I'm shocked to realise that it has been over a month since I posted on here, and even that post was wordless, so it seems I have some catching up to do!
December is finishing quietly at Dottie HQ, but the start of the month was far from quiet...
I created a limited run of Christmas ornaments for the goodie bags at The Secret Vintage Fair
Goodie bags are given to the first 25 people in the queue for the popular vintage and retro event, and since we couldn't attend this event, I wanted to make sure that fair goers could still get a Dottie Dollie treat to take home with them.
Meanwhile, we headed down the motorway to Christmas in Winchester. Since my early childhood, I have spent many, many weekends there, as my Nan's younger sister lives just a short walk from the town centre.
I was very excited to be trading at a massive craft fair in the beautiful Guildhall.
Winchester really has the Christmas spirit going on, the town was packed with visitors, the Christmas market and ice rink in the Cathedral grounds are a real draw.
We had an amazing weekend, meeting new customers, eating out, shopping, spending time with family, and even checking out an exhibition of Japanese Cloisonné enamel at the Discovery Centre
Bowl, Unsigned; Nagoya, 1912-26
Gift of Edwin Davies
Gift of Edwin Davies
As soon as we got home, I had a lot of work to do, as we were having a pop up day at our permanent home in GO4 Market Café
I love this place so much, it's so friendly and packed with unique handmade and vintage items. You can also enjoy home made food, and fabulous coffee all in a fabulous disused church
GO4 joined in late night Christmas shopping too, so we had to keep popping in to top up the stock levels.
I had a lot of fun with the Christmas tree at home, adding lots of handmade items amongst the baubles
Then Mr Dottie had to go into hospital, for a pre-booked operation, which meant I had a lot of running around to do, posting orders, looking after the GO4 Bureau shop and of course hospital visits!
We were very pleased that he made it home in plenty of time for Christmas, and we've had a much quieter time of things since then, whilst he gets back on his feet again.
I also managed to squeeze in time to make ginger bread, and I thought you might like the recipe too.....
450g Plain Flour
3tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Baking Soda
3tsp Ground Ginger
175g Soft Brown Sugar
175g Black Treacle
175g Golden Syrup
1 Egg, beaten
1. Grease and line a 9" square baking tray ( I sue a silicone tray, it's easier to clean, and sticks less)
2. Preheat the oven to 160c/150c for a fan oven.
3. Melt the Stork, Sugar, Treacle, and Syrup in a medium pan, gently, then cool a little.
4. Sift the Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Ground Ginger into a large mixing bowl.
5. Mix the beaten Egg and Milk together, then pour into the cooled syrup mixture. Then add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until it is smooth and glossy (I use an electric mixer, on a low setting).
6. Pour the mixture into your prepared tin, and bake in the centre of the oven for about 90 minutes, or until a skewer placed in the centre of the cake comes our clean. (Check it from about 70 minutes just to make sure it doesn't over cook) The smell in your house at this point will be absolutely amazing, and so festive!
7. Remove from the oven, and cool in the tin on a wire rack, this may take some time, as the cake is dense, and quite large....
Wrap the cake in baking paper, and some tinfoil, and (if you can mange it) store it in an airtight container for a week to allow the flavour to develop. Some how that never quite happens in our house! Although a cake this size does last beyond a week, even when we share it with the neighbours.
I'm looking forward to getting back to work, as I have loads of beautiful jewellery ready to head off to Etsy, and I have so many things that I want to make too...
I also have a new friend, keeping watch on me from the bookcase, whilst I plot a makeover for the bureau shop