Hours of Fun

Craft and Haberdashery Shop – Bringing crafts to all ages, inspiring creativity and imagination

Make sure you are receiving the latest news straight to your inbox March 11, 2013

Filed under: How to........,Learning the web,WordPress — Rachel @ 8:39 am
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To all my lovely followers who receive this by email.

It seems that when we transferred over to the new blog it has not accepted the email addresses for those already subscribed to the Hours of Fun blog.

We would love for you to continue following us and the best way to do this is to get any new posts sent straight to your inbox.

Please can you click on the link below

http://www.hoursoffun.co.uk/blog/

The click on the floating follow button which can be found at the bottom, right of the page.

Enter your email address, click ‘sign me up’.  Then all you need to do is confirm your sign up by checking your emails.

You will then be signed up to the Hours of Fun blog from its new home, receiving all the latest posts and crafting and cakes fun straight to your inbox.

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We have moved!! Hours of fun blog has a new home February 13, 2013

Filed under: How to........,Learning the web,WordPress — Rachel @ 7:09 pm
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HOURS OF FUN HAS A NEW HOME

You may have noticed we have been extremely quiet over the last couple of weeks here on the blog.  We have been working hard to move the blog to a new site.  We are hosting and managing the blog all by ourselves rather than WordPress.com  doing it and its all been rather tricky!

We have finally got the blog set up in its new home and are ready to go.  We still have some work to do on how the blog looks so you may notice some changes when you visit.  We would love to hear any feedback or comments you have on the new site.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEW BLOG

If you follow Hours of Fun blog please make sure you follow the link to the new blog and follow there, otherwise you will miss out on all the fun we have!  We tried moving people over ourselves but it seems to only work if subscribed by email.

Whilst we have been busy trying to understand and learn computer language, we have still had fun with baking and crafts and now have lots to catch you up on.

new blog site wordpress org hours of fun

A sneak peak at the new site as it looks 13/2/13

 

 

Last craft fair of 2012 Gosnargh Village Hall January 18, 2013

With the Christmas countdown running here on the blog in December, it didn’t leave much time for blogging about other things that were going on.  On Sunday 16th December Hours of Fun appeared at Gosnargh Craft Fair for the last event of the year.  The event was organised by Craft Promotions who do a number of events around the North West click here to visit their Facebook page.  In the run up to the event I had been liaising with Geoff from Craft Promotions and he was super helpful and put up with all my questions!

My friend Kelly has offered to help out for the day and the plan was the night before we would go out for something to eat and a couple of drinks, home not too late then up in the morning for the fair which sadly started at 10am, as you probably are aware by now I much prefer 11am starts!  As is often the case, the night before did not go quite to plan…..we ended up having far too many drinks, dancing to the early hours and getting to bed much later than we should have!

We arrived at the fair and very slowly unpacked and set up.  I am not really a drinker and rarely have a glass never mind a few glasses which meant running a craft fair with a bit of a hangover was a new experience for me, thank goodness Kelly was there as we managed to keep ourselves highly entertained with it all as we took regular breaks and Kelly treated us to a bacon sandwich.

The day went quite quickly but was disappointingly quiet with only a few people through the door.  Feeling a tad rough I think actually helped us through the day, I am not sure how we would have coped with a mad rush of customers!!  Not the most professional and business dynamic approach I realise!

I had fantastic support again with my mum and dad coming to visit, along with my brother, niece and nephew.  Chris called in and Lorraine popped over just in time for packing up and a big thank you to my mum and dad for giving Kelly a lift home.

There were some fantastic stalls there and lovely people.  We did some Christmas shopping and I managed to get some of the last few presents on the list from some of the fantastic stalls that were there.

Not sure I would do the location again but I would definitely consider other events run by craft promotions.

I have really enjoyed the crafts fairs of 2012 and I will be looking to book some for this year, to continue the weekend adventures off to a local village hall or football stadium, set up shop and have a fantastic day.

Thanks again to all those who have supported me at the craft fairs, I look forward to seeing you all at this year’s locations.

 

My new Wilton cake tins – Butterfly and car – fun with shaped cakes January 16, 2013

For Christmas I was super spoilt and I was given 5 new cake tins as presents.

I got a butterfly tin, a 3D car tin, a wavy effect tin, a 3D bear tin and a giant donut tin and I can’t wait to try them all out!    Luckily we have quite a few birthdays in January so this presents me with the perfect opportunity to get baking.

So far I have tried out the butterfly and car tins and they are both amazing.

For my sister in law’s birthday she was given a butterfly cake.  I wasn’t sure on colours and themes as I had only thought about using the tin and not how I would decorate it.  I therefore decided to go with a Hollywood 50’s theme as Fin had been looking at a Hollywood 50’s murder mystery evening.  This meant pale colours with symmetry which was perfect for butterfly wings.

I had been thinking I would cover the butterfly in ready to roll fondant however I decided last minute to go with piping butter cream as this seemed to be the recommended and normal way.  I was on with making my own piping bags and got colouring some butter cream.  This is not my forte – working with butter cream and I still need some practice on colouring and getting it the right shade etc.  I also had a limited supply of butter cream as I had to ensure I kept enough for the christening cake, so once the main colours were done I then had to proceed adding a new colour to what was left over which did result in a grey colour for round the bottom of the cake and board!

butterfly for fins birthday

I then tried my new car tin out for Dewey’s birthday cake.  I again went with the butter cream piping for decoration and stuck with blue as the colour for the car with Dewey being an Everton Fan.  I even decided not to give the car red brake lights as it felt wrong piping red butter cream onto a cake for Dewey!

blue car for dewey first use of tin (3)

They both need a little practice and my piping skills need to be developed but practice makes perfect and I am going to enjoy using my new tins lots.  I did get the mixture amounts the wrong way round for the tins and ended up losing the bottom part of the car and its wheels.  I use a 6 egg recipe for an 8″ round cake and I think this would be perfect for the butterfly tin, and a 7 egg recipe for the car tin which is the same as an 8″ square cake.  I will try these next time and check it works.

