While mum was down, it wasn’t all selling cushions at vintage fairs or slaving over burlesque costumes – just most of it! As well as altering a couple of skirts, we got to do a couple of other things too. On the Saturday, having finished my costume, we decided to bake up a storm. I love baking but never do it as often as I’d like and had really wanted this year of creative energy to involve new recipes and teach myself some presentation tricks. I still hadn’t done much so it was really nice to be in the kitchen with Mum, chatting away as we mixed and made.
I made two batches of my standard Edmonds banana cake, but cooked one batch in patty cases, and Mum and I worked together on making mini lemon meringue pies, which didn’t even last long enough to be photographed (Mechanic Man LOVES lemon merinque pie).
Actually, he’s a baking fiend in general, and most of the time when I bake he loiters in the kitchen, desperate to eat before things are even cool. I never get time to ice let alone decorate anything. I really want to put more effort into decorating my baking, just for the fun of it, so this time I told him off until he left me and the cakes alone.
The lack of decorating practice means I’m not that good at it, but I know from past experience that I’m not terrible wielding a piping bag. Unfortunately I discovered that the buttercream recipe I use is super tasty but not piping friendly, it is far too thick. So my plans for prettily piped cupcakes were abandoned and instead I smeared thick icing on everything and gave it this somewhat lacklustre set of embellishments (sugar pearls and banana chips). They may not be works of art, or even close to what I had envisioned, but after so long producing these goodies was nonetheless a personal triumph and so definitely a moment of satisfaction!
Another creative enterprise I undertook was to alter some jewellery for Mum. I make jewellery from time to time, but almost all of the jewellery I’ve made I’ve given to Mum. A couple of years ago her car was broken into on her way home from a visit with me and her suitcase was stolen. She lost three garments she’d only just finished knitting – two she’d only worn once or twice and the third she hadn’t even sewn up the seams on; all the fabric and yarn and other treats she’d bought while staying with me; a vintage rag doll pattern that was the same as one she’d had as a child that she’d brought down to show me because she was so excited to find it; and every single piece of her jewellery, most of which I’d made. It was heartbreaking.
Even if we had photos of all of the pieces I’d made her (and we had none), or I could remember what they all looked like (and I can’t really); a lot of it was made from vintage supplies that I couldn’t replace. We both cried over the losses (especially as no doubt most of the stuff she cared about most was thrown out) but next time she came to stay we started the slow process of making all new pieces. But a couple of them, and a couple of store bought pieces, weren’t working out for her, so last year she brought them down to be tweaked, since when they’ve sat in the to-do pile.
So I added some bits of chain between the beads of the blue necklace to make it less visually dense, rearranged the grey necklace to hide a discoloured bead at the top where it will be mostly behind her neck, fixed the connection on the snake on her black necklace to prevent it falling off all the time (all three of these were made by me originally), and cut chains to the right lengths and added pretty clasps for her three store-bought dichroic glass pendants and her mermaid pendant.
Not overly creative, but a supremely satisfying moment as I love Mum wearing jewellery, especially ones I’ve made, and I’ve had these sitting in my box awaiting repairs since last September! It got me all fired up to get out more of my jewellery supplies and make some pieces for me, so by the end of the year I want to have made myself a nice selection of new necklaces and earrings. So it was satisfying and inspiring!
I wish I could have done more while I was on holiday, but I had a wonderful time, and Mum and my grandmother are down in a few weeks to visit, so there’ll be more crafting adventures then!