Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas is coming!

I just can't believe how quickly this year has gone! It's so true that the older you get, the faster the time goes, it doesn't seem a year ago that I was setting out my table at Kensington Christmas Show!
This year's show was the best I can remember, it was steady, with a constant flow of people & this year it seemed that everyone bought several pieces at a time. It was really good to meet a few of my internet friends too......Jackie, Janice,, Andy, Chantal & Nadja's lovely Mum too...a really, really nice day!
As Christmas is going to be here & gone so quickly no, I thought I'd post a few of my Christmas pieces for 2013!

 Making a Christmas Cake!
 Christmas cookie & chocolate hamper.
 Christmas cookie box.
& finally, a cornucopia filled with sweet Christmas treats!


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Time to get some sun, sea, sand & mojitos!

That time has come around again...I'm off to see my youngest in the lovely hot UAE & I can't say I'll miss the grey, miserable & cold of the North East of England. Two weeks of glorious, uninterrupted blue sky & heat....can't wait!
It seems to have been a very chaotic time for me over the last few months & I have been really struggling to keep up with commission work at the same time as keeping eBay going....I really just don't have enough hours in the day & if anyone can give me a day with at least 48hrs in it, I'd gladly pay!!

I have managed, by the skin of my teeth to get some pieces that will eventually be scheduled (probably just before I board the flight to UAE if things carry on like this!) to make an appearance on eBay while I'm away & here are some!

I'm looking forward to sitting in the early morning heat, while everyone else is in bed, with a cup of coffee & weaving a few baskets!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Such a lot of fruit!

I seem to have been making so much fruit recently....I think I've actually got it out of my system now & might get round to making something else.....just to make a change!
Christmas is on the way, just a little too quickly for me, so I suppose it's time to start thinking about festive minis...

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

I'm not a good blogger!

I can't believe it's been so very long since I made a blog of the perils of having a relatively good summer.....too much good weather to waste as we don't get enough of the sun in this part of the UK!
As a result of the good weather, the garden is looking good but mini making has all but ground to a halt....too many commissions have built up & I'm desperately trying to catch up by working until the small hours in my workshop. I even find myself praying for a day of rain so that I can stay in the workshop without feeling guilty about not being outside!
In all these weeks of summer, between gardening & having family to stay I've managed to work on several commissioned pieces.
There was the squirrel nutcracker & walnuts for a lady who is recreating a scene out of "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
and then as I was making nuts for hours I put together this little bowl of walnuts & hazelnuts!
Then there was the challenging & unusual birthday cake.......
A cake to mark the birth of HRH Prince George of Cambridge..........
not forgetting some fun Royal baby cupcakes........

So I have managed to get some mini making done! Despite being so far behind, I just don't want the summer to end!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The "Chanel Collection"!

I haven't had too much time in the workshop since I came back from the desert......there has been such a lot of gardening to do & the weather has been reasonable, so my time has been spent in my veg garden, general grass & hedge cutting & tidying up after such a long, long winter!
When I have been working on my minis at night, I've had a fixation with Chanel cakes...for some reason, I just kept wanting to make them & when I feel like making a certain piece, I have no option but to "go with the flow"!
So here is the result of several nights in the workshop & my simple homage to Chanel!

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Sun, sun & yet more last!

Yes, I'm off again to get some sun out in the UAE......2 weeks of 45 - 50 degrees C is going to be quite a shock after the freezing gales & rain that we have been having here all "spring". I can only pray that "summer" is going to be better!
Having said that, today has been a glorious day & the forecast is for another good one tomorrow...but then...guess what....yep, back to gales & rain, but it won't bother then I'll be in the air & on my way to some lovely sun (&, of course my cutie of a granddaughter!....I suppose here I should also mention my wonderful youngest daughter & her hubby, who put up with me & my middle daughter for 2 whole weeks!) I do actually work for my keep though...I'll be busy in her kitchen re-stocking her freezer for her!
I have been busy making some bits & pieces to make an appearance on eBay while I'm away & I thought you might like to see a sneak preview of what I have been up to!

4 tiers of oh so pretty, pastel cupcakes...ribbons & all!!


A basket of freshly picked veggies!

A basket of plums & peaches......& finally.....

A Harvest Of Sweet Chestnuts........making all those nuts nearly drove ME nuts!
Sun, sand & plenty of I come!

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A fishy time!

