Sunday 29 January 2023

Making A Cake Stand For My Daughter

 Now if you read this blog I don't have to tell you how much my children love baking. They're obsessed. 

And one thing that has helped fuel that fire in all of us is bake off. We watch it every year as a family, I don't watch huge amounts of TV but always enjoy things we can watch and enjoy together (Lego Masters Australia, Pottery Throwdown, ghosts and taskmaster are the others).

For Christmas this year my Middlest asked for a cake stand to display her cakes on. I thought this was a great idea and also something I could make. 

I also thought it would make a great magazine article and video. So that's what I did. 

I turned the project a few times to really get into it (so if you want to buy a cake stand click here), and it's got a great mix of turning on the chuck, with a bit of spindle turning. Using a wood like ash means you can bring out it's natural beauty as well. 

My daughter was really pleased with it and it has displayed a few cakes (and tarts) already this year!

If you watch the video let me know what you think! 

Do you have a cake stand for displaying cakes or ever had one in the past?

Friday 27 January 2023

Kitchen Carnage!

I often get comments about how much baking happens in our house - I don't even share all of it, probably about a quarter! 

Some nights it's absolute carnage in the kitchen. All of us cooking, every surface full of food! 

It seems to be if they're at all bored then the kitchen is often their first stop! And they love recipe books and finding new things to try! 

It's always a bit mad and messy in our house but it's great fun. 

Wednesday 25 January 2023

Tool Sharpening Lesson

With the handle made he was desperate to sharpen the tool up and make it so he can use it. 

I talked him through the whole process, and as he's only 7 I'm not sure how much he'll remember but he listened so attentively.

Monday 23 January 2023

Making A Tool Handle With A 7 Year Old

 So my lad has been keen to make his V-Tool ever since he got the kit I made him for his birthday

So last weekend we started to make it. Drilling out the blank for the handle then getting it on the lathe. 

Saturday 21 January 2023

A Photobox For Mum

 I made a few Christmas presents this year. I made a photo box for my mum and dad. The idea being that all the families could print some out and put in there each year. 

Stupidly I didn't take any photos of it finished! But here's one before I made the inserts. 

Thursday 19 January 2023

Russets Are Best In January

 Now this is just my opinion, but I think russet apples are at their absolute peak of edibility in January. 

The ones in our store are looking brilliant. 

Tuesday 17 January 2023

This Years Heritage Seed Library Seeds

Before Christmas I picked the ix packet of seed I'm allowed as a member of the Heritage Seed Library

 They always have some really interesting ones to pick from. There was a few that stood out to me.

I couldn't pass up on a bean called "Old Homestead", seems very fitting for this blog. 

The Oden Longstanton Leek is said to grow up to 1.5m tall, I'm not sure how good of a crop it will be, but it'll certainly be interesting to grow.

The other was the potato leaf tomato "Belhomme's Fortuna", there's something about growing a potato leaf tomato I find interesting. The gene that stops the lobing of the leaves is a recessive gene so it's not that common, they look different but one smell is all it takes to know it's tomato. 

Sunday 15 January 2023

Tools For A Seven Year Old...

It's sometimes hard to decide what to get children for their birthdays, especially when they're so close to Christmas.

For the boys birthday this week I had a really good idea though. 

He loves spending time in the workshop with me, either carving or wood turning. 

Friday 13 January 2023

Another Birthday Cake

Another year another birthday - This week the boy turned seven! He had his party last weekend and that meant a whole host of 6 and 7 year olds for an hour and a half of bedlam!

It also meant another birthday cake! This one is no Peppa pig though...

Tuesday 10 January 2023

Willow Wands As Party Favours

Our boy had a birthday party on Sunday. It was pretty full on, a whole class of 6 and 7 year olds! 

He wanted it magic themed (I'll share the cake soon) and so we decided to make some willow wands to give to everyone in their party bags. 

Years ago we used a local weaver to make some for the bags, but now we have enough willow growing to have a go at making them ourselves. 

Sunday 8 January 2023

Latest Magazine Article - Bar Skittles

Back at the beginning of the autumn I made a bar skittle set for a magazine article for Woodturning magazine.

It was a lovely project to make, a little repetition, but not too much, and a few harder bits to turn (the pole without a steady rest for one). 

But the bets bit was playing it with the kids and the outtakes! 

Saturday 7 January 2023

Peak Porridge

 I think I've reached "peak Porridge" now. This is the perfect breakfast! 

We have a grated russet apple (shared between us) from the store, dried damsons from the pantry, frozen cherries from my friends farm in the summer and raisins (no idea where they're from). Then cooked organic oats with goats milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar or honey on top! 

I've always been a bit breakfast obsessed and think it's really important, I can never understand how my wife can just miss it out, but then I've always worked manually (although she does plenty of walking around in her job). 

What's your best way to start the day? (sorry this is a repeating theme!)

Thursday 5 January 2023

Worlds Biggest Bread Bin - Making Christmas Presents

My mate has been on about building a bread bin for the last, oh I don't know, four years...

Every time I hint at some available time in my workload he asks if his bread bin is on my list of things to make! It's become a bit of a running joke between us. 

The trouble was it was always huge. So it always put me off, the kind of job I know there's no money in making and would take too long to just do as a quick job. 

Tuesday 3 January 2023

Books Read of 2022

 Now I'm a bit of a book worm. So is my wife. Arguably she is worse than I. But we're both happy intertwined together reading a book each late at night. We've been terrible this holiday period, one night we stayed up until one in the morning, neither of us able to put our books down! 

It reminded me of when we went round Europe in an ambulance I had converted into a camper van and how we both read so much. I worry that scrolling on my phone stops me reading as much as I used to, but I still get through quite a few books. 

The other day my wife posted on Instagram all the books she had read in 2022 and I thought it was a really fun thing to do. So I manged to move all the covers into a folder in my phone and post them as well. I'm fairly sure I've missed quite a few from earlier in the year but I've managed to find 45 of the titles I've either read or listened to. 

Sunday 1 January 2023

Happy New Year! (And December Walk About Video)

 We had a lovely start to the New Year with a nice easy evening with some friends in the village, the children playing and watching a few films while we saw the New year in. Today has been a very lazy one, but things will have to pick up a gear next week as everyone goes back to school (and I go back to workshop work). 

I did manage to film a quick walk around the garden last night before we went out. I think it's interesting to see the garden after our cold snap, it's affected some veg pretty badly, and making me realise that I was probably far to complacent with mild winters of the past. Oh well, a good learning experience! 

Hope 2023 brings you all you need. We have one big change coming as our eldest will be moving up to secondary school this year so I'm sure that will bring many parenting adventures!

Thanks again for reading my blog, it's the encouragement I need to write it all down and I love looking back at old posts, it's a diary of sorts and has created many opportunities for me, but would be nothing without support and comments. Thank you! 

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