Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Colour Collaborative: April: Red


I set myself a challenge with this months prompt: go and find red things in the house. I had to look hard but half an hour spent wandering around the house, camera in hand, looking for a particular colour is pretty good fun and I enjoyed seeing what I could find. It's not a colour I seem to choose. I like it in very small amounts I would say. I like the punch it brings to pastels and neutrals, I like to see a pop of it in pattern, and I especially like it with white and pink.


A glance in my wardrobe revealed the same - a few red and white striped nautical style tops and that was it. No red dancing shoes. No slinky red dress. Navy blue, pale blue, white, mustard yellow, pink, grey - these are the colours you'll find in my wardrobe, along with about thirty Breton tops.

I did find a lot of red in my kitchen cupboards though. Some of my favourite products (Heinz Tomato Soup, for example) or household names, like Oxo stock cubes, have built brands around the colour red and it's successful because it's so eye catching. Our eyes are drawn to red and there's a good biological reason, it being the colour of fire, poison, danger and all that. 


But my favourite red product - to look at and to eat - is the Tunnock's Tea Cake. We all love them in this house and I buy a box almost every week. It's nothing like what I would call a tea cake (a fruit bun which is usually toasted and buttered) but is a soft biscuit base topped with gooey marshmallow and covered in milk chocolate. I am told the navy blue and gold wrapped dark chocolate ones are also good but I will always be a milk chocolate girl at heart, try as I might to make myself like dark chocolate. One is never enough and I reckon I could fit the whole thing in my mouth in one go if I tried. Ok, I have tried and I can. I bite straight into mine. Bella, who says she likes them "because they're super yummy", likes to carefully nibble all the chocolate from the marshmallow before eating the rest.


And the packaging! It's perfection. I like to take off the foil wrapper quite slowly and then smooth it out with my finger tips, starting at the centre and working outwards, following the red and white lines to the edge. If you haven't ever done this, try - it's unbelievably satisfying.


I believe the design has remained the same since the 1950's and there is a strong retro look to the colour and pattern, similar to the equally appealing Brasso polish. Scottish artist Gillian Kyle has created some fantastic and very succesful products based on this packaging, drawing on the affection people have for this...biscuit? Cake? I don't know what I'd call it but I do like to eat them.

What about you? Do you like Tunnock's Tea Cakes? Do you like the colour red? Even better, are there any slinky red dresses in your wardrobe?


Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above The River

What is The Colour Collaborative? 

All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.







49 comments:

5 Ladybird Lane said...

I love your little red boat, so cute. It's years since Ive enjoyed a tea cake, they are yummy!!. How enjoyable to 'have' to eat one just to write a blog post. Sarah

Sandra (Cherry Heart) said...

You made me laugh, that's exactly what I do with my wrappers too! No slinky red numbers in my wardrobe, I'm not really a 'slinky' kind of girl but I have have owned a few red dresses in my time. I only just retired a pair of red shoes that were my favs too, just ballet pump style but I think I've had them about 10 years. All in all red is quite a favourite of mine.
S x

Christina said...

Lovely red finds Gillian. Red is one of my favourite colours, it can be found in many places in our house, including my wardrobe. I used to carefully remove the wafer part of the Tunnocks Tea Cake and then lick the marshmallow filing out. As a child I should say, although I am still tempted sometimes. x

Gina said...

What a lovely post! I can't remember the last time I ate Tunnock's tea cake but I do have a soft spot for the lovely retro packaging.

Jacqueline said...

I am a fan of Tunnocks tea cakes and their caramel wafers as well. In my wardrobe I have a fleece jacket in red but not a red dress. In fact I haven't got a slinky dress in any colour, perhaps I need to go shopping.
Isn't it strange how we all tend to smooth out a biscuit or sweet wrapper, you're right it is satisfying!

CJ said...

Oh yes, we find Tunnock's Teacakes VERY eyecatching in this house. There's a packet in the kitchen and the children beg me to open every single day. I like to smooth out the wrapper too, and I shall definitely try fitting a whole one in at once, that is exactly the kind of thing we like to do here. I'm a huge fan of dark chocolate, I live for the day I find a packet of dark chocolate ones. CJ xx

galant said...

When I first learned how to make collages with my photos, I made several using photos which highlighted various colours, so I had red, green, blue collages, etc, even the more subtle shades, suchas mauve ... it was an interesting and fun thing to do.

As for Tunnocks, not had these in years and I find them too sickly for my taste. I much prefer real Lancashire Eccles cakes, the ones that come in packets of four. But I go through a lot, and I mean a lot, of Oxo cubes, beef, chicken and veggie. A few years ago they did one for Bolognaise and it was a lovely seasoning for any pasta dish, but they ceased production of that one. How is it that once you latch onto something you really like, it disappears?

But the retro wrapper, as with the tin of Brasso, is very stylish. I also think that the Euthymol toothpaste tube is attractive but my dentist warned never to use this everyday (I now use Sensodyne and also Oral-B) as it would actually do more harm than good (it's too abrasive, apparently.)

