Thursday, 28 February 2008
Wednesday, 27 February 2008
hand stitching of Meridian Ariel on the reverse of Egg
Tuesday, 26 February 2008
I seriously lost my crafting mojo the other day when everything went all to hell but I have had a lovely day out today. We went to Caudwell's Mill in Rowsley, Derbyshire, one of H's favourite places in the world. It was all sunshine and gust of wind with the promise of spring in the air. I feel really refreshed and ready to throw myself into doing some crafting.
Before going to the mill M and I had a dig around in his mother's attic and I found this painting I did of Louis Brooks probably about 9 or 10 years ago... eek I'm getting old. Its not bad I'm not sure about the blue being a bit too blue. She is sitting on the mantle stairing at me daring me to do something with her as she had been forgotton for so long. I might se if I have give her a bit of a revamp and recycle her a bit, maybe darken the painting down a little so she fits in with the colour scheme of the rest of the house.
p.s. if you scroll down a bit you will see that I uploaded new pictures of the yellow opal bracelets.
Monday, 25 February 2008
Today is one of those days, where everything goes just a bit wrong. The light is bad, can't take any good pictures of my jewellery to upload to etsy. Etsy is messed up anyway as all my views have gone and disapeared. Not just me its happened to alot of people but damn I was so proud of the views on got on my little bits of jewellery and crafts. What else has happened, oh I started knitting a cabled scarf and it jsut went wrong... in a bad way I ripped it all out to start again, and really felt like tossing the ball of wool into the fire. I didn't as it would have been wasteful but I was sorely tempted to. On top of it all I have headache so I'm I'm going to go bury my head under the duvet and hope things take a turn for the better later.
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Friday, 22 February 2008
1 tub Mascarpone cheese
1 package lady fingers (trifle sponges ect)
½ cup caster (white ) sugar (or confectioners powdered sugar)
2 tablespoons Tia Maria (brandy or coffee liqueur)
3 tablespoons cream
2 shots espresso (or roughly ½ cup very strong instant coffee)
Dark chocolate for grating (or you can use cocoa powder)
4 small glass ramekins for individual servings
First make the coffee and let it cool in a small bowl. Add the Tia Maria (or other liqueur) when cool .
Open the package of sponges and tear them up into pieces to line the bottom of the ramekin dishes. Drizzle the cake with the coffee and liqueur mixture and set aside.
In a medium bowl beat the cream, mascarpone cheese, and sugar.
Spoon the mascarpone mixture over the drizzled cake. Smooth over the top and then grate the dark chocolate over to top. Refrigerate until serving.
For a fluffier cheese mixture, use ½ cup whipping cream, beat it in the bowl until whipped and fold in the mascarpone and sugar mixture.
Cook’s notes: I have made this several times and each time I have varied the amounts of coffee and alcohol to taste. it’s a very quick and simple recipe without having to mess around with eggs. A lot of tiramisu recipes ask you to tip the cake fingers into the bowl, I find this unnecessary, messy and more work than you really need to do, Its easier to just drizzle the mixture over the cake until you have as much as you desire in the individual dishes. Even H liked the tiramisu, and scoffed his own little ramekin’s worth (I did put less of the coffee and liquor mixture on his though).
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
red coral bracelet
These are the items I made for the mumsnet easter swap, I am aware that red isn't your typical Easter color but its one of my easter swap partner Chloe's favourite colours. I'm quite proud of the button egg ornament, its only small but effective and is actually quite easter. I debated adding a bit of ribbon to it... but as I don't actually own any ribbon that was a bit of a moot point. I also made a card with the bits left over from making all those cards for the Studio. But I completly forgot to take a picture so you will have to have a look at Chloe's blog " Mee Crafty " where she has placed a teaser of what she has made for me.
The bracelet is red coral, silver, and silver plated chain clasp, I have had the red coral for a while and until now I just could not figure out how to best incorperate it when its such a stand alone vibrant colour.
Here is the pair of earrings I made last night, the wire work is a little rough, but not too bad for a first attempt. Nephrite jade and amathyst on I believe stainless steel hypoallergenic backings i.e. the cheap ones as I dare not use silver just yet as I would most likely mess it up. And I would actually need to order silver findings first. This picture was taken in the 5 minutes of useable light when the sun almost peeked out from the fog this afternoon.
Tuesday, 19 February 2008
frosted berries in the cathedral quarter
Perhaps not thest best weather for it but today we had a ride out to Lincoln for the day, We decided to do this a few days ago when it was supposed to be lovely weather for the day. Obviously that didn't happened, as it was positvely artic with freezing fog, everywhere looked like a winter wonderland, stright out of Narnia, H thought it was magical, magical and lovely until we made him climb up the hill to get to the Cathedral in Lincoln.
It was actually a great day out, despite the cold, I got to have a good nosey round all the independant shops, in the Cathedral Quarter, bought some marmite bread, and Lincolnshire Imp chedder cheese. We didn't pay to go through the cathedral just had a look around the exterior, I have been round the inside before, and you can see why it was used in the DaVinci Code, becuse it is a stunning building. H had no time for it as all he wanted to do was go back down the hill to go to Cafe Nero's for a hot chocolate to warm up. bless.
Monday, 18 February 2008
Saturday, 16 February 2008
Friday, 15 February 2008
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups sweet corn(canned is fine)
2 cups potatoes (diced small)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 medium sized onion (chopped)
1 small clove of garlic (chopped fine)
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon marmite (or stock cube crumbled, or alternatively use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water)
1 chilli pepper diced small (or ½ teaspoon chilli flakes)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fry off the onion and garlic in a large pan. When softened, add the corn, potatoes, water, marmite (or stock cube), chilli pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on a medium heat until the potato is tender.
