Tuesday, 24 January 2012

tea for a princess

I had forgotten how exhausting children's birthday parties can be! With Christmas and New Year out of the way our Baby turned 4 and the invites I had sent out before the holidays had promised a tea party fit for a princess - or 10 princesses and 2 kings to be precise.

I wanted the traditional afternoon tea party, baby wanted princesses and I thought the two were easy to marry. On arrival everyone was given an undecorated cupcake and an unmade cake box with the instruction to get decorating - they were to take the cakes home later as an alternative to squidged up chocolate cake wrapped in a napkin. I had ordered all I needed for the cupcake decorating from Nom Nom in Nailsworth. OK, I know in theory I should have been able to do this myself but it I would have burnt my own, plus I wouldn't have got beautiful presentation boxes and the necessary icing kit without hassle I knew I didn't need. Any way, I was busy making tea party stickers using rubber stamps (Sarah has stamps for every occasion - such a useful friend!).

Not only that, but with the cup cake baking out of the way it gave me time to concentrate on what I was really interested in. Creating a pretty tea party. I had a whale of a time making tiny sandwiches, miniature cup cakes and even (rather extravagantly but very successfully) quails eggs!

Out came the china tea cups and saucers - it seems mad to allow a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds loose on my china and pressed glass collection. However, they all seemed to know exactly how to behave: placed teacups back on saucers and stretched out pinkies as if afternoon tea was an everyday experience.

So while I may not be making much progress on the knitting am at least part way to becoming a
party animal!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


we have a big boy birthday coming up, and i had to post a picture of these which i found whilst wasting way too much time on pinterest! They made me laugh out loud, they also made me sad that we don't seem to have Sesame Street on Tv anymore, how are a whole generation going to grow up without counting with the Count, or without knowing Burt  and Ernie or Big Bird? anyway for all of you sesame st nostalgia lovers how about cookie monster cupcakes for tea!!!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

funghi to be with

I know the Christmas cracker jokes should have been binned by now, but I couldn't think of another title for this post - Apologies!

You can't have failed to notice how this year the place is awash with funghi. I think the mild autumn has provided perfect conditions for mushrooms and the common is covered. One of our neighbours grew up in France and knows her lawyers wigs from her shaggy ink caps and informed me that, back in November, they had picked and eaten mushrooms for supper every night for 2 weeks. I've no idea what is or isn't an edible mushroom and while I love the idea of foraging and hedgerow cooking I'm not prepared to risk picking my own mushrooms. However all this funghi reminded me that as a child we used to collect mushrooms and make spore prints.

In my memory this has to be done early on a misty morning. So early one beautiful, misty Sunday morning my little girl, the dog and I set of onto the common with an array of plastic bags (to put mushrooms in and to cover our hands with as our little girl is a thumb sucker). Said daughter is rather curious about the Natural World and relished the opportunity to jump around searching for different species to add to her collection, preferably before the dog crushed them to smithereens. We returned home and carefully lay the mushrooms out on paper and left for a couple of days for the spores to fall out. Unfortunately I think little fingers may have fiddled and our patterns didn't come out quite as clearly as they could have done, but our little girl was pleased with the results and they were duly taken into school for show-and-tell!

I've since discovered that it isn't necessary to get up early on a misty morning to carry out this activity, however for me that aspect of the adventure adds to the magic!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Happy New Year

Well it's the time for making resolutions and I've made quite a few this year. Along with the standard do more exercise, be more social, drink less I've got to get back into writing on the blog. But another resolution is to try my hand, and be successful at, knitting. While we had the builders in there were times when I was sitting around doing nothing, so my mother suggested that I take up knitting: you can take it anywhere, pick it up easily and be creative. So back in October I decided that I was going to knit my friend a lovely chunky, grey, woollen, scarf as her Christmas pressie.

I know that my attempts at crochet were futile but I did do a bit of knitting as a child, albeit wonky scarves, and I figured it would be like riding a bike and I'd pick it up again easily. While the actual stitches seem to come back alright so did my ability to make things wonky. I became the laughing stock of my weekly 'make-and-do' group as each week I returned with empty needles and scraggily wool from failed attempts. As it grew closer to Christmas it became very clear that my friend was not going to be receiving a chunky, grey, woollen scarf this year and off I went and bought her a huge bar of chocolate and a good book!

Anyway, not to be deterred, I now have a year in which to learn to knit and make this unwonky scarf. So, while I may not run any marathons and I may not become a party animal, next Christmas my friend WILL receive a chunky, grey, woollen scarf.

Happy New Year.