Cake, cakes and more cakes….

Posted in General Scribbings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 1 August 2015 by misselisabethuk

The theme of this blog is cakes, funnily enough – the title pretty much says it all, eh?!

Firstly to cake decorating, I kind of went in reverse with this whole cake making thing.  Sometimes things just organically happen and move from one thing to another in no predetermined order and not in the way you might have expected… This was one of those occasions.

So I decided I wanted to learn something, didn’t have any idea what my next challenge would be and then I thought, as I have a practical mind, wouldn’t it be good if I was able to properly decorate a cake.  Previously I had attempted several cake projects with varying success but never felt the need to be shown the proper skills to achieve better results. So naturally this felt like the right time to learn basic cake decorating skills.  I googled local classes and chose a two-hour cup cake decorating course called summer meadow cup cakes at Annabelle Jane Cake School in Maidstone, Kent.

I’ll be honest my main worry was driving in to Maidstone easily and finding a parking space, but once that was achieved I relaxed and looked forward to the new learning challenge ahead.

The course was pitched at the right level with the right amount of technical versus practical content. I thought the course was well run and I really enjoyed the laid back style of teaching; first being shown the relevant technique then having a go myself, with the teacher on hand to advise and guide as necessary.

The results I thought were pretty good, see below:

Summer Meadow Cup Cakes

So that was in the bag, I now felt confident that I was ready for any cake decorating challenge that was thrown at me.

Next I thought well there’s no point being able to decorate a cake without being able to make one so I was then looking to make a cake, assemble it, crumb coat it and finally cover it with icing so I could get to the position of being able to decorate it (as above).

I opted for a slightly different learning process for this part. I knew I could make a basic sandwich cake and my baking skills were not too bad (only occasionally over cooking things with some resulting fire alarm moments but haven’t we all?). I turned to the Internet and some online instruction via YouTube, Wilton’s website etc

There are some good instructional videos on crumb coating, for example, which is the layer of buttercream between the cake and the icing which seals in the cake crumbs to give you a good flat base for your icing to go on.

Armed with my newly learned cake making skills I set to work.

Here are some photos of how it all progressed:

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Not a bad attempt I thought. Yes It was for a 40th birthday and yummy it was too!!  You could say a successful cake making project.

On to the next learning challenge…. But what will that be????

 

Sitting around drinking hot chocolate…

Posted in Weekly Wonderings on 19 February 2015 by misselisabethuk

A friend of mine, some years back, told me he spent every Saturday morning at an infamous coffee house writing his blog and planning his next podcast. I thought this was such a cool way of spending a Saturday morning, watching the world go by, as he sat, looking out on to a busy street with people rushing around, whilst contemplating the world and drinking coffee (or favourite beverage) but as I stop and think back now about that scene I now know why it appealed to me it was because it represented a lifestyle which I clearly didn’t and probably would never have.

For me Saturday mornings were and are always that time of the weekend where, if I can, I catch at least another hours sleep and then get busy with the household chores that I never got round to during the week – working full time. An industrious time, a full and busy schedule; one load of washing out and in to the tumble dryer and another load of washing in, empty the dishwasher and fill it back up again with the assorted plates, cups etc left on the side, cleaning down sides and of course the dreaded oven and hob. Saturday mornings = detergents, cleaners, cloths, lifting, scrubbing, hoovering, sweating and cold cups of tea.

So why do I sit here now and reflect on this? Well I know it’s not quite the Saturday morning coffee shop experience I described above but as I sit here with a hot chocolate in hand at the gym, waiting for my son to finish his spin class, I can’t help imagining again my friend’s experience. To me this sitting around drinking hot chocolate feels indulgent and almost a little odd but I can see that the ideal that once appealed to me still very much appeals.

I will continue to aspire to that Saturday morning ideal, stick it on a bucket list and wait for retirement when I will have the time (but maybe not the health) to enjoy such a thing. They say nothing happens in life unless you make it happen, maybe it’s time for a change and I actually make this happen… Eh?!

Spring has sprung…

Posted in Daily Jollop with tags , , , , , , , , , on 19 February 2015 by misselisabethuk

imageWalking in the park this morning I was delighted to be greated by swathes of purple crocus flowers, not just emerging from the ground but now sprouting and about to flower.  How quickly spring creeps up on us and now it is truly here (well as far as the crocus thinks so, which is good enough for me).

 

 

Love…. Is there really a differential?

Posted in General Scribbings with tags , , , , , , on 7 February 2015 by misselisabethuk

I have been thinking a lot about this recently and in particular whether there is a differential between the love you have for others.

As a mother you hear a lot about the unconditional love you have for your children, the concept that no matter what your child does you will always love them. However, I am not sure there is really a love differential at all.

There are some people I’m sure for whom you would say you would give your life for but I’m not sure for everyone this is solely for those you love. Yes, this could indeed be for your family, friends and pets but there are many people who give their lives for strangers too.

