. The log table is by designer John Ross.

 Bathroom designed by View Point Construction.

This bathroom was designed by Nancy Riesco and Clinton Cuddington.

Do you have a favourite? I've love to know! I'm leaning towards the first one of this batch.

If you're watching the big wedding, try to catch a nap first. I'd take a nap now, but the Canucks are playing Nashville in the Stanley Cup Playoffs....cannot miss this game! I think I'm going to be very tired tomorrow.

Back soon!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


How's your week so far? I'm doing fun things like my tax and H.S.T. returns. Heaps of fun! Of course, one shouldn't leave one's tax return for the last minute. I've also joined Poppytalk Handmade, and I'm really excited about that. I'm working on a new series of images and note cards to add to my "table" soon.

I made lamingtons over the weekend. They're an Australian tradition and delicious. I drizzle chocolate over each piece of cake, rather than dipping it in chocolate, as I'm not too keen on a whole coating. Everyone seems to have a different spin on these!

Lamingtons - makes one cake cut into 15 pieces.

125g softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup berry/caster sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded coconut (to sprinkle over chocolate coated cake)

Chocolate Icing:
10g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
100g dark chocolate broken in pieces
60ml milk

Preheat oven to 320f/160c. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until well combined. Fold in the milk. Pour batter into lightly greased  7"x11"x2" pan, lined (on bottom) with parchment paper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, then cut into 15-18 pieces.

To make the icing, put the icing sugar, chocolate, butter and milk in a heat proof bowl and place over a simmering pot of water. Stir constantly until melted and combined. Drizzle chocolate over each piece of cake (keep chocolate over pan of hot water, but turn off heat, so it doesn't harden), then sprinkle coconut over top. Stand iced cake on a wire rack until completely set.

Have a great day! Back soon.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Observations

I've ended up working today, so I've spent most of the day in front of the computer. My brief outing is above. I have to say, it makes it easier to work when it's raining ;)

That's been my Sunday. I hope you all had the day off and ate lots of chocolate!
Back soon!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Brunch Table

We hosted a family Easter Brunch (for 18. Yikes) yesterday, so I thought I'd share a quick couple of pics of the table as I was setting up. Lots of wood boxes, vintage fruit baskets and a vintage table cloth to wrap it up. Simple, and springy. We served hot cross buns, cookies, pineapple and melon plate and corn fritters with roasted tomatoes and avocado. I found the table cloth and vintage fruit baskets at Blue Owl, here in Vancouver.

Have a great weekend! Back on Monday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pit-stop at the Cross

How's your week so far? Mine's been pretty busy with a couple of fun shoots. Shot a beautiful condo with a fabulous deck for House and Home yesterday, and a garden today. The condo had an incredible view of Vancouver and the mountains. Can't show you until August, when the issue is on the stands. Nuts.

Today was my day of post production but I had to take a break at hour 5, so I headed down to the Cross. Always good to catch up with them. Have to say, I did spy a few things that I wouldn't mind picking up.

 I think this chair is even better with this cushion. Love it.

Have you been to the Cross? It's located in the Yaletown area of Vancouver. You can also shop on line, which makes it all too easy. ;)
Now to get back to work. Back on Friday!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Hello Monday! I'm trying to be a little peppier on Mondays. Hmm. Still think we should have a 3 day weekend. Hope your week is off to a good start!

This weekend I made a batch of cupcakes to take to our friend Daniel, co-owner of the shop Walrus. He had a special birthday, so he deserved some sparkly cupcakes. Sparkly cupcakes need sparkly wine to go with them. It was a fun way to wrap up the weekend. Oh, and the Canucks won too!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Pistachio Praline Whipped Icing - makes about 36 mini cupcakes (this is a Donna Hay recipe)
4 1/2oz/125g softened unsalted butter
3/4 cup berry/caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk

Pistachio Praline:
5 1/4oz unsalted pistachios
1 cup berry/caster sugar
1/2 cup water

Whipped Icing:
1 cup berry/caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites

