Sunday, 30 January 2011


Sorry that I wasn't around last week, I was busy sorting out cupboards and doing taxes etc.
So I'm catching up with all the posts that have been hiding in my camera memory.
I shall start, of course, with some nice food!

I had a morning brunch for some girlfriends the week of my birthday and went a little bit Martha.
As I was trying to lose a bit of weight before the big day I went for some healthier options rather than a fry up.
I made a lovely fruit salad and had some Greek yogurt and seed to go on top.  I baked a loaf of spelt bread the day before and roasted figs as a topping with some ricotta, honey and walnuts.  So easy to do and very gorgeous.

We had freshly squeezed orange juice and coffee with healthy muffins.  I had also made some cereal bars but we were too stuffed to even try them.  It was a very delightful morning.

The photos aren't great I'm afraid as the light was appalling and I was in a real rush.  However Mr Lemon Drizzle was kind enough to treat me to a new camera for my birthday.  So I have gone from a fairly basic point and shoot compact to a lovely Panasonic Lumix fz35, which I took out on my birthday lunch.  

We went to The Grove a lovely hotel near us (very footballers wives).  They have three restaurants, one of which, The Glass House has a running buffet.  the food was amazing.

 I tried my best to sample everything but didn't quite make it.  I managed to take some pics for you (mostly of the puddings which were fabulous) but as I just received the camera that day I hadn't read the manual (still haven't)  so they are not quite right.  I need a few weeks to teach myself all the different functions, I'll really understand it just in time to upgrade!

Anyway I need to go and iron school clothes...I know, me and my glamorous life.

If you have time pop over to therikrakstudio where they are holding a handmade Olympics.  You can nominate yourself and one other person for each category.
Whats stopping you? Go on...right now! (Oh bossy!)
 See you soon!

Friday, 21 January 2011


Yes the day has been and gone, I am no longer the Birthday Queen (boo).  Although I still have few celebrations in the pipeline.  Mostly though, I am feeling exhausted from a huge lunch yesterday.  It was a buffet style meal in a very exclusive hotel (Mr LD though it was a bit footballers wives) and I wanted to try everything.  So today I am on a soup and chocolate diet!

Anyway I decided to take some time to review my life so far, and so far so good.  I have lived a very blessed life and I don't know why, I'm not especially good or talented, I'd put myself down as more of a plodder!  
My parents are and have always been amazing, loving and very supportive.  They never pushed me to do anything I didn't want to do and were happy as long as I had tried my best.  They have definitely instilled in me a love for creating and cooking and baking and gardening and making!  They are fun, and I know that even now would help me with anything I need.  
I have a lovely brother, sister-in-laws, in-laws and nieces.  We are all easy going and enjoy spending time together.
Then, of course, there is the fabulous Mr Lemon Drizzle, he makes me laugh, alot.  And more importantly he thinks I'm hilarious!  He is kind and thoughtful (incredibly handsome!)  I am very lucky to have found him, as he likes to remind me.  We have our gorgeous kidlets who bring so much laughter into our house, there is nothing better than a six year old giggling uncontrollably!
And I also have some really lovely friends who I know I can rely upon in a crisis, or for a great night out.  
I live in a gorgeous town, in a lovely house.  Really the only thing I am lacking is some more sun and a cake empire, but I'm working on that!
Finally a big thankyou to my lovely blog followers.  You really cheer me up with your lovely comments, and inspire me onto better things.
Gosh that reads like an Oscar speech!  
(Drips tears onto the keyboard, imagines cheering.)
Enough of all this and onto the most important thing, the cake!

I have devised a gorgeous decadent chocolate cupcake for you.  It was inspired by a chocolate tart Heston Blumenthal made for Christmas.  I have to admit the popping candy didn't pop after it had been put into the chocolate but still gave a nice crunch.  You could use chopped nuts instead!  But for a really special occasion you must have the gold leaf!
I hope you enjoy!

All I can say is YUM!

ps. see here for last years birthday cakes.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011


So tomorrow is the big birthday!  I may have a small weep at some point but I intend to celebrate BIG and probably for the whole year!
Like last year I decided to do a virtual window shop for myself.  So here are my choices!

I would purchase some lovely pillows from Louise at 35flowers to go with my new curtains.

A fabulous poster from SweetDee's Etsy shop.

A beautiful necklace for when I am out celebrating.  This is from Peapodtreasures.

A gorgeous vintage dress to go with the necklace!  From DearGoldenVintage.

Then I shall need these thank you cards to send to all the fabulous people who have bought me gifts.

And finally I shall need something to cheer me up from reaching this milestone so this from Heartfelt Handmade is sure to put a smile on my face!

See you tomorrow! 

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Do you remember this sneak peak?  
Well here are the finished cakes.

I have a good friend who always orders her children's birthday cakes from me.  She sometimes gives me a basic brief but normally just gives me free reign to create something I think appropriate.
So I decided to make little mini portraits for each party guest.  My friend gave me a brief description of the girls, hair length ,colour, etc and I painted their likenesses in watercolours.

 I recently treated myself to a glue gun, I feel like a real crafter now, so I used this to stick cocktail sticks to the back of the figures with a little piece of plain  paper over the top, to hide the glue.
You can't really tell from the picture but the birthday girl's dress had gold spots.

