Archive for 2012

December meeting - It's My (Christmas) Party

Monday, 10 December 2012 § 0

On a rainy and cold night in Leeds we had the warmth of Christmas spirit for our Buns & Roses Christmas meeting.  Unfortunately not everyone was able to make it there, including Hayley and Gemma who were stuck on the M62 in snow on the way back from Manchester and didn't get back in time to join in with our festivities.

There was an incredible spread of food including a fabulous cheese ball from Susan Spence and some great cakes and moose biscuits from Sam Cullen - thanks to all the Roses who contributed to the Fuddle.

High Spirits Choir in some lovely Christmas jumpers then performed for us some festive songs including a special Buns & Roses version of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Official Buns & Roses Magician Magic Al then made his way around the room and showed off some of his awesome magic tricks.  He even did some mind reading tricks - very spooky!  Al was also kind enough to draw our raffle which had some amazing prizes such as:

£20 Fazenda Voucher
Tea for Two at York Cocoa House
Bettys Coffee & Tea
Abel & Cole Organic Vegetable Box Voucher
£5 Japan Crafts Voucher  
And an amazing knitted scarecrow!  

Thanks to everyone who kindly donated raffle prizes.

The rest of the evening was a lot of fun chatting, crafting and eating. 

Merry Christmas from Buns & Roses and see you in the new year.

November Meeting – Florence (Nightingale) and the Machine.

Thursday, 22 November 2012 § 0

Our November meeting was Florence (Nightingale) and the Machine, a talk from Marianna Shapland from Leeds  Women’s Health Matters.
Marianna spoke to us about the many groups and information services which Women’s Health Matters supports, from its work with women who are experiencing domestic violence, to its ‘SEEN’ group for people with various disabilities and its ‘SHINE’ group which provides information about sexual health.
As well as giving us lots of information about these groups she also gave us information on sexual and breast heath, including showing us a mock-up breast with lumps to show us how to feel properly for potential problems.
Marianna also explained to us the value of the clothes and items we had donated, telling us how much they will be welcomed, and how urgently they are needed.
Afterwards Marianna took questions from people and expressed that if anybody did want to volunteer with them, supporting people with English, emotional support or just generally helping out to contact her at Women’s Health Matters. She also told us how essential all donations of winter clothes, hats, scarves, umbrellas and hot water bottles are, so we will be doing another collection for them at our December meeting.
Find out more at: Leeds Women's Health Matters

November Book Club

Saturday, 17 November 2012 § 0

By Lucy, B&R Secretary and Book Club Leader
When I joined Buns & Roses in 2010 I hadn't realised that they have their own Book Club and I was really pleased that they did - it would give me the impetuous to make sure that I finished a book by a deadline as well as giving me suggestions of books to read that I might not normally encounter (at the first meeting that I went to we discussed Jam and Jeopardy by Doris Davidson which was certainly a different read)  and have a chance to chat through them with friendly ladies eating cake. 

We meet at the Tiled Hall Cafe which is next to the Art Gallery and the Leeds Central Library. It's a really pretty venue and they serve gorgeous cakes - Earl Grey tea loaf, scones with clotted cream and jam, Caramac cake and neapolitan sake.  They also serve a great selection of drinks including wine and beer and my favourite - Suki tea - I love the Russian Caravan which is like a milder slightly less smoky lapsang souchong.

Our last book club was really fun - we had all finished reading the book that we were discussing - The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky which we all enjoyed. 

The Buns & Roses Book Club is really friendly, we don't worry if someone hasn't finished the book, or indeed if they hate it that's fine too!  Everyone is fine to voice their opinion and most importantly it's fun - we talk about what we think of the cover of the book and who might play certain characters in a film version as well as discussing more technical things like characterisation and plot.

We all agreed that we liked how the book reminded us very much of being teenagers and in particular Susan who is from America said that it really reminded her and felt very well written and representative of her time in high school much better in comparison to some other books that she has read in the past.  

Sam who was new to Book Club mentioned that she had read the book slightly differently as she'd seen the film first, but really enjoyed the book and actually hadn't expected the form of the book to be the series of letters that are presented.

In terms of characters we felt that they were all very "real" and had a lot of sympathy with the main character - Charlie - and genuinely felt as though we were taken on a bit of a journey with him and saw how he developed.  

Lianne had been worried about how the ending of the book would transpire and how some of the fairly serious issues would be handled, but actually felt that it was effectively written.

