31 May 2012

Best Of British: Eton Mess Recipe

It simply wouldn't be a British summer without an Eton Mess!

Today we thought we would share our favorite recipe for this simple and beautifully messy dessert as it is the perfect combination of strawberries, cream and meringue. Fantastic for a last minute parties and making with kids too; plus if you're feeling like a bake-a-thon you can even make your own meringue!  But for those who love a treat in a tick, here is the recipe without the hassle...

You will need:
a box of meringues 
a tub of fresh strawberries, hulled
a rounded tablespoon of icing sugar
a pint of double cream

To make:
Chop up all your strawberries into quarters. Pop half the strawberries into a blender with the icing sugar and whizz until you have a puree. Sieve to get the seeds out and set it asside.
Whip the double cream 'till it starts to go all floppy. Yum yum! 
Now you are ready to dish it up :D
Smash your meringues into around 1 inch pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl.
Add in your strawberries, then fold the cream in and around it all.
Add in a couple of spoonfuls of the puree and gently fold to give the mixture a marbled effect.
Spoon into a serving dish, or tea cups like we do, and pour more of the strawberry puree over the top...
Then enjoy!

It really is that simple, that carefree & messy and that tasty!
We hope you give it a try as it is seriously worth the (lack of) effort!
And if you're having an adult's party, you could even add a splash of Pimms to the puree. How very posh! Thank goodness Delia shared this recipe as we don't know where we'd be without it :)
What's your favorite summer dessert?
Is your mouth watering yet?


29 May 2012

Blimey! Free Printable Cupcake Toppers DIY? Huzzah!


Today we thought we would share some lovely cupcake toppers for you to use during your Brilliantly British afternoon tea parties! Featuring some of our favourite classic British phrases from ye olden days, these little speech bubbles are great to add a little bit of banter between those painfully British awkward moments... 


Click here to print out your free sheet of cupcake toppers :D


Cut out the speech bubbles using the guidelines 

(they join together at the top for easy folding) 


Using double sided sticky tape, attach your toothpicks ... 


Jam them in and you are good to go! 


Don't these look incredible?

We even left you a couple of extra speech bubbles to fill in with your own Best Of British phrases :D
Blimey we're good! 


We hope you enjoyed todays tutorial! We'd love to hear what words you add to your collection :) 
We hope you have a spiffing swaray...

28 May 2012

Best Of British Jubilee Sale!

To celebrate the upcoming Diamond Jubilee, we have launched a sale in our shop dedicated to our favourite brilliantly British products! We have a limited number of each item available with a whopping discount so make sure you snap up a classic piece of British Greatness before it's gone..

British Biscuit Ornaments
Save up to £5! (we're discounting p&p too)

Penny Farthing Tote Bag 
20% off, now £10

Customized Print: I Love Scotland 
Over 30% off, now £8

Make & Do List Note Pad
30% off, now £5

Brown Felt Moustache 
10% off, now £4.50

Visit the Jubilee Sale section of our shop here

Best Of British DIY: Royal Crown Accessories

Phew, what a start to our Jubilee week!
Our first diy is a super quick little tutorial on making your own crown accessories...
With some polymere clay (fimo/sculpey etc), a few creative minutes and some baking time you can create some fun jewellery to wear throughout our Best Of British week. 
All for a few pennies? Yes please :D 

Crown Ring
This little crown is inspired from the one worn in Where The Wild Things Are.
To make your own tiny crown of jewels simply roll, flatten and trim your clay. Mould it around your finger to get the right size and bake it in the shape you would wear it. The best part is that it doesn't shrink! 


Crown brooch
This simple and eccentric little crown makes a cracking brooch, but also works well on cakes and as a card decoration...

 As before, all you need to do is flatten and trim, then add the details you want before baking in the oven. When it's done all you need to do is add some glue!

We hope these ideas have given you a little inspiration for your own Jubilee celebrations...
Happy baking! 

Rule Britannia!

Incase you didn't know, currently the UK is a buzz with excitement for Queen's Jubilee! 
Being very proud of our heritage, we have decided to go all out and celebrate Great Britain this week. We  are excited to announce that we will be sharing some extra special British themed tutorials (perfect for your Jubilee parties!) and will be celebrating with a sale on a selection our favorite Best Of British products in our shop. Hurrah for Great Briton!

