Thursday, 30 August 2007

Tree Bag

This is a quick post as I have about a million and one things to do and no time to do them in but I just wanted to get this posted as I'm chuffed with the results. I know its just a little shopping bag well not little, I painted it with a paint pen this morning for a friends birthday present, and think it turned out quite nicely. The sketch has been lurking in my note book for a month or two and i think it just lends itsself to being a carrier bag and the dylon fabric paint pen worked really nicely I am quite pleased with the effect and I might consider going back to the craft shop and getting a few more of the cotton bags to decorate. Artistic and enviromentally friendly that can't be too bad can it?

Wednesday, 29 August 2007


Here it is, two months late for Meg's birthday but I have finally finished Firefly scarf. I'm quite happy with how it has turned out, especially the little pocket detail.
The scarf isn't from a pattern I designed it myself, it was really quite simple and I think the noro wool really speaks for itself. Plus I'm totally hopeless at understanding knitting patterns, I just like to sit down and knit while watching CSI, body counts and knitting needles what could be better. I hope Meg likes it, and will use it when it actually gets chilly in Northern California. It was a good little project and I haven't got a clue what I will do next, probably another scarf or something to that extent as I have quite a stash of wool that could do with shrinking down a bit.
Below is a picture of the sketch I drew for my scarf design, If you didn't read the previous post about this scarf then I'll say again that I took inspiration from the show Firefly (Serenity the movie) and wanted to make something that I thought would fit right into the show. Because both Meg and I watched the show and loved it, and besides some of the other tv shows that we have in common might have ended up with something a bit to goth (supernatural, angel, buffy) or too geeky (star trek(s)) ;o) .. could have always done something from one of the god-awful movies that we used to watch over and over again when we were in high school, though I don't think Earth Girls Are Easy lends well to knitting.

a very sketchy sketch

I'll get around to posting it to you later this week Meg!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

That Crafty Feeling

I have been having some creative feelings again, though perhaps i should be a bit more gun shy when it comes to letting my creative demons wreak havoc upon poor innocent canvas bags but the deed is done and the above pictures are the results. One canvas bag mildly injured in the process of being crafty. The medium is Acrylic paints on a 100% cotton tote bag that i got from the craft shop at the garden center. For all you crafting and composting needs I suppose. I have a second larger shopping bag sized.. erm bag but that is as they say a blank canvas tote at the moment.

I'm mostly happy with the result despite thinking I'm pretty much crap at crafts I still keep trying, I like to paint but I'm just never good enough for my self, I have the creativity and inspiration at times but I'm never satisfied with the contol over the paint brush when attempting to do finer details, instead of a more blurry abstract sort of resupt that i normally end up with. As for what I'm going to do with the little bag, well thats a very good question and I don't quite have an ansewer for that just yet, I'll get back to that later.

And I'm still working on knitting Meg's scarf on and off depending on how much free time I have and how much Alys is trying to eat the wool, and steal the needles as I knit. Here are two little pictures of the scarf as it was earlier today in the garden, obviously its rolled up in a ball so if Meg is reading this she dosen't get too much of an idea of what the finished result will be. I'm calling the scarf Firefly after the tvshow (and movie Serenity) as to me it looks like something that would probably fit in quite nicely there.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Black Monday

Although I have been doing a bit more creatively speaking, mostly sketching and knitting a bit, I have been feeling a bit defeated lately. By life mostly, and perhaps a bit of what I feel is jealousy towards thouse who have everything set in life. Not that I'm unhappy with where I am at, I love my husband my son, I love pottering about the house but sometimes I feel as if I missed something somewhere and I'm not sure exactly what that piece is or where I lost it. Maybe i'm jsut feeling sorry for myself or at a loss for not being able to find that one thing in life that I want to be or do and holding on tight to it. M is a photographer and he is very good, owns the studio have camera will travel or something like that.

And I think I'm a bit jealous of that, he always wanted to be a photgrapher, he is good at it and he has made our life out of it. But I have never felt that I have had that one desire and goal. I like writing, but I'm not great at it. I like painting and art but again i'm not great at that either.

A frustrated non-artist? maybe I just wish i could funnel everything that I am into one thing and be great at that. But I guess thats what everyone wants to be remebered to be famous.. I want to write a book but not for the fame of it, I don't want to write the next Harry Fucking Potter, but I want to be able to write it and get something out of the cluttered cobwebby mess that is my brain.

I keep looking at the etsy craft sites, and wishing it could be my stuff up there, exactly what I don't know.. perhaps just another pipedream like the while cupcake thing... I thought by the time I was 30 I would have figured myself out enough to know what i want for a career, now that I am 30 all I really know is that I don't know who I am and what I can do. But hey at least I can make a fab cheesecake even if I have no true belief in myself or my abilities.

on a lighter note we are off to Wales tommrow to visit friends who are caming and happily LARPing, we will not be camping though, M dosen't do camping so we will have a nice little hotel room (best western) for the night, then M will be happy and H will be happy as he is utterly obsessed with staying in hotels. There are a few newposts on my drabble site . but as I have been busy doodling i have had much time for writing. But I feel better having witteren on about various things here.

I'm off to pick tomatoes and courgettes (zuchini) and maybe a bit more sketching!

The Taste of America





Ok I admit I have never been that big a fan of Mountain Dew, my dad would probably say it tastes likes piss, but to me its just another thing that reminds me of beign stateside and tastes of home. I'm sure there are better things out there to remind me of america but right now i'm sitting her with an opened can of the vile yellow liquid and its like nectaer from the gods of consumerism.

