Tag: oxford

My First Craft Stall

A Crafty Chai Stall

As you know, I’ve been very busy making my craft products for my first ever stall at the Oxford Bake Off. I had a fab day! Oxford Town Hall is a lovely place for this kind of event, especially when it is decorated with bunting from the lovely people at Oxford Bunting Co (one of whom bought one of my iPhone/pod covers! Thanks!)

We arrived in plenty of time to set up, having done a ‘dry run’ at home, making sure everything would fit & look okay. My lovely OH was on hand to help with everything thank A Crafty Chai Stallgoodness! He made me a fantastic poster advertising the stall too.

While we were setting up, lots of people who had entered the bake off competition were nervously bringing in their entries & setting their cakes up. The standard was very high & I was lucky enough to sample quite a lot of the cakes later on in the day!

Once we had everything set up & prices laid out, we had time to get ourselves a drink (giant chai for me, obvs!) & have a good old look around the other stalls. There was quite a variety of stalls mixed in with cake sellers. We were next to Made in Jericho who made some fabulous pies & muffins (yep, sampled those too!) Our first port of call however, was to the very lovely Oxford Cupcakes, who make the best cupcakes & macaroons! Not only did they have these delicious treats for sale, but they also had some cupcake decorating going on. Fun for everyone. Later on in the day, after my first few sales, my OH visited the tea shop. The tea was provided by my favourite tea company, Jeeves and Jericho, who also had a stall at theA crafty chai jewellery bake off.

There was a constant stream of people throughout the day, but when the bake off judgement was due, the place was packed! I managed to sell quite a few pieces and something from every part of my range. It was lovely to hear so many compliments from people as they looked through all my stock. It’s good to know what other people think!

I was pleased with the amount of stock I had on display & I’m pleased that I’ve got enough left to restock my Folksy shop. This means I can work on making some things for me & presents for other people. (Yes I’m already thinking about Christmas!)

I would definitely do another craft stall. It was nice meeting people from Twitter; hearing nice things about my products, and of course, selling things too! It was also a great opportunity to network with other local sellers & to get tips from them.

I did learn a few things too!

  1. Don’t park in Oxford City Centre! It almost wiped out my profit! I didn’t see the tweet from Oxford City Guide about cheaper parking until later. Should’ve moved the car then.
  2. Take a packed lunch. Not taking lunch did mean I got to eat a mushroom & goats cheese pie from Made in Jericho and a whole lot of cake, but it’s not cost effective.

I’m sure some other things will come to me the more I reflect on it. When I do another one, I think it needs to be closer to Christmas. Most of my stock is suitable as a gift so people will only buy it if they’re looking for a present or a treat for themselves. And with money being tight, it’s not the time for treats.

I really hope the Bake Off raised lots of money for the charities it was supporting. I had fun, even though I was exhausted by the end of the day!

My craft stall

I’d like to say a massive thank you to Kate for organising the event & to my OH for helping to run the stall, carry the stock, get my chai etc! Couldn’t have done it without him! x

Busy Bee

wool stash

I feel awful. I have really neglected my blog. It’s not that I haven’t been thinking about it or checking it or ignoring the blogs that I follow. I’ve been busy. Both working at the day jobs (who’d be a freelancer?! Love it!) but also I’ve been busy crafting, making things for the Oxford Bake Off. I’m really nervous that I won’t have enough stock. I’m not worried about not selling stuff, because if I don’t then it’ll all go on my Folksy shop or the stock will be ready for birthdays & Christmas for the next year!

I have been busy knitting. Last week I was looking after my mum who fell & broke her wrist (she’s on the mend!) so I took my wool stash with me. Every free opportunity was spent knitting. I made some cards a few weeks ago so this week will be spent soldering silver jewellery & making a few vintage suffolk puff brooches.

