The party crasher

wpid-20151113_184941.jpgI think I  gave up awhile ago trying to dedicate my blog just to sewing. I haven’t touched my machine in such a time because of other projects, I’m worried I forgot all my technique. Oh well hopefully like a bike.

Instead last week I felt like a gatecrasher.

You know when magazines run these competitions, win an afternoon with your favourite band, or have dinner with Bieber or go swimming with Swift, you get my drift. I inadvertently  fell into this on Friday with a band who was not on my top list of artists, but I have their albums and I enjoy their music but aside from their lead singer I couldn’t pick out in a crowd.

By the sea festival was on at Dreamland in Margate on Friday. They has opened the park especially for show goers with the show headliner Hot Chip playing in the Roller Disco rink. Sounds like fun. Got there early (embarrassingly before the gates opened, uncomfortable), went into the park and had the whole place to ourselves. Here’s another myth, how ace would it be to have a whole amusement park to yourself? Answer not very. I felt like I was in an episode of Scooby Doo in a deserted amusement park expecting some villain dressed as a sea monster to attack us.


We had to wait for the newly opened scenic railway, so we headed towards the dodgems. Hot Chip had the same idea and followed us, It was only us and Hot Chip, nobody else. Whilst their lead singer dj’ed I spent most of my time blushing whilst trying to avoid hitting them, all the while it was filmed. I don’t know why I found this mortifying, but I did. I felt like a gatecrasher and I just wanted the thing to end. They were perfectly nice in the way famous cool music nerds are,  but I just felt like a nerd instead. I couldn’t get off that ride fast enough…except I couldn’t . The guy let us all go round another 2 times…By the end of that I was just going to jump off , even if there was a threat of a third.

Then we waited for the scenic railway, and so did the band. It was like following them in reverse. Honestly I was not being a “fangirl” I’m much too old for that, and after some disastrous meeting of  bands as a teenager (god do not get me started on Sonic Youth) I avoid most people with any degree of fame at all costs. But we went on, thankfully only once round and then after that I split.


Hot food, cold night. i didn’t eat the sausage.

The ground was still deserted. The staff was great for a chinwag as they had no other customers. It was a shame as I’m sure they would think twice about opening that up again for about 20 people.

It got cold, real cold but once I got to my beloved 2p arcade machines I was happy, lost £2 but it was the joy I had in losing it. We did collectively get enough prize tickets to get Rockette  (who was at home in bed) some rubbish Frozen activity pack, winner!

Band were great, but woe of woes the crowd were not. I feel like resident complainer of crowds. The only image I’m going to impart is people dancing, quite vigorously with raised glasses of wine. Yeah wine.

Velma Dinkley

I had to get out, I was squashed, hot and not having a good time. I stood in a bar cue for 20 minutes trying to buy a coke and dancing there. I had much more fun. Maybe I’m just Velma from Scooby Doo?


During the band interval break, news had been breaking about what had been happening at the Bataclan in Paris at the same time. It changed the whole mood. It was shocking, these people were just doing the exact same thing we were, but they were killed for it. Its fucking horrible, and terrifying.







May the felt be with you.

wpid-20151104_135218.jpgI’m sorry I didn’t realise how long it had been between posts. Hopefully this will be only for a short time and in a few weeks we can get back to normal. While there is still a lot of planning going on at Crafty Mastermind towers I have forced myself to not to work 24/7 and take a few hours away to do something relaxing and requires little effort.

I still have my mum’s gift to finish (yeah it’s now October so almost 3 months overdue) and there had been progress. But then a friend of mine was getting rid of an unusual craft book called Star Wars craft from his collection, and as Rockette is such a fan I thought I’d give it a crack.

But in the end I just took inspiration from the book and from Pintrest.  I started with a Wampa. In the book this was meant to be made by face cloths. I do have a ton or Ikea wash cloths, but I am also partial to a bit of felt so I just made it up, yes his rough and his horns are sewn badly but his cute and angry and quite a lot of comedy.


