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  1. Today I’m participating in Handmade Makers Market’s ‘Getting To Know You Challenge’. They love handmade and believe in shopping local and direct from the makers, crafters and designers themselves and so do I.

    • First up, give us a quick introduction, who are you, what do you do?  I am Helen Ross, founder of Fat Free Cakes. 
    • Give us one unusual or surprising fact about yourself, something we wouldn’t expect!  I have a degree in Embroidery but I am an Insurance Broker by day, not very exciting, I know,  but it pays the bills!
    • What are the 5 words that best describe you?  Contemplative, approachable, loyal, content, emotional (polite way of saying moody)
    • What do you make? Perhaps you are you a crafter or designer? Is it a hobby or a business? Perhaps you make something less tangible, like happiness or connections between people?  I make handcrafted towel cakes, nappy cakes, sock cupcakes, facecloth swissrolls and pints of socks, to name a few.  Basically they are useful gifts but presented in a fun and unique way.  At the moment this is just a hobby, which takes up most of may spare time, but you never know where these things might lead you in the future.............(deep)
    • Describe your normal day (if you have such a thing!)  A "normal" weekday usually starts at 6.15am when the neighbours cockrell wakes me up (it should be thankful I am a vegetarian!), then off to the day job, where I generally day dream about coming home and making cakes ready for an event over the weekend.  I have recently joined a local netball team and go to training at least one evening a week with a game most sundays, plus I go to a exercise & weigh club to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.  Life is busy but great at the moment.
    • Where are you happiest?  Either curled up on the sofa with my hubby watching a good film and sipping a full bodied red wine or relaxing on a sunbed in sunny Spain with a chilled glass of Tinto de Verano.................
    • What the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?  Every person is different, don't waste your life comparing yourself to everybody else, be happy with your lot.
    • What talent are you most proud of and why?  My husband seems to think that this should be loading the dishwasher and getting twice as much in as he would BUT I am most proud of being able to dowse for water!  Not very useful on a day to day basis but a great party trick.
    • What would you like to be better at and why? I really wish I could run or jog for pleasure.  I think I would enjoy the "me" time it would provide.
    • What would you like to have more of and why? Apart from the obvious, money, diamonds, time etc I would really love to have more clothes.  I have recently lost over 4 stone in weight and dropped 3 dress sizes so I need a new wardrobe full of fabulous frocks and outfits that fit!
    • If you could be given any gift what would it be?  Anything!  I am usually just grateful to given a gift!  I think I am quite easy to buy for, basically anything sparkly or failing that, a horse would be nice (easy, but not cheap!)
    • If you could give any gift to anyone, what would you give and to whom? I find it hard to buy gifts for people at the best of times so this is a tricky question......erm....the perfect gift to the right person (cop out)?
    • What’s the next big thing you’re looking forward to in your life?  I would really love to sell our house and move to another property just slightly bigger so I can have a separate studio/room where I can make a mess making cakes and not have to worry about clearing the room out when we have visitors.  Unfortnately the economy at present is preventing us from moving but it doesn't stop me trawling estate agents websites and dreaming............
    • What’s the item your house that makes you smile the most, maybe it’s a piece of artwork or furniture or maybe a secret culinary ingredient, cd or dvd?  I recently bought a wall sign that says "What if the hokey cokey really IS what it's all about?"  and makes me laugh out loud each time I see it.

    I  hope you enjoyed my responses to Handmade Makers Market's Getting to Know You Challenge.  They are organising the arts & crafts marquee at this weekends "Keeping it Local" event at the Oxford Castle site, which will be attending.  See the events page for more details and I hope to see you there!

  2. Found out last night that my hotmail accounts have either been hacked into or been randomly deactivated by microsoft for reasons unknown, so I have had to set up a new email account.
     
    So apologies if you have been trying to contact me by email, the address that can be found on all my business cards is no longer working so until a solution can be found to reactivate my hotmail account I will be unable to use it.
     
    Please use the contact us page to contact me until further notice.
     
    So gutted as I have just ordered 500 new business cards, which have already been dispatched with the old email address on :(
     
  3. I have not posted on here for a while now, partly because I have been so busy with lots of lovely fairs.  There are still many more lined up for the forthcoming weeks that I am manically restocking for at the moment, but I thought I would just share some images from a couple that I have done recently.  The rebranding seems to have been successful and the stall looks lovely and fresh.
     
