A possibility….

I’m thinking of hosting a Grub Club.

It’s very early stage right now – I don’t have a venue as yet so not even sure on numbers but I do know I want to make lots of cake (to be fair, that’s kind of my permanent state of being; this just happens to be a good outlet) so I was thinking of an afternoon tea / tea party theme.

So, here’s where you lot come in…. what do you think of this menu? And, if you were to book such an event, how much do you think it should cost per person?

A Chocolate Lover’s Tea Party

Sandwiches

  • Egg and Cress
  • Cream Cheese and Cucumber
  • Ham and Mustard Mayonnaise

Mini Cupcakes

  • Vanilla and Chocolate
  • Chocolate and Peppermint
  • White Chocolate and Raspberry

Fancies

  • Chocolate Dipped Cinder Toffee
  • Mini Brownies
  • Mini Lamingtons

Cake trolley: Chocolate and Orange Victoria Sandwich, Marble cake

Served with your choice of Assam, Earl Grey or Peppermint Tea or Coffee

All opinions gratefully received – leave a comment, email me, tweet me your thoughts, whatever you like… Thanks in advance!

Txxx

Ticking things off the list…..

So it’s been 2 months since my last post and a lot has happened…

Firstly, I went on holiday for a bit – more on that in a later post but it was a 3 week trip that boyfriend and I had been talking about doing for years and we finally decided to take the plunge and go. We had an awesome time, and as I say, I will write a proper post about it soon.

The next 2 things are one and a half ticks off my 2013 to do list (and yes, I am aware “Blog more regularly” is going shockingly so far)

First off, the fully ticked-off item is getting my book on a print on demand service. I’m thrilled to say that as of Thursday last week it is officially available from Lulu in 4 different formats no less! Follow this link to see them all:

The Cakey Friday Cookbook

I’ve not actually seen the finished product yet as they take a while to ship but one of each version should be winging its way to me as I type so I’ll post photos when they arrive.

Secondly – a half ticked item; I spent yesterday listing items in my Etsy store and getting it back up and running after a month in holiday mode. There are now 60 items in my store (that’s the most I have ever had I think!) with more to come over the next few weeks.

I’ll leave you with a few pics of things I listed yesterday to tempt you over for a browse….

Txxx

Romance isn’t dead – unlike alligators who mess with giant otters

I don’t think of myself as traditionally romantic. I’ve never been one for grand gestures, as a little girl I never day dreamed about my perfect wedding and at some point shortly after the boyfriend and I got together I informed him that if he ever bought me flowers I would assume he’d done something wrong (to his credit – he never has).

That isn’t to say I don’t do things that could be construed as romantic; for example I once booked a surprise weekend in Las Vegas for the boyfriend’s birthday, however in my eyes that wasn’t so much romance as just a really good excuse for an awesome holiday. But it does mean that I struggle a bit with the annual lovey-dovey-hearts-and-flowers-slushfest that is Valentine’s Day. This year, sometime in early February the boyfriend and I were standing at the station at some ungodly hour of the morning waiting for the train to work, the following conversation ensued:

Him: What are we doing for Valentine’s Day this year?

Me: *shrugging* Nothin’?

Him: …ok

Me: We could just do cards if you want?

Him: Yeah, whatever.

(See, it’s good that he’s equally apathetic, it’s one of the reasons we’re a good couple)

So that was that decided. Only the small matter of finding a suitable card amongst the racks and racks of cheesy/sappy/allegedly funny/overwhelmingly pink (I don’t do pink) options available – bugger.

Still, I persevered and found one with a couple of cute sea otters on the front. I know it might not sound appropriate but I discovered a sweet fact about sea otters a while ago that I though counted as romantic – As they sleep floating in the sea, in order not to drift apart, sea otters hold hands while they snooze.

See – proof! And cute proof at that :)

So, card with cute otters – tick, adorable fun fact to write inside – tick, romance achieved, right?

Not quite.