Inspired I took to Pintrest for ideas. Rockette loves Chewbacca so I found something kinda similar and then just cut in to the felt. Yeah I had no template or anything I just reckied the whole thing. I’m impressed they all turned out the same size (after a few cutting errors). Especially as they were mostly done after 11pm.


Princess Leia is my favorite, after I attached that roll neck, she looks weird without it.


Ok and my Ewok, bless him isn’t perfect but his cute.



They were all made with normal felt and sewn with normal thread all with a dodgy blanket stitch. They really didn’t use up a lot of felt at all .Rockette did try to sew some stuck the stitches in the wrong place and then got bored, maybe when shes a bit older..(and I’m not so precious about how they need to look) .

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Now I’ve got the itch to make more, but time poor. I’ll get round to Yoda next.

While on Star wars stuff I was in Carnaby Street yesterday and went past my favorite shoe shop in the whole world. (even though I haven’t actually bought anything from there yet, I need an occasion) and saw an amazing window display.


Yeah R2 D2 heels! God knows how your supposed to walk in them. I wouldn’t except on carpet only. There were more delights inside…


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Oh I can’t afford the likes of them (£110 for ballet pumps!) but for sheer creativity they are boss.

She’s got a ticket to Ride

wpid-20151014_200305.jpgI’m not going to go on, but I feel I should put some closure on previous Ride posts which was here

Ride had finally announced another show at Brixton Academy, for a few reasons I’m quite glad that fate shone badly down on me the day I tried to get tickets for the Roundhouse and couldn’t. Firstly  the floor is slanted in Brixton and you can actually see if your short , it can be tough going on the thighs standing on an angle, and as I’ve discovered, even worse if your dancing .But I could still see …this I feel is a major benefit.  Secondly as mentioned in previous posts I did have the video of Ride Live in Brixton in 1992 so it was a deal, a big deal.

I was hesitant and not really excited before I got to the venue. I was worried about them being disappointing or playing a bad set etc etc. I tried to deflate my hopes so I wouldn’t be disappointed. I tried to avoid all new live footage and what I did see from field day was ok but didn’t fill me with complete joy. I think I was still upset about the Roundhouse fiasco (I know still..get over it!)

Not sure why I worried really…..


Seeing the venue , and their name in lights , electric currents rippled through me. After 23 years I was finally here. My brain was having trouble processing it all. Yeah I know this sounds dramatic, (but it really was).

They started at 8.15, holy crap I wish that warning was put up somewhere on social media. I was still in Stratford at 6.30 deciding if I wanted a bubble tea or not. I’m glad I didn’t or I could have missed the start. We got there with about 15 minutes to get settled, not even enough time to get a beer.

On they came and that was it. The opening to “Leave them All Behind” was enough to project me back, oh it was all very emotional. All the love I had for them all came to the forefront, not quite the giddy teenager still lusting over Mark Gardener, But  like a switch was flicked on.

Then I danced, I danced like I didn’t give a shit, like there was no one around. I haven’t done that for years and it felt so liberating (I highly recommend it). I felt like I was back in the  early 2000’s when I used to dance all night in a Carlton at a nightclub called Supermarket  which would play British indie all night, Ride would always be played for me. So strange, like time had slipped away. It felt amazing.


There were 2 sets , the first one the “hits” and then the second set was “Nowhere” in full for its 25th anniversary this year. The set lists were amazing, knowing well they couldn’t play everything they did cover a lot. Some of it sounded messy, how much was feedback, how much was a dodgy speaker system and reverberation I’m not sure. It didn’t bother me that they missed a few notes or a line was sung out of turn, I just kept on dancing trying to stop people getting into my personal dance circle or pushing past me carrying beers.


And then they were finished, and it went so fast! I really didn’t want it to end . I didn’t want to go back on the tube and then on the very delayed high-speed home. I didn’t want to go back, I was happy in that suspended time bubble.

Reluctantly I left the venue with my ears ringing (they were very fu$king loud in parts) , and in true 90’s style bought an illegal T-shirt outside the venue that was lying on the floor for a tenner off some geezer.


If you haven’t heard of these shoegazers before ,  try them out.

