Monday, October 29, 2012

Etsy minimall and Toejam Dublin 27th Oct 2012

Hi all, well last Saturday must have been the coldest day we have had so far this year.  Cold and all as it was the atmosphere at the Bernard Shaw was great. Go through the pub, down the stairs, into the beatyard, pass the big blue bus and you get to the Etys minimall which had work displayed from over 30 Irish craftworkers.  They travelled from within The Pale and From all four corners of Ireland.




Sorry for the poor quality of pics, my own camera was playing up. Also the sun was very strong and it was hard to get no shine on the products.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Perfect Victoria Sponge

Victoria sponge cake


4 free-range eggs, this will give you a really rich yellow cake

225g/8oz caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake

225g/8oz self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
225g/8oz margarine or soft butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins

To serve, good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam, whipped double cream (optional) or thick custard (optional)

Preparation method
1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
2.Grease and flour 2 x 20cm/8in sandwich tins
3.Add soft  margarine to a mixing bowl and whisk in sugar until almost white.
4. Crack in the eggs and a spoonful of flour and whisk until combined.
5.Sift flour and add in along with baking powder, whisk gently until combined.

Mixing tip:

The easiest way to do this is with an electric hand mixer, but you can use a wooden spoon. Put a damp cloth under your bowl when you’re mixing to stop it moving around. Be careful not to over-mix – as soon as everything is blended you should stop. The finished mixture should be of a soft ‘dropping’ consistency – it should fall off a spoon easily.

5.Divide the mixture evenly between the tins: this doesn’t need to be exact, but you can weigh the filled tins if you want to check. Use a spatula to remove all of the mixture from the bowl and gently smooth the surface of the cakes.

6.Place the tins on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Don't be tempted to open the door while they're cooking, but after 20 minutes do look through the door to check them.

7.The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Remove them from the oven and set aside to cool in their tins for five minutes. Then run a palette or rounded butter knife around the inside edge of the tin and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack.

8.To take your cakes out of the tins without leaving a wire rack mark on the top, put the clean tea towel over the tin, put your hand onto the tea towel and turn the tin upside-down. The cake should come out onto your hand and the tea towel – then you can turn it from your hand onto the wire rack.

9.Set aside to cool completely.

10.To assemble the cake, place one cake upside down onto a plate and spread it with plenty of jam. If you want to, you can spread over whipped cream too or extra thick custard.

11.Top with the second cake, top-side up. Sprinkle over the caster sugar.


Chocolate:  Replace 1oz of flour with 1oz cocoa

Coffee: Dissolve a dessert spoon of coffee granules in a dessert spoon of hot water and add with eggs when cool.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Etsy and Treasuries

This enforced holiday (due to being sick) has meant I have a bit more time to tidy up my cyber life, including this blog and my Etsy shop.
I have new products to photograph and post online but as the weather is so grey neither the light inside or out is conducive to good photos.  So I decided to look at making an Etsy Treasury.  A treasury is a curated list of items that you like and put together, more gallery than scrapebook.  The treasury should have a theme that links each item.
I remember the first time I got a message to say one of my items had been included in a treasury, I was so excited about it...that someone liked it enough to include it.

This jumper has been popular and included in a few treasuries including this one created by Puffin Patchwork  Warm and Cosy for Autumn.  The treasury has some wonderful crafts and I am honoured to be included in it.  See Puffins own work here in her Etsy Shop Puffin Patchwork

Purls (Etsy shop Purls Of Colour ) made a lovely treasury Once In A Blue Moon which included my Night Owl wreath.  Its led to a sale, not of the wreath but of some of the items on the wreath, an owl, a star and a moon.

Night Owl wreath for wall, door or table top

So I tried to make a treasury of my own.  During the summer I made this one Summer Yearnings featuring some amazing work that made me think of long hot summer days.  It included this watercolour by Helen Dardik of Orange Studio, an amazing illustrator (HINT: If you need to buy me a present any of her work will do).
My Arrietty... original watercolor... 10 in x 14 in...

Then today I gave another one a go.  I was looking through the Crafty Ireland Team wonderful crafts and noticed that many people have made wonderful craft animals...and so I made a treasury featuring this called Irish Animal Magic.   Among the magical animals is a fox kit from An Snag Breac, I think it is so cute but not sure if I would be able to make it.

As a craftworker it gives me a great boost to see my work included in a treasury, particulary one curated by another craftworker as they know and understand the time and work involved in handmade goods and have used some of this valuable time to admire the work of another.

Lastly, BIG PLUG. This christmas think of buying Irish and handmade. From me at Etsy shop Quirky Apple or Facebook Quirky Apple or Crafty Ireland Team on Etsy which right now has 9, 799 items listed.

Monday, October 22, 2012


Thats the only way to describe it.  I have finally been hit by a bug that has been doing the rounds...I normally avoid these things but this one got me.

And such a week to have me at my lowest.

So short verison, Limerick Craft and Design should be finally opening this week and I not only want to get in to see it and work but want to get more stock ready for it.

This weekend sees the first ever (hopefully to be annual event) Etsy Ireland Toejam and minimall at GBS Dublin. Not only am I selling at this fair and getting to finally meet for real all the wonderful people from Etsy Ireland but have also promised to sell for another craftworker Puffin Patchwork.

I also have the Borrisokane and Nenagh farmers markets on Friday and Saturday to sell my local cheeses.  Yes, I can see that there is an overlap there with Toejam and Nenagh market but I CAN be in two places at one time...can't I?

And then finally on Sunday I have the wonderful Cloughtoberfest were I will be manning the cheese tent beside the beer tent so that we can have local farm cheese and local craft beer pairings.

Along with that I still have my usual classes to teach Monday-Thursday....and my body has decided to be sick and not obey me in any way and all it wants to do is lie down and sleep.

Suggestion  for cures please....thanks Tracy