30.8.12

days at the circus

Dear Annie,



I have always found it a near impossible task to name my 'favourite book'. As a former English Literature student, I have read and loved so many that I could never pick just one. However, Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus is certainly a book which would always make it onto the shortlist. A flamboyant tale of enchantment and magic realism, it is the story of Fevvers: a famously winged aerialiste in a nineteenth century circus.



Whilst I never harboured dreams of running away with the circus (although a childhood friend of mine really did just that!), I have always thought how marvellous it would be to see a circus like Fevvers' in action. Incredible then, to discover just such a circus only a few miles away from here.



Gifford's Circus is as close to perfect as it is possible to get. It is every bit the magical and timeless show that I always imagined Carter's circus to be. Every single one of our family was utterly charmed and entranced by our visit.










We are now counting down the days until the circus returns next year. 

Love from,

Laura

PS: In an attempt to experience the circus fully, and not through the viewfinder, I deliberately left my camera at home. As a result of which, all the photos were taken on my phone using Instagram. I rather regretted my decision as it was one of the most photogenic places I have ever visited. Next year I will be back, firmly clutching my DSLR!

29.8.12

Paper Dresses

Dear Laura,

As usual I was faffing on the internet when I came across this excellent youtube videoI was enthralled immediately and even though it was fairly slow going so you could do the origami along with her, I couldn't wait to try it out myself. 

As you remember in Thailand we did lots of origami, from stars, to flying birds, to roses and even, if I remember correctly, a fish made from a banana leaf where the stalk of the leaf became a rod. We were taught by monks, students, teachers and friends. It was such a happy and relaxing activity.

I love dresses and I love material, I have far too much, so if I couldn't have material I wanted pretty paper at least. And so I made a dress



and I made some more and more and more (with the help of my sister) and we used them for place names, and I love my little dresses.


They are easy to make and so satisfying, they would make some good bunting I think!

Lots of love

Annie



27.8.12

a girl and a crochet moustache


Dear Annie,

I am so glad that you have shared some of the pictures of your wedding. It was a wonderful day from beginning to end and you were -without a shadow of a doubt- the most beautiful, classical and lovely bride that I have ever seen.


Whilst I was baking the cakes, and you were creating the decorations, there was one other piece of crafting going on. In the week running up to your hen do, my evenings were spent in a frenzy of crochet. When I saw a crochet moustache over at Kat's blog, I knew that I needed to make one for you. My initial plan had been to make one for every hen, but I had overestimated my crochet speed, and so ran out of time and ended up with four. It was enough for all the lovely ladies to try one out.


We took them with us in the evening when we went to the Milk Thistle doorbell cocktail bar, where we discovered the possibility of moustache training.



Even on your wedding day, there was a little moustache moment.


Classical and lovely. Even with a moustache!

Love from,

Laura

PS: Thanks to Ksenia for the final photo.
Crochet moustache pattern can be found here.

24.8.12

Wedding Tales and A Disappearing Act

Dear Laura,

The title of that last post should have been "best wedding cake EVER" especially as it was made with so much love for my wedding. The bees still make my heart smile everytime I see them. 

So that is one of the reasons I have been so elusive on the blog. Between a wedding to organise, two weddings to attend and work trips all across the US over the last four weeks, it has been rather hard to post let alone craft! Now I am back home and letting everything sink in and picking back up my rather more normal life. 

Here is a little sample of the rather wonderful and very happy day.










Thanks to you and Ksenia for the photos (and Nick although none of those are above) they are beautiful and provide an awesome reminder of the day. 

lots of love 

Annie

20.8.12

wedding cake of one hundred bees

Dear Annie,






The wedding cake has to be my finest ever baking achievement. Three fruit cakes (two to stack, one to cut in advance), each marzipanned and iced. To decorate them, I made one hundred marzipan bees, with dark chocolate stripes and flaked almond wings. It was an enormous relief when the cake was cut, and I discovered that it had indeed cooked perfectly right through. Baking it was a very steep learning curve, and there were some stressful moments along the way but I was extremely proud of the finished article

A real labour of love which -given that it was a wedding cake - is entirely appropriate.

Love from,

Laura

12.8.12

fancy frills

Dear Annie,










What better way to spend a Hen Party afternoon than a Knicker Making party at the fabulous Flo Jo Boutique? In a room filled with sewing machines and retro fifties styling, and with a little help from the experts, we cut, pinned and stitched. There were boxes of beautiful fabrics, ribbons, frills and elastics. There was good company and plenty of laughter. There was tea and cake in vintage china. By the end of the afternoon, there was a pile of frilly handmade fancy pants, and to finish- a glass of babycham. Cheers!

Love from,

Laura

5.8.12

a week in baking

Dear Annie,




{blueberry buttermilk cake}




{fairy cakes (self-sprinkled by the boys) }




{summer berry loaf cake}




{chocolate rice crispie cakes (with a sprinkle of edible glitter) }


I do rather a lot of baking. I find it to be a very therapeutic activity. There is the satisfaction of creating something, the pleasure of bringing enjoyment to others, and the alchemy of combining a few simple ingredients and producing something delicious. 


There always seems to be something to bake for, too. This week, it was a camping trip; a play date; a visit from the inlaws and a rainy afternoon.


I am also in the process of working on some extra special cakes- a stacked wedding cake for the dearest of friends. If truth be told, this sort of baking is a little outside my comfort zone, but with the help of my kind friend Natalie (who provided me with a recipe and her invaluable advice, as well as lending me the tools I needed) I am well on my way. 




{the first of the wedding cakes awaiting its marzipan layer}

Love from,


Laura
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