Post image for In the garden of cupcakes, baby

In the garden of cupcakes, baby

September 12, 2010 · 140 comments

This weekend my friend CM had a practice run for a milestone birthday next year by throwing a party at our local pub. Given that I put us all into a sugar coma with her Pod Cake last year, and she constructed an incredible pirate ship cake for my birthday this year (the leftovers of which supplied me with breakfast, lunch and dinner the next day as I found my ability to move from the couch had been pillaged), I thought I’d best follow on the tradition and make something tasty for her shindig.

And nothing says happy birthday like a bunch of freshly picked carrots! Oh, I was going to make sure this next year of her life would be filled with night vision like none before!

Better give em a good scrub before cooking

Oh, who am I kidding, I don’t have a lovely garden full of birthday carrots ripe for the plucking. Neither does CM. In fact, she’s been going through a very extended period of renovation in her house, most keenly demonstrated through the lack of a real kitchen for the past few months, so my first thought was to construct some sort of cake kitchen. This plan remains a pipe dream (ho ho) however, as I then had another great and more practical plan.

You see, my housemate had asked CM what she would like for her birthday, and the response was something along the lines of “a nice house in the hills, with a lock-up garage, loving husband and two little children”. My housemate’s immediate response, of course, was to go to Kmart and buy her a LEGO house with a little LEGO man and woman. She was unsuccessful in her quest for little LEGO children, but the set came with a dog so we figured that would be a reasonable substitute.

I guess giants don't just hang around beanstalks

The LEGO house also had a little table and chairs for the happy couple to sit at, but was missing a garden. Having a lovely house in the hills without a garden just would not do. As luck would have it I very recently won a copy of Hello, Cupcake! from Bryt of Traveller of the World. Flicking through all the cupcake decoration masterpieces I came across the Garden Party Cupcakes and it all fell beautifully into place. CM’s house would have a garden after all! Also, it can get pretty dark at night in the hills without the city’s light pollution, so having keen carrot-fueled night vision would be all the more crucial, particularly with such a large dog to trip over on the way to the toilet.

Sowing the seeds for the next crop

Hello, Cupcake! is different from many cupcake decoration cooks and sites in that it uses readily available candy (lollies and chocolates) for the decorating supplies as opposed to fondant or other such standard decorating supplies. I think this makes for a more interesting end product that is more enjoyable to eat as you have a mixture of flavours and textures with the decorations as opposed to piles of coloured sugar with the same tooth-aching sweetness.

Unfortunately when I say “readily available” I mean readily available to the U.S. market for which it is written and as such many of the decorating supplies are not readily available in Australia. Luckily us Aussies are an inventive lot and so I channelled my fellow Aussie inventors of the black box flight recorder, winged keel and bionic ear as I paced the lolly aisle at Coles looking for suitable replacements. Unsurprisingly, Coles didn’t entirely come up with the goods despite my best inventive efforts but Ye Olde Lolly Shoppe in Carillon City was just the ticket for taking up the slack, with the bonus of super friendly ye olde school service. I would like to shop at more places where the staff are dressed in ye olde attire, though I did feel like a bit of a hussy with my ankles on display.

Everything then sourced, I got baking (carrot cupcakes of course) and then decorating. After laying down a nice thick topsoil of crushed Oreos, it was time to get busy with the vegies.

Carrots

First up, the crucial carrots. These were made by moulding orange Starburst fruit chews into carrot shapes, scoring them with a knife and the rubbing with cinnamon ‘dirt’. I then got some green salt water taffy and rolled it into very thin ropes, cutting this into little sections and joining a few together before poking a hole in the top of the carrot and then poking in the leaves.

The word radish makes me think of Mr Raditch from Degrassi... anyone else have this? No?

The radishes were made by getting a red Starburst fruit chew and a quarter of a white salt water taffy malleable, then joining them together and rolling into a ball. The white section was then pinched out to make the pointy end. The leaves, which were also used for the lettuces, were made by melting some green icing in the microwave and then covering bran flakes with it. They didn’t turn out as well as I would have liked, as I think they could have been covered more, but the next batch of icing I made went really weird and separated in the microwave and I couldn’t be bothered making a third batch so I just made do with what I had.

Lettuce in!

