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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Girlie Birthday Party – tea cake and crafting!

I bought this lovely basket last year and when it had finished flowering I put it in the garden, last week I discovered the bulbs had pushed through the snow so I brushed it off and put it on the kitchen window sill where I can enjoy it while I wash the dishes. It is a lovely reminder that spring is not that far away. 
I had a lovely weekend, after the gym on Saturday I just hung about the house enjoying having very little to do, and on Sunday I had my Girlie birthday party at Lulamaes in Arundel. Its ages since I had a Birthday party but this was a very grown up affair, with cream tea, cakes and crafting. There were ten of us in all and everyone went  home with a lovely felted brooch or pendant they had made. The cafe itself is beautiful, so delightfully decorated and the cakes are home made and sublime. Everything was provided for us and all we had to do was sit down, chat and enjoy ourselves. I went home feeling thoroughly spoilt with some beautiful gifts – definitely a birthday to treasure for a long time to come.  

Uplifting … tea

Its that time of the year when it seems that the sunshine has long disappeared and the days are grey, it is so easy to get a little downhearted, especially when the dullness means lights need to be turned on early in the day. It is when I find it more important to search for simple pleasures and one of mine is tea. 
Firstly I love proper leaf first blush assam tea, you can get it from a wonderful tea importer in Portsmouth called All About Tea he even has a little email tea course you can follow with links on youtube all about how to make the best cup of tea. Assam has a strong earthy flavour, and a lovely golden colour often labelled English Breakfast tea. If you prefer something a little more gentle then Darjeeling is a lovely tea but don’t expect a dark colour its pale but packs a punch. 
Tea pots have a glory all of their own, generously pot bellied offering up all sorts of opportunities to keep warm with a knitted cosy. I prefer to use a metal strainer which gives the leaves freedom but makes it easy to lift out once the required strength is reached, so the second, or even the third cup of tea is just as good as the first and not stewed. 
One of my most favourite ways to have tea is from my little china cups, it feels decadent the tiny china cups are so delicate I love the little rosebuds and they are designed so that the tea is at the optimum temperature to enjoy almost straight away. 

I cannot help but grin when I serve the milk from this gorgeous cow creamer, the milk comes out of his mouth! It is a Burleigh design, I simply adore their take on blue and white china from the deep indigo of the calico range to the pale Victorian chintz.

Sitting enjoying my cup of tea, especially if it is with a friend or two, reminds me of the many years of practice I had when I was a child playing with my little tea sets. I don’t recall any child who likes to make their tea in a mug with a bag give me tea sets any day.

Now that is a very good way to cheer up a November day.