Friday, 29 March 2013

Fondant Fancies

I have been trying for the last month to find issue one of the part-works magazine Cake Decorating but to no avail.  I did buy issue 2 though and I think it is very good value for money at £2.99, particularly as you get a free gift with every issue.  Part 2 came with 3 reusable piping bags, 2 connectors and 3 metal nozzles.
I decided to make the Madeira cake recipe and practice making fondant fancies.
I can't say that they looked that great and they were so messy to make I don't think I'll ever make them again. Steve enjoyed them.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Not More Snow

Oh dear this weather is getting to be a habit.  No market stall again this week.  We had so much snow yesterday and over night that I didn't even bother getting out of bed this morning.

I decided to sit and read my new book and eat a leisurely breakfast before tidying the craft room.  It has got extremely untidy following the decorating of our room and today is a good opportunity as I can't do anything else. I have been threatening to do it for the last month or so but so far I've managed to find other more pressing things to do, not surprisingly.

I will just show you a couple of things that I have been concentrating on lately. I'm not procrastinating, honest!
This is a cute little jar I covered the other evening.  I used a ball of 4 ply that had got dirty on my stall and that I therefore couldn't sell.  It only took a couple of hours to do and I am really pleased with it.
The buttons are from my stash and go very nicely with our bedroom decor.  I am never happier than when I am engrossed in my crafting obsession. 
I am currently struggling to find a suitable contract colour for our main bedroom.  I don't really want to stick to cream and camel and would love your suggestions.  The best colour yet is lime green but I don't think this goes with the French theme I am aiming for. It's the bedding that's the main problem as I can make the accessories myself later.
Since winning the Cupcake Competition I have definitely got the baking bug.  The pink ones here are flavoured with rosewater and the others are chocolate.  Very tasty but not good for the waistline.
Steve has got the bread making bug after watching Paul Hollywood the other night. He made a loaf yesterday which unfortunately didn't rise properly. It tastes delicious though.  He's going to have another go later today.
I'm turning in to a really girly girl lately.  This is my latest favourite nail varnish.  It's another Barry M one called Strawberry Ice cream.  I put a coat of glitter on top just to pep it up a bit. I love it. Of all the nail varnishs I own I must say that the Barry M ones come top of my list.

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Last Snowdrops

I had to go to the dentist the other day.  Nothing serious, just a check up, and as I passed by the church yard in Retford I spotted a few clumps of Snowdrops.
The majority of them had gone over and looked very bedraggled however I was able to capture the delicate beauty of just a few.
It never fails to amaze me how brave these little fellows are.  Pushing their way through the hard, frosty ground, usually to be greeted by inches of snow.
If a flower could get a medal for courage the Snowdrop would get my vote.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Comic Relief Baking Competition

Hello everyone.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  I have just spent the last hour and a half tidying our wardrobe and bedroom and have now climbed back in to bed to drink a well earned coffee and to write to all you lovely people.
The office where I work Monday to Thursday decided to hold a baking competition in aid of Comic Relief this Friday and as I am always up for a challenge I decided to enter.
The Awards
There were four categories.  Celebration cakes, cupcakes, buns and muffins, savoury and biscuits.  The champagne was the prize for the celebration cake section and after the judging had taken place there was a silent auction for these.  These cakes weren't tasted so they had to look good.
My entry was a simple Victoria sandwich with jam and cream, covered in fondant icing and decorated with daisies and pretty orange ribbon.
The winner of the Celebration Cake Category
Unfortunately I was pipped at the post by this absolutely amazing bunny cake.  I knew as soon as I walked in to the room that I was beaten by this beauty.  Never mind.

