Friday, 29 April 2011

Vintage and Handmade Market

Princess Crafts will be attending the 
Vintage and Handmade Market
Saturday 30th April
at the Shire Hall (top of High St)
in Chelmsford, Essex
Free Entry

Come along and browse the selection of stalls selling vintage and handmade items.
And while you're there, why not enjoy a cup of tea and a cake at the vintage tea room?

We'd love to see you there!!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Preparation is key...

Today I am preparing for a wedding - the Royal Wedding - if you're a miserable old bore who hates the Royal Wedding, best not read any further. You have been warned!

Only 48hrs to go and I'm in the midst of baking up a royal storm for my Royal Wedding Tea Party!! There will be all sorts of deliciousness on offer and I am making traditionally British cakes. Usually my baking has an American style, so I thought I'd go a bit British for such a grand occasion. I'm making a Victoria Sandwich and a Battenburg which are both very regal cakes designed especially for the Royals of their time. I have never made either of these so it could be interesting! My mum is making scones and a coconut cherry slice which are also some of my top faves and quite British too. Not bothering with sandwiches cos who wants them over cake? Not me!

I'm also polishing my 'royal' vintage teacups - Royal Albert, Royal Worcester, Royal Vale, Royal Stafford etc - we shall be drinking our tea in quintessentially British style, with teapots and proper sugar bowls and jugs of milk too!

Everyone is to dress as though attending a wedding and we shall be sipping Champagne and Pimms after the ceremony, which we'll be watching on the telly box. It'll be a rather civilised affair, and I'm quite looking forward to it!

NB. I am not in the least bit 'British' and don't really celebrate the monarchy, but a Royal Wedding is a great excuse for a party and every party needs a theme!!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Innocent Vintage Arcade Fun

Hope you had a lovely Easter holiday weekend. We Mr PC and I had a great time and have amassed a good selection of chocolate (altho he did forget to buy me an Easter egg, but the less said about the better...). We had a most lovely Easter Sunday out together where we happened upon a great little craft fair/fete/garden sale in the middle of nowhere which was well worth the £2 entry. Have you ever gone to an event and said 'It better be good'? Well this is what we said when the lady at the gate said 'That's 4 quid please'. And we were not disappointed!!

The first thing we saw was a Slush Puppie stall, a real Slush Puppie stall, not the modern rubbish excuse for a slushie you get these days. Mr PC was overcome with indecision when trying to choose which flavour to have. The second thing we saw was a brilliant old fashioned fairground. There were Chair- o-Planes (my all time fave), a mini train, seesaw boats and then the best bit for Mr PC was the arcade games. These games were seriously old school, they even had the prices in shillings and pence, that's how old they were! Some of them didn't work but we didn't mind as they were only 2p (or a half penny) a go. My fave was the fortune teller where you put your money in and choose a question for it to answer. The brilliant questions reflect the innocent times of this game. Delightful! It's times like these that I love my iPhone (other clever phones are available) best, as I got some good snaps of these great arcade games.

Fortune Teller



Choo Choo Train

Seesaw Boats

We had a good wander and then felt disappointed to have missed out on having a stall for Princess Crafts as we didn't know about this rather cool event. Ah well, there's always next time! We had a great time as a visitor and bought some herbs and other plants for our garden which made Mr PC very happy. But the best purchase of the day has got to be the £3 for a large glass of Pimms which I had instead of a slushie. Happy days! 

Roll on the Pimms Season!!

Friday, 22 April 2011

WIP: Princess Crafts Website

Anyone who's been reading my blog for a while might know that I've reached the stage of needing to decide whether to continue with Princess Crafts as a hobby or to try to make it work as a business. I've opted for the latter and so here I am in the midst of getting myself organised and starting to wear my business hat just as often as my creative hat!

A big work in progress (for a long time now) has been the Princess Crafts website. This is how it's looking so far and I'm quite pleased with it. There's still work to be done on it (namely the homepage which has got me stumped for the minute) but it will grow with me as I grow my business and so it will always be a work in progress.

I've opted for a clean and simple style, along he lines of what this blog is about and I think it works well. Please go take a look and let me know your thoughts, but most of all, please share it with everyone you know! I would really appreciate that :)

Have a lovely Easter weekend full of fun, frolics and chocolate!!

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Mrs Thirfty's Giveaway

The lovely Mrs Thrifty is having a little giveaway so I thought I'd share it with you all! If you'd like to enter too just click on the pic below and follow the instructions!

China, China!

As my little Princess Crafts empire grows, so does my china collection! The latest additions to the collection is thanks to Hubby who picked these lovelies up at a boot fair last week.

