Sunday, 28 February 2010

Mum and Dads anniversary

Its my mum and dads anniversary tomorrow and I decided to make something for them and try my hand at a very small project with air drying clay. I have never used this type of clay before and really enjoyed myself, quite therapeutic. Then onto the sewing machine to make the napkins.

Its not that I will no longer have the money to spend on presents, its that I think making something is far more personal and more appreciated anyway, hopefully. The time and effort going into the making is more satisfying for the giver and the receiver, well that's what I like to tell myself, or is it that i'm just being a cheapskate? No I don't think so, there's more thought that goes into the present and that's what counts, even if its 'not the most brilliant thing in the world' and looking at the napkin holders they do equal the 'not the most brilliant thing in the world' statement. However its my mum and dad and so they have to like something that their little girl made them don't they? And anyway we do also have two bottles of wine and that always goes down well.

Is that thunder I hear?

The weather forecast did not predict storms tonight, I was not told that there would be thunder, but all the same I can hear it loud and clear.  

What can it be I hear you say? Is it just unpredictable weather, have the weather men got it wrong again? Granted it is raining outside at the moment, but no its not that. 

Is it the central heating hammering away inside the airing cupboard? No its not that either.

Has next door suddenly at 2.45 in the morning decided to start home improvements and got the pneumatic drill out of storage? I don't think so.

It doesn't leave many options then and its not the dog, although he is quiet loud down here in the kitchen. No the noise is definitely coming from my room and i'm not up there!!!

Monday, 22 February 2010

What did I do.....

Guess what I did today, you'll never guess, go on have a guess, can you get it, how many goes would you need to get it right? Well if you knew me very well you would only need one.

Yes today I........


See how I've shouted it out, see how big and bold i've made the letters, thats how I feel big and bold and brave and free and very very scared now actually.

You would think at my age I would be more sensible and stick with a quite well paid job, especially when jobs in general are pretty hard to come by at the moment and now what, no money, bills to pay, one still at school. But at the end of the day is it worth getting up every morning to be miserable, to work where everyone in the office is stressed to breaking point, to hit targets that only make a difference to salesman's bonuses, to get shouted or moaned at from all angles because there are not enough hours in the day or people to get around to everything thats asked of them? Well I think I've answered my own question and the answer is no its definitely not worth it.

So what will I do now.....

After the wedding I will take a couple of weeks to chill out, get going on my Folksy shop, knit, sew and crochet my heart out to try and earn a few pennies so that we can eat at least. Then we can start our own new adventure which will take off and be a winner, earning money and be a job to enjoy and be proud of. Work on the allotment and aim to be as self sufficient as possible and as soon as possible I am hoping that all this will accumulate in a new home with land and freedom, a new life, oh and don't forget the pigs.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Today I have mostly been baking

I felt the urge to bake this weekend and so brought the ingredients yesterday, but in the end didn't quite feel up to it. So today I got going, well started off back to the shops to get the bits and pieces I forgot yesterday, then I got going.

As not everybody likes fruit cake I thought that maybe we need to supply some alternatives at the wedding, so out came the Hummingbird bakery book and I started on the vanilla cupcakes.  It says the recipe makes 12 english muffin size cakes and to fill the cases 2/3rds full.  On my first attempt I only made 7 out of the mixture and soon realised that it does indeed make 12, after they rose too much and cooked all over the tops, down the sides and onto the muffin tray.  No matter Jourdan kindly ate those for me and informed me  'yep they tasted good'.

So I started again and spread the mixture evenly across all 12 cases.  Whilst they were cooling I made some brownies and then while they were in the oven a banana loaf.  I could start my own little bakery....

The brownies came out of the oven and in went the loaf, by now the cupcakes were cool and I made the butter icing. In the mean time Jourdan confirmed that 'yep the brownies tasted good too'.

Now the cupcakes are going to be in the wedding colours, pink, white, green and brown. Today I've tested out white and pink, obviously the brown will be chocolate.

I think i'll have to find other interesting things to stick on the top though, but quite pretty. The brownies were finished next. 

And finally the banana loaf out of the oven, hmm smells lovely.

Its such a shame that i'm on a diet and can't eat any of it, but i'm sure none will go to waste in the mean time.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Button Bouquets

The button bouquets are finally finished.

I discovered that you can achieve quite a lot over the week with a bout of flu, maybe even swine flu as it happens.  You get a few hours when you you don't feel quite as bad as you did a little while ago, time in between the coughing, snot, earache, aches, pains and headaches etc, time when you think that you might actually getting better.  In these better times I've found that twisting a few stems of buttons together has been quite therapeutic, mind you to be honest I have worked pretty hard at it.

Anyway they are all finished and the interesting part of the process has been to see how much the button flowers have changed since we first started them some time ago.