The whole experience was just amazing and it has made it into my top 6 shows ever, along with A Nick Cave solo show, Suede playing Dog Man Star in full , The first time I saw Kiss (and only the 1st time), Beasts of Bourbon at the hi-fi when Tex Perkins played a whole set with a massive gash on his head and the Chemical Brothers in Sydney in 2000 or something. (This is the top of my head list it would probably be different if I thought about it.)

In more 90’s news I’m going to see  a reunited Lush play at the Roundhouse in May…I’m not setting my hope too high for that one either .

Just a bit of show and tell

wpid-20151011_104848.jpgIt was that time again, I prepared myself with a shit pair of boots, a bag that was too small, a phone with only half a battery and a sandwich that resembled a squashed wafer. Satisfied that I was well equipped ,off I took myself over to the knit and stitch show. I wasn’t expecting lots, which was good

I got there later (1pm) on a Thursday because I hate crowds. I hate throngs of people, I hate personal space invaders. Trying my best to avoid , but my best wasn’t not good enough, I was still crushed against haberdashery stands and  suffered bruising from aggressive Nan’s who hang out in gangs . But things began to settle after 3pm (My guess was some people needed getting home, countdown was just about to start ).

By about 3 I was bored, my eyes were overexposed, I had already criticised a self embroidering sewing machines and I hadn’t bought anything except some ruler grips..I know “gripping”.

Problem was it was all the same as previous years. Other than the odd new stall replacing the odd old stall, everything was a replica of last year. Aside from being proper impressed with the Merchant and Mills stand, which I’ve taken no photo of, almost everything else was uninspiring. Maybe I’m hard to impress.


Loving the movement of this liberty lawn

But the main purpose I mainly go to this mainly white ,female, over 30s show.. (snooze, doesn’t anyone else sew?) Is for the Eternal Maker and  Alice Caroline stalls. ( Alice Caroline trades in liberty  and I am all about the scraps for a  quid each. I also  bought some Alice in Wonderland fabric off bolt in very small measurements, it suits my tight arsed life model.




As I’ve been collecting bits over the last few years to make a quilt (and I only refill when I’m at the show) this was mainly my whole reason for going. They’re very nice too. Wish I’d spent more regrettably.


soz, should have ironed them.



ahhh all silky like

Like I said It was all a bit meh, anything else I went there for had already sold out (boring) I did pick up my Tiny dancers by Heather Ross finally. Which I plan on making a cheats fast dress whenever I can find a spare five fu*king minutes. That’s not happening soon. (Should I be doing that instead of this?..probably).


All in all it was a good day, even if the coffee was awful, I did meet a few nice stall holders, did buy some fabric and I did look at haberdashery which is the whole bloody point . It just needs some glitter or something to make it a bit more exciting..Magician maybe?


Brownie Love

For as much as I love cake, and I do love cake in all their disguises, I can’t really eat a lot of it in one sitting. In that case my stomach is quite sensitive and I can’t have too much of a good thing (it’s smarter than my brain).

But if anything has to come close to me polishing off a tray, it has been the River Cottages Beetroot Brownies. I make a whole tray which I could easily demolish in a day. My other weakness is Jack Munroe’s Vegan banana bread from her book a girl called jack, that never stands a chance.


But back to Brownies…
Mr CM has claimed that this is more cake than brownie and he would like to think he knows as he is a self-appointed brownie expert (or so he thinks.) Actually off subject again. Last year I was requested for his birthday to make him a cake of such monstrosity that I’m certain it would be something you would only see on an extreme baking. Instruction were as follows.

A layer of Nigella’s devil’s food cake, a layer of fluff, then a layer of Hummingbird’s American style Brownie, followed by another layer of fluff and then topped with Nigella’s Christmas Rocky Road.

No one has even seen anything so decadent (probably). The sugar content alone should have given it a health warning label. It struggled to stay up. But after a few days of the layers melting into each other he made the bold statement every baker wants to hear, “That Brownie was the greatest thing I’ve ever eaten”. ( I wish I had taken a photo of this)

So Back to this cake style brownie. My ,my, my it’s the bomb! The beetroot gives the cake a moisture you really wouldn’t expect (even after being left in the fridge) and it goes on for days and days and is still perfect…if not a bit better!


