Saturday 29 November 2008

Truffles and Trifle

Not much baking going on here this week as I still don't have a working oven (could be stir frying the turkey in four weeks time at this rate!) However I have managed to make a trifle to take out to friends for dinner this evening. A very festive caramelised orange trifle from Delia's Christmas book.

And while I was browsing through the pages of the cook book I decided I would make some truffles too! Very fiddly and messy but they taste good!

And a tree decoration which was inspired by several seen yesterday at the Burwash Manor Christmas shop... where I just happened to meet Silver Pebble and Dotty Cookie plus a little Pebble and Cookie, for lunch and a bit of seasonal shopping! Can you tell I'm starting to feel festive!

Tuesday 25 November 2008

Totally Random

I have mixed feelings about Tags and Blog Awards. Helen Suzanne posted about this a couple of days ago and I share many of her feelings. Of course, part of me is delighted to receive awards and happy to think anyone enjoys reading my rambling enough to pass one on. Equally I enjoy reading Tags like weird and random facts - it's always fascinating to read these snippets of information and again I'm flattered that anyone would want to know more about me. But at the same time they leave me feeling slightly uncomfortable and I'm never very happy about passing them on - I worry I might leave someone out who I should have thought of, worry that the recipient might not want it and yet at the same time I worry that I'm "breaking the chain" if I don't pass it on. That off my chest... I have been tagged recently by Indigo Blue (I didn't mind... honestly) to give seven random facts about myself. As this is the third time I've received this recently - possibly from Jennyflower and Marmaladekiss too but I can't remember, I thought I would play along... partially

First of all the seven random facts:

1. I have a blue belt in Judo! This is me aged about 15 about two years before I gave it up.

2. I was born in the East End of London so I am a true Cockney.

3. I have run the London Marathon - twice. This is the first time in 1988 with Ben at the finish. It took me over five hours that time.

And the second time was in 1998 and I ran it over an hour faster! It rained a lot that time and my arm was in plaster with a broken wrist (I fell over roller skating five weeks before!)

4.I have not eaten meat for about fifteen years, although I do occasionally eat fish if it does't have its head and bones!

5. I am terribly untidy especially when I am working as this picture of my desk shows... but I have a tidy person inside me who would like to come out.

6. I've got a maths degree and used be a Maths teacher before I had children... but I've forgotten it all!

7. I still like numbers though and try to do the Killer SuDoko in The Times every day if I can. I can't do crosswords though and don't even begin to understand cryptic clues.

So that's my seven random facts... but I'm not going to play properly because I'm not going to pass it on... but if you want to play too... then please do!

Sunday 23 November 2008

Spot the Difference

It's Sunday afternoon...
It's getting dark...

Barley sleeping...

Joe sleeping....
(he didn't get home unil 8 am)
And while we're talking spot the difference... I know I'm not the first to spot this but it is uncanny... Jo Brand...

John Sergeant?

It's uncanny... they even sound similar!
I'm off to watch the dance off!

Friday 21 November 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

First of all some thanks... To Julia for this wonderful parcel full of wiggly bags, thank you so much Julia! Lovely fabrics and beautifully made.

And I don't think I showed you my fabulous gifts from my bloggy meet up last week... Thank you to Lesley for this beautifully stitched festive mini quilt.

and to Lucy for this super little mini quilt, again beautifully stitched. (I think I'm going to have to start my own quilt wall.)

Lucy also gave me this fabulous zipped pouch ( PIF gift I think?) which I'm going to use for my drawing pens... do you think that is me walking Barley?... maybe not.

And Trashy painted this lovely ornament which will hang on my Christmas tree this year! Thank you all so much!

Back in the Fan my Flame household there has been a frenzy of activity for the past couple of days as I try to remedy the lack of stock... I've a Christmas Open Studio and sale tomorrow which it seeemed like a good idea when I arranged it in June... now I'm not so sure! Amongst many other things there has been brooch production ... just need to find where I've hidden the brooch pins!

And the mass production of Christmas cards!

But at least it has given Stewart the chance to practise his risotto skills... just as well it's cooked on the hob as my oven has completely packed up and seems to randomly decide what temperature it will cook at! No baking here this week!

I'm off to look for some brooch pins... have a good weekend!

Wednesday 19 November 2008

City & Guilds

Today has been the our last City and Guilds class before Christmas and some of the students have been very good about doing their homework. The first design element we have looked at has been texture and Linda has made this fabulous resolved piece of work. There is no stitch in this but I'm hoping she'll develop it into a stitched hanging... No pressure Linda!

Angela too, has been hard at work and has finished an experimental sample showing manipulation featuring the following three gorgeous samples...

Which she has displayed together on this board.