As you can see the competition was stiff.  We were all amazed at just how many people had made the effort and everything looked delicious.
Success did come my way however.
My Entry
I was absolutely delighted when I learnt that I had won the Cupcake category with my cute little flower blossom buns.  Everyone loved them and I was very proud.
I wasn't there to pick up my prize but I have a little trophy and the Paul Hollywood baking book waiting for me when I get back to work.
The Chocolate Raffle

There was also a chocolate themed raffle.  I didn't win anything in that. We also had a bake sale and a  sweep stake on the Cheltenham Gold Cup horse race which I don't think I won either.
I don't know how much we raised for Comic Relief yet but it was great to get involved and I'm sure everyone enjoyed the day. Roll on next year when I have to defend my title.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Romantic Films

When I was off recently I had the pleasure of some well earned spare time and for once rather than running around like a headless chicken trying to do far more than is humanly possible I decided to sit down and watch some wonderful romantic DVDs.
I wanted to share these with you as they were all amazing in their different ways. 
Nights in Rodanthe I think was my favourite, not because of Richard Gere particularly all though he was pretty gorgeous but because of the setting of the film.  The house where they stay is on a wind swept beach and is decorated beautifully with such vibrant colour.  It was just mouth watering.
Mr Deeds goes to Town and Father's Little Dividend are lovely old fashioned wholesome films with proper movie stars and How to Make an American Quilt brings together a group of ladies all making a quilt at a sewing group and explores each ones life and why they are the people they are today.  What has shaped their personalities and lives and is quite a feel good film without being too sugary sweet.
The films were all bought at the works for only a couple of pounds each and brought me hours of enjoyment.  Please let me know if you have seen any of these or have any recommendations for the next time I have a couple of hours to spare.
Have a lovely Mother's Day if you are celebrating and if not have a lovely Sunday.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Baking and Bags

As you know I love the domestic side of life, home making, cooking, knitting, sewing and everything in between and over the last few days I've managed to fit a few of my favourite things in to my busy life.
For some reason I don't have much luck when it comes to making scones, so when I come across a new recipe I can't resist having a go in the hope that this will prove to be the mother of all scone recipes.  This particular one wasn't all that exciting but they were very nice and all got eatten.
From the same blog I also found this Lemon and Almond Tart.  Now this was worth shouting about and when I don't have hubby pestering me to get out of bed I will publish this for you all to try.  I used an orange instead of lemon simply because I didn't want to go to the shops but it was still delicious. I don't know if it was supposed to but the orange turned in to a thin layer of orange curd between the pastry and the almond sponge which was delicious.
 I also made this little bag. A woman on one of the market stalls in Worksop asked if I would be willing to make her some bags to go with a new range of children's clothes she will be launching shortly.
 In anticipation I decided to start designing one so that I could at least get a head of the game and have an idea of how long these things would take me and therefore the costing involved.
It's surprising just how long one bag takes what with the initial crocheting then the sewing up and then the little extra details that bring it all together.
I'm not sure if this is exactly what she wants but I enjoyed making it and I'm sure some little girl would love to own it.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Quite Furious!

I have just bobbed over to the Jane Brocket blog as I do every time I log on to my own blog and low and behold I see that she has to take time out to decide whether she continues blogging for free, whether she carries on writing etc etc.
I am so annoyed.  I found Jane's blog after reading a short article about her in a magazine.  She obviously got loads of publicity from this and at the time we were able to comment and follow her. 
Since then what used to be Yarnstorm changed to Jane Brocket.
I have thought for some time that the style of her blog has altered from that of a housewife and mother wanting to share her life with her many followers to that of a successful writer who certainly knows it!
I have bought several of Jane's books and have read every word she has ever written on her blog and quite frankly I am appalled that she could consider turning her back on her loyal followers.
I understand that everyones lives change and sometimes blogging perhaps comes very low on our priorities but after all she is only where she is now because of us! Poor show Jane.
As for myself, I am sure I will never reach such dizzy heights but rest assured I will always be very grateful to everyone who takes time out of their busy schedule to read my words and look at my photographs.  Thank you everyone and speak soon when I have calmed down a bit.  Paula x