I  I reduced the eggs to two because of Mr CM’s allergies (he claims it still affected him anyway) and I didn’t notice a difference in the quality. I also did not add any substitutes to it. I did have to leave it a bit longer in the oven (30 mins, but that could just me my crap oven)

It’s no angel, it has lots of sugar in it,,,,but it also has beetroot so that’s good! I wonder if you could make a sugar free version of this?

I’ve lifted the recipe straight from River Cottage, I’m sure Hugh wont mind.

  • 250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 250g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 250g caster sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 150g self-raising flour (wholemeal ideally but white works well too)
  • 250g beetroot, boiled until tender, cooled, peeled and grated


Grease a shallow baking tin, approximately 20 x 25cm, and line the base with baking parchment.

Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set the oven at 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and put the bowl in it for a few minutes until the chocolate and butter start to melt.

Stir, then put back in to the oven for a few more minutes to melt completely. Of course, you could melt them together in the traditional way, over a pan of hot water, but it is a shame not to exploit the warming oven.

Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until combined then beat in the melted chocolate and butter until smooth.

Combine the salt with the flour, sift them over the chocolate mixture, then gently fold in with a large metal spoon. Fold in the grated beetroot – be careful not to over-mix or it will make the brownies tough.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes; when the brownies are done, a knife or skewer inserted in the center should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

Don’t be tempted to overcook them or they will be dry. Remove the tin from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool before cutting in to squares.

I’m already missing  the Great British Bake Off now It’s finished. I’m trying to fill the gap with Australian Masterchef, but it’s just not the same. Its a bit like comparing a Great Dane to a Chihuahua.

A block like a bad run of Tetris.

I’ve got writers block, I’ve had it for a few weeks now. I could really do without it at the moment as I have some deadlines coming up and I need to be going for gold all of the time.. But I’m not . I’m looking for inspiration which last’s about 10 minutes, then it’s back to distraction.

I’m easily distracted. I get a cuppa, I go to eat something, put tv on, even do the dusting ffs. This is what I’m doing now, I should be coming up with small pieces of witty gems but instead I’m watching Dave Gorman and writing this instead.

I’m sorry I should have put up some pictures of the quilting blocks I’ve  been working on, but I haven’t taken any photos of my current projects …. Oh lets talk about the horrors of  taking photos indoors of fabric in good light in Autumn in the UK. Let’s not it’s too difficult. It’s more difficult when you a) don’t have any proper lighting gear and b) you’ve not got many photography skills to begin with.

Well this entry isn’t going to win me any new followers so l’ll just add this week photographic curiosities. Which does include a block I have made.


That’s a nice bit of quilting I’ve done there if I do say so myself. hashtag fakefreemotionrevolution (I can’t find the hash tag key on my Mac).


I can’t lay claim to making this, it was all Mr CM’s handiwork but she was part of my weekend. I should have taken a photo of the 20 minute q I waited in at the Canterbury Food festival for a wrap. The wrap was ok, but not VERY GOOD as the people behind me claimed it to be. Shouldn’t of listened to them, they were strangers after all…. and I shouldn’t have been eavesdropping to be fair.


That’s not a bad photo. I did take that.


Trying to waste 20 minutes at work.

Sorry about that… my procrastination is of no interest. Next entry I’ll try to have something of a bit more worth.

Punk Rock Lanyards

There is a lot going on in the head and in the house of the Crafty Mastermind at the moment, all of which I will reveal in the next few weeks, but I have been dropping bits here and there .

I am trying desperately to finish some projects but that Negroni shirt still remains arm less and the  feathers quilt is still unfinished and my mum’s gift is a month late and still no where near complete…sigh and I need to start on a whole world of other things.

Here is this weeks crafty effort.


My lanyard decided it had enough, there were no spares. Out came the staples and I must say I like my new punk looking lanyard, it moves me slightly away from the “not a qualified librarian ” look that I’m going for. I might do the whole lot in staples.

Its not very exciting I l know, but it’s all I’ve got for the moment.