Not only has Angela been hard at work at her sewing machine she has also been hard at work in the kitchen. Following my post with the coconut and cherry cake a couple of weeks ago Angela emailed me and asked for the recipe. And today she turned up in class with a coconut and cherry cake for us all to share... which I was really pleased about as I didn't get to taste my cake. I should add Angela hates cooking but is obviously very good at it because this was scrummy.

Beats bringing in an apple for the teacher any day!

Saturday 15 November 2008

More Tassels, Cords and Beads

I know I said I wouldn't be back until next week but today has been such a great class at "The Art of Interiors" in Barkway that I wanted to share the fabulous work that has been produced. There were eight lovely ladies ranging from virtual beginners to experienced embroiderers but all of them made a wonderful tassel pendant... and we had plenty of laughs along the way!

In more detail (apologies for the quality of some of the photos!)... this was Pat's





Jean's (another Jean!)


and last but not least, Liz's

(Liz was also a great help to me in sorting out some machine problems!)

I just love the way they all look tumbled together.
Thank you for an enjoyable day ladies!

Friday 14 November 2008

A perfect day out...

in London at the Country Living Christmas Fair with bloggy friends!

Today I met with Trashy (just as crazy as I'd been warned!), Wonderwoman, Lucy Locket, Moogsmum and Lucy's sister Alison (who kindly took the photo). Gifts were exchanged, there was much laughter, talk of donkeys and chickens, lunch, wine tasting and of course the odd purchase or two. I left them all still shopping because I'd had enough of them all my back was aching and I needed to get home. Just don't have the staying power! Lovely to meet you all ladies, it was lots of fun and I'm looking forward to next time! Off to pack my stuff for another class tomorrow... back next week. Have a lovely weekend... especially those of you staying in London to drink wine and meet more bloggy friends tomorrow!

Thursday 13 November 2008


More lovely wiggly bags in great fabrics today - this time from Julie. Thank you so much!

Thank you too for this little added present for me - some fabrics and lace, including some of Julie's shibori dyed fabric, which was very much appreciated . I love the stripey looking one!

Which reminds me of another gift I forgot to mention... Maria sent this little plaque for me yesterday with her package of wiggly bags. Thank you Maria!

As for me... I should have spent yesterday and this morning on my latest degree assignment which is all about language, looking at a piece of textile that expresses a particular idea or meaning... but my mind is a complete blank and so to distract myself I've been making Christmas decorations. Featured in the December Good Housekeeping magazine... Christmas fairies made from dolly pegs.

The instructions can be found here. All in the interest of research of course, for my next Young Embroiderer's meeting.

But this afternoon I really must get back to my assignment because tomorrow I'm out all day for a very exciting blogging meet-up!

Wednesday 12 November 2008

Parcels... and pigeons!

I knew that getting bloggers to make wiggly bags was a good idea - I keep getting parcels! Today these arrived from Wonderwoman. More fabulous wiggly bags in great fabrics. Thank you so much Maria.

As if a parcel from Maria wasn't exciting enough, an eagerly awaited parcel also arrived today from Charlie and Mr P... my prize in Charlie's giveaway... my very own pigeon! Here he is coming out of his box after his long journey.

A very handsome fellow!

Complete with his own very special passport and knitting pattern for a tank top. And a name label... but he hasn't got a name yet. I'm thinking of calling him Wilson (as in Wilson Pickett Peckett??) but I'm not sure. Any ideas or suggestions?

Charlie said he was looking forward to having cake when he came to our house so I thought I'd better get baking this afternoon and made a batch of cranberry flapjacks. Wilson got very excited and started to flap his wings...

And landed in the middle of the flapjacks! I don't want to have to put you back in your box Wilson... behave yourself!

Sunday 9 November 2008

Kitchen Poetry : : The Finale

Tonight Stewart cooks dinner... that has to be poetry! It is certainly a performance!

But very much appreciated as it means I've been able to get on with my degree work. Better go as my prawn and pea risotto is almost ready!

Saturday 8 November 2008

Kitchen Poetry : : Six

Note to self:
It's about blimin' time you got that dishwasher fixed!

Friday 7 November 2008

Grime and Dirt

Kitchen Poetry :: Five

Just for Monkee Maker who wanted to see the grime and dirt in my kitchen. This first photo was meant for day two but the greasy splashes up the tiles were horrendous. I cleaned the tiles and took another photo but it was still disgusting. I cleaned them again and this is the third photo. It is still not clean but in reducing the size of the picture for blogger I've also reduced the size of the splashes!

But more obvious dirt can be seen on this little plaque on a cupboard door - meant for day three. This is the original photo complete with clumps of dust on her hair... because I don't do housework...

But I do bake cakes...

A coconut and cherry cake for our village over sixties club yesterday.