Behind the Scenes of Hochanda TV!

Hochanda is a brand new exciting TV channel, the new home for hobbies, crafts and arts. It can be found on Sky 663, Freesat 822, Freeview 39 (6am-4am) or you can watch on the live stream on their website,
Hochanda launched on 27th August 2015 at midday and from now on we can expect lots of shows from cake making, to card making, to DIY!
I interviewed Hochanda’s first Technical Operator, Claire Dennis, about her experience of launch week at Hochanda.
What do you do at Hochanda?
I am a technical operator, which means I deal with any technical issues such as getting microphones ready for guests and presenters, organizing the equipment in the studio, operating the equipment, monitor the output and general running around like a crazy person!
What is a regular day at Hochanda like?
There’s no such thing as a regular day at Hochanda. I start at 8am, we go live at 9am, so I have to get the studio ready to go live. Then anything can happen from there! It can be quite a slow, no emergency day and I’m chilled out or it could be a day where I have to be in 5 places in the building at one time! This goes on until 9pm, when the live day is finished, I have to close down the studio and make sure the overnight output is broadcasting.
What challenges do you face as a Technical operator?
Trying to be in 5 places at once! If one thing goes wrong then I have to be in the gallery, and the studio and the office and backstage because of the knock on effect technical difficulties can have!
What has been your favourite product so far?
The Oekaki sewing machine, it’s awesome!
Who is your favourite presenter and why?
Lee is my favourite, he is very easy to get on with and I have worked with him before so we just fell back into our stride again! All the presenters are equally as lovely though.
Who is your favourite guest and why?
Hayley West, for a similar reason to Lee, I have worked with her before and I always get a great big hug from her when she walks into the studio!
What do you love about Hochanda?
I like the variety of products and the high level of demonstrations. I’m a crafter myself so I enjoy learning new things each day!
What made you want to work in the TV industry?
From a very young age I was always interested in TV and how it worked so I started pursuing that interest in college and university. It all just went from there! It took a while but it was worth it.
What advice do you have for people wanting to work in the industry?
Make yourself available! All the time! Experience is what counts!
What do you think your first Hochanda purchase will be?
I have come quite close to buying a few things actually because the call centre is in the same office! I think I’ll be getting something from Creative Expressions first!
Hochanda are live 9am-9pm and can be found on Sky 663, Freesat 822, Freeview 39 (6am-4am) or you can watch on the live stream on their website,

Mama’s Summer Flowers

I have always been terrible at origami, but since seeing some beautiful flowers at recent craft fairs, I’ve had a google and they’re actually not that complicated to make!

You can make them in all sizes and top them off with buttons or bling, they look fab! Here’s how they are made..

You need 4 – 8 pieces of patterned paper or card. I use paper as it’s easier to fold, if you choose card, make sure it’s not too thick or you’ll have trouble making the cone shapes at the end. Any size will do but remember the smaller, the more fiddly it will be. 

First, Take a square and fold it in half to make a triangle.

MAMA TOP TIP: Use a bone folder to score down your edges to give it that professional sharp edge.

Fold your bottom corner up to the middle and the same on the other side.

So now you should have a mini square made from 2 folded triangles.

Fold your triangles out, back on themselves, so you end up with 3 triangles, 2 small ones either side of the large one.

Next, hold up one of your outer triangles, put your finger in the inside and push the crease so you’re opening the triangle out into a kite, with the crease in the middle of it from when it was a triangle. 

Do the same with the other side so you are left with 3 kite shapes.

To neaten it up, fold down the triangles that are taller than the back triangle.

Nearly done! Next fold your triangles back down the middle where they were folded before. Glue your outer tabs and stick them together to create a cone shape.

MAMA TOP TIP: Use a peg or tweezers to hold the two glued tabs together while gluing, especially when you have quite a few petals!

And viola your first petal is done! Make 4, 6 or 8 more and then stick your petals together! 

