Poinsettia Necklace

November 27th, 2009 by Gilly
Poinsettia Necklace

Poinsettia Necklace

I love making the Poinsettia necklace at this time of year, it feels so Christmasy! I’ve teamed my handmade glass flower focal with red, black, bronze and mossy green beads for a glamorous look. I finished it off this evening and popped it in my Folksy shop :) Hopefully I’ll have time to make the matching bracelet this week – I’m going to pick up a packet of crimp beads while I’m in Nottingham tomorrow from The Bead Shop, as I’ve run out!

Plum Fleur Asymmetric Necklace

November 22nd, 2009 by Gilly
Plum Fleur Asymmetric Necklace

Plum Fleur Asymmetric Necklace

Now the craft fair is over, I am starting to fill up my online shops again at Etsy and Folksy. This wintery necklace in deep purple, with one of my handmade glass flowers set to one side, is now available. The corsage style looks great with a little black dress for Christmas :)

Belton House Christmas Fayre

November 21st, 2009 by Gilly

IMG_8129

I was at Belton House yesterday for the craft fayre. It was a Christmas themed event with decorated trees and a brass band, so there was a nice atmosphere and the customers were really friendly :) My Mum came with me to help out, and I’m so glad she did because it got busy at times and there weren’t enough hands to box cupcakes and package jewellery! The day seemed to go by so quickly apart from at the end as the shoppers tailed off – it’s in the quiet times that you realise how tired you are!

My stall looks a bit odd in this pic because I spaced the jewellery out like this once all my cupcakes and cookies had sold out after lunch (yay!) - I wish I’d taken a photo at the beginning of the day when the table was full, but I was in such a rush to finish getting set up before the first customers arrived!

I took 3 different cupcake flavours with me: milk chocolate brownie, maple and pecan, and lemon curd. I also took an assortment of cookie lollies in light blue, lilac and rose, decorated similarly to the cookies in the post below. Oh, and I made some cookie hearts with ribbon attached to hang as decorations, but I forgot to take a photo before they sold. I might make some as gifts to give at Christmas so will hopefully remember to take a pic then.

I think my favourite thing of the day was using my crash-lock cardboard cupcake boxes, lol! My brother designed me some fab little round stickers with my Gillyflower Bakery logo in pink, so they were stuck onto every box that I sold. So cute :)

It’s always interesting to see what sells – different items of jewellery seem to go at different fayres – but my flower pendants always seem to be popular so I make sure I have them in every colour. The wildflower knotted necklace seems to be my best seller, and usually sells in the first hour, so I’m going to work on expanding my range of knotted jewellery in the New Year.

It was a good day, and I would definitely do the fair next year – there was a good turn out despite the drizzle and people were really interested in buying, which was lovely. Emma Grey, the organiser, did a great job, and the co-ordinators came round with hot drinks regularly which was a nice touch. The stable area that I was in was pretty dark, so that’s probably my only criticism but I knew that when I booked the pitch so I can’t complain! We took a string of lanterns with us and two bright spot lights and created a friendly glow :)

Christmas Cookies

November 7th, 2009 by Gilly
Craft Fair Cookies

Craft Fair Cookies

Today I made a few fondant decorated Christmas cookie lollies, as a bit of a practice for my first craft fair of the season at Belton House on 21st November. I’m woefully under prepared and am having a bit of a panic! I had to pull out of Drill Hall in Lincoln because of the flu, so Belton House is now my first one of the season. It’s probably the only one I’m going to do this side of Christmas, as I feel really busy with my new job and don’t seem to have the time to make lots of jewellery and try out new cake recipes as I’d planned. So this afternoon I squeezed in a little bit of prep and tried out my designs for the cookies I’m planning to take with me to Belton. I think they’ve turned out nicely, but I’d like the pink to be more cerise as it looks a bit red. I”m also going to get some purple organza ribbon which should look better with the pink cookies :)

Herbal Goodness

November 6th, 2009 by Gilly
Herbal Remedies

Herbal Remedies

I’ve not been well for a few weeks – I got the dreaded swine flu! So my focus has been on using natural remedies (and some paracetamol!) to feel better. Honey and lemon tea is so soothing for a sore throat, but I wanted it to have more of a kick and contain some herbal goodness, so I first made up a jar of herbal honey with fresh and dried sage leaves from my garden and fresh ginger root. 1 teaspoon of the honey and 1 freshly squeezed lemon, plus boiled water, makes a delicious and healing hot drink.