Love your collage of red objects!

Margaret P

galant said...

PS: I meant to say that years ago, when I had the youth and the figure, I did have a wonderful red cocktail style dress, a 1920s style flapper style in red georgette, with shoe-lace straps and a sash I could tie around my hair, and I had red high heeled sandals to wear with it. Also a winter Victorian style long velvet gown, which I still have (c1972). Now I have a scarlet trench coat, courtesy of Joules, it's lovely and always brightens up a dull, drizzly day!

Margaret P

Sally A said...

Do they do them with jam between the mallow and biscuit? I woke up last night with a craving for one but it had jam in the bottom and yours don't - so I have no idea what I am remembering..... argh.

Gillian said...

I think maybe M&S do some with jam in. Yum.

Gillian said...

I think maybe M&S do some with jam in. Yum.

VeggieMummy said...

Lovely red photos. I'm with you all the way on the Tunnock's Teacakes - and the marshmallow is veggie! x

Jennifer said...

Tunnock's tea cakes are one of the treats in my Christmas stocking each year. I have to buy them in a specialty store which sells foreign groceries (I buy them myself, yes, for my own Christmas stocking, ha). I love them. It's just the one box and I always try to make them last through January, because they're too expensive to buy all the time! I love the wrappers too. As for slinky red dresses, it's been, oh, a good 17 years since I owned anything like that, but I enjoyed it very much at the time. :)

Andie said...

Loved your comment about Tunnock's teacakes, they are a favourite of mine too. I was brought up in the 50's when shop bought cakes etc., was very limited. Only wealthy people bought the shop cakes and biscuits. That is until you went to a birthday party; and there they were in all their red glory - A Tunnock's teacake - WOW !! Nowadays, it is the thing to have home baking and very good it is too, but I do remember a time when to have shop bought cakes or sweet stuff as it was called in Yorkshire was a real treat. Love your new house it is so light. Love Andie xxx

Alexandra said...

Your photos are lovely and perfect for this colour collective theme. My London hubby has yet to introduce me to these yummy looking tea cakes. We shall be off to the store to get some! Lovely blog and so happy to have discovered you! :)

Alexandra said...

PS Did you know you can eliminate your Navbar now by going to your layout, clicking on Navbar and click "turn off" :)

Annie Cholewa said...

I've tried too, repeatedly, and always successfully. I own one of Gillian Kyles red Tunnocks tea towels and have this print on my wall (it's one of mine) http://bit.ly/1Dn15mG . I always thought we'd get on ;o)

Leanne Paxton said...

Hey Gillian,
I lived off of Tunnock's tea cakes when I was a student. They sold them at the Burma on Hyde Park Road, and I'd rock up after a night at Ricky's and buy more ciggies and one of these. I haven't had one for years. No slinky red dresses here. And I am mightily impressed with the amount of Breton tops you own. I'm not worthy...
Leanne xx

Ingrid Orens said...

Those Tunnock's tea cakes are known here in Belgium as Melocakes (made by Milka), and I always thought they were typical for Milka, so you made me curious with your Tunnock version ! I googled a bit and found out the original cake recipe is over 200 years old, from Danish origin ! Never knew that !
And oh boy, don't we all love those cakes :-)))

Heldasland said...

I eat mine just like Bella, and I too can stuff the whole thing in my mouth.

Jan Doling said...

Teacakes (yes very different to your doughy fruity bun type teacake) bring back happy childhood days. Mum used to have to buy two packs as my Dad and sister liked the milk chocolate variety and Mum and I went for the plain chocolate ones. Haven't tasted one for years. xx

driftwood said...

I love the way you hunted for red, and the things you found. As I said on Claire's post I think you should get red shoes. I think all mum's should have red shoes, especially if they are dancing shoes x

mamaSabina said...

Would you believe it, we have very similar cookie :) in the Balkans, called Munchmallow, also wrapped in red and silver foil. My family (me included) adores them.

Katie Bedlow said...

Mmmmm Tunnocks tea cakes! My favourite! Red is a colour I usually shy away from, I don't identify with it for clothing or homeware, but when it comes to food and nature I am more of a fan! Katie x

http://www.long-may-she-rain.blogspot.co.uk/

Sandra Gilbert said...

I adore Tunnocks tea cakes and the wrappers are iconic, I like to smooth them out and then turn the over and fold each corner into the centre!

Andrea said...

In New Zealand the exact same biscuit as your Tunnock's Tea Cakes are called Mallowpuffs and are sold in packs of 12. The wrapping isn't nearly as pretty, however. There are many ways to eat them - pick off all the chocolate, suck off the marshmallow, then eating the biscuit base was my fave as a child!

Librarian said...

For a long time, I was convinced red would not suit me, and so I never had much red in my wardrobe. Maybe 10 years or so ago, I was given something red to wear, and people complimented me on it a lot. Since then, I have carefully added a few red tops, a pair of red denims and a red Cheong Sam dress to my wardrobe.

