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Wednesday, 28 July 2010

forgotten project

The latest issue of the beautiful Inspirations magazine arrived today. It is always eagerly awaited by all who subscribe to it, and I am no different.
One on the projects in the new issue is a Strawberry pincushion.
When I saw it, I remembered that I have done similar thing myself in a workshop with Beppy Berlin some time ago and it has not yet made it to my blog.

My two strawberries are filled with lavender.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

members day

Our Embroiderers Guild group meets once a month in this lovely village hall.
On Saturday it was the Members Day, when we don't have any workshops, but everyone brings in anything they have made in the past year, or anything they are currently working on, and we have a display.
Considering that we are only a very small branch of the Guild, and that some ladies were away on holiday, our small show was quite impressive, with a lots of different items. It showed how much talent there is in our small group.

These are some of the pictures taken on the day.

Some of the ladies were showing whitework samples they made in the last month workshop.The tutor was Clare Hanham-Clensy. Whitework is something I would like to have a go at, but unfortunately I was on holiday. She has an exhibition in Bradford-on-Avon (not so many miles from us) in September, I will try to see her work there.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

infinity cushion

The start of this project dates to 2008, when this copy of the Inspirations magazine came through the letterbox. I just loved the cushion. To be very honest, I love most of the projects in Inspirations, an Australian magazine, published by the Country Bumpkin, but of course, one can't do them all.
But I knew I have to make this cushion, called Infinity, by Kris Richards of Australia, and I wanted to make it in that fabric and colour. I knew this combination of fabrics would probably be quite difficult to get her in UK, it was a lot more simple to order the fabric directly from the Country Bumpkin.

It has taken me all this time to complete the cushion, with other projects in between, but here it is at last!



Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Lavender is something you love or hate. I love it!

I have picked some of my lavender this morning for drying. The bees were not very happy, they tried to follow me into the house.

The lavender and the oleander have filled our conservatory with an intoxicated smell.

There is a lavender company not far from us, Somerset Lavender, where they grow lavender for their lovely products. I have bought some of my plants from them.
They have a small shop on site and a tea room, where I have for the first time tasted a lavender cake, a lovely sponge cake with small amount of lavender flowers in it.
I expected it to be a little overpowering, but in fact it tasted very nice.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

day out with a friend

My friend and I have decided to have a day out, something we have not done for a quite a long time and we were starting to have withdrawal symptoms.
So we set out this morning, with the weather definitely on our side.

Our first stop was the Enchanted Plants shop in Shaftesbury, for a little bit of retail therapy Enchanted Plants.

Their hand made organic soaps are the heaven!

Then we drove, with a small stop for a browse in an antique shop, to Stitch'n'craft in Semley, to buy some of the materials needed for a designer bag I will be making in the next month's workshop.

By then it was time for refreshments and as we were not very far from the Pythouse, we decided to go there.
We set on the shaded terrace, overlooking the walled vegetable garden, with a pot of coffee and a couple of their scrumptious cakes.

Our last stop was a small shop called Clementine, in the courtyard of the Compton Marbling. We have not been here before, so we needed to investigate.
We found a lovely shop, in the depth of the countryside. It was a lot larger the we expected, full of all those things you don't need, but a fantastic place if you a looking for a present, for all ages.
Time to go home. It was a lovely day.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

english summer

We have been having a glorious summer this year, very settled, with lovely warm evenings. We have been able to enjoy our garden, to the point that we have been more or less living out there. The housework has definitely been suffering.

But  the weather has changed about a week ago. We are back to very English summer, we all know and love (or not), very unpredictable.
We planned a BBQ for Saturday, to celebrate our daughter's birthday. Saturday came and it rained, and it rained, with high winds. With a resignation, I prepared myself for having to cook all that meat in the oven and eat inside, not for the first time I have to say, this is what happens often to English BBQs.
Just when we started to set up the table inside, it stopped raining, the sun came out and we ended up with a fantastic afternoon in the garden!

Friday, 16 July 2010

"Bubble Cake" recipe

I have been asked for a recipe for my cake in the previous post.
I use a recipe from this 35 years old book. The cake is originally Czech and it's name is "Bublanina", ( "Bubble cake"), because the fruit forms bubble like pockets filled with fruit.
In the book it is called "Cherry Squares", because the Czechs use mainly stoned cherries, as my mum used to.
Any fruit can be used, providing it is not too soft and wet, this would just make a horrible mess. I have used plums, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blueberries....
If you use small soft fruit, it helps to coat it in flour.
 Large fruit, like the apricots I have used this time, should be cut in half, stone removed and placed the cut side up.

1 - 1 1/2 lb (1/2 - 3/4kg) of fruit
4 oz (125g, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 oz (125g, 1/2cup) sugar
3 egg yolks
4 oz (125g, 1 cup) self-raising or cake flour
1/4 tsp salt
1tsp baking powder
3 - 4 tb milk
1tsp grated lemon rind ( one lemon)
3 egg whites
vanilla sugar or vanilla essence (to your taste)

You should use a square cake tin, I use 24cm (9 1/2in), the cake mixture should be about 1in (2 1/2cm) deep when put in the tin.

Tip: I put everything but the egg whites in the food processor, give it a good whiz, pour it into a bowl and then fold in the whipped egg whites.

Pour the mixture in the tin and lay the fruit on top (some of it will sink). Bake at 180C, 350F, Gas4, until the top is a golden brown.

When cooled, sprinkle with icing (or vanilla) sugar and cut into squares.


Thursday, 15 July 2010


I have been baking since I have come back from holiday. My friend was coming to see me, to catch up on news while I was away. I made this apricot cake. I like baking with summer fruits, they give it a such a fresh taste.

Could it be an excuse not to stitch? I don't seem to be able to get into it right now.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

stitching while away

When going away I am usually very optimistic about the amount of embroidery I am likely to do on holiday. And I always bring it all back, hardly touched. There is just so much going on besides.
This time wasn't much different.

I did however start a piece of hardanger, the emphasis being on "start"! As you know, hardanger requires a lot of concentration, not such a good idea for holidays.

I also managed to do more embroidery on some of the blocks for the Tail Feathers quilt. I found this was a good work to do on the ferries, as it is easy to do.

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