The weekend before Valentine’s Day we were visiting friends and whilst we all sat around and chatted in the background the TV was showing a program about giant otters. I was only half watching but at some point the family of giant otters were attacked by an alligator (it may have been a crocodile; I don’t think I know the difference really and as I mentioned – I was only half watching). There was a lot of splashing and diving and thrashing around and I’m sure most people’s money would have been on the alligator, it was bigger and more obviously fierce (in the traditional sense of the word, not the Beyoncé sense) after all. But it was outnumbered, and the otters had cubs to protect, and apparently you don’t mess with a giant mummy otter and her pals – so the otters won!

The upshot of this is that not only did I write my cute sea otter fact in the boyfriend’s card; I also wrote this:

“PS. I’d totally kill an alligator for you”

It occurs to me (literally right now as I’m writing this) that if he keeps the card and at some future date someone else reads it, without this explanation that is going to look really, really odd.

So aaaaanyway – like I said; not traditionally romantic perhaps but I get points for trying right..?

Txx

New Year, New Start! (or – See, I’m totally still alive – I’m just lazy!)

Happy New Year!

Is that still appropriate at this point? I guess as this is my blog what I say goes, right? So I’m sticking with it – Happy New Year.

I know I haven’t been around for a while; December was pretty manic with craft markets and Chrismas prep. Christmas itself, for the Boyfriend and me, is an annual ritual of packing the car to bursting point and traipsing round the country to see as many relatives as we can fit into whatever amount of time we have managed to book off work. I don’t mean to make that sound like a bad thing; I love seeing all the family types and the Boyfriend does pretty much all the driving, so my role is to sit in the passenger seat (possibly with a cat/suitcase/present on my lap) and sing tunelessly along to the radio. However, as I’ve not really managed to fit blogging into my life at home yet, managing it while visiting seemed like an unlikely scenario, and as predicted, I wrote absolutely nothing over Christmas.

Since New Year, I’ve been having a bout of the January blues; nothing very serious just a general lethargic feeling that makes it difficult to achieve things, but it’s about time I snapped out of it so here we go…..

Last year seemed to fly by, I know that’s a well worn cliché but honestly come New Year I was feeling like I hadn’t really got started and yet it was suddenly over, like that feeling when you fall asleep and then the very next second your alarm is ringing, except it’s not the next second, it’s 8 hours later, but your brain insists that you literally just closed your eyes a moment ago. Well anyway, I felt that I had spent the year standing still, that I was pretty much exactly where I had been 12 months ago and that wasn’t something I felt particularly good about.

It’s true that there are things I didn’t get done last year, things I would have liked to turn out differently, things I should have tried harder to accomplish but I think it’s important that I remember what I did get done and give myself credit for those things rather than just beating myself up over the places where I fell short of my own expectations. So here’s my list of successes for 2012:

  • I started this blog
  • I opened my Etsy shop and actually managed to sell things
  • I also managed to sell things at several craft fairs
  • I wrote and published my cookbook
  • I was featured in CraftSeller Magazine
  • I finally got the hang of Twitter and managed to convince 265 people that I might one day say something worth reading
  • I went to the Olympic Games – twice!
  • I learned to make lots and lots of new things
  • I had a stay-cation
  • I managed not to take a single day off sick from my 9-5

I know that some of them are more significant than others, and some of them probably seem amazingly mundane but each of them makes me happy/proud/hopeful for the future in their own little way and that’s enough to get them on the list.

The other list I’m making is in place of New Year’s resolutions – which I have never really got the hang of, so instead I tend to write a to-do list of things I would like to realise in the year to come:

  • Do at least 2 proper markets with crafty stuff – I’m thinking Greenwich and Spitalfields but suggestions of other good ones would be very welcome.
  • Blog more regularly – this one sort of goes without saying; I know my enthusiasm waned in the second half of last year, so I’m hoping to get into more of a writing routine this year.
  • Get more stock on my Etsy shop – I struggle with Etsy the same way I used to struggle with Ebay, the process of listing things is just so dull and repetitive that I am loathe to spend a whole day doing it. I know I should, I know that once it’s done I’ll feel better, I know that listing things in future will be easier thanks to being able to copy listings, but I just don’t want to! *stamps foot and pouts* However – it’s on the list now so I’ll have to give it a shot.
  • Get my cookbook on a print-on-demand service so people can buy a real, actual, physical book.
  • Do up the bathroom – the Boyfriend and I have lived in our flat for almost 7 years now and aside form painting the ceiling blue we’ve not done a thing to it – it’s really about time!