    Old Ford Rally - The Motor Heritage Centre (22nd July 2012)
    A crafts, gifts and curios fair in conjunction with the Old Ford Rally.  The sun was shining and the cars were gleaming.
     
    We have extra long tables at this event and it was lovely not to have to cram everything onto one table.
     
    Oldfordstall
     
    We were entertained throughout the day by the lovely Retro Roqabelles, singing Motown 60s, 70s and 80s classics.

    Oldfordroquettes

    The Old Fords turned out in their masses and were gleaming in the sunshine.
     

    Oldfords

    You can have your car in colour as long as it's black.........
     
    Oldfords2
     
    Or if you want something a bit more colourful chose from the rainbow of Capris................nice..........
     
    Oldfords3
     
    Bicester & Finmere Show (12 August 2012)
     
    Again another lovely weekend, we were in the the Crafts, Gifts and Food Marquee at this well attended Horse Show.  There was plenty to see and do there including a Dog Show, Ferrett racing, Donkey rides and Fairground.
     
    Again we had a huge plot for our stalls and I like to rise to the challenge of filling it!  I had an amazing plot in the marquee, immediately opposite an entrance so had great light (a great view of the show jumping) and the cool breeze was very welcome!
     
    B&F2012stall
     
    hmmm....please excuse the other half posing!  Maybe time for some arty close up shots of the products....
     
    B&F2012stall2
     
    Cupcakes galore.........
     
    B&F2012cupcakes
     
    B&F2012cupcakes2
     
    Pints of socks and Facecloth Muffins.....

    B&F2012stall3
     
    The ever-popular Facecloth Swiss Rolls.....

    F2012swissrolls

    Of course there was the show jumping......
    F2012jump
     
    And rides with Sydneys Exploditions.........
    B&F2012carthorse
     
    I've got some lovely events coming up (please check out the Events page) especially looking forward to the Vintage & Handmade Fair at Milton Keynes in September.  Hope to see you soon!
  4. Just got back from collecting my photos from Venture Photography.
    I have had a play with some of the images and I would love to share a few with you.
     
    Helen 1
     
    This one features a posy made out baby sock buds and the colours really compliment my dress (yes that's me!!).
     
    Helen 2
     
    Cupcakes anyone??  Love my shoes xxxx  In this one I am prancing around with a cake plate full of Ladies Sock Cupcakes.
     

    Helen 3

    Lovely shoes, ladies sock cupcakes and baby sock bouquet.
     
    Unfortunately running around with cakes (even pretend ones!) attract unwanted attention from certain people....
     
    Helen 4
     
    eeeeeek!!  We really enjoyed our photoshoot and we have got some lovely shots, not only these, but some nice natural shots of me & Mr FFC that we will cherish forever.  Thanks Venture Photography x
  5. As well as the many fairs I have been attending and preparing for, I have also had a number of commissions to complete.
     
    The first was for another Golden Wedding Anniversary Towel Cake.
     
    Gold Anniversary 1
     
    A Towel cake like this would cost from £32 + P&P.  See shop for more information or email me with details.
     
    The next commission was a baby cake to be sent to France for a new baby boy.  The client did not want the cake to be made out of nappies, but clothing and blankets, but a few nappies had to find their way in to help keep the cake shape!
     
    France 5
     
    This cake costs £40 + P&P because of all of the special ingredients.
     
    And lastly but by no means least, is the gorgeous Ladybug Nappy cake.  This was commissioned for a very premature baby so included some very small nappies and also lots of useful baby items.  The ladybug itself was personalised with the baby's name in a very tiny cross stitch.
     
    Ladybug 3
     
    I think this cake is one of my all time faves x
     
    If you would like a cake like this one, one similar would cost £39.50 + P&P please email me with details.
     
    Had a great time at Bloxfest this weekend and was really pleased with how my stall and gazebo looked, decorated with my gorgeous handmade bunting.  I now have a couple of weeks off until Deddington Farmers Market. 
     
    Bloxfest Gazebo
     
    Lots more fairs and events arranged for the forthcoming months, check out the Events page for more details.  Hope to see you at one soon x
     

    Bloxfest stall detail