Thursday, 10 April 2014

Bun overload

This week, I have mostly been baking.

Making things for Easter. 

Simnel muffins (also known round here as muffins of death since the incident with the Whippet, three muffins and the V.E.T on a previous Easter Sunday) - and the usual bread, as per this recipe here

I make this bread at least once a week - well, Mr G makes the dough in the evening, and I shape and bake in the morning. We always make two small ones - one to eat and one to freeze. You can make one large loaf, but I find it unwieldy. A small loaf is just right for making Mr G's cheese sandwiches, giving the Girl her daily Nutella fix, and for me to have the first end slice of fresh crust with salty butter.

Yes, they are different sizes - the first batch were large muffins as per original recipe, and the second batch were fairy cake size - a bit more manageable to eat (although some would argue that the large ones are perfectly do-able) and twice as many for the same effort!

I also made HCBs

and none of that flour and water glue nonsense here, proper pastry crosses thank you very much.

I hasten to add, a lot of this is for the freezer! I'm having a bit of a holiday next week, and so this is me getting ahead.

As well as the baking, I've been working on making some little sketchbooks (inspired by the books at the show last week). Hopefully they'll be bursting with work to show you when I next check in - ha! - watch this space! (Is that self-doubt, or do I just know myself too well?!)

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Bejewelled and Boro-d

So here are my finished necklaces.


The dreamcatcher circle has given me ideas for this year's Art Trail. Together with the CD felting and weaving, I think there will be a circular theme!

And I liked the first, smaller blue necklace, and wore it for much of the time while making the others - so definitely wearable!

It's always difficult with machine embroidered jewellery to make something soft, as machine threads always seem to go scratchy - even if they are soft to start with. Metallics are the worst.

I then had the knotty problem of how to display them. A utensil rack found in the charity shop looked promising,

 but a shirt box from the local "gentleman's outfitters" was the final choice - perfect!

I finally made it out of the house on Friday. It's been a week of snuffling with a cold, allergies (I blame the catkins) and smog, sitting huddled over my sewing machine stitching beads for the competition, so by Friday I was ready for a change of scene.

Someone had given me a freebie ticket to the creative stitches show (which was just as well considering how much I was fleeced for a Travelcard...) so I toddled off there first. I wasn't sure what to expect, but there were some delightful surprises - including Bobby Britnell's barkcloth shoes, and Dionne Swift doing her thing. I was particularly inspired by Christine Plummer's little books made from recycled paper and Decovil.

And despite not really being a "quilt" person, this log cabin made of old shirts caught my eye (and sorry, I didn't make a note of the maker - I usually do but forgot this time).

But it was the next visit on my itinerary, the Boro exhibition at Somerset House, that made my day. Absolutely lovely. A real meditation for the eyes. And all the more wonderful as when I tentatively asked if photos were allowed, I was told to take as many as I liked! So I did...

Even Mr G was inspired. He reckoned I could "do something" with old jeans and shirts. Which then strangely reminded me of the shirt log cabin quilt. Maybe he's onto something...

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Thinking under pressure

It's that time of year again. The EG branch competition. Actually, it was probably that time of year about a month or so go, and a deadline of Saturday afternoon is probably cutting it fine.

So I'm thinking. Brain hurts. Trying to get from scribbles in notebooks, made over the months, to a stitched piece of jewellery. By Saturday. I stupidly thought that after classes stopped for Easter I would have oodles of time. How naive!! You'd think I'd learn....

So this where it's at this week chez moi:

Love the optimistic scrawl on that last page: "branch comp?". In my dreams.

Nothing like a deadline...