Bunting

Well i am sitting here feeling a bit sorry for myself, as i am of work poorly, and so i am writing a long overdue blog.
I have been busy celebrating my birthday, my son’s birthday and organising my daughters birthday, so my craftiness has been quite minimal.

The first pictures are of a set of bunting i made for my friend Octavia.  She lives in London and after a few life changing events has decided to take the plunge an open her very own cake/music/rock and roll cafe in Hackney.  As you can see the shop will be called Cakey Muto.  I loved the little skull fabric, and decided to team it with traditional pink gingham.  it looked great hanging up and tave seemed happy with it, so that’s all good.  So if your in the Hackney area, look Cakey muto up and go have a cuppa and a cupcake whilst no doubt listening to some good music. (and check to see if she had my bunting up)……

The hearts are my new little favourites to make, I love them, i love all of the colurs and of course the leapord skin fabric is ace.

Hope to see you at the party in the Park.  Off to drink lemsip and sleep now…..love nat xx

the grass isn’t greener, there’s just grass everywhere

the grass isn't greener, there's just grass everywhere

it’s late and i’m tired (you can tell by that mad title) but i’ve been meaning to write this for a while and if i keep waiting for the right time it’ll be too damn late and the moment will have just passed. so…i’ve set up my own blog and a folksy shop. how. exciting. and scary. and delusional. instead of writing loads here about it why don’t you pop over to the site (www.jenniesandford.com) and you can read about what, when, why, how and please feel free to say hello, start following, find me on twitter etc. there’s a link from the blog to my folksy shop and i’ll hopefully be selling on etsy too in the future. i just want to say though, that i am feeling much love for my crafty muthas and rest assured dear reader – i will not be deserting this blog. i’ll be popping on by with my makes as ever and keeping you up to date with details of future craft fairs.

the grass isn't greener, there's just grass everywhere

which brings me on neatly to our next big thing. it is the warley woods annual picnic/party in the park on sunday 17th july and we’ll have three delicious tables of handcrafted loveliness for you. so put the date in your diary. more details to follow soon….and i best get making!

 

a owl

more owls.  Am loving their little chops at the moment, and the first one I sketched look way too much like Jennie’s sleeve felt ones, so I flattened his bottom out and curved the outline a bit more, while trying to keep it simple.  Simplicity is the key to printing you see, I have discovered.

I have been using foam to create these stamps, as I needed the detail right, and found the carving a little tricky to be precise.  I will be doing limited edition I (heart) Bearwood tote bags and babygros at the picnic in the park, and I am loving how the printing is coming out.  In addition I have done a few little owls on onesies and T shirts, and the girls were keen to join in the crafting while we let Daddy have a lie in on Father’s Day.  Given the hangover I was nursing and lack of sleep from the night before, this was mighty generous of me…..

Lula’s sparkly gold owl on a bright pink top was a good choice for the 4 year old!  It looks so cool, and she was determined to paint the beak and eyes herself too, which she did a pretty good job of.  Lil’s T shirt looks fab with the dandelion clock stamp I made at Francine’s workshopa couple of weeks ago – we did it first in lime green, but for some reason it didn’t take very well, so she tried again on top with a blue, and the overstamping created a wicked colour effect.  Well done crafty ladies!

Now, what else can I stamp?  Need more inspiration…..

Bearwood Tapestry in June

another lovely evening with some inspiring local crafties down the pub!

Having missed the last two (through Easter hols and sickness) I was determined not to miss this one, so with hubby being away, I organised myself a babysitter and shimmied on down t’Bear, passing the enticing beats of Bear Rhythms and the offer of free tequila from new eaterie Monalito.

Great to meet so many fascinating new bods and see what everyone was up to.  Quite a few new peeps along tonight who just came to chat and see what everyone else was up to, so am looking forward to seeing what they bring in July (especially the upholstery lady!).  There is an increasing interest amongst our number in actively increasing the selling side of what we create, and I had with me tonight a new magazine called “Craftseller” – a bit like Ronseal – it does exactly what it says on the tin!  There is a good article about selling on etsy in there, which might be useful for complete novices, like myself.  I imagine you can pick up a copy in Smiths – the second edition is not due out til end of August.

The last photo is of the bracelet I made tonight – it’s a present for my sister’s birthday in a couple of weeks, and is a complete Tapestry creation – including “gifted” elements from Clare, Helena and Amanda, plus knowledge, nail varnish and brute strength from all four of us too!  Nini loves jade, and it also features something that makes her smile “a owl” (also to make Kate giggle!) – bought when she and I had a fabulous weekend away in Brighton earlier this year from a bead shop in the Laines called “Kerrie Berrie” – how apt that it features my name (ish) and is run by sisters!

holy calamity

it’s been a bit quiet on the crafting posts round here lately – sorry for that. and since our resident photographer extraordinaire is away visiting the muthaland, there’ll be no iphone downloads from tonight’s bearwood tapestry even, so i thought i’d get a sneaky one in. last tapestry it was my turn to make the cake…

i’m a pretty good cook. and i bake a lot. i love, love, love the taste of good food and i refuse to buy cakes and treats when i can make better at home. with twenty years of baking behind me and two kids who almost live for cake you’d think knocking up a ginger cake to take to our monthly craft get together would be easy. oh no.

it all started innocently enough. found a fab looking recipe on the old interwebs. i had all of the ingredients apart from the stem ginger so took the four year old (off school with a bad cold) to the shops where we could only find ginger preserve (like marmalade but good enough). at home the little one decided not to help (she must have had an inkling of what was to come). i copied out the recipe in my usual blunt pencil on the back of an envelope shorthand sort of way. i made the most amazingly sticky batter, made a complete faff of lining the loose bottomed cake tin but finally got the bugger in the oven – and relax – funny how that batter was so thick and sticky, and didn’t the recipe say something about it being like pancake batter? hmm. shit. i forgot to write milk down. i forgot to put milk in!

so i ran to the kitchen and pulled the cake from the oven. it had only been in five minutes but the magic was already starting to happen. i had to think quick. i got a pan, emptied some milk into it and started to heat it as i scooped out the sticky and now frothy mix. a moment of panic as it seemed to curdle but with some stiff whisking i rescued it. but i couldn’t use the loose bottomed tin. the baking parchment was a sticky mess destined for the bin and this new mixture was too runny – it would surely leak through and make a stinking mess on the oven floor. believe me i’ve been there before. so, i got out 2 small loaf pans (thinking even if they didn’t turn out well they’d be fine for the kids). it was at this point that my beautiful daughter had a nose bleed.

five minutes later i put the cakes in the oven and looked at the almighty mess i’d created. i hate washing up. i always make a terrible mess in the kitchen and i leave the washing up for as long as i possibly can or until my husband comes home. but i needed to make another cake for the craft night and i hate to be beaten by a ginger dessert so i decided to re-do the recipe using the same ingredients but using a completely different method. i put the food processor, bowls, spoons, jugs and all into the sink and got out a big saucepan. i only had to wash two measuring spoons! just as i was breaking the egg a little voice called out “i feel sick”.

ten minutes later (it was a false alarm) i poured my new runny mixture into a large loaf tin and popped it into the oven. i read my poorly girl some stories. made a bechemal sauce for some ham croquettes (using a different pan and a whole new set of spoons!). 50 minutes later i pulled out a slightly overdone but magnificent cake.

then i washed up.

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later i covered the cake in a drizzly lemon topping and it was all gobbled up at the tapestry and no-one was any the wiser. the two mini loaves turned out a bit stickier but quite delicious and were gobbled up by the kids. result. needless to say though, i’m not baking for tonight. over to you ceri….