There are some other changes I would like to make but for the time being, nothing I can write about here. I’ll do my best to keep you updated – see number 2 above!

If you feel like sharing any of your achievements/ambitions/resolutions do get in touch or leave a comment, I’d love to hear them

Txxx

Absence makes the heart grow fungus

Well Hello!

It’s been an appallingly long time since my last post; as usual I’m finding actual crafting far easier than writing about crafting.  I’m still hopeful that one day blogging will fall neatly into my life and posts will just come to me without my having to wrack my brain to come up with anything vaguely interesting! That said; I’m also still hopeful that scientists will discover that you can live a long and healthy life eating only cake and rice crispie treats – so y’know, fingers crossed for both.

Just to prove I haven’t given up entirely and have really been beavering away making things not just curled up on the sofa watching rubbish TV with my cats (actually, if I’m honest, there has been a fair amount of that too); I’ll be doing a couple of craft fairs in the next few weeks. If you’re London or South East based do come along, me and my fellow crafters have lots of handmade gifts and decorations that can help make your Christmas a little more unique. (Click the flyers to see them bigger)

First off; this Sunday is the Finchley WI Frost Fair

Then on Saturday the 1st of December I shall be back at the Boogaloo in Highgate for the Vintage Tea Party and Gift Fair

I promise to try and write a real post soon – honest!

Txxx

London 2012

I know, I know, this post is waaaaaaay overdue but I promised Olympics pictures so I shall deliver!

Now, obviously there are thousands* of better photographers who will have produced millions* of amazing shots of the sporting action and jaw dropping venues; as I simply can’t hope to compete I have no intention of trying. Instead, I have picked my favourite 5 pics from my Olympics. They’re not artistic or newsworthy or even particularly extraordinary but they reflect London 2012 as I experienced it; it was funny, silly, trivial, amazing and awe-inspiring all at the same time and it made me fall in love with living in London all over again. (Click the pics to see ‘em big!)

*roughly – I haven’t actually counted

First up – Silly: I’m not good at having my picture taken; I can’t do silly pose shots and I’m terrible at those “fun” night out pics that everyone has on Facebook. My reaction to a camera is to smile stiffly and try not to look stupid (which usually just results in looking more stupid) so when one of those nice volunteers offered to take a picture of me and boyfriend in front of the Orbit tower (Loooooove the Orbit tower BTW), I smiled stiffly and tried not to look stupid while she did so. But that’s not the shot I have chosen; this picture is of me “bein’ gangsa’ innit”

Yeah, I know, I’m the least gangsa person ever – I can’t even type it with a straight face but that’s honestly my first reaction when I saw it (ok, second maybe – first was “what on earth am I doing?”). To clarify, what I’m actually doing is attempting to explain that the preview on the camera was turned off (so that we could take more pictures more quickly) and it was in fact working even though she thought is wasn’t. That aside, I’m still claiming it as my first successful silly pose picture :)

Next up – Funny: Did you know they banned all logos that weren’t from official sponsors in the Olympic Park? It’s a good job too as otherwise companies who weren’t official sponsors might have got free advertising! In an entirely unrelated point, this mysterious unmarked blimp was hovering overhead all the time we were there… points** for anyone who could possibly guess which company logo has been so subtly removed.

**in this instance – points do not mean prizes

Trivial: Aside from dressing in red, white and blue (as you may have noticed in the pic above) this was my other display of patriotism – it took me about 6 goes to get it looking half way decent, hence I only did the one nail!

Awe-inspiring: This is the reason I moved to London – the view from the top of Greenwich Park in front of the Royal Observatory, I will never, ever get tired of it.