I am so nervous but super excited at the same time. And this explains my absence! I have missed blogging so am taking a little time this morning to get some posts written and scheduled. And I will be blogging about how the sale goes at the weekend! Wish me luck!

wool stash

Breakfast and 11’s

Missing Bean

You know the feeling when you look in the cupboards at breakfast & just don’t fancy another bowl of dull cereal? Well that happened in Crafty Chai HQ this morning. My OH quickly suggested breakfast out. Motion passed. We grabbed our coats and headed out the door.

Jericho CafeWe headed straight for Jericho and back to the place we first went to when we found somewhere to live in the best part of Oxford: The Jericho Cafe. I love this place. It’s perfect for lazy Sunday breakfasts, lingering cups of coffee and tasty meals. We used to live up the road from there so it was even more perfect then! I could eat every meal of the day here. They have an excellent vegetarian range and even today the veggie special was amazing. But we were here for breakfast so I had the cooked veggie one. At a reasonable £7, you get eggs whichever way you want them, beans, veggie sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast and tea or coffee. You get just enough to fill you for most of the day without making you feel stuffed. I really like the veggie sausages here. You don’t feel like you’ve been left out as a veggie. One of the things I like about the cafe is that you can hang around there and people watch to your hearts content! A fab place.

After a bit of Christmas shopping we needed to warm up and rest our weary feet. One thingMissing Bean Oxford does well is independent coffee shops. One of the best is The Missing Bean on Turl Street. Because it’s one of the best, it’s usually really busy without any free tables. My OH & I were lucky enough to grab the only free table in the place. I had a delicious chocolate macaroon and a small chai latte. The chai always comes in a small glass and it always seems to go far too quickly. My OH loves the flat white coffee’s here and he’s something of an expert when it comes to these! The Missing Bean is definitely worth a visit if you’re in Oxford. They have a lovely range of cakes and sandwhiches along with a very decent range of teas and coffees. They also serve Oxford’s own Jericho and Jeeves range of teas. Indies supporting indies. Fantastic!

The Flowing Well, Sunningwell

Brownie Pudding

I know I’ve been quiet on the blog recently…there’s no excuse really! So when my OH told me that he had booked us a table at The Flowing Well for a free meal to taste their new menu, I knew I had my next post!

The Flowing Well has undergone a facelift recently. While before it felt like a pub you might get a bite to eat it, it’s now a lovely open restaurant with a comfy bar area, complete with lush sofa’s & a woodburning stove.

Upon arrival we were given a menu & quite an extensive wine list. I was very pleased to see more than one option for veggies and plenty of options for pescatarians & carnivores alike. I had a large glass of merlot, which went down a treat! And it was quite reasonable at about £5. I opted for the roasted beetroot & creamed goat’s cheese starter. It was delicious! And it was the perfect size starter. I was so excited to eat it that I forgot to take a picture of it! My OH had the crispy fried chilli squid & thought it was delicious.

There was just enough time between the starter and the main course. There was quite a bit of choice on the menu – from pizza to pasta & risotto. This time I opted for the roasted aubergine, pepper & chickpea tagine with couscous & minted yoghurt. It was really tasty and very filling. Everything worked well and it was cooked to perfection. My OH had the burger & chips (which were super tasty!) and he really liked it, though felt that the burger could’ve done with a minute longer on the grill. The atmosphere was fab & I really like the feel of the place.

Then the waitress returned to take our pudding order. They did have my ultimate pudding, crème brulee, on the menu. But they’d broken one of my rules & flavoured it with lemon! Noooooo! So I opted for my second favourite pudding – Brownie with chocolate sauce & cream. It was a most excellent choice. The brownie was huge & warm. I was delighted! The cream was perfect and there was just enough to go with the brownie. My OH ordered the crème brulee. Traitor. It came with a handful of rasperries & a small shortbread. He really liked it. I tried it and while it’s fine, it’s not for me. Them’s the rules!

I really like this place & am already thinking of when I can go back and who I can take there. I have pretty much decided on what to have next! I am so impressed with the changes they’ve made & it’s really a lovely dining experience.

Brownie Pudding