Thursday, April 25, 2013

Friday Smiles ….Afternoon tea at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast.

This is  Episode Two of our trip to Belfast ( two more to go!!!! sorry) …this was the afternoon before the wedding … and I hope the food lower down the post will make you smile as it did me, when I first saw it.

The entrance ....
  I did wonder what the significance of the name of the hotel was …seemed strange but I suppose no stranger than the Ritz or Savoy in London …but when I researched it, it all was clear …in its previous life it was a bank ….not just any bank though … the Headquarters of the Ulster bank.
The site that was acquired in 1836 was  at the heart of the mercantile and commercial centre of Belfast. It was not until 1857 that the decision to build was made by the bank directors  and then 60 designs were offered up for consideration….the brief being that it should appear elegant, substantial and prosperous. Glaswegian James Hamilton’s design was chosen and the wonderful building was completed in 1860 using Giffnock Sandstone from the quarry in Glasgow.

A local man, George Crowe, created this amazing plaster work within the main hall, with its cherubs depicting Science, Art, Scripture and Music.


Sadly it later fell into disrepair  but in 2006 it  reopened, totally  transformed into a luxury 5*  Hotel …more work was carried out in 2010, but the original construction is  a listed Grade A  building and it really is magnificent.

Now lets get to the food part  ….the part that will bring a smile to your face I hope….. My belated Mothers Day pressy from Emma and Steve.

Afternoon tea  …(.certainly not for the faint hearted )….started  by us choosing which leaf tea we would like. We each chose a different one …Emma being the most daring and me not. I was expecting an elegant china ‘tea for one’ pot… instead a silver 6-cup tea pot arrived  … for each of us.

 Then we were each served with a selection of  5 dainty-ish sandwiches …no crusts obviously. While we began to enjoy these, two silver cake stands arrived laden with goodies.

This was for Emma and me ...Steve had one of his own !!!!

 Each of us had a plain scone and a fruit scone neither of which were tiny, served with a dish of raspberry conserve , a pot double cream and one of lemon cream….not sure if much of the plain cream was consumed as the lemon one defied description …all I can say is OMG. There was even  a small piece of Banana bread too.
Then there were the patisseries …five each … of a 2-3 delicate bite sized wonders of  delicousness…..A small macaroon filled with chocolate ganache …a piece of chocolate sponge with a real a chocolate top ….a choux pastry swan … a lemon and raspberry tart …and a fruit mousse ’thingy’ with a curl of decorated chocolate on top. The last two were my favourites.

This is the moussey one...Steve cut his open so I could share it with you ...he knows me well.
I hope this food brought a smile to your face as you imagined devouring it ...or is this just too cruel.
Take Care xx

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

WOYWW 203 and The simple card that caused so much deliberation.

 I wanted the card to have a connection to the wedding  ….and as you may have seen on the last two posts …although there were some traditional elements …it was not conventional .
The bride was not in a white long dress ….the groom was minus a jacket … the cake was ‘Dr Who’ themed and blue  …. and there were Japanese origami cranes every where …which they had been folding for months….not forgetting little Lego touches

I hunted through reams of paper....stamped and embossed ….and then cut out the elements …and finally coloured the fan with Pro Markers.
Emma insisted there was no colour scheme to the wedding but I picked up that yellow and blue was to feature quite a bit. …she is not a flowery fussy person …and loves things Japanese …. so this was the end result......

 ...and this is a better shot of the necklace I made ... to go with the jacket I wore.
Sorry I still have no desk over flowing with creativity... but I do  feel strong stirrings within ….I want to make more jewellery ….obviously scrap the wedding . I have an urge to try tapestry again …and I found some Ikea mirrors that need playing with but first I have to gird up my loins and gut my space. My biggest problem is getting rid of the things I don’t use …in case I need them …one day …but I am discovering that certain things do not stand the test of time and may have to be binned before they were ever or barely used  and I know I still have a ton of paper boxed up in the loft ….not sure why I ever bought most of it ….its going to the craft department of a local hospital…..must have been suffering from a very bad Stash Addiction.
  The stuff I love, I will keep and it will last for years ... with little top ups of course.

Wish me luck in my quest for tidiness and organisation.
Take Care xx

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wedding part 2 ....a few more photos

Moments captured by others

This was a table setting ...before anyone sat down ..I wanted to show you the material  Fortune Cookies Emma made (look closely, they are on the little plates)...each one had  words of wisdom and a Hershy kiss inside. Each gentleman had a decorated tin of mints,each lady, a fan and each child a bag of Dolly Mixtures.Earlier the children were also given a Fun Bag with little toys and sweets inside. Under the centre piece were pages from old damaged books ...another touch that makes it personal ...Emma loves literature.

 The green canapes were the HOT ones ...the others were yummy

 Ben loved the fan and did not want to give it back

This was one of the hankies placed on the chairs at the ceremony ...hand stamped by the couple ...she probably made them too.

 An exhausted Olly with Grand dad
A happy Jay and Kris
 And this is one of me just before we left for the wedding...I hate having photos reminds me I'm getting old ...that's the necklace I was making.
 This is Manny ....Kris' Teddy bear ...who had to come dressed appropriately.

And here are two tired little chaps with their Dad, at the end of the very long day ....  beautifully captured by Best Man, Neil.

Take care xx

Sunday, April 21, 2013

THE WEDDING ....The first, and most important, part of our time in Belfast.

