Sunday, 12 January 2014

Latest Craft news for 2014

Well, what a year it has been! I have done several more craft fairs since I last posted on here and have been reasonably successful so far.
I have now become addicted to fabric and have lots of new garden related craft ideas.
The most popular so far has been lavender bags and keyrings, made with lots of different lovely fabrics.

I have also changed the seed cards which I think are a good idea but sell better when they are hand made with pictures of fabric flowers on the front.
 I have lots of new ideas for 2014 so think that the Middle aged gap year may be extended for another year at least!

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Succesful craft fair at last.

We booked a stall at our local summer food and craft fair. It was a lovely sunny day and as we live by the sea it was a good start and we thought that might encourage tourists to the fair. The other crafters were a lot more professional than we were and more expensive. There was a lot of interest in the teacups and the knitted bees that are in the photo. I managed  to sell 7 teacups, some cards and some gardening planters and plant kits so feel it was a good day out. I do think I should concentrate on smaller craft fairs and table top sales but enjoyed the experience. Now starting to think about what to sell at Christmas fairs!
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Sunday, 7 April 2013

I have a new idea for seeds which involves tea cups! The plan is to buy teacups and mugs from charity shops and upcyle them with the addition of some seeds. I will sell the cups with seeds and some funky plant markers at craft stalls. My first outing for this new idea is at the end of April, so fingers crossed that it works.

Monday, 14 January 2013

New year, new ideas

Well it is a new year now and so on to the next hobby! I had a very appropriate birthday card from my friend Janie this year.
We all enjoyed the gin cake on my birthday and while it was a huge cake it is disappearing  fast!
So onto my latest idea for the Arts and Crafts Stall in November. I received a lovely gift tag with seed paper that can be grown on the garden from my good friend Morven. At first I thought I could make seed paper, but that could be messy and not always successful. On investigation on the world wide web I discovered that there are only a few small business selling greetings cards with seeds included in them. I love gardening and taking photos of the garden and came up with the idea of making cards with photos of flowers on the front and seeds inside to match. I have set this up at

So fingers crossed that this might be a bit of a success!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Christmas gin and tonic soap!

Here are some Christmas soaps that I made as presents this year. They smell of gin and tonic (well mostly of lemon!). They made nice little stocking filler presents but the rules and regulations regarding selling soap are already complicated and about to change again in 2013 so will need to think of another idea for my arts and crafts stall!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Gin and lemon tart for alternative to Christmas pudding!

We love Christmas pudding but not everyone in the family feels the same, so we like to offer an alternative pudding as we all like pudding! This year I will be making gin and lemon tart, which is like tart au citron but with added gin!

Gin and lemon tart
Serves: 8
150g of plan flour (sieved)
50g ground almonds
35g icing sugar (sieved)
75g of chilled unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
Zest of a lemon
1 egg yolk
Approx 3 tablespoons of cold water

2 eggs
150 mls of cream
80g of caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 2-3 lemons to 100ml
50ml of Gin
3 juniper berries, lightly bruised

To make the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
1. Sieve the flour, ground almonds and icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon zest.
2.  Add the cubed butter and with your fingers rub in the butter until the mix is like fine breadcrumbs.
3.  Add the egg yolk and enough cold water that the mix is covered and then gather into a soft dough.
4. Put the dough into the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Roll our the chilled pastry on a floured board until is it 3-4 mm thick.
6. Grease an 8 inch flan tin
7. Bake the pastry case blind for 10 minutes until light golden brown. Return the empty pastry case to the oven for another 10-12 minutes or until it is pale golden and completely dry. Set aside to cool while you make the filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3.
The Filling
  1. For the filling whisk together the eggs, caster sugar, lemon zest and juice. Add the cream, crushed juniper berries and gin and whisk until combined.
  2. Leave to mix with the flavour of the juniper berries for ten minutes, then remove the berries.
  3.  Pour the filling into the tart base and bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the filling is just set. Set aside to cool.
  4. Serve with cream.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Sloe gin and Walnut loaf from Delicious Magazine.

Sloe gin and Walnut loaf from Delicious Magazine.
I have made this rather yummy looking fruit cake from December's Delicious Magazine. It is now sitting under the bed in the spare room being fed with sloe gin once a week. The plan is to eat it on my birthday at the end of the month with my good friends Janie and Lesley.


  1. 650g mix of sultanas, currants and raisins
  2. 100g dried cherries
  3. Zest and juice of 1 orange
  4. 150ml sloe gin, plus extra for feeding
  5. 225g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  6. 250g soft light brown sugar
  7. 1 tbsp black treacle
  8. 4 medium free-range eggs, beaten
  9. 250g plain flour
  10. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  11. 2 tsp mixed spice
  12. 100g walnuts, roughly chopped


  1. 1. Put all the dried fruit in a large bowl, then stir through the orange zest, juice and 150ml sloe gin. Cover and leave to soak overnight.
  2. 2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin with butter, then line the base and sides with baking paper so it reaches 5cm above the tin. Line the outside of the tin with another tall piece of baking paper, securing with string. Set aside on a baking sheet.
  3. 3. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and a pale toffee colour, then beat in the treacle. Add the beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing well between each addition. Sift in the flour and spices, then stir to a smooth batter. Add the soaked fruit and any sloe gin left in the bowl, as well as the walnuts, stirring until combined.
  4. 4. Scrape the batter into the cake tin, then level off with the back of a spoon. Bake for 75-90 minutes until firm to the touch. A skewer inserted into the middle should come out relatively clean, depending on how much fruit you hit when you stick it in. If it begins to look too dark, cover the top of the cake with baking paper.
  5. 5. Remove the tin from the oven. Use a skewer to poke a few small holes in the top of the cake, then pour over 1 tbsp sloe gin. Once cool, remove the cake from the tin, wrap baking paper around it, then wrap in foil. Store in an airtight container.
  6. 6. Feed the cake once a week by pouring over 1 tbsp sloe gin. The cake will keep, seemingly forever, although at a certain point it will become more sloe gin than cake!