glasgow's cutest* tearoom and craft gallery

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Crafty Sunday

So it is Sunday night and I'm a tired. Fit for bed. Today was a busy Sunday. I was off selling my wares at a craft fair in Dunfermline in Fife. I was quite excited about this fair and interested to see what the craft community was like in other cities. It had been pitched as a vintage fair, but it had lots of handmade stuff for sale from my cakes to a woman who had prints and paintings on sale, her style was quite unique and you could tell she was a tattoo artist in her day job. Her dark, fantasy like imagery was quite different from my fluffy cakes and pastel coloured cushions. I liked the contrast.

I did well selling my cakes and had made a bit more variety of cakes this time including chocolate, lemon and vanilla cupcakes with either buttercream, chocolate ganache or glace icing. I love the look of delight on peoples faces when they are choosing their cupcake. They look like children and you can really see how a cupcake regresses a person when the look for the one with more icing or sprinkles or even sizing up all the cupcakes to get their hands on the biggest one.

I took a bigger variety of cushions with me today too but I think cushions are harder to sell at craft fairs. People perhaps don't buy a cushion one day when they're out I so I'm trying to think of other things to make that people are more likely just to pick up such as funky or cute tea towels and other things for the home. 

I think the cushions will do well in my craft gallery both for sitting on and selling. Hopefully customers will know where to come if they're looking for quirky, fun and pretty cushions.

This is just a short post tonight but I felt I wanted to not some of the achievements for today and some of the things I'm thinking about for my next craft fair on Saturday. I'll tell you more tomorrow.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Fabric Shopping Day Today, Yay!!!

I'm just about to get going and get some supplies for making today, but I'm taking my time, enjoying the sun streaming in my window. It really is a beautiful day today.

I'm also looking forward to spending a bit of money on fabric today to make some more items for my sext craft fair on the 27th June. This fair is in Dunfermline in Fife. It is a wee bit of a drive from Glasgow but I'm really looking forward to it. It is called the Psychedelic Circus and it is a vintage and craft fair with a whole lot of other activites going on at the same time like bands playing and catwalks. Psychedelic Circus I'm taking a stall and hope to make and sell lots of my lovely cupcakes and cushions.

So what kind of fabrics do I have in mind for purchasing today? Well, I really like the nautical theme at the moment so I like this fabric with sail boats and beach huts.

I could also do with some nice floral fabric. I've been enjoying the stripes recently and could do with a bit more variety. It is difficult though, especially when you find something you really like to make in a certain look and you want tom make lots of them!
I'll get going now and report later on what I manage to get my mitts on.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Cushions and flowers and how to make smashing homebaked bread!

Well here we are again Friday. it has been a good week. So what have my achievements been this week? Any Cushion and Cake related, well, yes. I've been busy this week making and baking so I look forward to taking you through some of the bits that have made this week particularly good.

Well I suppose number one is weather related (Scots are obsessed with weather), I've eaten outside more than three times this week. That is a pretty good number too, could've possibly been more but that was more about me rather than it not being warm enough.

I was really please with a cushion I made a couple of days ago. I love stripes at the moment and this one allows me to continue my stripey theme. It is an Oxford style cushion. I'd never made this kind of cushion cover before, but it turns out to be quite a nice one to make provided you have measured with care and taken time to line up the stripes properly. It is a rectangular shape too which I haven't done so many of. I really like it. It is on for sale if you like it as much as I do!
I'll really enjoyed making this so perhaps in a week or so, I'll post a tutorial on how to make it. It really is a lovely cushion to make.

I've baked loads this week. Yesterday a baked a lovely coconut and lime cake for my dad's birthday. It was very popular but the achievement I'm most proud of this week, is my home baked bread.
In my opinion, it was just perfect. My friend Gerry was pretty impressed too when I served it to him warm with homemade tomato and basil soup for lunch yesterday.I've made bread before but i was never terribly impressed with it, but this time it was sot on. The two things I did differently this time was I used the best strong white flour I could find. Avoid shops own brand and I started it the night before, and left it to prove in the fridge overnight. Well worth the little extra expense and preparation.
I used a really basic recipe so if you wanted to have a go, here are the ingredients.
500g really good strong white flour (please don't skimp here, you WILL be disappointed!)
1x7g sachet of fast acting yeast
2x teaspoons salt
1x tablespoon olive oil
300 ml luke warm water
  1. You need a hot oven, 220 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together then make a well in the middle
  3. Add the olive oil and slowly add the water and mix until a dough forms
  4. Get your mitts in there and really give it a good knead
  5. Once you have a nice dough which is elastic like and not sticky, put it in a bowl and cover. Leave in the fridge over night if you can to let it double in size.
  6. Next day, take it out of the fridge. It should have risen quite a bit now. You need to knead it again. Knock it about a bit then put onto your baking sheet and leave to double in size again for about 1 hour.
  7. When ready for the oven, make some cuts with a knife into the bread. It makes it look good, I'm not sure if it assists with the baking part but I do it anyway.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes. When you take it from the oven, tapping on the underside of the loaf, if it sounds hollow, it is ready.
  9. Leave it to cool on a wire rack. Don't be tempted to scoff it immediately because I think that it does a little bit of drying off on the inside while it cools so you don't get a yeasty, soggy bread.

