Friday, 18 July 2014

Five on Friday

I am being extremely optimistic with the title of this post today. The chances of me actually finishing writing it before the end of Friday are pretty remote, so you are probably reading this on Monday and wondering why on earth didn't I call it "Random Crap Monday". On the other hand if you are reading this on Friday I'm most likely breaking the speed limit getting to Letchworth for our Embroiderer's Guild supper party as you read. It's been a mad week with an even madder weekend coming up... absolutely no time to write a blog post but hey-ho...
1. I made Millionaire's Shortbread
I have never made it before as I find it just a bit too cloying and sweet even for my sweet tooth but I was tempted by this twist on the original version. Somehow by adding cocoa to the caramel it makes it seem less sickly sweet. The family declared it the best they'd ever tasted. It's all gone! I only made it so I would have something pretty to photograph on my gorgeous new mini platter ( a very special birthday present) and mini cake stand but I think I will make it again.
2. I made aprons

In the five days between my Open Studios weekends I thought I would make all sorts of extra bits to sell this coming weekend... but it didn't happen. All sorts of other stuff happened but no sewing... until yesterday afternoon.

and then I made two aprons! Only two aprons but I guess it's better than nothing. They probably won't sell... sod's law!

3. I've been knitting

I'll re-phrase... I've knit a couple of rows! Whilst collapsed on the sofa last night I happened to wonder what was in the hessian bag tucked down the side and discovered some abandoned knitting. A cardigan I started ages ago and that I was really enjoying knitting as it is all made in one piece - no sewing up! But I'd gone wrong on a sleeve and abandoned it. But I picked it up again last night, cast on the sleeve again and I'm keen to finish it now. I promise to link to the pattern and yarn etc when it's finished... but no time to look it up at the moment!
4. I've spent today baking

Yes, I know it has been the hottest day of the year so far but I've been baking since 8 am. I've made a savoury cheesecake, a quiche and a pavlova for the Guild supper this evening. A lasagne for my family's supper this evening and a cheesecake for supper tomorrow. I've managed to invite friends to stay for supper after open studios tomorrow... and more friends on Sunday! Lovely to see them but just a little bit bonkers on my part. But using my shiny red mixer still makes me smile.
5. Fan My Flame

When I first started my blog (it will be seven years ago next week) I was stuck for a name. I was starting to think about branding what I do and I had been using the image of this fan on my business cards etc so thought I could use the name of the work as the name of my blog... and so "Fan My Flame" was born. I regretted it almost immediately. Read quickly and it looks like Fanny Flame which sounds more like some sort of porn star name than a textile artist. And it doesn't sum up what I do in an way, shape or form. For some time I've been thinking about the possibility of changing the name and it just so happens that Annie of the blog formerly known as Knitsofacto has done just that recently. It seems like a bold move. But then what else would I call it if not Fan My Flame?  Just my name possibly? What do you think... good idea or not?

Well it is still Friday... just... and I didn't break any speed limits tonight. I've been to the Embroiderer's Guild supper, which was excellent and have now come back home to unwind with a glass of wine. We had a lovely supper and great speaker - Clare Fleck, archivist at Knebworth House who spoke about the textile collection and conservation. But now I really think I need to get bed as I've got another busy weekend of Open Studios coming up. Hope you have a good weekend!


  1. And I managed to read it all on Friday....just! :)
    Hope you have a good open studios weekend and enjoy all that baking, my goodness you do a lot of baking which I'm sure thrills your family and friends no end!
    V x

  2. You have been busy. Very brave of you to bake in that heat too.

  3. You have been busy. It would be a real mistake to change the Blog name, it's easy to remember and very distinctive. Ii' pleased to hear the supper went well.

