Tuesday, 27 March 2012

First Event - what did I learn?

Well the first Wobblymouse selling event has occurred, I went to support my friend 'the Jingles' who was holding a charity event and wanted some stalls.  The event was for NOFAS - a support group for families and children who experience the effects of foetal alcohol syndrome (www.nofas-uk.org).

So wobblymouse and chum  CD went to support and for the first public showing (not friends or family) of my craftiness. I was feeling rather scared of what people would say about my attempts at making things, and that no one would buy anything. I decided that we would also supply some little plants to the plant stall, some spider plant babies that mum mouse and I had potted up a few weeks previously.

We arrived with many boxes of different cards - birthday, easter, thank you, get well, thinking of you and blank for your own message in a mixture of true wobblymouse invention,  some with photographs others with brought to be put together with a few extras (Hunkydory) kits. 

There was also a box of scarves - on the hottest day of the year so far!

And a few additions - candles and wine charms, plus hubby's photographs all packaged up.

A very good band were playing - Encore, and the sun shone. Luckily Starbucks were also supporting the morning so we were able to have caffine to add confidence, or hyperactivity which is what I find happens now after many years of drinking decaf or Redbush.  Plus the WI had a cake stall which added great cakes and sugar into the mix.  

After setting up and realising that I didn't quite have the right selection of display boxes, the cards were too heavy for my display flower, and we needed paper clips to make the price labels stay put, plus some other labels to make things make sense I began to breath more easily.

I'm not sure if saying to our first customer "Are you sure?" was the best selling technique but time past and we sold, some photographs, easter cards, a couple of thank you and birthday cards, a couple of boxes of wine charms and even a scarf. We didn't win the raffle or guess the name of the bear, however a good time was had by all and the event over all made nearly £600.

What did I learn - it's hard to put an appropriate value on your own hand made items as you are too invested in them.  Different display boxes are needed to group cards more clearly,  people like to know where photographs were taken and better labeling is important to avoid misunderstandings.  Most of all having a freind with you is invaluable, thank you wobblymouse chum CD! 

Most of all it was good fun, generally people are very nice and enjoy a bit of chatter. Will I do it again - yes and supporting and giving money to a good cause is a great way to use my craftiness.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

So little, so tasty, so cute!

Well what to do when you can’t decide what sort of cakes to make and only have enough ingredients for one batch of cupcakes – half the mixture and make mini ones!
These are so much fun to make and eat, there is a real feeling of satisfaction when quite so many little cakes can be made by so little mixture, only half the ingredients for each batch – they are so cute!
Both recipes came from ‘Cupcake Heaven’ Anthem Publishing, Volume 1
Coconut cherry cupcakes
115g butter, 115g caster sugar, 2 tbsp milk, 2 free-range eggs, 85g self-raising flour, 1/2tsp baking powder, 85g desiccated coconut, 115g glacé cherries (this is the full quantities, I halved these).
Preheat oven to 180° and put the tiny little cases in the mini bun tin.
Place the butter and sugar in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy, stir in the milk and then gradually beat in the beaten eggs.  Sift the flour and baking powder, and then fold in along with the coconut. Gently fold in most of the quartered cherries.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and scatter the raining cherries on the top.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, transfer to a wire tray to cool.
Top with vanilla frosting a sprinkle of coconut and glacé, fresh or maraschino cherries on the top (I used a ¼ of a glacé cherry)
 Adapted valentine heart cupcakes
85g butter, 85g caster sugar, ½ tsp vanilla extract, 2 free range eggs, 70g plain flour, 1tbsp cocoa powder, 1tbsp baking powder (no need to half these quantities).
Preheat the oven to 180°, put the tiny little cases in the tray.
Place the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in the beaten egg.  Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and using a metal spoon, fold into the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the frosting - Put 55g butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy. Sift in 115g of icing sugar and beat together until smooth.  Add 25g of melted plain chocolate and beat together. Spread frosting on the top and these are meant to have a marzipan heart and sugar flower on, I didn’t make the marzipan hearts but used a giant chocolate button instead, I think a white one would work better.

They were great little cakes and I found that they were brilliant for taking away that sweet craving and I felt like I'd had a treat even when only having one little tiny cake.  They also went down great with the children I was with. 
The large (normal size) chocolate cupcake was for a friend who enjoys wobblymouse cakes and cards.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Do Something Yummy - Cherry Bakewell Cup Cakes

From my favourite cookbook at the moment – ‘The Great British Bake Off – How to Bake...’ and also inspired by seeing them on 'Sweet Mabel's' site.

Have to say they really are yummy and go great with a cuppa.
CLIC Sargent is such a great charity good luck with all the great work you do. 

A cuppa and homemade cake, can it get any better – I think not!

It really has been a great few days, my mum’s been visiting. We’ve been shopping, gardening, crafting and baking  (The picture of which I am going to link up to ‘do something yummy’). 

 She’s been helping out as I’m still recovering from surgery and it’s been great to have her here to share time with, chat about life and generally laugh with.  Sometimes when we’re younger we don’t always appreciate our mums, we struggle to grow up and do things our way. However, having lived away from home at various distances, from the other side of the world to now being at least three hours away. Having lost my father and life taking us to various dark places over the last few years.  I really appreciate how lucky I am to have a great mum who is willing to come and stay. She is so supportive an inspiration to others, how she looks at life and the people in it.  Always trying to see the best in others, help where she can and is my friend.