It's been ages since I even logged on to my blog...I'm not sure just what I've been up to because it certainly hasn't been gardening or sunbathing.....the weather here is rubbish ( & that's the polite way to put it!) Even I was amazed to find that it's over a month since I was here.....Oh dear, I'm just not a good blogger!
I've been enjoying a fishy time in the workshop recently & it has made a welcome change from the sweet things (although I have been making a few flans too!)

Lobster has to be my favourite food of all time....just making this made my mouth water & I would have killed to have the real thing to eat!

Then there were the Moules Mariniè prep &....

with crispy frites!
On the "sweet" side I've been having a fixation on flans!

A gooseberry flan.......

A plum flan........

& a peaches & cream flan!
OK, I think I've managed to keep you updated for the minute & hopefully it won't be so long before I pop in here this time!

Monday, 4 March 2013

No magic mushrooms in here!

I got quite excited this weekend as we had two whole days of sunshine  it was actually quite warm! Not exactly sunbathing weather, but lovely for getting on with some of the "tidying up" after what seems to have been a very long winter! Too good to be true though & as usual it hasn't lasted long & now we are back to grey skies & a damn cold wind.......when will Spring get here....I'm getting so sick of waiting!
At least I didn't feel guilty being in my workshop when it was so depressing outside & had a good time, as well as the odd case of swearing when the little 'shrooms either didn't work as I wanted, or even worse, fell on the floor & led to me spending a lot of time crawling around trying to find something that had taken me nearly 10 minutes to make!
Not only do I have my little basket filled, but I also have a pan of edible fresh mushroom soup that I made with the "real" mushroom I used for the photo! So, all in all, quite productive!! :-)

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Some patisserie for a friend & teddy bears having a picnic!

Phew! These little confections were definitely a challenge, but one I really enjoyed facing up to & I have to say that, even though I'm not a great fan of "fancy French" patisserie style, I actually quite like the way they turned out! I hope my mini friend likes them too!


At the same time, I had a request to make a Teddy Bears' Picnic cake again & even though I'm never very keen on re-making a piece because, for some reason, they never work out the same twice (which is why I don't "get" copiers as I can't replicate my OWN work, so how the hell can someone copying do it.....), I wasn't prepared to let my mini friend down so said "Yes!" Actually, for once, I have to say that the 2nd cake is actually better than the 1st!

Then I got a catalogue in the post from Lakeland - a big kitchen/cooking store here in the UK & on the front cover was the most gorgeous Easter cake they had made to advertise a rather expensive air pump spray set for producing graduated colours on icing...well....the cake was so pretty that I just had to reproduce it in inedible miniature! Thank you Lakeland for the inspiration!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

A few Heirloom tomatoes & a question....

I'm still in the veggie mood at the minute, although in between I am slowly working on an order for cakes &  I mean slowly...perhaps it's the January blues, but I seem to be working more & more slowly at the minute.  It doesn't really help the work rate when I have given up smoking in the house, so I am "downing tools" too often to pop outside for a smoke :-)
Anyway, between sitting outside in the rain or snow in a coat & with an umbrella.....if anyone could see me, I must look like the local nutter...some would say that that is exactly what I am!.....I have managed to fill a basket that has been sitting looking accusingly at me for a couple of weeks now.....

Now I have a question! Does anyone actually read blogs these days or has good old FaceBook ruined them as well? I'm finding that more & more people just don't bother with groups or blogs anymore, but seem to be forever posting on FB.......why, I wonder...when there's absolutely no real support, interest or help from FB. How many of your "friends" are people you actually know & how many of them can you turn to for a little advice on a project you are working on?  I do know that the friends that are to be found on are always willing to help with a mini problem, so why is it that it seems  everybody prefers the anonymity of it because it's easy? OK, that's my "rant" over for now....but I really would like to know why.........

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Just a few veggies!

Well, Christmas & New Year seem a distant memory now.....not that I'm all goes by in a bit of a blur for me (& not because I'm in a permanent alcoholic haze either!) so it's always good to get back to normal, although the house always seems too quiet when the family all leave!

Of course in typical UK fashion, we didn't have any snow at Christmas, just rain, rain & yet more rain, but we have it now...just a little bit late!

I should be thinking about making Valentine & Easter pieces but instead, I'm thinking of summer & harvesting all these lovely fresh veg!  Yeah, right, I should be so lucky....last year my poor vegetable garden was more like a swimming pool the whole summer & to venture into it at all, I almost needed flippers....even the runner beans that usually grow through anything, failed miserably. I think I was lucky to get around a dozen beans from 6 plants! So these little offerings are some of what I hope I'll be harvesting this year.........