Thursday, 25 March 2010

I know that i have just posted about the v and a... but look at this fabulous hat! £35 from the gift shop - also in black and brown. lots of other fifties-style goodies, including really sweet hankies.

I am totally immersed in this most wonderful book, A S Byatt's 'The Children's Book'. Set around the Arts and Crafts movement, featuring South Ken in the early 1900s. It is wonderfully descriptive of an unusual and artistic society of the time - potters, jewellery makers plus trips to the Paris Exhibition and Germany. Pick it up if any of this excites you.

Here is a review from the Guardian which explains the narrative far better than I am able to!

Saturday, 20 March 2010

chocolate cupcakes

it was our friend Chloe's 30th birthday (yes is a bit of a spring chicken, it must be said) and we enjoyed an evening at prezzo's and a few cupcakes to celebrate! lovely company, thanks all. we did get a bit loud, methinks... as a couple snuck out, wanting a different table in a separate room. oops.

this is a really nice recipe - easy to make, failsafe (!), universally appealing. you end up with a rich choc taste, without too much sweetness. i think of them as grown up cupcakes, although the boys never knock them back. there is a small amount of coffee in them but it is hardly noticable.

2/3 of a 250g block butter

1 cup brn sugar

1/2 cup caster sugar (just used granulated and worked fine!)

3 eggs

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 tbs instant coffee

1 1/2 cup milk

2 tsp vanilla extract


2/3 block butter

4 cups icing sugar

a little room temp milk if needed to thin

Pre-heat oven to 190C.

Beat butter 'til soft, smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat again 'til creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time. whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa and coffee together. add one third of dry ingredients to one third milk/vanilla. alternate until all mixed together.

Line tray with paper cases. Fill cups 2/3 full.

Reduce oven heat to 175C. Bake 22 - 25 mins. Cool before icing.

To make icing, beat butter intil smooth and pale. Ad one cup icing sugar at a time, until it is a suitable, spreadable thickness. I used a knife to spread it but you could use a piping bag.

I picked thins recipe up from another blog ages ago... with lots of cooking ideas - i think it was (??)

Thursday, 18 March 2010

the v and a

the victoria and albert museum is one of those fantastic places i am so privileged to have access to. i know it is such a short train ride away... and i should go more often! and what better excuse than this... a beautiful quilting exhibition.

the victoria and albert museum

the gift shop will be full of lovely things. this is a panel that can be bought, there are fat quarter packs full of vintage prints, fabric by the metre, quilting books...

or how about this gorgeous quilted bunny?

right. this needs scheduling in. if anyone is up for a meeting at the v and a coffee shop... sometime in april, let me know. xx

Monday, 1 March 2010


i have made a very satisfying pile of pincushions, ready to list on folksy. they look just lovely! they are simple cylinders with lots of yummy coloured scraps, including ; Amy Butler fabric (thanks mum!), vintage kitchen print and Ikea stripes. i finished them with a felt circle base and blanket stitching.
mother's day present anyone?
oh, i left it too late in the day to catch the sunshine so will have to grab a picture for folksy tomorrow. after that, they will be listed at £4 each.


We visited this lovely part of the world for half term, with a converted school-house cottage to hold us and keith's parents.

What a beautiful place! It was cold, (snow on a couple of days) but beautiful.

We were on the edge of the Forest of Dean and our highlights were:

  • the pancake race in Ross

  • Puzzlewood (visited by Tolkien, and surely the source of inspiration for Lord of the Rings)

  • Tintern Abbey and a great walk towards the Devil's Pulpit - we never did find it though!
  • the Dr Who Exhibition in Cardiff.

And this last picture is from Ledbury... we stopped for a homecooked pie in the Prince of Wales and I found the MOST beautiful shop full of Danish delights - fabric, cushions and toys. We have a new spotty orange cushion plus a metre of furnishing fabric with a brilliant house design for me to update things in the lounge.

Now.. to get this done sometime in the next month...

heart swap

It has been so long! Apologies... we were away, I've been picking up a bit of supply teaching and also suffering from a rotton cold. The days have been getting away from me.

Anyway, first things first.

Laura , ( sent me the most beautiful jewellery as part of the heart swap. I was overwhelmed by her generousity. I unwrapped the bracelet... and Freddie said... 'there's still something in here, Mummy'. And out tumbled earrings as well. They are made from intricate glass beads and were perfect for Valentines. And anytime really.

Have a look at her wonderfully presented blog, and buy some jewellery, too. Perfect for Mothers' Day.