Thursday, 30 January 2014


My love life over the past year has been pretty wonderful, and I think its important to tell people how you feel and show your affections...

For Santes Dwynwen Dydd on Jan 25th I found him a gorgeous, but not girly, handmade card on Etsy.

And a slightly more girly gift, which says 'love you' in Welsh.  Who can resist a hanging heart for the wardrobe door?

He gave me this lovely simple romantic card in return.

For Valentines I have a 'cariad' card, featured in the last post, for him, and have written him 14 love 'postcards' which i will stick to his wardrobe mirror before he wakes up in the morning.  

I think everyone feels, now and then, a little doubtful about their right to be loved, and might wonder why their beloved finds them so attractive and hasn't run away with someone else by now?  I thought I would write down 14 reasons why I love him, just in case he's ever in any doubt.  I won't share them all, because they are extremely personal, but they aren't particularly mushy, they are good, solid aspects of his character I admire and adore.  

As for how I made them, I once wrote off for the 'cabbages and roses' catalogue and received in the post a brown folder full of these oversized postcards, detailing their latest collection.  I've had them in a drawer for years, and they seemed perfect for my modern, shorter love letters.  I found an image of a stamp online and have added the numbers 'one'  - 'fourteen' in welsh plus the '14 reasons why I love you' by just printing off my computer and glueing on.  I handwrote all the messages, and that was it!

Then I thought I would counter all this romance with a boys toy and have bought him a lego technic set.  But there's no reason it can't be prettily wrapped.

I hope you all have a wonderfully romantic day, and enjoy being creative in expressing your feelings!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

cake painting

Last year I discovered cake painting.  It started when I was doing image research for gingerbread houses and I came across some beautiful creations by the extremely talented professional Nevie-Pie - check out more of her awesome work here.

I spent a happy weekend in March with my friend Kate learning cake painting; we each making our own painted gingerbread birdhouse.  Kate wanted to "Cath Kidston a birdhouse" while I was going for a more 'cabbages and roses' look, trying to emulate their pretty floral fabrics.  We spent around 9 hours making these, over 3 days. 

Kate is a regular cake baker and introduced me to using an icing smoother, a turntable, an icing rolling pin, and proper paste food colouring, and then I bought the essentials myself in a specialist icing shop.  If you're trying this at home you basically need:

cheap paint brushes from a stationary shop
a few good quality pots of paste or gel food colouring
   (a tiny amount is mixed with water for a range of watercolour-esque tones)
an icing smoother and rolling pin
ready to roll fondant icing
gingerbread house or biscuits to put it on

You'll also need a bit of spare fondant icing rolled out a bit, to test and mix your colours with your paint brush before applying them, a bit like a painters palette.  I found it easiest to apply the blank fondant to the gingerbread house first, smooth it down and trim, and then start painting.  The painting can get a bit wet, and its necessary to wait for colours to dry before applying more paint.

Then in April I made some springtime biscuits, as you can see I can't achieve paintings like Nevie-Pie but stripes and dots are easy and fun to do.  

Then there were some birthday biscuits for a friend, and a gingerbread Vauxhall Nova and some Nurburgring circuits for my rally-mad Welshman.  He built that Vauxhall Nova from parts when he was a teenager, and now it lives in our garage, ready for many happy saturdays of tinkering.

And then another gingerbread house. I regret the flaked almond roof, and the house is not quite the proportions I intended, but I'm pleased with my Nordic winter tree.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

happily embarked on new adventures

What a year 2013 was... I had so many wonderful adventures, travelled across Europe, made lovely new friends, walked in beautiful places, worked in beautiful houses, had fun at a festival, learnt to paint cakes, moved house, and...found true love.

I thought that becoming divorced at 28 and losing the life I had was a disaster at the time, but it turns out it has done me a huge favour.  Although at times I experience an odd sense of loss, something like this...

...I have no regrets.  I don't regret being married, it is part of my life and always will be, it was a good time and made me who I am today, and I don't regret ending it, I have been led to a new and happier life.  

There is a new man in my life who I am deeply in love with...but that's a tale for another the moment I am planning some things for Dydd Santes Dwynwen and Valentine's Day.  He is Welsh and I am English, so we celebrate both.  There are lots of pretty and romantic things around, especially on etsy.  

