Sunday, 24 February 2013

Clandestine Cake Club.

This is just a quick post, I've been meaning to tell you about it, it was really good fun.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I was reading a blog the other day which directed me to an old radio clip about the Clandestine Cake Club, which in basic terms to you and me, means a guerrilla cake eating opportunity.  You don't know until two days before where you will be meeting and then you make your cake of your choosing, sometimes with a theme, and go along and meet complete strangers and eat cake, and then share cake and go home in a two hour window.

I was asked to come along as snow meant that some people couldn't make it. I found that email at 2 p.m. for the event that night,  Eeeek !!! I have lemons, (I am really into my lemons at the moment) eggs and butter, so I think a lemon sponge with home made lemon curd will be nice.  I reckoned that it would be light relief as the theme was Valentines, and as I surmised there was lots of chocolate cake.
 Lovely lemons, unwaxed of course.
Then I had an epic fail,  I was using new tins and had thought that I wouldn't need to line them, that was a mistake.  Started again very quickly and made another lemon sponge, had to send son no.1 out for  eggs.  I made the lemon curd in the traditional Mandycharlie way, shove everything in a pan together with some cornflour to stablise and bring up to a burbling simmer.
 One cake, pretty enough I think, but I still don't know where I am going, and its five o'clock!
A quick message of 'help' on the website and they get back to me with the details, a quick shower and then I'm off.
It was amazing to see all of these different cakes come through the door, we had two tables in the end. 
Made some lovely new friends whilst eating cake and drinking tea, we divided up the cakes and then we departed into the night, as though we had never been there. 
Although they make it quite clear it is not about judging cakes, all cakes and skill sets are welcome. This was a lovely cake, it had a truffle chocolate centre that was really chocolatey and I think it was this cake, (rather like the last pint was the bad one!) that made me feel quite ill,  next time I am going to take more home to sample in the following days. I don't know how the others felt because most were taking much bigger slices than me!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

The Hobby and Stitch International Trade show.

Had the most amazing day at the Hobby and Stitch Trade show, but first I must show you hubby's Valentines roses to me, plus the balloon that was romantically given over dinner.  I am only showing you all of this as I had bumped into Angie Quilts who I met about three years ago.  Her first question to me was "Have you cloned him yet?" Whereupon she reminded me that she had left a remark to that effect on my blog, then turned around to her Mum and told her what a fantastic husband I had,  how I always had beautiful roses and trips to London, then saw hubby, laden down with bags and admonished me for letting him carry all of my bags, how we laughed.  So just for you Angie, my latest lovely roses, I promise as soon as cloning becomes doable by a follow the numbers kit, your first on the list.
And those of a sensitive disposition should look away now.

The last words Holly of Wool Warehouse (whose business I was representing) said to me were, "Its a trade show, you can't buy anything", "that's okay I said, it will be great fun anyway"
As you can see there were free magazines,  this is nearly all of my magazine collection, I have a good few weeks reading there.
 And the rest of them along with some (not all) of the trade magazines which will be fascinating reading for Holly and I, I know there will be lots of gizmo's and books I've never seen and will want.
 Fabric Freedom were being a bit naughty and were actually selling at the show, (it was a huge scrum to get near the fabric)  I bought some fabrics for quilts, at £5.95 for 6 fat quarters and £9.95 for a full sized jelly roll, it would have been rude not to.
 I found this amazing yarn and they gave me a sample to show Holly.
 It makes pretty flowers as its being knit up. Great fun.
 I was given a pen that is a pretty metallic gold and a handmade button to show Holly.
 And some gorgeous Blue Faced Leicester by the UKHKA,
 Oh you did notice the needles. 

They are absolutely dreamy, they are HiyaHiya, in their interchangable sharps range and they gave me a pair as a sample to show Holly, how generous is that!  I'd noticed these needles being advertised in some of the American knitting magazines that I read so have always been curious. I was not disappointed, they are yummy, the join is extremely smooth and the cable rotates freely from the needle so it doesn't unscrew them, I like them, alot.

It was a great day - thank you Holly.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Making a skirt on a rainy day.

 Yesterday it seemed to rain and rain, well whenever I poked my head up from the task in hand it was.  I however was cosy in my large kitchen, all set up for a day of sewing. A work counter was cleared for cutting out, on one side of the kitchen table sat my sewing machine and the other sat my serger.  My fabric was primed and ready (ie. pre washed) and I was ready to go.  I started about midday and at about five thirty I had this.  A lovely long, fitted,  tweed skirt with a kick pleat,  fully lined with an invisible zip.  It fits as nicely as it looks.
 
 Full length of the back.
 With a detail you can barely see (sorry about the photography) which is to cover the line of stitching you need for the pleat, decorated with two handmade buttons bought from Debbie Abrahams at a show.
 An invisible zip, which looks wonderful, but we are not going to talk about that because I am still having nightmares about it.  Lets just say it looks good now, but the dog was keeping his head down at one stage during the afternoon.
 The front.
 A good view of the interfacing which is under stitched which is a nice trick when you know it and the lining is attached to the interfacing.
 A kick pleat in the lining so that it works fully with the skirt and allows freedom to gaily skip down the road showing off your new skirt.
 A close up of the very pretty button,  I like the contrast. 
And a quick peek at the hem, which is overlocked and then flipped up and sewn by machine. I was considering hand sewing but the thread so closely matched the fabric that I don't think the skirt loses anything by the hem being machine sewn.

I have enough fabric left to make a jacket - hopefully this will be something I have mastered by this time next year,  they may never be worn at the same time!

But at the moment I am enjoying skirts, there is more fabric prewashing as we speak.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Of haircuts and cakes.

My beautiful 1st born son told me that he was going to have his head shaved.  
So I asked if I could come with him, which he said I could, but was told that I was not to cry. 
I hadn't felt tearful, more curious. 
I kept a lock of his hair to put next to his first curls in his baby book, after all he may never grow his hair again. 
And there was much banter. (as you might imagine) 
We laughed so much.
 
And he went from this,  
 
to this.  I think he looks gorgeous (but I may be a tad bias)
"Mother and Son"
Did I mention that things are getting really lively at Wool Warehouse since the Drops order has arrived, or should I say started to arrive as more and more is coming in every few days - keep your eyes peeled on the web site, February is going to be Sockalicious!

So to celebrate the most recent arrival of Drops which had some really stunning yarn in, I made more cake - lemon drizzle -  and to keep the party theme going, Paula our lovely Saturday morning crocheter made buttery shortbread, which was truly delicious.  From the buzzy chatter and laughter I think our Saturday morning girls loved every moment of their mini party - and they loved the Drops even more!