Craft fair: the preparation

My friend Lenka (who makes the yummy cakes) and I have decided to go to a craft fair together at the end of this month.  Well, not just go together.  Exhibit together.  Sell together!

They don’t usually allow you to share a table, but I begged very nicely as it was Baby Brain‘s first one, and they’ve let us do it if we mix up our stock, which is jolly nice of them (can you tell I’ve been reading Enid Blyton to Scarlett recently?).

I’ve got a bit of an advantage on Lenka in that my stock doesn’t spoil or go off, nor do I have to wait until the days before to start preparing, but I’m still struggling to find the time to add to my little stock collection.  I’m also attempting to make some Baby Brain bunting (in the style of my logo!) to go on the front of our tablecloth!  Barry’s going to Germany with work next week, which might be the opportunity I need to catch up on my sewing.

Dresses, bags and bibs is what I’ll be selling on the day, and I’m also taking along my baby birth details prints and an example of a button monogram for the table (but those are obviously made to bespoke requirements); Lenka has a list as long as your arm of delicious delights, including something I haven’t tried before: cake in a jar.  Pinterest it.  It’s going to be amazing!

I’ve already made Scarlett a little Baby Brain dress and nappy cover so she can run round like a mini advertising board!  She models so well!

Come and say hello if you’re in the area, full event details are here.  We’d love to see you!

White stripes

Kiki 1Not much decorating going on at the homestead at the moment, so I thought I’d show you the handwork of one of my friends, Kiki.

Kiki’s home is awash with colour, it’s got real personality and she’s painting anything that stands still long enough!

Kiki 2Her daughter Violet is the same age as Scarlett, and she’s just decorated her nursery – she’s very much feeling the coral at the moment.

Kiki used Pinterest to gather inspiration before deciding on the final theme.  Decorating the bedroom in coral stripes took a lot of tape, a steady hand and the patience of a saint.

Kiki 3I know the power point (bottom left of the wall) drove her mad that it fell within the coral stripe, but once the bedroom furniture was replaced, you can’t even tell.

The colourful nature of the fabrics in the rest of the Kiki 4room and the white furniture means the wall doesn’t overpower; it’s an interesting backdrop to a lovely nursery.

What do you think?  I love it!

 

 

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings

photoI was recently a bridesmaid for my beautiful friend Charlie, and what a wedding!

I (among many people) made various bits for the wedding, including baking this collection of buns to look like a wedding dress for the hen do (it received good reviews from Charlie’s auntie) and sewing the tie for Charlie’s two-year old son for the big day.

I also made a couple of bits towards their wedding present, including a Mr and Mrs framed photographic print and Mr and Mrs bunting (notice a theme?).  We gave them those (along with a picnic basket that I really wanted to photo (2)keep!) the week before the wedding, but I didn’t realise they’d feature on the big day too!

Neil, the talented photographer from our own big day (who is also a friend) was also the photographer for our friends’ wedding (he’s the groom’s brother).  His wife, Amy, helps him with the photography business and is aspiring to become a wedding planner – my bunting got a nod in her recent blog post!  Click here if you would like to have a gander, and that beautiful cake at the end?  My friend Lenka made that.  What a lovely wedding!

 

Polka bag

polka bagI’m enjoying sewing so much at the minute!  I love that you can turn a pile of fabric, ribbon and lace into something you can be pretty proud of, in not much time (a naptime for me!).

When I pick Scarlett up from nursery, I seem to be gathering little items up and balancing them, or stuffing them into various pockets, so I thought it may be handy to have a drawstring bag to hold her change of clothes, comforter, note, bib, etc., at the end of the day.

polka bag 1

I bought this fabric this week, I thought this red ribbon would really pop against the blue, and I still have some of the broderie anglaise lace left from when I made her party dress.

Et voilà!  I’m really proud of this – so proud, I think I might add this to my repertoire for Baby Brain.  Speaking of which, I’ve just opened a Facebook Store, please nip over and check it out!

www.facebook.com/BabyBrainBoutique

A study in sewing

StudyMy desk in the study, which I don’t think I’ve ever shown you, is looking rather busy at the moment.  Since my sewing machine arrived on my desk, I’ve been sewing project after project.

Other than Baby Brain creations, my machine’s been whirring away on bunting recently.  I have a trip planned to Ikea in the next week, to have a look at some storage solutions – as you can see, it’s overflowing with buttons, fabric and paperwork!

Polka dot cake: the reveal

I showed the preparation for Scarlett’s birthday cake in yesterday’s post.  A week later, I defrosted the cake and the decorations were dry; a few broken, mostly because I’m clumsy.

Lenka suggested that I watch YouTube videos on icing a cake with ready rolled icing before I started it – this is what I really should have done before icing the Spiderman cake.  That’s what I spent my lunch hour doing the day before I put it all together.

No idea what year this video was filmed, but this one with Pat Lock was the most useful one by far.  I wrote myself a checklist of everything I had to do based mostly on this video!

I’ve put together a little gallery of the various stages – the photos explain better than I can!  If you click on the first one, you can go through them in order (and captioned!).

What a lovely day, and the cake was enjoyed by all of us at the tea party, we took some to nursery and I took some to work.  Now to buy a cake smoother…

Polka dot cake

Cake idea

What a year it’s been!  To celebrate my daughter, Scarlett, turning a whole one year old, I thought I might make a cake for her birthday tea party.  Fine.  Then I started looking to Pinterest for a little inspiration.  This is where it all blew up, because there are some AWESOME cakes out there!  Up to now, my nephew’s Spiderman cake of ’12 was by far the best cake I’d made, and I really, really did not know what I was doing.  Yeah, I can bake a cake, but I really have little clue when it comes to icing and decorating.

Tweet tweet.jpg

I drew out the little doodle above after all of my Pinterest madness.  My bird actually ended up looking pretty much exactly like this!  Yes, it looks a bit like a duck.  As well as all the amazing cakes, I was inspired by the polka dot birds hanging in her room.

Luckily for me, I have a bona fide cake expert in my friend Lenka, who creates beautiful and yummy delights (check out her facebook page!) – she made Scarlett’s Christening cake.  She repeatedly set me on the right track.

A week before Scarlett’s birthday, Lenka dropped into conversation that I needed to be making the decorations for the cake so that they’d dry in time.  Cue panic stations!  To combat said panic, Lenka provided me with:

  • 2 x 12″ cake tins
  • 2 sets of letters to spell out Scarlett
  • The number 1
  • The top of a piping bag to stamp out polka dots
  • A cake smoother.  I’ll get to this, it’s BRILLIANT!

So, if Lenka hadn’t been involved, I would have pretty much had a plain cake, with whatever Tesco’s Dr Oetker display had to offer thrown at it.

Cake decorations 1A week before the big day, I baked four cakes.  Yes, you read that right.  I had a dream of a graduating pink creation.  We’ll brush straight past that one, because it didn’t work.  I didn’t put enough food colouring in.  I then stacked the cakes in colour order (I was still crossing my fingers at that point) and froze them.  With Barry’s family coming to stay, I thought I wouldn’t have time to bake, ice, and decorate a cake as well as clean, etc.

The following day, I started making the decorations in two shades of pink.  Here are the polka dots, along with birds, letters, numbers and I iced the cake board for good measure.

Cake decorations 2For the birds, I drew around the ones in her room onto greaseproof paper and cut them out to draw around.  I made so many decorations because I thought some may crack and break, which they did.  I do wish I’d had a bit more patience with the letter R, because it was very stubborn and ended up looking, erm, full of character.  My friend Jemima said I’m not allowed to say it was crap.

I then waited a week to put it all together, but I won’t make you wait that long…