I couldn’t think of any more greater sacrifice than giving your life for someone else. Does this come down to a judgement of whether YOU think someone’s life is worth more than yours and how could you measure that?

I guess everyone would measure this differently; are they younger so would have the potential for ‘more of a life’ than you? Do they have children who might suffer a greater impact by their death than you (without a family)? Are you sick and they are healthy? Would you be a better protector than being protected? So many judgements which might need to be made quickly in a life or death situation.

So saying you would give your life for someone else is not a differential when it comes to love. So is there one? What do you think?

It’s a new year but nothing has changed….

Posted in Weekly Wonderings on 10 January 2015 by misselisabethuk

Welcome to my first post of 2015.  Sitting here, reflecting back on a tough 2014 and knowing that 2015 is going to be even tougher, I have been devoid of my usual new year excitement for probably the first time ever in my life.

Looking at the reasons for this there are many but to name a few; 2014 saw an increased pressure in the workplace to deliver more than I had to before, due to more work and the resulting fatigue I seemed to have less ‘me’ time (as my brain was filled and cluttered with the processing of information), which then impacted my friendships as I backed away from them (kept at a distance) as I couldn’t mentally cope with being involved in lots of connections as well…

As a result of this, I entered into 2015 with a lack of energy and enthusiasm, which I can now see why reflecting back on the reasons for my malaise.  So what am I trying to say?  I am not dismissing 2014 at all.  I think there has been some good ground work for future opportunities and challenges and I have had fun involving myself in some new and old hobbies (albeit of more of a solitary nature) but it’s time to focus on a couple of things to improve the areas which quite frankly I neglected in 2014 and now find myself in ‘deficit’ (if I can use that word in a non-financial sense).

So what for 2015?  I want to reconnect with the people that I have neglected in the past year (I publicly apologise to them for keeping my distance), I want to factor in some more fun and laughter time in my day to day, I want to get a good diet and exercise routine in place (one without fads and that I can realistically stick to).  Don’t get me wrong these are not new years resolutions, these are intended to be lifestyle changes, not restricted to 2015.

I want to read more and learn a new skill every month.  I want to improve the quality of my life but also positively impact the lives of those around me.  I want to make fewer compromises where work is concerned and put myself first more often in that context.  With family, I want to be better aware of when my needs are more important than theirs (I have a tendency to put others first at the detriment to myself).

This all seems a big ask at the moment.  A big mountain to climb.  However, small steps are key and remembering that I can’t please all the people all of the time and that if I stay true to myself and what I believe in, I will get through 2015 and be looking forward to 2016.

Stay true to yourselves and I hope you have a great weekend.

Cards, gems and boomps a daisy…..

Posted in Weekly Wonderings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 15 November 2014 by misselisabethuk

Evening all, hope you are keeping out of mischief but if not, I hope you are staying safe.

As winter draws in it’s important to take up a more winter appropriate hobby, hence why I have turned my efforts to paper crafting.  See my previous post… Let’s get crafty… I have set up a table, with all my craft stuff on, in front of the biggest window in the house and I’m ready to be settled in for the winter.

Paper crafting is vast.  There is an incredible amount of choice in the products you can use and a myriad of techniques you can employ.  It’s a real minefield.  The potential for spending all your money on this hobby is high.  So crafter beware.  I personally have spent far too much money already on it but I continue to spend, it’s very addictive.

So I thought as a little Saturday treat I would post a photo of one of my creations and give you a feel for where I bought my craft items from and how much they cost.

So here goes…

Paper Crafting Example

The materials to make this card cost 63p:

– 6×6 card (white linen) with envelope : 12p (pack of 50 – £5.70)
– 20cm gold organza ribbon : 7p (from a 4m roll)
– Black and cream cardstock : 12p (approx.)
– 4 Black flower embellishments : 32p

To make the card I also used the following; Tonic punch (Twined Lily) to make the black flowers, an Ebossalicious 6×6 embossing folder (Floral Frenzy), fingerlift double-sided tape to tape down the card and a glue gun to fix the flowers.

If you want any more details just drop me a question in the comments.

That’s it from me.  Hope you all enjoy your crafting endeavours and have a real crafty winter.

 

Let’s get crafty…

Posted in Daily Jollop with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 21 September 2014 by misselisabethuk

Good morning all.

It was recently my birthday so I decided to treat myself to some paper crafting tools.

I bought a Cuttlebug embossing and die cutting machine, a stars embossing folder and a couple of Tattered Lace die sets (flower and butterfly).

To start with I found it a bit tricky but once I had consulted with the hints and tips sheet on the Tattered Lace website all was well:

http://www.tatteredlace.co.uk/

See below one of my works in progress for your viewing pleasure…

 

Tattered Lace die cut card

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