Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mad Hatters Tea Party

Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist is holding her annual Mad Hatters Tea Party on Saturday 26th June.  everyone is invited and you can hold your own too.  Amelie's House and Nevie-Pie Cakes intend to join in the frolicks!

Why not join in too?

Monday, 26 April 2010


Grrrrr... you're a're a're a winner!!!
This is my inner voice as I attempt another batch of macarons (see here for my macaron history).  I've returned to Nigella's recipe, but I aged my egg whites and then let the macarons form a skin.
I would give them a seven out of ten, but I was very excited as that is my best score so far!

My Mother-in-Law was visiting for the day so I took the opportunity to try my hand at a new dessert, zabaglione.
  I also impressed myself with how this turned out.  Oooh look at me all pleased with myself!

But the macaron war is not yet over until I can achieve shape, texture and glossy shine as well, no I'm not talking about my hair.
Go on tiger!

Thursday, 22 April 2010


As I mentioned in my previous post, last week Mr LD and I celebrated our ten year marriage.
Over the past years we have gone down the traditional route in our presents to each other.

First: Cotton
Second: Paper
Third: Leather
Fourth: Flower or fruit
Fifth: Wooden
Sixth: Iron or sugar-candy
Seventh: Woollen
Eighth: Bronze
Ninth: Copper or pottery
Tenth: Tin

Presents have included picture frames, books and underpants!  I did recieve a frying pan for six years which shocked some friends, but I found quite funny.
I was fortunate enough to receive some lovely jewelry this year, so I had to think hard about what to give in return.  I decided on a tin full of memories of our last ten years together.  We had a lovely meal where I made him guess what each picture represented and what might be on the list. He guessed most of them right.
 Here's to many more tins full!

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Today Mr Lemon Drizzle and I have been married for ten years!
Yes a decade ago we were wild.....wildish.... ok not at all wild young things tying the knot and now here we are happily ensconsed in family life worrying about vomiting bugs and school places.  
So it's nice to remember that day ten years ago when I felt like a princess marrying her prince.

It's probably a good job there weren't blogs then as I was someting of a bridezilla as it was.  I had to make or embellish everything myself, from the invitations to my flower girls shoes.  I don't have that many photos of flowers, banners (yes I made banners) etc and I don't want to bore you with loads of pictures of people you don't know but here is a little sample of that glorious day.

I wasn't using computers in those days so I did everyting by hand apart from the invite and Mr LD did that.

I love this picture of my Dad.

And my Mum

My flowers which a good friend did for me.

We had the reception in my parents garden and this is their summer house

Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


Here are some gorgeous spring photos from Gabrielle Kai to get you into the spring zing.
I love Gabrielle's photos they always feel so dreamy to me and her colours are gorgeous.  See more of her work here or at her Etsy shop why you can buy her prints.

Today I found this picture on craftgawker.

which lead me to Sharon Montrose's blog.  How could a textile designer resist these pics?
Finally, incase you can't feel the spring blossoms yet, my favourite spring poem.

The Spring is sprung,
The grass is riz,
I wonder where the birdies is?
They say the bird is on the wing,
But that's absurd!
The wing is on the bird!

(the only poem I can remember)

Thursday, 8 April 2010


While I was training (many years ago) as an illustrator (alongside the fabulous Gretel) I had a holiday project.  I can't remember what the brief was, but I do remember that I painted a watercolour of a vase of flowers.  It probably also had a large amount of gold ink splattered all the picture, as I pretty much did that to whatever I was painting at the time.  I vividly remember having a tutorial and my tutor  looked at it with totally lack of interest and said, "It's nice but do you really want to have a career painting flowers?"

Well reader, that is exactly what I did!

And I loved it!

I have painted flowers and teddy bears for years, and now that I have children and not a 'career' the flowers and bears refuse to let me go.

