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Getting to know you, getting to know all about you....

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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!

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