I love these cards, cariad is the welsh word for love.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

christmas treasure hunt - christmas eve

this is a christmas treasure hunt post for my family and friends.

This is the final christmas challenge, email me your answers.

1. What does Jonah do on Christmas Eve in Sleepless in Seattle?

2. What does Annie do on Christmas Eve in front of her family, in Sleepless in Seattle?

3. What type of dress does she later try on and what happens to it?

4. Who plays the villain 'Hans' in Die Hard?

5. What American city is the skyscraper in Die Hard located in?

6. What event takes place on christmas eve at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire?

7. What is the problem with Ron's dress robes, which he wears to this event?

8. What is the title of the pop song sung at this event?

9. What does Harry give Mrs Forrester on christmas eve in Return to Cranford?

10. Which two characters return to Cranford in the midst of a magic act on christmas eve?

11. In 'Twas The Night Before Christmas' story, what are the children dreaming about?

12. What drink does Bryn offer Gwen and Doris on christmas eve in the Gavin and Stacey christmas special?

13. In The Good Life, Margo sends back her entire christmas order on christmas eve as the christmas tree is too short.  By how much?

14. How does the tradesman describe Barbara's eyes?

15. What drink does Tom make Jerry when he arrives back from work?

16. In the Vicar of Dibley episode with the famous christmas lunch incident, Alice gives Geraldine her christmas present on christmas eve, what is it?

17. What is Geraldine desperately trying to do on christmas eve?

18. In Love Actually Sam jumps security barriers to run after a girl at the airport on christmas eve.  Which actor plays the unamed character who has 'lost' his boarding pass and thus gives Sam the opportunity?

19. Billy Mack leaves a showbiz party at Elton John's to spend christmas with his manager, what is his manager's response?

20. In Love Actually Jamie proposes to Aurelia on christmas eve. What is her exact answer?

And that is the end of the quiz!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

On the 6th day of christmas... true love gave to me six geese a laying...

Here's an old completed project - a goose from Tilda's 'Crafting Springtime Gifts' that I originally wanted to make a few years ago, remember?

I wanted to do stripy legs, but couldn't find the fabric.  However she does have lovely dungarees and a hat made from cabbages and roses fabric.  About the same time I made the snail pin cushion...

(all those black flecks are from my grubby camera phone)

Friday, 30 November 2012

christmas treasure hunt - queen's speech

This is a christmas treasure hunt post for my family and friends.

The Queen's Speech is broadcast every year on Christmas Day at 3pm.  Complete this history test:

1. The first royal broadcast was delivered live from Sandringham in 1932, by which monarch?

2. Which famous children's author composed the first christmas speech?

3. Why was 3pm chosen?

4. Which monarch delivered the speech in 1939?

5. Which actor played this monarch in the film 'The King's Speech'.

6. What year did the Queen make her first christmas broadcast, and in what year was it first broadcast on television?

7. In 1969 there was no broadcast, instead a written address was issued. Why?

8. How many takes does it usually take for the Queen to get her speech right?

9. In 1992 the Queen used the phrase 'annus horribilis'. What disasters had befallen the royal family that year?

10. What is the name of the radio dj who was sacked in 2009 for interrupting the broadcast with the comment 'Two words; bor-ring' and switching to a Wham! track.

And that is the end of the quiz.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

christmas treasure hunt post

This is a christmas treasure hunt post for my friends and family, but if you want to answer the questions for fun go ahead, just leave your answers in the comments.

My favourite film is 'In Which We Serve', made in 1942.  Watch from 32:23 to 39:52 to see the flashback christmas scenes, and then answer the questions below.

1. Who and what are toasted? (There are six toasts).

    (bonus question: why don't they stand up for the first toast of the third scene?)

2. Which actor plays 'Shorty'?

3. What is Freda referred to as?

4.  How is 'betrothed' defined?

5. Which christmas carol do the children sing in the street?

6. What drink does Shorty's mother ask for?

7. What word does Cath object to, which has been used in the navy since times immemorial?

8. How many crackers can you hear crack in the final scene?

And that is the end of the quiz.