I popped out to meet a friend for lunch today, and also to drop off a batch of large scones she wanted for her mum. They looked pretty good, I might make more later today for me! On the way home I had to pop into the florist to buy a peach rose. Stuart and I are going to a wedding tomorrow so I wanted to make him a buttonhole. I got a lovely peachy coloured rose (it goes with my peach dress ;-) ) but while I was in they had bunches of one of my favourites, peonies. They look lovely on super long stems with their big heavy heads about to burst into a big blousy flower. I took a picture of them but I can't do them justice until they start to open up.

I have so much to do the rest of this afternoon so I'd better get on it. I have to get my dress ready for tomorrow and have a think about what this buttonhole will look like. I'll post pictures of it in the making.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Monday, Monday....

So, the start of a new week and sadly I won't be enjoying any long drives for activities with diggers. I did ask my partner Stuart yesterday if he fancied a wee camping trip. He wouldn't commit. This is probably because I have camped a number of times and each time sworn that I would never camp again, but here it is, my annual camping craving has arrived. It is not necessarily the sleeping on the hard ground, roughing it or being at one with nature, but going on an adventure, just Stuart and I to eat lots of lovely food and have a barbeque ( we could probably do ALL of that however without having to sleep in a tent, it is called a picnic I suppose)

This week will be more about making. I've done lots of baking recently and have perhaps neglected all things fabric. I was very inspired by my trip last week and have lots of ideas for new cushions and other little fabric creations. Stuart is working on an online shop for me so I have to build up my stock for this project. Hopefully a successful online shop would lead to a successful tearoom and craft gallery.

I'm still to go back to the shop for lease on Great Western Road, to find out how much the renovations would cost. I'm waiting on the current business moving a few doors down. Hopefully by the end of this week I can go back and have a better look.

Another exciting project I have this week is stripping and painting a dining table and six chairs that I won on ebay for 99p. Bargain. And what made the deal even sweeter, was that the seller lived round the corner from my mum and dad's house where I will be working on them. I'm planning to paint the set in pastel colours, light pink, gray and white with one lack chair. These colours all match the wallpaper in my living room.
I like this image with my wallpaper, vintage mirror and Stuart's reflection.
I'll blog the process of repainting the furniture, it should be a laugh as I am notoriously bad (messy) with paint. I'm excited though. Hopefull I can go and look at paints tonight so that I can get started.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Diggers and Cake

I feel I have started a number of my posts with "Oh my, where did the week go?" or "It's such and such a day already" and I'm going to have to say it again. The week has flown by but let me show you where a bit of the week has vanished off to.

That there ladies and gentlemen, is a 360degree digger and the driver of that vehicle is my partner Stuart. No, he's not changed job from graphic designer to digger driver (although I don't think he's mind driving diggers for a living). He's enjoying his birthday present from me that I gave him in August. It is a digger driving experience where you go and learn to drive a big digger. He did quite well. His actions looked fairly smooth from where I was sitting in the back of a Land Rover with the camera. He said shovelling earth from one place to another was very satisfying and it did look like a relaxing activity. I'm glad he liked it.

It was a bit of a drive to get there. The digger driving place was in Lincolnshire, near a town called Louth, which was a good 5 hours or so drive from Glasgow. We both drive so we shared the drive. Louth town centre was lovely. every shopfront was in a traditional style, painted with pastel paint. There wasn't a supermarket in sight, instead rows of shops including butchers, cheese shops and proper green grocers.

