Sunday, 29 May 2011

I'm giving away one of my lovely pinnies!

Do you fancy winning one of my lovely pinnies?  

You may like this one...

... or maybe this one.

Maybe you like the A-line pinnies...

... or fancy a Little Belle pinny for a special little girl.

The choice would be yours!

Not only will I be giving away a pinny, I will also be giving the runner up a voucher code to the value of £10 to spend in my shop! 

To be in with a chance of winning, there are a few things that you will need to do:
1.  Become a follower of my blog.
2.  Go and have a look in my shop,  decide which pinny you would like and why (while you are there you could click on the twitter and facebook icons!), then come back to my blog and leave a message on this post telling me which one you would like and why.
3.  Pop over to my facebook page and click on the 'like' icon.
4.  For an extra entry you can tweet the following message:
     I have entered the Pinny giveaway at @Loulabellehome.  You should too.

The chance to enter this giveaway will end at midnight (GMT) on Sunday 5th June 2011, and the winner(s) will be announced on Monday 6th June 2011.

Please feel free to blog about this giveaway and put a link back to this post.

Friday, 27 May 2011

I have a new stockist

There is now a collection of my lovely bags available to buy at the Craft Shop in The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.  

"The Craft Shop was established in October 1981 within the Royal Exchange Theatre building and celebrates its' 30th anniversary later in the year. We sell quality handmade crafts by makers working across the UK, as well as greetings cards and stationery for any occasion."

You can find out more about the shop here.

Friday, 20 May 2011

I have been featured this week...

... not once, but twice!!!

I have been a very happy chicken today, despite having a very stiff neck (I blew my nose yesterday morning and was in great pain and unable to move yesterday)!!!  When I switched on my computer this afternoon, I discovered that people have been writing about me!  Yey!!!

On Thursday I was featured in the Maker Spotlight on the blog of the lovely Gail from seventyseventyonedesign, and today I have been featured on the blog of another lovely lady, Kathryn Sharmen from Kat got the cream in her Something for the Weekend feature.

Thanks ever so much lovely ladies, and a happy weekend to all x

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Fairy has been creating a fairy garden!

I had a lovely Sunday afternoon with the Fairy whilst the little Tinker was sleeping.  She had wanted to watch Tinkerbell, again, but she would watch telly all day given the chance so I encouraged her to do something else.  I suggested she makes a garden for some fairies, she pulled her face but after I have explained how she got very excited and got stuck in.

First of all we carefully went through my magazines (making sure she didn't demolish any articles/images I wanted - my mum laughs at how possessive I am over my magazines!!!).  She then created a flower collage, cutting out and covering the whole sheet with beautiful flowers, before getting down to drawing the fairies on a separate sheet.

While she carefully cut them out, I routed out some sticky pads to make the fairies look like they were flying when she stuck them on.

Ta daaaa....

... and a close up of some of the fairies.

It is now by my desk, making me smile every time I see it.

The afternoons crafting didn't stop there.  She then took a flower from the Easter hat she had made here, that had begun to look a little unhappy, to create herself a corsage for her dress (we were going out for a meal and she was glamming herself up)!

I love it!

N.B.  I mentioned a flower here.  I was sure that I had been told at some point that it is a passionflower, but in actual fact, it is a clematis.  Sorry all you botanists, and keen gardeners out there, and thanks mum for putting me straight (again)!!!

Friday, 13 May 2011

My first ever podcast!

A few weeks ago I recorded my first interview with Fiona at Happy4 PR.  It was a little scary to do, and the wait to hear it was almost unbearable.  It is so strange hearing your own voice back... I sound just like my little sister!!! You can click on the link to hear it.  I hope you like it!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

I love British skies!!!

I do love perfectly blue skies and fabulous warm sun, but I love the drama that British skies create!!  On Sunday I was out with the children, who were scooting about on their bikes, and as we entered the park it was like this... blue sky with fluffy clouds.  I love it.  Skies like these make me feel so liberated and free!

Unfortunately it was a bit of a mad dash to get home.  The clouds weren't little and fluffy, they changed quite suddenly into big black thunderous clouds.  No photos were taken... I had a bike in one hand and was pulling the Tinker, who was suffering from tired legs, along!  We have such fickle weather.  It keeps us on our toes!

On another note, I just thought I would share my beautiful passion flowers.  They used to live with my grandad, so they are a lovely reminder of him.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

A Treat for the Weekend - Chocolate Cake Recipe

Here is the recipe for the delicious chocolate cake I made with my two lovely children last week for the Royal Wedding...

... and for the photo shoot a few months ago.

200g/7oz caster sugar
200g/7oz softened butter*
3 large free range eggs
200g/7oz self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 tablespoons milk

filling - 200ml/7fl oz double cream, 1 punnet strawberries (washed and halved)
topping - 100g/4oz butter, 100g/4oz quality cooking chocolate (dark chocolate), 100g/4oz icing sugar, 
3 tablespoons milk

* I always use butter.  You really can taste the difference in cake that has been made with butter!!!

1.  Pop on a lovely pinny (if you don't have one visit my shop beforehand!)
2.  Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.  Grease and line base of 2 x 20cm/8 inch cake tins with greaseproof paper.
2.  Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add flour sifted with the cocoa and baking powder, eggs and 4 tablespoons of milk.
3.  Mix well and divide between the two cake tins.  Bake for approximately 25mins.  Once cooked leave in the tins until cooled.
4.  Make the topping by melting the ingredients in a bowl above a simmering pan of water.  Stir until well blended and then leave to cool.
5.  Put the cake together by whipping the cream into gentle peaks.  Spread this over one of the sponges, then add the strawberries on top.  Put the final cake on top and gently press down.
6.  Drizzle over your chocolate topping (as the lovely ladies did!!) and allow your topping to harden a little before you eat (if you can resist it!!!!!!).

Happy cake eating.

You can find more delicious recipes here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

I have creative children - carpet art!!!!!

This morning while I was running around before school/work trying to get myself (and others) organized, the little Tinker decided that he would get creative.  I heard a little voice say "mummy I need a pinny", so went to investigate.  This is what I found...

Wow, fantastic, people have said to me... and then they have realised where it is... on my carpet!!!!!
I must give him credit though... most of it was on the paper that he had found for himself, it had just run over ever so slightly!
I couldn't be cross with him though.  Luckily it is an old carpet and needs replacing anyway, but what a piece of art work.  It is fantastic, and I doubt he would ever have been given the opportunity to use soooo much paint on one go if he had been supervised!  Also, I can't believe how careful he had been.  There could have been paint absolutely everywhere, but there wasn't... it was just there on his masterpiece.  I'm not sure what name it should be given... any ideas?