Friday, March 30, 2012

March Foodie Penpals

I heard about Foodie Penpals on Twitter via @ThisIsRockSalt, and as I love food & getting mail, I had to get involved. Basically you get matched to someone who will send a parcel to you and someone who you must post to, you then get in touch to find out a bit about them, get a parcel together costing no more than £10, then pop it in the post by 20th of the month. Then we all post our reveals on the last day of the month.

You can find out more (and sign up) on

My foodie penpals were @RosieOutlook and @JEN_DUB. I recieved this lovely package from Rosie. Including a handwritten letter and post cards.

Personally I think she got it spot on! I had these great cupcake cases - ideal for the upcoming jubilee celebrations...

...delicious homemade white chocolate and cranberry cookies along with a cookie recipe book...

This lovely strawberry and cream tea.

And dark chocolate drops.

So, thank you Rosie! I loved my package and I really hope Jennie liked hers.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Quilling with the WI

On Tuesday we held our first proper meeting of Gowerton WI where we had a quilling demonstration. I was expecting it to be quite old fashioned, but the work we were shown was amazing. Especially the 3D work. We even got to have a go ourselves - here's my gift tag.

I remember trying quilling when I was younger and making plenty of flowers, but none fringed like the one above. It has really inspired me to get back into crafting and I have found some really gorgoeus quilled pieces on the internet and already have some ideas. So the day after our WI meeting I stopped by Hobbycraft and picked up some supplies. Apart from the book, quilling is a fairly cheap craft to get started with, especially as you can start with cocktail sticks and pins and don't really need the tools (although they do make it a lot easier).

As always I am looking forward to getting started and will definitely be adding a new quilling board to my Pinterest account. Stay tuned for some quilled projects in the future. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

FO Friday: Nannie McZee card

It's been a while since I've done anything crafty - let alone finish a project! As last Sunday was Mother's Day, I wanted to do something nice for my Mum as she has been so great with looking after Evie while I'm at work and helping out in the house. I looked everywhere for a card that would fit, but none of them were 'right'. So I decided to cross stitch one.

Here is a card for our fabulous 'Nannie McZee' (a play on Nanny McPhee).

And for that truly professional (personal) touch.... no card would be complete without a maker's mark.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Wonderfully Welsh @ Swansea CCC

Thursday, March 1st saw the first meet of Swansea's branch of The Clandestine Cake Club. The theme was 'Wonderfully Welsh' as it was being held on St David's Day, and the venue was Waunarlwydd Rugby Club.

We had 8 people & cakes booked in with a few guests, unfortunately 2 people had to pull out last minute, so we ended up with 6 cakes & 8 cake enthusiasts (plus 2 babies).

Here are the cakes:

Chocolate & Brains Beer Cake - a Welsh take on a chocolate & stout cake - with buttercream icing by @cupcakesbyrache
Shirley Bassey - a chocolate cake with salted caramel & peanuts by @gowercatering
Bread of Heaven - a low fat carrot cake with mascapone & creme fraiche icing by @p0we
Daffodil Lemon Cake - a 3 layer cake with lemon curd & buttercream, topped with a welsh cake & daffodil by Victoria
Chocolate Lovespoon Cake - Devil's food cake with vanilla buttercream by @writingforfun
Red Velvet Dragon cake - triple layer of red velvet chocolate sponge with a meringue frosting by me
All of the cakes looked gorgeous and tasted really good! We all had a good chat but ate dissapointingly little cake on the night! By the time we had tasted each of them I don't think anyone could face much more, luckily we had all brought some of the largest tupperware boxes I've ever seen! So there was plenty of room to take cake home. One thing I really enjoyed was that most of us (if not all) had never made the cake they brought before so it was new to us all, luckily they all turned out really well and we had no disasters.

We now plan to swap recipes so, Swansea CCC members, feel free to blog about your cake or add details in the comments below for where to find the recipe and I'll add the links to this post. You can stay up to date on all things Swansea CCC related on this page and I invite you all to join the Swansea group on the Clandestine Cake website too .

You can find more photos on my Facebook page.

We are planning to hold the next event in May and if you are interested you can either stay up to date via the Clandestine Cake Club website or email me your details rhian [at] rhiandaniel [dot] co [dot] uk and I'll send you details when available.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Joining the WI

As you will know from reading this blog, I love knitting, baking, cooking, anything crafty and spending time with friends. So I have always been somewhat fascinated by the Women's Institute and their values - empowering women and bringing back some of the 'old school' skills that some women feel they lack these days. The promise of sharing skills, meeting people and having fun very definitely appeals to me. But, like a lot of people, I felt I was too young for the WI, until I recently turned 30. And even then I have found out there are a number of young WI members in their twenties.

A few things have led to me being involved in starting a new WI. Becoming a Mum, turning 30 and getting back in touch with an old school friend.

Becoming a mum and turning 30 have improved my confidence and  encouraged a 'just do it' attitude. It has made me look a bit harder at my life to see what I want to achieve and who I want to be. And it was my friend (@gowercatering) who asked if I would be interested in joining the WI and helping her start a new one during one of our 'stitch n bitch' sessions in the pub she runs.

I'd look at the WI briefly but didn't look too hard into whether there was one close enough to join, so when I was asked, how could I say no? We've had 2 meetings now with WI organisers who are helping us get started with WI Gowerton (we may come up with another name) and our first proper meeting is on Tuesday 13th March. The plan so far is to meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, arranging a speaker for one meeting and an activity for the other.

I can't wait to get started and am really looking forward to meeting people and trying new things. If you are interested in coming along it costs £31.50 per year and we are meeting on Tuesday 13th March at 7:30pm in the Coffee Shop in Gowerton. The first meeting will be a bit of a 'get to know you' session and chat and it really is the more the merrier!