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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Autumn inspirations

P1020521 by Cloth cat
P1020521, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

The soft purples, greens and yellows of the heather form a wonderful colour pallette for the Autumn season. I think I will keep my eye out for fabrics matching this pallette for my upcoming Autumn wardrobe.

The View From Here - The Ring of Brodgar

P1020522 by Cloth cat
P1020522, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

These stones have stood here for nigh on 5000 years - part of a neolithic site believed to be linked to worship located on the Orkney mainland. Also to be found close to this site is Maes Howe - a neolithic burial tomb (vandalised by those naughty vikings and covered in rune grafitti inside) and a new finding - the Ness of Brodgar - reported to be a 'Neolithic Cathederal for the whole of Scotland': http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/
The view from here is stunning - so much more mystical and evocative than the overcrowed, wire-fenced Stonehenge with it's views of the busy A3.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Knight in training

Knight in training by Cloth cat
Knight in training, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

The view from here

Took big C up to Warwick castle yesterday to make up for his trip with the holiday club there being cancelled (never was there such a disappointed boy).

Much fun was had by him doing archery, knight school, talking to dragons and generally watching knights knock each other about on the battle field. I enjoyed the views from the parapet - Warwick looks like a very pretty town from up here, unfortunately I didn't have the time to see the rest of it.

Monday, 8 August 2011

At the Shalleys - New Brighton

Album 2 murraypage 009a by Cloth cat
Album 2 murraypage 009a, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

And these were our ones...

At the Shalleys 3

P1020346 by Cloth cat
P1020346, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

And somewhere to put your feet up with a good book.

At the Shalleys 2

P1020348 by Cloth cat
P1020348, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

Another peek inside the Southbank one - everything you need for a cuppa.

Shalley interior

P1020347 by Cloth cat
P1020347, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

Ah those were the days!

Photographed at the Southbank.

Down at the Shalleys 1

P1020333 by Cloth cat
P1020333, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

Another pic from the Southbank - this time the shalleys along the water front (sorry but they are shalleys NOT beach huts to me and always will be). These reminded me of the one we had in New Brighton as kids (sadly no more). We will be making a big move back there (very) shortly. It makes me wonder what memories my kids will make of the area. New Brighton is undergoing a redevelopment on the waterfront at the moment - not all to the good it has to be said (whoever thought of plonking a warehouse shaped Morrisons on the waterfront needs drowing in the briny), but at least the Lido will be returning. Who knows - maybe the council could be persuaded to bring back the shalleys some day?

All the fun of the fair

P1020350 by Cloth cat
P1020350, a photo by Cloth cat on Flickr.

Love this old fashioned helta-skelta - seen at the Vintage at Southbank fair last week. Would have loved to have a nose round all the vintage stalls too, but with two small children in tow it wasn't to be - maybe next year I'll have to sneak down on my own!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

For Japan

As I'm sure many people have been, I have been horrified watching the effects of the earthquake and it's aftermath on the people of Japan since Friday. It seems especially close to me as I have familiy over there, but really it should not matter whether I know someone there or not - the human toll is still the same. It is a strange effect of the human mind that somehow when we hear of disasters affecting 10's of thousands of people that it can seem much more distant and unreal than if we hear the story of one person. I would therefore urge people to do this - forget about the headlines of 10,000 plus people missing for a minute and imagine. Imagine a family who's house has been washed away, they do not know the whereabouts of all their friends and family, they have lost all your possessions, food and shelter are scarce, there are warnings about radiation leakage. They are frightened and have no idea what the future will hold for them and if there ever will be a normal again.

Please help those in Japan by donating either to the Red Cross:

or to Shelterbox: http://www.shelterbox.org/

Both these charities are on the ground in Japan trying to help the survivors. Your donation will be very gratefully recieved and will be put to good use.


Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Hello Kitty!

It was little C's second birthday this weekend and at the moment she is totally obsessed with Hello Kitty. Not sure quite what came over me, but I decided that along with all the rest of the organising I had to do for the birthday party I would make a batch of Hello Kitty fairy cakes. At first I had an idea that I'd just ice them on (thank goodness I didn't go down that route), but then I found a hello kitty cookie cutter online and decided to go the fondant route instead (still rather time consuming, but at least it stood half a chance of actually looking like the kitty herself). In the end, the cakes were fairly easy if rather time consuming. I started by rolling out the fondant icing and cutting out the kitty heads:

Then I did the whiskers with black writing icing and rolled balls of black fondant to make the eyes which I then stuck on with the writing icing. This was a little bit messy and I ended up getting some gum arabic to make up into a paste to stick the rest of the decorations on. The eyes ended up a bit too close together compared to real Kitty so if I were to do these again I'd start with the nose next time I think and work my way from there.

The bows were made by rolling red fondant and then using a pizza wheel to cut thin strips which were then cut to about 1" pieces. I folded the two ends to the middle, squashed them down then pinched in the sides to give a bow shape. After sticking them on with the gum arabic they were left to dry over night. In the morning I made the fairy cakes and iced them with buttercream icing then just stuck the kitty heads straight on to that. I made 24 of them in total - by the time I was half way through I was starting to curse myself for the idea!

As well as the fairy cakes I also made a hello kitty birthday cake:

This was made with butter cream icing, writing icing for the outline and fondant icing with pigment powder for the flowers.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Snow Fun

Originally uploaded by Cloth cat


Originally uploaded by Cloth cat
Now sadly missing - all that's left are the buttons and the carrot.

Snow fun

Originally uploaded by Cloth cat
You're not supposed to eat the snowmans nose.