  4. Oooh those millionaires squares look so pretty Gina especially on your lovely new platters (that is such a pretty design - I have the jam pot in it). Sounds like you really have a madly busy weekend so I hope that you have a relatively quiet week next week and can catch up with a bit more of your knitting - looks gorgeous so far and I love the colour. Best wishes for the open studios xxx

  5. I'm reading this post on Saturday morning. I'd stick with Fan my Flame - we all recognise it and the image which promoted it.
    Love the look of your 'lost' cardigan, but I really mustn't knit another one!
    I admire your energy doing all that baking in this heat. I have resorted to eating anything which goes with salad although I know I shall soon crave gravy and vegs!

  6. I wish I had your energy, such a lot of baking. The cake stand and platter.

    If you are not happy with the name of your blog, why not change it? Your own name is pretty distinctive so it would be as memorable as the current title. I saw Annie's changes and she seems happier with it, you might feel the same.

    Seven years eh? I think I have been reading your work for almost all of that time.

  7. Busy, busy. All that being sounds yummy but sadly fat making for me. Please don't change your blog name, it's fun.

  8. Goodness, you have been busy! Lots of yumminess! I like your blog name. hope you get time to breathe over the weekend :)

  9. The shortbread looks delicious but then all of your baked treats look so very good. Love the aprons and the current blog name gets my vote (though Fanny Flame does have a certain je ne sais quoi!).

  10. Phew! You have been busy! The cakes look delicious. I like the sound of adding cocoa to the mix. Hope the open studio is a success.

  11. I added a touch of sea salt to my caramel, which takes the edge off the sweetness but enhances the caramelyness. I'd never read your blog name as Fanny Flame btw! But that is funny...I wanted to call my blog "did beads not dough" (because that's what I reportedly said, very grumpily, one day after playschool aged 2) but it reads "did bead snot dough" so I couldn't use it!

  12. The shortbreads look delicious and beautiful too! Love your little cake stand and platter as well, very pretty indeed. If you want to change your blog name then you should, but don't feel that you have to if you like it as it is. Whatever you want to do is right. I know that Annie spent a long time debating about the name of her blog. I spent a good three or four seconds deciding the name of mine! xx

  13. busy bee as ever Gina. I liked lz's suggestion of adding sea salt to the caramel. the icing effect is lovely. Always thought your blog title was very original. It and the piece behind the name is what drew me to your blog in the first place.

  14. Looks like you might be sticking with the FMF name ;-) I hope you're having a good Open Studio this weekend.

  15. if you commented on Annie - that you hate your blog name ... there's your answer. Altho FMF is distinctive and your long-term readers reognise and remember it.

  16. Gosh I am exhausted reading all you do! Hope the open studios are going well. Read your blog with the walk through looks great.

  17. Agreed with above. Distinctive (& lovely) blog name & image. I'd stick with it. Until you mentioned otherwise, I'd never read your blog name in any other way. Got to now 'not' read it as Fanny Flame. Hope your open studios went well.

  18. Ooh, that Millionaire's Shortbread looks incredible! I love your pretty platter too, what a lovely present :)

    I know what you mean about blog names. I've thought recently of changing mine but somehow, it's become me...and I've become it, so I have no idea what I'd change
    it to!

    I agree with others here, I like your blog name but it's a very personal thing and if you feel a change is needed, go for it! I'll keep visiting whatever your name is :)


  19. Let's quickly gloss over the millionaire's shortbread stuff as I doubt they are low fat and I must not be beguiled into making them. Similarly, let's swiftly get past the knitting... after all you know me and knitting - strangers to each other the majority of the time but I do want to contribute to the name debate if I may? I never think of your blog as Fan my Flame because I've long ago named it as 'Gina's space' in my head and it will always be thus. If you change it, those of us who have been around a while will still be following and still be reading. If you want new people to join in, find you and then follow, then using your own (very identifiable) name or something else could be the hook to catch them with. It's a fascinating question and you know me, I love change, so I'd say do what your head tells you to do. If you have an itch, they usually tell you to scratch it after all!

  20. I think any renamed blog should be 'let them eat cake'

  21. I agree with you about millionaire's shortbread, so quite keen to give the cocoa one a try--looks gorgeous! And very intrigued by the cardigan--beautiful--and in my favorite color too ;) x


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