Hello and welcome to All things card and paper at Evelyn Mae. A place where I get to wax lyrical about all things to do with card making. From stitching to glitter, to history to whims of fashion ...

Thank you for visiting

Shelly X

Saturday, 22 October 2011

cupcakes galore!

It seems to me that there is nothing better than a cup of tea with a cupcake.  I do not need any excuse to have either, and I love to bake them.  There is something about having an individual cake wrapped just for me - I am a sucker for them!!! 

After some positive feedback about my baking from the card party guests, and the customers of the coffee shop I am working in, I have been full steam ahead this week with practising  my baking skills. 

I have beenmaking little lemon cakes ... I have basically been adapting a Victoria sponge mixture- I find that they not too dry, and with a little pinch of baking powder they rise well too.  These three were my first testers making a lemon cake, so I used 2oz of ingredients, and one lemon.  If I made this on a larger scale you could decrease the amount of lemons.  I also use vanilla in all my cakes, I find that this really helps the overall flavour.

I have taken a while to get used to the oven! It certainly isn't like ours at home, and takes a good 15-20 minutes longer of cooking time.  I found this out when the first batch of vanilla cakes sank!!  I tried to disguise it with icing, but I am sure the more practised bakers would have been able to tell!!! It really is surprising how you get on so differently with a different set of utensils and equipment, does anyone else find this? ...

I also had a go at some mini rich chocolate cupcakes. I used petit four cases, and winged it with the cooking time, but I was happy with them. They remained moist which can be so tricky with little cakes.

Instead  of butter icing, I used chocolate ganache this time. It requires equal measures of cream of chocolate, and once heated and combined, gently whisked if you need a stiffer topping.

I could eat this stuff on its own, but with the mini cakes it was lovely.  This was batch number two, and they worked well, so I am really happy with this.  

Along with some scones, the cupcakes looked lovely, and the feedback was positive.  I wish I could get more domes though .... the presentation is so much better in a glass cover rather than cling film!!

If anybody lives near Margate, it would be really really lovely to see you.  The coffee shop is in Holy Trinity Church, and is currently open 9-2 Monday to Friday.  You can find all the details about the location, and all the Church and Centre have to offer here.  

Also this week I have been making a little gift box.  My friend has just had a little baby boy, and I wanted to give her a baby grow for him, so I made something to present it.

Inside was the little baby grow tied with ribbon ....

The photo doesn't really show it to its best, but I think that you should be able to see how it is constructed, and how the ribbon ties in with the box itself.  I like the little flowers!

It has been somewhat of a crazy week, and I am looking forward to a more ordered one next week. Perhaps I will have some time in the evenings next week to get out for an evening walk wrapped up snug in hats and scarves.  We shall see!!!

Thanks for stopping by

Shelly X

Saturday, 15 October 2011

card party and beyond ...

Firstly, can I say sorry .... I only managed to take one picture from last nights card party, and I didn't remember to ask the ladies permission to publish it, so I am sharing the event without pictures of the evening I am afraid.

So, a Tupperware party with greetings cards ... turned out to be a really lovely evening.  I had a hallway full of cards which was a daunting sight. I know I had been preparing for this for a while, but I didn't realise quite how much stuff I had to take!!

I had been prepared and in hopes of making some sales gone to the bank to get some change, but what I hadn't properly prepared for was suitable boxes to display the cards in.  Sadly it ended up being a whole mixture of boxes, and in future, I will be purchasing some decent uniformed display boxes! To be honest, just to have the same boxes for each set of cards would have been a whole lot better, so lesson one learned!

Once I arrived at my hosts house, she prepared light snacks and drinks, and I set up the table. I was surprised how much space I needed.  Guests started to arrive, and some people took their goodie bags, and some didn't, and we all stood around the table, chatting and having a peek at the boxes.  In future, I think I might suggest that people use another room to chat in as well, I think the added space would have been good- and although my hostess had made the space, I should have directed everyone into it myself.  Equally, I should have been more proactive in giving out the goodie bags, not everyone took one, which made the give-away harder.