Add the milk and bring to the boil for ten minutes. If you wish you can also blend the chowder until smooth to make a soup.
Top with sharp cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
cook's notes: I have been wanting to make some corn chowder for a while now, My dad makes the best one and I never really thought about trying to make some until the other day when I noticed I had three cans of sweet corn on the shelf. So I thought my not give it a go, and was fully prepared to cook M something else because he hates corn, but he ate it, loved it, had seconds even. I was completly shocked, well maybe not completely, after all it did have cheese and bacon. Cue Homer-esque food noises.
The above picture was a sketch I did this morning, that I decided to do some further expirimenting with tea staining. She was drawn quick from an image in a magazine and I'm not really happy with her. I asked M, who was pottering in the kitchen to put the kettle.
me: "can you put the kettle on?"
M: "What for?"
me: "a cup of black tea, no milk, for this sketch."
M: "Tea staining?"
M: "ok tea is ready."
I get up and go into the kitchen and look at the cup. "that isn't very black."
we both look down at the tea and M says:"I know I think I made green tea instead. give it a try."
so I shuffle off with the cup, a tray, and the sketch. A minute later I shout back. "Its not green tea its peppermint tea."
So now I have an ever so slighty peppermint tea stained sketch, that I still dont really like but I have been busy none the less.
rose quartz bracelet
square cut garnet and silver bracelet
I love the garnet even though the poor image quality dosent show the vibrance of the gemstone beads. Plus they are square and I love square beads. Better pictures soon I hope.
Thursday, 14 February 2008
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 ½ cup caster (white) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons red food colouring
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl mix the milk and one tbl balsamic vinegar. *
Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes, then turn out of pan and onto a rack to finish cooling completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
Wednesday, 13 February 2008
The beads for the above bracelets arrived in the post early yesterday morning. I ordered them from Bobbithisnthat etsy shop the other week and have been watching the letter box for them to arrive. ITs a lovely etsy shop with so many tempting beads, if only I had more money to spend on her georgeous beads. I shall be uploading the bracelets to the etsy shop later today, and posting more on my neglected blog. And hopefully getting in some sketching time and working on a write up for the next Mumsnet Arts and Crafts challenge.
oh and bake some valentine's cupcakes!
Sunday, 10 February 2008
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
½ cup milk
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans
pre heat oven to 400F.
Place paper baking cups into a muffin tin, or grease and flour the muffin tins.
In a medium bowl mix all the ingredients except for the pecans the batter will be slightly lumpy. Carefully fold in the pecans.
Divide the batter evenly among muffin cups filling them about two thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of brown sugar before placeing them in the oven.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Immediately remove from the pan and place on a wire rack.
Best served warm with a small amount of butter.
cooks notes: The intention was to serve the muffins with some bacon, but as there was none in the house they were served on their own. Very nice and not too sweet the recipe is my own, alother there are several diffrent versions avalible, most of which including Nigella's version used vegtable oil, which I rarely ever use as I think it makes cakes very heavey and greasy with a not so pleasant aftertaste.
H was slightly bemused by the muffins and said "Mummy why do these cupcakes taste like pancakes? " though he never thought to question why I would give him cupcakes for breakfast.
I have finished making the valentine's cards for the studio, the floor is a mess but have made all 40. time for chocolate. The picture is jsut a quick snap, they do look nicer than that.
Friday, 8 February 2008
Today M has given me the job of making some Valentine's cards for the studio, to be the presentation for some free portrait vouchers that will be one the table at a local (and very nice) Hotel. the above image and the little heart below are my crafting designs. I have made cards before, I once had a stint of them, many moons ago and as it has been so long it took me about two hours to design these and get them how I thought they should be... Simple, yet pretty, with the element of hand made, arts and crafts movement type of thing. I love the buttons anyway.
black water jasper bracelet
I was also asked to make this black water jasper and sterling silver bracelet for C at the studio.
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
same necklace diffrent view
I have managed to make the bracelet and necklace above, despite feeling at a loss today and very uninspired. I'm not quite sure about the necklace as it does match the bracelet in the previous post but I don't know about the silver wire.... it does look quite nice I suppose I just seem to have lost my mojo today so I think I will go in search of coffee and cake instead...
On a positive note M did scan a few sketches for me, I have more that need doing but as to what I will do with them then I don't know, I would like to do a few t-shirts but I need to figure out how to make the backgrounds transparent and other such technical things I am not in the right mind for today.
and blogger hates me too...
Sunday, 3 February 2008
ruby in fuschite beaded bracelet
I have added the prehnite and amethyst bracelet to the etsy shop,.. otherwise I might be tempted to keep it, and that will get me nowhere in my sales. The other bracelet is ruby in fuschite, which is a reworking of a ruby in fuschite bracelet that i made a while ago that went a bit wrong. It had a rogue bead on it that didn't match the other silver beads so now I have re-worked it as simply as possibly. I'm not quite sure about it yet.. its a very delicate piece, as the beads are quite small but they are vibrant and I love the green with hints of well fuscia I guess. let me know what you think if it should go up for sale or re-worked yet again.
M has taking the paintings in the last post into the studio to scan for me along with a few sketches. The sketches are for a few t-shirt ideas I have if it all pans out in the end.
Saturday, 2 February 2008