The lettuce heads had inner balls made of green salt water taffy halves rolled into balls and used more of the bran leaves. It was just as well that CM would now be safe to traverse her hills house in the middle of the night as I don’t think it is possible to find something with more dietary fibre than leafy greens made of bran.

Give peas a chance

I was pretty pleased with myself when I came across mint flavoured crispy m&ms to use for the peas. Mint peas! The pods are green salt water taffies stretched out into an oval, then folded over and the ends pinched together. I couldn’t find any green laces for the little vines so I sliced some apple straps into thin ribbons.

Do you still call a spade a spade when it's made of Pocky? Pockade? Spocky?

The spades were made of Pocky joined with white chocolate, with chewing gum blades. The little seeds are chocolate and candy coated sunflower seeds, which I am confident will grow into chocolate and candy coated sunflowers. The ye olde woman didn’t confirm this but I think it’s pretty obvious.

Letting my inner hippy sign maker shine

The signs boards are Nice biscuits, first covered in white chocolate and then decorated with blue and chocolate icing. The sign posts are musk sticks, cut to pointy ends to easily spear through the cupcakes or to attack any carrot nibbling rabbits with. The posts are then reinforced with chocolate rocks (possibly also useful to throw at the rabbits).

The little vegie patch, all finished and with nary a rabbit in sight

By all accounts CM’s party was a highly successful practice run for the big one next year, and I wish her another year of happiness and laughter and good food and more mountain biking and a finished kitchen and hopefully a win in our music quiz pursuits and maybe a real house in the hills too :)

Still no rabbits, but some enterprising insects seem to have moved in

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{ 138 comments… read them below or add one }

Carven September 12, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Conor,
That looks awesome, especially the moulded orange Starburst fruit chews as carrots, it looks like a real mini carrot! Keep it up and hopefully we shall see more of this in the near future.
Carven´s last blog post ..Truffle-WIP Work in Progress

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Thanks! I was particularly pleased with the carrots too :)

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Agnes September 12, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Conor, they are MOTHERF’EN brilliant! Was it hard to mould the star bursts? And what do you think of the book? It seems very cute!

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Woo Agnes, capitals AND swearing! I must’ve done good :D It was a little hard at first but once you worked them in your hands for a little then it became easier. I think it’s a great book for ideas, particularly given the materials they use, but I think it could perhaps be improved with some photos of the method. I’m looking forward to trying my hand at some more of the ideas!

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penny aka jeroxie September 12, 2010 at 7:16 pm

That looks uber awesome! I hope it grows heaps of cupcakes ;)

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Thanks! Me too Penny, though a cupcake patch sounds a little dangerous. Winter spread, ahem… :|

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Iron Chef Shellie September 12, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Woah!! amazing and sooooo creative! I would have just done them all with marzipan!
I am in awe!
Iron Chef Shellie´s last blog post ..hmmm… wonder what it could be! stay tuned…

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:54 pm

Thanks Shellie! Going the non-marzipan route means no messing around with colourings, which is always a good thing for a clumsy baker :)

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Heather September 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Conor – these. are. the. best. cupcakes. ever.
I WANT!

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Hehe, thanks Heather! All gone I’m afraid but maybe next year’s cupcake sale might see a return of them :)

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Annette @ Wellness WA September 12, 2010 at 8:40 pm

Absolutely. Freakin. Amazing.
Annette @ Wellness WA´s last blog post ..Winners- Al’chemy Competition!

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:55 pm

Thanks Annette!! :D

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Brittany September 12, 2010 at 8:43 pm

These are truly adorable! Thanks for inspiring me :)
Brittany´s last blog post ..Australian Pavlova with White Chocolate Stars

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Thanks Brittany, and I’m very happy to hear that these might inspire you with your delicious baking pursuits.

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Hannah September 12, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I’m sorry, Conor, but I can’t even think straight right now. I’m in Peter Rabbit heaven. The radishes! The peas! The cinnamon dirt!

I think I’m in love with you.
Hannah´s last blog post ..Ottoman Cuisine- Or Take That Hypothetical Anaemia

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Bryt September 13, 2010 at 2:28 am

Hmm Hannah’s onto a good theme right there- Peter Rabbit! Could be used for Easter, baby showers… Will definitely be making a note of that one!