I could bore you with  so many photos but these few I hope will give you the flavour of the Wedding. There were so many details that made it Emma and Steves special day ... even to the lack of jackets ....I know I must have missed some of them.
Jake, Ben and Olly were the page boys ...led in by the bridesmaids ...Emmas best friend and then her sister ...and then her mum was in charge of Olly!!!!

Click on Photos for a better Look

 Emma looked gorgeous and her proud Dad gave her away ....the dress was pale yellow with deep yellow petticoats and sash ...she decided finally on fresh spring flowers which her Mum made into bouquets and button holes.

 Here they all are ....Alex and Neil...the best men, are childhood friends of Steves ....Olly was missing because he wanted to play with the paper cranes.(there are some to the left)
 After the actual wedding we had  drinks and canapes of which was very hot I had to have another drink!!!! mean while Emmas cousins played a little traditional music and we all chatted.
 The fresh flowers of Emmas bouquet  were stunning were the decorations ....all made by Emma and put up by herself, and the bridesmaids with a little help from Jay and a couple of friends.
 These cranes were all folded by Steve and Emma and are a Japanese token of good luck
 They were every where ....I think there were a thousand in all ... of every colour and size.
Some were made from music paper to remember my husband and Emmas paternal grand parents who were musicians

 The invites and order of service had the 'geek' touch and there was a hanky on each seat stamped with 'For Your Happy Tears', and a flag to wave ...all made by Emma ....probably helped a little by Steve.
Lets not forget the tables ....designed by Emma ....and the centre pieces ....made by Steve and Emma.
They were paper roses with tiny cranes sitting on them ...and a tiny Lego figure hidden in them which matched the table name.

 And then there was the Wedding  Cake ..... made to strict instructions.

The symbols on the cake are the language of the home planet of 'Dr Who' ....I will check the meaning but I think it is their names and something about you can see there are more cranes ...and the bride and groom are Lego to represent Ireland and the other England.

The meal was fantastic ...and large ... A chicken and bacon Caesar Salad ....Potato and Leek soup (to die for) ...Roast Turkey Dinner with everything you could wish for on the plate including the best ever Mashed potato ... and finally Profiteroles and ice cream.
There was Red wine and White ....and a non alcholic bottle too ...and champagne for the toasts....phew I had so many drinks the time I left I had consumed about 12 ....usually 4 knocks me out!!!!

Steve is not a dancer and Emma hates being in the limelight so this all was almost painful for them but they did take the floor for a first dance

I would love to tell you more and show  photos of the grandchildren ....and even one of me ...but ones of me are on Jays camera and will come on another post..

Please .....Raise a glass to the new Mr and Mrs Browning

Well done Emma .....all your hard work paid off was a wonderfully different wedding ....and we really enjoyed ourselves.... thankyou xx
Take Care xx

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

WOYWW 201 card yet ...but a peek at a necklace.

This is where I am working ....note the large box of sweets on the right ...the GS's of course !!!.

 I have 3 days to make the Wedding Card ….  still not sure what I’m doing ….I’ve had a great time playing though ….shame the card will not be as amazing as my head imagined it to be … .lol

I mentioned  last week that I had been playing with beads …here is a sneak peak ….I’m getting there ….slowly.

I have made this short and sweet ….. but  I do want to say sorry  that I only visited about 25 of you last week. The same again  this week I’m afraid, as I’m off to Ireland early Monday and I’m still not properly organised as to what I’m wearing to the wedding ….so what new.???? but I did spend an hour trying on things so I think I'm almost there. As no-one is wearing a hat I need to come up with something to do with my ever lengthening but rapidly thinning hair ....I have a glimmer of an idea ...just need to play....not sure I am a Fascinater lady.

Take Care xx

Friday, April 05, 2013

Friday Feline and Easter Smiles

 This is dear Sayba …she has adopted this spot, over the radiator, this winter …and is just about willing to share it with a soft toy and dinosaur money boxes.

A couple of posts ago I spoke about our ‘Gentle men of the Road’ ….well here is Strippy who called by a few days ago  for a bask in the sun …while it was shinning …. and a stroke. Alice has been around almost every day for some food ...bless him
 Nahla aka Puppy is  sure  The Easter Bunny dropped these baskets of to help with the hunt;
 Why did that furry thing leave chocolate in such an undignified place???????

Robbie after the hunt ...looking at his hawl
 Kris getting down to the eating of his.
Hope one of these brought you a smile drop over to Annies at a Stitch in Time for more.
Take Care xx

PS Kris was so sick later were Vicki and Jay ...still not sure who had a bug ????

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

WOYWW 200 ....Wow where have the weeks gone ....Have you Missed me???

Just dropped by to say .... Hope you at WOYWW had a brilliant Easter.
The grey cells of creativity are beginning to 'shuggle' ....I think this was a word my Mum made up but I could be wrong.

 I have a card to make and this is my experimental play with  some new stamps ....not sure what I am doing yet but I'm getting a glimmer ....need to play with gold and silver embossing powders next ...wish  me luck.
Oh yes ....nearly for got I have started playing with beads ....shhhhh ....don't tell any one.

Just thought you might like to see my Easter edible goodies.
I really should not have had any but I'm eating them slowly.!!!

Nice to be back ....will drop by next week, hopefully with more to show.

Take Care.xx