These are pictures of the first flowers and I have to say both Rhiannon and I were very pleased and happy with them.

We continued to make flowers like this right up until we put the brides bouquet together.  After arranging and rearranging about three times we both decided that her bouquet shouldn't have any colour at all, but no worries the rest of the made flowers could be used in the bridesmaids bouquets, or could they?  Anyway as per the photograph in my previous blog and below the brides bouquet did not hold the wedding colours decided on, at that point in time I might add, dusky pink and green.  Actually looking at the picture below it doesn't appear that we had used many if any of the flowers lovingly arranged in the milk bottles above.

Onto the the button holes as per my previous blog; at least with these I did get to use most of the ready made flowers, the small ones anyway, because by now the wedding colours had changed slightly and these flowers were no good for the bridesmaids, too 'old ladies' and wishy washy. Although still brown, pink and green, the pink was to be much stronger and the green brighter. So this week after completing the button holes and corsages I spent one night carefully undoing lots and lots of the previously made flowers, to conserve as much of the wire as possible. 

A lot of the new colour scheme buttons had been made by this point and we decided that after making a lot more we were finally ready to start putting together the bridesmaids bouquets. Now you have to bare in mind that arranging one bouquet can take some time and we had three to complete to all look the same, or as similar as we could get them.  So we put the one bouquet together, unfortunately forgetting to take a photograph, and were not happy with the results.  The size and shape was right, so what was wrong? It turned out to the combination of the colours all together, the same thing as with the brides, it was too much, too messy, too many colours on one stem. 

So what to do but take it apart again and spend even more time on undoing the flowers, any in fact that had green and pink on the same stem.  This meant that we now had lots of pink/white, brown/white and green/white.

We decided that we would split the pink/white into two, the brown/white into three and the green/white to go on its own.  Last night I got to this stage..

But look what we did in the end... 
Oh and look another milk bottle, they do come in handy.

I am so pleased with the results, so happy that all the unwinding and rewinding is over (at least for the bouquets), so happy that they are finally finished and a huge tick off the things to do list and I am so happy that Rhiannon seems to love them.  Was it all worth it, was it better than buying fresh flowers, are the sore fingers and rough hands worth the trouble, oh definitely.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Buttons, buttons and more buttons

Well as confirmed in my last post, I set last weekend aside for making the buttonholes. First thing in the morning though we had the dress fitting and it was the first time the shoes and dress came together and they all looked beautiful - The bride, the shoes and the dress.

So back home and here's my view for most of the weekend. Now I was expecting some help with these and also getting around to working on the bridesmaids bouquets, but as someone was obviously over tired I ended up on my own with them and quite enjoyed myself actually. Although to be truthful she was actually there on Saturday, letting me know that she didn't like the bridesmaids bouquets anymore, whilst pulling out quiet a lot of them to be undone (see the little ones in the jar below?), she was hungry, she didn't know what to buy for dinner that night, she had a cold and of course we had no buttons so she could make anymore!!! Mark very kindly took her out for lunch.

Saturday afternoon was ladies day. At least as one corsage was finished some time ago I knew what I had in mind, rather than having to think from scratch, but it can still be slightly daunting.

My mum is wearing a turquoise and white dress so I started there...

The rest of them are in the wedding colours....

Altogether now...

Sunday morning and off again. Rather than working individually on each buttonhole as I did on Saturday I worked out a little factory line system for one. Making the button stems for all eight in one go. Its easier for the men as the buttonholes were to look very similar and as most of them are for ushers and grandparents they could be smaller than the bridegroom and dads etc.....

Every single one made over the weekend have also now had the ribbons attached and are fully completed, ready to be boxed individually for the day.

Sunday evening and we both worked on some table decoration flowers, they are looking great and I think we shall probably have enough soon too.

All in all an excellent weekends work.

Monday, 1 February 2010

An update of sorts

The last couple weeks have been a bit strange, its been work, home, cook, tidy up, work, home, cook, tidy up and has really felt like nothing has been achieved, but looking back quiet a lot has actually been done...

Everything is getting a bit stressy on the wedding front, although we have had a binge on the card making and Rhiannon finally got her shoes, ready for a dress fitting on Saturday. Oh and I started and finished my wrap to go over my dress.

I also got my shoes, lovely, but so high, they did look great with my dress but walking was defintely a problem, so I changed my mind and ordered another pair. I think I could easily develop a bit of a shoe fetish now i've discovered the make 'irregular choice'.

The weekend coming up has got to be set aside for making as many flowers as possible and hopefully putting together the button holes. The table flowers are looking great, the girls have been making their own buttons from Fimo and we'll varnish them this week sometime.  Everything is finally coming together at last, good job to as we are seriously running out of time now!!