New Toy

I feel like I haven’t had much time to post about creative things of late. This doesn’t mean, of course, that I haven’t been doing anything creative.

A couple of weekends ago I bought a digital piano from the lovely people at Holmes Music, in Swindon. It is a Casio Privia, and I am really really pleased with it. For some time I have been trying to find a digital piano that is compact, has a nice sound and feel, and meets my modest budget. We popped to Swindon (about 20 minutes away on the train), and this was the item I found.

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The good people at Holmes Music brought it all the way to my house, and up two flights of stairs to my room. It has just the right amount of extra functions, and has a lovely sound to it. So, most of my spare time has been devoted to playing with my new toy, and I haven’t had much time to do things I can share pictures of on here for Handmade Monday!

One thing I have done is started a May sale in my Etsy shop. There is 50% off everything at the end of May; just add the code May2013 in the basket at checkout. Please do share with anyone you think might be interested!

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Baking

I didn’t have time to post for Handmade Monday last week. On the Sunday I went to Basildon Park and then had dinner cooked for me, so I didn’t get time to write at my usual time. I am not convinced I made anything particularly exciting either. This week has been no less busy than normal. My weekend has also been jam packed with activities and I will be glad of the bank holiday tomorrow.

On Saturday I decided to do some baking experiments. I had seen these Rainbow Cupcakes during the week and loving all things colourful, had to have a go myself. Here are the results:

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It is not immediately obvious that there is a rainbow, untill you take a bite! Image

I used a basic sponge recipe (2oz sugar/butter/flour per 1 egg), then split the mix into 6 and used food colouring to dye it to the appropriate colour. Then, coated in buttercream and sprinkles:

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I was contemplating using the recipe in the link above next time, as it supposedly allows the colour to come out more. Still, they were well received by housemates and the other half.

The other baking endeavour was chilli and garlic bread, and it turned out fantastically well.

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I used a basic white loaf recipe (for a 1lb tin), and then added about 5-6 cloves of chopped garlic, some crushed dried chillis, Italian herbs, and dried chives. I’m really pleased with it and will definitely make it again in the future.

I have done very little else of interest this week. Yesterday I went to Swindon and bought a digital piano, which I was a little surprised about. My knitting is coming on, but progress is slower and slower in proportion with the increase in stitches (and the lack of time). Perhaps tomorrow I will get a little further with it.

Enjoy the bank holiday!!

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(Taken at Buscot House)

 

This week I have mostly been….

Coughing. That’s right, I caught a cold. Its made me feel a bit downcast and fed up, but I think I am over the worst now. I didn’t take any time off work (damned if you do, damned if you don’t), and I had several evening engagements so I’ve been rather busy. I’d like to say thank you to everyone who commented on last weeks post. Really, I should get better at responding to people individually.

Despite being super busy, I’ve had time to make some things (no jewellery though). Last week I posted a photo of a cake, and I do enjoy cake but I’ve recently learned to bake bread. My loaves have been turning out perfectly but my rolls have been less successful. Last week I made some roles, and they turned out slightly small and slightly burned. This week’s endeavours turned out much better:

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I used white flour and wholemeal flower. The idea of being healthy and using wholemeal flour is very attractive to me but I find the bread turns out a little stiffer.

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These rolls have turned out very nicely. I made 9 in total, and freeze them in batches of three.

I also received some yarn from Get Knitted.

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The yarn is Rowan Handknit cotton in Ecru and Seafoam, and I have bought it to knit Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer.

Image Its really lovely yarn, it has a lovely drape which I think will suit this jumper nicely. The pattern has been relatively easy to follow, and it seems to be knitting up quite quickly. I am a little concerned I won’t have enough yarn, but fingers crossed it will work out fine.  Image

Hope you have all had an enjoyable week. I will be visiting Handmade Monday to take a look at what everyone else has been up to. 🙂

Hello!

Welcome to my blog. I used to have a dedicated blog section on my site (www.wildmousedesigns.co.uk), but I have switched website provider and my new website (www.barbarakennedy.co.uk) doesn’t have very good blogging facilities. So this is my new blog to keep up with the Handmade Monday crowd.

I’ve been on a little hiatus from jewellery making to concentrate on my music teaching (and more generally, Life). A couple of weeks ago I was on a hen do and a friend was wearing a pair of earrings I had made. She had asked me to make them for her to give as a gift to someone else, but she liked them so much she never gave them away! This friend also told me I should open an Etsy store, so I re-started my business using Etsy. You can find me here: www.etsy.com/shop/wildmousedesigns

Enough plugging, what have I been making lately? Well, not so much lately, but a couple of things I have listed in my store this week:

These earrings are made from glass pearls and some real pearls too!

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These earrings have just glass pearls.

I like glass pearls over real pearls as they are more uniform.Image

I think my designs are a little different to what you find out on the high street, but I’m not sure if people particularly like them. I’ve had a lot of compliments but I just don’t sell any! I guess it might be a matter of time and energy.

I’d really be interested in your thoughts, as always. At the moment I am trying to improve my photography, as I very rarely get results that are quite good enough.

In other news, I made this cake:

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Cake decorating is not my strongest skill, but I do find it quite fun.

That’s all from me this week. I hope I’ll have time to post something next week, but I think I’m getting a cold and I have a busy week ahead. In the meantime, take a look at the other stuff that has gone on this week over at Handmade Monday!

Handmade Monday 14 April 2013

Hello World!!!

Hi there,

This is the blog for Wild Mouse Designs. I used to have a blog on the site http://www.wildmousedesigns.co.uk, but then I switched the place I created my website (now at http://www.barbarakennedy.co.uk).

I have just opened an Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/wildmousedesigns) and I also teach piano. By day I’m an administrator.

This blog will be for my creative activities.