 

Baby Blue Christening Carousel Cake January 14, 2013

I have never attempted anything quite like this cake before.  It was a carousel cake with 2 tiers of cake stacked with a carousel scene for the top.  The carousel itself was tricky to find, well we made it tricky!  I got Lou Lou on the case too and we both came across the Wilton carousel set but on the box it’s all multi-coloured and I needed blue.  With us both being new to this we didn’t catch on that this carousel actually comes in plain white and you can then decorate it any colour you like!!  Wilton's carousel cake topper

Once this had been sorted it was time to purchase the carousel and have a play with it.  It came in 15 pieces and was super easy to assemble; decorating it with sugar paste however was a little more complex!  It was my first time sticking fondant to plastic and it went pretty well and I even managed to wrap strips of blue icing round the carousel poles for a fab finishing touch. 

Blue ribbon eeffect round the poles

Blue ribbon effect round the poles

The cake was delivered to the venue and the decoration looked fantastic with balloons and banners.  The cake was given pride of place on the stage with the massive banner and it looked fab once all set up. 

Pride of place on the stage

Pride of place on the stage

The cake was 2 tiers of vanilla sponge with buttercream and jam filling.    It was covered in baby blue icing, decorated with hearts and diamonds.  It also gave me the opportunity to use my heart stand, which I only thought of the morning of delivery.  I don’t get to use my stands very often so I jumped at the chance and it worked fantastically, as the stand lifted the cake up to the top of the banner.

I am really happy with my first cake challenge of the year.  Here’s to many more challenges and new skills learnt.

Balloons and banners decorated the room

Balloons and banners decorated the room

 

Heart stand gets an outing!

Heart stand gets an outing!

 
 

Hours of Fun 2012 Annual report for the blog! January 3, 2013

WordPress put together a summary of the year for the Hours of Fun blog and it always makes for an interesting read. 

A big thank you to all those who have commented and supported me along the way (Kev is super chuffed to have made it to the top of the comments board!)   I love how much my blog is growing each year and that there are people all over the world visiting it for all sorts of different reasons.  

I had 7200 people visit my blog in 2011, this number has grown to 20000 people in 2012 that is an impressive increase which I would like to thank everyone for.

Wishing everyone a fantastic and prosperous New Year and a BIG THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

I ask you stay with us through 2013 which promises to be an exciting year with lots more cake adventures kicking off next week with a new challenge, along with the Hours of Fun shop growing and expanding further into the world of crafts and haberdashery.

 

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 20,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

 

Hours Of Fun Craft Countdown To Christmas. Make Your Cork Reindeer – 1 Day To Go! December 24, 2012

Hours of Fun are counting down the days until Christmas by sharing a different Christmas activity each day.  Starting on the 13th December with the last post being published on Christmas Eve.

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me………A super cute cork Christmas reindeer!

Make your own Cork Reindeer.

Glitter pipe cleaners catch the light

Glitter pipe cleaners catch the light. Made by Chris

As it is Christmas Eve I wanted to pick a Christmas activity that was lots of fun and doesn’t require lots of equipment and tools.   Make your own Cork Reindeer is lots of fun and fantastic for the kids and adults to get involved in.    I learnt about these delights when my friend sent me a picture, saying look what we have made in work today.  I thought they were fantastic and looked a lot of fun to make so I placed my order for corks (although you could open a bottle of wine for the occasion!) and decided I would put a little kit together to take with us on our Christmas visiting.  We are going to get our nieces and nephews involved in some cork reindeer making and take enough supplies for the adults can make one too as I am pretty sure they will want a go!

To make 1 cork reindeer you will need

What you will need

What you will need

1 x cork

2 x pipe cleaners

1 x small pompom (or you can use tissue paper or tinsel)

2 x googly eyes (or you can draw them on with a pen)

Glue

Scissors

I have always had a pretty decent craft kit however since having a stock room in our spare room I am lucky enough to have easy access to lots of supplies.  I had everything I needed already in, although I had to head to the stock room for some pipe cleaners and my friend got my corks from Wilkinsons at a bargain price.  If you don’t have one of the items listed above see what alternatives you can find about the house.

To make a cork reindeer

Cut the pipe cleaner you are going to use for the Reindeer’s legs in half.  The wrap each pipe cleaner around the cork, twisting at the bottom to secure to make the legs.  Shape the pipe cleaners to help it stand up.  Wrap your other pipe cleaner around the front of the cork, twisting at the top to secure.  You can then shape your pipe cleaner into the Reindeer’s antlers.  Glue the google eyes in place and stick on the nose – hey presto you have made a cork reindeer.

You will need it to dry for a while to make sure the eyes and nose stay in place.  Then stand it on the fire-place or tie some string around it and hang it from your free.  It you use glitter pipe cleaners they will twinkle in the Christmas tree lights.

 

 
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