Amazing: We were in Greenwich Park for the Cross Country phase of the Eventing; it was a fabulous day out; sitting in the sunshine watching horses and riders thump round the course of brilliantly designed and, quite frankly, huge jumps. I took lots of pictures from my perch on the hillside but I never quite mastered the timing so mostly I have shots of blurry horses landing. At one point though, boyfriend (who professes to have no talent for photography) went for a wander and came back having taken this….

I’m afraid I can’t tell you who the horse and rider are (Aussie team – anyone know?) but I absolutely love this photo. Next time he tells me he’s not good at something I shan’t believe a word of it!

Well there you have it – I hope you lot enjoyed the Olympics as much as I did :)

Txxx

 

 

Craft Britannia – Shop of the week!

Shop of the week this week is the fabulously funky Colour Me Fun run be Danielle. She makes the cutest crayons in pretty much any shape you can think of – so here are my favourites:

Name crayons! I have never thought of my name as being that unusual; there were several other Tanyas (all be it usually with an i not a y) in my year at school but when I was little I could never find my name on the usual selection of name key rings, pencil cases and bracelets that you just need when you’re that age. Problem solved – any 5 letter name you like and only £4, bargain! (Danielle also does other name lengths – see)

There is a bit of a Lego obsession in my household (boyfriend and I probably have more Lego now than either of us did as children) so how could I not include these

And finally – want to add a bit of childish fun to your big day? How about little bride and groom crayons for wedding favours – way more fun than sugared almonds! :)

As always, you can read Danielle’s Craft Britannia interview here.

Happy shopping!

Txx

Ps – to prove my point about the Lego thing – here’s the cake I made for boyfriend’s birthday last year….

CraftBritannia – Shop of the week!

Due to my not being around last week to write a shop of the week post, this week it’s Super Bonus Double Crafty Shop of the Week time!

First up is Frute Juce; bundles of fabric loveliness made by Alison. Here are my picks from her shop…

I do love a good tote bag and this Mushroomy one is so cute

Turns out, the solutions to all your storage woes is owls… who knew…?

I’m also quite partial to a bit of bunting – and this one even has red and white spotty tea pots on it

Read about Alison’s work (and slight fabric obsession) in her Craft Britannia interview here.

 

Now for bonus shop of the week number 2! MadMum Knits run by Liz

Not only does Liz’s shop have lots of fab hand knitted items she also has lots of patterns if you’re in a crafty mood yourself…

I dare say some of you crafty folk could whip up a few of these before Halloween

Need a bit longer to get going? How about getting some of these made for Christmas…?

Or if you’d rather have something knitted for you, these gloves and matching headband are sure to be useful in the next few months

Liz’s interview is well worth a read, it’s always nice to hear how Etsy has changed people’s perceptions of themselves and the crafts they do, you can find it here.

Happy shopping!

Txxx

OMG – I’m in CraftSeller Magazine!

Afternoon all.

I know it’s been a little while since my last post but I was away last week so decided it would be good to have a break from blogging as well to recharge and hopefully find my long lost blogging mojo. I am pleased to report that it seems to have worked and I have a number of exciting things to tell you about as a result – I do love it when a plan comes together :)

The first and most exciting thing (I don’t do any of that save the best ‘til last rubbish) is that I am featured in this month’s CraftSeller Magazine!

Here’s me talking about my beloved glue gun in their “Q and A – Ask an Expert” section. Yeah, that’s right, they called me an expert…

The fabulous Sarah also emailed me a PDF of the full section which you can read here.

Should you wish to buy the real life magazine in a real life shop it’s issue 16, which is out now and available in WH Smiths and all good newsagents.

As an aside – when I got the emailed PDF the first thing I did was forward it on to my Mum and Dad with the subject line “Aaaaaaagggggggghhhhhh! I’m in a magazine!” I do, of course, expect my mum to have a copy stuck to the fridge when I next visit. Perhaps it’s not that surprising that people tend to think I’m younger than I really am, but hey – act your shoe size, not your age! ;)

More exciting things coming soon.

Txxx