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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Getting hooked

Tuesday evening saw the second episode of The Great British Sewing Bee. Have you been watching?

Chocolate Malt Cake, from The Hummingbird Bakery Home Sweet Home
As my hubby already had a night out planned, I used it as the perfect excuse to make an indulgent cake (for no reason other than to find out if it tasted as good as it looked in the picture of the book), get a couple of friends round to share some with, and, possibly (depending on how distracted we got with TV) do some sewing.

First things first. The cake. Oh my. All I can say is that my kitchen suffered for this cake. Just about every mixing bowl was used to make the different concoctions that went to putting this thing together -  topped off with an icing involving almost a kilo of icing sugar among other things, creating great clouds of dust that left no surface untouched as it settled. As the icing stage was a bit hurried by the fact the programme was about to start, this scene was still there and didn't go unnoticed by the man of the house at breakfast the following morning.

Was it worth it? Oh yes. Just look at that chocolate fudge sauce oozing out from each layer of the cake. Even my self-confessed chocoholic friend needed to take a tactical pause midway through eating what is possibly the mother of all chocolate cakes. And, judging by the return of fridge mice (this time, concentrating mainly on the Maltesers, rather than pastry crust), the hubby likes it enough to forgive the mess.

I enjoyed the second episode of The Great British Sewing Bee even more than the first. I think the judges are warming up a bit more now, and I really like the individuals who are competing. My favourite? Hard to choose - I was sad to see Tilly go out this week, as I've popped in on her blog a bit in the past and really admire her gorgeous hand made wardrobe. I still think she was possibly the most creative one of the bunch, but suffered from the pressures of making things under time pressure. And, let's face it, who wouldn't? I sat through the first episode thinking "I could do that", but really? Under time pressure, uh oh. I doubt it. And this week's trouser challenge was just that. Hats off to all the contestants. But if I had to pick a current favourite - I think Ann is a complete gem, and Sandra wins my vote too, as she quite reminds me of my own mum. The scenes of her fitting one of her daughters for a dress in the first episode took me straight back to my own childhood. That said, I loved Stuart's tulip skirt - and would have chosen it as my own favourite item from this week's show. I have no idea who will win!

We did a tiny bit of crafty stuff whilst watching. My friend Pamela was kind enough to teach me how to make these cute flowers I had spotted in Mollie Makes.

I last tried crocheting about two decades ago when my Nan showed me how to make granny squares. She used to make fantastic granny square blankets in the most clashing bright colours imaginable!

Having tried miserably to make the basic flower using YouTube (I watched it along with my friend Imogen, both of us needing to repeatedly stop and start the video more times than we could count and with no doubt amusing looks of concentration/bafflement on our faces), I can vouch that a real life teacher makes it much easier.

I managed to make a couple of flowers with Pamela at my side to help, and then kind of got hooked, and make several more the next couple of days. I have been using the scraps leftover from the baby blanket, and I'm planning to make them into a garland to hang up in the baby's room.
In fact, I'm booked to go on a beginner workshop with Sam of Betsy Makes in a couple of weeks. She holds her workshops in the evenings at Fancy (the gorgeous local cake shop I'm always going on about). An evening of learning something new and cake? I cannot wait!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness that cake looks divine!! Please remove such temptation from before my eyes - I need to diet! lol :-) I know what you mean about The great british sewing bee competition - I would completely fall to pieces with a time restraint as well as being judged. Crochet flowers look so pretty! Looking forward to seeing you at the workshop xx