Icing on the cake

Our Belle’s activity last night was cup cake decorating and what fun we had! I am simply astounded by the many gadgets and gizmos that are available it feels like child’s play! 
It was lovely to have an excuse to bake cup cakes, I miss my children being young as we often baked cakes together. These came out quite well although their peaks might just have to be cut off. 

Oh my, this takes me back to my days of making birthday cakes for my children, I once made a lot of Pokemon creatures for my son’s tenth birthday. 
I was not sure about the colours that were available from the store so I chose smaller quantities and then mixed in my own colour. It was supposed to be vintage – so I chose pale green, pale blue and pink. It was such great fun and I had not even arrived at the meeting! 
I can also give you a little glimpse of my vintage china I picked up at a local sale this weekend. This is a little corner of a beautiful art Deco plate. 
I could not resist the beautiful design – it reminds me of the embroidery patterns that were abundant in the 1930’s – and I like to dream about having a cottage garden one day! 
I had such fun making the circle of little flowers – less is more is not a philosophy I ascribe to more of the ‘how can I fill the space with as much as possible’ 

The pink icing was used with a stencil rolling pin – I love the raised daisy design.  
The green and white Gerbera  was a mould I have had for a long time but I had not really played with it much. It is so effective – I like the combination of the white and green. 
The blue plate is a small cake plate my son gave me for mothers day years ago. 
The quilted design was from a press, it was amazingly easy! 
I had the little button makers – I cannot resist adding a sewing theme to my baking! 
The lady running the event had some gorgeous little cutters, these little hearts are tiny! 
The butterfly moulds were also easy to use, and I lightly dusted this one with edible glitter to highlight the delicate design. 
I found this sandwich plate in a vintage shop recently, it matches my rosebud tea set!
Someone’s birthday is coming up soon, just the perfect excuse for more fun.
Can’t let all that effort go to waste! 

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Oodles of Doodles

I bought this lovely doodling book; I can’t always get out my paints – there are times when I simply want to switch off for a while but only have ten minutes to spare. These little pages encourage creativity in bite sized pieces, I find it relaxing because I am not focussed on the outcome. I was told my my friend M that it is the most relaxing activity you can do, she is a fan of colouring in books.

 Doodling is a great way to develop your drawing style; it is often by accident I come across something lovely to develop. Playing is under-rated – as adults we are discouraged to do so – but without it we close ourselves of to discovery and free expression.

Take a simple page of colourful circles, it was really blissful to play with the shape and it is amazing how a few lines can change the shape.  I also enjoy playing with my large pot of crayola crayons, they blend so nicely – because they are crayons there is no pressure to create a ‘work of art’ it is all about play. Picasso says that ‘everyone is an artist, the skill is to remain so when you grow up’ 
Sunrise – crayola crayons

If wishes were fishes…

January is supposed to be the most depressing month of the year, but is usually a month where I ponder on all the opportunities that lay ahead- the large blank diary that sits on my desk is a physical manifestation of all those days on every page waiting to be filled. 
After the bustle of Christmas and the high exuberance of seeing in the New Year, I feel now is the best time to make plans,  when everything is closed, it is too cold to go out and the spring flowers and bulbs are buried deep beneath the hard frosted earth.  
I find it heart warming to make plans about places I want to go and things I would like to do. Winter is a time for resting offering an opportunity to simply dream and plan.  So many people are down on winter, but I think contentment comes from acceptance of what you can’t change and turning it to your advantage. It is about focussing on what makes you happy, so for me winter means cosy nights – snuggling on the sofa in my warm home while the rain drums on the windows and the wind sings round the roof. 

So I come to my wish jar – it was just an ordinary jam jar, but now it is a very elaborate one. It has no top for a reason,  a magical element to it – it is about attracting what I want in my life, so no barriers or lids, I want to draw it all in.

The idea is to fill the jar with things I want to do – this can be about life ambitions, or simply about gallery visits, or places of interest or even fun activities. So I have the John Soanes museum in there already: I have been meaning to go to the museum for ages but have never got round it it. 

Other things are shopping lists of plans I have for my home – I want a mirror wardrobe in the bedroom. 
The idea is that at least once a month or maybe once a week, you take out a wish and make plans and allocate time to do that – not necessarily there and then but book a date – then do it! If you can’t do it alone, get a friend to do it with you.  
Is it magical really? well I am not sure about that, some people would suggest that it is about ambition, focus – other people would say it is all about the law of attraction – I just know it works and I believe in it wholeheartedly.  
A couple of years ago I wrote that I wanted to be a published writer, and within a few months I just happened to go on an outing with a friend of mine – he was into photography and wanted to see an exhibition with some friends of his. Well they were nice guys, but very into the technical aspects of photography which left me a little bit out of the conversation – but I was enjoying listening to them. One of the guys suddenly sat down next to me and asked me if I enjoyed sewing – it was such a bolt out of the blue – completely unrelated to what we talking about. It turned out that his wife was an editor of a sewing magazine and she was looking for contributors. Within days I had met with her and talked about thirty ideas I had – three of which she commissioned – within a few months I saw my name and article in print and got paid for it. 
I don’t really mind how you see it, wether you think it is magical or not, for me I like to believe in a little magic, that somehow it is possible to draw things into your life that you want. I know that it all sounds very simple, but there is a flip side to this. It is called gratitude – it creates a connection and a joy of seeing the wonderful gifts that are given to us every day – sometimes all it takes is the ability to focus – have eyes to see them. The second is to be thankful – to send a message back of appreciation. 
So I have a thank you jar – there are two lovely elements about this jar – who doesn’t like to be valued? A thank you is always something that shows appreciation and it also means that it is more likely to happen again – back to the laws of attraction. So it is also an invitation to the universe to send more! 

The second element to the Thank You jar is that when something lovely happens it is jotted down and put in the jar – so at the end of the year it gives a great record of all the lovely things that have happened. They can be simply getting great service, or the kindness of a stranger or the sheer joy of walking in the pristine white snow. What this exercise does is create positive memories of the year. 

There is a school of thought that time flies when as you get older, the theory is that it is unique experiences that embed in our memories – it is why we have so many childhood memories and so few after that time. Each new experience marks time so that by the end of the year we have packed a lot in – as we get older, our brains switch off from repetition so that there are no markers to look back on – hence time flying – a year can pass and we wonder what we did. 

Well this jar is a beautiful way to see how many blessings there are in your life – I expect mine is going to be full to the brim by the end of the year. 
It was such fun, I haven’t done painting for ages! The jars are brightened up with a mixture of glitter and PVA glue – it usually needs a few coats with drying periods in between to build up the glitter. The objects are then just glued on using a hot glue gun! I have trouble stopping at this stage as there are so many opportunities for glitz! I used butterflies on each jar because for me they represent transformation. 
You can make one any time of the year, birthdays, holidays or simply wet wednesdays.