To get the ball rolling on our Brilliantly British Blogging this week, we thought we would share a few old videos about the country itself. We did invent the television after all!

Have you ever wondered about the english language? Well with this funny and smart little video you shall wonder no more! I'm not sure where we would be without our words, so for us, English is our favorite thing about Britain. We couldn't have done it without everyone elses help though, so thanks for that ;)

We love this old film about our Land Of Invention, even if it does make us want to take a nap!

Another sleepy old movie, but this one is about our home town! It would have been rude not to share it, as it is very dear to us :) It's so nice to see our city from so long ago... and amazing to see how little has changed!

Finally, we couldn't start our British week without an image of the queen, so here she is made out of sweeties. Suck on that :P

We hope you are excited to see what Brilliantly British things we have been up to as we can't wait to share them :D 

*ta ta for now*

25 May 2012

Style Me Friday...

business bunny
floral suit: asos                                                       book bag: urban outfitters  
        ways of seeing: amazon                                        apple teapot: giftsoutpost           
     lauren hill cd: hmv                                            glasses necklace: tatty devine
                                                                           twizzlers: candy co.

24 May 2012

Building Our Business with HR Thinkstorm...

Like many sellers on Etsy, we are new to the world of business and always looking for ways to open ourselves to new audiences. Personally, having a degree in the arts, part of me always hoped "if you build it they will come", but even I knew that living on a hope and a prayer would get us nowhere! 

Vivid started out as a seed; a blog for banter and an idea for a penny farthing tote bag. For a long time that's all we had, but slowly we grew the courage to add a little more and take a few more risks. Before we knew it our shop had 100 items, our blog got 100s of views a day and our twitter account suddenly had 100s of followers. It took us a lot of work to get where we are, but with making Vivid a success being our dream, the long hours didn't bother us. But we started to get stuck... We know we have some great products, but how do we get people to look at them and how do we take our sales to the next level? If you've not had some kind of experience in the business side of things, you will very quickly find yourself in a dead end. 

Through fate we happened to find ourselves in conversation with HR Thinkstorm, a new startup which specialises in helping you build your business. For us, we wanted to find out how to open ourselves to new markets but we felt like we just couldn't see the forest for the trees. A fresh perspective was exactly what we needed. 

HR Thinkstorm is based in St Andrews and is run by Harrison Richards. After discussing with him via email what we felt our restrictions were, he helped us decide which of the HR Thinkstorm business packages he felt would be of most use to us. He then sent through an extensive questionnaire which explores what we do, how we do it, who we think our audience is and what we found our strengths and weaknesses to be. It is probably the hardest questionnaire we've ever had to fill in as it really makes you sit down and work out what it is you do. That is definitely worth while!  From this, Harrison was able to get a good grasp of what Vivid is all about and was able to give us advice on how to move forward. 

After an hour long session over Skype, we had a great discussion about new markets to approach and how to approach them, we learned how we could get people talking about us and how to get them involved in what we were doing. Most importantly we discovered new ways to look at our business and how we can grow it going forward. 

Overall we have had a fantastic experience with HR Thinkstorm and are really excited about taking these ideas and making them into realities. We will be working towards these goals over the next few months and hope to share some of our achievements with you when they happen too :) 

We hope you found this feature post interesting and perhaps a little relieving to hear that you're not the only person feeling stuck at a dead end when it comes to your small business. Our advice to fellow designers and crafters with a big dream for their business is to open yourself to some fresh perspective. Instead of loosing your life to openly interpreted online forums, invest in some time with someone who is focused on your business specifically. We learned so much from our session with Harrison and think you would benefit from the experience too.

Click here for more details about the service packages HR Thinkstorm has to offer. For those who want to find out a little bit more about what they do, you can visit the new website and blog too... 

We are also excited to share a cheeky discount code for our lovely readers with a dream too :D to get your mitts on a massive 75% off any of HR Thinkstorm services, enter  TASTERVIVIDROCKS at the check out.