We all enjoyed the book and I found that I really enjoyed the references to different music of the time and how his teacher recommended different books for Charlie to read to help him develop both intellectually and emotionally.  I loved how one of these books was A Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger as the feel of this book was very similar to that, but the characters were much more likeable.

We tried to think of some Christmas-themed books for our December Book Club meeting, but went for Life of Pi by Yann Martel instead and will be meeting at 2pm on the 16th December at the same place - you are welcome to come and join us.

November workshop - The Card Birds

Sunday, 11 November 2012 § 0

Our November workshop wasThe Card Birds - a Christmas papercraft extravaganza!

One of our Roses Alex Spence was leading the session. Alex is an Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and a very talented crafter. She makes some yummy cards, hosts papercraft workshops and classes and sells Stampin' Up! products.
You can see more of Alex's projects and find out about upcoming classes on her blog: My Cards and Crafts.

Here are some of the gorgeous samples she brought along ...
And here she is demonstrating how to use the Big Shot die cutting machine.
Our Roses got stuck into the projects - working on three different cards and two cute gift boxes, just the right size for a chocolate to hang on the tree!
And here is Sam with her finished pieces.

October meeting - It's a History (Talk)

Friday, 26 October 2012 § 0

Our October meeting was It's a History (Talk) with Nicola, curator for Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Nicola came along to inform us about some important women of the city and their role in the suffragette movement.

We heard all about Leonora Cohen, who was known for smashing the case of the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London and survived a hunger strike in Armley Jail. In fact, she was never officially released from prison and this was only discovered many years later when she went back to Armley Jail as a magistrate!

There were many interesting tales about Leonora and other activists, and some of the letters and news reports from the time were rather amusing. 

October workshop - Chocolate making

Monday, 15 October 2012 § 0

Unsurprisingly our chocolate making workshop Livin La Vida Cocoa was fully booked and so we had 34 lovely ladies join us to make and enjoy some lovely chocolate.

First of all we got to taste the chocolate we were using which was gorgeously creamy milk chocolate and came in chocolate button form.  Laura from York Cocoa House showed us how to make a ganache (chocolate + butter + double cream heated to boiling point, poured over and mixed together) along with a possible folklore tale of how ganache got the name (boiling cream + clumsy French man + chocolate = swearing/exclaming "ganache!").

We piped out the ganache into what can only be described as "dollops" and then they went to be cooled in the fridge.  

We then tempered some more chocolate buttons for making chocolate lollies and dipping our ganache to make truffles.  What do you think we used to melt and temper the chocolate?  I can bet that you weren't thinking hair dryer!  Surprisingly this worked really well and we used melted chocolate to make lollies which we decorated with orange, lemon and strawberry flavoured chocolate buttons and sprinkles - yummy!

After making a lot of mess "shaping" the ganache and then dipping in chocolate we then put our creations into  plastic presentation bags (sampling quite a few along the way thank you very much!).

September Workshop - Charleston is My Darling

Saturday, 6 October 2012 § 0

Our Secretary Lucy gives us the lowdown on the September workshop …

I have two very left feet and am born with the clumsy gene, so I was much happier being the spectator of arguably our most active workshop to date.  The lovely (and very energetic!) Al from taught us the basic steps for a solo Charleston, so no partners were needed and no toes had to be stepped on!  

Al first of all demonstrated a very scarily fast dance and impressed us all, but helpfully broke the very complex-looking dance into easy to remember chunks of movement including such moves as "the mess around" and "the itchy".

By the end of the workshop everyone could perform two solid minutes of Charleston with instantly recognisable moves - impressive!

Who needs partners when we can dance this well solo!

September meeting - Diamonds are Forever

Friday, 28 September 2012 § 0

Our September meeting was entitled Diamonds are Forever and was a particularly dazzling session.

We were joined by jeweller and diamond expert Robert, who told us all about how diamonds are formed, explained the four "c"s that help to determine the value of a diamond, and gave us lots of tips for looking after our precious jewellery.

We learnt about some of the most expensive diamonds ever found and how they have shaped social history.

Best of all, Robert brought along several pieces of diamond jewellery for us to try on, including a 3 carat £19,000 ring. It was beautiful! We also got to see the marvel of a "hearts and arrows" diamond. This is a stone that has been perfectly cut to exact mathematical proportions, and when viewed under a special magnifying glass you can see a geometric pattern of hearts and arrows.

It really was a truly spectacular evening.