Cosy in the Summerhouse

Why are men so difficult to buy for?

I think everyone asks themselves this. Just when you think you’ve got everything covered – Birthdays, Christmas, Anniversaries… along comes Fathers Day.

I always place more importance on Birthdays, but I do like to have little treats ready for other occasions, Fathers Day being one of them, and my dad is always touched by any effort made (even if it’s another pair of socks or bottle of whiskey)

Even though we are now grown up, a present from me or my sister that is hand made, is marvelled and praised as though it was an undiscovered Picasso.

Support and encouragement on tap. This has always been the case, and still now with my craft fair adventures, they’re not far away;

‘We’ll come and help you set up…..I’ve bought you a cup of tea…..Don’t worry about lunch, I’ll treat us to a cob…..This scone just fell into my bag…’

While mum is making sure I have enough food for the duration (usually only 6 hours of what is prodominantly smiling and chatting with people) My dad will be carefully studying everything on my table. He’s a joiner and is a mine of knowledge when it comes to types of wood. Luckily my products which start as little chunks of wood, have been approved and he’s happy with my choice of birch.

Dad will always let you know if he’s not happy with something, especially when it comes to wooden furniture for our house – but that’s another story including a chest of drawers that dad completely dismantled and re-built with new runners because he didn’t like how the top drawer shut.

Since the first set I made, dad has admired the hanging letter blocks, usually wanting every set he sees. They already have a set of ‘Welcome’ blocks in their dining room, but he now liked the ‘Cosy’ set too.

‘That would look nice in the Summer House’ turned into ‘I want one for the Summer House’ but with a sideways glance and some excellent lip reading on my part, a fathers day gift was discovered.

Along with some gorgeous varieties of tea from Whittards, and of course some socks from M&S, my Dad was well and truly spoilt this Fathers Day…and so it should be.

Advertisements

New Goodies for my Website

I’m so guilty…….of neglecting my website!

Especially since setting up my little shop on Folksy. I need just a few more hours in a day to keep on top of everything (isn’t it always the way?)

I do get more sales through Folksy, but then is this because I don’t promote my website enough? I’m sure people are reading this with a little grin of aggreement. There’s only so much you can do with a single pair of hands, so mine have been busy this morning trying to load my neglected little website with more lovely products, pictures and descriptions.

As well as keeping my admin side of things up to date, I’ve just ordered a few more bits that will soon make their way onto the Bumbleblue desk. I’m so excited to get the paint pots out and really get stuck into something new, so watch this space for even more new goodies and treats….and of course, they will be on my website soon after.

Been Baking

This weekend, I swapped my paint brushes for a wooden spoon and attempted to make shortbread.

It was the perfect day for it. Outside it was miserable, grey and the rain was pouring down. I felt quite snug in my warm kitchen with a big mug of tea. Even the cat had taken refuge on my chair and had curled himself into the cushions. Not a day to be outside.

Not being an accomplished baker of biscuits, I wasn’t sure what all the terms meant, and being too excited to create something edible, I made my first mistake.

I now know that when a recipe says to ‘soften’ something, it’s something entirely different to ‘melt’. So, one gooey lot of mixture down the drain, I started again, this time letting the butter ‘soften’ on it’s own.

I had a bit of a stab at how to go about ‘creaming’ my butter and sugar together, but eventually ended up on the phone to mum.

My mum’s a bit of a genius.No matter how random the question, she always has a calm yet matter of fact reply that is always right. Do mums have training or is this something that automatically kicks in, in your forties?

How to remove any type of stain, how to turn up a hem to any desired length, the perfect recipe for a victoria sponge without a book …. All skills, I’m afraid, mum hasn’t biologically passed onto me!

After being calmed down by mum, and another cup of tea later, I somehow ended up with a mixture that looked like it should do. Back on the phone again to see how long to leave it in the oven – Surely ten minutes isn’t long enough?

Twenty mintues later, my little cookery journey was at an end, and after making EVERYONE try a bit, my shortbread wasn’t half bad!

If you fancy having a go, this is a yummy recipe – and if I can do it, I think it’s safe to say anyone can!

Ingredients;

500g Butter, softened (not melted)

200g Caster Sugar

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

500g Plain Flour.

1. Preheat oven to gas mark 4.

2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

3. Stir in vanilla and add flour. Beat the mixture until all ingredients are incorporated.

4. Flatten your mixture onto a baking tray to about 1cm thickness and bake for 20 – 25 minutes.

5. Once your biscuit is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.

6. Cut up into small finger portions and enjoy with a big cup of tea.

Happy Baking!