Last weekend I headed off to the Sorting Office in Eastleigh for a day of bangle making with six other ladies. The workshop was hosted by Joanne Tinley – I’ve had a private lesson with her before, so knew I was in for a great day.
The workshop taught us how to make an anti-clastic bangle. The ‘anti-clastic’ bit is talking about the shape. In the same way that a Pringle crisp curves outwards, so do these bangles. This outward curve is called anti-clastic.
It was a really fun day. Joanne does more than just show you how to do it – she really takes the time to explain what to do and why, so you really get a good understanding of the process.
It ran from 10am-4pm, although we were all such excellent students we finished early!
It’s really got me wanting to get back into jewellery making. I do dabble a bit here and there, but I really want to make sure I put time aside on a regular basis to do it. I’ve got a lot of the kit now, so it seems a shame not to make the most of it.
So you may start to see more jewellery posts on here soon!
Victoria, x victoriachapman.co.uk
It was my sister’s 30th birthday a week or so ago, and we decided to throw her a surprise birthday BBQ. She had literally just stepped off her cruise round the Nordic Fjords on the day we held it, so we though it would be a nice idea to have a nautical theme.
Since it was her 30th, I decided to go all out and make her the most amazing birthday cake ever. I had quite a lot of ideas on my nautical themed party Pinterest board, and decided to go for a two-tiered, navy blue iced cake.
I’ve never iced a cake like this before. I watched a load of YouTube videos, and they made it look easy. But boy, it was not easy at all!!
I forgot to take pictures during the first few steps, but basically I just baked an 8″ and 6″ round cake (chocolate and vanilla sponge) and then used my cake slicer to chop off the top and make it flat, then chop them in half and fill with butter cream. Then I covered the outside in a thin layer of butter cream too.
Then I put the cakes in the fridge to let the butter cream harden a bit (it was a boiling hot day!), whilst I added the food colouring to my royal icing.
I used blue paste colouring as opposed to liquid, as it’s easier, quicker and more effective. It took a A LOT of kneading to get the colour I wanted and to get it all even throughout.
Once it was at the colour I wanted, I started to roll it out. It was impossible to keep it round, instead it took on some weird, blobby shape. It was also important to keep lifting it off the worktop to avoid it sticking, but each time I did that, I seemed to rip it or poke a hole in it. Eventually I figured out that if you gently roll in onto the rolling pin, pick it up, then place it back down, this seems to work. Don’t try and pick it up with your hands!
Also the quicker you do this the better, otherwise it dries out really quickly and may end up cracking.
Then you place it gently onto the cake and press it down with your hands. This was actually a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. It’s quite an intuitive process – pushing it down around the sides and making sure it’s even and smooth.
No pictures of me making it nice and smooth as it’s tricky to do that one handed! Once it’s done, carefully trim off the excess.
Then I did the same with the top layer. I think if you’re having more than two tiers, or if you want to do a professional job, you can add some skewers into the bottom cake to help support the weight of the top cake, but I didn’t bother with that. Instead I added another thin layer of butter cream to help it stick and then slapped it on top!
Once the bulk of the cake was done, I moved onto the decorations. I printed out a picture of a basic anchor, cut it out, then rolled it on top of some rolled out icing, so that it made a bit of an outline on the icing. I then carefully sliced it out, covered it in a thin layer of butter cream and very, very carefully placed it on the cake.
Then I took some leftover white icing and rolled out two long thin sausages. I twisted these together to make it look like a rope and carefully placed this round the base of the cake. Then I made a ’30′ out of some of the leftover icing and placed that on top.
I have to say, so I was so, so, so impressed with how it turned out. It really was a masterpiece and it tasted great!
What do you think?
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a big fan of my juicer. I love drinking fresh juice. There’s nothing better than starting the day off with a whole heap of fruit and veggies. Then anything bad that passes your lips later on in the day doesn’t quite feel so bad!
So I was really excited with Lactofree got in touch and asked if I’d like to have a go at making the perfect summer smoothie. Even though I’m obsessed with juicing, I’ve not actually really done much with smoothies. Which is a bit weird, as the two are so closely related.
With the amazing, glorious, please-stay-forever weather we’ve been having, I figured a refreshing, sweet smoothie was just what the doctor ordered. So I had a bit of a dabble and this is what I made!
Victoria’a Minty Kiwi Dream
1 handful of fresh spinach
A few mint leaves
Good helping of cold Lactofree
I love kiwi fruits. They have to be one of my favourite fruits out there (see my favourite kiwi juice recipe here). I thought I’d combine them with some mint to create a really refreshing, zingy smoothie. The banana helps to add some thickness and sweetness, and the spinach adds some extra flavour and a whole host of extra nutrients.
Using Lactofree instead of traditional milk is a great way of getting the flavour and calcium benefits of milk, without any bloating. I am a big bloater (please don’t shout that at me in public though!). I don’t get it all the time, but sometimes even the tiniest drop of normal milk can bloat me out. I don’t generally touch the stuff anymore as there are so many alternatives out there. Lactofree is a great choice because it still tastes just like normal milk.
Have you tried your hand at making any of your own smoothies? What’s your favourite recipe? Let me know below so I can try them out too!