Thursday, 31 May 2012

Why oh why do I do it...

Since getting up at 6.30am so far I have eaten:
  • a sausage sandwich
  • half a tortilla
  • tomato soup
  • bread
  • Snickers
  • crackers and cheese
  • half a jar of pickled onions
  • 2 bottles of lucozade
Nothing has the power to make the evil wine pain go away.
Except perhaps more wine...

Sewing. sewing, sewing

Well what a busy day yesterday - hence the late post. I finished these cushions for a customer.

Now that all went swimmingly and I thought "What a very productive day I'm having!" But then came my new nemesis - the piped round cushion. Aargh!!! It just doesn't work. If you try to put piped edging on a round cushion, what starts off as a lovely circle ends up as a very wonky pasty shape when you put the pad inside. So, after four hours (yes four hours) of fiddling, shouting and swearing I accepted defeat and looked to the internet and my trusty sewing manuals for help. I wish I'd done that in the first place because apparently, this is just what happens so you don't do it! So when it got to 9pm I thought enough is enough - time for a glass of wine or two...

What's for dinner?

Wine, wine and some more wine...oops! (hic)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Vintage frenzy

Some lovely fabrics arrived this morning - some 1950s Sanderson linen union in mid blue and biscuit floral with splashes of mauve; a huge piece of mid 1980s floral fabric with abundant blooms in pinks, peaches and lilacs; caravan chic 1960s cotton in sulphur yellow stylised chrysanthemum print; and two pieces of 1950s barkcloth with little roses. Plenty to keep me busy with my current commission. I'm working on a mix and match set of dining room cushions, and I must say they are looking mighty fine! Keep watching for the photos when they're all ready. Meanwhile, here is another item now available exclusively from Magpie Colours

The fabric's called "Slinky". Isn't that marvellous?!

What's for dinner?

Leafy Salad Nicoise
Serves 4
2 heads of little gem lettuce, washed and spun
100g baby spinch, washed and spun
half a cucumber, quartered and sliced
half a red onion, finely sliced
50g black olives
100g green beans, trimmed and halved
200g new potatoes, halved
6 eggs
2 tins of tuna chunks in spring water
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
dressing: 100ml rapeseed oil, 30ml white wine vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, pinch Maldon salt, black pepper, pinch of sugar, 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Boil the potatoes until just tender and drain
  • Boil the eggs for 6 minutes, run under cold water, peel and cut into quarters lengthways
  • Steam the green beans until just cooked but still with a bite
  • Place all of the dressing ingredients into a screwtop jar and shake until thoroughly mixed
  • Put the lettuce, spinach, cucumber, red onion, black olives, tomatoes and potatoes into a large salad bowl and add the dressing
  • Toss the dressing through the salad
  • Divide the salad into serving bowls and finish each serving with 6 pieces of egg and a quarter of the tuna chunks

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Eurovision joy

Well as always Eurovision didn't fail to amaze on any level - from the cringingly awful to the downright weird, it was three hours of TV heaven. I can't help it, I just love it. I think everyone should release their inner camp and embrace the joy that is Eurovision. If you missed it this year, you'll never know the joy of the Albanian howling woman with hair like a Danish pastry, or the Moldovan entry lyrics "You have never been to my show, you haven't seen before how looks the trumpet" Answers on a postcard...

Out for lunch with the in-laws today. My but it was mighty hot. The weather that is, sadly the same cannot be said for the food. It's such a disappointment when you eat out and it just doesn't live up to expectations. Never mind, here's a little something to liven the tastebuds.

What's for pudding?

Eton Mess Makeover

Serves 4

One packet of small meringue nests
300ml tub of half fat creme fraiche
4 stems of rhubarb
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp elderflower cordial

  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Wash the rhubarb, cut into 3cm lengths and place on a foil lined baking tray
  • Sprinkle thr rhubarb with the sugar and bake for 10 mins or until just softened and set aside to cool
  • In a large bowl, mix the elderflower cordial and the creme fraiche
  • use a slotted spoon to add the rhubarb to the creme fraiche
  • crumble in the meringues and mix lightly
  • serve in sundae dishes and drizzle with the rhubarb juices

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Promises, promises...

Well I didn't do very well there, did I? Promised to do my blog every day and missed the following day. Never mind, I'm back now.

In the spirit of supporting all my fellow crafters designers and makers I'll be pulling together some treasuries on Etsy and Pinterest boards to showcase our lovely work. Fingers crossed it'll lead to some sales - times are hard for everyone at the moment and we could all do with a little boost. I need to think of some themes - perhaps a rainbow of treasuries each featuring a colour of the rainbow, and something summery of course. I don't know about you, but it's been boiling here for the last few days. Summer has definitely arrived.

What have I been making today? - a lovely cotton ticking cushion cover for a customer in New York

The stripes play havoc with your eyes when you're cutting and sewing though!

What's for dinner?

Pasta Arrabiata

Serves 4

300g penne
6 rashers bacon or pancetta chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
400g chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
200ml chicken stock
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp chilli flakes

  • Add a little oil from the sun-dried tomatoes to a saute pan and gently fry the bacon
  • Add the onion to the pan and soften, then add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and fry for a minute
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time
  • Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with boiling water, salt generously and add the penne. Cook until just tender; around 8 - 10 minutes
  • Drain the pasta, add to the sauce and simmer for a minute
  • Serve in warmed pasta bowls and season with black pepper and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan


Thursday, 24 May 2012

I must write blog, I must write blog

Having neglected my blog since before last Christmas it's high time I pulled my socks up isn't it?

I promise that starting today I will write a daily blog including a recipe of the day. I always promised myself I would!

CRAFTfest is almost upon us with lots of lovely handmade goodies from all our clever designers and makers.

Don't forget to pop along Saturday 9th - Saturday 16th June

I'm busy getting everything ready for my stall. Look out for some lovely new cushions in gorgeous fabrics old and new.

Busy working on a commission for a lovely customer who's going vintage crazy in her dining room with a hotchpotch of fabrics and styles. So it really didn't help when I had a powercut all afternoon! It's amazing how lost you feel when you can't email, or surf, or update your website, or fiddle with your digital photos, or use your sewing maching, or watch the news, or put the kettle on...the list is endless. Never mind I'm back in the real world again now so tomorrow it'll be all go.

What's for dinner?


Serves 4

4 large flour tortillas
150g grated mature cheddar cheese
1 tbsp chopped jalapenos
1 red onion finely sliced
2 roasted red peppers (from a jar)
a little olive oil

  • heat a little olive oil in a wide shallow pan on a medium heat
  • sprinkle one half of each tortilla with grated cheese
  • layer the remaining ingredients over the cheese
  • fold the tortilla over to form a half moon shape and press firmly
  • fry the quesadilla on each side until golden brown
  • season with salt and pepper and cut into wedges
  • serve with a crisp green salad