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

I think you’re right Bryt! There is actually a little rabbit bottom & easter egg theme in the book as well that I think might make an appearance next year :)

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Hannah, our cupcake love is such a tragedy, that we cannot bake each other cupcakes given the vast expanse of our wide brown land (even with a Peter Rabbit tunnel dug directly between our kitchens). Unrequited baking love is the saddest kind.

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Hannah September 14, 2010 at 7:50 am

Maybe one day we should time our baking endeavours, so that instead of that old cliche of looking at the sky and knowing we all see the same sun, we can look at the oven and know we use the same electricity? And then our hearts shall be as one.
Hannah´s last blog post ..Ottoman Cuisine- Or Take That Hypothetical Anaemia

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mademoiselle délicieuse September 12, 2010 at 11:15 pm

These are great decorating ideas because I hate the taste of rolled fondant icing! Seriously cute stuff and I love the chocolate soil – but what of the Oreo innards? (Does Arnott’s still do Scalliwag/Golliwog biscuits that could be used??)
mademoiselle délicieuse´s last blog post ..Epicure Recipe Card 41- Fragrant Chicken &amp Rice Noodle Soup

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I think a lot of people do, and everyone was certainly happy to hear that the decorations were lollies when we served them at the birthday party. It made it all the more difficult to decide which one to eat though!

The Oreo innards sacrificed their lives for the sake of the cupcakes. I am sure there must be a less wasteful biscuit to use for this, but my local Coles is not exactly overflowing with stock choices so I went the Oreo route. I guess I could have eaten the innards but as it was I already ate way too much leftover frosting and ‘soil’ :)

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ylenate September 12, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Gorgeous garden! Even the peas (and that I saying lots as I hate peas). I think you may be fast becoming the cupcake queen!

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Why thank you very much! Not sure I can accept the crown but I will happily accept the compliment :) :) I get the feeling you might like these particular peas!

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Heather September 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm

I repeat: best. cupcakes. ever! I can’t stop looking at them! They are like, perfect! And just absolutely gorgeous! One of the most adorable little things I’ve ever seen! Masterpieces! Just. Awesome. :)

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Tee hee, thank you Heather! Watch out though, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep baking if you make my head swell :) :)

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Nancy/ Spicie Foodie September 13, 2010 at 2:20 am

OMG those are some of the cutest cupcakes I have ever seen! I really did believe the carrots were fresh garden carrots, they look so real. What a great cupcake project, I bet everyone was delighted to see those cupcakes.
Nancy/ Spicie Foodie´s last blog post ..Apple Celeriac Salad

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Thanks Nancy! There were lots of happy faces :)

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Bryt September 13, 2010 at 2:24 am

Oh wow, I’m really impressed!!! I’ve seen a lot of good cupcake designs out there, but these are definitely topping the list. I’m just love love loving the little peas in a pod :)

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Thanks Bryt! The peas were pretty popular, I have to say. I also have to say that you must take some responsibility for these little babies!

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Jess September 13, 2010 at 2:27 am

These are awesome, my favourite are the little pea’s. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me.
Jess´s last blog post ..Sunny Saturday

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Thanks very much Jess :)

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Maria @ ScandiFoodie September 13, 2010 at 2:54 am

I love them! They look absolutely adorable!
Maria @ ScandiFoodie´s last blog post ..Buckwheat &amp Spelt Blinis with Ginger Maple Syrup

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Maria!!

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Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz September 13, 2010 at 3:14 am

I am speechless. I cannot believe how much creativity and patience went into it. CM must be an amazing friend. And how can anyone eat such a work of art! Just wow.
Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz´s last blog post ..Odd Random Friday

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Thanks Evelyne, and she is quite worthy of the cupcakes! People were reluctant to eat them, but once the first person was brave enough to bust into the patch then they went pretty quickly!

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5 Star Foodie September 13, 2010 at 4:15 am

These veggie decorations on cupcakes are so adorable! I love this!
5 Star Foodie´s last blog post ..Greek Pound Cake with Metaxa

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Thanks Natasha :)

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gcroft September 13, 2010 at 4:49 am

Conor, what an amazing creation! Do you take cupcake orders from London? :-)

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm

gcroft, I would love to send you some to keep you properly sustained through any more crazily longwinded trips to/from work but it seems unlikely until someone invents the magical teleportation device that I’ve been wishing for for ages now :(

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Elle (Bromography) September 13, 2010 at 10:54 am

These are absolutely adorable! Very clever!