I purchased it strangely enough from a little market stall in Derby, a little Thai market stall to be precise, I'm not particularly sure why they had MountainDew, and Mug root beer too, but that only stayed in the fridge for a few hours before it was just an empty can to be recycled. Barq's is the best root beer though I think I might cheerfully maim for a cold can of it. And as M thinks its vile stuff its all mine. Though I find it hard to get my head aroudn the fact that he will drink gallons of dadnelion and burdock, which I think was created as part of an internation food dare, right up there with haggis and snails.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Lemon and Mascarpone Cheesecake

Lemon and Mascarpone Cheesecake

2 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg. mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon zest (3 lemon)
juice of 3 lemons
for the base:
12 biscuits (makes roughly 1½ cups crumbs)2 tablespoons melted butter
Crush the biscuits and add the melted butter. Mix well and press firmly into a 8-inch pie pan. Pat down using the base of a glass. Place in fridge for 30mins to set.
While base is setting. Mix together cream cheese, mascarpone, lemon zest, lemon juice (I normally put the lemon juice in to taste roughly about 2 lemons worth but in this instance i used all three for a very lemony cheesecake) sugar, using a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Pour the cheese mixture over the base and spread evenly. Put cheesecake in the fridge for at least 4 hours to set, preferably overnight.

cooks notes:
as I had a lot of lemons to use up i used three lemons in the recipe which made for a very tangy refreshing cheesecake but if you don't like lemon quite that much you can just use the juice and zest of two unwaxed lemons.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Painted Lady

hello..lo..lo..lo i'm still alive honest, though i'm not sure anyone actually reads this blog besides my dad on a regular basis, i am still here but its been a hectic week or two and i haven't managed to get much writing done on here. THe biggest project had been entertaining H as its summer break and he o nly goes to preschoon for a few hours on monday and friday, so cue me running around the house like a woman possesed trying to clean the house and tidy up whatever messes H, M and the cats have left for me.

Also I have been painting H's room, and I absoloutly hate painting walls, and especially celings its just crap, and i ran out of paint, so there are a few patchy bits that need repainting, and the back wall has fluffy white clouds on it as a quick improv to figure out what to do with one corner of the wall still being bright white when it was supposed to be blue. not just any blue but the dark under-the-sea stuck-at-the-bottom-of-a-trench blue that H picked out all by himself. And now to add to it I have to go back to painting it on friday and add a rocketship to the clouds as per h's request. That i don't mind, I like actual painting, I'm ok at that, I'm no rembrant but I enjoy painting pictures just not walls. Perhaps its a lefthanded thing as i can't really paint a straight line to save mylife. And no matter what i do i just end up completly covered in paint, i have given up using rollers as i'm just so diabolically bad at using them and now just stick to using a little paintpad and away I go.

I hyave been drawing alot lately and may soon be designing a little canvas bag to go along with the two t-shirts I have made in the last few weeks.... so i'm quite happy with that.. oh and there is the possibility of going on a one day writing course in septemeber with frizbe, its a begginers course on novel writing, I would never think to go on one on my own but Frizbe is much more outgoing than me so will let her do the talking to begin with and maybe it will help me to move on with writing a bit more. my poor little teapot blog has been sadly neglected for too long. I must sort out writing some more on it tommrow while h having his nap before swimming lessons.

Cinnamon and Blueberry Pancakes

Cinnamon and Blueberry Pancakes

2 cups Self-raising flour
¼ cup Sugar
¼ cup sour cream
¾ cup Milk
1 Egg
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen Blueberries

.Beat together flour, sugar, sour cream, milk, egg, cinnamon until smooth. Gently fold in blueberries. pour approximately 1/4 cups batter on hot griddle. Though I make small pancakes for my son.
On occasion I have made blueberry syrup as well, when the are going cheap that is


2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional it just helps it to keep longer if not used right away)
combine the ingredients and simmer about 10 minutes. Serve as is for rustic treat or sieve for a smoother consistency.

cooks notes: ok to be honest i have only made the syrup once as normally pancakes are a sunday ritual and i'm just not a morning person so whatever is quickest and makes H and M happy works for me, and the quicker i make breakfast the quicker i get the next cup of coffee! The pancakes are lovely and one of my favorite pancake recipes. I'll sort out a picture next time

Monday, 6 August 2007

Key Lime Cheesecake (no bake version)

Key Lime Cheesecake With Biscuit Base

3 pkg. (8 oz. (200 g) each) Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. grated lime zest (2 limes)
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (2 limes)
1 cup whipping cream
pie crust*
Beat cream cheese, sugar, zest, and lime juice with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
In a separate bowl whip the cream then add it to the cheese mixture. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crust.
refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.
Top with fresh whipped cream just before serving. Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator.

For the crust
12 biscuits (digestives or coconut or graham crackers makes roughly 1½ cups crumbs) 3 tablespoons melted butter
Crush the biscuits and add the melted butter. Mix well and press firmly into a 8-inch pie pan. refrigerate while preparing the cheesecake filling.
cooks notes:
The cheesecake was much easier to make than the baked version, the addition of the whipped cream made for a much lighter density. I'm quite happy with the result the only drawback is that I used a new zester which was a little bit keen to zest the limes. I think I will definatle use this recipe again in the future. THe origional recipe I found online and adapted it to my way of thinking. Afterall I'm left handed and we do think diffrently! Next time I might experiment with some lemongrass or a bit of ginger, or possibly some cherry topping.