I decided to take part in this year’s The Big Knit, organised by Innocent Drinks.
The idea is to knit lots of little woolly hats to go on the top of smoothie bottles, send them to Innocent and they’ll dress up their bottles and send them out to Sainsburys. For every bottle sold with a hat, 25p goes to Age UK. It’s a really nice campaign and a good excuse to get knitting for the winter!
Here’s some photos of this year’s offerings. I managed to persuade Jodie to get involved too – and she crocheted up a storm! We sent off 19 in total, I hope they’ll all find good homes and make a wee bit of money for charity!
Oh, and we had great fun dressing up all of Gav’s toys
One of my best friends got married in June and asked guests to contribute cupcakes for their evening reception. My friend is English, but his lovely wife is from Taiwan and so they decided to use eastern and western influences in their celebrations….
After testing out a few recipes on the people at work, I decided to go for red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I used a free online recipe for the red velvet cakes and cream cheese frosting, which came out really nicely. I’d recommend using red gel food colouring to get a really rich colour:
To make the cakes look a bit more special, I made some lacy cupcake holders from doilies – I find a great tutorial on the Intimate Weddings blog for this. I also piped out some Chinese “double happy” symbols (which are used as decorations for weddings and chinese new year) in chocolate to decorate the tops of my cakes. You have to have a very steady hand for this, so I did a whole A4 sheet and chose the best ones!
I was pretty happy with the final result and people seemed to enjoy them at the wedding. Sadly I was too busy dancing to taste one myself!
One of my most ambitious projects to date, I wanted to make some biked-themed birthday cakes for Gav who is a huge fixed gear bike fan (as well as director of Bristol fixed gear documentary BÖIKZMÖIND)
I cut the frames out of icing and let them harden over night. The wheels are cupcakes, iced with spokes and topped with licorice used for tyres. I used edible gold and silver spray paint to colour chocolate buttons and polo mints for cogs.
The result looks like this! The frames were a bit flimsy, but the cakes tasted good!
Next up on the Aardman birthday cake list is Kirsten, who is obsessed with cute pigs. It was very easy to think of an idea for her cakes…
I hade great fun making these piggy cupcakes and they were quite simple to make once you have all the ingredients. I used a basic vanilla cupcake recipe, then covered them with pink strawberry icing, half a marshmallow for a nose, quarter a marshmallow for ears, chocolate drops for eyes and then a bit of piped icing for a cheeky grin.
It’s birthday time again – this time for Tom, a big archery fan and flash developer at Aardman.
I really liked the simplicity of this idea, which I adapted from A Little Slice of Heaven’s cookie idea. Targets are made out of disks of icing and arrows are made of Mikado biscuit sticks. I made the feathers by sticking on small bits of icing to each stick and leaving it to dry overnight. I was quite pleased that every bit was edible
I got back from Paris today to find that Sociagility.com have nominated me for their “Community Manager of the Year” award!
Following an open call for nominations last week, the site has whittled down the list and I’m excited to say I made the final cut! There’s also some other great CM’s from Channel 4, The Guardian, Google and many more! (You can see a few of the nominees in the image below)
A big thanks to the person who nominated me, and if you’d like to vote, visit Sociagility.com
Just before Christmas I did an interview about social media for Imagine, a leading animation website and magazine.
The piece focused on how animation companies are using social media to promote their characters and reach wider audiences for their shows online, with my Shaun the Sheep examples sitting next to some other really interesting shows including Small Potatoes and Simon’s Cat!
I’m also thrilled to say that the full interview is available to read on the Imagine website. (You’ll need a login but registration is free)
The next installment of novelty cakes comes in the form of dinosaurs for Ben‘s birthday.
I baked two large, thin-ish cakes using a basic cupcake recipe, covered them in ready-to-roll icing and used cookie cutters to stamp out the individual cakes. The tails were quite flimsy and some broke (either that or the dinos starting biting chunks out of each other in transit!) so I’d recommend using nice chunky shapes!!
Photo courtesy of JamFactory
Almost 2 years to the date since my 20 years of Wallace & Gromit interview, I found myself back in the Aardman cinema talking to Nick Park! This time it was to find out more about his latest project, directing a music video for a friend’s band called Native and the Name
The project is a lot different to the claymation we are used to seeing, so I wanted to ask Nick how it came about and how he felt about working in a different medium…
So there you have it! It was great to have the opportunity to do another interview and really interesting to hear about the thinking behind the project. It was clear how much Nick loved the song and was really wants it to do well and raise the profile of the band. I can’t wait to hear more about the feature film idea too!
You can watch the full music video for “Plain Song” by Native and the Name by visiting the band’s website at www.nativeandthename.com
Aardman Digital have only gone and picked up another shiny-faced BAFTA!
Picture courtesy of BAFTA. Left - Right: Heather (Aardman Commercials) Dan (Aardman Digital) and Jane (Tate)
This time it was the Children’s BAFTAs and we were up against strong competition including Moshi Monsters and The Land of Me in the Interactive category. Thankfully the might of the fantastic Tate Movie Project website conquered all – well done to all the team!