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Thanks very much Elle!

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella September 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

They are SO cute-well done! I love that book hello Cupcake! They have the best decorating ideas :D
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella´s last blog post ..An Afternoon with a Vintage Penfolds Grange

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Thanks Lorraine! I think I’m beginning to love the book too. Looking forward to more decorating madness from it (and more excuses to go back to Ye Olde Lolly Shoppe).

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Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella September 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

P.S. Luuuurve the peas! :P

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

:D

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Ladybird September 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Ahhh very sweet! Perfect for Spring :)

I made carrots like those to for RSPCA Cupcake Day!
Ladybird´s last blog post ..Caramelised Garlic Tart

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Thanks Ladybird, I was just thinking about how nicely timed it is for spring too :) I know, I was thinking of your great carrots when I was making mine, and toyed with the idea of using dill sprigs as it looks so good but ended up going the green lolly option instead :)

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Mei September 13, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Wow these look amaaaaazing! You should be taking orders for these, they are just gorgeous.

Note: I shall remember not to wear a miniskirt into Ye Olde Lolly Shoppe. =P

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Thanks Mei! I actually had a few birthday orders put in on the night.. guess I have a ready-to-go third job if I ever get any free time!

Yes, good idea, no singlets either ;)

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OohLookBel September 13, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I am aghast – aghast at your cleverness! You should write an addendum to Hello Cupcake with the Australian suppliers.
OohLookBel´s last blog post ..At Home

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Haha thanks Bel! You know, that’s a pretty good idea. It’s always annoying when an author has gone to the effort of making a useful section in a book but then it’s totally useless to you, like in this case. Sadly you can’t always rely on twitter assistance when trying to find some weirdo ingredient either!

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panamahat September 13, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Can you hear my jaw drop?

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Conor September 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm

:D
Not sure, there is the matter of a few hundred kilometres between us, but I think I may have heard something hit the floor ;) I think we’re getting more and more overdue for a bakeathon!

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Simply Life September 13, 2010 at 8:47 pm

wow! Look at all those! I am so impressed!
Simply Life´s last blog post ..Succotash &amp Giveaway Winner!

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Thank you!

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tasteofbeirut September 13, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I am speechless~ to see you carving these candies and make them look like carrots~ Wow~ I don’t see how it can be done but the end result is amazing! let alone delicious, which with your carrot cake base, how can it not be?

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I wasn’t quite sure how I did it either, but I’m glad I somehow got there in the end! :) Thank you!

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Harriet September 13, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Wow those cupcakes look absolutley amazing! I love the peas and the little shovel, it must have taken you HOURS!
Harriet´s last blog post ..Used Rolex Watches

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Thanks Harriet! It was certainly a number of hours worth of work, but it’s always worth it when you can make someone happy on their birthday :)

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Cajun Chef Ryan September 14, 2010 at 1:25 am

Conor,
This is one amazing garden of cupcakes!

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Thanks CCR!

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Cakelaw September 14, 2010 at 5:58 am

WOW!!!!! These are amazing. I own Hello Cupcake, but apart from making some very Dali-esque sunflower cupcakes, I have never had the patience to make anything else. These are stunning, and I admire both your intrepid candy shopping and the final product. What a lucky friend!!! LOL at the Lego house substitute for the “great Australian dream”.
Cakelaw´s last blog post ..TWD – Pineapple Upside Downer

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Thanks Cakelaw! Somehow, after the annoyances with trying to source the candies, the actual making of everything wasn’t so hard as at least I didn’t have to move any further than my kitchen. I think if you’re going to make sunflowers, you should definitely make them Dali-esque :D

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Steph September 14, 2010 at 6:40 am

OMG I have the calender version of that book on my desk at work and I was staring at those garden cupcakes all through May & June (because I forgot to flip the page haha). Yours look just like the ones in the book, so so cute!

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Oh wow Steph, a calendar version?! That would be torturous during my regular mid-arvo starvation period. I’m also useless at turning the page and some poor months get forgotten entirely. Thanks! :)

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cheffresco September 14, 2010 at 8:34 am

Wow! These are seriously the most impressive cupcakes I’ve ever seen!! Such detail! Love them.