I haven't yet decided whether these will become candles or form part of the Vintage Hire range, but for now they are looking lovely on my windowsill, and I know that they will take part in my Royal Wedding Tea Party next week.  

Has anyone else got any new favourite thrifty finds?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Yarn Fairy Pays a Visit

Last week I commented on The Girl's blog and lamented on the fact that the Yarn Fairy has not visited me. But after that I remembered she has visited me recently and left me with a massive supply of scrummy yummy yarns. Sorry Yarn Fairy, I should not have forgotten such a generous delivery. Apologies.

As The Girl mentioned, the Yarn Fairy visits us in many forms (not like the Tooth Fairy who is always the Tooth Fairy). This time, the Yarn Fairy appeared to me in the form of my Granny's wool stash and I was allowed to choose anything I wanted, which was pretty fun. Now, my Granny was a prolific knitter and crocheter and I cannot begin to explain how much wool there still is in the house. I'm talking bags and bags and bags of the stuff!! The bags are so large, I struggled to move them. Anyway, we tipped them out and then 'oohed and aahed' over the pretty colours and textures. There was even the odd bit left from jumpers and cardis that Granny knitted in the past, so it was a bit of a trip down memeory lane too.

After much deliberating, I came away with these lovelies:

I probably have about 15-20 balls of each colour so quite a stash! So much so that it is living in my loft for the time being as have nowhere else to put it! A giant bin bag full of wool!!

The original labels are still on them and some even have the prices on them. The tangerine colour is priced at 20p per ball...purchased in the 80's when 20p bought you more than it does these days! Impressive.

The wool I am using for my giant granny square blanket is also from this great stash. But my favourite of all has got to be this little ball:

My Granny made herself a knitted twin set (again, in the 80's/90's) in this lovely electric blue wool, and this is all that is left of it. As soon as I spotted it I knew I had to have it. No idea what I'm going to make with it (if anything) but I just love the colour and the texture too cos it's a bit bobbly. 

So all in all, the Yarn Fairy has been very kind to me, so Thank You! The Yarn Fairy also visited my Mum but I don't have pics of her stash yet. Pics to follow at some point.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

WIP: Crochet blanket

In addition to all the projects I'm making for my Etsy shop and craft fair stalls, I have a few works in progress for myself. Currently I am working on a blanket, and it's taking ages!

This is what it looks like at the moment:

It currently measures about 55cmx55cm but it needs to be a lot bigger, I'm thinking at least twice the size, but I won't know how big I want it to be until I see it. 

I was inspired by this blanket, which we gained ownership of when we adoopted our two cats last November. (thank you to the Cats Protection League) I really liked this blanket and upon inspection I realised it's just a giant granny square, so I thought 'I can do that!'

As my blanket gets bigger and bigger, progress seems to be slower as at the moment it's taking me about an hour to do a whole round, so that's a lot of stitches!!

The best part about this (soon to be massive) granny square blanket is that it has not cost me a penny! More about that in tomorrow's post though.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Easter pressies with a difference

As Easter is on its merry way, I thought I'd post a selection of items from my Etsy shop to give you an idea for some pressies. There's still time of place an order, but you'll need to hurry if you want it in time for the weekend!

If you like any of these suggestions, just click the picture and it will take you straight to the shop!

Use promo code EASTER to get 10% off until 26th April 2011!!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Chocolate, Guinness and Caribbean Memories

In the busy hectic madness of the last couple of weeks, I totally forgot to post about two amazing new cakes I tried! How dare I. I mean really, how can anyone forget about CAKE, least of all me!? Apologies all round.

Now, down to cake business. The first cake I have to simply rave about is from Cake Days (new book from The Hummingbird Bakery). 

Chocolate Guinness Cake

This cake is pretty amazing! I don't like Guinness but this didn't deter me and to be honest, the cake doesn't really taste of Guinness but it does have an amazing texture which I think can only be attributed to the black stuff. It has a similar texture and taste to a chocolate devil's food cake. And let's just say, it only took two days to scoff it all (it was a large cake)!! The cream cheese icing really makes the cake. It is definately a great combination and would be a good 'manly' cake for any guys who don't like munching on a 'girlie cupcake'. The fact that I put this particular cake on a really pink and flowery vintage Royal Albert cake plate probably makes it a bit feminine, but hey ho!

The second cake I want to gush about is not techincally a cake but a pie... 

Key Lime Pie

I lived in the Caribbean for a short while when I was a kid and for some reason one of the lasting food memories from this time is scoffing numerous key lime pies! I have hankered after one of these yummies for a long time and so for Mother's Day, I decided to make one for my Mum who also loved these.

