RSS Feed

  1. Consider this your 3 minute warning. 

    Well, maybe not 3 minutes, more like a few months. 

    I have made the decision to wind down the business as I need to concentrate on my full time job and home life.  I have absolutely LOVED running Fat Free Cakes and I have met some amazing and talented people along the way.

    So with that in mind I am going to be selling my existing stock at a discounted price over the next few months.  Check out the events page to see where I am going to be.  The website will only be active for a couple more months so make a note of any key dates.  I will continue to be active on Facebook though so you can still see what I am up to on there and keep an eye out for any special offers and deals.

    If you are thinking about starting a nappy cake business or are looking to acquire any stock for your own business please feel free to contact me to see if any deals can be done.

    TTFN x


  2. Dear father, I must confess, it has been over 2 years since my last blog post!

    BUT I'M BACK!  

    I havent really been away to be honest.  I have not been slacking off but actually been quite busy.  Lots of lovely fairs and events on, we have even managed to sell our house and move to a fabulous new house in which I have a studio that doesnt double up as the spare room!  I feel so spoilt!

    Obviously when you buy a new house there are all those jobs to be done such as decorating etc and we have hitting the car boots and antique fairs hard to find some bargains and some gems to make our home more homely!

    I purchased a lovely little pine shelving unit at an antiques fair which I painted and lined with paper to create some handy storage for my studio.  The idea was to get some of the bits and pieces off my desk but to still have them fairly handy.  I also recovered my work table with some wipeable fabric.  I am quite pleased with the results.


    I have just a few fairs left for this year so make sure you pop down.  

    THERE ARE ONLY 2 MORE DEDDINGTON FARMERS MARKETS BEFORE CHRISTMAS!  So make sure you come over, the first is this Saturday morning.  We'll be cosying up in the church as usual.  Bring plenty of cash as the queue for the cash machine can get quite lengthy!

    I will have lots of goodies with me including this years festive collection:


    Festive Nappy Cake.


    Face Cloth Yule Logs.


    Hand Towel Christmas Cakes.

    Plus we will have more of our usual products for sale, which make great stocking fillers, for example:


    Cosy Sock Muffins.


    Girls Sock Cupcakes.


    Face Cloth Cappuccino Cups.


    Face Cloth Swiss Rolls.


    Hope to see you all soon!  Merry Christmas!

  3. Calling all local events organisers.......

    Craft and Gift fairs wanted!!

    It has been a very quiet year for me so far.  I have recently started a new full time job and I simply havent had the time or energy to look for new craft fairs and events.  In some ways it has been really nice to concentrate on the new job but I am now starting to look towards Christmas and usually by now my diary for November is filling up fast, however, I still have a few weekends available.

    I have also received notification that the MK Handmade & Vintage Fair usually held in September is not being held this year.  Dont fret though, it will be back in November.

    We have a couple of fairs coming up in the next couple of months.  Keep checking the events page for further developments.

  4. Sorry I have been very quiet on here as of late.  I am still getting over the Christmas lull and trying to get myself back into "baking" mode.  I have not been completely idle during this period, however, as I have been working on commissions (and typically forgot to take photos...) and creating new stock ready for some of this years events.

    My first fair of the year will be at Deddington Farmers Market on the 22nd February.  At this time of the year this fair can be quite quiet and very dependent on the weather, which has not been very co-operative recently.  My stall, however, is situated within the church, which is dry and cosy and hot refreshments can also be purchsed there.  The market needs your support to continue so do please pop along, you wont be disappointed.  See here for more details and news about the market.

    The brilliant MK Handmade & Vintage Extravaganza is on again the following weekend.


    I will be featuring my new nappy cakes and there will be a few gift ideas for Mothering Sunday which falls on the 30th March this year.  Watch this space for a sneaky preview!  The fair is free to get in and with 120 stalls it is definately worth a visit.

    Is it wrong that I've bought a new outfit for this event?

  5. Back in December 2012 I got myself a swanky "new" Android phone and the first App I added to it was Instagram.  I was instantly hooked.  I loved how you could take a simple photo and make it look beautiful but adding filters and cropping the pictures.

    If you wish to follow me on Instagram my user name is moodymare33 - see here :

    I have selected a few of my favourite pictures from there to do a review of my 2013 Instagram experience:


    It snowed, it snowed a lot!  Infact the snow kept coming until late March.  Despite being a complete nuisance it did look lovely.  It was also my birthday at the end of the month and I baked some delicious Apple & Cinnamon Muffins to celebrate with.  One of my oldest friends, knowing my passion for cakes and crafts, hand stitched me a personalised Birthday card which I loved.



