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.