Keep up with the running! I used to hate it too, but if you stick with it long enough you’ll become addicted. Good luck with the 1/2 marathon!!

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Cheers cheffresco! :) It’s funny how running is so polarising – either totally loved or hated with a passion. I did the 12km Perth City to Surf recently, and often asked people if they were doing it (it’s very popular) and would either get a reaction of a smile and a nod, or a look of absolute horror and disgust. Hopefully the 1/2 marathon isn’t a crazy pipe dream! Thanks!

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Juliana September 14, 2010 at 9:23 am

Conor, the cupcakes are SO SO CUTE! Love them all…so creative! The photos are great as well :-)

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Thank you Juliana, especially for the photo comment! I’m trying to improve them! :)

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Ellie (Almost Bourdain) September 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Love love the garden theme!! Conor, You are so creative!
Ellie (Almost Bourdain)´s last blog post ..Pistachio and Lemon Syrup Cake

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Thanks Ellie! What a compliment, coming from Mrs Sunny Side Up dessert herself! ;)

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MaryMoh September 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Utterly creative and beautiful! Must be so fun to make. I will eat a lot of these and just tell myself I have eaten a lot of vegetables…LOL
MaryMoh´s last blog post ..Chocolate Crinkle Brownie Cookies

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Thank you Mary! It was fun to see these little veges turn out so nicely :) Unfortunately, after eating too many of these I think the feeling on your teeth might now allow for such suspension of disbelief ;)

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Forager @ The Gourmet Forager September 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm

Honestly lady – best cupcake decorations ever. *standing ovation* Those carrots – the cinnamon dust – the detail! Amazing.
Forager @ The Gourmet Forager´s last blog post ..Curiosities of saffron and a recipe for saffron and pea risotto

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Conor September 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Aw yay, thanks Forager :D I will curtsy in return!

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denise @ quickies on the dinner table September 14, 2010 at 11:23 pm

She said “shindig” ! Oh heee heee heeeeeee !!! You’ve got me ROFLing so hard, I think I can safely dispense with vacuuming and mopping ye olde floor for at least a week. LOVE that wicked pocky spade and Lego life; Lego life!! :D I want a Lego life too!!!!

If the rabbits find out about the plan to throw choc rocks at them, they’ll never leave!
denise @ quickies on the dinner table´s last blog post ..Just Pointing in the General Direction

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Conor September 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Lego lives just seem so tidy, Denise. I bet they don’t have to vacuum or mop anything. They certainly don’t have to do any gardening, and repairing or renovating your house would be fun!

Damn, you’re right about the rabbits. I really didn’t think this through very well. Perhaps we’ll have to throw the spare Lego bricks at them instead?

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Arwen from Hoglet K September 15, 2010 at 3:46 am

They’re so cute! I love the way you’ve reshaped them all by hand. The lettuce leaves out of bran flakes is the best, and lends some pretence of healthiness to these very sugary veggies.

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Conor September 15, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Thanks Arwen! The bran flakes were also good in that they are something I normally have in my house – one less thing to have to buy!

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Andrea@High/Low September 15, 2010 at 4:46 am

Oh my gosh – these are so cute! And having carrot cupcakes means it’s good for you too, right? =)
Andrea@High/Low´s last blog post ..Food Fashion in NYC Part II – Bon Appetit Pop-Up Cafe

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Conor September 15, 2010 at 4:53 pm

100% good for you, Andrea, ESPECIALLY if you live somewhere that will be going into winter soon. You gotta start building up a layer to keep you warm :D

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Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite September 15, 2010 at 8:52 am

Oh. My. God. Late to the party but I want it all. Actually I want you to come and visit and teach me that. Or actually i just want you to come and make it all for me. You are a bloody genius! And I saw this on Tastespotting :-)
Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite´s last blog post ..Daring Cooks September- pear chutney and quick tomato jam

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Conor September 15, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Mardi you know if I had the time and money I’d be there in a flash! Thank you! :D
Also, I can hardly believe I finally got something on Tastespotting. Holy crap, what an effort but here I am. I need to let off some Party Poppers or something.