    February was quite a quiet month for me.  I spent the month designing new products for the forthcoming fairs including the Sock Cake Pops and attending Deddington Farmers Market.  I also found time to experiment at some vintage hair styles in preparation for some vintage fairs I was to attend along with Goodwood Revival.  



    The first weekend in March I attended the MK Handmade & Vintage Fair in Milton Keynes.  As I have mentioned before I absolutely love this event and the weekend in March exceeded my expections.  The fair has such a great atmosphere and a great selection of stalls that I hope never to miss one in the future.  It also saw in my new banner featuring me!



    Again a very quiet month, but I managed to attend a couple of smaller local fairs.  I love doing these as you get the chance to meet some lovely people including the other stallholders.  We don't gossip, we "network".  Fact.

    This fair was in Moreton-in-Marsh.  The sun came out in what felt like the first day this year and it started to feel like Spring was on it's way at last.



    At the beginning of May Mr FFC & I took a trip to Spain for a couple of weeks to celebrate our 4th Wedding Anniversary.  Unfortunately the good weather we had been experiencing in the UK did not last very long and the chill followed us to Spain.  The latter week we were in Spain the sun finally made an appearance and I was able to enjoy some Horse Riding through the stunning Andalusian countryside.  The sunshine also made a guest appearance at the end on May in the UK also.  The apple blossom was beautiful and a good sign for a bountiful crop.



    June saw another MK Handmade & Vintage Fair and you can see from these pictures how happpy I was to be there!  The weather was also starting to take a turn for the better.  We took another trip to Spain to see my parents who live over there.  There is a field behind their house that is constantly changing, we went once and there were masses of sunflowers, another time there could be corn growing, the field may be freshly ploughed and streaked in the various different shades of terracotta that it prevalent to that area of Spain.  This time, however, the field had been left to seed and was amass of wild flowers and teaming with nature.



    July was an inferno.  The crazy weather in the UK means that one week it can be snowing and the next we have a heatwave.  My parents came to stay with us in July to escape the extreme heat they have in Spain.  Epic fail.  They turn up on the day our long lasting heatwave starts.  I got some super shots on my regular camera from some our long evening walks we went on during this month, but for some unknown reason I did not share them on Instagram.  I have shared a few pictures from July in an earlier blog so I will swiftly move on to August.


    Still balmy and warm, we all went to an old friends wedding "up north" and enjoyed a lovely church wedding followed  by an informal "picnic" style reception/party back at their house.  The weather was perfect, the venue was perfect, I was pleased with my outfit and wish the happy couple all the best for the future.  My parents went back to Spain towards the end of the month and I celebrated a day off with the "girls" (aka Marilyn and Audrey).



    Another MK Handmade & Vintage Fair came in September, which meant another outfit and another hairdo!  We also went down to Goodwood Revivial and stayed at Bognor Regis.  Bognor is very shabby chic, a nightmare for nice places to eat, but it does have a beach, a pier and have a very vintage seaside feel to it.  It was our first time at Goodwood Revival and I think we were a both a little overwhelmed by it all and hadnt appreciated just how busy it was going to be.  We both dressed up for the occasion and I had my hair done at the salon there.  We even had a proper photo taken of us.  I hope to go again, just probably not in 2014 as it is quite an expensive event to visit once you have factored in accommodation etc.




    It was starting to get busy in October for Fat Free Cakes in the build up to Christmas, with fairs nearly every weekend.  One of these fairs was the Oxford Bake-Off.  Of course it would have been rude not to sample some of the cakes on offer!  Lemon cake counts as one of your five a day doesnt it?



    I had fairs pretty much every weekend im November and any spare time I had was spent creating more stock.  Whilst my parents were here in the summer my mother taught me how to crochet and I started to make a granny square cushion cover using variegated wool.  Because of the thickess of the wool and the size of the hook it took form very quickly.  It is now complete and is a really lovely cuddly cushion.  I also fine-tuned some vintage hair dos.



    During the run up to Christmas I include the ever popular cosy sock muffins in my stock and was having to make them in their dozens.  I have a few of these left and they will be for sale up to the end of February (unless we have a freak heatwave, then they will be totally inappropriate!).  

    I loved my Christmas decorations this year.  I had decided to change the colour scheme this year from pale aqua, silver and purple with lots of sparkle to a more rustic Scandi style in red, grey and white.  I bought a few new decorations but decided to make the rest.  So I made yarn baubles, crochet mini granny hexis, crochet snowflakes and wrapped hearts.  I also found some old decorations that my mother had made and I was really pleased with the whole effect.  

