Saturday, 19 May 2012

Bakewell Bliss!

My finished Bakewell Tart.

I've been ill for the past couple of weeks with a really bad cold and chest infection so I haven't done any baking or picked up my camera since, until today.
Im almost better now, so last night I done some baking and made my first ever Bakewell Tart. Its made with sweet shortcrust pastry, raspberry jam and frangipane filling. It tastes absolutely gorgeous!
I found the recipe through this blog and followed the link to the recipe here If you love Bakewell Tarts this recipe is a must to try.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Summers coming....

Saturday 5th May.
Beautiful sunny day today! I forgot what a blue sky looked like after all the rain we've had. We've been spending the day doing a bit of gardening with cake and tea breaks inbetween :) The lettuce seeds that I planted about 3 weeks ago are starting to do well and I'm looking forward to when they are ready to eat. The packet of seeds I bought said mixed variety, but these seedling all look the same! I hope they are mixed, fingers crossed.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Watercolour painting.

I've recently got back into painting with watercolours again and I'm really surprised at how quick I've picked it back up. I last painted when I was at art college when I was 17, so that was about 16 years ago! I've really been getting the urge to paint again so I went online, searched around a bit and ordered a set of watercolour paints. I got the Winsor & Newton Artists' watercolour 24 paints which were quite expensive but I thought they would be worth it as I was wanting some good quality paints that would last me.....

My paints before un-wrapping the pans.
For anyone interested I have put more photos on my Flickr account of the paint box and paint samples of all the colours: I did this because every web site that was selling these paints all had the same small photo, which was quite frustrating. So I've taken photos of this set to give everyone else a better view of them.

.....So it took me a couple of days to pluck up the courage to have a go at painting something, because as I said its been 17 years. I found a picture of a robin that I thought I'd have a go at and here it is below.... 

First painting in a long time!

So what do you think? I was pretty happy and surprised at the outcome (minus the feet! I think the look horrendous), but it was my first go and it also took less time than I expected as I'd always been a really slow painter when I was younger.

Ok so at the weekend I decided to have another go at painting a different robin. This time I needed to have a practice at painting some legs and feet first because they are more difficult to do than I thought and I also used a smaller brush (number 0). 

Practice at bird feet.

You can see from above what a difference it is from just having a practice first! You can just see the first painting in the top corner of the bird feet (cringe!!)....

Attempt at bird number 2.

I think this one worked a lot better with it having nicer feet :) I'm now pleased and I'll be starting my next painting very soon....

Thursday, 23 June 2011

London in London.

Well like I said in my previous post, me and my husband moved to London in February. Dave works as a contractor computer programming and originally when he first applied for this job we planned that he was going to be living in London 4 nights a week and then coming home at weekends. We live about 3 hours from London on the train so a daily commute was not going to be possible for him and we have 3 house cats which would make it difficult for us to rent a flat with them, so we decided I would stay at home. I came to London with him before his contract was due to start to help find somewhere for him to rent, but after speaking to an estate agent who seemed to think we could find a landlord that would let us rent with our 3 cats we decided that we would both move here, so we did. We have kept our house back home for us to go back to at the end of the year when Daves contract finishes and I go back home every few weeks to check on everything, do some gardening and see family and friends. The one thing I miss about our house back home is the garden as we don't have one here. Anyway the flat we are living in at the moment is in Westminster and literally a 5 minute walk to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, its not to far from Buckingham Palace either and we live really close to St James's park which we love going to. The great thing about the location is that we're in the centre of everything. The flat itself is modern and spacious and I think we struck gold finding it, it really feels like home here already. Also the funny thing we found out when we moved in is that Cilla Black lives on the top floor and I've seen her twice now.

We have been everywhere in London since we moved here, I could almost qualify as a tour guide :) We've had family and friends visit us over the past few months and I've loved showing them all the places to see and I've really worn them out from dragging them round everywhere. We went and watched the London marathon for the first time and when William and Kate where getting married around the corner from us we went and took photos of all the people camping outside the Abbey which was strange to see. I'm not a Royal enthusiast and not a fan of big crowds so on the day of the wedding we just stayed in and watched it on the TV.

Also I've been getting more into my photography since we moved here as there's a lot of interesting things to shoot so I'll add a few of my photos here and keep you all updated on what happens next....

 The London Eye taken from St James's Park.

St Paul's Cathedral.

 Guards having band practice.

Water fountains on the South Bank. The Gherkin is the building in the background.
Big Ben.

 Houses of Parliament.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Its been a while.... but I've moved to London.

Well its been a while since I last updated my blog, I've neglected it a quite a bit because I've been busy since the beginning of the year moving 250 miles to London which I will tell you all about in my next post.

Also in January I signed up in for The Race for Life which is a sponsored 5k (3 mile) run for Cancer Research. I have always been a poor runner, when I used to do cross country at school I was always at the back trying to catch my breath. I just can't seem to breathe when I run so its always been limited to 40 seconds maximum before I have to stop and walk. So I took this as a challenge to improve my running and its starting to pay off. My husband Dave is a really good runner and has helped me loads by coming out running with me and keeping my times. I started out doing interval training where I run for 1 minute then walk for 1 minute and its now got to the point where I can run for 8 minutes without stopping, which I'm really pleased about. The Race for Life was on the 27th May last week and I completed 5k in 35 minutes, raised money for charity and I'm fitter! I'm defiantly keeping up my running routine, and who knows, I might just sign up for another charity run.

Me before the race.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Harry Hill....

My sister phoned me up last week asking if I could make my Nephew the Harry Hill Kitted Character off the TV show Harry Hill (which is actually crocheted). I've only really made a couple of crochet soft toys and a blanket so I wouldn't consider myself a confident crocheter but reluctantly agreed to try and make one with no pattern to follow. To be honest I didn't have a clue what the Harry Hill Knitted Character was as I don't watch Harry Hill, but my 8 year old Nephew is mad on him. I had to do a search on Google images to get an idea of what it looked like and then went from there...

Above is the character from the Harry Hill TV show.

Heres the one I made. Considering I had no pattern and my inexperience I think I done a good job.

Im really pleased with the outcome and it only took me a couple of days to make it.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

New items in my shop...

I have recently been busy making new items for my patchouli Memories boutique on Etsy. I have also bought a new camera recently and have been updating the jewellery photos in the shop too which I feel is a great improvement. I have added below a few of the new items for you all to see. Please, let me know what you think :) Thanks.

P.S I have also added an extra page to my blog titled My Handmade Cards which contains photos of all my handmade greetings cards I make for myself that I thought I would share with you. Take a peek, just click on 'My Handmade Cards' at the top of the page.