I was attracted to one shop in particular where the window had a lot of handmade soft furnishings in the style that I really like. The shop owner was lovely and we talked for a good bit about her business and I told her my plans for similar in Glasgow with a tearoom. I was really inspired by some of the things she had in her shop, all of them made by one woman in particular. I do wonder how easy it would be in this stage running up to opening my own place, that I could get my wares into someone's shop. I already do the craft fairs which is moving in the right direction, but I'd like to be a bit more pro active. It is something more to think about over the week I suppose.

Our trip to Louth however was short lived. Stuart is really busy this week so we couldn't take much time to enjoy the wee town. We drove down to Lincolnshire on Wednesday afternoon, then back up yesterday afternoon. However I'm glad we got to see a bit of this town and know that we'd like to go back.
After the digger driving, I insisted that we go back to the town to ahve lunch in the Madhatters Tearoom. It was great. LOts of little nic nacs for sale as we wne tin the door, then the tables filled the room to the rear with an eclectic mix of china and a simple but delicious food menu and cakes. 

Just realised I'm in shot in this one... silly me...

I took more pictures of Louth but they were on Stuart's camera so I'll have to get them form him and add them here.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Muffins Gone Wrong!

Well I bought myself some new kitchen scales yesterday. I'd done a search on the internet and had found some pretty, light blue retro ones which would fit in superbly with my kitchen but sadly, in the end I just went for a little digital scale. My little flat is about to burst and I really don't know where I would have kept big traditional scales. I'll wait and get those kind for the tearoom.

I used them this morning however and they do work very well. I had an order of a dozen raspberry and white chocolate muffins to bake for my mum. I don't know what it is about muffins, but I just can't get them right! I had to text her and ask if she'd accept a dozen iced cupcakes...
Look at these ugly beasts. Completely mishapen and the raspberry has erupted through the middle and gone crispy! They're not fit for public consumption so I suppose I'll have to dispose of the evidence myself (they're still tasty).

So this is what mum's order looks like now. I don't know what went wrong, but there's a lesson in there somewhere...

I also made a few extra just for my brother. He is in hospital today having a bit of surgery on his knee. Get well soon Richard. The cakes'll keep him going!

I've been having a think today about the craft side of the tearoom. The craft gallery will probably not be quite 50% of the business but it is one of its features. I'm hoping to make contacts this weekend at the vintage and craft fair I have a stall at. These folk are whose work I'd like to display and sell in the gallery. I need to meet more crafty people and make more crafty friends.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Rain, Craft Fairs and Things I Like!

It is the first of June, and I woke this morning to really heavy rain and cars splashing through puddles in the street outside. Hmmm, isn't June a proper Summer month? Ugh, sorry, Scottish people receive the same bad treatment weather-wise from Mother Nature every year, still we are always a bit shocked and appauled when the rain is pouring down.

I went to a wedding this weekend, a cousin of my partner, Stuart. I was excited about this wedding because I was getting to stay in a hotel in Edinburgh and I had a new outfit. My mum kindly took me shopping and fitted me out with some lovely new togs and these awesome shoes.
So how are things going with Cushion and Cakes plans? Not bad actually. You may remember my post last week, where I was going to view a property that I had a good feeling about. Well, after having seen it, I still have a good feeling about it. The only problem is, it needs a complete reburb. The interior was like a maze with partiton walls all over the place and very unattractive shiney wood panelling on the walls. I like retro and vintage but this was NEVER cool! It'll have to go. So I'm taking my joiner uncle with me on Friday to see it again to see how much the work would cost and if I would be able to afford to do it! I'll keep you posted.

Other things this week is my second craft fair on Saturday, Granny Would Be Proud. This one is a big one. One of the two main craft fairs in Glasgow and there are around 30 stalls. It's great that it is so big but I guess the competition if more fierce. I'll be working hard this week on new creations and great cakes to have folk flocking to my stall.
Saturday 5th June, Hillhead Library, Glasgow 10am-4pm.

I'm on a continuous search for beautiful shelves. I love shelving. Especially if there are lots of kitchen goodies on them. I particualrly love this image from Maya Lee on Flickr. 
Here simple shelves support this gorgeous vintage tin with delicate trailing flowers. It is so simple but effective.
There really is inspiration all over the place for my tearoom.Shelving like this in the tearoom with its flower arrangement would be perfect.
Vintage tin can
Originally uploaded by MayaLee ♥

I'm off to brave the rain now. I need some new kitchen scales so I shall leave you with two adorable little lambs from Douglas that I met yesterday (I couldn't think how to incorrporate them into my post, so here they randomly are)
I'm thinking of some names for my new friends. Any ideas?