The long and winding quilt

I’ve been quiet on the quilting front for ages. I’m in the middle of 3 with my mind on at least another 2 I want to make. But I finally finished one! Thanks to a moment of Marie Kondo inspired tidying frenzy. I couldn’t stand seeing this half-finished quilt hanging around anymore.


I started this in 2013, it was my second quilt I picked the Rosewater from Sarah Fielke’s Hand quilted with love. It looked like an easy one for beginners and I had bought lots of fabric for Rockette.


I pieced the top all together easy enough, but if I can remember I had problems understanding the measurements (what’s new), but once I was off it came together easily enough for a beginner. I then got distracted and started experimenting with sample blocks from the Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters book. So whilst learning different quilting techniques I amassed a few different sized blocks. So I pieced it all together to make the back.



I put it together and then I stopped. I kept meaning to quilt it but other things got in the way, gifts, learning to make clothes, work, other quilts but probably the biggest reason is that I hate quilting , the process of shoving that whole quilt under my small machine is just something I don’t like dealing with. I get stressed etc.

So when I finally had enough of it cluttering my space I manically putting it together. There were a few problems which I had forgotten about such as ..


How the frigg did that happen???I did loose my princess but I used her in the quilt label in the end.

I had plans for this, I wanted to free motion flowers and vines into this. Two years ago I bought a book on free motion and I downloaded a course on Craftsy. Come 2015, I’m still crap at free motion and I don’t think I’ve even watched my Craftsy course.. I started with a few different ideas, half which I left all over the quilt. I really had no idea what to do with it. I hate quilting, did I mention that?

Problems?, Look at my crappy lines which were a rookie mistake. I spent ages on un-picking all sorts of wonky lines and dodgy hearts. Sewing the hearts were as decorative as I got and it wasnt easy as I did it with a normal sewing foot (free motion was too messy and my walking foot is making all kinds of weird sounds).



But I sewed the hearts first which any quilter will tell you is a massive mistake. Work from the middle out when quilting, not here there and everywhere. Rookie mistake and caused puckering everywhere. So much so one square so so bad that I had to cover the bunching by appliquéing a bit of old t-shirt over the top.


I’m not overly happy with it,  I made so many mistakes I’m not sure what was going on. I think I was in a rush and knowing I should have really been working on another quilt was my undoing.

I finally made my own binding (for the first time on this scale), I made way too much. I also realised I need to buy a bias binding maker.


Anyway so now it’s not stashed in various corners of my house. I’m just wondering how long it would take for Rockette to get food all over it.


On the street where you lived

Whats a house? If you look at pictures of my street it has hardly changed in 100 years. The only difference is that where there was a large garden there is now a car park, but that’s it.

I was trawling google earth street view in Victoria, Australia to try to find an old gym for another blog entry, but while  was there I thought I’d look up my Nan’s old address which I spent much of my bored childhood.

I wish I was prepared for what I saw.


My grandparents bought the place in the 60’s and lived in it until the mid 90’s. to them it must have been the Australian dream that they immigrated for, and then properly wogged (Australian terms) it up.

The brickwork, the concrete swans, the fancy iron work. I’m being unfair in a way it was mild really. What was different to the rest of the street was the carefully manicured lawn and flower beds in the front (my nan thought they were more posh, a nice front yard will do that to a person).

My favorite thing was the building to the side of the house that looked like a garage that was really a small flat. The trick was to put a rolling garage door in front of the brick wall. I even lived in that “garage” for 3 months in 1980 while my father was building an alpine style wog mansion of his own.

I have memories of peeling broad beans for my grandfather (child slave labour), keeping my distance from snoopy the psychopathic dog that was tied up, the first place I was dropped on my head, (my uncle is still boasting that he dropped me) and longing to gome home so I can watch T.V, instead of having to listen to the Maltese news REALLY LOUDLY on the radio while my Nan sang oh my Marie. The only entertainment we got was watching my Nan pop out her false teeth and cross her eyes at the same time.

So when my parents left us there over the weekend, the night would go as follows.

Sit at the table which was covered in a thick fabric table-cloth followed by a further 2 plastic cloths and DONT MOVE. This could go on for hours, brace yourself.