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Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 15, 2010 at 9:42 am

Wow… I just have to say that these cupcakes are absolutely incredible! Everything looks so real!
Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction´s last blog post ..Sparkling Cardamom Cocoa Drops A Review of Desserts 4 Today

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Conor September 15, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Thanks Jen! Luckily they didn’t taste like their appearances :)

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cheapappetite September 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

This is such a lovely veggie garden. The kind that I don’t mind eating lots of them. Even though I’m not a veggie lover, but this is hard to say no to. The baby carrots look so realistic. What a great work all around. :) Thanks for sharing.
cheapappetite´s last blog post ..Lightning Speed Knife Action and Zha Jiang Mian at Sha-Lin Noodle House

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Conor September 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm

Thank you cheapappetite! This is the vegie garden for non vegie lovers. Sadly they’re not so cheap as real vegies though so maybe it’s not for you ;)

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Maria@TheGourmetChallenge September 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Holy crap!!! I just lots my mind!! That is absolutely-freakin-incredibly-mind-blowing!!! You’ve done so well…..The dirt is so impressive and then all the veggies!!! Those are some veggies I would be more than happy to eat!! Next time I’m more than happy to help out with any left over Oreo intestines. I’ve always had a soft spot for oreo offal. (Wouldnt it be cool if they marketed oreos like that)

“Oreo’s….now with more offal”
Maria@TheGourmetChallenge´s last blog post ..Beer Doughnuts

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Conor September 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Haha, thanks Maria!! Oreo offal is pure brilliance. I think you need to contact them to suggest this. It might help them crack into a previously un-Oreo friendly market! You can get flavoured Oreos, perhaps they could even bring out a specialty offal range to launch the new word on their packaging. Mmmmmmm brainy.

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Pam September 15, 2010 at 11:12 pm

How cute and clever are those?? I am so impressed with your skills.
Pam´s last blog post ..Slow Roasted Chicken with Cilantro-Lime Butter

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Conor September 16, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Thanks Pam!!

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Karen Harris September 15, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Masterpiece cupcakes as usual my dear! My daughter turns 21 next April so I’ll be tapping your website for ideas for the birthday cupcakes. Speaking of my girl, she does love the frozen burritos but she’s a college student who eats cold pizza for breakfast so everything’s a step up from that. All joking aside, they are quite good.

I have to say, your mother does sound like my sister from another mother. I spill things on myself regularly and LOVE sparkling wine. She sounds like a pretty cool chick to me and I’m comforted by the fact that she is well appreciated by you.

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Conor September 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Karen! Oh boy, 21st? That’s a biggy. At least you’ll have a few months after the new year to gear up for it. Cold pizza for breakfast has its merits, though I haven’t done that for a while. I tend to be too much of a pig to have any leftovers, generally.

Wow, maybe we ARE related! We could have a family reunion with gallons of sparkling wine and plastic tablecloths :D

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pierre September 16, 2010 at 2:59 am

I just notice that Spring hits Australia as Autumn arrives in France which makes me sad this is our turn to have colds coughs and flu!! Pierre de Parisneeze
pierre´s last blog post ..Brioche perdue- pêche des mille et une nuits

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Conor September 16, 2010 at 1:52 pm

Yes that’s right Pierre! It’s been torturous reading all your lovely summer fruit and sunshine posts but our turn will come soon. You should just copy Oprah and come for a visit. All the cool kids are doing it.

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The Chocolate Priestess September 16, 2010 at 11:22 am

Oh, I won a copy of “Hello Cupcake” last year and did a review of it as well. We made werewolves cupcakes. The decorating tips are great on almost anything frankly. Next up though is a brownie decorating book just in time for my birthday.
The Chocolate Priestess´s last blog post ..Chocolate Walk 2010

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Conor September 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I liked the look of those werewolves, and Halloween is coming up… hmmm. Oh wow, brownie decorating? I’ll have to keep my eyes peeled for that!

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CM September 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Needless to say, I am very very very honoured to be the recipient of such delicious and delicate perfection! As with all of Conor’s cupcakes that I’ve been privileged to sample, these tasted even better than they look, if that’s possible…!
Thankyou so much again Con – and you’re right, I think this year was a successful practise run for next year, thanks to everyone who came to help me celebrate and to the very thoughtful and generous efforts made by yourself and aforementioned housemate : )
CM
PS. Kitchen is on its way. Mountain bike will follow!
PPS. Hope you don’t mind me sending a link to friends who also witnessed the result of the Garden Party Cupcake challenge!