I have tried in the last few years many little businessess to fulfill my creative urges none of which amounted to anything.
However I immediately knew that making and decorating cakes would be a winner. 
Never having had any formal cake decorating training I have no traditional skills to draw upon which is why pretty much immediately played to my strengths and began painting on cakes.

Actually when I say cake I mean cookies. These butterfly biscuits were my first attempt, but within minutes I was planning my first full size cake.

Fortunately I have many friends who need cakes (well who doesn't) and give me the dream brief  "Do what you think best!" I prefer to take this as a great compliment rather than a lack of care on their part.

I have been painting alot this last week and all for friends, so my imagination could go where it wanted.  I hope you enjoy them more than my ex-tutor will!

 This is a cake a friend asked me to make for a nurse who was leaving her practice to go and live in France.
An e-mail was sent round asking for suggestions for a cake with replies including a speculum, motorbike gears and condoms.  My friend suggested however I could come up with my own idea, so I  decided on something prettier..

I have another friend (how popular am I?) who teaches NCT classes and at the end of every class she has me make a little treat for her pupils (see also this post).  Her latest class coincided with Easter so I went for a duckling theme.

Finally a friends Nana was turning 90, the lady in question had been a ballroom dancer in the 1930's.  I used a 30's illustration and found some original textile designs. 

As you can see I am still painting flowers.  And hope to continue for a very long time!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


I hope you all have a lovely Easter and don't get too sick from chocolate. (Don't do my trick of chocolate for breakfast, lunch and tea!)

Here are some delicious Easter goodies for your eyes to feast upon, sorry I can't invite you all round for afternoon tea,  you will have to settle for these visual treats instead.

And finally an Easter greeting specially for my Mum who would always say this to me on Easter morning.
"Christ is risen!"

Thursday, 1 April 2010


It is very tempting when blogging to present a picture of perfection.  To fool people into thinking I have a magic touch and everything I do turns to gold, that I live in a perfectly designed house with kidlets always dressed beautifully and myself with never a hair out of place (ok everyone who knows me stop laughing now!).

I do want this blog to be inspirational and inspired but sometimes it is good to tell the truth.
Last week I had our  More Than A Mama Easter Fayre I was feeling fairly confident as I had been doing fayres for a year now and I think I know what I doing.
The week before I had another fayre and had made some french macarons.  Now I have a history with macarons, I think they look divine and have always wanted to have them on my stall.

This is what they should look like .
  Thanks to Melena for her gorgeous pictures. (She teaches classes on how to make them.)

I have made some in the past from Nigella's Domestic Goddess and while they have been very yummy they looked blobby and cracked.

So I tried another recipe, and another and another and another etc.....and finally thought I had cracked it.  I made a batch that had the 'foot' and kept their shape which was a little bit like a meringue and they didn't have the lovely glossy top but I thought I was close.

So the day before the fair I took my aged egg whites and whipped up two batches of macarons. They looked perfect on the trays I let them form a skin and put them in the oven.
After a little while I checked and they were losing their lovely colour and going brown so I took them out.

They did have lovely flat tops and a glossiness but I couldn't get them off the tray!  I tried cooking another tray for longer at a lower temperature but no matter what I did they were too goey and stuck.

I WILL crack them one day!........(or I just may crack first!)

Anyway after that I broke a cookie topper ready for a cake.  

Our internet went down for four days.

My oldest kidlet caught croup and we had to get the paramedics out and she has missed a week of school!  Finally in my frazzled state I was foolishly taking a picture of a cake while the kidlets were having lunch and 'tiny k' knocked her juice over which spilled straight onto the cake!

 Fortunately I managed to rescue it from disaster, and I am now starting to calm down and relax for Easter...ok yes I have also had a great big Barcadi and Coke (it's all we had in!) and some of the kidlets Easter chocolate (I will replace it).

Anyway hopefully with more time now I can post some  beautiful things and fool you into imagining my 'perfect' life again.

(Look away now!)