Not quite a Galaxy….

Not even a Ripple. Just continuing the transatlantic exchange that was kicked off with the mention of Walnut Whips a while ago. I understand at least one person across the pond has sourced and eaten a Walnut Whip as a direct result of that post. Chocolate is powerful stuff!

So, Galaxy is another brand of chocolate in the UK and, having learnt from my last omission to explain the cultural references, here is hopefully pretty much all the uninitiated need to know about Galaxy:

It is one of the major chocolate brands in the UK

It is milk chocolate

It comes in various bars – some just chocolate, some with nuts, biscuit, caramel etc added

A Galaxy Ripple is a long thinnish bar of folded ribbons of chocolate, thoughtfully covered in another layer of chocolate so it (theoretically) doesn’t fall down your front when you bite into it.

Galaxy Counters are little shiny discs (a bit like flying saucers) of chocolate. Initially branded for kids (I think you were meant to learn to count by how many you could shovel into your mouth before your mum stopped you), they disappeared for years. My sister and I were so distraught we nearly wrote to the Prime Minister about it. Now they are happily back, branded for adults and sold in nice, big, big bags.

Minstrels are the same as Counters, but with a hard sugar shell. They were marketed as ‘the chocolate that melts in your mouth, not your hand’. As if one was ever in the hand long enough to test this out! Apparently M&Ms had the same slogan but were not available in the UK then I don’t think.

Can you tell that I like Galaxy chocolate?

Anyway. This is a different kind of mini galaxy. A small scattering of die cut stars. Now I have the layout sorted, this would be a quick card to make in multiples. You could also make it with hearts or flowers instead of stars for a birthday or valentine.

Supplies are minimal: 3 nesting star dies, some pearlescent card, a small bit of glitter card, gold cord and 3D foam. That’s it.


To make this:

Cut your base card or use a ready made blank. I made mine to UK A6 size, which when folded is 14.8cm x 10.5cm or approximately 4 1/8 x 5¾ inches. Sorry, I am not an inches person!

Cut a smaller layer for the front – I just do 0.5cm smaller than the base card front.

Grab your star dies and, starting with the largest, position them on this piece of card to get a rough idea of your layout. Move down to the middle size and plan where you want these to be too.

Fill in any obvious gaps with the smallest die. If you find it hard to visualise, just cut some spare stars from scrap and use them to help you set your design out.

Once you are happy, get cutting!

It looks good if you have one or two shapes falling off the edge of the panel.

Also, odd numbers are visually more pleasing than even, so I planned for 5 apertures of various sizes.

When all the stars have been cut tie the gold cord around the bottom section of the piece and secure firmly at the back.

Then tie a bow separately and stick it on the front. This is much easier than trying to tie around the card and get a good bow at the same time. It’s not cheating, it is ‘effective use of skills and resources’. Really.

Liberally add 3D foam to the back of the die cut panel, making sure you support it in the middle of the piece as well as the edges; then stick this to your base card.


The stars that fill the apertures are cut from glitter card. It doesn’t show up brilliantly in the photo but you can trust me! So I cut two mediums stars to fill the large star aperture, and one small one to fill the medium star aperture. I thought about just layering glitter card underneath the apertures created by the smallest star but decided it didn’t really add anything so, why bother?!

More 3D foam on the back of the stars, position them centrally in your apertures and you are done.

Chocolate, anyone?



The universe, coincidence, and walnut whips

I have had a couple of run-ins with coincidence recently. This is just one of them: for about three weeks I had been planning to start another ‘series’ of occasional blogs, titled with what I thought was a pretty old-fashioned couple of words. Then one of my favourite bloggers used those very same words in one of her posts this week, on the same day I was planning to do mine, so I postponed. Now, I am sure she won’t mind when I go ahead with the series, and you know, none of us have a monopoly on the English language, but it just made me go ’hmmmn, what are the odds of that phrase coming up right now…?

Here’s the next coincidence. A fellow blogger Flo, commenting on my post on Thursday asked if walnut whips were still available. A random thought that had popped into her head and she didn’t know why. Funnily enough I had seen some just last Saturday (in italics to show it is important), so I could say ‘yes‘. It was odd that I had noticed them because I can’t remember the last time I did. It would have been years upon years ago. I don’t like them AT ALL, never have: they always made me pull the ‘bleah’ face, so I probably actually avoid them. But my sister does like them, and, equally, always has, so I thought of her immediately that day. Another blogger Samantha, reading the comment from Flo, mentioned that she had 3 walnut whips in her fridge… Hmmmn, I don’t know if walnut whips are rare or not, but bear with me here because I was beginning to spot a theme. Never say I am slow to catch on.

My sister (lifetime walnut whip lover) and her partner Painter live at the coast, 60+ miles away from London, and from me. Whilst out shopping last Saturday in their seaside town Painter and my sister bumped into an old neighbour of Painter’s from his North London days, someone he hasn’t seen for over 20 years. Sarah (I am not using real names because I can’t ask these people if it is ok) was just visiting the coast for the weekend with her boyfriend Pete. Amazing, huh? Over 60 miles, over 20 years, randomly meeting a great distance from where they previously knew each other.

Anyway, Painter and my sister arranged for Sarah and Pete to come around that evening. Sarah and Pete duly turned up with another old neighbour, Robert, that Painter and Sarah had both known from the same time in London, who was also just in town for the weekend and who Sarah had also just bumped into in the street. Double amazing. But I am not finished yet.

That evening, in conversation with Sarah’s partner Pete, it turned out he has a house in the road next to mine in South London! I have no idea what the odds of this strange convoluted chain are, but I believe the chances of a jackpot winning lottery ticket might be better. And they are not good odds, in case you didn’t know!

Now we need a little context, for those who may come from small communities or not know much about the UK population density. I know some people visit their nearest town miles away and see many acquaintances, family or friends. But London has a population of over 8.7 million people. The odds of bumping into someone you know a few miles away from your usual haunts is pretty high, never mind it happening over 60 miles away. For those people to then meet someone else the same day from the same old neighbourhood, and for their partner to live in a whole different area of London, but in a road adjacent to another family member is, well, astronomical basically.

I’m sure there must be a reason for this. We have random people, in a random town, historically connected to each other, and brought together on the same day. We have family geographically elsewhere (me), also linked by coincidence, also on the same day. And then I am reminded of the event later in the week by another two random connections.

It has to be important. The stars are aligned. There must be a message, a meaning to this. I have given it much careful thought and have come to a conclusion.

Maybe the universe is telling me to try a walnut whip again, just in case?

Has anyone else been experiencing odd or amazing coincidences recently?