Stick the petals together side by side, using tweezers or a peg. I used a glue stick but from now on I’ll be using my new hot glue gun!

Be patient, especially as you add more and more petals, it can be very fiddly but you’ll get there in the end. The final petal needs glue on both sides to glue to your petals either side. If you’re having trouble making them meet, make sure your points underneath are together in the middle.

 And there you have it! I like to stick a button or brad of some kind of bling in the middle to make it look complete. I also got some florist wire for £1 from Wilkinsons so they have stems to put in a nice vase!

Happy flower making!
Mama x

Easter Bunny Victoria Sponge Recipe

Happy Easter Everyone!
You can’t beat a British classic, the Victoria Sponge. But this one has an Easter twist… They’re in the shape of easter bunny rabbits!

All you need is…

4 Eggs
225g Caster Sugar
225g Self Raising Flour
225g Butter
Whipped Double Cream (Optional)
Icing Sugar (To Decorate, Optional)

Heat up your oven to 180c! (160c for Fan Assisted Ovens and 350F)

First of all measure out your caster sugar and your butter. It is SO important you only mix together your sugar and butter together first as it really makes a difference to the mixture. Mix until a smooth buttery paste, I use a big mixer, but I have been using a hand mixer for the past 5 years, this is a new purchase. Don’t worry if you only have a whisk, it will just take long and some man/womanpower!
Next add 2 of your eggs and mix, make sure it’s a smooth paste again before adding half of your flour. Then add your final 2 eggs and the rest of your flour. Make sure the mixture is really smooth and there’s no flour lumps before filling your bunny mould. Mine was a silicone one I found in Card Factory, but they’re also available online. 

Leave your bunny in the oven for 20 minutes. Don’t be tempted to open the oven door or she’ll sink in the middle! When you think it’s done, put a knife through the middle and if no cake mix comes out on the knife then it’s all cooked through!
LEAVE the bunny to cool, completely. I was impatient and took it out of the mould too early causing it to collapse, I learned to wait next time! When it’s completely cool, cut or pull around the outside to make sure it it ready to come away from the silicone and then turn the bunny upside down and gently peel away the silicone mould. 
Viola! One bunny cake! Carefully cut it in half with a sharp knife and spread on your Jam/Whipped Double Cream before putting your bunny back together. To complete the look, sprinkle Icing Sugar on top!
This mixture should make 6 bunny cakes, but it depends on the size of your mould.
Bon Appitite!
Mama x

Easter Nest Egg Cakes Recipe

Happy Easter Everyone!

Easter time makes everyone feel especially crafty, making easter bonnets, easter masks, decorating easter baskets, drawing faces on eggs.. Easter is a pretty creative holiday! Charlie and I did some baking today and he made some classic Easter Nest Egg cakes.
All you need is…
Shredded Wheat 
(Or Rice Krispies if you prefer, but Shredded Wheat gives more of the nest effect!)
Mini Eggs
Cupcake Cakes
A Cupcake/Muffin Tin

First, put the cupcake cases in the cupcake tin. Charlie was quite counterproductive and decided to take them out as his papa put them in, but forgive him, he’s only 9 months old!
Secondly, mash up the Shredded Wheat into smaller pieces but be careful not to crush them too much or they’ll end up just a fine powder.
Next, melt the chocolate! We cheated and did it in the microwave but honestly it does come out better if you snap up the chocolate, put the bits in a bowl and put the bowl on top of a pan of boiling water. Keep stirring or it’ll burn! When all the lumps are gone you’re ready!
Mix the melted chocolate and the mashed up cereal together well, ensuring all the cereal is fully covered, otherwise it won’t set as one cake shaped piece!
When everything is covered in chocolate, scoop the mix into the cupcake cases making sure they’re at least half full. 
When your cupcake cases are full, decorate with Mini Eggs on top of your nests and leave it to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes on the top shelf of the fridge.
Bon Appitite!
Mama x