Monday, 22 November 2010

Another weekend has flown! A craft fair on Saturday and cake making on Sunday

I had a good weekend.  Amongst helping Father Christmas making gifts, I had a stall at a local village fair in Wheelton.  It was a lovely event.  The people were great and they had a good turn out, I sold quite a lot of my stock and there was a lot of interest in my work.  Excellent.  Here's a picture of my stall.  The quality of the picture isn't too hot, but I was pleased with how it looked.  The Fairy came along to help (as it was only a couple of hours) and my mum came up too.  

On Sunday I managed to get my pinny on for a bit of cake making with the children, and convinced the Fairy that it was a good idea to make a lovely apple cake rather than the fairy cakes she loves to make.  I have made this cake once before to take to my brothers, but to be honest the recipe that I used originally was a little too faffy to make with two young children so I adapted it, and now it is very simple.  

Yummy Apple Cake Recipe


125g soft butter
125g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
125g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
3 small firm dessert apples
* you can also use a couple of tbsp flaked almonds to sprinkle on the top if you fancy it (I didn't have any in!!)

1.  Pre-heat oven to 180*/160*(fan oven)/gas mark 4 and grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin and line its base with greaseproof paper.
2. Cream together butter and sugar until sort and fluffy.
3.  Add the egg a little at a time, beating as you go along.
4. Add the flour and baking powder, mix it through and put cake mixture into the cake tin.
(At this point I gave my little helpers a beater each from the electric mixer to lick whilst I sorted the apples!!)
5.  Core the apples and cut in half (if you have the luxury of an apple corer.  I don't so cut in half and carefully removed the core with a small knife.  Don't worry if it looks messy, you won't see it).  You now need to make fine slices in the curved side of the apple without cutting all the way through.  See the picture below.  Place the apples on top of the cake mixture.  Don't be tempted to push them down... the first one of these cakes I made you couldn't see the apple!!!

6.  Sprinkle the almonds on top if you are using and pop it into the middle of you oven and leave for 35-40mins until golden and firm.  I checked mine after 30mins and it was golden but not firm (the skewer wasn't clean when I pierced the centre of the cake) so I covered it loosely with a piece of kitchen foil and left it for another 5 mins.
7.  Allow to stand in the tin for a couple of min, then put onto wire rack to cool.

Delicious cold with a cup of tea, but could be eaten warm with ice-cream, or maybe even custard!!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Some work from some of my favourites

I have been far too busy this week, mixing cement, choosing slate and continually clearing up mess. It will be worth all the mess next week when I am sat in a toasty warm room warming my feet by our new burner.  I am very excited!

Anyway, instead of showing off the fruits of my labour, I thought that I would share a few of my favourite things that other people have made.

This lovely cushion has been made by the very talented Zoe Badger (aka Zebedee).  Zoe creates fabulous lino prints and I had been in touch with her a while ago saying they would look fab on fabric for things like cushions.  Anyway, she has done it, they look fantastic and are selling well.  Pop over to her shop by clicking on the image and have a look at her other lovely prints.

Another print, this time of two Ptarmigan by Deebeale.  I love the simplicity of Deebeale's work and the colours used.  Click on the image to see more.

I love rectangular shaped pendants.  I bought a beautiful one for my sisters 21st and every time I see her with it on I am envious.  I must love her to have let it go!!!  Maybe one day I will own one. This is a lovely example by Brazen Hussies.  Click on the image for a link to the shop.

And finally ...  a lamp... not just any old lamp.  How pretty is this?

These are made by Hannah Nunn.  I love dandilion clocks.... well actually its a bit of a love hate thing... I really dislike dandilions because they are a pain in the garden, but I guess without them we wouldn't have the beautiful clocks or sugar stealers.  Have a look here at the blanket of sugar stealers from early summer.  Anyway, I have digressed slightly.  Please go over and have a peek at Hannah's other lamps by clicking on the image.  