    We spent Christmas in Spain again and got spoilt rotten by my parents.  The weather was a lot better there than it was in the UK as you can see from this picture of the lovely Pia who still looked fabulous post-ride, unlike me....


    There are obviously more photos on my instagram feed, please do take a look and follow me!

    I do note that there are a few significant gaps in my year, so I am making it my challenge for this year to post at least one new photo a week on Instagram.  Hmm just got one day to go to get the first done!

    I hope you have enjoyed my quick round up of 2013.  Looking forward to 2014 now and the new adventures it will bring.

    See you soon x

  6. I know it's only the beginning of December, but I wanted to get this in before the end of the year.

    It has been a strange year.  We have actually had "real" seasons this year, a snow covered Winter (i know it did overlap into Spring a bit too much!) and a scorcher of a Summer as opposed to cold, wet and windy all year round that we have been used to in previous years.  


    My experiences with various Craft Fairs and Events this year has also been a bit of a mixed bag.  

    Over the years I have become more aware of the types of events that have proved to be more successful for me and which ones to avoid.  For example, I absolutely love attending fairs at Historic/Manor Houses, the atmosphere at these events can be magical if done well, and my most favourite of all at Milton Keynes in the Shopping Centre, where you are almost guaranteed a good footfall.  

    MK Nov 13

    Dress: Hearts & Roses
    Cardigan: Blue Banana
    Brooch: Fanni Loves Fufu

    On the flip side, I have also realised that fairs held at and run by schools are less worthwhile for me.  I have nothing against these events and I know many crafters have some of their best sales at schools, but I generally find that for ME they are not worthwhile.  The same goes for ANY outdoor events.  This year has been exceptional with regards to good weather, except on the day of Bloxfest, where I gave up even trying to set up my stall due to the high winds and impending rain.  I did not get a refund for this event nor do I expect one as it was my choice not to stay, but a loss was made that day.  Unfortunately the UKs usual weather is just too unpredictable and unreliable for me to take the risk.

    Many of the events that I have attended this year have been outstanding and sales have even exceeded those from the same events in previous years.  Is this a sign of a change in the economy at last? Are more people realising that handmade is better than mass produced?  Or, dare I say it, have Fat Free Cakes become more desired, appreciated and understood?

    BUT before I blow my own trumpet too much, I must remember that where there is light there is shade, where there is good there is also bad.

    Unfortunately, some of events that I have attended this year, because the previous years have been successful, have struggled.  The footfall was poor, the sales were minimal and the overall quality of the events were lacking.  Is this due to a lack of advertising, are craft fairs generally becoming more unappealing, are the venues difficult to access, wrong time of the year, too far from Christmas, too close to Christmas?  

    I just don't know what the answer is, but you never can tell until you get there.  "Suck it and see".

    Some of the fairs that I have attended this year, an entrance fee was charged just to get into the event, which I feel is fair enough, IF it was for a venue that you would normally pay to get into,  but unless the entrance fee for a general craft fair goes towards a very worthwhile charity or cause then I feel that this puts a lot of customers off going, especially these days when our utility and fuel bills are increasing at a terrifying rate and we are having to be more careful how we spend our cash.


    (Stunning plants at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens)

    I have mentioned this a hundred times, but it is so much better attending craft fairs and buying a gift for someone that is original, handmade and beautiful than some of the mass produced tat that some of the larger high street shops are churning out this time of year.  Just because something is handmade it does not mean that it more expensive or of less quality.  In fact it is usually the complete opposite!  Plus with a Fat Free Cake you also get something that is useful too!

    I think this sums it up:

    Buy Handmade

    I only have one more fair booked in for this year, which is the ever brilliant Deddington Farmers Market and Church Stalls on the 21st December 2013 and we are jetting off to Spain for a much needed break immediately afterwards.  Oh and yes it is free entry into the market and into the church, but make sure you bring plenty of cash because this popular event is very well attended in December for all it's lovely fresh produce and last minute gifts and the queue for the cash machine gets quite long!

    I only have two more Christmas Cakes available this year, both in white towels with red flowers, so unless they are snapped up in the meantime, they will be available to purchase from me at Deddington for only £18 each.

    Christmas White

    So that just leaves me to say:

    "I would like to wish all of our customers, fellow stallholders, fans and family a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from us all at Fat Free Cakes!"

    I look forward to seeing you in the new year.

    Helen xxxx