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Conor September 16, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Yay, it’s the birthday girl herself!! You really are too kind :D It was absolutely my pleasure to make them for you, I’m just so happy that you liked them so much (and that they actually turned out like the pictures in the book, phew). ’twas a great night, I have a good feeling about the big one next year. I think perhaps that more preparation will have to happen before your 30th, in the form of making sure there is sufficient bacon, Gatorade and Boost bars in the house before we start celebrations.
ps. Excellent news!
pps. Please do!

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The Housemate September 16, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Good grief – how do all these people beat me to comment on the post? Even CM beat me… and I live with you godammit! I’ll never make a true foody. Lego Master, on the other hand, I got that one covered. Did you mention that the actual cake was carrot cake? Can I claim that as my contribution?

I’d suggest adding in a photo of the lego house, but fear it would pale into insignificance next to the genius of the cupcake garden.

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Conor September 17, 2010 at 12:24 am

I’m just too popular, I guess. Or you’re too slow. Blame it on the bung leg. Lego skills won’t be affected by a bung leg at least, so if this keeps up then you may have a new profession up your sleeve. Lego masters could work from home, I’m pretty sure.
Yep, mentioned the carrot cake and you can surely claim that. Well done.
I don’t have any photos of the Lego house or I’d put one on here! I left my bloody camera in the kitchen surrounded by Oreo soil and sunflower seeds.

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Barbara Nicholson September 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm

Conor, I am sooo impressed. What a fabulous cake, I would feel so special if someone had made this for me….I’m sure C felt the same. Have you considered publishing a book? Put me at the top of the waiting list for that!
Just hope your housemate wasn’t being too much of a couch potato while you were busy in the garden.

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Conor September 17, 2010 at 12:27 am

Well hello there Barbara! Welcome! And thanks :) Will let my future publishers know to send you a copy of my first run of books (the first editions are always worth the most, right?)
I’m happy to say my housemate was indeed quite helpful, taxiing the precious load (safely stashed inside an Esky to prevent loss of the soil in the wind) and myself to the pub pre-party. I won’t make mention of her parking skills.

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pachecopatty September 16, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Conor you have given me a whole new respect for Starburst fruit chews and from now on when I think or say ‘Who knew?’ I will think ‘fruit chew’ and of you:) Darling little garden cupcakes, my you have brought us a along way from just serving up gummy worms appearing out of crushed Oreo cookies on top of cake baked in small terra cotta pots!

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Conor September 17, 2010 at 12:28 am

Oh thanks Patty! :D
I don’t know though.. those little pot cakes are pretty cute. Um, terra cotta pot cakes, I mean. Not pot pot cakes. Oh dear.

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CM September 17, 2010 at 6:37 pm

Barbara’s onto it – a book! Yes!! G-R-E-A-T idea!!! Please put me on the waiting list too! Donna Hay, look out.
I’m sure I can supply a photo of the lego creation : ) and yes, all pieces are there and in tact after making it all through the celebrations and all the way home.
Remind me to ask Housemate about bung leg…

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Conor September 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Will do, CM. Thanks for sending those photos.. I may need to take you on as my official blog photographer!!

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Devan September 17, 2010 at 7:21 pm

omg I love it! Absolutely brilliant and truly inspirational! The creativity is Heston Blumenthal-like.

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Conor September 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Devan! I must admit I felt a tiny bit Heston-y making the soil, after watching him do the soil the other night with the cemetary. That man is a crazy, fabulous genius.

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Kathryn September 18, 2010 at 4:13 am

Yum! I wish my baking creations looked that pretty! You should try these banana chocolate chunk cupcakes. They are incredible!
Kathryn´s last blog post ..Yom Kippur

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Conor September 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Kathryn.

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ellen September 18, 2010 at 7:04 am

so cute! i used to make martha stewart’s garden cake every year for easter brunch and used marzipan to make the veggies. i always had a problem mixing the colors, though (i’m definitely not a visual artist). your idea of finding different candies that are already colored is brilliant! i might actually try the cake again next spring using your idea. great job :)

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Conor September 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

Thank you Ellen! I wasn’t familiar with her garden cake, but after just having a quick Google search I have already fallen for it. Very glad to pass on this time and annoyance saving idea to you, I hope you have luck with it next spring! Thank you!