Dinner is served,  Some randomly bland Maltese food (funny that, it was terribly bland but now I miss it).  Have to spend the whole meal having to listen to my uncle, mouth full going “Aye this is bloody better than that bloody Mc Donalds shit”

Someone would break wind, someone would complain about another’s foot odour, lots of loud conversation, which to the outsider would appear to be a fight but was just really about who was going to put their car in the driveway first. For dessert we may have had some low joule orange jelly with my grandfather, because “she has the diabetes”.

Saturday night entertainment, Maltese style!

Sometimes this meal would be followed by a car ride to church in my grandfathers old ford with no seatbelts. Just holding on for dear life in hoping that the car doesn’t roll. (On one occasion our aunt took us in her car to 7-11 instead of church, that was the highlight not only was she cool and 19 but she had a toy gremlin in her car). But in most cases it just meant that we had to listen to the rosary said in Maltese. We didn’t need to participate, just sit there. DONT MOVE. I can still recite it today.

After that was done with we could watch a bit of TV, we were at the mercy of either a foreign film (because my nan used to “like them having the sex”) , variety show “Hey Hey Its Saturday” or whatever the Saturday night movie was on normally John Wayne. If my uncle was in it would be some horror film like Peter Jackson’s Brain Dead (Yep I saw that when I was much too young). We have to sit on the itchy floor because we were not allowed to sit on the plastic covered sofa’s . That was were the massive old doll sat.

kinda like this but much more upmarket

If she was in a good move she would put the special light decoration on (still keeping the plastic cover over it) I still love these I keep threatening to buy one but Mr. Crafty also threatens to kick me and the light out if that happened.

For a good nights sleep..

Then finally when it was time for bed, bed being  an outdoor banana chair with 6 blankets above and blow. A blanket sandwich if you will. This was most welcomed in the summer.

I looked forward to the mornings only really when for my nan would heat up milk on the stove and have real branded Special K. It is still one of  my favorite breakfasts today.

I sounds like a right bore, and it was. But it makes up who we are. All the boring bits just build up character,  I had many funny times there too. Probably eek them out in other entires.

So as I said earlier I was looking for an old gym in the area and thought I’d look at my nan’s place now.

HOLY CRAP!!!!!!! Stomach turning. What the fuck had they done to it??? I felt sick, sad and tearful at the same time. The whole street looked the same except this house. I’m so glad my grandparents never had google maps when they were alive, this would have crushed them.

All the hours my grandfather put into his front yard, all gone! I mean how dd they get the white concrete swan out? (It may still be there it’s so overgrown). Who rips out the fence and the gates?? And the side gate has been replaced with some dodgy fence? The hours my nan spent mopping the beautiful gold tiles on the front veranda I can only imagine are dirty and grim now. It was a lovely not too badly designed early 1960’s home. Now it looks unloved.

I fairness it looks better than the neighbours front yards,(unless you like front lawns made out of concrete) but that still doesnt make it right.

I know it’s no longer ours, but that bit of history has been erased, a shadow of its former self. It’s just very sad.

Here is a  good example of ethnic design…my nan’s place wasn’t as bad as this.

Baking for Wonderland

The final part of the Alice In Wonderland trilogy is here, the baking one.

I started to think about what would be fitting for a mad hatter tea party.  I really could have done with Heston Blumenthal mojo. I was still hanging onto my library copy of Sprinklebakes and there is quite a bit of AIW recipes in  there, but they were so ambitious and required time & skills that sadly I had to by pass most of the lovely things in the book. I did make the mushrooms again , the kids weren’t impressed but the adults appeared to be. (Unless they were being polite).

For the tea party savory bit I wanted to keep it simple as I was feeding both kids and adults (I don’t like going to a kids party and not be offered a sandwich or a cuppa) so the plates included ham sandwiches in the shape of love hearts,  Chesse sandwiches in the shapes of stars, cucumber in love hearts again (they didn’t hold very well), little peanut butter and jam rolls (a revelation to some) and the Australian classic fairy bread which is just cake decorating sprinkles on buttered white bread.

party food

The obligatory mini pizza’s, sausage rolls and bread sticks made an appearence. As well as what I thought great idea of getting some cups of sliced cucumber, peppers and carrots with hummus in the middle, surprisingly these went untouched..what a waste….my fault. Now looking at the above picture someone does have their hands on it, but that’s as far as that went.

