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We all know that the lord moves in mysterious ways, and I’m not talking about Sauron. Important news source Buzzfeed brings you a body of documented evidence so compelling that even the most hardened religious cynic could not fail to see the miracle that is ‘Jesus‘s face appearing in food, and occasionally the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus, I think. No, look at is this way. No, see, there’s his beard…no, look there, no see, that’s his eyes…no, THERE! I am not mental’

See the full post on Buzzfeed here.

Banana Peel

Naan Bread

Marmite

Potato Chip


HIPSTER CHEESE. Finally, some aspirational and stylish snacks for your modern miss. This idea from Cute Food For Kids is just divine. I’m going to make some. I suggest you do, also.

Check here for a simple tutorial:

Cute Food For Kids?: Mini Babybel Cheese Girls.


This Christmas, my family agreed to do homemade gifts. It was my idea. I thought it would be fun and a bit more meaningful. Also economical. I have since added ‘exhausting’ and ‘foolishly labour intensive’ to the list of related adjectives. I should have started six months in advance. I worked by day. I worked by night. At first, I was bereft of inspiration. Then I was struck suddenly and randomly by blunt pieces of inspiration. Fragments of ideas that didn’t actually fit together in any useful way. I was not organised, but it came together. My love for the hot glue gun deepened.

Most fantastic were the gifts made by the other members of my family. This post I shall feature only one; my Mother Shirley’s astoundingly clever set of Russian dolls, hand painted, lovingly detailed and bloody hilarious.

Finally, I have my own doll!!!

Me as a Russian doll

Imagine how my little face lit up when my mother handed me a (non-lifesize) Russian doll, painted to look like ME. The man trapped inside me turned out to be none other than my brother Joe. I’m feeling a soap opera coming on, because when I looked within Joe; it was our younger brother Stephen that I found! who turned out to be our mother, who was actually my daughter, Mia, who was in fact concealing her small brother Arlo within her personage, who in turn, revealed Maia the cat. This was the coolest gift EVER (albeit a little creepy if you get into it too much. See above). Ma Synnott also made one for my partner Ian, who some of you may know as Dr Glam. Ian is a David Bowie aficionado and glam rock geek. My blogging alter-ego, Carmen Dioxide, will be posting about the amazing ‘Glam Rock Russian Dolls’ shortly on the good Dr’s site.

For now…meet the Synnotts!

Meet the Synnotts

A man trapped in a woman's body


Earlier this year, my partner and I undertook a big fat mutha of a project in the form of turning my daughter’s 6th birthday party into a music video shoot for the Dr Glam kid’s song ‘Chocolate Spider’. It sounded simple enough, killing two spiders with one stone. Less expense (snigger) and less work (stage volume belly laugh).

It sounded so easy…and it was SO much work. Having zero budget really exercised my creative muscles. There was the spider costume, which my clever aunt helped me to make. We simply stuffed two pairs of black tights, attached them to my daughter’s black top, and segmented these legs with string. Then I tied the extra legs together with black elastic to give the costume movement and shape. It worked so well. Here’s a still from the shoot:

The set was of major importance and we used a great studio that we were so happy to get for a song, thanks to our friend Virginia. Luckily, there was a green screen already there, so I made a happy woodland picnic scene with branches, twigs, spider web, green fake fur and huge paper blooms. Thank you Martha Stewart for the tutorial!

Set - Work in Progress

My daughter Mia and I made an effective production line to create the party favours. These gold noodle boxes were perfect. Mia wrote each friend’s name on a little leaf and added them on at the end.

The party favours were gold noodle boxes decorated with felt daisies. each contained heart-shaped shortbread cookies.

These chocolate spider cupcakes were the stars of the food table.

Bite them before they bite you

I’ll add my best chocolate cupcake recipe when I manage to get my recipe section up and running. They were turned from mild-mannered, plain cupcakes into spiders by adding liquorice legs and spooky, yet comical icing eyes.

The whole day was an amazing adventure for the kids, and some of the fancy dress costumes were truly inspired. Special mention must go to my friend Kate’s homemade costumes; her son was a caterpillar with legs made from stuffed odd socks (now you know what to do with those widowed socks) and her daughter was a penguin complete with peaked cap beak. Ingenius!

Watch this space for the full music video in glorious technicolour…


There will probably be a number of times over my lifetime where I will say ‘You know, my mother was right about that/this’. She is a knowledgable woman and a sage giver of advice. Just what situations might one assume I am talking about? Well, perhaps my kid will eat that soap made to look like cake. Or maybe the black would have gone with more things. Yes, I should have called ahead to confirm, and maybe sea kayaking with my brothers did end in tears and not being able to uncurl my fists for 48 hours…

And if my mother has taught me anything useful in life, it is that clowns register their makeup with Clowns International by having an artist paint their portrait on an egg which is then stored at the Clown Egg Registry. When mother’s right, mother’s right.

My research yielded the following facts:

1. The British Clown’s Egg Registry is in a place called Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset. Yes, you read that right. Why didn’t I know this before? And what is a wookey hole? Well, like hobbit holes, but for wookeys (the old english spelling, no doubt).

2. Clowns, unlike most humans, actually lay eggs. As most humans fear clowns, they have evolved into asexual beings that reproduce just once in a lifetime, laying a small egg that will eventually crack open and about twelve clowns will come jumping and tumbling out. Just when you think they are all out, often one more will appear. And then another. And another. It truly is one of nature’s most majestic and hilarious sights.

If you actually want to read some real facts about this rather fascinating subject, click here. Yes, I think that is comic sans. Well, they are clowns.

Did I mention that the eggs are incredibly beautiful??  Luke Stephenson’s work says it best:

                       

Bunny Rabbit

Once in a while, a piece of fruit, a vegetable or even a chip comes along that you know is special. Maybe you’re peeling carrots for dinner and from the depths of the bag, you see what appears to be a pair of disembodied and rather shapely carrot legs…or perhaps you are strolling through the produce dept. and you notice that a particular coconut is smiling knowingly, just at you…

Carrot Legs

Why, only the other evening did my partner arrive home to discover that there was a particularly jocular-looking mushroom stalk amongst us. I had saved it from the jaws of my stir fry and we were horsing around, taking photographs and sharing a joke, when Ian walked in on us…luckily he saw the funny side, and we all became firm friends.

A Really Fun Guy

These magical creatures exist, right under our noses. We only have to look carefully.

Kind Coconut

Freakish natural anomaly or message from the universe? Its up to us to decide, I suppose. I took this dolphin chip to be a symbol of human kind’s decimation of all marine life across our beautiful and majestic planet. But you may just think ‘Oh good, a crispy one’. The truth is, just like life, its all about the eyes we see it through.

Deep Fried Dolphin or French Fried Freak?


I am a big fan of CraftFail. Heather Mann has some brilliant ideas, and dear God, do those fails amuse me. Its like America’s Funniest Home Videos for craft, in case you haven’t yet had the pleasure.

So, one day I’m lurking about on Twitter, wondering why nobody ever mentions me, when I see a tweet from Heather that says:

‘Cupcake bakers, I respectfully request you NOT use the large round piping tip when frosting with chocolate.’

Tell me about it! I tweet back, realising that this is my time to shine. I shared this picture with Heather;

The Offending 'Poo Cakes'

You see, I didn’t just use the large, round piping tip. I made my own with a plastic bag. I don’t think that these cupcakes could have looked any more like turds if a dog had made them. Anyway, here is the resulting CraftFail magic.

Thanks Heather! Something tells me that we’ll be speaking again quite soon…



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