 Overall, it was lovely to hear some positive comments, and also some constructive criticism.  One interesting comment that caused much discussion was one guest did not like the term 'with sympathy' on a card, and she will always try and find a different sentiment which she found difficult.  I hadn't considered using anything other than that or a bible verse, so that's given me a lot to think about.  Also the guests commented on my mini coffee cupcakes that I made to take for my host, and they suggested that I sell them.  Funnily enough this was something I considered last year when I moved to Margate, but chickened out because there are two local companies that already do such a wonderful job at cupcakes.  But it is something I may go back to considering, especially now I am baking for the coffee shop too!

The prize went down well, especially the box of cupcakes generously given by Lindsey of Lexilou's cupcakes.  If you live in the Thanet area you should really check these lovely lovely cupcakes out!  She is often out and about at craft fayres and events, so if you see her, please stop by to say hello, and check out the amazing things she makes!

Lastly, the guests all seemed to like the bottle tag that I made for the give-away (see the previous blog here) so I think for my next card party that I will make some, and definitely will be making more for Christmas. They really do make a bottle of wine that little bit more.

I have had a few orders come in from the event, so I will be sharing these with you after the birthdays and anniversaries have passed, and in the meantime, I will be cupcake making and also making a baby boy and baby girl card, so I will catch you sometime during the week to let you know the progress I have made!

Thanks for stopping by

Shelly X 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

wine and cards

I am just stopping by the share with you a little project that I worked on last night.  After another busy day in work, and after a mountain of paperwork, I found myself looking at the bottle of wine that I am giving away this weekend..... I didn't drink it though! I decorated it!!!

I wanted to make it a little special, and after seeing this little wine bottle tag here on Nichole Heady's blog, I wanted to make one too!!  I simplified it somewhat, and it was done in less than five minutes.  It used scraps of paper, the negative image form the bottle neck hole, and a 'thanks' stamp from PTI.  That it!! (Sorry for the poor image here, the colour doesn't quite pop on the photograph as it does in real life!)

I think if I made one again, I would make it slightly narrower, but I am really happy that it was so quick to make.

More good news to report from work today ... after selling my three Victoria sponges at the beginning of the week, I sold all six that I made today!! I was so happy!!  I was so pleased with them - it is a little odd to be using equipment that I am not familiar with, and the fact that i didn't burn them, or take them out too early is a really big deal!!

My next baking work adventure will be next week where I will be making scones as requested by a customer today, and coffee cupcakes!  HHhmmmm. Cupcakes!!

I'll be back over the weekend to share the party news, the giveaway cakes arrive tomorrow, so it has come around quickly, but I am hopeful for a fun evening.

Happy weekend all X

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Mini Victoria sponge ....

I just thought I'd nip by with a picture of the mini Victoria sponges I made yesterday.

They are somewhat of an experiment, as I am not sure how long the cream stays fresh on the cakes for ... yes, packaging always says three days, but the taste may alter, so I am eating a half a cake a day, in the hopes that I can tell how long they last for!!

I can think of worse experiments!!.....

I used a traditional Victoria sponge recipe as my base and tweaked it a little, so I baked with ....

2oz margarine
2oz caster sugar
2oz plain flour
dash of baking powder
dash of baking soda
drop of vanilla essence
1 egg
some strawberry jam

and for the cream ...

dash of vanilla
dash of caster sugar
half a tub of Elmlea double cream

All in all, the taste was lovely, the sponge came out surprisingly good. I baked the sponge in silicone cupcake moulds so that I could easily remove them to make the layered sponge which also worked well.  However, I was not so keen on the cream- my Mum suggested clotted cream, and I think this would be a good move as the cakes will maintain a much better shape .....

Any thoughts?. .....

See you in the week with more experiments, and a little story about a newborn baby called Evelyn Mae!!

Take care all X

Saturday, 8 October 2011

I've missed you ...

I have really missed being so involved in blogland recently.  I was beginning to feel like part of the community and was becoming familiar with other people and their work, and its as good as stopped this last week. At present I have 192 blog posts to catch up on in my google reader, and I know that I will not be able to read them all. I may have to go through and streamline my reading list, which I'd rather not do, but I would like to be able to give the blogs my full attention, rather than skimming and not fully engaging with any.

What do you all do?  For those who work another job other than their crafting?  How do you manage to follow blogs?

Shelly X