Sunday, 14 November 2010

My niece's birthday pressie

In a previous post I mentioned that I had been busy making my 2 year old niece's birthday pressie.  Yesterday we trekked over the border to Yorkshire to her party and took this with us.

I am pleased to say it is a hit.  She gave it lots of kisses, but wasn't too sure about sticking the pole in between her legs to ride it.  The Fairy and the Little Tinker weren't too impressed that we were giving it away, and I have now been informed that we need one in our house (even though we have Lily, the fairy's huge rocking horse, and a smaller version for the Little Tinker).

This is how I made it...

..first I made a pattern (with the help of Bob the Builder!!!).

After sewing my pieces together and attaching the ears, I made a start on the hair.  This is the most time consuming, but quite a simple task... I did mine whilst visiting my brother during half-term when I didn't have access to my sewing machine!!!

I then stitched on my eyes before stuffing and inserting a length of pole with the top covered in glue.

If you look closely at the image below, you can see that the horse is smiling.  My husband thought that the horses nose was a little too pointy.  I didn't really fancy removing the stuffing and re-sewing to change the shape, but he had other ideas and simply pushed the mouth up to make it smile.  A couple of stitches, and she was looking perfect.

A perfect pressie for a little person, and enough time before Christmas to make a few!!!

N.B It's funny though... I noticed once I had finished it, that out of all the fabric I have, I chose the same fabric for the horses ears that I had used on a dress for a rag doll that I had made for her 1st birthday pressie!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Get knotted scarves!

At the beginning of last week, before becoming ill, I made these scarves.  In fact, I thought I had given myself motion sickness with all the sewing that I had done.  I work on a vintage Singer and it has a tendency to create quite a large amount of vibration on my workshop (attic) floor! 

They are quite simple to make, and a lovely way to show off a beautiful piece of fabric.  I particularly love the one shown above.  These are scarves (to keep the chill off your neck), but a wider and longer piece of fabric creates fantastic shawls, perfect for summer evenings.  

The scarves were washed after I had made them, and knotted before drying, to create their crinkled textured look.

There are three different fabric choices, all of which are really pretty, and they are available to buy in my Folksy shop here.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Reindeer Cards

I have been making Christmas cards.  I had sort of decided that I wasn't going to make any as I am short on time, and next year I am going to be focusing on my pinnies and paraphernalia (so no more cards as I need to be focused).  However, I have been asked if I am making them (I had an idea of what I wanted to do anyway), so here they are. 

The images are created by drawing a template and then hand cutting the reindeers out of pretty papers.  These are then scanned, fiddled with slightly and a greeting is added before being printed onto vellum.  I then stitch them on to card.

I have done three different designs...

... and they are available to buy in my Folksy shop here.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A trip out with my mum!

I cannot believe that it is over a week ago since I was last here!  Maybe you thought that one of the witches that visited us for The Fairy's party last weekend had cast a vanishing spell on me.  Actually I have been poorly and now have an even bigger back log of things to do!!!

But first I want to make you aware of a fantastic Art Market that has been created in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, where artists and designer/makers can sell their wares.  It has been set up as an event that enables artists and designers can exhibit (and sell) their work, rather than it simply being a business venture, and this is captured in the ambience of the market.  They have another planned for next Sunday, so if you fancy a trip out, it is worth a visit.  You can find out more on the Art Markets website here.

My mum had her eyes on a couple of pieces of artwork, but my eye was drawn to two stalls in particular (both who of whom I have just noticed were called Helen!) one was a textile artist Helen Hallows, another was silversmith Helen Shere.  I love both of their work.  Please do pop over to their sites to take a look at their work.  Unfortunately I didn't remember to take any photos of the event, but I am hoping (finger crossed) that I will be there early summer 2011.

Now I must go and make rapid progress on my niece's birthday present before her party next weekend.

I will post about it later in the week, time permitting.

Have a good week.