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Kitchen Butterfly September 19, 2010 at 5:10 am

Oh Conor. Why do this to me. This would definitely make me ‘Mother of the year’ were they made at any of my kids birthdays. And they will be……..they remind me of Emily, one of the contestants on the UK Masterchef many years ago – she made superb looking mud cakes/pies. I should get your cupcake book.

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Conor September 19, 2010 at 11:01 am

Oz I think you’re a pretty safe contender for Mother of the Year already!! Would love to see you do these, though am sure they’ll put mine to shame :)

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Magic of Spice-Alisha September 19, 2010 at 8:38 am

I can not even begin to say how impressive this is…and on top of the “A practice Run B-Day Party” Will you be my best friend ? :) This is all great!
Magic of Spice-Alisha´s last blog post ..Project Food Blog – Challenge 1 – Who are we

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Conor September 19, 2010 at 11:03 am

Thanks Alisha! I’m always happy to make new friends, especially when baked goods are involved. Count me in ;)

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Mother September 19, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Love the carrots Conor.

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Conor September 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

HOORAY!!! Mum!!! I would have tidied up a little if I knew you were coming. Let me make you a cup of tea :)

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Mother September 20, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Oh, yes please Conor, and some of your carrot cakes as well.

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Conor September 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Certainly, coming right up!

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billy@a table for two September 20, 2010 at 8:24 am

OMG! They look so adorable!!! I don’t have green thumbs and these I think I can manage one … or two! LOL
billy@a table for two´s last blog post ..ATFT Food Photography Workshops in Melbourne

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Conor September 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Thanks Billy!! I think having green thumbs might be a hindrance in this case.. don’t want any real dirt falling out of your fingernails ;)

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Trix September 20, 2010 at 8:33 pm

What can I say that hasn’t been said?? These are AMAZING. I can’t decide my favorites … maybe the peas? No, the carrots. Wait! The lettuce. No, no, the seeds and spade. … No, wait, the radish. Oh – is that everything? Oh well. I said I can’t decide.

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Conor September 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Thank you Trix! Ummm nope I think you covered everything! Oh no wait, the signs! They were one of my favourite because you got to not only eat a cupcake, but also a cookie and a musk stick and all the chocolate rocks. Good bang for your buck :)

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Trissa September 21, 2010 at 4:52 am

OKay this is the only way I think I could get my nephew to eat “vegetables” – the vegetable patch is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen!

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Conor September 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Trissa! I’m sure pretty much all kids are going to be happy eating these vegies, but their dentists may have a few things to say about it :)

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Trisha September 22, 2010 at 4:43 am

Everything looks so cute!!!! I love the ladybugs as well eeeee!!!!

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Conor September 24, 2010 at 10:32 am

Thanks Trisha! Ladybirds are so easy to love :)

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Emma @CakeMistress September 22, 2010 at 8:24 pm

I bow to your cupcake decorating Prowess Ms Conor, these are freakin amaaaaaaazing!!!!! The attention to detail. ZOMG, the carrots look like perfect little baby carrots and the oreos really look like earth.

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Conor September 24, 2010 at 10:33 am

Ooh thanks Emma, Ms Decorator extraordinaire herself!

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Celeste @ Berrytravels September 24, 2010 at 9:33 am

I am well and truly impressed. I’ve been planning my next cake (which will be a graveyard for Halloween) and trying to figure out a smart and easy way to do soil. And spades. AND YOU ARE A GENIUS.

Amazing. Bow to the cupcake master!
Celeste @ Berrytravels´s last blog post ..Mooncake making- Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

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Conor September 24, 2010 at 10:35 am

Hehe, thanks Celeste :) Very glad to be of use to you in your cake planning, it’s so great when you’ve been trying to nut something out and then you find the perfect solution. Hooray for the internet! THANKS!

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claudia November 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Scalliwag biscuits are GREAT and are available in NSW but not in VIC. I went to sydney for the weekend and I’m gobbing down a pack now….

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Conor November 17, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Hmm, the jury is out about their availability in WA, but I think it’s probably safe to assume that they’re not here! I wish I was gobbling down a pack now.

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Lou June 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Can anyone help on how to decorate a golliwog cupcake please?

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Amy Dawson September 21, 2011 at 10:32 pm

These are sooo cute! I love them! What a great idea :)

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