Good to know you feel the same as me when it comes to milk v. dark chocolate!!
Never tried the Tunnock's treat; maybe I'll do that this year during my annual Yorkshire holiday.

anita said...

Hello, just love your blog,i've just started and there is so much more!
Hope i will see you at my blog too.
Greetz Anita

silverpebble said...

I have a slightly shameful confession- sometimes, when I'm alone, I like to pop them in whole. Perhaps I should sign up for some etiquette lessons.

Heavens, Gillian Kyle's shop is full of red joy. Mr M is rather tempted by the T shirt and as it's National Stationery week next week the notebook is calling to me....

Leanne Paxton said...

Gillian you really know your Tunnocks.....!

Jane said...

I haven't had a Tunnock's Tea Cake in years - I might just have to go and buy some now and munch my way through the weekend! Have a great weekend yourself Gillian, Jane xx

Anonymous said...

We live where Tunnock's teacakes are made and I have a Gillian Kyle apron. In Low Parks Museum in Hamilton you can see the history of Thomas Tunnock but most eyecatching is an amazing party style dress made from tea cake wrappers. I'm more of a Tunnock's Caramel Log fan, but they are a bit dodgy now for my aging teeth.Catriona

Susan Smith said...

Lovely collage and yes I do "love" Tunnocks teacakes. We can buy them here in Oz, but they are frightfully expensive, so we do it for a treat and as there are only 2 of us, they last probably a little longer in our house. Take care.

Su said...

So relieved this is not just me! I am very attracted to things red and orange and have them dotted around the house too, especially food products, in particular, coke, oxo stock cubes and small nescafe tins from abroad. I won't be able to look at a Tunnocks tea cake again in the same way! Recently started following your blog, gorgeously put together x

Sarah said...

I do love me a Tunnocks teacake. I often take one out with me if I'm going on a long hike in cold weather. And I actually prefer the dark choc ones...
Have you ever given one to a toddler? It's possibly the messiest thing you ever saw.
Anyway... I'm not much of a red girl either but do like bright red lipstick and nails.
Red to me is a Christmassy colour. Oh, and I have the same Penguin mug and dala horse as you. Seems we both of us like red in moderation...
S x

galant said...

Just a PS to my earlier comments. Re the colour read, I bought a red trench coat in the autumn (Joules) and I absolutely love it! It's bright red, what you might called pillar box red, and it cheers me up every time I put it on - I could almost wish for rain just so I can use it! It looks good over most other colours, too, especially if I'm wearing black cords and black polo neck and black boots, or as today, a navy striped-with-purple dress (Crew.) My very favourite outfit was a red jersey Chanel style suit in the 1960s, military style, with a black sleeveless top to go under it. That was a bright tomato red. Absolutely loved it. There are so many shades of red, one for every style of outfit and every texture of material.
Margaret P

galant said...

I mean the colour red, not read!
Ooops.
MP

Alison said...

In Costa Coffee they sell pimped up GIGANTIC Tunnocks! I wouldn't try eating one of those babies whole..although my son did try once xx

mags said...

I love tunnocks, I eat the chocolate first too! I hardly have any red though my next two dresses are red! I love red with turquoise and even duck egg, especially an orange shade.

Wainwright and Wright.Co said...

Yep, Tunnock tea cakes for me - love them! But I do also have a really cute pair of bright red shoes (from Clarks) love those too! Can you tell I'm a big fan of red?
Caz xx

Penny said...

We are big Tunnocks fans in our house too! Yum X

Gillian said...

Margaret, that flapper dress sounds sensational!

Gillian said...

Thank you - I'd stopped even noticing it was up there!

Gillian said...

I like that photo very much indeed!

Gillian said...

Angus is five and managed to get marshmallow all over his face while eating it, so I dread to think what a toddler might do!

Sally A said...

OOh I am in Leeds this week, I may be taking a de-tour to M&S. I will be so disappointed Gillian if you are wrong :-)

mama'sVIB said...

I have only just discovered you and absolutely love this post what a wonderful idea! Such lovely picts and love that its a new way to see colour…

Ali Whale said...

Tunnocks are ace. We used to buy the ones that had jam in the bottom when I was young and actually I *whisper it* prefer them to Tunnocks. My sister and I used to smack them on our heads to break the chocolate and then pick it off. The marshmallow was more spongy in them and I'm not sure what brand they were but they were smaller than Tunnocks. I tried smacking a Tunnocks on my head once and all I can say is that they are much softer and stickier than the ones of my youth.

Pati from London said...

Love teacakes and their wrapper...! My kids love them even more than me.... so I do buy a box every week.. My favourite part is the biscuit ... I love the colour red and I wear red and burgundy shoes often. I've been trying to find a red dress for years but to no avail so I've been thinking of making Tilly's (tilly and the buttons) Lilou dress to finally own one. Have a great week! Pati x