Monthly Archives: September 2012

Baking and Bunting

Well it’s been a funny week, not least because we should still have been on holiday but also because my darling man came out of hospital last weekend and will be off work for a few weeks yet. This seems ‘funny’ as he usually works a six day week so having him home 24-7 is most odd. Having said that, with one week down, we are still the best of friends! This is probably as much to do with him being such a good patient as my enjoying giving him plenty of TLC and having an excuse to cook lots of nice food for him (he lost his appetite and a lot of weight during his stay in hospital). I have filled the house with the smell of fresh baked bread and his favourite cakes, this was my way of encouraging him to start eating again and this ploy has started to work in the last few days. Bless him, he is beginning to look more like his old self again, although he does get very tired, but I realise it is very early days. We are still filling in forms galore to claim our holiday insurance and once that is all settled we will look to book again. So lots to look forward to.

Apple and almond cake made for OH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve spent some time in my sewing room this week as well. I had a play with a new toy that OH bought me a few months ago. It is called a Slice Fabrique and is a lovely piece of technology that cuts fabric shapes out using designs that are on an SD card. It allows you to cut very intricate designs as well some good basic shapes to use in quilting, applique or embellishing all sorts of fabric items. I decided to make some bunting to hang in *Tiny Tots playroom. I had some lovely, bright coloured fabric that will hang beautifully. When OH’s is well enough, we will be going up to Cambridge so will get to see the bunting in situe.

*Chidcare in Cambridge

Tiny Tots bunting.

Until my next blog, remember, if you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours!

Jenny xx

Blue sky thinking.

This morning I woke up to a beautiful clear blue sky and my SECOND thought for the day was ‘what a wonderful day for flying’. Why my second thought you may ask……..well  my first thought had been ‘I wonder what sort of night OH has had’. This morning we should have been flying out to  Las Vegas for a long anticipated holiday but my poor OH is confined to a hospital bed having had emergency surgery for a burst appendix! Needless to say, we are both very dissapointed but, equally, very grateful that this had happened while we were still on home ground. I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to be so far from home when a loved one is taken ill. Staying in a hotel would lose all of its magic under such circumstances, no matter how luxurious. I’m sure the medical attention would be first class and we have insurance to cover the cost, but here we have a wonderful network of family and friends who are supporting us and no amount of insurance could pay for all their love and kindness!

My darling man is still very much in the early stages of recovery, very sore and still with tubes attached, for pain relief, antibiotics etc. but, as I sat by his hospital bed this evening, I was thankful that we were eight miles from home not five thousand!

We are  already talking about when we can re-schedule our holiday, so  we can start looking forward to it over again. When we eventually get there we will appreciate it so much more, after a week that has been a roller coaster ride of so many emotions. As my son said tonight, ‘the sky will be just as blue when you do go mum’ and I’m  sure he’s right!!!

Jenny xx

Oscar themed birthday cake

Well, as promised, a couple of pictures of the cake I’ve made for my great-niece’s Oscar themed birthday party.  It is a rich fruit cake (from a Mary Berry recipe), covered in marzipan and sugarpaste. The Oscars are made from Mexican paste and coloured with rich gold edible dust that I mixed with confectioners glaze, enabling me to paint them and give a more intense gold colour. The clapperboard is also made from Mexican paste, which was coloured black before rolling it out and cutting the shape. The rose was made from sugar flower- paste, as were the rose leaves. The red and gold chord around the cake was bought from my  local craft and sewing shop, Sew Crafty in Maidenhead.

I thoroughly enjoyed making the cake and hope it will add to the atmosphere on the night!

HAPPY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY TIFF!!!

Jenny xx

another view of the cake.

Tiff’s birthday cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pittas and party cake.

Well, a busy day today, but a very enjoyable one.

I decided to have a go at making my own pitta breads today. OH and I both love pittas filled with salad so I  found a nice recipe in one of my bread machine cookery books. I have to tell you, these were the easiest things I have ever made, with the help of my Panasonic. The ingredients are all store cupboard staples so I didn’t have to pop out to get any extra bits and pieces (I have been known to make as many as three separate visits to my little local supermarket for items needed when trying new recipes!)

Once the ingredients were in the bread machine I had to turn it to the ‘pizza dough’ setting, press the start button and leave it to it’s own devices to knead away and, after 45 minutes, there was the springiest, smooth dough waiting for me to knock back and shape into pittas. Once this was done, I left them to prove for ten minutes before putting them into a hot oven for five minutes. Result? Not bad pittas, I will definately make them again.

My first attempt at pitta, thnk they could have been a little more coloured!