After a good 45 min break as the kids were too full for pudding, I did the uncomplicated fruit kebab’s, using biscuit cutters to cut out the shapes. (which only 2 kids wanted but the adults dove at them) , and frogs in ponds Freddo frog in jelly. Some kids didn’t want them either I sat I the sun finishing all the left over jelly.

The baking


I had my baking day on the Friday, it started at 9am and went through till 10.30 pm, and not without at least two disasters. As I stood there mixing some stupid icing at 9pm I thought really why bother? Kids don’t care, they would probably prefer the stuff that came out of a box, why am I doing this?  I was hot, tired and woeful.

I normally make a massive ambitious list of amazing ambitious bakes and then as baking day comes around I slowly being cross things out when I’m ground down & pressed for time . This year I knew better. My list was simple

Mushrooms (not majic)

I really ned to take the course how to use your camera phone like a competent person ASAP.

I really ned to take the course how to use your camera phone like a competent person ASAP.

I think it was more about the look than the taste. It was a cup and a half of cornflour to half a cup of flour, which stuck to the roof of my mouth. I tried to reverse the measurements and they just tasted like bread. Amateur hour. I stuck to the original for the party.



Cupcakes melting in the sun

Classics hummingbird with a strawberry milkshake flavour and a  Smarties surprise on the inside. I used an apple core to make the holes but because the sponge is so moist it was difficult and really mushy. Another problem here was overnight the Smarties went soft and they didn’t tumble out like I hoped. It was so disappointing, sponge itself was fine.


After Tuesday we couldnt deal with the leftovers and 4 of them went in the bin.



I’m sure I’ve written about the Dan Lepard Lamington recipe before. I made them in mini loaf tins, as I had done once before and again they failed. When I tested them in the oven the skewer came clear but when they came out of the pans they were fricking doughy and undercooked. I’m sure this happened last time. I had to make a meringue for this flipping recipe, well NO MORE!!! I quickly made a hummingbird vanilla batch and popped them into mini circular tins. Worked a treat. I sliced them and put normal jam in the middle and used the same Dan Lepard recipe for the chocolate and coconut “icing”. These turned out to be the best lamingtons I’ve probably ever eaten , they were superb!! Kids didn’t eat them oh well more for me.


I normally make these every year. But this year I failed terribly.

I hate using silicone bakeware. They turned out tough (somehow I over worked the batter) and sweaty. I tried to save them by making some icing which refused to dry and then as to laugh in my face, then melted indoors ! I didn’t serve them out of embarrassment and then chucked them out. Bloody mini doughnuts. There is no photos of this shameful chapter.

The Cake


Sorry it’s the only picture we have! Is in a wasteland of uneaten food. (kicking myself I didnt think to take a decent shot)

I realised as I was decorating it that  I had put very little thought into what I was going to do with it. I had minimalist Ombre in my head (which in other words little icing) which drove me nuts at 10pm on Thursday night.  I Bought some toppers from eBay and not photographed is the paper bunting I had on top with skewers.


The icing was much easier than last years frozen take. I found a brilliant tutorial,  I just wish I had a better scraper, I was using one normally reserved for bread making.

It was the normal Hummingbird recipe (I have really got my moneys worth out of Cake Days) in rainbow form. So made double quantities and the separated each layer by weight and mixed each one with a different colour.


I had to make the final purple layer again (which became red) as it ended up really lopsided in the oven , god knows how. Then some (quite a bit) of the batter leaked out onto the bottom of the oven too. Now there is bloody black burnt cake on the floor of the oven, I can’t be bothered cleaning it up. I’ll just leave it to cremate.

I sent it home with the guests and he next day got text messages about how great it was, so I’m happy.

Again sorry for the below par photography…

Thus concludes our triology.