Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Cupcakes, Fruit Trees and Easter

Cupcakes (or buns as we used to call them) are everywhere these days and so I have jumped on the bandwagon with these pretty brooches.

I say brooches, but at the moment I am stuck as to how to attach the finding to the back.  They need some kind of backing on them to hide the bead stitching, but for the life of me, I can't seem to get the cupcake shape right (in spite of using the same template I used for the needle-felt)!  Any suggestions would be welcome, as there is a lovely batch of six colourful cakes waiting to go on sale.  I think I might experiment a little bit too and try and make some of these up into bunting or hanging decorations.

I have also spent some time making Easter eggs to give as gifts.  These are needle felted and finished with lovely glass beads and make very fetching hanging ornaments (if I say so myself).  I think some spherical ones for Christmas will be on the cards too.

I'm surprised how creative I was last week as it was a pretty exhausting one as I was flying solo whilst Mr Pink was on business in China.  Sadly this is a regular thing and results in me getting grumpier as the week goes on and him returning jet-lagged, shattered and bad-tempered!  Still, I mustn't forget that his work means that I don't have to and can stay at home with Little Pink and be part of Tickled Pink Crafts.  And he frequently comes back with some wonderful items for me to create with.  This is the latest assortment and I can already see brooches, bags, earrings...........all sourced direct from China exclusively for Tickled Pink Crafts!

We have a busy Easter weekend ahead. My Dad is coming to visit, we have an Easter Egg hunt at the Rectory on Sunday (not with the vicar mind you, our friends live there!) and we also have a gardening to do list that is getting longer by the day, including the planting of our new cherry and plum trees.

We have an orchard (doesn't that sound grand - it's not, honestly) full of apple trees, but not one cherry or pear tree in sight, so I think we need to put that right over the next few years starting with the cherry.  And I love plums, so an extra one of those won't hurt will it?

Stop press - excitingly Miss Tickled has just told me that she has provisionally booked a table at a market in London for three consecutive Saturdays.  One of the markets will have a Dog Show theme, so I need to get my thinking hat on and come up with some dog themed goodies.  I also need to start making some more bags as we are hoping that these will sell well - a dog themed bag perhaps?

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Easter - enjoy the lovely weather!

Monday, 11 April 2011

New Year (sort of!), New Blog (definitely!)

OK, so the New Year is well and truly underway so it's not really new anymore, but in Tickled Pink land it is!  I have been very remiss in keeping the blog up to date, so I've had a revamp and am ready to go!

So, what has been happening in the world of Tickled Pink Crafts I hear you ask?  Lots and lots is the reply.  Both of us have moved house, Miss Tickled is now settled in London and enjoying life in the big smoke and I am very happy in my forever house in Herefordshire.  Spring has sprung (especially after the recent glorious weather), there are lambs in the field behind us and the fruit trees in the garden are in full blossom.

I can see lots of jam-making this year which is especially good news as I inherited the family jam pan when Mum died and I am excited to carry on the tradition of using it.  Lots of recipes please for plum, damson and greengage jams!

The garden is starting to yield crops and I picked nearly 4lbs of rhubarb this morning.  Some of it will have to be given away, but I am going to make the a rhubarb and custard cake this afternoon - absolutely delicious warm with more custard, but still yummy when it's cold.

And we have sown potatoes, peas, carrots, rocket, radish, cabbages and broad beans for later in the year.  Runner beans, tomatoes, cauliflower and various squash are in preparation too!

Now, before I move onto Tickled Pink itself, let me introduce you to the newest member of the Pink family - Wilbur, a 14 week old Schnoodle puppy.  He takes our dog tally to three, and to be honest, I think that's enough for now!

As for Tickled Pink's all systems go!  We have both decided that this is the year we have to make a success of things.  Neither Miss Tickled nor I want to go back to work (in a conventional job) and we both love crafting, so we have set up the partnership on a more formal basis and are working hard to make it happen.

Miss Tickled manned our first craft fair this weekend, the Boogaloo Market in Highgate.  Sadly it wasn't a roaring success, but the organisers were lovely and very encouraging so we are not disheartened.  Probably the fantastic weather and the lure of the Grand National kept people away.  However, we proved to ourselves that we can put something together at very short notice (less than a week) and are looking at it as a positive thing.  Even if I say so myself, the stall looked great - well done Miss Tickled and thank you.

What you can't see on here are Miss Tickled's fabulous new range of shutter cards.  Here are just a few examples.....


What's even better about these, is that they are completely customisable (is that a real word?), and she will make them in whatever colour way and design you require.  The last one was made as a commission for a bridesmaid who wanted a card for the bride and groom to match in with the colour and theme of the wedding.  They really are cards to be kept and admired and stand out amongst all the shop bought ones.

I have found the most fantastic ribbon supplier and have spent many happy hours in front of the television making corsages.  They were great in winter for brightening up a dull day, and now that the sun has made an appearance they add to that happy feeling that summer is on the way.

What do you think about having these for a wedding - in colours to suit Mother-of-the-Bride and Mother-of the Groom outfits? Or for the Bridesmaids? Or how about on hairclips or hairbands?

I've also been discovering needle-felting, a great way for getting rid of your daily frustration and also for creating some wonderful, unique pieces.  I have customised some jute shopping bags - what do you think?

I'm now trying out some alpaca wool/fibre that I picked up at Wonderwool Wales and maybe plucking up the courage to try some 3D felting too!

Finally, let me show you the eggs that the Tickled Pink hens laid the other week - just in time for Easter!