Apparently the party guest had a great time picking out their own cupcake.

This was my favourite one!

Monday, 17 January 2011


If you were reading my blog last year you may remember that my family and I try to make presents for each other.  You can see the presents I made them here and the ones I received in return here.
This year we were delighted to receive some tasty chutney, Christmas cake, preserved lemons and cherry brandy, yum!
I have mentioned my Mum quite a few times as she is a very keen blogger. However I don't tell you about my Dad so much. So I'm going to show you the presents he made the kidlets this year.

 He is a potter.  He also has a very... erm, not sure how to describe it... personal sense of humor, he makes pottery pengiuins and his latest creation is a shoes.  You can see his work here.
Anyway, as you may have picked up, small kidlet is a big fan of owls and large kidlet adores bunnies.  So he made them their own pottery creations.

They were so excited when they opened their presents from their Pops.
They are very lucky to have been given works of art as their Christmas presents!  I hope they'll keep them safe for years.  I still have my piggy bank my Dad made me when I was their age, I think it still has some pennies in it too!

ps I promise this is my last Christmas blog!

Sunday, 16 January 2011


If you sneak over to Haniela's blog today  you can read an interview she conducted with me about my cake making and decorating.
She has a fantastic blog with loads of tutorials and recipes, so, even if you are not interested in me go and have a looksy!

Thursday, 13 January 2011


I am attempting to get back into the swing of normal life but it's a challenge.
Little kidlet didn't go back to school until Monday and next week is a very significant birthday for me (yes I am 21!).  So it's tough going not to think of myself as "The Birthday Queen".

I have set myself quite a few tasks, including yoga every morning before the school run, getting back to my pre-kidlet weight, being more organised, etc, etc. Some things I'm finding easier than others!
 I have however already managed to fulfil one dream.

When I met Mr Lemon Drizzle he was already a home owner and had basically inherited the previous occupants fixtures, including curtains.
Hanging in the front room were a pair of curtains that had once been the print du jour.  I know this because I was a textile designer and knew the girl who had designed them.  She had designed the print before I had even started working in the studio, but, as they were a best seller, I was faced with it everywhere.  I have to say as well that the colours weren't very subtle and the print was very very busy.
Anyway we put up with these curtains being too busy falling in love to change them and eventually moved into our joint house....bringing the curtains with us.  Then we were too busy working and having kidlets.  We ended up living with someone else choice of soft furnishing for over 10 years.  They have been hanging in our front room where they have never fitted properly, they wouldn't even close in the middle!  I feel ashamed to admit it.
I was determined that I would not come down the stairs into the front room and look at those curtains on my **th birthday.  If I did I would somehow have failed!
I had even bought new fabric and lining the summer before.

So last week, even with kidlet hanging around and trying to cut her fingers under the needle, I MADE CURTAINS!!!!!

I feel very proud of myself.

Also I decided to finish knitting the cardigan I started two years ago.  I have only to knit the bands and collar and sew it up and that is another project ticked off the list.

So if I am absent for a short while it's probably because I am busy projecting, and definitely not lying in a darkened room weeping about my age.

Here is a sneak peak of a project I'm working on for a friend.  As you can see I don't have the tidiest of desks!.

I'm off to clear out some cupboards!

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


I ran out of time before Christmas to show you my grotto, so apologies for dragging you backwards but I was quite proud of it and wanted to share!

Every year after Christmas I go to our local garden centre to buy half price decorations.  Last year I was swept away by these giant glittery apples which I purchased without having a clue where to put them.  I think they fit in well though with my glittery Christmas theme. 

A few days ago we made our annual trip to the garden centre. 
Mr Lemon Drizzle called me over to see something he had picked up. 
"Look at these giant apple" He said.
I stared at him in shock.  "We have two of those already!"
"Do we?"
"Yes they have been sitting in the dining room for three weeks!"
Why do I bother!

Anyway it was rather mean pickings this year so I'll have to get the kidlets crafting again.

These little men are some of the first decorations LD and myself bought together.

This is my felty/crafty/toy corner.

I still have one more Christmassy post to go and then I can turn my mind to the New Year.  
Please let me know what you enjoy reading on my blog and what you would like to see more of this year.

Monday, 3 January 2011


This is a cake from last year that I hadn't got round to editing.  So I thought you may like a little glimpse of some spring hope.

It was for a fortieth wedding anniversary and the client wanted the cake to be a painting of the bride's bouquet which consisted of daffodils and frangipan flowers (see the photograph above).

I do have a few more Christmas posts left that I may try and get out before Spring actually does appear! Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, 1 January 2011


Happy New Year to you all!  I hope you all had a lovely time last night and are looking forward to this year with bright eyes and bushy tails!
I always like to make New Year resolutions and I never feel disappointed when inevitably I don't keep them up!  One year my resolution was to pamper myself more, I had no problem keeping that for a whole year.
Now though it's back to the usual suspects; lose some weight, be more organised, finish the jumper I started two years ago!  I'll let you know how I'm getting on.
But for now I thought I would have a look back at last year.  So here are some of my favourite creations.

Wishing you all a fantastic year.