I used the recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and instead of using whipped cream for the top I used Italian style meringue. And what can I say? When I dished it up, the whole table was silent for at least 5 minutes! This is a rareity in my family. It was so amazing we even had seconds! 

I urge you to try this pie. I just cannot do it justice by trying describing what it is like, you'll simply have to make one and see for yourself!

More cakes in the making in the coming weeks and if I manage to take some pics before they get scoffed, I'll share them! And, I have something really cute in mind for my Royal Wedding Tea Party so watch this space...

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Bag a Tea Cosy!

I've added a new section to my Etsy shop this week: Bags. And, there are a few more tea cosies ready and waiting for someone to take them home.

So head over to my shop and bag yourself a tea cosy! (See what I did there? I'm too funny for words!)

These two are my top favourites!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Jumping on the Royal Wedding bandwagon

How many times in our lifetime will we see a proper Royal Wedding?? I say 'proper', cos loads of Royals have got married in recent years, but how many of them are a) 2nd in line to the throne and b) marrying a regular girl with no title of her own therefore turning the 'girl next door' into a real life princess?

Just about everyone is cashing in on the Royal Wedding at the moment. Some are doing it out of pure greed to see what money they can make out of some cheap and nasty tatt but many are doing it in celebration of such a great event which comes around once in a blue moon. (Please note I am part of the second group!)

In celebration of what will be The Wedding of The Year, I have created two lovely items: a teacosy and a shopping bag!

The Tea Cosy

Many people will be having street/garden/tea parties to celebrate Prince William's nuptials, so I thought it would be very fitting to make a tea cosy using the Royal Wedding Fabric from Makower. You can't get any more quintessentially British than a tea cosy...

I bought both the navy print and the cream print and they are both equally lovely. Theses tea cosies will look fabulous on any afternoon tea, even after the wedding! If you'd like one, you can purchase it here.

The Shopping Bag

Plastic bags are ugly. There, I said it. I have always thought this and now more than ever, I am always on the look out for lovely new bags to carry my shopping in. I love saying "It's alright, I don't need a bag" and then whipping out the latest addition to my burgeoning bag collection (many people have asked me about my bag of choice, the most popular being my Dirty Dancing bag, but that is another story!).

So naturally, as soon as I saw the Royal Wedding fabric, I thought 'that would make a fab bag!'.

If you want one of thes royal bags for yourself, then pop over to my wee Etsy shop!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


...for Havering Handmade!!

It was a gorgeous day and everyone was so cheerful and happy to be there, it was lovely. I think the sunshine makes everyone feel good. I met some new people and some familiar faces were there too. The crafting community is so friendly!

The other stalls had such gorgeous things on them that I spent most of the morning coveting at least one thing from each one! I particularly loved a handbag made from vintage Japanese kimono silk but I managed to resist making any purchases. Actually, that's a lie. I did buy two cupcakes. It would have been rude not to. And Hubby and I needed something for elevenses. Hubby did buy some sausages from the Giggly Pig, but they don't count as he paid for those!

For my own stall, I invested in a cute pink clothes rail on which to hang my scarves and bags, and it worked quite well as it allowed more space on the table for the other items I had. The feedback was great and we made some sales too which is always a bonus! I still love seeing people like my things enough to pay actual money for them to take them home! That is a pretty cool feeling.

And to finish off, here are a few pics from the day:

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Anstruther = Fish & Chips

Anyone who has ever been to Fife knows (or at least should know) about the Anstruther Fish Restaurant. This place serves THE BEST fish supper ever!

Prince William apparently used to visit during his days at St Andrews, and Prince Charles and Camilla had their fish and chips taken out to them in their car once while on one of their visits. THAT'S how good this place is!!

A fish supper from the Anstruther Fish Restaurant is simply the best way to spent a Sunday afternoon in Fife...

Monday, 4 April 2011

Bonnie Scotland is where my heart is

My lack of blog posts recently is largely due to a trip to the homeland (Scotland) which was great fun and jam packed with activity! It wasn't a relaxing break (too busy to relax), but it was a welcomed change of scenery and I had the chance to visit some of my fave places. Sadly, Hubby had to stay at home in Essex to do that thing grown ups call 'work'...

Here's a few pics from my trip away:

I don't remember where this is, but it was a stunning view nonetheless!

Bill (left) and Fred (right)

Pitenweem - where my Granny was born

Pitenweem again

I also had a lovely day in Edinburgh, where I feel most at peace and 'at home', the reasons for this are numerous and that's a whole other story which I might share one day. The weather was fabulous (considering the time of year) and I had such a lovely time  I was too busy to take any pics, oops!

I'm back now and got a super busy week ahead before my first ever Havering Handmade on Sat 9th. More info on that to come soon.
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