Thanks for your help Harrison!
And good luck to all you designers with a dream out there, we hope you achieve your goals too...

22 May 2012

Have You Heard? A Business Opportunity For Crafters!

Well I'm excited to be the first one to tell you if you haven't!

We are super psyched to be participating in the first ever Have You Heard trade; the brain-child of the lovely Kim over at A Blackbird's Epiphany. If you're anything like us, you are trying to make a go of your small business and you will be doing everything in your power to gain interest/exposure without breaking the bank in the process. With so many people competing for attention online, it can be difficult to get your amazing products seen :(
Well, we have a proposition for you that is just too good to turn down...

What is it:
Have You Heard? is the opportunity for sellers to send a batch of their own business cards to other relevant sellers around the world and have them dispatched with others' purchases. It costs nothing but the postage to send them there. 

How do I participate and what is involved?
It's quite simple! You can apply through A Blackbird's Epiphany blog. She assesses every shop that applies and then pairs you up with someone selling products with a similar theme to yours. (Not the same product line, ie jewelry shops will not be paired with jewelry shops as that would be silly!) You will then be contacted with the address to mail your cards out to. Then you simply post your cards within the month and then each seller will include their partners card with each sale made online (and vice versa.) 
That's it! 
There are 3 deadlines for this event. The first is the date you will need to apply by. The second is a week later allowing you to pull out of the event should you change your mind. The final deadline is for you to have sent your cards to your allocated seller. This makes sure that everyone is fair and square and no one is being messed about. Who doesn't love that level of organization?!  

Where can I get my business cards? 
If you don't have cards for your business already you can get some free ones over at Moo. All you need to do is pay the postage. Heck yes! 
Based in the UK? Just swap "us" for "uk" in the URL. Score :D 

How are categories sorted?As mentioned, instead of sorting by product, the categories are sorted by theme. It would be silly to pair two jewellery makers together if one works with a gothic theme and the other creates woodland creatures, because there will be little interest on the buyer's end of the new shop. Themes will be: 
Nature (animals, landscape etc), Kitsch & Retro, Whimsical, Miniature, and so on. New themes will be added if enough shops are submitted.

Doesn't that sound like a great opportunity?
You can send as few as 25 business cards or as much as 100 and all it costs to get involved is the postage to send them to your partner! We're involved already so make sure you sign up asap :D

Here are the all important deadlines to apply:
Post deadline: 16th July 
For further details and to apply pop over to A Blackbird's Epiphany's blog.

We hope to meet you there!

21 May 2012

Our Holiday In Snapshots...

We've had such amazing holiday at home this week! 
Here is a little photo diary of what we did together...

We discovered lots of new cafes and cute little shops that we never knew existed. Most importantly found the most amazing little frozen yoghurt bar which has quickly become our favorite place to be... There is something about super white places with big splashes of colour that makes us very happy and inspired. Add tasty frozen treats and you'll never get rid of us! 

Although our week being 'offline' has been super hard, it has been incredibly worth while.
We loose far too many hours to our laptops and started to realize that it was getting too much. It's very easy to get sucked into stats and trying to make your online business to work that it can become an unhealthy obsession! Stepping away meant slowing down, spending time with friends and family and enjoying the world as it goes by. We went on mini adventures around town, discovered new markets, caught films we'd been itching to see and spent time catching up with old friends and family. It's been lovely enjoying the little details that can be easily overlooked!

So, after week full of tricks & treats we're feeling really refreshed and ready to start over :D We're going to work on creating a new schedule which allows many more breaks and makes sure we have plenty of inspiration-breaks... After all, all work and no play makes Vivid a disastrous duo!

If you're like us and spend a lot of time working online, make sure you book in a week of laptop-free fun soon. It's not easy at first, but we promise it's worth it! 

We hope you've had an awesome week and didn't miss us too much :P

14 May 2012

Snaps from the fair: Gin In Teacups stall

A few pictures of our stall at the Gin In Teacups market on Sunday. What do you think?

Thanks to everyone who fought the stormy weather to come along, it was great to see you!

We're taking a couple of days holiday this week for some well needed R&R but will be posting daily again in a snap :) Have a cracking week!