While the kneading and proving was going on, I made a start on my great-niece’s birthday cake. Tiffany will be celebrating her 30th. birthday with an Oscar themed party next week. I had already made a nice rich fruit cake so today the marzipan went on, ready to be iced on Friday. Very pleased that I was able to get some chocolate moulds for an Oscar statue, from an ebay site. There are now a dozen sugar Oscars drying on my dining room table. My plan is to paint these with edible gold liquid and have them standing around the outside edge of the cake. Hoping to get some gold chord from Sew Crafty, to drape between the statues. I have also made a clapperboard from mexican paste and, once dry, I will decide what to write on it, something along the lines of Breakfast at Tiffany’s maybe? I’ll post a picture on here once it is finished.

Couldn’t get any further with the cake, as everything is in the drying stage, so took the bull by the horns and tackled some ironing this afternoon.  Those of you who know me well will have long since realised that this is my least favourite chore!! Oh well it does mean I can spend tomorrow at my sewing machine without feeling guilty!!

Jenny xx

 

Post Script

Just a little post script on yesterdays blog;  Some of you have asked to see some of my other entries, well here they are;

 

My hand knitted shrug (ready for my holiday).

A small watercolour of an old water mill.

A machine embroidered knot bag.

My graphite portrait of dad.

Thanks for looking,

Jenny xx

 

 

Cox Green Craft and Horticulture Show

Today I ventured into the world of competitions, with some very surprising results.

Our local community centre hold an annual craft and horticulture show and I have always been along to gaze in wonder at the exhibits, promising myself that when I retired, I would, in the spirit of community, enter some items myself.

I picked up the schedule back in July and started planning my competition entries. Should I go for a fruit cake, or maybe a Victoria sandwich cake. And the handicraft section………knitting, crochet, embroidery, lace…….. some serious decisions needed to be made. I changed my mind so many times but the entry form had to be in by September 4th. and it was with much relief that I handed mine in to the centre office, now I couldn’t be indecisive any more.

This morning dawned, bright and sunny, entries had to be in place for judging by 10.15.am. so off I went with my selection of craft and food in the boot of my trusty Micra. At this point I should perhaps divulge the choices I had agonised over and decided upon. Two exhibits in the art section, a portrait in any medium and a little watercolour in the ‘newcomers’ section. The portrait was a pencil drawing of my darling dad and the watercolour was of a water mill. Next were three photos, going into the photographic sections; 1.a  moving subject, 2. a seasonal theme and 3. a building. My moving subject was a bee hovering on a chive flower, the seasonal one was of sweetpeas in the rain (very typical of this summer) and the building was of the Freedom tower rising out of the 9/11 ashes in New York. Next on to handicraft; a bag made in any medium and a knitted item were the two catagories I chose in this section. My bag was a traditional Japanise knot bag which I had machine embroidered, and the knitted item was a little shrug that I had made ready for my forthcoming holiday. Finally the domestic section, three entries in this one, a plate of six cupcakes, a machine made loaf and a pot of lemon curd. My cupcakes were flavoured with some of the lemon curd that I had made for my second entry in this catagory, and I decorated them with lemon buttercream and little sugar butterflies. The loaf was a five seeded white loaf, a favourite of my other half. There were already a lot of entries in place when I carefully set my bits and pieces out and some of the work, particularly in the handicraft section, was really stunning.

All safely delivered, back home to to some housework and wait for the show to open at 2.30pm.

At just after 2.30 I made my way back to the centre, a little nervous, how would I feel if I hadn’t recieved any nice judges comments? Surely at least one of my entries would have got a third, or even a highly commended? But what if……..? Oh well I would put it down to experience and try again next year.

The first area I went to was the photographic section, lots of entries and sure enough, none of my photos were placed, I have to admit, the winning entries were exceptional. On to the art section, wow, my portait had come second with a lovely comment from the judge who felt I had ‘captured the expression of my subject with sensitivity’. At this point I would have gone away a very happy bunny. However the best was yet to come, my little water colour also came second, my bread got a third, my knitted shrug was highly commended, the lemon curd got a first and the cupcakes also got a first. The icing on the cake (literally), my lemon cupcakes won the silver Millenium Cup for the best exhibit in the domestic section! I get to keep this for a year so must  get some silver polish next time I am shopping.

MY WINNING CUPCAKES

All in all a very exciting day and I think my OH is just a little bit proud of me!

Jenny xx

 

Hello world!

This is my first post, so let me start by saying welcome to  Cobbie’s little corner of the world!

I have long intended joining the world of bloggers but didn’t really know where (or how) to start. A chance comment during a conversation with my nephew, last week, led to this blog being set up for me through his Bendy Bamboo site, thank you Matt .

I hope some of my musings will be of interest to like minded people, those of you who enjoy cake decorating, sewing, knitting, crochet and various other crafts, as well as an life in general. I look forward to sharing these things with you and hope you will feel free to comment on my blogs.

Jenny xx