Do you ever get that feeling that you work too much & play too little? My Sunday night work dread has been replaced with the feeling that I haven’t done all the crafty things that I want to do. Knitting, baking, blogging, sewing, relaxing, exercising etc. I often get to tea time on Sunday with many of the nice things to do undone & rushing round the essential things that I need to do. So it got me thinking. What I need is a week of Saturdays. So what would I do with them?
Firstly I would spend hours adding beautiful pictures of very pretty things onto my Pinterest boards. If you haven’t discovered Pinterest then take a peek. You know when you’re looking at images on Etsy (like this from Lola’s Room on Etsy), Folksy or Flickr but you can’t/haven’t got time to buy it/print it etc but you want to keep the image? Well that’s what this helps you to do! Amazing! And you get to have a look at other people’s boards & remind yourself of all the beauty in the world. Lush.
Then I would have a go a making a Morsbag. No idea? Well basically it’s an idea where you you make a reusable bag by using old material that you have instead of using plastic ones & then chucking them away when your done, filling up loads of landfill space. This is such a cool idea & one day I AM going to make one!
I would also make some silver jewellery. I attend classes as part of Oxfordshire Adult Learning. I have made a few things already (more on that another time) & I am half way through a long chain necklace.
I would finish the knitting needle case I started; the secret project I am working on; sort out my cd’s & DVDs; get a hair cut; get some new glasses; go for a long walk & bike ride; have lunch in a nice country pub; reupholster two dining chairs; make some birthday cards; plant some herbs & get a manicure and get my gin on!
Oh drink some chai and do some baking!
I love Twitter. One of the reasons is because it enables you make contact with local people. Sometimes these people make cupcakes. For example last week @oxfordcupcakes tweeted that she was going to be at the Woodstock Craft Fair. Brilliant, I thought, a great opportunity to eat some lovely looking cakes! So before the weather got too hot my OH & I headed off to Woodstock to buy some Oxford Cupcakes. We weren’t disappointed!
After a quick mooch round the fair, we were directed indoors & there were some of these beautiful cakes. We bought a box of four at £4.50 which I think is very reasonable. We couldn’t wait until we got home so managed to get a seat at the cafe, got some drinks & enjoyed a cake each there & then. These are what are left so far though I don’t expect them to survive the afternoon! They are really delicious. The cake is moist & the decorations are brill – these are some very lovely cupcakes. If you haven’t had the pleasure I’d hop on over to www.oxfordcupcakes.co.uk to get yourself some delivered. Lush!
The other pretty thing I bought there was this incredibly cute elephant made from reused fabric. Stupidly I didn’t pick up their business card, which I always do (bit of a card addict – weird eh?!) Anyway I know they were also at Oxfork so if anyone knows the name of the company then I’d love to include it here. They had a lovely stall, full of reused fabric that had been turned into elephants, owls, cushions, aprons… I could go on! I could spend hundreds of pounds on things like this. The quality of the sewing is brilliant & while I like to think I could make something like it, my sewing skills are nowhere near this standard! A lovely little present for myself at £10 I think it’s lush. Whoever you lovely ladies are, with your pretty stall, thank you!
To say I love baking is somewhat of an understatement. I will bake whenever I have the opportunity (& the energy). Imagine my joy when I had the opportunity to provide cakes for people at work.
Okay, okay, so I signed up for it & forced others to provide cakes too but it did provide me with a chance to make something a little bit different. I wanted to try making something for people with specific dietary requirements. So these flapjacks were made with gluten-free oats & using vegan ‘butter’ so that a variety of people could enjoy them. They were delicious & super easy to make. I’ll be making them again very soon for my OH who was my chief taste-tester & gave them a big thumbs up.
Naturally I also made my lush chocolate cupcakes but I changed one of the ingredients. Instead of using regular whole milk, I forgot to buy this and had to use soya milk, which we use in our house all the time. There was no difference in taste but the icing didn’t ‘set’ very much. It was just as delicious and gave me a great opportunity to practice my icing skills. They went down very well at work & I think they look the best out of all the ones I’ve made, especially as some of them have my very lovely edible stars on them.
To my surprise, the cake that received the best reviews was my sponge. My first blog contained a comment on this. I think the best thing about it is that I include whipped cream & the best raspberry jam in the middle. Now I don’t like sponge but I know it’s generally loved really well. Using Mary Berry’s recipe it turned out brilliantly, even though I was worried that it wouldn’t. Oven temperatures are the most stressful part of baking. Anyway, below is a picture of it cooling. I put it all together at work so that it would look it’s best. It went it about five minutes flat. Got to be the best review ever!
I really enjoy baking. It’s an exact science plus, as an adult, I get to lick both the bowl & the beaters without sharing them with my pesky siblings. So any chance I get to bake, I’m gonna take it. We went to stay with some friends last night for a long overdue catch up over a take away & a (few) glasses of wine. As a thank you, my OH suggested I bake some cakes. Brilliant, I thought, a perfect chance to practice my icing skills. One of my other vintage Christmas gifts was a wonderful icing that is an original Tala one. It’s so much easier to use than a piping bag and is being remade & available at Lakeland. I couldn’t believe it when I went in to my local Lakeland shop & saw the new version of the Tala Icing Syringe Set available for a mere £22.99. Mine is an original & I got it for free! Even better.
I know that my cupcakes are good, but I really want to make them look professional. I don’t imagine that I can give up my day job & become a cupcake baker anytime soon, but I would like them to look really professional. Armed with my syringe set & some fancy sprinkles, I had a go. I knew that both the mixture of the cupcakes & the frosting tasted great (obviously!) but can I get them to look great? Well, what do you think? Do they look professional or do they have a ‘homemade’ feel about them?! I did do them in a real rush, as we were running late for our friends, but I think they turned out okay. They were met with lots of ‘mmmmmm’s’ so I’m taking that as a good sign! I think practice makes perfect, so if you fancy being a taste tester, then just let me know!