I’ve taken a lot of echinacea tincture to boost my immune system, along with plenty of vitamin C, but I bought the tincture from the health shop, as I’ve been banned from digging up the echinacea root in our garden to make my own!

To help my cough, I made up a simple syrup using kitchen cupboard ingredients such as vinegar, honey and cayenne pepper to calm the cough and cut through phlem. For the recipe, see my tutorial in the Christmas edition of UK Handmade magazine, out the beginning of December.

UK Handmade Autumn Issue

October 12th, 2009 by Gilly

UK Handmade Autumn 2009

The latest edition of UK Handmade magazine launched today! Our Autumn issue is full of seasonal goodness, fabulous interviews, lovely tutorials, self-assessment business advice, book reviews and an article on The Make Lounge, plus lots more. If you fancy whipping up an autumnal cake, check out my spicy apple cake tutorial on page 46, or make your own body cream with my homemade recipe on page 14!

New Shoes….

October 8th, 2009 by Gilly
Pink Shoes

Pink Shoes!

….. And a new job at South Lincs CVS! I haven’t blogged for a while, as I’ve been so busy. I got some lovely new pink & shiny shoes last week, in the sale from Dorothy Perkins – £16! Planning to get lots of wear out of them at work, to go with my black trousers.

New jewellery coming soon to Gillyflower, in time for my first craft fair of the season at Drill Hall, Lincoln on 31st October.

xx

Mini Anniversary Cakes

September 5th, 2009 by Gilly
Mini cakes

Mini cakes

As it was my Mum and Dad’s wedding anniversary today (39 years!) I took the opportuntiy to try making some mini cakes. I also wanted to practice making a rainbow cake, as my little cousin has a birthday party coming up soon that I’m making the cake for, so I tried out a few thin layers of red, yellow and purple cake. I used the Hummingbird Bakery vanilla cupcake recipe, because I think it makes a nicer vanilla cake than a sponge. I made up the full cupcake recipe for each colour and baked each layer in an 8″ tin for 20 mins. I used Sugarflair food colouring paste (in ruby, melon and grape violet) instead of the liquid food colouring you can buy in the supermarket to get a strong colour that would bake well. Then I cut out rounds of cake using 2″, 2.5″ and 3″ pastry cutters, and assembled the layers as I wanted, sandwiching them with vanilla buttercream and covering them in white fondant. I did the cakes at the last minute on Friday night, so I didn’t have time to make any new sugar flowers so I just used the left over ones I had from other cakes I’ve decorated.

When we cut the cakes today it was so awesome to find the coloured layers inside! I can’t wait to try making Izzy’s rainbow cake with red, yellow, green and blue layers in a few weeks. Will posts pics :)

Rainbow layer mini cake

Rainbow layer mini cake

Afternoon Crafting

August 28th, 2009 by Gilly
Beading and sugarcrafting

Beading and sugarcrafting

My lovely little cousin Izzy came round this afternoon and we spent such a fun afternoon crafting. First we made a mini bracelet and necklace for Ellie the elephant (her favourite toy), then a little rainbow coloured bracelet for her little brother, and then it was cupcake time! We made mini brownie cupcakes and Izzy expertly decorated them with pink sugarcraft decorations.  Wish I’d taken a picture of our finished creations but we were running late and rushed out the door to take her home before I had time! This is the mess I came home to, but I thought it looked so pretty :)

Sunny Norfolk

August 21st, 2009 by Gilly
Cley next the Sea

Cley next the Sea

Just got back from a few days in Norfolk. I went with parents for a mini break – it was so nice to have some time away together :) It’s such a beautiful and peaceful place, and the weather was fantastic! It was a proper little beach holiday – we walked along the beach & headland, ate fish and chips (well, just chips for me, being veggie!) and I swam in the sea. Lovely.

Morston Quay

Morston Quay