To make the pistachio praline, place the nuts on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir, until dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Cook for about 8 minutes or until dark golden brown. Remove from heat, allow the bubbles to subside and pour mixture over nuts. Allow to cool completely. Break praline up into small pieces, place in a food processor and process to a coarse consistency. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 320f/160c. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, and beat well. Sift over the flour and baking powder and beat until combined. Fold through the milk, then spoon into mini muffin tins lined with muffin papers. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a skewer, inserted in centre, comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

For the whipped icing, place the sugar, water and cream of tartar in a saucepan over high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar mixture and beat until thick and glossy. Spread the icing over the cupcakes with a palette knife and top with the pistachio praline. Eat and enjoy. These are incredibly good.

These are really simple and fun to make. Would be great for Easter brunch too. 
Have a good day! Back soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Observations

That's what I got up to today. What did you do? Let me know!

Back tomorrow with a little baked something (see birthday box, above).

PS: any Canucks or Blackhawks fans out there? Watching this series? Loving it.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Wood Working Woman

I had the pleasure of shooting Alex Henderson, of Henderson Dry Goods, for the current issue of House and Home magazine. I really love her work, especially her mirrors and her new line of trays. She works out of a garage turned workshop at the back of her home. A pretty great spot to hang out.

A girl and her tools.


You can find her work at Walrus and Provide, plus several other shops. See her website for a complete list! 

If you're in Vancouver, enjoy the slushy rain! Back soon.

p.s. Go Canucks!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Slowly but surely, I'm making changes to my blog. A new banner, you can now subscribe to new posts, and google translator (for you Flo!). I plan to change up the images, in the banner, every season. What do you think?

To celebrate that I finally made some changes, I made a very labour intensive cake! I guess it's not too bad but, if you make it, set aside a good amount of an entire day (probably just me). It's worth it though. Delicious.

Coconut Cream Cake
1 1/3 cups fresh shredded coconut*
* to make shredded coconut, pierce softest eye with metal skewer (I used my awl) and drain out liquid. Bake whole coconut on rimmed baking sheet in a 400f/200c oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Break shell with hammer (loved this bit). Using point of a very sharp and strong knife, pry out flesh. Pare off husk and cut into 2-3 inch pieces. Using a vegetable peeler shave edges off coconut. Arrange in a single layer on a wire rack until dry and slightly cured, about 24 hours.

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/3 cups sifted cake and pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk

Coconut pastry cream:
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

1/2 cup softened unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup whipping cream

Ok, here we go....
Grease sides of two 8" round cake pans, and line bottoms with parchment paper. Set aside.
To make the cake: In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, then vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry mix into butter mixture alternately with milk, making three additions of dry ingredients and two of milk. Divide batter between cake pans, spreading evenly. Tap pans gently on work surface to remove any air bubbles.
Bake in centre of oven at 350f/180c for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in centre, comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Coconut Pastry Cream: in a saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around the edge. Meanwhile, in a bowl whisk together eggs, sugar, flour and cornstarch until smooth. Gradually add milk. Return to saucepan over medium heat, whisking, until just bubbly, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer gently, whisking all the while, until thick enough to mound on spoon, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter and coconut extract. Scrape into bowl and cover with plastic wrap (directly on surface of cream). Refrigerate until firm, about 3 hours.

Icing: in a bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Alternately beat in sugar and cream, making 3 additions of sugar and two of cream.

To assemble: Cut cakes in half, horizontally (this made me nervous!). Place one bottom half and plate and spread with one third of the pastry cream. Top with one top half, then spread half the remaining cream on top. Top with remaining top half layer, and spread with remaining cream. Top with remaining bottom half, bottom side up!
Spread a thin coat of icing all over top and sides of layered cake. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Spread with remaining icing. Press small handfuls of coconut onto icing to cover cake, gathering and reapplying any that doesn't adhere.

There it is. If you make this cake, please let me know how it turns out!

By the way, I did a guest post today over at Good Good. There are several guest posts by a variety of bloggers and it's all about summer. Ahh, summer.

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day. Back soon.