Tag: baking

The Oxford Bake Off

Oxford Bake Off

A few weeks ago, the lovely Kate from Oxford Bake Off tweeted me to ask if I would be interested in taking A Crafty Chai along & having a stall at the event. I ummed & ahhed about it for a while, wondering if I would ever be able to make enough stock but thought that I’d give it a go!

This will be my first ever craft stall and I am so excited and nervous at the same time. I have so many things to think about: displays, bags, a float, will I have enough stock, how much do I need, what if no one buys anything, will I spend all my profit on the cakes that are for sale at the event?…it goes on! But am I so excited and chuffed about being asked.

I am going to be crafting so much over the next few weeks. I’m going to be selling my jewellery, cosies & brooches and maybe headbands as well as cards, including some of the Blom flower cards that I made recently.

Below is a list of the stalls that will be in Oxford Town Hall on 24th March. Look, there’s me! So proud! There’ll be cakes a plenty, lovely local tea company Jeeves & Jericho (my latest tea obsession) and vintage china from The Jolly Vintage Tea Party in the pop-up tea room.

Oxford Bake Off

If you are free & around Oxford on the 24th March, pop along and support some of these excellent causes: Oxfam IWD, Coppa Feel, Cecily’s Fund and Oxford Rape Crisis.

Inspiring Craft Blogs

Tear Drop necklace

This morning I tweeted about being inspired by some new craft blogs that I’ve been reading. I got quite a big response about this with people asking what I’d been reading. I thought it might be easier to write a blog post about it than try to tweet links to lots of blogs! SO here goes…

Domesticali. I’ve been reading this one for a while on recommendation from my OH. It’s full of so many different, lovely things and amazing photography. A real treat. And it was through Domesticali’s most recent post that I found some other blogs that are truly lovely.

Dragonfly is one. Full of beautiful images, accompanied by simple text. I love it when blog posts have photos in them, if, for no other reason than you can have a nosey into their homes & view their nik naks!

DottyCookie is very inspirational. Full of great ideas, especially for children. I loved reading about the Harry Potter spells! I’d love that!

I really like {quilt} while you’re ahead. I have a real passion for cushions & this lady has made a few beautiful ones. I am so jealous!

I love everything about Little Cotton Rabbits, from the layout and images to the font. How cute is this stitch font on the header?! Lush! She also has some great knitting patterns. Am so tempted by the little knitted bears. Cute!

Silverpebble is a lady after my own heart. This blog contains a mixture of things, but I really like the recipes. And she makes silver jewellery using PMC and that is impressive.

The Sight of the Morning makes me smile. I love the banner image too. So pretty!

Show me a knitting blog and I’ll be very happy. If that blog has other bits and pieces on it then even better. This is the case with The Philosophy of Lists. A simply lovely read.

The other great thing about these blogs is that they suggest others to read to. Like Pinterest, looking at the other things that people make, where they go and what they do is really inspirational to me. If you know of any other blogs let me know! Happy reading x

Crafty Resolutions 2012

Tea Cosy

Despite working less since July, I still haven’t managed to get enough craft in my life. So I’m setting myself some crafty resolutions. I plan to check back & update every month or so and hope that I can cross some of them off. Hopefully I’ll have them all crossed off by the end of 2012. So here goes…

1. Knit a pair of socks. I really want to do this. I can’t explain why but I have a real desire to make myself some warm & snugly socks. I’ve just got some DPN’s and plenty of wool so this will be my first project.

2. Knit myself a matching hat, scarf and gloves set. I have a real love of wool & this canCrafty Resolutions be seen in the variety of winter gloves, hats and scarves that I have. However, none of them match. This bothers me immensely! So I plan to knit my own. I’ve already got the wool but I imagine it’ll take me until next winter before I’ve completed them!

3. Knit myself a jumper. I am not particularly confident that my knitting skills are up to this but I want to give it a go. I know there are loads of patterns out there but if anyone has a recommendation of a plain jumper pattern, I’d love to have it.

4. Make Mollie Makes kits. I love Mollie Makes. I wait until I have some quiet time before I sit down & read it. I love the free kits but I’ve only ever made one – the phone cover, which I gave to my sister. I want to make them all! So my aim is to make one a month, maybe even two so that I can catch up on the backlog!

5. Scrapbooking. The garden WILL get a makeover this year, honest. I want to document the transformation by doing something I’ve never done before & that’s scrapbooking. Any tips will be gratefully received.

6. Write my own knitting pattern. There are so many amazing patterns out there but sometimes I struggle to find one that fits what I want to make so I’d like to make my own.

7. Make more silver jewellery. Out of the crafts I currently do, this is the one I do least. The main reason is that I’m a neat freak & can’t keep my silver making stuff out so I rarely get down to it. I don’t go to silver group every week because I can’t always afford it. But I need to make a more concerted effort!

8. Sew more. I love my sewing machine but I’m still a beginner so need to spend more time using it. I have a few ideas of items I’d like to make so I’d better get busy! I’ve also got a cool sewing kit that I’d like to complete. It’ll make some awesome owls that would look great on my desk!

9. Make candles. I got a kit for my birthday and haven’t used it yet. I know some lovely people who would like some candles so I need to get busy with this one asap.

Tea Cosy10. Bake healthier cakes. I recently had a cholesterol test. It’s slightly higher than it should be so I need to cut down on bad fats. Therefore I need to find healthy ways to have cakes & chocolates. There’s no way I’m cutting them out!

11. Get organised. I’m one of the most organised people I know. But when it comes to making things in time to give others, or awareness of how close holidays are, I seem to be completely lost. I need to start preparing for Christmas in the summer if I want to make all the presents, cards, cakes etc. And not leave them all to the last minute like I did this year…and the year before…and the year before that! Oops!

12. Make time for craft! I’m not too great at balancing my time. I’ll do all my work, tidy & clean the house before doing craft. Sometimes this doesn’t leave enough time to do craft. I should probably spend less time on Pinterest but I often see that as creative thinking time. I need to allocate time each week, no matter how little, to craft so that I can achieve these resolutions.

I am also doing the usual – eat less fatty stuff, eat more veg, get off my bum more; be more thrifty; sort the garden & finish off the little jobs in the house; learn from my mistakes etc etc. But most of all I want to do more craft because craft makes me happy and isn’t that worth spending time on? x

What are your resolutions? Are you having any crafty ones? I’d love to hear what they are.

Christmas Cake – The Finished Article

Christmas Cake

A little while ago I blogged about my first ever Christmas cake. In the rush that was November & December (what was that all about?!) I forgot about my cake. Yep, this means that my Christmas cake was pretty alcohol free. Shocking isn’t it!

About three days before Christmas eve I opened the tin that the cake was in, expecting a mouldy mess. Fortunately, it was fine. I frantically bought marzipan &, please don’t yell at me, ready made and ready rolled icing. I know, I know! That’s so cheating! But we had to buy and make Christmas dinner for five people! So I cheated but it looked great and saved me a lot of tears. By the time I got around to icing it, I had an audience – My mum, sister and brother all watched me get in a pickle with the marzipan. I used marmalade instead of apricot jam, which turned out okay. Icing it was really easy. I managed to get a reasonably smooth surface.

Because Christmas kind of snuck up on me, I didn’t have any decorations. So I had to improvise. I dyed some icing (& my hands) bright green for holly. I tried making red berries but that didn’t work! So I used some silver balls & silver glitter to finish it off.

Christmas Cake

I think it looks okay. A simple festive cake. The cake itself is a little dry so I might use a different cake recipe. Any tips would be greatly received! How was your Christmas cake? What decorations did you use? x